It was cute, it was scrappy, and I could adapt it to a little block that I could make in a short amount of time. Winner! If you follow the link you will see there is also a bird pattern that I had intended to use, but the scraps I picked turned out not to have good contrast with each other or the background, so it didn’t look good, and as you can see from my finished block, there really wouldn’t have been room anyway. I still liked the musical notes, even without the bird to sing them, so I left them in anyway. I can do that because I’m a grown up.
|In progress quilt photo by Kara Hartz|
I got a few rows put together so far. It shows how the setting blocks will look once the whole thing comes together. I’m really liking it so far. The red and blue look great. I still have a ton of setting blocks to sew before I can do much more. However, this will get set on the back burner for a little while because I have other time-sensitive projects I need to focus on right now. (Friends having babies – yea! And babies need quilts! More on this in a future post)
|Tree Quilt Blocks photo by Kara Hartz|
These are the trees from the Mystery Quilt I wrote about a little while back. The colors look a little strange to me here, more brown in a few of the fabrics than in real life. I like them. I like trees.
Years ago, I found a pattern for a ‘Mystery Quilt’ online and it sounded fun, so I made it. When you make a mystery quilt, you have instruction for making each block, a step at a time, but you don’t know what the whole quilt will look like until you finish. I made that first mystery quilt when I was just learning how to quilt still, and it was a lot of fun. I don’t have a photo of it – I gave it to my mom – but I’ll try to get one. I really liked how it turned out.
Our local quilt shop closed awhile back, but only their physical store. They have managed to keep an online shop going and they also design and sell patterns. They put out a fun weekly newsletter, and once in awhile they have free patterns or mystery quilts there. So I decided I’d like to do one again while I was recovering from my first surgery.
I was slow, and got way behind, so I had only finished a few weeks worth of blocks when the finial reveal came along in the newsletter. It wasn’t what I had hoped for. Thimble Creek Quilts usually just blow me away, but this one was just – okay in my personal quilting tastes. So I didn’t really work on it anymore. But now I have a bunch of blocks that I like from that project, so I might as well do something with them. So, while I’m not going to make the whole quilt, I will probably still go ahead and make the tree blocks to add to what I have done, then put them all together in a smaller version of my own.
The pattern isn’t available for free anymore, but can be purchased here. Although if you are a quilter, it would be worth your time to get on their email list for future free patters and such.
Here are a few of my favorite blocks from the mystery project that I’ve finished so far:
So I keep thinking about ideas for blog posts that I never actually write. Trying to remedy that little problem and get into a better schedule. To begin with I’m just going to do a little roundup of where I’m at on my various projects I’ve talked about on the bog so far.
* I haven’t done anything more with the remaining silk from our silkworms. I didn’t have enough of it done in time for the county fair, and I’m still undecided about what exactly I want to do with it. I ended up with maybe half a dozen or so cocoons that never hatched, so I want to try reeling those in the more traditional way, but probably not right away. Have a lot of other stuff on my plate right now.
* I finished an approximately 7000 word short story, and am in the process of editing it. I’m excited because it’s the first fiction project I’ve finished that’s more than 100 words in a really, REALLY long time. Yea!
* After our trip earlier in the summer, I never got back into working on The Artist’s Way. I’ve done a little journaling, but really, I should try to do that more regularly too. Or maybe not since I used what used to be journaling time for working on my story. Humm. . .
* I’m inspired by my the blog of my favorite amigurumi designer (If you either don’t know what that is or don’t have a favorite, go look – all kinds of cuteness and fun.) I’m going to start sharing a little of my fitness journey. Don’t worry, I’m thinking just once a month saying a little something about how my exercise and weight are doing. Hopefully this will keep me paying attention (I’m distractable if you couldn’t tell.) Also by keeping it to only once a month I want to avoid obsessively weighing several times a day and the kind of OCD crap I’m prone to. Generally I have a tendency to all sorts of unhealthy habits on both ends of the dieting/exercising spectrum when I think no one will notice. Maybe if I pretend people are watching, I can keep myself more moderate and honest.
* The self-led writing class is plodding along. Mostly reading so far, although I did join the Internet Writing Workshop; I haven’t really participated yet. The format isn’t instinctual to me, and there’s a lot of messages to get through, so that’s a learning curve. I need to give myself an assignment I think.
* I’ve gotten the nicest and most encouraging rejections for two flash fiction pieces I sent out awhile back and I was torn about reworking them (as the editors encouraged me to do) or just send to other markets. So they’ve just been sitting here. I think I’ve decided on sending them out for another round. I just can’t think of anything more to do with them. They say all I’m really interested in saying, and I think if I try to expand they’ll just ramble. If they don’t find a home soon, you’ll see them here!
* I’m making an I-spy quilt for my littlest. Seems kinda a shame to make a simple square quilt with my snazy new machine, but I have a plan for a little wall hanging that maybe I can get fancy on next.
Now, time to do dishes.
Wow, I haven’t posted anything since January? Yikes. Where did the time go?
Anyway, a week or so ago (at least it feels like a week ago, but obviously my sense of time isn’t working too well at present) I visited about 8 local quilt shops during their big March Shop Hop promotion. I had the kids with me for most of the shops I visited, so we didn’t wander too far away, although we did get to see some shops I probably wouldn’t have gone to otherwise.
One of the first shops we went to was Main Street Quilts in Martinez. The folks there are so friendly (like just about every shop we visited), but were particularly kind to the kids. As we were checking out, they let the girls each pick a fabric scrap from a jar of “fabric candy” they have by the register. These were just small pieces of fabrics, I measured them at 3 inches by 17 or so when we got them home. The little one happily picked out a bright red piece and tried to eat it. Guess she took the ‘candy’ name a little too literally. The older girl was very thoughtful in her selection, which surprised me since she isn’t into fabric, or crafts at all. She even picked out a white piece, when there were all kinds of flashy beautiful colorful choices.
I was not all that confident I could make diddly squat out of the small scrap, but agreed to try.
Since I don’t normally make plush critters, and I didn’t have a pattern, I’m happy with these results. I’d never tried to embroider before either. I’m sure someone who knows what they’re doing could find flaws with these, but phooie on them. My kid still thinks I can make anything.
She’ll learn better eventually.
I could not find a website for Main Stree Quilts, so the best I can do to plug them is give their address and phone number:
533 MAIN STREET, MARTINEZ, CA 94553, USA
Ph: (925) 372-3700
If anyone from Main Street Quilts is reading this, and there is a website, will you let me know? If there isn’t one – you should start one. I like to look at class offerings online. It’s 2009 guys. Just sayin.
I’ve recently started learning how to use foundation paper piecing to make quilt blocks. I can see why it would be really helpful for making some kinds of blocks, very complex ones, or ones with very tiny pieces especially. However, I think I still enjoy traditional piecing. I haven’t done a ton yet, so maybe more experience with the technique will change my mind, but I don’t think so. When I started traditional quilting and piecing, I fell in love with it right away. That didn’t happen with foundation piecing.
I did a few tries on my own with only online tutorials for help and they had some problems. In some cases, I didn’t use big enough scraps so I didn’t have enough seam allowances. Also I had problems with my stitching getting torn out when I tore the paper off the back.
Then I followed the instructions from Sue Garman for the 2009 Block of the Month Project over at The Quilt Show, and I did a lot better. This little house is made from her tutorial that she recommended before beginning the bigger, more complex feathered star block. The best advice was to use a super-short stitch length. My stitching didn’t tear out when I tore the paper off at the end, and that makes a big difference.
I’ve been saving old baby clothes for years now, with the plan to turn them into a quilt someday. I decided to only save clothes that were torn or stained so I couldn’t give them away for someone else to use, or if an item had a lot of sentimental value.
I now have a drawer full of clothes, so I think it’s time to get serious about making that baby clothes quilt!
I’ve seen a lot of scrap quilts that I like the look of. The problem is that most that I like have small pieces that are all the same size. Small pieces are good for small baby clothes, but many of the clothes I saved have cute applique or other images on them that aren’t all that small. I was looking for a quilt pattern that would let me use mostly small pieces, and some larger ones.
Today I found this website:
So many quilt pattern sites have old, out-dated, non-functioning links that it can get very frustrating to search for quilt patterns. One or two on the UFO website were dead links, but the rest were a gold mine!
So far, this is the pattern I’m leaning toward:
Although, I think I may make my blocks slightly bigger than this pattern calls for. I like that I can use a bigger piece (like the pictures I want to save) for the center of the blocks, and then use up all the tiny pieces from sleeves, etc. for the rest. You need to use a little imagination to picture a scrappy finished quilt in color, but the picture in my head looks cool.
If you have a favorite scrap quilt pattern, share it here! I can’t seem to part with my scraps, so I’ll always be looking for great scrap quilt patterns!