Sunday, December 31, 2023

December Stash Report and Goals Update

Since one of my goals was to end the year with less in my fabric stash than I started with, 2023 was a very good year. So when opportunities arose to enhance my stash a bit, I felt no qualms about acquiring more fabric. I selected from the estate sale of a late PCQuilter who was known for her color sense, and I ordered some solids to fill some color gaps in my stash.

December Stash Report: 

IN this month: 32 yards (Approximately 22 yards from Kathleen's estate sale.  KQ order, solids, 10 yards.)
OUT this month: 1-3/4 yards (My fabric added to floral adopt-a-quilt, 1-1/4 yards. Binding for Gary's patio quilt, 1/2 yard.)

IN YTD: 90-1/2 yards
OUT YTD: 119 yards

2023 Net Change: 28-1/2 yards OUT

In 2024 I can acquire new fabrics that I need without guilt. My stash has diminished to the point that I need to supplement what I have in order to create cohesive palettes. So when I pull fabrics for a new project and I need something to make it work, I'm okay with purchasing what I need. 

That said, much of the quilt making I do these days is donation quilts for the charities PCQ supports, so I can use the club's stash for those. Usually I end up using a combination of the club's stash and my own, as was the case with the Blue Daisy Four Patch Variation that was finished this month and has been delivered to Natalie's House for a young girl. 

There were some gift-giving deadlines I had to meet this month, and I'm glad to say I got everything finished and sent out in time. I had trouble coming up with Christmas gift ideas for my husband until he mentioned that it was just a little too chilly to sit out on the patio in the sun. Ah-ha, he needs a patio quilt and I could use the leftover made-fabric from the patio pillows. Mission accomplished.

Goals Update: 

December Recap: 

1. Finish the Kaffe Gradient top. Progress, but not finished. 

2. Work on Road Trip. Significant work, lots of unsewing and reassembling blocks to revise the layout.

3. Prep backing for Batik Stacked Slabs. Changed from Stacked Slabs to backing for Gary's Patio Quilt; bought flannel and got backing prepped. 

4. Draft Edna's pattern for PCQ per her request. Drafted in EQ and reviewed several layout options with her. Instructions not written yet.

5. Work on an Adopt-a Quilt charity quilt. Pieced a top and turned it in for someone else to finish. 

6. Work on a UFO or kitted project. Done. Quilted and bound the leftover made-fabric panel from patio pillows for Gary's patio quilt for Christmas.

Also finished and sent out the pillow covers requested by my son. 

January Goals:

1. Prep for and teach first two sessions of Color Class.

2. Finish the Kaffe Gradient top.

3. Continue working on Road Trip.

4. Work with Edna to draft her pattern. Make test sample. 

5. Work on a UFO or an Adopt-a-Quilt.

Edna's Easy Scrappy Stars

That's an ambitious list for January, considering that prepping for and teaching classes takes a lot of time and thought. We'll see how much of my list I can get done. 

Since it's the new year I should mention 2024 annual goals and plans. Basically they're the same as last year:

 - Finish what I'm currently working on, Road Trip, Kaffe Gradient and Edna's pattern.   
 - Continue participating in PCQ's Community Service committee.
 - Go to retreat a couple of times.
 - Finish a UFO. 
 - Plan and start a complicated long term project. 

 - In 2024 I'll be more sporadic about blogging, posting occasionally but not pressuring myself to post every week. 

 - For the first time in more than 10 years I'm not going to care about finishing the year with more stash out than I bring in. If I need to buy fabric for a project, so be it. And when estate sales happen,  opportunities to enhance my stash at reduced prices, I'll add what I want.

 - I'm teaching my 6-lesson color class again starting in January, and even though I taught it before there's still a lot of prep required which takes a lot of time. 

In general I plan to be more relaxed and casual about quilting and blogging in 2024. 

Best wishes to all for a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2023

Gary's Patio Quilt

In the winter we get the sun on our patio in the morning. My husband likes to sit out there, but when the air temp gets below 65 and it's breezy he gets a little chilly. He needs a quilt. He could take one of several we have in the house, but he "doesn't want to mess them up." Really? His favorite quilt is made of repurposed flannel shirts front and back. How "messed up" could it get, being used on the patio occasionally? 

Nevertheless, a new patio quilt is in order. It will be his Christmas present. And it will match our patio pillows. 

Remember in 2021 I made batik patio pillows? 

The fabric for them was made jelly roll race-style, story here. I cut wa-a-ay too many strips and ended up with an enormous panel of made fabric. After I cut the pillow covers, I had a piece as wide as you see here by about 74" long, with an extension even longer by about 16" wide, all seams going in the same direction. Here's the panel of made fabric before I cut the pillow pieces.

Enough for a good size throw if I seam the long extension to the side of the larger panel. It ended up somewhere in the 63" by 74" range (shown sideways here). Perfect for a large throw!

I still love all the batik fabrics in it, and the little squares sprinkled throughout like confetti.

The backing is plush brown flannel. I'm married to Mr. Flannel, and I think this quilt will feel cozy when he uses it. 

In order to keep this quilt a secret for Christmas, I worked on it at social sewing, piecing the backing and making the binding without him knowing about it. I had time on the long arm last Friday so I was able to quilt it in time for Christmas, with a simple loose meander to keep it soft and drapey.

Just as I had it off the long arm and was squaring it up and trimming away the batting and backing, he walked in on me in the quilting room. He wasn't supposed to be at the Creative Arts building until after 3:00 and this was about 2:30. Grrrr! I'm sure he recognized it since it's the same as our patio pillows which he uses all the time. He didn't say anything about it and neither did I, so the best I can hope is that he assumed it's yet another charity quilt since I work on so many. I don't think that's likely. 

Anyway I bound it at social sewing Wednesday this week and it's finished in time for Christmas. Whether or not it's a surprise for him, I think he'll like it and I'm sure he'll use it. Now it's gift wrapped and ready to give. I don't have a finished photo of it  yet, but I'll get one after he opens it on Christmas. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Blue Daisy Quilt

Back in the spring, for PCQ's Community Service sew day, we made up kits for Four Patch Variation twin bed size quilts. Knowing there was this kit with a pretty daisy print in blue, I nabbed it. Full disclosure, I'm the one who put this kit together and some of the fabrics in it were mine instead of the club's, so I didn't feel guilty for nabbing the kit before someone else could. 

The flimsy was finished months ago, but there wasn't a suitable backing for it, so it sat in UFO status for a while. Then the Christmas Quilts for Hospice became a priority* and this quilt continued to languish. 

I finally got backing fabric for it, and batting from the club, and time on the long arm, so it's finally a finish. 

I showed it at PCQ's most recent general meeting and everyone commented on how cheerful it is. You can't beat a pretty blue and yellow combo!

Some of the charities we support need twin bed size quilts, and this is about 70" by 90", so this will go to one of them. 

I really like this one if I do say so myself. I hope the recipient likes it! 

Link ups: Alycia Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict

*PS - final tally, 81 Christmas Quilts were delivered to Hospice in early December. 

Monday, December 11, 2023

Road Trip: Progress???

Two steps forward and one step back. 

I've moved the blocks around on the wall so that the ones with khaki backgrounds are more in the center and the ones with lighter backgrounds are around the edges. I think it's less choppy, but there are a lot of changes I need to make. Some involve taking apart existing blocks and replacing some fabrics, some involve making new blocks entirely. By the time I'm done, I'll probably have enough leftover unused blocks for another project! 

Here's what the wall looked like a couple days ago. Since then I've taken some blocks down, leaving big white gaps, not photo worthy until I make replacement blocks for those holes. Sorry for the blurry photo.

One of the blocks has flying geese units with two directional fabrics. Several years ago I posted a tutorial (here) about how to make them so they come out with the prints going in the desired directions. I actually had to refer back to it to remember how to make them. 

Once made, I could use them in a couple of block options. Dutchman's Puzzle, 9", reads dark:

Or Ohio Star, 12", which reads lighter:

As you can see, I sewed up the lighter Ohio Star version.

My plan for this week is to continue revising and/or replacing blocks, and making new ones as needed. 

Friday, December 8, 2023

Pillow Covers

 My son requested replacement covers for his sofa pillows. The sofa is sturdy microfiber faux suede in grey, but the pillows that came with it are awful. One is an ugly brown plaid and the other is a loosely woven tan that frayed so much at the seams that it's falling apart. 

I showed him a selection of fabrics from my stash, and he picked out the ones he liked and didn't like. Now his new pillow covers are finished, giftwrapped, sent, and delivered. Here's how they turned out: 

The center striped fabric is his first choice but I only had a scant quarter yard of it, so I had to add to it to bring the center square up to 10". The gold goes with the accent color in a quilt that lives on his sofa. 

There was enough of his preferred fabric to also create star points, so this version is the reverse colorway of the first one. The backs of both are the black print, also one of his preferred fabrics, and the light swirly background print is also one of his choices. 

He'll use the inserts from the original pillows inside these covers. They're big, 22" square which is pretty large for sofa pillows, but I had him measure carefully and he sent me a photo of the pillow with a ruler next to it to confirm the size. 

He knows he's getting new pillow covers but he doesn't know what they look like (he doesn't read my blog). I hope he likes them!

What he doesn't know is that I also made him new potholders, using the leftover fabrics from the pillows. One has the grey stripe on the front and the other has a different fabric. Both have the black print on the back and gold binding. His original potholders from when he moved into his condo three years ago are probably pretty decrepit by now, so I thought he might need new ones. I forgot to take photos of them before sending them out. 

Link ups: Alycia Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Saturday, December 2, 2023

November Stash Report and Goals Update

A busy month, because I was at retreat for a few days and I was involved with the Christmas Quilts for Hospice project, in addition to working on - and finishing - two deadline projects of my own. Retreat projects included piecing the top for a baby quilt and piecing two sofa pillow tops, and partially quilting the pillows. Since then I've finished them all and sent them off to their new homes. I helped quilt and/or bind several Christmas Quilts for Hospice.

Baby Quilt for Great-Nephew Carter

Pillow top , 1 of 2

While at retreat I found the perfect backing for my Road Trip project which is still in work, so nine yards came home with me. My stash report is down so much for the year that this acquisition doesn't matter. 

November Stash Report

IN this month: 9 yards (Backing for Road Trip, 9 yards)
OUT this month: 10 yards (FQs for retreat, 3/4 yard.  Hexie baby quilt top, back, and binding, 6-3/4 yards. Pillows 2-1/2 yards)

IN YTD: 80.5 yards
OUT YTD: 117.25 yards

YTD Net Change: 36.75 yards OUT

The fabric for the Hospice quilts was all donations to PCQ so none of it counts in my stash usage. But together we made 73 quilts, so a lot of generous people donated a lot of Christmas fabric. 

Presentation of some of the Christmas Quilts for Hospice at PCQ meeting

Goals Update: 

November Recap

1. Have fun at retreat Nov 2-5.  YES!

2. Make baby quilt for niece's baby. Done, labeled and sent. 

3. Make pillows for Eric. Done and sent.

4. Finish assembling top of Kaffe Gradient project. Slight progress but not done. 

5. Continue working on layout for Road Trip. Slight progress, two more blocks made. 

6. If needed, bind more Christmas for Hospice quilts. Done.

7. Quilt something on PCQ's long arm. Done, blue daisy charity quilt.

December Goals

1. Finish the Kaffe Gradient top.

2. Work on Road Trip.

3. Prep backing for Batik Stacked Slabs.

4. Draft Edna's pattern for PCQ per her request. 

5. Work on an Adopt-a Quilt charity quilt. 

6. Work on a UFO or kitted project. 

My list is pretty light for December and I know I'll have some quiet time to sew at Christmas, so I'll probably add something else to work on, but I don't know yet what that will be. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

Baby Quilt for Carter

The baby quilt for my newest great-nephew Carter is finished and has been sent off for the new family to enjoy. 

My niece mentioned that the baby's room is decorated in teal and white. I hope she likes this - she's a decorator involved with real estate so she has an eye for style. This quilt doesn't scream Baby so Carter can grow with it, drag it around as a toddler, use it for a kindergarten nap blanket, etc.

The quilting is simple SID through the seams and continuing across all the hexies. It's not too dense so the quilt has a nice soft drape. 

The fabrics were all from my stash. The yellow & aqua print was gifted by a friend for another purpose; it didn't work for that, but it works really well here. Perfect for the backing and binding, too. 

A fast and fun finish, and now it's Carter's. 

Monday, November 27, 2023

What I Worked on at Retreat

When I showed the design walls from retreat, I didn't include what I worked on, so let's look at that now. 

First priority, the baby quilt for my niece. I got all the hexies laid out and the rows sewn together for a finished top. (Since I've been home I finished the quilt, which will get its own finish post.)

Second priority, large pillow covers for my son, per his request. I had sent him a selection of fabrics and he chose the ones he liked. Unfortunately I had only a scant quarter yard of the one he liked best, the grey stripe in the lower right. So I had to get creative with it and use his other choices as well, the top two. 

A quilt I made in neutrals in 2015 lives on his grey sofa, and in addition to all the neutral fabrics, there is a print with a touch of marigold in it and marigold piping in the binding. 

So I chose a similar color (didn't have any more of the original fabric) for an accent color. I needed a little something to enlarge the center square of his preferred print up to 10" for the center of a star. 

I kitted everything up prior to retreat, and took the leftover fabric with me as well. I pieced both pillow tops, shown here with the  already quilted backs. 

The more I looked at the one with the light center, the less I liked it. So I carefully took the center out and replaced it with the dark print. Much better. 

These are very large pillows; the tops are oversized for quilting, and when finished they'll be 24". I got one of the tops quilted at retreat, but not the other. Walking foot quilting echoes the star, and it took awhile to quilt one pillow top. When the second is done, I'll add zippers, square them up and trim them, and finish sewing them together. They need to be finished and mailed out prior to Christmas. 

Linking up with Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Friday, November 24, 2023

Christmas Quilts for Hospice

 Wow! PC Quilters really came through! 

We originally thought we had enough fabric for 40 kits. Then 50. The donations kept coming, and many of the participants made multiple quilts on their own. One lady made 10! We ended up with 73, which we displayed at our November meeting. 

A few more quilts are still being finished up. The final deadline is Nov. 30, and we have an appointment to take them to the hospice offices in early December. 

The nurses know who the patients are who don't have family nearby, don't have visitors, and don't get holiday gifts. Those are the intended recipients. PC Quilters really stepped up to brighten the holidays for them!

Link up: Alycia Quilts,  

Monday, November 13, 2023

Design Walls at Retreat

The retreat I went on recently is at a beautiful ranch run by Sheila and Bill in southeastern Arizona. We are so fortunate to enjoy a great sewing space with lots of design walls. Ten of us went, and all of us made great progress on projects or accomplished finished flimsies. So, in no particular order, here are photos of what we were working on.

Paula's paper pieced elephant

Helen's inherited UFO #1

Helen's inherited UFO #2

Judy's "What Happens at Retreat" wall hanging

Linda's blocks, part of a much more complicated piece

Janet's One Block Wonder

Debbie's Tilda project blocks

Nancy's queen size star top

Amy's finished top. Her method of keeping the colors organized 
was genius: she wove 1/2" strips of them and glued them to paper 
in the placement she wanted. Brilliant! 

I finished the top for the baby quilt for my niece; see previous post. I also worked on pillows for my son's sofa for Christmas, at his request. More in a later post. 

The setting for the ranch is just delightful, and the weather was conducive to sitting outside on the patio for happy hour. Here's the view to the west as the sun was going down behind the cottonwood tree and the mountain. 

And the view to the east from the patio. Note the red building - that's the private quilt shop for retreaters. And yes, we shopped! No tipping, so we generously support Sheila's store. 

Sheila and Bill serve delicious meals in a lovely setting. Here's the great room with part of the dining table, as we're anticipating dinner: 

And a happy group of retreaters! 

Another successful retreat - a good time was had by all!

Linking up with Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Friday, November 10, 2023

Baby Quilt Flimsy

 My #1 priority at retreat was to get the baby quilt for my niece pieced. Mission accomplished. 

Since I've been home, I got it layered and pin basted, and I've started quilting in the ditch. The quilting lines will all intersect in the centers of the hexies when I get done. No baby news yet, so fingers crossed I can get this finished very soon after baby comes. 

I haven't had a chance yet to edit and post retreat pics; hopefully I'll get that done soon. 

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

October Stash Report and Goals Update

A lot of my time in October was spent working on Christmas Quilts for Hospice with PCQ and the community service committee. Not many photos to show for it, but I hope to have more photos later in November. 

My big finish this month was my Stay-at-Home Round Robin, started in 2020. 

Fabric usage for the front was already counted in April, and for the pieced back was counted in June. I bought a half yard of black for the binding and immediately used it, so that was a wash. I did find the khaki grid print I need for Road Trip and got the last yard of it from Etsy. Other than that, there wasn't much activity with the stash report this month. 

My niece is expecting a baby boy any day now. I thought I had longer, but no. So I quickly pulled together a palette featuring her preferred color, teal, and kitted it up to work on at retreat. Retreat starts tomorrow, so I can get to work on it right away. 

October Stash Report: 

IN this month: 1-1/2 yards (Khaki grid from Etsy, 1 yard. Black to bind Red Stay-at-Home Round Robin, 1/2 yard)
OUT this month: 1/2 yard (binding for Stay-at-Home Round Robin)

IN YTD: 49-1/2 yards
OUT YTD: 107-1/4 yards

YTD Net change: 57-3/4 yards OUT

Goals Update: 

October Goals:

1. Prep for and teach the final two color classes. Plan shopping trips with the students. Done.

2. Bind three Xmas quilts for Hospice. Done, quilted two more and bound five so far. 

3. Continue working on the Kaffe Gradient project to the point it can be packed up to finish at retreat in November. Project is packed for retreat but I'll have to put the parts on the wall there to check for which sashing color comes next. 

4. Plan pillows for my son's sofa, requested for Christmas, and kit it up to make at retreat. Done, two pillow covers cut and kitted up.

5. Put Road Trip blocks on the wall, work on layout, and figure out what else is needed. Progress

6. Quilt the Stay-at-Home round robin. Quilted, bound, labeled and finished. 

Other: planned, cut and kitted up a baby quilt for niece's soon-to-come baby boy. 

November Goals: 

1. Have fun at retreat Nov 2-5.

2. Make baby quilt for niece's baby: assemble flimsy at retreat, quilt at home ASAP.

3. Make pillows for my son for Christmas.

4. Finish assembling the Kaffe Gradient flimsy. 

5. Continue working on the layout for Road Trip.

6. If needed, bind more Christmas for Hospice quilts.

7. Quilt something on PCQ's long arm.

Retreat will give me a chance to focus on the baby quilt and the pillows; hopefully I can knock out the baby quilt flimsy and two pillow covers with zippers while I'm there. I'm taking along the Kaffe Gradient project in case I have extra time and I need another project to work on. 

After that, November will be a busy month. We have visitors coming after I get back from retreat. Then there are some Color Class wrap up commitments with a couple of my students for some one-on-one coaching. DH is celebrating a milestone birthday so we're planning a little trip, and we'll get together with some special friends. I have time booked on PCQ's long arm before Thanksgiving so I need to prep whatever I'm going to quilt.

I hope November is as productive as anticipated - wish me luck!