Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A mental health morning

I decided this morning was going to include some "ME" time.  It was a mental health morning - or at least a couple of hours.  Playing hooky from work for the morning hopefully will help my afternoon productivity as I face some daunting deadlines and complicated projects.  

First I finished quilting my latest Kim Diehl project and attached the binding.  I'll show that off another day once the binding is turned and stitched down, and I've dusted off all of the quilting markings.  The second project was pulling out the second version of the previous Saturday Sampler because it's become a UFO.  And I definitely don't want another UFO. 

Four blocks were already done and sewn into a unit, but the other 20 blocks still needed the last 2 pieced side sections and a final fushia corner attached.  So I've finished 4 more blocks and added them to the first section.  This makes one complete section.  Two more identical sections to go - on another day, since I have some work deadlines to deal with and company coming on Friday for the weekend.  

Monday, July 29, 2019

Design Wall Monday - 60 degree runners

All of the Halloween 60 degree runners are done.  There are actually 2 identical ones with the orange around the outside, but I didn't include both in the photo.  The backs of all of these have spiderweb fabrics.  And the white sections of these glow in the dark.  I think the smaller hexie shaped ones are so cute, and they are made with the leftovers. 

Now that these have been quilted and bound I can go back to working on some UFO projects again.  And on that topic - I'm giving myself permission to weed out some UFOs that I just know I'll never finish. Now I need to find the time to actually sort through some of them. 

What is on other quilters' design wall today:

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Sew Together bag - counting up

With the 3 bags I finished this month I've now made a total of 12 of the Sew Together bag.  A dozen!! I think I've sold 3 so far, gifted 4 and have the other 5 at my house.  The 3 I just made will be gifted or sold. The Love 2 Sew bag (bottom left) is currently holding my hand stitching supplies. But we'll see - it might end up as a gift or getting sold eventually. 

The black one in the center is MINE.  This one I'm keeping.  I hand quilted and hand stitched all of the  3/4" hexies on it.  It's my favorite one so far.  

I made the first ones in 2016 and then taught the class twice at the Pin Cushion in 2017. That was very fun and some of the ladies have commented about how much they use their bags.  It is pretty practical and a useful size, about 9" wide.   

Hanging in my sewing room closet in a bag with zippers and fabric I've set aside to make more.  There are 4 sets of zippers in various colors.  And every time I see an interesting print I find myself thinking "how would this look as a bag?" and wondering what coordinating fabrics I would put with it.  Does that mean that I'm addicted to making these?

Friday, July 26, 2019

Bags, bags, bags

The "artsy craftsy" bag is finished now too.  This fabric is the same that I used in a zippered pouch for one of my granddaughters to hold her colored pencils.  Obviously it contains nearly every color, but I decided on red, black, and gold for the bag sides, inside, and bindings. I felt it needed to be bold.

The inside is definitely bold. The side panels are a black and white print. But the lining is all GOLDEN.  One pocket is lined with the same gold but the other 2 have the black and white print inside. And the red zippers just seemed like the right choice.

So these are all 3 of the recent bag finishes.  Fishy, patriotic, and artsy - now what color should my next one be?  I have a navy and white one ready to sew, but also have a floral print I set aside for a bag.  Or maybe I should go back to working on some unfinished quilt tops.  Goodness knows there are plenty of those to choose from! LOL

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Patriotic Sew Together bag

One of the 2 bags is completely finished and the other is getting close. The patriotic fabrics worked really well in this patriotic version of the Sew Together bag.  The side panels and inside of the pockets are a small star print. I usually like to use a fairly plain fabric for the pocket linings because it makes it easier to see what's in the pocket. But with this bag and the next one I deviated from that plan just a bit.  I think having a little surprise inside the bag makes it more fun. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Halloween came early

I have no idea what is wrong with this photo, but I decided to post it anyway. I have 1 of the 60 degree runners quilted and bound along with one of the hexie table toppers.  Two more runners and one more hexie are waiting to be quilted.  I actually got the runner finished over the weekend.

And I discovered that the dancing skeletons and mummies glow in the dark.  The pumpkins smiles and the ghosts do too.  Not very bright, but just enough to add a little fun element.   

Monday, July 22, 2019

Design Wall Monday

My Monday Design Wall has a lot of things going on.  What's on your Design Wall today? Check out a few more:

It's actually amazing how much I can accomplish when I focus - and when no one is home to distract me - and when I don't have a car to drive.  Both of the Sew Together bags are done except for the handwork to stitch down the bindings and zipper handles.  Those should be done this week.  

I worked on machine quilting this little Kim Diehl project, and only have about a third of it left to finish.  Instead of just straight line quilting I'm using some stencils to mark a little more elaborate design.  It won't be perfect, but I need to step outside of my comfort zone a bit more, right? 

And I got both of my batik blocks done for Saturday Sampler.  I always enjoy learning new ways to do things, but this block wasn't one of those cases.  Those triangle sections with the light background would have been MUCH easier (and more accurate) done as a HST with triangles added to the sides. The technique used in the pattern was more difficult and I'm not totally happy with the results.  I need to make my second 30s version block and I may use a more traditional method to make that section with the triangles and see if they come out more accurately. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Progress - and frustrations

My progress on these next 2 bags will help improve my attitude for the weekend.  I have the pockets and linings sections ready to attach to the outer bag cover. They are looking good so far.

The poor attitude beginning my weekend stems from the car accident I had on Friday. I was on the way to mail some contracts for work when a guy turned left across my lane.  He was ticketed for an improper turn and I am left without a vehicle.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Bag kits

Two more Sew Together bags are ready to sew, with the side panels actually assembled for one of them.  The top photo shows the one using the same "art supply" fabric I used on a zipper pouch for my art loving granddaughter.  The side panels are made already so next step is putting in the zippers for the inside pockets.  Red, black and yellow should look good with that art print.  

The patriotic bag needed zippers, so on my way home yesterday from a short overnight business function, I stopped in JoAnn Fabrics in Sioux Falls.  I actually bought 4 sets of zippers to use in future bags.  The darker fabric is the outside of the bag, and the 1776 print is the inside lining.  The little star print will be the side panels and the insides of the pockets.  Blue bindings and zippers will finish it off.  

My plan is to work on these over the weekend while my husband is playing in a 2-day golf tournament.  Right after I make my Saturday Sampler blocks.  Just call me crazy for making more of these bags!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

A hotel with a sense of humor

I spent one night in a hotel this week to attend a business event with my husband.  Don’t you just love it when you see evidence of a sense of humor out in the world?  This was the “do not disturb” sign hanging on the door.  The other side said “Out - Living it Up! Come on in.”

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Fishy Sew Together bag finished

Although the color is more "true" in the photo below, you can see that the Fishy Sew Together bag is finished.  I just love the sparkly rhinestone fish charm that I've hung on the side. 

I'm not really a fan of making bags because of the heavy layers to sew through - and zippers!!  But I do love making this little bag with its 3 inside zippered pockets, and the ability to open it up almost flat.  That makes it perfect for sewing supplies.  I have one that just gets used for counted cross stitch projects.  And I have one that I use for travel sewing.  

This one was a UFO project and on my PHD (projects half done) list, so I can check this one off. Yay!  And it will go into my "gift or sell" drawer.  I've actually sold a couple of these bags, but have gifted more.  This would be perfect for a quilter or knitter who also loves to fish.  

There are still 2 more completely kitted up in the closet, plus 3 more "possible" sets of fabric and zippers in the bag too.  I may do the patriotic one next.  But there are other projects calling my name.  I need to make the block for the guild President's quilt, and I need to catch up with Saturday Sampler.   

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

QOV star blocks

Nine star blocks are made with more in my plans. Last week I cut out the parts for 3 blocks, and then used them as "leaders and enders" as I worked on some other things.  These use the QOV Block Drive pattern for 2019 and it is such a forgiving block to make. Those white stars just float and the beautiful patriotic fabrics are highlighted. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Fish bag progress

I have the most difficult part of the bag done, which is creating the pocket section and attaching that to the outer shell of the bag.  Once I get the binding stitched down on each side then I can add the top zipper and handles.  Maybe by next weekend I’ll have this UFO completely finished. 

Check out more Monday Design Walls at:

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Practice block

This morning was the first session of the new Saturday Sampler program with participant Show n Tell, new products introduced, and then the block demo.  And we received our fabric and patterns for the first 2 blocks.  We could choose batiks or 1930s - and I actually chose to do the batiks.  I really love sewing on batiks.  And as always, the Show n Tell at the beginning of the Saturday Sampler session was so inspirational. I just love seeing the projects others are doing. So much creativity out there.  

However - my regular readers probably have already guessed that I plan to make 2 sets of blocks again.  And since I have a LOT of 30s fabrics, I'm going to pull from my own stash for that second set.  I came home from the class this morning and had time to cut and sew one "practice" block using my 30s stash.  Technically the small blue triangles should be the same yellow and the medium triangles.  But I'm using up scraps and cutting into fat quarters and yardage, so in this case I  used what I saw right away.  I will need one more 30s block, and then will start sewing my batik blocks.  

Backgrounds for both of these quilts will be scrappy - white with the 30s.  And I'm still trying to decide between grays or beiges for the batiks. 

A final note on the previous Saturday Sampler.  My version #1 is at the quilters right now and hopefully I'll have it back to bind in August.  And my version #2 is a work in progress.   

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Quick finishes

A couple of quick finishes this week include this little Halloween hexie shaped table topper and an overdue pillowcase.  The hexie topper is made from some of the leftovers of a border print I recently used on a quilt.  I did some simple serpentine stitching around the orange center,along the green/purple meet point, and again near the black outer edge. There is a cute spider web fabric on the back that might glow in the dark. 

I also finished my daughter's bicycling pillow case. I had it all ready to sew for her birthday - last Monday - and then set it aside and couldn't find it. So her birthday gift is late.  I bought this fabric in Iowa during their state-wide shop hop and thought it would be perfect since she will be riding in the RAGBRAI later this month.  The cuff of the pillowcase lists Iowa towns and RAGBRAI is an Iowa distance bicycle "tour".  I'll drop it into the mail for her right away. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Rainbow Sampler - finished

Finally - another UFO from my challenge list can be checked off as finished.  This one is a full sized quilt made with sampler blocks from the RSC18 challenge.  I've been following the Rainbow Scrap Challenge online for several years, sometimes doing the blocks shared by the host like in 2018 and sometimes just choosing my own blocks to do in the color of the month.

In 2018 I made the actual blocks shared by the host. These were traditional blocks that could have been found in our grandmother's quilts.  I chose to do mine in bright modern fabrics on a scrappy white background.  I really love the old traditional blocks.  This quilt may end up on the guest room bed for the rest of the summer. It's so bright and cheery with it's aqua binding and "splashy" backing. 


In 2019 I'm doing my own thing - making 12" cat blocks, Ohio Star blocks, and the 6" flower blocks.  And I'm happy to say, I'm actually keeping up each month so far. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Design Wall Monday - another bag

There are several Sew Together bags kitted up in my sewing room closet, and ready to sew. This fish one was even started. The outside cover of the fish themed bag is quilted and all of the other parts are ready to go.  Fish seems like a strange choice for this bag, but I thought it would be fun and different. 

I have this bag on my UFO list and am very hopeful that I'll actually get it done this week. It would be nice to check off 2 UFOs this week - assuming I finish the binding I'm slowly working on too.

What is happening on the Design Wall's of other quilters this Monday?

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - pink

The RSC color for July is pink, and I chose a very vibrant deep fushia for my blocks.  All 3 of the blocks I've been making are done for the month. I do want to add a couple of the rainbow string blocks before the month is out too.

I made a second dark blue flower and the pink one.  These little 6.5" blocks are a Lori Holt pattern from the Spelling Bee book. I have 10 of them made so far.

The cat block is also a Lori Holt pattern, but from Farm Girl Vintage.  These are 12" blocks and there are now 7 kitties.  I had some fun with the tail and ears by using this fairly large polka dot.  He has a purple heart. 

And finally, the Ohio Star blocks are 10.5".  There are 7 of these too.  

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Bus trip group

This is the happy group of ladies from our bus trip a couple of weeks ago. We were missing one lady who wasn’t feeling well the second day and missed being in the group photo. Everyone wore their purple t-shirts that said “I heart quilting” - and several of the ladies were wearing their t-shirts again today at our guild meeting.  Another great shop hop bus trip is now history.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Wind Spinner borders

This morning I managed to get the borders onto Wind Spinner and I was having major doubts about them fitting properly. The pieced border is made up of squares, tiny flying geese and tiny 4-patches.  Once I had the border sections sewn together they certainly appeared to be too long and not very straight, so I was pretty worried that my borders would ripple.

But I did a lot of pinning and surprise!!  The borders lay quite flat with no ripples.  Now I need to decide how this one will get quilted.  A simple meander might be the best option but I'm not very good at doing that myself. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

Design Wall Monday - Wind Spinner

There is a pieced border that I'm still working on for this Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots project. Wind spinners is the name and it's a small one. The biggest of the flying geese in here are 8.5" long, so this center section is only 16.5" square so far. The border will add 2.5" all around.  I love, love, love the look of this one!

Check out what other DesignWalls hold this Monday:

Curved seams & drawstrings

It's always good to step outside our comfort zone.  And that is exactly what I did on the "quilting" cruise I took in January.  We had 2 projects while on board the ship - one was paper pieced and one was curved seams.  I hadn't really done curved seams before, other than just a couple of blocks, so this table topper (about 30" across) was a learning experience.  It was done in triangle shaped sections with only short curved seams.  

The purple bars in this quilt are actually done with a striped fabric, so it has a look of being more complicated than it actually is. My only issue with this one is the binding/backing fabric we were given.  It's the same basic leaf design as the background fabric, but the greens are slightly different. But I went ahead and used it anyway and it doesn't look too drastically different.

One quick Saturday morning sewing project was this little drawstring bag.  Our bus trip committee made up 44 kits (pattern, 2 fat quarters, ribbon) for participants' goody bags on the bus.  We always include coupons, snacks, and other goodies in the bag. This year we added this project kit.  It took me about a half hour to make, and ends up about 8" tall.  Ironically it's kind of an "inside out" version of a previous drawstring bag that I've made in the past.  The other version has the criss-cross sections on the inside like pockets.