Friday, May 18, 2018

RSC18 week 20

NO PINK FROM ME

With the lovely spring weather it is hard to concentrate on quilting.  I love the crabapple trees in bloom right now.  Here's a pic from Wikipedia to get you in th pink mood.



Along with the weather, the Royal Wedding shows and a temporary health problem, I've had a hard time getting things done.  I did finish the first of my two A is for Animal baby tops this week.



In addition, I've been learning more about modern improv quilting and made a very small attempt, using solids and negative space. 



I've been watching TV shows and videos by David Dunlop, a landscape painter and teacher. He teachs that the Impressionists turned away from blending colors, which weakens them, and placied strokes of pure colors next to each other, which brightens them. I hope this understanding will help  me in my quilting.

Here are two great places to see more pink goodies:
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

RSC18 week 19

HAPPY DAYS

Isn't it wonderful to see spring flowers in bloom again!   It makes me feel happy in my heart.  My daughter and I took a long drive around all the neighborhood last Sunday. The sun was shining, a breeze was blowing and we saw so many beautiful gardens in bloom.  It was the peak of tulip season and magnolias were blooming as well.  

I am also enjoying PINK this month, thanks to Angela.  My sweet daughter loves to go thrift store shopping and brought me a lovely pink quilt top.  She knows just what makes me happy, fabric of course.  


I ended up trimming it down to 40 X 40 inches.  Some pink calico from way back in my stash was just right for a backing.  It does not require batting because it will go to a nurse near the Texas border, who gives them to mothers in Mexico who need lightweight baby blankets.

Another project I've started is using up a layer cake assortment.  Don't know when or where I acquired it, but I'm taking one more step to get rid of my stash.  


These animals of all kinds will delight some child in need.  I will be making two more lightweight blankets from this collection. I love layer cakes because they piece together so quickly.  

Have a happy weekend everyone and especially all you moms and grandmas!

Check out all the colorful happenings at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 



Saturday, May 5, 2018

RSC 18 week 18

NEW DIRECTION

This was sort of a bridge week for my quilting.  I really haven't started on my May colors of pink and rose.  However, pink and rose are in ample supply in the top I've just finished.

The holdover from last month is my yellow/gold Sawtooth Star block.  Don't look too closely at the piecing, please.  Somehow my ruler measurements didn't agree with what I  ended up with.  Guess the math just makes my head spin as usual.  I always seem to waste fabric by cutting things wrong and then having no fabric left to replace it.  I'm trying to fussy cut my centers, of course.



Here is the top made from a layer cake collection that has been in my stash for a long time. It was a joy to make and is already on its way to Covered In Love.



Meanwhile, for the last couple of months I've been really immersed in learning about minimal improv quilting.  It's where I'm finding my desire to be creative has taken me.  After looking at lots of examples on Pinterest and reading a couple of books and also talking with a couple of folks in my guild, I'm taking the plunge.  I'll be taking time to study each piece during the process.  

This is my first effort.  I found an 8-inch improv block in my stash, part of a Rainbow Scrap Challenge set.  The warm tones and the look of Africa gave me the starting point. I'm not happy with the flying geese block.  It's too dark and draws my eye away from the main block.  This I is just a work in progress.




So off I go on my elephant safari into unknown territory.  Wish me luck, dear friends.

Check out all the colorful happenings at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 


Friday, April 27, 2018

RSC18 week 17

DOLL QUILTS, PART TWO

This second group of doll quilts in my  collection may not be quite as old as the small quilts of last week, but certainly were made with just as much love.  Only one of them is filled with batting.  

These three all date from the 1930's to perhaps 1950. 



I like this delicate little coverlet made from rayons, including a solid pink backing.  The 2-1/2 - square pieces are all machine pieced.  The binding is wrapped around from the back and machine stitched.  There is no batting and no other stitching.  




This second is only a top, but the edges are turned under and hand stitched for a nice finish. It consists of alternating 4-patch and solid blue blocks.  The soft colors and cute prints are typical of the 1920's to 1930's.  The checkerboard layout gives nice diagonal movement. 



This last one  is machine pieced and quilted. The colorful connected stars in green and red check with the dark blue included are very bright and cheerful.  The added borders of pink in two widths and blue side strips were probably pieced from scraps.  I held it up to the light and noticed that the filling must be a piece of flannel, because it is more than a half-inch narrower on one of the long edges. Typical thrifty quilter using what's left over from another project. 

I'm really happy to have these charming quilts which tell stories of mother and daughters or sisters making them with love.  

If you've enjoyed them, please check out the many other quilts linked up with
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 


Friday, April 20, 2018

RSC18 week 16

DOLL QUILTS, PART ONE


Years ago I began to collect old  doll quilts, before they became too expensive.  Now I've decided to show them so other doll and quilt lovers can enjoy these vintage delights.

The smallest of these is a pair of tiny dollhouse bed quilts, about 4 X 6 inches.  The colors are typical of the 1920's to 1940's period.  These have the lavender popular then, as well as the cute little toys and sweet florals of that time, done in peach, soft blue and yellow.  The quilting is done in the ditch.



The next photo shows a pair of mini quilts of the same vintage.  The patches set on the diagonal are about 5/8's of an inch.  The colors are much the same with the addition of more dark blues and the bright red polka dots.  The Sunbonnet Sue is quilted, but has no batting.  It is pieced from the typical light green and could have been an orphan block from another quilt project.  Both of these pieces do not show any careful quilting stitches, just a way to make something from scraps.




Finally the red and chrome yellow potholder is backed with a heavy drapery fabric and backed with a heavy drapery fabric.  It also has a pink bias tape loop clumsily stitched on, like the very irregular  large quilting stitches.  




All of these quilted pieces from my mother's girlhood speak  to me of her daily life in times of the need for thrift and usefulness that girls and women met with creativity and care.

I hope you will share your thoughts about these delightful vintage treasures.  Check other ideas at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 

Friday, April 13, 2018

RSC 18 week 15

BLOOPER AND FINISH

This week was sort of a stop and start period.  I was working on quilting on my pink Project Linus quilt. My shoulders would get so sore I would have to limit my sessions to one or two lines of quilting.  Then came the binding.  I'm lucky to have almost two yards of a very adaptable fabric, irregular stripes of several colors.  It seems to blend with so many fabrics, so I'm going to keep it for binding.  


So by fits and starts I finished the quilt today, after breaking four, yes four machine needles.  I finally found the cause today when I found a loose screw, causing the needles to bend and snap.  Fortunately I had plenty of spares.  

Here is my finished quilt, all set to go to our guild charity day on May 14.  



Today I rushed to make a yellow Sawtooth Star block for my monthly RSC18 collection.  In my haste I did not check back on any of my other blocks, like the pink monkeys on the lime green, which I did last month.  So this is my blooper block.  Maybe I should give it a name sometime.



I guess it will go into my orphan block stash.  We never know when they might find a home.  

That's about it for news here.  I'm still waiting to see some actual green growth. I hard someone say they saw some tulip leaves popping up, but that's all.  I look forward to seeing lots of lovely quilts and maybe some pretty flowers from all of you.

Please visit other quilter friends at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 




Friday, April 6, 2018

RSC18 week 14

SNOW, PLEASE GO

We've had enough snow, but it's still coming down. It's not bad, like up north,  but it just makes me so hungry for sunshine and temps way up into the 40's.  

However, thanks to a thoughtful friend, I have a sweet little daffodil sitting by my window.

 

I hope you have all had a happy Easter week or school vacation.  I visited my daughter's family. My granddaughter never stops running from one extra class to another.  She has begun taking college level classes as a junior.  She is following in her mother's footsteps.  We had a wonderful day, with lots of good food and laughter.
 
As for RSC yellow, I haven't yet done anything but sort through my stash.  However, I'm working to finish a Project Linus quilt for our guild charity collection in May.  


I know that it looks terribly wrinkled in this photo, but that is misleading.  After working on the quilting those parallel lines my arm muscles were vigorously protesting, so I have just four or five more rows to finish.

Here is a look at some of the cute fabrics including some yellow bits.


As you can see, I have even added the last of my purple 4-patch blocks from Bonnie Hunter's En Provence project.  

I'm really looking forward to hearing about your Spring (or Fall) doings.  Have a fun week! 

Please visit other quilter friends at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 





Saturday, March 31, 2018

RSC18 week 13

EASTER MEMORIES

In my mother's family, originally from Poland, Easter was the most important holiday of the year.  We always got together at my aunt and uncle's house for dinner on their long sunroom porch.  The menu was always the same.  

We started with borscht, an old family version.  It was basically just plain beet soup.  We each chose extra ingredients for our bowls.  There was Polish kielbasa from the Polish deli, hard boiled eggs and freshly made beet horseradish.  My father, fourth-generation Irish, had to grind the beets and horseradish out in the backyard because it was so strong. The rest of the dinner included ham, golombki (stuffed cabbage rolls), way too much good food and was topped off by my Aunt Laura's pies.

As the only teenager, after dinner I would avoid the dishwashing with the women by taking a hike into the surrounding rocky New England fields.  I also wanted to get away from my pesky younger sister and cousins.

I still love to make golombki every year and now celebrate with my daughter and her family.  

My favorite part of the Easter season is the appearance of spring flowers.  This year we have not yet had any here in Wisconson. So here's a blouquet from me to all of you, whatever you are doing this weekend.


Happy springtime, everyone, and may God bless you richly.

Please visit other quilter friends at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
   soscrappy  and
Oh, Scrap! at 



Friday, March 23, 2018

RSC18 week 12

SPRING GREEN?

I'm still waiting for any sign of spring here in Wisconsin.  Please send me some if you have it, to tide me over until April.  Having spent many years in California and Washington State, it's such a long winter here.  

However, I have been keeping busy with my green fabrics, so cheerful.  The first one is a baby top I just finished piecing.  It makes me feel happy just looking at it. Right now I'm just calling it The Zoo.  

  
I'm leaving it about 35 inches square after a border or two is added. 

My other project is an adult-sized quilt to donate to Covered In Love.  What better way to use my stash than to bring some comfort to grieving families.  Kat gets them to the chaplain at the hospital in Texas where she works.  She says that you never know what scrap of fabric in a quilt might touch the heart of the recipient, perhaps a cat or a special flower, so anything is welcome.  

Here is a sample of the charm squares with grey spacers which have a soft homey feel.


I've got almost all of the 100-plus blocks completed,  This one has almost every color except purple, so I can carry it over until the Rainbow Scrap Challenge April color.  

I was sorry to hear that Mari and others on the East Coast had to dig out from that huge snowstorm.  The good thing is that snow does not seem to harm the fresh growth of greenery and flowers.  I hope all of you have a burst of springtime energy this week.  


Rainbow Scrap Challenge at
Please also check out 
katandcatquilts.blogspot.comCovered In Love


Friday, March 16, 2018

RSC 18 week 11

 GREEN JUNGLE  

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

LIME GREEN

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

AT LAST

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

SAD FAREWELL

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

QUICK WORK

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

PURPLE  CHALLENGE

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:

BIG NEWS!  

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