Archive for April, 2019

Arizona Scrap Quilt III

April 30, 2019

Tis the last day of April, and it still feels like winter in Upstate New York.  Hopefully, it’ll warm up soon.  Inside, it’s been warm and cozy and I’ve been having a grand time working on the scrap quilt started in Tucson:


The string piece border triangles were completed, attached to the blocks, and sewn into rows.  Now I’m auditioning what fabric to select for the next border.  Somehow this simple little quilt has decided to be larger than envisioned.

I still have 4 more 16 patch blocks to add, but haven’t decided if they’ll go on the front or the back.  Two of them are the right size, and 2 of them are smaller than the others.  I’m thinking on this and hope to come up with an idea so they can shine on the front of the quilt.

My embroidery machine is also getting used, and wonder of wonders, I selected some of my hand dyed fabric for this project.  It takes a lot of time to hand dye fabric, so I tend to put it all in a nice neat pile – yeah sure, one neat pile  😉  – saving all the fabric to  use for something special.  Nobody could be more special than the friend I made this mug rug for:

Love for Lona

This is a free design from the Kreative Kiwi website, and I have plans for sewing out more of her designs.  I love how she digitizes the edges of her mug rugs.  It’s not just the usual satin stitch.  Don’t you think it adds a lot of texture to the design?

The rest of this week has way too many doctor appointments for me – nothing is wrong – just basic body maintenance – and all I can say is, it sure interferes with my sewing time.





Arizona Scrappy Quilt II

April 16, 2019

Okay, the votes are in and the string triangle version won, hands down.  Too bad, because let me tell you, this entire quilt top would have been pieced by now if I hadn’t started making those triangles out of strings.

Now this is not the technique’s fault.  It’s the total lack of neutral strings in my extensive fabric collection that is causing the trouble.

I sorted through my one lone scrap drawer.  Hardly any strips, and most of them were nice pretty colors.  Nope, I need neutrals.

Went through my fabric collection and removed the ones I thought would work well, cut off a strip from each – all 3″ wide across the width of fabric because I could make them narrower easily, and this was the fastest way to contribute to the cause.

Went to quilt club and came home with only 3 pieces that would work, and one of them has so many slubs in the cotton, I decided not to use it.  White background, with green polka dots, and big white slubs running across the piece = not great quality fabric in my mind.

This is my entire amount of neutral strips:

Sewing room mess

They are draping from every flat surface around my sewing machine, and over the top of my embroidery unit.   Kind of sloppy, which kind of drives me crazy, but it’s the only way I can see the pattern and make sure not to repeat fabrics close to each other.

I worked almost 5 days on those little triangles, and only have 6 squares done.  I must be the slowest string piece quilter in the world,

16 patch with top string row

Looks pretty darn good to me.  That is why I’m continuing to make them, and have to say, it is very satisfying to see how well the strip triangles complement this scrappy quilt top.

All my telephone paper squares are cut, so all systems are green for more string triangle piecing.   I wish I could just sit and make all them without having to monitor which fabrics are used in each block, but I flat out don’t have enough variety, and I’m not buying anymore fabric for awhile.  I already own more than I can use before I go to the great big sewing retreat in the sky.

Let me tell you, string piecing is great for people who use Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap System for storing their scraps.  I’ve done too good a job of using up my scraps as I finish each quilt.  Whatever fabric was left over from each of my quilts, usually ended up in the backing fabric, or donated on the free table at my local quilt guild.  I do like sharing with my fellow quilters, and I am a finisher.  I don’t even have any orphan blocks.  Seems I’ve been a bit too efficient with my scraps to easily make string quilts.

I do love string quilts.  I do love the texture all those different fabrics add to a quilt top.  It is worth the time.  This will be completed, and I can’t wait till I get to go back to Tucson and show this quilt to all my Arizona friends.


Arizona Scrap Quilt Project

April 8, 2019

We are back home from our wonderful Arizona get-away, and I am happily working on the 4 Patch into 16 Patch Swap quilt.  That has a link so you can refer to the original post on the blocks.

Here is what I’ve done so far:


I sewed together 16 of the blocks to form the center, and placed a small border around the blocks.  Picked up a shirt from Goodwill while in Arizona just for this quilt.  Bonnie Hunter suggests using cotton shirts in her scrap quilts, so I thought I’d give it a try.  No great buy for me.   It was $4.99, but I sure like the look.

Then I placed some 4 square blocks around that for a play on different block sizes.  I liked that too, and added another small border with the shirt fabric.

Then I was stumped.  Started cutting a block, made a mistake and cut a slit in the center of a block.  Time to step back and not force adding the next border.  Packed it up,  brought it home and played around with the blocks on my design wall for 3 days till I liked the third border idea.

Putting blocks on point adds more interest to the quilt, and I am debating about what to use for the triangles to square them up.  It might not show in the first picture, so I took a close-up:

string or solid

Should I go for the string pieced triangle look on the left, or the print fabric on the right?

The string fabric goes well with the scrappy look, but it’s kind of dark, and those are darn light neutrals.  White on white neutrals looked lousy, so I tried  light cream fabrics.

The print fabric goes well with the plaid shirt fabric – really well, but not too sure how well that look plays with the rest of the quilt.

Decisions, decisions.  I find I spend more time on this part of making a quilt, than anything else to do with the quilt making.  I would really appreciate hearing your opinions on which look you think makes for a more interesting, cohesive quilt top.