Friday, April 30, 2021

Finished Deco Inspired Baby Quilt

 Done on time and ready to be delivered tomorrow. 

The mom-to-be, my niece E, lives in Florida and likes Art Deco design and colors. The baby is a girl. My other niece N and her husband, as well as my brother the grandpa-to-be, live in the Phoenix area and are coming for dinner and to see our new home tomorrow. I'll pass the quilt to N who will take it to E when the Arizona member's of E's family go down to Florida when the baby comes. 

This is definitely one of my favorite baby quilts ever. And the backing couldn't be more perfect for it. 

The strong sun shows the texture from the quilting well, but washes out the colors. The colors look better in the shade.

The top measured 48" square and after quilting and washing the quilt came out at 46" square. 

I would definitely make this pattern again, with a modification. The blocks are were inspired by Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework and I'll definitely use this block design again. Next time instead of including the white strips in the block itself, I'll treat them as sashing so the top and bottom edges of the center will come out even without all the fussing and finagling I had to do to make this work. 

Like I said, one of my most favorite ever baby quilts. Even my husband likes this one, and he very rarely comments on my quilts. I hope the new mom will like it. 

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

Monday, April 26, 2021

Fabric Shopping

 Last week I went fabric shopping at two new-to-me shops with a couple of girls from the quilt club. I was specifically looking for backing for my Deco-inspired baby quilt, and of course I was open to some stash enhancement if something jumped out at me. 

The first shop we went to was 35th Avenue Sew & Vac (Northern Ave. at 35th Ave). This is the shop that was described as being comparable to Hancock's of Paducah. In some respects the description fit, but in others, no. It was a huge store. They had a large area devoted to selling sewing machines and long arm machines, and accessories for them. They had bay after bay of patterns and notions. They had a very large selection of quilting fabric, very well organized and presented, but probably only 2/3 the stock Hancock's has. No home decor fabric at all. They had one little bay of sale fabrics; everything else was full retail price, $12-13 per yard. The store was organized so that complete collections were presented together, with several collections from the same manufacturer or designer grouped in the same three-sided bay. Fabrics were on shelves three high with room for fat quarters, although the stock of fat quarters was slim. Other than the one scant sale area ($8/yard) there were no bargains. The store accepts guild discount cards for 10% off but all my old STL guild discount cards are expired and the PCQ club hasn't issued anything yet, so I tried to use my AQS card and they rejected it, no discount. 

I was able to find the perfect print for backing for my quilt (see previous post below).

I also found a few stash enhancements from the sale area, just because I liked them. 

Not shown, I found a couple of sports prints suitable for boy quilts so I bought quarter yards of each. One is footballs and the other is football helmets. I'm using them in another project which will be the subject of a future post. 

The girls and I had lunch at a hole-in-the-wall Cajun place on Northern Ave. and I had a delicious shrimp po-boy. The girls had catfish po-boys which they enjoyed but I'm not a fan of catfish. One of the girls had lived in Baton Rouge for several years and she thought the food was very good and authentic. 

After Lunch we went to Mulqueen's, at 59th Ave. and Northern Ave. Mulqueen's was smaller than 335th Ave. but does a good business in sewing machine repair and service. The fabric selection was okay but was more basic and was mostly past season. There wasn't as much organization, although solids or batiks or flannels were grouped together. Prices were $8 per yard for prints. I didn't look at batiks or flannels so I don't know about the prices for those. They had a big table of FQs, half yards, and remnants. I found some FQs of good basics that came home with me. I also found another sports print, cars, not shown. I wasn't inspired to collect anything else this trip, but I'll definitely go back. 

Both shops were a bit of a drive, more than a half hour. I live at 164th Ave. and we went all the way to 35th Ave. I'll definitely go back to these shops. Most likely I'll go to 35Th Ave. when I'm looking for something specific that I'm willing to pay full price for, and to Mulqueen's when I'm looking for bargains or something for a donation quilt. 

The girls who were with me are both new quilters but experienced sewists. One found a kit to make a baby quilt for a baby coming in October, and the other found fabrics for a tote bag pattern she wants to make. Neither had ever heard of stash enhancement....😉

A good day was had by all. 

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

Friday, April 23, 2021

Deco Inspired Baby Quilt: a Finished Flimsy

The borders have been added, and now it's a finished flimsy. It's currently 48" square. Yes, it's square, the picture's crooked. It's also a little washed out looking due to the bright sun. 

I went fabric shopping with a couple of girls from the PC quilt club earlier this week and found the most PERFECT backing. It's "Tropic Canna" by Amy Butler from her Bright Heart line. 

It may not look "babyish" but the mom-to-be lives in Florida and likes Art Deco designs and colors. The baby is a girl. To me this is totally fitting. So far I think this is one of my most favorite ever baby quilts of all that I've made. 

I just have to get it quilted, labeled and bound by next Friday. I'm on track so I should be able to finish it in time. 

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Alycia Quilts

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Coming Along Nicely

All the blocks plus partial blocks for side triangles are done. In keeping with the Art Deco inspiration, I'm setting the blocks on point so they have that uplifting look that so many Art Deco elements have. 

Since I'm pretty much winging this, I had to figure out how to make the side and corner triangles so they'd look like partial blocks in the finished quilt. A bit of trial and error was needed, and there's excess to be trimmed away. 

It would have been better if I'd made colored blocks and set them with white sashing, instead of including the final white round in the blocks. I had to compensate with some extra long strips and a partial seam at the bottom to get the bottom to match the top. But it all worked out, and here's the top, all trimmed up and ready for a border. 

Because all those edges are bias, I'll add a narrow coral border to contain it all and keep it from stretching. It'll be a finished flimsy soon, so I'm on track to meet my deadline of May 1st. 

I'm going fabric shopping with some new quilter friends today and I hope to find something special for a backing. If I don't find anything, I have something that will work, but a splashy tropical print would be cute if I can find one. Maybe flamingoes for a baby quilt? 

My new friends are taking me to two highly recommended fabric shops today. One of the shops is said to compare with Hancock's of Paducah, but it's in a sketchy area so one doesn't go alone, hence the road trip together. We're making a day of it with shopping and lunch. Stash enhancement here I come!

Link up: Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Monday, April 19, 2021

A Baby, a Palette, and a Plan

 But first, thank you to all who commented and offered advice about my HEIC issue. Turns out, several of the conversion programs may work for Android as well as iPhone photos. And a helpful commenter suggested searching for advanced settings in my phone's camera app to see if I could set it back to jpg. Problem solved!


Another niece - this time on my side of the family, my brother's daughter E -  is expecting a baby girl. My brother and his other daughter N live in the Phoenix area, but the mom-to-be lives in Florida. N says she likes Art Deco colors and design. Very fitting for Florida!

I can certainly create a baby quilt with that inspiration. The problem is, I have a May 1 deadline to get it finished and delivered to N to take to Florida. So not much time for a tricky or complicated design. 

As for colors, I'm going with black and white plus the colors of Miami architecture. Who can resist turquoise and coral! I popped in a vibrant dark pink to make it just that much more more girly. 

Like I said, I have to keep the design simple, so I'm going with quarter log cabin blocks inspired by Cynthia of Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  A few of these...

... and a few of these...

... and a few more yet to be made but you get the idea. I'll set them on point with the nine patch at the bottom so they radiate upward. 

I'm going to have to stay focused in order to get this quilt finished on time, but fortunately it's only baby-size so I'm sure I can get it done. I have a potential backing fabric on hand, but I'm going fabric shopping with a couple of new quilter friends on Wednesday and I'm hoping to find something I like better. 


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

Monday, April 12, 2021

HEIC Files - Advice Needed

 Well, I had a surprise this morning - It seems my phone camera is suddenly now saving photos in HEIC format instead of JPG. 

I can upload the HEIC files to my laptop okay. But the photo editing program* I use can't accommodate HEIC files, so I can't import the files to it; therefore I can't do any edits. 

Does anyone know anything about converting HEIC photos from an Android phone to JPG photos? I might need either an Android phone app or a laptop app to convert.  

Any suggestions or recommendations?  


And because no blog post is complete without a photo, I'm featuring an old favorite, Broken Chevron.


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

*I'm using an older version of Photoshop from CAS 6 purchased as a student in 2013. Since my Photoshop skills are very basic, the old program has been meeting my needs quite well. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Animal Print Quilt

The animal print quilt made from the fabric Libby sent is finished except for adding the donation label. It turned out to be a cute toddler quilt at 42" x 49". I kept the quilting simple: SID in the pieced rows and chevrons and curvy lines in the print borders, meandering around the animals so no stitching shows on top of them. 


I'm still disappointed in the color in the photos. I guess my camera just perceives the pretty chartreuse green as yellow, even in outdoor light. 

For backing I looked through the bins of fabric the PC Quilters have in their sewing room for charity quilts, and found something that made me smile. Lobsters! And I couldn't resist adding a zebra and a leopard print as well. 

I'll get the required label sewn onto this and take it over to the PCQ sewing room next chance I get to go over there. 

Link ups:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Alycia Quilts

Monday, April 5, 2021

Quilting the Color Spoke Challenge Quilt

Back in 2019 STLMQG had a color spoke challenge, where we were to choose one "spoke" of the color wheel and use only that color plus neutrals to make a block each month. Each month's block assignment featured a theme or skill. I chose yellow-green as my color, combined only with black and white. About a year ago I put my blocks together into this flimsy: 

Some of these blocks were from the BOM assignments and some were extras that I added. 

I pin-basted the quilt, then waited for my order of invisible thread to arrive. Then Covid hit, my order got delayed, and the project sat. Then last fall my order arrived but I was pushing to get the Mario quilt finished in time for Christmas, while at the same time getting ready to move. Anyway, the color spoke project became a UFO. 

I wanted to use invisible thread for the quilting because of the high contrast in the patchwork, but my machine can't use it. The invisible thread is too fine for the tension on my machine to handle - it just keeps breaking the thread. So, plan B, white thread for the quilting. 

I'm quilting in the ditch along the sides of each white stripe. It's slow going but seems to be working out okay. I'll finish SID around all the blocks, then come back and FMQ within the blocks themselves. So far I'm almost done with the stripes. 

STLMQG is still planning on having a quilt show in July, a live show if possible. I'd like to get this quilt finished and send it to them for the show. I'm still a member, so my quilt is eligible. Wish me luck to get it done!  

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

Friday, April 2, 2021

The Railroad Quilt

Edited 2/14/203 to correct a measurement error.

One of the quilts I made for the PCQ boy quilts drive, from a panel/kit they put together, is this railroad theme quilt. I think the panel was intended for placemats or pillows, so to make the quilt large enough for an older boy, I needed to add to it. I added railroad tracks. 

I pieced the top and passed it to another member of the club, who long-arm quilted it and passed it back to me for binding. Here it is finished. It came out approximately 45 x 60" or so.

A few weeks ago when I showed only the top, someone asked how I did the railroad tracks. Here's a closer view of them. 

To make the railroad ties, I cut 2" wide WOF strips from the brown and the background and pieced them together lengthwise. I don't remember how many strips I cut. From the lengthwise pairs, I cut a bunch of pieces 4-1/2" long and twice as many pieces at 1-1/2" long. I sewed the 4-1/2" pieces together side by side until I had enough length. Then I did the same with the 1-1/2" pieces, making two narrow strips the same length as the wider one. 

For the tracks, I cut 1-1/2" wide strips of black, enough for twice the length of the tracks. I sewed one black strip to each side of the 4-1/2" wide pieced strip. Then I sewed the 1-1/2" wide pieced strips to the outsides of the black. 

The track finished at 8" wide: 4" for the center, 1" for each rail, and 1" each for the RR tie extensions. 

Adding the tracks made the project more interesting for me, and I hope more appealing for the recipient, too. 

Link ups: 
Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Alycia Quilts

Thursday, April 1, 2021

March Stash Report and Goals Update

 Still adjusting to my Arizona lifestyle... Some days I have time to sew, others not at all, and I haven't figured out yet how much I'll be able to get done in a month. Add in chasing squirrels (rabbits out here, no squirrels) and my plans for the month took a different turn. 

Some of the projects I worked on this month were donation quilts for PebbleCreek Quilters' boy quilt drive. The social services agency they support is, sadly, always in need of quilts for boys. Last month I participated in a sew day dedicated to boy quilts, using "kits" made up of donated panels and other fabric owned by the club. This month I was able to bind and finish them after they came back from long arm quilting by another member. Since most of the fabrics were donated, very little counts in my stash report. 

I did have a happy stashing event this month - I traded a large cut of unwanted red floral toile with Libby of Life on the Hill for some great prints she sent to me. So fun, I've already used some of them! 

March Stash Report:
IN this month: 10-1/2 yards from Libby
Out this month: 20-5/8 yards (Train panel donation top and binding, 3/4 yard. Red Toile sent to Libby, 10-1/2 yards. Animal/Chevron quilt top, 2-1/4 yards. H2H charm quilt top 4 yards, backing 3-1/2 yards, binding 5/8 yard)

IN YTD: 18 yards
OUT YTD: 29-1/4 yards
YTD Net Change: 11-1/4 yards OUT

Goals Update:

March Recap:
1. Complete 2nd boy quilt kit to a top for PCQ. DONE, train quilt.
2. Talk to PCQ charity chair about joining the committee per her suggestion. Yes, I've joined the committee. Made several dog bed covers to keep them supplied for awhile.
3. Bind any quilts they pass me to bind. DONE, Bound the eagle panel quilt and the train quilt.
4. Make pillows for patio chairs per my husband's request. DONE. 
5. Complete the binding on How Many (WIGSP). No, not touched. 
6. Make another donation top/backing/binding for PCQ. DONE, pieced, quilted and finished Rainbow Charm but it is for Hands2Help instead of for PCQ. 

Other: Pieced and quilted Animal Print & Chevron quilt, fabric from Libby, ready for binding. No photos yet.

April Goals: 
1. Finish Animal Print & Chevron quilt for PCQ
2. Make baby quilt for niece's baby girl, due in May
3. Start quilting Color Spoke Challenge from STLMQG 2019 BOM so I can enter it in their show in July
4. Bind How Many (WIGSP)

That's a lot, and some of those goals have deadlines. If I can get all that done in April that'll be great. 

I joined the PCQ Charity committee at the invitation of one of the co-chairs. Each month they have a sew day, open to all members, with a theme or type of project. In preparation, they have a committee work day about a week ahead of time to prep kits or whatever for the sew day. The April project is jelly roll race tops, and I'll be helping to cut strips to make up jelly roll type kits at our work day. Working with a smaller group of people makes it easier to get to know them. 

I've also been "coaching" a new quilter, Pam, who made her first baby quilt. She joined PCQ recently and was on the same "ambassador tour" of the workroom that I was. We got to talking about our relative experience, she asked for and I offered help, and we've gotten together a couple of times. She finished her baby quilt and it turned out great. While we were working in the club's sewing room, another lady was there, a friend of Pam's. We got to talking about quilt shops, and learned of one in the PHX area that's said to compare with Hancock's of Paducah, but it's in a sketchy area so it's advised not to go alone. We decided to go together and make a day of it, so we're planning a trip to that shop, to lunch, and another shop. Stash enhancement  - yay! - and shopping for a specific project...

Another niece, this time on my side of the family, is expecting a baby girl in May. She lives in Florida but her dad (my brother) and her sister live in the PHX area. Her sister says she likes Art Deco designs and colors. I have a plan for a baby quilt that I hope she'll like. I need to get it finished this month so her sister can take it to her next month. 

So, busy month ahead!