Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A little Winston Ways

Late April already!  How the spring days fly past!
Winston Ways: 25 inches square

This week I used some leftover blocks to make a single-block version of Bonnie Hunter's "Winston Ways."  I had planned to add a couple of borders, but it's the perfect size right now for my kitchen quilt holder and looks great there! Finished the binding today and up it went.

I reversed the red and blue from Bonnie's pattern because that's what I had.  Her designs are so flexible - they look great no matter what.  And ALL the fabric came from my scrap bag or orphan block pile.  Whoop!

In the rest of my free time I've been adding more quilting to a quilt I made ten years ago.  My quilting style then was minimalist.  Is that a nice way to put it?

All this time it's been in my trunk of quilts and never used - except for an occasional quilt display at Heritage Days.  I decided to pull it out and have about doubled the amount of quilting.  The time is coming to give it a new home and I have someone special in mind.  I'll share a photo after it's been gifted.

Stash Report:
A yard and a half went into Winston Ways.  So far this year I've used up almost 9 yards more than I've purchased.  So, the stash is down slightly.  With our nearby Hancock Fabrics now closed I really will be forced to shop from my stash!

Linking up with Sarah at http://confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com

Monday, April 18, 2016

Welcome Spring!

Side tracked again... and inspired by this Temecula Quilt Co. quilt.
Welcome Spring 14x18 inches

But I'm really enjoying making these small quilts as I attempt to reduce the volume of scraps in my scrap bags.  Those gallon zip-loc bags are bursting!

The 2-1/2 inch cut centers of each block aren't exactly fussy-cut, but I tried to find a nice floral or something as a focus.  The rest of the strips are cut 1-1/2.  This was a great use of those medium range fabrics that get set aside so often and never get to play.

I adore the striped binding!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Olde Glory

Olde Glory 20-1/2 x 32 inches
A quiet day at the Museum yesterday, so I was able to finish hand-stitching the binding on this little UFO.  The inspiration was a free pattern I saw on this Temecula Quilt Co. blog. post.

I have some flag fabric in my stash, and so I used a piece of that for the center instead of piecing my own flag.  Then I up-sized the rest of the blocks to 3-1/2 inches so it all fit nicely.

It was a great way to get rid of ...um...make use of some leftover triangles I had in my scrap bag.  I tried mostly for red/white/blue, but there's a couple of grays and greens, a floral, and a plaid scrap from our daughter's elementary school uniform skirt!  Now that's a scrap with 'seniority!'

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Violin Concerto

Once upon a time there was a violin printed on a fabric scrap rectangle.  It sat in the scrap bag for a very long time because it was not really 'light', and not completely 'dark.'  So, it just didn't fit in.  It really was a sad little thing.

One day the quilter was looking through the scrap bag for something entirely different when the little violin scrap called out "I want to BE something!  Can't you think of a way for me to play?"  It was so insistent that the quilter stopped what she was doing and gave the little violin a chance.

The other scraps all wanted to help the little violin play.  A scrap of music notes on white appeared from the scrap bag, and then came a bit of mottled rust.  The little violin became the center of an uneven 9-patch block.  A narrow black border framed the block.  And it was quite happy.

Then, unexpectedly, a strip of black fabric with white music notes fell out of the bag and wanted to become part of the song.  It wasn't long enough to be a full border, but the last scrap of mottled fabric offered to become cornerstones.  So they did, and a nice mini-dot tan frame squared them up and held them all together.

Then the little violin said that the music really needed to keep better time, and suggested that a border of hour-glass blocks was just the thing it needed.  Blacks and browns volunteered to keep time, and another tan border helped them stay in tempo.

Soon, some leftover black and white strip sets stepped forward and wanted to be a border too.  They weren't quite long enough to be piano keys, but they squared their shoulders and said they would do their best.  And, of course, they needed a border too.

The music called for a repeat: the same color that was in the center block.  But none was to be found in the bag or box.  Then the quilter remembered that she had used that fabric to make pumpkin applique's and looked in a project box.  Sure enough, there was a piece just exactly big enough to make a lovely border.

Finally, a piece of gold and brown paisley named 'Versailles' called out to say that this lovely piece of music needed to finish with a flourish!  And so it became the final border on the little violin's piece.

And that is how a little 2 1/2 x 4-inch violin, quite unexpectedly, became a 41-inch square "Violin Concerto."

The quilter thinks this is "the end", but who can say for sure?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Keeping Up

Have you been keeping up with Temecula Quilt Co.'s "Circa 2016" sew-along?  The last two weeks I've made an extra block just for fun.  This week I only had time to make two blocks.  I'm slowing down, but still haven't fallen behind.
Circa 2016 sew-along
A couple of little quilts were finished last week too.  My car had some repair work to be done at the dealership, and that meant sitting in their waiting room for several hours.  Just the right time to finish hand sewing bindings!  It was a nice conversation starter too.  A woman who was born in Cambodia came over and asked me what I was doing. She is a tailor, and has her own business.  We talked sewing for a while, and it was so nice to make her acquaintance.
Love table topper 19 inches square
10 x 12 mini quilt

Friday, March 25, 2016

'Love' my table runner

Earlier this month I served on jury duty and brought along this little table runner to hand stitch the binding while I waited to be called.  Can you believe I was the very first one called for a jury?  Ah, the best laid plans....  But I did eventually get it done before the week was out.

Love table runner 15 x 39 inches
I took the lettering idea from a block in Quiltmaker's 100 blocks by Cosmo Cricket, and the paper pieced heart was an orphan block.  Don't ask me where that came from. Too many years ago!

It seems when I started quilting I felt that unless a quilt was large enough for a bed, it was essentially useless.  Can't remember how many times I rolled my eyes at even the idea of making a wall hanging as I thumbed through quilting magazines.

How times have changed!  Now I have more bed sized quilts than I will probably ever need (even in frozen Minnesota,) and have gradually worked my way down from making queen size... to lap size... to wall hangings... to (gasp!) table runners and even a few doll/miniature quilts.  I still need to create and make quilts, but just can't justify making more than a couple large quilts each year.  And those are often now gifted to family members (who don't live at my house!)  But, I'm finding these smaller quilts to be quick and fun to make.

Has your quilting changed over time too?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Great Blue Heron

Recently a package arrived in the mail from Vicki Welsh at Field Trips in Fiber.  If you haven't already seen the marvelous hand died fabrics she creates you are really missing out!  She is keeping her blog readers on task this year finishing up UFO's, and has a monthly drawing as an incentive.  Surprise!  Last month I was the winner!

Great Blue Heron runner
19.5 x 46.5 inches 
She graciously sent me two pieces of her lovely gradient fabrics so I could try out this table runner idea that had been stirring around in my head since last summer.  Don't you just love the result?

I have to admit it was just about the easiest table runner ever!  One 13-inch WOF strip of Vicki's gradient fabric with a silhouette from some clip art.  A 1.5-inch inner border of black Kona cotton was next, then a 3-inch border of turquoise batik and binding with the black Kona cotton.  Easy Peasy!

It gave me the opportunity to try out some creative quilting.  Believe it or not, I just used my walking foot.  The lower half is quilted in wavy lines for water, there are some wispy vertical lines for reeds in the center around the heron, and the top has some looser wavy lines for sky.

Three rows of simple scallop are quilted in the border.  It is a pre-set pattern on one of my machines that I stumbled upon recently and LOVE!

Thank you so much Vicki!  The fabric was so nice to work with, and there's enough to make two more to give to a couple of charity raffles that are coming up here.  Win, Win!

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.