Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Stash Report and Goals Update

It's the end of the month, time to take a look at how things went in the sewing room this month.

Stash Report:
IN this month: 15 yards (STLMQG free table - 3/4 yard.  CSQ Fabric Swap - 7-1/4 yds.  Ordered for Grandson's big bed quilt - 7 yards.)
OUT this month: 34-1/8 yards (Aztec flimsy - 2-1/2 yds.  CSQ Fabric Swap - 29-3/8 yds (includes quilting cotton and flannel).  Nurses for Newborns top, backing, binding - 2-1/4 yds.)

IN YTD: 19-3/4 yards
OUT YTD: 52-1/4 yards
YTD Net change: 32-1/2 yards OUT.

A very good start to the year. My goal is to break even or reduce stash at the end of the year. I have plenty of wiggle room here to do some stash enhancement in Paducah in April!

Fabric OUT to CSQ's Fabric Swap

Feb. Goals Recap:
1. Prep Roman Road top and backing to send to the quilter. DONE
2. Go through stash and pull unwanted pieces to get rid of at the CSQ Fabric Swap.  DONE & swapped.
3. Piece &/or quilt one donation top. DONE, Quilted the toddler boy I-Spy quilt. Pieced the Aztec-inspired top. 
4. Make at least one checkerboard and one Dresden block for the red project. DONE
5. Write pattern for "So Inclined." Working on it…not enthused. 
6. Work on a UFO or WIP or determine what to do about it. Yes, bound UFO doll quilt and sent it to A Doll Like Me
7. Hand sew on WIVSP Piecing Group Project. Yes, hand stitched 35 minutes this month.
8. Keep up with bee blocks. DONE
Forgot to list for February:  Continue making Pickle Dish blocks.  Yes, have 21 blocks finished now.

Other: made small quilt for Nurses for Newborns for STLMQG charity project.

Aztec Donation Top

Doll Quilt & PJs for A Doll Like Me

Toddler Boy I-Spy Donation Quilt

March Goals:
1. Bind Roman Road
2. Prep fabric and start cutting & piecing grandson's big bed quilt
3. Make another Nurses for Newborns quilt.
4. Piece &/or quilt one donation top.
5. Make at least one checkerboard and one Dresden block for the red project.
6. Continue making blocks for Pickle Dish.
7. Work on a UFO or WIP or determine what to do about it.
8. Hand sew on WIVSP Piecing Group Project.
9. Keep up with bee blocks

21 Pickle Dish Blocks

My February was a very good month, lots accomplished in the sewing room plus birthday celebrations. I hope your February was good too!
Grandson's Super Hero Cape

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

Monday, February 26, 2018

Progress Hard and Easy

Whoo-hoo! More than halfway done 
making the blocks! Coming along nicely...

And for a break from all those curved seams, 
I got the Nurses for Newborns top sewn together. 

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

Friday, February 23, 2018

CSQ Fabric Swap

Circle in the Square Quilters guild has a fabric swap each year, where we all bring whatever we want to destash and we take home anything that looks appealing to us. The leftovers go to a charity that collects fabric. The only rule is that nothing gets left behind at the hostess's house. It's always a fun event. The weather was horrible - raining and not quite freezing - but we had a good turnout anyway. This year the snack theme was cookies, and we had lots of delicious home-made treats, even some shaped like sewing machines, thread spools, and thimbles.

I dug through my stash and pulled out pieces I know I'll never use. Some I'm already done with - they're left over from past projects. Some, my tastes have changed and I'm ready to pass them on.

I got rid of all the leftover store-bought flannel from the quilt I made for my husband last year. 3-5/8 yards. 

Here's the pile of no-longer-loved quilting cotton I gave away: 25-1/4 yards. There's stuff in there left over from my book quilts, stuff from the 1990's and 2000's, leftover backing from DH's cowboy quilt from 2010, and who knows what else. This pile is about 10-11" tall. Goodbye.

So what did I bring home? New-to-me good stuff!

Two friends gave me pieces that might work for my grandson's big bed quilt. I'll see when my order of the Construction Zone fabric he picked out arrives. There's a yard of each here, and if it doesn't work for my grandson's quilt, then it'll work for donation quilts and pillowcases. 

I picked up this watercolor floral because I thought it was pretty, and I can use it in a donation quilt. And who can resist a few black & white fat quarters? 

This stripe is neon bright and could be good for a child's quilt, and there's enough here for blocks and binding. The basketball print is excellent for a donation quilt for an older boy. 

And finally, some low volume pieces and a couple more FQs, just because. 

Altogether I brought home 7-1/4 yards. 
Net 21-5/8 yards out of my stash, but you'd never know it to look at my fabric bins. Guess I'll just have to sew faster, make more, and use it up!

So today I'm doing the happy dance about my fabric swap success. What are you whooping about? Check it out over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

STLMQG Charity Project: Nurses for Newborns

STLMQG's charity project for this year was announced at the last meeting, and the organization we're supporting is Nurses for Newborns. They've requested small quilts, 2 feet by 3 feet, which they bring to their first visit with a new family, use on the floor to demonstrate baby care to the new mom, and leave behind for mom and baby to keep. N4Nb specifically requested the small size, 24" by 36", and colors that won't show dirt so much, especially for the backing.

Stash to the rescue! I ought to be able to do something suitable with this pull.

There's enough of the focus print for the backing with a little left over to use on the front. Black & white prints because infants see high contrast first. A rainbow of colors, bright and cheerful. Note the yellow-orange in there - more about that in a minute.

A layout of high contrast blocks, simple framed squares plus the focus print. Here are the blocks on my wall:

I'll get this finished up and bring it to the April meeting, and I'll probably make a few more little quilts for Nurses for Newborns before the final collection in the fall.

STLMQG is also running a Rainbow BOM Challenge this year. Each month they announce a color. If you make any block of your choice using that color, each month throughout the challenge, you get a raffle ticket for prizes at the end. If you participate every month you get bonus tickets. The blocks have to prominently feature the color of the month with low volumes or neutrals, and have to be posted before the next month's meeting to be eligible.

This month's color is yellow-orange. Not yellow. Not orange. Those colors, we're told, will be featured in later months. I found a scrap - just a scrap - of yellow-orange in my stash. Here is my block, and you can see that I had to cobble together my scrap to come up with the center square.
Shown with yellow, orange, and red-orange for comparison.

You can find my yellow-orange block featured near the center of my N4Nb project above. Two birds with one stone. Or with one little yellow-orange scrap. Not bad!

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, February 19, 2018

February Birthdays

Normally this would be my Design Wall Monday post, but there hasn't been any new activity on the design wall lately.

DS and DGS "CJ" both have February birthdays. CJ just turned three. Grandpa ordered these for him: little yellow rain boots (shown with Grandpa's shoes for scale). Too stinkin' cute!

And I made this for him: a reversible superhero cape with his initial and a lightning bolt.

The guys came in for the weekend so we could celebrate. It was a quick visit but we all had a good time. CJ is quite the little chatterbox!

He had to model his new rain gear for us: perfect fit! Now he's ready to splash in some puddles. Or they can go throw rocks in the creek - a favorite activity - and not worry about getting his feet wet.

He wasn't so sure about the cape, but we finally got him to try it on just before they had to leave. DS loved costumes when he was little. Maybe CJ will like the cape better after awhile....

CJ has a new big boy bed so he needs a new twin-size quilt for it. We looked at pictures on the computer together and he chose the focus fabric. We looked at several (preselected) choices on Saturday, then came back to the top two on Sunday, and he chose Timeless Treasures Construction Zone. I've ordered it and I'll use my Big Print Beauty pattern to feature it.

We had a good visit and enjoyed our time with them while they were here. Now it's back to normal this week, so I'm hoping to spend some time in the sewing room and get a few more Pickle Dish blocks made.

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

Friday, February 16, 2018

February Donation Top Finished

The Aztec blocks have been sewn into rows and into a finished flimsy. I like it better than I thought I would when I was laying it out. At 42" by 54", it's a good lap size.

Sorry for indoor pics, the weather is much too windy for outdoor photos. DH installed some kind of new light bulbs in my sewing room and the light is really good in there now. These photos were taken with the new light, and the color came out really true to life.

I have a lot going on the rest of this month so I don't know if I'll get this one quilted in February or not. I'm scheduled to give a Cut and Shuffle Quilts lecture and trunk show on Monday, and I have weekend plans with family, so today I have to get organized and packed for the trunk show.

(Cut and Shuffle Quilts is the book I wrote a couple years ago, featuring a fun, easy piecing technique and several patterns.)

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Aztec Blocks on the Wall

All of the blocks featuring the Aztec prints are done, as are the rest of the companion blocks needed. Here they are on my design wall:

This layout with its braided effect makes me think of basketry. This quilt will finish at 42" x 54", a good throw size for a growing boy. I'm hoping to get it sewn into a flimsy for a Friday Finish later this week, but I have some other demands on my time this week so we'll see how much I can get done.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, February 12, 2018

Aztec-Inspired Donation Project

Back in early January I bought some FQs on sale, part of a collection of Aztec-inspired prints. I knew when I bought them that I would use them for a donation quilt. Quilts for older boys are in demand, and I thought these would work.

With only a FQ of each print I knew I needed more, so I found some friends for them in my stash. A plan was hatched, and all the pieces have been cut.

A few blocks:

There will be more blocks in other combos; I laid the parts out on my wall but forgot to take a photo before taking combos down to make blocks. I hope to finish the blocks and get them sewn into a top this week.

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

Friday, February 9, 2018

Rocking Chair Quilts

You may recall that one of my goals each month is to piece and/or quilt a donation quilt. In January I pieced the toddler boy I-Spy top, and now it's quilted and finished.

This one has blue fleece for backing and it's quilted with a large ribbon meander. Lesson learned, FMQ on my domestic machine didn't go so well with just fleece backing, no batting here. Lots of skipped stitches and broken threads. Ugh! From now on, I'll plan tops that can be walking foot quilted if I know they'll get only fleece backings.

I'll hold onto this quilt until I know what my guilds' charity committees are doing this year. If they're doing Project Linus or a similar children's group, I'll give this to them. Otherwise I'll donate it myself to a crisis nursery or Project Linus.

What does a rocking chair symbolize? If a child's health or circumstances are such that an agency gives him a quilt, it seems to me he's in need of the comfort offered by a snuggle in a rocking chair. Some of my donation quilts have been photographed on my rocker. I've decided to call my monthly donation quilt project "Rocking Chair Quilts."

I know a few people have mentioned they're joining me in making a donation quilt each month. Feel free to call yours Rocking Chair Quilts too if you like. I'm not on Instagram so there isn't a hashtag for them but go ahead if you're so inclined.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Random Little Pink Things

Bernie over at Needle and Foot put out a call for doll quilts for an organization called A Doll Like Me which makes custom dolls for children with limb or facial differences. You can read more about it here. 

A couple years ago when I was making doll clothes for my niece, I started a doll quilt but never finished it. I pulled it out and bound it, and it's ready to send off. Since I still had patterns for 18" dolls and I had a bit of pink fleece left over from something else, I made a set of PJs to go with the quilt. Today these will go out in the mail to A Doll Like Me.
Little Pink Doll Quilt and Pink Doll PJs

STLMQG meets this Saturday and they've started doing optional Block Lotto blocks, where for each block you make you get a raffle ticket, and the holder of the winning ticket gets all the blocks. This month the block is a simple Plus block, so I figured why not, I'll make a couple. If I win them they can go into one of my monthly donation quilts. They requested low volume background fabrics. The example had pink for the feature color, so these will coordinate with at least some of the other blocks.
Pink Block Lotto Blocks

So, what random distractions have kept you from focusing on your priority project lately?

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, February 5, 2018

Pickle Dish Progress

Almost half way done with the blocks...

The rings of color are visible now. There are two yellow prints, two blues, and two greens. Three corals, with the lightest in the center and the darkest at the corners.

Coming along nicely!

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

Friday, February 2, 2018

Roman Road and First Saturday Update

Roman Road was a BOM from a local quilt shop in 2015-16. Then it languished as a UFO for awhile. Now it's a finished flimsy.

Each month there was a main block - the complex star blocks with red in them - and an alternate block. The kits were provided by the shop, and the colors and theme were inspired by the shop owner's travels in Rome.

My friend Cherie created a modified version of the alternate block, resulting in fewer points to match when setting the blocks together. I actually took all my alternate blocks apart and remade them using Cherie's variation. Then I omitted some of the pieces around the outside edge and added black points to a first border to enhance the strong diagonals.

Whoo-hoo! This flimsy and its backing have an appointment to go to the quilter next week! It needs a good pressing first. I found off-white Grunge wide backing, similar to the Grunge used in the top but with a little more grey in it, which will be the perfect backing. I have enough of the light brown blender used in the alternate blocks to use for binding.

This quilt is 72" square, big for a throw. It may become a gift, or it may hang on a wall. I'm excited to have it off the UFO list and this close to done. I'll take it to First Saturday tomorrow to show my friends. They all participated in the shop's BOM so they all have their own versions of Roman Road either finished or in progress.

Speaking of First Saturday, progress continues on my red project. Each month I'm making at least one Dresden and one Checkerboard block, due on the first Saturday. My friends keep me accountable! I have one more of each completed for February, bringing the total to seven of each.

I'm looking forward to getting together with my friends tomorrow, and to seeing these and everyone else's projects coming along.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts