Scrapping with bears!!

My first memory of quilting was sitting at my Granny’s side as she pieced block after block after block. I remember the first block that I made under her tutelage…..sure wish that I still had it!!!

She was always smiling…..

…especially when surrounded by her bevy of grandchildren…..

That’s me in the pink dress on the right!!……circa 1962

Every summer she would invite us by twos to spend a week with her and it was one of the things that I looked forward to the most!

She ALWAYS had a quilt going, including this bear’s paw that she pieced and then my Mom added a border and hand quilted…..

Like my Mom, she loved to use red in a quilt and it sure made these blocks pop!!

Everything that she made was from scraps and I love the mixture of fabrics that are found in the quilt….

As “Bear’s Paw” blocks go, this one is pretty complicated, especially adding the on-point squares in each of the blocks.

It is a favorite quilt and I am so thankful that I get to enjoy her work!! I just wish she could see what I am doing now…..I think that she would be pleased!!

Super Fast Charity Quilt

During the middle of the pandemic last year, I made my way to the Guild’s Charity storage and grabbed a few things to work on. One of those had languished in my studio until my weekend quilting spree a couple of weeks ago.

I was presented with a stack of strips and other fabrics…..

….an 18 inch block started in a Courthouse Steps arrangement……

….and these instructions…..

It proved to be a great project for when I was tired and just wanted to sew!!

I enjoyed using the given fabrics and adding some more from my stash.

When it got to the width that I wanted, I started adding strips to the top and bottom and, very soon it was done….

The finished size was 36 x 44.

I think that it would be fun to do this in kid’s fabric or bright colors and would be a great use of all of those 2.5 inch strips that I have cut and organized!!!

Scrap Heaven….

I have continued to work thru the stack of 200 six-inch squares that I received from my guild charity bee, making two quilt tops so far.

Now I was down to some rather dull and uninteresting browns and reds!!

I started by cutting them in half on the diagonal…..

Then I sewed a 1.5 inch strip of light brown fabric to one edge…..

It was pressed to the strip and then another triangle was added to the other side of the strip…..

Now it was time to trim the blocks down to a usable size. I used a trick that I had learned when making the pinwheel quilt a few weeks ago….

First, I used a water-soluble marker to draw a line 1/2 inch on each side of the ruler diagonal…..

Now it was easy work to line the drawn lines up to the actual block…..

…and they were all quickly trimmed.

Next I did the same thing with the lighter fabrics, this time using a dark strip down the middle.

As I laid out the first few blocks, I KNEW what I was going to do with them…..

I pulled more squares, adding some green into the mix as well, and also added a few fabrics from my personal scrap square box.

After I had all of them made, I wanted to ensure that I laid out the blocks in a fairly random pattern so put them into plastic tubs that I would pull out of without looking…..

After I got it on the design wall, I made a few tweaks to the placement and started sewing.

As I sewed the blocks, I did notice two holes in one of the squares……

….so I had to do a bit of rip and replace!!

Before long, the quilt top was finished……

I love the depth that comes from the mixture of darks and lights and am super happy with this “Hugs and Kisses”….”Naughts and Crosses”……”Tic, Tac, Toe”…..quilt!!

For the record, I have used 142 of the 6-inch squares and this is what I am left with……

Hmmmm….wonder what will come next!!!

Chinese Coins

A few weeks ago, I had talked about a stack of 6-inch squares that I had received from our Charity Bee. I was excited to see exactly what those disparate blocks would inspire!! The first quilt was the Pinwheel and was a flying success!!

Now it was time to use a few more of them….

Last year I had stumbled onto http://www.maryquilts.com and found many fun patterns with free pdf downloads. One, in particular, caught my eye…. an Easy Chinese Coin Quilt …..

Quilt calculations are never pretty!!

I wanted to make this as a charity quilt so knew that I would need to change the size of the quilt to something like this…..

I remembered this idea when I was cleaning up scraps and carefully put aside any 1.5-inch strips that were in the 2-inch to 6- inch range. I also cut up 30 of the 6-inch squares to supplement my scrap stack…..

Now the fun started!!

I began by pairing up the strips and soon had a nice stack of “doubles”…..

I wanted this quilt to be completely random, so I threw the strips into a box and made my self look away when I picked the two strips sets that were to be sewn…..

Very quickly, the 2’s became 4’s…..

…and the 4’s became 12’s.

At this point, I stopped and trimmed the strip sets down to the 5.5 inch size that I wanted……

After I had plenty of 5.5 inch sets, I started working on the 1.5 and 3.5 inch sets and, without a lot of thought, I had the coin strips all finished…..

I auditioned several fabrics for the setting columns but the navy blue was the ONLY way to go.

I LOVE this top…..

….and hope that it will make the recipient smile!!

It was super easy and fast to make but has a pleasing complexity as well.

There will DEFINITELY be more of these in my future!!

A Better Way of Piecing

As I was working on the pinwheel top and bitterly complaining about how hard the setting piecing was to do…..

….. my friend Sylvia Schaefer from “Flying Parrot Quilts” commented that, if I had not pieced the pinwheels first, then the entire top could have been pieced in rows……

And, of course, she is right!!!

I got so carried away by my pinwheel excitement that I didn’t stop to plan!!!

Does that ever happen to you?

By the way….you should check out Sylvia’s website and all of her amazing quilts and patterns!!

Well, that is it for the pinwheels…..for the moment. Who knows when they will surface again!!