Remember the saying “Laughter is the best medicine”? This week has been rough. We need something light hearted in the midst of all the anger and fear being projected by events and media. Quilters – laughter is good for us.
Let me encourage you, this time shall pass. The year of 2020, which started with promise, has deteriorated into a full blown mess. But as my grandma would say, “make lemonade from those lemons.”
With that in mind, I thought just to share a few things that made me laugh today. I am hoping they cheer up your day, and that you get a laugh from them. All of the following are from my Pintrest board “Fun Quilting Quotes”.
Remember quilters – laughter is good for us. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…” (KJV) Proverbs 17:22
The Bird in the Air quilt that I had given me the idea had lots of blocks all set together in rows with narrow sashing and posts. There is nothing wrong with that, but once I had enough blocks made to start playing with how I would set them together that “look” just did not inspire me. Um….now what?
Finally after some time of playing around with different settings, I came up with this by putting four blocks together:
So I made a total of 16 large blocks (each made with 4 of the original Birds in the Air blocks). At this point I did not want to make anymore of these blocks. I sewed the 16 large blocks into four rows of four large blocks. The top of Scrap Bonanza #1 was about 60″ square.
It is really cheerful and bright and busy at this point. I love it but wow, I need somewhere to rest my eyes. So I will add a solid border – I still have lots of 2.5″ strips. Just FYI, the brown border is linen left over from another project.
I have two plastic containers of 2.5″ strips for log cabin blocks. What if I made a piano key border to complete this quilt? Can I be honest – I am not a fan of piano key borders. They are time consuming to make and right at this point, I just wanted this quilt top done.
So I looked around at my stash of UFOs – was there other blocks that could be used as a border? Not that I wanted to use for this. How about just a plain old solid border? That would be quick and easy. None of the fabrics I auditioned for an outer border looked right.
Yep, back to my first idea – make a piano key border. So I just started pulling strips out of the container. No rhyme to the colors I just sew the strips end to end into a long, long, long strip.
Cut the strips into 15″ lengths. Sew those lengths together in pairs down the long sides. Make enough to add to sides of top so this border goes all the way around.
I added the border to one side, then opposite side. Made a lot more border which I added to the remaining two sides. It was time consuming, but really easy. This quilt top “Scrap Bonanza #1” is done and I am really happy with it.
I also did not stress that all my points were not perfect. The “quilt police” are not coming after this quilt (I would not listen to them anyway). It was fun to make and really made a dent in the scrap problem I am trying to conquer.
Your mission should you decide to accept is to make a dent in your scrap bin. Step out of your comfort zone, do something fun (and maybe a little wild) with all those scraps you have been holding onto because they are just too nice to throw away. Have fun. Be creative. Enjoy the quilt journey you are on.
Now I am confined to working from home until further notice. It is so much easier to be productive on my quilts when I am right here at home. So I am challenging myself to see how many “quarantine” quilts I can make during this time.
Feel free to join me in this if you want. We can always give the tops or quilts away to friends or family. Or we can donate them to a worthy cause.
The past few days have been interesting to say the least when it comes to the media panic over corona virus and how people around the USA are re-acting. I live in a rural area and am currently working from home instead of traveling for work. Any excuse for taking time to quilt is always good, but quilting during a crisis is productive and helps relieve the stress.
I want to encourage you to take care of yourself including eating properly, getting enough rest, some form of exercise, and of course quilting. If you are not sick, the most important thing is to stay well. If you are already sick, rest and allow yourself to get well.
This is great time to drag out those quilting UFOs you have shoved to the back of the closet. Pick one or two to work on and get busy. Busy hands tend to help us have better moods and being able to see progress on a project is always great.
Another important thing to do during this time is check on other people to see how they are doing or if you can help. Obviously the best way to check on people right now is using the phone or other technology. As quilters we tend to be generous and this is a great time to show that.
It looks like I will be working from home at least two weeks. I am understandably happy to not be traveling right now. Here is what I am doing that is quilt related during this quarantine time:
Weeding old quilt magazines
Cutting scraps into standard sizes and putting into plastic containers
Catching up on reading other quilting blogs
Some encouragement about Quilting During A Crisis:
I pieced the 36 blocks for this “I Spy” Log Cabin Quilt while in Maine during September 2017. The scraps are bright, cheerful and fun. The variety of novelty fabrics make it even more interesting – there are all kinds of things to “spy” including: corn on the cob, Snoopy, Minions, cats, rocks, cars, planets, etc. All the fabrics in these blocks came from my scrap bin.
Each center block was a 3″ square sewn into a half square triangle (HST). The fabric strips were 2.5″ wide and as long as I could cut from each scrap. The exception was the outside border which was cut 4″ wide.
The borders also include more strips sewn long-way instead of the usual piano key type border. This was a quick way to finish up the quilt top and allowed me to use up a few more scraps. (Did you notice the mistake? One side has only one strip of scrap border instead of two like on the other sides).
This quilt was a Christmas 2017 gift for my daughter and grand-daughter. It makes a fun way to snuggle and play “I Spy” with the various fabrics. The backing was purchased by my daughter and is a peacock theme.
All cotton fabric and poly batting.
“I Spy” Log Cabin Quilt was machine quilted by RLM in November 2017 in an all over stipple design.
The binding matched the outer border. Machine sewn to the front and hand sewn on the back of the quilt.
Finished size is 96″ square.
I admit it – I was super slow to figure out how much fun Log Cabin quilts could be. The blocks can be set different ways depending on how the quilter wants the finished quilt to look. Log Cabin quilts can be scrappy or planned or even planned scrappy. There is simply no limit to what can be done with this pattern. Try the Log Cabin design out and see what you come up with. Have fun.
I pieced French Country Life in early 2013. I collect toile fabrics but can’t bare to cut them up for piecing. Plus they are so busy it is hard to work larger pieces of them into a quilt. So I decided to be “brave” and just cut up a piece of toile to go in this quilt.
Many of the yellow and blue fabrics of the nine patches are reproductions of historic prints. Combined with the toile, I thought it would make a really historic looking quilt, especially if I hand quilted it.
I am going to admit that I didn’t measure correctly (a good reminder to measure twice and cut once) and the quilt ended up to big for my hand quilting frame.
The flip side of it being to big for my hand quilting frame is that I simply love the colors. It has a real “old world” feel and look to it. I can and have put it on the bed back side up for a different look.
French Country Life was machine quilted in an all-over wave design by RLM in May 2013, and it took me until Dec. 2013 to get the binding and tag done.
I made the binding from left over pieces of blue and yellow bindings from previous quilts.
The top is cottons, it has a poly batting and a blue/cream floral backing.
The finished size is 102″ square.
Even if there are mistakes in your quilts, finish them. If you are happy with the end product – enjoy the quilt, show if off, and tell it’s story. If you are not happy with it, complete and give to a family member who does like it. Or donate it within your community. Quilts are comforting and snuggly even with mistakes.
More ideas for nine patch quilts. Also toile fabric:
AMISH 4 PATCH DOLL QUILT: A fun and easy project to make for the wall or a doll.
I pieced this a few years ago on one of my trips to Maine. It was easy and a great way to see if I liked the pattern in these colors.
This was a the perfect size quilt to “stitch in the ditch” on my sewing machine It only took about an hour to pin and quilt. Then it went into the pile that just needed to be bound and get a tag. Of course, it got sucked to the bottom. When I found it a few months later, it only took a couple hours to hand bind.
The backing was a print of Amish life I found while at the quilt show in Paducah, KY. I only bought a yard and used most of it on this project.
The finished size is 24″ x 28″.
The Amish 4 Patch Doll Quilt is currently hanging in my dining room and the colors just glow.
Another great thing about small quilts is that you can have a personal, rotating quilt show in your office or cubicle. At home, they make a great show on room walls or hallways.
I cut all the individual blocks rather than do the 4 patches using strips. I was working with various scraps so it was easier just to do them as blocks. However, the next time, I will sew the strips together and then cut the the blocks.
I learn something new with every quilt that I make.
I encourage quilters to do small projects as well as large ones. The small ones allow you to try a technique or color scheme before committing yourself to something large.
Quotes to Start Your Monday – The first day of the work week can be tough, after all, we would rather be quilting or doing something quilt related than going off to work. But we have to work to pay those bills and support our quilt habit – right?
Today, I just thought I would share a few of my favorite quotes that bring a smile to my face and encourage me as I am at work and wish I was quilting instead. Hopefully these quotes to start your Monday will encourage you as well.
Fellow Quilters, what are some of your favorite quotes?
What do you do for a wedding gift for a cousin who waited forever while finding the right guy and has a complete house already?? Make a wedding quilt of course !! This wedding quilt was simple and personal and super easy to make.
Cousin and hubby like to do road trips on the motorcycle, so that was the theme I went with. It’s not like they got a duplicate of this. They loved it.
Finished size: 70″ square.
For this quilt I purchased a yard of the center fabric and cut it square (so about 34 – 35″). I added 5 borders in various widths (2.5″ to 6″) that coordinated with the center fabric until it was the size I wanted. In this case I wanted a big lap quilt that my cousin and her new hubby could snuggle under on the couch or recliner.
I cut and pieced this quilt in one day while in Maine in Sept. 2015.
Machine quilted by RLM in an all over stipple design.
This wedding quilt could easily be made in any theme or size depending on the need or fabric available. This is a super easy way to make a personal quilt for that special person in your life.
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.
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.
The above picture is of the backing.
Grandma’s Flower Garden was a gift to a family member.