Sunday, July 31, 2016

July stash report

July has been a bit more productive than June in terms of finishes.  I totally finished a baby quilt and a big quilt plus a few small things (4 pillowcases,a tablerunner, and 2 bags). Another large quilt has finally reached flimsy stage and has been dropped off for quilting. And I've had lots of fun with blocks for Farm Girl Vintage, bringing the total completed blocks to 30 of each size.  

I added some yardage, but most of it was bought for backing, binding, or to use in a current project. I really didn't add any "just for fun" stash this month. I'm trying to be more deliberate in my purchasing until I've made a bigger dent in the stash. And nothing just screamed "buy me" this month. 

In this month: 11 yds
In this year: 79.75 yds
Out this month: 22.25 yds
Out this year: 98.5 yds

Love seeing that "out" number growing and staying ahead of the "in" number.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A productive morning

My new part time job has been a few more hours per week than I was hoping lately. But this morning I had "off" - really just waiting for some work to come my way.  But I took advantage of it and spent a couple of hours in my sewing room.  First of all, I finished 2 of the pillowcases I cut and pinned the other day. 

Then I worked on the Sew-Along bag using these fabrics. The outside of the bag is quilted and trimmed to size. The sides are sewn together and ready to go. The bindings are all pressed and ready to use. And I prepped the lining pieces by ironing on the interfacing pieces. So now it is time for zippers. Maybe tomorrow?

And I added 2 more vertical rows to my Traveling Stars quilt. There are only 2 more to go and this queen size quilt is probably the biggest one I've made in a couple of years. I really want this top done this week but we'll see how the week goes. It's beyond time to get this WIP finished.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A pink Sew-Along bag

Sunday's finish was the pink Sew-Along bag using the breast cancer survivor themed fabrics. The color in the top photo is pretty accurate. I had the "bra" fat quarter and the grey fat quarter with the words. It was hard to know which one to use for the outside but finally decided to use the grey as the lining inside the bag.  

And I have the pieces all cut and ready to go for a green version of this bag, which I will hopefully get made during the week. The other 2 fabric combinations auditioned on Saturday will need more thought before I make them because I'm not quite satisfied with the fabric choices I've made. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Auditioning fabrics and stash busting

I've been auditioning some fabric combinations for more Sew Along bags. After digging through the fat quarter bin and the rest of my stash, I've come up with a few possibilities.  First is this pink and grey breast cancer themed fabric.

Then I found this fat quarter with a sewing theme. I'll have to do some measuring before I cut this to see if I will lose too much of the design.

Grey and tan and a touch of grey. I definitely like this combo.

Not sure about this one yet. I think I need to dig deeper and find some lime green or a royal blue to use with it. 

We'll see how many of these actually get done, but it gives me some projects for the coming week to pick from. And I've cut and pinned 4 new pillowcases to sew - when I get back from the golf course this afternoon.  A bit of stash busting potential here!

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Friday finish - elephants

When the heat index is 110 for several days in a row (today is #3) it is easy to stay indoors and get some binding done.  My 1930s elephant quilt is done except for a label.

These elephant blocks are from a blog that no longer seems to be online so I'm glad I printed the pattern when I originally saw it several years ago. I love, love, love these elephants and this is the second quilt I've made using the pattern. 

The first quilt was gifted to my oldest daughter.  It has been used and loved up a LOT since 2012. She even took it along on a 5 day bicycle ride earlier this summer as part of her bed roll.  I called this one Polka Dots and Pachyderms.  But I have no idea for a good name for the new one. Any ideas for me?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Here kitty, kitty

Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet has issued several companion blocks to go with her Farm Girl Vintage designs, and I've been unable to resist most of them.  I've downloaded the pig, the birthday cake, the bumble bee, and now the cat. The face still needs to be embroidered onto this one, but otherwise the kitty block is done. And I still have a couple of additional downloaded blocks to make. 

I wanted my kitty to be grey and I just didn't find a grey 30s print. I even looked online.  And the only grey fabric of any kind in my stash was either too dark or too modern. So I went shopping-  and ended up with this medium grey. It kind of looks like knitting when you look closely.  

I've had a personal goal of improving my piecing accuracy and making small blocks has been a great tool for working towards that goal. There are 40 pieces in this block, and when you look at the 6" version that means some of them START at 3/4" square. That is kind of crazy! But I have to say the mini blocks have become my favorite of the two.

Lori Holt has great instructions, both for cutting and for piecing.  She uses clear drawings of each step. And I've found a process that really seems to be working for me now.  I lay all of the pieces out as I cut them onto a flat design board with a flannel type surface to hold them. I make sure to lay them out in the general location where they will go as I sew. That helps me when hunting for the right pieces, especially when the dimensions are often similar. And I've been sewing the same step on both sizes at the same time. That has also helped a lot plus both blocks are done at the same time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Libra block - Saturday Sampler

It's always interesting to see how different blocks and quilts look when the fabrics are totally different. This month's Saturday Sampler block has a simple elegance to it, just like the other blocks have been so far.

But when the same block is made with totally different fabrics it has a much more playful look. Our bonus block this month is a 30s reproduction theme. 

Now that I'm caught up with Saturday Sampler and Farm Girl Vintage it's time to get back to working on a UFO or a WIP this week. It's going to be HOT, HOT, HOT and very humid this week so I'll be staying indoors a lot and sewing when I'm not at my desk working.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Farm Girl Vintage weekend

This weekend was a good time for working hard on my Farm Girl Vintage blocks. First of all it was really humid outside so that keeps me indoors. And second, my husband was playing in a 2-day golf tournament - which occupied most of the approx 36 hours he was even home this weekend. 

With the help of my chief quilt inspector, I made 5 blocks this weekend: the bumble bee, baby chick, apron strings, summer star, and corn & tomatoes. The corn & tomatoes block is the one from the book, but I've also downloaded the block with an ear of corn and 2 tomatoes. Maybe I'll get that block made this week along with the kitty block I also downloaded. 

Both sizes of every single block are done. 29 of each size!  I'm impressed that I've managed to stay focused on that. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday finish

Another 60 degree table runner is made - this one with a coffee theme.  Now I need to figure out a plan for the scraps. They would make good hot pads maybe.

I can't seem to resist these border prints and making this runner pattern, but in reality I have more table runners than I will ever use. So why do I keep making them? Because I like them I guess. I should keep finishing some of these and then gift them.  Or even donate them.

I sorted through some fabrics on Wednesday and realized that I have way too many panels and border prints.  And the overall clutter in my sewing room is weighing me down right now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Yellow Brick Road

The Yellow Brick Road pattern is one of my favorite "go to" quick quilts.  This one will join the DONE list this afternoon when I finish the binding. 

The fabrics are pretty old and all out of my stash, including the backing. I love all the different bug prints. I did buy the orange binding fabric however because I just didn't have enough of anything suitable. My LAQ used bright variegated thread and a stitching design with ants in it, although they are hard to see in this photo. 

By supper time today I hope to have that binding 100% done. I'm halfway around now so that shouldn't be too difficult of a goal to meet. Then I can cut and prep another binding for another quilt.


Plenty of binding to do

I picked up 2 quilts from the long arm quilter at The Pin Cushion and now I have some binding to do in order to finish these.  I also bought binding fabric for the bindings because I didn't have anything appropriate in the stash for either of them. 

The orange binding will go on the Bugs Yellow Brick Road kid quilt and the purple is the same as the border on the elephant quilt. The brown is actually for a coffee themed table runner that still needs quilting before binding.  

It will be good to add these to the "done" list and find them a home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hexie Sew Along bag

The Sew Along bag is finished and I must say it makes me smile because it is kind of crazy looking with the hexies appliqued and the multi-color checked edges.  

All of this came from my stash - the black outside, the hexies, the lime green lining and the checkered bindings.  I used a lighter weight interfacing on this one and those side panels were a bit easier to handle than the first one I made.  Lesson learned.

This bag is only about 9 inches wide but it uses almost a yard of fabric. There are 3 zippered pockets inside plus a longer zipper closes the whole bag and becomes the handles. Such a clever design.

I have another set of zippers and some fabric from the stash set aside to make one more of these. I found myself looking through my fat quarter "collection" for ideas and must admit I found several possibilities.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Design Wall Monday - a little bag

Only one step left and that is putting the top zipper and handles onto this little bag. I even used a strip of tiny hexies that had been just sitting in my sewing room.  A bit of simple hand quilting gives it some texture. This pattern is the Sew Along Bag and the pattern can be found at or at your local quilt shops.

Check out more quilters' design wall at:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Goals to help me focus

The hand quilting is almost done on this little piece and then I can put it into the project itself. More to be seen tomorrow I hope. Finishing this is my #1 goal for this week.  I haven't been setting weekly goals this year but I think it's time to start doing that again because my sewing time has become way too random with nothing getting finished.

Goal #2 is to sew another couple of rows together for my Traveling Stars quilt. And on Saturday I dropped off 2 quilts with the long arm at The Pin Cushion, so I should have some finishes coming in the next couple of weeks.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Hand stitching

Sometimes a little handwork is just what I need to relax and think.

This is just a bit of appliqué on a small project.  Hopefully more progress will occur over the weekend.  I'm planning a touch of hand quilting to enhance these 3/4" hexies. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

A patriotic block

My bonus block for Saturday Sampler . . .

Sunday, July 3, 2016

June status of the stash

The month of June went by so fast that I'm not even sure what I did or didn't do. Yikes!

I do know that I donated some fabric again to a local lady who makes quilts for veterans at the VA hospitals. There are 9 yards of 6" strips in these 2 rolls. She was very excited about how many quilts she could make with these. And I was very excited that it would be used. 

The only finishes I had were small things - a bag, a pillow, a pillowcase, and a mug rug-size mini. But I'm close to having some bigger things to count. It seems like May and June had a focus on individual blocks for lots of different projects, and nothing finished. That will change soon!

In this month: 7.5 yds
In this year: 68.75 yds
Out this month: 12.5 yds
Out this year: 76.25 yds

I'm still a little bit ahead of the stash but have big ambitions to add some large numbers to that "out" column in the next month or two.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Small finishes

My paper pieced tulip pillow is done. I machine quilted this one, including the modified feather design in the white triangle areas.  I used a stencil to mark the quilting lines and then just stitched slowly along those lines. I'm actually kind of proud of this - a new skill that I've tried out.

Another finish for this week is this pillowcase for my daughter's friend. Those gals just finished a 5 day bicycle ride in Nebraska. I had made my daughter a similar pillowcase for her to take along. So now her friend will have one too.