Thursday, April 19, 2018

Another patriotic block

Digging through the stash to see what other patriotic fabrics I've been hoarding collecting has also given me the chance to reorganize them a bit and make sure I'm keeping them all together. I have a lot of blue, but not much for prints. However there was about a half yard of the star print and it needed to come out and play.

This is actually the Saturday Sampler block pattern from last month. It's called Homemade Ice Cream and looks a little like the dasher in an ice cream churn.  I like it in red, cream, and blue just as well as my original fabric choice. 

I also cut and prepped a pillowcase from some of the other pieces in that patriotic stash.  It can be used for a future presentation pillowcase once I get it sewn. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Quilts of Valor building blocks

One of our long time members is downsizing and she gave more than 20 gorgeous patriotic blocks to the guild to use in a future Quilt of Valor.  There are some really amazing blocks in this collection.  I was told that they were from a block exchange.  All I can say is "Wow - and thank you Mary!"

 And I've made 4 blocks (so far) to add to that mix.  While I'm digging in those red, white, and blue scraps and stash I may make a few more.

We are having a Quilt of Valor work session the morning of our May meeting. I counted out Garlic Knot blocks, and we had enough to finish one quilt and 26 more to start another. Those are now organized and ready to go. I also pulled 2 really pretty Garlic Knot blocks out of the stack because I feel that they fit much better with the blocks that Mary gave us.  They are on the right side of the picture above.  These Garlic Knots are so pretty.  Besides, I know that folks will come that morning with more blocks.  It's really looking like we could get 3 more QOV tops made in the next month to add to the 3 we have ready to present.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Distracted by genealogy

I actually had lots of time last week to sew, but I've been distracted by family history.  For decades in the pre-Internet world, my mother was writing letters and researching family history for both her family and for my dad's side of the family.  And when she passed away 27 years ago I inherited boxes and tubs of genealogy materials.  I've been enjoying for several years now, where I have connected with a number of relatives on both sides of my family and with my husband's family too.
One of the really exciting things is how easy it is to share photos even with folks I've never met in person.  I've always had a formal portrait of my paternal grandparents that I understood to be from their wedding day.  But I was really thrilled when a distant cousin posted this 100 year old photo in her Ancestry gallery.  Philip and Marceline married in 1918 in Kansas.  I love her simple dress, with the flowers in her hair. Look at those shoes!!  Since she was only 4' 9" tall, I'm sure those were tiny shoes.  And my grandfather was so handsome!
The formal portrait that I have probably was taken the same day, but they are seated and she isn't wearing the veil or flowers.  Now I have a print of this one to frame and add to my family photos.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Finishing up yellow

The Squared Away (RSC18 Sampler) block for April was called 4X Star.  All 3 of my yellow versions are done.  This is a really pretty block and was so easy to do.  I also think it would make a great Quilt of Valor block using red, white, and blue.

And my lunch hour sewing today was the last 4 Ritzy Cracker blocks that were cut and ready to go.  While digging for more yellow or gold scraps, I came across that green and pink floral. It just begged to become a Ritzy Cracker. 

So with these blocks I've reached 2 of my goals for April - making 3 Squared Away blocks and finishing 12 Ritzy Cracker blocks in yellow. I actually made 13 of them. Yay!

Now I'm back at my desk at work and watching the weather outside my windows. We just had a severe thunderstorm warning, and the thunder literally rattled the windows.  It poured rain and sleet.  Now we are waiting for the blizzard to move into our area this afternoon.  The forecast for our locale is 12-18" of wet, heavy snow.  Schools in town dismissed at noon - just in time for the pouring rain and sleet.  The good side of a blizzard is it will give me some sewing time.  I'm hoping to work on putting the Christmas jelly roll blocks into a finished top.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Yellow Ritzy Crackers

There are now 12 yellow Ritzy Cracker blocks.  Ten of them are new, and two of them were made in previous months. I have a couple of duplicates, but that's not a problem.  I'm thinking however that I need just a couple more, especially since I set of goal of making 12 this month.  I may need to dig much deeper into the stash to find more yellow.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Unicorns and Stars

Olivia had asked for another quilt recently, and I had the top of this one done thinking it would be a good Christmas present for her. But since she asked . . . I decided it would make a good birthday present instead.  Why wait, right?  Today is her 5th birthday.  (Her twin brother was much more interested in receiving LEGOs.)  She is obsessed with unicorns right now, and also loves pink. So I found a perfect backing fabric with unicorns on a pink background.

The quilt top was made using parts and pieces of a Bonnie Hunter pattern called En Provence, and it was all destined to become a UFO. But then I decided to used the parts to make something different - which is this quilt. The pink and purple units just worked so well together.
I asked for quilting with loops and stars which looks great. I had enough of the backing fabric to make Olivia a matching pillowcase.  And I still have some left to use on the back of a big floor pillow I'm making with her name on it.  That big pillow will wait for Christmas however, and maybe I'll get some made for the other grandkids by then too. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Design Wall Monday - Patriotic blocks

Quilts of Valor have been on my mind lately, with lots of time checking them out on Pinterest and on blogs that I read. 

At our guild meeting this weekend, one of our members donated several beautiful patriotic blocks to use for future Quilts of Valor.  The blocks were not all the exact same size or shape and were from a block exchange she had been involved in.  We are having a QOV sewing session the morning of our May guild meeting. So we'll figure out a layout to use those blocks that day. I'm thinking a nice gold sashing to separate them should work well.

That made me start thinking about a possible future guild challenge of making 12" blocks that we can put into Quilts of Valor.  Everyone could just choose to make their favorite block, keeping the patriotic color scheme and the size.  This could be a way to make multiple quilt tops quickly.

So with these ideas racing around my head, I had some fun on Sunday playing with some patriotic blocks. The star block at the top is actually leftover star units from the QOV that I just had quilted.  I had 8 extras, so I can make another block like this too.  And the block at the bottom used the Diamond Tile block from the new Quiltmaker magazine. This was the block in Bonnie Hunter's Addicted to Scraps column, and I added the blue corner triangles and the red border to make it 12" finished.

Check out what other quilters have on their Design Wall Monday posts:

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Community Service Projects

Our Guild has a table today at a fundraiser luncheon for the local Safe House.  One of our members did a fabulous job decorating with vintage sewing items.  There is an antique machine, a bowl of antique thimbles and spools, vintage linens, and more. 

And as a guild we donated 2 quilts for the silent auction. I made the one with the yellow border. It’s a fun day and usually raises a lot of money for the Safe House. 

We have a sewing day planned for our May meeting day where we hope to finish a third Quilt of Valor and start another.  One of our members today donated a bunch of patriotic blocks that she had from a block exchange. So we have a great starting point for another Quilt of Valor in the future.

Friday, April 6, 2018

More yellow

Only one more yellow Ritzy Cracker block made - a bright yellow print with oranges on it.  Three more were cut out but I just didn't get that far.  And I have 4 more yellow fabrics to work with.  Yellow and gold are the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color for April. My yellow choices were a bit limited as it isn't one of my "go to" colors. Maybe it should be however, because these are really happy blocks and sure brighten up the pile of blocks I've made so far.
This might be the only sunshine I see this weekend since we are expecting more snow on Sunday. And today we may see a high only in the 20s.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Slowly binding

I'm slow as molasses, but only have 1 side left to do on granddaughter Olivia's unicorn quilt.  I should be able to finish it this evening while watching some TV.  But I picked up 2 more quilts from my long arm quilter today, so I have more binding to do. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Easter memories

As we headed home Sunday evening, I suddenly realized that no one had taken the time to snap any pictures. Those grandkids grow up so fast and we missed an opportunity to capture some memories.

And then last night my daughter (who rarely posts to Facebook) posted 2 photos that I didn't know she had even taken.  We didn't get any photos of all of the kids together unfortunately, but she did manage to capture the checkers games that Mason played with grandpa. He's getting closer to beating grandpa.  He's figuring out strategy. 

Olivia found a couple of books she wanted me to read.  Here we are reading Bambi - which I gave her for Christmas along with a Bambi pillowcase I made.  Under that quilt are also my younger daughter's feet and Olivia was tucked into a warm spot behind Aunt Laura's legs.  We also read a book about Nibbles the book monster, who eats his way through several stories. 

At our house the past 2 Easters, we've done an outdoor Easter egg hunt and decorated sugar cookies. But with it coming early this year, it's still winter here and was only about 25 degrees out. We all gathered at Jerilyn's house this year, and stayed indoors.  No frantic activities - just let the kids play.  We even skipped the traditional ham dinner. Son-in-law Jamie made delicious French Dip sandwiches. We had buffalo chicken dip and chips, fruit, deviled eggs, and dessert.  By keeping things simple, the day was just about relaxing and being together.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

I need some April goals

I had set some reasonable goals for March because I was afraid I wouldn't have much sewing time.  And I'm pleased to say that I met all of these goals plus a couple of other small things.
  • 3 RSC Sampler blocks - DONE 3 green blocks
  • 2 Saturday Sampler blocks - DONE
  • 12 green Ritzy Cracker blocks - DONE (13)
  • finish top of Christmas Grand Adventure - DONE
  • bind ABC kid quilt - DONE
  • 10 new blocks for Christmas jelly roll quilt - DONE

  • April will definitely be busy as we have things going on during 3 of the weekends between Easter, 4 family birthdays, and a retirement party in Kansas. So, my April goals need to be small again.  I'm working on a few Ritzy Cracker blocks today since I don't have much sewing time.  4 are made and 4 more yellow ones (because the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for April is yellow) are cut out and waiting.

  • 3 RSC Sampler blocks in yellow
  • 2 Saturday Sampler blocks 
  • 12 Ritzy Cracker blocks (yellow)
  • finish top of Christmas jelly roll quilt
  • bind unicorn & stars quilt before April 14
  • make unicorn pillowcase before April 14

  • Thursday, March 29, 2018

    Stars & unicorns

    I picked this one up from my quilter this week and as always, Bonnie did a great job. I usually leave the quilting design and thread choice up to her because I trust her instincts.  This time I did request something with stars to go with the stars on the front and the stars on the back.  It's ready to bind with a deep pink print that blends nicely with the pink stars.

    This quilt is made from parts and pieces of En Provence, which was last year's Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. I decided to use the various units in other ways because I just wasn't happy with how it was looking laid out in the original pattern.  I really love this result and am so glad the parts didn't just become another UFO.
    The back has unicorns - granddaughter Olivia's favorite thing - and stars and rainbows.  The pink in this photo is not very true as the light is gloomy again. But it is a nice bright pink that fits perfectly with the front.  I'm not sure yet if I'm going to give Olivia the quilt and matching pillowcase for her April birthday, and save the big floor pillow for Christmas.  My original plan had been to save the quilt for Christmas, but she was asking for another quilt on the phone last week so maybe she needs to get this one now. But first I need to get it bound.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2018

    Nearly enough

    Laying the blocks out on the floor was very helpful although some rearranging will need to happen yet.  This jelly roll quilt will be big enough for a good sized throw if I finish that bottom row. So I need 3 more red blocks and 2 more green blocks.

    I "wasted" a non-working day yesterday and didn't do any sewing at all.  I had doctor appointments and errands to run in the morning, and then spent the afternoon sitting in the sunshine (indoors) and read a book.  There are 2 ground level windows in my basement sewing room and I wanted to be able to SEE that sunshine! My family room has a south wall of windows, and in the winter - yes it's still winter here - the sun pours in and warms that room.  This was the first sun we've seen in a week, so I sat in my rocking chair next to those windows with a good book all afternoon. I watched a couple of bunnies playing, and saw a couple of rooster pheasants strutting around in the back yard. Everyone wanted to enjoy the sun.  Very relaxing, and I think the sun has melted a little bit of funk from my attitude. 

    It was sunny again this morning when I got up, but now the clouds have moved back in. But at least it's not raining or snowing today.  Like much of the country we are expecting unseasonable cold and rain for Easter weekend.  Maybe I'll get those last 5 blocks made on Saturday while it rains again.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2018

    On being a list maker

    I've always been a list maker.  I do this with work related tasks, when I'm planning for an event, etc. Otherwise I just spin in place and don't get anything accomplished.  It's just how I function best.  I'm keeping track again this year of UFO projects for the APQ 2018 UFO Challenge. So far I've done well, and it does help to be accountable by writing about it.  BUT - I am choosing to not beat myself up about anything I don't finish, and that is an improvement.

    The file they provided in the Facebook group had 3 lines per month, so I actually put in 3 different projects. That way I figured I could choose which one or ones I worked on - or move on to another month.  And I've given myself permission to replace things on the list that I've lost interest in with things I DO want to work on.  No quilt police here!  January's number drawn was 12 and I finished all 3 of the projects. Two of those were small, but they are still done. The blue bag was even given away right away.

    February's number was 9.  I finished the binding for the ABC quilt in March finally, but it's done.  And I did manage to get both of the other quilts to flimsy stage. The QOV quilt is actually at the quilter's right now, along with 2 other quilts, and I hope to have it bound and ready to donate in April.

    March's number is 3 and I've been working on 2 of the projects.  I have the parts all cut for Olivia's pillow, and the center section with her name has been sewn. And I bought the pillow form to go inside.  Yay!!  The Christmas jelly roll quilt (see yesterday's post) has 10 new blocks so far, but I know I'll need even more.  Jack's pillow will have to wait.

    So - it definitely helps me to see what I've finished - written down and checked off.  I have a new project I want to start, but have challenged myself that it's the reward for finishing the flimsy of the Christmas jelly roll quilt. And for me, the process is more fun when I don't have so many UFOs hanging around taking up space. 

    Monday, March 26, 2018

    Design Wall Monday - jelly roll blocks

    I wish I knew what this block is called. Six more of these 8.5" Christmas jelly roll blocks were pretty much the extent of my sewing this weekend. I have 41 of them done, and I need to lay them out and determine how many more I will want to make.  I haven't quite decided yet how big I want this quilt to be.

    Check out other Design Walls today at:

    I did pin a pillowcase, so it's ready to sew once I get some ambition back.  Also, I bound a Valentine table runner UFO.

    I'm out of mojo for now. It's another grey, damp, dreary day - 5 in a row. I really need to some sunshine.  I can just feel the gloom setting into my brain when it's so dreary outside.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018

    ABC quilt is finished

    I finished the binding on the ABC quilt over the weekend and totally forgot to take a picture. This was a UFO on my list from February. It's an alphabet panel with a striped border added. Nothing fancy, but it turned out pretty cute with that stripe, which was rescued from the stash.  I auditioned several different stash options for binding and finally settled on the red. It has white wavy grid lines on it.

    This one will be donated somewhere or given as a gift as needed.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2018

    A Quilt of Valor flimsy

    I have the flimsy done for this Quilt of Valor, way more quickly than I expected.  This is an adaptation of the Spotlight pattern by Mountainpeek Creations, which I've used before on a different panel.  I love the borders made up of a combination of pieced blocks and plain strips.  The original pattern used 9-patch blocks. But I felt that the stars would be more appropriate for this one.  I ended up only using 12 of the stars, so there are stars left to use somewhere else.

    My husband left at noon on a business trip, and I went right down to my sewing room.  By 4:30 in the afternoon I had the flimsy done. And the bonus - I didn't spend the afternoon snacking. 

    Monday, March 19, 2018

    Working on a New UFO

    I was looking at my UFO list yesterday, and decided that I just wasn't "feeling it" for the next item on my list for this month. It's an autumn themed churn dash quilt and it's just the wrong time of year to feel excited about autumn fabrics. So I decided to simply pull another UFO out instead.

    This week I had bought some red and blue yardage to finish this patriotic panel. So it was the ideal next project.

    I've added a red inner border around the panel so far, and have 7 red/cream/blue stars made for a second border. There are 13 more stars cut out and ready to sew.  And there is plenty of the red and blue to add a third border.  I think this will become a Quilt of Valor.

    Friday, March 16, 2018

    Laser cut words

    I picked up this laser cut message on my road trip through Iowa last summer.  At the time I didn't know what I wanted to do with it, but I just knew that I wanted it.  I've ironed it onto a medium tan fabric with a small print.  The color here is way off, but the black does look good on it. The vines printed on the fabric look like the vines in the black laser cut piece.

    So now, I'm thinking some simple hand quilting to finish it and then mount it in a picture frame.  I recently saw a gorgeous small hand quilted piece done with a diagonal grid and a tiny bead stitched into every place the stitching crossed.  That might be too much work, but I think it would look great. So for now it's hanging on my design wall.

    Thursday, March 15, 2018

    RSC18 green blocks

    I'm keeping up so far with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2018 blocks. January was blue, February was purple, and March is green. Check out the Squared Away sampler page.

    The March block is an old pattern called Red Cross.  It has elements of Broken Dishes I think with the half square triangles joined this way.  So far I'm loving all 3 months' blocks and am looking forward to see what April brings.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2018

    Saturday Sampler

    I really love going to Saturday Sampler each month. First of all, the Show n' Tell is always amazing and inspirational.  And the demo teaches us new techniques or reinforces techniques that we maybe don't always remember to do correctly.  Even though I've been quilting for over 30 years I still learn new things at Saturday Sampler and other classes. And it is an opportunity to experiment with colors and blocks.

    This Saturday Sampler has encouraged us to "shop our stash".  Since I have a lot of black and whites, and a lot of brights in the stash that is what I've chosen to use. I've pulled different brights each month.  And since each month we are doing 2 variations of the block, I've been trying to make a light and a dark version.  This month's block is called Homemade Ice Cream and I used a coral batik, with a slightly lighter coral in this second block.  This might be my favorite block so far from the group.

    Summer Watermelon Sampler is the name of the sampler program, but my fabric choices say nothing about watermelon.  But they might be kind of summery with all of the bright colors. The only block I'm not sure I like is the one with the green. It should have black where the green is and more yellow in those corners. 

    Tuesday, March 13, 2018

    Homemade Ice Cream

    Isn't that a great name for a block?  It looks a bit like the dasher in an ice cream churn.  Have you ever made homemade ice cream?  We used to do it more often when the kids were around, but now that we have grandkids it may be time to pull out that ice cream maker again.

    This is the first of 2 versions of this block for Saturday Sampler.  I have the parts cut for the second one, which will rearrange the colors.  Hopefully I'll get it sewn together later in the day. Black and white and bright makes for a happy color scheme so far. 

    Thursday, March 8, 2018

    Fabric weaving 

    What a fun afternoon with friends!  Our friend Sylvia is visiting from Iowa and brought a project for Pam and I as early birthday gifts.
    Fabric weaving. These take 3 identical fabric panels, a canvas and staple gun.

    One panel is stretched over the canvas. The other 2 are ripped into strips and woven like a lattice pie crust. I love my red poppy. But don’t love the bad hair. LOL

    EDIT:  Check out the designer of these fabric panels. And the Cedar Rapids Iowa shop Delve MIY. All I can say is Wow!! I visited this shop in December and it is wonderful.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2018

    Yellow Pineapples

    I have a finish for March and it's all from scraps, including the back and binding.  I love the quilting (Thanks Bonnie!!) because it looks a lot like the texture of a real pineapple.  It's only 14" square and may just need to hang in my sewing room to brighten the space.

    Sunday, March 4, 2018

    Motel room binding 

    We are enjoying our annual Summit League college basketball tournament mini vacation. And I’m glad I brought some binding to work on in the motel room when we aren’t at a game. 

    We are expecting a winter storm tomorrow. That’s how we know it’s basketball tournament time in South Dakota. 

    Design Wall Monday - Tackling another UFO

    It's Monday, so can you check out lots of Design Walls at: 

    This is one of the #3 projects on my 2018 UFO Challenge list.  It's another Christmas quilt. This one is made from a couple of jelly rolls, plus solid backgrounds.  The jelly rolls are Greetings 49 Karat by Kaye England for Wilmington Prints. It's a fun block and I already had about half of the blocks made. Now I can add 4 more. And I'll keep working on this one for March.

    Friday, March 2, 2018

    Green Is for March 

    The color for March in RSC18 is green - specifically lime green and yellow green. My goal for the month is to make at least 12. And I have a good start because 8 are cut out and I managed to get 4 of them sewn. 

    Grand Adventure is a flimsy 

    I was hoping to just get the blocks made in February but now those blocks are a complete quilt top. It’s 60 x 72 so it will be a generous throw size. 

    And I really like how these Christmas fabrics look in the blocks. 

    Wednesday, February 28, 2018

    Ritzy Cracker blocks & March goals

    These are the last 2 of the Ritzy Cracker blocks that I made in February. They weren't purple, but they are certainly cute.  I'm anxious to see what new color comes up this week for March for RSC18.

    The FREE pattern is from Moda Bake Shop at the link below.

    March will be quite busy, so I'm setting some small goals:
    • 3 RSC Sampler blocks
    • 2 Saturday Sampler blocks
    • 12 Ritzy Cracker blocks
    • finish top of Christmas Grand Adventure
    • bind ABC kid quilt
    • 10 blocks for Christmas jelly roll quilt
    The last item on my list - the Christmas jelly roll quilt, is the #3 UFO Challenge item.  I have half of the blocks done.  This started with 1 jelly roll plus red and green solids, but I ended up buying a second jelly roll so it could be large enough to be a good throw quilt. It's ironic that both of these Christmas quilts have been the February and March UFO Challenge projects.