I want what I want – Color Story

I want what I want – Color Story

Few things are sew humbling as ripping out stitches.
I wasn’t going to blog this because it’s a fail, and who wants to share their failures?
Then, I realised that some people need to see others failures to learn from it, or maybe just feel like they are not alone when they fail.

I was once at an all day sew, and a lady was making a jelly roll race quilt. You know the one when you sew all 42 strips end to end and then take the two ends of the really long strips and sew them together, and on and on? Well, this lady sewed her first two strips right side to wrong side. About 1600 inches of stitches had to be undone.

I kept this in mind as I unstitched the quilt top I had just finished.
Oh yeah, I said “Finished” but in reality I hadn’t added the borders yet.
Here’s my “OCD much?” story:

 

SBS_RIP_Jack_And_Friends

 

I have been wanting to make a nice lap quilt out of the Sunbonnet Sue blocks I got about 5 years ago. They are all wonderfully hand turned, and I bought them from a lady at her garage sale. She had made them many years ago, and sashed them, but gave up on it. I also bought some of her oil lamps, which I love. She may never know that part of her legacy will be with me in those oil lamps and this quilt – if I ever get it done.
I removed the sashing because I wanted the quilt to be bigger.
On and off for 5 years, I have thought about how to make a quilt out of these blocks.
EQ7 allowed me to make all kinds of alternating blocks, and see them before sewing them.
I finally decide on a block that would complement all the Sue’s, then moved on to the fabric selection.

Oh the fabric selection!!!
Of course I needed 30’s prints, and I auditioned many. I ended up chosing primary colors, because I like them. Yes, not many primary colors in 30’s prints, so what I really wanted was tiny prints, and I don’t care what era they are from.
Yellow was the hardest. I went to my local quilt shop for it, and couldn’t find a suitable small print yellow, but found a darling green with little yellow flowers in it, and a turquoise I couldn’t say ‘no’ to. I bought 2 yard of the darling green, and 1 yard of thr turquoise, then later bought another yard of each incase I wanted them for borders.
I started piecing the alternate blocks, and was fine until I got to the part where I would snoball all the Sue’s with . . . what color? I cut so many possible squares to audition that I could make a whole ‘nother quilt out of them. and I’d have to, because they are 2 3/4″ square and I sure ain’t cutting all those blocks down to a more usable 2 1/2″
I was back to needing yellow. What I had in mind, and the stores, nor my stash would indulge me, was a yellow with a bit of red in it.
So, I finally just picked a tone on tone yellow out of my stash and snoballed all the Sues, then sewed the whole top together. It was pretty nice looking.

 

 

 

 

Then on my way home from work Sat., oh did I mention I was stupid enough to volunteer to work saturday? Why, yes, yes, I was. but there is pretty fabric calling my name . . . .
I decide to double the batting, and to be cheap, I will get a king size piece, and use my coupon. It was already half off, but with a $20 off a $60 purchase coupon, I could increase my savings.
It was there, at a store I’d been to many times, that I found my yellow print.
Oh damn.

SBS_Snoballs

I bought it, and the 30’s print flannel backing, and it was probably my slowest drive home.

Sew, while I sit here removing stitches,  lets explore the may ways stitches can be removed, shall we?

There’s the “pick and pull” which I almost always start with.
It is the most gentle, yet the most time consuming, but it does leave the pieces clean, and ready to be resewn.

SBS_RIP_PickPull

Then for speed, I move on to the “Pull and Poke” where you pull apart the layers, and poke the threads with your seam ripper. One pull after a poke will get you several stitches farther than the pick and pull.

If you place your elbow on the fabric at the edge of a table, you can undo a 45″ row of stiches in about 10 minutes. Good to know, right?

SBS_RIP_PullPoke_02

or the even faster, but more dangerous “Spread and Slice” which is like the pull and poke but uses a blade to slice through the threads. If at least one of the fabrics is expendable, you may consider it – at your own peril.

 

SBS_RIP_Spreadandslice_01

They make a tool for this, but I prefer my #2 size exacto.

SBS_RIP_Spreadandslice_02

Most of these leave messy edges.

 

SBS_RIP_Threads

While I am on this subject, do you know what that ball on one end of all the traditional seam rippers is for? It’s to put down in the seam to be able to push with the pointy part sticking up so it doesn’t catch on the fabric. I don’t trust it. I put the pointy part down to pull up the threads I am removing, so that I can see it isn’t catching the fabric.

 

SBS_RIP_Jacks_Ball
and then I caught a miserable cold, no actually brochitus, which lasts weeks, so things moved very slowly.

Finally, all 48 little triangles have been carefully seperated, and replaced with the better yellow, and now I have moved on to obsessing about the borders . . . .

 

#RIP #SunBonnetSue #AlmostHome

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Texas Gets More Love

Texas Gets More Love

My  Texas Gets Red Bandanas – and some love quilt was sew much fun that I had to do it again. and again.

“Bob and Weave” seemed like it  wanted a yellow binding,

Bob_Weave_Finished

with a geometric backing.

Bob_Weave_Finished_Back_02

Stitched in the ditch of course

Bob_Weave_Finished_Quilting_02

with a little top stitching on the background to sweeten it up a bit.

Bob_Weave_Finished_Quilting

The plaid S Block is a Man’s quilt! Ladies and children can enjoy it too, possibly reminding them of their dear ol Dad?

Sblock_Finished

Not a huge fan of pieced backings – unless it looks like it was done on purpose – which this was. The navy has a very nice – soft, yet sturdy – hand to it, and I gave it a cuddle before taking it my friend’s to send.

Sblock_Finished_Back

Straight line stitching in the ditch, where there was one. I first used Navy thread in the bobbin, and after stitching all the lines that had the navy on the backside, I switched to a tan, and then did all those.

Sblock_Finished_Back_02

Here is our  latest shipment. Both husbands are holding them sideways, but Sue and I, aren’t saying a word.

Quilts_4Texas_Sue3

A Fire Chief gets some love . . .
Quilts_4Texas_4

#BobandWeave #Sblock #QuiltsForTexas

OMG challenge x3

OMG challenge x3

So, here it is, time for the One Monthly Goal again, and this time I am making it in, under the wire.
Sept 2nd, I endeavered to make 3 quilts for Texas. I finished one, and started the other two, and then we have had to work every stinkin Fri to date.

I did a couple things unusual for me: I used a pattern, and I did not alter it. AND I used a good Jelly roll! * Gasp*

Book_StripYourStash_BobWeave

Yes I,
#1, successfully resisted the urge to alter a pattern.
#2, opened up the “Hop, Skip and a Jump” Jelly roll by Moda, and recklessly used it!

I know some of you were waiting to see what I would do with some of my “over 50” Jelly rolls, and if I would use any “good ones” since all my previous posts were using up the ugly ones . . .

BobWeave_Piecing

Of course being me, I did make a very modern design out of 30’s prints, because it’s just my nature to go against the common grain.

Bob and Weave is being quilted right now.

Bob_Weave_Basted

S Block [not M block]  which I did alter, to use only 3 sizes of 2.5″ strips. All done in plaids.

Sblock_NotM

S block is quilted, and awaiting binding. Only the top is shown here. I got creative with the back, which will be shown in another post, since I have only until midnight to get the OMG post done, and I got obligated, through no fault of my own, to go to a birthday party tonight.

Sblock_wBorder

and here is one of the [12] Sunbonnet Sue blocks I bought 5 years ago at a garage sale from a sweet lady who made them. She is needle turned applique, and I’ve been wanting to give her a home for quite some time now. I finally designed and started making the blocks that would show her off and result in a nice size quilt to wrap myself up in.

SBS_Blocks02

She got shelved back in September, when I embarked on the Quilts for Texas project. Not knowing  who these would go to, I made one patriotic, and wanted to make one girly, and one manly. As soon as those are finished, I will resume these blocks, and Sunbonnet Sue will take her rightful place in my lap – by the end of October!

SBS_Block2

At least that is my goal. Can I do it? Even if I have to work every stinkin Fri?

The good news is that all Fridays are overtime, and we know what that means . . .  MPF!

More Pretty Fabric!

PS I still have over 50 Jelly rolls because a Kaffe Fasset one went on sale, and I never pass up a Kaffe precut at 50% off.

#OneMonthlyGoal #QuiltsForTexas #MorePrettyFabric

Texas Gets Red Bandanas – and some love

Texas Gets Red Bandanas – and some love

I recently saw Missouri Star’s Rhombus Star video. It looked like fun to me, and I already had the template, but I had been waiting for them to come out with the smaller Rhombus template. When I saw the video, I noticed the smaller template was now available, so I got it.

I was working on a quilt for myself at time, so when it arrived, I put the template away for later.
Later came sooner, when some friends of mine who have family in Texas said they were going to make quilts to send. Their family is part of the rescue team, and they would be handing out the quilts directly. Of course, I shelved little Sunbonnet Sue, got out that template, and brought in my tote of patriotic fabric.  I opened it, and said “Talk to me”

Our sewing play date was the next day, so I gathered up the pieces that spoke up, and took them with me.

Having no pattern for the small ruler, I would just have to make one block, and measure it to see what size it would be, before I could figure out how many to make for a quilt. This concept totally freaked out my friend at the “PlayDate with a Featherweight” sewing group.
“What are you making?”
“A quilt to send to Texas”
“What pattern?”
“I am making stars”
“What’s the pattern?”
“I have to make a block and see what size they are first”
“But what’s the pattern?”
“I guess it’s Stars”
“You don’t know what it’s going to be?”
“Yeah, it’s gonna be stars”
“So you have no pattern?”
“I am pretty sure these are gonna be Stars. I just need to cut a few more, and then I can start sewing, and see what they will measure out to”
“You are crazy!”
“Ok then, which of these reds should I include? I don’t know about this bandana fabric.”
“Oh the bandana has to be included. It’s SOOO Texas!”
“Alrighty then. Texas gets red bandanas!”

In the video, Jenny makes hers into half blocks, sewn one pointing up and one pointing down in rows. I want to sew mine in squares, so I am making mine square-ish.

Each block contains
3 blue Rhombus shapes from large scraps or FQ’s.
3 red Rhombus shapes from large scraps or FQ’s.
12 triangle background pieces from yardage.
4 setting triangle background pieces from yardage.

To start, I laid the template down on the fabric, against a longer ruler, and cut strips. Note that this template is an odd size – 3 5/8 wide. Later I added a strip of orange glo-tape at that point on my ruler. If you don’t have glo-tape, just use the template every time. For accuracy, I slide the template all the way to the end, and make sure it is dead on at both ends before cutting.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Shapes_From_FQ_01

The rhombus shaped pieces were cut first.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Shapes_From_FQ_02

If using a FQ you can get 4 on the short [19″] side, and 5 on the long side [22″] making 20 total. 20 doesn’t divide by 3 if you want to use an alternate color pattern like mine, but 18 does. So one FQ will make 6 half blocks. 2 FQ’s in 2 different colors will make 6 blocks of alternating colors.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Shapes_From_FQ_03

A scrap strip that is almost 15″ long will make 3 of these.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Shapes_From_Scraps

The triangle background pieces, when measured from the flat tip of the point to the line that says “line up edge of fabric strip here to cut triangle” turned out to be the same width [3 5/8] of fabric. So, you can use it to cut the strips like I did for the rhombus pieces.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Triangle_Background_01

Spin template for each cut. Don’t forget to cut the tiny corners at the bottom. Remember these are 60 degrees, so you will have to cut on both sides. One side will only be a sliver, though.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Triangle_Background_02

One strip will make 17 pieces. I cut mine with strip folded in half, so the 8 you see is really 16 pieces.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Triangle_Background_03

The setting triangle background pieces were cut from 3 7/8 wide strips, subcut 7 1/4 long, and then cut in half diagonally. One 3 7/8 wide strip cut the length of fabric makes 6 rectangles that will cut into 12 setting triangles, and therefore complete 3 blocks.
*You can round up to 4″ on the width since you will be squaring the blocks before assembly.
** This is piece will not be 60 degrees, even though I am attaching them to a 60 degree angled piece, for 2 reasons. 1 It’s easier to just make a diagonal cut from a rectangle, and 2 because I will be squaring up the block anyway.


I could have used my Super SideKick Ruler [which is 60 degrees] to make more exact setting pieces, but I was throwing this together as quickly as I could, and I didn’t feel like cutting these one at a time. For anyone wishing to make this, if you have the Super Sidekick ruler, use it to make your setting pieces, and your blocks will be more square.

These half blocks, made with the small ruler, measure 14.75″ on the long side by 6.5″
When completed as one whole block, they trim down to 12.25″ by 13.5″

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Half_Block_Length_14.75Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Half_Block_Width_6.5

Now that I know what size these are, I will do a 4 block by 4 block quilt.

I am doing 16 square blocks, but leaving 2 of them as half blocks [for offset] so I will need:
48 blue diamonds [3 FQ’s]
48 red diamonds [3 FQ’s]
192 triangle background pieces from 11 1/2 strips cut 3 5/8″ wide. Yardage = 45″
64 setting triangle background pieces from 5 1/2 strips cut 3 7/8″ wide. Yardage = 24″
Basically, you’ll need about 2 yards of background fabric.
* I started with a 3 yard piece of background fabric, and after adding a 4″ outer border, I ended up with 1/2 yard left over.

The inner border is from scrappy yardage. The piece I used only had one selvage edge, and was about 38″ in some places, so I can’t give you exact yardage for that.

Tools I used:
Rhombus template
6″x24″ or other long ruler
15″ square ruler
Glo-tape to mark ruler for strips
G-Easy Ruler Stickers to use when squaring up blocks
stilletto [to poke the pieces under the needle when chain piecing, so they don’t shift]
seam roller [to press seams at your sewing machine when chain piecing]
Optional: Super Sidekick or other 60 degree ruler

 

Chain piecing time!

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Seams_First

Because of the shape, I have found it goes together better if the 1st seam, which is a triangle on the botton right of the rhombus piece, is pressed to the rhombus piece. I use my clover seam roller for this.

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Seams_First_PressClip

Trim the tiny ears, then sew the second triangle pieces on.

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Seams_Second

Press the second triangle back to itself.

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Seams_Second_Back

As you begin sewing these together, the seams will nest nicely.

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Big_Block_Layout

Arrange in groups.

Rhombus_Star_Arranging_Groups

When sewing the setting pieces, be sure to over hang the triangle. I pin these to make sure they stay put. I don’t pin much, but I pin here, and anywhere I need seams to match.

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Setting_Pieces

After all the halves have the side setting pieces, I sew all but 2 of the half blocks together, and then begin squaring them up.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Block_Needs_Squaring

I marked the ruler to be sure the top and bottom star points all ended up in the same spot, because the points almost touch when assembled.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Block_Needs_Squaring2

yeah, my setting blocks leave a lot of trmming. Use your Super sidekick if you have one.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Block_Squared

Turned out pretty though, didn’t it?

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Block_Squared_Back

Lay out time! I  have a design bed.

Rhombus_Star_LayOut

Finished! With a 2.5″ [cut size] inner border, and a 4″ [cut size] outer border, this quilt measures 58×63.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Frontside

I was a bit short on the binding, so I added some red pieces at 2″ intervals, and placed them in one corner to look like I did that on  purpose.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Pieced_Binding

Once again, I stitched in  the ditch, and then did a diamond shaped figure 8 following the stars.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Backside

The lables I ordered came in, and this is  the first quilt that gets one!

Rhombus_Star_Label_Backside

One final note:  If you have an old house and an awesome vintage percolator that  along with your iron excedes the amperage on that one circut, and you’re waiting for what seams like an extraordinarily long time for it to finish so you can turn the iron back on,

. . . please check to be sure Hubby put the lid on before plugging it in. Then send the picture to Hubby’s phone in the shop. Sew much nicer than the words I was thinking.

Rhombus_Star_Text_Picture_Failed_Coffee

I will make a couple more for Texas, and then get back to Sue. Sunbonnet Sue has waited 20 years to find her home in a quilt, and she can wait a few more weeks.

This quilt was a record for me, making it in just 7 days.  That means I missed the One monthly goal sign up date of Sept 7th. but some things are more important.  At least a dozen folks in Texas will feel our love.

My friend Sues quilt shown above with mine, was made using Bonnie Hunter’s Forth Of July pattern. and no, she was not the one pestering me about my lack of a printed pattern.

 

For those who watched Jenny’s video, and are having trouble making their quilt square, it is because Jenny forgot to mention that you have to add a ‘setting piece” to the ends of your rows. I used the small Rhombus, so I can’t give you the mesurements for the large one, but maybe these pictures will help you.

This is what Jenny did.

Rhombus_Star_EndOfRow_Setting_Pieces01

Option 2 is what I did. [I did it to each piece, but you only need it on the ends of your rows] Lay your piece on a grid and measure the “void” [shown in purple] then add 1/4 seam allowance. Then you can sew this piece on to your ends, and trim.

Rhombus_Star_EndOfRow_Setting_Pieces02

#HelpTexas #TexasGetsRedBandanas #RhombusStar #CheckCoffee

Ugly Jelly Part deux – Baby Quilt

Ugly Jelly Part deux – Baby Quilt

Ugly Jelly makes a baby!
This was an easy quilt, and fun to make.
I was asked by Brat to make, and I quote “a quilt” for another Navy friend. The thing is, this friend had twins! Great! So, I had to figure on making two quilts, both alike, yet different. My first thought was to make same quilt, but add a different element of color. Of course that is the easiest, so I chose a design I had recently made to use precuts. I bought the fabric:  one layer cake, and Kona’s color of the year for sashing, and thought “easy peasy” while waiting for my squishy to arrive. When I got ready to make it, I noticed Kona’s Flamingo Pink didn’t quite match the large floral prints of the layer cake that I wanted to use. Back burner!
So it sat a bit until I got this idea from a book to make pinwheels out of a strip set. I have over 50 jelly rolls, and still have some of those ugly ones that I made my first Ugly Jelly Quilt from in other colorways. Time to use them up! Thank goodness they only came in sets of 20 strips. I grabbed 3 rolls knowing I would pull out some of the more hideous ones.

Warning: The following image may not be suitable for sewists of fine taste.

WHAT were they thinking?

I had some templates cut for me at the local hardware store years ago to use for fussy cutting, so I found my 3.5″ one, and drew a line 1 1/8th inch from the top across to 1 1/8th from the bottom on the other side, and made a test strip. I cut it, assembled it, and liked it. I later added little feet to the template so it would float over the seam, and not move while I cut them.

Each strip set will cut into 11 pieces, but you only need  8 pieces to make 2 blocks. 3 more pieces is not enough for another block. I will worry about those left overs later.

The drawn line shows up better if it is on the ‘down’ side. Simply line up with the seam, and cut.

Stripped_PinWheel_Cut_01

Turn and cut again

Stripped_PinWheel_Cut_02

Turn again, and cut again.

Stripped_PinWheel_Cut_03

Once more.

Stripped_PinWheel_Cut_04

2 stacks of 4 pieces, and here’s the leftovers. If I was doing a 2 color quilt, I could use these better, but I’m not.

Stripped_PinWheel_Cut_05

These blocks can be arranged either way.

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Makes2

I would need 56 blocks to do a 7×8 layout bringing it to 42×48. That’s 56 strips sewn into 28 pairs.

Stripped_PinWheel_Fabric_UglyJellysAgain

Once I removed the more hideous ones, I replaced them with some pink strips cut from Timeless Treasures.

Stripped_PinWheel_Fabric_TimelessTreasures

I will never buy a roll of strips from this company again. I still have 6 more reminders of this mistake.

After all the strip sets were sewn, I set up an assembly line in front of the TV, and cut the whole thing while watching one single movie! The 3.5 template set on my small rotating cutting board enabled me to spin and cut on all 4 sides without moving the template.

Yes, that’s a sandwich baggie taped to the side of the table.

Stripped_PinWheel_Sit_N_Spin

Meanwhile my Sew Sampler box [by Fat Quarter Shop] had arrived on the same day as my new wooden wall paper roller. The SS box contained a seam roller tool by clover, so I tried both. I wanted to like the wood one that was only $8, and I might have, if not for how nice the clover one fits in my hand, plus is exactly as wide as the seam. It retails for about $14. Again, I never would have bought this, but since it came in my box, I am really diggin it! In fact I went to a newly formed Featherweight group a couple of towns away, and showed them what I was working on, and a lady there was so impressed with the tool, that she bought one on her phone while I was there. The other ladies were fascinated [after I explained what a Sew Sampler box was] that I get Christmas  delivered to me once a month!

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Assembly_No_Iron

Then I made an assembly line sewing station. I lined them up, and ran through 4 sets of 2 at first, then took the first two off the chain, pressed them with the seam roller, placed them together, and ran them through, completing one block.

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Assembly_Chain_Piecing_02

Then 2 more sets of two, cut two more off the chain, put completed block asside, rolled the seams, place together, and run them under the needle.

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Assembly_Chain_Piecing

Every 3rd piece in the chain was a completed block until they were all done.

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Assembly_Chain_Piecing_01

It took longer to arrange them on my “quilt wall” than it did to sew them.
The whole thing was done in a weekend.

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Arrangement

Tips:

1. When making the blocks, because the colors all meet in the center, you don’t have to focus on matching the seems so much. Instead, focus on  matching the edges of the fabric, and you won’t have to trim or square up these blocks before sewing them together.

2. When sewing the blocks into rows, I did not press the seams until they were all sewn. That way, I could press one row’s seams to the east, and the next row’s seams to the west, so they all nested. Yes, I press to one side so I can [say it with me] stitch in the ditch.

3. I have a set of numbered pins, that I used on the first block in each row, because order is sew important on a scrappy quilt like this! It takes a lot of work to make stuff look random. [the tiny white circles in quilt below are the numbered pins]

Stripped_PinWheel_Assembled_Top

Now I must mull over how to make another quilt out of the scraps! Ugly scraps. Ugh!

Stripped_PinWheel_Fabric_Leftovers

Stay tuned. It gets prettier! I promise.

The other Twin quilt is done, so here is the rest of the pictures.

I didn’t add the border until I got the second one done, so they’d be the same size.

Stripped_PinWheel_Top_50x55

The pinwheel was quilted with straight lines in the ditch outlining the pinwheels. Then I read the quilt spacing specs for the batting I was using [2 to 4 inches – who DOES that?].

Stripped_PinWheel_Quilting_01

After kicking myself, I had Emmy Lou do her serpentine stitch through the middle of each one.

Stripped_PinWheel_Quilting

Ooops! I forgot I had light blue thread in Emmy’s bobbin.

Stripped_PinWheel_Quilting_03

After borders, I had 50×55 [with a 4 inch border] for the pinwheel and 50×57 [with 2 inch border] for the other Twins Quilt and I’m calling it close enough!

Stripped_PinWheel_Quilted

#UglyJellyQuilt #UglyHasABaby #IfItsStillUglyYouDidntCutItSmallEnough #QuiltInAWeekend

Minnie To The Max

Minnie   To The Max

Sometimes you just gotta do something relaxing, that doesn’t take much brain power.
This is that quilt.
I like fabric panels, even though I know there will be no lines . . . ahem . . . ditches to follow when I quilt it.

There’s a girl at work who is pregnant. One day, she  told me she would have 2 girls, and I asked if she was having twins. She said no, she had one girl already, and showed me some pictures of her family at a birthday party. The theme was pink Minnie Mouse. Probably a month later, I was drooling over fabric online, when I found some pink Minne Mouse fabric that reminded me of her. I threw  a couple yards in with my order, thinking I may make a baby quilt for my co-worker.
I was only thinking about it because I feared that somone else would want me to make them a quilt, too.

I have many thoughts on “Request sewing” but the bottom line is I don’t care for it. I really have enough to do, and I sew some out of need, and some for fun. The thing is we can’t control many things in life, but I can control what I sew.

peshaw! If you think you can get me to make you a $50 quilt and yes that is my piecedby.me water mark

Then I came across a Minnie panel with some pink in it, and decided I wasn’t going to overthink this, and just make her a darling baby quilt already! I would give it to her quietly, and hope I wouldn’t get any requests.
I ordered the panel, then cut strip pieces that I thought I would make a nice piano key border – something I haven’t done yet. Hey, why not practice on other peoples quilts?

When it came, I saw it was much too big to be the center of a baby quilt. Most panels are 24×44, but this one was 36×44. I hung it up for inspiration, and thought why not the back? That certainly solves two problems. 1 How to make a quilt out of a larger panel, and 2 what to put on the back!

Minnie_Backing

I had already cut 12 – 2 1/2″ strips of each contrasting colors, so I decided to do the whole quilt out of them. Notice the Remnant Quilt  pieces I was taking a “think break” from in the background.

Minnie_Cutting_Blocks

The 2 1/2″ strips were fed through Mustang when my brain needed a break from the remnant quilt process.

Minnie_Strips

I sewed the 2 contrast colors together, then sew those two strip sets together , alternating the colors to make a tube. Like I did for my Dish mat

The 6 resulting tubes of stips should cut to 8 – 6″ blocks each, but I got 9 out of mine. Normally, I’d use all 48 or [54 if you get 9] blocks, but I was limited to the size of the panel. I have some fabric left, so maybe I make another?

Minnie_Rows02

Once I joined the blocks to make a row, I pressed the first row on one direction, and the second row in the other.

Minnie_Rows_Back02

I usually press to the dark, but when I stitched the rows together, they were quite bulky, so I pressed them open, making a note to myself not to stitch in that ditch.

Minnie_Rows_Back_Pressed

I always place a pin in the top row to help keep me from sewing the next row to the top.

Minnie_Pin_Top

I arranged 42 blocks 6 across by 7 down, and quilted in the ditch diagonally in each direction.

Then I stitched around the  square in the center of each block, removing the pins after I completed each square so I wouldn’t miss one.

Minnie_Quilt_In_Square

The back looks kinda good!

Minnie_Quilt_In_Square_Back

Sometimes a contrast binding is called for, especially when the quilt contains large prints. I found some black fabric with white hearts, and used it for the binding.

Minnie_Finished_Binding

Finished!

Minnie_Finished

Yes, I did try to agonise  over thread colors, but went with pink on top and white on the bottom, and now I am happy I did.

Minnie_Finished02

My husband remarked that she may not know which side is the front!

Minnie_Finished03

Just for beginer quilters who use home machines, the quilting was a cinch! Here are my crudely drawn quilting diagrams.

First diagonal lines in one direction

Minnie_Finished_SID_01

Then diagonally in the other direction

Minnie_Finished_SID_02

Then outline the whole design following the V’s  on the edge of the border.

Minnie_Finished_SID_03

Finally, I outlined the little squares formed by the pattern. This was easy to stop with needle down in the corners, and spin the quilt through the throat of my machine to sew the next line in the square.

Minnie_Finished_Stitch_In_Ditch02

Simple, and easy for a domestic sewing machine.

The monday I was going to give the girl this quilt, she was off for maternity leave already, so I gave it to her best friend to give to her. No fan fare was made of it, so I am happy about it.

I think I’m ready to tackle another quilt!

  • which I am already playing hooky from as I write this.

 

 

#MinneMouseQuilt #JellyRollStripPiecing #PanelForQuiltBack #NoSuchThingAsa$50Quilt #ThankYouForNotAskingMeToMakeYouaQuilt

Remnant Quilt – Why We Make Quilts!

Remnant Quilt – Why We Make Quilts!

Other possible titles include:
– How to complicate a simple pinwheel design
– Another quilt = another journey
– Why we buy TONS of fabric

I was at our fellowship Pot luck a couple of weeks ago, and the message was that we are all remnants in Christ.
On the way home, it hit me that I should make Sue a quilt out of remnants. Sue took her Mother in about 8 years ago, and once being very active in the church, began a process of passing the baton to others, as her Mothers needs increased. She is a very giving woman, so I wanted to make something for her.
First, I explored patterns, tried designing my own, then googled some, and looked at books. Ideas swirled in my head, as I went from deciding on one design, then changed my mind several times. Then I saw it. At first it was one of those “I’d like to make that one day” patterns, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. It was called “Staying Focused”
but could I do it all from remnants?
Sue’s favorite colors are blues and purples. Her living room furniture is blue, but I had seen her wear a lovely purple velour jogging suit many times. I know she has a prayer chair, and this would keep her wrapped in love while she converses with Our Father.
I poked around at my stash, mostly built on remnants from garage sales, back when I only dreamed about quilting, and found these delightful squares of fabric, in blue paisley with a bit of pink. They were already cut into 6.5 inch pieces.
Would it be enough?
I drew the block out in EQ7 and placed it in a quilt design. I scanned the focus fabric in, and colored the design. I would need 30 blocks with 4 HST’s of focus fabric in each to make a decent size lap/nap quilt. I counted the pieces, and as I got past 20, I was holding my breath. I exhaled when I got to 30! I had exactly enough! I would have to do the 4 HST at a time method, but it would work.
It was like these pieces were just waiting to tell me what they wanted to be.

Well, 6 1/2″ Blue paisley, you get your wish!

Remnant_Focus

Then I piled up possible complementary colors, and when I thought I had it, I made one block and hung it up on my block board to keep myself focused.

Remnant_Block

I confess to secretly making fun of people who have to rip out stitches when making blocks, because I don’t do it. I toss it and just make a new one.

Ripping Stitches

Oh sure if I miss-sew a completed block to another, I will take it apart, but making the block? Nope.
Well, Our Father has a way of humbling us, and because I had only exactly enough of the focus fabric, I had to rip out many stitches for this first block. For starters, the 6.5 inch pieces resulted in a 4 1/4 inch trimmed half square triangle, not the predicted 4 1/2, and I had to be very careful just to get that.

Remnant_HST_04

Now that I have my first block, and correct measurements, I can cut up all the other pieces.
While cutting, I ran out of the fabric I had chosen for the little crosses, which are actualy plus signs, because I will be turning every other block, to make a secondary design. I love secondary designs! I didn’t want to change the look, so I had to have the same exact shade of blue here.
I think I found it.

Since there will be  two blocks alternating the second color HST’s, I will use the other fabric for the crosses in the second block. Yes, I know one HST is turned wrong, but this is only an audition.

Remnant_Need_More_04

At some point, I decided I don’t like trimming HST’s.

Remnant_Counting_Colors

At yet another point, I decided I don’t like pressing.
and another point had me appriciating all those who do scrappy, because all those tiny pieces could have been bought in yardage, cut to size, sewn in one strip set and sliced and diced into nicely sewn units ready to form a block.

My scrap pile has pieces bigger than the ones I am sewing!

Remnant_Tiny_Pieces_02

At another point, I likend quilting to giving birth. There are elements we don’t like about it, yet we do it anyway, and are happy we did. It also seems to take way longer than we anticipated.
Yet we will do it again, and we will always start with the same enthusiastic anticipation.

A whole weekend of not much progress, but every day after work I pecked away at those pieces.

Remnant_Handy_Sew_Sampler_Cutter
To satisfy my curiosity, I counted them. 15 pieces per block without the sashing is 450 pieces. No wonder it seemed like I was going nowhere.

Remnant_Assembly

They finally begain to take shape, as I placed piece after piece under Mustang’s needle.

Remnant_Assembly_02

I pressed and stacked them.

Remnant_Assembly_03

Remnant_Assembly_05

Every other block was turned to make a secondary pattern.

Remnant_Assembly_04

If you’ve ever fussed over matching seams, how about matching seams that are an inch apart? I think I got most of them.

The blocks are finished and ready for sashing.

Then another snag: what would I use for sashing?

Not this!

Remnant_Audition_Fail

The search is on! I poked into every nook and cranny I had stuffed fabric into, and I wanted to break down and just buy some, but I remembered I had a tote of patriotic fabrics, all reds, whites and blues, and there, I finally found it. It was perfect!

Remnant_Sashing

Many calcuations were made to make this one piece do all the sashing. It seems the previous owner was one of those who like to tear her fabric in half at the fold line “to make it easier to handle” Rather than be upset about it, I was greatful that she at least donated her leftovers for me to find.
In case you think it’s easier to sash without cornerstones, you are mistaken.
You know what cornerstones are, don’t you?
Turns out they are not just another design element to fiddle with, pin and sew and hope you got them right.
Google says:
1. an important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based.
2. a stone that forms the base of a corner of a building, joining two walls.
Merriam Webster adds:
a basic element : foundation
Basically Cornerstones are our rock. They keep us centered, and true.
Again, I didn’t want to change the focus of this quilt, and it did occur to me to make cornerstones out of the same fabric, but I didn’t. I probably should have, but here we are.
No cornerstones means I have to line the rows up very carefully, and use lots of pins.
For future reference, no time is saved by not using cornerstones.

Remnant_Almost_Done_02

One more border in the light blue brings this out to 55″x65″

Remnant_Top_Finished

I did run out and buy a second “Cutting Mat” It’s a giant thick plastic mat – not self healing, and it will dull rotory blades. While Joanns calls it a “Cutting Mat” the computer did not want to sell it at the “half price for all cutting mats and tools” sale. However, they have come a long way in customer service in the last year, so the manager agreed to give me the half off. After I assured her I knew what I was doing: Two of these on the floor will make a 72×60 surface to trim finished baby and lap sized quilts easily. For bigger ones, I slide the mat under where I am trimming. I do not recommend these for cutting fabric and piecing, but for trimming down a finished quilt for binding, which will dull your “used at this point” blade anyway, gets a big YES from me. I have several rotory cutters, and reserve one just for this.

Where do you store a makeshift 72×60 mat? Under your rug of course!

Selecting the backing was more tricky. Back to my stash in my corner of Hubby’s workshop. I had at some point, drew out a yard marker on one of the shelves. I would need 4 yards to do an easy 2 piece back, or at minimum 3+ to piece a “fussy” [more math] 3 piece back.

Remnant_Backing_Audition

I came back with 6 possibilities. I chose the dusty blue with large navy flowers and white accents on the left.

Remnant_Assembly_Final_Choices

I stitched in the ditch along the sashing, and then made an x through each block.

Remnant_Quilting_Back

Then I had Emmy [Husqvarna Viking Emerald 183 that I bought just for specialty stitches] do her thing [serpentine] along the  sashing/border seam.

Sometimes an accent binding works, but I went with “same as border” binding

I honestly began tearing up as I had Emmy blanket stitch the lable on, because it means this journey is finished.

This is, to date, the hardest quilt I have done. All with remnants and love.

Remnant_Quilted_04

The label has our names, so I won’t picture it here, but it says:

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee” Isaiah 26:3

Edited to add that I gave it to  her last night, and with tearful eyes, she said it was the most thoughtful gift she had ever recieved. She took it to her living room filled with royal blues, and I swear it lit up the room. She said it matched perfectly. Then she put it in her prayer chair, and said she would use it there. All this without me saying a word about how I had pictured this quilt there while I was making it.

It was then I remembered her telling me at our last fellowship, that she had to put her fur baby to  sleep, and she had probably rested at her feet in this chair. While this quilt won’t replace her companion, it will add new comfort to the room.

This. Is. Why. We. Quilt!

#RemnantQuilt #WhyWeQuilt #CrossQuilt