It’s Baby Crumb Time…

About a week or two ago, I gave you all a little warning that I was preparing to tackle another crumb quilt.

This was the quilt I did with the original “crumb along”.

BabyCrumb-side-whole
At the time I said the quilt would go to the first grandchild.  The quilt sat around for a few years and the first grandchild ended up being Carver.

He loves the quilt…not as much as the “bit” (crocheted throw-Kayla made him) but he uses it most nights.  It’s family tradition that they find a few letters on the quilt before bedtime…  Carver’s “C”, Mommy’s “M”, Daddy’s “D” and so on.  Because of the good memories Carver’s quilt made with him, Kalissa said, “Mom, why not make another just like Carver’s for the new baby.”

I was fine with that so….I started the new crumb quilt for Baby Friedman.  As of Monday, this is how far along I am….

It’s been so long since I’ve done crumbs that I had to “think about how”…Ask me in a week or so if I need to think about it!  I’ll be knee deep in and I’ll be back at it full speed ahead.

I started with the letters….These free form letters are fun to make.  They are the hardest part of the quilt but not terribly hard if you aren’t too picky about them being the exact same size.  I like them different sized as they are more whimsical this way.

If you try, start with an easier, quicker letter like an “F”.

Here is a link to all the tutorials I did to make the Crumb Baby quilt.

I had first made this quilt for Kalissa…

CrumbQuilt-1

I got lots of requests for tutorials so I did a “crumb along”….I made a link page and sewed up two more crumb quilts…the baby quilt and this one….


This one was done in Civil War prints and is one of my favorite quilts that I’ve EVER, EVER made.  It combines strings with crumbs!

I’m off to sew up some more blocks.  I’ll be posting periodically about the quilt over the next few weeks as I make it.  On Monday I’ll be showing off some Flying Geese blocks.  I am getting excited about sewing this one.  Crumb along with me if you’d like….As with any project, the more the merrier.




Stash Report

I have an auction happening here on the blog.  Check it out at HERE.  I have vintage quilts, quilt tops and linens up for sale.  The auction ends Monday at 5pm Central time.

With all the cleaning I’ve been doing in my sewing room one would think I could pass up the fabric at the thrift store….um.  Nope.  I couldn’t do it.  I just couldn’t.

Kalissa and Carver were with me.  Kalissa has read the book  How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White that I’ve been raving about.  As I was digging through the fabric, Kalissa said to me…”Really Mom…do you really want to bring that into your house?”  She was teasing me…but right then and there I decided that even though I want less in my sewing room doesn’t mean I have to quit supporting charities.  So I dug…

…and I found this small quilt top.  It was $5.  The blocks are super scrappy.  I’ll happily pass this on to a charity.  I couldn’t see it sit there when it could be doing some good.

I bought this table runner.  It’s not quilted or bound.  I bought this as I’m often asked for a donation to give and this could quickly be finished up and donated without me having to put a lot of time into it.  This was more expensive than usual…$8 but I figured it could save me a lot of time.

I also found this….again, $8….
I opened them up to find these…Yep, I took them home too.  I’ll happily pass them on to a charity as well.  They are cute and would make a quick donation quilt.
These blocks have to be laid out this way.  I tried to lay them all horizontally but then the seams don’t match up.  This way there was no worry as there are no matching seams.

AH >>> but why are there only 19 blocks??  One more almost needs to be made so that there are are 20 blocks for a 4 x 5 setting.  This could be why they were donated.  The person petered out and didn’t have the 20th block in them!!  I think we’ve all been there.

I bought two pieces of fabric too.  In all those great half finished projects I got, there was very little fabric.  That surprised me.  Typically when someone cleans out their sewing room there is lots of both….but someone could have came through and bought much of the fabric.
If you’re interested in both of the scrappy projects above for baby quilts for your charity drop me a note.  Let me know about your charity and I’ll pass them on.  You’ll need to send back pictures of the finished project and let me know where it was donated to.  Here’s my email…  rogjok@iowatelecom.net.

It was a fun thrifty day….




There Comes a Time

There comes a time in life when reality sinks in.  I think I’ve had more little “reality checks” in recent times ever since I read the book Decluttering at the Speed of Life. (I reviewed the book on Christmas Day)

I’ve been slowly working through the sewing room asking myself “Am I really going to do this?”  At times I’ve said yes and then I’ve prompted myself to the “prove it”.  This was one of those days.

You might remember when Kalissa (my limited sewing daughter) was pregnant with Carver.  She had seen this baby quilt at a quilt shop.

Stash-10-1

She decided she wanted to make it for Carver.

It didn’t take her long and she made a pieced border for the panel.  Then it was time for a backing and she wanted to use minky.  That was fine.  I hadn’t quilted a minky quilt before but that didn’t seem overly challenging.  What was challenging for me was this…..

She wanted me to do this ABC panto on the quilt.  Well…if you’re a long term blog reader you know that pantos aren’t my thing.  I’ve never done them.  I’m for the most part happy doing free motion.

Well with baby #2 growing and Carver never getting his quilt finished, it was time.  So I decided it was time to prove I would use this panto and do pantos or move the panto stuff out of my sewing room.

So…I started watching videos.  It looked do-able.

Then I went to the machine and….nope.  I stood at the back with the quilt loaded and ready to go.  I tried to trace the pattern with the laser without the machine engaged.  Nope.  Yuck.  I didn’t have the control I needed to make it feel right.  Every video I watch suggested trying and easy panto first.  I already had the quilt loaded.

Ronda the charity quilter has encouraged and encouraged me.  I’ve talked to my friend Carla and she’s said that if I can free motion as well as I can, that a panto would be more time consuming.  Hmmm.  That got me thinking even more.  I appreciated the advice of both.

But…right then and there I decided it’s okay if I never do a panto.

I called Kalissa and told her.  She said that’s great mom.  I just want Carver’s quilt done.  So I hopped on the other side of the machine and away I went.

In a bit I was finished.  I feel so much better for several reasons….

1-it’s done
2-it turned out good
3-I gave myself permission to not have to be the person who can do everything.  WOW.  What a relief!  I can now clean out some of the stuff I’ve been hoarding with the thought that I have to become a panto machine quilter.  I can’t begin to tell you how much better I feel.  I’m going to have more space for what I REALLY will use and I don’t have to spend the energy to learn to do it.  Doing free motion is really enough.  YAHOO!!  Seriously it’s such a huge relief to let that go and not feel like learning to do pantos was hanging over my head.  Every time I loaded a quilt it was a reminder.  Every time I worked on a quilt, it was a reminder.  Now I don’t have to worry about it anymore and I can try to get better at free motion quilting.  Ahhhh.

So here’s the quilt as it came off the machine.


Kalissa loved it.

I love that this got finished…I love that it taught me a lesson too.  I’ve learned that there comes a time that it’s okay to let some things go.  Now rather than lamenting what I’m not, I can focus on being better at what I already do.  YES!!  That’s MUCH better.

Do you have some things that it’s time to let go of too??  I know I have more things…as I clean the sewing room I’ll share more.

Seriously, that decluttering book has been so good for me.




Ask Jo: More on COLOR!

I’ve recently done a few blog entries on color.  I really don’t know how I ever got on this…I don’t feel like I know a lot about it.  I just do what I do and I like how it turns out.

I first did a entry on sorting scraps.  Find that HERE.
Then I did an entry on selecting strings for string quilts.  Find that entry HERE.

The main thing that I’ve been saying is that I like to sort my fabrics into two categories…Ones that work well with white backgrounds and ones that work well with cream backgrounds.  In the string entry I said that even in string quilts, I like to do this.  I gave an example with my Hunter’s Star quilt I’m working on.  In the comments a reader, Roxanne asked:
What about your the fabrics in the Pumpkin Patch quilt? We’re those all cream based? I ask because I gathered my orange scraps and they are definitely a mixture of white and cream base. It’s my first strip quilt!

I’m glad you asked.  This quilt is a good example….Here’s my version.

pumpkin-patch-1
Here’s the pattern from the magazine.

pumpkin-patch-21
It’s a Bonnie Hunter pattern and was published in Quiltmaker.  It was later added to her latest book String Frenzy.  You can see that Bonnie used grays as her backgrounds and I used whites.

This is such a perfect example of color selection.  For my quilt, I should pick cream based colors because of the brown background. if I were using grays, I would choose white based because gray looks better with white than cream.

pumpkin-patch-3

Many people who talk about color call this “cool” and “warm”.  The white based colors and more “cool”.  The cream based colors are more “warm”.  I personally favor the warm or cream based colors when I’m making a quilt but often stray and make white based quilts too.

The best thing to note is that if making this quilt, there is not a “better” quilt.    There are only personal preferences.  I loved Bonnie’s quilt…but for me, I had VERY few grays at the time.  I knew I’d want white based fabrics to go with the gray and being the farm girl I am, I just liked pumpkins in what looked like brown dirt…thus the brown backgrounds and the cream based fabrics.

I dug my quilt out and started snapping some pictures.  Take a look at this picture….I had a bit of a problem…Notice the stems.  I started losing some of them in the dark brown backgrounds.

I broke my color theory …and dug to find some greens that were brighter and likely more “white based” like the stem below.  
I started to be a little more conscientious about the stems and picked backgrounds that would better suit the green color so they would stand out and not blend in too much against the brown background.
As for colors or the orange fabrics, I had VERY little orange strings.  I had to go into my fabric and cut strings from my fat quarters.  Still I didn’t have a lot. Also I could see with that dark brown background that I need a pop.  The dark oranges I had originally pulled for the quilt weren’t always standing out.  I started adding in some yellows.  

Some of these were colors that were “on the fence” and could go either way…”white” or “cream”.  I do think with a brown background the quilt looks best with those yellowish pops.

I took some close up pictures of the border.  It is cream based.  That green polka dot is an “on the fence” piece.  You can see it stands out a little.  
More border:  For Bonnie’s she used only greens in the border.  I used all fall colors instead.  That was dictated much by my stash.  I don’t have a lot of green scraps…notice the ratio of green to other colors is very low.

This was a great opportunity for me to use a lot of those colors that were “mediums”…not light…not dark yet still “cream” based.


One thing I do want to note is that I personally believe that this quilt needed a brown thread for the quilting.  It’s the obvious choice for me.  Other might have done orange…or a tan.  By selecting a brown that was “cream” based, it goes over and fabrics that are “on the fence” and tones them down a bit….”warming” them up.  It helps with the flow of the quilt.

That was true with this “on the fence” orange polka dot.  The “white” is that terrible color that’s not white-white but not cream either.  Those are sometimes “on the fence” fabrics.  I threw it in as polka dots are my favorite and I was very short of orange.  In retrospect, it didn’t hurt the quilt. If I did it again, I might leave it out….But one strip of fabric either way is not going to make or break a quilt.
But sometimes my love of polka dot trumps everything else.  That’s the most important thing….do what you love.  If what you love is throwing a happy polka dot in now and then even if it breaks the rules, DO IT!!  If not sorting your fabric this way is your method…do it.

If your stash is a “beginner stash”, do what your stash allows.  If you think this is all a bunch of horse hookey….that’s fine too.  Make your quilts how you want to make them.  The only important thing is that YOU love them.  I do all this tedious scrap sorting because that’s the way I make quilts I love.

pumpkin-patch-12
I hope that gives you some close up pictures to look through and some words to contemplate as you make your quilt Roxanne…I love that you asked you this question.

Feel free to send more questions my way….