Friday, September 29, 2023

August/September Stash Reports and Goals Updates

Apparently I didn't post a recap for August, so this one will have to combine both August and September. 

In August PCQ learned that one of our charities has a need for small quilts for resident hospice patients for Christmas. This immediately changed our priorities, so I spent a lot of time developing a pattern and working with the Community Service Committee. 

Also in August I began teaching my color class, every other Sunday, which requires prep for each lesson. So far I've taught four lessons. They've closely tracked the book we're following up to this point. Now I'm going off book for the 5th lesson, which has required me to spend a lot - a lot!!! - of time prepping, figuring out how to say what I'm trying to communicate, demonstrate with the materials and swatches I have available, and plan exercises for the students to do in class and for homework. One particular challenge with teaching this class is that I have two very advanced, accomplished students, three intermediate, and three beginners. One of my beginners has never made a quilt block. Next time I teach the class I will specify that it's for intermediate/experienced quilters. 

August Stash Report: 

IN this month: 7 yards. (Jean's destashing sale)
OUT this month: 7-1/4 yards (Test samples for Xmas charity blocks, 1-3/8 yards.  Red wide backing used for sashing strips, multiple kits - 2 yards. Green metallic for sashing, one kit - 7/8 yard. Pattern test top, non-Xmas fabrics, 3 yards.)

September Stash Report:

IN this month: 8-7/8 yards (Darker Purple, 1/2 yard. Kaffe fan print for backing, 5-3/8 yards. Jerome shop, 2 yards.)
OUT this month: 1/2 yard (Purple bits removed from Kaffe gradient project, too small to be used for anything else)

YTD Net Change: 58-3/4 yards OUT

September is actually the only month this year that I've brought in more than has gone out. 

August Goals Update: (updates noted at end of August and don't include further September progress)

1. Prep for and teach first two lessons in my color class. Done; now prepping for third class Sept 3.

2. Continue making SC3 blocks. Yes, made a few; project is on pause while other priorities take precedence. 

3. Work on my Kaffe gradient project. Yes, added sashing and discovered a color/value problem which will require taking rows apart and replacing sashing. 

4. Make backing for SC2 and quilt it. Yes, SC2 is finished (and was shown at guild in September and donated).

5. Continue making Road Trip blocks; work on layout. No, did not get to this. 

6. Make backing for Kaffe Shuffle. No, did not get to this. 

Other: developed a Christmas quilt for Hospice for PCQ Community Service; wrote pattern, made test blocks and test sample; helped make kits; assembled two tops.  

September Goals Update: 

1. Prep for and teach lessons 3 and 4 in my color class. Done; class is going well so far. Working on prepping for Class 5 which is taking a lot of my time and attention.  

2. Work on my Kaffe gradient project. Progress - Still working on ripping out and replacing the too-light purple solid.

3. Work on Xmas quilts for Hospice at prep day and sew day. Yes, helped make kits. Quilted one of my own kits at home. Bound, labeled and finished one of my kits; bound two other charity quilts. 

4. Quilt something on the club's long arm. Yes, quilted three Xmas quilts for Hospice. Also assisted a friend with quilting two deadline quilts. 

Other: Pin-basted the red round robin medallion, now ready for quilting at home. 

It seems I don't have much in the way of photos for September. Much more of my time has been spent prepping for classes and helping out the Community Service committee with Christmas quilts than doing anything photo-worthy. That's totally fine, I'm very satisfied with all I've accomplished. 

Teaching this color class is really challenging me to up my communication skills. What I understand and what comes easily to me from lots of experience is definitely not self-evident to other quilters. Everyone in my class stated their goal is to learn how to combine fabrics to go together in a quilt. If you're working with a designer collection, that work has already been done for you. If you're creating your own palette, how do you choose what goes with what? That's my challenge to communicate. I appreciate the challenge, it's pushing me to grow. There has been a lot of positive feedback, a lot of requests from other PCQ members to offer the class again, and I've agreed to teach it again in January/February/March. 

Friday, September 22, 2023

Moving the Red Round Robin Medallion Forward

 Any progress is good progress, right? 

This top has been finished since April. It was started in the fall of 2020 so it's already been in UFO status for awhile. It started as an orphan block, and I built it out round robin style by adding the borders. 

The backing for it has been ready since May; I made a pieced backing from Kelly Young's book Perfectly Pieced Backings (My Quilt Infatuation) for her book launch in June.

Other projects took priority and I haven't been able to quilt this yet. I'm going to quilt it on my domestic machine rather than PCQ's long arm because I want to do some SID and try my hand at some custom quilting, maybe some ruler work. 

Quilting on my domestic machine means I have to layer and baste it, my least favorite task. But since this quilt is not too large, about 52" square, I can baste it on my work table.

With the backing taped and clamped down, it's smooth enough, and I can add lots of pins. I just use straight pins because my hands can't handle maneuvering that many safety pins anymore. If I find I'm getting too scratched up from the straight pins when I quilt, I have little foam caps I can add to the points, but usually it's not annoying enough to bother with the caps. And since I'll start with all the SID, I can remove the pins as I go along. 

Now that it's basted, I can get to the quilting as I have time. At least I feel like I'm moving it forward a little bit! 

Linking up with Alycia Quilts for Finished - or Not! - Friday

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

September Community Service Sew Day

Remember the kits we've been making for Christmas Quilts for Hospice? Saturday was a Community Service Sew day to work on them. We don't have a total count of how many kits there are because some of the people making kits took them home to sew, but we think there are about 50. Wow, Quilters sure do step up when there's a need. 

We had a full house in the sewing room Saturday. I didn't take pics, so the pics here are courtesy of Hiromi, our Community Service Committee chair. 

We had teams of people on the long arm all day, under the direction of several of our Long Arm Committee members, and their plan was to get eight quilts quilted. Not all were Christmas quilts, but the To-Be-Quilted cabinet is so full that they just went ahead and worked on some of those. Moving them along creates more room for more Christmas quilts to be quilted as the tops get finished.  

A lot of people grabbed kits and started piecing their tops. In some cases, this was the second or third kit they had pieced. Judy's first one has a beautiful medallion center; it's now ready for backing and batting to be cut, and she's already on to the next top.  

We have teams of people who prep backings and cut batting. They had done a lot of that at the prep day a couple weeks ago so that finished tops could be quilted as soon as possible. 

Amidst all this, we had an iron go kaput on us. We do go through irons in this club. We have stations for up to four to be in use at a time, and they get used for many hours every day. This one only got slightly warm; I could do a better job finger pressing than with this iron, but I needed to press binding. Fortunately we had another working one available.

Ruth was able to get her quilt bound, labeled, and finished. Oops, we should have pinned the baggie with the quilt's info to the back for the photo. 

I had quilted one of mine at home and got it bound during the sew day. It's labeled, and in the finished pile. 

People who are working on kits will finish their tops at home, and our teams that handle backs and batting will move them along as they're ready. I'm scheduled for the long arm on Friday, so I'll quilt the other one of mine that I have ready to go, and also one from the To-Be-Quilted cabinet if I have time. I'll bind them myself, but for those who don't want to do binding, we also have people who do that. The cabinet system with locations for charity quilts in each stage of progress is working pretty well, although we do get bottlenecks sometimes. 

We have at least a dozen finished quilts now. They're due by Nov. 30 so they can be taken to Hospice in early December. 

Have I mentioned lately how happy I am that I've found my people in this club? 

Monday, September 11, 2023

Kaffe Stained Glass Project Update

This is the Kaffe stained glass project with the rows halfway sewn together and placed on the wall with the sashing strips. 

I cannot look at this photo without cringing. The purple is not right; it's too light. There needs to be darker gridwork in front of the prints. (And two of the blocks in one of the rows are turned the wrong way.)

So I've been spending time with my seam ripper. I'm taking out all the horizontal and vertical sashing in the purple section, but leaving the diagonals because I don't want to mess up the bias seams. I bought new darker purple fabric and I'm hoping this will look okay with just the darker horizontal and vertical sashing. 

I had to label each block as I unsewed the rows in order to keep the layout organized. With the labels on all the blocks, it's hard to tell whether this totally solved the problem or if I'll have to swap out the diagonal sashing after all. It's definitely an improvement but now I'm afraid the grid looks too square, the diagonals within it disappear. 

I'm thinking of keeping this quilt for me - there's a wall in my sewing room where it could hang. If I'm going to see this quilt every time I go in there, I want it to be right. I'm leaning toward taking it apart again and replacing the diagonals with the darker purple. 

What do you think? Comments? Opinions? 

Link up: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Friday, September 8, 2023

Scrappy Celebration #2

Another fun group project, and now it's finished and ready to go to one of the charities PCQ supports.

This one started with leftover blocks from our first Scrappy Celebration that were too dark and bright. So Linda, Edna and I pooled our brighter scraps and made a whole 'nother set of blocks. Then we had the fun of laying them all out. I love how these blocks create random and broken diagonal chains. 

There are a lot of prints in this version, both in the bright colors and in the low volume backgrounds. Busy, but in a cheerful way. 

Wanda, you might recognize some of the fabrics from a set of 5" squares you sent me years ago for kids' charity quilts. Thank you.

I like how many different low volume prints we have here, too, as well as white-on-white.

Edna and I had time reserved on the long arm last week, so we were able to quilt one of her veteran's quilts and this one. It's faster with two people working together. She used a panto on hers, and I FMQ'd an allover meander on this one in lime green thread. The backing is a green floral, sorry no pic. For the binding, I had just enough in my stash of a hot pink, perfect with both the front and the back. 

This will go to one of the charities that needs twin bed size quilts. It finished at about 63 x 90". 
Scrappy Celebration 2

Just for comparison, here's our first Scrappy Celebration:

We have a third one in the works, in patriotic colors, but it's on hold while we work on other higher priority projects with deadlines. 

Link ups: Alycia QuiltsWendy's Quilts and More, My Quilt Infatuation

Friday, September 1, 2023

PCQ Christmas Quilts for Hospice: Kits and Progress

On Monday I wrote about quilty things that have been keeping me busy. One of those things is PCQ Community Service: pattern development for Christmas Quilts for Hospice and prep day for making kits. We had 27 people at prep day helping to assemble kits and we got about 40 kits made. 

The pattern requires 6" squares and 2" wide strips. My role was to help cut the strips. We used my big AccuQuilt Studio cutter with the 2" strip die. It took 16 WOF strips per kit, so I cut four 9" WOF panels, stacked them up, and George cranked them through the cutter. One pass yielded one quilt's worth of strips. 

A lot of the people who were assembling kits took them home to piece. I know we already have several tops, and even a few quilted and ready to be bound. 

I fussy-cut two kits at home and used colorful fabric for the strips, so I sewed these two tops myself, the red one above and a green one. You can see why I wanted to fussy cut. The large scale fabric in the green quilt was off-cuts from somebody's backing, just long strips, a challenge to cut. The pine forest and little red truck fabrics were scraps, and I actually pieced a couple of squares together to get enough. 

The two prints in the red quilt coordinated, and I just couldn't chop up those pretty ladies decorating their trees. 

Of course, I messed up when sewing rows together, and sewed bottom over top instead of top over bottom. In both versions. A bit of seam ripper action to take some rows apart slowed down the construction, but even so, these two tops came together very quickly. 

We're having another prep day tomorrow. We'll work on backings and cutting batting. Since these are small, about 44", I'll quilt these two myself on my domestic machine. They're due at the end of November, so I may take them to retreat in early November and quilt them there. The binding is already prepped for them. 

My friend Cherie saw my earlier post about this project and very generously sent some Christmas prints from her late mother's stash to us. Wow! 27 yards here. This will go a long way toward backings for all the quilts we're making! Thanks so much, Cherie! 

These small lap quilts will go to our local Hospice of the Valley. When asked about their needs recently, they mentioned that some of their patients in care homes never receive visitors and never receive holiday gifts. PC Quilters can help a little with gifts for them, with these holiday quilts.