2016 Week 29 Stash Report

Just one week left in July and I still haven’t finished either of my UFO’s for the month.  One is on the frame right now and the quilting should be finished today.  There isn’t much left to do on the other so I still may be able to complete both this month.

What I did finish were two Rainbow Rails baby quilts.  These are also from the set of Pop Parade fat quarters.  I still have a bunch from this collection and I’m cutting them up today to make a couple more small donation quilts then I’ll be done with that.  The next group of fabric to get rid of will be some bright kid’s stuff with cartoon looking cats.  That pile looks like it has a hundred yards in it so I might be making dozens of cat quilts!!  I know for sure they will be quick and easy ones.

Rainbow Rails #1:

Rainbow Rails-1

Simply quilted with overall freehand loops.

Rainbow Rails-1 quilting

And Rainbow Rails #2

Rainbow Rails-2

Quilted with alternating switchbacks.

Rainbow Rails-2 quilting

By far, my biggest accomplishment this week was finishing the Winding Ways blocks.  I think making that quilt is out of my system now.  These were really tedious and I’m hoping to get them up on the design wall and figure out a pleasing setting so I can piece it together and get this quilt FINISHED.

Here are my numbers for stash usage:
Purchased since last report: 0 yards
Purchased YTD: 83 yards
Used since last report: 15.37 yards
Used YTD: 120.37 yards
Net Out of Stash: 37.37 yards

I’m happy with any number in the black!  Check out other stash reports with the links at Patchwork Times. 

Thread Dilemma Solved

In the little time I’ve had for sewing this month, my focus has been on quilting.  My goal is to have lots of binding to hand stitch during the Olympics.  The rainbow ribbon chevron top kept getting moved down the pile because I could not decide how to quilt it. 

Thread color always throws me for a loop when there is such a strong contrast in the blocks.  I knew I didn’t want to change thread for each color nor have that many stops and starts in the black and white blocks, so I’ve been procrastinating on this one, trying to come up with a compromise.

rainbow ribbon chevron quilting prep

The solution was so simple—variegated thread!!

rainbow chevron quilting close-up

It worked great on everything; black, white AND prints so no thread changes at all!  Now that the thread dilemma is resolved, the quilting on this one will very soon be finished and moved down the line into the binding pile.

Framed Squares Quilt Finished

I finally had a chance to finish the binding on this quilt.  It is a simple framed squares pattern made from a matching jelly roll and charm pack of Moda’s Social Club fabric. 

social club framed squares

The quilting is a quick and easy pantograph called Mexican Carpet by Dawna Sanders.

social club quilting

I was working on the binding last week when my small group got together and they asked for the cutting dimensions on the blocks so here they are.  You will end up with a 10” finished block.  My quilt has 42 blocks, set 6 x 7.  Unfortunately, charm packs have 42 squares and jelly rolls have 40 strips.  If you want to make 42 blocks, you will have to purchase an additional 1/4 yard of fabric in order to have enough to cut the framing strips for two more blocks.  You will need about 1-1/4 yards of fabric for the inner frame (my white) and 5/8 yard for binding (plus 1/4 yard if you’re making 42 blocks). Piecing is simple log cabin style courthouse steps–sew sides, then top and bottom for each round.

social club cutting

This is just a fun, easy project when you’re looking for something that doesn’t require much thinking.  It also looks great made from scraps!!

DWM: Granny Squares

Recently, I’ve seen many pictures and tutorial of granny square quilts.  It seemed like a good project for a jelly roll so I started on of my own.  Ten years ago I never would have thought I would use solid fabrics or white backgrounds in my quilts.  In the past two or three years I’ve used several bolts of white or near white solid fabric.  I’m a little tired of that look, so I decided to change it up a bit and used a Moda Bella solid called Peacock for the background.

Granny blocks

I think it works particularly well with this Hello Darling jelly roll.  The blocks are a little putzy but I think it will be a fun project. 

Just in time for the holiday I finally finished the binding (probably took less than an hour once I got to it) on this little patriotic wall hanging.

patriotic hexie

Hope everyone in the USA has a happy, safe Independence Day!

Click this link to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times so you can take a look at other fun projects.

2016 Week 26 Stash Report and Mid-Year Review

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated my Stash Report spreadsheet.  Since we just passed the mid-point for 2016 it seems appropriate to review my accomplishments so far this year along with stash usage.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve started 18 quilts.  Of those, seven are completed.  Two more just need to have the binding hand stitched.  Five are queued up for quilting in the next week or so.  All the blocks are complete on another project and I’m almost finished sewing the Winding Ways blocks.  It was my June goal to finish those blocks, but it didn’t happen.  I think there are still ten to go and they are way more time consuming that I thought they would be.  Another work-in-progress, a quilt called Show Biz, has been temporarily abandoned and the remaining two are longer term leader-ender type projects that probably won’t be finished this year.

I’ve found it really helps me stay on track (and not lose track of projects) if I list them.  I use a simple list in One Note that can be accessed from any device.  I have other One Note lists of completed quilts and ideas for new projects.  Guess which one is the longest?

Since the first of the year, I’ve completed 16 quilts, nine of which were UFO’s.  So far, it is working to pick two UFO’s each month and work on completing them.  I started this in March and had a bonus finish in May.  If I can keep it up I would finish 21 old projects this year and would be very happy with that progress.

Here are my numbers for stash usage:
Purchased since last report: 11 yards
Purchased YTD: 83 yards
Used since last report: 135 yards
Used YTD: 105 yards
Net Out of Stash: 22 yards

22 yards would probably fit in a grocery bag.  At that rate, it’s only a loss of a couple  bags a year and for sure I would be in a state of SABLE (stash accumulation beyond life expectancy).  I’m not happy with that progress so I guess it’s time to concentrate on stash usage!

Here are the quilts I finished this week (the sun was too bright when I took these so the photos are terrible of this one):


This is an old (OLD!) UFO.  The pattern is one from American Quilt Retailer that we gave away in the shop and is called Volunteers.  It is simply made by sewing various width strips together and appliquéing a few flowers on top.  The back is pieced the same way.


I also finished Sideways and Byways (a pattern by This and That).

Sideways and Byways-Finish

Here is a close-up of the quilting:

Sideways and Byways-closeup

I liked the way this one turned out.  It is a good donation size and a great stashbuster so I’ll probably make another one.  I also like that it is easy to piece, but not monotonous.

Overall, it hasn’t been my most productive year, but all the numbers are moving in the right direction so that’s a good thing!  Check out other stash reports at Patchwork Times.

A Little Sewing, A Little Paddling

It was a gorgeous day so Jim and I decided to take the kayaks out for the first time this season.  I try to get some sewing time in each day so I got up early and wrapped up a couple of things before we left. 

First I cut backing and binding for the three rainbow quilts.  All of these are small so it shouldn’t take much time at all to get them quilted.

Rainbow quilts-backs

After that came machine sewing the binding to this little patriotic hexie wall hanging

Patriotic hexie binding

and the Social Club lap quilt.

Binding Social Club

Finally, I finished quilting the Ombre Flying Geese quilt.  I’ve been dragging my feet on this for close to a week so it was nice to finish it up and get it off the frame.

Quilting Ombre Geese

With my work complete for the day, it was time for a little relaxation on the Crystal River.

Kayaking Crystal River

This was the first time we had been on this river and it was quite nice.  There were a couple of spots where it was very shallow and we had to get out and drag the kayaks to deeper water and a few low-hanging branches but we had a good time and saw some pretty scenery.

Water lily Crystal River

This little guy was just sitting on the bank watching us paddle by.

Fawn Crystal River

It’s always nice to have a productive AND fun day!

One More Old Favorite Finished

Blue and yellow quilts are always a favorite.  Combine that with a traditional nine-patch and you get a classic beauty.  This is one I’ve had in the binding pile for awhile and finally finished it on the drive home from Kansas City. 

blue yellow nines

The quilting is simply straight lines through the yellow blocks and continuous curves in the blue squares.

blue yellow nines close up

I don’t remember whether or not this was a published pattern.  When I had the quilt shop we ran a series of classes based on Marti Michell’s book 101 Nine Patch Quilts.  I suspect this quilt is from one of those classes.  It is simply made of two different nine patch blocks. 

blue yellow nines block

The two blues are constant colors and all the yellows are scrappy.  The blocks are set on point.  It is a super easy quilt and a great way to use up 2-1/2” squares.

The Trip That Was, Then Wasn’t, Then Was Again

Jim and I planned to meet his sister and her husband in New England this week. We were to catch a very early flight to Boston out of Chicago so were staying near the airport the night before. The minute we carried our bags into the room my phone rang. It was our son asking if we had talked to our neighbors because they had called him saying the big tree in the front of our house had split down the middle and was in danger of crashing through the house.

We then called the neighbor who said he tied it up to try to stabilize it and he even offered to meet with the tree people and coordinate the removal/repair so we wouldn’t have to cancel our trip. We couldn’t do anything about it that night so we tried to sleep, then got up at 3:30. Jim asked if I minded cancelling the trip. I said no, so we threw on our clothes and drove back home.

By the time we got there the arborist returned our call from the night before and said he would be right over. Unfortunately, he confirmed what we suspected. The tree could not be saved. We were heartbroken, but called the removal service. While Jim was dealing with the tree guys, I was cancelling all our reservations. To our surprise we found out they could remove the tree immediately.

What took 27 years to grow,


came down in less than an hour.



Now you can see the front of the house again.


Honestly, we were sad to lose the tree but had been thinking it was getting so big you could hardly see the front of the house. The remedy was more drastic than we would have liked but it was out of our control.

By 11 AM it was all over and Jim came inside and asked if I thought we could re-book the trip.  I spent a little time on both the computer and phone and 24 hours later we were having chowder at The Maine Diner!


We followed that up with a beautiful walk along the Marginal Way in Ogunquit.

And a sunset stroll on the beach.


Ahhhh…life is good.


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