Monday, April 30, 2018

April Stash Report and Goals Update

My sewing machine is still not back from the repair shop. It's been there since April 14. Therefore I certainly didn't accomplish as much in the sewing room this month as I would have liked.

On the other hand, I certainly accomplished some stash enhancement in Paducah!

April Stash Report:
IN this month: 30-3/8 yards (from Paducah)
OUT this month: 2-1/4 yards (N4Nb quilt from Libby's mystery blocks)

IN YTD: 55-5/8 yards
OUT YTD: 57-7/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 2-1/4 yards out

Whew, still doing all right for the year. Thank goodness I had this one finish this month, a Nurses for Newborns quilt using the blocks I made for Libby's mystery. The back is a cute dot print.
April Nurses for Newborns quilt, front and back

Goals Update: 

April Recap:
1. Prep fabric and start cutting & piecing grandson's big bed quilt. Yes, Blocks made and sewn into rows, then three seams unsewn to fix placement.
2. Finish the Nurses for Newborns quilt made from Libby's Mystery blocks. DONE
3. Work on a Hands2Help quilt. Did not sew one, but I've washed and packed four Rocking Chair Quilts to send to Little Lambs Foundation.
4. Make at least one checkerboard and one Dresden block for the red project. Not done yet but they're not due until May 5 so I still have time, if I get my sewing machine back soon.
5. Finish making blocks for Pickle Dish, assemble top. Blocks are finished and squared up but not assembled into top. 
6. Work on prepping Winding Ways for Piecing Group. Yes, pieces are cut and half of them are marked. 
7. Hand sew on WIVSP Piecing Group Project. No, but stitched on a hand-pieced, vintage-inspired block which will become a pillow cover. 
8. Keep up with bee blocks. DONE
9. Have fun in Paducah! YES!!! And the stash report shows it.

While I didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped, I did get a lot of non-machine-sewing stuff done. I also tidied up the sewing room a bit; it's amazing how dust bunnies multiply in there. I also sorted through some notions and hand-quilting frames I no longer need and set them aside to put in my guild's upcoming fundraiser auction.
Hands2Help quilts for Little Lambs foundation

May Goals:
Some of these are left over from April....
1. Finish piecing grandson's big boy bed quilt top.
2. Piece and/or quilt another Rocking Chair or N4Nb quilt.
3. Send out Hands2Help quilts to Little Lambs Foundation.
4. Make at least one checkerboard and one Dresden block for the red project.
5. Assemble Pickle Dish blocks into quilt center.
6. Finish prepping Winding Ways for Piecing Group.
7. Start planning baby quilt for new great-nephew due end of September.
8. Hand sew on WIVSP Piecing Group Project.
9. Keep up with bee blocks.

That should keep me busy!

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

Friday, April 27, 2018

All Squared Up

Since my sewing machine is still in the shop for repairs, I used time in the sewing room this week to get my Pickle Dish blocks all squared up, resulting in a pile of blocks and a pile of trimmings.

That's all I've got that's whoop-worthy this week. Linking up with Whoop-Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Progress...or Lack Thereof

A couple weeks ago I was having trouble with my sewing machine. The bobbin indicator light kept coming on even though the bobbin was full, and the machine would stop sewing. So since I would be in Paducah last week and would not need the machine, I took it in for service. Well, it seems everyone else in town who needed service took theirs in during Quilt Week too. The shop guy said yesterday that they haven't even started working on mine yet.

Before the machine went into the shop, my grandson's big boy bed quilt was to the point of blocks sewn into rows.

Hmmm, I see something I'm not happy with. See where a yellow part of the print blends with the yellow accent blocks? It looks like a mistake.

I can fix it by removing that block and swapping it out with the one in the upper left corner. When I rotate the blocks to the correct orientation, the print will be facing the same direction as it is now. Since I can't sew, I might as well get out the seam ripper and unsew.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, April 23, 2018

Paducah Stash Enhancement

It was a very good trip. The show quilts were outstanding this year, and the antique quilts at the Rotary were as well. I especially enjoyed the docent tour by the curator of the exhibit. Vacation with the girls was so much fun - we yakked non-stop, ate treats, and shopped till we dropped. Show & tell every night was a highlight; you could see everyone's personality in their purchases. We're already planning for next year.

I shopped with some specific needs and purposes in mind, plus kept an open mind to a few surprises. 30-3/8 yards of fabric came home with me, and the cost averaged out to $6.996 per yard. Lots of bargains at $5 and $6 a yard, and a few FQs at full price or yardage in the $10-11 range.

So how did I do on my list? Quite well. I found everything I was looking for. Bronze solid for the centers of my Dresdens, and a ruler for snowballing the corners of the blocks.

The sports themed FQs will find their way into some older-boy donation quilts along with soccer balls and basketballs already in my stash.

I was particularly looking for pickle greens and bright turquoise shades.

I needed a binding fabric to coordinate with a coral print, and a peachy-orange Grunge. A few other corals and friends joined the party. 

The color of the day at Eleanor Burns is 50 cents less per yard, so in addition to those pickle greens, I stocked up on blues and pinks. My stash was lacking in true blues, especially light shades, but not anymore. 

I couldn't resist this cute sheep print from the remnant table at Hancock's. There's another baby on the way in the family; maybe it'll be a girl. If not, these sheep will make a cute donation quilt. 

How could I pass up these great neutrals? My friend Cherie found the grey for me, a remnant of wide backing. She knows me well! She's such an enabler - she found the corner trimmer ruler, too. Thanks, Cherie!

We visited a new shop this year across from the Bubble, and I found an intriguing masculine geometric print. A few coordinates from one last pass through Hancock's before heading home, and I have the beginnings of a nice masculine palette. Gotta love the bolt-ends table! Hmmm, that grey Cherie found works well here, too. 

And finally, a few miscellaneous pieces. A few years ago I picked up a funky geometric print similar to the one below, and it surprised me how versatile it was and how many projects I used it in. The Marcia Derse print on the right will play nicely with a couple of other Marcia Derse prints already in my stash. 

So I'd say my annual Paducah splurge was very successful this year. 

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I have a goal this year of piecing and/or quilting one donation quilt a month. Stocking up on suitable, first quality fabrics at bargain prices enables me to do this. My stash report will take a hit, but I'll use most of it eventually. 

Link ups: 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Blocks for Big Boy Bed Quilt

Those piles of pieced parts from last week have started to become blocks for my grandson's big boy bed quilt.

Almost all of the blocks are made. I planned the layout in EQ7 before I started sewing them, because the prints are directional and the blocks are asymmetrical.

And then my sewing machine started acting up. Stitch two inches, bobbin error light comes on, machine stoops. The bobbin is full. Change to different a bobbin. Stitch two inches, bobbin light comes on, machine stops. Clear the error message. Stitch two inches, light comes on, machine stops. Repeat enough times to get to the end of the seam. Call shop where I bought this machine and talk to the repair guy. It's probably just a faulty indicator and he talked me through disabling the bobbin alert function. I could continue to sew that way. But since I'm going to Paducah this week and won't be sewing, I took the machine in and they can fix the problem. 

Meanwhile I'll work on squaring up my Pickle Dish blocks. And making a shopping list for Paducah.

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

Friday, April 13, 2018

36 Pickle Dish Blocks

Whoo-hoo! Huge whoop-whoop today! All of the Pickle Dish blocks are sewn. 36 blocks. I've been working on them since November.
Pickle Dish Blocks

They still need to be squared up. I added an extra 1/8"  to the outside edges when I cut them because no matter how carefully I stitch and press curved blocks, they always come out just a little distorted. This way I can square then up nicely and that extra will be trimmed off.
First Ring

I'm thrilled to have all the blocks done!!! Here are some more photos, just because....
Upper Left Quadrant

Upper Right Quadrant

Lower Right Quadrant

Lower Left Quadrant

Ring Effect of Color Placement

This never was intended to be a speedy project, but it's a satisfying one so far. I'm really pleased to have reached this milestone.

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, April 9, 2018

Pile of Pieced Parts

I finally started on grandson CJ's big boy bed quilt. Awhile back I showed the fabrics for it; CJ picked out the focus fabric from some choices I showed him.

Fabrics have all been pre-washed and pressed, and I've started cutting. And chain piecing:

There were a couple of hold ups. First, I needed a different yellow because there wasn't enough of the first one. And I wanted a few more prints for variety. So back to shopping and another order.

Second, my son had to get me the dimensions of the bed and how much of a drop he wants for the quilt on the sides. The bed has drawers underneath it and he didn't want the quilt to hang down over the drawers. Back to the drawing board to revise the design to accommodate the desired size.

Meanwhile, we were travelling, I was having computer problems, then Easter weekend, etc. etc. and you know how it goes, time passes. Finally I was able to get started. It's very satisfying to have such a pile of visible progress, finally.

Here's the EQ7 drawing of what this will look like. The focus fabric and the other construction truck prints are not to scale, but this is a guide I can work from for cutting and assembly.

I'll have plenty of leftovers of all the prints to piece together the backing. Plus I'll be able to make a pillowcase using the focus print and the yellow. I'll have plenty to keep me busy for awhile!

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

Friday, April 6, 2018

April First Saturday Blocks

I mentioned in my March goals report that I didn't have the blocks done for April for my First Saturday group. Well, that's been rectified, they're done now.

Only two more Dresden blocks and three more checkerboard blocks to go!

I'll look for a bronze solid or very subtle print for the Dresden centers when I'm in Paducah later this month. I want something that's not gold and not tan, but somewhere in between, a camel or ochre shade. It needs to be lighter in value than the reds but not as light as the backgrounds. I'm sure I'll find something there.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Pickle Dish Progress

32 blocks made, 4 to go. 

You can definitely see the rings now. 
Here's the latest, a green one.

It won't be too much longer, and I'll have all the blocks made.

I deliberately made each one 1/8" larger on each side. 
Often curved piecing results in slightly distorted blocks,
 so the extra 1/8" gives me flexibility to square them up. 

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, April 2, 2018

March Stash Report and Goals Update

March kind of went off the rails.

First, although I haven't mentioned it, I was travelling the whole first week. DH and I went to Arizona to check out potential retirement communities; we plan on moving in 2020. So in February I frantically stitched, photographed, and prepped enough blog posts to get through the first third of March.

Also I've been having laptop problems. Took it in for repairs both before and after the trip. It's back but still having issues, which they can't fix.

All this to say that I didn't accomplish much of what I thought I would this month, and my stash report, goals report, and lack of blog posts reflect this. I did have two finishes of donation quilts so at least I accomplished something.
Nurses for Newborns quilt for STLMQG

March Rocking Chair quilt

March Stash Report:

IN this month: 5-1/2 yards (ordered for grandson's big boy bed quilt)
OUT this month: 3-3/8 yards (Binding for Aztec quilt, 5/8 yards.  Green N4Nb quilt, 2-1/4 yards. Test block for hand piecing, 1/2 yard. )
Month change: 2-1/8 yards IN

YTD In: 25-1/4 yards
YTD Out: 55-5/8 yards
YTD net change:  30-3/8 yards out

Still in good shape as far as stash reduction goes, with plenty of cushion for shopping in Paducah later this month.

Goals Report:

March Recap
1. Bind Roman Road. No, not back from the quilter yet, she's having mechanical problems with her machine. 
2. Prep fabric and start cutting & piecing grandson's big bed quilt. No, revised the pattern according to his dad's desired size and ordered fabrics but have not pre-washed them yet.
3. Make another Nurses for Newborns quilt. DONE, finished the green one. 
4. Piece &/or quilt one donation top. DONE, quilted the Aztec quilt.
5. Make at least one checkerboard and one Dresden block for the red project. No, not done yet but they're not due until April 7 so I still have time. 
6. Continue making blocks for Pickle Dish. Yes, 32 of 36 are now finished. 
7. Work on a UFO or WIP or determine what to do about it. Um, not exactly, but I gave away six sets of orphan blocks at the Quilty Orphan Adoption Event hosted by Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.
8. Hand sew on WIVSP Piecing Group Project. No, but did a lot of other hand sewing this month - my fingers are sore. 
9. Keep up with bee blocks. DONE

Other - Yes, as I said, off the rails...
 - Participated in Libby's Magical Mystery blocks, which became the start of another Nurses for Newborns quilt.
 - Found an antique inspiration for my next Piecing Group project, drafted the block and templates, and started hand piecing a test block. Found it to be way too much work for both me and Piecing Group.
 - Tested Plan B for Piecing Group, die cut Winding Ways blocks. This plan will work.

Libby's Magical Mystery Blocks on my design wall,
to be used for another N4Nb quilt

April Goals
1. Prep fabric and start cutting & piecing grandson's big bed quilt.
2. Finish the Nurses for Newborns quilt made from Libby's Mystery blocks.
3. Work on a Hands to Help quilt.
4. Make at least one checkerboard and one Dresden block for the red project.
5. Finish making blocks for Pickle Dish, assemble top.
6. Work on prepping Winding Ways for Piecing Group.
7. Hand sew on WIVSP Piecing Group Project.
8. Keep up with bee blocks.
9. Have fun in Paducah!

I did not list Roman Road because I don't know when I'll get it back from the quilter, but when it comes back I'd like to get it bound right away and not let it linger as a UFO any longer.

April's list looks a lot like March's list. Let's see if I can stay on track a lot better in April than I did in March!

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