Wednesday, January 31, 2024


 I'm quite blown away with the generosity of people, especially my friends.

A long time "blogging friend" Connie is not a quilter, but she is a very creative person. She crochets, does wood working, and makes her own cards, including the one she tucked in with this fabulous piece of fabric she gifted to me recently.  Isn't this gorgeous? Thank you my friend. It's waiting for inspiration on a project, but I know it will need to be the focus of whatever I make.

Another generous friend is Moneik.  We originally met through blogging, but have actually met in person several times over the years now. She is also SDSU alumni, and although she's more my daughters' age we've enjoyed getting to know each other.  Look at the jam packed box of purple Royal Crown bags she sent!!  I sent her all the green and peach ones I had and she offered to trade for some purple ones she had collected. Added to the ones I already had, there should be more than enough for a future Royal Crown quilt for my husband.  Thank you Moneik!!

Our Quilt of Valor group benefitted this week from the generosity of a donation. One of our members lined up a nice size donation from Thrivent.  We decided that we could use backings for some of the tops we have finished, so we met at the local quilt shop to spend our money.  We bought enough backing fabric for at least 4 quilts.  

And thanks to the added generosity of The Pin Cushion quilt shop - thank you Brenda - our purchase power increased with the discount she offers on QOV fabrics.  So the top couple of fabrics are to kit up blocks for members to sew for a new quilt top.   

Where would we all be if not for the generosity of others?  Thank you ladies!!!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

To Do Tuesday - Planning for February

 Because I'm on a roll with finishing small projects right now, I pulled out a kit for a small tote bag made with a charm pack.  There is a drawer full of small kits just waiting for attention, and it's time to do something with them, right?

This was actually from a Sew Sampler box (Fat Quarter Shop) a year or so ago, and had 3 identical charm packs along with a pattern for a small quilt and this bag all using those charm packs.  The kit included a printed stabilizer sheet for the bag. For the lining I just dug into the stash, and found a good sized piece leftover from a previous project. 

By Sunday afternoon, the bag was all finished.   And I put all the leftover charms back into the drawer together to wait to become something, some day.  I wasn't a fan of the quilt pattern included in the box, but something will come to mind eventually.

Speaking of kits for small projects - arriving in the mail on Saturday was the Fat Quarter Shop's Cupid Box, that I just couldn't resist buying. This year's project is a mini quilt with love birds.  I think this will be a good PIG (Project In Grocery Sack) for February.  I'll tell you a little secret too - I still have last year's Cupid Box project waiting.

My other February goals, so far . . .
  • Keep up with the Stay At Home Round Robin (SAHRR)
  • Keep up with Riley Blake Design challenge blocks
  • Make LOTS of RSC blocks in RED
    • Small Hearts
    • Dutchman's Puzzle
    • Night Vision
    • Chaser
    • Zipper
    • Rainbow Connection
    • Loose Goose
    • Windmill
    • Stashbuster
    • and other misc blocks LOL
  • Bind 1 large quilt (Green Sewcialites)
  • Choose backing for 2023 Saturday Sampler & take to quilter
  • Assemble 1 Quilt of Valor top

Monday, January 29, 2024

Design Wall Monday - January 29

A whole new week, wide open for more creativity.  What's on your design wall this week?

First thing on my list for this week is to piece a backing for Scrappiness Is Happiness.  This UFO was a 2023 Sew Vintage project.  Our group used Lori Holt's book of that name, and is a sampler of lots of cute blocks.  It's on my UFO and PHD lists for 2024, and I'm eager to finish it. 

I finished the 2 zippered pouches for my granddaughters who are both on a swim team.  Sometime this week I should get the zipper pulls I ordered.  The bags definitely need cute pulls to finish them off with a little pizzazz.  

The first one I made (from a purchased kit) needed a fun zipper pull too.  I had bought one at a vendor booth during our quilt show last fall - with a cardinal and a sewing machine.  It's just perfect.

There will be more of these little pouches on my horizon.  I have the pieces all cut for 2 more using the fun chocolate print for the front and the red polka dot for the back.  

Sunday, January 28, 2024

A little QOV sewing

During Pat Sloan's Autumn Wonders sew-along last year, I made 2 sets of blocks. The first set used fall fabrics and her layout pattern. It's a finished top hanging in the closet. But the second set of 9 blocks were in red/white/blue for a future Quilt of Valor.

This past week I decided to find 3 more blocks to make it 12, which is good for a simple sampler using sashing and cornerstones, plus borders.  There is a whole binder full of possible 12" block patterns I've saved.  Three blocks from the Moda Blockheads 5 (online) sew-along seemed ideal.  This one is Morning Star by Barbara Groves (Me & My Sister Designs).  

This is All Stars by Lisa Bongean (Primitive Gatherings).  I love the look of this block, but it uses 32 little HSTs - 2.5" each.  It took some time.  But It's a sharp block. 

Finally, I did this one - Candy Striped Stars by Sara Thomas (SARIDITTY). It's a 12" finished paper pieced block and it gave me fits trying to make it. The pieces were so big, and I had trouble with a couple of sections.  This one is all scraps too.  I like the results, but have decided NOT to make this one again in the near future.

While I was playing in the red/white/blue fabrics and scraps again, I discovered some 2.5" strips, so a few more Rail Fence blocks were sewn.  And I tested out the Quilt of Valor Foundation's challenge block for this year - an Ohio Star.  

Saturday, January 27, 2024

RSC24 - Week #4

 I've had a lot of fun with green this month, but I am excited for a new color.  The green scraps are still out of control, but not as bad as they were. 

At the beginning of this week, I made just 1 more Zipper block, and a couple of the 6" Boxed Squares - all from scraps in a project box I was cleaning out.  

Later in the week I found this fat eighth with the green leaves.  So another Zipper came to life.  

The Chaser block with the dark greens joined the other 4 blocks already made.  This is a 2024 addition to my RSC block sets.  So far the 2.5" colored squares have come right out of the little bins of squares already cut from scraps.  No yardage has been injured. 

I started a new vertical row for the Small Hearts quilt.  There are a lot of heart blocks in the box again, so I figured it was time to put some of them together.  There are 11 hearts in each row. 

One set of RSC blocks from 2023-24 has grown too big for the hanger.  So one day this week I sewed 42 of them into "two-sies".  There are still 16 single blocks in the stack.  These are only about 7" square, so more of them with be needed for a decent sized donation quilt.  By the end of 2024 I'm sure I'll have enough of them.  

There is a green binding (on a green quilt) in the works too.  But this most likely won't be finished until next week.  

Check out more RSC fun . . .

Friday, January 26, 2024

A mini quilt for July 4th

 Another mini quilt is all done and ready for it's season to roll around around.

Back in the fall of 2023 I used the paper pieced pattern from the "cruise" project to make this 10" block in patriotic fabrics.  It was even sandwiched and ready to quilt, before being set aside and buried under other projects.  It surfaced this week, and it took me less than an hour to do some simple quilting and attach a binding - which was in the drawer of binding remnants. 

A few little metal stars were added to to that  red section - and it's done. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

A mini finish

The red heart mini quilt is complete, and looks so cute on my fireplace hearth.  The key was a fun addition to this kit, and gives it just a little something extra. 

I have a few different mini quilts that I switch out based on the season.

The valentine replaced this snowman this morning.  Sometimes this wrought iron hanger sits on the hearth, and sometimes it is in other locations, but it always has a little quilt hanging in it.

I actually had another mini all sandwiched this fall, and then put it aside.  On Wednesday afternoon I found it and quilted it.  Once it's bound, I'll show it off too.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Stay At Home Round Robin - round 1

 It's not a FULL round, but it's a start.

The center block was squared up to 12.5" before I added the red floral border.  That brought it up to a 14.5" square.  The round #1 prompt was to add signature blocks.  Mine are 2.5" signature blocks.  I'm not sure if I want to put the signature blocks on all 4 sides, just 2 sides - opposite, or around a corner - or just leave it as is.  Right now I'm leaning toward adding the same section on the opposite side for balance.  I'm usually more comfortable with symmetry. LOL

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

To Do Tuesday

 Binding and bags - that was my Monday focus, and it will continue today.  The scrappy green binding was attached, and I'll work on the hand stitching this week.  A cute striped binding was added to the valentine mini quilt.

The kit for this one was purchased online from Shabby Fabrics, and everything but the batting was in the kit.  The heart was paper pieced, and there is a key to attach to the heart as well.  I have a wrought iron hanger for mini quilts that sits on my fireplace hearth.  It has a snowman right now, so this will be perfect to switch out for February.

The zipper pouches for my granddaughters are ready for assembly.  The fronts and backs are quilted and lined.  In the stash I even found hot pink zippers and binding fabrics. The linings are just a neutral beige print left from a recent quilt back.  I'm excited to get these put together this week. 

Monday, January 22, 2024

Design Wall Monday - January 22

 What's on your design wall this morning?  Mine has a scrappy binding, and some small machine quilting tasks to work on.

I think there were enough chunks of leftover green bindings in the drawer to piece a binding for the green and cream quilt.  And if I need to dig deeper in the scraps for more, that's OK too.  I want to get this binding attached so I can work on the hand stitching this week.  

Three small things are ready to quilt.  The pieces are all cut and ready for the zipper pouches I'm making for the granddaughters.  The front and its lining are joined and the batting is sandwiched, so I'll add some wavy quilting lines for texture.  The red and white valentine wasn't on my list for this week, but it shouldn't take long to do just a little bit of quilting on it and attach the binding.

I have a haircut and manicure appointment this afternoon. And I'm so happy that it isn't 20 below zero for a change when it's time to be out and about.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Goals for a new week

Now that I'm home, and caught up with laundry I'm trying to get organized for this week's sewing projects.  I need my list, right? Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a nerdy list-maker. Lists and spreadsheets keep me happy.

One task I tackled on Saturday morning while doing laundry, was to carry my sewing stuff back down to put things away.  I took a lot of projects and equipment with me while kid sitting. 

The project box for the finished 2023 Saturday Sampler still had all of the leftover bits and pieces, including some extra block units.  The big pieces went back into the stash, and the small pieces went into the scrap bins - or was cut into useful sizes.  I even found enough of some to make a couple of RSC blocks this coming week. 

  1. Prep and attach the binding for the green Sewcialites quilt 
  2. Begin the Giddy Up Quick Strippee quilt (already kitted up)
  3. Make 2 zippered pouches with mermaid print
  4. Contact 2 Quilt of Valor nominees to schedule awards
Notice the one new project on my list for this week?  When I was packing up last week, I noticed a really cute fat quarter in the Blue stash drawer.  I layed it out before leaving so it wouldn't be forgotten.  While I was sewing the little 10" pouch last week, my brain was thinking I could use this to make 2 zippered pouches for my granddaughters who both do swim team.  There is enough to use for the fronts of the pouches. There may be enough of some aqua fabrics in the stash to match the fish color.  And I know I have zippers in the drawer.  

This afternoon the plan is getting together with some friends and playing some cards.  And we're supposed to finally have a day that isn't deeply below zero.  

Saturday, January 20, 2024

RSC24 - Week #3

Three weeks into 2024 already - hard to believe!!  I brought some green things with me to sew while kid and dog sitting for my daughter.   

Block 1 of the Riley Blake Block Challenge, Windmills, Night Vision, and some string Bead blocks - all tucked back into the crate of projects.  

These little 3.5" hourglass blocks were all from triangles trimmed off of other projects.  They make good Leaders/Enders, so I grabbed the ones laying next to my machine when I packed.  Finished hourglass blocks go into a little bin that is holding a LOT of bright colors.  Eventually there will be enough to make something from them.

Two UFOs got their final borders this week.  This is the Scrappiness Is Happiness quilt from Lori Holt's book of the same name.  And yes - it's extremely scrappy.  

The other UFO that needed borders was my 2023 Saturday Sampler.  It's called Spoolin' Around, and yes it's another scrappy quilt.  It needs a bit of embroidery yet, but otherwise it's done.

No flight delays, so my daughter and SIL were back about 1 AM Friday morning. The kids were really happy to wake up and find their parents home.  I headed back home myself about 10:30 AM. The roads were OK, but the temp was 0 degrees and very windy. There was a ground blizzard the last 60 miles, but the plows were out and keeping the driving lanes open on the interstate.  One stop before home - to pick up the green version of last year's Sewcialites sew-along from the quilter.  The quilting is really beautiful.  I'm planning to do a scrappy green binding on this one.

With so much of the country frozen over the past week, I'm betting there has been a LOT of sewing going on in the RSC world.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Winter, winter, winter

 I'm so OVER the bitter cold, snowy, grey weather!!  Usually I don't mind winter, but must admit that we were so spoiled with the mild early winter that this last 2 weeks seem even worse than it probably is.  Thursday saw more snow falling, and wind causing a winter weather advisory through this morning. Sigh!!

Three inches of fresh powdery snow fell - before Thursday school was dismissed early, at 1:45.  The streets were a mess with all that new snow.  When it's just me I'm not a nervous driver, but when I have my grandkids with me I feel the stress. 

The plan is to drive home today, but we'll see if that is a possibility.  It's about 90 miles, mostly interstate, but with blowing snow I'll have to see how the road conditions are. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Day 7 - small projects

The kids had another full day of school again on Wednesday. Yay!!  My day included a couple of small projects.  This was a really small project, but it is totally finished. That is a win in my book. 

The kit for this 10” square pouch was a gift certificate purchase. Everything needed except batting was in the kit along with the simple instructions. Back home in my sewing room I know there are a couple of cute zipper pulls to add a bit of pizzazz. 

The pouch is fully lined.  

The other small project was finishing the binding on this scrappy kid-sized quilt. This is the second one using this pattern that I call Framed Friendship Squares.

Barring any cancelled flights, my daughter and SIL should be home after midnight tonight.  I know one 8 year old who really misses his mom and dad.  

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Day 6 - back to school

 On Tuesday the kids went back to school, although there was a 2 hour Late Start for pretty much every school district in the southern half of the state. I think they were glad to be back in school. Too many days cooped up in the house was causing everyone - even the dog - to feel a bit cranky.  Grandma too!

It's time to begin adding the borders to my 2023 Saturday Sampler.  There is a narrow black border, and then a pieced border using these units.  

And it's a completed flimsy, right before time to pick the kids up from school.  The solid border sections were actually supposed to be in the center of each side, with thimbles appliqued onto them. I had already decided not to do those thimbles, and then decided to put the plain sections on opposite corners instead.  

Final steps before quilting will be to do a bit of embroidery on this.  There is a thread swirling from the bottom spools up toward the needle.  That will need to wait until I'm home again.  

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Stay At Home Round Robin 2024

 I'm going to join in with this year's Stay At Home Round Robin. It's time to choose a beginning block, and I have it narrowed down to 2 possibilities.  The link below has instructions and information.

This is one option.  It's about 14" square, and is applique using 30s reproduction prints.  

This is another option I'm considering.  It's called God's Eye, and is also about 14" square. The color is really off in this photo as the brights are lime green and coral.  I actually have a lot of that navy blue background left as well as quite a bit of the 2 colors.  

I didn't participate in SAHRR in 2023, but I did finish my 2022 version.  I began with the red/white house block that was in the orphan block drawer waiting to become something.  But in 2022 I fell behind, but then in 2023 I added some of the 3" Sewcialites 2 blocks to the SAHRR to make a wall hanging.  I'm really pleased with the outcome.

So I'm looking forward to playing along this year again.  Maybe I'll even keep up this time.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Design Wall Monday - a frigid Jan 15

 I just can't get warm, even snuggled under a quilt I'm binding! This has been such a miserably cold weekend with windchills down at -45.  Brrrr!  But being cooped up during a blizzard provided plenty of stitching time.

One Sunday project was this paper pieced mini quilt.  It was a kit I ordered from Shabby Fabrics.  Other than 1 piece I put on wrong - 3 times - it was a quick and easy project. Once I quilt and bind this 12" mini quilt it will be just perfect in the little wrought iron hanger by my fireplace.

I also made one more of the Whirling 9-Patch. This was a Bonnie Hunter pattern from Quiltmaker magazine.  But I used 2.5" squares instead of 2" so my blocks are slightly larger.

Four new Windmill blocks have been added to the stack.  These were some of the ones I kitted up to bring with me this week.  I'm thinking the next projects to work on will involved borders on bigger quilts.  One has plain borders, but the other one has pieced borders.

The kids don't have school for MLK Day, so I may not get much stitching in today.  And Sophia has swim team practice this evening.  My daughter and SIL have been having a wonderful vacation so far, based on the photos they've shared. I'm so glad.

Check out more Monday morning design walls . . .

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Days 3 and 4 - bitter cold

 We're surviving the arctic blast but it sure hasn't been how we planned to spend the weekend. 

Because the wind has howled most all day, most all of southern South Dakota issued No Travel warnings by afternoon.  That -10 with -38 windchill was the warm part of the day.  By this morning it's supposed to be -20 actual temps.  At 6:30 last night the wind chill was -47.

Poor Ella - she hasn't been very enthusiastic about going outside to go potty, even in her warm winter coat.  Granddaughter Sophia has been really good about taking her out with no complaints.

Other than the few blocks I sewed on Friday, this Quilt of Valor has been my main project.  I finally got the binding hand stitched and finished by supper time Saturday.  This one was a top donated to our group by a QOV group in Minnesota, and quilted by our new SD state coordinator Gail.  It's very pretty, and will hopefully be awarded fairly soon to a veteran. 

I have a crib sized quilt to bind as well, and then today I'm hoping to add the outer borders to one of the other projects I have with me.  Maybe I'll get more sewing done today since it's way too cold to leave the house if we don't have to.