Monday, April 30, 2018

April went by in a flash

Considering the fact that we had LOTS of snow storms in April, which resulted in plenty of sewing time, I really didn't get much finished from my April UFO list.
The Valentine table runner was actually finished in March.  It was made from 3 blocks I won at Saturday Sampler a whole year ago.  It will be ready to use next year for Valentine's Day or gift to someone else to use.
The Pink pineapple wall hanging is in the hands of the quilter right now.  I finished the flimsy back in January but it took me this long to decide how to finish it.  Once I get it back from the quilter it shouldn't take long to bind it since it's pretty small. 
And last, from the UFO Challenge list, there has been no progress doing anything at all with the large Farm Girl Vintage blocks.  I made all of the FGV blocks in both the 12" and 6" sizes. The small blocks became a fun quilt a year ago. But I'm just not sure what I want to do with the big ones.  I made all of the blocks from the book plus a few downloaded from Lori Holt's blog, so there are really too many for just one quilt.
I did set some other goals for April and have nearly met them all. So I'll keep plugging away on the jelly roll quilt until all 8 rows are together.  And now that I'm home from our 4-day road trip to Kansas, I will figure out some goals for April.  
  • 3 RSC Sampler blocks in yellow - DONE
  • 2 Saturday Sampler blocks  - DONE
  • 12 Ritzy Cracker blocks (yellow) - DONE
  • finish top of Christmas jelly roll quilt - halfway
  • bind unicorn & stars quilt before April 14 - DONE
  • make unicorn pillowcase before April 14 - DONE

  • Friday, April 27, 2018

    Celebrating with family

    We spent the day at Ft. Riley (Kansas) celebrating my niece’s husband’s retirement from the US Army.  He has had a 28 year distinguished career. My niece retired a few years ago after a 24 year US Army career.  It was an honor to be a part of the celebration. One of the traditional gifts to retirees from this unit is a rocking chair - with a plaque identifying rank, and deployments.  Pete surprised his wife with a matching rocker with her own rank and deployment plaque. They can enjoy them on the porch on their Texas ranch.  Their granddaughter Bailey was able to be here too, along with plenty of other family members.  

    Pete planned a fun afternoon for the whole group as well. We toured the horse barn of the Mounted Color Guard on base, and spent a couple of hours seeing the helicopters here. Pete flew Apaches, and he arranged for the group to see (and sit in) Apache, Blackhawk, and Chinook helicopters. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and was probably the highlight of my husband’s day.  

    Thank you for your service Pete - and enjoy your well-earned retirement.  We were honored to be a part of this day. 

    Wednesday, April 25, 2018

    Sewing therapy

    Having Tuesday afternoon off was a perfect opportunity to get some sewing therapy.  I made a couple more of the Diamond Tile blocks with some fun scraps hanging out in the bins.  I love the beach pail fabric. I used it on the back of a "flip flop" quilt that has been hanging on the guest bathroom wall since we moved into this house 12 years ago. So it was definitely time to use up some more of it. Isn't that lobster pail cute?

    Five more Garlic Knot blocks came together quickly and are now added to the stack for the guild Quilt of Valor project coming up in May. 

    There was no chance of getting bored because I kept switching projects.  And I have half of the jelly roll quilt rows put together.  I have a layer cake of the same fabric and am kind of thinking that I'll use it to add some borders on this one to make it bigger.  It will only be 48" wide without borders, so I think it needs to grow. I had 2 jelly rolls and a layer cake of the Christmas prints, plus the white background, and small amounts of the green and red solids.    So I may as well use up as much of the fabric as possible by adding a border. Plus there are enough jelly roll strips left to use for binding.

    Monday, April 23, 2018

    Design Wall Monday - playing with scraps

    It wasn't a big sewing weekend, but I did play in my sewing room a little.  Facebook blew up over the past week with Bonnie Hunter's newest block - Diamond Tile.  The block pattern is in the May/June issue of Quiltmaker magazine.

    This is a fun little 7" block and obviously Bonnie's fans fell in love with it quickly. The magazine came out a little more than a week ago and some people were posting photos showing they had already made over 100 blocks. That is crazy!!  But I first made 1 block in red, blue, and gold, and then added borders to make it big enough to use in a QOV.  And now I have made 3 more.  This might be a good start for a baby quilt.
    Check out the other Monday Design Walls at:

    One of my Saturday tasks was getting some laundry done.  At one point in the afternoon I came into the bedroom to grab another load - and found this!  20 pounds of long haired cat draped across my tan dress pants and a stack of towels. It was almost like he was taking credit for the work. Poor Sammy!  He's almost 17 years old and getting up on our bed is hard work anymore. He jumps onto a chair, then hops over to the nightstand, and then steps onto the bed itself. So he was probably enjoyed the lumpy stacks of clothes to rest his old bones.

    Saturday, April 21, 2018

    Random Saturday sewing

    Sailboat Excursion - I'm not sure I see where this block name originated.  But I like the simplicity of the design. These are latest Saturday Sampler blocks.  The layout is pretty simple, with a reversal of the light and dark fabrics in the second block. Each unit of these blocks was just a simple half square triangle.

    And I finished the presentation pillowcase from my stash of patriotic fabrics.  This can be used with one of our guild Quilts of Valor.  I finally feel like I've made a little progress in using up some of the big stash of fabric I've collected over the years.  It's not a huge dent, but it is progress.

    Thursday, April 19, 2018

    Another patriotic block

    Digging through the stash to see what other patriotic fabrics I've been hoarding collecting has also given me the chance to reorganize them a bit and make sure I'm keeping them all together. I have a lot of blue, but not much for prints. However there was about a half yard of the star print and it needed to come out and play.

    This is actually the Saturday Sampler block pattern from last month. It's called Homemade Ice Cream and looks a little like the dasher in an ice cream churn.  I like it in red, cream, and blue just as well as my original fabric choice.  EDITED NOTE:  This is a 12.5" block so all of the pieces are cut 2.5" wide, and center is cut 4.5" square. 

    I also cut and prepped a pillowcase from some of the other pieces in that patriotic stash.  It can be used for a future presentation pillowcase once I get it sewn. 

    Wednesday, April 18, 2018

    Quilts of Valor building blocks

    One of our long time members is downsizing and she gave more than 20 gorgeous patriotic blocks to the guild to use in a future Quilt of Valor.  There are some really amazing blocks in this collection.  I was told that they were from a block exchange.  All I can say is "Wow - and thank you Mary!"

     And I've made 4 blocks (so far) to add to that mix.  While I'm digging in those red, white, and blue scraps and stash I may make a few more.

    We are having a Quilt of Valor work session the morning of our May meeting. I counted out Garlic Knot blocks, and we had enough to finish one quilt and 26 more to start another. Those are now organized and ready to go. I also pulled 2 really pretty Garlic Knot blocks out of the stack because I feel that they fit much better with the blocks that Mary gave us.  They are on the right side of the picture above.  These Garlic Knots are so pretty.  Besides, I know that folks will come that morning with more blocks.  It's really looking like we could get 3 more QOV tops made in the next month to add to the 3 we have ready to present.

    Sunday, April 15, 2018

    Distracted by genealogy

    I actually had lots of time last week to sew, but I've been distracted by family history.  For decades in the pre-Internet world, my mother was writing letters and researching family history for both her family and for my dad's side of the family.  And when she passed away 27 years ago I inherited boxes and tubs of genealogy materials.  I've been enjoying for several years now, where I have connected with a number of relatives on both sides of my family and with my husband's family too.
    One of the really exciting things is how easy it is to share photos even with folks I've never met in person.  I've always had a formal portrait of my paternal grandparents that I understood to be from their wedding day.  But I was really thrilled when a distant cousin posted this 100 year old photo in her Ancestry gallery.  Philip and Marceline married in 1918 in Kansas.  I love her simple dress, with the flowers in her hair. Look at those shoes!!  Since she was only 4' 9" tall, I'm sure those were tiny shoes.  And my grandfather was so handsome!
    The formal portrait that I have probably was taken the same day, but they are seated and she isn't wearing the veil or flowers.  Now I have a print of this one to frame and add to my family photos.

    Friday, April 13, 2018

    Finishing up yellow

    The Squared Away (RSC18 Sampler) block for April was called 4X Star.  All 3 of my yellow versions are done.  This is a really pretty block and was so easy to do.  I also think it would make a great Quilt of Valor block using red, white, and blue.

    And my lunch hour sewing today was the last 4 Ritzy Cracker blocks that were cut and ready to go.  While digging for more yellow or gold scraps, I came across that green and pink floral. It just begged to become a Ritzy Cracker. 

    So with these blocks I've reached 2 of my goals for April - making 3 Squared Away blocks and finishing 12 Ritzy Cracker blocks in yellow. I actually made 13 of them. Yay!

    Now I'm back at my desk at work and watching the weather outside my windows. We just had a severe thunderstorm warning, and the thunder literally rattled the windows.  It poured rain and sleet.  Now we are waiting for the blizzard to move into our area this afternoon.  The forecast for our locale is 12-18" of wet, heavy snow.  Schools in town dismissed at noon - just in time for the pouring rain and sleet.  The good side of a blizzard is it will give me some sewing time.  I'm hoping to work on putting the Christmas jelly roll blocks into a finished top.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2018

    Yellow Ritzy Crackers

    There are now 12 yellow Ritzy Cracker blocks.  Ten of them are new, and two of them were made in previous months. I have a couple of duplicates, but that's not a problem.  I'm thinking however that I need just a couple more, especially since I set of goal of making 12 this month.  I may need to dig much deeper into the stash to find more yellow.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2018

    Unicorns and Stars

    Olivia had asked for another quilt recently, and I had the top of this one done thinking it would be a good Christmas present for her. But since she asked . . . I decided it would make a good birthday present instead.  Why wait, right?  Today is her 5th birthday.  (Her twin brother was much more interested in receiving LEGOs.)  She is obsessed with unicorns right now, and also loves pink. So I found a perfect backing fabric with unicorns on a pink background.

    The quilt top was made using parts and pieces of a Bonnie Hunter pattern called En Provence, and it was all destined to become a UFO. But then I decided to used the parts to make something different - which is this quilt. The pink and purple units just worked so well together.
    I asked for quilting with loops and stars which looks great. I had enough of the backing fabric to make Olivia a matching pillowcase.  And I still have some left to use on the back of a big floor pillow I'm making with her name on it.  That big pillow will wait for Christmas however, and maybe I'll get some made for the other grandkids by then too. 

    Sunday, April 8, 2018

    Design Wall Monday - Patriotic blocks

    Quilts of Valor have been on my mind lately, with lots of time checking them out on Pinterest and on blogs that I read. 

    At our guild meeting this weekend, one of our members donated several beautiful patriotic blocks to use for future Quilts of Valor.  The blocks were not all the exact same size or shape and were from a block exchange she had been involved in.  We are having a QOV sewing session the morning of our May guild meeting. So we'll figure out a layout to use those blocks that day. I'm thinking a nice gold sashing to separate them should work well.

    That made me start thinking about a possible future guild challenge of making 12" blocks that we can put into Quilts of Valor.  Everyone could just choose to make their favorite block, keeping the patriotic color scheme and the size.  This could be a way to make multiple quilt tops quickly.

    So with these ideas racing around my head, I had some fun on Sunday playing with some patriotic blocks. The star block at the top is actually leftover star units from the QOV that I just had quilted.  I had 8 extras, so I can make another block like this too.  And the block at the bottom used the Diamond Tile block from the new Quiltmaker magazine. This was the block in Bonnie Hunter's Addicted to Scraps column, and I added the blue corner triangles and the red border to make it 12" finished.

    Check out what other quilters have on their Design Wall Monday posts:

    Saturday, April 7, 2018

    Community Service Projects

    Our Guild has a table today at a fundraiser luncheon for the local Safe House.  One of our members did a fabulous job decorating with vintage sewing items.  There is an antique machine, a bowl of antique thimbles and spools, vintage linens, and more. 

    And as a guild we donated 2 quilts for the silent auction. I made the one with the yellow border. It’s a fun day and usually raises a lot of money for the Safe House. 

    We have a sewing day planned for our May meeting day where we hope to finish a third Quilt of Valor and start another.  One of our members today donated a bunch of patriotic blocks that she had from a block exchange. So we have a great starting point for another Quilt of Valor in the future.

    Friday, April 6, 2018

    More yellow

    Only one more yellow Ritzy Cracker block made - a bright yellow print with oranges on it.  Three more were cut out but I just didn't get that far.  And I have 4 more yellow fabrics to work with.  Yellow and gold are the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color for April. My yellow choices were a bit limited as it isn't one of my "go to" colors. Maybe it should be however, because these are really happy blocks and sure brighten up the pile of blocks I've made so far.
    This might be the only sunshine I see this weekend since we are expecting more snow on Sunday. And today we may see a high only in the 20s.

    Wednesday, April 4, 2018

    Slowly binding

    I'm slow as molasses, but only have 1 side left to do on granddaughter Olivia's unicorn quilt.  I should be able to finish it this evening while watching some TV.  But I picked up 2 more quilts from my long arm quilter today, so I have more binding to do. 

    Tuesday, April 3, 2018

    Easter memories

    As we headed home Sunday evening, I suddenly realized that no one had taken the time to snap any pictures. Those grandkids grow up so fast and we missed an opportunity to capture some memories.

    And then last night my daughter (who rarely posts to Facebook) posted 2 photos that I didn't know she had even taken.  We didn't get any photos of all of the kids together unfortunately, but she did manage to capture the checkers games that Mason played with grandpa. He's getting closer to beating grandpa.  He's figuring out strategy. 

    Olivia found a couple of books she wanted me to read.  Here we are reading Bambi - which I gave her for Christmas along with a Bambi pillowcase I made.  Under that quilt are also my younger daughter's feet and Olivia was tucked into a warm spot behind Aunt Laura's legs.  We also read a book about Nibbles the book monster, who eats his way through several stories. 

    At our house the past 2 Easters, we've done an outdoor Easter egg hunt and decorated sugar cookies. But with it coming early this year, it's still winter here and was only about 25 degrees out. We all gathered at Jerilyn's house this year, and stayed indoors.  No frantic activities - just let the kids play.  We even skipped the traditional ham dinner. Son-in-law Jamie made delicious French Dip sandwiches. We had buffalo chicken dip and chips, fruit, deviled eggs, and dessert.  By keeping things simple, the day was just about relaxing and being together.