GRANDMA'S FLOWER GARDEN

Grandma’s Flower Garden – Many quilters like to do patterns that are vintage or traditional. Some like to use vintage or reproduction fabrics. That is what makes this small quilt fun – it is all 1930’s fabrics.

GRANDMA'S FLOWER GARDEN

All the fabric in this quilt is from feed sacks or 1930’s fabric my grandma gave me. My grandpa worked at the feed mill and he would watch for several bags that matched. He would buy the feed in those matching bags and bring it home for grandma to make clothing for the kids.

My mom told us many times that she would not do anything on the playground at school that might show her underwear because it was stamped with “flour” or “sugar”.

But what if I don’t have the real stuff to use in a project like this you ask? The first place I suggest is looking on Ebay or Etsy for the “real” stuff. If you can’t find something that suits, then try Missouri Star Quilt Company at https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/browse/30s-fabric. They have many reproduction fabrics that look similar to ones Grandma had.

I hand pieced the flowers using the English paper method. The flowers were then hand appliqued down to the background in 1997 – 98.

It was machine quilted by MG in 1998. I finally got it bound and made a tag for it in 1999.

Finished size is 30″ square.

GRANDMA'S FLOWER GARDEN backing.
The backing is a plain white feed sack with the brand logo on it.

The above picture is of the backing.

Grandma’s Flower Garden was a gift to a family member.

https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-3/

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/grandmas-flower-garden-or-take-along.html

THE GREAT MIGRATION QUILT

The Great Migration Quilt is simply a combination of two sizes of Flying Geese blocks. The blocks are left-overs from two previous projects.

The Great Migration Quilt
Completed top – trying to get a photo between rain storms…

The “geese” started out as 5″ squares and 8″ squares that were sewn diagonally through the center to make two half square triangles (HST).

I sewed 10 of the bigger “geese” into three rows.

The two rows of smaller “geese” have 20 blocks in each. They did not quite fit right so I ended up adding about an inch of muslin to the end of each. Use those creative skills…

The small interior borders are simply three strips 1.75″ wide sewn together.

The burgundy exterior borders are 4″ for top and bottom, and 6″ for the two sides.

The top went together quickly since the “geese” blocks were already together or mostly together. I think it took me longer to add the borders. Simple and quick quilt.

HST waiting to be sewn into geese.
5″ blocks sewn into HST – waiting to be sewn into “geese”.
Flying Geese blocks.
Sewn into geese.

I did not buy anything for The Great Migration Quilt but the batting (even used a coupon). The geese blocks were left-overs from other projects. The borders were fabrics in my stash. The backing was the extra wide backing fabric that was already in my stash. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that I am using what is on hand.

Please don’t feel like you have to go out and purchase fabric for every quilt you make. Beautiful quilts can be made from the scraps and stash you already have on hand.

Https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-3/

Https://indianaquilter40.com/night-flight

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2017/12/birds-in-air.html

GETTING MORE TIME TO QUILT

Clip art - triangle quilt block

Getting more time to quilt – in our crazy, busy lives this can pose a real problem. People have emailed me recently asking me how I get so much time to quilt each day. I don’t have any more time than you do.  However, I have learned to be a very good time manager and multi-tasker. We must make each minute count. Here are some simple things to help get more time to quilt each day.

Don’t:

compare what you get done or not to anyone else. None of us have the exact same responsibilities, schedules, or lives. Do what you can do. Remember that quilting is supposed to be fun.

Clip art - Never measure your progress using someone else's ruler.

get discouraged. Look at Pintrest, quilt shows, Facebook, magazines, books, etc as ideas for yourself. Look at the colors and patterns and enjoy.

Do:

keep several projects going simultaneously. I try to have a project in cutting stage, another in sewing stage, another in binding stage.  Also, one that can be completely by hand like English paper piecing or applique.

Tumblers and Hexagons are ready for sewing

always keep the sewing machine maintained and threaded so it is ready to be used whenever I(or you) have a few minutes.  Keep a project that is ready to be sewn beside the machine (right now I have a stack of tumbler blocks ready to go). I keep a container with all the pieces cut (and pinned) there ready to be sewn.

Get more time to quilt by being prepared.

use assembly line sewing if possible.

set a timer for small amounts of time to sew.  Even 5, 10, or 15-minute blocks give you a little more done on a quilt.

Making time to quilt - supplies are ready by sewing machine.
I have my timer set for 15 minutes and the project is ready to go.

limit social media and TV time.  If you are not good at this, set a timer and be firm with yourself about stopping when the timer goes off.

limit time talking on the phone, especially if you cannot multitask while visiting. I iron and sort fabric while on the phone. I put the phone on speaker while cutting.

Multi task while on phone.

keep a small project and supplies in a bag always ready to go along.  While waiting on the doctor, picking kids up, at the airport, at breaks between meetings, etc work on a project.  Small amounts of time add up quickly to a completed block or project.

Take heart:

Quilting should be fun. Even a few minutes each day brings enjoyment into your life. Have a wonderful day.

Other helpful ideas:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/waste-not-want-not-or-tips-for.html

HOW TO MAKE TWO DOLL QUILTS IN A DAY(Part 2)

How To Make Two Doll Quilts In A Day (Part 2). Do you want to involve the children in your life with your quilting? Involving the little people in your life into quilting can be so much fun. Last Friday, the grand (age 4) informed me very seriously that two of her “babies” did not have quilts. What is a grandma to do? Help the grand and her babies by doing a kid project – How To Make Two Doll Quilts In A Day (Part 2).

See Part 1 here for other photos and more directions: https://indianaquilter40.com/how-to-make-two-doll-quilts-in-a-daypart-1/

Note: These two doll quilts are intended to be used hard. They are well made, but not intended to have a long life span.

Can two doll quilts actually be done in a day with “help” from the little person? Yes, but don’t expect perfection or getting much else done.

In the post for Part 1 (see link above) we got one doll quilt done in the morning and had stopped to make mac and cheese for lunch (yep, the homemade stuff that is really cheesy and tastes wonderful on a cold day).

Step 1: Supplies

30 4″ squares

Enough fabric for 4″ wide borders (I had a little over half a yard)

Fleece cut bigger than the completed top

I had a bunch of left-over 4″ blocks from another project. The grand picked the red and purple blocks she liked for the rows. She also picked the Minnie Mouse border fabric. There was only 1/2 of a yard so it would have to be cut exactly to have enough. A piece of pink fleece would serve as both the batting and backing.

Here are the blocks sewn together:

All the blocks in the doll quilt sewn together.

Step 2: Sewing the blocks together

I machine sewed the completed “top” of blocks on each row to “quilt” it. This could also be done when sewing the rows together – I just like the stitching on the top where I can see it for these small projects.

My helper pulls out the pins as that part of the top comes through the machine and puts them in a magnetic cup. This is “her job” and she does it very well.

The grand-daughter pulling pins out of the doll quilt top as we sew.
The grand pulling out pins at the back side of the sewing machine.

Step 3: Borders

After machine quilting each row, lay the border on one side, sew it down, and fold over so the right side is out. On this quilt, I added a 4″ wide borders. I sew borders on opposite sides – in this case, I sewed the borders on the top and bottom. Then I sewed the borders on the two sides of the doll quilt.

HOW TO MAKE TWO DOLL QUILTS IN A DAY(Part 2)

Step 4: Binding

The self binding is simply folding the half inch of fleece over the top and zig-zag stitching down.

It took about two hours to complete this doll quilt by following the directions here and at part 1: https://indianaquilter40.com/how-to-make-two-doll-quilts-in-a-daypart-1/

The grand-daughter is pretty happy with another finished doll quilt. This one also somewhat matches one she and I made for her a month or so back – red and purple blocks with the same Minnie Mouse fabric as the border. Can’t beat having matching quilts!

Happy grand with second doll quilt made in a day.

Finished size: 27.5″ x 24.5″.

Hopefully this post, “How to Make Two Doll Quilts In A Day (Part 1 & 2)” helps you make a quick and fun project for the little person in your life.

Other ideas for kid projects:

https://indianaquilter40.com/kid-project-button-quilt/

https://swoodsonsays.com/easy-quilt-projects-for-kids/

ARE YOU DROWNING IN SCRAPS TOO?

Drowning in scraps - one bin of small scraps for crumb blocks
Just one tub of scraps

Are you drowning in scraps too?? For January, my goal was to totally clean and organize my sewing room… the cleaning is complete, but along with all the nice looking shelves is four (yep, really – sheesh) plastic tubs of scraps.

dumped out scrap bin

I took every single piece of fabric off the shelves, went through every drawer, looked in every project box……Scary stuff. Some of those things I hadn’t seen in years. So after the dust cleared I decided that even though I have a list of 12 UFOs I want to finish this year – I am going to stress using as many of the scraps in those projects as possible.

More scraps from the bins

Don’t get me wrong, I love all my fabric and that includes the scraps. While cleaning I went from two tubs to four because I added all the quarter yard or less from the shelves to the tubs. In my world, small fabric pieces (no matter how pretty) get lost among the bigger pieces of fabric.

I needed some inspiration on how to deal with the scraps. Guess what I saw? Others have too many scraps too and are trying to find a way to use them. Looking at Pintrest, Facebook, and other blogs has been fun and I have come up with some ideas to start with.

And more scraps

I don’t have a scrap organization system however. The scraps are simply thrown in the bins. I actually like this system for now because I am just taking out handfuls, ironing them, and cutting them into 3″ squares or tumbler shapes. I have progressed to 1 see through container for each shape.

Tumbler blocks from scraps
 3" squares

I am challenging myself to use as many of my scraps up in 2020 as possible. I made a list for myself of 12 UFOs that I wanted to complete this year. Hopefully I can actually push myself to make a few more than that out of the scrap bins. Come join me in this fun personal challenge – let’s use scraps. I know it is a year away, but let’s start 2021 not drowning in scraps.

So, here are some links to ideas. Please comment on your scrap issues and tell me what you are going to do about them. Send or post pics. Please, let’s use 2020 to use our scraps. Let’s encourage others too.

Ideas for using scraps:

https://www.redpepperquilts.com/2017/03/scrap-busting-irish-chain-quilt.html

https://www.redpepperquilts.com/2019/11/japanese-stash-buster-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/windmill-blades-one-patch-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2015/05/really-scrappy-quilt.html

https://suzyquilts.com/free-scrap-quilt-patterns/

Basket Weave 9 Patch
Using those scraps to make crazy or crumb blocks.
Drowning in Scraps? Combine two kinds of blocks.

HOW TO MAKE TWO DOLL QUILTS IN A DAY(Part 1)

Do you want to involve the children in your life with your quilting? Yes, the projects and time have to be planned but involving the little people in your life into quilting can be so much fun. Last Friday, the grand (age 4) informed me very seriously that two of her “babies” did not have quilts. What is a grandma to do? Help the grand and her babies by doing a kid project – How To Make Two Doll Quilts In A Day (Part 1).

Note: These two doll quilts are intended to be used hard. They are well made, but not intended to have a long life span.

Can two doll quilts actually be done in a day with “help” from the little person? Yes, but in my case it took a little cheating to cut off some time.

Step 1: Fabric.

I had a section of leftover bright blocks already sewn together. I let her pick the border fabric, so flamingos are the border. There was only 1/3 of a yard so it would have to be cut exactly to have enough. A piece of pink fleece would serve as both the batting and backing.

Supplies for this doll quilt: 3″ squares, one-third yard of flamingo fabric for border, and one piece of pink fleece 31″ x 23″.

Supplies for  How To Make Two Doll Quilts In A Day (Part 1).
Supplies: pink fleece, flamingo border fabric, left over sewn together 3″ blocks.

Step 2: Cutting and sewing

Do the math to cut the fleece bigger than what you will need to include the blocks, border, and self binding. Once fleece is cut, center the (in this case) already sewn together blocks on it. We decided to machine quilt down the seams in one direction. This involved pinning, which she wanted to help with.

Pinning the top to the backing.
The grand “helping” pin the top to the fleece backing.
Close up of pinning.
One row machine quilted, and the next row pinned.
Ready to machine quilt the next row -  How To Make Two Doll Quilts In A Day (Part 1).
Ready to machine quilt the next row.

As the sewn part goes through the machine, the grand pulls out the pins and puts them in a magnetic cup. The grand has done this so much that she is very good at it and she has stuck herself enough that now she remembers to always pull the pins out by the head. She has also been taught to never put her fingers close to the machine needle.

The grand-daughter helping with her doll quilt.
The grand is on the sewing table behind the machine pulling pins and putting in a magnetic cup.

Step 3: Borders

After machine quilting each row, lay the border on one side, sew it down, and fold over so the right side is out. I did a 2.5″ border on two sides and a 4.5″ border on the other two sides – using up the entire one third yard (whoo-hoo, no left over scraps).

Border pinned to fleece
Fabrics right sides together and pinned to fleece.
Blocks with border sewn on.
Border sewn on.

I sew borders on opposite sides – in this case, I sewed the 2.5″ borders on the top and bottom. Then I sewed the 4.5″ borders on the two sides of the doll quilt.

Step 4: Binding

Then I marked a half inch all the way around the top on the fleece (in this case with a blue ball point pen). Cut on the mark all the way around. The half inch of fleece will become the binding.

Half inch mark on fleece.
Marked half inch on fleece.

The self binding is simply folding the half inch of fleece over the top and zig-zag stitching down.

Close up of corner binding for - How To Make Two Doll Quilts In A Day (Part 1). .
Corner folded over and sewn down.
Reverse side of HOW TO MAKE TWO DOLL QUILTS IN A DAY(Part 1)
Reverse side of doll quilt showing machine quilting.

It took about two hours to complete this doll quilt by following the directions here: How To Make Two Doll Quilts In A Day (Part 1). We had it done in time to make homemade mac and cheese for lunch.

Finished size is 28.5″ x 20.5″.

 Grand showing off her complete quilt. HOW TO MAKE TWO DOLL QUILTS IN A DAY(Part 1)
The grand with her completed flamingo doll quilt.

Hopefully this post, “How to Make Two Doll Quilts In A Day (Part 1)” helps you make a quick and fun project for the little person in your life.

Other ideas for kid projects:

https://indianaquilter40.com/kid-project-button-quilt

https://swoodsonsays.com/easy-quilt-projects-for-kids/

https://www.quiltingcompany.com/kids-are-quilting-5-things-are-learned-teaching-kids-to-quilt-quilty-pleasures-blog/

KID PROJECT – BUTTON QUILT

Kid Project: Button Quilt

Kid Project: Button Quilt – We all know children who like to “help” us as we quilt, or want to do something like we are doing.

This is a super easy and non-threatening way to teach basic sewing skills, cutting/dexterity, hand and eye coordination, multiplication, and measuring. Squares, borders, and final size can be adjusted for your child and project.

Daughter (H) was 9 when we did this project – button quilt. I used the rotary cutter to cut 64 blocks. She sewed the blocks together, and added the cat fabric border. I did the binding. She then sewed her favorite buttons (by hand) onto the white squares with thread that matched the buttons.

Kid Project: Button Quilt

We home schooled our kids K – 12, and found out early that quilting was a great way to teach basic math skills. We measure, divide, multiply, subtract, and add to figure out sizes of pieces, blocks, and entire quilts. There is also the colors, and shapes.

Advice for helping the kids in your life quilt: Keep it simple and fun. Let the child pick the fabric and keep the sewing instructions simple.

She entered the Kid Project: Button Quilt in the local county fair (4-H project) and the local quilt show. It got praise and ribbons both places. That is a great confidence builder, especially for a child.

Currently she makes clothes for herself and her daughter. She will help me with all the cutting, ironing, and sewing steps of a quilt top and it makes for a great “girl” day.

Finished size is 28″ square.

Cotton fabric and wool batting. Buttons that were her favorites at the time.

Daughter showing off quilt.
She wanted a photo of herself with the quilt in front of the Christmas tree.

This quilt my son and I made:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2011/12/four-patch_17.html

Some more ideas for quilting with kids:

https://swoodsonsays.com/easy-quilt-projects-for-kids/

https://www.quiltingcompany.com/kids-are-quilting-5-things-are-learned-teaching-kids-to-quilt-quilty-pleasures-blog/

Clip art - variety of buttons

SAILING SHIPS OF OLD QUILT (another panel quilt)

SAILING SHIPS OF OLD QUILT: The ship blocks are cheater blocks and the blue/gray alternate blocks look like waves. The red border around each ship was part of the panel. The border was a solid navy blue.

Quilt Sailing Ships of Old hanging on fence.

I like using panels for quilts – they make for a fun project and a way to save time on piecing or applique. Think outside the box and be creative.

My personal problem with fabric panels (maybe yours too) is that I see one, have some brilliant idea of how to use it, and buy it. The panel comes home, gets washed and dried, and is stored on a shelf for a weeks, months, or (gasp) years. By the time I find it again it is hard to remember why I bought it in the first place.

I solve this by keeping them together in one area, and when I want or need a quick project, the panels get pulled out. Then a choice is made, and the project is quickly finished, because of the size and there just is not that much of my sewing time involved.

Sailing Ships of Old Quilt was pieced in November of 1992, and machine quilted and bound in 1996 by BE (for the cost of $45). The quilting design was a sort of wave.

Finished size 70″ x 91″.

Cotton fabrics and polyester batting. The backing was a white flat sheet.

This quilt looked new when it was donated to a local charity in August 2002 for a raffle.

Clip art of old sailing ship

I did these two panel quilts. Hopefully they will inspire and encourage you to try something new with your own fabric panels:

https://indianaquilter40.com/proud-polar-bears

https://indianaquilter40.com/happy-bugs-quilt-or-a-fabric-panel-quilt/

Another example of a fabric panel quilt: https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/08/cardinal-christmas-or-another-panel.html

HOW TO MAKE EASY COASTERS

How to Make Easy Coasters – seriously. They are quick and easy, and they can be made from fabric that is personal to the person receiving them or that you just like.

Step 1: Choose at least two fabrics.

How to Make Easy Coasters: step 1 is choose fabrics.
Choose 2 fabrics – one for each side. I made a set of 4 coasters.

Step 2: Iron the fabric.

Step 3: Cut four 5″ squares of both fabrics. Lay out four sets of squares right sides together.

Step 2 - cut 5" squares of fabric and lay right sides together.
Lay out four sets of squares right sides together.

Step 4: Lay the four sets of 5″ squares on batting. I like the batting to be bigger than the fabric squares at this point. Pin at corners. I also use 2 pins to mark where the opening will be so I don’t sew all the way around and have to rip out stitches.

Close of pinned fabric to batting.
One coaster pinned together with batting.
How to Make Easy Coasters - step 4 is lay out fabric on top of batting.
All 4 coasters pinned to a long strip of batting.

Step 5: Sew around all four sides of each coaster, leaving enough open on one side to turn right side out.

Close up of sewing with fabric right sides together.
I start at one pin, and sew all the way around to the other pin marking the opening.
How to Make Easy Coasters - step 5 sewing.
At other pin marking open so I will stop stitching here.
Coasters sewn together but not trimmed yet.
Sewn together but not trimmed up yet.

Step 6: Trim off extra batting. Clip corners close to stitching to get rid of the extra bulk so that when turned right side out, the corners will look like corners.

How to Make Easy Coasters - Step 6 - trim batting and clip corners.
The extra batting is trimmed off and the corners are clipped.

Step 7: Turn each coaster right side out. Make sure corners are as square as possible (use a semi sharp pencil to gently poke the corner out). Pin the opening closed. I pin the corners for extra stability while sewing.

Openings pinned shut and corners pinned for extra stability.
Opening pinned shut, and corners pinned for stability.

Step 8: Over-stitch in thread of your choice one half of the width of your pressure foot all the way around each coaster. Trim threads.

Complete set of 4 coasters.
Complete set of 4 coasters.

YOU ARE DONE WITH A SET OF COASTERS – GOOD JOB !!

I did this set in a bit over an hour because of noting the directions and taking photos. The first set may take a little longer, but I doubt once you do a couple sets that this will take you more than an hour to complete. A great way to make gifts, or to make yourself an easy new useful item. Can be made to match any interest or decor.

Finished size: About 4″ each.

Machine wash in cool water, and dry in medium heat dryer.

Here are some other ways to make quick, easy coasters:

https://seasonedhomemaker.com/how-to-create-modern-quilted-coasters-in-an-hour-or-less

https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2019/05/quilted-leaf-coaster-tutorial.html