Monday, October 30, 2017

October Stash Report & Goals Update

But first, here's what's on my design wall today:

A scrappy baby quilt top. This is made from some of the scraps I picked up at the scrap scramble at  retreat, plus some leftovers from Ben's baby quilt, leftover backing from something else, and bits of partial FQs from stash.

This will be a donation, either as is (top only) or finished quilt. Meanwhile, it was fun to pull some prints together and play with them. I may have to do this kind of playing more often.

Since it's a finished flimsy, I can count the fabric used in my October stash report. October was an excellent month for finishes and therefore for fabric out.

October Stash Report: 

IN this month: 7-1/4 yards (from Sew Me STL swap, scrap scramble, and donated by other members; binding for flannel quilt)
OUT: 19-3/8 yards (Backing for flannel quilt - 2-1/2 yds (plus shirt parts); Binding for flannel quilt - 5/8 yard.  Solstice flimsy, 7-1/4 yds.  Sew Me STL swap, 7/8 yds.  Nine Patch Stars QOV flimsy, 6-3/8 yds.  Scrappy baby quilt top for donation, 1-3/4 yds)

IN YTD: 102-3/4 yards
OUT YTD: 127-7/8 yards
Net Change: 25-1/8 yards OUT

Best year yet for stash usage since I've been keeping track!

Goals Update: 

October Recap:
1. Assemble Nine Patch Stars QOV top at Sew Me STL. DONE
2. Make HSTs for donation quilt at Sew Me STL. Done - Assembled as many as possible given the available cut pieces but ran out of lights. Cut more lights and finished the HSTs later.
3. Cut and work on sashing strips for Solstice Challenge blocks. DONE. Made all the sashing strips, made nine patch cornerstones, and completely finished the Solstice flimsy. 
4. Make one Dresden block and one Checkerboard block for the red project. DONE
5. Work on WIVSP hand piecing project. Stitched more than an hour of hand sewing.
6. Bind Gary's Flannel Quilt. DONE
7. Add borders to Original LCT top. Not done.
8. Keep up with bee blocks. DONE.
9. Work on improv project from Jean Wells book. Not done.
Other: Made scrappy baby quilt top

Wow, having so much time to sew at Sew Me STL helped me get a lot accomplished this month! The Nine Patch Stars top was assembled at retreat and the sashings for Solstice were started. Then later this month the entire Solstice flimsy was completed. And Gary's flannel quilt came back from the quilter and got bound. It's been a very good month for finishes!
Nine Patch Stars QOV Top

Gary's Flannel Quilt

Solstice Flimsy

November Goals:
1. Plan and write tutorial for Sew Bee It bee block for November, to hand out at Nov. 11 meeting.
2. Write and post tutorial for Nine Patch Stars QOV.
3. Make one Dresden block and one Checkerboard block for the red project.
4. Add borders to Original LCT top.
5. Work on WIVSP hand piecing project.
6. Make one scrappy donation top to play with fabrics & use up stash.
7. Keep up with bee blocks.
8. Work on improv project from Jean Wells book.

Looking forward to another productive month in the sewing room, but I'm sure I can't top October for finishes.

Link ups: Small Quilts & Doll Quilts
                Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, October 27, 2017

Finished Solstice Flimsy

A picture-heavy post...

The finished top:

I enjoyed making the blocks each week as the patterns were released. 
Some favorite blocks:

This block, not part of the series, was a test when I got my 
new Studio cutter last spring. I see more blocks using these 
units in my future since they came out so well. 

Since I don't have an immediate need or purpose for this top, 
I'll add it to the growing to-be-quilted pile. 

I have enough of the olive sashing print to use for binding, so I'll 
put the print away with this top, to be ready when the time comes. 

A question for those of you who keep track of your stash usage: 
How do you account for fabric that was used for unused blocks and related parts that didn't make it into the finished top? I have at least seven 12" blocks and several 6" companion blocks that were not used, but the fabric has been used in them and is no longer available as stash. How to account for it?

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

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Christmas Tree

You may remember that back in July I participated in the "12 Days of Christmas in July" blog hop hosted by Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. My contribution to the blog hop was the Christmas tree wall hanging I made for my son.

His home doesn't have space for an actual tree, and with three cats and a toddler, a real one isn't wise anyway. So a wall hanging on which he can hang real ornaments would solve the problem.

The plan was to give it to him at Thanksgiving, but due to his work schedule he doesn't think he'll be able to come for Thanksgiving. He was here this past weekend, so I gave it to him then. He really, really, really likes it.

It occurred to me that there's still time for anyone who wants one of these to make one before the holiday decorating season. It's actually pretty fast and easy.

Here's a link to the tutorial, if you're interested. It's easy, pieced in rows and straight line quilted.

Then stitched loops are added to hang the ornaments.

When I posted this in July, a lot of people commented that it would be great for a nursing home resident's room, or a dorm room. Now's the time to start making one so it'll be ready to decorate for the Christmas season. 

If you make one, I'd love to see photos. I hope you like your Christmas tree hanging as much as my son likes his. 

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sashing and Cornerstones

After retreat last week, the Solstice project looked like this: 
blocks with sashing sewn into rows.

Since then I made 30 little nine patches for cornerstones.

The rest of the sashing strips are sewn but not all cut to length. 

I used up all I had of the light fabric in the sashing, 
so I found something else for the cornerstones. 
It's used elsewhere in some of the blocks, 
so it still looks fine with the rest of the quilt top. 

Goal for this week: get the rows all sewn together for a finished flimsy. 

Link ups: 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Gary's Flannel Quilt

A Cozy Finish...

My husband's birthday is coming up and this is a secret, so don't tell, OK? 😉

He whines that plain cotton fabric feels cold. He says his cotton quilt feels cold, even though it's been washed a dozen times and it's all soft and snuggly. He likes flannel. He wears flannel shirts. He'd have flannel sheets on the bed year round if I'd let him. He insisted I use flannel for the backing of our grandson's baby quilt.

He also whines that our grandson has more quilts than he has. He requested a flannel quilt with flannel on the back and wool batting.  Okay... That would be warm, at least.

He's getting a flannel quilt for his birthday.

I've been saving worn out and frayed shirts for awhile, and many of the plaids used in this quilt are shirts that he got lots of use out of. The light background and some of the darks are store-bought flannels that I bought in Paducah last spring.

My friend Dar who blogs over at Dar's Patchwork Garden quilted it for me in a Baptist Fan pattern. I was afraid the ravelly fabrics would fray at the seams, but the quilting is dense enough to hold the seams, I think. I really like the texture the quilting and the wool batting give it.

A few more pictures, just because -

Don't you just want to touch it?!

And of course the back is flannel, too, with more repurposed shirt parts. 

That light red plaid -  That was a favorite LLBean shirt that he wore for over 25 years. We have a photo of him and our son taken in 1989 when DS was six, and DH is wearing that shirt. It was a sad day when that shirt had to be retired, but it was well loved. 

This quilt is pretty heavy. The fabrics are heavy, and there are a lot of seams in the piecing. The wool batting doesn't add any more weight than a cotton batting would, but it's drapier. It was breezy when I was taking photos, and as heavy as this quilt is, it still got blown around a bit. So I think it'll be soft and snuggly enough. Not to mention, warm...

Think he'll like it? His birthday is in mid November. I'll let you know what he thinks after I give it to him. 

Link ups: Confessions of a Fabric Addict
                My Quilt Infatuation

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

More from Sew Me St. Louis

Sew Me St. Louis (STLMQG's retreat) was so much fun! Since I've been home I've been able to unpack and regroup, sort out my fabric haul, and take stock of where I'm at with my projects.

Swap fabrics:
We had a secret brown bag swap. Each participant brought a coordinating half yard, fat quarter, and fat eighth in a generic, anonymous brown paper bag. Bring a swap bag, take a swap bag, participation was optional. I participated but didn't think to take photos of the fabrics I gave. My friends got a kick out of my very enthusiastic reaction when I peeked into the bag I received. Oh, yeah, these are so me. Thanks again, Kristy! I don't know who got the bag I gave, but I hope she likes it.

The highlight was the scrap scramble. We all brought baggies of usable scraps, dumped them in a pile, and dove in to take what we wanted.

From the pile I took the magenta print in the photo below and the strips and scraps on the right. The green FQs here were from our prez Kristy who was destashing and brought unwanted fabrics to share.

Also from the scrap scramble, I scored this batik. Yes, really! Someone didn't want it and brought it to give away. No one else wanted it either - STLMQG quilters aren't into batiks - but I love it. There's 4-1/2 yards here. Pale batiks are hard to find and there's enough here for background for a whole quilt top, or I could use it for backing for a batik flimsy in my to-be-quilted pile.

I was able to get all the projects that I brought with me accomplished. Whoo-hoo!

First, this QOV flimsy. All the 6" blocks were already made; I just had to lay them out and assemble the top. The hallway floor worked great for laying out. This top is shown sideways on my design wall for the photo. It's actually 60 x 84". Super easy and a great scrap buster. I'll post a quick tutorial soon.

I also got the sashing strips made for my Solstice Challenge blocks, and joined the blocks into rows. Still need to make the cornerstones before I can join the rows together, but this is good progress.

I also got a bunch of HSTs sewn. They're just HSTs so they're pretty boring at this stage. I ran out of lights to combine with the darks that are already cut, so I'll have to cut more. Then I'll figure out a layout for them all later. It'll be a donation project and all the fabrics came from stash.

All in all, it was a fun and productive weekend!

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sew Me STL 2017

So much fun! I was too busy and having such a good time that I forgot to take photos of my projects. I haven't unpacked yet so I'll have to sort out everything and post photos later. I was able to get accomplish all the projects I brought with me, just in time for clean up at the close of the event.

We had a huge sewing room with a capacity for 60 and I heard 59 attended. Everyone had adequate space, and we could use the hallway floor outside the room to lay out blocks. We had enough irons to share, and unlike last year, no fuses were blown. Here's our space before everyone straggled in Sunday morning:

I did capture a photo of the scrap scramble. Everyone brought a baggie of scraps and dumped them in a pile. Then we all grabbed what we wanted out of the pile and re-filled our baggies. The scrap scramble is always one of the highlights of Sew Me STL.

Well, I can see I need to do better at documenting the event next year. I'll just have to remember Sew Me STL 2017 the old fashioned way, in my head. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Planned, Prepped, Packed

STLMQG is having our annual retreat this weekend, called Sew Me St. Louis. I'm so looking forward to a weekend sewing with friends!

Since it's hard to concentrate and I'd rather socialize, I usually take easy projects that don't require much serious thought to work on. Several projects are planned and prepped.

A QOV that started as leaders & enders. I plan to get the top assembled, then I'll hand it off to the quilters at QOV of Eastern Missouri.

Sashing units for the Solstice Challenge blocks. The blocks are laid out and numbered; I'll bring them along and maybe I can get the blocks and sashing sewn into rows.

HSTs for a donation top. This a stash busting project that will probably go to Sarah for a Heart Builders quilt.

This ought to be enough to keep me busy for two days! And hidden in these packs are bee blocks, a baggie of scraps for the Scrap Scramble, and my fabric swap contribution. So fun! All packed up and ready to go.

The retreat is in town, at a hotel about a half-hour away, so if I've forgotten anything essential I can always come home and get it. They'll have ironing and cutting stations set up for us, so I don't have to haul that stuff along. Just gotta throw together my overnight bag, bring along a snack to share, and I'll be all set.

Whoo-hoo! Looking forward to a fun weekend. Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Yes, This Is Going to Work

While I was in Florida I found new sashing fabric for my Solstice Challenge blocks. Here it is photographed under incandescent light which is very warm light. While all the colors have a warm cast, the olive doesn't flare brown, which was a problem with the first sashing fabric I bought.

The plan is to sash the quilt like this: 

Yes, the new sashing fabric will work nicely. I had just enough of the light background fabric left for the center strips. For the 9-patch cornerstones, I'll use another light fabric that was used elsewhere in the blocks.

The photo below was taken under Ott light which imitates daylight, a much cooler light. The olive and the pale green look much greener here but both flare consistently so they're okay together no matter what kind of light they're seen in. The pale green is the same fabric that's used for the background in the blocks above.

Yes, this is going to work, and I've already cut strips so I can work on the sashing at retreat this weekend.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, October 9, 2017

Perdido Key 2017

Nothing on my design wall today...

I haven't been sewing much lately because I was here for two weeks.

Just got back from a nice vacation to Perdido Key, on the Gulf coast at the Florida/Alabama state line. We've been going down there since 1983 and never tire of going back.

This is the condo we stay at now. For the first 20 years or so when we went down there we stayed at a beach house that's just out of the frame to the right, but it's now a private home. So we stay at The Mariner and this feels like "our" beach.

We had delightful weather most of the time we were there; got sprinkled on a little one day, and it was so windy a couple of days that our legs got sand-blasted as we walked on the beach, but for the most part it was sunny and pleasant the whole time.

Some days it was very calm, no surf. The sea oats and dune vegetation are pretty dense this year after a few sparse years.

Later in our visit the wind kicked up, the surf was pretty rough and the red flags were out.

I took along some sewing, some mindless HSTs to work on for a donation quilt, but I actually did very little.

Here's my sewing set-up at the condo. And check out that view from my porch!

Thanks to a visit to A&E Fabrics in Pensacola, I was able to find sashing fabric for my Solstice Challenge blocks. I had already searched my local fabric stores and actually bought something, but the olive green color flared brownish in home light. I was relieved to find something at A&E that would work.

All in all, a great vacation. I ate seafood and good unhealthy Southern cooking to my heart's content and came back a couple pounds heavier, but it was so good, and now I'll go back to eating sensibly.

We were scheduled to leave for home on Saturday 10/7, but Hurricane Nate was heading toward the Gulf coast and was forecast to make landfall near Mobile around midnight Saturday. The leading bands of wind and rain would have made our drive miserable across Alabama and Mississippi. It's a tough 12-1/2 hour drive from door to door with minimal breaks anyway, so we decided to bail out Friday afternoon. Good call. We had good weather on the first half of the drive home Friday and just a few sprinkles when we got into Arkansas on Saturday. We got home Saturday afternoon, and after two weeks away, it felt good to be home again.

So even though I didn't accomplish much in sewing or quilting, I did move two projects forward, the Solstice project and some HSTs.

Linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Em's Scrapbag, and Love Laugh Quilt.