Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Next in line . . .

 There are some small projects that need to be finished - and I need to finish at least a couple of these before starting anything new.  Focus, focus . . .

This 20" shamrock pillow needs quilting and assembling. I have the envelope back hemmed already, and the binding is all prepped. This shouldn't take too long.

I need to finish quilting the Better Together wall hanging. I'm about a quarter of the way around adding quilted hearts.  The binding hasn't been prepped yet, but I have a striped piece for that.

And - the Easter door hanger.  I signed up to get a monthly door hanger kit and this was the first one.  It's a new Riley Blake kit that I worked on last week, tracing, cutting, and ironing on all the applique.  This cutie needs blanket stitching around the applique before I can quilt it.  It's about 20" wide, so not huge.  

The backing for the Christmas tree skirt needs to be a little larger for quilting too, so today I really need to find something that will work to add a few inches on all 4 sides. Then it will be ready to quilt.

Between these projects and the sorting of that grey tote, I should stay busy this week.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Retreat projects & reorganizing

Most of the projects I worked on at retreat needed some finishing once I got home, such as quilting or binding, or borders.  As I finish those up I'll share them here. 

The second 12" mini quilt from retreat is for the month of March. Yesterday I added the little applique in the middle, quilted it and bound it.  

The 16-patch blocks using 1.5" squares was something I saw online earlier this month and just couldn't resist making.  The red and green ones happened last week.  Before the retreat I bagged up a bunch of postage stamp squares, and during the retreat these were perfect Leaders/Enders.  The 10 new 16-patch blocks all were made at the retreat.  They are 4.5" unfinished. 

And this is how I plan to use them . . . as the center of Churn Dash blocks.  I think these will make a really pretty quilt eventually. 

Several games of Left, Right, Center were played at retreat, using fat quarters as our currency.  I won 24 fat quarters.  So pretty and so many possibilities!

A couple of them were pulled out with immediate plans, and the other 22 were added to the newly organized bin that is still way too full of fat quarters.  What can I say?  I have a weakness for buying fat quarters whenever there is a shop hop. 

Yesterday I pulled out the big grey tote that was hiding under the table (needed for retreat) in my sewing room to see what was in it.  Yikes!!  Lots of scraps, orphan blocks, bags of scraps left from OLD projects, odds n ends of yardage, a few patterns, and several gallon Ziplock bags holding the parts of UFOs that I had abandoned.  Again - yikes!!  

The purging needs to begin NOW because that tote is NOT going back into the sewing room.  I've already sorted out a couple of things that will go to guild to hopefully be adopted by someone.  I plan to keep this tote out and work on it gradually until it is empty.  That may take me weeks, but I'm determined to make it happen. 

Monday, February 26, 2024

Design Wall Monday - Feb 26

What's on YOUR design wall this morning?

My design wall is full of things I still need to unpack from the retreat and put away or organize for finishing.  I did accomplish quite a bit in 3 days of sewing. One thing I did not accomplish was reading blogs or commenting on any of them.  This week I'll try to get caught up on what I've missed - and unpack my retreat stuff. 

Twelve ladies all set up in a rural hunting lodge and ready to sew, sew, sew for 3 days.  We look a bit cramped, but actually worked out nicely.  There were 2 ironing stations and 2 cutting stations set up . . . plus a very important snack station.  It was such an enjoyable retreat.

One complete finish was the pumpkin mini quilt. This 12" mini will go on the little iron hanger on my fireplace heart in the fall - currently occupied by a Valentine mini.

The St Patrick's Day mini for the hanger just needs a little applique in that white center. Then I will quilt and bind it.  This will hang in March.

I showed the Bargello tree skirt flimsy yesterday. This was my top priority and it took me all day on Friday to get the 16 wedges sewn.  Then Saturday morning I layed them out and sewed the whole circle together.  The backing I have will need a bit of piecing to make it large enough and then it will go to a local long arm quilter.  She and I have already talked about thread and design.  This was a kit I purchased from Shabby Fabrics.  The pattern even showed which fabrics went in each wedge spot, which was a big help with the Bargello process.

There were a few other projects that I'll show another day - a baby quilt top is done, some blocks were made, and a pillow top was finished.  And - I won 24 fat quarters in one of the games of Left, Right, Center!!  Once I unpack my rolling crate I'll take more photos, and share during the week.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Retreat update

 Today is the last day of a successful retreat.  Soon it will be time to repack that rolling crate and head home again.  Did I accomplish much in 3 days?  Yes I did.

This is just a quick glimpse of the Christmas tree skirt that is all assembled and ready to be quilted. It’s my first ever Bargello project.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

RSC24 - Week #8

Today I'm at a retreat and enjoying friends, good food, and plenty of time to just sew.  My husband had to find someone else to go with him to the final Jackrabbit men's basketball game to be held in Frost Arena.  Frost opened midway through the basketball season our freshman year.  When the season begins next fall, the totally remodeled arena will be First Bank & Trust Arena.

This week I did quite a bit of fabric organizing, but also did plenty of sewing, mostly with red.  Four more String Beads blocks happened.  Two red ones came first.  The blue ones happened because I was trying to lessen the depth in the blue/purple scrap bin.  There 3 more blue and 2 purple ones partially done on my table - because those strings were handy, and overflowing.  Barely a dent in that blue/purple scrap bin, but the red one is definitely not as full as it was at the beginning of February.  

This is the paper pieced Bonnie Hunter block (2023) called Morning Glory.  One would think that because the sections are paper pieced that the block would come out perfectly.  Guess again!  The units with both red and green were just a bit small for some reason, but it is put together now and staying that way.  It joins the blocks already made in yellow, aqua, and pink. 

While reorganizing the Quilts of Valor fabrics this week, I made use of a couple of the scraps to make these 2 Zipper blocks.  Several Quilts of Valor blocks were kitted up at the same time, and those may get sewn together while at this retreat. 

Do you get new ideas from the RSC posts every week?  I sure do!  Last Saturday I saw these 16-patch blocks while surfing various RSC posts.
They really caught my eye, and because there are 5 small tins FULL of 1.5" squares that I've cut over the years from scraps - you know I just had to make some.  Thanks for the inspiration Katie Z!  These could become the centers of any number of different blocks - and I have no idea which will happen, but for now I'm going to enjoy adding these to my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks.  There is a whole bag full of various colors of these with me today at the retreat, as they make a perfect Leader/Ender while sewing. 

Let's see what else is going on in the RSC world . . . 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Out the door . . .

 Day 1 of the quilt retreat . . . and I'm ready to load my car and head out for the next 3 days of fun sewing, eating, chatting with like-minded gals.

Keeping the amount of "stuff" to take to a 3-day retreat is a delicate balance between taking too much stuff and not taking enough.  The projects I want to work on are all in the green rolling crate, along with my tools, supplies, power strip and cords.  The items I'm taking for exchanges and games are in the clear bag on the right.  The 4' table is normally in my sewing room as an extension of the big desk my machine sits on.  It's sturdy but easy to fold and light weight to carry.

The food and my overnight bag is another similar size pile. LOL

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Progress on a few fronts.

Highest on my To Do list today is to finish packing the things I need for the quilt retreat as I'll be leaving in the morning.  Sewing machine, 4' folding table, extension cord and power strip - and more projects than I'll have time to do.  Then there is the food. Each of us paired up with another person to plan and bring one meal.  Fat Quarters for a game, and some fun items for give away or exchange.  And finally - my overnight bag with PJs and other essentials.

The clean-up of the Quilt of Valor fabric mess is done.  The small scraps went back into the canvas cube, and the yardage and bigger scraps went into a much larger bin.  It felt so good to get that mess up off the floor and organized again so I can find things. 

I've worked on the quilting of Better Together, and am really hoping to finish the quilting and add binding later today.  There are free motion hearts in various sizes going in between the heart border and the birds.  But we'll see what I actually get accomplished. 

Block #6 of the Riley Blake Design challenge was posted on Tuesday.  It's by Jennifer Long, and called Bloom Where You Are Planted. It's a cute block but I'm thinking my pinks needed higher contrast.  Or maybe it is just too much pink in one block. 

So far I've kept up with the Riley Blake blocks.  They post one per week for 16 weeks.  I'm using 30s prints again plus backgrounds with subtle print.  Paying more attention to color balance will be important as the next blocks are shared.  Right now they look a little boring together and need some orange, some purple, more blue and maybe some brown. 

On Tuesday, I picked up Scrappiness Is Happiness from the quilter.  It needs trimming and binding but those tasks will need to wait for next week.  My plan is to do a scrappy binding.