Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dear Jane Block D13 and K2

Here is Dear Jane block D13 or Field of Dreams. The variety of blocks in the Dear Jane quilt is amazing. I think we can classify this on the easy side. Oh, and that shadow of a rectangle in the middle is the block label showing through. I write the block number and name on freezer paper and then iron it to the back. Not a perfect system, but enough for me to keep the blocks in order.

This is Dear Jane block K2 or Grandpa's Chickens. I noticed this block as I was flipping through the book and it called to me. I used strip piecing for this using the usual three strip sets for nine patches. I then made four nine patches that I sewed together. Although I was tempted to make strip sets with six strips, I was worried that ironing would turn this into an ocean wave block.  

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Pink standing bunnies

After making the plaid bunny quilt, I have let the rainbow standing bunnies languish.  Until today. There was only one hot pink bunny so I made him three friends. If you would like to see more last minute pink accomplishments, please hop over to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

And Molly would like to remind you to join her for her birthday bash fabric giveaway starting on Monday August 1. Plus, she would like to thank everyone for the pre-birthday groveling. She has enjoyed it very much.

Friday, July 29, 2016


Molly is very busy preparing for her birthday celebration next week. She will be one year old. First, she is sponsoring a FABRIC GIVEAWAY on this blog starting on Monday (August 1) and wrapping up on the following Sunday. She has ordered some crinkly cat tunnels and wants to make room for them.

Sticking with the birthday theme, it will be a fabric bakery shop kind of giveaway with jelly rolls, a dessert roll, charm packs and mini-charms. These are all coming out of my stash. Some of the sets will be Kaffe Collective fabrics and the rest will be hand, I mean paw, selected by Molly.  I suggested a "rainbow" selection--meaning a run around the color wheel--with variation in value. Molly yawned.

Now normally I would mention that there will be random drawings, but that was when Tommy was in charge. Since Molly will run the random number process, I can give no reassurances about fairness. In fact, if you have written a comment about how I should use a water bottle on Molly, you might want to start making your apologies now. She likes groveling.

Meanwhile, it has been interesting rummaging around in the stash. I found these three fabrics and I swear that I've never seen these before. Ever. Except that there is a hunk cut out of the middle fabric. There are so many things that go on in the sewing room that I know nothing about...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Dear Jane B6

Here is Dear Jane Block B6 or Wild Goose Chase. And first, let me assure you that no paper was harmed while making this block. And yes, those inset strips are quarter inch finished.

I began by making a three strip set with the .75 inch strip sewn in the center (finishing at a quarter inch). Next I cut out four squares on the diagonal. These are 1.25 inch squares.

I then sewed the four 1.25 inch squares together with .75 inch strips of sashing.

Then I surrounded the square with strips of the background fabric. Okay, I made the strips much larger than I needed too. But I wanted to show that for a lot of this one is not necessarily fiddling with small bits of fabric. Of course, if you go too large, more is cut away as waste.

Next I used a ruler to reduce the strips so the outside background strip is .5 inch. I also trimmed off the corners so there is a quarter inch seam allowance off the tip of the corner triangles.

Then I added rectangles to each side and then trimmed them to triangles. Next, I added another set of border strips around the entire block. And then I repeated the trim step from before...background strip to .5 inch and corners with a quarter inch seam allowance off the tip of the corner triangles.

For the final step, I needed a triangle surrounded on two sides with the background fabric. For this I surrounded two 1.75 inch squares with strips and then cut them in half to get four triangles with borders. I then sewed these four triangles to the corners of the block. After a careful trim, I bordered the entire block again with the light fabric and gave it one more final trim.

And there you have Dear Jane B6 constructed using strip piecing techniques. I guess it is now quite obvious that I avoid paper piecing at all costs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dear Jane Sees Stars

Here's Dear Jane B4 or Chris' Soccer Field. I was working on B6 but made a mistake and my scale got off too much to recover from.

I wonder what went wrong? Molly says she didn't apply the universal correction factor of 1.432 until the last step.

She doesn't like to be disturbed when she's in the middle of her calculations.

And yes, I have been keeping up with my daily star allotment.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dear Jane Blocks D7, J4 and K8

Here is Dear Jane block D7 or Meeting Place.

To make this block, I made an irregular nine patch with flip triangles in the outer light blocks. Then to get the X effect, the block is trimmed down to size.

Except on the first one, I forgot to shift the block on its diagonal and I ended up with the block on the left. Luckily for me I checked the archives of Jane Stickle's alternative blocks--the blocks she made but didn't use in her famous quilt. And there it was. Apparently Jane Stickle did the same thing! This block is X4 or Oopsy Daisy.

This is Dear Jane K8 or Springbrook Park. It's essentially two modified log cabin block constructions sliced on the diagonal and then sewn back together with the blue stripping.

And last but not least is Dear Jane block J4 or Adelaine's Apron Strings. Clearly Adelaine got a bit too busy in the kitchen and that's why I nicked off two minor and one requiring surgery.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Vintage spin and stripey diamond

The reverse side of the vintage spin quilt is finally together.  As a reminder, this will have two sides and the other side is being machine quilted to batting. This will make a grid that I can use to match this side to the other side. Then they will be machine quilted together. The circles will be appliqued last so I can machine quilt across the centers without trying to avoid the inner circle.

And yes, the construction of this quilt top was carefully supervised. In fact, it was amazing that Molly was always laying on the next section to be sewn.

And here is today's contribution to the stripey star quilt.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

More stripey diamonds

I thought I'd take it a bit slower today, so the only sewing was on my strippy diamonds.  I have been continuing to make eight a day...although they don't tend to get trimmed until I'm getting ready to photograph them.

And here is my scrappy cat. Molly and Buddy have been scuffling a lot lately. I warned her that that might happen if we let her criminal brother come live with us. But it turns out that he has developed a distaste for the camera and its beams of light. So now when they scuffle, I pull out the camera, Buddy runs away and Molly pronounces herself the winner.

If you would like to get in a scrap, visit Oh Scrap!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Watermelon Twinkler Stars

Wow. What a difference a camera makes. I am not using my usual camera and so the colors shown here are much too deep and saturated. It looks like I took the photo in an operating room. 

These are some stars I am making for a quilt to donate for local children through my quilt guild. The guild has already made enough for this year, so I will be able to work through the entire year rainbow before I need to finish the quilt.

And yes its hot today, so if you want more HOT pink, visit the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dear Jane A5

Here is Dear Jane A5 or Cathie's Campfire. I saw this block as I was making Dear Jane A4, yesterday's block. At first I saw it as a square on point with floating triangles, and then I realized that it was four pairs of flying geese laid out in a nine patch set. So I made it.

Meanwhile, this morning I happened to witness an unauthorized garden tour. This mother was showing her two fawn how to eat tomato plants in retribution for the barriers I put in place to protect the cucumbers. Seeing the two fawn explained why I had been hearing so much snorting and stamping in the woods when I went out to the garden.

Here's one of the fawns later in the day as they were dining in the "lawn."

And here are Buddy and Molly practicing for their olympic event in Synchronized Cuteness. Today Buddy worked on trying to catch a lizard that was loose in the bathroom. I won that event. Since then, Buddy won the bug eating contest...even growling at Molly who was pretending to be a judge.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Dear Jane A4

Here is Dear Jane block A4 or Courtney's Stethoscope. Today I went through all of the finished Dear Jane blocks and replaced missing labels and put these blocks in order. Having the blocks in order is my best defense against making the same block twice. Another check is to run a search on this blog.

I'm also continuing to make string diamonds. So far I am keeping up with my goal of eight diamonds a day. This is quite easy given how much fun these are to make.

Molly is quick to point out what little progress I'm making. Burrowing under the Vintage Spin quilt is Molly's not so subtle reminder that I started machine quilting it and then abandoned it at the sewing machine. She may have a point, but the only message I'm getting is that Molly is relentlessly adorable.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dear Jane J10

Here is Dear Jane block J10 or Chieko's Calla Lily or I Can't Believe How Long This Block Took to Make. I appliqued four light melons onto the dark fabric. Then I added the light border. After that I appliqued twelve dark melons.

I discovered that I had made the light melons too large, so I made the templates smaller for the darker melons. Some of the melons look wonky, but I'm sure Dear Jane prefers it that way.

Meanwhile, I am happy to report that all of the components for the spiderweb have been found and reunited. All evidence points to a particular naughty "kitten" who knocked the turquoise wedges behind and underneath the sewing machine table.

Molly is quite alarmed that a naughty kitten was in her sewing room. Although alarmed, she has sufficient composure to keep her paw neatly tucked for her pose.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Slight Diamond Star Revision

Molly would like you to see the latest diamonds for the stars. I had been starting at one end and adding strips from one side to the other of each diamond. The strips tended to get a bit wonky. For these, I started in the middle and worked outward on each side. This means that I get a more uniform spiderweb in the middle.

Here's the star without the distraction of the radiating beauty...that is, Molly.

And here's a closeup view so you can relish the fine workmanship without the distraction of the boring patchwork.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Scrappy Diamonds

I was out and about for most of the day, but did finally settle into making scrappy diamonds. And this time I had a new helper...Buddy. He has decided that he likes to settle into the pile of strips by the sewing machine. Sometimes he helps me pick strips, sometimes he likes to rest his head on my hands, and other times his tail plays cat and mouse with the needle.

I am also trying to be diligent and contain each project to protect them from too much help.  I discovered Buddy has been taking the labels off the Dear Jane blocks and running around the house with them. Okay, to be fair, he only started running to get away from a crazy woman.

Molly had shredded some of the triangle foundations for the spiderweb quilt, so I put them away in a safe place. Unfortunately, it is so safe, I don't know where they are. I look forward to finding them again some day and working on it.

If you are wondering how others are managing the scraps in their lives, visit Oh Scrap!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pink Owl

Here's a new appliqued owl for the month of July. It's never fun to get sick during the summer, but this poor little guy has a bad case of pink eye and maybe some kind of owlish measles. Surely not chicken pox.

The other owls are not worried about contagion. But if you would like to see some contagious Rainbow Scrappy Challenge activity, fly on over to Angela's watermelon party.

Meanwhile, here's Molly at the base of the design wall (or what's left of it). She is telling the owls a Knock Knock joke.

Knock! Knock!
WHO's there?
Molly Who?
Molly is coming to Knock Knock you to the floor.

And since Molly is now here at the desk supervising the blog post, she thought you would like another photo of her to balance out all the owl nonsense.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Darting fish quilt top

I finally got more of the blue fabric (a slightly different dye lot) and added the border. I was going to do a border with fish tails but it looked odd. And now that I see the fish floating in space, I'm thinking they might need a thin rainbow border that encloses the fish--touching the noses and fins. I am also wondering if I should switch out the blue fish (fifth row, third from right side).

And don't worry about the quilt top suffering from the saggy baggy quilt top disease. It's actually the design board that is suffering.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

String Diamond Construction Details

For those of you thinking about making a string diamond quilt, let me assure you that I will not be setting in squares. I will be sewing triangles on either side of the diamonds, and then from there the construction is like a kaleidoscope quilt.

I probably will make the background scrappy, but I haven't decided yet. Here is the inspiration for the quilt that I'm making from the Mingei International Museum.  They have a nice selection of string quilts including the inspiration for my Spiderweb quilt.

The finished star block will be 17 inches. The figures in the picture are not to scale. Also, the measurement for the diamond is the finished size. To make the template you would want to draw the diamond as shown and then add a quarter inch seam allowance around it. To get the triangles to sew onto the diamonds to make wedges, you would take a 7.25 inch square (unfinished size) and slice it into four triangles cutting along the diagonals.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Secrets and swaps

Molly kicked me out of the sewing room today so I didn't get much sewing done. Apparently she is completing a secret assignment for Smitty at Three Cat Ranch.

Molly was very coy. But I did take the package to the post office as requested. The postal clerk asked me if I wanted someone to sign for it. I said that I didn't think that was a good idea because the package is being sent to a cat.

However, I did receive my own package in the mail today. A delivery from Val's I-Spy Swap! I'm going to use the blocks to make an I-spy donation quilt for the local Bright Stars program. Our quilt guild has already collected enough for this year, so the I-spy quilt(s) will be for next year. I plan to make them with the tilt like I made for my grand nephew. But not reversible. Happily, I have the instructions in the tutorial section of this blog so it will be easy to get started. Uh oh...did I just start another quilt?

And I don't want you to forget about Buddy who is being his usual laid back self.