Saturday, November 30, 2019

November Stash Report and Goals Update

November has been a month of deadlines and secret sewing. I'm making good progress on them all, but I definitely feel like I've been chasing deadlines all month. After all the deadlines, it'll be good to relax and sew for pleasure again. 

November Stash Report:
IN this month: 9-1/4 yards (FQ Sale, 5-3/4 yards.  Kona silver and purple, 1-1/2 yards.  Scraps gifted by a friend, about 2 yards.)
OUT this month: 11-7/8 yards (Paint Chip Challenge, 1/2 yard.  Checkerboard quilt backing and sleeve, 9 yards. Binding, 7/8 yard.  Coral prints to friends for collaboration project, 1-1/2 yards.)

IN YTD: 108-1/8 yards
OUT YTD: 131-3/4 yards
YTD Net change: 23-5/8 yards OUT

My goal for the year is to break even or reduce stash. Unless there is some sort of fantabulous sale and a reason for purchasing a huge amount of fabric, it looks like I'll end the year with a stash reduction. Whoo-hoo!
Some of my FQ purchases

Most of November's yardage out is due to backing for the checkerboard quilt. I used the leftover strip from the width to make the sleeve.
Binding the checkerboard quilt

Goals Update:
November Recap:
1. Prep Sew Bee It block kits to hand out at STLMQG. Deadline 11/8. DONE. Handed out to those who were present; will hand out the rest at December meeting. 
2. Prep collaboration project for group work day. Deadline 11/11. DONE
3. Prep WIGSP kits to hand out at December Piecing group. Deadline 12/2. DONE
4. Plan and work on Secret Sister gift for Sew Bee It. Deadline 12/13. DONE; project is coming along and gift will be ready on time.
5. Keep up with other bee blocks. DONE
WIGSP kits ready to go for Piecing Group

Other (forgot to put on the list last month): When back from the quilter, bind, add sleeve, and label the checkerboard quilt. DONE. Photograph it for show entry. Show entry deadline is 12/6. Not done yet; weather has not cooperated for outdoor photos. I have a plan B for indoor photos. 

Checkerboards and Dresden Plates

December Goals:
1. Photograph checkerboard quilt for show entry. Entry deadline 12/6
2. Hand out WIGSP kits at Piecing Group on 12/3
3. Finish gift for Sew Bee It secret santa sister. Deadline 12/14
4. Make potholders for Christmas gift
5. Make progress on Dresden fan medallion project
6. If time permits, quilt the purple CCD quilt
7. Regroup: clean up sewing room, look at WIPS, figure out where I left off and how to continue; set priorities.
8. Keep up with bee blocks and work on WIGSP.

Hopefully I'll be done with deadlines and gifts by mid December, then I can relax. I'm looking forward to that!

Monday, November 25, 2019

WIGSP: Kits for Piecing Group

In our last episode, the pieces to create the additional hexies were all on the wall.

The next step was to package them into individual kits for my friends to stitch. There are 11 hexies, and splitting them into top half and bottom half would work for 22 kits. I need 20 kits. This will work, with a couple extra for me to stitch.

Each kit will have either the upper or lower half of a hexie plus one black connecting triangle. That's 10 cut and marked pieces to stitch together.

Each kit is numbered and contains the actual pieces laid out in order and pinned to a napkin. It also contains instructions and a guide with a photo of the actual pieces in that kit.

The kits are all packaged up and ready to hand out. I actually have a little more time - they're to be handed out on Dec. 3 - but I have other pressing deadlines and commitments and secret sewing so I'm glad to have these kits ready to go. I'll hand out in December and get the finished units back in February.

Hopefully I can get them joined into a row and get this quilt top finished by spring.

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Binding the Checkerboard Quilt

This quilt is enormous, about 101" square. Even with my sewing table opened up into what my husband calls "aircraft carrier mode," I still have to bunch up the quilt a lot.

To keep it contained and keep the weight on the table, not dragging onto the floor, I pulled much of the center of the quilt up into a big pile and tied a ribbon around it. The edges of the quilt are easily available to pass under the machine to sew the binding on, but I'm not fighting with the bulk and weight of the quilt.

Since this quilt will be entered into a show, I applied the binding to the front and I'm sewing it down by hand on the back. The easiest way to manage this is to lay out the quilt on the guest bed and bring a folding chair in there. The light's pretty good in the morning, too.

So far I have two sides sewn. One side per day is all I can manage, and my hands are really feeling it. After the binding, I'll have to make and add a sleeve, too, two more sessions of hand sewing.

The label is already made and sewn down. After all my fussing over finding a name for this quilt, I just put "Checkerboards and Dresden Plates" on the label. Good enough.

At the rate I'm going, I'll have this done and ready to photograph by Thanksgiving. I hope the weather will cooperate for outdoor photos that day because I'll have helpers, which I'll definitely need to wrangle this monster. Fingers crossed for good weather!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Deadlines and Commitments

It seems like I have a lot of pressing deadlines, including:

  • Prep WIGSP kits to hand out at December Piecing Group. Deadline 12/2
  • Bind and photograph Checkerboards and Dresdens quilt, enter into spring Paducah AQS show. Deadline 12/5
  • Plan and work on Secret Sister gift for Sew Bee It. Deadline 12/13
The biggest one is getting the checkerboard quilt entered into the AQS show. However, it needs to be trimmed and bound, and for that I have to clear off the table in the sewing room so I can trim it. 

In order to clear off the table, I have to move the parts for WIGSP to somewhere else. Okay, deep breath, there's plenty of time if I just plan and organize this and focus on one step at a time. 

Here's the progress with the WISGP parts. I need 396 of them, actually more so I can distribute the colors and values. 

Just to make sure I've got enough of the right values, here they are in greyscale.

Since these are being added to the top of the already-pieced portion, I need to make sure the prints and values flow so the new row doesn't look like an add-on. To do that I'll need the design wall. 

The unpieced parts, tiny as they are, take up a lot more room than the sewn hexies. What's on the wall here will actually be one row of hexies, but I had to stack them to fit on the wall as I laid out the colors. 

After a few tweaks, here's a final check of the values:

Okay, I think this will do. Now to start packaging up kits. Every kit will get half a hexie plus one black triangle. 22 kits in all. I need 19 for my group so there will be a couple extra for me to piece. At least I don't have to have them all pieced by 12/2. 

PS - I mis-calculated. I didn't need 396 of those small kite pieces. I only needed 192. I cut and marked way more than I need. Anyone want them? The short side measures 1" finished and the triangles measure about 3" high finished.

With the parts I actually need on the wall, I can clean off the cutting table, rearrange the room, and trim the big quilt. 

The binding is prepped and ready to go. My plan is to get the quilt trimmed and the binding sewn on today so I can start stitching it down by hand on the back. Yes, I'm hand stitching this one, I'm hoping it gets accepted into the AQS show so the binding needs to be hand stitched. 

Meanwhile, the pieces I need for WIGSP can stay on the wall, or I can start packaging them up into kits as time permits. A busy week ahead!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Checkerboards and Dresdens Back from the Quilter

I picked up my Checkerboards and Dresdens quilt from the long armer yesterday. I'm so pleased with the quilting! She listened and did exactly what I wanted, and it looks great.

I asked for a variation on continuous curves in the checkerboards that makes kind of a diamond star with a deep curve. I showed her a drawing of it, and she nailed it. She uses a Stattler Stitcher (computer guided) and it came out perfect.

I couldn't be happier with the way the quilting turned out!

Now to get it trimmed, bound, labeled, sleeve added and photographed by the Dec. 6 deadline to enter it in the spring Paducah AQS show.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Alycia Quilts, and Wendy's Quilts and More

Monday, November 11, 2019

WIGSP: Tiny Little Kite Shapes

Remember my WIGSP? Work In Glacially Slow Progress. It's been hand pieced by members of my Piecing Group.  Seven go-rounds so far, starting in February 2008.

It's too short for the bed. I'll take off the top border and add another row of hexies. Because of the light to dark gradient, it will be better to add the new row to the top. I'll have the girls in Piecing Group help once again to piece the additional sections I need. This will be hand out #8 for them for this project.

The hexies are made of tiny kite shapes that form triangles.

Each hexie must be cut from a template, then marked for hand piecing with another template. My deadline to get kits together for Piecing Group is Dec. 4. I need 396 hexies. Probably more, so I can balance out the colors. Thank goodness I still have the templates from this project.

Cutting, cutting, cutting...
Marking, marking, marking...
I just have to keep going.

In other news, STLMQG met Saturday and all the Paint Chip Challenge projects were due. The entries were all pinned on the wall in three categories, Monochromatic, Complimentary, and Analogous color schemes. Members voted for their favorite in each group. My entry won the prize for the analogous category! (Scroll down to Friday's post for the story of it.)
Paint Chip Challenge, Analogous Color Palettes

Linking up with
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, November 8, 2019

Paint Chip Challenge

STLMQG has had several programs about working with color and color schemes this year. Back in the summer we had a presentation about monochromatic, complementary, analogous, split complementary, etc. color schemes. Along with that, a challenge:

  • Select several paint chips from the many provided.
  • Create a complementary or analogous color scheme.
  • Use the colors you chose to make a mini quilt, not larger than 10" square. 
  • Must be quilted.
  • Can add a neutral if needed.
  • Due at the November meeting.
I pulled paint chips, trying to choose something I could find in fabric, and keeping in mind value contrast and levels of intensity so I'd have something to work with. 
Very pale green, bright coral, bright turquoise, indigo blue
(Sorry for poor photo, the paint chips were very hard to photograph and get true color)

First I pulled the turquoise and coral, which are complementary colors. I knew there'd be plenty of fabric options out there in these colors to do something with. The challenge with complementary colors is to balance the proportion so they enhance rather than compete with each other. 

Then I added the pale green and the dark blue. Together with the turquoise, they're analogous colors. Many of the quilts I've made over the years have been analogous palettes; if I had to say, I'd choose it as my favorite color scheme. 

Having two possible color palettes to work with gave me a lot of flexibility in planning my project. 

Then I dithered. I pulled fabrics from my stash that would work and took them to retreat, but didn't touch them there. I was thinking I wanted to do something improvisational, which is so not me. After the retreat, I decided I wasn't going to participate, and left the baggie with the fabrics and the paint chips laying around in my sewing room. 

It taunted me. 

Okay, I can try to do something. I tried sketching a few ideas, log cabin-ish and wonky strips, etc., and I didn't like anything. Well, I don't have to participate....

Then my husband and I went out to dinner at a restaurant that has artwork on the walls of Santa Fe style doorways, turquoise doors and door frames against adobe walls. 

What if I use my colors to create a doorway?  I did. I cobbled it together improv style, with just a little planning. It took a surprising amount of seam ripping and reconfiguring, but it's done. 

I combined the analogous palette with the complementary color. I don't know if it'll be acceptable for the challenge; it's sort of a split complementary palette. 

Oh well, doesn't matter, I did it and it's finished. 9-5/8" by 9-3/4". Whoo-hoo!

The quilting doesn't show up, but it's there around the door, door frame, and steps, in the ditch with monofilament thread.  

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

Update, Nov. 10: At the STLMQG meeting yesterday, all the Paint Chip Challenge entries were pinned to the wall in categories, Monochromatic, Complimentary, and Analogous, and members voted for their favorite in each category. Mine won in the Analogous category!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Prepping for Sew Bee It Blocks

My turn to hand out to my bee, Sew Bee It, is this Saturday. I have a plan!

The girls in the bee do really well at creating a cohesive palette when I give them a print to reference. That concept worked really well when they made green blocks for me several years ago, and again last year when they made Have Faith blocks to coordinate with a navy focus print, shown in last Monday's Design Wall post. 

This year the blocks will be easy but will require attention to accurate seam allowances. Simple strips, each strip finishes 1" wide.  9" finished block plus seam allowances.

I'm giving the girls the outer olive strips, the newsprint strips, and the center strip. These will be constant in all the blocks.

Everyone will get a kit with these pieces, and directions. I'm asking each person to add four strips of their own fabrics, using the center strip as a guide to the palette.

Here are my test blocks showing how they'll go together in a basket weave pattern, and you can see the plan in the photo above.

The olive and newsprint edges will define the overall pattern, and those fabrics plus the center print strip will give continuity to the whole. Each person's unique additions will add variety and interest.
With a couple of borders, the overall result will be a throw size quilt. This project is destined to be a donation.

Linking up with
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt