Friday, October 21, 2016

More Improv Letters and Words - The Spelling Bee

 A post to catch up on the Spelling Bee Finishes - I don't have to make the quilts, just the blocks/words.

You can see my first set of words - January through July *Here*
I also wanted to add that the book I've been most referencing to make these letters is Quilt Talk by Sam Hunter.  She even has paper pieced patterns for the letters if you don't want to do them "freehand"

 My most recent finish (last night) is Good and Popcorn in warm colors.  Makes me want to make a whole cozy quilt in oranges and yellows.
 July's block was the word black in Crimson.  There is a mind blowing quilt in the works!
  The August block was Gerald.  The bee queen is doing a quilt of her siblings.  How fun!

September was my month, so the words that I have requested are coming in.  They are all bee keeping related.  I'll share them when they are all in.

Linking my block finishes with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Really Random Thursday 10.20.16

 Not a lot of sewing going on since the pillowcases.  Actually, none.  Some buying and cutting, though!
 My sis lives down the block from a "modern" quilt store.  That is a dangerous thing when I'm out to visit her.  I picked up a few things to round out some future planned projects.
 I had saved my honey "rinse water" and today discovered that it was fizzy and somewhat fermented.  I'm not sure what to do with it now.....  Did I accidentally create a mild mead?
 No sewing yet, this week, but some cutting and planning.  Working on the next words for the Spelling Bee quilt.  All those squares have to be snowballed onto the corners.
 Our next Four-in-art challenge reveal day is quickly coming up - gulp.  A couple of back ground choices here.
 I pulled this sweater out for Mini to wear today.  It was made for E by my aunt.  It's made it through all 5 kids!
 Fall is here!  The leaves are falling.  Sweeping is needed pretty much daily, now.
 Got some books in the mail this week.  That may be contributing to the not sewing.  Hmmm.
 Lastly, this past Tuesday was Parent Night at school for Volleyball.  Yep, she's tall.  5' 9.5" as of yesterday.  She is also the youngest on the team!  Go Cougars!  (also, rare shot of Mr. Riley, from whom my kids obviously get their height)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Pillowcases of Power

Like the title?  A little more exciting than "Pillowcases - A Finish"  Oooh, we could go with "A Pile of Pillowcases"

Anyway,  a plea went out to our guild this past Sunday for Pillowcases to be made for a Native American School in SD.  Bright happy fabrics for ages 6-18.  I thought, "hey, I can do that!

 So I headed up to my stash and started pulling fabrics that looked like I had at least a yard.
 And I made pillowcases!  Actually, I spent most of Sunday afternoon ironing and cutting them out in preparation.
 Monday I did most of the sewing.
 By the end of last night I had 18 pillowcases done.  I have to tell you, that at least four will stay here in the family, but that was intentional.  I've been meaning to use some of the Hello! Kitty fabric for Mini and her own pillowcase.    There is also a Christmas Peanuts one in the pile as well, for WD.  That fabric didn't end up on the back of the Minecraft quilt because it was the wrong color.
 This was a fantastic way to use up prints.  I remember buying these ants on a clearance sale and thinking they were super cute for a kid, but as most things go, without a specific plan, they just sat around unused.
 The jungle fabric on this one I've had for at least 11 years - I used it on a baby quilt for a friend.  I don't think I even have a picture of that quilt anywhere.
 I bought this Thomas yardage when one of the kids was obsessed still liked Thomas.  I think they've probably moved on, but it will be interesting to see which pillowcases they choose to keep when they get home today.  Check out that amazing seam matching!

 Each pillowcase takes approximately a yard of fabric to make, so I busted some serious stash!  Also, as my dad pointed out: I was using my super powers for good.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts today!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Vintage Quilts - Growing the Collection

 Sometimes I joke with people that we "have one of everything in our barn".  But really, I sometimes think we do.  My FIL has been going through boxes and such and pulled out three quilts and a blanket earlier this summer.  I have spent the whole summer and early fall airing them out.


Don't do it people.  Balls of stink and cancer.
 On to the quilts.  This first one is wool and flannel.  All the patches are wool selvedges.
 It is most likely that my FIL's grandmother made these, and probably mostly when they lived in Chicago during WWII.  She would have had access to men's suiting cut offs in a place like Chicago.
 They are stacked with the selvedge edge up just like our selvedge quilts today.
 Tied with red yarn.  The "binding" and backing are flannel.  Inside?  An old tied plain comforter.  This one probably weighs at least five pounds!

 Up next is one made of muslin and shirtings.  The blocks are nine patches.

 This one has seen a lot of love/wear.  The edges are quite tattered and the shirtings are wearing through in places.

 The "batting" is a cotton blanket.  Here you can see a corner of it coming out.  The whole quilt is hand quilting.  No binding, rather a knife edge.
 The back is mostly one large piece of muslin.
 There are a couple of patches sewn on as well.
 This one isn't really a quilt, as such.  From what I can tell there is not an actual layer of batting inside.  It is instead a couple pieces of fabric or sheets sewn together and then tied.
 Perhaps a summer weight covering?  This one is actually in perfect condition.
 Lastly is this log cabin quilt.  Again, very heavy because of the tied comforter inside.
 Now that they've lost their stink, they've been stored with the other vintage quilts. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Signature Quilt - Finish

Just over a year ago a friend of mine announced that she and her husband would be adopting a second girl from China.  I, of course, needed to make a quilt for newest child.  You see, I made one for the first girl they adopted and you can read all about it here.

That was a huge undertaking, and while I enjoyed putting it all together, it asked a lot of the people who wanted to participate.  Its hard to go buy fabric for a project if you are not a sewist.

So, for this quilt I wanted to make it easier for our church family to be a part, so I decided on a signature quilt.
 I started with the Falling Charms pattern by Missouri Star Quilt Co - I got mine out of the Block Magazine that they put out.
 As you can see, I did planned the fabrics opposite of the pattern.  I used the charm squares as the signature blocks and the jelly roll strips in between. 

 I'm very happy over all with how it turned out.  I ended up buying two jelly rolls of Gooseberry by Lella Boutique.  This allowed me to get seven blocks with the same fabrics.  In hindsight, I suppose I could have made less blocks of each fabric and used more fabrics.  Eh. Whatever.
 A little bit about signature quilts, if you should ever think of doing one: Control is good.  I had all the charms cut and marked on the 1/4" line with clear instructions that anything over that line would not be seen.
 The fabric squares are ironed to pieces of freezer paper for stability in writing.  I purchased Pigma pens in a few colors and black and made sure that they were the only pens used for the signature blocks.  I tried to make sure everyone signed them in front of me - but two people actually managed to abscond with blocks and pens!  I did get them back, though.

 There is a single layer of Pellon cotton batting as this will be a wall hanging, mostly.  The quilting is a simple wavy stitch along the seams that make up the steps of the blocks.  I didn't want to worry about quilting over anyone's signature.  (also no close-ups of the quilt - privacy, you know)

 This is the back.  I have had the floral fabric for a long time.  Easily 10 years waiting for something special and this was it.  The colors matched perfectly.
 The green gingham strip is left from my three year old's baby quilt!
 Also a green gingham hanging sleeve across the top.  I used a leftover block for a label on the back.
 Binding is a matching pinky/red Kona Cotton.  I forgot to look at the name when I bought it, but its perfect.  I actually had a border on this originally that I took off.
  Finished size:  52" x 80"

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Minecraft Quilt - A Finish

 We finally had a sunshiney and dry day.  Actually it was more like a few hours, so WD and I ran out and took some photos of the finished Minecraft Quilt.

Loki the Dog decided he wanted to be a part.

 Stupid Dog.
 Anyway, WD is pretty pleased.  He drags it around and uses it all the time.  His is a twin size bed on a top bunk.  This quilt is plenty big.  Pretty much queen size. It may be the last quilt I ever make him.  (probably not)
 The Creeper   You can see in the darker areas that I did sort of a wonky square free motion shape.
 Sugar  I originally thought I would hate making this quilt.  I think I mentioned before that my original plan was to do the individual squares.
 Treasure Chest    Once I figured out how to do it in strips and did all the maths, it was like a fun puzzle to put together.
 Crafting Table   This was one of the more piece-y ones, but still fun to do.
 Steve   He was the easiest.  Big pieces.
 Diamond Pick Axe
 Furnace  I liked making this one the least.  I think it was all the shades of grey.  Grey, Gray and more Grey.  Bleh.
 Stone Sword

I used a huge variety of fabrics.  I started out with a pile of Handsprays by RJR Fabrics.  Then added from my stash whatever worked.  Lots of batiks and some solids.  I like the look of the batiks and handsprays more than the solids, personally.  Gives it a more dimensional look to me. There are also some tone on tone prints - and some of the fabrics I turned over to use the back!

WD specifically asked for these blocks.  He tells me for the most part they are the "basics" of the game.  OK, kid.  Whatever.

 His other favorites are green and Charlie Brown, so a fun pieced back.  Mostly from the stash.  Some of the Peanuts fabrics came from someones destash on IG

All the thread used in this quilt was Aurifil. Both the piecing and the quilting.  Love that stuff and so does my machine.

The batting is two layers of Pellon cotton.  It is a very thin cotton batting and I wanted a warm and squishy quilt. I got a good deal on a roll of it, but now that I'm at the end of it, I'm not sure I would buy it again.