Thursday, September 30, 2021

September Stash Report and Goals Update

This was a busy month for fabric shopping and a productive month for sewing even though I was on vacation for a week. I went with some friends on a couple of shopping excursions to not-so-nearby shops, found what I needed to finish my Kool Kaleidoscope, and selected some adds for my stash. Then I visited my favorite shop in Pensacola and did some serious stash enhancement. Let's see how much damage I did to the stash report. The goal for the year is to break even. 

September Stash Report: 

IN this month: 20-1/2 yards (Mulqueens 2-1/4 yards.  35th Ave 1-3/4 yards.  Modern Fabrics 2 yards.  A & E Fabrics 14-1/2 yards)
OUT this month: 12-5/8 yards (LCT QOV Flimsy estimated 7 yards.  Kool Kaleidoscope, estimated 4 yards for front, 1-1/4 yards for back, 3/8 yards for binding.)

IN YTD: 88-5/8 yards
OUT YTD: 85-1/4 yards
YTD Net Change: 3-3/8 yards added to the stash

Okay, so I'm up for the year, but there's time for more finishes to get back to the break even point by the end of the year. 

My finishes have been very recent and I haven't posted about them yet, but here's a peek at my finished Kool Kaleidoscope.

Even though I was away for a week it's been a productive month. In addition to finishing my KK, I also finished the latest LCT flimsy. These finishes will get their own posts later. It was a pretty good month for goals, considering I was away for awhile. I also participated in some charity work with the PCQ groups, making Dresses for Girls and Zippy Strippy bags. I'll post about the Zippy Strippy bags later, too. 

Goals Update: 

September Goals Recap: 

1. Add borders to the Kool Kaleidoscope top and make backing. Done; KK is completely finished.

2. Continue making blocks for the Snake Quilt. Progress; 3 more double arc blocks made and several more arcs paper pieced.  

3. Start working on the color challenge project. Not touched. 

4. Start working on a new version of LCT QOV for a trunk show coming up in December. Yes, not only is it started, it's a finished flimsy.

5. Practice FMQ on another pillow panel. Done, spirals. 

6. Finish sewing the sleeve on How Many.  Progress; almost finished

October Goals:

1. Continue making blocks for the Snake Quilt. 

2. Start working on the color challenge project. 

3. Practice FMQ on the last pillow panel. 

4. Finish sewing the sleeve on How Many.  

5. Finish piecing the current donation quilt and quilt it on PCQ's long arm.

6. Find and start a new project for social sewing on Wednesdays, another donation quilt.

7. Optional: Make a backing for the latest LCT QOV, layer and baste and start spiral quilting. Optional, because I can show the flimsy at the December trunk show, and unquilted it takes up less storage space. But if I spiral quilt it, I may be teach a class and demo spiral quilting next year. 

I sew with the girls in PCQ's quilting room on Wednesdays (we go out to lunch, too) and sometimes also on Tuesdays. I'm currently working on something from a baggie of donated squares, and when it's done it'll be a donation quilt for Hospice. I'll get to practice using the long arm to quilt it. But it's almost pieced, so I'll need a new social sewing project. Something easy so I can talk and not have to focus carefully on my work. I'll find something I can make for donation. 

All this should keep me busy for October. Plus, the weather's cooling off so I'm sure we'll be getting out more, taking trips and doing more stuff outside, so I may have less time for sewing. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Attempting FMQ Spirals

Other than a muslin sandwich, this month's pillow cover panel is my first attempt at quilting FMQ spirals. Lots of spirals, lots of bobbles and wobbles. I filled the panel with spirals. 

What I learned: 

- Try to go slower, and steady and smooth. I get going too fast around some of the curves and my machine beeps at me that I'm going faster than the stitch regulator can keep up. 

- Make a plan. I just filled the space with spirals and had to make various sizes to fill gaps.

- Practice, Practice, Practice! I need to choose one direction and size of spiral and practice that motif to become more consistent at it. 

Obviously these spirals are inconsistent. After all, this was a learning exercise. 

I also learned that quilting spirals this size, this close together, uses a lot of thread. I went through 2 big Bernina bobbins on this 22 x 30" panel. 

Here's the back. No one will ever see it; it'll be inside the pillow cover. I used the same variegated thread on the front as on the other pillow covers, and a medium sage in the bobbin.

For a first attempt I'm certainly not proud of how it looks, but for its utilitarian purpose it will do. Maybe with more practice and planning I can use judiciously placed spirals on an actual quilt. I'll definitely have to plan where to place them and how to enter and exit the spiral to harmonize with the rest of the quilting. 

Monday, September 27, 2021

LCT Progress

Since I got back from vacation I've had a few minutes to sew, so I'm working on getting the LCT blocks sewn into rows. Here they are on my design wall today. 

Each row needs the final two blocks added, then I'll be ready to sew the rows together. 

I haven't been sewing at home as much lately because I've been going to PCQ's sewing room and helping out with charity projects. Last week it was dresses for girls around the world, and this past Saturday it was Zippy Strippy bags. More about those in another post. 

Maybe I'll clip this project together as is and take it to Wednesday sewing, where a bunch of us gather to sew on our own projects and then go out to lunch. Maybe I can get it to a finished flimsy this week.

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

Friday, September 24, 2021


Wednesday was a sewing day for making Dresses from the Heart for an organization called Dress a Girl Around the World. One of the PCQ members is an ambassador for this organization, and she facilitates the making of hundreds of dresses each year. 

Everything was already cut from previously donated fabric, and kitted up with the elastic and bias needed. We knocked out a couple dozen dresses on Wednesday, and members took home kits to finish.  

I made four dresses, but they were already cut out so all I had to do was sew them up. Here are two in the medium size.

My other two were size large, so, goofing around, I "modeled." I'm petite and the large size would fit me, so I'm sure it fits older tweens and young teen agers. The size small dresses would fit preschoolers, and they were just too stinking cute, but I didn't get a photo. 

The dresses we made will be sent on to an organization that will include them in shoebox gifts. The boxes also contain small personal items and school supplies. The boxes may be the only thing of her own that a girl ever receives. 

Sewing with a group is always fun, and I'm sure we'll be doing this again in the future. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Stash Enhancement from Florida

Nothing new on my design wall this week - it looks just like it did last week because I've been away, at my favorite beach. Unfortunately it rained all week. But that just created more opportunities for shopping at my favorite Pensacola fabric store, A and E Fabrics. 

It's huge, they stock everything, and they sell at exceptionally good prices. 

They gave me permission to take some photos. You can see more at their website,  No affiliation, I just like shopping there when I'm vacationing in the area. 

The store is huge, and although parts of it are currently being reorganized, they have the fabrics organized nicely by category, with a whole wall of batiks and acreage devoted to Halloween and Christmas. Those are all large quilts hanging above, so you can get a sense of the vastness. And it's jam-packed. 

For in-store shoppers (not the website) an extra discount is offered on the color of the month, which in September is Orange. I stocked up on a few oranges. My orange and coral selection has been depleted since I cut strips for my Coral Strippy HST and my Snake Quilt. 

What I really wanted to shop for was white-based low volume prints. I struggled with enough variety in my Log Cabin Triangle blocks, so I was pleased to find several white-with-color low volume prints. I wish I'd had these when I was making the LCT blocks.

Of course I couldn't resist a few stash enhancements, just because.... Light prints, not necessarily low volume. The large speckled print actually has a lot of lemon yellow, pickle green, and bright teal green in it. I have a lot of those colors in my stash, so this print will coordinate with them and enable me to make use of some of what I already have. 

The prints below were chosen to harmonize together, all from different collections in different parts of the store. I've been thinking of obsessed with ways to play with the Kool Kaleidoscope method and I can use these together in a project. 

All in all, I had to find room in my luggage for 14-1/2 yards of fabric to come home with me. Looks like my stash report will take a hit this month. Not a problem at all, just an investment in additional resources for creating, right? 😉 

I'll wrap up with a photo of my beach taken during a rare sunny moment.

And what it really looked like all week.

Monday, September 13, 2021

LCT Blocks

For the Log Cabin Triangle blocks I'm making now, I'm using bright white background prints for the low volume parts. I have quite a few different prints, but not enough. You can never have too much variety in a scrappy quilt! Since I don't want the same print to land next to itself in the final layout, and I have to carefully place the blocks in the correct orientation, I decided to lay out on the design wall all the parts and logs so I could arrange them before assembling the blocks. Then I can take two of the blocks off the wall, clip the parts together, and chain piece the pair. 

In order to get them back on the wall in the same place they came from, I've numbered them. I took a Sharpie and labeled two of my clips so I could keep all the parts together. 

Then I chain pieced, still keeping the remaining pieces clipped to the block.

Even after all the logs were attached and I was pressing the blocks, I kept the numbered clips attached so I could remember which block went where in the layout. 

Now all the blocks are done and laid out on the wall. 

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

Monday, September 6, 2021

Another LCT Remake

Remember my Log Cabin Triangles? Check out the 2016 QOV Block tab above. 

I made an original LCT quilt at Girl Scout camp retreat years ago. I liked the modern layout, so I offered the block and the pattern as a free tutorial for QOV. My own QOV quilt has long since been given to a veteran.

Because this pattern has a lot of pale negative space, I made another version last year to brighten up a dark hallway in preparation for selling our house.  My SIL admired it so I gave it to her.

I need another version, possibly as a teaching sample, for a trunk show in December so I'm piecing a new patriotic version. This time I'm using bright white low volume prints instead of creams and ivories, and only red and blue for the triangles. 

Starting the blocks: 

The first few blocks on the wall: 

These blocks are so fast and easy to make. I'm hoping to make good progress on more blocks this month, in addition to my other ongoing projects.

Back in 2016, the LCT block drive generated hundreds of blocks for Alycia in Colorado, QOV of Eastern Missouri, QOV in the Loop (U City MO), and several other QOV groups around the US. Even someone from Canada used the block for an all red-and-white version for a Canadian QOV group. 

The tutorial for the LCT block is still there for anyone who'd like to use it for QOV or any charitable purpose. A smaller version in kid-friendly colors would work for Project Linus or any social service agency that works with kids. 

If you make a quilt using my LCT block, I'd love to hear from you and see your version! 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Striped Kool Kaleidoscope

A true squirrel project, started and finished this month. I was intrigued by the possibility of using striped fabric instead of pieced strata for a Kool Kaleidoscope quilt. I found a stripe that might work in the PCQ club's stash and ran with it. 

I really like how it turned out. Bold, clean, graphic and interesting!

I definitely want to play with this concept again. 

I kept the quilting minimal to keep the quilt soft and drapey, and to not take away from the graphic piecing. Just some straight lines following the seams and the stripes, and a bit of meandering. The medallion features in the quilting on the back, too. 

This quilt finished at 37" before washing and will be donated by the PCQ club to the family services agency we support. I see it as a baby quilt because of the colors and size and because babies at first see graphic black and white before their vision matures. 

I'm including it in my Rocking Chair Quilts series, see tab above. 

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

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

August Stash Report and Goals Update

Boy, August sure flew by quickly! A couple of trips to local fabric stores with new friends helped with some stash enhancement. Some of my planned projects moved forward, and a totally unplanned project captured my attention. 

August Stash Report:

IN this month: 5-1/5 yards (Borders and backing for original KK, 5-1/2 yards.)
OUT this month: 6-5/8 yards (Striped KK, my fabric for top, back, binding: 3-1/8 yards. Binding for navy/yellow Strippy HST donation quilt, 1/2 yard. Backing and sleeve for How Many, 3 yards wide goods.)

IN YTD: 68-1/8 yards
OUT YTD: 72-5/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 4-1/2 yards out. 

Finishes this month include donation quilts mostly or partially made with fabric from the PCQ club's stash. I'm counting only my own fabric used. The navy and yellow Strippy HST is almost all the club's fabric except for the binding. 

The Striped KK was totally unplanned but came about because I thought the strata concept used in the real Kool Kaleidoscope could work with striped fabric and I wanted to try it out. I used striped fabric and background from the club's stash, and my own B+W swirl print, backing and binding. The club's charity committee will give these quilts to the hospice or family services agency we support. 

Those are my finishes for the month. Some of my other projects progressed, others were ignored in favor of the Striped KK. 

Goals Update: 

August Recap:

1. Make a backing, quilt navy and yellow charity top for long arm practice; bind the quilt. DONE

2. Finish hand sewing binding on How Many, (the WIGSP) and start attaching the sleeve. Good progress. The binding is done and the sleeve is more than halfway stitched on. 

3. Continue working on Kool Kaleidoscope to a flimsy. Progress but not a flimsy, the center is pieced and borders are ready to be added.   

4. Continue making blocks for the coral Snake Quilt. Progress; 25 blocks of 48 are now done. 

5. Start working on the color challenge project. Not touched. 

6. Practice FMQ on at least one of the remaining batik race pillow covers. Done, using a leaf meander pattern. 

Other: Pieced, quilted and finished a version of Kool Kaleidoscope using striped fabric. 

Snake Quilt block

Pieced Kool Kaleidoscope

FMQ Leaf Meander

September Goals: 

1. Add borders to the Kool Kaleidoscope top and make backing. 

2. Continue making blocks for the Snake Quilt.

3. Start working on the color challenge project.

4. Start working on a new version of LCT QOV for a trunk show coming up in December. 

5. Practice FMQ on another pillow panel. 

6. Finish hand sewing the sleeve on How Many. 

Looks like September will be another busy month. I've been going to Wednesday sewing in the quilting room and that helps to make progress on portable projects like piecing. There's a group that gets together on Monday evenings (called Hot Summer Nights) and going to that has been helping me get the handwork done on How Many's binding and sleeve. 

Link up: Mid-Week Makers at  Quilt Fabrication