While I was tying threads on the morning of May 1, I’m considering this quilt my finished project for April. Why? Because all I had planned to finish for April was the quilt top, but, with the weather not being hiking-friendly and Hubby being a bit sick, I found A LOT of weekend time (and a few weekdays) to devote to this quilt.
This is scrap quilt #5, and though I’m sewing up scraps faster than Cookie Monster eats cookies, my scrap box is not getting any less full. This is a phenomenon that I simply cannot understand.
I had originally planned to sew scrappy quilts until my pile of scraps was a more manageable size (like barely enough to fill a shoebox), but as this doesn’t seem to be happening, I may shove that big box of bits and pieces back in the closet and start on something that uses fabrics I’m not absolutely sick of at this point!
Along with using up a fair amount of more medium-sized scraps, I also used a good amount of yardage of 5 different fabrics for the backing that I wasn’t all that fond of anymore and which were of a lower quality fabric than what I generally purchase now. I also sewed together three scrap chunks of batting to make a piece large enough for this 72″x72″ quilt.
I’ll admit that I didn’t take as much time with the quilting as I ordinarily might and that there are drunks who can walk straighter lines than some of my quilting lines. But finished is better than perfect (especially for a scrap quilt) and a quilt with wonky quilting is just as warm as one with perfect quilting.
I also finished another quilt in April–just a small wall hanging that had been hanging out in the closet for a few months–but you’ll have to wait until next weekend to get a look at that one!
Last week, in the midst of normal schedule upheaval, I actually managed to make progress on a project. Our week was bookended by an apartment-hunting trip downstate with our middle daughter on Monday and a funeral downstate on Friday. As Hubby didn’t take time off for these activities, choosing instead to conduct business from his temporary home office of the passenger seat, I was forced to drive…which meant driving three times through a city I hate driving through. (He drove back on Monday saving me from the city once.)
Knowing that this week was going to be equally tiring–with a trip downstate to visit our oldest daughter, another funeral, and a concert to which we were taking our younger two in the cards–I chose to spend the middle of last week taking it easy.
There were naps. There was time for reading. There was time for sewing. There was time for knitting. I chose to recharge so I wouldn’t go into this week with my batteries already drained. Sometimes you have to think about yourself and know your limits. I am thankful to be in a position to be able to take time to rest. (As an introvert, all the people-ing and hugging and socializing like we had last week sometimes makes me want to curl up in a quiet cave somewhere.)
I spent the week working on my current scrap project. I have enough blocks finished and sewn into strips to almost double the size. Which means I’m about halfway finished. This one is going to be pretty large.
Once I ran out of the strips I’d cut at an earlier time, I spent a couple hours one day refilling my strip box.
Now that my box is almost full, it’s time to sit down and sew.
Project notes: Strips are cut between 1″ and 2-1/4″ wide. I cut them longer than 5.” I sew the strips together into a rough square of just over 5.” Then I even it all up to 5″ square.
It’s finally finished! All 1,540 squares have been sewn together, pinned, quilted, and bound into what might be one of my favorite scrap quilts. I was excited to scratch this UFO (Unfished Object) off my lengthy list!
With the exception of the cream fabric and the green binding, this quilt was made entirely from scraps. The four-patch blocks (12 per row, 24 rows) were made from 1-1/2″ pieces of fabric. The cream squares were cut at 2-1/2,” as were the squares in the border. The outer cream border was cut at 1-1/2.” The entire quilt finished at 54-1/2″ square.
This lap quilt finished a bit smaller than most I’ve made because I was limited by how much background fabric I had on hand. I’d purchased two yards of the cream fabric on clearance at a Shop Hop several years ago and had no way of acquiring any more.
If you’re interested in how many squares to cut of each size, here you go:
1-1/2″ patterned fabric = 1,152
2-1/2″ cream fabric = 288
2-1/2″ patterned fabric = 100
After digging through my stash–watch for a post on that soon!–and tossing aside several decent options, I finally selected a piece of fabric I didn’t like for the binding. It was army green with crackly lines, and I think I may have used some of it to make tadpoles and frogs for the children’s growth charts I put together eons ago. Once I laid it against the quilt, I was sold. And now I really like it. (Probably because just a thin bit of it shows!)
I almost had a binding SNAFU. My aging brain refused to remember how wide I ordinarily cut binding, and careful study and measuring of past quilt bindings had me all confused. (Thank you, middle-aged brain fog. I’m enjoying you just as much as the poor body temperature control and general moodiness.) Throwing my hands up at my confusion and refusing to do the easy thing and look in a quilt book for an answer, I finally just decided to let my gut instinct run the ruler and rotary cutter. My gut instinct decided to cut everything 1/4″ smaller than usual. But it all worked out, and there was just enough fabric to fold over and cover the stitching line. Phew!
For the backing, I pieced together a couple larger pieces. The “love” fabric was leftover from another project. The other I pulled from my stash.
I did an easy diagonal quilting pattern.
Now the question is, which UFO should I tackle next? It may be the pair of socks that I put aside when I hit the heel flap. It may be the cross-stitch that’s been in the works for the past two years. Wait and see!
I had to block off a lot of hours last week for worrying. Yes, worrying.
Our middle child (actually an adult) ended up in the emergency room of a hospital a couple hours away earlier in the month. After a few tests, a tentative diagnosis was reached, and she was told to follow up with her physician. She did. At that visit, lab work showed the problem had worsened. Had I not already been worrying, I would have started then. She was referred to a surgeon, and I spent an afternoon at the hospital with her while she underwent some more testing. As of yet, no real diagnosis has been reached, but she’s feeling much better. So the hope is that whatever caused her issues was just a temporary blip.
I will say, and I’ve joked with her about this since her time in the recovery room, that the show she gave me as she came down off whatever good drugs they gave her was worth the price of admission, i.e. what insurance isn’t covering. She was swearing. She was saying goofy, inappropriate things. And she was loud. I was glad there was a curtain around her recovery cubicle so no one could see us in there. This is a smallish town! Someone might know us! It all made for a good story to tell the relatives, though.
I found a little time to sew last weekend, but with two of the kids home from college, there wasn’t time to share anything here. This past week I found more time to sew, and yesterday I finished my 4-patch Little Squares quilt top, a project that has been in an unfinished state for a couple years.
The top consists of 1,152 1-1/2″ squares made into 4-patch units combined with 2-1/2″ cream squares. The colored scraps making up the border are 2-1/2″. The outer cream border measures 1-1/2″ wide. This made a smaller lapsize quilt. All of the fabric, except for the cream, used in this quilt is from my never-ending, ever-growing stash of scraps.
I vow to conquer the procrastination tendencies that seem to arise at this point of a project. I WILL get a backing sewn. I WILL get it pinned. I WILL get the quilting done. I WILL get it bound. Am I the only one who hates sewing backings and doing the pinning?
I enjoyed a bit of sewing and cross-stitching time last weekend, then Monday hit.
And with Monday came the stomach flu and a week of feeling not quite right. I’ve been doing a lot of napping and lazing about on the couch with my faithful canine companions by my side. I hope this coming week finds me out of this ick funk that I’m in so I can get back to the things that I enjoy.
(Not that I don’t enjoy lazing about on the couch. I just don’t like doing it for days at a time.)
After finishing the Lemon Pepper quilt and matching pillows I decided I’d get back to my unfinished project list and work on something that had been gathering dust for a while. I chose what I’ll refer to as my “Little Squares” project.
Little Squares is made up of so many…you guessed it…little squares. I’m doing four-patch blocks with 1 1/2″ squares. These four-patch blocks are combined with a 2 1/2″ block of cream fabric.
After a bit of calculating, I discovered that I need 1,152 little squares to make the quilt the size I wanted. That’s a lot!
Here are a couple of progress photos. I’m hoping for nine of the larger units in the finished quilt, so I’d say I’m nearly halfway there.
As I cut up my scraps into the tiny squares, I’m adding a lot of even smaller scraps to my itty-bitty scrap container. These will come in handy when I get back to my miniature paper-pieced pineapple blocks.
Last weekend I wrote of the two tiny tyrants who share our house, or as our daughter calls them, the Guinea pigs. This week, let me introduce you to the other tiny terror in our lives:
Her name is Rosie. She’s 17 and spoiled absolutely rotten. (She would disagree on the spoiled rotten bit for two reasons. #1 – She has to live with 2 dogs and #2 – She occasionally has to wait to get her bedtime treat longer than she would like.)
Rosie, and her sister Belle (who died in early 2020), came to live with us when they were one day old. We then became a, gasp, four cat family at the time, having adopted two males from the shelter four years previously. (Sadly, the boys died several years ago.) Rosie and Belle had to be fed with bottles (even in the middle of the night), burped like babies, and taught how to do cat stuff (like use a litter box) by the humans in the family.
I was the only mama Rosie ever knew. And I didn’t shove her out of the “nest” as a normal mama cat would. Thus, a monster was created.
She’s clingy, insisting on sharing my chair when I sit down to sew. If she’s not on the chair behind me, forcing me to teeter on the very edge, she’s sitting on whatever project I’m attempting to work on. If I’m lucky she might lay in her bed nearby. Chances of that improve if I’ve got a space heater running nearby so she can toast her little whiskers.
At night she insists on sleeping as close to my face as possible, occasionally treating me to a neck stomping as she settles into position. As a person with allergies, let me just say that it’s a real treat having a cat sleep right under my nose every night. We tried evicting her from the bedroom, but her meowing skills are top notch. She can meow for hours at a time and often does so if her nightly treat is running late.
Her most recent transgression had nothing to do with neck stomping or lengthy bouts of meowing and put her firmly in top place on the naughty list for the week. Displeased with the state of 1 of her 4 (!!) litter boxes, she left me a stinky “present” right on top of the Lemon Pepper Quilt I was quilting.
I disposed of the “present” and spot cleaned the area, mentally cussing the entire time because I knew a spot clean would not suffice. There was no way I would put that quilt on the back of the couch or snuggle underneath it until it was washed.
I ordered some Shout color-catchers, knowing I did not want a repeat performance of what happened when I washed the bed quilt that took me 19 years to complete. (Blue backing that had been previously washed bled onto the front cream stars, which might not have been stopped even with a color-catcher.) As this quilt was a mix of whites and blacks and pale greens, I worried it could all be ruined with one washing.
After finishing the quilting (straight line meandering and a lot of it!) and binding AND taking photos just in case something bad happened, I said a prayer and tossed it in the wash. Thankfully, it came out looking perfect.
So, here it is, the Lemon Pepper Quilt that was on my UFO (unfinished objects) list and the third project knocked off the list this year:
*Update on the Guinea pig hay bags from last week: Apparently I made the holes in the hay bags slightly too large. The boys are able to yank the hay out a bit too easily, thus creating mounds of hay on the floor of their enclosure which they might or might not eat. They will, for sure, act as if they have nothing to eat when the hay bags are empty despite these mounds of perfectly good hay.
I know, I know. Christmas has come and gone. The New Year is upon us. I’m going to share another Christmas wall-hanging anyway because this Christmas quilt hangs in our basement all year long. (It’s lap-quilt size, but I didn’t want this one to get the amount of wear that a lap-quilt gets laying on the back of the couch, so we hung it up.)
I chose to use Christmas fabric for this quilt as I had a ton of Christmas fabric in my stash that we had planned to use to make stuffed wreaths.
Many, many years ago (like over 30!) when I was in fifth grade, my teacher used to do craft projects with interested students after school. One time we painted bird-shaped suet holders (which I still hang outside every summer minus the suet). We made gingerbread houses. And we made stuffed wreaths. All these years later, and I still have the pattern pieces. What I didn’t have was a good memory as to how it was all put together. Sadly, we flubbed up and ended up with something completely unusable!
But I wasn’t about to let that fabric just languish in the closet. (I have plenty of fabric that has languished in the closet. Christmas fabric is too special for that fate.)
I wish I could remember where I found the pattern for this quilt. I think it must have been in a book I checked out from the library because I know it isn’t in any of the books I own. If I had to guess, I’d say it was in a book where all the patterns used jelly roll strips.
(Check out the really awesome hanger my husband made for this quilt. He’s made many of these for my quilts.)
The giant plain squares and triangles of bluish fabric needed a lot of quilting to make them interesting.
Here’s to hoping 2022 is uneventful and boring. Who thought that might ever be a wish for the new year?
For the past year or so I’ve been attempting to make a dent in my fabric scraps. I would assume, after finishing three lap quilts, that I’ve succeeded. So why does it seem as if there’s still just as many bits and pieces left to use up?
Here is my most recently completed scrappy lap quilt. I finished this one up earlier this week.
I used up lots of odd blocks and extra pieces cut for other quilts. (See those triangle squares with the autumn colors matched with the light tan? Those were extras left over from the first quilt I ever finished.) I used up many small scraps by sewing them together, cutting a straight edge, then adding a new piece or section to that straight edge. For this quilt I was even able to use up some binding I had leftover from another project. The backing, which I showed in a previous post, consisted of brightly-colored rectangles. (These were fabrics I wasn’t overly fond of, so weeding them out in a useful way was great!) It may be a bit eye-crossing to look at, but it is still nice and toasty and was so enjoyable, though time consuming, to make. (The blocks for this quilt were 19″ by 15.” I did all-over meandering quilting since the top wasn’t busy enough!)
Here are all three I’ve completed within the last year or so. Two are very similar. the third one (the one on the left) was made by sewing strips of fabric to paper triangles. I absolutely adore that one, but that was a whole lot of triangles!!
After I complete a few of the projects on my lengthy list of Uncompleted Objects, my next scrap project will involve figuring out what to do with all of the bits left over from my I Spy quilt fabrics. (I have made numerous I Spy quilts. Nearly every single baby I’m even somewhat related to has received one. Which reminds me, I have a new niece coming soon, so I better add another I Spy quilt to my list of projects to complete.) I have an entire box of, what we’ll call, “image/picture/kids” fabrics that look like my grandmother’s newspapers after she got done cutting articles out to put in her genealogy scrapbooks. I’m thinking that I might try to play with the colors a bit for that project…maybe do something with an ombre effect.