THE FUSSY CUT BARNYARD QUILT

THE FUSSY CUT BARNYARD QUILT

Sometimes it is fun to walk through the memory lane of quilts and old projects. I recently found my photos of this one, “The Fussy Cut Barnyard Quilt” and thought I would share.

Can you say baa, oink, or moo? When I made this quilt back in 1996-97, I still had a small child at home who thought making animal sounds was great fun.

Some day I will show off my quilt scrapbooks here, but for now let me just say it has been fun to look at them and remember. With my wrist still in a brace, my hand quilting has been a non-happening thing lately. Thankfully therapy is helping, but there is a long way to go.

The Fussy Cut Barnyard Quilt…..

Once upon a time I had a yard of fabric that had primitive farm animals printed on it. You know – horses, cows, pigs, and sheep. They were spaced far enough apart that I could fussy cut them out.

One fine spring day my young daughter ran around the house and yard making farm animal sounds at the top of her lungs. Her brother tried to interest her in quieter, calmer things but she was not going for it.

I had been “playing” with several fabrics to try out fussy cutting. On this day, I was inspired to involve my noisy daughter into “helping” me make this piece of fabric into a quilt.

I measured and cut, daughter gathered the pieces up and laid them out on the floor of the living room. She made the correct animal noise for each block as she went along.

Her brother picked out the fabrics to frame each animal. I sewed, he ironed, and she finally fell asleep on the floor under the table with the sewing machine on it.

Brother and I got the top together during the nap of a now quiet little sister. She woke up just as the last rows of blocks were being sewn together. I decided that no border was necessary. Top was done.

Now to hand quilt it…

I should have just machine quilted this and been done, but I thought it would be fun to hand quilt. Why you ask? I can honestly say I have no idea.

Somehow, I came to the decision that the “Baptist Fan” would look great on this. The design looked great when complete, but marking it was awful. It seemed like every area of the quilt needed some different color of marking pencil.

The joy of putting in the last quilting stitch on this quilt !

The finished size was 31″ x 47″.

No wool batting for this quilt. Instead I used what was on hand – a left-over section of polyester batting. The binding was just a plain black cotton solid fabric.

By now, daughter had lost interest in farm animals and the sounds they make.

Complete…

I entered it in the local fair that summer. The quilt got second place with many comments about how “original” it was.

The Barnyard quilt made rare appearances at other quilt shows, and on my walls at home.

The quilt guild I belonged to was raffling quilted items off in 2002 to help a local organization. This fun quilt still looked new, and I added it to the pile of items that were being raffled. It was time for the quilt to go live at another home that would appreciate it.

Barnyard quilt completed.

Thoughts on donating…

As you read through this blog and my old one, you will discover that I truly believe quilts and quilting can be helpful in our own corner of the world. There are so many people who can use quilts.

The donated quilts do not need to be beautiful, or even bed size. They should be well made. Many people associate quilts with comfort, happy memories, or family.

For veterans, babies, or children, quilts are especially appreciated. Check around your own community: homeless shelters, veterans clinics, adoption agencies, crisis pregnancy centers, kindergartens, etc.

Donated quilts can be simple designs. Generally machine quilting or tied with yarn is acceptable.

If you prefer to make something more time consuming or involved, then an organization that is doing an auction or raffle may be the place to donate.

Most quilters I know say they have too many quilts, or too much fabric to use themselves. This is the way to give back.

Any day spent sewing....
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

PREPPING FOR WINTER QUILTING

PREPPING FOR WINTER QUILTING
Source: Bing clip art

Do you live in an area where the weather turns bad in the winter? You know – snow, ice, or just plain cold. If so, please do your prepping for winter quilting now. Planning now will make you a happier quilter later.

WhY preP for winter quilting?

Prepping for winter is different than just normal day to day quilting. For some quilters, when they run out of some item (say sewing machine needles) they just run to town or the nearest fabric store. But what happens during winter when the roads are icy, or the temps are cold, or the power is out?

Here in central Indiana, some of the leaves are starting to change at the tops of the trees. This is even with 90 degree days. It certainly appears that winter may come sooner than normal.

Fall maple leaf
First autumn leaf on the ground in my yard 08/07/2021

In an average year here there is at least 1 – 2 days each winter that it is recommended we stay home due to the roads. In other words, the ice and/or snow is not cleared off the road. Or the power may be out in various places so traffic lights do not work (usually stores are not open either).

On days like these, in my opinion, I would just rather hibernate at home. Power or no power, I can find a quilting project to work on.

PrepPING for Winter Quilting:

Do a basic inventory of quilting and sewing supplies you have on hand now. Then it will be easy to figure out what you need to get through those winter days you cannot shop, or simply want to hibernate at home.

The list may include these items:

  • Sewing machine needles
  • Sewing machine light bulbs
  • Bobbins
  • Sewing thread in basic or specific colors based on your projects
  • Rotary cutting blades
  • Iron that works properly
  • Batting for hand and/or machine quilting
  • Any needed fabric in order to continue or finish a project
  • Hand needles for said projects
  • Quilting pins
  • Sewing gadgets that are specific to your needs

The first item on my personal prepping list is to make sure my sewing machine is clean, oiled, and in complete working order. In other words, it has had its’ annual “tune-up”.

I usually have my machine “tuned-up” in the summer since that is the time it is used the least due to spending my evenings in my flower beds. My machine was done in early July and is working great.

Pfaff Select 4.0 - PREPPING FOR WINTER QUILTING
My machine all clean and tuned up. It is ready for winter sewing.

“Quilty” things that can be done ahead of winter:

We live in an area that our power goes off randomly all year round. However, the high winds and ice of winter tend to make it a more common event. So I keep several things in a pile that I can work on while the power is out. This solves the need to work on something quilt related.

Some items that I have ready for the possibility of no power, or necessary hibernation:

  • 2 quilts that are waiting on the binding to be completed. In other words, the binding is machine sewn on, but the hand sewing to finish is not. This is a fairly easy project even in candle light.
  • Applique or hand piecing that is ready. All the pieces are cut and in a container with the directions so they can be pulled out and worked on.
  • Hand quilting.
  • Tying (with yarn) three baby quilts that are to be donated.
  • If you have fabric that is ironed and have good light (such as at a window) cutting can be safely done. I have scraps that were ironed in the spring and put on hangers in the closet. They are ready to be cut when I have time.
  • A box of hexies that are already basted to paper that I can make designs with.

No doubt, you can think of quilt parts or entire projects you can work on if the prep is done while you have power.

A thought on other supplies for DURING POWER OUTAGES:

Everyone will have some non-quilting items that you should have on hand for your specific needs. It may be medications, food, snow boots, pet supplies, etc. Think of entertainment items too such as books, cards, or board games. Little people may be content to color with crayons, or play with toys.

A hand crank radio is a good investment for the minimum of listening to the weather reports.

We have a wood stove that we can (and do) heat with or cook on if necessary. But if this not an option for you, what will you need to stay warm and have warm food? Now is the time to think about this and prep so you are happy and comfortable when needed.

For me, the first thing I think of is lamp oil and/or candles. Believe me, I truly appreciate electric lights, especially when the power goes off in the middle of machine sewing. However, by lighting several candles or oil lamps, I can see well enough to work on a hand project.

Candles for light.
Source: Bing clip art

Another quilter’s fun and not so fun observations of not really being prepared for power outages.

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

THESE QUILTING BOOKS FOLLOWED ME HOME

Currently, I have no need of fabric, threads, or quilting gadgets. But I love books. Would you believe me if I stated that these quilting books followed me home?

Let me tell you about these 3 books I recently added to my personal quilt library.

Happy Trails – Variations on the Classic Drunkard’s Path

THESE QUILTING BOOKS FOLLOWED ME HOME

I bought this classic book by Pepper Cory at the local library sale for $1 !! It has 64 pages of color photos, directions, b/w drawings of lots of ways to set the drunkard’s path blocks.

I have not made one of these in 20 years, but this book is giving me all kinds of ideas. And….there are several that would be a great way to use up some more scraps.

Blackberg Edition – 11 Bloved Quilts that Stand the Test of Time

A book of classic quilt patterns

This is a new quilting book hot off the press ! It has a churn dash pattern that I really like, plus some star patterns. Or maybe it is just the colors of the quilts in the books.

Published by Martingale and has 80 pages of color photos, directions, and is causing several unnecessary project ideas.

Vintage Treasures: Little Quilts for Reproduction Fabrics

THESE QUILTING BOOKS FOLLOWED ME HOME

I like antique quilts, especially ones from the 1780-1860 time frame.

And I am finding myself experimenting more and more with wall hanging or doll quilt size.

This book was published last year by Martingale and has so many fun ideas for small quilts. There are stars, postage stamp, yo-yo’s, pinwheels, baskets, and more. Many of the quilts are in under 36″ wide or long size group. A nice size to display.

My Thoughts to YOu:

Quilting books can be considered “tools of the trade”. Spend some time talking to other quilters about what their favorite ones are and why.

I suggest books that offer several patterns, and good photos and directions. As your skills increase, branch out into other patterns, or something more complicated.

Chances are that you will find certain patterns become your favorites (or not). Books can contain patterns or ideas that challenge you to make a new pattern. Or use a pattern as a starting place, and add to it to make the pattern and final project really your own.

Some day, you too can say, “These quilting books followed me home”. Others might roll their eyes, but new ideas are always welcome to quilters.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy the quilting journey.

"Live, Laugh, Love, Quilt"
Source: Quiltville

PLEASE NOTE: 
All photos and content are my own unless otherwise noted. Please DO NOT use or reproduce ANY content from this website without my written permission.

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
Basket Weave Nine Patch

I try to keep several containers of already cut pieces in various sizes on hand that I use a lot. Cutting as I have time keeps the scrap bins somewhat under control. And recently I have been so very thankful for already cut strips.

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
One bin of cut 2.5″ scrap strips
Bin of 2.5" strips.
The colors are not separated, I sort through them when I decide what color to use.

Why I am thankful for already cut strips today

My shoulder caused problems during the first part of the year and was finally starting to heal and feel much better. On July 17 I was out at a local park. I was watching where I was going, not where I put my feet. Yep, you guessed it, the ground was uneven and I fell. No one has ever accused me of being graceful!

I am now in a brace to give my muscles and tendons a rest and time to heal. Severe sprains are no fun. It has really cut down on my quilting since I can’t hand quilt, use the rotary cutter, or lift much. Frustrating… but I am thankful for the already cut strips that eliminate that step.

My arm in a brace.

Spending time looking at quilt magazines and books is fun. I started out looking just to look and inspire, and ended up finding the “perfect” pattern for the two bins of cut 2.5″ strips.

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
Source: Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking by D. McClun & L. Nownes

This pattern is a classic example of use the piece size you have on hand or want to cut. The directions call for smaller than my 2.5″ strips, but I am using the above photo as the starting point and will go my own way with it. I made a similar one years ago with different size blocks, sashing, and posts.

Sewing the strips TOGETHER:

I found strips that are close to the same length and sewed them together in groups of three length-wise. There is no rhyme to the colors as this is total scrap.

Especially with the current injury making it almost impossible to use the rotary cutter, I am thankful for already cut strips. Most of the three strip blocks were already sewn together which is another blessing at this point.

Iron all the seams. I measured across the three pieces and cut each three strip group the same size so now I have a square. Make the amount of these squares you need for your quilt top.

This is where I need to stop and say that I do all this sewing assembly line style. I just line up the fabrics and sew. When the pile starts getting in my way, I stop and cut them apart. Then I will grab more strips and assembly line sew again until I have the right amount.

I have kept the bin of strips beside the sewing machine for the past several weeks and sewed when I had a few minutes or hours. There is time tied up in this quilt, but it goes together easily. Another advantage of this quilt is that it is a great way to use those scraps.

Just keep sewing

Assembly line sewing is an easy and quick way to get through a pile of pieces. It also allows me to do a lot of ironing at a time. I sometimes make phone calls while ironing since I can put the phone on speaker. This allows me to get several things marked off my “to-do” list.

The original inspiration photo (above) goes together like my quilt at the start, but here I veer off in my own way. I sewed 9 of the blocks together to make a “basket weave” pattern (see below).

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
Complete block is 17.5″ square

Sashing and posts:

I wanted to break up all the scraps with a solid color sashing. This beautiful turquoise/teal fabric was in my stash. All the fabric in this top was on hand already.

Sashing.
Sashing fabric

I like sashing to have “posts” because it is easier to keep the rows straight with each other (at least for me). The sashing is cut 3″ wide for posts because I have a box of 3″ squares left over from other projects. Another way to use up some already cut pieces.

3" squares to use as "posts".
3″ squares left over from other projects.

Measure your complete “basket weave blocks”. That will be the size of your sashing. Cut some or all at this point. I usually cut several to get started with, and then will count and cut more if needed.

This quilt top is 4 “basket weave” blocks by 4 “basket weave” blocks for a total of 16 blocks. I sew a sashing to one side of each block. This way there is sashing between the blocks. The last block in the row gets a sashing on the outside edge too. Complete the rows in this manner. Iron.

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
Block with sashing between blocks, and a row of sashing with posts sewn to a row of blocks.

Cut more sashing strips the size needed. Sew a strip to a post. In my top this meant 4 sets of sashing and posts, plus one extra post sewn at the end. Iron.

Attach a row of sashing and posts to a row of blocks with sashing between matching the posts to the sashing between each “basket weave” block.

One row of blocks with sashing and posts.

This video is short and easy to follow for those of you who prefer things a bit more organized.

Border decisions:

Once all the blocks, sashing, and posts were sewn together, I need a border. In my mind borders serve two purposes: a frame for the quilt, and/or a way to make the top the size needed.

Top completed, but it needs borders.
Top done, but it needs borders.

Above photo is the completed top as of today. It is 80″ square.

I went back to the stash. After looking through several options, I decided on a narrow solid black border to frame the quilt. Then I will add some more strips around it to make it about 90″ square.

The remaining blue from the sashing will be the binding fabric.

Hopefully, I will get the border on the top yet this week, but at this point tonight my wrist is throbbing. It is time for ice and to rest my wrist.

Update 08/17/2021:

The top is complete !!

Borders are on. Finished size of top is 94″ square.

Narrow solid black border was cut 1.75″ wide.

The scrap strips used in the two rounds around the narrow black border are 2.5″ wide.

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
All kinds of fun scraps in this top.

There is enough of the blue used for the sashing to make the binding after the top is machine quilted.

My tip to you:

When you can find or make the time, sort scraps or fabric from your stash. Cut these fabric pieces into common pieces and sizes you use frequently. Keep some on hand at all times.

They can make for a quick project, or are ready when the mood hits to just sit and enjoy the rhythm of sewing.

You will be thankful for already cut strips and squares.

Happy Quilting.

Make today amazing clip art.
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

THE ANTIQUE HONEYCOMB QUILT

THE ANTIQUE HONEYCOMB QUILT

The Antique Honeycomb Quilt was a wonderful find during a visit to an antique shop in Farmersburg, IN during 1997. The top was in a pile of other antique tops back in a dark corner. I paid $15 for it, and happily took it home.

This quilt pattern is a bit different than “normal” because the honeycombs are more rectangular than hexagon.

I compared the fabrics to some other quilts I had. And did some research, including a visit with my aunt who specializes in antique quilts. We both decided it was probably made in the very early 1900’s. The range of fabrics is from the 1860’s to 1900.

Some of the browns are faded and starting to shred.

Brown fabric that is shredding.
Brown fabric that is shredding.

Please note that this quilt is not a charm quilt where each fabric is different. It is scrap with lots of repeated fabrics. Someone using what they had on hand at the time.

A note on old fabric:

The antique honeycomb quilt top really called out to me for attention and care. I very carefully and gently washed (really soaked) it in the bathtub (see Method 2 of this link). I did not wring it out or agitate it in any way, but there were problems even with this.

Some of the fabrics that were intact prior to washing started shredding. The flip side is that some of the fabrics stood up to the water just fine, and looked brighter.

Fragile old fabric is something to be aware of if you like antique textiles of any sort. The condition of the fabric will determine if it is for show or use.

Some basic research shows that if any metal was used in the dying or dye setting of a fabric, the fabric is much more likely to shred or deteriorate with time. This seems to occur more in the time period of the mid 1800s to early 1900s.

To hand quilt or not:

Even with some of the pieces shredding, I decided to hand quilt it. There are two reasons for this: I could keep the tension of the quilt frame loose enough to quilt but not put stress on the fabric. The top called out to be completed into a quilt.

This quilt had no border, and I chose to leave it the original size of 68″ x 74″.

Here is the antique looking fabric for the backing.

Backing fabric of the antique honeycomb quilt.
Backing

The hand quilting is a simple outline around each piece. I simply “eye-balled” the quilting. It looks uniform enough that I have been asked what I marked it with.

THE ANTIQUE HONEYCOMB QUILT

A simple solid red binding completed the quilt.

Most quilts that I make are intended to be used. This one is only for display. It looks very homey and comfortable.

Some quilters would replace the shredded pieces with reproduction fabric, but I chose to leave them there. It adds to the antique look and feel of this unusual quilt.

This quilt gets many comments from people who like antiques, and other quilters. It is an unusual block, the various fabrics, the backing, the hand stitching all combine to make for a conversation starter.

Honeycomb pieces.

Would I do it again?

I honestly do not know if I would take the time and care to hand quilt an antique quilt top again. This one spoke to me and I paid attention. It is a source of happiness for me every time I look at it.

The moral to this is to follow your heart when making a quilt. Enjoy the process. Pick fabrics and colors you enjoy. Use a technique you enjoy. There is no right or wrong to making a quilt for yourself.

Make today amazing
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.