Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January in review

So, how did I do on my goals for January?  I think January was a productive month for me. I know there are still a couple of days left, but I also know that my work schedule won't leave room for any more sewing.

  1. Wishin' For Spring - flimsy & backing was delivered to quilter DONE
  2. finish 4 Traveling Stars blocks - 2 DONE
  3. RSC14 Pig Tail blocks (2 in blue) DONE
  4. cut out my new project (something patriotic) - NOT STARTED
  5. make binding for 3 quilts - 3 bindings made (fall mystery, FQStars, Wishin' For Spring)
  6. hand quilt & bind my hexagon poppy table topper DONE

Plus I managed to accomplish some other things:
  • Snowman mini quilt (also in blue) - DONE
  • 2 small ditty bags for charity project - DONE
  • 3 Heart Strings blocks made (red centers) DONE
  • added borders to pink Circle of Geese - working on hand quilting
  • Boxed Squares quilt brought to flimsy stage (UFO) ready to quilt
  • took a class on Hunter's Star - needs borders

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Circle of Geese

I've had some questions about the pattern for the paper pieced Circle of Geese block that I used in this little project.

Well, I must admit that I just "Googled it" and found this easy to follow pattern:   But there are lots of great tutorials and other patterns out there on the web.

I want to make this again, but make more than the original 4 sections and vary the directions they are going so the geese appear to be traveling in a wavy pattern. I've also seen this done with the geese getting progressively smaller or larger.  Lots of fun variations to this idea.

Monday, January 27, 2014

An AHA moment

I was refolding and putting away some fabrics on Sunday evening and came upon this pretty pink and green floral. As I was folding it up I happened to look up at my design wall - and had a sudden AHA!!  There was my paper pieced Circle of Geese block (only one) and the pinks were perfect together.

My plan a couple of weeks ago had been to use it to make a doll quilt. But after adding this floral border I think it is destined to be a spring table topper for my kitchen.  I'm in love with the colors!  The Circle of Geese are made from scraps from granddaughter Olivia's baby quilt.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rapid Fire Hunter's Star

The quilt class I went to yesterday was for the Rapid Fire Hunters Star and it really is quick when you use the special ruler. And Patty did a great job guiding us through the process. There are lots of different layout ideas on the website gallery  I just have to share some of the gorgeous color combos my classmates were working on and wish I had a photo of all of them.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday quilt class

A big thanks to Patty who spent her day with about 18 of us teaching the Rapid Fire Hunter's Star technique.  I had planned to put mine together in the traditional layout, until she showed us the website and there are tons of variations.  My center is done so now I need to find some pretty border fabric. What a FUN day!  I'll post more pictures of my classmates tomorrow.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Traveling Stars #35 and #36

Two more to go and I'll be all caught up with the squares that I currently have.  That will make 38 total for now and I think I'll need quite a few more to make a bed sized quilt. These blocks finish at 9". But since I'm gathering these gradually I'm in no hurry to finish this project yet.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

80 small blocks

Boxed Squares is now a flimsy.  There are 80 squares made from a Tamarack Grove (Holly Taylor) jelly roll and it turned out larger than I expected it to be.  Plus I have 6 blocks left to use on the back in some way.  I'm thinking that maybe I can even quilt this one myself using a simple grid quilting.  Maybe . . .but the important thing is that I have moved one more UFO to the next stage toward completion.  Feels good.

Monday, January 20, 2014

2 challenges in 1

My snowman mini quilt is finished and sitting on the fireplace hearth. This project satisfied 2 January challenges - a blue project for RSC14 and the snowman challenge by Cindy. 

Last week at the Sew Vintage Club, Cindy gave us a white square of fabric and challenged us to make a snowball block for a snowman. I liked my little snowman face so much that I dug out some blue frosty scraps and added enough borders to finish up 12".  I had some snowflake buttons in my button drawer, and I added just a little hand quilting for texture. 

I already made some blocks for RSC14, but now I have another blue project as well. And that is really the point of RSC14 in my opinion - to use a specific color.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Snowman challenge

A little handwork today on a snowman challenge.  I still need to find black buttons.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Boxed Squares progress

80 blocks done and ready to sew the rows together. This UFO will be bigger than I thought it would be. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Another lost and found UFO

Look what I found folded up in a drawer! This dresden plate block was the mate to another I made in the 1980s (really!). The sections were machine stitched and then I did needle-turn applique to do the edges of the plate and the center. I'm guessing that is why this one is still pinned to the background. But I think a quick machine blanket stitch and this one will be ready to become a new pillow or maybe the center of a doll quilt.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Need some color help

I'm signed up for a quilt class later this month where we'll be making a Hunter's Star wall hanging. This can be done in 2, 3, or 4 colors but I've decided to keep it simple and use just 2. And they need to be high contrast.  Here is an example of what it could look like.

So I'm looking for some input into what colors to use.
  • black and white???
  • gold and brown (or black or cream)???
  • green and something???
I have made way too many blue and white quilts in the past couple of years although it is one of my favorite color combos.  There is a perfect spot for a wall hanging in my guest bedroom, which is all done in blue and white.  

Should I stick to my old favorites?   But maybe I need to step out of my comfort zone a little more. So . . . I'm looking for ideas. HELP!!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Selecting the next UFO project

My next UFO project to move to the next stage is going to be Boxed Squares.  The blocks are partially done and all come from a jelly roll, so this will most likely be a small lap sized quilt.  My goal is to get this to the flimsy stage so I can decide whether it needs borders or not.

Monday, January 13, 2014

First UFO finish for 2014

I have just a few stitches left to finish the hand quilting on this octagon table topper. It's done with the 60 degree ruler and the leftovers when you make the long 60 degree runner.  I just adore these poppies - so summery!  

I've been doing an outline stitch around each flower and each flower center.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saturday sewing

It was a very "quilty" day yesterday: Saturday Sampler in the morning followed by coffee with a quilting friend, Sew Vintage Club in the afternoon followed by some very productive sewing time.

I got both borders on my Wishin' For Spring sampler and also made the binding. So I've reached one January goal by getting this to the flimsy stage, ready for quilting.  

The whole quilt top was done with batiks and a solid Bella black. But I wanted something for the outer border that reflected the colors and I ended up with this funky print instead of another batik.  The lime batik inner borders and sashing, and the orange batik cornerstones just pop on the black.  A better than expected result.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Just needing borders

Two borders or maybe 3 - I'm not sure yet what I'm going to add to Wishin' For Spring. This wasn't my favorite set of blocks, but now that I have them all sashed I'm loving how these colors pop on the black background.  

Wishin' For Spring - really

The first 2 out of 5 diagonal rows are together for last year's Saturday Sampler, called Wishin' For Spring.  How appropriate when we had -40 wind chill yesterday morning.  My photo isn't too good as it was pretty grey outside when I took this. These are all beautiful batiks on black.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

RSC14 another blue block

I dug through my blue scraps and found this gorgeous blue floral that was left over from a French Braid quilt a couple of years ago.  So, now I have 2 blue Pig Tail blocks finished for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  One January goal is done!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mini Vacation

I spent 4 days in Las Vegas on a mini vacation with the hubbie, and enjoyed the 60 degree sunny weather.  I did very little gambling, no shopping (gasp!!), but lots of walking, saw some shows, and spent an afternoon in a spa.  Then I came home alone last night (he stayed for a trade show) to -15 temps and -40 wind chill.  Thank goodness my car started in that dark airport parking lot!! 

One "quilty" thing to share from Vegas is the display of antique sewing machines. In the Cosmopolitan shopping area is a fancy men's clothing store called All Saints that has this amazing display inside the entire glass wall of the store.  Supposedly there are about 1,100 machines. Very interesting to see.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Trains, trains, trains

I forgot to post a photo of the railroad themed pillowcase I made last week.  This was my final "finish" of 2013, made on New Year's Eve.  I'm going to try to do some stash busting this year by making more pillowcases. They make great gifts and great donations as well.

Friday, January 3, 2014


I love color which is probably one of the reasons I enjoy quilting so much and get such pleasure from seeing other people's quilting ideas.  Last year I watched several bloggers following SoScrappy and her Rainbow Scrap Challenge and this year I'm joining in (RSC14). Every month she selects a color and the challenge is to make something using that color.  January 2014 is blue and I'm going to use RSC14 like a BOM so that at the end of the year I've made enough blocks for a quilt.  

I've selected the Pig's Tail block from Eleanor Burns' book El's Kitchen.  It's a 12" block made from 2 colors (also called Snail's Trail) and I'll keep the background in nice safe white. I'm going to try to do 2 blocks each month in the designated color. That should create a decent sized rainbow quilt.  Here is my first January block.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January goals

I've decided that I want to choose a UFO from my list each month and get that to the next stage of completion.  The reason is that I have quite a few sets of blocks just hanging in my sewing room closet on skirt hangers - some sets are complete and just need to be set together to make a flimsy. There are some partial block sets that still need more blocks added.  There are currently 4 flimsies hanging in the closet waiting to be quilted.  There are 2 large quilts that just need binding.  And there are some old projects and some NEW projects that need to be started.

So my main January project will be setting together my Wishin' For Spring Saturday Sampler.  The fabric is all there along with the cutting instructions. The blocks are all done.  I just need to put it all together.

Goals for January:

  1. Wishin' For Spring - get it to flimsy stage & select some backing
  2. finish 4 Traveling Stars blocks (total is now 38)
  3. RSC14 Pig Tail blocks (2 in blue)
  4. cut out my new project (something patriotic)
  5. make binding for 3 quilts (Row Robin, fall mystery, Paris mystery)
  6. \hand quilt & bind my hexagon poppy table topper

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking back at 2013

I had a couple of main goals for 2013: reduce my stash and reduce the number of UFOs.  It helped that our guild did a UFO Challenge too.  And I'm actually pleased with the progress I made.

So here is 2013 in review, but not in any particular order:


  1. Wildflowers friendship quilt
  2. Pink & brown Saturday Sampler
  3. Hugs & Kisses baby quilt - gifted
  4. Color Me Happy quilt (black/white/bright) - gifted
  5. Lil' Darling quilt - gifted to my daughter
  6. Selvage Triangle quilt
  7. Christmas friendship exchange sampler quilt
  8. Blue Stars quilt (blocks won at Saturday Sampler)
  9. Dr. Seuss baby quilt - gifted
  10. Jungle Strippee baby quilt - gifted
  11. Owl baby quilt (with burpees & pillowcase) - gifted
  12. A Year to Crow About quilt
  13. Flying Geese Pinwheels - top/backing/binding was donated to a charity
  14. Heartstring quilt top (black centers) - top is ready to donate

  1. Patriotic Spicy Spiral table runner
  2. Blissfully Buried in Fabric wall hanging
  3. September Count On It mini 
  4. February Count On It mini
  5. Snowman table runner
  6. Railroad pillowcase (1)
  7. Snowman pillowcases (2)
  8. Flannel self-binding baby blankets (12)
  9. large ditty bag for knitting - gifted
  10. small ditty bags (4)
  11. Christmas poinsettia table runner
  12. Christmas Mug Rug
  13. Baby burpees (burp cloths) - 20
  14. Cathedral Window Christmas pillow
  15. Summer Citrus 10 minute table runner
  16. tea bag caddy