Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Progress is gradual

Sunday afternoon and Monday morning were spent working on my Saturday Sampler quilt. The pieced borders are nearly done. The top and bottom ones (with corners) are done and the sides ones are nearly done with only 3 colors left to add to each end.  The burgundy squares sit in the center of each side and in the 4 corners. Then the colors push out from the square.
I also started working on the center area of the quilt. The 12 pieced "star" blocks are set on point and separated by squares and setting triangles.  The left corner 2 rows are assembled. I'm hoping that this afternoon I can finished the side borders and get another row or 2 onto the center.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sew Sampler Box

Getting packages in the mail is always exciting, but getting "quilty" packages is even more fun.  For the past few months I've been subscribing to the monthly sampler box from The Fat Quarter Shop and it's always a treat to open those turquoise boxes. Just like getting a big birthday present every month. 

This month there is a "Jolly Bar" - 5" X 10" pre-cuts. There are 42 pieces in the grouping that is a yummy blue and peachy fabric line. This is like having 2 matching charm packs, or half of a layer cake. I'll tell you more about this Jolly Bar when I decide what I want to make with it.  And I suppose I'll have to be honest with myself and add it to my stash count as an addition.

There is always some type of pre-cut fabrics and a selection of notions and patterns. This box has the best group of notions since I began subscribing: wonder clips, a thread wax cube, purple Thang, and a seam ripper.  The pattern this month is very cute, although I have one very similar so I may share it forward.  Last but not least there is a pattern on a recipe card for a block each month. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Piecing and cutting and piecing . . .

This morning has been spent piecing and cutting, and piecing. But LOTS of cutting!

This was the final pieced 12" block for the quilt.  The fabric is an over-dyed muslin and sews like a dream! It has that hand-dyed look that gives each piece look like it has some texture.

Then I pulled out the setting kit that we received a couple of months ago. I will admit that I've been a bit afraid to cut into this. The background was the scariest part, because it has very specific cutting instructions in terms of which big pieces get cut from which location on the fabric. But like any other project, once I had read through the instructions more carefully and actually started cutting it wasn't so bad.  
This quilt has an elaborate (for me) pieced border and those pieces are cut, labeled, and ready to sew.  The pieced blocks will be set on point with squares of the cream background separating them. And there are setting triangles for the edges and corners. Then the pieced borders will go on, followed by multiple solid borders. 

My pieces are all cut now except for a grey border and burgundy binding.  And I began to piece the center of one of the colored borders, which is laying on top of the setting squares in the second photo.  Not so scary after all - as long as I pay close attention to the instructions for color placement.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Water Turn - Farm Girl Vintage

This is the last of the main blocks from the Farm Girl Vintage book.  So I have a 12" and a 6" version of all of the blocks finished.  Now I need to decide if I'm going to make the tractor or one of the other barn blocks. And I still have a couple of downloaded blocks that I want to make.
I still am not sure exactly how these will all be used. The little blocks are my favorite and I think I want to put them all into 1 completed quilt for ME.  But those big blocks really could make 2 big quilts, or maybe 3 kid sized quilts. But the good thing is, there is plenty of time for inspiration to hit because I have no deadlines.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Crown of Thorns

It's very interesting that these 2 baby quilt tops look different sizes in this photo. They are exactly the same size. Must be the perspective of where I was standing.
A few days ago a reader told me that she knew this block as English Wedding Ring, which is much more romantic than Crown of Thorns. Since they are going to be baby quilts I may need to rethink the name a bit. LOL
These blocks were all part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2016 and carried into 2017.  And now they are headed to the long arm quilter as soon as I pick out some appropriate backing fabrics. I'm kind of thinking different colored backs and bindings so they are easy to tell apart after they've been washed a bunch. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

RSC17 continued

My RSC17 (Rainbow Scrap Challenge) is actually a continuation of my RSC16 blocks - 15" Crown of Thorns blocks.  My original plan was to make a large quilt, but then I decided to make 2 baby quilts instead.  There were 8 dark/bright blocks and 6 lighter more pastel blocks already made. I added a purple one for January and put together a flimsy using the brighter blocks.

So now I've added a sea green/aqua block for February, along with a light lime green and a soft rose block.  Over the weekend I'm hoping to get the pastel flimsy put together too so that next week I can find backing and binding for both quilts. They will be gifts for twin baby girls due late spring.  The mom is a dear friend of one of my own girls.

Now I can figure out what I want to keep making to follow along with the RSC17 for the rest of the year - because I like the idea of playing with my stash, one color at a time, with no huge project hanging over my head.  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Farm Girl Vintage - cow block

I still need to embroider a tail on both of the adorable cow blocks, but these are SO CUTE!  I have to admit that I've been tempted by the additional blocks available for download from Lori Holt (on the Fat Quarter Shop site). The cow was one of several that I've purchased and downloaded since the book came out. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

UFO #8 is finished

Saturday Sampler has been one of my favorite quilt shop activities for years. Some of the projects were easy and some were challenging. Some of the projects were designs that I loved, and some were not. Some were projects I finished right away because I knew just where that quilt needed to go, and others became UFOs.  Some years I made 2 sets of blocks with a second set coming from my stash.
This Saturday Sampler was challenging, but nothing I couldn't handle. I loved the pieced blocks in both large and small sizes, but wasn't sure I wanted them mixed in with the applique blocks. There were also several gingerbread people blocks (very cute), and some wording blocks. I decided to keep the gingerbread blocks for a separate project.  But I did include the floral blocks in this quilt. I hand appliqued these, which was fairly time intensive.
The finished quilt is about 65" x 70".  I think this may be more of a display quilt, instead of a "curl up on the couch" kind of quilt.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Binding UFO #8

One side down and 3 to go. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Valentine blocks

I won this gorgeous set of Valentine blocks at our Saturday Sampler group yesterday. These are the bonus blocks made using the monthly pattern from the sampler. The one on the bottom left is mine.  Don't you just love these?  And guess who immediately claimed them as soon as I laid the blocks on the floor for the photo? 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Valentine mini quilt

Some quilts just make you smile when you finish them because you like the results. This is one of those finishes. It's only about 11" square, but I love the soft pinks and I love how the hand quilting shows up so nicely.  Hoping the recipient likes it as much as I do.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

All Dressed Up is done

I finished the machine quilting over the weekend and got the binding sewn on. Overall I'm very pleased, except for the fact that it doesn't lay completely flat. I tried really hard to not stretch the borders, but obviously there was some stretching.  I'm thinking a good pressing with steam will help this lay a bit flatter.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Farm Girl Vintage - Wooly Sheep

I had to do some major digging in the stash to find a medium grey that I liked for the Wooly Sheep block.  Grey just isn't a color that I buy very often.  It needed to be the right color AND play nicely with all of the 30s reproduction fabrics in the other blocks. 
"Black sheep, black sheep, have you any wool?"  Early in our marriage we farmed for 10 years on my husband's home farm. We ran about 750 ewes and 50 head of cattle.  That was a LOT of sheep, and lambing season was always crazy. About 1/3 of our herd was Suffolk sheep, with black faces and white bodies. Those lambs were often quite grey when they were born, and occasionally we would get a completely black lamb.  We kept a few of the black ewes - just for fun. Plus, the black wool brought a premium, so we kept it separate at shearing time. These blocks made me think of those lambs with a big smile.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Design Wall Monday - Farm Girl Vintage

I have enjoyed the Farm Girl Vintage book so much this past year, as I've slowly worked through the blocks with an online group and a face-to-face group. And the extra blocks that Lori Holt has sold online have added even more fun to the process. She released 4 new blocks on The Fat Quarter Shop website recently, and I just HAD to buy Zinnia! Isn't it cute? I might have to make more of these sometime.
Next up was the Peas and Carrots block. It has kind of a patriotic vibe with these red and blue fabrics.
There are still a few blocks from the book left to make, including the sheep block that I want to work on this week.  And I still have a couple of downloaded extra blocks to make, such as the cow and the turkey. 
Check out the Design Wall posts of other quilters at 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Simple Whatnots

I've taken the advice of one of my readers and am quilting a simple outline inside of each bowtie block.  It's just what this needed, so I'm glad I chose this. Only the borders remain to be quilted and I should get around to those on Sunday morning after my husband leaves for the airport for a business trip. Maybe I'll even get the binding on.  

Friday, February 3, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

I just realized that I am definitely into "challenges" this year. There is the UFO challenge and also the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and our guild's scrap challenge. There could be more challenges coming.

During the RSC16 challenge I was making 15" Crown of Thorns blocks. I actually had 14 of them made by the end of the year using the monthly colors. That wasn't really enough to make a large quilt, so I had decided to keep making these blocks for RSC17.  Here is my newest purple January block.
Then I had the idea to split these blocks into dark and light sets to use for baby quilts for a set of twin girls. One of my daughters has a friend expecting twins this spring. So here are my 6 dark blocks making a 45" square baby quilt. The colors are brighter, more crayon bright, in person.
I also have 6 lighter, more pastel blocks done and ready for the other quilt but still need 3 more blocks to make it the same size.  The RSC17 color for February is aqua or sea green and I have pulled a perfect fabric for that one from the stash.  It feels good to have a plan for these blocks finally.
Of course this also means I may need to find another block to "play with" in 2017 for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Maybe some disappearing 4-patches, or garlic knots, or more bowties.  Or something more whimsical.  Too many options . . .

Thursday, February 2, 2017

UFO #8 needs quilting

The #8 UFO on my challenge list is this Saturday Sampler from 2015 - so it isn't terribly old yet. I didn't do the gingerbread applique blocks from that series, but did make the floral applique blocks, and the large and small pieced ones.
I love the colors and the individual blocks, but do NOT love how I ended up putting this together. It's OK, but just didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.  However, the flimsy was done in September 2016 and I even found an aqua snowflake print for backing. Since then it has been hanging over a hanger in my sewing room closet.  It's time to move on.  I just need to piece that backing and get it quilted and bound.  So that is my tiny goal for the next week.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February UFO Challenge is #8

The 2017 UFO Challenge from All People Quilt has selected #8 as the number for February.  We'll receive the final block pattern the 2nd Saturday of February. I have all previous blocks made, but have been a little reluctant to cut into the setting kit fabrics.

This quilt has blocks set on point and then has a beautiful pieced border. The setting kit has very specific instructions (with pictures) for cutting the pieces.  And I'll readily admit it has been a bit intimidating.  There is absolutely no chance that I'll have this done, quilted, and bound by the end of the month.  So my goal for February is to just finish the top.

UFO/WIP Project
Status Before
Status After
Valentine Bench Pillow
Needs blanket stitching around applique, then sandwich, quilt, and add envelope backing
4 Seasons Cats
Finish hand quilting, bind
ABC kid quilt
Machine quilt, bind
House Warming Party
Finish blocks
Circa 2016
Finish making blocks
Easter Sunrise runners (2)
Applique, quilt, bind
DONE in January!
Batik Stars Saturday Sampler
Finish blocks
2016 Saturday Sampler
Finish blocks,  cut out setting pieces, reach flimsy stage
Reindeer 60-degree runner
Quilt and bind
2015 Friendship Exchange
Blocks are made, need to determine a layout
Beach cross-stitch piece
About half stitched only
RSC16 Crown of Thorns
make additional blocks to do 2 baby quilts instead of 1 large quilt