Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Looking back at July

July was full of a lot of things other than sewing, such as work, babysitting, and a family reunion. Other than that I was a bit of a hermit early in the month as I dealt with a sinus infection and some work deadlines. But I did have a few days off and spent part of each day in my sewing room.

I've accomplished a lot during this busy month:

  • clean my sewing room - NO
  • 2 Saturday Sampler blocks - DONE & top is complete
  • 3 red RSC14 blocks - DONE
  • finish Heart 'n Spool exchange blocks - DONE (all 16)
  • bind a UFO quilt  - DONE (Loralei Golfers)
  • finish quilting a UFO (long Poppy table runner) - DONE (quilted & bound) 
  • 5 string blocks with red centers - DONE
  • make top for Wheels Quick Strippee child's quilt (a UFO) - DONE (ready to quilt)
  • 1 self-binding baby blanket - NO

My other focus in early July was doing something with the approximately 30 yards of forgotten fabric that I found in my storage area.  From that fabric, so far I've made 8 pillowcases.  The small pieces and strips have gone into my string block scrap bin. I gave away a pillow panel.  And the rest is just residing in my stash, waiting for the right project.

I've also made 3 sets of blocks for a Halloween Block Swap.  Each set has 3 blocks, plus I made one of each for myself.

And I finished the top for another old UFO, the flannel Saturday Sampler quilt.  Now I need to decide whether to donate the top as is or get it quilted and use it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Block Swap

 I finished up my final set of blocks for the Halloween Block Swap, so they are ready to mail.  My original set of Jacob's Ladder blocks had some of the same fabric as the Crab Claw blocks, so I decided to make a new set. I've kept the other set for myself and may use them in a wall hanging or tablerunner.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday Sampler

Our latest Saturday Sampler is a completed top.  I messed up row 2 and put the blue block right below the other blue block.  But instead of ripping out the seam and moving it, I decided all 4 blue blocks would go down the middle.  And it looks fine.  I used a dark wine red for the inner border and a beautiful grey floral for the wide outer border.  Over all, I'm pleased with the result.

An overdue UFO

I know exactly why this UFO became a neglected project.  This was a flannel Saturday Sampler from about 2001.  I know - shameful, isn't it?  And the reason this one was put aside was because the side strips were 3" too short on each side and I had used up the black flannel that is in the sashing.  So, instead of buying more black I just folded it all up and put it away.  

This week I bought a small piece of black flannel and put the same width sashing strips at the top and bottom of both side borders.  Voila!!!  I made this extra long for some reason, so it looks quite long and narrow.  But it is actually about 65" wide so it might fit a long twin bed.  Or be a lap quilt for someone really tall.  What was I thinking?  Who knows - but the top is done after 13 years.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Finish It Up Friday - Cats, cats, cats

The borders are on my UFO called Cats For All Seasons (see yesterday's post), and this afternoon I hope to get it sandwiched to quilt.  My plan is to do a simple crosshatch - hand quilting - with no stitching actually going through the appliques.

It's exciting to have another UFO moved another step closer to finished.

And I'm linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.  Check it out to see what other quilters are finishing up this Friday.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Another UFO project

I pulled out 2 old UFO projects that were in my drawers just waiting for borders.  Both of them begged the question - why did I not just put the borders on and finish them up?  I bought this as a kit and book in summer of 2000 and worked on the hand applique in the car during a long road trip that summer on a genealogy quest.

The book is titled At Home With Patrick Lose, and the fabrics are all hand dyed.  Happily the dark blue border strips were already cut and in the bag with the book and the top.  And there is more of the aqua for binding in the bag as well.  So . . . I wonder why I didn't finish it?  Maybe because I had no idea how to quilt it?  Maybe I was sick of looking at it?  But it WILL be finished in 2014!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Loralei Golf UFO

It's done!  This was a slow project, but it is on my family room couch as a summer fun quilt. Always nice to mark off another UFO from the list.

The blocks are from a Loralei panel with crazy ladies golfing.  I framed each one with wonky strips and then a secondary black frame.  And The Pin Cushion did a great job quilting it with big daisy shapes in a variegated thread.

I still have 3 UFO quilts needing binding.  Maybe I can knock off one more in August.  But since my summer break is over after this week I'm not going to get too ambitious - or optimistic! My August work schedule is UGLY!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Design Wall Monday - ripping seams

My design wall (floor) this morning was a source of frustration.  I'm working on setting together the top for my Saturday Sampler quilt and was very pleased with myself because I got 2 rows set together yesterday. But then I laid it on the floor this morning and realized - I have blue blocks in the centers of both rows.  GRRRR!!!  This is a scrappy quilt and I need to scatter those colors better,  So I'll be ripping out a couple of seams so I can flip a blue block into a different location.  

I'm linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday at: .  Check out what other quilters are working on this week.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Halloween Blocks

Saturday sewing has all been spent working on 3 block sets for a Halloween Block Swap.  Each set has 4 identical blocks - 1 for me and 3 to swap.  Crab Claws was originally a paper pieced block but I did the math and turned it into a pieced block.  Birds in the Air and Jacob's Ladder are definitely more traditional blocks.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Finish It Up Friday

I have a UFO finish this week - my 60 degree Poppy Fields table runner.  This one is hand quilted and made from fabric I bought last summer on a shop hop bus trip to Minnesota.  I have 2 more 60 degree runners in my UFO pile and I'm determined to get them finished. Check out lots of other Friday Finishes at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday

My regular readers will remember that I recently "found" this lovely doll quilt made for me by my paternal grandmother in about 1958. Does that date make it an antique now? Does that mean that I'm also an antique?

I wasn't sure how to best display it, but for now it is draped over my mother's rocking chair. Somewhere in my family photos is a picture of my mom sitting in this very chair in the l920s in Wisconsin.  My understanding is that her father (a carpenter) made the chair for her.

Now I need to find an old doll to add to this little scene.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Working on some hand quilting and getting close to a UFO finish. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Saturday Sampler progress

The last 2 blocks are done for the current Saturday Sampler, so the next steps will be finding the perfect border fabrics and setting the top together.  Such a fun mix of batik and Civil War reproduction fabrics. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pillowcases are piling up

Last week I posted about the fabric I found in my storage area, and I'm happy to say that I've been busy making pillowcases out of some of that yardage. Most of these will be donated to one of our local organizations.

2 music themed
2 "how to stop his snoring" novelty print
2 butterfly print
2 Laurel Burch cat print - I'm keeping these!

. . . and one with a flame and race car theme from new fabric that was left over from another recent project.

Usually I cut my pillowcase body 28" long and the cuff is cut at 10" (folded to 5"), which makes a nice long pillowcase even with French seams.  But the "snoring" fabric wasn't quite long enough so I cut wider cuffs to add to the 24" body.  I did the same thing with the racing themed one.  

I'm a huge fan of Laurel Burch prints and so I just have to keep the cat pillowcases to use myself.  I love her colors and the whimsical designs.  And I still have about 12" X WOF to use some other way.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Winner, winner!

The winner of the Air Force pillow panels is . . . #3.

And #3 is Heidi at On the Banks of Frog Creek blog.  Please email me your mailing address to:  dsfridley at mit dot midco dot com. And I'll get these in the mail to you this week.

Thanks everyone for your comments and especially for visiting my blog!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Finish it up Friday - a giveaway

My finish for this week is to finish organizing my "lost stash" found earlier in the week.  And these pillow panels were in that lost stash.  I will give away these Air Force pillow panels to someone who could use them.  There are 2 of these and they would cover at least a 16" pillow form.  Leave a comment and on Sunday night I'll draw a random number to give these away.

I'm linking up to Finish It Up Friday so make sure you check out what other quilters are finishing this week.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lost treasure is found

This doll quilt is the treasure that I found in the plastic tub of fabric that I emptied out this week.  My paternal grandmother made this for me when I was about 4 years old, so about 1958.  The back is bubblegum pink and it is all hand quilted. It's about 36" square.

I had been wondering what happened to this since we moved because it didn't turn up in the boxes I had unpacked.  Now that I've found it again I'm thinking about how to display it where it won't get lost or destroyed, but that allows me to enjoy it.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sorted . . .

It took me over an hour to empty out that big plastic tub and sort out the contents.  Our pool table was the perfect size (and height) to use as I sorted and organized all of the fabric I found. I'm estimating about 30 yards total, with a lot of it in half yard or larger pieces. A bonanza!!!

I discovered a bunch of pastel strips left over from a log cabin quilt I made as a graduation gift for one of my daughter's friends - in 2002.  Those will work great in my string blocks.

I have piled all of the fabric that will work for pillowcases into stacks and it looks like I have enough to make about a dozen pillowcases for donations.

There are some large yardage pieces that I probably bought on sale to use as backs since they are fairly neutral. There is a bag with a new (OK - unused) queen sized cotton batting.  Two large blocks left over from a kids' quilt, some panels, and a lot of odds and ends were in this tub.  Plus I filled up a garbage bag with small scraps of smushed and wrinkled batting that I didn't want to deal with.

And the most exciting find?  I'll have to share that another day, but let's just say that it is a treasure from my childhood.

Now I need to find room to put this all away in my sewing room!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lost and neglected

When we moved to this house 8 years ago I thought we had done a really good job of unloading all of my sewing room tubs directly into my new sewing room, which was the only finished section of our basement. But then we finished the remainder of the basement and things got moved around by the contractor during the process.  But I honestly thought everything went back into my space.

Well - I was wrong. This morning I was looking in our basement storage area for an empty tub large enough to store outdoor kid toys in the garage and saw this one. But when I tried to pull it out it was really heavy. So imagine my shock when I opened it up and realized it is packed FULL of fabric and a few small pieces of batting.  This is a really large plastic tub and it was full to the top so there is a lot of fabric here.  How could I not have realized this was missing?  

I haven't had a chance to dig everything out yet to see what I have, but my stash has just grown. It will be fun after work seeing what all is in this lost and neglected tub. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th FUN

No sewing around here the past few days because these little people were visiting our house from Thursday through yesterday. We do still have the little "blondie" yet today. Grandpa is upstairs babysitting and I'm in the basement in my new little office space working this morning. (SHHH! - don't tell anyone that I'm posting on my blog during work time.)  

We'll take her home to mom and dad this afternoon and then life goes back to normal and quiet until the next visit. I'm glad we only live an hour apart.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


I'm a big fan of quick and easy quilt patterns and this has become a favorite for kids' quilt. It's called the Quick Strippee and you can find the instructions at MaryQuilts. She has some great, easy to follow quilt designs.

This one isn't quilted yet, but the flimsy is done.  I've made 3 of these now and am confident I'll make more because it's a great design to showcase fun prints without having to cut them into small pieces. And the big bonus - you can make one in an afternoon!

The other 2 versions that I made last year were done with border prints and so I made the wide strip the width of the print and just repeated these more often.  The jungle version went to my grandson Jonah and the owl version went to Australia to the new baby of another relative.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Little bitty blocks

These little blocks are for an exchange with the members of our Sew Vintage group. The block is 4.5" square and I made 16 of them.  It will be fun to exchange these in August.  

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer goals

My June goals were generally reached, except for the first one.

  • clean my sewing room - NOT tackled yet
  • 2 Saturday Sampler blocks - YES
  • 3 yellow RSC14 blocks (1 is done already) - YES
  • finish the scrappy pillow - YES
  • layer and quilt my Halloween Spicy Spiral table runner - YES
  • work on Heart 'n Spool exchange blocks (due in August) - 8 of the 16 are done

I also finished my paper pieced Shazam quilt. This was a stretch of my skills and I'm really pleased with the results.  I made a self-binding baby blanket for a gift, and I made 2 pillowcases for my oldest grand-kids.  Check out my 2014 Finishes page to see Shazam and the other things.   

This summer I have more time off than usual and I'm hoping that allows me to play more golf and get more sewing done.  My July goals will be a little scattered because I'm hoping to dig into some new projects as well as finish up some UFOs.

  • clean my sewing room
  • 2 Saturday Sampler blocks
  • 3 red RSC14 blocks - already DONE
  • finish Heart 'n Spool exchange blocks
  • bind a UFO quilt (red FQStars or Wishin' For Spring)
  • finish quilting a UFO (long Poppy table runner or the tropical wedding wall hanging)
  • 5 string blocks with red centers
  • make top for Wheels Quick Strippee child's quilt (a UFO)
  • 1 self-binding baby blanket
Now that I've written these down, I'm thinking it looks a bit over ambitious. So we'll see how it goes.  I have to have a target to aim for, right?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

RSC14 - passing halfway

We're 7 months into the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I'm really pleased that I've kept up so far. Each month I've made 3 blocks (12.5") - Pigtails by Eleanor Burns.  The light wasn't the best here but I laid them out to see the impact so far.  And the cat didn't even try to rearrange them like he usually does. He just supervised. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Scraps - flannel & denim

I have a tub of old denim jeans that I've dug into over the years to make some blue jean quilts.  And I've been making a lot of flannel self-binding baby blankets the past couple of years and that resulted in flannel scraps.  So what am I doing with them?  I'm making a rag quilt.

First I've cut a lot of 6.5" squares of denim and of flannel.  From smaller scraps I've cut 6.5" x 3.5" bricks of both.  Next step is to sew a flannel piece to a denim piece using diagonal lines from corner to corner, both directions, making a big X on each block.  

Then I'm sewing them together with the denim sides together.  And the resulting seams are clipped toward the seam line about every half inch. Once the rows are sewn together to make a quilt, and it's washed and dried, then it will end up with fluffy frayed seams all over the flannel side.

This project is kind of like my string blocks - I make a few at a time when I'm in between projects and just want to do a little sewing.  And slowly these will become a kid sized quilt.