Sunday, May 31, 2020

Hands2Help 2020

Once again this year I'm participating in Hands2Help with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. This year I'm sending one quilt to Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo and three to Little Lambs Foundation for Kids. 

Have Faith is going to Quilty Hugs. This quilt's story is here

Purple Chunky Churn Dash is going to Little Lambs. This quilt uses materials given to me by Wanda of Exuberant Color for use in donation quilts. 

Little Pink Cats is also going to Little Lambs; story in yesterday's post, scroll down. 

And Coral Flying Geese is going to Little Lambs as well. Here's this quilt's story

Thanks, Sarah, for all your hard work organizing and hosting Hands2Help 2020!

Friday, May 29, 2020

A Small UFO Finish

Okay, so who has tops waiting for batting or backing? I'm sure I'm not the only one.

This little quilt's top hung in the closet for awhile, waiting for batting cut-offs of the right size to Frankenbatt* together. Some other recent finishes yielded more batting cut-offs, and finally I had the size needed for this UFO.

At 37" by 41" it's perfect for a baby quilt, and the sweet cat print is just too cute.

Everything's from stash. I know the cat print is relatively recent, one of my LQS's fat quarter sale finds from within the past couple years. The stripe goes back to one of my earliest trips to Paducah in the late 90's.

This little quilt is destined for Little Lambs Foundation for Kids as part of Hands2Help 2020. I've sent them children's quilts before, and this year they also want baby quilts. I'm including it in my Rocking Chair Quilts, see tab above. After a tumble through the washer and dryer, it'll be on its way.

Although I'm sorry for the circumstances of any child under the care of an agency such as Little Lambs, I hope this little quilt brings a bit of comfort for someone.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict

*For those who are curious, I used iron-on batting tape to butt the edges of the batting pieces together, then stitched over the join with a serpentine zigzag. No ridge, no slippage, you can't feel the joining seams from the outside of the quilt, and it won't come apart within the quilt with repeated laundering.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

UFO Progress: Basket Weave

One of the items on my Goals list for May is to revisit UFOs and see what I can move forward. I have a small UFO finish, which I'll post about on Friday.

I also pulled this project to work on. It's bee blocks, made for me by the Sew Bee Its the last time it was my turn to hand out. I don't even remember when that was. The blocks are made of strips, and when assembled they'll create a basket weave pattern. Apparently I got into strips even before my current obsession.

I gave each member the constant fabrics, olive and newsprint for the outside edges and Kaffe Fassett's Baba Ganouch print in the center. I asked them to add strips using the colors in the Kaffe print to drive the palette. These girls are really good at pulling colors that create a cohesive palette when I give them an inspiration print. They stretch the boundaries and the result is much more interesting than what I would have pulled myself, but since the colors all derive from the inspiration print, they all work together.

I knew I was short a couple of blocks. I miscalculated; I got 22 blocks back from the other 11 girls in the bee, and I made six but I should have made 8, so I was 2 short of the 30 needed.  

Two more blocks made, now I have enough for the center. The blocks finish at 9", using strips cut 1-1/2" wide.  

The next step will be laying them out on my design wall with the stripes alternating vertical and horizontal to create the basket weave effect, which you can see above in the instruction page I handed out with the kits. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Beach Baby

We've been going to the same stretch of beach on the Gulf coast since 1983. At first we rented a beach house, but when its new owner made it his private home, we had to find somewhere else to stay, so we went to the condo complex next door. We've been going there once or twice a year since '04. Valerie and Lawrence are the managers, and I tell you, the condo owners don't know how good they have it with Valerie and Lawrence in charge. While it's an older complex, it's always immaculate; Lawrence has very high standards. Together Valerie and Lawrence have handled everything, including multiple hurricanes. They couldn't be nicer people. Valerie is the sweetest, friendliest, most genuine person you'd ever want to meet.

We were booked to spend last week there, but of course due to the pandemic we had to cancel. When DH called to cancel, he and Valerie chatted for awhile, and she told him that they'd recently become grandparents. Well, every new grandma needs a baby quilt for when the new grandbaby comes to visit, right? Of course! So I had the pleasure of making one.

DH didn't get the details, so I don't know if the baby's a boy or a girl. No problem, I found soft beachy colors in my stash that work for either. So this is Valerie's grandma quilt, named Beach Baby.

Timeless colors, classic chevron pattern, modern spiral quilting.

Baby and parents don't actually live near the beach right now, but I'm sure they'll get there often. I hope this little quilt gets snuggled with baby, dragged through the sand, thrown down on the patio floor, draped over a porch rail for shade, and otherwise well used for years to come.

It's on it's way and should arrive today, May 22. I tossed my card with my blog's name into the package, so maybe Valerie will visit. If so, congratulations, Valerie, on your new grandbaby, and I hope the family gets to come see you often. We hope to get back to our beloved beach sometime later this year.

Link Ups:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Alycia Quilts
Wendy's Quilts and More

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

More Strips

No, not the bright strippy spiral, which is still on my design wall and is slowly being sewn into rows. When I cut all those strips, I cut all the colors of the rainbow.

Since I ended up using all the warm colors for the bright strippy spiral, I was left with a lot of yellow-green, green, blue-green, and blue strips, mostly brights but some lighter prints too. They kept calling me. I think it's the lure of the unknown, the fact that there isn't a pattern and no way to visualize what they'll become without jumping in and playing with them.

I actually had fewer of the cool colors, so this time I decided to make a baby quilt in the stacked columns style. I sewed pairs of strips together and cut them to 6-1/2" lengths, then randomly joined them together into long columns.

Since the bright strippy spiral is still occupying the design wall, I had to lay these out on my cutting table, but it worked well enough. Mostly I didn't want the same print next to itself or forming a horizontal line across.

I see in the photo something I need to fix, where the two middle columns have dark strips across from each other.

The strips were all from stash. I found something in my stash for the sashing, too, a whitish Grunge with green in it. Perfect! although it doesn't photograph well; can you see the splotches of green in it?

This is going together quickly.  Sashing strips attached to columns:

It will get top and bottom borders the same width as the sashing strips. Then I have the perfect green flannel for the backing. This quilt will eventually go to Operation Shower.

Meanwhile it's been fun to see it come together from just a bunch of strips without a plan. I've found that whenever I use analogous color palettes, even without a plan, the quilt usually turns out looking pretty good.

Link up: Quilt Fabrication

Monday, May 18, 2020

What I've Been Working On

No, not the bright strippy spiral.

More masks.

My SIL is very talented and artistic in many ways, but she doesn't sew. Her county opened up last week and mine opens up today, but both require everyone age two and up to wear a mask. She has a lot of grandchildren, eight of whom need masks. Her husband's job requires him to go into hospitals, and he needs more masks, too. (He's the one I made this mask for).

She bought fabrics and attempted to make masks for her family. No go. She called me in distress and asked if I could help - of course I could! She brought her fabrics over and stayed for lunch and conversation. It was so good to just visit!

So over the course of three days I made 33 more masks. Most are kid size and a few are adult size. She wanted me to use her cute fabrics - superhero and shark themed -  for masks for my grandson also. I made this batch for my son and grandson, and all the ones in the photo above for SIL and her family.

I didn't have any elastic so I used tee shirt strips. We were out of twist ties for the nose wire, so DH went to the hardware store and found soft wire in the garden center that worked really well.

It's really soft and flexible and it has a thick rubbery coating. After cutting 4" pieces we stretched the coating so the ends of the wire were deep inside the ends of the rubber and wouldn't scratch anyone. I replaced the twist tie wire in my own mask with this and it works really well, flexible enough to shape over my nose easily and soft enough to be comfortable. And it kept my glasses from fogging up because of the snug fit.

Before I got into sweatshop mode making masks, I was working on the beach baby quilt for new grandma Valerie. I was so into it that I forgot to take photos. I'll have finish photos of Valerie's quilt on Friday, but here's a sneak peek.

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, May 15, 2020

Flying Geese Baby Quilt Finished

After the issue with quilting through the backing was fixed, this little quilt didn't take long to finish and bind.

The quilting is a simple meander to keep it soft. The backing is soft and cozy purple flannel.

Originally I had planned to give this quilt to Operation Shower, but when I was reading through the charities for Hands 2 Help I saw that Little Lambs is seeking baby quilts this year. I have another kid quilt that I was planning to send to Little Lambs, so I will send this one there too.

To the no-reply commenter who requested size or pattern info: Each flying geese unit finishes 3" by 6".  Two units together make a 6" finished square. To make four flying geese at a time, the geese fabric is cut 7-1/4" square and the sky fabric, cut 4 pieces 3-7/8" square and marked on the diagonal on the back. I'm sure you can find a tutorial. The finished quilt is 36" by 42".

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Alycia Quilts

Monday, May 11, 2020

Design Wall Monday: Bright Strippy Spiral

My fabric order finally came, with the deep charcoal texture print I ordered for the background. It's perfect!!!

I decided to keep the spiral layout (instead of concentric squares) but I shortened it so it wasn't so elongated at the center. I like this proportion better, and the quilt will finish at 60 x 68" which is fine for a throw.

Now it'll be easy to clip the columns together and kit this up for mindless sewing whenever I feel like it.

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, May 8, 2020

Have Faith

Have Faith is finally finished. It's the work of many hands and creative minds.

The focus print came from the free table at STLMQG. 

The block pattern was designed for charity quilts by Jaime of L'Fair Quilts, and you can find it here.
The blocks were made by the members of the Sew Bee It bee in STLMQG. I provided the constant print used in the small plus, and the members chose their own coordinating accent colors and made the blocks.

Pieced sashing added more scrappy low volume variety.  I added the extra small plusses into the sashing, to feature more of the accent colors. The result is even more movement than in Jaime's original design.

Now quilted and bound, Have Faith measures 62 x 76" and will be donated to one of this year's charities for Hands2Help.

The quilting is an allover meander. I debated what color thread to use because of the high contrast, and ended up choosing a pale grey. It blends with almost everything and looks fine where it contrasts with the dark navy. The backing is a wide back low volume print.

Many thanks to all who contributed to this quilt. Although I put it together, it couldn't have happened without the help and creativity of so many people. Thank you!

Link Ups:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Alycia Quilts
Wendy's Quilts and More
My Quilt Infatuation

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Quilting the Flying Geese Quilt, and Wildlife Wednesday

Has this ever happened to you? I'm meandering along, in the groove, quilting the flying geese baby quilt.

Then I discovered that the backing had flipped over on itself and I had quilted through it. ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!

The way I meander, each of those loops at the edge traces back into the center of the quilt before wandering out to the edge again. For a few loops at the edge I would have to unstitch about a sixth of the quilt. 

Okay, I can fix this without picking out miles of quilting. 

By carefully cutting next to the stitching and pulling the fabric away, I was able to get rid of the bad layer of backing and keep the quilting. Flannel is loosely woven and with tweezers I was able to pull the fibers out from under the stitches. It was tedious, but not as bad as ripping out all that quilting. 

Here's what the edge of my backing looked like after I was finished - Swiss cheese! 
(Sorry for the greenish photo)

Once the finished quilt is washed and crinkles up nicely, no one will ever know there was a problem. 

Here's what the quilting looks like on the top. And under the machine light, you can see that rich purple, which usually photographs black. 

In other news, mama rabbit built a nest in the big flower pot at the bottom of our deck stairs. There are at least five, maybe six, bunnies in the nest, but not all of them are visible in this picture. 

This photo was taken on Monday, and yesterday the bunnies were all gone from the nest. 

Monday, May 4, 2020

Grandma Quilt for Valerie

I just learned that someone we see a couple times a year when we stay at the beach just became a grandma. Every grandma needs a baby quilt, right? Especially someone as nice as Valerie.

DH actually spoke with her, and he didn't ask if the baby is a boy or a girl. But she lives at the beach, so I can do something tropical and gender neutral.  Here's the palette I pulled from my stash, soft midtones in yellow, green, and orange, which I'll combine with a white on white.
Colors are a bit dull in this photo

A few of these:
The colors are truer in this photo

No, this will not be a repeat of the flying geese quilt I recently made in coral, raspberry, and plum.

A few of these are added in:

Maybe I can get the top together this week.

Unfortunately we had to cancel our week at the beach which had been scheduled for next week, so I don't know when I'll see Valerie again. I'll mail the quilt to her. She doesn't read my blog so I don't have to worry about posting about her quilt.

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, May 1, 2020

April Stash Report and Goals Update

Well, April has been about 10 weeks long it seems, and I've had plenty of time to sew, but due to feeling scattered and unfocused I didn't get as much done as I would have thought. On a positive note, I didn't add to the stash.

I did actually have a couple of finishes - A Plus flimsy that I'm calling Keep Positive, a flying geese baby quilt flimsy, and Have Faith quilted and bound.
Keep Positive

April Stash Report:
IN this month. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. (Order that won't ship until mid-May doesn't count yet.) 
OUT this month: 9-3/4 yards  (Keep Positive top, 5-1/4 yards.  Flying Geese baby quilt top, 2 yards.  Have Faith wide backing and binding, 2-1/2 yards)

IN YTD: 26-1/5 yards
OUT YTD: 64-3/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 37-7/8 yards out.

This is the first April I can remember not adding to the stash, because usually I indulge in fabric shopping in Paducah in April. Not this year.

Flying Geese Baby Quilt Top

Goals Update:
April recap:
1. Quilt and bind Have Faith for Hands 2 Help. DONE. (Post next week)
2. Talk to Sandy about quilting How Many and Corona Medallion; order batting and backing. Batting ordered, not due until after mid May. No backing yet and did not talk to Sandy yet. 
3. Layer, baste and quilt Color Spoke Puzzle. Got the quilt sandwiched and pin basted. I've ordered invisible thread to quilt it with but won't get the thread until I can see my friend who ordered it for me. 
4. Assemble Plus top for Hands 2 Help. DONE, Keep Positive
5. Make a baby quilt for Operation Shower. Pieced Flying Geese top; not quilted yet.
6. Look through UFOs and find something to move forward. No progress on this.

Other: made bright strip blocks for spiral quilt and ordered background fabric.
Bright Strippy Spiral

May Goals:
1. Make baby quilt for new grandma Valerie.
2. Talk to Sandy about quilting How Many and Corona Medallion; get and/or prep backings.
3. If possible, start quilting Color Spoke Puzzle.
4. Layer, baste, and quilt Keep Positive.
5. Quilt and finish flying geese baby quilt for Operation Shower.
6. When background fabric arrives, finish piecing bright strippy spiral top.
7. Look through UFOs and find something to move forward.

A lot depends on availability of supplies.
 - I need to find wide backing for How Many and I haven't seen a color I'm confident will work in my online shopping so I'm hoping I'll be able to get to the LQS later this month. I can't send it out for quilting until I have the backing and batting.
 - I ordered wool batting for both How Many and Corona Medallion and the order isn't due to ship until after mid-May.
 - Also, although Color Spoke Puzzle is basted and ready for quilting, due to its high contrast nature I need to quilt it with invisible monofilament thread. I asked a friend to order some for me, but when I'll get it is unknown.

I guess if I don't have the resources I need to finish WIPs, that means I can start a new project, right?! No, I really should dig into those long neglected UFOs and move something along.

Link ups: Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Alycia Quilts