Monday, June 29, 2020

Not On the Design Wall Yet...

But I have a plan for these. 

Along with these. 

And these. 

And I'll add a few of these. 

And with the addition of some of these, I can start laying them out on the design wall. 

Link ups: 

Saturday, June 27, 2020


It occurred to me that it was about this time of year in 2013 that I started my blog. Yes, seven years ago. Who'da thunk it would last this long?!!! 

My first post was June 26, 2013, so yesterday would have been my blogiversary. Check out my very first post here. 

I have no plans to give up blogging any time soon. I like that it's a diary of what I make, and more than just a photo album, I get to tell stories about what I'm doing. 

Oh, and whatever became of those fabrics in the photo in that first blog post? 
This is Mega Medallion (queen size) and it's promised to my great-niece Maddie when her family moves into the new home they're building. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Friday Finish: Round Robin Baby Quilt

I like how this turned out. 

It started as an effort to puzzle out how to make a block similar to but different than a Jen Kingwell block. Then I figured I should do something with the block, so I built on it in rounds, round robin style. I used up all the fabric I had since these were scraps and FQs to begin with, so the finished size is about 38". 

For the backing, I used a lovely thick soft flannel gifted by a friend. It was just wide enough, and it couldn't be more perfect for this little quilt. The quilting is a simple loose meander to keep it soft. 

After a spin through the washer and dryer, this little quilt will go to Operation Shower. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A Little Fabric Shopping

Sewing from stash is kind of like cooking from the pantry. Eventually you need to buy groceries to make whatever's left in the pantry work into an actual meal. 

My LQS opened recently with limited hours and limited number of shoppers. After so many weeks of lockdown, I needed to get out. So I planned to go there, and also meet up with a friend in the parking lot to hand off some stuff. While we were talking in the parking lot (socially distant, with masks) another mutual friend arrived, so we had a very nice visit for awhile. Then shopping. 

The store was all spruced up and there was a selection of sale merchandise, but nothing in the sale section called out to me. What I went for was a black on white print that reads very pale.  I found one, and a couple of other low volume stash boosters as well. 

What I also hoped to find was a design seed for a boy baby quilt. I make lots of baby quilts for Operation Shower, mostly using fabric from my stash, but sometimes a themed fabric or a particular color combination is needed to spark an idea. I have more than enough girly fabrics, but I try to make boy or gender neutral baby quilts as well. 

I couldn't resist this cute tiny bird print. Each little bird is only about an inch big.  The brilliant red-orange and the B+W had to come home with me, too. 

I didn't go hog wild at the fabric shop. I browsed, considered, chose, and I'm satisfied that what I came home with will support other fabrics in my stash to create something new. 

Then a blogger offered a coupon code for a discount at an online fabric seller, and I succombed to the lure of wide backings. I'm not fond of cobbling together backings; I'd rather use a whole piece if possible or at least minimize the number of seams. So I shopped and my order came. 

Some backings from known brands are good quality fabrics that can be used in piecing the front of a quilt, too. The splatter print is a remnant that I can use to piece the front of a baby quilt and then use the rest for the back. The same with the large geometric print. The text print and the grey Grunge are generic and I got sufficient yardage to back throw size quilts. 

My stash report will take a hit this month, but that's okay. Since the Paducah quilt show was cancelled, I didn't do my usual annual stash enhancement, so I'm still down for the year.  My little refresh here isn't going to hurt me, and now I have some new fabrics to pet and play with.

Since these photos were taken, they've all been prewashed and ironed. Now, what to make first???

Monday, June 22, 2020

Round 3

Final round. This is as big as it will get, because I have used up all of these fabrics. 

All that's left are small scraps, too small to do anything with. As is, it's 38" square which is large enough for a baby quilt. 

I have just the right backing for it - a green flannel, gifted by a friend, exactly the same shade as the green print used on the front. I had hoped to use the green flannel for Sea Glass but after shrinkage it was too narrow and there wasn't enough. The piece I have is perfect for this little quilt. Thanks, Cherie!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Sea Glass: A Friday Finish

My obsession with strips continues, and a couple weeks ago I posted about this strippy quilt I was working on. Now it's quilted and finished. 

I quilted it with vertical wavy lines, dense in the sashing columns for texture but loose in the colored strips so the quilt wouldn't be too stiff. 

This little quilt - 39" x 48" - is destined for Operation Shower. 

A reader commented that the colors look like sea glass, so that's what I've named this quilt. You just can't beat a color palette of blues, aquas, teals and greens. The sashing fabric is a whitish Grunge with splotches of the palest green in it, the perfect use for that fabric which has been in my stash awaiting a purpose for awhile. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Donation Quilts from Kat

Back in January I sent several unquilted tops to Kat of Kat and Cat Quilts for Covered in Love. I knew I'd never quilt and finish them, so I sent them to someone who could and would use them to comfort hospice patients and bereaved families. 

Recently Kat featured one of them on her blog. I was very happy to see it finished and to know it will be put to good use. Look at that wonderful texture! The top (story here, scroll down) was made from a bunch of triangles cut from various fabrics in my stash when I first got my die cutter and was a UFO for awhile. It was finally assembled at STLMQG's retreat last year. The layout was my own design. This project was always intended as a donation quilt.
Photo credit: Kat and Cat Quilts

Awhile back Kat showed one of my other ones, which had been a teaching sample and a UFO for many years. So nice to see it finished!
Photo credit: Kat and Cat Quilts

Thank you, Kat, for finishing these and giving them to families in need of comfort. 


Monday, June 15, 2020

Round 1

I decided to use the one large block I made recently as the center of a round robin style baby quilt. Last week I added round 1.

Originally the four patch round was nine patches, to repeat the center, but it looked too heavy and out of proportion. So a little seam ripper action, and the proportion looks much better. With the narrow green border, this is now 28" square. 

This will eventually become a donation quilt for Operation Shower. If you've ever donated a quilt, you'll like yesterday's post (scroll down). 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

This Is Why

I received an email yesterday from one of the organizations to which I sent a Hands2Help quilt. This is the quilt I sent, called Have Faith: 

Here's what the email said: 
Hi, Jan!  My name is [MW] and my family has a small breast cancer foundation in Utah.  I just picked up your amazing quilt from Emily Bailey a few minutes ago – all I can say is WOW!  It is just gorgeous and will be going to a young Mom in Utah who has just had a recurrence of her breast cancer.  She is raising 3 boys, taking care of her elderly mother, and is divorced from a very abusive man.  I know that your work of textile art will bring her a lot of peace and comfort as she gets ready to battle the beast for the second time.  You are an angel for spending all of the time, energy, money and creativity to donate this piece.  I just wanted you to know how much it is appreciated and will be loved by someone going through a terrible time right now.  Thank you! – Love, [MW], The Christi Anderson Rack Pack Foundation


And my reply:
Hi [M], 
Thank you so much for your kind words!
It makes my heart feel good to know that my quilt is giving comfort to someone. Actually, at least a dozen people put love into that quilt: the pattern designer, friends in my Bee who made the blocks, and me. 
Please give the recipient my best wishes for her recovery and for strength during this difficult time. 

The Have Faith block was designed by Jaime Janow Elfert of L'Fair Quilts for charity use. The blocks were made by the members of Sew Bee It. I created the layout with sashing and finished the quilt. Unfortunately the girls in the bee didn't get to see the finished quilt because of no meetings since February. But I do want to thank Jaime for the inspiration and the girls in the bee for making blocks. This quilt was destined from the get-go to be a donation quilt. I'm glad it can help bring a little comfort to someone going through a rough time. 

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Olive Basket Weave Flimsy

This UFO is moving right along. The blocks are now sewn together and framed with borders, bringing the flimsy to 59 x 68". 

Although it looks solid in these photos, the olive is actually a tone-on-tone print. The narrow purple border contrasts well with it, and complements the purples used in the blocks. 

This flimsy will go into the to-be-quilted pile. Since it's such an autumnal palette, it may have to wait until fall to be quilted. It will eventually be a donation quilt. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Design Wall

 Auditioning purple for the inner border of my bee basket weave top:

It's a bluer purple than some of the other purples in the top, but it'll work fine. There are several purple fabrics not showing in this photo and the greater the variety, the better each one works. I like that there's good value contrast between this purple and the olive. 

However, sewing blocks into rows and rows into a top is boring. I'm still sewing blocks into rows for my bright strippy spiral, too. That project was a squirrel but now that I know what it's going to look like, it's just mindless sewing to get it there. I really needed something quilty to engage my mind. 

I found something. I looked through my Quilt Inspirations Pinterest board and found a Jen Kingwell block that looked challenging. You can see it here

But I wanted to change it so I could use my 6 x 3" chisel and 3" HST dies to cut some of the pieces. It took some drawing in EQ and on paper to figure out the changes to the proportions; my block does not have the same proportions as hers. 

I learned that chisel shapes have a left and a right. The die cuts two at a time, both in the same direction. If you cut a strip of fabric long enough for four chisel pieces and fold it wrong sides together, you get two left and two right chisels. My block needs four orange paisley lefts and four green rights. It took a bit of experimenting resulting in a few extra pieces going the wrong direction before I got it right and had what I needed. 

My block is huge, 18", and the corners with huge squares of white background looked empty, so I added the large HSTs, which introduced a third print into the mix. Not originally planned, and now very different from the JK inspiration block, but it works.

The fabrics are all remnants, scraps, and FQs from stash so there isn't enough of these fabrics left to do much with. But I do have a couple more FQs that will coordinate with what's here. Since this is such a large block, it could be the center of a round robin style baby quilt, and I could combine the additional FQs with the leftover scraps from this block. That'll give me something to think about and figure out.

This one block is the result of an afternoon with my mind engaged, which felt good. I'll get back to mindless piecing and get the basket weave top finished, but this was a nice change of pace. 

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Comment Moderation

Sorry, folks, but I'm getting so much spam lately that I have to enable comment moderation. It's a pain, I know, but I don't know of any other way to get rid of the problem.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Basket Weave Blocks on my Wall

I pulled out a UFO recently and made the final two blocks needed. The rest of the blocks had been made by my friends in Sew Bee It. 

Here the blocks are on the wall but I see some rearranging I need to do before I sew them together.

The top will get a narrow inner border, the same width as the strips, and a 4" outer border. I'm still looking for fabric for the inner border. I want a very dark maroon or russet or burgundy. Hopefully I can find something, then I'll use the same olive as in the blocks for the outer border.

Maybe I can continue to move this UFO along. I should at least be able to get the center done, even if I get stuck on the borders due to lack of fabric. And any progress at all is good, right?

Link Ups:
Quilt Fabrication
Finished or Not Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
UFO Busting with Tish

Monday, June 1, 2020

May Stash Report and Goals Update

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that May felt like a weird month. I didn't stay focused on my goals very well, but I did finish a couple of small quilts.
Beach Baby for new grandma Valerie

May Stash Report:
IN this month: 3 yards (charcoal background for bright strippy spiral)
OUT this month: 6-3/8 yards (FG baby quilt binding, 3/8 yard.  Bee blocks, 1/4 yard. Green strippy (AKA Sea Glass) top, 2-1/4 yards. Pink Cats, top, backing and binding - 3-1/2 yards)

IN YTD: 29-1/2 yards
OUT YTD: 70-3/4 yards
YTD Net Change: 41-1/4 yards out

I'm so bored with my stash! I'm looking forward to the time when I can shop live for fabric again. Online fabric shopping has more often than not been a disappointment for me. 

Flying Geese Baby Quilt

Goals Update
May Recap: 
1. Make baby quilt for new grandma Valerie. DONE
2. Talk to Sandy about quilting How Many and Corona Medallion; get and/or prep backings. No, Still need to figure out backing for How Many. Batting finally arrived.
3. If possible, start quilting Color Spoke Puzzle. No, awaiting invisible thread. 
4. Layer, Baste, and quilt Keep Positive for Hands 2 Help. Not done.
5. Quilt and finish baby quilt for Operation Shower. DONE, flying geese baby quilt. This will go to Little Lambs for H2H instead of Operation Shower. 
6. When background fabric arrives, finish piecing bright strippy spiral top. Progress: Charcoal background is cut, rows are halfway pieced, columns are clipped for piecing as I can get to it. 
7. Look through UFOs and find something to move forward. DONE: Pink Cats baby quilt, which will go to Little Lambs for H2H. Progress: Basketweave Bee Blocks. 

Other: Pieced green/aqua/blue strippy columns baby quilt top, now named Sea Glass. 
Sea Glass in progress

June Goals: 
1. Finish piecing Bright Strippy Spiral.
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 Sea Glass baby quilt.
5. Finish piecing basketweave bee blocks top. 
6. Piece another strippy top using already cut strips. 
7. Design something new and complicated to piece.

I also need to get all the Hands2Help quilts mailed out, which I will do this week. 
Pink Cats Baby Quilt for Hands2Help

I don't know how focused I'll stay in June. I actually didn't feel like writing goals this month. Maybe my goals for the month should just be:
 - pet fabric
 - piece something
 - quilt something
 - and my stretch goal: buy fabric
Maybe those I can achieve!  ;-)

Linking up with Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt