Sunday, February 26, 2023

Yet Another New Quilt Start



The busy season at work is about to start soon, so I have to pack in as much fun as I can while I can. I've been wanting to make this quilt as soon as I saw it, and these oranges make me think of the quilt-along with spice names for the color choices, like paprika, turmeric, and saffron. I didn't have time for a quilt-along and didn't want to make a sampler block quilt. I don't have an official name for it, but I am calling it Spicy Stars for now.

I am really enjoying making it so far.


 I took Zoey to a cemetery yesterday for a walk. She tends to react to other dogs and while she needs the training, I wanted to enjoy the walk at a place where I could avoid dogs and people.

2023: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 8

I think I missed last week's report, and during these two weeks finished the piecing the backing of Boundless.  I started Spicy Stars. I also sandwiched Boundless and cut some more scraps for Unallocated.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 56 out of 56 days
Success rate  = 100%
Linked with:


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Uses for Fabric Scraps

I wanted to show you a couple of things I have made recently to use the fabric and batting scraps I have.


These hearts are made from the leftover batting strips from  the last quilt I made, Zou. This is the trimmings from the quilt sandwich. I covered the rest of the batting from other scraps and sewed them down, then cut them into shapes and added the rickrack. Pinking shears add a nice decorative edge. They can be used to decorate a holiday tree or a banner, used as prayer flags ,or given out as gifts. There is also a Facebook group called I found a quilted heart, where people leave these types of hearts out as a say to brighten someone's day and people can post the ones they find.

The rest of the batting strips and fabric waste can be used to make these Scrappy Balls. Basically just roll them into balls and decorate. This one is made from scraps of quilts I made earlier this year. It isn't finished, and other people are able to make really cute ones. There is also a Facebook group called Scrappy Balls that show you the pretty decorations people have made. They make great bowl fillers, pin cushions, toys for dogs or children, etc.

 Over the last few years, I have been following the Konmari approach to decluttering. Touch everything and decide whether you want it to live in your home. I have a big house and I am going at a slow pace, one shelf, drawer or box at a time.  I saved the sewing supplies for last because I knew they would be difficult for me. I haven't finished with the basement, but I think I will feel better if I do the sewing space first because it will be more useful to me.

The last few weeks, I have been working in the upstairs sewing storage room, a few minutes at a time. 

Yesterday, I grabbed a small box of fabric scraps and started processing them.  Most of the scraps in this box were things other people would just have thrown away as trash. When I make projects like the ones I showed you earlier in the post, I make them right away. I don't usually keep trash in a box, but I think this box was meant to be trash that was supposed to be thrown away, but I wound up having some usable pieces in it too.

That's what I did with them too, just throw them away. I don't store little fabric or batting snippets because I know that I can get new ones whenever I want.  

I don't like to cut pieces into certain shapes for the future because I always wonder if I might need some other size. What if I need 5 3/8" instead of 5 1/4"?  So what I do is cut for specific scrap quilts. That way, I know that piece has a place to be, and I know exactly what size I need. It is best to cut for scrap quilts you already have in the works. Do as I say, not as I do.


Most of my scrap quilts in process are 1 1/2" pieces and I wanted something that uses bigger pieces. I came across this quilt pattern by Michelle Mckillop called Unallocated. When you put it on point, the light and the dark triangles form lines which looks really good to me. My quilt may not look like hers because I am letting the fabric scraps dictate where they will fit in the quilt based on their size, so although I will have a light and dark triangle per block, the side strips are not all mediums. Hopefully it will work out though. And again because of the size of the fabric, I am not using the same fabric to sash the block. I will try to make it the way she did as much as possible.

I realize this new project just took me farther from my goal, but the year is young.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Quilt Reveal: Zou

There are a total of 6 challenges for Project Quilting. Usually at this part of the Project Quilting challenges, I participate in fewer of them, so I didn't know how long they last.  I've been doing better this year because I decided to add a challenge to the challenge. Make a quilt you already want to make. That is how I managed the red and white quilt I made last time.

This week, the challenge is to make a quilt that is inspired by a book that I've read. I've been told that twisting the rules is a way to show off my creativity.

The challenge immediately made me think of this elephant. I had watched the Mary Fons video. She had given a link to an Artificial Intelligence website that makes drawings for you. I played with it quite a while and it came up with this drawing of a patchwork elephant. It had five legs, and when I asked it to keep going and complete the drawing, it just added a different elephant made in a different style.

Anyway, making this patchwork elephant is on my list of quilts to make. And I had pink fabric on the table from the pink challenge and I had been using pink fabric for the Dust Off an Old Book blog hop project, so a pink elephant sounded good.

All I had to do was find a book about pink elephants. There were several, but I needed something that as big enough to be a novel and quick to read. Here's the book I found:

It's called Murder of a Pink Elephant by Denise Swanson. I was able to get a digital copy from the library so I could get started reading right away. I spent a lot of time reading it, but then I read the fine print of the quilting challenge, and nowhere did it say I had to actually finish reading the book. I like reading cozy murder mysteries so I will finish it next week. I have a quilt to make.

It turns out that I didn't have a lot of scraps from the Dust Off blog hop because it used pretty much all the jelly roll strips, so I clipped off some fabric before I started piecing the back.

 I cut some small scraps and arranged them on a fusible. I made it in three pieces.

I pressed them down and cut out the shapes. It is always so ugly and scary at this point.

I pieced the background from scraps and placed the elephant on them.

 Sandwiched and quilted. 

Filled in some missing spaces and chose the binding.

I started hand stitching the binding, using a running stitch like I did last time, but for some reason, I had to stitch each stab at a time, so I switched to machine stitching to save time.

I just looked up names for elephants, and found out that the Japanese word for "Elephant" is zou 蔵. I call Zoey, "Zoey Zoo Zoo" sometimes so that sounded like a fun name for this elephant. I present to you, Zou.

2023: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 7

I worked on Zou this week. I finished the Boundless top and have started piecing the backing.
15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 49 out of 49 days
Success rate  = 100%
Linked with:

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Circles and a Brand New Project



I had a productive week working on three quilts. I sewed the latest batch of circles with the last batch(es).

 I had a question about the order I put the circles. It is chronological, but very loosely. I try to put the big circles in a way that will balance with the other big circles in the quilt. That is why the big circle that was not made in this batch but is on the right. The circles on the left were made in previous batch(es) and the ones in the middle were the latest batch. I don't try to make them chronological in each batch. I am allowed to change the circles around if I want to separate certain colors, shapes, etc. 

Generally, I would be making one row at a time, but because of the big circle, I decided to make them by columns. I want to be able to sew these together so that the circles don't get lost. I do have a box to put them in, but putting them together as I go along keeps them in somewhat chronological order.

This is only half a row. I will add more circles as I make more batches before I attach to the mother ship.

 I pressed the Jazzy Blues triangles. I still need to trim them. I will count them after I trim them. I want to make sure that I keep making progress on this quilt.

I've been invited to join the Dust Off an Old Quilt Book Blog Hop which is coming up in March. You can join too. 

I have decided I should get started so I can be ready by my blog hop day. Last time I showed a finished quilt top but it wasn't quilted. I thought about quilting the same project because having that deadline will make progress on it, but I decided that the blog hop readers deserved a new quilt. Hopefully using a jelly roll will make it a quick finish.

2023: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 6

I had seen these little buttons that you record words so that your dog can communicate with you and I got them about the time I got Zoey. I want better communication with my dog. I have been pushing them and getting her to push them but she hadn't made the connection that she can communicate with me using them.

After my post last week, Zoey pushed the "Love You" button. It might have been an accident, but I gave her attention, scratched her ears and gave her a treat. She went back and pushed it again, and she got the same treatment. I think she made the connection, and she ran to test the "Go outside" button. So I let her out. She has been pushing the "Go outside" button all week and she definitely understands what the buttons mean. The "Love you" button got pushed under some furniture so she didn't use it during the week. I am so proud of her. I have more buttons I can use, but I wanted to make sure I didn't rush it.

I worked on three quilts this week!

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 42 out of 42 days
Success rate  = 100%
Linked with:

Monday, February 6, 2023

More Quilty Circles

 On November 16, 2015, I read a blog post from Audrey at Quiltyfolk who was working on a calendar quilt. She was cutting circles and appliquing them onto a background square as a record of her year. I decided to join her and I have been making daily circles ever since then. As in, every time I make a circle, it is a day. And even though I started in 2015, somehow there haven't been enough of those sewing days to make a full 365 blocks. I'm actually not sure how many blocks I will need until I will call the quilt finished.

But I really like making these circle blocks. They let me play and use up the fabric scraps. I was pretty good at throwing away little bits of fabric in January, but this month, I feel like I should use them. And the circles is a great way to use them without the guilt of starting another project. That guilt is coming soon though. 

So lately, I've made a few more blocks. My circle blocks, by the way, don't look like the circles that other bloggers made. Mine are more inspired by circles than they are actual circles. They aren't in any particular order, but numbering them helps me keep track of how many I have made. 

The funny thing is, other bloggers have also been talking lately about their 365 projects that were started with Audrey.

Circle Block 273


The background is from Aunt Daisy / Jazzy Blues. Yes, I am still using it up before doing the inventory to make sure I don't need more of it. The red is from the rail fence I showed you in my last post and the green is from the One Tree I showed you earlier this year.

 Circle Block 274


These are all greens from the One Tree quilt. I will press it at some point.

Circle Block 275


The pinks are from Sonder.

 Circle Block 276


The map fabric is from the back of the Camel quilt. The off white is from Aunt Daisy and the pink is from Sonder.

 Circle Block 277


Background from Aunt Daisy. Green from One Tree.

Circle Block 278


Background from Sonder. Red fabric from Boundaries.

Circle Block 279


Background from Sonder. The sun is from Lansing Leaves and was also put it in the Inspirational Quote Quilt.



Sunday, February 5, 2023

Quilt Reveal: Boundaries

The Project Quilting Challenge this week was to make a quilt inspired by the 54-40 or Fight quilt pattern. When I saw the challenge post, I was all ready. Laundry and dishes washed, groceries bought, cooked food packed up in the freezer. I had just finished a whole bunch of triangles for the Aunt Daisy quilt. Since I had taken so much time making a quilt last time, I thought I should make something small and simple. Maybe an ATC for my ATC holder that hasn't been worked on for years.


Then I saw the challenge and I was in full panic mode. I couldn't think of a way to make that block into ATC size. I thought about just making one block, but that block is much more interesting when used in in a group. Plus, I had made so many triangles, and I have another quilt I want to make that uses these triangles that I just couldn't see myself making any more triangles.

So I decided to do something else inspired by the post. The 54-40 block is about boundaries and where they should be drawn. 

It’s about land acquisition, and in the 1840s many suggested the northern edge of Oregon should be drawn at the 54°40′ north line of latitude. And they were willing to go to war to make that happen. “Fifty-four Forty or Fight!”

Boundaries make me think of fences. Good fences make good neighbors. So I decided to make a rail fence quilt. A rail fence I can handle in a week. I made the rails bigger than my standard size of one inch. I thought they would make a bigger impact.I didn't take any in-process photos so you can see the finished photos throughout.


The 54-40 block is about where the boundary for Oregon should be drawn. I like that there are several rows of fences, so it does reflect the decision about where the boundary should be. I think I've used all three of the fabrics in other small quilts. 

The background fabric is in Aunt Daisy. I sure hope I am done making the blocks for that quilt and don't find out after I do the inventory that I need more blocks! It took some thinking and planning to make the lines go in coherent directions. I like how it turned out.

I scribble quilted in the red sections. To make it quick, I hand stitched the binding down with a running stitch. I like the way it looks.


2023: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 5


I worked on the Project Quilting challenge this week. I also made some of my "daily" circle blocks. I will show them to you next time.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 35 out of 35 days
Success rate  = 100%