Saturday, June 10, 2023

Vintage Star

I've been trying hard this year to use up some of the different types of fabric I have.There's a huge stash of vintage material I've been collecting over the years and treasuring/hoarding.  I'm realising, finally, that if it's 'too precious' to use I might as well sell it all. So I picked a pattern and started cutting. 

This was a twelve inch Rolling Star type block, and I kitted 20 blocks quite easily. There were some fabrics that were pretty much used up, especially the lights, but I found that it's going to take a few tops to make a dent in the overall stash. That somehow makes the fabrics more useable because I'm not going run out any time soon. I intend to kit up a few more projects before I put the fabrics away again.

They went together quickly and I chose  sashing colours without too much fuss. I thought I was cheating because the pale yellow I used wasn't vintage, but then I realised it's thirty years old anyway, so it was getting on in age.

(Excuse the dreadful photo, my design wall is always in shadow)

Then I made border units of three and a half inch pinwheels and continued the sashing out to the final border, a vintage green  gingham. I can't get the colours to read true, it's much warmer and prettier in real life.

It's fun using these old fabrics, finally cutting into some of the most precious ones.


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

A finished top....maybe?

I finished my top that I was agonising about, having run out of the gingham material I used in the sashing. Or rather, I didn't have enough for the final round. I really didn't want to introduce another fabric so I just moved on to another project. 

Then I realised that if I just cut 2" strips instead of the  2 1/2" sashing in the rest of the top, I could squeak it out. Maybe. I did have to piece some of the scraps together, but I made it in the end. 

I don't think the difference is a big deal, but the binding will chew up some of how much of the gingham shows, and I have no idea what I'll use for that. More agonising, or perhaps a small border? The decisions slow me down every time, sigh

Here it is spread on a queensize bed, so it could use a little bit extra round the edges, hmmm.....


Saturday, April 01, 2023

Ages ago Bonnie Hunter showed this vintage quilt on her blog and I filed the idea away in my memory. I'd already made a crib quilt using this block pattern, but once again I'd sold it. 

The half blocks as a border intrigued me, and I wanted to use a stack of fat quarters that were pretty, but not really my 'thing'. 

The actual block is really simple, and the half blocks just used two setting triangles on the sides to turn them into rectangles.  They were such fun to sew I didn't want to stop.

I tried lots of fabrics for the sashing and eventually decided on a vintage pink gingham. I miscalculated how much there was, and despite ekeing out every last little bit there wasn't enough to add the last round of half blocks. I scrabbled through the vintage stash and found a slightly different pink, and that got me to the outer edge, but now there's not enough for that final round, grr.

So I've been thinking about using a solid colour, either a pink or the blue to frame it, but I'm not too happy with the look. I'll come up with something, but I'll have to dwell on it for a while. I'm going to keep making these blocks though, they're so quick and easy to do.


Friday, March 24, 2023

Second time around

Many (many) years ago I sewed heaps of four patches as leader enders, from all sorts of different fabrics just to use them up. Then I put them together in a nine patch setting, and then they sat some more. In the earliest recorded appearance of these blocks I was setting them together on point, way back in January of 2006, a few weeks after starting this blog. Wow, that was along time ago.

Even at the time I was regretting using the pink and blue and other modern fabrics, because I wanted this to look like a reproduction quilt. But the blocks were there and had to be used for something, so I persisted.

I did like the finished top and it was duly quilted after we got the statler. Nevetheless I had it tucked away in my mind that I would remake it one day with more suitable fabrics.

Eventualy I sold it when we had our shop and I sort of regretted it, but realistically I didn't need two quilts of  the same design. However  now I was free to begin making the four patches from repro fabric and get started on the replacement blocks. 


I sewed on the four patches as leader-enders for quite a while last year, and had so many that I slightly changed the block construction. My original design had a plain square in the centre, but I substituted another four patch, so I could use an extra 42 or so. I ended up with three four patches leftover, how's that for efficiency? Hmm, that means I used 210 four patches, I'm glad I didn't have to make them all at once.


Next will be the frustrating task of choosing setting fabric, something that seems to bog me down over and over. Can't be too dark, can't be too light , can't be this colour or that.... I end up pulling out far too much fabric and messing everything up, and then have to put it away again. Which is fine if I find the right fabric, but just often ends in complete frustration. Still, this time might be different?


Sunday, February 26, 2023

This is Bonnie Hunters Winter Blues, finished in November of '22. It was actually started in May 2021, and was a great leader-ender for months and months.

The sixteen patches are one of my favourite blocks to sew and they piled up in a satisfying manner. However I decided to  make a slight difference in the alternating Puss in the Corner block which contained too many light areas for my taste. I made the rectangles pale blue and I really liked the added pattern it made in the surrounding blocks.

There were a couple places where the pale blue was so light the effect was broken but I consider it to be added interest. My main goal was using up all the pallid blue fabric that had sat in the stash for literally decades. 

I had never sewn a border like the one in the pattern, but it went together perfectly. I worried that the bias edges would be hard to handle but there weren't any problems. I think I'll do this again in the furure, a lot of vintge log cabins had borders similar to this one. 

I was hoping that my scrap buckets of blues would be totally depleted with this top, but amazingly they weren't. The paler blues have diminished somewhat, but I still have lots and lots of blue scraps, mainly gifts from Keryn, who has made a lot of blue quilts over the years.And then passed those scraps, excess parts of blocks, triangles and strips on to me. She's always had a 'cutting problem' and I've always welcomed the influx into my stash. But this year I've decided I want to cut into my yardage as well, so even though I'll always pick what I can from scraps and already cut shapes, I really want to play in the drawers of beautiful fabrics as well.

These are some of the quilts I've made to try and use all my blue scraps and I'm amazed that I still seem to have so much. They're worse than a sourdough starter, it seems the more I play with them, the more they multiply!

Small Blue Chain

Blue Lake

Scrappy Mountain Majesties

25 patch
The 25 patch was made with the scraps from the mountain majesties, and there were still leftovers to go into the scrap drawers, sheesh.

Blue Chain.
I would estimate that 80 % of this blue fabric came from scraps;  mine, Keryn's, donations from friends or found at the op shop.I'm grateful for all the fun I've had sewing them, but it's time for the stash to come out to play too.


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Antique Chain top

I started these blocks to use up scraps of large florals and some charm squares in early 2020. I posted about my progress here.

The alternating blocks were so easy to make that I still have about fifty in the Drawer of Requirement, ready to start off another one.

The photo makes it look a bit patchy and very busy, but in real life I think it just seems rich and textured. The addition of the large brown floral border contained the fabrics and pulled it all together.

I used this square just above the centre, so that I could tell which way to put the quilt on the bed. The couple playing Blind Man's Buff  (or bluff) seemed to demand attention anyway.

This pattern sewed up an enormous amount of hard to use scraps, and went together very easily, so I'm thinking another one, perhaps as a lighter variation will be in the works someday.


Wednesday, February 08, 2023

2022 Tops

My quilt diary tells me I finished twelve tops in 2022, four were new projects, and eight were UFO's. However I started ten new projects so the rough total of projects remained about the same. (I'm not confessing that number by the way, I don't care how many I have but some folks take me to task over it.)

In no particular order.....

This is a sort of Rolling Star design, made with vintage fabrics. The blocks were really easy to do and I loved the pinwheel border.

I made this at the start of 2022, and blogged about it here.

I also blogged about this little top before

Winter Blues,  a Bonny Hunter Quiltville pattern

A plaid top I called Gridlock.

I think I called this Antique Chain

No name yet, probably Checkered something

Two baby quilts

Three little flannel baby quilts

I'll do posts about them in more detail later on, just want to get them on the record for now.


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