UFO’s: July Finished and August To Do

Last weekend I stitched down the appliqued hearts and binding on this Tossed Hearts wall hanging, the second of my July UFO’s to finish.

Tossed Hearts

It looked kind of boring but I didn’t want to spend much more time on it so I sewed buttons on the hearts.

Tossed Hearts with Buttons

That helped some, but I should have placed a little contrasting square of fabric behind the buttons.  Oh well, it would just take a few more minutes to re-do it, but for now, I’m calling it finished.  Maybe next Valentine’s Day I’ll be more ambitious about it.

So with July’s two UFO’s finished, I drew numbers for the August projects.  The first is this cute little pink elephants baby quilt.  Years ago, I used the top for a demonstration on tying quilts so it has been tied.  All along, I thought I would cut off the ties and quilt it so that’s what I plan to do this month.

Pink Elephants

That is the sweetest little Hoffman elephant print so hopefully it will make some little girl happy when it’s finished.

The second number corresponded to this little wool table mat.

Wool snowman

All the hand stitching is done and I think it’s supposed to have tongues around the edge, but the pattern is no longer with the project so I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be finished. I think it was an All Through the Night (Bonnie Sullivan) pattern but it doesn’t show up on her website.  I don’t want to dig for the pattern and a Google search doesn’t turn up anything similar when I looked for “wool snowman with flag.”    Honestly, wool applique is just not my thing.  I admire it, but don’t want to do it and am out of places to display things like this.  Plus, this design is conflicted—is it for winter or 4th of July?  I’ll give it a bit more thought as to how I might finish it without the tongues, but my gut instinct is to just pitch it and move on to something I want to make.

DWM and August OMG: Granny Square Borders

After the center was pieced on my Granny Squares top, I decided to piece the borders with the million or so leftover squares.  I KNOW this is the type of project that I will procrastinate on—calculating how many units for length, making inner coping borders, figuring out the corners—so I’m making it my OMG, One Monthly Goal.  I like this quilt too much to set it aside, but much of the remaining piecing will be mindless sewing and I won’t worry about the “how to quilt it” bridge until I get there later in the month.

Granny Square OMG

Be sure to check out other inspiring design wall projects at Patchwork Times and see what others are hoping to accomplish with their OMGs at Red Letter Quilts.

2016 Week 30 Stash Report

Not much sewing going on here this past week, but a spur of the moment trip “up north” to Minocqua, WI to visit some friends gave me some binding time in the car so I finished a couple of quilts.

The first one was the Rainbow Chevron quilt.  It’s not very big at 39” x 47” but is a good toddler or tummy time quilt.

Rainbow Chevron-1

The second quilt was one of my UFO selections for July and I am thrilled to have it finished.  I’m guessing it is at least ten years old because it was a Strip Club project back when I had the quilt shop.  The pattern is Color Falls by Cozy Quilt Designs.  I added the piano key border from the leftover fabric. 

Color Falls front

This project has been sitting for such a long time because I started quilting it before I had my longarm and didn’t want to finish it on my domestic sewing machine.  In the end, it worked out fine to just load it on the frame and finish it up. Unfortunately, I had started quilting small meandering in the background blocks.  It would have looked so much better with some feathers or fancier quilting, but back then I wasn’t confident enough to try it.  Oh, well.  It’s finished now and looks fine.

Color Falls Border

I just have about 10 more minutes of stitching on the second July UFO and it will also be finished—in July!  So far, I’ve been able to keep up with two UFO finishes a month.  If I don’t add any more, they will all be finished in about 60 years. Haha!

Week 30 Stash Report:
Purchased this week: 3 yards
Purchased YTD: 86 yards
Used since last report: 12.25
Used YTD: 132.62
Net Out of Stash: 46.62

I’m hoping to finish at least two more projects this week so that will make the overall numbers even better! 

Check out other stash reports at Patchwork Times.

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):

Volunteers-finish

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.

Volunteers-back

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.

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