Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Vintage Scrappiness Saved!

Hi, all!

I have something wonderful to share with you this week - a fabulous vintage scrap top that I was given the honor of quilting for the owner.  It was made by the mother of a very nice older gentleman in my church, and his wife asked if I could quilt it for him.  I adore vintage tops, and told her I'd be happy to take a look at it - because even though I love them, not all of them are able to be finished, depending on their condition.

I was a little worried about this one, because it was hand pieced, with lots of bias edges and stretchiness and ripples, hills and valleys.  But I loaded it on the frame, got a good night's sleep, and started the next morning quilting the heck out of it!

Isn't it gorgeous?  This is a truly scrappy quilt - the print pieces are pieced together from various sizes of scraps cut any which way.

I love the way the colors seem to glow in this picture. There was an amazing variety of fabrics - some feed sack, old shirts, what must have come from old dresses - nothing was wasted!

You can see in this picture how heavily I had to quilt it.  There were two places where I had to re-stitch a seam, and many pieces had tiny overlaps where the seams met, which called for careful quilting!

A beautiful quilt on a (very) windy spring morning - I was so grateful the sun made an appearance so I could get good pictures!

And finally, a picture from underneath the back of the quilt - I think this is very interesting, rather like looking at fields from an airplane!


And not to be forgotten, the scrap progress - the new "small basketful" project is proving to be a success, as I cut up all of these this week, and actually started on a new basketful!

Happy scrappy sewing!



Monday, February 19, 2018

Make-A-List Monday - Has Spring Sprung???

Hi, all!

Well, it's Monday again - a long holiday weekend, and best of all 70 degrees and sunshine today!  My daffodils are blooming all over the yard, too!  I don't know how long it will last, but I'm sure going to enjoy it while it's here.  I hope you've had a good weekend, too.

It's time to start on a new week, though, so that means reviewing last week's list and starting a new one.  Here's last week's progress...

1.  Work on quilts for four children whose father died very unexpectedly this week.
Done!  You'll see them in the quilt ministry update below...

2.  Keep cutting up those scraps!
Done!  I'm pleased to say the "small basket" experiment is working well, and I actually started on a second basket after I emptied this one!

3.  Start working on the t-shirt beach blanket.
Started!  I had to put it aside after I got this far to work on some other projects, but it's nice to see some progress!

4.  Contact more potential sponsors for H2H.
Done!   And some of the goodies have already started rolling in...

5.  Find a back for last week's UFO finish.
Done!  And not only did I find a back, but I quilted it and it is now all finished!  I love this quilt!

6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  We had quite a few quilts go out this week...

First of all, we had a death in our church family this week, and we gave quilts to his wife and four young children...

This quilt went to the neighbor of a church member whose husband had a heart attack and died...

This quilt went to a woman who just went through surgery for breast cancer and is now undergoing chemo...

And this quilt went to a man who is dealing with very serious medical issues.

So all in all, pretty good progress for the week.  Here's what I'm planning for this week...

1.  Quilt the vintage lozenge quilt top for a friend.

2.  Quilt another vintage top (I'm sensing a trend here...)

3.  Mail off another box of scraps to a Scrumptious Scraps winner!

4.  Quilt the string-and-nine-patch quilt.

5.  Work on the t-shirt beach/picnic blanket.

6.  Keep cutting up scraps!

7.  Write another tutorial for this weekend's Scrumptious Scraps quilt-along...

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

Definitely enough to keep me out of trouble, but I bet I'll find some other fun things to do before next Monday too!

So now the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Sunday, February 18, 2018

Scrumptious Scraps Quilt-Along - Stacked Coins!

Hi, all!

Are you ready for another great scrap quilt idea?  I'm excited to introduce you to Kristi, who you may also know as @kristiquilts on Instagram.  She creates marvelous scrap quilts all.the.time and when I started looking for help with this series of tutorials, she was one of the first people I knew I had to ask.  I was so excited when she agreed to help out, and I'm even more so now that I've seen what she has for us today.  So let's get this show on the road - and don't quit before the end, as we'll have a winner from last week's giveaway and another scrappy giveaway, too!


Thank you Sarah for hosting the Hand2Help Challenge. I am very pleased to be able to share this quilting tutorial with you today!
I love making use of all my scraps, but like all quilters I am always looking for great ways to keep them tamed! After exploring the myriad of ideas for ‘scrap-organizing,’ I decided on a simple system for myself. For me, anything ⅛ of a yard or more I keep folded neatly in my fabric drawers for a variety of projects. Anything smaller than that I cut into 2 ½ inch strips. Whatever remains from those strips (that is bigger than ½ inch) becomes a string or a crumb. I store my scraps by color in small fabric bins with plastic bags to sort the 2 ½ inch strips, strings, and crumbs.

When my bin starts to look full (like the green and orange ones  in the photo), I start cutting up the 2 ½ inch strips for a scrap quilt. I’m always on the lookout for simple patterns that use 2 ½ strips, so when my bin is full, I can get a project ready to go quickly!
Inspiration for the Stacked Coin Quilt
I had been collecting ideas for coin quilts for a few months. There are many ways to make this type of quilt—from straight stacked coins, to offset coins, to random size coins with crazy offsets that look like they are about to topple. I knew I wanted to make my coins uniform (to use the 2 ½ inch scraps) and to make the offset uniform to simplify the construction. Thank you to all the Stacked Coin Quilt makers that came before me!

For this quilt I used my green and orange 2 ½ inch strips. All values in either of these colors from the lights to the darks went into this quilt.

The unifying aspect of this quilt is the neutral background color. Choosing one fabric to use as a background gives the variety of scraps in this quilt cohesion so the scraps can sing without being wild. For the stacked coin design, I would choose a fabric that is either a solid or a simple all-over print. I would steer away from fabrics that are obviously directional. Directional fabrics require more thought in placement, and could be too busy with the variety of scraps in the quilt.
I auditioned a few grays from my stash to use as the background (see photo). Any of these could have worked, but I decided to go with the gray fabric on the right for its medium value. (Actually, I had just enough of that fabric for the center of the quilt, and had to make-do with the darker gray fabric on the left for the border.)

As for the binding, you could use additional background fabric, or go scrappy with lots of binding leftovers in various shades of green and orange.
Yardage Requirements
Quilt Size: 54 by 69 ½ inches
Unit of two coins: 4 by 6 finished or 4 ½ by 6 ½ unfinished

Background and Vertical Sashing: 2 ¾ yards
Border: ¾ yard
Colored Fabric Scraps: about 2 yards worth, or about 1000 inches of 2 ½ inch strip scraps, or 96 (5 by 5) charm squares
Binding: 5/8 to ¾ yard depending on your preferred size

  • 192 rectangles 2 by 2 ½ inches (for coin units)
  • 8 strips 3 inches by Width of Fabric (WOF) (for sashing)
  • 7 strips 3 inches by WOF
Coins—Colored (green and orange) scraps:
192 rectangles 2 ½ by 5 inches (for coins) 
  • Yardage: Cut into 2 ½ inch strips by WIF. Then cut those strips into 192 2 ½ by 5 inch rectangles.
  • Scraps: iron and cut 2 ½ inch strips of at least 5 inches long. Then cut those pieces into 192 2 ½ by 5 inch rectangles.
  • Charm Squares: Cut each in half once to make two  2 ½ by 5 inch rectangles which will yield 192 2 ½ by 5 inch rectangles.
When I cut lots of one type of piece, I like to clip them in sets of 10 with little binding clips.

  • Cut into strips for your preferred binding size
Making Coins
Sew a small background rectangle onto one end of each colored rectangle. Press to one side or open. I pressed mine towards the background.

Joining the coins into pairs
Now sew the coins together in pairs. This task, although not difficult, is critical to making the staggered stack of coins. Let me explain this part in detail to help you avoid an orientation pitfall.
When you sew the pairs together, you want the top coin to be on the left side and the bottom coin to be on the right as shown in the next photo:

To sew, fold the top coin down onto the bottom coin, pin, and sew.

When it’s done, it looks like this! 

Now watch what you can do with this unit: if you rotate it around so that the bottom coin is now on the top...look! The new top coin is still on the left! No matter which orientation you choose, the top coin will always be to the left.

Take a moment to lay one two-coin unit above a second two coin unit and they will look like the next photo. Awesome!

After you’ve sewn all your pairs together, take a moment to stack them up and make sure that all the top coins in the pairs are on the left. If you find any stray units that have the top coin on the right, as shown next, it’s time to get out your seam ripper and fix it so the top coin is to the left.

The problem is that if any of the units have coins going to the wrong side, when you try to line them up, you’ll end up with mismatched coins. Oops!!

Joining the Pairs into 4’s and then into 8’s
Once you have the pairs together correctly, the rest goes together much easier because you can’t mess up the orientation by rotating the units. So feel free to rotate the units to make pleasing combinations. Join each pair into 4’s and then join the 4’s into 8’s. Up until this point, I did all these combinations of colors randomly, by picking up one piece and then picking up another piece without much deliberation.

Sewing the Columns
Now that you have 8’s, it’s time to arrange them on your design wall (bed, floor, table) to find a placement of the colors that you are happy with. There are six columns each with four sets of 8’s. 
Once you have the arrangement you like, sew the four sets of 8’s into columns.
Adding Vertical Sashing
To add the sashing, seam the strips of background fabric and then cut pieces to the correct length. First measure each of the columns of coins and average the measurements (or pick the measurement that is in the middle of the grouping). Write this number down. Now sew background sashing strips together and cut so that you end up with five long pieces that are the length that you wrote down. If you sewed a perfect ¼ inch seam then these pieces will be 64 ½ inches long! 😊
Sew a long piece on the right side of the first five columns of coins. To do this, I fold the long piece into halves, and then into quarters. I mark the ends, ¼, ½, ¾ points on the border. I do the same for the column of coins. Then pin the border to the column of coins at the corresponding points. Sew from the top of the quilt to the bottom. Press toward the sashing.

Now attach the coin columns together. Change the direction of your seamline by sewing from bottom to top this time.
Adding Borders
For the two vertical side borders, seam border strips together and cut two long pieces that are the same measurement as the vertical sashing. Sew from top to bottom to attach the side borders. Press toward the outside borders.
For the top and bottom borders, measure the width of the quilt at the center. Seam together strips and cut them so that you end up with two long pieces that are the center width of the quilt. If you sewed a perfect ¼ inch seam then these pieces will be 54 inches long! 😊 Pin (at the ends, ¼, ½, ¾) and sew the strips onto the top and bottom. Press toward the outside borders.

Now you have a completed stacked coins top! Add some fun quilting and your favorite binding and you’ll have a finished quilt!

Happy Sewing!
Kristi, a fourth-generation quilter, has been quilting actively since 2013. She loves sewing quilts for kids and using up all her scraps! When not working as a Database Administrator during the day or sewing in her free time, she can be found enjoying the outdoors near her Northern California home with her husband of 30 years and their 11-year-old son. You can follow her on Instagram at 


Isn't that a fabulous quilt?  And such a great scrap buster, too.  I can see many of these in my scrappy future!  Thank you, Kristi, for sharing your talents with us!  

And now, how about a winner for last week's giveaway?  I asked little Miss Random, and she said...

Congratulations, Kathy!  I'll be contacting you later today to get your snail mail address for a package of scraps!!

And because I've yet to make any kind of significant dent in my scraps, I'll happily give away another package this week!  Just leave a comment below (if you don't want any more scraps, just say so!) and I'll draw another name next week.  Be sure to leave Kristi some quilt-y love, too - she's not a blogger, but I'd sure like to show her how wonderful bloggers are!  If you're on Instagram, be sure to check out and maybe follow her feed - she always has beautiful eye candy to share!