Saturday, October 31, 2020

October is done


October has felt endless this year, and I really felt a lot of ups and downs of my mojo.  But then I realized that I'm feeling what may be totally normal for 2020.  I do have forward progress on plenty of things to share.

  • New Saturday Sampler is introduced this month at The Pin Cushion - always fun to start a new one!!  There may or may not be a task involved with October.  - my fabrics have been selected
  • Continue sorting and removing books (and patterns) from my sewing room - 47 books removed from my shelves, 12 given away so far
  • Final color for Rainbow Scrap Challenge is YELLOW
    • Gingham (2) - No Progress
    • Ohio Star (1) - DONE, enough for a small quilt
    • Twinkle Stars (need several colors) - No Progress
    • Diamond Tile (need several colors) - No Progress
  • UFO projects to move forward at least one step
    • Use 24 Rainbow String blocks to make a flimsy - flimsy delivered to quilter
    • make more Flying Geese for border of previous Saturday Sampler. (need 120 total) - No Progress
    • make last 3 Bee Patriotic blocks - No Progress
    • Use pairs of Ritzy Cracker blocks to make a flimsy - No Progress
  • 2 pillowcases - DONE, actually I made 4 pillowcases!
  • WIP (Works in Progress) - keep them moving forward at least one step
    • Boo bench pillow - work on blanket stitching applique - flimsy delivered to quilter
    • Spooky Houses - add embellishments, quilt and bind - flimsy delivered to quilter
  • Cut out 1 Simple Whatnots project - either the new one or a previous one - cut out & partially sewn 
  • Pick a PIG - Snowman Meadow wall hanging - flimsy delivered to quilter
  • Chose a design & fabric for a Christmas stocking for my daughter's MIL who lives with them - design chosen, but not fabric
  • Halloween masks for granddaughters (2) - DONE
  • Unicorn masks for granddaughters (3) - DONE

What else did I accomplish this month that wasn't on the list?
  • Fall themed towel - DONE & gifted
  • 2 Silent Night table runners (60 degree pattern) - DONE
  • 2 Winter Moose table runners (60 degree) - still flimsies
  • binding on Beads quilt - DONE
  • 2 snowflake jelly belly runners - sandwiched and ready to quilt

Friday, October 30, 2020

One more block

The final block for Pleased As Punch is on my little design board and ready to finish.  I'm hoping that by Saturday afternoon I'll have the whole top put together.  It's only going to be about 30" square so it should be an attainable goal - 9 blocks plus a border.   

These design boards are so handy.  This one is 14" square but I also have 2 of them that are larger.  For this project I laid out all of the parts and pieces on one of the big boards as I cut them, and then moved the pieces for each individual block onto the small board for sewing.  This definitely cuts down on getting pieces into the wrong location in a block with lots of little parts. 

The other wonderful thing about these boards is that I could pick up the whole board and move it out of the way without disturbing the layout.  This way I could work on some other things in between sewing these blocks.  

Thursday, October 29, 2020

More blocks

 I had time to dig into some scraps again and this is the result - another Wisdom block and the last 3 Ohio Star blocks needed for a finished top.

This green and blue print was so pretty but there wasn't much left of it.  I'm not even sure what I originally used it in, sadly.  But there was enough for the pieces in Wisdom, and then for another Ohio Star.  The blue "bug" print and the salmon print were near the top of the bin so that is the only reason I chose them.  Now it's time to lay these all out together with the rest and make a quilt top. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Yellow block play

First of all, the good news is my daughter tested negative for Covid, which has surprised us all. But the bad news is she still doesn’t feel well.  She is thinking the horrible headache and fatigue she is feeling may be connected to the herniated disk she has. Happily, her husband continues to feel better so that is good.  The kids can’t go back to school until Nov. 9 unfortunately.  We’re trying to count our blessings here, because things could be so much worse. 

I had an hour over my lunch break on Tuesday to sew a little, and I just felt that desire to sew something different than what was laying on my table.  So, I pulled out a couple of yellows from the scrap bin and made 2 blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  October's color is yellow - a cheerful color to make up for that snow outside.

The Ohio Star block looks good in every color, and adding this yellow one to the mix brings the total number of blocks up to 27.  I need to make 3 more blocks in any color and then I'll have enough to set them 5 x 6 for a quilt top. The plan is just setting them together with no sashing.  A border decision can be made after I see how it looks.  The Ohio Star flimsy is going onto my November goal list. 

The Fat Quarter Shop is running an online set of blocks called Sewcialites.  The block that caught my eye this week was #5, called Wisdom.  I just couldn't resist making a 9" one in yellow.  I think this will be a good scrappy block going forward as it's so fast and easy.  It takes 4" squares and 2" strips. And the pattern also has a 6" block and a 3" block.  I'm pretty tempted to try making some of each size . . . eventually. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

No sewing - just cooking

I’m not exactly a star in the kitchen, but I can pull together the basics.  Covid has struck my family, so I spent Monday cooking a few meals to get them through the next couple of days. Then I drove to Sioux Falls to make the delivery.  

My son-in-law tested positive and has been home isolating in their basement since Thursday.  The kids had to stay home from school this week too, quarantined due to exposure.  I offered to bring supper for at least a couple of nights so my daughter didn’t have to cook after work. However . . .

When I parked in their driveway my daughter came out before I could even get out of the car. She is a respiratory therapist in a big and busy hospital, and was supposed to be at work. But she had just come home early because she isn’t feeling well.  She was waiting to get a call back to schedule testing - which she had done early this morning.  

We both kept our masks on and I handed over the food bags outdoors.  No touching.  We’re hoping that the symptoms for both her and her husband stay mild, and that none of the 3 kids get sick either.  But I'm thinking I may be doing a little more cooking and delivering. 

I did a short video chat this morning with her and the kids.  I had to remind them all that they needed to be extra helpful and KIND to their mom since she isn't feeling well either.  You can imagine how 7 year old twins and a 9 year old can get into mischief when they think no one is watching.  

Monday, October 26, 2020

Design Wall Monday - Weekend progress

Saturday was cold and the snow began about supper time.  By noon on Sunday we had about 5 inches of wet heavy snow.  A perfect weekend for some sewing.

Some progress was made on Kim Diehl's Pleased As Punch small quilt.  The center of the quilt is layed out like a big 9 patch - with 4 star blocks and 5 lily blocks.  I now have 3 lily blocks made and 2 of the star blocks.  The outer border has actual 9 patch blocks - 12 of them, and those are all made. 

It's always fun when I can begin to see how the layout is going to look.  This is definitely going to be one of my favorite Simple Whatnots designs.  

My other Sunday sewing was to get the binding on both of the Silent Night table runners. A picture of those runners will have to wait for another day however because they are very dark and just didn't photograph well in the evening light.

What's on your design wall today?  I'm linking up with:

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Jelly roll project for gift exchange

I had saved this free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop, with the idea that it would be a quick way to use a couple of jelly rolls that have been languishing in the stash.  I decided to put this on my 2021 UFO Challenge list (and yes I've started the list already), and even selected a bright jelly roll to use.  

In the drawer with the bright jelly roll was also this wintery blue jelly roll.  And tucked into the bag with the blue roll was a bag of laser cut blue snowflakes.  Obviously I had intended to use them together - but as what?  Who knows!!  Well I now have a plan and have begun to execute that plan.

Recently I signed up for a Secret Santa type of Christmas gift exchange with an online group of quilt-y friends.  We have a small budget ($20) and can choose to make any small project.  I'm going to use the Jelly Belly pattern, the blue/cream jelly roll, and the laser cut snowflakes to make a couple of table runners.  I can use one for the gift exchange and one to keep - or give away.  I even had the cream background fabric in my stash.  There is enough of everything so I should not have to buy anything unless I end up buying a little something for the backing and or binding.  

Friday, October 23, 2020

Another RSC finish

 The Rainbow Scrap Challenge is something I've participated in for several years, and it is a fun way to put a focus on using up scraps. Although . . . in reality I don't think I've made even a dent in my scraps over the years. But that's OK.

Beads is one of my RSC projects going on this year, and it's the first one completely finished.  Each block is made from 2 charm squares plus background. The background in this one is just as scrappy as the charms.  I used the pinky salmon backing to bind this one as well.  The quilting that Carol did is very swirly and has a teal thread so it shows up so nicely, and picks up on the teal in that backing. 

A cute child's quilt to add to my gift/donate pile. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Just one finished block so far


The first of 5 lily blocks for Pleased As Punch is done, and I have the next one half done.  This block is 8.5" square and has 68 separate pieces in it.  That means there will be 340 little pieces in the 5 blocks - which will then be put together with 4 star blocks.  Maybe I need to stop counting the little pieces for this project.  Yikes!!  

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Pleased As Punch

 Pleased As Punch is a Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots pattern from Club #9.  I'm a couple of months behind on Club 9, but had set a goal of working on at least one of them in October.  So . . . I've cut all of the strips needed - from 1 black print, 8 cream prints, and 20 assorted colored prints. Lots and lots of strips are cut and organized.

But I'm not just cutting all of the little parts for all of the project at once because I have this fear of messing up the blocks completely.  And oops!!  The second Lily block unit I made had a section wrong.  I did fix this by cutting a new cream 1.5" x 2.5" rectangle and a new green 1.5" square. 

The first Lily block section went together without any problems.  So, there are 2 done and 18 more of these to go - one in each of the 20 colors.  The pattern called for a mix of creams in each of these, but I decided that I'm less likely to mess these up by keeping the creams together.  

There are also a whole set of Star block units for this quilt.  Lots and lots of little pieces, which is normal for a Kim Diehl project.  I know I'll love it once it's done, but this one is stressing me out just a little bit so far.  

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Things to do

I have some things to add to my weekly goals: some binding and some quilting.  And some yellow RSC blocks to add to my rainbow block sets. 

Yes, I did.  I made 2 more 60 degree runners from border prints.  I'm addicted to making these.  Once the strips of border print are actually cut from the yardage, it really only takes about 15 minutes to make the flimsy stage for a couple of these.  I stacked my 4 border strips, then used my 60 degree ruler to cut 2 sets of 4 triangles (ends), and then cut the 60 degree angles for those longer center sections.  Sew those triangles onto the rectangles, then sew the 2 halves together.  Fast and easy!!  Now I'm going to quilt these and get them ready to bind.

I also picked up some small projects from one of my quilters.  Carol did a great job on these.  There are now bindings to prep, and then attach.  Hopefully some of these will be completely done this week. 

I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Rainbow String Quilt

Over the past 2 years of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I've made a few string blocks from my scrap bins.   These are each 1 color, rather than mixing all of my strings together, which I've also done in past years.  They make such colorful quilts. 

My original plan was to make a small child sized quilt with 20 blocks.  Then I discovered that I already had 25 of them made.  So one dark green block went back into the project box as "seed" for the next set.  And the remaining 24 became this quilt.  Black sashing with little white dots plus bright cornerstones from my 2.5" square bin - and voila - a nice bright quilt.  I added a Kaffe print border to make it just a bit bigger.  

I love the results.  It will make a great gift for someone.  And it's already in the hands of a quilter, although it may be a month before I see it as she's really swamped.  The other happy thing is that this is the 12th and final project to check off my PHD list for The Pin Cushion.  They offer us the chance to earn gift certificates at the end of the year by finishing up to 12 Projects Half Done during the year.

I'm linking up to the RSC site today so you can see what others are doing with their rainbows of scraps.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Silent Night

 My regular readers know what this is . . . yup, another 60 degree runner.  Two runners actually.  These are not made with a traditional border print.  They were cut from panels depicting the song Silent Night.  I fell in love when I saw them and bought two panels.  From those two panels I've made both runners plus another small project. 

Yesterday morning while it was cold and still outside I stepped out on my front porch and took this picture of one of our trees.  This ash tree actually still had leaves on it and looked so pretty.  And then about noon the wind came up, and after several hours of 30-49 mph winds blowing, that tree is mostly naked this morning.  Our fall colors just don't last long enough.   

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Lots of things need forward progress


There are 4 items currently "in queue" in the hands of a quilter.  Both Halloween projects are small, and the other 2 items are a bit larger but not huge.  I'm excited to get these back and have some binding to do now that colder weather is arriving.  Binding is a cozy task.

Oops!  I forgot to add this little door hanger project to my photo collage above. This is also in the quilter's hands this month.  The little spool blocks were an exchange done with our Sew Vintage group back in 2016 (I think).  I added the Lori Holt block at the top and this will eventually be hung on the door to my sewing room.

There are more projects ready for quilting as well.  There are 2 baby quilts paired with backings and ready to quilt.  There are also a couple more baby quilts that I've cut and kitted up for some quick projects.  But these can wait as I don't have an upcoming baby gift needed that I know of.

And then there are my on-going goals to finish more UFOs and PIGS.  I have my monthly goals list and I'm also trying to set some weekly goals for awhile just to keep me moving forward.  This week I've set a goal to get some projects handed off to be quilted, and to add borders to the Rainbow Strings quilt.  On Monday I dropped off some projects with the quilter, and I found a border fabric for the string quilt.  Now I need to get those borders on and then find a backing to finish that UFO.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Generous friends

The Sew Vintage group met on Saturday morning in the park, probably for the last time this year. It was a little on the chilly side but a beautiful fall day - sunshine, blue sky, and the trees were in peak color. 

This is a fun, generous, kind group of ladies with probably a 50 year age span among us.  As a surprise, Louise brought kitchen towels for everyone.  She loves to make these from potholders and kitchen towels, with a button to hold it over the stove handle.  And she brought enough to give each of us one.  Mine is hanging in my kitchen now.

Pam made everyone a Covid Pumpkin.  This is a roll of toilet paper, cover with fabric, and a little ribbon leaf, and a real stick tucked in as a stem.  Isn't it adorable?  

Last month Connie brought everyone little vintage porcelain items that could be turned into pin cushions.  I chose a little swan, but it's sitting next to my grandmother's recipe box on a baker's rack shelf in the kitchen.  This swan dish is much like the types of porcelain and china pieces my mother collected.  

And I took 10 of the books from the huge pile I've pulled off the shelves in my sewing room.  I also took 2 quilt kits that I've had forever.  It was time to share the love.  LOL  I figured the fabrics in the kits could be used for other projects if preferred.  It was so nice to lighten my load a little, and let someone else enjoy the books, patterns, and ideas. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Design Wall Monday - October 12

It’s interesting what I find when I’m not really looking for anything.  I have a laundry basket in the corner of my sewing room that holds my little design boards and is where I put random pillowcases that I’ve made for donation. And under that growing stack of pillowcases was a folded bundle.  I was curious because I didn't remember what it was. Surprise!!

This is an OLD Thimbleberries project that was pin basted, and partially hand quilted. I don’t remember what year I started this, but I do know that the quality of the hand quilting was pretty bad. There were knots on the back, wrinkles and puckers on the back, and a huge variety of stitch sizes.  I decided that this needs to be finished, but NOT hand quilted by me.  So I spent a couple of hours picking out that awful stitching.  The pieced backing is saved for something else in the future. 

It’s a really pretty little quilt, and would be much prettier with nice machine quilting.  Much prettier especially than folded up in a laundry basket.  Next step is to find a decent new backing for this.  Ironically, the binding was prepped and ready to add - once the quilting is done.  

Check out more design walls at:

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sunday sewing - a rainbow flimsy

My goal for Sunday was to finish putting together the top of Rainbow Strings.  And I was successful in getting that flimsy ready to quilt. I debated about adding an outer border to this one, and that still might happen if I find just the right fabric - full of color.   

Mason's football pillowcase is also now done.  He is a Houston Texans fan, and this is going into his Christmas stocking.  Each of the grandkids get a pillowcase in their stocking every year.  I have 3 of the 5 already made.  

And I use some of the leftover border print from my Fall Blessings table runner, and added it to this rust colored waffle weave towel.  The towel itself has been in the sewing room stash for several years, just waiting for the right fabric to trim it with.  This would make a nice gift, but I may just keep it for myself.  

And I have a "hand work" project going on this afternoon while I watch a little football.  But that may have to wait for a different day to share.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

About halfway

I'm nearly halfway through the blanket stitching to hold down the appliques on my bench pillow.  That cat is only about 2.5" tall and was very tricky.  

Blanket stitching is a slow process for me, because I've discovered that if I take my eyes off that needle for even a moment, I'll find I've wandered away from the edge.  So, I'm doing this in little snippets of time. 

There is one more candy corn flower, 2 pumpkins, and a couple more letters to outline with blanket stitching.  Slow and steady!


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Halloween & fall decor

 I took some time today to do a little decorating for fall and for Halloween.  I have WAY too many seasonal quilts, wall hangings, and table toppers - and need to actually use more of them.  In my dining room there is normally a large quilt hanging on the wall year round that has houses on it.  But today I took it down and hung up a big Halloween quilt.

This is a One Block Wonder that used panels rather than yardage. It was started in an OBW class taught by a couple of very talented local ladies.  I love how it looks hanging here and now I can enjoy it all month.  I can even see one edge of it from my desk in my home office.

Another large Halloween quilt is hanging over the back of the love seat by the fireplace.  I walk by this spot dozens of times every day, so this is another quilt I can enjoy all month.  And in the background you can see the decor on my fireplace hearth.  Fall flowers fill a big stoneware pot on the right. The pot sits on a little quilt which you can't see from here. On the other side of the hearth is a miniature Halloween quilt. 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Design Wall Monday - October 5

 What is on your design wall this morning? Check out what creativity is going on:  

My design wall holds this project today.  Candy Corn flowers are just the first of lots of appliqué that needs blanket stitching around raw edges on my bench pillow.  This pillow is the main goal I’ve set for myself for the week. I want to have it ready to quilt by next weekend so the applique needs to be done. 

I did cut the pieces for a Houston Texans pillowcase for oldest grandson Mason - while watching my Minnesota Vikings squeak out a win against the Texans yesterday.  But I didn't do any sewing on that pillowcase as I was afraid it would be bad luck for the Vikings. 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Snowman Meadow

Snowman Meadow went together much quicker than I expected.  Guess it will become a winter couch throw quilt because it's too big for a wall hanging, which was the original plan. 

The snowman panel sections just make me smile. Such sweet pictures that make me think of illustrations in a children's book.  I did trim the blocks back to 20", but then realized that I wanted the red plaid outer border to be wide enough to really show off the fabric.  So it has ended up being about 52" square which will make a nice size throw for my sofa.  

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Saturday Snowmen


Block #1 for the Snowman Meadows wall hanging is done.  I chose the cutest 4 panels out of the 6, and these will be combined to make a nice big wall hanging that should look good on my quilt rail in the living room.  The finished size of each block is 24" right now, but I left enough room that I can trim them down to 20" square.  That decision will come once all 4 blocks are done.

The block parts are all cut and ready to sew today.  There is enough of the green to make narrow sashings and then the red plaid will be the outer border.  I think this will be very cute!

My other weekend sewing plan is to get some of the horizontal rows put together on the Rainbow String quilt.  More of the black sashing sections will need to be cut  before I can do the sashing rows.  

Friday, October 2, 2020

There is a plan

I do have a plan for the Rainbow String blocks, and that plan is pretty traditional - simple sashing and cornerstones.  The black sashing actually has little white dots scattered on it. And the cornerstones are from the 2.5” squares I have collected from scraps.  There were plenty of those squares to choose from, but I have actually been using a lot of them lately too.  A very handy size square! 

Anyway . . . I thought I had made 20 of these string blocks, but I found there were actually 25 in the pile.  There are 24 of them laid out in this arrangement, which is a bit long and narrow.  But we'll see how it looks with all the sashing and borders.  And I'll have a pretty string block left over as “seed” for the next set of rainbow strings.

Big Rail Fence quilt

 Check it off 3 lists - my September goals list, my 2020 UFO Challenge list, and The Pin Cushion's PHD list.  PHD = projects half done!!  Proof is in the picture - proof to myself for finally finishing this old, old UFO.  Better yet, I have a plan for gifting this quilt.

The PHD challenge hosted by The Pin Cushion has each quilter put 12 projects on their list for the year, and at the end of the year can earn a gift certificate with $5 for each completed project.  This was #11 for me, and I'm happy to say that I'm working on #12 which is my Rainbow String quilt.  

Having a list helps me see what I have hanging out there in limbo, and what I want to work on each month.  The UFO Challenge is hosted by American Patchwork & Quilting magazine and it's fun to get onto Facebook and post a photo of a finish, and see what other quilters are finishing.  

I also keep my own - much longer - list of UFOs, WIPs, and PIGS, and try to set some short term goals each month.  Without a list I have a feeling that I would start something new every week and never finish anything.  But I'm also realistic enough to know I probably couldn't live long enough to sew up all the projects and fabric I have in the stash.  But it will be fun trying. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

October goals

 A new month is here, and that means it's time for a new list of goals.  Forward progress is the name of the game this month, but I'm also going to start a couple of new things because that is how to keep my mojo going. 

  • New Saturday Sampler is introduced this month at The Pin Cushion - always fun to start a new one!!  There may or may not be a task involved with October.  We'll know in a week. 
  • Continue sorting and removing books (and patterns) from my sewing room
  • Final color for Rainbow Scrap Challenge is YELLOW
    • Gingham (2)
    • Ohio Star (1)
    • Twinkle Stars (need several colors)
    • Diamond Tile (need several colors) 
  • UFO projects to move forward at least one step
    • Use 20 Rainbow String blocks to make a flimsy
    • make more Flying Geese for border of previous Saturday Sampler. (need 120 total)
    • make last 3 Bee Patriotic blocks
    • Use pairs of Ritzy Cracker blocks to make a flimsy
  • 2 pillowcases
  • WIP (Works in Progress) - keep them moving forward at least one step
    • Boo bench pillow - work on blanket stitching applique
    • Spooky Houses - add embellishments, quilt and bind
  • Cut out 1 Simple Whatnots project - either the new one or a previous one
  • Pick a PIG - Snowman Meadow wall hanging
  • Chose a design & fabric for a Christmas stocking for my daughter's MIL who lives with them
NOTE: just added some additional masks for grandkids to my October list including Halloween ones for the girls.  And the October APQ UFO Challenge drew #6 for the month, and that includes a sewing themed door hanger that needs quilting.  HMMM!!

The Rainbow Strings quilt will be small, with only 20 blocks, but I have a plan for an outer border to make it a little bigger.  Black dotted sashing and borders, bright corner stones, and possibly bright 4-patch corners on the outer border.  We'll see how it comes together.  These string blocks have been collected over the past 2 RSC years, so it's time to do something with them.  It will make a great donation quilt for a child.