Sunday, November 30, 2014

November Stash Report & Goals Update

Stash Report:

November IN: 11 yards (7 yards of white for several projects; 1-1/2 yards assorted prints for Plus Dash; charm pack, layer cake & I yard accent color for secret sewing #3.)
November OUT: 6-1/8 yards (3-1/4 for backing & binding for Broken Chevron; 2-1/8 for backing & binding for secret sewing #2; and 3/4 for dad's fidget quilt.)
November net change: 4-7/8 yards IN

YTD IN:160-1/4 yards
YTD OUT: 138-1/8 yards
YTD net change: 22-1/8 yards added.

I actually did quite a lot of sewing in November but some of the projects are not far enough along to count yet. Like this one:
WIP: Leftovers


November Update:
1. Finish secret baby quilt #2. DONE
2. Start secret baby quilt #3. Half of blocks made; remainder cut.
3. Quilt & bind Broken Chevron. DONE
4. Write pattern for Broken Chevron.  Written and sent to two testers.
5. Work on project for potential publication. Not touched. Good thing there isn't a deadline, but if I'm going to make this happen I need to get going on it.
6. Start Plus Dash top. Blocks and sashing assembled; borders not started yet.
7. Make Fidget Quilt for dad. DONE
8. Keep up with bee blocks.  DONE

I think I bit off more than I could chew in November. December will be busy, too, and most of the projects have deadlines.

December Goals:
1. Finish secret baby quilt #3. 
2. Work on project for potential publication.
3. Finish Plus Dash top.
4. Work on adding borders to CSQ raffle quilt (top is due to the long-arm quilter in January)
5. Keep up with bee blocks. 
6. Design cover for Broken Chevron pattern in Photoshop
7. Design cover for Plus Dash pattern in Photoshop

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Finish: A Special Gift for Dad

Update 11/30/14: Several people have suggested buttons, snaps, and zippers. While some of the on-line descriptions of fidget quilts include them, the person who introduced fidget quilts to our guild said not to use them. Functional fasteners cause frustration for the patients, who don't have the dexterity or can't remember how to make them work. Fidget quilts are mostly about textures to "pet" and pick at.

My dad has advanced dementia. He lives in a group home in Arizona where the caregivers give him lots of attention. They say he's very tactile, and I know he spends a lot of time folding and unfolding the corners on newspapers or rolling up a placemat.

Recently a friend at guild showed an Alzheimer's "Fidget Quilt." She described it as "30 Minutes of Calm" and mentioned that these are appreciated by dementia patients and their caregivers at a nursing home near here.

I've also heard something like this called a touch mat or a texture mat. The purpose is for dementia patients to have something to keep their hands occupied. It has to be sturdy and washable. I made a Fidget Quilt for my dad.  
Fidget Quilt or Touch Mat
It's a slightly smaller than a hand towel; I used a towel for the back so the terry cloth would provide more texture, so the mat wouldn't slip off dad's lap, and so the caregiver can use it to wipe a spill if necessary.
Towel Backing
All of the elements are washable so they can throw this in the washer with dad's other laundry. I hope these elements give him something for his hands to fidget with.
Giant Button
Faux Fur
Spinning Spool
Webbing & Slider
Stretchy Mesh
Buckle Tab
My sister and I have been trying to think of other things dad might like. So far we've come up with a few: a plastic Slinky, a Koosh ball, and maybe Play-Doh. Can you think of anything else?

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, November 24, 2014

DWM: More Plus Dash Blocks

Today my design wall is full of Plus Dash blocks. I've decided on these 20 blocks out of 23 that I made. When deciding on a block layout, I usually take photos of several options, then rotate the photos as I'm considering them, to see if the layout looks balanced from all directions. This is the layout I've decided on.
Plus Dash Blocks Laid Out

Next up, sashing.
While I'd like to get the sashing done this week, what I'd really like is for the themed charm pack and layer cake I ordered to get here so I can start working on that project, which has a deadline. It's also secret sewing, so I won't be able to show it on the blog for awhile.

Check out what everyone else has on their design wall over at Patchwork Times for more quilty inspiration.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stash Report 11/23/14

No fabric in this week. I ordered a themed charm pack and layer cake last week and I thought they would be here by now, but they haven't come in yet, so I don't have to count them this week. They're for a specific project with a deadline so I hope they get here soon.

Fabric used this week: Backing (1-3/4 yd) and binding (3/8) for the secret project that got finished, so that's 1-7/8 I can count out. I also used some for Plus Dash blocks but since the top isn't finished I can't count it out yet. I'll tally the totals at the end of the month.

Check out how everyone else is managing their stash over at Patchwork Times.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Finished: Secret Sewing #2

It's finished. That's all I can say and this is all I can show for now. More when the time comes...
Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday: PLus Dash Progress

Shelley over at Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts has finished her test top of my Plus Dash pattern. I love her colors set off by the pewter plusses. Her photos look so pretty in the snow!
Shelley's Plus Dash Top
Way to go Shelley - thanks for testing my pattern!
My own progress is not as far along - I'm still making blocks, in between other secret sewing and deadline projects. 14 blocks are done so far; I'm making 22 and the 20 I like best together will go on the front of the quilt with the leftover ones going on the back.
My Plus Dash Blocks So Far
Linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

DWM 11/17/14: Plus Dash Blocks

I'm working on several projects, including some secret sewing and some
Plus Dash blocks. Here are the blocks I've made so far, on my design wall:
Plus Dash Blocks
Hoping to get a few more of them made today.
Yellow Plus Dash Block

Looks like a good day to stay in and sew...
My Dogwood Tree Today

Stash report, because I didn't post it yesterday: Nothing in and nothing I can count out yet. That will change by the end of the month.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone's design walls over there for inspiration.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Plus Dash Test WIP

Shelley from Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts is coming along on her version of my Plus Dash pattern. Her cheery colorful blocks look wonderful together!
Shelley's Plus Dash Top
Thank you, Shelley, for pattern testing for me.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Another Plus Dash Pattern Test

Shelley over at The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts is testing my Plus Dash pattern. She selected cheerful midtone prints in shades of purple, teal, green, pink, and yellow. I love her color choices and how she's setting them off with solid pewter grey for the plusses. Shelley's successfully using fat eighths for the colors.  Check out her post here to see her progress!
Shelley's Plus Dash Pattern Test

Thanks, Shelley, for pattern testing for me!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Santa Came Early

This is supposed to be my Design Wall Monday post. And my Stash Report because I didn't post yesterday. But I'm more excited about my Christmas present. But first...

Most of the sewing that happened here last week was spiral quilting and binding on Broken Chevron.  People who know me know I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but I have to say, I'm pleased with how Broken Chevron turned out. I showed it at the STLMQG guild meeting Saturday and asked if they think I should enter it in QuiltCon, and got a resounding "yes."
Broken Chevron Detail

Nothing is on the design wall now. I'm working on Plus Dash blocks but I haven't gotten very far, just some colored & white strips sewn together.
Plus Dash Parts
Stash report:
IN: 7 yards of white for backgrounds for two projects. Also 1-1/2 yards of prints for the project above, several FQs and linear quarters. Do we call those LQs?
OUT: Broken Chevron backing & binding, 3-1/4 yards.
Moving in the wrong direction but let's see what I can accomplish this month and see if I can break even.

But what I'm really excited about is my new camera. I mentioned to DH that I'd like a new camera for Christmas. After talking a lot about how I would use it, what my skill level is and what I'd like to learn, he's been doing some research, and narrowed the choices down to a couple for me to look at. We decided on the Olympus Stylus XZ-2. He decided to go ahead and get it for me and give it to me right away rather than wait until Christmas.

I didn't object.

I've been playing a lot with it, and yesterday was a beautiful crisp fall day here so we went to Laumier Sculpture Park and took some pictures. I forgot to note the names of the pieces and the artists. 
I'm still learning the camera settings, so I mostly used the Auto and the Scene: Landscape settings. Here are a few favorites. (The images here on the blog are re-saved small file versions of the originals so they don't have the resolution of the originals)
Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times - check out everyone's design wall over there, surely more inspiring than mine right now!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Finish: A Very Blustery Day

I finished Broken Chevron this week and yesterday I wanted to take some photos of it, but it was very windy here. I'll get some good photos later, but meanwhile here are some snapshots taken at a local park.
Broken Chevron with Spiral Quilting
(colors look too yellow here)
A Sudden Gust of Wind
(True colors here)
Hanging photos weren't working well, so I spread it on the ground, climbed up on the playground equipment, and tried to get a shot of it. 
Broken Chevron, 48" x 60"
This is the first time I've tried spiral quilting. It turned out way better than I anticipated and it wasn't that difficult, just a lot of wrangling bulk through the throat of my machine. I would definitely do spiral quilting again, but this is about the maximum size I can manage.

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Progress... Spiral Quilting and Cut Parts

It's been awhile since I could show what I'm working on. I'm making good progress on the quilting on my Broken Chevron. Spiral quilting starting off center. Round and round...
Broken Chevron front with spiral quilting
Spiral quilting, back of Broken Chevron

Still waiting for my fabric order to arrive; I ordered white ground for several projects including Plus Dash (see previous post below). Meanwhile, I have all the prints cut for the blocks. Still need to cut the black & white pieces.  I'm cutting to give myself breaks from wrestling Broken Chevron through the machine while spiral quilting, so I'm making progress on two projects. Yay!
Cut parts for Plus Dash

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Let's Bee Social. Check out all the other quilty inspiration over there!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Stash Report and Goals Update

Stash Report: With all the finishes I was able to accomplish in October, it turned out to be a pretty good month.

October IN: 10.5 yards
October OUT: 13.25 yards
October Net Change: 2.75 yards out

YTD IN: 149.25
YTD OUT: 132.0
YTD Net Change: 17.25 yards added

I'm hoping November will be a break even month. I have a couple of projects ready for quilting so when they're done I'll be able to count the backings and bindings out. But I've ordered some background yardage for a couple of new projects and I will need to order a couple of charm packs, so I'll have fabric to count in in November to offset the finishes. It's not looking like I'll be able to break even for the year.

I've been pulling fabrics from stash for my Plus Dash quilt. Here's what I've pulled so far; not sure I'm done editing yet. I need 20 prints (or 10 if I use each one twice) plus the black & white.)
Plus Dash Fabric Pull
Plus Dash

October update:
1. Work on Broken Chevron UFO.   Progress made:  Flimsy is finished,  backing is pieced, & binding is prepped.
2. Work on project for publication. Recut background and remade a few blocks. More un-sewing needed.
3. Work on secret baby quilt #1.  Completely finished one secret quilt and finished another to the flimsy/backing/binding prepped stage.
4. Write tutorial for Plus Dash. Written and posted on 10/13; two testers have completed baby-size tops and provided feedback.
5. Keep up with bee blocks.  DONE.

November Goals:
1. Finish secret baby quilt #2.
2. Start secret baby quilt #3.
3. Quilt & bind Broken Chevron.  
4. Write pattern for Broken Chevron.
5. Work on project for publication.
6. Start Plus Dash top.
7. Make Fidget Quilt for dad.
8. Keep up with bee blocks.

That looks like a lot to accomplish! I guess I'm going to have to be pretty focused to get all that done.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone's stash reports over there.