Wooden Spool Toys

Recently a brief conversation at sew day about a use for empty spools led to those who collect wooden spools with or without thread and what , if anything , is done with them. I have a few but would not say they are something I collect nor do I save the plastic spools in case some future generation finds a creative purpose for them or even finds them “collectible”. I do remember, however, using the wooden spools to make toys, spool toys. My memory was jogged to remember those toys last night when I was perusing an old magazine from 1915. The ad is pictured below. I wasn’t born yet in 1915 so this toy idea must have been renewed some 40 years later. I don’t recall if we made them in “art class” at school or if they were made around the dining room table as a rainy day activity. I do remember having a lion and an elephant and I am sure there were others. I don’t remember them coming from the thread company as promoted in this ad. For only a nickel and the coupon included in the ad you could get a complete set of six spool pets. You could also collect them as you purchased bias trim because one came in each package for free—for a limited time. The ad further promotes that over “300,000 boys and girls have had great fun making and playing with these clever toys”. What do you suppose was the favorite: Puppy Dog, Kitty Cat, Bob Bunny, Hal Horse, Clara Cow or Pete Pig? Love those old ads!

Mystery Quilt Week 4

Week 4 of 4

“It’s A Mystery” Quilt Challenge by Sharon Wasteney, Something Stitched

Always use a ¼” seam allowance. Press seam allowances toward the solid.

Block E requires these pieces:

(2) 6 ½” x 21 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 9 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 6 ½”;

(4) 3 ½” x 3 ½” squares, one of each print numbered 1through 4.

 

Sew #1 print to #3 print, press seam to #3; sew #2 print to #4 print, press seam to #2. Join #1,3 to #2,4 forming a four patch block.

Sew 6 ½” x 9 ½” to left edge of four patch and 6 ½” square to the right edge.

Sew 6 ½” x 21 ½” to top and bottom of enhanced four patch block.

 

 

 

 

 

Finished size of Block E will be 21 ½” width and 18 ½” height.

Block F requires one each of these pieces:

(1) 3 ½” x 18 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 9 ½”;

(1) 9 ½” x 18 ½”,

(1) 3 ½” x 6 ½”;

(4) 3 ½” x 3 ½” squares, one of each print numbered 1 through 4.

 

Sew #2 print to #4 print, press seam to #4; sew #1 print to #3 print, press seam to #1. Join #2,4 to #1,3 forming a four patch block.

Sew 6 ½” x 9 ½” to left side of four patch block and 3 ½” x 6 ½” to the right side.

Sew 3 ½” x 18 ½” to top of enhanced four patch.

Sew 9 ½” x 18 ½” to bottom

 

 

 

 

 

Finished size of Block F will be 18 ½” width and 18 ½” height.

Sew block E to block F. Sew E/F to A/B/C/D piece.

You’re done!! I told you it was simple. I hope you enjoy thinking about how you might quilt this project. As with many modern designs it leaves a lot of negative space for stitching.

Prepare top to be quilted by layering backing, batting and top. Baste as desired and quilt as desired. I quilted mine with interlocking squares in various sizes corresponding with the sizes used in the top but it could also just use some vertical and horizontal lines with a heavier or decorative thread to stand out or hand stitch with big stitches in a contrasting thread. This is a great opportunity to let quilting take center stage.

 

 

Week Three of Four Mystery Quilt

Week 3 of 4

“It’s A Mystery” Quilt Challenge by Sharon Wasteney, Something Stitched

Always use a ¼” seam allowance. Press seam allowances toward the solid.

 

Block C requires these pieces:

(1) 3 ½” x 18 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 9 ½”;

(1) 9 ½” x 18 ½”;

(1) 3 ½” x 6 ½”;

(4) 3 ½” x 3 ½” squares, one of each print numbered 1through 4.

Sew #2 print to #3 print, press seam to #3; sew #4 print to #1 print, press seam to #4. Join #2,3 to #4,1, forming a four-patch block.

Sew 3 ½” x 6 ½” piece to left edge of four patch block. Sew 6 ½” x 9 ½” to right edge of four-patch block.

Sew 3 ½” x 18 ½” to top of enhanced four patch and sew 9 ½” x 18 ½” to bottom of block.

 

 

 

 

Finished size of Block C will be 18 ½” width and 18 ½” height.

 

Block D requires these pieces:

(2) 6 ½” x 21 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 9 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 6 ½”;

(4) 3 ½” x 3 ½” squares, one of each print numbered 1through 4.

Sew #3 print to #1 print, press seam to #1; sew #4 print to #2 print, press seam to #4. Join #3,1 to #4,2 forming a four-patch block.

Sew 6 ½” square to left edge of four-patch block and 6 ½” x 9 ½” to right edge.

Sew remaining 6 ½” x 21 ½” pieces to top and bottom of enhanced four-patch block.

 

 

 

 

Finished size of Block D will be 21 ½” width and 18 ½” height.

Sew block C to block D.

Sew C/D piece to bottom edge of A/B block then set aside for final row.

 

 

 

 

 

Two-thirds done. How easy is this!!

 

 

Rusted and Felted

Today I will be joining a group of fiber arts enthusiasts at the Rockport Center for the Arts to share the rust dyeing technique. Coming from a farm background I am familiar with how equipment rusts if not taken care of. I remember greasing plow blades and cultivator shovels to prevent rust. Now I am looking for all kinds of bolts and washers and nails and chains and anything else that is or can be rusted to create an interesting pattern on fabric. The sample shown combines a Tyvek leaf ( my favorite technique) on a rust dyed background with felted leaves on the side. I painted the background fabric using Setacolor paints with commercial batiks that combine so well with hand dyes. Made on a rainy day, it reflects the mood of the day with the sun trying to shine but the rain prevailed. Looking forward to the exciting but unknown results that take place when a group with artistic bent comes together.

To Dye For

 

 

 

 

My morning and early afternoon was spent dyeing vintage linens and over dyeing other fabrics with a Texas friend. While she likes bright colors I tend to stick to the more grayed organic tones. I like to dye fabrics with someone who is my opposite in color choices because it compels me to pour those bright colors over my linens and enjoy the surprising results. I can’t think of any vintage linen I have dyed that I haven’t liked when I finally took it out of the dryer. They may not be as bright as I had hoped, they may have been brighter than I hoped, but they always have an amazing beauty that pleases my artistic muse and I seem to find a use for them. Because I like to make nature inspired art quilts I find I need those bright bits of color to make the project more interesting. Bright bits of color in friendships make my life more interesting as well.

Week Two of Four Mystery Quilt

Week 2 of 4

“It’s A Mystery” Quilt Challenge by Sharon Wasteney, Something Stitched

Always use a ¼” seam allowance. Press seam allowances toward the solid.

 

Block A requires these pieces:

(2) 6 ½” x 24 ½”;

(1) 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″;

(1) 6 1/2″ x 12 1/2″

(4) 3 ½” x 3 ½” squares, one of each print numbered 1 through 4.

 

Sew #1 3 ½” print square to #2 print square, press seam to #2; sew #3 print to #4 print, press seam to #3. Join #1,2 to #3,4, forming four patch block.

Sew 6 ½” solid square to the left edge of the four patch.

Sew 6 ½” x 12 ½” rectangle to the right edge of the four patch.

Sew 6 ½” x 24 ½” rectangles to the top and bottom of the enhanced four patch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finished size of Block A will be 24 ½” width and 18 ½” height

 

 

Block B requires these pieces:

(1) 9 ½” x 15 ½”;

(1) 3 ½” x 15 ½”;

(1) 3 ½” x 6 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 6 ½”;

(4) 3 ½” x 3 ½” squares, one of each print numbered 1 through 4.

 

Sew #2 print to #3 print, press seam to #3; sew #1 print to #4 print, press seam to #1. Join #2,3 to #1,4, forming a four patch block.

Sew 6 ½” square to left edge of four patch. Sew 3 ½” x 6 1/2” rectangle to right edge of four patch.

Sew 9 ½” x 15 ½” rectangle to top of enhanced four patch.

Sew 3 ½” x 15 ½” to bottom of enhanced four patch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finished size of Block B will be 15 ½” width x 18 ½” height.

 

Sew block A to block B on the 18 1/2″ edge and set aside.

 

I told you it was simple!!

Since this is my first try please know that I will gladly accept suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 1 Mystery Quilt (corrected version)

Wow!! I was so motivated to try this that I made a mistake.  You will need 2 1/2 yards of background solid or reads as solid rather than 1 5/8 yards.  So then there are some additional cuts to be made. The new directions as as follows and thank you to my wonderful artsy group for trying this and making the corrections.  In actuality the directions were for four blocks rather than six.

Week 1 of 4

“It’s A Mystery” Quilt Challenge

Finished Quilt Size: 39.5” x 54.5”

 

Fabric Requirements:

  • 2 ½ yd of solid or “reads as solid” for background
  • 1/8 yd of at least 4 different coordinating prints for accent

(optional substitute: 24 different 3 ½” squares)

  • 2 ½ yd backing

 

 

Cutting:

Background-

Cut 6 strips 6 ½” by width of fabric (wof);

Subcut each strip as follows:

Strip 1-21 ½”, 3 ½”, 12 ½”

Strip 2-21 ½”, 9 ½”, 6 ½”

Strip 3- 24 ½”, 6 ½”, 6 ½”

Strip 4-24 ½”, 9 ½”, 3 ½”

Strip 5- 21 ½”, 9 ½”, 6 ½”

Strip 6- 21 ½”, 9 ½”, 3 ½”

 

Cut 2 strips 3 ½” x wof;

Subcut strip 1: 18 ½”, 15 ½”;

Subcut strip 2: 18 ½”

 

Cut 2 strips 9 ½” x wof;

Subcut strip 1: 18 ½”, 15 ½”;

Subcut strip 2: 18 ½”

 

Coordinating prints-

From each of 4 prints cut six 3 ½’ x 3 ½” squares (24 total)

Label each stack of six squares 1-4

 

Binding: Cut six strips 2 ½” x wof

It’s A Mystery To Me!

It’s A Mystery To Me!

 

Having just completed my first mystery quilt retreat I am motivated to offer a modern mystery quilt challenge via my website. It will be a small, modern styled quilt suitable for a throw or if done in specific color schemes could be a modern style baby quilt or play mat as well. It will use a main background solid and then at least four small coordinated solid or print pieces of your choosing. It is SIMPLE squares and rectangles with no intimidation factors other than the unknown. And, since it is my first try, you can wait until all the instructions are on the website along with my finished product photo and then decide if you want to try it, no longer a mystery of course! It is comprised of four different blocks combined to make a six block quilt.   Complete directions for fabric needs will be posted Monday, February 27 with additional directions each Monday for four weeks. I hope you will share your finished tops or quilts with others or send to me via email so I can share. I also appreciate feedback that is constructive.

Respect and Remembrance

 

 

As much a part of family legacy as the birth of new generations is the passing of those we love. There are many ways we may show our respect at the passing of a loved one. In the past colors used for clothing indicated the process and time of mourning for family members. Articles of clothing may be used to make quilts as remembrances of our loss. When a friend passed away her family chose to drape her casket with a quilt as a symbol of her love of sewing and quilting. Others make quilts after the passing of a loved one as part of the grieving and healing process. The making and using of this small quilt, Doves of Remembrance, is a symbol of respect and remembrance, a celebration of love for my mother who taught me to sew.

 

Rusted Relics

Rust

Yesterday I tried rust dyeing for the first time. It’s not a new process but I had never actually done it for myself. This morning I rinsed and pressed the small pieces of fabric. I learned several things. Results are less definite if too many layers are used. Weighting the layers contributes greatly to the clarity of the design. And I also learned that I like whatever comes out because it makes me have to think more creatively than if it had come out exactly as I had planned. Bottom line, it was creative fun and more fun is in store as I explore how to use the vintage buttons I grabbed for creative projects just before we left for the winter home. Some will notice the backside of the poster holding the buttons is an old election poster from my home county. The buttons were picked up at an auction but were carefully arranged on cardboard of all kinds. The buttons, the rusted fabric and an old Felco feed sack will find their way into a collage celebrating the life of my father’s parents.