Thursday, June 29, 2017

Did you really think...

...that I could let the birthday of my country go by without making something more in Red/White/Blue? Seriously now, how long have you been following along? I am a sucker for patriotic themes. There was this post, then this one, and this one, and ...well, you get the idea. I can't resist the red, white, and blue.
So this is what happened in the all-too-rare sewing time I grabbed yesterday. These are table toppers based on the pattern below, which was in my recent swap package with Randy. These won't get quilted in time, but they may just grace a tabletop for now anyway.

The colors in the photo on the pattern didn't grab me, but I knew I was free to take it where I chose--and I chose red/white/blue. Anyway, who can resist a pattern named "Box of Chocolate"?

There could be a lot of wasted fabric in this pattern. You construct it by making strip sets and then cut out the wedges with a 60 degree ruler.

Look at those leftover triangles on the sides. Something had to be done with those. So something was.

You can click to enlarge the photo and see how things were lined up to trim down the waste.
All of my seams were pressed open, so it didn't matter which half I matched with what.

Stitch two of the newly trimmed triangles together and proceed to create another table topper from your scraps. It just reverses the fabric order. It will be almost as large as the original. I think my "scrap" topper is less than 1 1/2" smaller in diameter than the original. A nice save, I'd say.
In the photo at the top, the one on the left is the original, and the one on the right is the "scraps".

I was stitching the details on at the reunion, but the Buttermilk Basin wall hanging was finished in time for the auction. Here it is hanging al fresco, awaiting its turn up for bid. My older sister bought it.
It calls for buttons in the sunflower centers, but when I laid them out, it made this look like a button sample card, so I opted for randomly placed Colonial Knots, instead. When I was choosing the binding, I was going through my plaid shirt stash trying to find something in red/white/blue that would work cut on the bias. Everything that matched was too large a scale for this little piece. Then I recalled that DH had just donated a shirt to my stash, and I had just washed it. I found it in the laundry and it was just what I wanted.

Have I mentioned before that I am a lazy quilter (I believe I have)? And do you know what this lazy quilter doesn't enjoy about quilting small wool pieces? ALL of the thread color changes!!
It is not just rethreading the quilting machine--it is the tension check required after each change of thread color, brand, and weight.
Nine different colors and three weights and brands were used in quilting this, and sometimes I would finish with a color, move on to the next one, and then see that I had missed a place with the previous color. Arrgh!

But I persevered and got it finished. Here you can see the back before buttons were attached and knots stitched. Other than the quilting, it was a pretty fun piece to stitch.

My sewing room has turned into a disaster area, so before it requires federal funding, I decided to do a little cleaning here and there. I have had to dig into the shirt stash a time or two lately--and always when I am in a hurry, so rather than being tucked away afterward, shirts were strewn all around the room. I was stepping over them to get anywhere. Last night, on another steroid induced sleepless night, I tore the shirts out of the closet and let the fun begin.
I should have done the before/after photo thing, but I never think of it until after.

This may not look very neat, but believe me, this is organized!! Shirts that have been deconstructed are in baskets by color or project, or there is that one neat shelf of folded blue deconstructed shirts. Most of my shirts are still intact, and I hack on arm or front panel off when I need the fabric. But I have found that I can squash more shirts into a cubby when they are rolled, so that is what I do. I don't have enough cubby space, so the purple shirts are down to the right side and there are some low level piles on the floor. Hopefully I can get more shirts taken apart and free up more space. I don't like having the floor piled up, but this is so much better than it was. I tossed a large box of shirts that I realized were just not great fabrics to work with, even though they are 100% cotton.

Up on a high shelf in the same closet I have a couple more piles. These are mostly teals and pastel stripes. I'll have to get the step stool to get to them, but it isn't that hard. 
It feels so good to have that done.

And while cleaning, I came across a bag of really small Kim Diehl fabric scraps, so now there is another one of these in the works.

 Have another small quilt swap coming up. Just trying to decide how to quilt it.

Oh, how did this post get so long? I didn't think I had that much to say. I'll be quiet now.
Until next time, 
Janet O.


  1. You are so savvy, Janet, to turn the scraps from the first block into another. They are both gorgeous table mats!

    Your Buttermilk Basin hanging is too fun. I like everything about it. What size is it? It's too bad you had to spend so much time changing thread, adjusting tension, etc., but it was definitely worth it.

    You have a nice collection of shirts there. I've been buying and cutting them apart for a few years. When I first began I bought for color but eventually I realized that I also needed to test the fabric for hand quilting ease. I carry a needle with me these days. Some of those shirts that didn't work out have become drawstring bags -- for sewing supplies when travelling, shoe bags, etc. But I have a couple that will never be used: they are light weight twills.

    Love your little Dresden!

  2. I enjoy seeing peoples sewing spaces and fabric stashes, although I don't want you to see mine! I like your fabric choices better than the patterns, the patriotic theme works well. Kiwi Hugsxx

  3. Two for the fact you did not let the waste get left out! Both toppers are great! I am planning a raid on your sister's house to capture the small wool Love how you finished it with the knots and binding. The thread changes are a pain, but the results are great. Your clean up is good too. My floral fabrics are cascading down the shelves to the floor as the bins no longer can hold them all. All in all I am glad you stole some quilting time:)

  4. Those two little table toppers are cute as they can be! I love your color/fabric choices so much better than the pattern cover. You have a wonderful collection of shirts, and I completely understand how the cubbies and bins can get out of hand when searching for just the right fabric. Happens all the time around here!

  5. Box of Chocolates!! I love your table toppers and leave it to you, to make it so pretty. Smart use of your cut scraps; it made another beautiful topper. Well I'm glad our sister was able to purchase the family reunion piece, since I wasn't there to outbid her. lol It turned out beautifully. I had never thought about all that thread switching with machine sewing wool. Whew! Your sewing room organization looks good. Yesterday I was looking for lightweight stabilizer to back an embroidery project and it took me forever to find it. I have no rhyme or reason in my storage system and it shows every time I look for something!!! Happy 4th!

  6. what a fun filled post. I adore your new little finished patriotic piece. it is just too cute! The quilting is fabulous and I know what you mean about the thread changing! and yes, the tension setting, but the details are worth it.
    You really do have loads of shirts - wow! You'll tame them soon I'm sure. I just cleaned my room - it was crazy until yesterday.
    The hexie blocks are really neat. Wow - they come together so well!
    oh, and that bowl of little pin cushions - wee

  7. I love those toppers! What size strips do you start with? I think I like the scrap one better than the original. But they are both beautiful.

  8. The Box of Chocolates pattern makes up very well in the red, white, and blue theme. Will make a lovely patriotic themed display. Love that bowl of little cushions and the patriotic theme. I had intended to make a bunch of those type things for displaying in Longaberger baskets but have made no progress towards doing it. This would be a good weekend for me to make at least one in red, white, and blue.

  9. Your table toppers are lovely! Great idea for using the scraps for a second one. These will add to Independence Day celebrations. Happy 4th! God has surely blessed America. I pray we will live in more gratitude for that.
    Lucky sister! to win your Buttermilk Basin wall hanging in your auction. It is wonderful :-) Those shirts are marvelous! Great organizing!

  10. I really love the table toppers. I too am a sucker for anything red, white and blue. Hugs

  11. I LOVE your table toppers, both of them!! I have one of those rulers, well somewhere, and I think I'll give that a try!! I have lots of scraps, well somewhere, as you know and they would be perfect!! Your auction wallhanging turned out darling!! One day I am going to try that wool appliqué thing!! Looks like fun!! Hey, ya wanna come out here and straighten out all the fabric I have around here somewhere? :-)) Hope you are doing good!! xoxox

  12. Good call on those cut-offs! I'm pretty sure I have a bag of some from an old project. They were too nice to toss, but I didn't have time to figure out what to do with them. Hopefully, if I ever come across them again, I'll remember your save! That tiny KD Dresden is adorable!

  13. Everything you shared is lovely! The wool applique is especially charming. I enjoy your patriotic posts each year!

  14. Two-fers are great! That is a wasteful method though still a shortcut to get all the same wedges.
    Love your wool project and much prefer your knots to buttons. Glad it made the auction. I have a bunch of deconstructed shirts from my brother-in-law and no idea what I will do with them! Organized stash is satisfying even though a painful puzzle at times to get through.
    Keep the long posts coming!

  15. We are such kindred spirits! Your red, white and blue's are just beautiful! Your sister is one lucky sister to have your beautiful wool appliqué. There are times when I am in my sewing room it is so messy I think some one has set off a bomb! No matter how hard I try to get fabrics, books, etc organized I always seem to be tripping over or looking for something!

  16. Your table toppers are great, especially loved the one from "scraps"! All Kim Diehl scraps are worth saving, such a cute dresden.

  17. What darling r-w-b quilts! I printed an eagle patter today and am thinking about doing it this weekend!!

  18. You're always busy making beautiful stitches! I agree with using the knots instead of buttons... and always love a little dresden!

  19. Difficult to decide which table topper i like best! This has been a very interesting read; but I think you are trying to make me feel bad with all your organizing and cleaning! Would you have time to come help me? *giggle* ---"Love"

  20. Of course, you needed to have a new RW&B project! Your tabletoppers are wonderful. Good save on the leftovers. I guess if you can't sleep, you made super good use of your time. You look back on track.

  21. Great Red White & Blue additions to your Minis. You have a great place for your Shirts. Thanks for sharing some with me. I'm sure it felt good to organize. You have a lucky Older Sister. Great idea to do an auction at Family Reunion. Happy 4th of July Weekend!

  22. I wonder where my RWB quilts are? There are still so many things I haven't unpacked! Maybe I can borrow one (or 10) from you? LOL Love the new additions to your collection! Very clever of you to change the colors up so completely - MUCH better than the original! I would have used a clear monofilament thread to quilt that small wall hanging - no changing at all! Have you ever tried it? I use it quite often - especially on little projects. Congrats on the newly organized area in your sewing room - sure feels good, huh? Are you ready for next week with the little one? If I survived, you can too!

  23. I love your long posts and no doubt for me, you're the Queen of red, blue and white quilts !
    I wish you a wonderful 4th of July!

  24. beautiful table toppers...great way to use all the pieced parts...your posts are always so inspiring to me...I tend to make large things that take forever to finish...time for some small wool pinkeeps thanks to you...RWB!!!

  25. I love the table toppers and I think the scrap one is my favorite. I've wanted to quickly make something patriotic too. It probably won't happen but it's fun to plan. The little Kim Diehl Dresden is adorable. Glad you were able to find the perfect binding for your little wall hanging. It pays to persevere.

  26. I always so enjoy seeing what you're up to! I love the hexagonal table toppers so much-- and you're absolutely right, who can resist a box of chocolates? ;) I may need to try this, clever use of the leftovers too! You made me laugh with your comment regarding a button sample card; I believe your strategically placed knots are just perfect for that precious piece. Great job on taming the stash, sometimes it just needs to be told who's in charge! ;)

  27. did I miss this post?
    Awesome hexie - er - patriotic table toppers and a very clever use of the scraps. It amazes me how professional patterns leave all those scraps behind when they could have included an extra idea on how to use them up.
    Lazy quilters don't use 9 different threads! I'm lucky if I use more than one...
    Such a pretty little dresden - I still haven't played with my new one yet :(

  28. Janet, now I really need to think twice before I send you stuff. JK Everything you make that I send you looks SO much better than it looked as a pattern in my house!!! vbg. You have this uncanny ability to take just ho-hum patterns and turn them into fabulous things. And who could've ever predicted that you'd become not just the Mini Queen but the Dresden Plate Mini Queen??!!
    Your sewing room looks pretty darn good to me, at least the snippet that you shared!!
    The auction wool piece was fabulous. Too bad I couldn't bid--or maybe it was a good thing!
    Hope your Fourth was fun!

  29. Wonderful patriotic table toppers! Your cleverness at saving the scraps really shows how you tackle a project to its best advantage, too. I laughed at your phrase of needing federal funding to clean and organize your sewing spaces. Looks like you did a good job with it. I have buckets of shirts saved and need to break my inertia on them.

  30. I like your table toppers and how you have recylced the recycled to make another similar one - great thinking! And your auction piece turned out beautiful - a great finish. Nothing like a good tidy up to get the juices running.... the wee dresdens are so cute!Hmmm interesting wee sneak peek that needs quilting....:-)

  31. You are so amazingly talented Janet! I do not think you are lazy at all! I wish swapping threads was like a soda machine in a restaurant.....just push a button, and blam, there is the next color! You KNOW I love the way you saved those fabric scraps and made another topper!


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