Monday, May 31, 2021

Design Wall Monday - Pick a PIG monthly goal

 One of my goals this year is to Pick a PIG each month to bring a step forward.  Three of the canvas cubes in this shelving unit contain those PIGS.  And yes, there are more in another drawer (or 2) on the other side of my sewing room.  Too many Projects in Grocery Bags - basically kits not started.  But admitting I have a problem is a good start, right? 

So, I'm working on paring those down this year.  And I'm being realistic enough to know that just because I pulled something out of a drawer doesn't mean I'll finish it that month.  But it brings the project out into the light of day, and hopefully will be a step closer to being made. 

The project box I emptied by making the Brick Street quilt now holds a new PIG to play with - Starry Checkers.  It's a wall hanging/table topper that was part of a Sew Sampler box from my Fat Quarter Shop subscription.  I think this would also make a very sweet baby quilt.  The Sew Sampler box contained the 2 charm packs and the pattern.  

I've dug into the stash and found a grey for those star points.  It's a lighter shade of grey than the picture on the pattern, but I think it will work just fine.  The white background is going to be scrappy white-on-white as I always have plenty of that in the stash.  This PIG is ready for some forward progress, and should be lots of fun to make.  

Sunday, May 30, 2021

A long weekend

Saturday was a chilly windy day, and a busy day. The youngest grandchild is Jack who will turn 6 this week, and his birthday party was swimming at an indoor (thankfully) aquatic center, then pizza and cake in a nearby park.  

The cousins and a few friends were all there.  He was getting a little frustrated when it was time to blow out candles, because the wind was blowing the candles out before he could try.

Before the party, the hubbie and I went to Best Buy to look at new computers.  Our home computer has been trying to die for a couple of months now so it is time to replace it.  I was spurred into action on Friday when my work laptop lost its mind too.  Since I still have 3 online students it’s pretty critical that I have working technology.  Plus I need more than just my iPad.  I’m a tech junkie I admit.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

One final red week

 I've had a LOT of fun this month using red.  I didn't make all of my usual RSC blocks in red, but I did use up a lot of red in other projects in May.  

My focus really ended up mostly on patriotic projects with a quilt top completed for our Quilt of Valor group, a table runner, and a good start on a second quilt for Quilts of Valor.  I did make the Country Bunny and the Home Is blocks in red.  And I made a couple of Roll On blocks in red.  One of the pillowcases made this month is even Spiderman red, and one of the Saturday Sampler blocks had a lot of red.  There was also quite a bit of red in the Rectangles quilt top.

This week alone I made 24 Boxed Squares blocks.   That brings the total up to 50 blocks out of the 90 I think I'll need for a quilt top.  These will probably be an "all summer" kind of project until I have enough for the quilt top. There are a LOT of different prints here, so I'm planning to make plenty of them with more fabrics that read closer to solid to tone down the whole thing just a little bit.

I'm linking up with the RSC group today.  And I can't wait to see what color we are doing in June.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Blocks, blocks, blocks

 Wednesday I had nearly all day to just sew.  It was so much fun to play in my sewing room - and I'll fess up that I do have a bit of a mess on my cutting table again.  

I made 12 more Boxed Squares blocks, and cut the pieces for 10 more.  There are 38 completed blocks now for that next Quilt of Valor.  And I've used up quite a few of the smaller leftovers from that patriotic fabric drawer that has been overflowing.  

And I'm all caught up with the Farmers Wife Sampler blocks.  These are Big Dipper, Bowtie, Birds in the Air, and Peace & Plenty - all 6" finished blocks.  

We are 13 weeks into this challenge, so we have 26 blocks completed.  And there are still LOTS to go, but I'm having fun and making 2 per week is manageable.  So far these are all made from the leftovers of a few years worth of Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots projects.  

I do have one block from this week that needs a bit of tweaking.  The Big Dipper block is just a little too small, but it can be fixed.  Maybe I'll make smaller seams to match the quarter sections - or I could just frame it with more of the light background and then trim it to size.  Either option will work out. 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Jelly Belly QOV

It's raining here today, and very chilly.  But that is actually a good thing because we need that rain so badly.  It rained during the night and can rain all day as far as I'm concerned.  It makes for a good day to hide in my sewing room, right?

 I had this quilt top finished, but then decided it would work better for a Quilt of Valor if I added another row of blocks.  That new bottom row was a quick addition and now it's a better length. 

This picture was taken outside on Tuesday afternoon when the wind was blowing, but I did manage to get a good shot before ripples began with that wind.  And you can see the pink quilt lying next to it.  It felt so good to get both of those quilt tops done on Tuesday after not sewing for several days.  They were both so close to being done and I was determined to not set them aside.  Success!!

Now, I can get back to Laundry Line blocks and Farmers Wife Sampler blocks.  

On the non-quilting front, we spent a fun evening watching granddaughter Sophia play softball.  She's on a U10 Fastpitch team and they had 2 games back-to-back.  My girls both played Slow Pitch softball as kids, so this was interesting.  These 10 and under girls are learning to pitch, so after 3 "balls", then the coach steps in to pitch to the batter to speed up the game a bit.  Sophia played 3rd base mostly.  Her dad and mom ended up coaching the team - after volunteering to "help".  

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Brick Street is a flimsy

 The 3 simple borders are on Brick Street and it's a complete top.  There is enough of the bigger floral fabric for binding, and all of the rest is back into the stash (cream) and scrap baskets (pink).  The wind was blowing just enough that the quilt didn't want to lie flat on the lawn for a picture.  But the colors look much prettier in the sunlight than in the house. 

This flimsy may be donated "as is", for some other group to quilt.  I'll send the binding fabric along with it when I mail it to some worthy group.  There are plenty of wonderful groups looking for quilt tops, so I'm happy to be able to share this one.  

And, guess what?  That means I have an empty project box - ready for a new UFO or PIG to fill it up and join the list of things I hope to finish.  Maybe I am finally making a dent in that enormous stash I've accumulated over the past almost 40 years of quilting. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Squirrels are everywhere

 Here it is Tuesday already, and maybe I'll get into my sewing room later today after a few days of neglect and distractions.  

The first squirrel on Saturday afternoon was golf related.  I had planned to sew in the afternoon, but sat down to watch a little golf on TV while I ate lunch.  I did get some binding done while watching, but never did go downstairs.  Then on Sunday I was distracted again by that golf squirrel.  My husband made an 11:30 tee time for us - so that pretty much took care of my whole day.  I only played 9 holes, but rode in the cart with him while he finished out his 18.  It was a very slow round and once we got home it was time to start supper.  But it was a beautiful day to be outside.  

The "fun" squirrels were busy on Monday too.  I got a much needed pedicure in the morning, Zoomed with LeeAnna after lunch, and then just as I was headed down the stairs to the sewing room . . . my husband said "let's go to Menards" for deck stain and a new lock for a door.  Just a quick trip, right?

Next thing I know we are at a local lumber business pricing out new doors.  This morning we have a person coming to measure the 3 doors we MAY replace completely.  How did that plan change from just replacing a lock on one door?  

Oh - and a crew of 3 guys just arrived to do the installation on some electronics for my husband's basement office.  They've been in and out, in and out, in and out . . .

But I'm determined to get a little sewing in today before heading out this afternoon to go to our granddaughter's softball game 80 miles away.  Maybe we should take bets on whether that sewing actually happens.  

Monday, May 24, 2021

Design Wall Monday - May 24

 It wasn't a very productive weekend in terms of sewing but I did get the laundry done and the flowers transplanted.  That is about all I accomplished however, so my Design Wall still holds Brick Street.

This was a PIG (Project in Grocery Sack).  It was fabric that was long abandoned and forgotten in my stash - with no pattern.  So maybe it wasn't really a PIG since the original project planned for that fabric is still a mystery.  But anyway . . . it is nearly a finished quilt top.  The 20 blocks are all made and sewn together, and the borders are cut.  I had good intentions for having those border attached on Sunday, but never stepped foot in the sewing room.  

Brick Street is a pattern from Fast & Fun 3-Yard Quilts, a book I had also forgotten that I had.  There are several patterns in this book that I want to make now that I've found it again.   

The 2 main prints are kind of an 80s dusty pink color, which is outside of my preferred color palette.  Someone might love it, but not me.  I'm considering donation of this as a finished top rather than quilt it myself.  But whatever I decide, it's nearly done and that fabric will have not lived in vain. 

I've linked up to Design Wall Monday:

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Jelly Belly Bars is assembled

This is a quilt top that really pleases me.  Jelly Belly Bars is a free pattern from Moda Bake Shop that I just made for the first time this spring.  And once I made that first one, I just knew I needed to make it again.  So fast!!  And all of that red is satisfying this month's RSC color.  

This time I made it with random patriotic prints from my stash.  The white (5" x 10") bar in the center of each block came from scrappy white-on-white fabrics.  The colored 2.5" frames around them came from a mix of scraps, jelly roll strips, and yardage.  It takes 31 blocks, with 6 of them cut for the edges - not exactly in half, but close.  As is, this top is 55 x 60, made up of 7 rows of blocks.  One more row added to the bottom or top would make an even better size, so I'm considering making another 5 blocks for that extra row.   

One of my readers mentioned that this would be a good block for a signature quilt for a wedding or graduation or family reunion.  Wonderful idea!!

I'm linking up this morning to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  

Friday, May 21, 2021

Mid-week odds n ends

 HMMMM . . . this has turned into a TGIF kind of Friday.  There have been plenty of bright spots, but a few low spots too.  A bit of retail therapy always helps, right? 

I stopped into my local quilt shop yesterday, and came home with enough yardage to make pillowcases for each of the 5 grandkids.  These Halloween prints all glow in the dark!!  Isn't that fun? 

 Part of my plan for this morning - beside a ton of laundry - is to get my flowers planted.  This geranium will go into the big blue pot in the background for my front porch.  And I have 1 big pot to plant for the back deck.  That is the extent of my gardening I think.  

What were some low spots for the week?  I've been talking about this being the LAST semester of my 38 year teaching career.  I had 3 online courses this semester, plus I do the tech support for over 40 of our agency courses.  There are 3 students who now have extensions to mid-June to complete their coursework.  Bummer!!  And we had a teacher who is also retiring leave us with a mess.  She deleted ALL of the content from her 2 courses over the weekend!!  The content actually belongs to our agency, but she chose to be mean-spirited and leave empty course shells for the new teacher.  Too bad she got paid already last week for the spring semester.   I think she should be fined but it probably won't happen, and I'm guessing she is counting on that.  She wins!  

Thursday, May 20, 2021

A new Quilt of Valor in the works

 My feeling that the Jelly Belly Bar block would make a great Quilt of Valor has been confirmed.  I have the blocks laid out on my living room floor, and I love how it looks.  A few blocks may need to be rearranged, but overall it's very satisfying.

This will be a block that I use again.  The free block pattern can be found at Moda Bake Shop online.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Binding Urban Cabin

 Urban Cabin came back from the quilter last week, and now I’m working on the binding.

The quilting is this interesting “window” design in a soft gold thread, and is just perfect.  It even shows up nicely on that golden brown backing.  I decided to use leftover backing as the binding, and am pleased with how good it looks next to the dark charcoal outer border of the quilt. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

A small finish

 This table runner is quilted and bound.  But I keep thinking I need to go back and quilt in between the current stitching.  That would give it a bit more structure.

But otherwise, I really like the basic design.  Grand Adventure, Delectable Mountains or whatever name is out there for this pattern - it was fun to make. I can picture this on the table on the back deck this summer.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Design Wall Monday - May 17

 So close to having enough blocks made for 1 new Quilt of Valor, and a few more blocks made for a 2nd new Quilt of Valor.  These are on my design wall this week with the hope to have a flimsy done by Friday if I get some sewing time in.  

Twenty-six Jelly Belly Bar blocks are done, and the final 5 are cut out and ready to sew.  This quilt will need 31 blocks, with a few of those cut in half in the final layout.  EDIT:  Here is the link to this free block pattern from Moda Bake Shop:

And 8 more Boxed Square blocks are added to that stack to bring the total to 23.  My plan right now is to make 90 of these for a good sized Quilt of Valor.  But we will see how things progress with them.

What's on your design wall this morning?

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Back to some red

It's definitely time to get this table runner finished - before it becomes a UFO.  Actually there probably wasn't much danger of being set aside because I love the red/blue star fabric so much.  Red is one of my most favorite colors, and this one really makes me happy.     

The patriotic table runner has grown a bit longer since I took the photo above, by the addition of another "mountain" section.  It has been sandwiched, and I've begun quilting it using the basic serpentine stitch on my machine following the seam lines.  So far I'm doing every other seam, but may decide to go back and fill in the others.  We'll see how it looks.  

A blue binding, with more stars, is prepped and ready to go once I finish the quilting.  There are even stars in that white background.   

I'm linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this morning, so check out more red projects.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Friday morning sewing

Lots of sewing fun was had this morning, and now I need to spend the afternoon calculating grades for some of my online students as they finish up the spring semester.   

One blue Jelly Belly Bar block is added to the stack of patriotic blocks for a new Quilt of Valor.  And 2 more Boxed Squares are added to that QOV project.  Because these blocks are so easy, they make a good distraction from the next thing I worked on.  

I worked on the parts and pieces of the final 4 Laundry Line blocks.  And I finished one more block, so now I just have 3 to go.  Then the pieced sashings will begin.  I noticed there isn't a lot of contrast in this particular block, but I used the exact fabrics the pattern called for so it is what the designer intended.  I'm trying to not obsess over it.  LOL!!

And I caught up with this week's Farmers Wife Sampler blocks.  Basket Weave and Autumn Tint are the names of these blocks.  I didn't use autumn colors for the Autumn Tint block, however.  There are 22 of these 6" (finished) blocks done now, and I know for sure that I wouldn't have gotten this far without the group challenge.  Even though it's just a couple of us, it's still fun to be making these along with someone else and be accountable for getting them done.  

And now - back to my online students.  I had high school kids in 3 different courses this semester, and today is the "official" end of the semester for some of the school districts my students are enrolled.  Everyone in 1 course is done - YAY!!  I have 3 students left to complete course #2, and 3 students remaining in course #3.  After 38 years, this is my FINAL semester, and I'm so ready to be done.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Progress amidst chaos

 The ducts and carpets are clean, and some of the furniture has been returned to its spot is some of the rooms.  My office and the living room were still a bit damp.  And some of the furniture is too heavy for me to move by myself.  

I worked in my office during the duct cleaning but had to move once the carpet cleaning began. So, my basement sewing room was a good spot to be.  And I managed to get both of this month’s sections made for Saturday Sampler.  

These are from Lori Holt’s book Quilty Fun, and I’m using my stash of 30s fabrics.  So cheerful and bright, and since it’s kind of a mystery we have no idea exactly how all of these will go together in the end.

I also managed to finish one more Laundry Line block.  Five of the 9 are now complete, and I started the next block.  One step closer to finishing this project.  


Spring cleaning

 Today is the day that the duct cleaning crew is coming, and then the carpet cleaners right after.  I've been dreading the chaos, but it is something that really needs to be done.  

The plan is to hide in my sewing room as much as possible.  However, I'm guessing there will be lots of interruptions to move furniture around.  

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Urban Cabin

 I picked up Urban Cabin from the quilter this morning, and it's looking wonderful.  She has a great eye for thread color and quilting designs to really enhance a quilt.

The thread looks kind of gold and the design makes me think of windows.  Now, I need to decide what to use for binding. 

When I got home yesterday afternoon from driving my friend to the doctor, this little flower arrangement had been delivered.  It was a Mother's Day gift from one of my girls.  I love it.  The vase looks striped, but it's actually a clear vase with ribbons wrapped around inside.  How clever is that!

Tomorrow is the big day of duct cleaning and beginning the carpet cleaning.  I'm really dreading the chaos and noise, but it needed to be done.  Maybe I'll hide in my sewing room most of the day. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Busy with everything but sewing

 We spent the weekend in Omaha for my great-niece's high school graduation celebration.  It was such fun to gather with family, even for a couple of days.  My sister-in-law, my oldest daughter, and my 8 year old granddaughter rode along, leaving on Saturday morning and getting home about 11:00 last night.  We had such a good time!

The graduate hadn't opened her gifts yet when we left Sunday, so I'll be curious to see what she thinks of the quilt I gave her.  She got Jelly Belly Bars, and I already have 2 more quilts in gift bags for 2 more great-nieces graduating within the next weeks.  

Today I'm driving a friend to a doctor appointment. She can't drive yet following her knee replacement, so I'm happy to help her out.  And either Thursday or Friday I'll be driving my sister-in-law to a doctor appointment too.  Again - always glad when I can help out, because both would do the same for me.  

In between the chauffeuring we have guys coming to clean our ducts in the house.  And we're having all of our carpets cleaned.  I might be ready to lose my mind by the end of the week.  

Friday, May 7, 2021

The red bunny

Yesterday this red bunny joined the family of Country Bunny blocks.  I picked a batik for this one, and it's a softer red rather than a bright cherry red.   

This is bunny number 6 so far.  It joins the light blue, lavender, pink, green, and coral ones.  I do need to make a yellow one to be caught up with the colors for RSC21.   These began with the lavender bunny, even though lavender isn't an RSC color - yet anyway.  

I have no idea what I will end up doing with them, but they are really cute.  

No sewing today.  I have to work this morning, plan to meet a friend who is in town for a graduation for lunch,  and get some laundry done.  

More Quilt of Valor projects

 Boxed Squares are 6.5" unfinished blocks, so it will take quite a few of them to make a Quilt of Valor, but I have a good start.  These 13 will gradually be joined by more.  This is another quick block that will work nicely with scraps, but also from jelly rolls.  Or fat quarters or yardage.  And I  have plenty of all of those to play with. 

And there are now 16 of the patriotic Jelly Belly Bars blocks, so I'm about halfway to a Quilt of Valor.  I'm using scrappy white centers for this set of blocks, but I think these would look just great with blue or red or any patriotic print used in the center.  

This is a block that will be very easy to collect for a group project too.  It was a free block from Fat Quarter Shop.   The center is cut 5" by 10".  Then the 2.5" strips are added all around, long side first.  So each block ends up 14" by 9".   

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Lots of pillowcases

 The final 3 pillowcases that I had kitted up are now complete.  There were 3 of these silly frog pillowcases, and 2 with the roads.  I've set one of the road race ones aside for a grandson for Christmas, but the other went into my donation stack.   

And let me say that donation stack had gotten pretty tall again.  So . . . I pulled out 10 of them to send to a friend in Ohio who collects pillowcases for a program for foster children.  These would all appeal to children - unicorns, trucks, frogs, rubber duckies and alligators.  There are still almost 20 more pillowcases in the stack and I think those will be earmarked for donations locally here.  

Now it must be time to kit up some more pillowcases for the next time I need some quick mindless sewing projects.  I really enjoy making them plus it uses up fabric quickly.