Quiltmaker Scrap Squad

Quiltmaker Scrap Squad
Quiltmaker Scrap Squad

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Art's Animal Quilt

Recently a family friend, Art, ask me if I would like to see a quilt that his Mother, Bessie Baldwin, had when she was a child about 1920.  Her mother had made it for her.

 I immediately fell in love with these tiny pieces of fabric from over 90 years ago.
The background blocks were completely tattered, but the animal blocks were still pretty bright.  I couldn't believe that the person that made the blocks had actually pieced all those small parts.


 I cut the blocks apart, gently washed and dried them and then cut around the blocks.  I decided that paper piecing would be the best way for me to duplicate these blocks, since I wasn’t about to piece all those small parts.


 I have never tried to make a pattern on my own, but thought I would try one block and see if I could do it.  Not knowing what would be the proper way to start, I just got a sheet of typing paper, a pencil, and ruler, laid the paper on top of the block and traced each stitching line from the block.  Since I had traced from the top I knew that all of the patterns would be reversed, but didn’t think it would matter. 

 I used the ruler to straighten my drawn lines, marked the color to use and numbered the sequence to sew.  I wanted to try and make them in the same colors as the original blocks and used the same colors for the blocks setting them together.  I was ready to start my lion.

Here is how the lion turned out, on the left, compared to the original on the right.


I embroidered the face, using a single strand of floss at a time.  After looking at it, I saw that I had only missed the ears!

I though the lion turned out OK, so I was ready to do the other seven blocks.  It only took one afternoon’s work to make all the patterns. 

The monkey has a funny face.  His tail had been appliqued.  I cut out the tail pattern, placed it on top of two pieces of fabrics, right sides together and then sewed around the pattern.

I cut around the sewn tail, trimmed to about 1/8", and then put a straw through the opening and pushed the end through with the rounded end of a nut cracker.  It worked and I had a nicely stitched tail that I appliqued to the monkey.



The elephant was easy.  The only change I made was to make an appliquéd tusk.  The original was embroidered.  The tail was embroidered after the blocks were set together.


The bear was no problem.





In a photo after I had finished the turtle, I notice that I had made a triangle on his neck next to his body all white instead of a red tip.  So I had to unsew that after the block was finished. 
  This was a good reminder to be careful when you label your colors.


The rhino went along with no problems.


I found some tiger stripes in my stash and thought I would like that.  His tail was appliquéd the same as was the monkey tail. It actually goes over into the setting block.


The walrus was fun to do.  No special problems.


On all blocks I added enough white background fabric so that I would be able to trim them square to the size of the setting block.  They ended up being 9 1/2" blocks.
The setting block, a nine patch, has a 2 1/2" corners and sides,  the center is 5 1/2"


Sorry about the next photo being upside down!!!
I cannot get it rotated any way I try, but am going to leave it because it shows how the blocks went together.


The blocks were set together, same as the original.  I felt that I would like it better if there was some color on the outside so a pieced border was in order.

I cut 2 ½” strips of the animal prints and sewed them together with a 1 ½” white strip.

And Then cut them into 2 1/2" rows to become the center squares in the border.

The 5” finished border is a black 1 ½” strip to frame the center.
A  1 ½”white border on each side of the colored 2 ½” squares,  which make the colored squares float.



On this type of border, start from each end and make any adjustment to the background for a perfect fit in the center.

Here is my finished quilt top.  Haven't decided how I will quilt it yet.  The binding is made and pressed.  It will be the blue fabric from the setting blocks.


I am 80 years old and have been sewing since I was a very young teenager.  In all of those years of sewing I have never had a project that I enjoyed more than this one. 
To find I could still do something new, like making the paper piece patterns and finished them so I could save the original block patterns was an accomplishment for me.
I don’t have any idea where the original pattern came from, but it appears to me to be circus animals.  Would make a cute baby room wall hanging or crib quilt.

Because Art so generously gave me the original blocks, I am naming the quilt “Art’s Animals”.  I hope he will enjoy seeing his Mother’s old quilt come to life.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quilts & Blocks I've Made From Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol 5

When I got my new Quiltmaker's 100 Block, Vol 5 I found so many blocks that I wanted to try.  Knowing that I could never get all made into quilts, I desided that would try different blocks, make them into pillows or just save a copy of the block I made.  If I really like them, would put them into a quilt. Here is what I have made so far.

   Whoopsy Daisy   Block 417   
     Designed by Eileen Fowler

This is a paper pieced block.  I made from batiks from my stash.  I picked a bright colored fabric, also from my stash, for a border and backing.  Made a blue stuffed cording for around the outside and used some vintage yellow/white buttons to close the backing.  I did the quilting, just using some random designs.

Cathedral Square   Block 469
Designed by Lee Heinirich

This is my favorite block, so far!  When I saw the block in the book, I was not so impressed. The dark background just did not appeal to me, but when I visited Lee's blog and saw how she had used the block with a white background I was completely hooked.  Also, I liked how she had used half blocks to stager the rows.

One of my grand-daughter had give me a Moda Layer Cake fabric, called Ruby.  I had been looking for something to use for and this fabric seemed to be the perfect answer.  Along with that fabric, I added some white for the background, a variety of same colored dark reds for the corners and some light gray for the ring around the center. 

A close up of the blocks
I added borders with squares the same size of the 4-patch blocks, seperated by 1" background and then a final outside white border.  It made a lovely throw.
Cathedral Square

Facet-nating   Block 428
Designed by June Dudley

I like this block very much and wanted to try it in red and white.  I used the fabric scraps from the Cathedral Square block.  Have the block made, but haven't quilted it yet.  I plan to make a pillow that is to go with the quilt.

Four Gables  Block 475
Designed by Susan Knapp & Mary Jane Mattingly

Saturday, July 21, 2012

When I was invited to make 9 blocks for the Quiltmaker Williamsburg, VA, event Aug 1-4 I was quick to accept.  I would love to have attended the event, but since I could not, getting to participate in the block exchange was exciting to me.  We could choose any pattern from any 100 Blocks issue and Quiltmaker would assign a color pallette for us to use.  I was assigned the Summer Lemonade Stand palette, which is yellow, lime-green, blue-turquoise, orange, & pink.  I looked through all my 100 Blocks magazines and selected Four Gables from Volume 5 (page 61).

Since this pattern has a fussy-cut center block, I immediately remembered some fabric from my stash that I thought was very "summer looking".  I have always loved the colors but had never found something I wanted to make.  Anyway, this piece is what I select to be my focus fabric to make the centers from.  This is my fabric selections.  I hope that the "cloud blue" will be an OK color.

Each blocks center is from the same fabric, but all are different.  Here is one of the blocks.

The green side pieces have squares added to make the points and the pattern shows to mark the squares and use the "stitch & flip" method.  I did not mark the squares, but used the method I had posted earlier about using a piece of cardboard to show your line.  Chained all of them, checked the back side to see if any triming was needed, pressed, cut out the back two pieces to reduce bulk.  Then sewed on the other squares on in a chain and so on and then added the red piece and ended up with a nice 4 1/2" section.

Here is another of the blocks

When I finished all 9 blocks, I laid them all out for a picture, and O-MY-GOSH
was I ever surprised to see such a lovely secondary design
that I didn't even know was in there.
I'll be making this block again....into a quilt!

I hope the ladies at the block exchange will like this block.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Holiday Mouse Pot Holders

Christmas Mouse Pot Holders


Whenever I need a quick little gift for a friend, I like to make something special, just for them.  I've been makeing these Christmas Mice for a number of years, but this year I thought, why not have a "Holiday Mouse" so made these ones for 4th of July.  They could be fun at a family picnic or bar-b-que.  There also may be Easter and Halloween mice on the way, or even a Happy Birthday Mouse.

4th of July Mouse Pot Holders

4th of July
Mouse Pot holders

The Pattern
Draw a pattern on sheet of typing paper

A. The body is about 6 1/2" wide and 7" long.  Cut 1
B. The face is about 4 1/2" wide and 2" long.   Cut 1
      Where the seam of A & B join, should be the same width
C. Cut 4 pieces for the ears (C).  Each piece is about 2" wide and 2 1/2" long
     Sew 2 pieces right sides together to make 2 ears.  Trim to about 1/8",
      turn and press
D. Cut 1 piece for the tail about 2"wide and 6" long. 
     Fold side to meet  in center, press.   
     Then fold again in half and top stitch.   Fold tail in half to make a loop and 
     attach to the bottom center of mouse body A

Find center of top of body A and mark center.  Put an ear (C) on both sides of center.  I usually put some small pleats or gathers in the ears to make the bottoms more narrow than the top of the ears.

Place the face (B), right side down on the ears and stitch along the seam.  This will complete the top.  We will call this the "Mouse top"

Make Layers just larger than Mouse top you just sewed:  Will be about 7" wide and 9" long.
       2 layers of batting
       1 layer of backing, with right side of fabric up.
Then lay the mouse top, with right side of fabric down. Be sure that the tail is enclosed.

Sew around the outside edge making a 1/4" seam.  Leave an opening on one side about 3" for turning.  Trim about 1/8" inch from sewn edge and turn right sides out.

Shows mouse top layered on the backing and batting.  Note opening on right side for turning.  By sewing mouse top in this manner, you never have to match the backing to the front.

After turning, hand stitch opening closed, press, top stitch body (A) about 1/4" from edge.  Add some eyes and you have a HOLIDAY MOUSE POT HOLDER.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Quiltmaker's - Hip to be Square

This will be my last quilt for Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad 2011.  This has been a very fun year getting to make quilts for the Scrap Squad.  Most of all, "thanks" to all the other Scrap Squad ladies for their inspirations, fun times and sharing over the past year.  You will find lots of good pictures and ideas on their blogs:
          Dionne in Washington
          Jane in Tennessee
          Ruthie in Indiana
          Kim in New York
          Carol in Ohio
          Linda in California
          Pat in New Brunswick, Canada

I am a new Electric Quilt user and this is my first attempt to draw a specific block, put it into a quilt setting, color it, rotate it, and just have fun exploring how this block could be used.  The Hip to Be Square block is designed by Elizabeth Dackson and has proved to be a very versatile, pretty block that I like a lot.

Usually, I am drawn to use bright, clear colors but, after trying several colors in EQ I decided to use a more subdued color pallet.  The centers of the blocks are all very “scrappy”.  The corner units, the rectangle with triangle on the end, are the same fabrics in all blocks.

Fabrics I used

Two blocks, with one rotated

Since this quilt is called Hip to Be Square, I thought, maybe, I could make it “more hip” if I added more squares.  So by rotating every other block until the corner aqua units came together, instead of the 4 patch unit, a new aqua square was made inside a larger white square, which turned out to be “on point”.

Once the blocks were completed, I laid them out like the original pattern and then tried them with every other block rotated.   I liked both, but decided to use the rotated version for my quilt.

Straight set, like pattern in magaine

With every other block rotated

When I am going to make a pieced border, I like to pull out an element from the block.  The centers of the Hip to Be Square block made a great border with each border separated with a one inch piece of background fabric.  By just putting the squares around the corners, I can always get a perfect fit on the border, because I can adjust the size in the center background fabric of the border.

My finished Hip to Be Square quilt.

One tip that I would like to share.  Instead of drawing a diagonal mark on each square to be added to the rectangle unit, I made a piece of cardboard, just larger than the square, corner to corner, held it down as I sewed along the side of it.  Saved a lot of time and the markings on the black square was too hard to see anyway.

Using a cardboard to mark and sew diaganol line

Monday, November 28, 2011

Quiltmaker Dream Catcher

Finished Christmas Dream Catcher

    Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad
Dream Catcher -  My Christmas  Memories     by Donna Amos  
                     for Nov/Dec 2011         
Each year over the past ten years or so I have made a Christmas quilt. 
When I first saw this pattern, I immediately thought of the stash of Christmas fabrics setting on my shelf and knew that it would become my 2011 Christmas Quilt.  I have had more fun selecting the fabrics to use in this quilt than any of the quilts we have done this year.

The black with “Christmas trees” and “snow” was the first fabric selected to be the background, and then I chose all the brightly colored “packages” to go around the trees.  The peppermint stripe was used in a border and for the “candies” along with the brown/gray which was the “Choclate Chips” for the cookies.  In the border background, candies and cookies, are the “white sugar cookie” fabric with the red and green sprinkles.  Then last but not least would be the brightly colored strings of Flying Geese “Christmas lights.” 

This a paper pieced quilt, so with all the copies that I needed, I folded the paper on the sewing lines.  I had pre-cut the approximate sizes that I needed, so then pinned the fabric to the back side of the paper pattern, sew the lines, pressed on the right side and trimmed the bock. 

 For the way I chose to put the blocks together, it took 4 blocks with the tree fabric and 4 blocks with the various colors of the "packages"

8 Paper pieced blocks

I tried several different layouts, but ended up with this one, always trying to put some version of  blue, red, yellow and green in each quarter of the quilt.

Checking layout before sewing

After the blocks were sewn together, I press all seams open to make a flatter surface for the quilting, expecially where the "candy" came together at the centers.

back of quilt, seams pressed open

The flying geese units were made, not as paper pieced units, but using my Fons & Porter Flying Geese ruler.  It is so accurate and doesn't waste any fabric.  It was easy to measure the paper piece pattern and cut the geese to the proper size.  I thought they made a good string of Christmas Tree lights!

Dream Catcher before quilting

For the backing, I selected some Christmas fabrics from my stash.  They turned out cute enough that I now have a two sided quilt.  I also put a sleeve at the top so the quilt can be used as a wall hanging.

Backing on Dream Catcher

Dream Catcher as a wall hanging

Or used as a sofa throw

Check out other versions of Quiltmaker's Dream Catcher the Scrap Squad blogs.