A Valentine’s Day Finish

A couple of years ago I bought a fat quarter pack of Valentine’s Day fabric.  I’m not sure how many pieces were in the group, maybe 15-20, but it’s taken me forever to use them up.  I think 3 quilts came out of that pack and this is the last of it.  Just a simple sashed checkerboard strippie.

checkerboard valentine

It was a beautiful day here yesterday and as you can see, our snow is almost gone.  Very unusual for February, but I’ll gladly take it.  It was so nice to take a walk outside and get some fresh air. 

It’s only a week now before I head down to Savannah for QuiltCon—SO excited! Savannah is already one of my favorite places to visit.  Strolling through the squares and seeing all the beautiful homes and gardens is a walker’s dream.  With all the great restaurants we’ll have to do lots of walking!  Oh my.  The quilt show is just icing on the cake!

DWM: Lollies

This week I am hoping to spend a lot of time sewing.  It is the first week since I can remember that there is NOTHING on the calendar.  So this morning I got up early and starting piecing a new quilt.  This is Lollies by Thimble Blossoms.  Awhile back I came across a layer cake of Chance of Flowers and wasn’t sure what to do with it.  This may not have been a good choice because there are several lighter fabrics in the line and I’m not sure they will work with all the light background.  So far, I have six of 30 blocks pieced so I’ll wait until they are complete before I think about coming up with a Plan B. The centers are the same color as the star points, but in the picture they look different.  Must be size and/or pressing technique, but I think they will all look the same once it is layered up with batting and quilted.

It’s nice to have a bigger project with some mindless sewing.  Just what I need right now!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times. Check out the links here to get a dose of quilty inspiration.

Busting the Cat Nap’n Stash

In my stash there is a LOT of this fabric called Cat Nap’n—we’re talking probably 50 yards or more. It’s kind of goofy looking, but the colors are bright and cheerful.

catnapn fabric

As I found out with my 40 yard dash project a couple of years ago, it takes a lot of sewing to use up that much fabric.  I acquired all of this in a round about way and am sick of it taking up shelf space.  I haven’t been inspired to use it, but in my quest to reduce my stash by half, it is past time to jump into action and get it out of here.

First of all, I picked a couple of quick patterns, Quick Strippie from MaryQuilts.com and  perennial easy favorite, Yellow Brick Road by Atkinson Designs. I had to buy a little bit of solid looking coordinates to make it all work (I know, crazy to put money into this!), but once there was enough variety, I started cutting; six of each quilt.  They should average close to 4 yards a piece so that would get rid of 48 yards.  Once those are finished, I’ll see what’s left and either make more or donate the rest of the fabric.  I’m sure I’ll be tired of looking at it by then. 

Right now, two Quick Strippies are pieced, one is on the frame and the other ready to load.  The blocks are made for all six Yellow Brick Roads and two that look like this are pieced.

catnapn YBR

My goal is to have these four finished by next Monday.  They aren’t big so I can finish one pretty quickly.  So far, it’s been an easy, fun project and will be so nice to empty some shelf space.

Linked to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.  Click on the links there to see some great projects in progress.

Friday Finish: Puss in the Corner Baby Quilt

This was such an easy quilt to make, but once I finished the top, it took forever to find time to quilt it.  Happy to say, it is now FINISHED!! 

Puss in the Corner baby quilt

I used soft, time-worn colors to emulate the vintage quilt I saw on Ebay that was my inspiration.  The background is Moda’s Bella solid in butter.  I’m obsessed with this color right now and want to make it the background of every quilt I

The quilting is randomly spaced straight lines.  If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have quilted it so heavily—it’s kind of stiff. The back is a solid gray flannel so that should help soften it up after washing.

puss in the corner closeup

When I posted this in progress a couple of months ago, I got some requests for the pattern so I wrote up brief instructions that may be found here.

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I Get a Whoop-Whoop”.  Click here to see what other quilters are cheering about.

UFO Update: Christmas Stars

While searching for UFO parts, I came across another one—Christmas Stars.  This was a very pretty block of the month, block of the week or some other series quilt we kitted at the shop.  The finished quilts I’ve seen from these blocks were very pretty.  Mine was abandoned more as a kit than a UFO because the only thing done on it was a little cutting.  All 12 block kits were in the bag so it looked like a project that could easily move forward.

We weren’t home very much of the weekend, but I managed to get four of the blocks mostly pieced.  I say mostly because the blocks can be set together with all four quadrants the same, like this:

christmas stars-same

or in a scrappier manner with each of the four quadrants different, like this.

christmas stars-scrappy

The scrappy version will take a bit more effort to lay out to make sure like fabrics don’t touch and colors and prints are balanced throughout, but I will probably like it better.  Luckily, the decision can wait until all twelve blocks are pieced and I can just mindlessly sew them together right now.  Unfortunately, I got a little too mindless about it and sewed some blocks wrong and had to do some reverse sewing.  I’m back on track now and am happy to finally have a UFO that is showing some progress.

Linking up today with:
Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward at Em’s Scrapbag
Main Crust Monday at Cooking Up Quilts


2017 Rainbow Scrappy Challenge

For a couple of years I’ve seen many beautiful quilts made for the Rainbow Scrappy challenge at So Scrappy.  Then I saw the wrap up post for 2016 with the “show and tell” of quilts made last year (click here to see it).  There were so many gorgeous projects, I just had to jump in this year. 

Many years ago, long before Moda jelly rolls, Debbie Caffrey was teaching “worm” classes using 2-1/2” strips.  After taking a couple of these classes, I saw the endless possibilities of strips so I started 2-1/2” strips off all my leftover fabrics.  Debbie recommended using mailing boxes to store the strips (they are the perfect size) and I’ve collected dozens of boxes of strips. It’s time to move out some of these boxes so I had to figure out a quilt to use these strips.  Each box holds about 120 strips so I’ll be able to participate in the RSC for years to come.

strip box

Or so I thought. January’s color is purple.  I need four strips for each block and plan to make three blocks each of eight colors and one additional block somewhere along the way. I pulled out my purple box and found only a handful of strips.  In fact, I pulled ALL of my purple stash and this is what I have.  Guess I haven’t made many purple quilts.

purple stash

I found two sets of four strips but couldn’t come up with the third so I hit up my neighbor’s stash for a little more variety. Then I found a couple more strips in a scrap bin so now there is enough for all three blocks.

Lots and lots of half square triangles.

RSC-hst

And here is the first block finished. 

RSC-purple 1

I really like the teal and it will be a constant in all the blocks.  I have a few different teals so will mix that up a bit.

Of course, everyone knows that scraps are like sourdough starter and when you use them they make more, so I have a plans for a different block using the leftovers!  I’m linking up with Ramona at So Scrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday. If you want to know more about the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge or want to join in, the details can be found here.

Friday Finish: Jen’s Walk About Quilt

The quilt my daughter Jen made at our November retreat is finished and ready to deliver to her tomorrow.  There is no snow in the forecast and it is supposed to be unseasonably warm so Jim and I are driving over to see her.  We had the hardest time finding fabric for this quilt.  It is almost impossible to find florals in darker colors and she really had her heart set on navy (a girl after her mama’s heart—I’m obsessed with navy and coral). I checked all the shops in the Fox Valley area, she checked La Crosse and we both looked online to no avail.  What happened to all those great Hoffman florals?  In the end we found this Cotton + Steel rayon. The pattern is Walk About by Grizzly Gulch.

Jens quilt-2

I sure wish RJR had printed this in quilting weight cotton, but they didn’t.  I’ve never used rayon in a quilt before, but it worked okay.  It is a lighter weight fabric, but really not too stretchy.  She was just cutting big squares of it so that helped.  I hope it wears well, but it is for her guest bed so I don’t think she will be washing it frequently.

Jens quilt1

The fabric is pretty busy so the quilting shows up better on the back than the front. The back is actually navy flannel.

Jens quilt-back

Jen hasn’t done very much quilting but she did a nice job on this.  It will be very pretty on her bed!

Linking up today with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday.”  Take a look and see other projects that quilters are cheering about this week!

Dealing with January UFOs

There is a laundry basket beside my sewing table that holds about 30 UFOs.  Last year I numbered them and drew two numbers each month and tried to complete them during the month.  It worked pretty well and I finished quite a few projects.  During my annual cleaning I pulled a number of additional UFOs and added them to the depleted basket, wrote up a new list of numbers and pulled out two for January.

The projects this month have just been overwhelming and frustrating.  The first number was a Kansas Trouble charm pack project.   It was abandoned because of this:

UFO-1

The border is too short.  When I realized I didn’t have enough fabric, I re-measured and checked my receipt.  Sure enough, it was 1/4 yard less than what I had asked (and paid) for.  I bought it on an out of town trip so wasn’t worth it to go back and get the right amount.

I don’t like to piece outer borders but I will have to on this one….when I find the fabric again.  That’s right, I can find THREE border strips and that’s it.  The fourth border strip and remaining hunk of fabric has gone MIA.  I searched all the logical places it could be hiding, but so far haven’t found it.  This one goes back in the pile until the fabric shows up.  If I get down to my very last UFO and it still hasn’t appeared, I have a substitute fabric, but it’s not quite as good as the original.

The second number drawn was Folk Art Fancies.  I didn’t even remember what that was, but once I found it, realized it would be more than a one month project.  It was a block of the month and ONE block was finished.  I pulled out the picture and pattern sheets and decided the one block would become a Halloween pillow.  I’m just not into folk art like I once was and calendar projects like this strike a little discord in me.  When do you display them?  I don’t really want to see a Christmas block in July.  Only background and a few other fabrics were in the bag so those went to stash and scraps.

UFO-2

With the first project on hold and the second an easy finish, I pulled another number.  This was a table runner kit and the bag contained the pattern and fabric cut for the runner, along with scraps from a previous table runner I made from the same pattern.  This was another easy decision.  I don’t need another Christmas table runner so all the fabric went into the scrap bin.  With 83 years worth of UFOs (see my 2016 year end review post here), I can be selective about the projects I work on. 

UFO-3

So, onto the next number.  It is a braid project I started two or three years ago.  It will be a donation quilt and I have four braids complete.  After auditioning a number of fabrics, I found a pea soup colored green stripe that works well.  Naively, I thought I could just sew sashing strips between the four pieced braids and call it good.  But nooooo, I decided the braids should go in opposite directions so in order to have symmetry, I need another braid.  I KNOW I cut enough pieces to make about 10 braids, but again, can’t locate the box they are in.  This is what happens when I clean my sewing room and move things around.  I can picture the box with all the little strips neatly stacked inside, but have no idea where the box could be.  So frustrating!

UFO-4

It would be much easier and so soothing to just pull out some fabrics and start a new project, but I won’t.  I’m going down to my sewing room, load a top on the frame and quilt for awhile.  Then I’ll cross my fingers and draw a new number.

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