Saturday, March 30, 2024

March Table Scraps Challenge finish and April's OMG

Hi and welcome 😎  I got to play in my back yard today - it's cool but sunny and the bulbs are just coming out - so the perfect time to clean up leaves and dried plants. One more afternoon and it'll be done! Today I'm sharing my finished Table Scraps Challenge 2024 and April's One Monthly Goal (OMG).

Purple Scrappy Improv Placemat Finish

I'm sorry that I've been dragging this out but it's finally done 😍. I hope that Sarah will love it cause I really love it and will steal it from her is she doesn't 😁! What's not to love about so much purple?

Purple scrappy improv placemat finished!

Over the last two years I've used the Table Scraps Challenge to make a set of placemats. The first one was mine (blue), then my daughter (yellow) and Hubby (green). Now Sarah gets the purple and whenever we reach neutral, that will be for my son. 

All four scrappy improv placemats

I made the table smaller so that I could take a good picture!

All four placemats on the small table

You can see the evolution of my improv piecing through the placemats. The first blue one was only scrappy. The yellow and green one were a little more improv but the purple is much more improvisational. It was fun to work with shapes other than squares and rectangles. 

Evolution of the improv in the scrappy placemats

Here are some pictures of the free motion quilting (FMQ).

More FMQ with a variety of thread

FMQ a sun or flower

FMQ the outline of a bird - this month's theme

I used many different thread to FMQ this piece. It didn't start off as intentional. I started with a darker variegated King Tut but it was more red than purple. I then switched to a lighter variegated King Tut. I then remembered that I had this new Fantastico polyester thread. Unfortunately it didn't play nicely with the cotton bobbin thread, so I switched to a Madeira polyneon in both the bobbin and top. That was different but lots of fun!

I used 5 different type and colour thread

I found a long piece of solid dark purple binding in my binding box. Yeah - that's twice now that I get to use up binding from my stash.

Purple binding from my binding scrap box

April's One Monthly Goal (OMG)

At the beginning of May, the Out of the Box (OOTB) Fibre Artist group will be having our annual Fibre Fling. Since we had a Fall Fling, I only have one piece for the show. I've got a great idea (I hope) for the second piece. It will involve a vase of tulips that is partially quilted and partially 3D, using wire and fibre with glue and hand-stitching. The piece needs to be finished by the end of the month and I'll share what I have - hopefully a successful finish but always about learning!πŸ˜‰ 

Tulips in motion

Tulips in a vase - inspiration for my art piece

Possible supplies for April's OMG

What I learned
  • Fun and small projects are perfect for learning by trying things out - from
    • choosing scraps that work together, 
    • trying different improv piecing, 
    • playing with FMQ designs 
    • practicing machine binding, and 
    • and working with different thread.
Related links
Linking parties

Great news! My scrappy placemats were featured on Midweek Makers - thanks Susan!

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Celebrating 12 Years of Blogging

Hi and welcome 😊. Today is my blogging anniversary. Twelve years ago I wrote my first post. It was probably read by my family and friends. I didn't care if anyone else was reading it, I just wanted to record my quilting journey. And what a journey it's been. I want to thank all my readers for sharing this with me.

Twelve Years Ago!

My first post! 😊

Scrappy Purple Placemat

It's still a work-in progress (WIP). 

Purple placemat - almost done!

It started with a couple of blocks made up of squares and rectangles. I then found the batik triangle and a great strip to work with it. That made a lovely triangle block.

Original blocks sewn together

This block was larger than I needed, so it got chopped up! I always feel empowered when I do that😁

Only half of this block made it into the placemat

At the bottom, you can see my first two blocks and half of my other block. I then decided that long, slim lines would be nice.

Original 2 blocks sewn together with half of the other block.
Long slim strips added after the blocks

On the top of those original blocks, I stitched many wonky blocks. I love it when the fabric is a weird shape within the block.

A few wonky blocks thrown in!

A couple of wonky blocks inside this block

Once the major blocks are stitched together, it's a matter of adding strips of fabric to make the placemat wide and high enough. I needed a couple of extra inches on the top, so just added the one batik fabric strip. The right side also got a few strips sewn in.

Blocks assembled to the right size

I'm sorry that the pictures are not in order. I didn't take many photos as I was putting things together. Most of the photos were taken tonight with the placemat partially FMQ.

What I learned
  • On 12 years of blogging
    • It's amazing what I've learned in 12 years!
    • I now have a format that I follow and that works for me.
    • I often refer to my previous blog posts when I'm making something that is similar.
    • I do wish that I had a better labeling system but as the search function in Blogger works well, I can still find things.
    • One of my goals is to post at least as many posts in the year as the last year. I started my first year with 8 posts (when I had no idea what to say!) I'm now writing about 68 posts a year. At this time I can't imagine writing more, but who knows. I write when I have something to share.😊
    • I try to update the look of my blog, at the very least the header, once a year (which I haven't done yet).
    • I plan to update my "Projects from Books, Mags & Patterns" page to include other media such as YouTube videos, etc.
    • I will also be creating more specialty pages for things such as Hand-made books.
    • I love the wonderful community of quilty friends that I've made through the years. It's so great to be able to share my passion with others who "get" it😁
    • Thanks so much for being there, for reading, commenting etc. I appreciate it so much 😍
  • Purple Placemat
    • This purple placemat is much more of an improv piece than my other placemats. It seems that my improv piecing is getting bolder. What fun!
    • I love alternating between larger fabric pieces and tiny ones. 
    • Too many tiny pieces make the whole too busy, so adding strips vertically and horizontally pulls it together.
    • It's funny how the last piece of FMQ has influenced this piece. When I started FMQ the placemat, I was drawn to quilt the same gentle curves that I had quilted on my girlfriend's quilt. 
    • After I realised what I was doing, I started to change it up by more intentional in my quilting.
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Why not check them out after you link up below? Put your foot downNeedle & Thread ThursdayOff The Wall Friday, Finished (Or Not) FridayPatchwork & QuiltsSew & Tell,

Free Motion Mavericks

This is week 475 of Free Motion Mavericks' linking party. Last week was very busy with some wonderful quilting going on! Let's check them out.

Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts has created another beauty! Her latest quilt is called Lula May and it was created as part of the Ambassador's Choice with Island Batiks. Below is a photo of her quilting.

Lula May by Preeti

Preeti used her favorite squiggle stitch with her walking foot.

Next we have Denise of A Quiltery with her amazing quilt that she created for the Give It A Whirl block hop. Those pinwheel look great among the many, many nine patch blocks.  

Denise's pinwheels surrounded by many lovely nine patch blocks

A picture of Loki with a close-up of the FMQ

We have another participant of the Give It A Whirl block hop. Gail of Quilting Gail has created a whole quilt of pinwheels - some in colourful fabric while others are FMQ. What an wonderful fun quilt!

Look at Gail's intricate FMQ pinwheels

Here's a close-up of Gail's FMQ pinwheels

Deb, A Scrappy Quilter, has fashioned two cuddly little quilts for the grandkids to use around the campfire. They are made from many baby sleepers.

Boy sleepers used to make another cuddly little quilt by Deb

A sweet cuddly little quilt made by Deb

Kathy of Hazel's Daughter blog made a beautiful runner for Project Quilting 15.6: Irish Chain. If you're curious about her Irish Chain variation, read up on it here

Variation on the Irish Chain by Kathy

A close-up of the quilting by Kathy

Sandra of mmm quilts finished FMQ her Rainbow Fish Stay At Home Round Robin (SAHRR). Her quilt and her FMQ are amazing!

Here's a close-up of some of the quilting by Sandra

Sandra's Rainbow Fish in front of a local mural

It's now your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Irish Chain - Project Quilting, Challenge 6 of Season 15

Hi and welcome! A quick and short post to join in the Project Quilting (PQ) 15.6, Irish Chain. 

Scrappy Irish Chain Cuddle Quilt

Scrappy Irish Chain cuddle quilt

It's done with less than an hour to spare. And now I'm quickly writing up this short post 😎!

Cuddle quilt ready to be handed in to my local guild

This is where I left off on Thursday - the flimsy of the Irish Chain cuddle quilt. Of course, I got involved in other fun scrappy projects and only remembered yesterday that the cuddle quilt needed to be finished by Sunday noon! 

Scrappy cuddle quilt top

Here's the cuddle quilt, with the Irish Chain blocks stitched-in-the-ditch. I wanted to make sure that they would show up well. I also attached the binding by machine at that time. 

Stitching-in-the-ditch around the 9 patch or Irish chain blocks

Since I still had a couple of hours left, I free motion quilted (FMQ) in the large white blocks. It needed to be simple and quick. My daughter suggested the sun, clouds, etc. So that's how I started. Here are a few of the blocks.

FMQ a sailboat on the water and a fish

FMQ a house, tree and flower


FMQ an evergreen tree

FMQ a tree and tulips

FMQ Moon

I thought that I was finished but then added some swirls and loops in the small border. 

Thanks so much Trish and Kim for another great Project Quilting year!

What I learned
  • I should have started quilting this piece last night but I was near the end of a book and decided that the listening to the audiobook is what I wanted to do. I'm retired, so I can do that!
  • Of course this morning I sort of regretted my decision but oh well, it was a great book! 😊
  • The Irish Chain piecing went well and I'm happy with my accuracy - it's really not bad!
  • It was less fun FMQ in a hurry but that's ok. The cuddle quilt is done and looks fine. I'm sure that the baby will be happy!
  • This is the last of Project Quilting, Season 15. I did join in 4 of the 6 challenges. The hourglass challenge was started but I forgot about it. I hope to finish it some day (another mini UFO)!
Related links
Linking parties

Project details

Scrappy Irish Chain cuddle quilt
made for Project Quilting 15.6
Size: 22" x 22"
Material: commercial cotton
Technique: piecing, stitch-in-the-ditch with walking food and free motion quilted

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Scrappy Play on Free Motion Mavericks

Hello and welcome 😊. I've been busy this week playing with squirrels and scraps, two of my favourite things! I haven't free motion quilted (FMQ) these projects yet, but it'll be soon. 

Project Quilting - Irish Chain

I came upon Project Quilting (PQ) on Sunday while perusing quilty blogs. Of course, I had forgotten πŸ˜• But it's all good since this week's theme is the Irish Chain. I've always wanted to make an Irish Chain quilt so I decided to make a cuddle quilt to give to Community projects through my local guild. These lovely, tiny quilts go to the Intensive Care Neo-Natal or Post-Partum Units. Our next in-person guild meeting is in April, so I'll be able to drop it off then.

Cute scrappy cuddle quilt with Irish Chain

I took out my cut-up scraps bin and found the 2" squares stash. I had more than enough fun fabric to make the nine patch. I used some white-on-white fabric for the 5" blocks. (I can never have too many white-on-white fabric!)

Here are a couple more pictures so that you can better see the fun scraps. I couldn't use the strip piecing method because these were 2" squares, but I was careful when piecing and they came out more or less accurate. Yeah! I even pieced everything so that the squares would all face the same direction.

Closer up of the left side of the cuddle quilt

Closer up of the right side of the cuddle quilt

I used a cute light purple baby fabric border to make the quilt fit to 22" x 22".  I'm really looking forward to FMQ it this week (before Sunday).

Purple Placemat for the Table Scraps Challenge

The March colour for the Table Scraps Challenge is purple and the theme is bird. While I was playing with scraps, I took out my purple/blue bin of scraps. I took a few out and started sewing them together. I love this part😊. Once I had three blocks, I checked my bin again for different fabric.
Which blocks do I sew together? I love the triangle and the fish!

Groovy purple, green and orange with lots of different purple

Finding more purple with other colours for a scrappy mix

The next part will be to start adding pieces to fit the length and width of the placemat. 

A paper scrappy collage

As if all of this wasn't enough, I started a Scrappy Journal Challenge with Vintage Page Designs. The challenge was last week but the videos are all available, and it usually takes me more than the 4 days to make the journals. 

Scrappy Journal Cover drying

I glued on most of my scraps and you can see it drying above. I'll be adding a few more images to the front of the journal, but I can do that later. I was also supposed to stitch it but completely forgot. I've learned a lot making this cover and hope to make another one soon so that I can make it better, based on what I learned.

I'm now stitching the four signatures to the book cover. The zig-zag pattern is a bit complicated but interesting once I got the hang of it. The cover that is drying above is made of one sheet of mixed media paper. It wasn't heavy enough so I had to glue a second sheet to it. The sheets were also a ½" short of what I needed, so I ended up having to trim my signatures. Like I said, lot of learning 😊 

What I learned
  • Playing with the 2" squares for the Irish Chain cuddle quilt went really well. I think that spending all that time on the Mystery quilt has put me in the right frame of mind. Yes, practice makes better!
  • I'm really looking forward to FMQ the cuddle quilt. I'm thinking of fun things to quilt in the middle white blocks. Oh what fun!
  • The purple placemat is coming along well. I realised that for my other placemats, I had only used square and rectangular blocks. I just had to add a triangle in the mix!
  • The next part gets interesting - making it all fit and look cohesive...and somehow adding a bird in there! 
  • I still haven't decided if I should make the placemat the same size as the other 3 (which are on the small side) or if I should make this one bigger and not have to make another one when I do make other bigger ones. I'll figure it out and you'll see the result when I post it. 😁
  • The scrappy journal has been fun to make. One of the options for the cover was to use a canvas fabric. I may do that the next time. It's either that, or pick up some heavier watercolour or mixed media paper (or both!!!)
  • I'll add more about my learning when I finish the journal and write a post about it.
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. I hope that you'll link up below and check these out! 

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 574 of Free Motion Mavericks. 

Last week Deb from A Scrappy Quilter shared with us a repair job to a quilt that a very anxious dog chewed up! Here are the before and after pictures. Deb patiently removed 3 of the pieces and some quilting, replaced the pieces, batting and some backing and Voila! As good as new😊

Repair needed!

As good as new!

It's now your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter