Saturday, October 7, 2017

October OMG

I really like the OMG monthly goal setting party, and I was pretty consistent this year until September.  October is a busy month for me and it will mean not much sewing time.  I'll lose probably two weeks when my machine goes in for a tune-up. 

I made a Jelly Roll Twist quilt with an I Spy jelly roll created by a swap I hosted a while back and some Kona Highlight.  The top ended up being much bigger than I liked, especially for Project Linus donations.  So I did some seam ripping and turned it into 2 quilts.  Getting them both done is my One Monthly Goal for the linky party hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts.
Elm Street Quilts

Friday, October 6, 2017


Q4 Goals

I love the motivational link-up party that is the Finish Along. I had a really great Q1, a reasonable Q2, and a not so great Q3.  I always to list way more projects than I will actually complete because I never know what I will be in the mood to work on.

I break my goals into 3 categories: general quilts, mini quilts and pillows, and quilts for Project Linus.

General Projects and Gifts

1. Tree Farm
I've been doing the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along and I particularly loved block #2, the Christmas Tree Farm block designed by April of Janda Bend Quilts.  I loved it so much that I took the block I made for the sampler and expanded it to turn it into a holiday decoration.  The top is pieced and I'd like to get this done in time to hang it for the holidays.

2. growth chart for friends
After making a growth chart for my niece last month, I had leftover strips.  So I am making a chart for friends who live in town and have 2 kids.

3. Savannah
I took this class in 2011 and haven't touched it since the day of the class.  It's time to either finish it or pass it on.

4. Rin
I did the Rin-Along earlier this year and completed a block.  Now I need to turn it into something.

5. Magical Forest
I need to assemble my blocks from Stash Bee 2017--I'm making a magical forest!

Mini Quilts & Pillows
Pillow Menagerie
I am slowly making us a menagerie of animal throw pillows four our couch, as I got rid of the big cushions that came with the couch because they were so big it was annoying.  The following are pillows I have patterns and fabric for, and I've spent time getting the pattern pieces enlarged and color coded.
6. Lion--pattern is from the zoo animals collection by Kristy @ Quiet Play
7. Giraffe--pattern is from the zoo animals collection by Kristy @ Quiet Play
8. Bear--pattern from Juliette of The Tartan Kiwi

9. Vintage Holiday
I've had this one on my to-do list for a while and started the sewing on a recent work trip when I wasn't driving.  It is my current hand sewing project.

Project Linus

10. Elephants
I've been doing the Rainbow Scrap Challenge with elephant blocks all year.  Now that the year is coming to an end, it's time to put them all together.

11. Christmas Sampler
The last block for the I Wish You A Merry Quilt Along is released on December 5th, so I'm hoping I can complete the quilt before the end of the year.

12. Dog Gone Cute
I made a Dog Gone Cute block for one of the women in a quilting bee, and I liked the block so much I made a second for me. I am slowly making my way through all of Lorna's amazing dog blocks.

13. Snowmen
Another I Wish You A Merry Quilt Along block that I liked enough to turn into another project: the Snowman block by Sherry of Powered by Quilting.  I've made 5 blocks and I want to make 4 more and then have fun with different embellishments.

14. Noah didn't build a log cabin
I was fooling around one day and framed a donated Noah's Ark fabric with some large log-cabin style blocks.  It needs to be layered, quilted, and bound.

15. I Spy Jelly Roll Twist
My current Project Linus sewing: Fat Quarter Shop's Jelly Roll Twist pattern with some I Spy strips from a swap, plus Kona Highlight.

16. 3 1/2" square purple quilt
I Spy scraps with purple as the alternating fabric.  Since this photo was taken, all the rows are made and need to be assembled together.

17. 3 1/2" square blue quilt
I Spy scraps with blue as the alternating fabric.

18. Halloween Costume
I'm making myself a Red Riding Hood cape from a pattern in a book.  I can't find the photo at the moment, but I do have all the supplies I need and I've started cutting up the sweatshirt that will become my cape.

19. Dinosaur
Using the same book, I plan to make a dinosaur sweatshirt for Munchkin for Christmas.

20. Princess
I have a donated Disney Princesses print that I plan to give the same log-cabin treatment that I gave Noah, above.

I've been doing lists of 20 so far this year, so I will keep that trend going.  I know I won't finish that many, but it does feel good to cross at least some things off the list.

Friday, September 29, 2017

String Quilt

Back in July, the Queen in one of my bees asked for string blocks.  I had so much making hers that I kept my string bucket out and just kept making blocks. 

I decided to really go after scraps and did this as my very first Quilt As You Go project.  In addition to the scrappy strings, I used up batting scraps.  I love using fusible tape to make larger pieces out of batting scraps. I also used fabric donated to my Project Linus chapter for the backing.  After sewing each block, at which time I also quilted it (!) I trimmed to 7 1/2".
The back of one block, after joining
Turns out that I love Quilt As You Go!  (QAYG)  Having the quilting done once the piecing is done just feels so good!  I used a method for joining the quilted blocks that I learned from the Craftsy class Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine with Ann Peterson.  One thing I will do differently next time is use non-directional prints for the backing.  For this quilt, it got too hard to try to get the prints to face one direction so I just decided it didn't matter.

The sashing on the blocks is some leftover Kona Meringue.  Last time I made a string quilt, I was sorry I didn't use the same fabric in the middle of each block to give some continuity and order.  I used the Meringue this time, but didn't think about how the joining method would mean each block was outlined.  So there are a few more lines than I planned.  Next time, I'll use the same fabric in each block if it's not QAYG and will skip it if I'm doing QAYG.

The string quilt was item #4 on my list of Q3 goals for the globally hosted finish along

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Pink Poodles

Someone donated this fabulous pink poodle fabric to my local Project Linus chapter.  I liked it so much as a large piece of fabric that I decided to keep it as a whole cloth quilt and use it for some free motion quilting practice.

I am just not sure if I am ever going to get the hang of free motion quilting.  I haven't completely given up yet, but I do much better with lines and I think I'm getting close to be resigned to sticking with straight line quilting.  We'll see.
Here's the back.  I back almost all of my Project Linus quilts with fleece.  It makes for a quilt that is a great weight and it's soft and cuddly.
And a close-up of those fabulous poodles!

Poodles was item #20 on my list of Q3 goals for the globally hosted finish along.  And, ironically, last on my list but first finished.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along Blocks #3, #4, & #5

I've been keeping up with I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along, but I haven't posted my blocks since the first one. 

Block #3 was designed by Laura of Slice of Pi Quilts and is Santa's Belt.  There is a Facebook group for the 200+ people quilting along and one of the great things about having to wait a few days to make my block is I get to see what others have done and steal their ideas.  I would not have thought of creating a belt buckle on my own, but I saw several others do it and I liked it.

I'm doing these with a Quilt As You Go method, so I added extra to the outside pieces when I cut so I would have room to trim down after quilting.  You can tell that I trimmed this one unevenly.  Maybe Santa is far enough into his route that his belt is crooked?

Block #4 was designed by Jennifer of The Inquiring Quilter.  She used some of her antique ornaments as the inspiration for her block.

I really love the fussy cut Santa but when my son (age 3) saw it the morning after I finished it, he said "Santa is grumpy!"  I didn't think so, but we now all refer to Grumpy Santa around my house!  I used grosgrain ribbon for hanging and hope they hold up okay.  I've been using the crafted applique method for all the applique.  This block was then stitched down with just a straight stitch.

Block #5 was designed by Sherry of Powered by Quilting and is an adorable snowman.  I went super simple with mine and admit that I used fabric markers for the eyes and nose.
I have loved all the amazing variations of this snowman so much that I am now making an additional quilt of just snowmen!  This one is quilted and ready to go into the sampler, but I have 5 more blocks made waiting for embellishments and plan on a quilt of 9, so I need to make 4 more. 

If you were *really* paying attention, you noticed that I skipped block 2.  That one was a tree farm block designed by April of Janda Bend Quilts.  I did make a tree block, but I liked it so much that it has since been expanded and will become a quilt to hang on my front door during winter.  I will make another version for the sampler but have not gotten to it yet. Here is the block when it was the size for the Quilt Along, before I expanded it. 

Can you tell that I have been loving this quilt along?!  I am only using stash, so mine will be scrappy.  I've stared embracing the scrappy and am happy that even though I have no planned color scheme and decided to stop forcing one (I gave up on all blocks having the same background when that Santa's Belt block was released) they seem to look okay together so far.  Block #6 is released on September 26th and I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

It's finished!

I *finally* finished my batik hexi mini.  This one has been in progress for a long time.

I'm posting in a rush so I can link up with OMG at Elm Street Quilts.  I promise a more detailed look into this quilt and process soon.   In the meantime, here's the back:

Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - August Finish Link-up

Batik Hexies was item #9 on my list of Q3 goals for the globally hosted finish along

Saturday, August 26, 2017

August Bee Blocks

I am still loving the variety of blocks I get to make for the 2 online quilting bees I'm in.

In Bee Inspired, Queen Ann asked for a Doggone Cute block.  These are from a quilt along by Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts and Lorna keeps the directions up on her site. I love Lorna's patterns and have been considering this one for a while.  After making this block for Ann, I made an identical block for me that will be the start of my own Doggone Cute quilt.

Ann asked each of us to think of a dog that has mattered to us and to pick out which of the eight Doggone Cute blocks most resembles that pup.  I chose my dog, Ivy, and decided that dog #2 was her best match.  Ann wanted bright colors so I picked orange because Ivy herself is kind of orange.

Ivy with her fabric likeness
Ivy has been with me since 4th of July weekend in 2010.  She is my first pet.  My parents were not pet people and no amount of begging during childhood from me & my brother changed that.  Ivy was rescued from a busy highway by the sister of a coworker.  Said coworker had been working on me to get a dog and she thought this one would be a good fit since she was so sweet.  They both wanted to keep her, but they had 3 or 4 dogs each and could not add another.  I had just been laid off from my job at the time and didn't think that adding the expense of a dog was a good idea.  My boyfriend, who grew up with lots of animals and loves dogs in particular, assured me that "the dog food fairy" would show up and help. I'm glad to report that he's now Husband and he does indeed buy the dog food.

In Stash Bee, Queen Mary Ann asked for Garden Stars blocks. She loves batiks and so do I!  I had a lot of fun looking for bright batiks to use.  Mary Ann suggested a technique I had not tried for the 4-patch blocks.  I tried it but did not like it at all.  Perhaps it's just me, but I didn't get enough units and had to cut more.  Luckily, I only used that method on one block to try it out and I went back to more traditional methods for the remaining 4-patches.  I like trying new techniques but I admit, I will give up if they do not work for me!

Mary Ann is using the blocks from her turn as queen to make a quilt for Friendship House, an organization that provides transitional housing for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The idea is neat: each apartment has four people, one young adult transitioning to living alone and three students studying various healthcare fields.  Mary Ann's goal is to put a colorful quilt on each of the 24 beds in the facility! 

When I saw that she hopes to make 24 quilts for this cause, I thought of my Midnight Mystery quilt.  I finished the top and was never sure what I wanted to do with it.  I made it without a plan for giving.  I knew it could easily be enlarged to be bed-sized and bought extra background to do it, but never added any borders.  I also had no idea how to quilt it and I really dislike quilting large quilts.  After thinking on it for a few days, I emailed Mary Ann and asked if she would like the top toward her goal, emphasizing that it was an unfinished top.  Mary Ann wrote back within a day and is thrilled at the donation. And I am quite sure the quilt is going where it was meant to be.

I now realize that I never blogged this quilt because it didn't actually get finished.  Here's a photo of the top.  The background looks like navy in the picture but it's actually a dark purple.  Kona purple, to be exact.

I haven't mailed blocks off to either queen yet but I will get them packaged up and shipped off in the next few days.  I can't believe how close we are to September!