Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Checking in on my July goals

I posted a HUGE list of UFO and WIP projects earlier in the month of July.  These projects have been wieghing me down mentally. But I am happy to report that I've made some progress.  This isn't the whole list, but does include the things that are easily achievable.

  • Color Me Happy Saturday Samplerfinished and mailed off as a wedding gift.
  • Jungle table runner - DONE
  • 2 fall table runners (60 degree pattern) - finished!! One to keep, one to give away!
  • June Count On It mini quilt - DONE
  • August Count On It mini quilt - DONE
  • new Saturday Sampler block for July - DONE
  • Watermelon table runner - DONE (handquilted & bound)
  • Black & White Color Me Happy Sat. Sampler - still needs binding
  • Blue Stars (needs borders) - no progress
  • Wildlife quilt - delivered to my quilter
  • Friendship Exchange quilt - still needs binding
  • Pink/Brown 2011 Saturday Sampler - still needs binding
  • Hugs & Kisses (X & O) quilt - still needs binding
  • Snowman table runner - still needs binding
So . . . new UFO goals for August are small but aimed at reducing the UFO/WIP pile some more.
  • Binding at least 2 quilts - one large, one small
  • Put the borders on my Blue Stars quilt

Monday, July 30, 2012

August Count On It

One of my goals for last week was to finish my August Count On It mini quilt.  Success - it's ready to hang up on Wednesday. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Storage idea

Instead of sewing yesterday I needed to tackle some clutter again. I have a guest bedroom that doesn't get used very often and therefore it tends to collect things that it shouldn't. The bed was collecting wall hanging and table runner sized quilts. In piles!

And the dresser drawers had collected "stuff" - of all kinds. This old dresser is a shabby chic treasure that my daughter Laura painted when she was in high school. It has 2 big drawers and 2 small drawers, glass drawer pulls, and a lovely decorative mirror hanging bettween upright curvy posts. I love this dresser!

I completely cleaned out both of the big drawers yesterday afternoon and have turned them into neat "quilty" storage.  My fall and winter themed wall hangings and table runners are in the bottom drawer. My spring and summer ones are in the upper drawer.  They are all carefully rolled up.  I had a few small items that could lay flat as well. 

The bonus is that I've pitched a bunch of junk, and sorted some other things into a box to donate. It feels good!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Not a very productive week

I have not stepped foot in my sewing room all week and it makes me sad.  I'm really ready to work on a fun project - any fun project. But I've promised myself that I need to finish some things first. 

So, (thanks to some time as a passenger on a work related road trip) another small UFO is done.  This one is nearly a twin to the last 60-degree runner.  The only noticeable difference is the binding. This binding is slightly darker than the other one.  So now I have 2 of them - one to keep for myself and one to give away as a gift or maybe even to sell.

And I pulled out a summer table runner I started last summer and worked on that this week.  It is a big watermelon slice.  I had put the top together, appliqued the seeds on it, and started some hand quilting.  But I set it aside and it became a UFO.  So this week I've finished the hand quilting on the watermelon area and just need to finish up the tan and blue border areas.  Then I can bind it and hopefully use it on my dining room table for most of August.  Maybe finishing this needs to be next week's only goal.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

June mini quilt

Except for adding a touch of embroidery this one is done. My bee is missing something - can you tell what?

New goals

I have very modest goals set for this week due to my work schedule. Only 2 things are on my TO DO list: finish my June & August "Count On It" mini quilts & do the handwork on a binding. The August mini quilt just needs a little hand quilting, so that is nearly done. It is really cute with bright colors and an appliqued sail boat. Pictures will have to wait for another day. The June mini quilt is finished, and now it just needs to wait for next summer to hang. And the binding is in my travel bag to work on in the car during a road trip for work. My boss is driving, so I can sit back and relax. Lots of hours on the road today and tomorrow, so I should have my second fall leaves 60 degree table runner all bound by the time I get home tomorrow from work.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A bonus finish

Here is my bonus project for this week. I got the binding finished on this last night. It is over 40" long, so it would work on a long table.  I love the fabrics I used, but not that it is done I'm thinking it might have been more practical to do 2 place mats instead of 1 long runner. Oh well . . .

Today's project has been to work on the monthly Count On It mini quilts that had not been finished.  We'll see what kind of progress I manage to make.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Weekly goals are met

This block is my final goal for this week. It's the 4th block in this year's Saturday Sampler and called Crazy for Cosmos.

I feel very good about setting small goals this week and actually meeting those goals by Thursday night.  And since I've only had evenings to sew after work, I am even more thrilled that I actually finished some things. Yay! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Animal print ditty bag

I had 3 goals for this week - one UFO, one WIP, and one new project.

Got the UFO done - binding on a 60 degree table runner. Now I have my new goal done too! Yay!!

I had been looking for some animal prints to try out with the small ditty bag pattern. And this is what I found.  The cording is brown on this one, instead of the cream color I've been using.

This soft silky cording is kind of difficult to find. The local store where I found the cream cording was out and would be reordering. Other places I checked only had thicker stiffer cording more suitable for home decor.  But I finally found some at Walmart thanks to a friend who suggested looking there. It only comes in small packages of 5 yards, but it is soft and the right weight. So I stocked up - in brown, black, red, and cream. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

60 degree table runner

This was my UFO goal for this week - to get the binding done on this table runner.  I can mark it DONE.

I actually made 2 of these fall leaf themed 60 degree runners.  I have this one bound, but had to go buy a little fabric to do the binding on the second one because my original scrap was only big enough for the first one.

Isn't the quilting cute? Carly put spikey flowers on these to look like the flowers in the fabric.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm a lucky ducky!

I am a lucky gal today!  I won an autographed copy of Vicki Bellino's book English Paper Piecing

Thank you to the ladies at The Pin Cushion who are celebrating 25 years with a different promotion each week, counting down to that 25th anniversary. I entered the drawing last week (#23) by hand stitching an English paper pieced flower on Saturday at the shop.

This is Week #22 and they are offering 40% off the Quilter's Travel Companion book if you stop in. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Goals for this week

A little goal setting for this week is in order. And I decided to try setting one goal in each category (new, in process, and UFO).  It seems more realistic to include something new to keep me from being bored by just working on binding.  Here is my plan for this week:
  • WIP goal:  this month's Saturday Sampler block
  • NEW goal: animal print small ditty bag
  • UFO goal: binding on 1 of the 60 degree fall table runners (there are 2 of them)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Color Me Happy - a finish

This is my finish for this week . . . my 2011 Saturday Sampler quilt, called Color Me Happy. 

I finally finished the binding today and my plan is to mail it tomorrow. It is a late wedding gift.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

UFO & WIP update

Back in early May I worked on a list of items that were either WIP or UFO.  I decided I needed to update that list to prove to myself that I am making some progress. Yikes!! Not nearly enough things crossed out yet.

Works in Progress

*new Saturday Sampler - all up to date

*Polka Dots & Pachyderms  (finished and given to my daughter for her birthday)
*Color Me Happy Saturday Sampler  -quilted, working on the binding

*Black & White Color Me Happy Sat. Sampler - quilted, needs binding
*Fat Quarter Stars (Ellie II fabrics)  - top done - no progress

*2 fall table runners (60 degree pattern) - quilted, needs binding

*Blue Stars (needs borders) - no progress

*Lil' Darlings blocks - all 15 done for Wash Tub Club project  - vertical rows are sewn together

*wildlife blocks - top is done & dropped off with quilter

*selvage half square triangles 10" (8 of the 16 blocks done)  - top is done

*Fat Quarter Stars (Terrain fabrics) - all 12 blocks done, needs sashing & borders - no progress

*Watermelon table runner (hand quilting has stalled out) - no progress

*Friendship Exchange quilt - quilted, needs binding

*Pink/Brown 2011 Saturday Sampler  quilted, needs binding
Additional UFO Progress
*Snowman table runner  - quilted, needs binding
*Jungle table runner - quilted, needs binding
*Mosaic Tile table topper - finished
*Count On It - still need to finish a couple of the months
*Boxed square blocks - no progress
*purple dresdens - no progress
*X blocks - no progress
* Dr Suess baby quilt - no progress
New Projects started (in spite of myself)
*baby burp cloths - 14 made and ready for gifting
*string blocks with black centers (2 done)
*Pillowcases  - 4 made, 2 of those already given to my grandaughter

*Spicy Spiral table runner in patriotic colors - DONE!

*Hexagon Star table runner in patriotic colors - needs quilting

*Moravian Star - DONE!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Progress on binding

My only weekend sewing activity was working on some bindings.  This was my first one because it was small and the binding was ready to go. It really is not very large - just slightly larger than a placemat would be.

This little table topper is about half the size of the pattern and the original plan. There was supposed to be a solid purple on each end with appliqued flowers and leaves. I made the decision that this would remain a UFO forever it I had to do that. So it has become a "lesser version" - but it is finished!!!  I will probably give this one away as a gift rather than use it myself.

My other weekend binding was to do the handstitching on these 5 baby burpees. I needed some girly ones and some boy ones as baby gifts coming up soon for a niece and a cousin's grandbaby. I now have a little stack ready to choose from when the time comes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monkey pillowcases

A quick project - in 30 minutes I made 2 pillowcases using the leftovers of my granddaughter's baby quilt.  Her mom picked out the cute monkey fabric, along with some coordinating prints.

The quilt didn't use up the fabric, so I made these to match. She is still too little for pillows, but she will have them when whe does get big enough to put a pillow on her bed.

And that is another 2 yards out of my stash.  Yay!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lots of binding in my future

This past week I picked up 5 table runners and 2 quilts from the talented young lady who does custom quilting at The Pin Cushion. As always, Carly did a beautiful job on them.

So . . . I added them to the stack. I still had 3 quilts left to bind from this winter.  When I'm giving away a quilt as a gift it is easy to get the binding done right away and I do enjoy hand sewing binding.  However, I really didn't have a plan yet for the 3 quilts on the bottom of this stack.

The very bottom one I am keeping for myself as it's my friendship block exchange quilt. So no rush in binding it, right? Next (from the bottom) is a girly kids quilt, then my pink and brown Saturday Sampler from 2 years ago, then last year's Saturday Sampler. The last quilt is the extra sampler I made last year that is done is black, white, and brights.  Then on top of the stack are the 5 table runners. 

Maybe it is time to consider selling some quilts and earn some money to buy more fabric. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

More on scrap management

Another post about scrap management.  I just couldn't resist.

When my scraps are really small, I've been cutting them into 1.5" postage stamps.  Some of those became a small doll quilt last winter. But no pictures exist because it went home to Texas the very same day with my niece's 5 year old granddaughter. She even helped me sew them together.

Now I've also been cutting hexies out of my little scraps.  I even got a few out of the trimmings from my string blocks.  The ruler makes cutting these so easy - even the 1" sized ones.  Hexies are a good little hand work project while watching TV at night. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Scraps become string blocks

I have been trying to not waste the scraps I have left from my various projects.  I've cut some scraps into 5" and 2.5" squares and storing those in containers for some future inspiration.  Some of it goes to my scrap bin to use for string blocks. And as you can see, my scrap bin has become invisible under the huge pile of scraps. 

Last winter I put together a small quilt top using 24 string blocks with lime green center strips.  I bought the lime green and the muslin. But all of the other fabric was from my scrap bin.  Well since then I've cleaned out some fabric from the drawers in my sewing room.  I gave away some of the larger pieces, and the small scraps I put in the bin. And that explains part of the reason this bin is overflowing again.

So I've started another string quilt.  These blocks have a black center, and again I purchased enought black to use in 48 blocks. So this will either make a bigger quilt or 2 small ones. And I purchased muslin. I really love making these blocks because they are fast and simple, but also because I can keep one going on my table and just run another strip through in between other items.

Once the muslin is completely covered, then it is squared up to 9.5".  And voila - a new block is born. 

I must give credit to the Heart Strings project for this idea.  My first string quilt was mailed to Mary, and she quilted it and then donated it through Heart Strings.  She has all of the instructions on her web site, so check out the link to see how you can contribute blocks, tops, backs, etc.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Larger Ditty Bag

My cousin sent me a picture the other day of a very cute knitting bag that she saw online.  Her suggestion was that I could make my ditty bags bigger to be used in the same way.

The original pattern used an 18" square of 2 fabrics and you end up with the small bag that is about 8" tall and has 2 pockets inside.  I use this one when I go play golf because it is just the right size to hold my cell phone, little wallet, lip balm, glasses, and car keys.

So I tried using 24" squares and ended up with a bag that is almost 12" tall.  And depending on how you fold them, the width can vary quite a bit. 

And my friend Pam mentioned that she is making some for her daughter to use in her work as an occupational therapist to hold small pieces (such as blocks) that she uses with kids.  Sounds to me like this is a very versatile pattern!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Selvage UFO

Today has turned out to be a good sewing day because it is really hot and windy outside (99 degrees and at least 20 MPH wind).  Way too hot to play golf, which was our original plan for the day.

I'm really excited to get this UFO finished.  The 16 blocks are 10" half square triangles made with a black dot and selvages.  The selvage half is on a muslin foundation piece. 

I bought the yellow inner border fabric the other day and have enough to do the binding in this same yellow. The 8" outer border is from stash fabric that I "found" in a drawer this winter.  I had 3 yards of it and used 40" for this border. That leaves me lots more to use in some other fun project.

My photo below looks so washed out.  I didn't want to go outside in the heat and wind to try to get a better photo, so this is the result.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lil D' Vious

Unrelated to anything "quilty" - but I wanted to share a fun family photo.

Both of my girls are athletes.  My younger daughter has been involved in roller derby for the past few years. The is Women's Flat Track - and lots of fun to watch. This group of ladies has really become like a family, and have built some deep friendships.

When my granddaughter was born this spring these ladies brought in meals, gave m mom pedicure when she couldn't reach her toes . . . you get the idea.

They also brought lots of great baby gifts - including this little onesie with the Roller Dollz logo on the front and Sophie's own version of mom's derby name on the back.  Mom skates as Sandra D'Vious and now Sophie is Lil D'Vious!!  Now that mom is back skating, she has her own tiny cheering section. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Another 4th of July project

Do you save magazine patterns thinking you just had to make it soon?  I do - and that is both good and bad I guess. Unfortunately, I could never live long enough to make all of the things on my "to do" list. I recently purged some of those things I've torn out of magazines.  But this little project I just had to keep.

This is called the Hexagon Star. It was a pattern by Kaye Woods that was published back in 2006 in the Fons and Porter Love of Quilting magazine. It is small enough to fit on my kitchen table - just 20" from point to point.

The center is a hexagon with prairie points on top to make the star shape. Then it is edged by 3 simple borders.  I did make the outer border a bit wider than called for because I wanted it slightly bigger and because I wanted to show off the blue and white stars.

I had lots of scraps left from my patriotic spicy spiral table runner, but not quite enough to do this. So I purchased more of the red star fabric and then saw the blue star and had to buy some of that to use on the outside border.  The rest was done with scraps.  I think this one calls for very minimal quilting.