Wednesday, September 30, 2020

September Wrap up: The End of National Sewing Month and Mini Madness

September was National Sewing Month and for me it was a month for a bunch of mini quilt finishes!


First up is a project in my continuing obsession with Edyta Sitar's Laundry Basket Quilts designs!  I learned about her mini log cabin quilt design when I saw one of her "Quilting Window" videos on You Tube.  She also offers it as a stand alone pattern and in her book "Little Handfuls of Scraps".   

I started piecing the blocks for it at the end of  July and the fabric for the block "logs" came straight out of the crumb bins.  The blocks were only two inches finished and the logs started out at 3/4".  I probably needed to block the quilt top when I finished it so the borders are a little wonky.  It didn't help that in order for it to fit the space I want to hang it, I had to make my borders smaller than patterned.  I fussy cut them from the stripe fabric pictured.  Making it with larger borders might have helped me square it up a bit more.  

What was cool was that I found a quilting motif for it in an unusual place. 

 A couple of weeks ago, I read a post by Rebecca on her Cheeky Cognoscenti blog about how she had received a bunch of old Quilters Newsletter Magazine issues from a guild member cleaning out her studio.  She had even found a solution to a piecing problem she was having in one of them.  I commented that I still love my QNM issues even though the magazine ceased publication back in 2016.  I have an almost complete collection of them and often find new things of interest or education when I thumb through them.  

It just so happens that the same week I finished the top for this project, I had received an old QNM back issue that I didn't have and found for sale on eBay.  It was a case of perfect timing since the issue from July 1976 (!) had the perfect quilt design for this little mini quilt!  Even better, all the gentle curves in the design meant it could be executed with a walking foot.  The only issue was how to mark it?  I took the "Golden Threads" paper template route although I used regular wrapping tissue paper to make my templates.

This project was another fun little Laundry Basket Quilts diversion and I look forward to getting it hung up and displayed. 


 Next up is my micro-mini version of one of Carrie Nelson's Schnibble quilt designs. 

The original quilt is lap-sized and made from charm squares.  Mine is another mini pieced from the crumb bin starting at the end of  July.  This time I used 1" starting strips and scrap triangles (save those cut offs!).  Working so small, it was a bit of a challenge to sew together and I had to press the seams of the triangle squares and all the rows open.  That allowed it all to lay flatter given the tight confines of the seam allowances after the blocks and rows were stitched together. 

Ironically it was only after I had finished the top that I happened to read a blog post by Janet of the Rogue Quilter blog who is a phenomenal mini quilt maker.  Back in 2016 she made a mini quilt by using 1/2" finished gridded fusible interfacing.  If I had thought of that, it would have saved me a ton of effort!  And wouldn't you know it, I already have some here.  Hmmm, guess that means I have to do another one of these, you know for scientific testing purposes, you understand!  

This one was also quilted with a walking foot, this time using the freezer paper template techniques from Mary Mashuta's "Foolproof Walking Foot Quilting Designs" book.  I used the same technique last year on a baby quilt I made for a relative. 

The "binding" on this one was the backing turned to the front using a tool:  

"All In A Days Work"

Back in June, I had set up some hand work projects to work on while recovering from surgery.  I had started a wool piece that's been a "Hussy" (HSY = Haven't Started Yet) project for years.  

Well now it is finished:   The original penny rug pattern by Wooden Spool Designs was designed to finish about 16 inches in diameter.  For my project, I reduced that to 9 inches so it could be used as the header for a holder for my shopping list pads.  

Back in 2015 (which lets you know just how long this HSY has been hanging around!), I saw a similar penny rug design by Bonnie Sullivan called "Sunflower and Chickens".  I loved her idea to have some of the eggs on the tongues have "yolks" and decided to do that with mine as well.  And don't you just love when a plan comes together:  I had the absolutely perfect fabric in my stash to back it with:

I had always planned to make this penny rug design to hang in my kitchen because I have a few other chicken themed pieces in there and have long wanted to add more.  I have an old dry erase board for the grocery lists that has seen better days and I've been trying for a while to figure out a way to replace it.  Now I have it!  I'm thrilled to get this one done and put to use!

"The Purple Pineapple Mug Rug"

Ok, last but not least:  my best friend from high school is a grandma and faced with taking on the duties of homeschooling her kindergarten grandson.  He and her daughter live with her and her daughter works two jobs.  My friend works from home so it was easier for her to take on that task. 

 As have so many other parents during the pandemic, she is forced to learn how to manage her grandson's school days while juggling her own work.  It's an adjustment for everyone, particularly since it's the first structured school experience for her grandson.  From what she tells me, what they study in Kindergarten these days is way more advanced than it was in our day! 

Since she's working so hard to meet the challenges of teaching from home, I wanted to send her a little "pick me up".  I saw these at our local supermarket and just knew she'd love it!

Well, as a quilter if you send a mug, 'ya gotta send a mug rug right?  In a recent Skype chat with another friend of ours, she mentioned she liked purple so I rummaged through the stash and pulled as many purple fabrics as I could.  But what to make?  I've made a few mug rugs featuring inspirational panels from a June Tailor kit I have and still had some left so I started there.  

The kit has patterns to use with the panels but none would allow me to use as many fabrics as I wanted to, Lol!!  So I went looking for another design that could accommodate the panel AND a generous fabric pull.  As I was reading blogs,  I read about someone making a Pineapple quilt and I thought, that just might be the ticket!  Particularly since I knew I had this:  

Very early in my quilting journey, I wanted to make a Pineapple quilt.  Back then, most were patterned to be made by paper piecing the blocks.  I did start one using that method and quickly found that to be very tedious and that project is still a UFO (but will have its day in the sun again one day).

BTW, This pattern is in the June 2000 issue of QNM.

Eventually, I found out about the Pineapple Rule by the Possibilities/Great American Quilt Factory ladies Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith.  The sales pitch was that you could make Pineapple blocks without having to paper piece them.  When I got the ruler, I immediately made a test block.  That "orphan block" eventually became a journal cover.

Unfortunately, I haven't used that tool since -- that is until now!  Their method uses 1-1/2" strips.  Normally the block would start with a 2-1/2" square but the June Tailor panel I was using is 4-1/2" square.  No matter, that just meant less rounds of strips to sew to get to the 12" finished size!  

I kept this one simple: I only had four light fabrics so used one in each of those rounds.  I placed the medium and dark fabrics scrappy throughout the block.  Then it was a simple pillow turn finish (no binding!)  and some simple stitch in the ditch and stitching down the center of the logs and it was ready to be mailed out!

I  still have two AQS BOM blocks to finish up for September and I had another BOM project I had hoped to work on.  I guess they will instead be early October projects!

Friday, September 11, 2020

BOMS Away: Still Playing Catch-up


So last month's quilting fervor has subsided as September has started.  While I need to still finish up the mini quilts, I also wanted to stay on track with catching up on all the BOM block projects.  To that end:

The September block for the Joann Countryside Cottage BOM is done.

For the AQS Twilight Flurries BOM:

I finished the two remaining blocks (#2 and #9) for August (the first two can be seen here).

And made the first of four for September (#11).  I've already picked out the fabrics for the next block.  So I expect, at least for now, to stay on track for the month and make one block a week.  Oh, I also need to cut some of the scraps from these for the Spiderweb Tree Skirt blocks.  Then it's on to other projects!

Linking up with Lynette over at What A Hoot! Quilts