Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Celebration Time!

 What a wonderful weekend!  We celebrated the birth of my newest grand daughter just before midnight on Friday - we are so thankful for our beautiful Juliette!

She is soo tiny and perfect and we are of course in love with her!

Then on Sunday, my Grandma turned 100!  I couldn't be there to celebrate, but she had a fun party anyway. 

So, two very special Birth-days!!!

Live is good, right?  I am richly blessed, indeed, and very thankful for my wonderful family!  And here's a lovely sunset just because...

Back tomorrow with more quilting fun!

Wednesday, October 07, 2020


 I've been doing my best to stay busy this week - we are so excited about the new grand daughter that will be arriving soon that it's really hard to focus and accomplish anything!  I've been fluttering from project to project, plus trying to do some house cleaning, since two of the girls are planning to be here this weekend.  Every once in a while I have to stop myself and just breath a bit.  

I do have my blocks finished for the Metro Rings quilt and spent this afternoon trimming them up.  That pile of trimmings look like a little haystack, doesn't it?  No needles inside!  I'm going to save those to stuff a cat mat.  Mr Scamper really likes the one made for him last week and I am happy not to be throwing all the fabric bits into the garbage!

I also got this sample quilted for Threads That Bind.  It's just a fun piece of yardage bordered with some black and white stripes that look like roads.  I had a good time quilting around the various motifs in the fabric, however I'm not thrilled with how crooked it hangs!  Not sure if more quilting would help it or not, but it's done for now.  It's meant to be a playmat so I think a little crookedness won't matter too much!
We got these new fabrics in at the shop today, and I was sorely tempted to bring some home with me!  I resisited...for now!  These are from Hoffman.  I'll be thinking about something to make useing these for sure.

Remember my Round Trip Duffle Bag?  I did use it this weekend on our trip, and it was great!  I especially like that mesh pocket inside, it was perfect to pack all those small items that end up in the bottom of my bag, like socks!  I didn't use the shoulder strap, but that would be great for when you need to carry a lot of items so you can free up your hands.  I liked that I could detach it and place it in a pocket to keep it out of my way.

And I did not forget (totally) the giveaway I promised!  I had 34 comments, and the random number generator gave me number 16 for the winner - Kathy, I am sending you an e-mail so you can give me your address and I'll send you a package of fabric from the Peacock Galore Line.  Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments on the bag, I loved making it and I'm sure I will get a lot of good use out of it.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Goals and Plans for October

 This month will be an interesting one, with a new grand baby arriving very soon!  I have lots of plans and number one is my One Monthly Goal Project, which will be to finish my Metro Rings quilt using the Quick Curve Ruler.  This one started off as a possible shop sample, but I ended up not getting it made - just the strips were sewn.

Turns out that I don't have enough background for the full quilt in the pattern, so I'll just make blocks until I run out and figure out what size it's going to be at that point.  This quilt will be pieced, quilted and bound by the end of the month!

I'll be creating something lovely for my Island Batik Ambassador program!  We are featuring thread painting with Aurifil Thread along with current collections.  I'm excited, and have a plan brewing...but I need to get busy and execute it!

This week I'll be making a simple baby quilt for that new grand-daughter that will be born soon!  I have three pink and grey prints that I'll be piecing in a simple pattern, then I am going to back with some Shannon Cuddle in baby pink for the backing.  It will be super cute and cuddly!

I have a few quilt repairs to work on for customers, a wedding gown to take in, and a couple bridesmaids dresses to work on.  Plus whatever random projects crop up!  I also have a secret sewing project  in my favorite color scheme - blue and white to get started.  You might not hear much about that, but come spring, you are going to love seeing what I've been working on.  

I'm also hoping to maybe work on a new scrappy project.  Haven't decided for sure yet, and I'll have to see how the rest of my list goes, but I just downloaded Cynthia Brunz's first Scrap Mixology module and am really excited to make a quilt using it!  If I don't start it, I will at least start organizing my scraps so I can be ready to do some sewing when I do have time to get started.

Then there's the on going Dear Jane, the Secialites Quilt Along, and continuing to organize my sewing room a bit more.  I am definitely making progress, but I do keep unearthing half done projects!  Yikes! 

What's on your plate this month?  You should set a goal and play along with the rest of us - it's easy and fun, plus there are prizes!  Thanks to Patty for hosting this!

Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal October Link-up

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Stepping Stones Sampler Lessons 9 and 10 - Cornerstones and squaring up your blocks

 Now that your blocks are all done, it's time to get the cornerstones pieced and ready to go.  You actually have three options for this step.  You can do solid cornerstones, and just cut sixteen squares of your sashing fabric.  You can make nine patch cornerstones, which are fun, and what I did with my Enchanted Forest quilt.  Or you can make snowball blocks - I did these for my version with the cats in the sewing room fabric.

For my nine patch blocks I used three fabrics, placing the green in the center of the nine patch.  I thought it was a neat way to make this quilt just a little different.  

These little nine patch units are super easy to piece using strip piecing.  You will make three sets of strips, the top middle and bottom. For a regular nine patch, you will just use one color of strip and the backround. 

Place your center strip and upper strip right sides together, lining up the seams and edges.  

Cut enough strips for all of your ning patch cornerstones, keeping the pairs together.  Sew, matching seams and press toward the upper strip.

Cut the remaining strips for the lower side of the block.  

Sew to comeplete nine patch cornerstones and press seams toward outside of blocks.

If you want to make snowball blocks for your cornerstones, start with solid squares.  Cut four background squares for each cornerstone block.  Draw a diagonal line on the back of each background square.

Place right sides together on the corner of the block and sew on the drawn line.

Each of the four corners will get a square sewn to it.

Trim 1/4 inch from the seams.

Press corners out to complete the snowball units.

The second part of this lesson is to prepare the finished blocks for sewing together and cutting the sashing strips.

Use a 12 1/2 inch ruler to check your blocks for size.  If you've been accurate in sewing and cutting they should measure 12 1/2 inches.  If your blocks are not all 12 1/2 inches you might need to do some adjusting.  The goal is to make sure that all your blocks are the same size.  If most of your blocks are 12 1/2, but four of them measure 12 inches you will want to figure out how to adjust those smaller blocks.  Sometimes you can repress your block to make sure it is the right size.  Another option for dealing with a small block is adding border strips to bring it up to size.  If your block is too big, you might need to trim it a bit, but often this results in points being cut off.  Of course, you want the best look for your blocks, but in the end this is your quilt, and you get to decide!  You will definitely be happier if all of your blocks are the same size when we assemble the quilt top next month.

Last but not least, follow instructions for cutting your sashing strips!  Make sure you cut them to the size of your blocks if your blocks are not 12 1/2 inches, and you will be set for putting your top together next month!  
Download Lessons 9 & 10

See you next month and we'll get the top sewn together!

September PHD in 2020 project report

 September was a bit of a chaotic month, but I'm proud to say that I did finish my UFO challenge for the ninth month in a row (for a total of 13 UFO's for the year so far!)  Seashell Beach was September's project.

I finished a project I started in August - which was a Halloween sample for the quilt shop:
I also worked on another UFO from a prior year (this doesn't count as starting a new project, right?)
Celtic Solstice just needs the borders and quilting:

I did start one new project - Reflections using a William's Garden Strip pack from Island Batik.  Naional Sew a Jelly Roll day got to me!

I also did more hand quiting on my third June Mini Madness quilt.  I think I'll add the binding and decide if I really want to quilt some more on it or not.

Dear Jane is coming along!  I just have 3 more triangles to sew and I'll have my second side done...I am working hard at keeping myself motivated on this one and not getting too sidetracked!  Oh - someone asked the block size on these, they are 4 1/2 inches finished.  The triangles are 5 x 8 inches.  
No quilt for Island Batik this month because our challenge was to make a bag from Patterns ByAnnie!  Mine was the Round Trip Duffle.  I'm packing it up for a weekend excursion and will let you know how I liked it for my trip next week :)
My lovely Mums are starting to fade already...but they sure made for a pretty picture!

Oh I also started the Sewcialites Quilt along, but don't have to worry about finishing that for my PHD in 2020 since this Quilt Along won't finish till next year!  But I love it, so will share it with you again.

So all in all a good month with lots of progress!  I'm starting to think about projects for next year, and feel like I've hit a good stride between finishing things that have been on the back burner and starting new things that excite me.  I think that, at least for me I need both.  I want to be accountable to finish what I start, but I also want to have fun and enjoy working on spur of the moment projects that challenge me.  Here's my updated chart for the month:

I can see that I still have a few new projects open, but Blue Skies technically is just a collection of fabric -  I would still like to make this one, but I'm not committed to actually starting it this year, so if I don't get it started in October I will be removing it from my list and putting the fabric back in my stash.

Thanks to Gail for making it fun to work on our UFO's and cross them off our lists.

Here's the link up for October, hope everyone else is doing well making progress!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Seashell Beach is finished!

 I topped off a nicely productive week and weekend by finishing my UFO challenge/OMG for the month of September!  

I've been calling this quilt "Seashell Beach" because of the border fabric which features assorted sea shells.  

It's such a pretty fabric!  The back is a fabric that looks like sea glass, so I thought it was a good choice.  I quilted it allover in a swirl using a minty green thread (50 wt Aurifil, as usual!)  

Oops, caught some glare in this picture, but you can see how pretty it is!  I just love the secondary pattern created by the two different blocks.

This is my ninth finish for the year - it's been really helpful to set these One Monthly Goals to encourage me in getting control over my habit of flitting from one idea to the next (as well as Gail's PHD in 2020)  It sure feels good to be emptying out those bins of good intentions!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Sewcialites Quilt Along Block One and the Mini Maker Case

 There are just so many great ongoing projects online to participate in these days that it's hard not to get overwhelmed with all of them!  This month two caught my eye - the Mini Maker Case with Lillyella and the Sewcialites Quilt Along at the Fat Quarter Shop.  

Friday was the start of the Sewcialites Quilt Along and this is the first block.  I wouldn't have joined in on this one, except for the fact that there is a 3 inch option for the blocks!  I just had to say yes to that!  I had a stack of 10 inch squares in the Just My Type collecton that I received as part of the Island Batik Ambassador Program that I didn't have a plan for, so that worked out perfectly.  This collection was designed by Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis and I just adore the colors!  

I was going to use solid white for my background, but pulled out the Egg White neutral that I also received and it's absolutely perfect with this collection.  At just one block a week, I think I'll be able to keep up, and the 3 inch blocks are going to be so cute!  You can also make 6 or 9 inch blocks if you aren't into tiny sewing like I am, though.  Of course, there are prizes as well for completing the blocks each month, so that's an incentive as well!

Lillyella's Mini Maker Case Sew Along just finished (but you do still have a few days to make one and be entered to win an Oliso Mini Project Iron!)  Since this was just a small project, and i had the perfect fabrics for it I made some room in my schedule!  I don't have the Oliso Iron that would fit in here, but I have plenty of other goodies I can stash inside of it.  Plus, I found the cutest Eiffel Tower charm to use for the zipper pull.  

I'm getting the next step ready for my Stepping Stones Quilt Along - we'll be working on our cornerstones, plus making sure out blocks are squared up.  I'm also thinking about a quilt along for 2021.  I'm thinking about revisiting my Quilter's Recipe Box - I really thought that was a lot of fun, and there are so many more blocks to explore!  Well, at any rate, I'm keeping myself busy doing what I enjoy, and I hope you are, too!  Go make something fun today!

Friday, September 25, 2020

It's been a good week, I managed to get two quilts quilted!  I don't do a lot of quilting for other people, just a few friends, and these were both pieced by one of them.  The first one was a cute unicorn panel that she added borders to.  I used a dark pink Aurifil 50 wt thread and did my hearts and loops.  I had to giggle when a friend commented on how nicely my hearts were shaped, I think they are pretty wonky looking, but it always looks nice overall!

It's sure a cute quilt and will make a great little girl bed quilt!  Here's a closer look at my quilting:

The next quilt was a jelly roll race in teals.  My friend thought that some kind of lines would look on this, so I had the idea of doing chevrons.  I think it came out great! 

Prety cool!  It was a little tricky to get keep the chevrons even, but in the end you don't see the little variations.  I used the Chevy ruler designed by Angela Walker, it was the perfect size to go across two strips.  

The texture this adds to the quilt is just perfect!  

Did you catch all the great lines of fabric and bags featured this week for the Island Batik "It's In The Bag" blog hop?  Here is a recap on the Island Batik Blog. There is also the final giveaway for the hop!  This time there are 3 fat quarter bundles up for grabs, and one of them is Peacock Galore (which I used for my bag).  

Just a note - I found the Alpine Ice strips I used for my Mountain Dawning pattern on sale at a great price at Hancocks of Paducah!  Only $24.99!  Alpine Ice Strips from Island Batik.  I'm not an affiliate or anything, but if you want to make this quilt, it's a great opportunity to get the strips on sale!