Friday, March 10, 2023

Strips Ahoy, a Nice Nautical Not Naughty Finish

Back in the early part of February, I finally had the chance to work on a new project and was going to play with Janet Clare’s A Field Study fabric line but soon jumped ship when I saw the stash of blue fabrics from her Hearty Good Wishes and More Hearty Good Wishes fabric lines in the stash. My plan was to make another version of my Staggered Strips and Squares pattern but this time instead of using 4.5” Squares I would make 12”x16” blocks to go with the 2.5” strips.

I decided that I didn’t have enough different fabrics from just the Hearty Good Wishes fabrics, so I added fabrics from Janet Clare’s Nocturne and Aubade, some Japanese/Asian prints and a Jennifer Sampou Dot print as well as fabric from Moda’s Indigo line which is over ten years old.
The above are quilts/projects, Skyfall (left) made in Fall, 2021 and the Indigo Tiles Quilt and Everything Bag made in 2017. My Strips Ahoy quilt is now part of the trio of quilts made with Janet Clare’s fabrics in blues and gray and I never get tired of seeing these think these colors together.
The 12”x16” blocks were made from the Hearty Good Wishes and More Hearty Good Wishes charm packs along with yardage of a blue and a tan print. I wanted the Tan Prints only to be used for the blocks and I think this accents nicely against the blue and gray strips. The strip panel was made from over 100 2.5” strips cut in varying lengths and were sewn in four rounds ‘ala jelly roll race to make an eight row panel measuring 16-1/2” high. I also included in this mix a strip panel leftover from the Skyfall quilt.
My initial plan was to randomly place the blocks among the strips but decided on a controlled layout of two different row settings; one with a 36”(f) strip panel framed with a 12”x16”(f) block and the other with three 12”(f) strip panels alternated with two the two blocks. This measured 60” x 80”. I finished the flimsy by the third week of February and could have quilted it then and glad I didn’t. Lessons learned from the Celestial Moonrise Quilt and the Tell Tale Blues Quilt were forgotten and then remembered after looking at this photo when I was at the GP house later and that is I do not like the way blocks look when they are on the edge. 
Thankfully I had enough leftover strip panel to take apart to add two rows on the sides and the top and bottom. I think it looks so much better when the blocks “float” next to the strips. Some of the previous Staggered Strips quilts mentioned in this post, the strips were set vertically instead of horizontally but for the Strips Ahoy quilt the strips were set horizontally because I didn’t want the whale and fish prints to be swimming upstream but it looks okay on the side borders.
The backing is a map print that I have been saving for when I ever did make something with the Janet Clare blue fabrics. I only had four yards of it and had to add a gray clamshell print on the sides. I already made the backing with the smaller measurements and thankfully I only had to add a strip on the bottom to accommodate the larger size.
Machine quilting in Aurifil #2610 Blue/Gray thread was done with my usual but favorite straight with meandering lines horizontally but I also added the lines vertically to the side borders to create a grid pattern. The binding is the stripe print from the Hearty Good Wishes line and sad to say I’ve used the last of the yardage. Strips Ahoy measures 68” x 88”. I also like to mention that with all of the changes made, not once did I use any salty language which I have been known to do on previous quilt with a blue or Sea theme.
Strips Ahoy was finished a week ago and I delayed posting about it because I wanted to include some outside photos but the weather has not been co-operating. The first photo we tried to take outside, I realized that it was a tad too wide for the Master Quilt Holder. The plan was to take it to the GP House where the darling Granddaughter will be babysitting us for the next thirteen days and again had to wait several days until the rain stopped. Also, next door is where the Rookie Quilt Holder resides.
The Rookie Quilt Holder assisted the Master Quilt Holder to finally get a nice full-size shot of Strips Ahoy.
I do like this shot also since the house and sky matches the colors of this quilt. Would you believe after these photos were taken and we were inside, the Sun made an appearance.
We will be traveling to the East Coast mainly Maine and Niagara Falls and will be taking this quilt with us since I think I need some photos of Strips Ahoy by the Ocean and Falls. We will be meeting up hopefully with my Bee Sista, Kathleen McMusing, and I’m sure she will know some places to take photos. I’m also pretty sure she won’t be able to hold up the quilt though (a little inside joke here). I do have the perfect bag to carry Strips Ahoy in.

Linking  up with: My Quilt Infatuation/NTT

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Lotta TaDa—The Last Two Quilts Finally Finished

I thought this was a good title for my post about my Lotta Jansdotter quilts. Last August, I observed a”Ya Gotta Lotta” month with the making and finishing of the Lucky Jerry Lotta Quilt plus two flimsies using my stash of Lotta Jansdotter fabric. I’m participating in the 2022/23 Country Threads Dirty Dozen UFO Challenge and have a choice of finishing a project that’s either a UFO or the designated color/pattern of the month. I’ve also included additional choices like a project with a designated fabric designer, scraps or a flimsy waiting to be quilted which is my preferred choice. 
Lotta Jansdotter was my August designer and although my plan was to quilt my Mori Girls flimsy, I was distracted by my Studio Squirrels who were chanting “Ya Gotta Lotta” inside my head so the Lucky Jerry was a start and finish way before mid August. After that, I did finally quilt Mori Girls and then proceeded to make four more flimsies, two of which from the still not depleted Lotta Jansdotter stash. 

Here are details of these two quilts:
The Lotta Love Bundle Buster quilt is a modified version of Quilting Jet Girl’s Bundle Buster pattern (not an affiliate link but one of my favorite patterns for strips).

When the Lucky Jerry Lotta Quilt was being planned and the decision made to eliminate the orange, blue, purple, fuchsia, pinks and lilac fabrics, I still wanted to make a quilt with these fabrics and the Bundle Buster pattern was perfect. This is the fifth time I have made a quilt with this pattern and it’s really easy to modify the size of the strips and blocks.
Here’s a pic of some of the blocks in the quilt and you can see the different colors playing well with each other.
Lotta Love is the third quilt I quilted with Jinny Janome and unfortunately I had some problems with what I call dragging but was soon remedied. Since I wanted to quilt straight vertical lines 1” apart, I used a quilt guide on the walking foot which put some pressure on the quilt sandwich and I should have set my pressure at zero instead of 1.5 which is my usual setting. Lesson learned for the future. I used Aurifil thread in Silver.
The backing was the blue bead stripe which I had in my stash for way over five years and the binding was my favorite stripe in Citronickle. Lotta Love Bundle Buster measures 64” x 80”.
Orangentina, so named way before Argentina won the Soccer World Cup, but I will admit singing the Evita song while this quilt was being made. Since I still had some squares and strips left over from Lotta Love,I decided to make a quilt like my previous Slinky quilts. I used the orange bead stripe as the setting strips on the side but alternated the direction to give it more interest and I like the look. I finished the flimsy before the Lotta Love flimsy which was my reason for quilting it first.
Here’s a close-up  of the quilting; I quilted wavey and straight lines with Aurifil thread in silver with no problems. I have to mention that there is a print that is not Lotta Jansdotter and its the blue stripe print with the gray Seals. I thought it went well especially since I thought the Cat print needed company.
And speaking of the Cat print, I was very proud of myself for using it as part of the backing. Good Quilt Friend, Carol, gifted me with three yards of this fabric, even after I threw her under the bus with Mary Etherington who started the Ernie quilts which were named after her orange Farm Tiger/Cat. Carol has an unique gift of interpreting quilt patterns and I happened to point it out to Mary. When I was given the fabric, I did plan on using it for a backing and may have been a little hesitant at first but decided it went well with the orange stripe. Do you see that organic shadow on the left photo? I hope it’s not bad woo-woo from Carol because I could not figure out what was causing this shadow to appear. The binding is the other navy stripe in the Lotta Jansdotter collection. Orangentina measures 60”x84”.
Here’s a photo of the three quilts together, the Lotsa Lotta Lovelies. These quilts have me thinking of Summer especially with the cold, wet weather we’re having today which is why all the photos were taken indoors. I can see these three quilts laying on porch cots during the Summer but in reality these will be my Summer quilts for the living room. I have to say it’s hard for me to pick which one is my favorite and also that I still have lotsa Lotta fabric left, especially scraps. It was hard to finally put these fabrics away but I really want to work on some new projects.

Linking up with: My Quilt Infatuation/NTT

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Serendipity Super Scrappy Strippy Quilt

I didn’t come up with a name for this quilt and one with alliteration until after it was a finally finished and ready for some pics and a boast post. Since starting the Serendipity Super Scrappy Strippy Quilt (S4) back in September and just finishing it yesterday, I realized there was a lot of unplanning and fortunate occurrences with this quilt which started with Demando moving out and leaving his queen size IKEA bed behind and it needing a quilt. 
During this time, I was working on my Tell Tale Blues Quilt and had staggered strip quilts on my mind and knew I had a lot of 2-1/2” scraps leftover from making these type of quilts and other quilts which I could use to make the S4 quilt which would go with the blue bedroom walls. Since these leftovers had teal and aqua in them, I kept them in my bin of aqua/teal fabrics and were reminded of them whenever I happened to be searching in that bin. 
These scraps are mostly from the above four quilts all made in 2018: The Hinto Minto Baby QuiltStacked Squares QuiltEchinacea Dream and Spa Spurts Quilt. I remember the color inspiration for these quilts which were the Delilah blocks Susan Snooks, Patchwork and Play was making at this time. We both loved Anna Marie Horner’s Echinacea Glow fabric in the Pretty Potent color way which included teal and peachy pinks. Not to throw Susan under the bus which I am known for doing to her, is that I was going to link her quilt but could not find it on her blog, since she does not have a photo gallery of all the wonderful quilts she had made and she should. I may be receiving a reply or clarification from her, I think.
Some of the scraps were leftover strip sets and some were 2-1/2” strips and they were sewn together to make a very long strip of two 2-1/2” rows sewn together which were then subcut them into two strip set panel sizes: 20-1/2” and 40-1/2”.
The 40-1/2” strip set panels are in the middle flanked by a 20-1/2” panel on each side. It was an easy make and the flimsy was finished around the middle of September and has been waiting to be quilted since then which at that time I was starting to have problems with Juki Junebug.
Well, Juki Junebug has been replaced with Jinny Janome, my new 1600P, who was waiting to machine quilt one of the many flimsies that have accumulated during the past few years. I was not planning for S4 to be her inaugural quilt and was going to quilt one of the Lotta Jansdotter flimsies from last year but Serendipity/Senior moment struck as I was putting away some fabrics in my aqua/teal bin and was wondering where my leftover strips and strip sets were. I spent some time looking around my studio to see where I could have stored them, were they stuck in a bin with other low volume scraps or were they put aside on the project shelf for a new quilt? I couldn’t find them for at least 15 minutes which was annoying since I rather be sewing than searching. I happened to go by the cart which had flimsies waiting to be quilted and there I saw S4 and realized that I had forgotten that I made this. It’s been four months and like they say, how soon we forget, which is happening a lot with my quilt brain. I knew S4 would be the perfect quilt to test Jinny Janome with since I planned on doing both straight line and wavey lines. Fortunately the Janome open toe walking foot I used on Juki Junebug could be used on Jinny Janome. On a side note, my Juki walking foot which is a closed toe and came with the machine could not be used on Jinny Janome which I needed in order to sew the binding down. I made do with the Janome walking foot and had to use another way to maintain a 1/4” stitch line.
Jinny Janome quilted wonderfully and you can see I played a little quilt chicken on one of the corners of S4 which I did’t noticed after I was almost finished with pin basting. I crossed my fingers and hoped that the machine quilting would not push the top past the batting. I think it helped that before I started machine quilting with Jinny Janome, I moved Juki Junebug upstairs because I know bad quilt karma happens when she’s upset, especially now that she’s second banana. Juki Junebug is at the Spa getting her latest problems fixed and will be moving to the GP house where she sew supreme once again.
Here are some pics showing the wonderful scraps of mostly Cotton+Steel and Art Gallery fabrics along with text prints. I especially love the cat prints. The backing was from the vault and was a wide back print purchased at a nice discount from Amazon several years ago. It’s not as modern as the front but I’m saving my Carrie Bloomston wide back text print for another quilt, not yet made but in my head. I used a CT Essenial Thread in Parchment and the binding was the teal XOXO print by Cotton+ Steel. S4 measures 80”x90” which was pretty large to test Jinny Janome with but I was confident that she could do it. As much as I love my Juki Junebug and already owning a Janome Gem for over ten years, I knew Janome is a pretty good and reliable brand.

One of the reasons why I finished hand sewing the binding while we were at the GP House this weekend was because I knew the Master Quilt Holder (MQH) would need some help holding it up. Also, we left right before a big snow storm and was lucky it didn’t follow us which would have interrupted photo taking. When the flimsy was finished, Demando, also affectionately know as the Apprentice Quilt Holder was still at home and was able to assist MQH. My youngest son and father of the darling granddaughter lives next door at the GP House was able to assist and now will be referred to as the Rookie Quilt Holder. Even though this was his first time assisting, he listened and followed his father’s example and with no lip or complaining as the Apprentice Quilt Holder is known to do. 

The darling Granddaughter was taking a nap during photo taking so I thought I would close this Post with the Serendipity Super Scrappy Strippy Quilt in the foyer and her baby photos in the background. I really enjoy making another quilt using my Staggered Strips and Squares pattern but this time without any squares or rectangles. If you’re not familiar with this pattern, you can check out my “sort-of” tutorial on how I make the staggered strips Here.

January is finally living up to its reputation as we’re experiencing cold at the GP house and we’ll be heading back to more cold as in freezing temperatures along with snow. The only good thing about this is that it is good sewing weather. Now I need a cup of hot tea just thinking about it and wishing warmer days will be coming soon.

Linking up with:My Quilt Infatuation/NTT

Friday, January 20, 2023

Friday Feedsack Quilt Finishes

With just a few hours left to Friday, I am posting my latest finishes of scrappy feedsack quilt projects which I just sewed the last stitches on some of them this morning so I could included Friday in the Post title. I started these in 2021 which seem to me was last year and much to my surprise was something I started two years ago. If you have read any of my previous posts, I do have a special fondness or am I a fanatic for feedsack fabrics. I think I may have made at least ten quilts with feedsack fabrics and can’t bear parting with even the tiniest of scraps, strips or bits so I’m always looking for projects to use them up.
I was happy to finally finish this table topper above which was a project I did whenever we were at the GP House. These were strips leftover from previous quilts and some them are vintage feedsack fabrics given to me by my dear quilt peeps and some are more recent reproductions that I’d purchased.
I started sewing strips diagonally onto 8”squares of newsprint from old prospectus back in 2021. Once thirty-six blocks were sewn, I then put them in groups of four for a barn raising layout to make nine blocks. Once the blocks were sewn together, for some reason, I didn’t like the way it looked and took it apart after seen a similar quilt but with sashing in between the blocks and thought I wanted to do the same. But after the blocks were separated, they languished in the studio for a year until I decided what fabric I wanted to use for the sashing. I added these blocks to my 2022/23 Country Threads Dirty Dozen UFO Challenge and this was one of the projects I could have worked on in November. I already had decided on a different project but decided to work on the feedsack quilt because it was an easier finish and I’m trying to catch up. I decided that I didn’t want sashing after all so I had to sew the blocks back together again and I’m pretty sure I didn’t sew it back in the same layout as the first one.
I mentioned in my previous posts that Juki Junebug is not sewing well and I had a bit of a problem when I machine quilted just simple grid lines with black thread the first time. Part of the problem could have been my fault since I used a #40 heavier weight thread in black on the top and #50 on the bottom which I have done previously. For some reason it caused beaucoup puckering especially since I didn’t have the tension set properly. So like having to sew the blocks together twice, I had remove the quilting to do the machine quilting again which the second time was a success since I used the heavier weight thread for both the top and bottom. You can see the quilt lays flatter in the photo above and does not have the peaks and valleys as the first time which I did not take a photo. I was considering hand quilting it but am glad I did not because it would not have been easy on the fingers with the dense weave of some of the fabrics as as well as the seams and the cotton batting.
This quilt measures 46” square and the binding is a black and white check which I love to use with feedsack fabrics. I also love the backing fabric which is perfect for this quilt and I have to share the story as how it was acquired.
Whenever I am at Walmart, I like to check out their fabric department to see if I can score any fabric deals and like I have done before I hit the jackpot with this print. Previously I found a bolt of a black and white splatter print which resulted in me having to climb up in order to get it down from the top shelf. This time, I found a bolt of this U.S. map print laying on the bottom shelf still wrapped in plastic. As I approached it, I checked to make sure this wasn’t a trap by looking up at the ceiling to make sure there wasn’t going to be a cage going to come down on me. I was so excited since I knew this print would be perfect for my feedsack projects and happily found a sales associate to write up this purchase. She insisted on unwrapping the bolt and measuring the fabric because sometimes the quantity is incorrect and it was. Instead of 8 yards there was only 7.5 yards but still enough and it saved me $4. Besides using this for my latest feedsack quilt, I also used it for my feedsack placemats which you will see below.
These place mats were also started two years ago and worked on when traveling to and from and staying at the GP House. Unlike the blocks made for the feedsack quilt, these placemats were made from scraps hand sewn onto to squares or rectangles of batting. This is a wonderful slow stitching project which I came up with for road projects and wrote about it This Post.
Once the placemats were sewn, I then hand quilted with straight lines 1/2” apart with either black perle cotton or black crochet thread which is detailed in the above mentioned Post. 
Once the placemats were quilted and space left for the tacking row,  the backing of the wonderful U.S. map print was added. Like the feedsack quilt, the binding was the black and white check print. I made seven placemats but only finished five for this post because I was thinking I could take a photo of a table setting with the five finished placemats but it has been so dreary for the past few days to take photos in the screen room.
These placemats measures around 12”x18” and if I had thought of it sooner I would have adjusted the size so it could fit more properly in this lovely black wire tray I just purchased this week from Amazon (not an affiliate link). I was thinking that in the future when I made more of these placemats that this would be a lovely Hostess gift which could be filled with food items or dishes. (Or for my blog buddies, I could see one of their cats sleeping in this.) This could happen if I can find another source for these wire baskets since it seems I purchased the last one available from Amazon.
As mentioned earlier in this post, I just can’t throw away even the tiniest scraps of feedsack fabric—aren’t these little balls or as I call them Quilter Marbles (because you have to be sort of crazy to make them) cute? I need to find a cute wire basket to put them in.
I could say that I’m happy to be now finally caught up with my projects for Country Threads Dirty Dozen Challenge but I may be able to squeeze in the quilt I originally wanted to finish by the end of February because my new Janome 1600P is in the house. She has been unboxed and set up in my studio but I have not done a test drive yet. I have named her Jinny Janome and will definitely have something to post about her.  I plan on machine quilting with her this weekend. Meanwhile, Juki Junebug may be feeling a little put out but I plan on having her serviced again with a different repair shop before she is moved to the GP House. I am feeling a little guilty about moving her there but I will be able to work on bigger projects once she is there.