Thursday, June 30, 2022

June Stash Report and Goals Update

 June was a big month for fabric acquisitions, but I'm still at the break-even point for the year. I bought a lot of fabric for a specific project, and can't count it out until the top is finished. Some of the finishes I had in June used PCQ's fabric or donated fabric which don't count in my stash. 

I'm doing better at finishing Carla's UFOs than I am at finishing my own. Together we finished the Tangerine Quarter Cabins on Point quilt, story in tomorrow's post. 

Tangerine Quarter Cabins on Point (Carla's blocks, top finished by me) 

June Stash Report: 

IN this month: 18 yards (Connecting Threads order, 5 yards. Grunge colors for 3-D project, 9 yards. B+W binding fabrics, 4 yards.)
OUT this month: 3 yards (Steppers, my fabric, 1/2 yard. Tangerine for Quarter Cabins on Point, 2 yards. Binding, 1/2 yard.)

IN YTD: 49 yards
OUT YTD: 49-1/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 1/8 yard out

My goal for the year is to break even or reduce the stash. This is pretty darn close for the first half of the year. 

Since I don't count donated fabrics, finishes using them don't reduce my stash. But it's nice to recap finishes here, too. This month I finished and donated Steppers using black and white prints gifted by Julie and PCQ's teal; pattern by Alycia. Thank you all. 

Steppers, donated to local agency serving victims of sexual abuse

Goals Update:

June Recap: 

1. Quilt and bind Steppers. Done and donated.

2. Finish the Charley Harper pillows. Done.

3. Work on something from my UFO list for No Shame Train. Not from my own UFO list, but used donated blocks and strips to finish the Tangerine Quarter Cabins flimsy. Quilted it with Carla. 

4. Baste the coral snake quilt, now named Candyland, on the long arm. I'm counting this as done because as I write this post this morning June 30, I'm booked on the long arm this afternoon and I have everything prepped and ready to go to baste Candyland. 

5. Read through the new cross-body bag pattern and plan fabrics. Order stabilizers and interlinings. Not done. 

6. Plan a Kool Kaleidoscope project to work on at retreat in July.  Abandoned this idea in favor of something else, two projects that are in the palette, planning and cutting stage.

Pillow for DH in Charley Harper quail print

July Goals: 

1. Cut for 3-D project to work on at retreat. 

2. Plan and cut for Dresden Medallion project to work on at retreat. 

3. Quilt and bind twin bed quilt for Natalie's House.

4. Start quilting Candyland.

5. Make progress on the Stack-N-Whack UFO.

6. Read through the new cross-body bag pattern and plan fabrics. Order stabilizers and interlinings.

7. Work on something from my own UFO list for No Shame Train. 

8. Have fun at retreat.

Lots of varied projects to work on in July, but a 4 day retreat will provide lots of time to work on them. Looks like I have some planning and packing to do in order to meet goal number 8! 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Palette Plus Pattern Plus Plan Equals Project

 I started a project thinking I'd work on it at social sewing but I think I'll take it to retreat instead.

The new project has a really pretty palette that I've used before, analogous colors ranging from lime green to teal. I have a lot of prints using these colors in my stash, mostly small pieces and a few half yard cuts. So this will be semi-scrappy. I've been working a lot with black and white lately, and this palette is a refreshing change. 

The plan is sort of a round robin concept, except I'm making all the rounds myself. I've been working with strips a lot lately and I'm ready for a change, something with more complicated blocks. So I did some planning in EQ. 

Aside: Normally I take photos for this blog using my phone, but its camera can't handle yellow greens. They all come out brownish. My old point-and-shoot camera can handle the color well, but always takes blurry photos; they never come out crisp. So I have a combination of bad color and slightly blurry photos for your viewing enjoyment today. 

Here's the palette, which looks much prettier in real life than in this phone photo: 

Here's the pattern, a center medallion Dresden Plate surrounded by blocks. 
Okay color but blurry

Crisp focus but very bad color

The plan is to start with the Dresden Plate center and build the blocks around it. 
Very bad color

Much better color

I'm kitting up the blocks so I can work on them at retreat. Here are some of the kits.
Phone photo with bad color

Other block kits will have applique involved, usually not my thing but these are large orange peels, fairly simple so I should be okay. I'll continue prepping kits to work on this project at retreat. Maybe it'll become a finished flimsy....

Check out the projects others are working on at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts and Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, June 24, 2022

Carla's Blocks Are Now a Finished Flimsy

When I last wrote about Carla's blocks they looked like this on my design wall: Sewn together with side triangles added. But at only about 37" wide and 49" long, this top is much smaller than I had anticipated. Faulty math on my part. 

The solution of course is to add borders. First, a tangerine border to float the center. Then, with so many scraps and leftovers of black and white strips, it only made sense to add a piano keys border. 

Finally, to finish it off and contain all those seams at the edges, an outer tangerine border. Now it measures about 53" wide and 65" long, a much better size for a throw. 

I have to say, I'm really glad this worked out the way it did, for several reasons. One, I learned how to calculate on point block sizes in EQ. Two, the problem forced me to get creative and find a solution. And three, I really like how the whole quilt looks so much better with the borders than if it were just blocks. 

Even better, included in one of Carla's boxes of goodies was a perfect backing fabric, a black and white wallpaper print. With a little piecing - and careful pattern matching - there's just enough for the backing. 

The back is pieced, the batting is cut, and everything is ready for quilting. Maybe this will be a finish pretty soon. 

Link ups: Alycia Quilts, TGIFF

Monday, June 20, 2022

Planning for Retreat

 I'm going on a retreat in July with some of the girls from PCQ, to a ranch in southern AZ. It's at a higher elevation there so we'll be able to get out of the Phoenix heat for a few days.

It's a five day trip so I'll need plenty to do to keep me busy. Of course, I'll have time for socializing, happy hour, meals and games too, but I do need to plan my sewing projects. I like to have any cutting done ahead of time because I'm more likely to make mistakes if I try to cut in a social environment. 

One of the goodies in one of Carla's boxes was this partial Stack-N-Whack that she started in 2001 and abandoned. There are 12 blocks and cut pieces for 12 more. 

I really love the colors in this project; it's an Alexander Henry tropical print. Back in the nineties, Alexander Henry made the best tropical prints. I' don't know if they still do or not, or even if they're still in business. 

Included with the blocks and parts is a scrap of the print and about 2 yards of the cream tone-on-tone she used in the blocks. The book and the pattern were also included. Carla said to keep it if I want to finish it, or donate the kit to PCQ, or whatever. 

A possible reason why this project got stuck for so long: Some of the blocks measure 13-1/2" and some are 14-1/2" with many in between. I don't want to take all the blocks apart and remake them. I don't know if there's enough of the cream to finish all the cut blocks. The pattern calls for sashing and for sure there's not enough of the cream fabric for sashing and the rest of the blocks.

I played in EQ with sashing and coping strips to bring the blocks up to a common size. According to EQ's fabric estimate I have enough of the cream to make this plan work, using the existing blocks. 

This plan would result in a top that measures about 57 x 74". That's a good size for a throw. It would make a nice donation quilt for either hospice or the local family services agency. I can cut the coping strips and the sashing before retreat and have the project ready to go. 

Did I mention how much I love these colors, this fabric? I might keep the cut parts, add background fabric of my own, and make a Stack-N-Whack for myself someday. 

Link Ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

Friday, June 17, 2022

Friday Finishes: Charley Harper Pillows and Teal Steppers

The pillows were almost done when I last posted about them, and the Steppers quilt was almost a top, with time booked on the long arm to quilt it. Both projects have crossed the finish line. 

DH is pleased with his pillows, an early Father's Day present. One features quail and looks good on our khaki sofa; the other features roadrunners and coordinates with our sage recliner. 

Here are close ups of them: 

The Steppers quilt became a flimsy at social sewing a couple weeks ago. The pattern is a rail fence variation by AlyciaQuilts; here's a link to the pattern. The black and white prints were donated by QuiltDivaJulie and the teal fabric is from PCQ. To keep the top pressed and to measure for backing, I hung it on my design wall so here's an indoor photo. 

The same teal was used for the backing and binding. I had time booked on PCQ's long arm so I was able to get it quilted, then I bound it at social sewing last week, and now it's a finish ready to be donated. 

It came out about 48 x 66" and will be given to the local family services agency.

The above two photos were taken in the shade in my yard and look dark. The quilting doesn't show up at all. 

The photo below was taken at the same time in a sunny part of the yard. The texture of the FMQ is visible here, but the prints get lost. 

We have only deep shade and intense sun here, neither of which make for good photos. I'll keep trying for better ones....

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and TGIFF

Monday, June 13, 2022

On My Design Wall: Carla's Blocks

Remember Carla's Box and her Second Box? In the second one were 16 quarter log cabin blocks in black and white prints. She had said something about them being left over from a project that had side triangles, which got me to thinking about how I could use the blocks for a donation quilt.

I purchased a bright tangerine solid to go with these black and white blocks, knowing that it would be gender-neutral, kid or teen friendly, upbeat and fun.

I played around in EQ and came up with an on-point setting that used 18 blocks. No problem, there were extra strips in the package from Carla. Plus I had plenty of other black and white strips if I needed more. I made two more blocks to go with Carla's. 

The side and corner triangles took some figuring. I erred on the large side so I wouldn't lose any points. 

But there's a problem. My top as shown on the wall measures only about 37" wide and 49" long. Too small as is for a donation quilt.

Apparently I used the wrong measurements in EQ when I was working out the layout. In the On Point layout, the program asks for the height and width of the blocks. So I measured across the diagonal of several of the blocks and most of them were about 12-1/2" across. I used 12.5" for my block height and width in EQ. My project layout told me the quilt size would be about 54 by 72". 

I know what the problem is. I should have used 8" for the height and width of the blocks, the actual size of the blocks as sewn. Now I know for next time. 

Okay, Plan B is to make the top larger. I have plenty of fabric to work with so I'm sure this problem can be solved. Stay tuned. 

Linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts and Love Laugh Quilt 

Friday, June 10, 2022

Color Bars Tops for Community Service

 Last time we had a Community Service sew day it was a catch up day for PCQ members to work on charity quilts they had started earlier. Here are a couple of recently finished tops: 

Cheryl's kit had warm, happy colors. Hers is 60 x 70", a nice large throw size. 

This is Joanne's most recent; she's made several charity quilts this spring. Hers is a classic red and grey palette, 50 x 60".

She was choosing backing from the club's available selection and several of us noticed the soccer ball print in the backing cabinet. It nicely complements the red and grey palette. There's enough grey tone-on-tone to bring the print backing up to size, and red tone-on-tone for binding. Joanne has excellent color sense and she's not sure she loves the soccer balls so she may go with all tone-on-tone backing. 

Color Bars is one of the patterns we developed for kits. You can find Color Bars and the other charity quilt patterns in the Charity Pattern tab above. 

All of these were projects that were kitted up for community service sew days using fabrics from the club's stash. All the fabrics in Chery's kit came from the stash and most of the ones in Joanne's kit did too. Because the stash was short on light colors we had ordered some fabric for the light strips in multiple kits. All of the darker colors came from the bins of donated fabric in the quilting room. 

Community Service committee members will prep backings and batting and bundle them with tops for quilting. PCQ members who've signed up for time on the long arm will quilt them. Then someone from the club will bind them. We've been productive this spring and we recently delivered several quilts each to the agencies we support. There is always a need. 

Linking up with Alycia Quilts 

Monday, June 6, 2022

Charley Harper Pillows, Part 2

You would think making two simple pillow covers would be a piece of cake. It would be, except for the need for two trips to the dreaded big box store.

I had found these Charley Harper quail and roadrunner prints at the AQS show in Paducah. My husband was quite tickled with them when I showed him, especially the quail print. Here's where progress paused:

My pillows are planned to finish at 18" so the quilted fronts and backs need to be 19".  That's what I planned for when I quilted the tops. They'll fit 18" pillow forms. 

I had bought fabric for the pillow backs when I was in Paducah; it's a sage green that's very close to the color of the recliner in our family room. The plan was to quilt enough of the sage fabric for both pillow backs. I had a partial spool of matching thread but it wasn't enough to complete the quilting, so the quilting sat on hold until I could get to the store. I waited until valid coupon day to go. 

No 18" pillow forms in stock when I went to the store for thread. I did find zippers, though. The sale ad mentioned one brand but the store doesn't stock that brand, it stocks a different brand. Yeesh!

I thought I might be able to try 20" pillows, but I didn't have enough clearance around the quilted tops. Back to the store to return the too-large pillow forms. But, they had 18" ones in stock this time, so two of those came home with me. Coupon not valid because they were on sale. Have I mentioned how much I dislike shopping at that big box store?!

Anyway, the backs have been quilted, all the parts have been trimmed to 19", and the zippers have been installed. Here's where I'm at now:

It should be easy to finish them up now. They just need to be sewn around three sides and turned. It should be a quick finish next time I get back to the sewing machine. 

Link Ups: 
Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

Friday, June 3, 2022

May Stash Report and Goals Update

I had hoped for a big flimsy finish in May and I didn't have plans for any fabric shopping, so I figured my stash report would look pretty good. Even though a bit of fabric shopping happened, it does. And the finish feels very satisfying, my coral snake quilt top, now known as Candyland.

Other finishes this month used mostly PCQ's fabrics or donated fabrics. Blue Bars contains a few of my personal scraps as well as scraps and strips from the club, with their fabrics used for the blue and the backing. 

May Stash Report: 

IN this month: 6 yards (Bob's of Sun City, 6 yards)
OUT this month: 10-1/4 yards (Snake Flimsy, bkgd 6-3/8 yards, arcs 3-1/4 yards. Blue Bars donation quilt, my fabrics, 5/8 yard.)

IN YTD: 31 yards
OUT YTD: 46-1/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 15-1/8 yards OUT

I've been doing a lot of sewing and I've been productive, but most of it has been for donation quilts using fabric from the club's stash. I never count their fabric, or fabric that has been donated for charity quilts, in my stash report since it's not mine. 

Speaking of being productive, I finished the Bolt of Lightning quilt which will go to the local family services agency and will be given to a teen who has experienced sexual violence. 

I started working on my Charley Harper pillows, but ran out of thread for quilting the pillow backs and also I needed pillow forms and zippers. So I had to make a trip to the big box store, ugh. I needed batting for Candyland which I thought I could get there as well, but it was much cheaper to order it online. So a frustrating trip to the store and a delay in basting Candyland. The pillows are on my list to work on in June. DH keeps asking when they're going to be done. 

Goals Update: 

May Recap:

1. Prep for and teach glue-basted binding class on May 12.  DONE. Class was well received and another one is scheduled for August. 

2. Prep backing and batting for the blue Color Bars top. Quilt it on the club's long arm. Bind and label it.  DONE and donated.

3. Finish the coral snake quilt top. Prep backing. DONE.

4. Work on something from my UFO list for No Shame Train. NO, did not work on No Shame Train items, but finished WIPs, Blue Color Bars and Bolt of Lightning donation quilts. 

5. Participate in PCQ Community Service sew day. Done; bound Blue Color Bars and another charity quilt made by someone else. 

6. Read through the new cross-body bag pattern and plan fabrics. Order stabilizers and interlinings. Not done.

7. If time permits, make two new pillows for family room. Progress: Charley Harper fabrics have been quilted, ready to construct pillow covers. 

Other: Cut, kitted up, and pieced Steppers donation quilt at social sewing, pattern from Alycia Quilts, fabric from PCQ and donated.

June Goals: 

1. Quilt and bind Steppers.

2. Finish the Charley Harper pillows

3. Work on something from my UFO list for No Shame Train. 

4. Baste the coral snake quilt, now named Candyland, on the long arm

5. Read through the new cross-body bag pattern and plan fabrics. Order stabilizers and interlinings. 

6. Plan a Kool Kaleidoscope project to work on at retreat in July. 

That ought to keep me busy. I need to keep in mind other projects to work on at retreat, but I have two UFOs kitted up from a few years ago, simple piecing, so I can take those along. 

Since I go to social sewing every week and I sew at home a lot, it's amazing how quickly donation quilts are getting done. It's hot here now, in the 100s every day, so it's indoor season. I can stay in the air conditioning and sew. 

Link Ups: Alycia Quilts, TGIFF