Monday, June 26, 2017

Pin Basting the Tree

I've been procrastinating. My least favorite part of any quilt is crawling around on the floor pin-basting the layers together.

I've particularly been procrastinating over this one because I thought I would Frankenbatt some batting pieces together. But none of my scraps were good sizes that would work without generating even more, less useful scraps. I ended up cutting one piece from my new bolt of nice batting. Then I spent the morning pressing the backing and the top, layering, and pinning. My knees are not happy.

My goal is to get this quilted and finished this week. I can get that done, don't you think?


Link ups: Small Quilts & Doll Quilts, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh Quilt, Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, June 23, 2017

Little Dresses

A couple weeks ago some of the Sew Bee It girls got together for a sew day, and I was reminded that our guild's charity efforts this year are Little Dresses For Africa.  One of the girls was working on hers; she's generously making multiples in cute bright splashy floral prints.

We were encouraged not to use white which would show dirt, so I had to find something in my stash that would be suitable and which I had enough of. I ended up using a coral stripe, a green vine, and a blue marble.

Actually finding something large enough in my stash was a challenge. I didn't want to cut into large lengths of yardage planned for backings, and other than backings I usually collect half-yards or FQs of fabric. The minimum length of the size small (2-4) needs at least 5/8 yard. The medium (6-8) needs at least 3/4 yard. All sizes are supposed to use the full width of fabric.

I had enough of the green to make a Medium, no problem.

But then I got stuck. I had just enough length of the coral and the blue for size small, but I didn't have full width of fabric; I had about 36-38".  But I figured that should be enough girth for a toddler. After all, full width of fabric - 42" - is big enough to go around my bustline, and I'm certainly much larger than any toddler. So 36" in girth should be sufficient for a small child. I labeled the coral and blue dresses size Small Slim in case it matters.

These were fast and easy to make. I found a piece of ecru lace and added some to each dress. A little extra touch of prettiness can't hurt for these children, right?

So today I'm whooping about my Little Dresses and linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Solstice Challenge Blocks

Since late December I've been participating in Pat Sloan's "Solstice Challenge." I've kept up with making a block a week for 25 weeks, although I've modified some of them to suit me. So here we are at the Summer Solstice, and all my blocks are done. Here are all 25, in order.

Some I like much better than others. Some don't play as nicely with the rest as they should due to my value choices. I'm planning a layout that will use 20 of them, so I can omit the ones I like least. I also have one additional block that I could include, made in this palette when I tested some die-cutter dies.

My layout will have sashing to separate the blocks so I don't have to worry about matching up block seams. I like this kind of sashing when the blocks are all different because it kind of unifies them:

I don't have enough of anything in my stash that goes with my palette for the dark sashing strips, so I will have to buy something. I'm hoping I can eke out the light sashing strips from the background fabric I have left. If not, I'll have to figure out plan B. This quilt will finish at 75" x 90".

No deadline and no particular recipient in mind, and I have deadline projects that have to come first, so I'll have to set this project aside and come back to finish it later.

I've enjoyed making one new block a week; I think I'll actually miss having that to look forward to each Wednesday. But I shouldn't start a new BOW project; I have too many WIPS that need attention, not to mention UFOs. I guess I should go work on something on my to-do list....


Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Stash Report 6/18/17

IN so far this month: 0 - and I spent all day last Saturday at a quilt shop!
OUT so far this month: 5-1/2 yards for Batik Spiral flimsy

Moving in the right direction.

Linking up with the new Sunday Stash Report over at Quilt Paint Create

Friday, June 16, 2017

Batik Spiral Flimsy

It just glows! 

Awhile back I was inspired by this photo Wanda of Exuberant Color posted. Thanks, Wanda, for the inspiration!

I made a template, dug into my batik stash, and cut lots of pieces. I used them as leaders & enders while I was working on several projects in March, April, and May. And then they took on a life of their own and I had to finish up all the little units and lay them out. Wow, I am so pleased with the result.

If you start at the center you can see that the lights (or the darks) go around in a spiral, with a couple extra rows at the top and the bottom. This flimsy measures 64" x 84".

I made the template for 4" finished units by drawing a 4" square on template plastic, drawing a diagonal line from the 1" mark at the top to the 3" mark at the bottom, and adding 1/4" seam allowance on all four sides of the resulting shape. To use it with a rotary cutter, I cut six of these pieces, stacked them up, and glued them together with glue stick. With care it's thick enough that you can rotary cut, but you have to be careful not to nick the plastic too much.

I cut 4-1/2" WOF strips from light and dark batiks, opened them all face up (some batiks have a right and a wrong side), stacked about 4 layers of fabric, and cut as many pieces as I could across the row. I didn't keep a record of how many different fabrics I used, but I know they hardly made a dent in my batik stash.

Note: If you try this, mark your template UP and always cut your fabric right side up, otherwise you'll get blocks with the slant going the wrong way. You can rotate the template as you cut, but don't flip it over. You might also want to clip your cut pieces together with a note on them to indicate which side is up, if you're using them as leaders and enders. I made a few where I couldn't tell the right side from the wrong side, sewed them wrong sides together, and they came out backwards.

This flimsy is going to have to go in the "to be quilted" pile for awhile; I have deadline projects that I have to finish first. I don't have a purpose or recipient in mind for this quilt, but I like it so much I may just keep it for myself.

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

Monday, June 12, 2017

Plaid blocks

At the sew day this weekend I was able to finish making all the blocks I need for the flannel plaid project.

I put them up on the wall so I can arrange them. The layout will be five blocks wide by seven blocks long, 60 x 84", and obviously some of the blocks need to be moved so the color placement will be more balanced.

I don't like working with flannel. It's stretchy, it doesn't press very flat, and it sheds lint everywhere. But DH requested a flannel quilt, and some of these plaids are from his old shirts. He'll get his flannel quilt for his b-day in November. Meanwhile there's still a lot of work to do to finish it. And plenty of shirt parts to cobble together a backing.

At our sew day I was also able to join almost all the rows of my batik spiral project. Just three more seams. Maybe it'll be a finished flimsy by Friday.


Linking up with Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh Quilt, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, June 9, 2017

Another Sew Day Tomorrow

Whoo-Hoo! Some of my bee friends are getting together tomorrow for a new day. Fun!

I'll be able to continue working on my flannel plaid project.

And I have the rows of my batik spiral project numbered and pressed and ready to join together. Here's how they looked on the wall earlier:

These projects should keep me busy!

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, June 5, 2017

Fun Weekend at Camp

I had such a good time at camp with my friend Chrissy & her sister this weekend. Thanks, Chrissy!

I got all the HSTs sewn and 16 blocks of my flannel plaid project made. This will be a birthday gift for my husband, due in November.

I got bored making flannel blocks, so I pulled out the other project I brought along, my original Log Cabin Triangles blocks. Last year at camp Chrissy & I tried out various layouts, which you can see in this post (scroll down). Then I put the original LCTs aside to work on the Quilt of Valor ones with Gwen (here) and the ones for Alycia (here). So it's high time I got back to the original LCTs and set them together.

Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera and just snapped a couple of badly focused phone pics. Here are Chrissy and Karen with my top.

I'm undecided what to do with it from this point. It currently measures 54" x 63", not really a very usable size. There isn't any more left of these two periwinkle blue prints and two magenta prints.
I have several options - let me know what you think.

  1. Finish it as is for a smallish lap quilt. 
  2. To make it larger, find something that could work for a narrow stop border, then cut more of the low volume prints - I have plenty - for a piano keys border. More low volume logs would continue the theme to the edges.
  3. Find a bold print for a border to make it larger. 
Do you have a suggestion?
Today I need to unpack and get caught up on household stuff, so I may not get any sewing done, we'll see.
Meanwhile, check out what everyone else is working on at these link-ups:
Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh Quilt, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Sunday, June 4, 2017

May Stash Report and Goals Recap

When the end of the month falls in the middle of the week, it's hard to know whether to post before the last of the month or wait until the following weekend. I decided to wait, on the off chance I might actually accomplish something during the last few days. So here's my May recap:

Stash Report:
May IN: 0 - Yes, really! 😊
May OUT: 9-1/4 yards (Christmas Tree flimsy - 3-3/4 yds;  backing for tree - 2-3/4 yds;  x and + blocks - 1-1/8 yds;  mosaic slab block - 3/8 yd; binding for Alaska quilt - 3/4 yd;  binding for Cherie's boomerang patches quilt - 1/2yd)

YTD IN: 62 yards
YTD OUT: 63-5/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 1-5/8 yards OUT

Whoo-hoo, I'm back in the black, even after indulging in stash enhancement in Paducah last month. These bonus blocks helped a little:

Goals Update:

May recap: 
1. Resolve label for Alaska quilt and get Alaska quilt labeled and bound. DONE
2. Piece top for Christmas Tree project for 12 Days of Christmas in July. DONE. Also got the backing pieced. 
3. Write & post Snake Quilt tutorial. Drafted but not posted.
4. Bind Cherie's quilt from the boomerang patches. DONE.
5. If back from the long armer, bind KBFG. Not back from the long armer. She has it started but cannot finish it for awhile due to upcoming hip replacement surgery. 
6. Work on WIVSP hand piecing project. Not touched.
7. Keep up with Solstice Challenge and bee blocks. DONE. Also made 3  x and +  bonus blocks for a friend's special project. 

Other: 1) Cut and kitted flannel plaid project to piece at camp and sew days.
           2) Advanced batik leaders & enders to a design on the wall, now partially sewn into rows.
Flannel Plaid project, cut and ready to sew blocks

Batik leader/ender project on design wall

Alaska quilt for SIL to give as wedding gift

Christmas tree wall hanging top and backing

Solstice Challenge blocks, most recent photo through about week 20

June Goals: 
1. Finish batik leader/ender project to a flimsy.
2. Make blocks for flannel plaid project.
3. Layer, quilt, and bind Christmas tree project and begin stitching hanger loops.
4. Work on WIVSP hand piecing project.
5. Plan what to do with Solstice Challenge blocks.
6. Keep up with bee blocks and BOMs.


Linking up with the new Stash Report over at Quilt Paint Create.
Judy L at Patchwork Times has retired from hosting the Stash Report, but since it helps keep me accountable, I'm still going to keep track of my stash.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Whoo-hoo! Camp Weekend!

My friend Chrissy has invited me and a couple others to a private retreat at GS camp while she works as the camp supervisor this weekend. Thanks, Chrissy! 

Tools and equipment are all packed up and ready to go. 

Several projects are all kitted up, including my LQS BOM which meets tomorrow morning, my flannel plaid project, and a UFO that was put on hold last summer.

Let's see how much I can accomplish. Of course, much of the fun of camp is just hanging out and gabbing all weekend. So whether I accomplish much or not really doesn't matter.

Speaking of accomplishments, the blocks of my batik spiral project are almost all sewn into rows. Three more seams are needed for each row to be complete: the center and the quarters of each row. Here's the upper 3/4 of it on the wall:

So far the width has shrunk 6" with another 1-1/2" to go, for a finished flimsy width of 64".  The length is still ceiling to floor, but it will shrink to 84" when the row seams are sewn.

I am not taking this project to camp because it would be too easy to get the pieces out of place or turned in the wrong direction. This one is better off left on the big wall at home, and I have plenty of smaller projects packed that'll keep me busy.

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.