Friday, August 26, 2016

I'm Back, with a Friday Finish

It feels good to be back to blogging. I took a couple weeks off, mostly because DH and I were on vacation in the Seattle area for nine days. We had a great time, and had really good sunny weather except for one day.

Now that I'm back and I've unpacked and done laundry, I've finally been able to get back into the sewing room. I started the quilting on the Forest Fellows baby quilt before I left, and got it finished and ready for binding since I've been home.
Forest Fellows baby quilt

Due to the piping, the center poufed up a bit, so I quilted the center more densely than the border, and it flattened out nicely. With my limited FMQ skills, I quilted stippling in the ecru, small meander in the turq, matchstick straight lines in the orange, and large meander in the border. The backing is a single piece of that large Forest Fellows print. Trimmed and ready for binding, this quilt measures 41-3/4" square. How's that for fitting it into one WOF piece of backing?!

I'll bind it in the same brown as the piping. Binding will have to wait a bit, though. I want to put the baby's name on the label and insert the label into the binding. I'll have an opportunity to see the parents and confirm the baby's name over Labor Day weekend.  No surprise, they know I'll make a quilt for this baby since I made quilts for their other two.

Since getting this quilt finished was my OMG for August, I'm linking up with Red Letter Quilts. It's as finished as it can be until I verify the baby's name.
grab button for RedLetterQuilts

In other quilty news, I've been invited to camp again this weekend (private retreat). Since I'm totally unprepared, I'm packing my big deadline project and throwing in some UFOs as well. I'm also taking my laptop so I can write the instructions for the big deadline project and have them ready to post when the time comes. Hint: I'm collaborating on something with Alycia.

And another finish: Last month I forgot to post about the monthly outfit I made for Gracie, so here are her wardrobe additions for July and August:
July: Gracie's Reversible Sundress

August: Gracie's Maxi Dress

So as well as some finishes, I've got a busy day and a fun weekend ahead of me. Whoo-hoo! I'm linking up with Sarah over at Concessions of a Fabric Addict. Check out what everyone else is celebrating over there.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Siblings for Heart Builders

Not one but two tops finished for Heart Builders - Whoo-hoo! They're not quite twins, but definitely siblings. Maybe they'll go to siblings in need?

After my mix-up with the measurements, I was able to make one top with nine of the original blocks, and I had seven blocks left over. So I made a second top using a harmonious print that I found in my stash.

Here's top #1 using the green honeycomb print that Heart Builders sent:

And here's the second one with blocks made of the additional fabric:

Close up of both versions:

Heart builders originally sent me a yard of the green print and a yard of white. To that I added 2-1/8 yards of my own white, 1/4 yard each of my own orange and turquoise, 3/8 yard of stripe, and 1/4 yard of the extra green print, for a total of 3-1/4 yards of my own stash used.

So these are ready to be mailed back to Heart Builders. This was fun, and I hope they'll keep me in mind next time they need a top (or two!) pieced.

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

PS - I have some family and personal stuff going on and some secret sewing that has to be done for a deadline. I'm going to take a little break from the computer for a while. I spend far too much time on it, and I need to concentrate on other priorities. I'll be back by the end of the month and I hope to have some fun stuff to share when the time comes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Baby Quilt Progress: Borders

I admit, I've been procrastinating on this one, even though it's my One Monthly Goal priority goal for August. I'm kind of winging it, figuring it out as I go along, and the borders had me a bit anxious. Thank goodness for deadlines! I couldn't put this off any longer. Voila, borders are on!

Because of the scale of the print, I didn't want to chop it up any more than necessary. I also wanted the animals to be right side up facing out around the edges, so I needed to miter the borders. I wanted the borders to be as wide as possible using the full WOF. So I looked carefully at the print repeat and cut 12" strips. I discovered that I had two pairs of matching prints: note the fox near the orange in the top & bottom border; he's near the turq in the side borders.

12" would be too wide to actually miter the corners, and would make the quilt too wide, so I trimmed the border strips down to about 10-1/2", keeping the most important elements of the print from being cut off too much. I attached the side borders, then the top & bottom, then mitered the corners. The borders were still too wide - I had nearly an inch beyond the miter seam - so I knew I needed to trim down the overall size.

By trimming the borders to 9", the corners came out okay and the overall size of the quilt is 41" square. I'm planning to use more of the focus fabric for the backing, and it's is 42" wide including the selvages, so I'm going to try to use it for the back without any piecing. Wish me luck!

This was trial and error all the way. It's probably the waviest and wonkiest but still square quilt top I've ever made. The piping (flange) around the center seems to have drawn up a little, and it certainly didn't make mitering the corners any easier, so I would not recommend it.

I hope it's true what they say, "It'll quilt out."  I'll quilt this one myself with meandering in the borders and small stipple and some straight lines in the blocks. I'll quilt more densely in the areas I need to shrink up a bit. Hopefully that'll make the whole thing lay flat. I'm going to have to pin this one pretty densely to avoid puckers.

I don't think baby and mom will be too picky about the quilting or any residual wonkiness. And I know mom will adore the cute Forest Fellows (Robert Kaufman) print.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation

Monday, August 8, 2016

Heart Builders Top #2

Last week I mentioned I'm piecing a top for Heart Builders and due to a screw up on my part, it would come out much larger than the allowed maximum measurements. You can see the story here.

I used almost every inch of the cute honeycomb print they sent me. I had 16 blocks plus sashing, which made the top come out to 63 x 63".  The maximum allowed size is 54 x 60". My solution was to make two tops, each a nine-block layout with sashing, measuring 48 x 48".

I finished one top, and had seven blocks left over. Not enough for the second top, but maybe I could find another print in my stash that would harmonize, and use it for the rest of the blocks. I found a print that works, the parasol print. It's a bit more sophisticated, but colorwise it works, and when all the blocks are together the sophistication doesn't matter.

I decided to use six of the original blocks and make three more using the new print, to make the layout more cohesive. The layout is basically the same as the original top, except for the new print blocks on the diagonal. (You can see the back of the original top, pinned out of the way on my design wall.)

Here's a closer look at the blocks together:

This week I need to get the second top sewn together so I can get them both mailed back to Heart Builders.

If you're not familiar with Heart Builders, it's sponsored by Stash Builder Box, and it's quilters who piece tops, or long-arm quilt, or bind and finish quilts for kids. The quilts are donated to My Stuff Bags which are given to kids in foster care. Each bag contains a blanket and personal items that are theirs to keep forever.

Linking up with Patchwork Times, Love Laugh Quilt, and Cooking up Quilts

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Stash Report 8/7/16

Starting off August in the right direction!
Nothing in this week.
Out: 1-7/8 yards wide backing and 5/8 yard binding for PAussietivity.


I'm hoping for some finishes and some good stash usage numbers this month. First, I need to get the Forest Fellows baby quilt done, quilted and bound. Second, I also need to get the two Heart Builders tops finished and mailed out; I'll only count the fabric I used from my stash for those since Heart Builders sent me two yards of fabric to work with. Third, I'm working on a secret sewing project that has to be done to the flimsy stage  by the end of the month. That should keep me busy and use up some fabric!

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Friday, August 5, 2016

Finished: PAussietivity

My Aussie fabric version of Positivity from Cut and Shuffle Quilts is finished!
PAussietivity, 60" x 60", 2016

It will hang st The Quilted Fox as a sample for my upcoming class. I'll be teaching the blocks from Cut and Shuffle Quilts on Nov. 5. I just love this Aussie print, but as you can see, I changed out some of the wimpy accent colors for stronger ones.

Here's the original Positivity. What a difference color and fabric selection make!
Positivity, 60" x 60", 2013

Positivity and PAussietivity use the Plus block from Cut and Shuffle Quilts. Very easy, and a fun method. Start with a framed square, cut it up, rearrange the parts, and sew it back together nine-patch style. If you're in the St. Louis area and you'd like to take the class, sign up at The Quilted Fox. If you're elsewhere, Cut and Shuffle Quilts is still available from AQS or Amazon, but I don't know how much longer it will be available.

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

OMG: Baby Quilt

We seem to be in the midst of a baby boom around here. My niece is expecting a boy at the beginning of October, so I need to finish this quilt:
Baby quilt in Forest Fellows fabric from Robert Kaufman

I need to get this Forest Fellows quilt finished this month. Then I'll need to plan for yet another baby quilt, because my nephew and his wife are also expecting, and I'll have to get that child's quilt done by November. Including my grandson, that will make five little boy cousins born since Sept. 2014.  Good thing I like making baby quilts!

Getting this Forest Fellows quilt finished is my priority goal for August, so I'm making it myOMG and linking up with Heidi at Red Letter Quilts.
grab button for RedLetterQuilts

Of course I have lots of other projects on my plate, including the Heart Builders top I mentioned Monday (scroll down to Monday's post), and finishing PAussietivity, which is due at my LQS on Friday, and working on a secret collaboration with Alycia for later. I guess August will be a busy month.
PAussietivity top - Aussie fabric version of 
Positivity from Cut and Shuffle Quilts

Also linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts