Monday, January 30, 2023

Design Wall Monday--Matching Up the Mats and Storm Damage

 Design Wall Monday--see more great quilting projects on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

All the pieced mats I showed last time are now matched up with a backing. 

It is so good to use up backing cutoffs and partial fat quarters for this job. 

Some more backings.  I will rummage through the leftover batting box first for suitable chunks. These will be stitched and turned, and minimally quilted. 

These blocks from the last scrappy play are now assembled.  Pondering the next step, borders. Maybe some little star blocks would be charming.

Grant and I went to the Ventura Harbor  last week to check out the recent surf/storm damage and see the sunset. 

It was very windy and cold.  This is called Kiddie beach as it is within our manmade harbor's protective jetties.  What a mess!

On the south side of the jetty there was a lot more damage.  You can see where the surf carved away a lot of sand. Tons of debris everywhere.

The waves even came up over the jetty! There was some standing water on a few of the big boulders. 

The sunset was gorgeous behind the Channel Islands.  We met up with our daughter for dinner at a favorite local fish taco place downtown, and stopped at the ice cream parlor too.  It was nice to get out of the house. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Mats Galore from the Scrap Drawer

Lots more singleton blocks, bits and bobs, fat quarter pieces and precut strips have been occupying my stitching time. 

The blocks in the top row were leftover Easy Breezy blocks (Bonnie Hunter free pattern). Extra Easy Breezy pieces made up the long skinny on the end. The other long skinny with the pink and gray was a cuttoff from the most recent table mat I made my friend.  I made the scrappy square-in-square tops some time back.  All got 1.5" borders, mostly from the fat quarter dresser for a faux binding.

Some 3" squares also got sewn up into a 16 patch.  They don't fit into my precut scrap system so this is a great  way to use them up.  I've since paired up all the patchwork pieces with backing from the fat quarter dresser. 


There happened to be a perfect sized piece of batting already on the cutting table for these two mats.  Simple ditch-stitching for both the blocks and a faux binding finish.  Just a few hand stitches to close the opening and call them done!  Perhaps I will find a place to sell these,  I can't keep them all!

Monday, January 23, 2023

Design Wall Monday--Accidental Squirrel

Design Wall Monday--see more great projects on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

While hubby was off golfing on Sunday, I poked around my small projects drawer and the precut squares and strip drawers for entertainment.  There were some brown/white HSTs that looked like a good starting point.  Soon I was pulling more browns and neutrals, cutting up more scraps to make HSTs. 

A pattern soon showed up, though it seemed to take all afternoon to get to this point!  Finding enough of one brown scrap/partial fat quarter to cut matching 4" squares  for the HSTs was the first hurdle.  Initially I was going to make only three blocks...

Then I made three more, and included the blue print. That led to needing another row to make a more cohesive scrappy quilt. Improv is hard!  I do better when there is some commonality; in this case, cheddar centers with the four brown squares, and creamy yellowy prints with red centers for the simple churn dash blocks.  

Lots of auditioning, trimming, refolding and reorganizing.  It was good to poke into the fat quarter dresser, but a colorful squirrel showed up, too!

While at Sewtopia Palm  Springs last November, I bought a curated fat quarter stack  at the in-event shop, in colors foreign to most of my stash.  They have been in a wire bin on top of the fat quarter dresser, so I  see them frequently.  I decided to find a fat quarter friendly pattern among my library.  Several options were narrowed down to the Livin Large pattern booklet by Heather Mulder Peterson--seems she's my favorite designer recently--having just finished the bindings on two runners from another booklet of hers :)  

The pattern I was drawn to is on the back of the booklet, Pretty in Pink, and required additional fat quarters for the throw size, meaning many auditions from the stash drawers. The curated fat quarter bundle is the top group in this photo.

Pink and blue are not colors I have much of, but I did find some sweet coral options and a repro blue print that blended. The pattern also can be cut from 10" squares. I likely will not add the applique, but we'll see!  The bolt of Kona Snow I bought last year still has plenty of fabric on it, which I will use for the narrow sashing. Nice to have all the fabric I need for this on hand!  

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Color and Pattern Play

Playing with color and pattern is so relaxing and fun for me--it doesn't always lead to a finish, but pieces and parts get saved to play with on another day. I wanted to make a little something for my manicurist friend, Stacy, for her birthday month. I pulled out a little top I made in September from  leftovers from pre-cutting my sister-in-law's mauve solid for her Sewtopia project. 

The scrappy rectangles each have in common light centers and four green rectangles. These were 2.5x2" scraps.  A fat quarter from the stash dresser was brought up to size with some more mauve strips from SIL Laura's scraps. I layered the batting, the backing right side up and the top right side down. I used 1/4" seam and left an opening to stitch and turn.  This is the faux binding method from Crafty Staci again, but  I cut my strips 1.5" wide for this bigger quilted mat (Crafty Staci used this method for her coaster tutorial with 1" cut strips and added a layer of Insulbrite as well).

Stitch in the ditch quilting including around all the mauve strips, and the light center rectangles. 

My ladder stitching was better this time but my corners are kinda pointy!  Oh well. 

It is two sided, in case the front is too loud sometimes, haha!  

The two mini quilts got their binding finished this week, too. It was rainy and cloudy and windy this week, we are over-saturated and have had a lot of damage from high surf along our coast. Today, though, was very sunshiny. 

Some palm trees of the neighbor's were getting trimmed today.  That's probably 40-50 feet off the ground kind of work!  We really wish that a closer back-fence neighbor would trim their huge Pepper Trees that block our view of the mountains...Oh well!  

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching--Binding and Boring White

Slow Sunday Stitching--see more pretty hand stitching on Kathy's Quilts blog. 

I intended to get stitching earlier today, but we had a couple of visitors first--our son and grandson were giving Mama a break.  There was rearranging of refrigerator magnets, pulling ALL the toys out of the toybox, a water break, and of course a snack, while Daddy and Papa watched football. 

Yesterday I got the bindings attached to the two small runners I've been working on.  They are trimmed and ready to stitch by hand.  

Designed by Heather Mulder Peterson, from her Mini Charms2 booklet.  These were sure quick to quilt. 

Stitch in the ditch all the way!  No heavy quilting needed for these little quilts. 

Late in the evening there was cross-stitch while watching Harry Potter. 

Very boring fill-in of the white on white, with a tiny spray of a few green stitches there at the center top. Two or three more flowers to add at the top before beginning on the surface embroidery.  I'll get there, slow stitch by slow stitch :)

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Backings and Bindings Continue

 In the neverending queue of tops that need to be turned into quilts, I chose two small ones to work on. They are fairly young projects in my TBQ pile.  

I had already chosen the solid aqua--I think this is Kona Pool, but don't quote me. The binding is made from a fat quarter.  Always patting myself on the back when the stash provides, lol!

Leftover backing cutoffs provided the fabric for Winding Roads mini.  These patterns are by Heather Mulder Peterson from her booklet Mini Charms 2. I made the basket block last year from this booklet.  It is still gracing the wall but I will find a backing/binding for it too. It looks yellowish here but is white IRL.

Okay, off to get ready for work!

Monday, January 9, 2023

Design Wall Monday--Scrappy Small Quilts

 Design Wall Monday--see more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

I played with little quilts all weekend! On Saturday my husband was picked up by our son to play golf in Ojai, so I had hours at home to myself.  I started with the the newest mini quilt I showed last time, first choosing a backing fabric from several options. 

A vintage yellow gingham, a small flower red print, and a plaid fat quarter were my top stash options. The HSTs were made from a vintage green print  from stash, and a mini charm pack of Cheeky by Urban Chiks that I probably got at Sewtopia.

It was a close race, but the plaid Denyse Schmidt won out, as it echoed the plaids in the mini. 

After hand stitching closed the stitch-and-turn opening, the faux binding technique  was the next concern--could I quilt around the edge and make my idea of  putting faux binding strips on the backing work? (technique found on the Crafti Staci website, for coasters). 

I was pretty pleased that the stitching mostly stayed where I wanted it, to create the binding look!  A few lines of ditch-stitching down the center and the quilt was finished. 

All done!  

The next mini quilt was also made from leftovers. 

The pinwheels were made from fabrics in the Greenpiece quilt kits from  the Fat Quarter Shop in 2009, I think!  I had saved all the fabric leftovers from the monthly kits and easily cobbled together a backing for the pinwheels.   The Greenpiece quilt top was finally finished in 2021, but still needs  a backing and to be sent out for custom quilting! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Small Quilts Under The Needle

I finished the binding on the red and green mini quilt.  It did not take very long to hand stitch the binding. This one I'm keeping :)

I don't think I'll ever tire of red and green quilts!  Having no specific larger quilt to piece at the moment, I rummaged in the Hoosier cabinet for more smalls to play with. I had made myself one of the stitch-and-turn mug mats/hot pads with the faux binding technique from Crafty Staci's website. 

I used the same fabric for the backing as the faux binding and think it reinforced the binding look. 

I previously made a doll quilt from leftover HST pieces and a mini charm pack, and decided to try the faux binding on this size as well. 

My thought is to cut a backing piece the size of the unfinished top and add faux binding strips to it. I'd complete the project by layering with batting, stitching and turning the quilt, then adding quilting.  It should be much easier to stitch and turn this larger patchwork than the mug mats!

If the process is not too painful, I'll try it with these colorful minis from the unfinished block box.

The never-empty scrap drawers keep my mind  twirling!

Monday, January 2, 2023

First Finish of 2023

Happy New Year! It's always nice to have an early finish for the year. I often play with leftovers, making small mats/wall art. There were a bunch of red and cream four patches from a beloved Minnick and Simpson print.  Some leftover flying geese pieces in white and green joined the party. 

The sunflower print from stash matched so well for the narrow binding, after some stitch in the ditch quilting. Today's task will be to hand stitch the binding, after taking down the Christmas Tree. Yesterday I spent hours removing all the other Christmas decor--storage bin repacking Tetris always takes longer than you think!

Normally we go down to Surfer's Point for a sunset beach walk on the last day of the year, but 2022 brought a lot of rain on 12/31 so there was no sunset to see.  Yesterday it was very very windy, but we headed to the Harbor mouth to catch the last rays. 

The wind was about 25-30 mph and the sand was coming off the beach in waves.  The gulls were having trouble flying straight and no pelicans were around. 

The tide was in and crashing over the jetty protecting our manmade harbor.  I got out of the car to take a couple of pics but soon ran back with a faceful of sand!  This beachwalker had a hood pulled tight :)

Alright, time to pull ornaments off the tree....

Design Wall Monday--Catching Up

 Design Wall Monday --See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  I disappeared for awhile, due to computer issu...