Thursday, November 29, 2012

Demin week

 Lots happening this week with my box of old Blue Jeans.  Cut out lots of potholders to give as holiday gifts.  The tutorial can be found at Lynn's blog Nebraska Views.  Here's my stack ready to go into the washing machine.    When they're washed and dried the edges will fluff up like this one:

Then I made an apron out of one blue jean leg.  Good thing Hubby has a long inseam - 36 inches.  This was super easy to make.  Cut one leg off an old pair of blue jeans that is still in good shape.  Both the inseam and sideseam need to be the same type of seam. The front of the bottom cuff needs to be good - not frayed - and the knee can't be worn out.  I must admit, I only found 2 pairs in the box that met that criteria!

Match the seams and pin them together. Cut down the center of the back of the leg. 

Measure from your underarm to your waist - 10 inches for me.  Measure that distance down along the cut you just made from the jean's hem. 

Make a diagonal cut from that point to a point about an inch outside the sideseam.  Remove the pins and open up the apron.

The last step is to sew binding around the raw edges, leaving enough to go around your neck.  The ties at the waist can be made of denim, or binding.  I made my own binding out of a 3 inch strip of fabric and pressed a double fold.  I put on a pocket because they come in handy, and am thinking of a little embroidery at the top of the 'bib'.

Of course, a new apron calls for some baking!
Pumpkin spice muffins hot out of the oven. 
Linking up on Friday with

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mystery Quilt 7 first three steps

Mystery Quilt 7 from Quilters Club of America promised to be easy so I'm playing along.  The first step was to select fabrics.  Scrappy but coordinating.

I pulled some fabrics out and put together this bundle.   Navy blues, medium golden browns, a couple greens and some neutrals with those colors plus peach.  Not my typical color palette, but helpful using up some odds and ends.

See that tan with roses on the bottom?  That was from a maternity dress I made.  The 'baby' is turning 25 years old this December.  I've had that fabric scrap way too long!

The next steps were cutting to size and sewing the field together.  Some folks are commenting that it's not very interesting, but they promised that MQ7 would be straight forward and easy since we're into the Holiday Season and everyone's pretty busy.  I'd say they delivered just what they promised - and I've been able to use up my fabric scraps without having to think about it too much.  You can overthink a quilt to the point of never making it... you know?  I like it so far.

The next instructions come out on Friday, so in the meantime, I'll be working on denim pot holders and embroidered dish towels for Christmas gifts.  See what some other great quilters have on their design walls this week at Patchwork Times !

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Denim Sunday

If retailers can have Black Friday and Cyber Monday then I can have Denim Sunday.

Sunday afternoon and evening I tackled my overflowing boxes of old denim jeans while my Hubby watched some football.  The trash can is full of denim scraps, but I somehow still seem to have three boxes of denim left.  How is that possible?  Well, at least they aren't as full as they used to be.  But after all that work you'd think I'd at least be down to only two boxes!

What I have now is one box of jeans yet to be deconstructed.  One box of denim yardage that will be used as linings or alternate blocks in a denim quilt (and three pairs of  'odd' jeans that weren't made of regular denim.)  And a box with my deconstructed 'parts.' 

I cut out two more Christmas stockings and set aside three good 'legs' for denim aprons.  There is a denim apron on pintrest that I'd like to make.

There are 5 quart bags of cut squares.  9 inch for potholders, 4 and 8 inch for Drunkard's Path and Fourpatch quilts and 3 and 6 inch for another quilt pattern plan.  There is also a bag with the side seam strips which make good hanging loops for the Christmas stockings and straps for tote bags.  Another bag has sections of waistbands with the front button closure.  Those I use on tote bags as well.  Finally, there's a stack of pocket sections, jeans tops for purses and other 'parts' that might be useful for tote bags.

Looks like Denim projects are on this week's sewing schedule for me.  What's on the schedule for you?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dresden Turkey

Thanksgiving week already!  My design wall is in the spirit of the holiday this week with Dresden Turkeys. 

The pattern is from Lyn Brown and was published in her blog November 2011, but I can't seem to find the link today.  It is part of a quilt her classes were doing then as a challenge.  It's a row quilt, and each row highlights a different month of the year.  Dresden Turkeys, of course, were for November.  To make her challenge even more difficult, she suggested doing the quilt in a monochromatic scheme.  It was lovely, but I didn't have enough fabrics on the same color family, so I just decided to give it a try in whatever scrappy colors I had. 

I'm not too far on the project.  I have all the fabrics pulled and put into a box.  I use those 12x12 plastic scrapbooking boxes and love them.   My scrapbooking daughter got me on to the idea.  They hold a 12 inch quilt block flat, and I love that.

July flags are finished, and now the November turkeys are finished too.  August sailboats are cut out and ready to applique, as are the baskets for April.  Half the rows are applique and the other half pieced. 

I love this time of year!  One of the sayings I have tried to live by is "Give Thanks, and in all things be grateful."  I have it up on my kitchen wall so I can be reminded daily how blessed I have been, and how important it is for me to be thankful.  To be thankful for Faith, Family and Friends is a given.  But I am also thankful for you, your support and encouragement in quilting, and for all the wonderful quilters who so freely share their designs and talent with me and other quilters through this amazing thing called the internet.  (oops, showing my age there I think) 


Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stadium Quilt from old Jeans

Searching the internet there are quite a few patterns for quilts from old Jeans - but seriously, most of them are pretty basic.  Nearly all are quilts made from plain squares.  There is one that uses circles folded over a square of fabric rather like Cathederal Window quilts, and I saw one that used huge half-square triangles.

Here's one I made that has a little more zip.

Stadium quilt front
Stadium quilt back
There are two fabrics: old denim jeans, and plaid flannel.  There is no batting.  Denim quilts are heavy enough as it is!  The fabrics are placed wrong sides together and a 1/2 inch seam is sewn 'raggy quilt style'. There are plenty of tutorials on how to do raggy seams, so I'll leave that to you.
The quilt has two basic blocks.  The first is a portion of a Drunkard's Path block.  A good pattern can be found free here at Quilters Cache.  The second block is a four-patch using whatever size block is needed to make it the same size as your Drunkard's Path block. 

four blocks: two Four-Patches and two Drunkards Path
My blocks were a little bigger than the Quilter's Cache pattern because I used a pattern from a magazine.  My Drunkard's Path sections are cut 8 inches and the Four-Patch blocks are made up of four 4-inch cut squares.  With the half-inch seams instead of 1/4 inch, the blocks finish at 7 inches.   (If I ever figure out how to made a PDF pattern for you I'll update and put it in here.)  Since the Drunkard's Path block is the more difficult, find a pattern for that first and work off of that size.
I did a little top stitching with yellow thread - like side seams on jeans - in the Drunkard's Path blocks to hold the denim and flannel together.  The Four Patches were small enough that they didn't really need any extra quilting.   This can be done before the blocks are pieced together.
Play around with block placement. There are so many possibilities!  One thing that gave way more interest to the quilt was stitching the raggy seams of the piecing on one side, and then stitching the raggy seams to join the blocks on the opposite side.  That gave some texture to both sides of the quilt.   
After clipping, this really makes a mess in the washing machine!  One thing that helped was making a huge pillowcase out of an old bedsheet and putting the quilt inside.  A number of big safety pins held it closed.  I took it all outside and gave it a good shaking off before putting it in the dryer.  Check and clean the dryer lint trap a couple of times while it's tumbling.
I also made a little carry bag for the quilt. It's just 8 squares cut 8.5 inches and sewn in to a Four-patch for each side.  Handles are made from the inseam seams from the jeans.  A couple of the squares are from the seat and have the pocket centered on them.  Handy!
It's great for taking to the football stadium.  The quilt in the bag makes a nice cushion to sit on in the bleachers, and just pull out the quilt when the sun goes down and it gets chilly!

Ghostly Gallery finished!

In the 'Better late than never' category - or maybe in the 'Really early for next year' category - I finshed up Ghostly Gallery.  Who cares if it's two weeks past Halloween.  It's not a UFO - it's Finished!

The pattern is by Whimsicals and I found it in June at a used booksale that benefits our local police department. It's an adorable pattern.

I wish my camera didn't make everything look so blurry when I reduce the size.  (It's not just my glasses is it?)  Someday I'll figure it out.  Perhaps over Thanksgiving when our son is home for a few days.  He's the one who got me to start a blog in the first place last March.

I am amazed that there have been over 7,000 page views already!  Many thanks to everyone for stopping by QuiltAwhile and for your wonderful and encouraging comments.  There's nothing like hearing from you to boost my spirits and keep me excited about quilting. 

Linking up with and  (Congratulations to Sarah on her 500th blog post!)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mountain Trail top

Finished up the top for Mountain Trail! 

I only made a few changes.  Instead of 1-1/4 inch strips I used the 1-1/2 inch scraps I had on hand and already cut. 

The red diagonal has been changed to black becaue I didn't have enough red cut that size but I had black.

The red border (cut 4-1/2 inches) goes all around instead of just two sides.  Oh, and it looks like I put light in the corners instead of dark to avoid one place at the end where two of the same color ended up next to each other.

OK, I guess that's more than a 'few' changes.  (giggles)

My finished top is 32x38 inches, so it will make a nice baby quilt or lap quilt!

Here's where I found the free pattern:  Humble Quilts.

Linking up with: confessions of a fabric addict

Give a quilter an inch....

So, how small are the scraps you keep?  It seems I've been saving smaller and smaller over the past year.  It used to be nothing smaller than 2 inches.  Then I started doing smaller quilts and 1-1/2 inches was useful, so I started a bag of those. 

I LOVE Bonnie Hunter at  Her designs and ideas are just traditional enough, but still have that 'something new' feel about them.  One of her books is on my Christmas Wish List this year.  Recently though, lots of her quilts are 'string quilts' that use pieces down to 1 inch wide strips.

So I started keeping a sandwich bag of 1 inch string scraps.  But I've realized that string quilting, as nice as it looks, isn't for me right now. 

I didn't think I'd EVER have a use for 1 inch strips.  Until yesterday when I found Modern Rails doll quilt on Lyn Brown's blog.  It's simple, and uses up those small strips, but isn't real putzy. And it's a small quilt, so a million pieces aren't required.  (Just make sure your 1/4 inch seam is accurate!)

I had mostly autumn colors in the bag, so used those - rusty red, bright yellow, dark green, black, orange, a little lime green for kick.  I tried out several background colors including several shades and patterns in tan.  But this odd piece of medium dark grey with a black leaf print really made the colors pop!

It will be a fun weekend project to work on when I can Quilt Awhile.

Monday, November 5, 2012

This Week's Projects

There are a couple projects on for this week.  Both are small quilts.

First there is Mountain Trail which I found on Humble Quilts recently.  My 1 1/4 inch scraps are all going to a Chinese Coins quilt, so I dug into the 1 1/2 inch bag and my blocks will be slightly larger than Lori's.  Didn't have a quantity of good reds, so used black instead.  I was worried a little, but it's turning out just fine.  I think I'll have just enough of the black, though I might have to search some of the larger scrap bags and cut down another strip to get the last few blocks done.

The other project is a Little Amish Quilt from Sentimental Quilter.  It's Kathleen Tracy's November small quilt.  This one has been a problem.  The only solids I had in the right scrap size were an old  jade green and a pink that was even older.  The pink was 35 inches wide - so that tells you it's pretty old!  Probably before my time.  How long ago was it that they switched to 45 inch wide fabric?
First I made it up and had the pink running as the main diagonal and a solid light yellow for the alternate blocks.  It looked awful!

So while the Vikings were being ripped apart on the playing field by Seattle, I was ripping out quilt blocks.  The green on the diagonal is a little better, and I found a print that had both the pink and green in it for the alternate blocks.  Still not great, but a lot better.  It probably needs another border as an anchor.  I'm on the hunt for more black fabric and linking up with  Patchwork Times.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Finished by Friday

Well, here it is.  The watercolor quilt made with Grandma's old drapes.  Not my best effort, but this is the first time I've tried this technique.  The pattern is from Quick Watercolor Quilts by Dina Pappas.  It's a nice wall hanging size at 26 inches.

And I tried a few other new things as well.  My first time doing stippling for the quilting, and the first time I've tried a Magic Binding technique to give a small pink accent strip around the binding.  Don't know what got into me to try so many new things all at once.

There were lots of lighter color blocks left, so the next try will be a wreath using the lighter colors.  I laid out the blocks last night.  It will look different when the 1/4 inch seams are sewn.

Linking up with other quilters motivates me to keep going and not set a project aside when I have difficulty.  It also gives me a reason to post something to my little blog.  It's amazing that QuiltAwhile has had over 6,000 views now, and only started in March of this year.  Thanks to everyone - it's so encouraging to have you visit me at QuiltAwhile!

Linking up with:
confessions of a fabric addict
crazy mom quilts