Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Do you label your quilts? I do. But it's not my favorite part of the process. I print my labels using the special treated fabric sheets that can go through my printer. The material is stiff, much too difficult for my sore hands to hand stitch through. So labeling the quilts I'm giving for Christmas is something I've been procrastinating about.

But I persevered and I got them all done!

Binding the label with one ply of quilting cotton creates a softer edge to hand-stitch through. Much easier on my hands! Setting the label into the binding, in the corner, results in a smaller amount of hand stitching needed, too. I just have to remember to have the label already prepped, and to insert it when I'm doing the binding.

My labels always include the name of the quilt, the year finished, my name, and my city & state. Custom long arm quilted quilts, where the quilting is designed by the quilter, get the name of the quilter also. *

How do you label your quilts and what info do you include?

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

* All of my quilts are documented in page protectors in binders. Those that are long-armed with a panto have the quilter's name, panto name, and usually the work order or receipt in the sleeve for that quilt.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Autumn Palettes: A Finish and a Start

I've mentioned before that I'm giving quilts to family members this Christmas, mostly for the purpose of clearing excess quilts out of my house. I make them because I enjoy making them, but then what to do with them? They've been piling up. So this year 5 quilts are going to various relatives; all are approximately sofa-size.

This one is going to the senior H. family, an active couple in their eighties. It just came back from the quilter and I got it bound and labeled yesterday. Sorry for the lousy photo, it's raining here today so the best I could do was put it on the guest bed and shoot it with a flash. Hopefully I can get better photos later in the week.

The blocks were the alternate BOM from a LQS a couple years ago. They were supposed to be combined with the main BOM to create a king size quilt, but I don't need a king size quilt so I chose to use the blocks in two separate quilts.

I cleared off the design wall last week, and since then I put all the Dancing Plus blocks I've been making up there. They're not arranged yet; I'll need to move some around for better balance, but here's the basic layout. There are 143 blocks and they go all the way down to the floor but you can only see the top 2/3 here. (Again, sorry for the poor flash photo.)

This palette was inspired by an older charm pack that features amber, russet, dusty teal, olive, and black. In addition to the charm pack, I found lots of harmonious fabrics in my stash, and I collected a few more prints last week. There are at least 57 dark and 52 light fabrics, probably more because I may have forgotten to count a few as I was cutting. Even though I want to play with this project, these blocks will have to wait while I get Christmas gifts finished up.

Linking up with Patchwork Times and Em's Scrapbag

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Stash Report 11/27/16

Although this is the last stash report Sunday of November, I have high hopes of using a bit more and accomplishing more of my goals for this month, so I'll wait 'til next week to recap November. There has been quite a bit of stash movement this week, though.

IN: 1-1/2 yards (mostly 1/8 yard cuts) for Dancing Plus blocks and 3/4 yard for binding for the autumn forest quilt. The forest quilt came back from the quilter and I hope to get it bound tomorrow. Photos to come later this week when it's finished.

OUT: I'm estimating 9 yards total for both Bento Box tops. I didn't log everything I cut - that was a lot of cutting and there are dozens of different fabrics used - so I just drew up a quick & dirty mock up in EQ7 for the estimate, then added the two yards of border print that I used.

Not counted yet: I've made 143 Dancing Plus blocks for a future project. Again, a lot of cutting! Here are over 100 of them, not trimmed down yet. They'll finish at 6" but they start at 7-1/2". 

Since I took the photo above, I've finished the rest of the blocks I need and trimmed them so the plusses tilt to the left or the right. I've slapped them up on my design wall, but they're not arranged yet. I have Christmas stuff to finish, so as much as I want to play with the Dancing Plus project, I'll have to focus on priorities and deadlines first. Let's see how much of my November to-do list I can get finished by the end of the month.

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Friday, November 25, 2016

BB Finish x 2

OK, I know I changed direction and put the BB variation tops on hold in order to work on a Christmas gift need that came up.

But, duh, what was I thinking?!!!  I can give them the larger BB quilt for Christmas. So the new Dancing Plus blocks are now on hold, and the larger BB quilt is back on the priority list. I feel like I'm ricocheting from project to project.

I got the borders added and the flimsy finishes at 56 x 68", featuring the blocks with more coral/less green in them. If I have enough solid black in my stash, I may add a narrow border all around, but it's not critical and I'm not going to buy any fabric for it if I don't have enough.

Bonus - there was enough of the border print stripe for the smaller version too, which finishes at 44 x 56" and features the blocks with more green in them. I was able to match the print repeat so you can't even tell where I pieced one of the sides together.

The border print goes perfectly with both versions, and I'm glad I had enough for both.

So, not one but two flimsie's finished this week! Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Change in Direction

OK, so I was working on my Bento Box project, then a need for another Christmas gift quilt came up. The BB project doesn't have a deadline so it will go in time out until I get the new Christmas gift finished.

 A search of my sewing room turned up a charm pack of a line called Casablanca, in nice masculine colors including amber and black. These would be perfect for Dancing Plus blocks with some of those nice new low-volume backgrounds I got at the FQ sale a couple weeks ago. Further search of my stash turned up a lot of fabrics that would work with the charm pack.

So I've been frantically making Dancing Plus blocks. So far I'm up to 108 of 143 needed; here they are all piled up.

These are the untrimmed blocks, not dancing yet. The finished quilt will be 11 blocks wide by 13-1/2 blocks high. It will be similar to this Dancing Plus I made earlier this year, which is also slated for a Christmas gift.

The blocks go together quickly and I've been chain piecing them in batches of four. A 5" charm is enough for one plus. So, 40 blocks from the charm pack, and the rest from stash so far. In that pile of 108 blocks there are at least 48 different dark prints and as many lights.

The blocks are intentionally made oversized so I can trim them down to dance to either the left or the right.

In other news, DS and grandson CJ are here. We had our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. CJ is 21 months old now, a lot more like a little boy than a baby. Grandpa brought the hobby horse up from the basement and cleaned it up. CJ loves it. He can climb on and off it himself. Grandma found an old straw cowboy had, which he also loves.

It's very hard to get good photos of CJ, he moves around so much they're always a blur or out of focus. Naturally the only one close to being in focus is this one.

Linking up with Patchwork Times and Em's Scrapbag

Friday, November 18, 2016

QOV Blocks: I am so honored...

I feel so honored that so many people are using my Log Cabin Triangle block to make blocks for Quilts of Valor. Thank you all so very much.

Alycia at Alycia Quilts posted the results of her block drive on Wednesday. She's received a total of 752 blocks, and they're still coming in!!!

The block drive for QOV of Eastern Missouri is still going on, led by Dar of Dar's Patchwork Garden.  She's receiving blocks not only from Missouri quilters, but from all over! The QOV-EMO block drive continues through the end of the year, and blocks can be sent to:
2627 Bates Road
O'Fallon, MO 63368 

My friends in Sew Bee It made LCT blocks for QOV last month, too when it was my turn to hand out the block instructions. Thanks, girls! These are on their way to QOV-EMO.

It is extremely gratifying to know that so many people have made blocks from my pattern for such a worthy cause. I have no way of knowing how many quilters have made LCT blocks, but I thank you all for doing so. Huge thank you to Alycia for accepting my block for her block drive and getting the word out. And huge thank you to Dar for heading up the Missouri effort. 

linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of  Fabric Addict.

Monday, November 14, 2016

BB Progress

It's been awhile since I've been able to work on my Bento Box project because of Murphy and because of the deadline projects I needed to get done. Last time I posted about it, the blocks were arranged on my design wall. I labeled the columns and rows for sewing, and took the blocks off the design wall to work on one of the deadline projects.
Coral BB Blocks, Final Layout

Murphy has settled down a little, so I can snatch some occasional moments in the sewing room. The deadline projects are either done or far enough along that they're off the wall, so I can get back to my Bento Box project.

I had way too many blocks, 32 in all. While most of the blocks have coral in them, some also featured a lot of green. Because of the busy-ness and the riot of color, I pulled out most of the green blocks and used the 20 blocks shown above. Before borders, that will measure 48 x 60; after borders, at least 56 x 68.

That left me 12 blocks with less coral / more green in them so I decided to use them for a smaller quilt. Since there are so few blocks, they were quick to lay out and sew together. I kept the same layout of dark intersections and light ones.
Green BB Top

With only 12 blocks, it measures 36 x 48. I don't know about borders yet, it will depend on whether I have enough of the border print stripe left over after framing the first top. If there's not enough, I'll see what else I can find in my stash that will work. I'd like to get it up to at least 42 x 54 for a kid size lap quilt.

The first top, which was taken off the wall in stacks for sewing the rows together, is now at this stage: rows sewn, ready to be pressed so they can be joined together into the top.
Coral BB Rows in Work

So, progress on two BB variations. I'm hoping I can get the coral top finished including borders this week. Then I can figure out what to do about borders for the green version.

Linking up with Patchwork Times, Em's Scrapbag, Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, November 11, 2016

Gracie's November Outfit

I needed a break from organizing kits to hand out to my Piecing Group (Wednesday's post and Monday's post) but with stuff spread out on the design wall and on my worktable, I didn't have room to work with anything large. So, back to doll clothes.

I've kept Gracie's wardrobe sort of seasonal, sundresses in the summer, a jacket in October, etc. Now she needs school clothes for winter. A long sleeve knit dress should do nicely. Special thanks to my friend Jeanne for the knit fabrics for Gracie's clothing, and for the encouragement!

I picked up a FQ of a cute little pink plaid last week, thinking it would make a great pleated skirt. So the dress actually does double duty; here it's a top with the skirt: 

Don't you just love those boots? I went to a craft store looking for faux shearling to make boots, and across the aisle were doll items. For less than the cost of the material I was able to get the boots, so I didn't have to figure out how to make them. And the store had Chucks, too, so cute I couldn't pass them up.

So my November clothing additions for Gracie are finished. One more month - outfit - to go, then I'll give Gracie and her wardrobe to my great-niece for Christmas. 

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Piecing Group: A Bee for Hand Piecing, Socializing, and Desserts

My Piecing Group project is all kitted up and ready for me to hand out in December.
Kits ready to hand out

One of the comments from Monday's post asked why my friends are helping me sew this project. My friend Laura, also a member of Piecing Group, explained:
"Libby, we have a sub-group of our quilt guild called the "Piecing Group." There are 18 members, and each month we meet at a different member's house. One person hands out a block (or, like Jan this time, some section of a quilt to sew) to everyone else, and we generally hand-piece them. The following month, the person who handed out the previous month hosts the group at her house as a sort of "thank you." Refreshments are served. We don't do any actually sewing while we're together - it's just a social time to talk, show off projects, etc. So, once every 18 months you get to have other people help you piece a quilt!"

Usually the project handed out is a block. In the case of my project, we've been working on it in sections for awhile (see Monday's post). The half-rows I'm handing out this time are the equivalent amount of stitching to a block of medium complexity. 

As Laura mentioned, our meetings are social events. We always have show-and-tell, and there's usually something awesome. Sometimes there's a design or a how-to question, and we as a group look at the issue and offer advice to the person who asked. 

The scheduling works out really well: When it's your turn to hand out, you spend time making kits, so you don't host that same month. Instead, you host the following month. That way everyone brings back your finished block to your house so the blocks don't get misplaced elsewhere. And the best part is, you don't have to make kits plus clean up your house for guests & make desserts all in the same month. And by the way, the desserts are a big deal. We have some awesome cooks in the Piecing Group. Me, not so much; Costco to the rescue. 

We have a leader who keeps track of the schedule and the waiting list for new members, and updates the schedule as needed. She gently guides the flow of our meetings, but they need little direction. 

I've been a member since 2000 and I've enjoyed working on a wide variety of projects for my friends. Even though hand stitching is more difficult for me now with the inflammation in my hands, I still enjoy participating and especially getting together with everyone every month. 

I'm ready to hand out on December 6th. Our meetings are on the first Tuesday and we skip January because everyone's so busy during the holidays, so I'll host on Feb. 7, 2017. 

Do you belong to a social bee? Have you found something that works particularly well for you, like our scheduling does for us? 

Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, November 7, 2016

Moving Forward with my Piecing Group Project

I belong to a bee that does hand piecing, and I've been working on the same project for several go-rounds, I think since the mid 2000s. It started with tiny kite-shaped batik pieces, three of which make up a 4" triangle. These tiny pieces will eventually make up a queen size quilt.
Cut pieces, marked for hand piecing. Short side finishes at 1"

The batik triangles are now pieced into rows, interspersed with black triangles. For my previous turn to hand out, back in April 2015, I had the rows on my design wall as I was prepping for the next step, which was to add black pieces to the ends of the rows to create side borders and even out the ends of the rows.
Design Wall April 6, 2015

The border pieces were added, and now it's time to start joining the rows together. Each member of Piecing Group will get a packet with half of one row, and half of the row beneath it, and they'll hand stitch those rows together. In preparation, I'm setting the parts up on the design wall so I can pack up the kits.
Design Wall Nov. 7, 2016

As you can see, it's now wider than my design wall. Up at the ceiling, the top 2 full rows have been sewn together and the third full row is halfway sewn on. Some of the remaining half-rows have been placed on the wall in pairs. Rows 4 & 5, left to center will make one kit, rows 4 & 5 center to right will make another kit, etc. The photo hanging on the wall will be cut into parts for the instructions in the kits.

I'll need 18 kits in all to hand out on Dec. 6, but I'll have more than enough. This will be the last time my Piecing Group friends work on this project, because after this, there will be too few sections to make enough kits to hand out again.

So far every stitch has been sewn by hand, and not EPP. It will be difficult for me to finish this project after I get the completed half-rows back, because I'll have to hand stitch the rest together myself, and my hands are not up to much hand sewing because of the arthritis, etc. I'll just have to take it a little at a time each day. This is definitely a WIVSP - work in very slow progress.

Someday this will be finished, and it will be named "How Many?"  How many batik fabrics? How many little kite shaped pieces, all individually cut and marked for hand piecing? How many triangles? How many hexies? How many people worked on this project? How many go-rounds of Piecing Group? How many years did it take? I have notes in the project basket, so I'll have answers when the time comes.

Do you have a WIVSP? Is yours moving forward, even if very slowly?

Linking up with Patchwork Times and Em's Scrapbag

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Stash Enhancement

OK, I fell off the wagon this week. Big time. But look at all the goodies I scored!!!

A local shop was having their Fat Quarter Frenzy event and a sale on yardage. FQs were $1 each. Yes, that's right, $1 for designer quality quilting fabric FQs. There's some Kaffe Fasset in there, some Carolyn Friedlander, and I don't know what all else. Plus wide backing at 15% off.

I chose a lot of low volume/pale background prints because they're always great stash additions and at this price, I didn't think twice about so much stash enhancement. The pink plaid is for doll clothes - I have a plan for it. The black & white prints are also great stash enhancers. The blues are for QOV blocks. The Kaffe print - 2 pieces - coordinates with a lot of other Kaffe prints in my stash and I love the color combo.

At a different shop I also bought 3/8 yard for binding for my STLMQG Crayon Challenge project, and immediately used it. Since it's a non-favorite Burnt Sienna color, I'm glad to not have extra in my stash.

So, IN this week, 2-1/2 yards wide backing, 6-3/4 yards FQs, and 3/8 yard for binding for a total of 9-5/8 yards added.

OUT this week, 3/8 yards for binding on my challenge project.

Linking up with Patchwork Times and Molli Sparkles

Friday, November 4, 2016

Finished: STLMQG Crayon Challenge Table Runner

Timely, I guess, for the season. Not really my taste and I don't decorate for fall. But I participated in the challenge, I dealt with the colors I drew, and I made something worthwhile out of them.

According to the rules, I could use my crayon colors plus any neutral, and I could add one additional color of my choice. I found a stripey print in my stash that has the Burnt Sienna and Orange in it, and also a darker red-orange, on an ivory ground. So, ivory for my neutral, and red-orange for my additional color. I hope I don't get penalized for using the print, but it does have my colors in it.

The challenge reveal is next Saturday, the 12th. My project is done on time and ready to go.

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