Friday, April 28, 2023

Black + White + Brights, Finished and Donated

Back in March 2022 Quilt Diva Julie sent me a big box of black and white prints for charity quilts. One of the tops I made from Julie's generous gift has finally been quilted and finished by other PCQ members. I just happened to be in the quilting room when they were packing quilts to take to the charity, so I was able to get a quick photo on the design wall. 

PCQ's charity quilts are most often a group effort. Julie sent these wonderful black and white fabrics. A local friend contributed some of the bright squares. I pieced the top. Someone else prepped backing and batting. Another person quilted it on the club's long arm. And yet another person bound it. 

I'm glad to have been a part of this effort, even though it took a long time for this quilt to move from flimsy to finished quilt. 

This quilt was intended for and is going to the local family services agency which aids victims of sexual violence. Some of their teenage clients gravitate toward quilts that have black in them, a story which prompted Julie's kind donation. At 64" by 72", this is a large throw, suitable for any of their clients.

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

Monday, April 24, 2023

Backing for Chisel Stars

 Earlier this month I posted about finally finishing the problematic Chisel Stars top. 

I had cut the chisel pieces in pairs, so half of them faced the wrong direction. Therefore I didn't have much remaining of the fabrics used in the top to make a backing. So I used what I had and found more  in PCQ's stash and in my own stash. Instead of just cobbling random pieces together, I made a giant Friendship Star block for the back.*  It's been windy, and the back is so big, even with rocks weighting it down the wind ruffled it while I was taking photos. 

I packaged up this top and back for someone else in PCQ to quilt and bind. I'm so done with it! At 72" square, it'll be a large throw for one of our charities that can use that size. 

I also packaged up all the leftover blocks and pieces that were cut the other direction, enough for another quilt this size. I added a photo from my design wall and a few construction notes, and it's an Adopt-a-Quilt Kit for someone else in PCQ to finish. 

I'm done with chisels! 

*I was inspired to make a giant block for the backing by Kelly Young of My Quilt Infatuation. She has a new book on the topic coming out this summer. She'll share more ideas for pieced backings when it's published. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

A Few Random Updates

As the title says, this post is very random.  

I finished another block for the Scrappy Celebration group project. The other girls have various blocks in work. I know some of them are a little darker or brighter - grass green and turquoise, lots of pinks - so we'll have a nice blend of midtones and pastels. 

Fellow PCQuilter George finished his "hippy quilt" top. He's been collecting "hippy" fabrics for awhile and wanted a pattern to feature them, so he used Big Print Beauty (info here). You can't see it, but his white-on-white is a cool op-art print. He thinks it doesn't look very hippy but he likes it and he's happy with how it turned out. 

One of the girls who participated in the February and March Community Service sew days finished her Four Patch Variation top. This is one of the kits we put together earlier this year. We found fabrics with sufficient yardage for the borders, then the girls on the committee pulled coordinating prints out of the club's stash. It's a little darker than what I would have chosen to go with that border, but everyone has different taste and we're limited by what's available in the club's stash. This top is ready to move on to the teams who make backings and cut batting. 

One of my April goals was to make a tote bag for my SIL. I asked her to make some of her photographic note cards for me, and I wanted to do something for her in return. She had admired a tote made of the Echinacea print in the PC Creative Art Center display window when she visited in March. I couldn't get the pastel colorway she liked, so I asked her to choose from the available colors and she chose this one. No pattern, I just sketched it out and jotted down some measurements. There's a water bottle pocket and several patch pockets on the inside and a covered panel inside the bottom to keep it rigid. IRL the colors match much better than they do in this photo.

Like I said, a really random post...

Link up: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Friday, April 14, 2023

Friendship Stars for PCQ Community Service

 My role on the PCQuilters' Community Service Committee has been to develop and plan charity quilt patterns for our Community Sew Days. We're now starting a new term of officers so we're having a planning meeting tomorrow for the upcoming year, May 2023 thru April 2024. 

I'm looking forward to sharing the design role this term, a recent development. Meanwhile, I've been prepping another easy pattern we can make using the club's stash. It's a simple Friendship Star, scaled up to 18" blocks. For each Community Service pattern, I make a prototype, write the pattern, and have someone pattern test it. I've been working on the Friendship Star sample so it'll be ready to show at tomorrow's meeting. 

Cutting is very simple - some 6-1/2" squares and some 7-1/4" squares. Then making HSTs and trimming them to 6-1/2". For the prototype I used scraps, small pieces, and yardage from my batik bin. Anything goes, as long as there's good value contrast. The more variety, the better.

All those HSTs had to be squared up and trimmed. 

Big, easy blocks went together quickly, and soon I had my prototype top to share at tomorrow's meeting. This is 72 x 90 to fit on a twin bed as a bedspread. 

I've written the draft of the pattern and the next step will be to have one of the girls on the committee pattern test it using fabrics from the club's stash. The cutting is pretty efficient for either yardage or fat quarters. The construction is beginner-friendly because we have all skill levels of quilters who participate in our Community Service sew days. When the pattern is ready, I'll post it to my Free Charity Quilt Patterns tab above. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

April Retreat at Ritter Ranch

Fun! Productive! Social!
Designing, coaching and learning!
What more is there to say?!!!

Ritter Ranch is a retreat location in southeastern AZ, run by Sheila and Bill Ritter. It's up at about 4000 feet elevation so it's generally cooler there than in Phoenix. It's a beautiful setting and an excellent facility. All inclusive, and gourmet all the way. 

The sewing room is spacious and well lit.

Everyone accomplished something, whether starting from scratch or making progress on an existing project. Linda finished the final border on her Jacquelyn De Jonge top. WOW! And completed her hexie project. 

Deb made this beautiful top in Kaffe blues from start to finish. 

Paula worked on her Kool Kaleidoscope. So cool!  It's ready for Wedgies and Butts. 

Unfortunately I didn't get photos of everyone's projects. Janet worked on a pretty churn dash which she was designing on the fly, so she had to figure out the on point setting she wanted. After a bit of frustration, she ended up with a lovely top. 

Robin worked on a quilt in watery blues and greens for her brother, a waterman on the Chesapeake bay. She used my Scrappy Nine Patch Stars tutorial, and made lots of HSTs and nine patches. When she had enough of them made to start putting them on the design wall, it looked fantastic. She used an off-white Grunge with pale green in it for all her light patches and a teal print for the star points. I love it! Of course, I forgot to take a photo; I hope to have one when it's done. 

I worked on Flying Geese blocks and got them laid out on the design wall. Looking at the photo, I see a few tweaks that are needed. I'll put these blocks back up on the wall at home and move a couple around for better color and value distribution. 

I took along a UFO from fall 2020 that got put into time out when we were getting ready to move. It's a self round robin that started with an orphan block, and it needed the last few borders constructed and added. Now it's a finished flimsy. Whoo-hoo!

I also took along my laptop with EQ8 and was able to solve a design problem for Sheila, who needed alternate blocks for a wool applique project she's working on. And I used it to calculate the side and corner triangles for Janet's on-point project. I almost didn't bring the laptop along, but I'm glad I did.

Meals at Ritter are wonderful. Sheila and her husband Bill do all the cooking, and Bill is known for his made from scratch soups. 

Lunch this day was stromboli with tomato basil soup. Yum! 

We all enjoyed time together sewing and just hanging out. I'm on the list to go again in July, and to next year's April retreat. Already looking forward to it!

Friday, April 7, 2023

The Chisel Project: A Finished Flimsy

 It's finally done. I got the rows sewn together at social sewing last week.

It ended up about 70 x 70, which is fine for an adult or teen throw. 

Because of all the issues I had with this project, I don't want to deal with another whole quilt's worth of  leftover pieces and blocks that were cut going in the reverse direction. I threw them up on my design wall, snapped a photo and printed it, jotted some notes, and kitted up all the parts so someone else can finish it. See how the "stars" spin in the opposite direction? They look more like pinwheels than stars. Next time I go PCQ's sewing room, I'll put this kit in the Adopt-a-Quilt bin. 

My Chisel quilt is done to the flimsy stage. I'll figure out a back for it, quilt it, and donate it. I'm so done with this project! 

Actually, seeing it whole rather than close up in parts, it turned out okay after all. 

Link Ups: Alycia Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, April 3, 2023

Scrappy Celebration with Friends, and Retreat Prep

 My quilter friend across the street had the idea to pull together a small group of skilled quilters to make a Scrappy Celebration quilt, as shown on the cover of this month's American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. When she asked me if I'd like to participate, I jumped at the chance. There's a variety of blocks and we can make it as scrappy as we like. 

Image from Better Homes and Gardens

I pulled some scraps and small cuts in the featured colors and shared this photo with my friend:

My fabric pull

She had also pulled fabrics, so we got together, edited some out, and combined them into this palette. We're both going to a retreat this week and we'll take all this and work on blocks there. 

Inspiration Palette

My friend sent the palette photo to all the participants for inspiration. The other girls will add fabrics so we'll have lots of variety. 

Some of us couldn't resist, and jumped right in to making blocks. Edna made Block A in pinks and it's perfect. I want to make one of each block. I made Block B and Block D, both of which use nine patches with 1" finished squares. They're only 9" finished blocks so the patches are very small and fiddly and the piecing must be very precise. Although I'm not ordinarily a starch user, starch is definitely needed for precision with these blocks. With multiple makers, precision is even more important so all the blocks will fit together. 

Block B

Block D

I need to pause on these blocks now and pack for retreat. I have the Flying Geese project and a UFO from before I moved to AZ that I plan to take. I ordered some fabric for a different UFO but it hasn't arrived yet, so I'll save that project for another time, maybe the July retreat. 

The UFO I'm taking requires a couple of special rulers so I have to make sure they're packed with the stuff I'm taking. I need to make sure I have the right threads with me, white for the Scrappy Celebration project for sure. I think I only have grey and beige in my travel tool kit so I need to check. And I want to clean and oil my sewing machine before I go; it gets a lot of use at social sewing and it's probably due.  

We'll have 2-1/2 days - and 3 nights - of sewing time. I hope to have some progress pics to post next week!

Link up: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Saturday, April 1, 2023

March Stash Report and Goals Update

 March was one of those months where everything finally came to fruition. Projects that were in progress for a long time or were problematic progressed to finished stages. All in all, a very good month, even though not every goal on my list got checked off. 

The best finish: my Snake Quilt in Coral, aka Candy Land. 22 months in work and finally finished. 

Fabric shopping with friends and some on-line orders meant significant additions to my stash, but the acquisitions were more than offset by the outgoing yardage amount. The Chisel project that has given me so much trouble is now a finished flimsy so I can count that fabric out; separate post to come. And because I cut some of the fabrics going the wrong way, there's enough extra blocks and cut parts for another whole quilt. I'm so sick of this project that I don't want to see it or work on it any more, so I kitted up all the leftovers, added a photo and some notes, and I'll donate the kit to PCQ's Adopt-a-Quilt program, so I'm counting that fabric out, too. Finally, I finished the daisy print four patch top, so I can count out the fabrics used in it that came from my own stash.   

March Stash Report:

IN this month: 10 yards (Shopping with Karen and Jeri, 5-1/4 yards.  FQS order, 3 yards. Hancock's of Paducah order, 1 yard. Shopping with Robin, 3/4 yard. )
OUT this month: 19-5/8 yards (Backing for Snake Quilt, 5 yards. Binding for same, 5/8 yards. Daisy print top, my fabrics, 2-1/2 yards.  Chisel top, 5-3/4 yards. Chisel parts donated as an Adopt-a-Quilt kit, also 5-3/4 yards. )

IN YTD: 10 yards
OUT YTD: 37 yards
YTD Net Change: 27 yards OUT

I'll be going to a retreat next week so one of my March goals involved planning for it. I still have some prep to work on. I'm planning to take a UFO from before I moved, as well as the flying geese project I've been cutting for. 

A friend who's also going put together a small group to work on Scrappy Celebration together for a charity quilt. We pulled some fabrics and we'll take that along, too. Pattern from American Patchwork and Quilting, April 2023.

Goals Update: 

March Recap:
1. Finish Quilting Candy Land. DONE, plus it's quilted and bound, completely finished. 

2. Finish piecing Chisel project. Top is done; leftover parts facing the other direction are kitted up as an Adopt-a-Quilt donation. 

3. Plan and prep for April retreat. Progress; projects planned, fabric ordered, UFO selected. Working on kitting up projects. 

4. Make a small Mariner's Compass wall hanging for a specific wall space in the sewing room. No. Dropped this project entirely; I moved some things around in the sewing room and this is no longer needed. 

5. Plan and cut for a new project to piece at social sewing. Yes, a new flying geese project that I'm taking to the retreat likely will not be finished there and I can finish it at social sewing. 

6. Quilt something on PCQ's long arm. No, did not get time booked on the long arm this month, but I do have a firm date on the calendar for April. 

April Goals: 
1. Finish prepping and packing for retreat and have fun there.

2. Plan a backing for something for Kelly Young's upcoming book promotion.

3. Quilt something on PCQ's long arm. Book time slots for May and June. 

4. Make tote bag for Jackie.

5. Finish at least one of the tops I'm taking to work on at retreat.

6. Make blocks for Scrappy Celebration small group project.

I'm looking forward to these projects and the retreat! And I'm glad to be done with this project, the Chisel top.