Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Stash Report and Goals Update

Stash Report:

May IN: 6 yards (purchased for crib bumper pads)
May OUT: 16-7/8 yards (H2H Backing - 1-1/4;  Gramercy Backing to quilter - 5;  H2H Binding - 3/8;  Collection Challenge Plus top - 5-1/2;  Crib bumpers 4-7/8)
May Net Change: 10-7/8 yards out

YTD IN: 95 yards
YTD OUT: 73-3/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 21-5/8 yards added to stash

Moving in the right direction this month, but still a long way to go to make up for the Paducah splurge.
Crib bumpers - some fabric usage in May
Collection Challenge Plus top, also some usage in May

Goals Update:
May Recap:
1. Quilt & bind Hands 2 Help quilt. DONE (See previous post below for pics)
2. Finish piecing Collection Challenge Plus to a flimsy. DONE
3. Layer, baste, quilt and bind one quilt: boy donation quilt or potential publication project or Collection Plus Challenge. Not done. Not even touched.
4. Keep up with bee blocks. Two of three done; cutting error on one requires consultation with owner and more of her fabric.
5. Hand piece remaining border pieces for How Many. Not done but only one row is left.
6. Make beach bag accessories for vacation. DONE
EXTRA: Made crib bumper pads for baby CJ

June Goals:
1. Prep for and attend GS camp retreat
2. Make tote bag using pattern purchased in Paducah
3. Layer, baste, quilt and bind boy donation quilt
4. Write tutorial for matching fabric print at seam
5. Keep up with bee blocks, including resolving the problem from last month

Well-matched print; tutorial to come later in June

I didn't get some of my goals done in May, but we were away on vacation for nine days, and the need for crib bumpers came up so those took priority. It may not seem like I don't have much on my list for June, but I have other household stuff going on so I may have less time to work on quilty stuff.

Further to the plans for June, I'm a little at a loss about what to work next after the items on the list.
I do have some tops that need to be quilted. I quilt on my domestic machine, and I'm not very skilled at FMQ so maybe I could practice. I really want to start a new piecing project using some of the fabric I bought in Paducah, but I already have so many quilts round here, just piled up on the guest bed.... Really, how many quilts does one household need? DS's quilts are here too at his request, also on the guest bed. Five of the book quilts came back from AQS so they're piled up here, too. What do you do with too many quilts?

Linking up with Fabric Stash Report with Judy at Patchwork Times. Check out everyone else's stash management efforts over there.

H2H 2015

Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has been spearheading a drive for donation quilts called Hands2Help. Sarah's weekly charitable efforts are amazing!
I decided to participate this year, and I finished this UFO top to donate. This top was a test for a pattern I developed, and although I was quite pleased with it, I didn't have a need for it at that time. Now it's done and it's going out tomorrow to Happy Chemo.  I'm glad to be able to contribute to this cause, glad to have finished this quilt, and glad it's going to such a worthy home.
2015 H2H Lap Quilt for Happy Chemo
Thanks, Sarah, for organizing Hands2Help!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Book Update

After many requests, I still haven't heard anything from AQS about when my book will be published, nor have they sent me an image of the cover.

Earlier this week I received my quilts and photo samples back from them, except for one quilt that they're keeping for a year for promotional purposes. I also received the July/August issue of the AQS Catalog, which does not have my book in it. Really? As far out as August and still not available?

But today I found my book listed among the books on their website, so I grabbed a screen capture:
my book's cover
Their description is horrible (inaccurate, grammatically bad, and misleading) and it gives an availability date of August 18.
When AQS accepted my proposal back in December 2013, I was given a deadline of May 15, 2014 (five months) to have all my quilts, photo samples, written materials, placeholder images, etc. to  them. I was told at that time that my book would be published in Feb. 2015. I met my deadline, and I turned around my reviews within 2 days as required. 
But I guess six months past their date is okay for them....
Labyrinth, 60" x 72", one block in positive/negative colors
creating a tessellated effect
Positivity, 60" x 60", easy block featuring fat plus motif
with skinny plus motif sashing

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

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Stash Report 5/24/15

IN this week: 6 yards
OUT this week: 4-7/8 yards
Net stashed this week: 1-1/8 yards

I bought more than I ended up needing of the critter print for the crib bumpers so I have some left over. I just barely had enough of the green, 1-1/2 yards, for all the binding strips. Because of the thickness of the bumpers, I cut them 3" and just barely squeaked by.
cute critter print

crib bumper pads

Maybe I'll use the extra critter print for a pillowcase when CJ gets older. Or maybe I'll make a crib quilt he can use next fall. That print is too stinkin' cute not to use it!

I'll tally up the stash usage for the month and YTD next week. Even though I've had some finishes this month, I'm still in the hole from my Paducah shopping spree.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out other stash management efforts over there.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Crib Bumper Pads and Other Random Finishes

Lot's going on around here...

We're looking forward to a visit from our son and baby grandson this weekend, so we pulled the old crib down from the attic and bought a new mattress for it. I couldn't find bumper pads so I made some. Ta-dah, they're finished.
New crib bumper pads

Today I'll wash the new crib sheets I bought and finish getting it ready.

In Wednesday's Work-in-Progress post I showed where I matched the print. You can see the seam in this photo:
Matched seam

Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts asked if I'd write a tutorial on how I matched the print. I will, but it'll have to wait 'til after June 2 because I have much too much going on around here between now and then.

I mentioned in my goals for May that I needed to make some beach bag accessories. We went to our favorite beach on the Gulf coast last week. Our beach bag is a great size and is fairly water and sand resistant, but it has only one little pocket inside. We needed something to accommodate two pairs of glasses, two phones, keys, etc. I bought a zipper pouch of the same material and color as the beach bag, and I made some accessories to protect the phones and glasses:
Glasses & phone cases

L to R above: DH's glasses case, my phone case, DH's phone case. These little accessories were quick & easy to put together, but they'll keep our stuff from banging around and getting scratched or worse in the beach bag. We used them during our trip last week and they worked out great. Here's a happy vacationer:
On the beach at Perdido Key FL

Since we got home, we had some scheduled work done on the house. This house is 30 years old (we're the original owners) and the front landscaping was looking, um, past it's prime.  The crew came Wednesday and yesterday and replaced the landscaping in the front.  They also added some additional rocks around the dogwood tree and re-aligned the existing rock wall. We kept an azalea and a Japanese red maple but all the other plants were replaced. We're pleased with how it turned out.
New landscaping, left
Added rock around dogwood
New landscaping, center
New landscaping, right
Next up, laundry today. That's enough for this week! Then a family birthday party Sunday and DS & CJ's visit.
I still have lots to do for next week - clearing out so carpet installers can move furniture and install new carpet in three rooms on our first floor. Lots going on this month! Being retired is wearing me out!  ;-)

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WIP 5/20/15: Crib Bumpers

Since DS is bringing baby CJ for the weekend, we got his old crib down from the attic. We got a new mattress for it, but I couldn't find crib bumpers. So I'm making them.

I found a cute critter print and some green to coordinate with it. I'm using two thicknesses of extra high-loft batting, so they're really puffy and firm. And hard to handle. I couldn't even attempt this without the walking foot, end even with it I have to pin, then baste the edges carefully to avoid puckers. (Wish I had some Wonder Clips!)  Here's progress so far:
Crib bumpers in progress

The fabric repeat happens to be 11-1/2" so that's the cut height of all the fabric panels. The ones for the long sides of the crib need to be 52" so I had to piece the fabric. I couldn't cut strips lengthwise because of the one-way print, so I cut WOF strips and matched the print. Can you see the seam?
Matched seam
Close up, matched seam
Good thing I don't mind sewing on binding; there's yards and yards of it on these. I finish it all by machine, but it's still time-consuming. I left long tails, which I'll press, stitch, and finish for the ties.
Lots of binding

Gotta get to work to get these finished for CJ! Can't wait to cuddle him...

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts. Check out all the other projects in work over there.

Monday, May 18, 2015

In work week of 5/18/15

Nothing on my design wall again today. But I have a good excuse - I was actually away last week (last week's posts were planned ahead as if I were home, since I don't like to post that we're away and the house is empty).  I was here:
On the beach at Perdido Key
This week I have a lot to get done.
First and foremost this morning - go pick up Bax from boarding. He'll be glad to come home.
DS is bringing our grandson CJ to spend the holiday weekend. We got his old crib down from the attic, cleaned it up and bought a new mattress for it. I bought sheets, etc. but couldn't find crib bumpers, so I'll have to make some this week. I'll shop for the fabric today so I can get started right away.
We're having new carpets installed on our first floor next Tuesday so I have to pack up everything so the carpet guys can move the furniture. That means all the dishes, etc. in the china cabinet, the dining room server, and etagere. Also the stuff on the shelves and in the drawers of the big desk and the credenza in the den. All of the accessories, lamps, etc. from the den and the family room. I have to have everything out of there except the actual furniture that they'll move. I also have to empty the family room closet. That's a lot of packing!
So this will be a busy week - making crib bumpers (deadline Saturday a.m.) and packing (deadline Monday p.m.).
For some actual quilting design wall inspiration, check out Patchwork Times.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Stash Report 5/17/15

Still moving in the right direction, but not enough to offset my Paducah splurge...

IN this week: 0
OUT this week: 1-5/8 yards for backing & binding on my H2H quilt.

I'll tally up the totals at the end of the month.

Check out everyone else's stash management efforts over at Patchwork Times.

H2H 2015 - for Happy Chemo

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Modern

This is Labyrinth, one of the quilts in my book coming soon from AQS.
Labyrinth, 60" x 72"
I was thrilled to see the poster for my book at the AQS Show in Paducah last month. Still don't have a date for publication...
My book poster at AQS Paducah
Check out all the other creativity at Bloggers Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Original Design

One of my favorite quilts made in the past year is my Broken Chevron:
Broken Chevron 48" x 60"

 This one always makes me smile - makes me think of arms and legs all akimbo.
Naturally, I had to start the spiral quilting at the elbow!

I've written the pattern for it - check out the link on my Pattern tab above.
Linking up with Bloggers Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side.

H2H Quilt Finished - A Picture Post

Quilted and bound.
To bring a little sunshine to someone at Happy Chemo
What is the protocol for labeling Hands 2 Help quilts? This is my first one and I don't know whether it's customary to label them or not. If so, what info usually goes on the label?

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Just meandering along...

...on my H2H quilt.
FMQ in progress

H2H quilt with FMQ in progress

Making good progress. My FMQ skills are pretty limited so it's just an allover meander, but it's relatively even and doesn't look too obnoxious. Plus, finished is better than perfect, right?

This quilt will go to Happy Chemo. It's a good lap quilt size for someone using a wheelchair.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Monday, May 11, 2015

DWM 5/11/15: Zero, Zilch, Zip, Nada

My design wall today;
since I finished the Plus flimsy, I have nothing on my design wall:
Empty Design Wall, 5/11/2015

On tap for this week: Quilting my H2H quilt.
H2H Top, Pin Basted, Ready for Quilting

H2H Back

I have other stuff going on this week so I won't be able to spend much time in the sewing room. We'll see how far I can get on this; I'd like to get it quilted and bound.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's much more inspiring design walls over there.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Stash Report 5/10/15

Finally I can count some yardage out this week. But hardly enough to make a dent in what I got in Paducah...

IN this week: 0
OUT this week: 5-1/2 yards for Collection Plus top.
I'll tally the total ins and outs for the month and year to date at the end of the month.

The Collection Plus top came out to 57" by 69", a nice sofa throw size. 5-1/2 yards is a good guestimate - It's less than EQ says I need for that size using that many fabrics, based on how many patches I got out of each fat quarter. But since I didn't count actual strips cut, etc. as I was cutting, it may not be 100% accurate, but for me it's good enough. The patches were cut 3-1/2" square, finishing at 3",  and I used 19 across by 23 high.
Collection Plus Flimsy

I also exchanged the backing for Gramercy & Friends with the quilter but I won't count that out until it's actually quilted. I originally gave her some generic wide backing, but then I was gifted enough yardage of the most perfect taupe geometric print from my late friend Darlene's stash, so I swapped it out. Thank goodness she hadn't loaded it on the frame yet! Since I'm keeping Gramercy, I'll remember Darlene every time I see it.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's stash reports over there.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Finish: Collection Challenge Flimsy

So this collection, with a few friends from stash added,
Collection Challenge Fabrics

has evolved...
Layout in Progress

and has become this!
Collection Challenge Flimsy, 57" x 69"
Whoo-Hoo! A finished flimsy!
Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, May 4, 2015

In work this week: Plus and How Many

I was able to make some progress on my Collection Challenge Plus quilt over the weekend. I continued rearranging the colors until I was satisfied. I removed the teal & white print that read as aqua because that pastel aqua just didn't look right with the rest of these colors. Here's the final layout with the patches sewn into rows. This week I hope to get the rows sewn together into a finished flimsy.
Collection Challenge Plus, rows sewn

Also scheduled for this week - It's my turn to hand out at Piecing Group. You might remember I've mentioned a very long-term hand-piecing project that I'm calling How Many, and I showed it on the wall last month.
How Many, rows on the wall April 2015

This go-round, I'm having everyone add a few black triangles to each end of a row to create the side borders, plus string together a few black triangles that will become the top and bottom border rows.
Partial instructions in kit

Here are the kits, ready to hand out, plus my baggie with my example to show them.
Kits ready to hand out

This is the sixth go-round for this project with Piecing Group. One more, in 18 months, when I'll have them join rows into pairs. Then I'll finish it myself. This is definitely a WIVSP - work in very slo-o-o-w progress.

Linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times, WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, and Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts. Check out all the other quilty inspiration over there!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

April Stash Report & Goals Update

Stash Report:
Oh, I overdid it in Paducah, big time. I bought over 40 yards of fabric there. All at bargain prices, though.
I was also gifted 8 yards from the stash of a late friend, so that adds to my numbers for April, too.

April IN: 52.7/8 yards
April OUT: 2.5 yards
April Net Change: 50.375 yards in.

Year to Date IN: 89 yards
YTD OUT: 56.5 yards
YTD Net Change: 32.5 yards IN.

I guess I'd better get busy and sew!

I will use the special gifted fabric for the backing of Gramercy since 1) it's perfect in color, print, scale, etc., and 2) I'm keeping Gramercy and the fabric is special to me because of who it came from, so I'll remember my friend each time I use the quilt.

I had already given the Gramercy top and generic backing to the quilter but she hadn't started working on it yet, so I swapped out the special backing and I can use the generic backing for something else later.  I won't count the backing out until the quilting is done and the binding is on.

Goals Update:

April Recap:
1. Prep Gramercy & Friends backing; make arrangements with quilter. Done. Then exchanged for different backing, so done twice. 
2. Prep piecing group project "How Many" to hand out in May. Done.
3. Work on Hands to Help quilt (UFO from earlier pattern test).  Basted & ready for quilting.
4. Keep up with bee blocks. Done
5. Go to Paducah for Quilt Week. Yes, and I had a great time!
Extra: 1. Made twirly skirt for great-niece's b-day, and one for her dolly too.
           2. Collated additional fabrics & cut pieces for a Plus quilt from the STLMQG Collection Challenge.

H2H quilt basted, ready for quilting

STLMQG Collection Challenge Project

May Goals:
1. Quilt & bind Hands 2 Help quilt.
2. Finish piecing Collection Challenge Plus to a flimsy.
3. Layer, baste, quilt and bind one quilt: boy donation quilt or potential publication project or Collection Challenge.
4. Keep up with bee blocks.
5. Hand piece remaining border pieces for How Many.
6. Make beach bag accessory pouches for vacation. (Our current beach bag's pocket is too small for all of our cell phones, sunglasses, keys, etc. but the bag is waterproof and keeps the sand out.)

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's fabric management efforts over there. I bet I'm not the only one who splurged in Paducah!