Scrapbuster Sunday – Mini Thank You Quilts

Recently I attended a funeral held out of town for a dear aunt of mine. The few days I spent there were really a marvelous celebration of her life. Her children, my six cousins, were amazingly hospitable and I wanted to thank them in a special way. Of course, I always go to quilting. I decided to do mini quilts from my scraps. Once the blocks were sewn, I mounted them on a solid piece of duck cloth (it is tightly woven). I both glued the block onto the piece and then did a little bit of straight stitching around the outside edge and in the middle of each block. The mounted blocks were then glued onto a 5″ x 7″ plain while card. Making freestyle blocks with piles of scraps was such a rush of creativity!

Sadly, I think thank you cards seem to be coming extinct, having been replaced by a message on Facebook and often, no thank you at all. This was my way to express just how grateful I was to my cousins for the hospitality and love they poured out during their time of grieving.

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These mini blocks were a lot of fun to do and I’m sure I will be creating several more in my future! Bonus – a handful of scraps gone!!

Organization – Fun labels!

Jekyll, Joyce.JPG

Just got back from a week at beautiful Jekyll Island, Georgia, so no sewing to show for this past week. I did a little applique work and knitting while there, but mostly bicycling and enjoying the ocean. I have, however, labeled all my bins and project boxes in my studio. Do you know about chalkboard labels and chalk pens?  I didn’t until my daughter suggested I use them in my sewing studio. I was like a kid in a toy shop when they arrived. I purchased a pack of 45 – plenty, right? Wrong! I’ll be needing a few more to complete the process.

Now all my supply/fabric bins are clearly labeled. For the few wire bins I have, I just cut a strip to fit across the top of the bin. The liquid chalk pen is so easy to write with.

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The project boxes are now not only clearly labeled, but they look nice too! When a project is complete, I can just erase and write a new project name.

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I know, I know, lots of projects!!

 

Admittedly, I am a bit organization obsessive, but like it even better when it’s easy and looks good!

Strips Make Quick Work!

This is my second quilt with this fabric line. The first was gifted and my guess this one will go into my quilt collection or may very well be a gift to someone in the future.

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I started out by cutting 2 1/2″ strips using my Big Kick Pro. I used to be such a snob about these cutting machines, but now eat my words. Not only do they make quick work of what can sometimes be a tedious chore, they make totally accurate cuts! No more slipping an eighth of an inch and saying not so nice words in frustration. I used a quilt pattern I found on You Tube with Three Dudes. This was quick, fun and didn’t require a whole lot of thinking. I love to sprinkle these kinds of quilts among my other projects. Mindless sewing can be so therapeutic!

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If you have journeyed with me on my quilt adventures, you know I’m all about the borders. A plain white border sets off the center of the quilt nicely. Wanting to keep the pieced border simple, I just sewed strips, cut them, and pieced them into the long borders. Here’s something new I am beginning to do with these pieced borders: an eighth of an inch on each side I am sewing a seam, much like stay stitching in garment sewing. (The seams appear wavy because the fabric is not laying flat.) Now the seams stay closed when I work with the border and when the quilt top is quilted! This is another top for the “to be quilted” pile (you know, the one I never wanted to start to begin with.)

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September Already? August Roundup

Summer just started – didn’t it? Now September is here and I’m thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas! The time between now and the end of the year always goes so quickly for me. Nooooo, slow down!

Pinwheel top (Large)

I have been sewing – some days I’m so on task and really enjoying myself. Other days I just sort of piddle. A while back I asked for advice on borders for this pinwheel quilt. I love the fabric, although it’s not what you usually see me work with. After days and days of playing with combinations, nothing worked. I thought a ribbon border might work. Then I realized the real issue. I was not passionate about this quilt and not  willing to spend the effort doing a complex border. I cut strips, sewed and voila! Done! And, I really like it! Off to the “to be quilted” pile. I don’t like having that pile, I want them finished pronto – but hey, I’m being realisitic. Can’t do it all! ALl in all, a productive and fun month.

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Scrapbuster Sunday – Scrap Rugs!

Scrap Crochet Rug (Large)

My great scrap adventure continues. Actually, it’s more like a great video game that I think I am losing! A huge amount of scraps went into this project (I first posted about this project here) and it was fun and easy. A scrap crocheted rug! I cut strips of scraps, 1 1/2″ wide, choosing my longest scraps. I then chain pieced them together. I did several batches. I have seen that some press the strips in half – hah! Not going to happen. Some roll the “fabric yarn” into a ball. Double Hah! Not going to happen. By making several batches instead of one large one, it was quite manageable. I crocheted a chain of 25 stitches, then single crocheted. This first rug was not planned with color at all, until I did the last round around the whole rectangle, for which I chose yellows. I love all the color fun going on in this rug! It now lays colorfully on the guest bathroom floor.

Crochet scrap rug round

I liked it so much it was a no brainer to do another! This one is more planned – yellows, gold and browns. And this one is round. I really enjoyed crocheting it in a circle. It’s 24 inches diameter and may need a few more rows added to it. I’ll live with it a while and then decide.

AND…drum roll…no more yellow scraps! Of course, I am sure to need some soon for another project (Is “Quilter’s Law” something like “Murphy’s Law?!”)

Double Finish for Hospice!

String Quilt 2016 (Large)

Hurrah! Two quilts done and going to Hospice at year end. As long as I have been doing charity quilts (10 years?) my goal has been two quilts a year. Retirement has blessed me with the time to add to that. This year’s goal is six, and here are two of those. The string quilt makes me so happy – so bright and lively. I love the way the black and white strips set it off. Most of the fabric was donated to our group by Robert Kaufman – thank you!

String Quilt 2016-2 (Large)Scrap Cat Applique, whole 2016 (Large)

Number two is a smaller lap quilt. It would be a fun quilt for a younger person, especially one who likes cats! This is the third quilt I’ve made from this fabric. After it was all pieced, I just knew it needed something. I took lots of tiny scraps and made the kitty applique. It was fun to do and adds fun to the quilt. I will soon do a little tutorial on how to do this applique. A loop-de-loop quilting was done on the colored triangles and I did straight line quilting on the white. I think the straight lines really enhance the white sections. It takes a bit longer but was worth it.

Scrap Cat Applique 2016 (Large)

There’s one more Hospice quilt to finish before our group donates them in December. Hey, I have lots of time – right?!

Lots of July Sewing!

Puppy Town Quilt

End of July already?? The intense heat of this month has kept me in my quilting studio. Certainly not a bad thing, but I would like to enjoy the outdoors just a little bit more. I did just have a very special weekend escape to the mountains of NC, just outside of Boone. A very generous friend invited me to do my own personal little retreat. I did do some sewing, lots of reading, and mostly relaxing. It was a very special three days for which I am so grateful. And look – is this place not darling? Looks like its right out of the thirties, but they did build it themselves. It’s one big room – nice and simple. The temperatures were comfortable, even cool in early morning and the views outside were wonderful. Thank you friend!

I did have a few finishes in July. My biggest accomplishment was another of Ellen Guerant’s wonky houses. I call it “Puppy Town” – there are several puppies living outside some of the houses and one kitty! When my niece visited last year she mentioned (well, a little more than mentioned) how much she liked my wonky house wall hanging. Love her to death so it left me with no choice – make her one! The quilting went fairly quickly – one day of sewing. The binding and then it was in the mail – whew!

House tag

I made the label to mimic the quilt block design – fun!

My Works in Progress chart is updated. How is it there have been so many finishes this year and the number of WIP have not decreased? It is at 23. Three of the WIPs just need bindings, so that will be a fairly quick finish.  I have promised myself that I will NOT start anymore projects until I have this list whittled down to five. Maybe it’s part of getting older, but the number has begun to overwhelm me. Today I’m off to my son’s house for two days of dog sitting – should get some sewing done.

Works in Progress

 

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