quilts, treadle sewing machines, crochet, watercolor, dogs, & other fun stuff

Quilt-Related Odds and Ends

Still in the “catching up” phase of blogging!  At this point, I’m down to the “odds and ends” section.  The bottom of the barrel, if you will.  😁

First up, the last quilty-ish “finish” since I went AWOL.  It’s not a full quilt or even a wall quilt, which is why it didn’t deserve a blog entry of its own.  Instead, it’s a quilted pillow sham I made for Kimberly’s birthday.  (That’s my youngest sister, if there’s anyone out there reading who doesn’t already know. 😅) 

One of the things Kimberly likes/collects is raccoons, so I thought I’d try my hand at a paper-pieced raccoon quilt block.  The pattern that ended up catching my eye, however, was not foundation paper pieced, but traditionally pieced.  The pattern is from Sew Fresh Quilts, if anyone is interested.  

My version doesn’t really do it justice.  It’s not bad, but it’s not perfect, either!  I did slightly alter the eyes from the original pattern.  I wanted the eyes to be just white dots, so I centered them instead of making my raccoon “shifty-eyed”.  I then used black for the “mask” and the nose, solid grey and white for the rest of the face, a lighter grey print for the background, and so on.  

Again, I think it turned out ok– especially when casually viewed from a distance– but my points are mismatched in a place or two, and it probably would’ve looked better if I had just not quilted certain areas as I did.  (I did straight line quilting on the domestic sewing machine.)  Still, I know we’re our own harshest critics.  It’s fine!  

Here it is without the pillow insert, and then in a chair with the pillow inside:

It’s a cute pattern, if someone’s looking for a raccoon block and doesn’t like foundation paper piecing.  

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Next up, the design wall… (Just because I took this photo, apparently… I’m not sure what my intention was for it…)

I don’t know if you remember what it looked like the last time I posted, but the writing is still on the wall.  😂 The words are still staring at me every time I go in there, silently demanding what is taking so long.  One day I’ll actually work on it again and probably have that whole quilt top finished in a few hours.  It shouldn’t take long. (Why do I drag my feet this way?!)

I don’t think those string blocks were there last time I shared my design wall.  If they were, I’m positive I didn’t explain what they were.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, now.  The original plan was a quilt top with a cascade of vertically-hung “paper lanterns” (in different sizes and shapes) on a black background.  I made a rainbow of string-pieced paper lanterns, but then I just… stopped.  The next step would be messy– figuring out how to transform them into something that looked at least a little like paper lanterns.  I had ideas of how I might do this, but nothing concrete.  I’d begun to doubt it would look like much or be worth the effort.  

Now I just don’t know!  I could still carry through with the original plan, or I could just sew them together into rainbowy bands of string-pieced color on a black background.  That might be just as pretty, and it would definitely be a whole lot less trouble than my paper lantern idea.  We’ll see!  I think the word quilt will go first, and then I’ll decide what direction to take.  

There’s another string project also still waiting for some attention– the pink and aqua string blocks, if you recall them.  I have a plan for them and have even pulled the fabric for the next phase, but after stalling out, it takes an extra push to get any momentum going again.

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As if there weren’t enough works in progress, I’ve started a couple more since February.  One new project is crumb strips.  I think I first saw this idea on YouTube, in a video from “Just Get It Done Quilts”.  She uses adding machine tape, but since I didn’t have any of that, I cut strips from an old phone book.  I believe I got two strips per page.  Your strips can be any size, but mine are 3″ x 10″.  You use the strips of paper as a foundation or guideline for where/how much to sew, similarly to how you can use paper as a foundation for string-piecing.  The paper can also help keep the small pieces of fabric from distorting before you sew the crumb strips into a quilt top.

I’ve been making a few at a time, and my stack is getting taller.  My plan is to alternate the crumb strips with a solid fabric.  I’ve made a similar quilt in the past, using denim as the “background” strip.  

The newest WIP is another string project that I started while Donald was visiting his family in Sweden, last month.  I wanted something easy that I could work on at the treadle in the living room (more on that another time), so more strings it was!  It’s going to be a HST string project, when I get that far.  I’ve made sure to use wide strings down the center of each block, since I’ll be cutting them in half along that string.  No photos to share for that project, this time.  

That covers the quilty projects for now.  I hope I’ll have more to share soon, because that should mean progress on one of the works already in progress.  


I’m Michael (a female Michael, to remove any doubt).  I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast with my husband, Donald, and our crazy American Eskimo Dogs. 

I love to fill my spare time with various crafts and other hobbies, and this blog is where I share photos, record my progress, and ramble endlessly.

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