Sunday, March 28, 2010

Welcome to the sixties

I saw that line in an article a number of years ago about Linda Ellerbee. I remembered to take my camera to work and take pictures of the signs my folks made for my surprise party. Didn't they do a great job?
Hmmm. You get to see my bookshelf full of stuff collected over the years. That poor Bugs Bunny looks pretty pitiful doesn't he? He has a very slooooooooooow air leak.
The ones on this wall are my favourites. It cracks me up that some of my folks are so young they don't know which way is up for a peace sign. I really love the rainbow one with the round "peace" in the middle. It just blows me away that they did all this right under my nose!
Back to quilty things. I have been working on a bunch of small quilts for something long term I have in my mind. I have decided to call these "stashlets" because they are little quilts made from my stash. After I had done a few it occurred to me that this would be a good way to use up left over blocks. I always save them -- don't you? Every once in a while I think about trying to make a quilt out of them but never quite do it.
I didn't realize that I had collected so many that I had 4 FULL plastic shoe boxes of them.
It was kind of fun digging through and thinking about the quilts they are leftover from.
Before I thought of the left overs (or should I call them planned overs like women's magazines do) I had already made a couple of stashlets. Here is the first one. I got this fabric really inexpensively and before this have only used it as a backing fabric.
Cute, but lots of sewing, don't you know! Then I decided to head back to the fat quarter bin and add some coordinated nine patches. This one is nice and happy I think.
The border fabric in this one was from that thrift stash sack I told you about a while back. Not my ordinary colours. I had to brighten it up!
I guess you can tell that I hang little things like this from skirt hangers from the wire shelving I keep my fabric on. It's handy that way since they don't hang over my clothes drying rack very well and they don't require re-ironing when it's time to quilt them.
Another fat quarter nine patch combination. I think this is a happy little bluebird.
From the block stash I had these nice little 9 patches already made. It went well with the pumpkin fat quarter. Another thrifted one. Actually the watermelons were in that sack, too. Oh, and the bluebirds. I am seeing a theme here!
This border is a little too big I think but I will leave it alone until it's quilted. Sorry the picture is a bit washed out.
Here is another that came from the block stash. I made a Country Threads quilt a few years ago that alternated these flag house blocks with stars. One too many houses were built. Sounds like an analogy for the current real estate situation.
Look, the math actually came out so that the block border fit. Sometimes I surprise myself!
One last one. You remember my citrus top. I had a couple of extra blocks from that, too, and a bunch of leftover half square triangles that just cried out to be pinwheel blocks. What do you think?
Well, that's a pretty respectable accomplishment, I think. For what I have in mind I need 17 of these little stashlets. So I have a ways to go. And then, of course, they need to be pinned and quilted. Oh, and bound. I have not been making binding as I go on these so that will be a bit of a job.
Apologies for the light posting. Work has been extremely busy. And frustrating. I keep going in early only to find internet issues that prevent us getting to our primary application since it is on a hosted internet site. Oh, well, it's almost the end of March, so only nine months to go! Oops, I promised I wouldn't start the count down yet!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Where have I been?

Well, I have been lost in one of my favourite places -- my scrap bin. And after this foray it even closes!!! You do believe me, don't you? It's actually kind of amazing to me that when I work on scrap quilts I work pretty much randomly and just pull pieces that are big enough out and use them. Just about the opposite technique from when I am working on a non scrap quilt. Then virtually every piece of fabric is planned and matched. So maybe I like to make scrap quilts because they are a break from my normal control freakiness? Dime store psychology -- what do you think!??
So what is this pile you ask? It is sort of Chunky Churndash from Bonnie at Quiltville.
I mostly considered these blocks 2 colour blocks. Background and churndash. Well, except for the center square. I just cut a bunch of those out of light fabrics and pretty much chose them at random. In general, unlike many of the blocks on Bonnie's quilt my corners and sides of each churndash are the same fabric. Except for the occasions when I was short a piece and just subbed something similar -- more like old timey quilts, right? Making do.
Anyway, I cut away for while and then sewed for a while and ended up with 59 blocks. In her quilt Bonnie used 61 plus hourglass blocks in between. I was thinking of not using the hourglass blocks so I made 5 more blocks thinking I could make the quilt 8 blocks x 8 blocks. They are 6" finished blocks so with borders that would make a nice sized lap quilt. I am still rethinking the hourglass blocks, though, because I really like the way they make the churndash blocks look like they are set on point.
The other place I have been is shopping. I recently turned 60 and Mr THQ gave me 3 gift cards worth $60 each to my favourite places -- the local quilt shop, Joann's, and Craft Warehouse. Then my group at work threw a surprise '60's themed bday party for me that included a $100 Joann's gift card. I need to take my camera to work and take a picture of my office now. They all wore tie dye shirts (and there was one for me), wigs, bandanas, John Lennon tiny coloured glasses, and were carrying colourful picket signs. I hung them all on over my office. Wait until you see them! It was a fantastic surprise and lot's of fun. Makes it almost okay to get this old. Almost.
Anyway, I had to start using those gift cards, now didn't I? I have been kind of looking for stencils or letter patterns that I liked and I found these punch outs. I think if I reverse them on my light box I can get a good tracing.
What do I need them for? Well, for the letters for this tabletopper that Kim shared instructions for last fall. I finished the top except for the words. I want kind of funky mismatched letters and I think this method will work. We will see. First there is lots of punching out ahead of me. Kim has been away from blogging for a bit due to an injury. I really miss her and hope she can return soon. At the rate I am going she will be all well and back before I ever get this top done.
What else have I bought? Well, thinking of the churndash quilt I was looking around for borders, or maybe hourglasses and this caught my eye. On sale for only $2.99 a yard. It just had to come home with me. Isn't it cute?!! It will be just right for something, I know it will. So much for trying not to add to stash. Well, I had encoragement to shop don't you know?
Oh, and here is another purchase. I don't see this magazine too often. Once I thumbed through this issue though I had to have it.
Why do you ask, well,look at this house quilt! One look and I just had to make it. I have already pulled browns and blacks from the scrap bin. I love houses and buttons, and this has both. Does that ever happen to you? You look at something, and it is love at first sight. Just. have. to. I love it when this happens, get kind of glum when it doesn't for a while, and guess this is how I end up with so many things in so many stages.
And last but not least, look at how cute this wool runner is. I love how colourful and graphic it is. Even though I don't do alot of wool things, this is one I need to do for sure.

Well, thanks for bearing with my radio silence. I promise to return sooner rather than later!