Finishing My Great Grandmother’s Quilt Blocks

Over the years I have contemplated what to do with these lovely blocks that my great grandmother stitched by hand.  My grandma let me play with them as a child and build my sewing skills by sewing these together.  Maybe I was scared or nervous that I wouldn’t do these blocks justice?  How could I finish her work?  Inspiration struck a couple of weeks ago and then some free time over the weekend made it happen.

First, I had to rip out the stitching I had already done.  The stitching was not great, it was wonky and some spots were dense, but it adds to the story of this project.  As the stitches were being taken out I noticed the blocks weren’t the same size and would need to be trimmed to use in a project.

The trimmings made a lovely little pile of color.

To fully utilize the blocks, I wanted to make a wall hanging.  We have a couple of spots in the living and dining room that could use some art. Until this weekend I was going to hand sew the blocks and finish with hand quilting.  My thoughts were changed since that is not my style.  If I’m going to create with these blocks, I need to put my touch on them.

Machine sewing and quilting.

The top is lovely.  Once it’s quilted I’m going to hand wash in some blue Dawn to help take out some of the staining.

The backing from my vintage sheet collection.  It’s one of my mother in law’s, so blending both families together.

I’m going to straight line quilt this and I’m stumped.  Leave your feedback on thread color choices.

Would you quilt in grey or white?

Icy Waters Quilt Top…Almost Finished

I say almost for one reason.  There is one more row to add based on the pattern.  However, I like the quilt just the way it is.  I think more dark gray will change the look.  When I pulled the fabrics I liked the idea.  Now I want the quilt to be a bit softer in the gradient of color.

Would you add the row or just leave it?

Maybe I’m too lazy to continue?  That could be part of the challenge.  Paper piecing gives amazing results within a quilt, but is so much work.  You can’t chain piece with this method, or I haven’t figured out a practical way to do it yet.

I have pieced the backing and now I just need to baste this quilt.  Well PRESS the heck out of it with starch so it lays flat, then baste it.

While this quilt may look complex Amy makes it easy to create this wonderful piece.  She has a great selection of paper pieced patterns in her book, Paper Pieced Modern:  13 Stunning Quilts.  It’s a book that I recommend to any quilter to add to their collection.  The technique she teaches will help you with your paper piecing as well.

You can read about the workshop the IMQG hosted with Amy back in September in this post.  Basting this quilt is part of my March action items.  I’ve got this, now bring on the starch!

 

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April Action Items

I’m excited for April to finally arrive.  The chance of snow in Indianapolis goes down exponentially and spring comes into bloom.  My allergies aren’t as excited, but they make medications for that.

April is very project oriented right now.  I can’t share them all with you right now, but some good stuff is coming.  DIY, upcycling, and some vintage quilts.

Vintage Quilts

As we transition into spring I’m focusing a bit more on vintage quilts.  I have a stash of them just wadded up in my WIP cabinet.  In an effort to keep busting through WIPs, this is a natural progression.  Plus, it’s fun to give new life to these old quilts.

DIY

I have some fun projects lined up that I have been meaning to make forever.  Spring is just the right motivator to get them done.

Wedding Anniversary Trip

Our seventh wedding anniversary is April 24th.  I have planned a getaway to a secret location.  Everything is planned and I haven’t told my hubby where we are going.  You guys, I have kept a secret, this is HUGE!

Healthy Actions

For March I met the goal of at least 15-20 #healthysewist entries.  Hubby had the stomach flu in March and the house was in chaos for a few days.  The weather got cold here again too and we had a contractor at the house a couple of days.  Not everything is an excuse, but definitely some hiccups.  Running has helped me have more energy and yoga is letting me focus on strength.

For April I want to push myself to 20 #healthysewist entries on Instagram.  I’m working on some new photo ideas for these too since I’m terrible at selfies.  Maybe some new trails or locations for runs?  How many times can you see this mug?

Scrappy Boy’s Postage Stamp Quilt – Layout

No quilt is easy, but a postage stamp quilt is my go to when I want to just create.  While digging through some old wips (works in progress) I found some leftover blocks from this baby quilt.  There wasn’t enough to make another quilt.  I grabbed the seam ripper and started just taking them apart.  Time for a fresh start with these fabrics.

P and I were messing around in the sewing room on Sunday morning and we started going through my scrap bins.  He loves to pull out colors and mess around with them.  Why not make a scrappy boy’s postage stamp quilt with what I already had as a starting point?  We dug around in my scrap tubs for green, blue, aqua, white, cream, brown, yellow and orange.  I quickly pressed the scraps to make cutting them easier.

During a family viewing of Ghostbusters for the 10th time, I cut the scraps into 2.5″ squares.  Rob taught Porter to say, “Back off man, I’m a scientist!”  He went around the rest of the day screaming that phrase.

I hope to get these squares laid out into a quilt this week.  Would you have any interest in a video on how I chain piece a postage stamp quilt?  I’ve been throwing the idea around and this may be the project to make it happen.


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Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

 

From Stuffed in a Bag to Glorious

As a quilter I ponder many design ideas on projects.  Some projects it’s the first time by.  Other projects get halted and then wind up in a plastic bag smothered in my WIP cabinet.  This quilt has gone on a five year journey to completion.  It’s sad, inspiring, and real all at the same time.

Moda Blush Quilt

My love of charm packs were at an all time high in 2012.  People may have noted it as an obsession, but that’s all hear say.  For the IMQG first overnight retreat I grabbed the Moda Blush charm pack and yardage in my stash along with Kona white to make a creation.  Seven to eight simple squares were started and another five or so improv blocks.  Improv is a loose term, they were measured and tried to keep it symmetrical.

Post retreat the blocks and yardage were stuffed into my WIP cabinet in a plastic bag.  I had so much hope for that project as I wrote the above blog post.  Five years later, it was pulled from the cabinet and given new life.  It could breathe again.

The improv blocks were stripped back down to the charm block and the solid.  Rather than continue with a design that didn’t make sense, I wanted to go back to the simple blocks.  Simple will get the project finished rather than sitting in a cabinet.

Simple can help you finish a project faster.

During the winter IMQG retreat this year I took the blocks and created the quilt top.  From the yardage I was able to piece a backing as well.

Post retreat the project went back into that plastic bag.  This time it sat near my sewing space.  Part of my first quarter goals for 2017 is taking the time to finish some projects.  Rather than have this project taunt me, I grabbed the starch and started pressing.  Lots of starch to get these seams to lay flat.

Some franken-batting was created to use up some scraps.  The challenge from my IMQG peeps was to try another FMQ at home.  This was the project that accepted the challenge.  After some spray basting it was ready to quilt.

Rather than quilt at night when I’m tired, I went in fresh on a Sunday morning.  It was invigorating to try this new to me technique so early in the morning.  Challenge myself to break out of my go to straight line quilting.  Guess what?  FMQ went faster and was fun.

FMQ was fun.

After being washed and dried, I truly admire this project.  It has new life, it’s been rejuvenated with the help of a seam ripper.  Stuffed in a plastic bag doesn’t have to mean the end of a project.  Look at it now with all the crinkled goodness.

Moda Blush, baby girl quilt, simple quilt, easy quilt, charm pack quilt, quiltytherapy

Pieced back with enough left over for binding.

What project do you have just sitting around?  Could you break it down to something more simple?

This quilt is now available on Etsy and ready for a new home. is going to a new home.  Someone is going to love it.

Springy Granny Squares Finally Revealed

Springy Granny Squares by quiltytherapy #grannysquares #babyquilt #florals #springdecor #floraldecor #nurserydecor #floralquilt

I’m excited to share this quilt with you.  The input and response to selecting the back was awesome.  Thank you for participating.  Here it is…the back of the quilt.

The vintage sheet is pure perfection.  Soft, drapes wonderfully, and the colors coordinate well with the front.  Notice anything different about this finished quilt?  More free motion quilting.

Confession time:  I have avoided FMQ for so long, but I truly enjoy it.  Why did I resist for years?  My quilting time has been cut down by a couple of hours. Instant time saver.  Loops are my jam for now.  I tried meandering and quickly ripped it out.

This quilt turned out much better than I could have imagined.  Tiny polka dots on a pale green was the perfect binding choice.  It provides a gentle frame around the quilt.

Floral fabrics stretched me creatively especially on the front of a quilt.  I don’t mind them on the back and often choose florals to coordinate on the back.  Maybe it was the scale or colors in this specific collection that didn’t originally inspire me too much.  As I noted in my last post, it helped to chop them into 2.5″ squares.

This quilt is available in my Etsy shop.  Wouldn’t this be a cute baby shower gift this spring?


Springy Granny Squares

Help Me Pick a Backing

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