Tuesday, July 18, 2017

O Tannenbaum

Hello, and welcome to my post on the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog tour hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Thank you, Sarah, for all your hard work in making this fun blog hop happen.

Each day for 12 days in July, the 14th through the 25th, bloggers are sharing their Christmas ideas and projects. If you need inspiration for gifts, or motivation to get going on a holiday project of your own, check out all the posts each day. The complete list of bloggers is at Sarah's post here. Today's featured bloggers are Kate at Smiles From Kate, and myself.

I had extra motivation to get going on a Christmas project here: My son requested something special. He and his housemates live in a very small house. There simply isn't room in their home for a Christmas tree, live or artificial, nor is it practical with three cats and a two-year-old. So he requested a life-size hanging of a Christmas tree that they can hang real ornaments on.
It was originally made to fit on the back of a door. Then my son decided it would be safer hanging on a wall, so the ornaments wouldn't get jostled when the door is opened, or crushed between the open door and the wall.

Good call. Even with industrial strength magnets here, the weight of the tree with just these few glass ornaments is pulling the hanging all the way to the floor. I added sleeves top and bottom to the back so he can hang it on a wall, and it won't move.

The tree was easy to make with triangles and lots of green fabrics, with a variety of low volumes for the background.

I quilted it in the ditch around the triangles, and added dense straight line quilting in the background.

Then I stitched thread loops at the intersections of the triangles, for the ornaments to hook into.

I'm pleased with how it turned out and how well it works for hanging the ornaments.

It's a German tradition to hang a pickle hidden in the Christmas tree. Here it's not so hidden....

I still need to find a tree-topper that will work, and add a way to attach it. My plan is to give this to my son at Thanksgiving, and by then the stores will have plenty of potential toppers to choose from. I may find a 3-D star, cut it so the back is flat and back it with felt, and add a white thread loop at the proper height for hanging it. 

This is a long post with a lot going on, so I'm not going to include a tutorial here. If you want a tutorial, let me know in the comments, and I'll post one soon.

Speaking of comments, let me tell you about the give-away. For each comment you leave on any blogger's 12 Days of Christmas in July post, Sarah will enter you in the drawing to win. She has thirteen prizes to give away, all Tula Pink's Holiday Homies line from Free Spirit. Sarah will tally all the comments through Wednesday July 26th, and draw winners. Six design rolls, six layer cakes, and the grand prize, a fat quarter bundle. Give-away details here. Visit the participating blogs each day and leave a comment! If you are a no-reply blogger, be sure to leave your email address in the comment.

Thanks for stopping by my 12 Days of Christmas in July post. There's lot's of time left to get projects and gifts completed before Christmas - good luck with yours!  

Monday, July 17, 2017

STLMQG Quilt Show

The St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild's quilt show "This is Modern" was held this past weekend, and it far exceeded my expectations. Over 150 quilts were on exhibit, and the work was stunning.

Show categories included Improvisation, Modern Traditionalism, Piecing, Negative Space, Minimalist Design, Bee quilts, Handwork, Applique, and small quilts and non-quilt items made in the modern style.

While I tried to get as many photos as possible, my time was limited and in the long aisles I wasn't able to get acceptable photos.  My apologies to members whose work isn't shown here, or if I've inadvertently put something in the wrong category.



Modern Traditionalism

Negative Space

Minimalist Design

Bee Quilts

Huge  thank you  to the show committee and all the volunteers. You put on an outstanding show and it seemed like you had the logistics exceptionally well organized. Well done! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Finish, Flannel

I mentioned awhile back that my husband requested a flannel quilt. He specified flannel on the back too, and wool batting. He thinks his cotton quilt feels cold.

I've been saving his flannel shirts that are too worn out to wear anymore, and back in April I picked up a few cuts of flannel fabrics in Paducah. At camp, I made blocks.

Now the blocks are a finished flimsy. It measures about 60 x 84. (It's raining here today, so we'll have to make do with indoor photos for now.)

Many of the fabrics are favorite shirts that I'm happy to repurpose. The light red plaid is particularly special due to its longevity and the memories attached to it. DH always looked good in the large scale olive ombre plaid, too. It's interesting, the bought flannels all read solid-ish from a distance and the repurposed shirts are all obvious patterns.

I've also been able to get the backing pieced. I used the backs of all the shirts plus the light plaid. I'll get outdoor photos of the whole backing later, but here it is indoors for now.

This quilt needs to be finished by mid November for DH's birthday. I'm going to ask a long-armer friend if she'll layer and baste it for me. Due to how much these fabrics ravel and fray, I want to quilt it with a serpentine zig-zag over every seam to reinforce them. 1/4" seam allowances are just too narrow for fabrics that ravel so much. If I ever make a flannel quilt again, I'll recalculate the patches so I can use 1/2" seam allowances. I did use 1/2" seam allowances on the backing, so I'm not concerned about those seams pulling apart.

This quilt will never be a work of art. It's intended to be a utility quilt, nice and cozy with flannel and wool to meet the specifications. If nothing else, it'll definitely be warm!

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts

PS - Yes, visible in the photos is the puppy gate that keeps Murphy out of the dining room. I should have folded it up out of sight....

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

STLMQG Quilt Show

If you're anywhere near the St Louis MO area, I hope you'll check out the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild's first ever Quilt Show this weekend. I know I'm excited to see it. I'll be volunteering Sunday afternoon so please stop by and say "Hi."

St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild presents

Quilt Show
July 15th & 16th, 2017

St. Peter Parish Center
215 North Clay Ave.
Kirkwood,   MO  63122

(5 and under are free)

Saturday, July 15th  10am - 5pm
Sunday, July 16th  Noon - 4pm

See over 150 modern quilts made by members of the 
St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild

Monday, July 10, 2017

Little Loops

Not much visually interesting to show...
I'm sewing the loops on the Christmas tree hanging. 
These are where the hooks for the ornaments can be hung. 
49 done, 55 to go. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Lure of the Dollar Fat Quarters

A local fabric shop has periodic sales in which they offer fat quarters for $1.  Yes, $1.  And these are first quality designer quilt fabrics, not big-box pre-packaged poor quality FQs. My friend who works at the shop says they've been cutting and folding FQs for weeks.

You know me, I can't resist a bargain. 28 FQs later, my stash has grown a bit this week. And I don't regret a single one.

I don't have much in the way of patriotic colors so I searched for good reds and dark blues. The blues were surprisingly hard to find. Warm browns can sometimes mix nicely with patriotic colors so I grabbed a few rich ones, too.

What I found in abundance were a lot of neutrals. Some cool-cast, some warm, and some medium value instead of pale, but all very useful stash additions. (I actually picked up doubles of some of them, but only one of each is shown here.)

Not all of my new FQs have selvages with info, but the ones that do include Robert Kaufman (4), Andover Fabrics (6), Paintbrush Studio (2) and Carolyn Friedlander, Denise Schmidt, Jo Morton, and Red Rooster Fabrics.

So for $30 with tax plus a gallon of gas, I added 7 yards to my stash this week. Used this week, 3/4 yard for binding and sleeves for the Christmas Tree project. With my new additions I'm about at the break-even point for the year, but there's still plenty of month left before I tally the totals, so maybe I can use some more.

Linking up with Quilt Paint Create and Molli Sparkles

Friday, July 7, 2017

Show Ribbon

One of my must-do deadline projects this month is to make an award ribbon for my guild's upcoming show. The ribbons are due at our meeting on the 18th. My task is to make the green "Viewers' Choice" ribbon.

Mission accomplished.

We make these kinds of ribbons for each biennial show. The ribbon coordinator provides the CD, the colored streamers, and the printed ribbon. The maker builds the award around the CD, attaches the ribbons and the backing, and signs it.

After a false start, this ended up taking me two whole afternoons to make. I used a 3" printed Pineapple block and paper pieced it. I had a wonderful green ombre gradiant fabric in my stash which I used for the ruffle and the dark parts of the pineapple piecing. If I say so myself, I think it came out pretty good. I hope the recipient likes it.

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

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sashing for Solstice Blocks

One of my goals for June was to come up with a plan for my Solstice blocks. Here are all the blocks, and I plan to use 20 of them.

This is my planned layout. I've used this kind of sashing before for blocks that don't all match and I like how it unifies them.

I had nothing in my stash that would work for the dark stripes in the sashing. The light center strip will be the same pale green that's used for the background in most of the blocks.

Since I already have three different dark purples in the blocks, I thought it would be better to use a green for the sashing. I took all the blocks to the fabric store and auditioned several greens. I thought I found a good one.

Greens, especially olive greens, are tricky. The store has natural daylight and fluorescent light, and I thought the color looked okay. Then I got it home and had second thoughts.

In the first photo below, the lighting is natural daylight plus my Ott Light which simulates natural daylight. The color looks okay.

In this photo below, the lighting is from overhead incandescent light. Much warmer. All the colors look a bit warmer, even the purples, but the olive flares so much it looks almost brownish.

Yuck. I really don't like this fabric for the sashing after all.

I should have known; olives are notorious for color inconstancy, i.e. flare. I should have remembered this from my working days and checked it out before buying anything.

Maybe I can find something else that will coordinate with these blocks. I'll have to keep looking. And I'll have to find another use for the 2-1/2 yards of this olive I bought, since I bought enough for the sashing and the binding.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, July 3, 2017

First Saturday Blocks

My LQS is in the 11th month of a BOM series called Emerald Isle. Each month there is a main block and an alternate block. I'm making all the main blocks on time each month.

 I have all the kits for the alternate blocks, but I haven't made  them yet. All of the blocks, main and alternate, have a 6" pieced center and three borders that form an Irish chain effect with light corners.

I have a plan for the alternate blocks. Instead of piecing the center 6" blocks, I'm going to use one fabric as a constant. The alternate blocks will still have the three frames around them, and I'll use the kits for those.

I have slightly more than a yard of this print in my stash and I love it. I'm pretty sure a yard will be enough.

Using the BOM kits yields 24 blocks. But I want a 30 block - 5 x 6 - layout to finish at 60" x 72".  I'll need to make six extra blocks, three with pieced centers and three alternates. I have plenty of green and blue options in my stash for the extra pieced blocks and frames for them all.

So what do you think of my plan to make this my own by changing up the alternate blocks? Will the print I've chosen work?

Link Ups: Em's Scrapbag, Small Quilts & Doll Quilts, Love Laugh Quilt

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June Stash Report & Goals Update

It's time once again to take a look at how I did this past month. My husband commented that I spent less time than usual on sewing and quilting related activities. Actually I was procrastinating about layering and basting the Christmas tree project. Anyway, let's see what I was able to accomplish in June.

June Stash Report:
IN this month: 2-1/2 yards. (I bought sashing & binding fabric for my Solstice Challenge blocks but I'm not sure I'm totally happy with it. That's a topic for another post.) 
OUT this month: 8-5/8 yards (Batik Spiral Flimsy - 5-1/2 yards;  Little Dresses - 5/8, 5/8, & 7/8 yards;  Demo sample for glue basted binding for CSQ, top, backing & binding - 1 yard)

IN YTD: 64-1/2 yards
OUT YTD: 75-1/4 yards
YTD Net Change: 7-3/4 yards out. Whoo-hoo, still in the black for the year!

Little Dresses, STLMQG Charity Project


June Recap:
1. Finish batik leader/ender project to a flimsy. DONE
2. Make blocks for flannel plaid project. DONE
3. Layer, quilt, and bind Christmas tree project and begin stitching hanger loops. Not finished: quilted; binding and sleeves prepped but not attached. 
4. Work on WIVSP hand piecing project. Not done.
5. Plan what to do with Solstice Challenge blocks. Planned, and fabric purchased for sashing and binding. 
6. Keep up with bee blocks and BOMs. DONE
Other: Made three Little Dresses for STLMQG's charitable project.

Batik Spiral Flimsy (Leader/Ender Project)

Flannel Blocks

July Goals: 
1. Christmas Tree project: Bind, add sleeves, add label, and start hand stitching loops for hanging ornaments.
2. 12 Days of Christmas In July: Prep photos and write blog post to go live July 19th. 
3. Make Viewers' Choice award ribbon for CSQ's quilt show, due July 18th.
4. Flannel project: Join blocks to complete the flimsy. If time permits, piece a backing.
5. Cut and piece 32 red HSTs and 38 blue HSTs.
6. Start cutting sashing pieces for Solstice project; kit them for sewing at events in September & October.
7. Work on WIVSP hand piecing project. 
8. Keep up with bee blocks.

Christmas Tree WIP

It looks like I have a lot of little projects for July rather than accomplishing one big goal. Many of them have deadlines. We'll have to see how I do with so many little things on my plate.

Linking up with Sunday Stash Report over at Quilt Paint Create