Monday, October 31, 2022

Design Wall Monday - October 31

Happy Halloween!  

What is on my design wall today - besides binding another quilt?  

One of the projects on my design wall is Humble Homes, and it's beginning to take shape after being on the UFO list for a few years. Can I get another row done this week?  The trees are pinned onto Row 3, and the houses are ironed on.  Hmmm . . . so far so good.  

Hello Birdie is getting close as well.  The blocks are all made, and now I need to get them sewn into rows.  That should happen by the end of the week.  

The Scrappiness Is Happiness sew-along starts today.  Not that I need another project to work on, but it's hard to resist Lori Holt projects.  I have the book already, so why not, right?  Bonus - some of our Sew Vintage members will work on this sew-along, and that just adds more fun.  And the 30s stash hasn't shrunk much, so that might be the plan. Check it out at: 

The Sewcialites 2 (Fat Quarter Shop) sew-along has posted 2 blocks so far.  They come out on Fridays, and so far I've kept up.  The second block is called Tussy Mussy (by Susan Ache).  It's pretty much an old traditional block called Nosegay.  Thank goodness for my little design board, because it came in handy keeping the colors in the right spots.  It really helps to lay the pieces onto the design board in their proper positions before sewing. Then each section goes back onto the board in the right position as I work on them. 

What's on your design wall today? 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

October in the rear view mirror

October was definitely a month of finishes - some only finished to the flimsy stage, but others have been quilted and bound.  Five quilt tops were finished in October.

This churn dash quilt is made from child themed novelty prints and solids.  These are the extra blocks beyond the ones I made for a guild baby quilt project.  

The other quilt tops (above) are Windmill, Saturday Sampler #2, Saturday Sampler Christmas, and Ohio Star.  The complete finishes (including binding) are Halloween Party, Tulip Time, Boo Buddies, Umbrella & Hearts, and Bee Patriotic.  A LOT of binding happened this month. 

Continuing the focus on finishes, a lot of Quilt of Valor blocks were made, as well as lots of Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks in the October color of green plus other colors as needed.  Lots and lots of blocks have been made in order to finish those quilt tops, and working toward more finishes.  

The main UFO with progress this month is the Humble Homes quilt - nearly all applique.  With a new month starting, I'm working on some additional goals that will include more UFOs, and maybe a new project or two.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - last Saturday of October

One more quilt top is finished from my collection of RSC blocks.  This is Windmill, and it's the 3rd one I've made in 2022 with this block.  The first 2 were more controlled scrappiness, with lighter colors.  This one is totally scrappy with no white or cream backgrounds anywhere.  

This will most likely be another donation quilt, and it's about 45 x 56, so a good size for a child.  The blocks were made from the scrap bin and from the "orphan charm square" box.  Each block just needs 2 charms of each color.  

And yes, I've jumped onto the Sewcialites 2 bandwagon and made Block #1 - twice.  I'm really weak when it comes to the squirrels that cross my path.  I am making the 6" version of these blocks from my stash of batiks, and will hopefully keep up with the 1 block per week of this Fat Quarter Shop free sew-along. Today is the day for the release of Block #2.  Yay! I'm going to make some of the 9" versions using the overflowing bin of green that is out of control.  I've never made an all green quilt before.  Note: I did fix the wonky bottom right corner that was pressed badly.

And it shouldn't surprise anyone that I couldn't resist making at least one stash buster block from the Border Creek Station link I shared the other day.  Totally made from scraps, and it is obviously an easy block to make since it's just squares and rectangles.  I'm sure there will be more of these in future RSC playing but for now it's hanging in the closet with the instructions - in the "block collection zone".  

The Falling In Love blocks are all sewn into sets of 4, so I can work on sashing those as part of my November goals.  Most likely it will become another donation quilt.   

What is happening in the rest of the RSC world today?

Friday, October 28, 2022

In between applique

 I mentioned the other day that my patience with applique is directly related to how "fussy" the shapes are, and those trees are fussy.  So I need to work on something different in between the blanket stitching sessions.  Three projects have been happening "in between" this week.  

One Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt top was completed - which I'll show tomorrow.  

The red/white/blue Twinkle Star blocks are continuing to add up.  Generally I cut the pieces for 3-5 of these, and then sew them as I have time.  The photo below is kind of washed out, but I currently have these laid out on floor to play with.  Two more rows, plus filling that partial row, and it will be big enough for a Quilt of Valor.  One border will probably be added as well.

A couple more Hello Birdie blocks and the alternating chain blocks have been added. These are also adding up nicely.  I think 3 more birds and 3 more chains will finish this one up.  

There isn't any rush for either of these projects so the blocks will just continue to collect as I'm in the mood to sew something different - in between that applique project.    

Thursday, October 27, 2022

More Humble Homes progress

Another row for Humble Homes is in progress.  I've gone back and forth this week, working on the applique for this project and then switching to other piecing when I get tired of it.  

My patience with applique is directly connected to how fussy or complicated it is.  This row will have 2 houses and 3 groves of trees and those trees are fussy.  The first row I made has the reverse of that - 3 houses, and 2 groves of trees, so it went more quickly. 

I called that first one Row 1, but it will actually be Row 2.  And this new one will now be Row 1.  It won't matter as long as the 5 rows are alternated.  The main reason I'm switching them has to do with the background fabrics.  I actually have 2 different but very similar backgrounds, and planned to alternate them.  Turns out I started with the background with only 2 strips instead of 3 strips.  It won't matter in the end, as long as they are alternated.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Weekly progress

The view from my desk is turning more golden.  When I look out this window the nearest tree is this type of birch.  It turns gold but doesn't drop it's leaves until much later in the season.  Toward the right side I can see branches from a maple, and toward the left are the naked branches of an ash.  Those ash leaves all fell in a 2 day period.  The maple is looking more brown than its' normal red, possibly because we had a hard freeze before it started changing color. 

Not the best photo, but I am excited to have Row 1 of Humble Homes all blanket stitched and pressed.  It's ready for a green bottom strip that will separate it from Row 2.  Next step is to measure and pin all of the trees and houses on that second row so I can start that blanket stitching.

It's always nice to check off another finish.  Bee Patriotic was a Lori Holt sew-along a couple of years ago.  At the time, I had just finished a Quilt of Valor, so decided to make a smaller version of the blocks and to use something other than red, white, and blue. 

I've had the flimsy done for a couple of years but couldn't decide if I wanted to make it into a floor pillow or wall hanging.  It's about 30" square.  I finally decided on wall hanging or table topper, and had it quilted at The Pin Cushion.  Becki did this Baptist Fan on it and I love it.   The binding is actually just scraps from that border - which was leftover from a previous quilt backing.  

Stay tuned for another quilt top finish this week, because I'm optimistic that will happen.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

A small finish for Sew Vintage

 It's only about 30" square, but this little wall hanging is a fun finish.  The Sew Vintage group decided to make the little hearts as signature blocks last winter, and exchange them in the group.  

Then one of the members, Holly, gave each of us the umbrella pieces.  She had fun cutting them using her AccuQuilt cutting system, and was generous enough to share.  

I absolutely LOVE the texture of the quilting that Becki (another member) did on my little wall hanging.  It has hearts in those swirls, and is just perfect.  

This will hang in my sewing room to enjoy every day.  

Monday, October 24, 2022

Design Wall Monday - What's next?

What's on your design wall today?  Mine has multiple projects going at once, just like usual. 

I did remake that last Saturday Sampler block in the batiks, using a purplish pink and an aqua. These colors fit in better with the other blocks.  The red/white/blue version is tucked in with some other patriotic blocks for a future Quilt of Valor.  This set of blocks will hang in the closet for awhile, until I come up with a plan for them. 

I can't resist a sew-along, especially when it's only 1 block per week.  This is the Fat Quarter Shop's Sewcialites 2 sew-along Block #1, called Perrenial by Bev McCullough.  Last year, I just did a few of the Sewcialites blocks and used them for different projects.  This year I plan to sew along with them each week, making the 6" versions of the blocks out of bright batiks with a yellow background.

I actually made the 9" version too, using green scraps as kind of a practice block.  However I like it so much that I just might keep "practicing" each week with those green scraps.  That bin (and drawer) is overflowing.  And I have plenty of cream or neutral backgrounds to continue the scrappy feel. Note - I did fix that wonky corner in the bottom right - it was just pressed crooked.  

Now - while I wait until Friday for Fat Quarter Shop to post Block #2, there are 2 other projects that I've set goals for this week:  Humble Homes and Windmill.

Both tree groves have been blanket stitched on row 1 of Humble Homes.  The 3 house blocks are next for this row.  They are ironed on and with mostly straight lines shouldn't take long to blanket stitch.

My other goal this week is to finish the last few Windmill blocks and get that quilt top laid out into rows. If I've counted correctly, I only need 5 more blocks to finish it.  This will be another donation quilt.

While looking for something else over the weekend, I came across the Border Creek Station web site and let me say they have some fabulous patterns.  And among those patterns (for purchase) are a couple of terrific free download patterns for their annual Stash Buster Challenge.  I'm definitely thinking that this block from the 2022 challenge could be a good one to add to next year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I also downloaded the 2021 block because that was a fun one too.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

RSC progress

My RSC sewing this month has been more of a focus on finishing up some on-going RSC projects because the block collections have grown a lot this year.  First of all - I finished up this 2-year RSC project.  This is Tulip Time, one of Bonnie Hunter's patterns.  I think she originally called it Blossom Time when the pattern was published in Quiltmaker magazine. This quilt is a perfect example of how making just a few blocks each month will add up.  And that is one of the best benefits of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for me. 

I used the little 6" finished tulip blocks as one of my RSC projects over the past 2 years, until I had enough for the queen sized quilt.  I love how it turned out, and I admit I loved making the little blocks.  So it's possible that I'll be making them again at some point. They would make a great baby quilt or wall hanging or table topper - and require scraps no larger than 2.5" so it's a good scrappy block.

For more finishes so far this month - a second Ohio Star quilt top is done and ready to quilt.  And one leftover Ohio Star block is hanging in the closet - as "seed" for another one someday because it's also a great scrappy project.  Falling In Love blocks have a plan finally and I'm about halfway through sewing them into groups of 4 blocks.  Friendship Squares will be divided into a boy quilt and a girl quilt - so, more blocks needed.  Windmill needs just a few more blocks to bring it up to size. 

Nanci's Star blocks are the last RSC set that I've developed a new plan for finishing.  These blocks have been made using mostly dark and jewel tone batiks. The blocks themselves are pretty but they don't look that great right next to each other.  So I'm alternating them with the same block made with light and neutral batiks.  Again - more blocks needed for a finish but definitely a better result I think.  

New plans for the Friendship Squares, the Windmill and Nanci's Stars block sets will require additional blocks.  But that's OK because it means having more quilts to donate once they are done.  And 2 new Quick Strippee quilt kits are cut and ready to sew this winter.  I think there will be several new baby and kid sized quilts ready to donate by spring.

Hello Birdie wasn't exactly an RSC project, but I did make a couple of new blocks this past week and one of them was even light green.  These were for a color challenge that the local Sew Vintage group was doing this year.  I've been making them using my stash of 30s prints.  We finished up the color challenge this month, but I knew that I wanted my final project large enough to be a baby quilt, so I'll be making a few more of the birds and the alternating chain blocks here and there, until I have enough.  

And since October has a focus on light greens, I'm determined to make some progress on the Humble Homes UFO - and it has lots of green in it.  

I love a plan, but am OK with those plans changing too.  

What is happening in the rest of the RSC world today? 

Friday, October 21, 2022

A little Halloween decorating

 This year I have put fewer decorations out for Halloween, but I do love the ones I've used.

Boo Buddies is hanging in the living room from the quilt rack on the wall.  It does make me smile when I walk by with those funny little faces peeking in the window. 

A black cat 60 degree runner is on the dining room table.  I have 3 other Halloween themed 60 degree runners, not to mention a couple more runners from other patterns - but this was the only Halloween one I put out this year.  Except for one small square one in the kitchen.

Next week I'll probably hang the big witch's hat door quilt out on my front door.  It blocks all the light so I usually wait to hang it just before Halloween.  I had to look back in my blog to see how old this is and found that I made this in 2012.  

The living room fireplace hearth has a big pot of silk autumn flowers, and a little Halloween mini quilt sitting at the other end.  

The treadle machine is decorated more generically for autumn.  That metal pumpkin is actually sitting on top of a small antique suitcase.  The little suitcase is full of old photos my brother-in-law brought me to scan for the family.  Since it was lying around, I decided it looked good as part of the d├ęcor. 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Humble Homes - Trees

The first grove of trees for Humble Homes is blanket stitched.   

These are so "shaggy" with strings along the edges because they had been laser cut for the kit without any fusible or stabilizer on them.  So once they were blanket stitched along the edge - carefully - then I used a very sharp curved blade scissors to trim away the little fringes. 

One more grove of trees to do in this row, and then I'll switch to the blue/grey thread and blanket stitch the 3 houses in that row.  I have to work today (monthly budget updates), so we'll see if I have the energy to get any more of this accomplished.  If not, there is always Friday.  LOL

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

No more stalling

I promised myself that I would quit stalling on this project and just dive in, and it had to happen THIS WEEK.  It was really in danger of being put away again. 

I've had this kit for several years.  It has been on my UFO list for a couple of years.  Everything has been cut, but I just couldn't get started - until yesterday.

Humble Homes has 5 rows that are 11" by 57" of background fabric.  They alternate with houses and trees.  Rows 1, 3 and 5 each have 3 houses and 2 groves of trees.  Rows 2 and 4 each have 2 houses and 3 groves of trees.  

Row #1 has all been carefully measured and the pieces pinned in place.  Since the houses all have fusible on the back I've ironed those on.  I have a blue-grey thread to use for blanket stitching those houses.  But I couldn't find the green thread that I was so sure I had bought, so before I can begin stitching on the trees I'll be purchasing some green thread.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

On a roll with block sets

We finally had a hard freeze on Sunday night, and Monday morning the multitude of ash trees in our yard decided "today is the day" to drop leaves.  It was literally raining leaves in the morning.  Once those ash trees begin to lose their leaves it happens fast. The maples have barely begun to show any color at all yet, and those ash will be nearly bare by tomorrow.

Today my living room floor has . . . lots of Friendship Square blocks.  On Saturday morning I made 4 additional blocks to finish the layout using 30 blocks total.  I've had people ask about the block pattern so here is the link.  It was from Pat Sloan's Winter Fun sew-along in 2019, and I just love how that center could showcase a fun fabric.  

But then I had this thought - why rush to put this top together when another idea came about? I'm going to divide these blocks into BOY and GIRL sets since they are turning into an I-Spy type of project.  So instead of 1 big quilt, I'll make 2 smaller ones, which should work out well for donation quilts.  More blocks will be needed, but that's OK because there are a LOT more squares in that project box to use up.  So this block set will continue to grow.  

I do have a completed kid size quilt top using the second version of my Saturday Sampler blocks.  This one has a black background with swirls of bright colors.  I chose bright colors to go with that background, and then framed each 12.5" block with more bright colors.  The frames were from a jelly roll that was in the stash.  

And the last block in the batik version Saturday Sampler is also sewn.  This one has a very patriotic vibe, and I might remake it using different colors.  There is plenty of background fabric to remake it.  And this one could become a pillow or be used in a Quilt of Valor eventually.  I'm just not satisfied that it fits well with the other blocks in the set.

One more block set has been on my radar this past week or so - Windmill.  There are 32 of them so far, so I tried laying 30 of them out.  These are 7" finished, so I think one more row and one more column would make a better size.  So both the Friendship Squares and Windmill blocks will continue to happen for awhile yet.  

Finishing a couple of quilt tops, finishing some binding, and now putting those block sets aside (to grow) means I probably should focus on another UFO project.  There are still 2 that I really want to finish by the end of the year - one big and one not so big.  The number drawn for October for the APQ UFO challenge was #5 and that means I should stop stalling on my #5.  That would be Humble Homes, which is all applique - hence my procrastination.

When I bought the kit for this quilt I saw the trees were all laser cut - cool.  But they were cut with NO fusible web on them or even stabilizer.  So they are floppy and fragile.  The houses just had the fabric and the pattern, so I added my own fusible before cutting them.  

I'm not completely sure that mine will end up looking anything like the picture, but this is the ultimate direction it's going.  I love this idea - but have been dreading all that applique.  Wish me luck on this one.   

Monday, October 17, 2022

Design Wall Monday - Tulip Time is finished

The last binding stitch was finished while watching college football on TV on Saturday, and this is a very satisfying finish.  Tulip Time is a Bonnie Hunter pattern.

The block pattern was originally published by BH in an issue of Quiltmaker magazine, and I fell in love with these cute 6" tulips.  For the past 2 years I've used them as part of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects, until I had enough for a BIG quilt.  This one is queen sized, and will be on my bed for spring and summer.  

And I can check off another UFO from my list.  

I'm linking up with:

Saturday, October 15, 2022

RSC - midway through October

It's finally assembly time for some of my RSC projects.  Last week I asked for and received input from my readers on how to assemble the big stack of Falling In Love blocks that I've been making all of this year for RSC.   They are rectangular, and that presented some challenges for me.  

I got such interesting ideas from people, and have begun to play with some of those ideas.  This is one option - putting blocks together in a group of 4, spinning the direction and placing a little colorful square in the center.  It does require using partial seam construction but it works.

Then these groups of 4 could have a substantial sashing between the groups.  One reader suggested a yellow sashing, which I like.  

The green scraps have not been put away yet, even though I've moved on to quilt top assembly with the heart blocks.  This Friendship Square block was made on Thursday along with getting a baby quilt top sewn together.  There are nearly enough of these blocks for a fairly big and fun I-Spy quilt. 

A few more Windmill blocks were made and some even included some light green.  There were several 5" charms of Grunge just hanging out on the cutting table, so I paired them up with some other "orphaned" charms to make the windmills. That shoebox size container of left over charms has been very handy for scrap quilting. 

I'll have to count, but there might be enough of these Windmills for a crib sized quilt as well.  Isn't it amazing how quickly the RSC blocks add up when you make a few each month? 

  Tulip Time - a 2 year RSC project - is finally in the binding phase.  I'm halfway around this queen sized quilt.  The binding is the same light lime green fabric as I used for the sashing.  

What is happening in the rest of the RSC world today?