Friday, May 26, 2017

RSC17 week 21


I have been working on Ad Hoc Improv Quilts Challenge Two this month.  We must make a quilt using any two different blocks.  A while back I made eight wonky houses using a stack and whack technique.  I forget where,I found the directions, but if any of you know, please let me know.  These are 8-1/2 inches.
P.S. - Thank you, Jo , for the Stash Bee Hive 9 post for the wonky house instructions.  See comment 2 below..

The second blocks, which I just finished, are totally scrappy Improv types, a new effort for me.

They really need some sashing, so please help me decide among these different styles.

This is a quarterly challenge with plenty of time to think and change or add elements, no rush.

Because there is only a tiny bit of green above, I will show you this quilted wall hanging made around 1990, which really says spring to me.  This is the third in a series made using a block in a photo from a Michael James book.  I call it Sunlight.

As you see, I used velvets, batiks, silk, satin and ribbons to show ssunlight streaming through the trees.  It has been one of my favorites and was very improvisational also.
Have a fun week with your stitching and check out these scrappy links:

Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Thanks, Kaya and Ann, for running this challenge.  Come check out the Ad Hoc Improv Quilts doings at  Kaya's blog,  Sew Slowly, or Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

AIHC Challenge Two, May 23


I'm really enjoying these Ad Hoc Improv Quilts challenges run jointly by Ann at Fret Not Yourself and Kaja at Sew Slowly.  Kaja is directing this second challenge, which involves using two different blocks.

Back in April I made two sets of stack and whack wonky houses. I did it just for fun with no goal in mind.  So this month, when the new challenge began, I decided to put them to use.

I wanted to make blocks that would be a total contrast with the clean colorful houses.  They are 8 1/2 inch blocks.  I originally made two completely scrappy blocks.  However, I felt that they had too many warm tones in them and I wanted more grey tones.  So I grabbed my big scissors and slashed them into more than eight pieces.  That was fun and therapeutic!

Now,I had to start over. I have a terrific 8-1/2 inch ruler, which makes the job lots easier.  I just lay it over the pieced scrap to see where I need to add more fabric.  Then I trim it to size.  

Here are the first finished scrap blocks paired with two houses.

These are the basic elements.  I have more details to add which will make the top larger and fit in with my theme.  I will wait until next month to share the theme.

By the way, the last two photos were taken with my new iPad Air, which I love.  The pics are a lot sharper than those from my old iPad.  But I'm writing and posting on the old one because there are lots of new things to learn before I venture into the unknown.  

Thanks, Kaya and Ann, for running this challenge.  I'll be back next month for sure.  Come check out the Ad Hoc Improv Quilts doings at  Kaya's blog,  Sew Slowly, or Ann's blog, Fret Not Yourself

Friday, May 19, 2017

RSC17 week 20


This week has been a fun sewing time.  I got to make two of my favorite monthly scrap blocks.  The weather has been up and down, more conducive for working in my "studio".  This includes half of my bedroom for sewing and storing overflow of fabrics, kitchen floor for photos and living room table for blogging on my poor worn out iPad.  

Tomorrow I will be the owner of a new iPad Air, in gold no less, which my SIL Tim tells me I will really like.  He ordered it from the Apple website refurbished warranted selection at a great price.  Sarah will be helping me to get it set up.  I'm holding my breath in anticipation.  No more long waits or other annoying happenings.  

The Geese Migration blocks were more of a challenge this time with green.  I tried to make one lighter and one darker without going into the olive tones (too dull).  So some fabrics show up in both blocks.

Lots of monkey business and hootinlg owls hanging around made them lively.

My time was taken up with my kitchen floor being replaced.  Believe it or not, a crack in the vinyl turned  into a 7-inch pothole.  So the fridge and stove had to be removed and stowed in the hallway.  I was very impressed with the quality of the work the installer did.  But instead of off white tiles, the new floor is ugly, stupid-looking brown shades of pretend wood scraps. As long as they were making a photo vinyl, they could at least have made it attractive.  It even came with built-in scuff marks!  You will be seeing glimpses of it in the future.

Back to the sewing.  I finished the two green houses.  Lots of contrast and cute inhabitants kept the fun going for me.

This is my last post on old faithful iPad.  Maybe I will be doing amazing things with the new one, but I doubt it.  I will be checking out your posts tomorrow while I wait until Sunday for the new one to be set up.

Wishing you all a fun sewing-filled week.

Hope to see you, dear friends, when you visit 
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, May 12, 2017

RSC17 week 19


This week has been beautiful weather, a perfect time to visit our local arboretum.  All the flowering trees and bulbs were in bloom when Beth and I went there on Saturday.  She also gave me a pot for my deck, filled with a brilliant yellow and green hosta from her garden and some violets that came along for the ride.  So spring is in full bloom on my deck.

But with major maintainance things going on in this building there has been very little free time for sewing.  I did get my green Folded Box block done and am very happy with it.

Another project I have started is Ad Hoc Improv Quilts second challenge, run this month by Kaja and Ann at   This challenge is to use two different blocks together.  

A while back I experimented with some stack and whack houses.  These were made with four 10-inch blocks and I made two sets of four wonky houses.  I had no project in mind for them, so they are WIPs now.  These would make a nice small quilt with alternating blocks.  I decided to go improv on these blocks, totally random neutrals.  Here are the beginning results.

I'm thinking of a theme for this group, which will use additional features.  It's a quarterly project, so there is time to give it some careful thought and trials.

By my next post I will have a new kitchen floor to replace a rip that became a pothole.  I also have a buyer for most of my doll collection.  I have no place to display them.  I will save two or three of my favorites with childhood memories.  MORE ROOM FOR FABRIC and the money will pay for the longarm quilting on my Kaffe Fassett quilt.

I hope everyone is free of flooding now and able to enjoy the sunshine.  Green sure is my favorite color this month.  

You will find lots more inspiration at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

Friday, May 5, 2017

RSC17 week 18


I have a friend who lived in England for nine years and traveled extensively through Europe.  We have been sharing our interest in art and architecture.  This week it was about Peterborough Cathedral near Cambridge.  It was built and added on from the 1100's to the 1500's.  Look at these ceiling designs painted on wood and sculpted in limestone.

Don't these designs look familiar?  How many quilts have we seen with variations of these 500-year-old patterns?   The same thing is true throughout the history of architecture and/or design all over the world.  It is humbling to know that we are carrying on ancient art whether or not we recognize it.


i have finished my banana quilt, using my RSC blocks from last year along with fabric and fleece I had forgotten I had.  My good friend loves it and said her father caller her his little monkey, so it means a lot to her.  She has given of herself to me in many ways, so this quilt will be my gift of thanks to her.

I also started on my greens with the simplest one, the green crayon.

With all the trees leafing out in that lovely yellow green now, it's so nice to be getting inspiration from nature in all its wonders.  I wish I could capture bird songs in a quilt.  They are singing their hearts out as well.   I wish all of you a happy month of May.

You will find lots more inspiration at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at