Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Stash and Goals Update

Wow, we're already one month into 2018 already! January just flew by. Let's check out the state of the stash and see how I did on my goals.

Stash Report:
IN this month: 4-3/4 yards (Jackman's FQ sale - 3-3/4 yds;  So Inclined binding - 1 yd)
OUT this month: 18-1/8 yards (Boy I-Spy donation top - 2-3/8 yds.  Gave I-Spy Squares to Suzanne S - 5/8 yd.  Gave blue strips to Margaret - 3/8 yard.  So Inclined top, estimated 9 yds of my fabric; backing, 2-3/8 yds wide backing; 3/4 yds binding.  Roman Road top, my added fabrics (not BOM kits) - 2-5/8 yds.)
Month and YTD net change: 13-3/8 yards OUT

There were some finishes that I haven't blogged about yet. Roman Road is no longer languishing as a UFO, it's a flimsy, and I'll share it Friday.  So Inclined came back from the quilter and I got it bound; I'll share it in February. Lots of yardage out already this year, so no guilt for the FQ purchases at the beginning of the month.
Toddler Boy I-Spy Donation Top

Goals Update: 

January Recap:
1. Piece &/or quilt one donation top. DONE and DONE, Positively Pink quilted and bound; toddler boy I-Spy top pieced. 
2. Make at least one checkerboard and one Dresden block for the red project. DONE
3. Lay out and determine placement of colors for Pickle Dish project; kit up block components; start sewing blocks. DONE; twelve blocks completed. 
4. Work on Roman Road UFO. DONE - Whoo-hoo, a finished flimsy!
5. Work on some other UFO or WIP or determine what to do about it. Not done.
6. Hand sew on WIVSP Piecing Group Project. Not done.
7. Keep up with bee blocks. DONE

Other: Bound "So Inclined" which came back from the quilter this month.

Positively Pink Donation Quilt

So Inclined
~ stories to come in February ~

February Goals:
1. Prep Roman Road top and backing to send to the quilter.
2. Go through stash and pull unwanted pieces to contribute to the annual CSQ Fabric Swap.
3. Piece &/or quilt one donation top.
4. Make at least one checkerboard and one Dresden block for the red project.
5. Write pattern for "So Inclined."
6. Work on a UFO or WIP or determine what to do about it.
7. Hand sew on WIVSP Piecing Group Project.
8. Keep up with bee blocks.

Roman Road, detail

That should keep me busy. A couple of ongoing in-progress projects, writing a pattern, possibly a new piecing start, and work on a UFO. Enough variety to keep me interested and keep the blog interesting, too.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, January 29, 2018

Pickle Dish Update: 12 Blocks

Twelve Pickle Dish blocks are done - Whoo-hoo! One third of the way...

The blocks made so far are for Rows 5 and 6, so they're at the bottom of my design wall. It's hard to get a good photo because of the space in my sewing room.

Because of all the bias curved edges I'm only cutting the background pieces for one block at a time so they don't get stretched or distorted. Tracing the templates, cutting the background, removing the papers from the arcs, and assembling each block takes a little less than an hour.

Last week's blocks were Row 5, Blocks 1 thru 4. You can see how the arcs make rings of each color, with the coral arcs around the outside.

The blocks are about 1/8" oversized and they'll get squared up and trimmed down before I sew them together. I find that no matter how careful I am when I sew complicated curved blocks, they always come out slightly wonky. Having that little extra to square them up is super helpful.

I'm hoping I can get a few more blocks sewn this week, but I have other priorities requiring my attention, so we'll see what I can get done.

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Em's Scrapbag
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Finished Flimsy: January Donation Top

So far I'm on track with my goal to piece and/or quilt one donation quilt a month for the year. I quilted the girly pink one earlier this month, and now I've finished piecing the toddler boy I-Spy top.

This top was kind of long and skinny, so I added side borders. Now it measures 40" x 54", a good size for some little guy to drag around.

Trucks and tractors; space ships and soccer balls; dinosaurs, fish, and elephants. Lions, tigers, and hippos and a giraffe. Letters and numbers; stars, crayons and rubber duckies; bicycles and bugs. This top used up some leftover 5" and 10" print squares that were languishing in my stash. Win-win!

We even had a pleasant day so I could take some outdoor pics, whoo-hoo!

I plan to quilt this in February, but first I need to get some fleece to back it with. I like using fleece backing instead of batting & cotton backing for kids' donation quilts because it's more cuddly for the kid and less costly  for me.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and TGIFF at MMM Quilts

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Little of This and a Little of That...

... adds up to progress on several projects.

This is the layout I ended up with for the January donation top. I'm in the process of sewing the rows together so hopefully it'll be a finished flimsy shortly. It's nice to have some easy piecing in between making Pickle Dish blocks.

I also worked on some bee blocks for Patti. She gave fabric and instructions for making templates and Drunkard's Path blocks. I hadn't seen Drunkard's Path with snowballed corners before so I'm looking forward to seeing this all come together.

One of my goals each month is to make a Dresden Plate block for my First Saturday project. I chain pieced enough blades for a couple of blocks, and this is what they looked like before I cut them apart to press them.

And finally, I pulled out Roman Road to figure out what it needs to move from UFO status to finished flimsy. It needs the borders finished. Here's where it was left off after Sew Me STL in October 2016. Yes, that long ago. But hey, give me some credit for getting it out to work on!

Quite the mish-mash of quilty stuff going on here!
Check out what others are working on over at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Dr. Seuss's Pickle Dish

My husband rarely comes into the sewing room, and when he does, he rarely has anything to say about whatever I'm working on. But this weekend was different.

Nine Pickle Dish blocks are pieced and on the wall now. DH commented that they look like something from Dr. Seuss.

Huh? Really?!
I asked him what it is about this project that reminds him of Dr. Seuss. He said "the stripes."

I don't see any connection, but then I've been immersed in Pickle Dish as a quilting project so maybe I can't distance myself enough to see the Dr. Seuss connection. What do you think?

Can you see what he's talking about? If so, please share, because I can't see any connection at all.

Link Ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsEm's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt

Friday, January 19, 2018

Whoo-hoo! Back from the Quilter!

"So Inclined" is a UFO from 2014 which was a bee project. The girls in Sew Bee It (STLMQG) made blocks for me and the top sat unfinished for a long time. 

My friend Sandy quilted it. I asked her for modern, no feathers, and she nailed it. The blocks feature an inclined strip of wedges, and four blocks together sort of spin. Sandy enhanced the spin, and I couldn't be more pleased! 

The back: 

I need to get binding fabric, bind it, and then I'll show the whole thing. I've never blogged about this one, so there's a story to tell. Several stories, actually. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January Donation Top

Moving forward on my 2018 goal to piece and/or quilt one donation quilt a month, I'm planning a boy quilt this time.

A friend of mine put out a request for "I Spy" prints. I remembered that I have part of a layer cake of kid prints left over from when I made my grandson's baby quilt. I pulled some of the prints and passed the rest along to her. I also had a few leftover 5" squares, so I pulled those as well. Pink unicorns? OK, just one square. A search through my stash yielded some bright colors to frame up the patches.

Framing the blocks on two sides was quick and easy. Now to lay out the blocks on my design wall.

It's nice to play with a variety of fabrics and do some mindless sewing in between my work on my Pickle Dish project. Nice to use up some stash, too. This will be a flimsy by the end of the month.

Link up: Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pickle Dish Blocks

Whoo-hoo! Four of them made already!

I took the parts for each block off the wall and clipped them together so I can keep the colors organized and in the right positions. The blocks in the photo above are four of the blocks from the bottom row of the quilt.

Color placement matters, so each block is labeled.

These are challenging blocks to make. I made them 1/8" oversized so they can be squared up and trimmed down. These have not been trimmed yet, and the blocks are just stuck on the flannel wall so they look a bit wonky. That'll be fixed when they're squared up and joined together.

I think the dense background print is going to hide the block joining seams nicely - just as I hoped it would.

Four blocks down and 32 to go... But I'm really excited to see this quilt coming along. This one's for me!

Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Em's Scrapbag
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, January 12, 2018

Positively Pink Donation Quilt

I've mentioned here that one of my goals for 2018 is to piece and/or quilt one donation top per month with a goal of ten finished quilts for the year. In November I pieced this Positively Pink top from scraps and stash.

Now it's quilted, bound, and ready for donation. Pardon the indoor pics, we're having "wintry mix" precipitation here so no outdoor photos.

This baby/kid/lap size quilt is 44" square, and I backed it with pink fleece (no batting). It's very simply quilted with serpentine stitching over the seams. It's soft, drapey, and cuddly.

I'll add it to the pile of donation quilts, and decide later where to send it. It depends on what the charity projects are for the guilds I belong to. It could go to a guild quilt drive, or to Hands2Help, or to Project Linus.

This one is very girly, so next up I'll work with "boy" colors.

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Stash Building FQs

Once again I have succumbed to the lure of bargain fat quarters. The LQS that used to offer them for $1.00 every so often has raised the price to  - gasp -  $1.09.  Still, at the equivalent of $4.36 a yard, a bargain.

One of my goals for 2018 is to make donation quilts, to piece and/or quilt one a month for a goal of 10 donation quilts this year. Even though they'll mostly be baby, kid, or lap sized, they still require a certain amount of fabric. Using bargain fabric of good quality enables me to do this. So I stocked up on some FQs.

Masculine: I have a lot of girly prints in my stash and I'm aiming toward a mix of masculine and feminine donation quilts, so I chose prints that read masculine or can work as neutral backgrounds and blenders.

More good blenders and low volume, but I couldn't resist a couple of feminine prints, too, that will coordinate with something I already have.

Some themed prints that coordinate nicely with existing solids in my stash; and a geometric that could be a background combined with brights for a cute kid's quilt.

So, 3-3/4 yards in so far this year puts my stash busting goal a bit behind already. I'm sure this isn't the last I'll add to my stash this year, but I have plenty of time to make up for it.

Link up: Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, January 8, 2018

Design Wall Monday: Pickle Dish Layout

I finally finished all the paper pieced arcs for my Pickle Dish project and laid them out on the wall. I hung the background fabric on the wall and laid the blocks out on top of it to see what the total effect would look like. You can see how the colored arcs make interlocking rings.
Block parts pinned to design wall

Two arcs make a block, but the colors have to be paired up correctly for each block, and each block pair is different. Also, some blocks have black corners and some have white corners.
One quarter of layout

So I labeled the blocks, and took a photo of each one for reference.
Block photo for reference

There are 36 blocks in all. As I'm taking them off the wall, I'm clipping the parts for each block together. Thank goodness for Wonder Clips!

It will take me awhile to make these blocks. The background pieces have to be traced from templates and carefully cut out with scissors. No quick cutting here! They're challenging to sew, too, because of the curves. Hopefully I can make steady progress and get at least a couple of blocks made each week until they're done.

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, January 5, 2018

January Alternative First Saturday Blocks

Some friends meet for coffee on the first Saturday of the month. We used to go to a LQS's BOM meeting and go for coffee afterward. We all decided not to participate in the BOM this time, but still get together on our own. We challenged ourselves to each declare a project that we have to show progress on each month. My project is "the red project."

Two more blocks are finished, one of each checkerboard and Dresden plate:

The Dresdens will get centers later and snowballed corners. I'm almost halfway to a 25 block layout; one pair of blocks a month is moving this project along nicely.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Continuing the Pickle Dish Project: Auditioning Greens

No sewing happened here between mid December and New Year's. My sewing room was converted into gift wrapping HQ, and holiday activities took priority for my time. Now the sewing room is cleaned up, the Christmas stuff is put away for another year, and I can get back in there and sew again.

So where did I leave off and what was I working on? Paper piecing arcs for the Pickle Dish project.

Shown above are most of the colors but there will also be green. I had a scrap of Grunge that was just the right color, and a friend helped identify it as color "Kelp."  I ordered more, and a couple other prints that I thought were close to the same shade, and also found a print locally in the same shade.

I got lucky and now I have four choices. I've decided to use the two prints with white in them, so now I'm cutting pieces and preparing to paper piece the rest of the arcs I need. 16 more arcs to go, and then I can put them up on the wall and arrange them. My plan is to get the arcs done this week. It'll feel good to get back to sewing again.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, January 1, 2018

December Recap & Goals Update

I know, on New Year's Day it seems like I should be posting my overall goals for the year instead of recapping December, but my 2018 goals post is here.

Last stash report for 2017:
IN this month: 14-1/4 yards (STLMQG Ticket Raffle, 9-5/8 yards.  Sew Bee It gift exchange, 1-1/4 yards. Pickle Dish project: 1-3/8 yds JL; 1-1/2 yds FQ Shop; 1/2 yd JL.)
OUT this month: 1-1/2 yards (green donation top)

IN during 2017: 125-1/8 yards
OUT during 2017: 142-7/8 yards
2017 Net change: 17-3/4 yards out

Whoo-hoo - I used more than I brought in. Let's see if I can do that again in 2018!

December Goals recap:
1. Continue cutting and making block components for Pickle Dish project. YES - found/acquired the rest of the fabrics and paper-pieced all of the arcs.
2. Make at least one Dresden Plate and one Checkerboard block for the red project. DONE
3. Piece one donation top from stash. DONE, the green donation flimsy.
4. Quilt and finish one donation quilt. DONE - Scrap Scramble baby quilt.
5. Work on Roman Road UFO. Not touched
6. Keep up with bee blocks. N/A as Sew Bee It didn't have one for December and Piecing Group doesn't meet in January so that block isn't due until February.
7. Work on WIVSP hand piecing project. YES, 55 minutes of hand sewing over three sessions; 2/3 of a row across sewn.

Green Donation Top

Scrap Scramble Baby Quilt

January Goals:
1. Piece and/or quilt one donation top.
2. Make at least one checkerboard and one Dresden block for the red project.
3. Lay out and determine placement of colors for Pickle Dish project; kit up block components; start sewing blocks.
4. Work on Roman Road UFO.
5. Work on some other UFO or WIP or determine what to do about it.
6. Hand sew on WIVSP Piecing Group Project.
7. Keep up with bee blocks.

Looks like a month for moving projects along rather than starting new ones. Let's see how much progress I can make.

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