Thursday, December 30, 2021

December Stash Report and Goals Update

 Although I didn't blog much in December, I did sew a bit behind the scenes. With a couple of finishes I used some fabric, but I also bought some, so let's see if I overshot for the year or if I broke even. 

Split Complementary Color Challenge,
Blue with Red-orange and Yellow-orange

December Stash Report:

IN this month: 8-3/4 yards (5 yards backing for coral snake quilt.  3-3/4 yards from 35th Ave sale.)
OUT this month: 8-1/4 yards (Sock Monkey Plus top and binding, 6-1/4 yards. Color Challenge pillow front and back, estimated 2 yards.)

IN YTD: 103-3/8 yards
OUY YTD: 104-1/4 yards

Year End net change: 7/8 yards OUT 

Wow, that cut it close, I'd call that break even. 

I've had the pleasure this year of working on donation quilts with supplemental fabric from PCQ's stash. I do not count their fabric as either added in or used out when I tally my totals, so if a quilt was mostly their fabric and only a little of mine, I count only the small amount of my fabric used. 

Recently a club member, Carla, passed some fabric that she's destashing to the club by way of me because she knows I make donation quilts. She said to use what I can and put the rest in the club's stash. I'm not counting Carla's fabric in or out because she donated it to the club, just gave me the privilege of selecting from it first. I will use her fabrics only in donation quilts. 

Carla's Box of Destashed Fabrics for PCQ

Goals Update:

December Recap: 

1. Prep for and present a trunk show to PCQ at luncheon on Dec 13. DONE. Cut and Shuffle books are sold out and class in January is full with a wait list for a possible second class. 

2. Work on the PCQ Color Challenge. DONE, finished pillow. 

3. Participate in PCQ "No Shame Train" UFO group, first meeting Dec.14. Yes, participated and worked on "homework assignment." 

4. Quilt the Sock Monkey donation quilt, long arm booked for Dec. 17. Not quilted; back is prepped and binding is made.

5. Continue making blocks for the Snake Quilt. DONE; all the blocks are finished. 

6. Plan and kit up donation quilts using fabrics from Carla's box. DONE. Blue floral strippy is partially pieced and flannel squares is a completed top. Cabbage Rose tumbler is cut, laid out, and kitted up for piecing. 

7. Work on donation quilts at social sewing. Yes, worked on piecing flannel squares top and cutting Cabbage Rose tumbler at social sewing.

January Goals: 

1. Prep for and teach Cut and Shuffle class on 1/18.

2. Assemble the coral snake blocks into a flimsy and assemble backing. 

3. Assemble the blue floral strip top from Carla's box. 

4. Plan and kit up donation quilts from Carla's second box. 

5. Quilt something on the club's long arm. 

6. Participate in the No Shame Train and finish a UFO. 

7. Plan a new long term complicated and challenging project to work on over time. 

That's a lot and it will be a stretch to get all that done in January. For class prep, Cut and Shuffle books are sold out and I'll need to create and provide a stand-alone pattern for those taking the class who didn't get one of the last books. For donation quilts, Carla donated a second box of goodies; that'll be a future post. No Shame Train will continue for several months, and I'll post more about it next week. 

Leftovers from Carla, with a few of my own fabrics added. 
This will get navy strips between the rows and end up adult throw size. 

2021 has been quite a year! Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2022. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Catching Up

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas. It was quiet here; we didn't go anywhere.  We travelled and did the family thing at Thanksgiving. After that adventure it was nice to enjoy a quiet relaxing holiday. 

It's been awhile since I posted, so let's catch up a bit. 

I made good progress on my Split Complementary Color Challenge, a pillow cover in blue with red-orange and yellow-orange. 

I quilted the front and back panels, just minimal quilting in the ditch to hold it together. Then after a slight delay, I was able to get a zipper for it, install the zipper and finish the pillow. Voila!

I've also been playing with Carla's box and prepping kits for donation quilts. Remember her blue diamonds? I found some friends in my stash that play nicely with them, so I cut more and sewed them into rows. The rows are more or less assembled, and they'll be joined with some navy sashing for a throw sized quilt.  

More goodies from Carla's box are in the planning stages in my sewing room. Her flannel squares will become a throw soon. Her floral prints have been cut into tumblers using the club's die cutter and kitted up to become a throw at some point. 

These will all be donations to the local hospice or family services agency that PCQ supports. 

The other significant new development since I last posted is the "No Shame Train."  It's a sub-group of PC Quilters, with a goal to encourage us to finish our UFOs and learn how to not get bogged down so a project doesn't become a UFO. The first meeting was held in December, led by two good teachers, with the next meeting scheduled for early January. Homework is to locate, identify, and photograph all your UFOs. How you define a UFO is totally up to you, and can be non-quilty projects as well. 

That's it for now; monthly and year end recap, etc. coming soon. 


Friday, December 17, 2021

Happy Holidays from the Desert

 Hello Friends, 

I'll be taking a bit of a blogging break, but I want to wish you all a happy holiday season.  

Here's our Arizona Christmas tree. 

I'll be back after the New Year. 

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 10, 2021

Color Challenge

 Awhile ago I posted about the PCQ color challenge, to use a Split Complementary palette. I found an inspiration photo and chose fabrics from stash. 

I'm making a small project, a pillow cover for a sofa pillow. It'll end up 18". I'm sure you won't be at all surprised to see what I ended up doing with these fabrics.

Yes, a scaled down version of Kool Kaleidoscope, with fewer segments in the wedges. 

I wrote in my earlier post about tints, shades and tones of colors versus the pure hues of the color wheel. Here I have somewhat toned down yellow-orange and red-orange, medium to darkish values. I have very subdued blues, all very much toned down by the addition of grey, in a sparkling pale, a muted midtone, and a deep dark. 

But proportion is an element to making such a contrasting palette work, too. The proportions here are such that they allow the yellow-orange and red-orange to come forward and be the stars. With its high contrast, the narrow strip of pale blue gives the project a little sparkle to keep it from being boring, but doesn't overwhelm. It helps establish a layered look. The navy Grunge background is actually more subdued in real life than it is in the photo, to the point where the eye just disregards it as background. 

For the back of the pillow I used leftover bits from the wedges, and the very last of the navy Grunge. It's a good thing I had leftover parts because I needed every inch to make the back big enough. 

These two panels are slightly larger than I need for the pillow cover, but they'll shrink up when I quilt them. I still need to layer and quilt them, get a zipper, and assemble the pillow cover. The challenge is due in March, so I still have time.

Link ups: Confessions of a Fabric AddictAlycia Quilts

Monday, December 6, 2021

Carla's Box

Recently one of my PCQ friends was destashing. Knowing I make a lot of donation quilts, she gave me a large box of fabric and told me to take what I can use, and give what I can't use to the club's charity stash. 

OMG, this box is packed with inspiring fabrics! 

Back row, left to right: fishing themed yardage, a variety of green prints, and batiks and purples. Front row, light house themed yardage, Christmas prints, reds and pinks. 

Back: Baggies of 2" strips, narrow strips, and orphan blocks. Front: kid themed prints, a pile of precut flannel squares, and baby print flannel yardage.

Diamond shapes and leftover scraps in pretty blue and yellow prints. I'll cut more and piece them into strips, then lay them out in vertical columns similar to a coin quilt, with sashing in between. This will make a nice quilt for hospice. I think I have a dark blue print in my stash that will work for the sashing, but if not, I can probably find something in the club's stash. 

I like how these prints play nicely together. There's yardage of the dark teal, and multiple fat quarters of the rest of the prints. I need to find a pattern to feature these. Any suggestions? 

Lots of elegant florals here that harmonize nicely. I may have a few prints in my stash that would play well with these. I can see these prints used in a tumbler quilt; I'll see what size tumbler dies the club has for their die cutter. With a few more light prints in the mix, this collection would make a nice tumbler quilt for hospice. I'm sure I can find some lights to mix in from the club's stash.

These are perfectly matched and there's quite a bit of yardage here. This group could make a disappearing nine patch. 

There's more here than I can possibly use. I'll kit up what I can work with, then pack the box back up and add it to the PCQ stash. Projects using fabrics from Carla's box will definitely be featured here on the blog for awhile!

Thanks, Carla!

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, December 3, 2021

Pink Painterly Stripe Kool Kaleidoscope

Since my fascination with the Kool Kaleidoscope* method continues, I bought fabric for this variation back in September while on vacation near Pensacola. I knew I wanted to try using a striped fabric again, but when I picked out the fabric I didn't think about how difficult it would be to match the wavy painterly stripes. 

So the matches are a little off in places, and because of the irregular stripe the overall look isn't truly mirror image like a kaleidoscope, but I'm still happy with how it turned out. 

I tried something a little different this time and I like the result. I used background fabric for the outermost segment of the Wedge, so the effect is more hexagon shaped rather than almost circular as in Ricky Tims's original concept. 

Having learned from previous KKs that the quilting just disappears in the stripey wedge and star areas, I kept the quilting much simpler and gave it an allover meander.

I used leftover bits and pieces to make borders, so this quilt finishes about 40 by 50 inches. I have a recipient in mind for it but I'll wait until after the holiday mail crush to send it off.

* Tutorial Videos for Ricky Tims's Kool Kaleidoscope 

Link ups: Confessions of a Fabric AddictAlycia QuiltsWendy's Quilts and MoreMy Quilt Infatuation

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

November Stash Report and Goals Update

Just a quick update today because I just returned from a 10-day driving trip to see family in St. Louis. It's been awhile since I sewed anything, but I have too much other stuff to do today to get into the sewing room. 

November Stash Report

IN this month: Nothing
OUT this month: 6-3/4 yards (Asian Squares donation quilt, 1-1/2 yards my fabric. Pink Painterly Stripe KK, 3-3/8 yards for top, 1-1/2 yards for back, 3/8 yard for binding)

IN YTD: 94-5/8 yards
OUT YTD: 96 yards
YTD Net Change: 1-3/8 yards OUT.  Back in the black! 

Goals Update:

November Recap: 

1. Quilt the Asian squares donation quilt on PCQ's long arm on Nov 2. Bind and finish it. DONE and donated to PCQ.

2. Continue making blocks for the snake quilt. Yes, progress. Only need 5 more of each, singles and doubles.

3. Finish the sock monkey Plus quilt top at social sewing. Make a backing and book time on the long arm in early December to quilt it. Top is done. Found fabric for backing in PCQ's flannel stash; long arm scheduled for 12/17.

4. Come up with a new plan for the color challenge. Progress; have a palette and a plan, and have begun piecing. 

5. Assemble the batik pillow covers. DONE

6. Play with the KK concept using pink stripe bought in Florida. DONE

Also done in November: Photographed HOW MANY and submitted it for entry into the AQS Paducah 2022 show in the Group category. Fingers crossed!

December Goals: 

1. Prep for and present a trunk show to PCQ at luncheon on Dec 13. 

2. Work on the PCQ Color Challenge.

3. Participate in PCQ "No Shame Train" UFO group, first meeting Dec.14.

4. Quilt the Sock Monkey donation quilt, long arm booked for Dec. 17.

5. Continue making blocks for the Snake Quilt.

6. Plan and kit up donation quilts using fabrics from Carla's box.

7. Work on donation quilts at social sewing. 

The Pink Painterly Stripe KK is not on the December Goals list because I finished it before I left for my trip. I'll post about it on Friday. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

PCQ Color Challenge

Every month since July I've had "Work on my Color Challenge project" on my list of monthly goals but other than packing some fabrics and taking them along to retreat in July, I haven't done anything. 

And now I'm glad I haven't. 

The challenge is to make something using Split Complementary colors. Split complementary means the colors on each side of the complementary color. In this example, the chosen color is violet, whose complement is yellow. Yellow-green and yellow-orange are the split complementary colors. 

Apparently some of the PCQ members have been struggling with the challenge, so a color class was held recently. They published a recap, and one of the class examples was so similar to what I had planned, same color combo and similar pattern, that I was afraid if I made mine as planned it would look like an un-original copy of the example. 

Back to the drawing board. I still liked my chosen color combo and I had fabrics in my stash that I could use, but I needed a new plan. I found inspiration in a photo by Paul Gill in a recent issue of Arizona Highways magazine. 

I think what's been giving people trouble is the color wheel illustrations that show pure, bright hues, no variation in tint, tone, or shade. In the photo, there is blue in the lichen-covered rocks, but it is very subtle and greyed down, in values ranging from sparkling light to deep dark. The split complements of blue are yellow-orange and red-orange. In the photo these leafy colors range from light to dark, and although they look like bright fall foliage, they're all toned down compared to the pure hues in the color wheel. 

So I revised my palette and I'm using these fabrics:

I've started planning and cutting. You'll have to wait to see what I'm making, but you won't be at all surprised. 

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

Friday, November 26, 2021

Sock Monkey Plus Flimsy

Another donation quilt; this one will go to the local family services agency. 

As always, there's a need for quilts for older boys, so here's one that's not babyish. At 44 x 56" it's a good size for a grade school or middle school age kid. 

The sock monkey fabric is ageless, right? DH thinks so - he likes it! I snuck in some reclaimed shirt fabrics to keep it masculine. 

I found flannel in the club's stash to cobble together a backing. I'm scheduled to use the long arm in mid-December and I'm hoping to FMQ a meander all over it from the front of the machine rather than following a panto. We'll see. 

Link ups: Confessions of a Fabric AddictAlycia Quilts

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Not Out of My System Yet

I'm still obsessed with the Kool Kaleidoscope concept. First there was my original in autumn colors, made using strata per Ricky Tims's directions. Then there was my green striped one, using striped fabric instead of pieced strata. The striped fabric worked surprisingly well.

So well, in fact, that I wanted to experiment with another striped KK. While on vacation in September I bought a pink stripe and a couple of companion fabrics to play some more with the concept. 

At the time I didn't realize that a painterly stripe doesn't work as well as a rigid stripe. Because the stripes vary in width, they don't always match up perfectly. But I was so far into it by the time I figured that out that I decided to just live with the variations and imperfections. It's still pretty cool...

The pink tonal print was an oldie from stash, but it works really well here. 

I tried something different with this version. The outer piece of each Wedge, before attaching Wedgies and Butts, is the same fabric as the background. This emphasizes the star or hexagon shape more instead of a round-ish 12-sided shape. 

I like where this is going, stripey imperfections and all. 

Link ups: Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts; Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Better Photos of HOW MANY

 As promised, I was finally able to take some better photos of HOW MANY.  On a - rare - overcast day I borrowed a quilt stand, enlisted DH's help, and took photos. 

Turns out, this quilt is very hard to photograph well. To get any detail in the black, the light portion is blown out, and to see the colors in the light part, the black loses any detail. This is the best photo of the bunch. 

I'm entering HOW MANY into the AQS Paducah show in the Group category. They require a full on shot and a detail shot. My detail shot turned out pretty well. Custom quilting by my friend Sandy. 

For entries into the group category AQS requires a photo of the group of participants as well. Here we are, proudly showing off the finished top, after our group worked on hand piecing it for several years. 

I need to get my AQS Paducah show entry in this week. Wish me luck! 

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

Monday, November 15, 2021

Snake Quilt Update

 Only 10 more blocks needed., 5 double arcs and five singles. 

So I'll just keep plugging away at them. I'm still loving these colors. 

When I get the rest of the blocks made I can play with the block placement to make sure the same fabric isn't too close to itself. And I can decide what kind of loopy effect I want; there are many potential layouts possible. 

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

Friday, November 12, 2021

Asian Squares: A Village Quilt

 We all know the phrase "It takes a village," right? This simple donation quilt is truly a village effort. 

A couple months ago, a deceased quilter's stash was being distributed in the PC quilting room. At the end of the event, there was a baggie of 6" squares of Asian prints left that apparently no one wanted. While cleaning up, George said he'd take them and cut them up for dog bed stuffing. Wait! No! They're too pretty to just become dog bed stuffing. I said I'd take them and put them together in a simple checkerboard for a hospice quilt. 

I didn't find a light fabric in the club's stash for the alternate squares, but I did find one in my own stash that was actually left over from 2014 from one of my book quilts. It's a tiny Asian geometric print with metallic gold, perfect for the light alternate squares, and I had enough. I'm so glad to finally find a use for this! I cut the squares and kitted them up for social sewing. 


I was sewing pairs together in the quilting room one day and a PCQ member, Irene, came up to me and asked what I was working on. I showed her and told her the story about the baggie of squares. She replied that she remembered that baggie. She had actually taken that baggie of Asian squares earlier and took out a few that she could use, and returned the rest. She was glad someone was using the rest, and she offered to help me on the long arm when I was ready to quilt.

When I had pairs together I put them on the design wall in the quilting room, and the girls suggested moving them around to get a pleasing layout. Four or five people helped, and we ended up with a layout where the blue prints flowed among the earth tone prints. Thanks to all who helped. 

I was able to find a border fabric in the club's stash; thank you to whoever donated it. The colors, Asian theme, and metallic gold are perfect and there was just enough for a 3" border, bringing the size of the top up to about 54 x 65 inches, a good size for a hospice quilt. 

One of the girls who regularly goes to social sewing offered a backing fabric from her personal collection of Japanese fabrics. It's perfect! Gold metallic geometric print on a deep maroon ground. She generously contributed enough for the backing, with the off-cuts used for the binding. Thanks, Hiromi! 

My scheduled time to use the long arm finally arrived. The day before, I went over to the room to choose a panto, select a thread color, and wind bobbins. The girl who trained me on the long arm was there and she helped me choose the thread color, a light sage that blended well with everything. We looked at several beiges and golds, but the sage was actually much more harmonious. Thanks, Debbie, for your suggestions and help. 

The day of quilting Irene came and helped. She's an expert, and I couldn't have done it without her. There's so much to remember about how to use the machine, and it had been awhile since my initial training. I do feel more confident now and I'm grateful for the extra help. 

So this "nothing special" quilt that will be donated to hospice is truly the product of a community of quilters. As they say, "It takes a village." Thank you to all the helpers and donors who made this quilt happen! 

Link ups: Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Alycia Quilts