Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Wednesday whatnots

One of my goals for this week is to get the last 5 blocks finished for Scrappiness Is Happiness.  One of those 5 is the Quick Broken Dishes, and it's done.  

The next one in line is a large one with 64 squares - each one 2.5".  Yikes!  That one will take longer to cut than to sew. Luckily I do have a little basket full of my 30s scraps, and there might even be some 2.5" squares in there to get me started.  

One of the 2 watermelon table runners is now quilted.  I did a mix of straight lines and wavy lines, but still kept it pretty simple.  The binding is attached so maybe by the end of today I'll have it all finished.

The June number for the UFO Challenge was announced and it's #1.  Hmmm - the top one on my list is destined to be a doll quilt, so maybe I can get that one done.  And the PIG is actually in the hands of a quilter already, but I don't expect to get it back until late June at the earliest. 

And that middle project - has a good start with several blocks appliqued, but no real plan for the blocks.  They each have a fabric license plate from the past years of the Row By Row Experience.  I have a lot of those license plates collected, but just wasn't sure how I wanted to use them all.  I've actually used a couple of them on bags I've made, and I started this "car" project.  We'll see if that actually gets pulled out at all since I'll be gone nearly 2 weeks in June.

Work hours, a wedding, and grandkids may cut my sewing a bit short this week.  I've been setting up new budgets for a couple of projects for work, so that is occupying a good share of my mornings last week and again this week.  I'm picking up one granddaughter on Friday from swim team and spending the afternoon shopping with her.  Saturday morning is quilt guild, and Saturday afternoon we have a wedding to attend.  Quite a busy, fun week. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

To Do Tuesday

 The To Do list for this week includes a couple of projects left over from the previous couple of weeks, and maybe I'll finally get to them.  

There are only 5 blocks remaining to be made from the Scrappiness Is Happiness project, and if I can get all 5 of them made I will actually BE happy.  Once the blocks are all done, then I can work on assembling them into rows.  

A second priority goal would be to get the 2 watermelon table runners quilted and bound.  I'll even be happy if I can get one of them done this week.  There is also a yellow/white/black runner ready to quilt and bind.  None of these should take long to finish, but it's so easy to set things aside - especially since I have a new project that I really want to start.  I promised myself the new project would be my reward for finishing my other list of projects in progress.  I'm almost there!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Design Wall Monday - Memorial Day weekend sewing

Memorial Day weekend just seemed to call for some patriotic colors in my sewing room.  Lots of Quilt of Valor blocks are coming together.  On Saturday and Sunday I managed to make a big dent in a patriotic layer cake, a few jelly roll strips, and some fat quarters in the QOV stash. 

First up, there are now 6 more Floating Star blocks.  This has been one of the favorite blocks for our local QOV group, and we've made several quilts with them.  I'm guessing that next Saturday at our guild meeting some of our members will bring me a bunch more.  We started out making all the centers white, but now we're using most any neutral, and even reds and blues.  

I've now made 16 of these Split Back Star blocks.  As I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago - this might be my new favorite block.  It is a free block that can be found on the Quilts of Valor Foundation website.  It's ideal for layer cakes, because I can pair up a red and a blue and get 1 block (along with a neutral for the star).  These all have white stars so far, but I'll probably make some additional ones using cream or beige.  And I'm playing with turning the blocks differently rather than just doing the diagonal.

While sorting through my patriotic fabrics I discovered quite a few 2.5" strips, including a few leftover from a jelly roll.  So I started sewing together strip sets for Rail Fence blocks.  I ended up with 25 of these 6.5" blocks.   Trimming these led to something else . . .

Five 9-patch blocks . . .

. . . and 6 blue and neutral 4-patch blocks.  One of my QOV bins has a lot of 2.5" squares, and other small pieces trimmed from previous blocks.  So I'm sure more of these will happen.

And speaking of trimmings . . . this 12.5" block is all hourglass blocks made from triangles trimmed off corners.  There is a big bag handing on my bulletin board above the ironing board that was full of these little units, in various sizes.  I pulled out 8 red and 8 blue to combine into this block. 

So, I think I fully satisfied my need to sew something patriotic this weekend.  Later today a few members of our QOV group will be presenting 3 quilts at a Memorial Day program.  One of the veterans receiving a quilt is about to turn 100, and is a WWII veteran.

Check out what else is happening for Monday - 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

RSC Week #21 - the last of orange

 The final week of May, and the final orange blocks are done. Now I'm ready to move onto a different color for the month of June.

Three additional Windmill blocks are done.  There are a few parts cut with some other colors too, but there is no rush to finish these.  I will just keep cutting the pieces for now. 

Six orange Small Heart blocks are done too.  There are more than enough blocks for a new vertical column to add to the growing quilt.  But there isn't a very good selection of different colors.  Lots of green, a few blue, and now these orange ones.  I'll just keep making these each month to get a better color variety, before adding any more to the quilt.  

The Rainbow Connections quilt top is all assembled, and I'm pleased with finishing the top for one more RSC project.  This one is 55 x 66, and done with string sections pulled from the scrap bins.  There will be another one of these in the future I'm sure. 

Check out more RSC projects at:

Friday, May 26, 2023

Maybe a new favorite

 This just might my new favorite Quilt of Valor blocks.  The Split Back Star was shared on the QOV Foundation website.

I love how the diagonal is showing up when the blocks are laid out this way. The block finishes at 12"m which is a good size for our group quilts. There are a few more of these cut out and laying on my sewing table for some Memorial Day sewing.

A couple of the grandkids are here today, and instead of sewing I'm hoping they'll help pick out some flowers for the big planter on my back deck.  

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Trying to be disciplined

I'm really attempting 1 whole week of discipline to finish up a bunch of things, so that I can have a guilt-free week to play with something new.

Because the Cruise is coming up in just over 2 weeks, I really need to have all of the homework done for the quilt project we'll be working on.  All of the strips and subcuts have been done for the paper piecing, and all the strips for the templates are cut too.  Now I can check off HALF of the curved pieces using templates.  The light colored ones are all traced, cut, labeled and packed into a Zip lock bag. Hopefully today - after my annual physical - I'll get the dark ones all done.  Too much standing while tracing and cutting is hard on my back.  

The Sewcialites 2 wall hanging is bound.  It has most of the 3" bright blocks, plus a fun Laurel Burch cat print from the stash.  Check it off the list!!  This one is bright and cheery, and may end up hanging in my sewing room.

Those last 2 doll quilts I've been working on are quilted and bound.  Check them off the list too!  There are 8 doll quilts made so far.  I'm aiming for a dozen - with a doll or a stuffy - before looking into donating them.  

I even found a cute little stuffed turtle for one of the other doll quilts.  Who knew the grocery store had a stuffed animal display? 

The yellow/white/black Bee themed hot pad is quilted and bound.  There is a matching table runner for this.  I have that sandwiched and ready to quilt and bind.

So, the remaining list that I am trying to shrink, with partial progress noted in red . . . 
  • Quilt & bind the Bee table runner (sandwiched)
  • Quilt of Valor projects
    • Piece QOV backing
  • finish last 5 blocks for Scrappiness Is Happiness
  • sew Rainbow Connections into rows (3 rows sewn, 3 remaining)
  • sew final orange blocks for RSC (Windmills & Small Hearts) (blocks are sewn, need pressing)
  • blanket stitch Dresden Lady block

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Tuesday's To Do list

 The list of Works In Progress (WIPs) just keeps growing - out of control.  But there is hope - and a plan.

One WIP that has been giving me pleasure - the doll quilts.  The 2 newest doll quilts are no longer in the pile on the ironing board.  They are both quilted and the binding is attached, so a little handwork is all that's needed.  I went to the Dollar Store for some gift bags the other day, and also purchased 2 stuffed animals to go with the quilts - a brown monkey and the pink flamingo.  Both are soft and squishy, and very cuddly.  And so far I've only spent $5 each for the animals and doll. 

No NEW projects allowed until I get a few things from my list finished.  I've pulled some new projects together (fabric, patterns, special rulers) and put them into labeled project boxes.  One of these will be my reward for finishing some things.  Hunter's Star or Wonky Log Cabin or Happy Blocks or Scrambled Churn Dash - or something that I hadn't even though of yet.

So, the remaining list that I am trying to reduce . . . writing it down helps with accountability.
  • Finish binding the Sewcialites wall hanging
  • Bind 2 doll quilts
  • Quilt & bind the Bee table runner (yellow/black/white)
  • Finish Bee hotpad (yellow/black/white)
  • Quilt of Valor projects
    • Piece QOV backing
  • finish last 5 blocks for Scrappiness Is Happiness
  • sew Rainbow Connections into rows
  • sew final orange blocks for RSC (Windmills & Small Hearts)
  • blanket stitch Dresden Lady block

Monday, May 22, 2023

Weekday Progress

I tackled the easy things from my list first.  

The Scottie Dog Pillowcase is done. Check it off!  This makes 11 pillowcases made so far in 2023. The red dog print was left over from a Quick Strippee quilt last year, and was hiding in that first scrap bag I was emptying out.  The plaid I bought last week, and I've already used some of the leftovers for some of the black & white Boxed Squares. 

  • Finish binding the Sewcialites wall hanging
  • Bind 2 doll quilts
  • Quilt & bind the Bee table runner (yellow/black/white)
  • Finish Bee hotpad (yellow/black/white)
  • Quilt of Valor projects
    • Pack up QOV parts into a kit for a member to sew  - DONE
    • Piece QOV backing
    • Test a new QOV block (Split Back Star) DONE
  • Scottie Dog pillowcase  - DONE
  • cut binding strips for Christmas Saturday Sampler  - DONE
  • cut binding strips for Country Bunnies small quilt  - DONE
  • finish last 5 blocks for Scrappiness Is Happiness
  • sew Rainbow Connections into rows
  • sew final orange blocks for RSC (Windmills & Small Hearts)
  • blanket stitch Dresden Lady block
The binding strips for Saturday Sampler and Country Bunnies are all cut, but do need to be pressed. Check it off!  

The kit for a Quilt of Valor is all packed and ready for one of our members to assemble.  The red sashing strips were cut from some fabric donated to our group.  The blue and white blocks themselves were made by various members.  And the dark blue border fabric was from leftover backing.  Check it off!

And I tested out a new pattern we will probably be using for Quilts of Valor in the future.  It's called Split Back Star.  I made 2 of these using the same fabrics. It's very similar to the Floating Star we've used in several quilts.  I think this would look good with or without sashing.  

Now . . . onto the bigger tasks!!

Design Wall Monday - May 22

 Is your design wall full of fun things this week?

Currently my "Design Ironing Board" is weighed down with the fabric for the upcoming Alaskan cruise project.  Our homework involved cutting the strips needed from each of the colors, then cutting those into specific sizes for the templates or foundation piecing.  Lots of time is involved.  And let me say, these are not colors that I would normally use. Plus they are all solids, and my brain really wants some print in that stack.  But I'm excited about the cruise, and the quilting with friends I haven't seen for awhile.

The instructions suggested making 1 sample foundation pieced section before cutting the strips into the smaller pieces.  That allows us to make slight adjustments.  My first section worked fine, so I went ahead and cut all of the pieces used in this particular foundation unit.

I am organizing the units along with the foundation papers in Ziplock bags with labels to identify them.  There will be 3 of these gallon bags holding the 3 separate paper piecing sections and all of the parts for them.   

The second one is done too.  For the third paper pieced section I have the strips cut and a sample section sewn.  Today hopefully I'll get the strips subcut into the parts and packaged up.  Then I can focus on the plastic templates for the curved parts that will attach to these paper pieced units.  

More cutting is on the agenda for this week as I'm prepping binding for a couple of UFO quilts currently in the hands of a quilter.  She checked on her list, and my Christmas Saturday Sampler should be done in the next week or so, followed by Country Bunnies.  I'm excited to get these UFOs back to bind.  I think I have enough of that red for binding. 

This will be the final week of orange for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so I dug into the small box full of parts cut already for the Small Hearts blocks.  I found 5 sets to finish out orange.  The bin of charm squares yielded some good options for more Windmill blocks.  There are 5 sets cut and ready to sew in the other small box.  Not all are orange however, but that's OK.  These blocks will make some good distraction when I get tired of cutting things this week. 

I've been making a list of projects I've been working on lately, and notice that once again there are about 10 different things in various stages all happening at once.  That is a definite sign of lack of FOCUS!!  Yikes!!!  Can I actually finish a couple of small things this week?  There are 3 table runners, 1 pillowcase kit, and 2 doll quilts in that stack - and the stack of Rainbow Connection blocks pinned into rows.  

This will be a short week for sewing as I will have 2 grandkids here on Friday, and doctor appointments on Thursday.  So my main goal for this week is to reduce (not eliminate) the stack of projects currently gracing the end of my ironing board - without starting anything NEW even though I really really want to play with something new. 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Scrappy blocks and more

I mentioned yesterday that I'm going to start making some "other" blocks for RSC going forward, mostly because I already have enough of some of the current blocks to make quilt tops.  Time for a little change, right? And besides - I have a LOT of scraps to use up. 

Boxed Stars is a free pattern from Mary Quilts.  It's a 6" finished block.  Her instructions are for making it with a jelly roll, and the very first one I made (years ago) did use a jelly roll.  But I have a lot of black and white prints, and a whole box full of 2.5" colorful squares, so that is the direction I'm going.

I have a nice start with orange, yellow, purple, and green center so far.  A nice kid sized quilt needs 80 blocks, set 8 x 10.  So this is a good block to add to the RSC collections.  

I'm working on binding one Sewcialites 2 project.  This little wall hanging is made with most of the 3" blocks, and the rest of the blocks may go into a doll quilt or a pot holder - something small. 

Saturday was such a nice day, and I headed out with my husband to play a little golf.  However, after 2 holes I became just a passenger in the golf cart.  Not sure what I did, but that new hip is definitely hurting.  It doesn't hurt at all when I walk but hurts a LOT when I try to step up onto a step, and when I twist to my left.  Luckily I already have a doctor appointment on Thursday.  I had no problems playing golf in February when we were in Arizona, so this is frustrating.  And another reason to keep postponing that second hip replacement.  Drats!!!

Saturday, May 20, 2023

RSC23 - Week #20 plenty of orange

The most important orange project from this week is the Frog Quick Strippee quilt that is FINISHED!  Yay!!  It's checked off both my UFO Challenge list and the PHD list from our local quilt shop.

 I bought this lime and orange frog print along with the blending print (medium width strips) in Norfolk Nebraska on the way to a family reunion in Kansas last fall.  I cut and sewed the top right away, and then it just hung in the closet with the Gazillion other flimsies waiting to be quilted.  I really really love that orange polka dot that is on the back.  The original plan was to quilt this one myself, but I ended up having it quilted by a friend with a long arm. Hiring it done was a good decision!

Three of these Rainbow Connection blocks were finished this week, and that makes enough blocks for a decent sized quilt - 55" x 66".  This will make another good donation quilt.   

These strings do make a small dent in the scrap bins, and are so quick to make.  So I'm going to keep making the string sections for more blocks, and another quilt will happen eventually.  

One more of the Pineapple Hexie blocks was added to the stack.  Notice the orange!

There are 10 of these blocks so far.  But since I have no idea what I want them to become, I guess they'll just continue to happen. 

Last year I made 2 Windmill quilts with RSC blocks but I hadn't been making them this year.  However, these are made with 5" squares, and there were some of them in the scrap bags I've been trying to empty.  Rather than add the 5" squares back into the scraps - I made these blocks.  Do you recognize that polka dot on the bottom block? It was a scrap left from the backing of that Frog quilt.  

I've been looking at my 3-ring binder with saved patterns that I feel are my Go To patterns.  Most are free from somewhere online, and all have to be quick and easy to make.  I plan to add some block pattern to the RSC repertoire, and I'm currently leaning toward something using the strings, or 2.5" or 3.5" or 5" squares already residing in my scrap saver boxes.  There will be more Windmill blocks, but also maybe Boxed Squares, or some other easy one.   

Check out more RSC projects . . .

Friday, May 19, 2023

Scrappiness Is Happiness

One distraction yesterday . . .

 I heard the loud gobbling this fellow was doing before I noticed him in the backyard.  What an impressive display as he strutted around calling to the females hanging out closer to the house.  Wish I could have gotten better pictures, but as he turned to display the puffed up chest - he walked behind that big tree.  He was back strutting his stuff later in the day again. 

Hmmm - lot's of sewing happened this week in spite of my having to work a few hours every day.  Those work budgets were on my mind, but 5:30 am is WAY TOO EARLY for me!  My husband has been on a job site the past couple of weeks and that alarm goes off before daylight.  However, I guess I've capitalized on the early mornings with extra sewing time.   

This was a Block of the Week project that fell by the wayside in April.  

Quick Dash and Patchwork Tulip were 2 of the blocks that didn't happen in April.  There are still 5 more blocks to make before assembling the rows.  Scrappiness Is Happiness is a Lori Holt book - one of my favorite designers. 

I'm hoping today to cut the fabric strips for the "homework" assigned before the quilting class on the Alaskan cruise.  Paper piecing and curved seams - fun and challenging!

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Cleaning up some odds and ends

Cleaning out that bag of larger scraps (posted about yesterday) turned out to be very interesting.  Some of the pieces in there were nearly a yard - much bigger than I was expecting.  Some of the pieces were already cut into squares or rectangles.  And hiding in the middle . . . a paper pieced block.

This butterfly block was something I experimented with a couple of years ago, and then decided there were WAY too many tiny pieces to use the pattern for a whole quilt of these blocks.  So evidently it was mistakenly folded in with some yardage, and forgotten.  Hmmm - this might make a good mug rug.

The colorful print full of faces was already cut into 3.5" x 6.5" bricks, plus about 1/4 yard remaining.  There were 9 of the bricks, so I pulled out another piece big enough to cut 9 more bricks.  So this little 18" square will become another doll quilt fairly soon.

And the snowman print was folded up with a bunch of 4-patch blocks.  There was enough of the snowmen to cut squares to alternate with the 4-patches.  Another future doll quilt - this one 16" square.  If I remember correctly this fabric was left over from a table runner. 

So, the other things from that scrap bag have been cut into parts for pillowcases, or placed back into the appropriate drawers of the stash.  I have a list of what is needed to finish those pillowcases.  Some might be found in the stash, or I'll buy just enough needed.

In between working on the scrap bag projects, I also made more baby churn dash blocks.  These were made of scraps too, and there are nearly enough for a crib sized quilt.   

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

This n That

The doll quilt that I had begun over the weekend is all finished.  Again - all made from things leftover from other projects, backing, batting, binding, and the squares used on the front.  It needs a pink teddy bear I think. 

A sweet little grey Monkey is wrapped in another doll quilt finished in the past few days.  

This doll quilt is pink, white, and black with a grey/white backing.  It's about 15" square.

He's so soft and cute!  

The pink and aqua doll quilt is now in the stack waiting for dolls or stuffed animals.  The one in the top is teal and grey.  One is all bright colored rectangles paired with black, and there is the pink and brown one that I made a couple of weeks ago.  I'm on the lookout for just the right thing for each of these doll quilts to wrap around.  

Since the doll quilts are coming together from orphan blocks and various scraps, I pulled out a bag of bigger scraps that were not sorted into colors.  These pieces might lend themselves to more doll quilts, as they are larger chunks.