Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Yo Yo Flower

   I made this yo yo flower to put on my 6" quilt display stand.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sewing Blocks For Quilt Backs

   I'm in the process of sewing blocks to put in the backs of quilts.  I have made 5 - 16 patch blocks to place in the center of the back for that quilt.  And I'm working on 7 scrappy string blocks to place in the center of the back for the string block quilt.

   I decided to go ahead and get these quilts finished.  I ordered batting and backing/binding fabric for each.

   I ordered two twin size Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 battings from Connecting Threads.


   I had my usual problem making a decision on backing/binding fabric.  I finally narrowed down the color to a light blue and found this at Connecting Threads in their solid collection called Sky.  I ordered 11 yards of this for backing and binding on both quilts.

   I'll be piecing the backs and sandwiching these as soon as I can get my fabric, and get it washed and ironed. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Scrappy String Block Quilt Top Done With Time Stats

   I know a lot of folks don't keep track of how long it takes to do something, but I've always been interested in how long it takes me to do a task.  I like to look at the clock when I start and I like to check it when I'm done.  I don't know why, I just do.  I do this with sewing all the time.  I love knowing how long it takes me to sew something, I kind of figure that into how keen I am to make something by hand.

   Time statistics for the scrappy string block quilt top:

     Sewing 49 quilt blocks - 13 minutes each - about 10.5 hours
     Trimming each block - 3 minutes each - about 2.5 hours
     Removing the paper towel foundation - 49 blocks - 4.5 hours
     Sewing the blocks into rows - 1 hour
     Sewing the rows into quilt - 1.5 hours

     Total - 20 hours

   Here is the finished scrappy string block quilt top:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Scrappy String Blocks For One Quilt Top Are Done

   I made the 49 scrappy string blocks I need for a quilt top.  I laid them out to see all the pretty colors.  Some of the blocks are placed in the wrong direction but that's easily fixed.  I just have to remove the paper towel foundation from each block and I can sew these up into rows.

   I'll finish this quilt top up and then I'll make more string blocks for another top.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Scrappy String Block Process Photos And Foundation Research

    So I spent the morning making scrappy string blocks and I took some pictures of my process because these are so easy and fun to sew.

    I place my center white strip right side up on the paper towel diagonally, I don't use glue or pins.  I lay my first scrap strip right side down on top of the white with the edges lined up.  I sew along the right edge using the presser foot to measure my seam, approximately a 1/4".  I press the fabric open, and place another scrap piece right side down on top of the last strip sewn and I sew up the right edge, press open, repeat, until the entire paper towel is covered.  I usually work on one side until it's covered then I flip the paper towel and sew strips on the other side.

    After I sew up a few blocks, I trim off the edges and square each block to 10".

    I now have 29 blocks sewn up, I have to make 20 more.  Forty-nine blocks will give me a top that is 7 blocks x 7 rows and measure 66.5" square.  The perfect size for quilting this on my domestic sewing machine.

     I did a bunch of research on what to use as my foundation and I'm using a full size paper towel because I want 10" blocks and these full size paper towels measure 10.4" x 11".  The price is right as well, I got two rolls with 96 sheets each for about $3.50 at Walmart, that's 192 blocks which are enough blocks for 3.91 quilt tops with 49 blocks each.  I got the idea to use paper towels from my former mother-in-law who made string block quilts for her grandchildren and used paper towels as foundation.  Thank you, Mama.

    I also looked at children's doodle pads a/k/a newsprint paper (the sheets were too small, 9" x 12", a pad of 100 sheets about $2.00) or a roll of newsprint 18" x 300' (too much paper waste for 10" square blocks and the cost for the roll is $16.15 on Amazon).  I also thought about using muslin but I would have to spend almost $20.00 for the fabric and still have to cut it to 10" blocks.  I don't have to cut the paper towel before I sew on it.  It's already a great size to trim down.

 One Final Note On The New Ironing Board Cover

       I almost forget to add some new padding to the ironing board when I put the new cover on it last week.  The old padding was flat.  The other day I added two layers of cotton batting and placed it on top of the old cover (I kept the old cover and the old padding under the new cover) using a crib size Warm and Natural cotton batt  ($8.00).  My ironing board has lots of cushion now and the cats enjoy using it as a napping spot when I'm not pressing my quilt blocks.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Incoming Fabric

    As usual, while I'm working on quilt tops I get the itch to plan for future quilt tops.  Today I went shopping and I couldn't resist buying some pre-cuts.  I bought a layer cake of assorted floral shabby chic fabrics from an ebay seller and a jelly roll of Lizzie's Legacy fabrics from Green Fairy Quilts.

   This layer cake will have 48 - 10" floral squares in it and I will add one more 10" square of one of my stash fabrics so I can make a 7 block x 7 row quilt top.

   Here's a picture of the fabrics:

   The jelly roll is a collection of 40 - 2.5" x 44" strips from the Lizzie's Legacy collection by Betsy Chutchian for Moda Fabrics.  I love the soft colors and the old fashioned prints in this collection.  I will be making a jelly roll race quilt with this.  I plan on adding a solid square in between each strip to give the top some interest.

   Time to get back to my scrappy string quilt blocks.

Little Girl Quilt Gifted

   So when my cousin's little girl turned one I made her a couple of gifts.  One gift was a quilt.  I bought a small quilt top from an ebay seller for $8.00.  I added the large pink rick rack to frame the inside of the top, I backed it with the pink daisy fabric in the picture below, did the quilting, and bound it with the pink daisy fabric.  It was a simple, fun project.

   This is the fabric I used for the back and binding:

      The second gift was a knitted toy.  I knit her a toy from the Big Book Of Knitted Monsters, by Rebecca Danger.  I can't find a picture of the finished monster and I don't remember which monster it actually was, but I do remember the pattern was easy to follow and it was a fun knit.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Scrappy String Quilt Blocks

   I've been making scrappy string blocks for my current scrappy quilt project.  These blocks are 10" square and I'm using full size paper towels as my foundation.  These are lots of fun to sew and super easy.  I love the border that is made with the center white strip.  I'm going to make 49 of these for this quilt top.

   You can make string blocks in any size and there are lots of different ways to make scrappy string blocks.  I found several examples when I did a simple google search.  There are also a lot of examples on Pinterest.

   Here are a few links:

pieced center string block tutorial

Bonnie Hunter's String Block Tutorial

MSQC String Block Video Tutorial

String Block Tutorial

Two More Baby Projects From The Past

       When my cousin had her baby five years ago, I made her three baby gifts, one was the crocheted afghan that I showed in the previous post, another was a fleece blanket with a crocheted edging.  I bought a yard of very colorful fleece and crocheted a bright yellow scalloped edging on it.  It was super simple to make and made a great blanket for tummy time.   Here's a picture.

The last gift was a knitted toy.  The toy pattern is called Uh-Ohs and it's a pattern you have to buy from a seller on Ravelry so I can't divulge any of the details of the pattern.   I was a beginner knitter and this pattern was easy to follow and it was fun to knit.  The sewing at the end was a little fiddly but is was well worth it.  This was my completed toy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ironing Board Cover Finished

   I made my ironing board cover this morning.  The project took me a couple of hours.   I cut the fabric out using the ironing board as a pattern, then I ironed and sewed up a casing for the elastic, finally feeding the elastic into the casing and securing it.  I used 2 yards of 44" wide cotton fabric and 2 1/4 yards of 1/2" elastic.  I left the old cover on underneath this cover to give myself some extra padding.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Miniature Granny Square Blocks

   I've been playing with 1.5" squares and making these cute miniature granny square blocks.  I used the instructions here:  miniature granny square block tutorial

Favorite Baby Project Ever Made

   My cousin had a baby five years ago and I crocheted a baby blanket as one of her gifts.  I wanted a blanket that was solid so it would last.  I found a basket weave crochet pattern that I liked.

    I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease yarn (recommended by the pattern writer) which was a 50% cotton and 50% acrylic blend.  I really like that yarn, it was great to work with.  Cotton Ease is now discontinued.  The Lion Brand website says Cotton Ease has been replaced by a cotton yarn called Cotton 24/7, but Cotton 24/7 is 100% cotton, not a blend.

    The link to the basketweave pattern is here:  Crochet basket weave baby afghan pattern.  The pattern was easy to follow and once I got used to doing the forward and back post stitches it worked up very quickly.  The post stitches do tend to eat up a lot of yarn so make sure you buy enough for the size afghan you want to make.

   Here's a picture of the afghan I made.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Fun Scrappy 16 Patch Quilt Top Is Finished

     I worked on this last night and most of today.  I'm glad it's finished.  It measures 63" x 87".   The only fabric I had to buy for this quilt top was the white fabric.  I bought 3 yards from Connecting Threads and with shipping that fabric cost me about $18.00.  That's pretty cheap for a quilt top this size.

    I'll be working on my ironing board cover next, then I continue working on my scrappy string blocks to make another quilt top.  I should have some blocks to display later this week.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sawtooth Stars Wall Hanging

   I finished the wall hanging and it's been on the wall for the last few days.   It was really easy to make and I love it on the wall.

   I have resumed making my scrappy 16 patch blocks and I finished making all 35 of them today.  I'm in the process of putting the sashing and the rows together and in a few days I should have a quilt top.

   Here are the first two rows of blocks sewn up.

    After I finish up this scrappy top I'll start working on my scrappy string blocks.  I have to make 49 of them and I have only one made so far.

    I won't be assembling the scrappy 16 patch blocks quilt top into a quilt sandwich for quilting until I finish the scrappy string block quilt top.

   The pre-printed vest project called "Needle Art From My Heart" was awful.  I hated the stiffness of the pre-printed fabric.  I couldn't make myself finish it.  I threw the whole thing in the trash.

   I have to make a new ironing board cover and I'll start that this weekend.  It won't take long to get a new cover made.  I'm using this:


Saturday, August 6, 2016

No Paper Piecing For This Project

   I planned to make a paper pieced star block for my living room wall hanging.  I printed the instructions yesterday but they were way too intense for me.  I looked around for a pieced star block and settled on the simple sawtooth saw block for my wall hanging.  I used the instructions here  for the 12" blocks.  I did make one change,  I switched out the print center block for the light center.  These blocks were quick and easy to make.

   I made twelve flying geese for the points of three star blocks

   Then I put them together like this with a nice frame around the whole thing.

   I had a half yard of each of these two fabrics and I used up just about every last bit on the top of this wall hanging.   Now I just have to sandwich it, quilt it, and bind it, then it will be ready to hang.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Another Great Way to Use Up My Stashed Fabric

      I started a second quilting project today.  I made my first scrappy string block using a paper towel as the foundation.  This was fun to make.  I will have to take some time to cut fabric strips, but that's as easy as sewing the block together.  I will make the center strip white on all the blocks so when I put the blocks together a border will be created with the white strips.  Very cool.

     And I'm still working on my scrappy 16-patch blocks.  I have 12 made so far.  I need 23 more for this quilt top.

     I have the fabric for my paper pieced stars (wallhanging) and it's been washed.  I just have iron the fabric and print out my paper piecing patterns to get started.  You can see the pattern and the fabrics here.