2 Blocks from 1930s Reproduction Fabric

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30sScrap3Here’s the block I finally made with the yellow flying geese scraps. I pulled in some scraps of this minty green 30’s print and I think it came out very well. I couldn't make it work with the other green fabric I posted yesterday because the center square was not large enough to make a square in a square block.
30sScrap4Here’s another block I made with some more of the flying geese scraps. I ended up reversing the square in a square, and pointing the flying geese inward.  (The light green fabric is actually much brighter than it appears in the photo.)
30sGeeseI've still got a few flying geese left to play around with...

Chosen Challenge Block Design

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30sScrapHere is the design I settled on for the challenge from my last post. Thanks for the ideas in the comments.

I like this block now, though it only uses half of the yellow flying geese.(This isn’t sewn together yet, the pieces are just placed on the cutting board.)

The square in a square middle adds interest, but I think it needed the half-squares on the corners to tie in the green. Yesterday, I found these 4 green half-squares already sewn and also the large green square.

Actually, yesterday I also found 3 more purple-yellow flying geese and 4 yellow-green-flowered flying geese, so now I have to come up with more ways to use these up!

Block Design Challenge – Give me some ideas

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I need some help. I’m trying to find a way to use these leftover flying geese patches to make a 12” block. The catch is that I don’t have any more of the yellow 1930’s print used in the geese. (You can see the fabric better in the bottom right photo, the bottom right corner.)

I don’t want to do a Dutchman’s Puzzle block (left), because I already have one of those in 1930’s prints.

I thought I’d do the “Another Star” block (right) from www.quilterscache.com. That works well with 6 of the flying geese, but the problem is that I don’t have any more yellow for the 4 half-square triangles that need to go in the corners. (If I cut the flying geese in half to make fake half-square triangles they aren’t tall enough – they come out to 2.5” by 3.5” but need to be 3.5” x 3.5”) flyinggeese

I could just use solid squares of the bac1930fabricskground fabric in the corners, but I was looking for something more exciting. I’m looking for suggestions of some other block patterns that might work.

On the right are the 1930s prints I have that could go in this block. The yellow on the bottom right of the photo is the fabric that is in the flying geese patches.

Please leave a comment with your ideas. Thanks!

Making Blocks from Scraps

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As I’ve finished organizing my scraps, I’ve been looking over my collection of quilt magazines and books with a new eye towards scrappy quilts. (I really never paid attention to scrap quilts, thinking they would be way too much trouble to make.) 

kingscrown I have a tub a bit bigger than a big shoe box full of a different type of scraps: These are odds and ends of sewn scraps. Lots of strip sets, parts of 9-patches, and tons of half square triangles that were cut when making flying geese blocks and snowball blocks, and others that you cut the corners from. I sewed most of these leftovers together in half-square triangles already so they are ready to make into blocks.

beartracks Yesterday I laid out some fall colored half-squares with some 2.5 inch scraps, and 4.5 in scraps in fall colors to make a 12” bear tracks block. I also laid out some 1930s reproduction flying geese scraps into a king’s crown block. I got them sewed and ironed tonight and they are up on my design wall.

I have about 10 or 15 other twelve inch 1930’s reproduction fabric blocks from a swap with Faith Quilters so this block will go nicely with those. :)

I really love the bear tracks block made in fall colors. I may make several more of those and have a quilt someday. I’ve always wanted a bear tracks or bear’s paw quilt…

I’m Ironing Scraps (!)

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It made sense to me to iron scraps that were really crumpled that were large enough to slice in strips and squares, but I couldn't seem to stop myself from ironing even the little scraps that I was then tossing in the new I'm-going-to-give-away scrap bag. (Iron, then toss in bag to get all wrinkled again. How distorted is that?)

scrapBlock I cut the scraps in squares in 1/2 inch intervals from 1.5" up to 12.5", the 6" squares being for the scrap quilt that made me start all this in the first place. If it was a long scrap then I cut strips from 1" on up to 6.5". The 1.5” strips go with the 6” squares to make a X block quilt that I’ve mentioned in earlier posts.

I think I went nuts at the end there with all the memories of the shopping trips, quilts, swaps, and gifts these fabrics were used for going through my mind-- I just kept ironing and cutting and stacking squares/strips, tossing not-too-small odd shapes into the give-away scrap basket (for the appliquérs in my quilt group). The 1" strips I will use, but what in the world am I going to do with all these 1.5" squares?

Sorry for the lack of photos lately, my camera doesn’t want to turn on, even with new batteries…

Memory Lane

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I’m still cutting scraps and as I near the bottom of my scrap bin it is like a trip down memory lane. I’m finding scraps from the very first quilts I ever made, pieces from my first charm and strip swaps, scraps from quilts for over a decade of friends who’ve had babies, and scraps from swaps with quilt groups that have come and gone over the years…

Fifteen years of memories are in this scrap bin. What a quilt they will make!

Organizing the Scraps is so Satisfying

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been slicing and dicing scraps all weekend. Now that I have a rotating cutting mat this job is MUCH easier than last time I tried it. I am finding it so satisfying to see the stack of strips and squares come out of the chaos of scraps that I don’t want to stop. sliced scraps It has really surprised me how good it feels. All sorts of ideas and designs are flitting through my mind as I slice away--I’m getting excited to get started on some scrap quilts!

New Electric Quilt Projects

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I’ve added a couple of new projects to the EQ6 Project Library on www.chickenladyquilts.com.

poppingpooches Popping Pooches is the pattern I plan to use for a dog quilt I’m making for my middle child. I’ve been collecting dog fabrics for years for this, but I’ll probably end up using only 1 or 2 in the quilt. I love the way the rail fence blocks make the dog fabrics really pop out.

Falling Stars is the pattern I designed for the 12” sawtooth star blocks I’ve made from autumn fabrics. I want this to be king size to fit my bed. I’ve got about 25 blocks done.

Slicing and Dicing Scraps

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scrapBlock Good morning! I'm slicing and dicing fabric today. I'm taking my big tub full of unloved fabric (1/2 yard or less pieces) from my stash clean-out and slicing them into 2.5" and 1.5" strips, plus 6" squares, Then the rest of each piece I slice off the largest size strip I can get from it. I'm surrounded by baggies with sizes marked on them, but am finding that it is too slow to have to stop and put the pieces in the appropriate baggies. I need to get some lunch bags set up that I can just toss the pieces in as I cut them.

slicingDicing I will be using the 1.5" strips and 6" squares to make diagonal bar blocks for a scrappy quilt. For the block you cut the 6" square diagonally, then sew a contrasting 1.5" strip between the 2 resulting triangles. I got the idea from the Trading Patches quilt in McCalls Quilting August 2007. For the last 2 years this tub of fabric has sat waiting to be sliced. Well, this week-end I hope to make a good dent in it. :)

Download my Electric Quilt 6 project for this design:

Making Slow Progress in Sewing Room Switch

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DSC00284I’m slowly clearing up the piles of stuff that were brought from my old, organized, neat sewing room and dumped into this Room of Chaos. I cleaned out a tall plastic storage cabinet where almost nothing had been touched in years. I’m accumulating a large stack of “give away” stuff for the next quilt group meeting. :)

movedStash I also got most of my quilting stash onto the one tall bookshelf. I still have "stash" in a pile of plastic tubs that I need to find room for. These contain pre-cut strips, 2 1/2", 1", etc. A couple hold collections of fabric for specific projects, like all my dog fabrics for E's quilt, and the vintage valentine fabric.

So Many Ideas From This One Pattern

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Look at this spectacular quilt I found at e-patternscentral.com. I've seen lots of quilts in a similar style, but the variation of the large solid block in the columns between the florals really takes it over the top for me.

This is my style of quilt: simple, fast, and looks great! I'm thinking this style would be great for some of the conversation prints I have. I collect chicken fabric, and wouldn't it be cute to use various chicken fabrics in place of the florals with maybe a blue or red in place of the ugly green? I also have a tub of children's prints that I really want to use up. This pattern would be smashing for the Pokémon fabrics I have, as well as the collection of sport-themed prints. And what about Christmas prints? It would look fantastic!

No wait! Halloween! I have a collection of Halloween prints that I have been searching and searching for a pattern for. This would be absolutely perfect for them. Drat! Drat! Drat! I didn't want to start another quilt until I finished more of the ones I already have in progress. But I HAVE to make this in my Halloween prints, and I'm not waiting until I finish something else first. 

Oh! It is going to be soooooo cute!!!

Cute As a Bug Baby Quilt at e-patternscentral.com

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Oh no! I found another quilt I want to make. Like I don’t already have enough “in progress” and “future” quilts on my lists. This one is soooo cute!

I found it on e-patternscentral.com. I’d never heard of this site but I like it so far. This quilt pattern is $3.99.

Kitschy Flower Pin Cushion

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Found this wonderful, easy to make pin cushion at "the object project"

The tutorial is very good, and as I said, the pin cushion is very, very simple. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll go make one right now…

Debating Quilts Designs for my 9-patches

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image Found this quilt photo at the Spring Water Designs blog. It was made by Dawn Burchett from civil war fabrics.

The layout is almost like the Gathered Over Time quilt that I mentioned in a previous post, which gave me the idea to set my 9-patch blocks on point with alternate plain squares.

I just love the appliqué border that Dawn added to her quilt, and I think I’ll add one to mine as well. It will add a pretty touch to an otherwise plain quilt.

Vintage Pillowcase May have been a Feed Sack?

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oldpillowcase I decided to make an apron from an old pillowcase I found. When I turned it inside-out to remove the side seam I found some interesting things. First, the seam was stitched with a chain stitch the same as you find on modern-day feed sacks such as 50lb sacks of dog food. Second, the inside seam was never finished so it is pretty ragged looking. Real pillowcases have the inside seam finished in some way, hemming, serging, etc.

I think this may have been a real feed sack turned into a pillowcase. Do we have any feed sack experts out there who can tell me if I'm right?

Moving sewing rooms--What a pain

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Found the sewing machine!
Making progress in the new sewing room, I can see the cutting board too...

(I have fibromyalgia, and this move is causing me sooo much pain. I can't believe how much. When I finally stopped last night I was crying. It has been getting worse and worse this year. I am soooooo tired of hurting.)

My quilting stash before moving.

Jesse wants to keep these shelves so I'll try getting all this into the tall white bookcase in the new room.

Chaos! Swapping Bedroom and Sewing Room

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What a mess! And we haven’t moved the fabric or closet contents yet. How did I get this much stuff in that tiny sewing room?

I love the new room (left photo) though! It has a large window and is at the front of the house so it is so much brighter. Plus it is much larger. The furnace/air conditioner & water heater are in the closet of this room so the noises those make at night have always scared Jesse. He is 10 1/2 years old, and always wants to sleep in my bed. (Good thing it is king sized!) He promises that he won’t be scared in the new room (right photo). He said he feels safe with the small window at the side of the house only. (Isn’t it strange what kids think about?) Hopefully I’ll get my bed back to myself now.

But what a mess…

Scrappy Pillow from Unloved Blocks

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scrappyPillow I sewed together the small pile of mismatched 9-patch blocks I found. Now  I have this pretty, little pillow. This side has browns and greens, the other side has the brighter, yellow and blue blocks. I can flip it over as the mood strikes. I have already sewn it right sides together, and just need to find some stuffing.

I'm tickled to have found a use for some blocks that have been sitting in a pile for 5 or 6 years at least.

Playing with Patchwork

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patchworkpillows Today I’ve been playing with these odd 9-patch blocks I have from old swaps. I’m going to make pillows out of them for the sofa.  I’m using the light greens, grays, yellows and browns. It look very “fall-ish.”  The blocks are actually looking nice together. :)

I’m also playing with several 6” bow-tie blocks I have from swaps. I’ve already used lots for a baby blanket for Cami. I may make pillows for my bed out of these.

Sorting Through Piles of UFO’s and WIP’s

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I finished the 9-patches I’ve been working on all week. Now I can pull out all my projects and try to figure out what I want to work on next. It’s been so long since I’ve sewed I don’t even remember what I have. (It feels so good to be sewing again.)

DSC00227Here's a photo of just a few of my WIP's (works in progress). I found (top left) about fifteen 12" un-matched blocks that I've made over the years. I'm thinking I'll put them together in a sampler with a checkerboard sashing made from scraps of the fabrics I used in the blocks. Hopefully that will pull together all the dissimilar fabric. (You can see photos of all these blocks on the chickenladyquilts Flickr page.)

I also have (top right) about twenty 12" sawtooth star blocks made out of fall fabric. My plan for these is to make a king size quilt for my bed. I think these will be what I work on next since I already have another 10 of these blocks (bottom left) cut out and ready to assemble. I remember now that I have an EQ project of these “Falling Stars” because I was playing around with how to put them together. I’ll try and find that project and post it on chickenladyquilts.com.

In the bottom middle of the photo is a stack of about 20 or 30 9-patch blocks that I've gathered from various swaps over the years. They are different from the 9-patch project I just finished because these are made with 2 focus fabrics, instead of a focus fabric and a muslin. I have no idea how to use these. I have enough to make a large scrappy pillow out of them. That might work...

The Final Stretch – Cranking out 9-patches

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strips I have all the strip sets sewn and sliced. I’ll sew for a bit longer and get at least 2 of the 4 stacks done tonight. I forgot all about the July set, the last 2 colors, Americana Red and Blue. I haven’t even prewashed them yet.  I’ll wash, dry and slice them in the morning, then bring them to sew into blocks at quilt group. I want these blocks done! I may never sew another 9-patch block again.



I’ve been looking at quilt patterns to use with all these 9-patches. I’ve found one I like at Gathered Over Time by Julie Hendrickson. I love the way the small blocks look like floating diamonds. This quilt was made with shirtings as the background. Mine are all cream muslin.