Saturday, February 28, 2015

Scrappy binding

Got my Pigtail quilt back from the quilter yesterday and sewed the binding on this morning. That binding is completely made of leftover binding sections from other quilts. Now I need to stay home long enough to do the hand stitching. 

February blew by fast

February was gone in a flash and was a month that saw a lot of sewing but I did think that I had stayed focused on my goals.  HMMM - could it be that I was distracted by new projects again?  Although after checking these off I did better than I thought.

  • February Saturday Sampler blocks - DONE
  • February Round Robin section - DONE
  • RSC15 pink blocks - 2 DONE
  • choose a block pattern for the new friendship block swap & make at least ONE of 13 - block chosen, fabrics bought, pieces cut - sewing begun
  • make final 3 blocks for Batik Stars UFO - No
  • 5 blocks for Trip Around the World UFO - No
  • 3 snowman pillowcases - DONE
  • choose pattern and fabric for a baby quilt for my newest grandson - waiting for my daughter to suggest some colors she would like. Just says "not baby blue".
  • hand quilt on the Tropical Wedding quilt (UFO) - Just a little added

I also played with some new projects and used a lot of stash fabrics.
  • Tell It to the Stars quilt is bound and done!
  • 2 aprons for niece's daughter
  • 1 apron for my granddaughter Sophie
  • 2 more Traveling Stars blocks
  • 30 pinwheel blocks for a quilt top
  • 5 pillowcases
  • 2 paper doll blocks for a group project
  • began a pattern test for an Iowa pattern designer - FUN!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Pattern test progress

I just couldn't wait to get started on the pattern test project this week so I've spent some time in the evenings on it.  I can't show the whole thing until after I've shared my results with the designer but here is just a small glimpse. My points here are not a perfect match but look good when I'm not zoomed in like this.

There are 3 borders left to add. One of those is pieced and the others are plain.  So I'm thinking I'll have a chance to finish it Saturday morning. And I have to say - I'm LOVING this design! And I'm loving the fabrics I chose too. Thanks to Carol at The Pin Cushion for helping me make these choices.

It's an interesting process so far. With each step of cutting and piecing I've written some notes on the pattern so I remember what I'm thinking was clear or unclear.  Before this I've occasionally circled, highlighted, or underlined something I wanted to make sure I did. Or I've made a note sometimes about cutting slightly larger and then squaring up, especially with HST or Flying Geese.  But the designer wants feedback, so I'm really being conscious of each step this time.  And I'll admit I bought about a 1/4 yard of each fabric just in case I didn't follow directions carefully enough.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pattern test

I'm really excited about the opportunity to test a pattern for a designer.  Her pattern is in the "nearly ready for sale" stage and she wants some feedback on how well the instructions are written and pictures of the completed top as examples of how it looks in unique fabrics.

I chose these 4 fabrics and can't wait to get started on this project.  Three of the fabrics are from the Downton Abbey Egyptian line from Andover.  So fun! And the orange one is a batik from a different company but it is just the perfect color.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Crows Foot blocks

This month's Saturday Sampler block is the Crows Foot.  We will make both sizes each month with the big one 12.5" and the little one  6.5".  The little one was a bit more challenging but I'm happy with the results. I also have the applique block done for the month but will show that another day.

One of the things I did with the little block to help it lie flat was to press open all of the seams in the HSTs instead of toward one side. It reduced the bulk and made a big difference in the quality of the block in my opinion.  I'll definitely use that technique again.

One of the things that I love the most about Saturday Sampler - besides the social aspect of it - is that it pushes us to try different techniques, different patterns, and different fabric choices.  In this case there are 3 blocks each month: applique, a large block, and an identical small block.  I want to improve my skills with applique. And learning to change our techniques and strategies to succeed with smaller piecing should help all of my quilting.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

She has a friend

Oops! I first posted this without anything except the picture. I like this even better now that there are 2 of them to keep each other company.  This is one of the blocks from Quiltmaker's 10th edition of 100 Blocks.   

I'm linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday at

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week 8 Sunday "Status of the Stash" Report

I saw this graphic on Facebook this week and just had to laugh.  We do use a lot of acronyms to reflect the status of our stash.  And I can relate to all of these.  I definitely have STABLE, because I'm a PFC but TIH!

I had a couple of finishes this week that really helped out the totals: a nice big quilt and a couple of small things.  I also made several blocks for projects but won't count them until the project is finished.

In this week: 2.5 yds
In this year: 37.75 yds
Used this week: 18.5 yds
Used this year: 38.75 yds

Status of the Stash: I am winning by 1 yard!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

More aprons for little girls

The 2nd little apron for 2 year old Keira is all finished and both of them are in the mail.  This one has a pale blue farm print with yellow trim and yellow flower buttons. My niece has promised to take a picture of her in the apron and I can't wait to see her.

The pattern is the same as the red sheep apron and the pink kitties apron for one of my granddaughters, Sophie. She will get hers for her birthday in March.

The pattern is identical - except for the elastic - to the adult sized pattern that I've used often. And the cool thing about the kid pattern is the 3 different sizes it has plus the elastic in the neck band.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A finish - finally

Finally I was able to get back to sewing the binding onto this quilt.  I set it aside about 10 days ago and just didn't get back to it. Pardon the bad photo with the grey outdoor light showing. It was way too cold to take it outside for a better photo.

This was our 2014 Saturday Sampler called Tell it to the Stars. It has a lovely combination of batiks and traditional fabrics in the blocks. I added a dark red inner border and binding and used a grey floral for the outer wide border.  I really like the end result.

Added bonus - I can deduct a lot of yardage from my Sunday Stash report this week. After looking back at the pattern I'm going to count this as 15 yards including backing and binding. Yay!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More paper piecing

I had about an hour to play in my sewing room yesterday after work. And this little paper pieced paper doll is the result. Fun design from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine - issue #10 - the most recent one. It's called BFF (Best Friends Forever).  HMMMM - I maybe needed a more fun print for her dress. And she needs a face doesn't she?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Blocks for random projects

Weekend sewing was pretty limited, but I worked on some random things.  The latest pink RSC15 block is Bear's Paw and it is done. This was a fun block to choose pinks for. I wasn't sure just how much contrast I wanted between the star points and the paw points, but I'm glad I went with lots of contrast so they really stand out.  So - we have 2 blue and 2 pink blocks so far.

And while waiting for my daughter and granddaughter to come for a visit on Sunday I also made a couple more of the Traveling Stars blocks.  I can't remember where the leafy print came from but the dice print is one I will be sharing with the guild members from my Vegas trip back in January. I forgot to take the 6" squares to our February meeting.

Funny how these blocks are nearly the same sawtooth design. But the RSC blocks use flying geese for the star points and the Traveling Stars is made from half-square triangles. But it's the same basic block. 

Homemade goodies

I had no idea that a person could make homemade vanilla extract. My older daughter was a kid that had no interest in being in the kitchen and only learned to cook some basics like spaghetti or an omelet.  But she has turned into this amazing cook as an adult and she loves to experiment with surprising and fun things. Like making her own vanilla extract.  And lucky me - gets to benefit. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday stash report Feb 15

Sunday is almost over and I had totally forgotten to post my stash report.  It's very easy this week because there were no finishes so nothing counts as "out" this week. But I did make some purchases yesterday.  I have binding almost done on a quilt. And I currently have 2 quilts in the hands of quilters so hopefully I'll have some finishes soon.  

  • In this week:  5 yards
  • In this year:  35.25 yds
  • Out this week:  0 yds 
  • Out this yeear:  19.25  yds (corrected my math from previous weeks)
  • Net for 2015:  -16  yards   (stash is way ahead)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Playing with tiny scraps

I did a bit of playing today and made this 3.25" block. It's called Wild and Goosey - a paper pieced pattern by Bonnie Hunter.  She has a great column in Quiltmake magazine that spotlights scrap quilting. 

I am liking paper piecing more and more as I experiment with it.  And this one uses very small pieces so it would use those pieces that I used to throw away. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Vintage valentine reproductions

What a fun find - postcards that are reproductions of vintage valentines! There are 6 different designs and they come in the cutest little tin. Cavallini and Co. is the company and the label claims the designs come from their company archive. Love, love, love them!

Monday, February 9, 2015

President's quilt blocks

Back in December our guild presented our past president Sylvia B with her blocks made by each of the members.  The blocks are all Scottie dogs in black-ish fabric with a bright bow.  And we each signed our block. They were so very cute!  This was mine and I can't wait to see what she makes with them.

I'm linking up to Patchwork Times for the Design Wall Monday so you can check out what other quilters are working on.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Stash report Feb 8

The stash is still ahead and my Sunday Stash report isn't terribly different than last week. I really need to get a quilt bound in order to remove some bigger numbers. And I do have 2 quilts to bind.

  • In this week:  1.5 yards
  • In this year:  30.25 yds
  • Out this week:  5 yds (pillowcases)
  • Out this yeear:  19.25  yds (corrected my math from previous weeks)
  • Net for 2015:  -11  yards   (stash is still winning)

Not much sewing this week except for small spurts.  And none this weekend because of having other kinds of fun - basketball games, guild meeting, and today I get to spend some time with DD1's family. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pink pinwheels

Well, OK - they're half pink.  These are the last ones I needed for the kid quilt I've been working on.  I used 12 fat quarters plus a couple of smaller scraps to make 30 blocks.

I'm loving the pinwheels but have decided that all of the bright pinwheels together is just too busy. My husband claimed it was psychodelic and looked like the whole thing was spinning. So I'm thinking that I need some sashing between the blocks.  Bright yellow might be good. Or maybe navy blue.  Any other suggestions?

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Notice the wonky quilting here? UGGG!  This was my attempt at free motion quilting and I need a LOT more practice.  It is the back of a table runner that has been sitting in my UFO pile for 2 years. After making a mess of about 1 square foot of quilting I set it aside.  This week I decided to pick those stitches out and start over. 

This makes a good TV watching activity and I'm down to a section about 5" by 10".  Then I can make a new plan for finishing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

An apron for Keira

One done and one to go! My niece asked if I could make her daughter Keira a couple of aprons. She's 2 and loves to help mommy in the kitchen, so I chose the medium size to grow with her for a few years.  This cute little sheep print was hiding away in my stash along with the red/white dot so the only thing I had to buy was elastic for the neck.

But I did buy 1 1/3 yard of new fabric to make a second apron.  Hoping I get that made yet this week too.  The second apron will be yellow and I bought 2 really cute buttons to use too. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Adding to the pillowcase collection

Sunday afternoon I finished 5 pillowcases that I had started in January.  I had the cuffs on so all they needed was bottom and side seams. I do a French seam so there are no raw edges to fray.

The motorcycle print made great pillowcases that some boy might like.  And the 3 snowmen are pretty gender neutral.  The brighter blue one is just like the ones I made for my twin grandchildren and I had just enough fabric to do another.  

And I am delighted to subtract 5 yards of fabric from my stash!!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

RSC15 is moving to pink for February

Block #3 is called Marly.  This center area is just flying geese but has a twist to it - that bottom small goose gets rectangular sides instead of the little triangles.

I had to play with my math a bit since I don't have the special ruler that the tutorial showed but it came out just perfectly 6.5" square.  And then the center section fits into the sawtooth star.  Each of these blocks will fit into the RSC15 Sampler along with some spacer blocks containing 9-patches.  I also cut a few 2.5" squares of the pink and the white to save for the 9-patches.  I'm going to do a scrappy white-on-white background for this sampler quilt.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Stash Report

The stash grew again this week . . . by quite a bit. But I needed some background white-on-white for my scrappy white background for RSC15. And I needed coordinating fabrics for a new friendship exchange. So I just HAD to purchase fabric and it all has a purpose so there is no guilt attached to it. 
  • In this week:  7 yards
  • In this year:  28.75 yds
  • Out this week:  1 yd
  • Out this yeear:  14.25  yds (corrected my math from previous weeks)
  • Net for 2015:  -14.5  yds   (stash is still winning)

My "1 yard" used up is for an apron for my niece's daughter Keira. It is so cute, but I am going to switch out the buttons I put on it for cuter ones so I'll wait to post a photo in a couple of days.  She's a little farm girl and the fabric has sheep on it.

I actually "used" more than 1 yard but since most of it was for blocks and not a finished project, I'm not going to count it yet.  I used up 12 fat quarters to make 24+ pinwheel blocks for a kid quilt. But only the blocks are done so far and I may make a few more for a larger top.

I'm linking up to Patchwork Times for everyone's stash reports.

February goals

Thinking about goals . . . someone needs to put blinders on me so I can only focus on one thing at a time.  Toward the end of January I started feeling scattered again, with too many things that I wanted to work on.  Focus, girl, focus!!!

  • February Saturday Sampler blocks
  • February Round Robin section
  • RSC15 pink blocks
  • choose a block pattern for the new friendship block swap & make at least ONE of 13
  • make final 3 blocks for Batik Stars UFO
  • 5 blocks for Trip Around the World UFO
  • 3 snowman pillowcases
  • choose pattern and fabric for a baby quilt for my newest grandchild (gender TBD yet)
  • hand quilt on the Tropical Wedding quilt (UFO)