Thursday, April 30, 2015

April is just a memory

Wow! April zoomed by just as fast as I thought it would.  We had a couple of birthdays to celebrate, all of the family here for Easter, and a few "social" events.  And so I had set some very modest goals for the month but left off some important things. But as always I worked on some things that weren't on the original goal list.  

  • #1 GOAL - Clean my sewing room!!!!
  • Bind my Crazy Pinwheels quilt - DONE
  • Bind (and finish quilting) the Tropical Wedding wall hanging - DONE & GIFTED
  • Make binding for the monkey basket weave quilt
  • 2 pieced blocks for Saturday Sampler - DONE
  • Heartland Guild Round Robin - final border addition - DONE

So in addition to these modest goals, these are my other finishes.
  • 2 RSC15 blocks in purple
  • 1 baby burpee
  • 1 soft fabric book for new baby
  • 3 Christmas mini quilts/mug rugs
  • purple Twister pillow
  • buffalo print pillow
  • tan dog print flannel self-binding baby blanket

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dirt instead of fabric

I am NOT a gardener. I don't particularly enjoy gardening and therefore am not very good at it. But I really LOVE having flowers to enjoy, so I now have 2 pots of flowers on my back deck. 

The flower pots and one big pot with tomatoes have been my whole garden the past few years. The deer can't get to the pots and I can see them from my kitchen, family room, and bedroom windows.  

My lunch break today included planting my tomatoes and my big flower pot.  I haven't cleaned off the deck yet, but the pots are watered and looking pretty good.  I have some King Tut (tall spikey), a couple of red geraniums, some yellow Superbells called Lemon Slice, and a sweet potato vine. It should fill in very nicely.

And next week - hopefully - our contractor will arrive and remove this old deck and replace with our new deck. I can't wait to enjoy sitting out on that new deck this summer.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Some new projects

I have some baby gifts to make so last night I pulled out the fabrics I needed. These are all such happy prints and it will be fun to work on them.  The owls with the purple and yellow will become a quilt using the Quick Strippee pattern from .  Mary has some wonderful free designs and the Quick Strippee is one of my "go to" quilts for kids.

The 2 dog prints with coordinating fabrics are flannels and these will become self-binding baby blankets for my new grandson due in about 7 weeks.  I especially love the grey and white ones, but the brown set will be cute too. And I know the "jungle animal" type print isn't a dog paw print, but the colors are perfect, so I'm putting them together.

 My goal for the week is to get the flannel ones completed, and the Quick Strippee all cut and ready to sew. Plus I've got a binding in progress for another UFO.  So hoping to knock a few yards of fabric off my stash this week.  Too bad I have to go to work too. It really cuts into my sewing time. :-)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Twister pillow and Week 17 Status of the Stash

The lonely Twister block has become a pillow.

This started out as a 9 patch block I got from friend Sylvia when she downsized her stash.  I took out one square that was kind of blue and substituted another purple one.  White and pale lavender edge squares were added. And I used my Twister ruler to cut the whole thing.

A little hand quilting and an envelop backing - and voila, it's a pillow!  Just a little touch of spring with these colors.

I'm counting a 1/2 yard of stash used for this little finish, And I used about 1 yard from the stash to add borders to the guild Round Robin quilt I have this month.  So it wasn't a very productive week in terms of finishes. And I purchased 7.5 yards of fabric.  Some was to add sashing to a UFO project and some is for a couple of baby quilts I need to make soon.

In this week: 7.5 yds
In this year: 84.25 yds
Used this week: 1.5 yds
Used this year: 88.75 yds

Status of the Stash: still 4.5 yards ahead of my stash!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Another pattern testing experience

The pattern is great and everything went together perfectly - except for one seam. Oops!  Operator error not designer error!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A "little" paper piecing

More random sewing to show!  A couple of weeks ago I purchased a book called Little Gems by Connie Kaufman. There are patterns for 15 paper pieced miniature quilts. Just what I needed, right? A new project.

I immediately picked out a miniature to work on and pulled some batik scraps from my stash. The center 6" square went together pretty quickly along with one 3" corner square. I need to get back to work on this next weekend. The finished mini is only 12" square so it is achievable.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hawaiian appliqué progress

Last week I sandwiched my Hawaiian applique wall hanging with batting and backing. Now I'm working on the hand quilting. I've started with a quilting line 1/4" from the applique, then another 1" outside of that. My plan is to continue the "echo" quilting all the way out to the edges of the white.

The red outer border will be scalloped - I hope.  It will be my first attempt at a scalloped edge and binding. We'll see how long it takes me to get that far however. My eyes don't like needle and thread work by lamplight. Even my OTT light doesn't seem to make enough difference, so I will work on it when I have natural light coming in my windows. And having a "day job" cuts into that daylight sewing time.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Saturday Sampler

Month 3 of Saturday Sampler was another challenge due to the number of small pieces, but the end result so far has been worth it. And I keep reminding myself that I wanted to be challenged.

There were 28 half square triangles in this block.  Yikes! The small 6.5" version didn't want to lay flat at first so I had to experiment a bit in how I pressed it.  I'll admit that I cut the pieces one evening, sewed the HSTs another night. And pieced the big block another evening. Sunday afternoon I pieced that little one. It was just too much to do in one sitting for sure.

Now I need to catch up on the applique blocks for months 2 and 3.  I have month 2 all cut and some of the pieces are pressed/fused onto the background, ready to do some blanket stitch around them. We'll see how quickly I get back to working on them. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Week 16 Status of the Stash

No fabric was added to my stash this week - no time for shopping and not much time for any major sewing. But I did get some grandma time with 3 of the kiddos, played my first round of golf for the season with DH, went to the movies with some girlfriends, and attended a fundraising luncheon with my sister-in-law and other friends. So it was a great week. 

I did finish 3 mug rugs (or mini quilts) and a soft fabric book from a panel for a total of 1.5 yards used. 

My red Hawaiian applique project was sandwiched and the hand quilting has begun. I cut a lot of prairie points for a future project. I used 6 fat quarters to make blocks for a baby quilt yet to be assembled. And I made the pieced blocks for this month's Saturday Sampler.  So there definitely has been some additional fabric used up this week but I can't count it yet.

All of these were things best done in small increments of time, which was kind of what I expected for the week. I'll share some of those things during the coming week.

In this week: 0 yds
In this year: 76.75 yds
Used this week: 1.5 yds
Used this year: 87.25 yds

Status of the Stash: 10.5 yards ahead of my stash!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Disappearing Hourglass

From a bundles of 6 fat quarters found in the stash this weekend - purchased several years ago - I now have 6 disappearing hourglass blocks and enough piano key pieces for a couple of borders. The only scraps left were little slivers so no wasted scraps ending up in my bin.

I'm not exactly sure yet how I'm going to lay these out but it may become a baby quilt. Right now I'm thinking 2 rows of 3 blocks with a border and then add the piano keys to the top and bottom to make it rectangular.  Any other layout ideas for me? I'm open to some creativity.

For more information on the Disappearing Hourglass blocks go to the Missouri Star Quilt Company website. They have video tutorials for several different "disappearing" blocks: 4-patch, 9-patch, pinwheel, and hourglass.  Very easy and usually have some interesting variations.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Use it up

Another quick stash project is done. Earlier this winter I "shopped" the stash of a friend who wanted to downsize her fabric collection. These 3 panel sections were in with the things I brought home. They are each 10" x 12" and were just so cute.

Sunday morning I was trying - unsuccessfully, mind you - to organize some of the stuff lying around in my sewing room. When I saw these Christmas panel sections I began to think they would make very cute mug rugs or minis to hang on a door. So I dug around in the stash and found a piece of gold big enough to use as backing, leftover pieces of batting, and a fat quarter of a red/tan stripe to use as a binding.  Perfect!

I just added a little simple hand quilting to each of these (while watching Masters golf on TV). Monday night I added the binding and they are done.  These might make good gifts next holiday season and they reduce my stash by about a yard of fabric.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

RSC15 Broken Sugar Bowl

The most recent RSC15 Sampler block is Broken Sugar Bowl. I used a much lighter group of purple fabrics for this one but I think the contrast with the first block will be good.

Since it is early in the month and we've already done 2 purple blocks I'm wondering if there will be a 3rd purple one. We did 2 blue, 2 pink, and 2 yellow in previous months so there are 8 blocks done. And I can't wait to begin adding the alternate chain blocks in between these. Loving her sample quilt design. 

Check out the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2015 site.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lots of random sewing

I had a LOT of trouble focusing this weekend on any one project. I just wanted to play with lots of different things - so I did just that.  My theory is that after having 2 finishes last week I needed to start something new. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

One of my random projects this weekend was working on my 13 blocks for the friendship exchange that I'm doing.  I now have 4 blocks completely done and the final pieces all cut to finish the other 9 blocks.  So I can do a little piecing on these any time I have a little time.

The focus fabric that we are all using is the dark brown floral. It has touches of tan, red, green, gold and blue in it so I'm anticipating some really lovely blocks. There are 12 of us working on blocks and will exchange them in June so that we each have 1 block from each gal. The 13th block will go into a charity quilt to be donated to some local group.

Later this week I'll show you some of the other random things I worked on, including 3 new small projects. Yikes! - that means I need to add 3 things to my WIP list don't I?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

String blocks & Week 15 Status of the Stash

Heartland Guild members are starting a couple of new baby quilts for donation to 1st babies of the New Year. We like to always have a couple of them ready in case there are twins.

The new ones are going to be made with string blocks. The committee provided some muslin for foundations and demonstrated the process. We are using yellow centers in both the bright variation and the pastel variation. My 2 blocks were done in a short evening sewing session.  These quilts will be so cute.

In the past couple of years since I've been a member, we've done applique blocks (alphabets and animal silhouettes) and those quilts were adorable too. And it's always fun to see a photo in the local newspaper of the guild representatives gifting that quilt to the new mom and baby at the hospital. 

Week 15 Status of the Stash . . . good thing I had a couple of finishes this week because I purchased fabric for some new projects.  I finished the Crazy Pinwheels quilt so I counted the backing and binding fabric. And I finished the Tropical Wedding quilt so that counts too.

Just for fun I bought a cute Halloween panel, and I got 3 batiks to use in a paper pieced project I'm starting.  And some fabric for another baby quilt gift and a little background for an applique.  I need to get BUSY!!!

In this week: 6 yds
In this year: 76.75 yds
Used this week: 6.25 yds
Used this year: 85.75 yds

Status of the Stash: Still 9 yards ahead of my stash!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


My assistant seemed a big confused about this little pieced square.  It is a bit boring isn't it?

But with the Twister ruler it became this fun block. And Sammy approved of the change.  The purple and pink squares are all from the stash and the pale purple/white dot was a fat quarter in the stash.  So nothing new was purchased for this. Now - to decide if this will become a pillow or the center of something larger.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Finish It Up Friday - Crazy Pinwheels

The last stitches went into the binding of this quilt last night and we had some great sunshine today so I could get a decent photo outdoors.  I used the same bright yellow for the binding as I used for the sashing.  The pinwheels were all made from fat quarters from my stash.  I bought the yellow and I bought the lime green backing.  The ladies at The Pin Cushion did the quilting for me and it's perfectly suited to the fun bright - HAPPY - theme of the quilt.

I'm linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish It Up Friday. Check it out to see what other folks are finishing.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tropical Wedding quilt

Another completed UFO to check off the list and this was a very important one. Five years ago this month my oldest daughter got married on the beach in Jamaica and this small quilt or wall hanging was the "guest book". 

The 2 flip flop blocks were signed at her bridal showers and the palm tree block was signed by those who joined us in Jamaica.

I was so determined to hand quilt this and it kept getting set aside for a number of reasons, including some hand and wrist issues about a year ago that kept me from hand quilting. This spring I pulled it out and made a promise to myself that it would be ready to give them as a 5th anniversary gift.  I have made my goal as the last stitches have gone into this finally. I'll give it to them next week when I go to babysit while they go out to dinner to celebrate the anniversary.

There are some fun details on this quilt.  The palm tree trunk has a heart with their initials embroidered into it. There are 2 sets of flip flops appliqued on the beach, along with some starfish buttons.  

The flip flop blocks have ribbon and buttons to make them 3-D.  I used that same technique on a wall quilt in the past that hangs in my beach-themed guest bathroom, and am adding the same technique to a new row robin quilt that is nearly done.  I guess I liked that flip flop design.

I can't wait to give this gift to them finally!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Winner, winner - chicken dinner

Aren't these Island Batiks lovely? I won 6 fat quarters in a giveaway from Connie at Freemotion By The River blog.  Now I'll need some ideas of how to showcase these fat quarters just perfectly.  I may have to purchase a few more to go with them and Island has so many gorgeous ones to choose from.  Any project suggestions are very welcome . . . . . . . .


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

RSC15 block #7

Block #7 in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sawtooth Sampler is Carrie Nation and yes - this center section is only 6.5" square. That means those dark purple sections finished at 3/4". 

This might actually be my favorite block so far. I just love the looks of those little 4-patch blocks marching through it.  Each of the 6.5" center blocks is set into a Sawtooth Star setting to make a 12.5" block.  

Check out the RSC15 project at:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter family weekend

These 4 munchkins spent the weekend at our house. The best reason to close the door to my sewing room. 

But I have today off and I am sewing at least part of the day. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Week 14 Status of the Stash

Image result for easter graphics

I hope everyone is having a blessed Easter weekend.  There was not much to report on this week in terms of quilting.  I did some hand quilting on a wall hanging and it's nearly done. But I won't report that yardage as used until it is totally done. I also cut binding for 3 projects, but none of that will happen until later this week. And the good news is that I didn't add to my stash this week either.

This weekend is all about family - specifically the 4 grandchildren visiting our house. 

In this week: 0 yds
In this year: 70.75 yds
Used this week: 0 yds
Used this year: 79.5 yds

Status of the Stash: Still 8.75 yards ahead of my stash!  Yay!  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pattern testing

Earlier this winter I had the opportunity to test a pattern for Connie at Freemotion By The River.  The pattern is called Aruba Sunset and is now available. This was a great experience and I loved her pattern.  Her instructions made this go together very quickly.

Connie did hers in batiks with lots of pink and orange like a tropical sunset.  I chose the Downton Abbey Egyptian line of fabrics and added the orange batik.  And I just LOVE the result. The ladies at The Pin Cushion even found a great quilting design that made me think of hieroglyphics. For now it's on my big coffee table but it's going to hang on the wall in my sewing room. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Modest April Goals

April is going to be a very busy month and so my "quilty" goals are going to be modest, and involves a lot of binding and cleaning. 

  • #1 GOAL - Clean my sewing room!!!!
  • Bind my Crazy Pinwheels quilt
  • Bind (and finish quilting) the Tropical Wedding wall hanging
  • Make binding for the monkey basket weave quilt
  • 2 pieced blocks for Saturday Sampler
  • Heartland Guild Round Robin - final border addition
  • Clean my sewing room!!!!
Anything else I get done is just a bonus.  I'm sure that I'll work on some other random projects because I always do.