Thursday, July 27, 2017

More Cutting!

When I go on a cutting spree, I really go for it! I just spent most of the last week with DD#2, and I brought three projects with me. I brought one needlepoint project, a box of squares to draw lines on, and some strips to sub-cut. The only one I did was sub-cutting the strips.

After cutting up all those shirt backs, I ended up with smaller strips that wouldn't work for the quilts I was currently making. Instead of sticking them with stash, I decided to kit up another quilt, to use as leaders/enders in the future. I ended up with the most 2.5" strips, so I took those to my daughter's house. I have some rulers that are the exact size to use with 2.5" strips, which is great for when I'm talking and visiting and might use the wrong line if I had a multi-size ruler. I decided to cut as many HST's as I could, having no pattern in mind at the time, but knowing HST's are always a good option. While I was cutting I decided to use these in a split nine patch with a solid center square.

When I got home, I cut all the 6.5" strips into HST's for a couple twin sized quilts, then cut as many 2.5" squares as I could from those scraps to use in the split nine patch project. Here's what I've got now!

Do I know how many HST's I've got? No. When I'm improvising, I don't really care. I have more men's shirt parts, and I can always cut more. Cut too many, no such thing, they'll just go into another project. 

I don't have near enough squares cut for the split nine patch quilt, and I certainly have plenty to work on already. I did try to find my containers of 2.5" shirt strips. I found one of dark strips, but I thought I had two of dark strips, and one of light. I KNOW I had one of light strips, but I could have been wrong about two of dark, it could just be one. 

With no sewing room right now, my stuff is all over the house, and even though I looked all over the house, that shoebox full of light 2.5" shirt strips is hiding!!! When I have a sewing room, I keep everything organized, because not being able to find what I want drives me crazy! I have enough darks in the one box I found to make the quilt, but you can't make a split nine patch without lights. Hmmmmm... Guess I'll keep looking and hope I stumble onto it. With all the projects I have going on right now, I may not need to find them before I have a sewing room again. I'm thinking I'll have a sewing room next summer, if nothing unexpected comes up. I have plenty to keep me busy until then even if I can't find that box. 

This is Mr. LJ, kicking up a storm! I know it's blurry, but it's one of the only photos I managed to get where he was looking at me. A week of baby snuggles was just what I needed. 

We've had a bunch of errands to run, but the weekend should be prime sewing time! DH is working, and the only plans I've got are to sew, sew sew!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Blazing Rotary Cutter

I think my rotary cutter needs flames on it, because it's gotten so much use in the last week it deserves flames.

Here are five quilts, all ready for sewing. Some will need sub-cutting after I get the strip sets made, but they are all ready to sew. 

These stacks represent three quilts in the making. Well, it could be more, or I suppose less, if I guessed wrong and need to cut more. The baskets in the top photo have been cut with a specific pattern and size in mind. Those are all gifts, and I take that more seriously. The bottom photo, those fabrics are all from men's shirts I bought on that last big shopping spree. I need to make two twin sized quilts for the grandkids guest room, and while I was cutting up shirts, I decided to make a Scrappy Mountains Majesty quilt too. 

I need to sub-cut the 6 inch strips into HST's with my Easy Angle ruler, but, honestly, I'm sick of cutting and need a few days off. I have a couple ideas of how I want to set the HST's, but mostly, I plan on making as many HST's as I can with this stack, and then start playing with them. I don't know how many shirts I cut up, if I need more, I'll grab some from my shirt stash. If I end up with a lot more than I need, I'll just start another quilt. 

I have no idea how many squares I cut for the Scrappy Mountains Majesty quilt. Again, I'll make as many blocks as I can, then see what I can come up with. That quilt has no intended owner yet, but now that my house is almost empty of people, I realize how few quilts I own. I give them all away! Right now there is not one single quilt on any of the beds in the house. I own two quilt racks, but only enough quilts for one. It's time to start making some quilts for our house. I am swamped with wedding quilts to make, but I figured if I cut out some quilts for the grandkids guest room, I may be able to get those done in between the other quilts. 

I also think that, for the time being, I'm going to be keeping the UFO's I finish. I'd really like to see quilts all over the house, and right now there are hardly any. Once I have some, I can replace them with ones I like better, and pass some others on, but for now, I just really want some quilts that stay here. DH has been bugging me about this for a while, and I've just realized how few quilts we actually have. All of my kids have more of my quilts at their houses, than I have here. No wonder DH has been saying we should keep some. 

I think the goal of making some quilts for our house, is going to keep me motivated to finish the gift quilts I need to make. I hope so anyway, because I hate having a to-do list as long as mine is right now. I've never fallen so far behind on gift quilts before, but the last year has been really hard, and sewing just wasn't happening. I'm so glad things have changed for the better now!

Monday, July 10, 2017

30 Years of Scraps

I finished a UFO today! I am trying so far to stick with my goal of finishing one UFO for every new finish. 

All the pieces in this quilt finish at 1x2 inches. There are scraps from maternity clothes I made in 1986, all the way though to scraps from a purse I made in 2016. 30 years of sewing history!!! This is going to be a great quilt to use for napping! I showed this to DD#1 yesterday, and she was looking over the scraps pointing out which ones I had used in making things for her. Dress scraps from when she was little, scraps from her wedding quilt, scraps from quilts I've made her children, they are all in here. It may not be the prettiest quilt I've ever made, but the memories it holds are priceless, so it may be one of my favorites!

I had a little bit of quilter's serendipity going on, and Dino says, "Hi!" to everyone!

I backed this quilt with purple fleece, and free motioned some fans on the quilt. I do use batting, even with fleece backings, and this is a nice squishy quilt. I free handed all the fans, doing one row left to right, the next right to left, which is why my fans are going different directions. 

I also had to do some salvaging of another quilt. For our 25th anniversary, we took a very short trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. I made a quilt from the fabrics I bought there as soon as we returned. It's been on our bed almost 8 years, and it's in sad shape in certain areas. 

Some of these fabrics are just shredding! There was no way to applique over all the areas that were damaged, so I opted to cut the quilt down to a small throw, saving only the best areas of the quilt.

This is the new look for this quilt, and it should last quite a few years more only getting occasional use. 

As I was cutting off the parts I was no longer going to use, some of which was in decent shape, I thought about all the projects I've seen done with cutter quilts like this. Placemats? I never use them. Cute Hawaiian teddy bears? Those would be adorable, BUT do I really want to make them, and do I want to spend the time to make them, and what would I do with them when they were done??? You know what I decided? I decided the cut-offs were not worth saving to me. Could I have done something with them? Sure, I could have. When it came right down to it though, keeping the throw sized quilt was enough for me, and I don't need any more on my to-do list. It felt weird throwing the rest of the quilt away, but I know it was the best thing to do for me. Now that it's done, I feel relief, and no guilt over not adding yet another project to my list. 

I think the rest of this week is going to be spent cutting out more wedding quilts. If I can get all the quilts I am behind on cut out, it will seem like it's going faster, sewing them together. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Comfort Quilt

I put in long hours to get this quilt made from start to finish in 7 days. Lots of white areas for people to write well wishes with fabric markers. 

I needed white batting for the quilt, and the only white batting I had was polyester. It's not my favorite, but it's OK. If you remember, I don't currently have a sewing room. That means the contents of my sewing room are literally all over the house. I have stuff in seven different closets, under the stairs, as well as four different rooms not in closets. Knowing I have batting, and knowing where it is are not the same thing. I thought I had a little bit of polyester batting left on a roll. After much searching, I remembered I used the rest of that roll last year. 

Hmmmm....Well, I know exactly where some king sized packaged batting is, but I really don't want to cut into a king sized batting for this sized quilt. I have pieced batting large enough, but I don't want to use pieced batting when people are writing on a finished quilt. Could I possibly have an unopened roll of poly batting somewhere in the house? I usually buy another roll when I'm down to just a couple quilts worth on the current roll. 

Just the size of a roll of batting narrowed down the possible places it could be, if I even had one. Eureka! Hiding behind an almost empty roll of cotton batting, I found an unopened roll of polyester batting! Poly batting expands so much when you take the wrapping off, that it was in a smaller space than I had originally thought it would fit, it was so compressed in the packaging.

I tried to make the front of the quilt bright and cheery, and when I went hunting in my stash for a backing fabric, I found a pretty good option.

I had to piece it a bit, to make it the right size, but I'm happy with how it looks with the front. I had purchased this fabric a year or two ago at a thrift store, for $2-3. I had enough to back this quilt (took 3 yards) and I still have two yards left. I'll tell you what, without thrift stores, my fabric stash wouldn't be near as large as it is!

Now that this quilt is finished, I am faced with my self imposed rule of finishing one UFO for every new finish. I have two quilts pin-basted, that are really in my way, so I'm going to start quilting one of those today. I might just go ahead and quilt both, I haven't decided yet. It would be kind of nice to finish two UFO's before I go back to the wedding quilts.