Wednesday, July 6, 2022

It's a solid YES!

It's been too long since I posted on my blog! Well, I'm back! I've been so busy with t-shirt quilts and granddaughters 💕 that I haven't really given it much of a thought.

BUT LATELY....I've re-discovered string quilts.  Over the 30ish years I've made t-shirt quilts....almost always with a solid fabric...I've accumulated an overabundance of smallish and odd-shaped scraps. NO WAY would I discard these fabrics. Kona solids are the best...and not cheap...quilting fabrics. My recent quilt 'THAT'S A SOLID YES' focuses on those solids! My first ever quilt made with only Kona solids (front and back!).

Old phone books are a necessity for me to make string quilts. Recycle when you can, right? 

I cut my phone book backings 5-1/4" x the height of the phone book. The width of each row is really irrelevant... actually the height is irrelevant too! Make your units whatever size you want them to be.

I can't even imagine how many different colors are in this quilt. My scrap bins are FULL. Even after this quilt was finished, my bins are still overflowing 😖

The strips from the bin are cut to 5-1/2" long - width of strip is 3/4" - 2". Wonkiness is key for variety! 

I sewed the units end-to-end and never considered the size of the finished quilt until it told me it was done. You just sort of know, ya know?

I considered sewing the rows together like this but TOO many seams said uhhh no. I divided the rows with a 1-1/2" row which is a perfect separation between rows.

Choosing the border color wasn't hard. Empty a box of crayons and pick one! I actually love this shade of green, and it goes well with the inner 1" light green border.

Sewing on my old (relatively new to me) Singer 404. I LOVE this $29 purchase! The best straight stitch machine I've ever used. Check out those estate sales! You never know what you might discover. 

I HATE hand sewing. I've said this before, and I repeat myself! I added the beautiful magenta binding by machine (notice the back of the binding looks the same as the front).  The contrast of green and magenta is so special 😍

The finale! Wonky, crazy, rainbow explosion, spilled crayon box! Easy, fun, and it makes a statement!

And why should the back be boring? More trimmings from quilts and odds and ends. NO YARDAGE WAS USED IN THIS QUILT!  Oddly enough, I could probably recreate a similar quilt 10x with my stash 😆

Friday, June 4, 2021

Menswear quilts

When I started my scrappy quilting adventure 10ish years ago, my stash was small and I didn't have a lot of fabric from which to pull.  Bonnie Hunter @quiltville_Bonnie was (and still is) the guru of scrap quilting. I bought her book: Scraps & Shirttails: Reuse, Re-purpose, Recycle! The Art of "Quilting Green"

(Image borrowed from Amazon) 

From this book and the follow-up, Scraps & Shirttails II: Continuing the Art of Quilting Green, I learned how beautiful mens' shirts can be! There is a lot of fabric in a XXL shirt and the colors and combinations are endless. My fabric stash up to that time was mostly Kona Solids and a few fat quarters I had picked up at various quilt shops. Thanks to thrift stores, rummage sales, church sales and even a few estate sales, I built my shirt collection up to the point that almost all of my fun quilts (quilts for myself) had a variety of shirt fabrics in them. 

A typical $10 - $15 purchase:

Just out of the bag

Deboned and folded

Ready for the stash!

Notice the awesome color variety in these cotton shirts :)

I recently finished a quilt I call "nacho daddy's quilt" which is made entirely from plaid shirts. Check it out:
Coco, my sewing buddy, making herself useful

All finished! Backing is super soft flannel (plaid, of course!) And yes, those are croquet wickets in the background.

I have a few more quilts made out of mens' shirts that I will share in upcoming blog posts. In the meantime, let's enjoy the beautiful June weather!

Quarantine Quilt #1, finale

I finally finished the brown quilt (previous post) and named it Quarantine Quilt #1. Not very creative, but I finished it after the shelter-in-place order was placed and our lives were suddenly changed. I decided to change it up a bit, and I'm glad I did.

A double border of half-square triangles add just the right amount of pizzazz! Turns out that the brown I was questioning looks amazing as a constant behind all the scrappy goodness :)

So many 4-squares from my 2" squares box! I'm forever using these for my leaders and enders, and a 64-square block (or four) makes an attractive backing. Don't you think?

The Baptist Fan panto is a computer-driven design I use with my Quilt Path - software hooked up to my APQS Millenium. 

                The backing is #andoverfabrics and the quilting is #baptistfan from #urbanelements

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Oh, my blog, how I've neglected you. But alas! I have a fun quilt to talk about. For a long time now, I've been doing leaders and enders - you know, those little pieces you shove through the machine when you finish your main project. I made a nice stash of 9 patch squares that were beginning to collect dust. It was time!

Some time ago, I needed this soft brown fabric for a client's quilt. For some reason I felt the need to buy the bolt. WHY, I don't know! So, here I am making good use of brown. It's not my favorite color, but I think I can make this work. I've seen similar designs, however I didn't follow a pattern.  First I made my 9 patches into diamonds.

I used scrappy neutral sashing and scrappy 2" blocks as cornerstones. Scrappy makes me happy. Each square will finish at 6.5" and it has 64 squares. It's exactly that size. I don't do math. As far as size goes...does every quilt have to be a queen size or king size? Nah. It is whatever. Webbing makes construction easy, so this pic shows the quilt in that stage.

Once I started this beauty, I didn't want to put it aside until the top was finished. I have my @quiltville_bonnie #frolicmysteryquilt to put together and I can only have so much going on at once. My workroom has an 8' x 8' work table, which I love. It's easy to have too much going on so I must stay focused. Yes. Now. What was I saying. OH yes. Focus.

Looking good! I'm so excited that the brown isn't overtaking the quilt. Those scrappy neutrals are making me happy! It still needs some borders though....tomorrow.

Tomorrow is now yesterday (huh??) and there it is, a sawtooth inner border and a 3" mitered corner order border. I'm totally self-taught, and mitering was trial and error and some math (ewww) and logic. It worked!

Oh, the threads are in need of snipping but the quilt is pretty nice. If it's not obvious, I'm pretty excited about this quilt. It's just a top at this point, but I'll post a pic of the finished quilt soon. I see couch snuggles in the near future.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Home from Bedford

For the second year, I was able to participate in Bonnie Hunter's workshop in Bedford, Pennsylvania. Bedford is a quaint little town, full of history and uniqueness. It is home to my favorite guilty pleasure "The Penguin" an old-fashioned walk-up ice cream shop with the BEST #moosetracks ice cream ever.

But to get to the point...quilting! I took two workshops, the first was "Serpentine Web", a fun twist on a spiderweb block. I haven't worked on this one since I've been back home, but I'll get to it. It sits on top (but last in line) of my UFO pile! Photos of that one coming soon.

This is Bonnie instructing my tribe.

Second day class was to learn all about Narragansett Blues, a quilt I've had on my bucket list for awhile. It can be found in her book "More Adventures with Leaders and Enders".  I seem to accumulate a LOT of blue fabrics, a good lot from recycled mens' shirts, and after seeing how Bonnie's quilt was featuring all those blues, I went with her theme.

Squares and rectangles in long strips. So many shades of blue and so many random 4-patches! At my table, Lauren and Dallas and I swapped some blues rectangles to give even more scrappy happy to our quilts.
Narragansett Blues on the long arm!

I used a scrappy binding for this quilt to use up all those short pieces of leftovers I've accumulated. And of course, it goes on by machine. No unnecessary hand sewing for this gal.

This quilt came together so quickly. In less than three weeks, it's a wrap! 

My cute little Bubba follows me around like he's on a of course he's got to be in the picture.

Leftover piano key borders, 4 patches, 9 patches, orphan blocks, blah yardage and random recycled shirt pieces make the back of the quilt scrappy and fun. It's not a prize-winner (I've never entered, never will) but it's finished and I love it. Hats off to you, once again @quiltville_bonnie, for your never-ending encouragement and for sharing your talents with us.

Beyond Scrappy...t-shirt quilts are my main gig

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Diamond Tile Quilt

Bonnie Hunter's diamond tile block was featured in the May/June 2018 issue of Quiltmaker's magazine.  I never bought the magazine - instead I designed a larger version of her block.  I have Electric Quilt (EQ) 8, an amazing software program for quilt design.

This is the design I came up with, the squares finishing at 10" in the quilt. I love the randomness of color. It was fun "shopping" in the bins for so many color combinations. 

Each square is its own little quilt!

Scrappy 4" outer border is made from my stash of men's shirts. 

AND of course...I can't just do a plain, simple backing....

16-patch blocks, random orphan blocks, and a whole lotta seams pulled this one together.

Machine quilted with Urban Elementz "Pipeline" panto on my APQS Millenium

Binding goes on by machine. Washed, dried and ready for gifting! 

Measures approximately 98" x 88"

Thank you, #bonniehunter, for never-ending ideas!

Wild Zipper Quilts

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dusty nine-squares

I made the top of this quilt over a year ago. I looked at it and thought "meh"....nothing special here...just trying to use up my overflowing stash of 2" squares and 2" strips.

It's ok. nothing to write home about. SO instead of starting YET ANOTHER quilt that would soon turn into a UFO (quilting term - unfinished object), I decided to quilt and bind it and use it as a snuggle quilt for tv time. 

Boom! Quilted and bound and I think I actually like it!

Wonky scrappy back...orphan blocks, shirt backs, little 'o this, little 'o that. Scrappy happy!

This quilt has no pattern - it's just a bunch of 5" squares and 5" 9-patch blocks with a 6" piano key border. I quilted it with "Pipeline" from #UrbanElementz.  The binding was sewn on by machine. I do not do hand-sewn binding because I've mastered machine sewing them!!! hahaha...ok, but seriously, the back stitching of the binding looks just like the front and because I will NEVER enter my quilts in a quilt show or any competition,  I say screw it. Why hand-sew when I have a sewing machine (or 10)?

I threw it in the washer with a color-catcher and it came out of the dryer soft and squishy and comfy  and everything a quilt should be.

EIGHT more UFO's in the pile....and what did I do tonight? I started another quilt. shhhhhh.....