Friday, March 16, 2018

RSC 18 week 11


It's a jungle out there in my studio this week.  Everything is green and filled with wild critters.  I've been having fun playing with them all.

My first find in my stash was pink monkeys scrambling all over a lime green solid.  They were just begging me to add them to my next Sawtooth Star block.  It was tough trying to get a couple of them to be still long enough to fussy cut them, but I finally outlasted them.  You'd better take a quick peek before they scamper away.

These are very clever fellas.  You can just see that the one on the left is starting to pull apart the fencing so they can escape.  I caught him in the nick of time.  

I've also been busy prepping some cute jungle animals which fit perfectly in the lime green jungle.  I plan to make a brick pattern with these 10-inch cuts.

Aren't they the cutest wild animals ever?  They should make some young child very happy.  Of course, I will be making another Project Linus quilt.  

Have to sign off now.  Top O' the Mornin' to all on this St Patrick's Day.

See you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, March 9, 2018

RSC18 week 10


This month the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color is lime green, one of my favorite colors.  It's so bright and full of life, the first signs of spring, the little leaves of daffodils popping up in the dead grass.  

The first block I'm sharing is one that I made about a year ago.  It never did fit in any color category.  I decided to try making a Sawtooth Star block and chose these colorful fabrics for practice.

Now I get a chance to show this block, one of my favorites.  I'm continuing Sawtooth Star in RSC18.  

For my second BOM I'm doing the 16-patch again this year.  This was a bit of a challenge in lime, using quite a few fussy-cut pieces. So many cute critters here.

I'm very happy to show you my finished Rainbow Geese Migration quilt.  I broke my older sewing machine while stitching the last of the binding.  Now that my daughter has given me her computerized Brother machine the first thing I did was finish that binding, with no further incidents.  Just in time to show it off at Cynthia's Geese Migration wrap up.

And here is a lovely scene in a local park.  My friend has been feeding domesticated geese there for many years.  They are larger than the migratory Canada geese that congregate here along with wild malard ducks.

These geese do not migrate and do benefit from the extra food provided during the winter months. It was a  beautiful sunny and windless afternoon, a really special time.

There is no new growth here yet, but spring will be here very soon.  We will all be happy for that.

Have a good week, everyone.
I'll be seeing you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, March 2, 2018

RSC18 week 9


We are finally finished with purple.  February seemed to be the longest month this year, just dragging on. I am sick and tired of purple!  Thank you, thank you, Angela for bright light green this month.  I won't see any spring growth here in Wisconsin for about another month, but I can play with my fabrics and fill my heart with spring.  In fact, we can hear birds chirping again and just now I can hear the coo, coo of a mourning dove.

Great news!  After my 13-year-old sewing machine bit the dust, my daughter gave me a lovely fully automated, computerized Brother which she was not using.  

As you can see, it has all the bells and whistles and shortcuts I could want.  However, that does not mean I've been sewing up a storm.  It's been several days of slogging through the manual, figuring out how to make it run.  With my shaky hands it took about an hour for me to get it threaded and a bobbin filled after dropping a bunch of those colorless things everywhere.

The other problem is my custom sewing table, which needs a new inset for this machine.  I spent about another hour just now attempting to order it with an outdated credit card.  Finally got that done this Friday afternoon, so it won't be here until Wednesday.  Does this whole tale sound like I'm losing my mind?  It couldn't be old age...

On the bright side, I got as far as finding a surprise of some nice light green fabrics in my stash.

Aren't they pretty?  I'm going to get busy hunting for lime greens and I hope that by next week I will be able to post photos of some new blocks for you to enjoy with me.

Hsave a good week, everyone.
I'll be seeing you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, February 23, 2018

RSC18 week 8


The other day my well-used sewing machine bit the dust.  I was shopping for a new one and waiting for my daughter to bring me one of hers to try out.  However, tragedy struck before this could happen. Well, tragedy is overstating it, but my feeling of loss was quite real.  

It happened two days ago. I was working on my January Scrap Attack goal, finishing binding my Rainbow Geese quilt, when the needle broke right off.  That was okay and I tried to replace it.  However, with my clumsy attempts I broke off the needle holder itself and was unable to reattach it.  Here's the quilt with the unfinished side hidden.  

Suddenly I had time on my hands with nothing to do and realized how much I actually do with my machine each day.  Reading or cleaning  closets did not fill that void.  Last night was the end of the Olymplics figure skating as well. 

So I went hunting through my sewing room and finally found a large number of purple 4-patches hidden  away.  They were part of a Bonnie Hunter challenge which I never completed.  To show you all that I have done some purple work this week, I laid out this block on my slippery design  floor.  I just had to have more than one photo for this post.  

This is just a fraction of the patches which would make a baby quilt.  I'm thinking I could use them to frame some cute panel, or as a border for my pink and purple crib quilt.  

So that's all the news from here this week, other than the fact that most of the snow has melted and my fingers are no longer frozen.

Have a good week, everyone.
I'll be seeing you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, February 16, 2018

RSC18 week 7


This is a shorter month and that's my only excuse for not getting much done.  My project this week used a bit of purple and a lot of pink.  It's another Project Linus top, for a  little girl this time.  I remember when pink and purple were my granddaughter's favorite colors.  That was about ten years ago.  Now, at 16, she is sophisticated in black and white.  I do miss buying clothes for little girls.  

These wide strips were a good way to use my stash, some charms, 2-1/2 inch strips and even a 4-patch strip in purple.

Unfortunately all the photos of the entire top were overexposed and not worth showing.  But this folded portion includes all of the fabrics used, in width-of-fabric repeats.  Now it is about 42x56 without a border.  

This is not a new project, but a use for a WIP.  Last fall I  really enjoyed making a simple X-block done in springtime Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  I added a white border and left it at that.

I left this hanging around until a friend saw it recently and suggested that it would make a nice tablecloth.  So here it is on my antique side table, just the thing to brighten the living room during these dull days.

What about a new sewing machine?  My daughter and I went shopping for one yesterday.  There have been so many nice improvements with the electronics in all the machines.  Even the basic ones are so much more convenient than my present machine.  

Then Beth suggested I try her newer machine to see if it would work for me.  So she is going to bring it over tomorrow for me to try.  If I like it, we can switch around machines with her and Sarah.  So hopefully I will have good news next week.

Meanwhile, i will enjoy seeing all of your latest stitching news.
See you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Thursday, February 8, 2018

RSC18 week 6


This month is not my favorite for weather, and this year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color, purple. When I pulled my purple stash I was really disappointed.  There are some terrific batiks, but otherwise all the rest seem very dull.  I also have very few prints to use.  I was hoping to find lovely florals, especially lilacs and violets, two of my favorite flowers.   Overall, a pretty depressing stash for me.  I'm sticking to my rule of no fabric purchases this year, so there will be slim pickings.  

However, I did find a large scrap of a gorgeous floral and used it for my first Sawtooth Star block.   

I was really surprised when the photo showed it off better than it appeared to my eyes. The slanting light seemed to bring it alive. 

The 16-patch block was not very exciting at all.  See all the pale grayish tones?  Now I have a collection of 2-1/2 inch squares which will probably get moldy in the bottom of some orner of the closet.

In order to have something to show for February, I'm making a Project Linus quilt using purple and pink strips and  charms.  The fleece backing for this is a sweet unicorn print on purple.  Some little girl will love it.  

Enough of these negative purple thoughts.  On the definetly positive side:


I'm going to buy myself a new sewing machine. My current one was bought twelve years ago when I retired.  It was not a high end machine and has gotten good use, but has some real drawbacks for quilting.  The throat space, between the needle and the body, is only 5-1/2 inches.  I have to turn the wheel in order to raise and lower the foot.  There are other drawbacks as well.   

I've done quite a bit of comparison shopping, mostly online, and have decided on a real quilting machine at a good price.  If the snow ever holds off this week, I hope to get to the sewing store to try it out.  Hopefully the big reveal will be next Saturday.  

I'm looking forward to seeing what all of you folks have been up to.
See you at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, February 2, 2018

RSC18 week 5


Icy blue is a better name for this January RSC18  color.  It's the color of my fingers after five minutes outside.  I can't recall such a long cold winter.  Good for quilting work anyway.  

However, my brain must have had frostbite because I completely forgot to finish my RSC18 week 3 post.  So here is my 10-inch Churn Dash block in light blue.  

I'm not sure if I'm going to continue this block monthly.  I'm trying to be consistent with my block sizes, preferably at 8 inches finished.  This allows me to mix and match them as needed.  That is my go-to size.  

This Sawtooth Star is definitely on the list.  I like making it with flying geese piecing, four fewer seams to goof up, as you will notice below.  I love choosing a central focal point, especially if there are some sparks of other colors.

  The 16-patch is on of my very favorites.  I'm happy with scrappy.

For my Christmas gift to myself I bought three books on improv quilting, all on sale of course.  I've been really inspired by Intuitive Color and Design by Jean Wells.  She is one of the masters of art quilting and includes assignments for each of several design principles.  I can recommend it for any of you who want to stretch your design boundaries.

Last year, or maybe in 2016, I made ten improv blocks according to Angela's color choices.  I will need twenty for a quilt, a good goal for this year.

Here is the 8-1//2-Inch improv block I ended up with.  I started out with lighter blue scraps, but this block wanted to go darker as well.  Sorry, Angela.  

One more strip block just snuck in.

This is going to be a great year for Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I've just pulled out my purples.

Can't wait to see all the lovely purole piecing this month, along with all the hearts.  Now if only they were filled with chocolates...

Please check out the quilt goodies at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Scrap Attack, 1/31/18


My Scrap Attack goals this year are not really about scraps themselves.  They  are eleven UFO finishes and one scrap project.  I will draw a project each month from the following list:
  1. Rail Fence Star
  2. Balloons
  3. Houses
  4. Sizzle Strips
  5. Improv blocks
  6. X Block
  7. Gentrification
  8. Spinning Curves
  9. Stars Large and Small
  10. Beth's Quilt
  11. Trim all scraps
  12. Geese Migration
For this January finish I drew my Geese Migration top.  I waited until this last week of the month to work on it, in order to concentrate my  efforts on one project.   Becuase this was a Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2017 project, I finished the top last November.  

This  is a Project Linus quilt, as are most of my quilts.  So I usually use a fleece backing instead of three layers. It also is more cuddly and a whole lot cheaper.  I can buy fleece crib size blankets for about $3 each on sale.  Right now I have about ten of them on hand, because my dear daughter gave me several for Christmas.  

The top is about 45 inches square.  I considered using a wider black outer border, but for some unexplained reason I use the 1-1/2 inch strips instead.  I have no recollection at all of doing this.  A senior moment, I guess.

Today I have gotten the top quilted except for the binding.  I have not chosen any fabric for that yet.  Does that make it officially a finish?  I guess not, but at this late date my shoulders are shouting, "Enough!"  

So here is my Scrap Attack January project, which WILL get done by the end of this week.  Isn't the backing fleece just perfect!  

I've never participated in a goal quilt-along before and it has worked so well for me.  Guess all those late night college papers drummed deadlines into my head. That was back in the old days of whiteout. 

Meanwhile, you can see all the cheerful happenings today at
Scrap Attack at Sarah's blog at
This weekend 
I will also be linking up with
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Sunday, January 28, 2018

AHIQ Jan 2018


I'm excited about the latest AHIQ challenge.  I sort of, no actually did fall off the wagon on the last challenge.  I could not find a way to include lettering that would make me happy with the result.  

This top was as far as I went.  To me it represents the idea of gentrification of neighborhoods, when old homes are refurbished or replaced and the real estate prices jump way up.  Then the existing families  may find themselves unable to afford the higher rents and are forced to move out.

However, since this was not a large quilt, more likely a wall hanging or child's quilt, I didn't feel a politically charged label was appropriate.  So it will end up being about wonky houses and improv blocks.

When I  saw the latest challenge of varied scale I remembered a few orphan blocks.  I dug them out and found a good number of blocks in different sizes with the same colors.

So these are what I'm going o work with for a start.

I've never done a quilt project in red, white and blue, so I might as well begin now.  

Thank you, Kaja and Ann,  for making Ad Hoc Improv Quilts a place where we can get encouragement to do what inspires us.  
Please have a look at Ad Hoc Improv Quilts doings at  Kaya's blog,  Sew Slowly, or Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself

Friday, January 26, 2018

RSC18 week 4


I love the Sawtooth Star block because of the variations, especially using a central focus fabric.  The first one I made last year was a  random color choice, not a Rainbow Scrap Challenge selection.

When I was deciding what blocks to use for RSC18, I chose this block.  For my January light blue blocks I made the first one by adding pink to complement the Kaffe Fassett fabric, one of my favorites. Matching the blue would have been impossible, at last with my limited stash.

My second block used this lovely fussy-cut medallion.  I apparently was not quite fussy enough, but was determined to use it.  

This week it occurred to me that I have never made any strip pieced blocks. Then I saw Kat's call for these blocks for Covered In Love,

I do have miles of strips taking up space and found some ugly fabric to use for the foundation, another way to shrink my  stash.  (This is my year of no fabric purchases.)  

Here are the three strip blocks I made in no time at all, and I cut up several other 10-1/2 inch backing pieces.  

I don't know why it never occurred to me to make these blocks years ago, but better late than never. My stash is already thanking me. 

My Scrap Attack choice for this month is my Geese Migration quilt and I started Quilting it today.  So I will have that finish to show you next week.

I'm linking up with
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
katandcatquilts.blogspot.comCovered In Love

Friday, January 12, 2018

RSC 18 week 2


Having seen so many year end reviews by my quilting friends, I went through my own pics to choose my five top favorites.   This includes only totally finished quilts, which leaves out some of my most popular ones, still in the works.  

Of course, this post allows me to delay showing my latest projects, which amount to very little at the moment.  If I really get going I may be able to fill in the last two Saturdays this month.  I'm doing the Scrap Attack, which is a fun way for me to have workable monthly goals.  I've never done anything about goal setting before, so I expect to make a good dent in my UFOs.

Number five is my first Ad Hoc Improv Quilt challenge piece.  This was using Chinese coins in an improv way.  I added extra components, including a rising sun and orange bits of light representing sprouting seeds.  A number of the strips were pieced horizontally also, to break up the straight lines in the dark earth.  I call it Seeds of Hope.

In fourth place I chose a Color Works pattern, using a collection of fat eighths which were getting dusty.  I called it Type Face because of its colorful variety of typewriter keys of all sizes.  I sent the top to Kat for her Covered In Love charity.  She had it quilted by her generous friends in Texas, and the chaplain of the hospital where she works presented it to a grieving family.  

Number three is what started out as a crayon quilt.  I pieced all the rows but didn't get around to making the points.  So it was easier to make a rainbow, another Project Linus piece.  

My choice for second place is the set of 16-patch blocks from RSC16.  Yes another Rainbow.  In my stash I found a bright banana print and added corner 9-patches to make it a good size.  I backed it with  a monkey print fleece.  I hated giving it up, but some child is enjoying it now.

My number one for 2017 was a super easy choice, my Summer quilt for my own bed.  I had collected a group of Kaffe Fassett precuts and used them to make large blocks.  I had it longarmed by a member of my guild, Monona Quilters.  I'm so happy with it, and it has turned out to be warm enough to use year round.  

Looking back, it was a good year for my quilting output.  I really enjoy doing charity quilts now that my family has been supplied.  I loved seeing so many truly special quilts that so many of you have made.  It's like an ongoing quilt show each week.  I know that 2018 is going to be an even better year for all of us.  

I'll be waiting to see what everyone has done at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
katandcatquilts.blogspot.comCovered In Love

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

RSC18 week 1


This year I'm taking part in Scrap Attack and drawing a project to work on each month.  My 12 projects are all UFOs to be finished.  Here's my pot and the January pick.

My Geese Migration flimsy is up for completion by the end of the month, a flying start for 2018.

Before I get to that I need to finish my Waterfront Neighborhood project.  I'm piecing three rows of houses and trees, plus two rows of sailboats.  The houses are from a Rainbow Scrap Challenge, not sure which year, and the boats are a couple of years old.  The little trees were the most difficult to piece and were made to extend the rows to 40 inches.  

Row quilts are one of my favorite Project Linus quilts.  I usually make them about 45x60.  Then I back each with a colorful fleece blanket which can be found for about 3-5 dollars on sale.  For Christmas my daughter surprised me with six more of them.  

We are still frozen solid for the third week now, as so many of you are.  If it warms up enough we could get some snow.  At least it's not as bad as the high tide of slush in Boston.  I pray that all of you dear quilter friends will have a blessed and Happy New Year.  Go LIGHT BLUE!

Please check out the quilt goodies at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, December 29, 2017

RSC17 week 52


This was the first year I have given Quilty gifts, kind of a last minute idea.  I decided to make quilted baskets like Joy at The Joyful Quilter. I started by making three stip panels, one for each basket.  The first was for my granddaughter in her favorite red, blue and yellow colors.  
It turned out to be much more work for me than I thought.  I kept having to make changes because I measured wrong, etc.  Here is the saggy finish.

When this was done I decided that the other two, for my daughter and her SIL, a former quilter, would be carryall bags, lots easier.  The one for my daughter, in her favorite turquoise, went very well.
The back was a green print like the handles.

The last one in purple and turqouise was a really big hit with SIL.  She loved that I had unknowingly backed it with her favorite fabric, which she had donated to me when she quit quilting to take up paper crafting.

I'm looking forward to 2018 to work on my monthly Scrap Attack goals, which are all UFOs.  If you have not heard about Scrap Attack, it is a fun way to have a monthly goal.  It was a great idea from Sarah at  Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  

Wishing all of you dear friends a Blessed and Happy New Year.

Meanwhile, you can see all the cheerful happenings at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Scrap Attack, 12/28/17

The Scrqp Attack plan came just in time for me to tackle some much needed work on my encroaching fabric stash.  Here is the evidence.

June, 2015 This was the state of this fabric storage area back then.  I had just obtained the blue stacking unit and thought it was the answer to my problems.  

Obviously I was way off course.  I started buying fabric online with every sale I found.  Here is the result now, a whole wall full two layers deep.

So here are my Scrqp Attack goals, all UFOs, some of which are stacked in a pile on top on the right side.

Quilt and bind all the following:
  1. Rail Fence Star
  2. Balloons
  3. Houses
  4. Sizzle Strips
  5. Improv blocks
  6. X Block
  7. Gentrification
  8. Spinning Curves
  9. Stars Large and Small
  10. Beth's Quilt
  11. Trim all scraps
  12. Geese Migration

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

AHIQ, 12/27


I made this quilt top using half a drawer full of batik strips that I had no use for.  My daughter saw it and asked if she could have it.  Since I have not made her a quilt since she was 14, it's about time because her daughter is now 16 and I've made her two Quilts.  

I cut each paired strip set into 10-inch pieces and added the orange bits here and there to spark things up.  

Thanks for the AHIQ challenge this year.  I did enjoy working on the challenge steps on another top, but have not done the lettering yet.  Still debating on how to get that done. 
Looking forward to linking up again. Happy New Year!

Please have a look at Ad Hoc Improv Quilts doings at  Kaya's blog,  Sew Slowly, or Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself