Friday, May 17, 2024


 The girls in the hive finished the second of the Scrappy Batik quilts, the warm one, as well as the cool one we finished earlier. We showed them both at PCQ's meeting Monday night. We don't have a photo of then both together, but here are separate photos of the finished quilts.

The warm version finishes at 72 x 99" because we got carried away and made too many blocks, so this one is twin bed size with a pillow tuck. 

The cool one finishes at 72 x 90".

Both versions will be donated to Magdalene House, one of the charities PCQ supports that needs twin bed size quilts. 

After making these, we're taking a break from Scrappy Celebration blocks. Edna has a new project for us. Here's a preview: 

Linking up with Alycia Quilts 

Sunday, May 5, 2024

April Stash Report and Goals Update

A busy and productive month! 

First, there was retreat, always fun and enjoyable. I had two deadline projects prepped to work on, Ruby Jubilee and Sea Turtles. They're both small quilts, and I was able to get both tops pieced. That means I can count out the fabrics used, which my stash report needs. 

Ruby Jubilee

April Stash Report

IN this month: 1-3/4 yards (from Prickly Pearadise Quilt Shop)
OUT this month: 8-7/8 yards (Sea Turtle quilt - 2-1/4 for top, 1-7/8 for back, 3/8 for binding.  Ruby Jubilee - 2-1/2 for top, 1-1/2 for back, 3/8 for binding)

IN YTD: 22-1/4 yards
OUT YTD: 18-1/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 4-1/8 yards IN

Since my annual goal is to break even or reduce the stash, I'll need to continue to use up fabric this year, but I have plenty of time. 

Projects with deadlines definitely took priority this month, but overall I did okay on my goals. The Ruby Jubilee challenge quilt has to be mailed in early May to be presented at the CSQ May meeting. Sea Turtles will be delivered in person on May 17. 

Sea Turtles for Damien

Goals Update

April Recap:

1. Finish prepping projects for retreat. Go, and have a good time! YES!

2. Make and quilt Ruby Jubilee challenge/baby quilt, due May 1. DONE

3. Make and quilt Sea Turtle toddler Quilt. Finished quilt is due May 15. DONE

4. Continue making warm color blocks for SC5. DONE

5. If time permits, finish piecing Kaffe Gradient top. No, not touched. 

6. If time permits, work on Road Trip. Yes, continued to deconstruct blocks and remake them without the offending white. 

Revised Road Trip Blocks

May Goals: 

1. Ship and/or deliver Ruby Jubilee and Sea Turtle quilts.

2. Continue working on Road Trip.

3. Finish the Kaffe Gradient flimsy.

4. Begin planning a new project for July retreat.

5. Work on Black & Tan scrappy blocks.

6. Quilt something on the club's long arm.

7. Prep backing for Edna's Stars.

Things are starting to get quieter in Pebble Creek as the summer heats up. We've had a cool spring and we made it through April without turning the AC on, but as the sun gets stronger and the days heat up, we'll need it soon. Most of the snowbirds have left so it'll be less crowded at social sewing in the Creative Arts Center on Wednesdays. It's so nice to have an air conditioned communal space where we can hang out and sew! 

Friday, May 3, 2024

Ruby Jubilee

The guild I still belong to in Missouri, Circle in the Square Quilters, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The symbol for 40 years is ruby. So, the guild is having a Ruby Jubilee challenge. 

The challenge requirements are that it must be quilted and must either contain the color ruby, or have 40 of some element, or both. As an option, challenge quilts can be donated to Operation Shower, which hosts baby showers for military families, so the challenge quilt could be suitable for a baby quilt. 

I opted to work with the color ruby. I threw in a little opal, amethyst, and rose quartz as well. The fabrics are mostly batiks or prints that look similar to batiks. (The one that looks white is actually pale pink.)

My original idea was to make a Kool Kaleidoscope, but I only had a fat quarter each of some of my fabrics. After making strata, I discovered that I didn't have enough for my KK pieces, so I opted for hexies instead. If I hadn't mentioned it, you'd never know this was Plan B. 

No, there are not quite 40 hexies, but there's enough of the ruby color to qualify. And I think this little quilt will be a nice baby quilt for someone who's expecting a little girl. It finished at about 38 x 49". The back is the same light amethyst as the binding.

This quilt will be mailed off to one of my Missouri friends who will take it to the May meeting for me. I've been a member of CSQ since 1994 or so. Wish I could be there for the party! 


Linking up with Alycia Quilts
and My Quilt Infatuation

Friday, April 26, 2024

Sea Turtles for Damien

My great nephew Damien didn't get a baby quilt. I knew when his mom was expecting his older sister, so I made one for her, but since I'm not on FB, I didn't know about my niece's second pregnancy. They live near Miami, so I don't see them often. Recent family events brought us together, and - surprise - my niece has a little boy Damien who's about 18 months old now. 

Obviously he needs a quilt. After all, his big sister has one, so he deserves one too. Making the quilt is not a surprise for his mom, so I asked her what theme Damien might like. After some discussion about tropical animals (we ruled out anything with alligators!!!) we decided on sea turtles. 

I found a sea turtle panel and built the quilt around the motifs. It was one of the projects I worked on at retreat earlier this month. Now it's been quilted and bound, and just needs the label. 

The upper panel: 

The lower panel: 

Pieced fish: I embroidered the eyes with French knots. I would have liked googly eyes but I think Damien is still too young. 

The backing is all turtles:

The quilt measures 41" x 58", long for its width, but I think it'll be fine for him to drag around. I very seldom work with panels. The two motifs were side-by-side on the panel and I knew I didn't want that layout, and I wanted it to be narrow enough for one WOF backing. So it was a challenge to figure out what to do with it and this is the best layout I came up with. 

I'll see my niece later in may for another family event, and I'll give her the quilt then. I hope she - and Damien - like it. 

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and TGIFF

Monday, April 22, 2024

On the Design Wall: Hot Hot Hot Plus Cool and Breezy

The girls in the hive finished making the blocks for the warm colorway of Scrappy Batiks and laid them out on the design wall last week at social sewing. I think this is the final layout we ended up with. Edna reminded us to turn some of the blocks to feature the diagonal chains. She's now working on sewing the blocks together.

In other quilty news, PCQ's Community Service committee has been holding a regular sew day each month as usual. We no longer have a separate designated prep day so we have to do our kit prep on sew days or on our own. Since my role on the committee is Design Lead, I've been more involved in prepping kits than in sewing lately, and I see that continuing for awhile. 

The March/April sew day project was Stacked Slabs* and I had a particular kit that I wanted to sew, but I missed the March sew day and worked on kitting for May at the April sew day, so I'll sew my Stacked Slabs kit on my own. It'll be a good project to take to social sewing on Wednesdays. Here it is laid out on my design wall: 

Most of the fabrics are from the bins in the fiber arts room, all donated. I pulled everything tropical and watery I could find from the Novelty bins, and supplemented with turquoise and blue shades. Lots of mermaids, palm trees, waves, surfboards, and dolphins here. I even added some leftovers from my sea turtle quilt, too. Looking at the photo, I don't like the two green slabs, so I'll raid my own Aqua/Turquoise/Teal basket for a turquoise to sub in. 

Linking up with Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

*Stacked Slabs is one of the patterns I created to be easy to kit up and easy to sew for PCQ's sew days.  The version shown is twin bed size 70" x 88"  but the pattern also offers a 60" x 80" large throw and 50" x 64" small throw. If you would like a PDF of the pattern for any charitable purpose, leave a comment and be sure to type your email address in the text of the comment.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Scrappy Batiks, Cool - Almost a Finish

 After the girls in our hive made our original Scrappy Celebration in a palette like the pattern, and a second one in brighter colors, and a third one in patriotic colors, we still weren't tired of making blocks. So we switched it up and went with black instead of white, and black-alternatives instead of low volumes. We combined these with batiks in bright and light shades for contrast. 

We were making blocks individually but using shared fabrics, and we ended up with too many blocks for a twin sized quilt. So I asked the girls to humor me and look at the blocks on the wall in a cool colorway and a warm colorway, and we liked it. Just a few more cool blocks were needed and we needed a lot more warm ones, so we decided to finish the cool version first. 

Linda assembled the top and did the quilting. The binding isn't sewn down, but we all wanted to see it anyway. She brought it to social sewing in PCQ's fiber arts room to show it off. 


We learned when laying out the previous versions that it's more pleasing to have the darkest blocks at the edges and corners, and the lightest blocks in the center. With the black contrast, this version has a luminous quality.

I love the quilting motif Linda used in these blocks. The custom rounded-square spirals complement the blocks perfectly. 

This is a donation quilt that will go to one of the charities that PCQ supports that need twin bed size quilts. 

It's been about a year since we started making the blocks for the first version. The the warm batik colorway is coming along, and after it's finished I think we'll be done with Scrappy Celebration blocks for awhile. We'll move on to something else; Edna already has a new project in mind for us. 

Linking up with Alycia Quilts 4/19 and My Quilt Infatuation 4/25

Friday, April 12, 2024

Amazing Productivity at Retreat

It's incredible how much can be accomplished in two and a half days of sewing at retreat - especially when some of the prep or components are done ahead of time. 

Paula participated in PCQ's two BOMs last year, one with beginner-friendly blocks and one for advanced quilters. She was able to set them into tops at retreat. The easy blocks got an on-point setting with sashing, and the challenging blocks were set with hourglass alternate blocks.

Nancy worked on seasonal table runners with a lot of precision piecing. 

Deb C finished her rainbow top made with selvage blocks. She raided her extensive stash for many of those selvages, and her rainbor ombre fabric for the alternate blocks is perfect. 

Edna finished her very - very! - complicated cross pattern. It took focus and concentration to get it laid out right, but the results are amazing. 

Janet W likes to make smaller items at retreats. This time she made an ASU themed apron and some project bags. She also made some library bags and a Frieda Kahlo-themed pillow, but I didn't get photos of them all. 

Jeri finished a gorgeous low volume top; she had most of the blocks made and ready to assemble, but the on-point setting with border blocks was complex. Thank goodness for large design walls! She nailed it, and now she's considering how to quilt all that negative space.

Linda put together a plaid flannel throw; the flannel is the softest ever, from the retreat hostess's shop. Being plaid, Linda had to cut very carefully so the stripes didn't go wonky. Looks good!

I was able to finish tops for two small quilts. One is my Ruby Jubilee challenge and the other is a sea turtle themed toddler quilt for a great nephew. Stories to come in a future post. All the planning and cutting was done ahead of time, but both of these projects have deadlines, so I'm glad I got these tops finished.

Retreat was productive, but by no means was it all work and no play. We definitely enjoyed happy hour every afternoon, and lots of socializing. And as always, lots of helping and sharing. I'll be going again in July and I'm already looking forward to it. 

Link ups: Alycia Quilts, TGIFF