Sunday, January 31, 2016

Scrappy Quilts & Sweet Surrender

I've decided to make a quilt for each of my grandchildren and to make it challenging, I'm trying to just use fabrics from my stash.
Years ago I had cut a lot of five inch blocks. I got them out of the box to see what I could make with them. I'm not good with a random design, I have to have a plan. Trip Around the World was the pattern I chose. Scrappy Trips was stitched in the ditch horizontally and vertically. Then I stitched diagonally from side to side.

I tear pages out of magazines for ideas and the Width of Fabric quilt idea was from a picture in a magazine. How simple, I can do that! This quilt was quilted in the ditch horizontally first, then vertically with 1" straight stitching.
Fabric from my mother's stash was used for the backing.

Scrappy Trips measures 50" X 60" and the Width of Fabric quilt measures 42" X 68". These two quilts are for the two youngest granddaughters.
I've started piecing quilts for the grandsons. I'm using a Bonnie Hunter pattern, Scrappy Majestic Mountains. I pulled the box of mom's homespun fabrics for this project. So far the blocks are still in the process of being sewn, this definitely is NOT a fast pattern.

Applique in the evening is very relaxing. Three more Sweet Surrender triangle blocks and a half block have been completed.

I didn't take a picture, but several weeks ago I won a package of 1" Hexagons from A Quilting Reader's Garden. They came in the mail this week and were a very welcome package on a cloudy, dreary day. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pastor's Attic Applique Block

The 6th applique block for the Pastor's Attic quilt has been completed. The red strawberries are lightly stuffed with batting. They were supposed to have french knots embroidered on them. I embroidered 4 of them, then decided the knots didn't look right on this fabric. Next strawberry block I'll use a more solid fabric instead of a print or at least something without black dots. The berry and leaf stems are an embroidered chain stitch. It has been so long since I've used a chain stitch, I needed to get my embroidery book out and remind myself how to do this stitch.

I've also appliqued blocks 2, 3 and 4 of Sweet Surrender. I can't believe how fast these blocks applique. It seems like it takes me longer to prep them, than it does to actually applique them.

I've gotten a start on piecing blocks for the Salinda Rupp/Nearly Insane quilt. The corner block (which is divided into 4th) and 2 of the side blocks (which are divided into half). The half blocks look kind of make-shift, but I think they will look better when I get the next row sewn and attached. This quilt will be a rather scrappy blue and yellow project, I'm trying to use fabrics I have in my stash.

Now I need to prep again, more Sweet Surrender, more Insane blocks and another Pastor's Attic block. 

Linking up to Esther's Wednesday Wow Freshly PiecedMy Quilt InfatuationA Quilting Reader's Garden, Crazy Mom Quilts, Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework and Love Laugh Quilt.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Quilting Projects for 2016

A quick word about my changing blogs. I appreciate all the kind comments and willingness to help me with the Wordpress problem. I don't want to spend anymore time trying to make changes with Wordpress. I'm here on Blogger now and plan to stay. I also think  a lot of people didn't read the last paragraph in the last Wordpress post and didn't realize I was moving. Someone told me they only read the important stuff. That is their choice. And yes, I did accidentally hit the publish button for this post before I was ready but fortunately there is a return to draft button. That was part of the learning process. Someone e-mailed me and said Blogger wasn't the same as Blogspot. When I am writing the draft of my post, the information in the bar says blogger. When I hit the publish key, it changes to blogspot, so to me, they are the same. 

Now, onto the fun stuff!

The first finish of 2016 is completed!  I've quilted the Snowflake Zippy-Strippy on my sewing machine. I'm not the best machine quilter, hand quilting is my speciality but I'm trying to learn. I've got the straight line quilting down pretty good and I'm pleased with the borders. The curves in the white border leave a lot to be desired but my grandchildren aren't going to care. The flange binding adds some extra zing to the quilt.

I've noticed most people wrote about their 2016 projects at the end of December but I work at my own pace. I'm starting three long-term projects but I plan to make time for other short term projects too.

Some friends and I have started piecing the Salinda Rupp quilt, also known as Nearly Insane, published by Liz Lois. I plan to foundation paper piece this quilt row by row, like I did my Jane quilt. We've drawn up a tentative schedule and will need to piece approximately six blocks a month to have her pieced in 18 months. Some of these blocks have a huge number of pieces so I will try to piece more than 6 a month this winter. When spring/summer arrives in several months, I may need to put Insane on hold until fall.  I'm hoping she doesn't take over my life like Jane did. So far I've pieced 1 block, block #1. I'm piecing her in blues and yellow from my stash and need to get to working with the prep work.

There are two applique projects in progress. The first is a Baltimore Album called The Pastor's Attic Quilt. I actually started appliqueing these blocks last year. I've completed 5 blocks so far and am working on the 6th block now. There are 25 blocks total and all of them are applique. I plan to eventually hand quilt her.

The second applique project is Sweet Surrender designed by Sue Cody. Half of the blocks are applique and the rest of them are pieced.  My quilt will be made using 30's fabrics and I have been busy with prep work. 

I've completed several blocks, they work up very fast. I'm pleased with the 30's fabrics, they make a very nice change from the more somber fabrics in the Pastor's Attic Quilt.

These three projects won't be completed this year, but that is OK, these are slow projects. I'll keep working on them and eventually they will be finished.

I have several UFQ's (unfinished quilts) I hope to finish this year and I'm starting with these two.

1st project - Piece the border for the Cherry Blossom Quilt by Karen H. The fabric is cut and ready to go. Once the borders are finished, the top will be completed and ready for quilting. Cherry Blossoms will be long-arm quilted sometime. The Cherry Blossoms pattern was designed by Karen H. Her blog is Faeries and Fibres. Click on Patterns by Karen H on the headings line.
2nd project - The blocks for the Summer Lake Log Cabin quilt are pieced and just need to be sewn together. I need to lay these out on the floor and didn't want to do that earlier with all the extra people here. 

Summer Lake Log Cabin was designed by Judy Martin and is from her Log Cabin Quilt Book.

This isn't an old UFQ since I pieced these blocks in November.

Once I get these two unfinished quilt tops sewn, I'll get to the 'older' UFQ's.

And finally, some little, cute and fun projects to make.

I think my granddaughters will like the Lazy Girl purses but I need to figure out how to do the zippers. You take them apart and only use one side of the zipper!

The Sit & Stitch Pincushion is actually a sewing kit with a pincushion attached. I've already decided how to make changes so it will be more convenient for me. 

There are several crib and youth bed sized quilts I would like to make and of course, the Fussy Cut Star quilt is still in the quilting frame, very slowly being hand quilted.

I think this looks like a reasonable and manageable list but it isn't a legal contract and I may change my mind. We'll see what happens in 2016.

I'm linking up to Quilt Story, Linky Tuesday, Cooking Up QuiltsEsther's Wednesday Wow, Freshly Pieced, My Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Quilt Addict, A Quilting Reader's Garden, Crazy Mom Quilts, Quilting is More Fun than Housework and Slow Stitching Sunday.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Jane is Finished!

Welcome to my new blog, Gretchen's Little Corner which is a continuation of my old Wordpress blog, Gretchen's Little Corner. I decided to go with Blogger for the new blog for varying reasons. If Blogger doesn't work out, then maybe I'll go back to Wordpress.

If you are new to my blog you will find I post about quilting, farming, gardening or whatever is going on in my life. Special thanks to my daughter for setting up this blog way last summer!

I spent most of 2015 working on my version of the Jane Stickle, also know as a Dear Jane. I just completed her and I'm proud to show her off. If you would like to read about my Jane journey, click here.

I quilted her on the old stands and sticks frame my father made for me 40 years ago. The stands have been reinforced, glued and reinforced more. They are not very stable anymore. 

During the Jane Stickle quilt retreat in November, I bought a Grace quilting frame at the resale table. I'm the 3rd owner of this quilting frame, but it has never been put together. My SIL started putting the quilting frame together for me while he and our daughter were here the middle of December. He really enjoyed this project as it was a nice change for him from his academia world. 

When he removed the pieces from the box, it looked like this:

He completed structure work, but son 2 did the finishing work on her. Now she looks like this. There are 4 pipe rollers. On the sides there are bungee cords with clamps attached. I was concerned about the sides being taut enough, but they are! In fact I had them too tight and needed to loosen them. She takes up less room width-wise than the old frame did. 

My DIL and Son 2 helped me load up the frame for the first quilting project. I decided I wanted to do a smaller quilt (I'm kind of burnt out on quilting at the moment!) and pulled out the Fussy-Cut Star wall quilt I hand pieced in 2014. I don't have a specific time frame to have this wallhanging completed. She'll be finished when is finished.

DIL2 started the quilting on the outside border. You can't see it at all on the top but the black thread shows nicely on the white muslin back. Since this is a wall hanging, I went with an easy decision for the backing fabric. 

The borders have been sewn on the Snowflake Zippy-Strippy quilt. I'm going to baste leftover batting strips together for batting. Once they are sewn together, I'll start machine quilting her.

Thank you for joining me on my new blog. 

I'll be linking to Esther's Wednesday WOW, Freshly Pieced, My Quilt Infatuation, A Quilting Reader's Garden, Quilt Story, Crazy Mom Quilts, Slow Stitching Sunday, Podunk PrettiesQuilting is More Fun Than Housework and Love Laugh Quilt.