Friday, February 28, 2014

February in review

In looking back at this month I'm pleased at the things I accomplished.  

  • 2 blocks for RSC14 in pink - DONE
  • Pink Circle of Geese - DONE
  • Disappearing Pinwheel pillow for Sophia - DONE
  • Bind one (large) quilt - DONE - Fat Quarter Stars quilt (Terrain fabrics)
  • Boxed Squares UFO quilt - QUILTING DONE, now needs binding
  • Bugs & Butterflies UFO pillowcases (3) - DONE

Those were the items on my goal list for February, but I also finished . . .
  • Rapid Fire Hunter's Star wall hanging
  • 2 baby burp cloths
  • 1 tea towel (a kit)
  • framing my Loralei golfer blocks (UFO) (ready to set together)
  • UFO - scarecrow table runner
  • UFO - strawberry apron
  • 2 blocks for Saturday Sampler
  • 5 Heartstrings blocks (red centers)
I've noticed that most (not all) of these things were either small finishes or just bringing a UFO one step closer to finished.  One step at a time . . . that is fueling my mojo right now. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Missing in action this week

It's a good thing that I got so much done early in the month because this past week has found my sewing room very dark and neglected. But that's OK because it has still been a good week.

On Saturday I got to spend the morning with my oldest daughter and her 3 kiddos. And on the way home I stopped at a quilt shop near her house to "pet" some fabric. I did buy a couple of fat quarters.

On Sunday I spent the day cleaning our home office: shredded old paperwork, cleared out a cabinet for my husband's business stuff that was overflowing the room, and reorganized all of my work related books.  And I started a really good book!

And even though I had last evening all to myself with the husband gone to a basketball game with a buddy and nothing good on TV.  But instead of sewing, I finished that book I was reading.  Sometimes that is just the activity I needed to recharge my batteries.  Maybe tonight I'll tackle some binding.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Decorating with quilts

How do you display quilts in your home?  I have a couple of favorites hanging on walls, like this one hanging at the bottom of my basement stairs. This was a Thimbleberries project from years ago and I hand quilted it. Very soft cozy colors and it makes my stairway look a little more inviting.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Boxed Squares is quilted

I did a simple grid quilting MYSELF on the Boxed Squares quilt this weekend. The thread is a beautiful variegated one with green, cream, red, purple - the same colors found in the blocks.  And the gals at the Pin Cushion helped me find just the perfect binding fabric yesterday.  So maybe by the end of the month this UFO will be done and in the mail to Minnesota.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Design Wall Monday

I've chosen the next UFO to work on - my Loralei Golfers. The basic blocks are done and now I am adding black confetti sashing to make each block 14" square.  These are not good pictures because my sewing room design wall does not get any good light.

I've linked up to Design Wall Monday on Patchwork Times!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

On a roll . . .

My Rapid Fire Hunter's Star is quilted and bound. I machine quilted around each star with a brown thread and a stitch-in-the-ditch.  It does give it a little dimension, but those large brown areas still call to me saying they need some pretty stitching. So . . . I'm not sure yet if this one if finished or not. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Disappearing Pinwheel Pillow

The big (approx. 30") pillow for granddaughter Sophia is all finished and ready for her March birthday. She will be 2 and she loves pulling all the pillows together to make a nest on the floor, so now she will have a giant pillow to add.

I used the Disappearing Pinwheel blocks that Mary T. at guild taught us to make. And all of the fabric was from my stash, so the only purchase was a 24" pillow form.  It has an envelope back so the form can be slipped out easily to wash the cover. And I quilted the blocks onto some batting for a little more texture and shape. Hope she likes it.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

And happy birthday to my sister-in-law who really was my quilting mentor years ago - and still inspires my quilting.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Feline help with quilting

This is what a 20 pound cat looks like when he becomes annoyed as I moved his napping spot around while I was trying to add binding to it.  He thinks every quilt is his of course.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fat Quarter Stars #1

I can cross off another UFO because I finished the binding on the Fat Quarter Stars quilt made from the Terrain fabric line.  I made this a couple of years ago and had it quilted fairly soon, but then I just never put the binding on it - until this week.  Yay!!!  I love this one - love the colors, love the fabric, love the blocks, love the quilting.  And I have the same basic quilt done in a red color scheme that also needs binding.

The Terrain fabric line has such lovely blues and greens. I did add a rich purplish-blue solid for my sashing and binding, and used a medium purple fabric in a few places as well.

And Carly did a great job on the quilting as always. She echoed the flower petals in that border print.  I wonder if she misses quilting as much as her customers miss her talent since she has changed careers.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tricks of the trade

There are so many little tricks that make blocks turn out more accurately, and I wanted to share one of my favorites. I like to "spin" the center of some blocks so that all of the seams go the same direction. This reduces the bulk in the center of a block and helps the block lie flat. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Saturday Sampler 2014

We started a new Saturday Sampler project this month. This one will be a 6 month program called Let It Shine.  I chose to do mine with the "traditional" colorway. Blocks 1 and 7 were featured this month. They are identical except for the colors are reversed. I really love the colors so far: red, green, gold, cream.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Function trumps design

Yesterday I pulled out another small UFO to finish - an apron. Now I remember why I set it aside . . . it's a directional print and I didn't have enough to cut it "on point". So the print goes sideways. But my mother and grandmother would remind me that the apron is still functional. 

This print has curvy women whose swimsuits appear to be ripe fruit. Very cute print and the red looks like strawberry seeds.  I have one more of these cut out (in the same bag) and that is more of a vintage looking fabric. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Next UFO

I pulled our another small UFO to work on this weekend along with binding a big quilt. 

This fabric is the focus in this UFO.  

Friday, February 7, 2014


One more small UFO to check off my list - the Scarecrow table runner. This little gem is several years old and only needed the hand work finished.  

I know what caused me to set this one aside and it was trying to hand quilt with gold metallic thread. It was looking awful and the thread kept breaking.  So I've removed the little bit of quilting and finished up the rest of the hand stitching needed on this one.  It turned out pretty cute even without the gold quilting I thought it needed.

Lots of tiny black buttons make up his smile. Blanket stitching around the "patches" and that gold fringe - it sheds!  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Circle of Geese

I can check off another small UFO from my list - this Circle of Geese. Originally I thought I would just turn the paper-pieced block into a little doll quilt. But then I found the pretty spring floral in my stash.  So now it is hand quilted, bound and ready to grace my kitchen counter top or kitchen table for spring.  I just love the color!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Different Bugs & Butterflies

A whole different perspective on "bugs" and butterflies . . . there are 2 of these pillowcases.  Aren't those Flower Power cars just a kick?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bugs & Butterflies

I had 3 pillowcases all cut out and pinned together over the weekend. Last night I finished one and got another partially sewn.  All 3 have a theme of bugs and butterflies.  And all 3 of them are on my UFO list for guild and my PHD (projects half done) list for The Pin Cushion. 

I use a "tube" process and French seams so there are no raw edges and no hand stitching. Just Google "pillowcase tube method" and you'll find all kinds of videos and patterns.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Design Wall Monday - RSC14

On my design wall today are more Pigtail blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC14). February's color is pink and my stash had lots of pink to choose from.  This block is from Eleanor Burns book El's Kitchen and turns out perfectly every time. She has you square up the block after each "round" and every step has a picture of what it should look like.

So far I've made 2 blue (January) and 2 pink (February).  My original plan had been to just make 2 each month, but I may add another one in some of the colors so that my quilt can be larger without adding borders. I think this one will look better without borders.  

I've linked up to Design Wall Monday at PatchworkTimes

Goals for February

I'm a little slow in posting these goals, and can admit that I've actually met one of the goals already. So I have a head start on them. Can you see a color scheme for those first goal projects?

  • 2 blocks for RSC14 in pink - DONE
  • Pink Circle of Geese (hand quilt and bind)
  • Disappearing Pinwheel pillow for Sophia
  • Bind one quilt
  • Boxed Squares UFO quilt (machine quilt)
  • Bugs & Butterflies UFO pillowcases (2)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

More Disappearing Pinwheels

Yesterday at guild Mary T. showed us how to make a Disappearing Pinwheel block. I was so excited that I went home and made one. Then today I made 3 more of them.  Here is a look at how to cut the large pinwheel into 9 equal sections.

I found some fun fabrics in my stash that seemed like a perfect option to make a large pillow for a granddaughter's March birthday.  So I put together the 4 blocks and this week I'll see what size pillow forms I can find. That will determine whether I need to add a border around it first.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Disappearing Pinwheel

Today's demonstration at Heartland Quilters Guild was on the Disappearing Pinwheel, done by Mary T. She made this clever process look so easy that I had to go home and give it a try.  And it is so fast and simple.

Not the best photo, sorry.  

It's hard to believe this block starts with 10" squares.  Sew around the outside then cut diagonally twice. You end up with 4 HST that you use to make a large pinwheel block. Then cut that block equally into thirds both vertically and horizontally. You have 9 sections.  Next step is to spin the outside blocks to make a churn dash with a little pinwheel in the center.  This was so clever. I had done the Disappearing 9-Patch before but this is even more fun.  

Thanks Mary!