I finally got the sashings and cornerstones on the blocks to finish the top for a quilt. I used a lovely gray batik. It does make the bright colors of the scrappy blocks pop.
…and there is more!
While I was cleaning and organizing my sewing room, I found a box of scraps. This box was given to me by a substitute teacher that frequented the building I taught in. I have had these scraps for a while…since sometime before March 2020 (when Covid lockdowns began).
All of these scraps are around 2 inches…some are a little smaller. They are perfect to trim to 1 1/2 inch squares or triangles to make 1 1/2 inch half square triangles.
I now have enough little pieces to string piece bonus blocks between all of my other projects! 😁
Have you unearthed any projects recently? I would love to hear from you!
I am participating in several quilt alongs this year. I will share some pictures and information for all of them here over the next few weeks and months. I am using a notebook and calendar to keep track of my progress in each one.
This week marks the beginning of the Bountiful Quilt Along for 2023. Fabric suggestions and a coloring page can be found here. New blocks are posted on the first Friday of every month from March until August. This Quilt Along is posted to collect charitable donations for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Fat Quarter Shop posts the patterns. There is also a YouTube tutorial available. At the end of the sew along, there is a quilt auction of donated Bountiful Quilts…made by Pat Sloan, Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts, etc. A cross-stitch pattern is also available on the The Fat Quarter Shop site, but I am not interested.
The first block pattern can be downloaded here. This pattern makes two 24.5″ square blocks. It does take a while to assemble the many parts and pieces (98 pieces to be exact). They are large pieces that assemble easily. The directions are well written.
I watched 2 episodes of Midsomer Murders on Prime as I sewed up my blocks. I am using up scrap or fabric that I have on hand for this quilt. I did find a very interesting basket weave fabric. The first pink border looks like a color right out of the 1980’s…it might be…I bought it at a yardsale mixed in with some other scrap fabric. The star in the center of the basket also looks like it crawled on of the 80’s.
Here is a picture of my block(s):
The center basket star is cute:
This makes a very cute quilt. Won’t you join in the fun?
This week I have been organizing my stash of fabric. I have been collecting for 30+ years…just waiting until I could retire and play! Mwahahaha! The time for leisure is here!
Here are my before pictures:
Here are areas that I improved:
What did I find when I took a good, deep dive into things that I have stashed away?
Well…5 queen size quilt tops that were out of sight, out of mind, plus a table runner, a wall hanging that is pinned together but needs assembly, and 2 sets of blocks that have been kitted up for assembly.
Looks like I am going to be busy for a little while! I will not be bored, now that I am “retired”…and working harder than ever!
What have you been working on recently? Have you found any hidden treasure?
Normally, my idea of a fire starter is a crumpled piece of newspaper with sticks on top. Apply flame with a lighter, match or torch.
Our wonderful Michigan neighbor, Sheryl , made us some of her special fire starters. Got damp sticks or slightly wet firewood? These are the answer!
They are made using a cardboard, dryer lint, finely chopped up fabric scraps, and melted ugly or broken candles. Combine in layers. I put a piece of foil or a cookie sheet under it until the wax sets, to protect my countertop.
To use these, I will simply rip off one “egg cup” at a time. I place this on top of the newspaper…between the sticks, then light.
This is the best use for those garbage fabric scraps ever!
Have you ever tried making or using these? These are the best! I love hearing from you in the comments.
Recently, my sister sent me a family quilt to repair. Restore really isn’t the correct word. It can not be brought back to its original form with the pieces that are left.
It was most likely made by our great grandmother, Mettie Marie Cole McCullough. She lived most of her life in the rural farming village of Pine Glen, Pennsylvania. She was a farmer’s wife and mother of 10. Her quilts were utilitarian…the original weighted quilts.
This quilt was at my grandmother’s house.
This quilt is constructed from anything and everything that was at hand. It has wool patchwork. Straight seams were not important in construction. Warmth was the goal. Sashings are tan denim or duck, wool, and flannel. It is tied with green yarn. The batting is a badly deteriorated wool blanket. The backing looks like piece goods. It was seamed together in the middle of the back. The dark blue backing fabric is severely dry rotted. The binding is a rolled around portion of the backing. There is no label of any kind.
I need to do more documentation as I work on this quilt. I do have wool and denim fabrics in appropriate colors available. Some of the patches are in poor condition…falling apart at the seams or other holes.
This quilt should be an interesting project. I think I will try to have it refashioned into a useable quilt as a Christmas present for my sister this year.
Have you ever tackled a project like this? Please share your projects and your thoughts on mine.
Our house is a modified A-frame. The loft above the living room is our “library “. Years ago, we built in bookcases on wheels (so there is storage behind the shelves, if needed). We added books…and then more books. Until it looked like this:
Notice the shelves are hidden by bins, baskets and bags of books. Nothing was accessible. What a nightmare! It was no big deal…we were both so busy teaching that neither one of us had much time to read for pleasure. That all changed when we retired in June.
While we are awaiting the arrival of our first granddaughter, we are trying our best to stay busy. It took 3 days to transform this space. That kept us busy. Always be careful what you wish for!
First step, bring all of the stuff blocking the shelves downstairs to the living room…and sort, sort, sort.
To finish this project, we bought 3 mighty mover dollys (from Harbor Freight) for under the large, now sorted, bins. They can be easily moved from place to place to access any book in the room.
What project have you been putting off? I am so glad this is finally completed! No more shame over this space ! 😁
Recently I started watching Pat Sloan on her YouTube channel every morning. It is a nice relaxing way to start my day. I participated in the Snapdragon quilt along. Well, I made the blocks anyway. They are currently on my design wall.
Finishing the top is a job for next week…or maybe a little later in the month.
What do you have on your design wall? What project are you working on next?
After my last post evaluating the goals from 2022, I have decided on the goals for this year. I am continuing to use my little green book. I am expanding my sewing days into a tiny calendar with specific tasks that are completed listed on the dates. That way I can feel like I am accomplishing more. I am also using a 3 ring notebook to keep track of sew alongs, reorganizing challenges, etc.
Time to finish up some tops that I have made for people that I love. I printed off a “list” organizer for just this purpose…maybe that will help. This step always seems like work to me.
Goal: Turn a quilt top into a finished product every month…or at least 12 for the year.
Goal 2: Blog more
Last year I had a goal of 2 blogs a week. Sadly, I did not meet this goal. I would like to write more patterns. I think my blog will help me do just that. By setting this goal so low, I will feel that I have accomplished great things if I write more!
Goal: Publish 1 blog articles a week.
Goal 3: Sew for my own happiness
I am keeping the same goal. I did not meet the goal last year, but I was working from January until the end of May, plus cleaning my classroom out getting ready to retire. I think that I can easily meet this goal this year.
Here are my revised list of tasks that I count as sewing:
hand sewing (applique, binding, English paper-piecing)
machine sewing (quilting, piecing)
reading patterns and/or quilting related books
cleaning/ organizing my sewing area/room
cutting fabric (Accuquilt or other)
sorting fabric (scraps or other)
Goal: Complete a sewing activity from the above list at least 80% of the days in the year…that is 292 days.
Goal 4: Read to self
I met this goal easily last year. I am not ready to increase it just yet, but I think I can meet it again!
Goal: Read at least one book a month…or 12 books in the year.
Goal 5: Read Aloud
I am keeping this goal. We are currently reading Love and War by John Jakes. This book should keep us busy for quite a while. This is the second book in the series. We usually only read a chapter or two during a read aloud session…15 to 30 minutes a day.
Goal: Read to each other at least 2 days a week.
I am going to continue to use my little green book. It is numbered and set up. I also have a small calendar from the dollar tree and a notebook. Writing information down keeps me accountable.
So what do you want to accomplish this year? What habits help you maintain some calm in your life? I love to hear your thoughts!