Monday, February 27, 2017

AHIQ Challenge, 2/27


In January I had no idea what to do for the Chinese coin challenge.  I love working with  bright colors and have made a lot of Project Linus kids quilts.  I decided to challenge myself by working with neutrals.  

For convenience I turned over a narrow framed canvas to the back side.  This provided a rough surface, non-slip, and a rim to hold the pieces when I move it around.  It was my design tray for the coins.  I planned to do just a wall hanging size.  The first set of strips in neutrals stayed untouched for a few days.  I was so bored with it and totally uninspired.

I decided to do black and white mixed prints, which made it more interesting but still it sat there.  So I tried out a soft teal strip of Grunge down the center.  

Nothing was stitched together yet.  It just sat and stared back at me now, for about two weeks.  That was January.

One day I recalled another challenge I was planning to do about six years ago.  It was making a small wall hanging for a very worthy charity. The pieces were then auctioned off.  I had an inspiration for a theme and collected fabrics to make it.  Just as I was going to start cutting them, the group announced they were discontinuing the auctions because they had met their fundraising goal. Wonderful for them, but I was left with an idea and nowhere to go with it.

The coin stack now became the basis for my original idea, but in a totally different form.  I had been given a pile of dull colored strips from someone who had been doing retro quilts.  The challenge now became to use these dull fabrics to express my vision. 

Here was the first layout on the tray.

At last I was on the way, began to fill it in and actually started piecing it after only six weeks of nothing.
Here is the basis of the project. I finished piecing this so far.  I have some more borders to add before quilting and binding, but now I'm on a roll.

Do you have any ideas about the theme I am working on?  I'll let you know at the end of the challenge. See you at the end of March.

I'm very happy to be linking up with Ad Hoc Improv Quilter at Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself.  Please check out the fascinating things shared there by really talented people.

Friday, February 24, 2017

RSC17 week 8


One of my RSC17 iprojects is to make is little houses.  I've  looked and looked for an easy pattern in the size I can use with other blocks.  February came along and still no house plans.  I was looking through my WIPs pile and saw my collection of small sailboats, 6.5 inches square. I made a small fleet of them last year.

One of the boats happened to be upside down and, voila!  The hull turned into a roof.

Here was the plan for my own little house!   It's very simple, made with 2.5 inch strips and two flip triangles.  Since it was already aqua month, I quickly made two scrappy aqua houses.

Because they were so easy I made two purple ones for January also.

I don't know how many I will make each month.  I might make a row quilt with the boats and the houses.  Another WIP but not until the fall.

My really exciting project is a quilt for myself.  I've been using the one I made for my son Chris, but it is has poly batting and will be too warm for summer.  The one I've been using is a Lone Star quilt from the 1930's, practically in shreds by now.  In fact I don't dare wash it for fear of ripping it entirely.  

  You all know how I love color.  I've been buying Kaffe Fasset precuts on sale for a long time with no plans, just loving his use of color.  Now I have plenty to make a full size quilt.  I want to feature the large florals and even the geometric ones.  So I designed a 16-inch block using precuts and only five seams.  I've been making a block every day because I'm so excited about putting the fabrics together. It's a challenge because he uses no neutrals except in a very minor role.  So brightness of the hues matched up is Important.  All the blocks have the same color placement so it is not a random thing.

Made by 🌟Collage
Here are four more I've finished.

And one more, probably my favorite until the next one.

You can see the orange border on two sides, the yellow charm square in the upper right, the 10" square and the two 5x10 blocks to blend in.  I only need 30 blocks and am working on the tenth already.  It is such a satisfying project that I just can't stop doing it.  If my apartment neighbors were deaf I would be stitching all night long.

I am going to treat myself for my May birthday to getting it long armed using Dream thin cotton batting and I'll have the hottest quilt in town.  

Best wishes to all of you using your aqua scraps for a few more days.  Please join me in checking out the other fun posts at
 Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Monday, February 13, 2017

RSC17 week 7


Due to lack of space I don't have a design wall or a floor to leave things on.  So I'm passing along my idea for a design tray, which is very handy.  In the photo below you see a bright painting done by sweet Sarah, laying on its side.  I keep it there below my work table to help hide the "stuff" under the table, boxes of fabric, my cutting mat and large rulers, etc.  
When I turn it over it is a nice big tray for arranging block pieces.  The surface is rough so they don't slip and can even stand upright without falling off.  Here I'm testing the layout for my crayon block of 2 by 5 inch strips.  It is also very lightweight and can be easily moved or put on the table when I do piecing, so the pieces stay in order.  So if you have an unused stretched canvas or find an old one at a thrift store, I'm sure you will find it very useful.

Below is the finished crayon strip for February.  I'll do the points when I finish all the strips.  By the way, a blogger, don't remember who, mentioned an app for grouping photos.  I got Collage free for my iPad and like using it for a connected group like this.

My latest flimsy and back finish for my Project Linus Farm Boy quilt.  I showed you the top two weeks ago.

I was lucky to find this scenic farm fabric in my stash.  By adding the aqua and brick red strips it matches the front size and the sides will be trimmed to match.  It took only 15 minutes to make it!  

This is not due until May so I'm starting on a couple of other things, one for RSC17 and one for myself.

I read that poly batting is better for kids quilts because it dries fast in the dryer and is durable.  I was lucky to find a roll of it hiding behind some boxes today.  Hooray for free or forgotten things.  No need for Hobby Lobby this time.  

I'm really enjoying our spell of warm weather up to 60, hopefully the end of winter here.  I wish all of you dear friends a fun week whatever you are doing.  Just keep stitching!

Come join me and my friends at
 Rainbow Scrap Challenge at


Friday, February 10, 2017

RSC17 week 6


This week was really fun for me working with aqua, since it is my favorite color.  Last week I just barely got any done at all, but here is the finished block.  A couple of smart quilters knew which block I had shown partially finished.

Now you all know it, the Folded Box block, my current favorite.

I got busy with my Geese Migration blocks for February and worked out a really streamlined process.  I cut all the pieces first, then arranged and rearranged both blocks before any stitching.  It was very easy to piece them.  For the flip triangles I folded and pressed the blocks on the diagonal, very easy and accurate to stitch on the rectangles.

Here are the lighter aqua and the darker turquoise blocks.  The shades and tints were much easier to place than the January purple blocks.

I'm also working on finishing a couple more Project Linus quilts, plenty to keep me busy.  One is my top made of my RSC16 16-patch blocks. I added another block to finish the square and need to make it a bit bigger by adding more 4-patches or borders.  

I found a bright red and white child's print in my stash for the backing, perfect for this I Spy quilt.

The temperature hit 40 degrees today and I went grocery shopping, a lovely end to the week.  I'm anxious to see what all the rest of you did with this lovely color this week.

Take a look at all the goodies here:
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Monday, February 6, 2017

MSQ Linky, February 2017

Thank you, Alyce, for giving us this chance to practice HST techniques.  I learned a great deal and feel more confident making them now.  Due to family circumstances I was unable to complete the entire set, but did complete twenty blocks.  Instead of a large quilt, I'm planning to use them for three or four smaller projects.

These are in better lighting and grouped by color.  



I'm already more confident and have jumped right into more HST projects.  Thanks again, Alyce.

Blossom Heart Quilts

Friday, February 3, 2017

RSC17 week 5


It began with a lull between purple and blue-green.  I suddenly remembered that our Monona Quilters charity quilt collection is in May and I had nothing planned for donation.  Then I came across a charm pack which I had essentially gotten for no cost, with a baby quilt in mind, Apple Hill Farm from RJR Fabrics.  It is cute and as colorful as a rainbow.

The easiest and fastest way I have found is to make a row quilt.  I found some strips with other toy vehicles for a boy.  Now I have lots of tractors, cows, pigs and apple trees.  I needed something bright to blend all these together.  Here is the result.

Now began the piecing.  Fortunately all the strips came out to about 42 inches across and the math (ugh) showed that the length would be the same.

I had enough charms and seven toy strips, three for the top and four for binding.  I had to cut the green  fabric and did not trust my rotary blade.  The pattern happens to be 2-1/2 inches wide, so I cut  it with my sharpest scissors, eight strips with plenty left over.  I pieced the whole top, finishing late last night.  I'm calling it Farm Boy. 

Yes, it was worth the aching arms and neck I awoke with today.  I've been gathering my blue-green and have a big supply.  This morning I was able to cut my block pieces, but other things took up my time, like getting photos of my Farm Boy quilt and making a casserole for a few days of healthy eating.  I should not, MUST NOT live on chocolate alone.  

As for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, the entire result before I started this post was all you see here, 1/3 of my block.  Do you recognize it?  

So that is the total of my week five quilting.  I hope to get more done with my favorite color next week after a little rest, while checking your posts and Pinterest for more ideas.  I'm dying to see what all of you have done this week.

Come join me and my friends at
 Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

And a charity quilt linkup on Tuesday at

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