Saturday, January 21, 2017

Purple Half Square Triangles

After finishing our Flying Geese blocks a couple of weeks ago, my FaceTiming friend and I decided to do another Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt. So we cut and sewed a bunch of scrappy half square triangles.

This past week, we sewed them into blocks. We'll eventually make 20 of these blocks, which will finish at 12" each and go into a 4 X 5 block layout. We can work out the "to sash or not" and "borders - yes or no" at a later date.

Here are Dianne's 2 blocks:

And here are mine:

I continue to work on my RSC quilt from last year. I'm making good progress on the bow tie blocks. But I really, really wanted to see how the border was going to look. So I cut and fused the flowers for one border:

I'll post an occasional update on this quilt when there has been significant progress. I don't want to over post about. If you'd like to see how it's going or see the finished quilt, you can follow my blog ( to catch those posts. :)

I'm linking up with Angela's RSC17 at SoScrappy.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2017

I haven't finished last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge, but I'm working on it. Meanwhile, I started this year's challenge with 5 flying geese blocks done in January's chosen color of purple. I'm working on this with a friend who lives well over 1500 miles from me. She comes to visit often - usually in the winter months because she lives in Montana and I live in Las Vegas - and we quilt (and drink wine) when she's here.

We're going to make the same quilt using our own scraps, although we will undoubtedly share some with each other. The pattern we're following is from the free patterns on the Robert Kaufman Fabrics website. It's called Remixed Geese. Shown below is the picture from the Kaufman website:

The fun part for us is that we're quilting together on FaceTime. So we can pour a glass of wine and each go to our sewing room, where we set up our iPads and get ready for some sewing, gabbing and laughing! And we can get opinions on fabric choices and squeal over each others completed blocks. She doesn't blog, so I'm going to try to get her to send me a photo of her blocks each month to add to my blog post. It'll be fun to see both scrappy versions of the same quilt!

We will make 5 blocks each month. Here are Dianne's purple flying geese:

And here are mine:

We've also decided to make a second RSC quilt using half square triangles. As soon as we get those blocks done, I'll post them.

A Finished Quilt Top

I finally finished my Maggie's First Dance quilt top.

At the beginning of this quilt along with Jacqueline Steves, I selected the fabrics to use. Three of them (shown below) came from the same line. My plan was to use the solid-ish fabrics in the quilt and the wild print for the outer border.

Very early in the process, it became quite obvious that the fabric I had selected for the border wasn't going to work. That fabric didn't look any better once the blocks were sewn together either!

I had 2 other print fabrics in this line, but they were both just as bad as the first. (I know what you're thinking: "how did she ever think any of those fabrics would work with the applique flowers in that quilt?"  And I have nothing to say in my defense! :)

In the end, I went with with the same blue-gray that I used in the blocks. I thought it would be super boring, but now that it's done I kind of like it. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Sweet Sixteen

I have most of my little 2-1/2" bow ties sorted into 48 stacks to be sewn into 16-patch blocks. Even though it's the same amount of work, it seems less daunting to face the task of sewing 48 blocks into a quilt top instead of 768 individual blocks!

So far I've made 16 of the blocks, which will finish at approximately 8" each. I'm anxious to get this done, but my mind is already getting in my way. I'm trying to decide if I want to put a border on it to make it a little bigger. The way it is now it should be about 48" x 56" which is just a little small for a lap quilt (especially if it needs to cover my lap!)  :) :) :)

I'll probably adjust my current layout to 6 across and start sewing a few rows together. I want to see how those corners look when they're sewn together.

I'd really like a cool way to do some dots in a border so I could call the quilt "buttons and bows", but that's just not panning out.

So now my thoughts have turned to some kind of fabulous applique. Something kind of like this:

This is a border from Piece O' Cake Designs. Unfortunately, the pattern is now out of print.

I guess I still have some time to think about it....

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Is This a New Me?

I really had no business starting as many quilt-alongs this year as I did, but that didn't stop me. So when life's blessings and challenges took priority, I fell behind.  I would wander into my sewing room occasionally to work on something, but most projects just gathered dust. Generally, once I get too far behind I lose interest and don't finish. I don't actually quit the project - I just stuff it in a bag or container to finish later (ha ha)!

Luckily (?), I have no space left in my sewing room to start another project so I'm trying to finish a few starts from earlier this year.

I have actually finished all my little blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and now I'm sewing them into larger blocks for the piecing portion of my quilt. Yay!

That is such a good feeling. I definitely want more of it! The Meadow Mystery is still in progress, so yesterday I got busy finishing what I could. And now I think I'm caught up on that one too!

I'm really liking this. Maybe this is a whole new version 2.0.  Or Vicki2017...or....hey! does anyone remember the old Commodore Vic-20 computers? Is that what they were called? Wait. Where was I? How did I get so far off-track?

**sigh**  I guess the old me is still alive and well!!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Quick Bow Tie Cutting

To be honest, I didn't really think I'd get 800 little bow tie blocks finished by year end (80 blocks each month of the assigned color) back in April when I started the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I wanted to make a scrappy mini bow tie quilt and I was already behind as the quilt along had started in January. My plan was to make a big lap size quilt with 2" finished bow tie blocks. I would sew the 2" bow ties into 16-patch blocks (finishing at 8" square) to make the construction easier. A layout of 6 blocks across by 8 blocks down meant I would need 768 bow ties. I rounded up to 800 because it's such a nice even number divisible by 10 months! And I could do something cute with the leftovers. So that's how I decided I needed to make 80 of each color.

All excited, I pulled out a big bin of orange scraps and started cutting. For each block, I cut (2) 1-1/2" squares and (2) 1" squares of an orange scrap. I was cutting them one scrap at a time, trying to use up as many little pieces as possible. It took f-o-r-e-v-e-r!

Each month, this process took a little longer and was a bit less enjoyable.

As I was cutting the blocks for my 8th color, I figured out a super fast way to cut these pieces. I decided to document one month's cutting and share it in a tutorial just in case someone else might want to make one. (These instructions don't include the white blocks because I used a solid white and just stacked the fabric, cutting tons of 1-1/2" squares at a time, so you might want to cut a few hundred of those first.)

Anyway, here's what I came up with to make 80 quick blocks from one color:

Select 10 scraps of one color - each needs to be big enough to cut (6) 3" squares.

From each fabric pile, create 2 stacks - 1 with 4 pieces and the other with 2 pieces.  Cut the stack of 4 in half both vertically and horizontally.  Cut the stack of 2 into thirds both vertically and horizontally. Discard 2 of the 18 one-inch squares.

Gather (16) 1-1/2" white squares and the remaining 16 one-inch yellow squares. Place a yellow square right side down on any corner of the white square and stitch diagonally across the yellow square.  Repeat to make 16 like this - these can be chain-stitched in about 2 or 3 minutes!

Clip the corners off, leaving about 1/4" seam allowance.

Press the yellow piece out toward the corner with the seam allowance going toward the yellow fabric.

Place the freshly pressed squares, with the yellow corner in the lower right hand side on your table and set the 1-1/2" yellow squares next to them as shown below.

To sew these together, flip the yellow square over on to the white/yellow square and sew the edge - always make sure the yellow triangle corner stays in the lower right hand position.  (Good grief there's a lot of lint on that shaft!)

Take 2 identical blocks and finger press the seam toward the yellow piece.

Then rotate the top piece and fold it down onto the bottom piece. Stitch along edge, interlocking the seam. These can be chain-pieced.

Clip the blocks apart and "pinwheel" the center intersecting seams on the back and press.

Turn it over and give it a final, finishing press!

Now breeze through the rest of your scrap piles!

This may not be quite as scrappy as if I had cut them one at a time. But even if they're all done with this method, I'd still have 80 different fabrics in the quilt!