Wednesday, June 01, 2022

May UFO Challenge 2022 is finished!

Just a quick post today, but I wanted to share my finished UFO project for May.  This was a Craftsy quilt block of the month, I think it was the very first one!  I never did finish all the blocks, even though I intended to do so.  It has been aging in a drawer for some time now! 

I counted up the blocks I had finished and there were 13.  I thought about whether I wanted to make any more blocks, and I decided that I didn't need to make more blocks and I could just finish this using an on point setting.  I managed to cut enough fabric from my white scraps to make the setting triangles and sashing strips.  The white fabric I used in this quilt was leftover from the tablecloths I made for a daughter's wedding, and they just celebrated their 13th anniversary, so this project is pretty close to being that old, I'm sure!

Once I got the top done, I needed to decide on what to use for backing.  I spotted this pretty blue fabric that I bought last year on sale from Connecting Threads.  I didn't use it for the project I intended to use it for, but it was the perfect color for this quilt!  And as a bonus, there was just enough left for the binding as well!

I quilted this in a bright green thread, using a hook swirl design.  So pretty!  I finished the quilting this afternoon and added the binding.  Yay!  Looks like I get to work on my One Block Wonder quilt in June, so I'm excited to get that on my design wall and start laying out the hexagons.  So exciting to get some of these projects across the finish line!

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Tricky Triangles - Lady of the Lake with Constelations

 Today I'm going to show you what I did for this months Island Batik Ambassador Challenge.  This challenge was a simple one - just to create a quilt of any size using triangles! (Thanks to Island Batik and their industry partners for providing all the materials I needed for this!)

It was very fun to make this - I really like triangles and use them often in my quilts.  I thought about making a mini quilt, but then I decide to go the other way and make a quilt with really big blocks!  I had a set of Constellations 10 inch squares that I've been anxious to put to use, and this was a great project for my idea!

I thought it would be interesting to make extra large blocks in the Lady of the Lake pattern.  One block uses sixteen small half square triangles and one large one.  Since I had two squares of each fabric, I used the eight at a time method to make the half square triangles from the stack, and they make finished four inch units.  That meant making 12 inch finished half squre triangles for the center of the block - an interesting challenge!  The blocks go pretty quickly, though it takes a bit longer to sew those long seams as they end up being 20 inches finished size!

At first I planned to make a quilt with sixteen blocks, but decided that I didn't really want to make a quilt that was 80 inches square for this challenge.  So then I thought I'd make a quilt with nine blocks, but since I started to run out of time, I ended up deciding to make a quilt with just four of them!  I'll probably use the rest of the blocks to make more small quilts.  These would make nice gifts, I think!

I quilted this with Hobb's Poly-Down Batting - I really like how soft and supple it is!  It makes a nice snuggly quilt and is really easy to work with.  

The binding is the same fabric I used for the large center triangles - Cornflower from the basics collection!  It's really pretty with the fabrics in the Constellation line!  Did I say how much I love this collection?  I love the different shades of blue and all the different stars and celestial images in it!

See how it matches the blue of the sky?  It was a pretty windy day here, so a bit of a challenge to get a picture on the fence, but patience paid off!

I pulled some scraps and pieced a backing for this one!  I enjoy looking at these pretty fabrics from past collections, too!

I used Auriful thread in 50 wt (2770 - very light delft blue) for the quilting and a size 12 Schemtz needle.  No problem quilting with the Poly-Down batting, either - I wasn't sure because I've only used this batting on the long arm before, so I was happy with how easily it quilted with my Juki. 

I have lots of leftover blocks to make more quilts with, so I thought you'd like to see those too, and get a peek at my blocks for the next challenge!  My temperature quilt is on the bottom of the picture, I can see that the blues are making way for green, and even a pop of orange last week!  I hope you liked seeing my challenge quilt for May, and don't forget to check out what the rest of the Ambassadors made in May - there were some terrific quilts!

Brenda Alburl ~ Songbird Designs

Megan Best ~ Bestquilter

Pamela Boatright ~ Pamelaquilts

Elizabeth DeCroos ~ Epida Studio

Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter

Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts

Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts

Jane Hauprich ~ Stitch By Stitch Custom Quilting

Reed Johnson ~ Blue Bear Quilts

Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs

Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood

Denise Looney ~ For The Love Of Geese

Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights

Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine

Anorina Morris –

Lisa Pickering ~ Lisa’s Quilting Passion

Claudia Porter ~ Create with Claudia

Gail Renna ~ Quilt Haven Threads

Brianna Roberts ~ Sew Cute And Quirky

Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde

Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail

Andi Stanfield ~ True Blue Quilts

Sandra Starley ~ Textile Time Travels 

Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations

Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt

Monday, May 30, 2022

I'm Back!

 Wow, I really can't believe it's been a whole month since I managed to write a blog post!  It's been a very busy month, I spent a week in Colorado helping my mom finish packing up her house, done quite a bit of sewing for weddings, and have just generally been extra busy.  This is the first weekend in about 6 weeks that I haven't had some kind of major commitment keeping me from being able to relax and do some fun sewing. 

While most of my trip was spent cleaning, organizing, and boxing up things, we did take a morning and visit Garden of the Gods.  The scenery was amazing, even though the day was cold and overcast.

I played with the panorama mode on my phone!  This will come in handy later this summer, for sure!

I did manage to finish my April UFO challenge - this is Patterns by Jen's 2020 color challenge!  I love the pixilated border she designed!  This vibrant lap quilt is available for sale in my Etsy shop, along with several other lap quilts that I've recently added.  

My 2022 temperature quilt is still looking very blue!  And May hasn't been a huge improvement, but I am starting to see a shift to warmer temperatures.  It's definitely been a wet month here, we've had much more rain than normal for this time of year.  Just a couple more days and I can add the May row!  I've been thinking about what to do for the trip we are planning at the end of summer, and I think I will split my geese - make one half the temperature here and use the other half to document the temperatures as we travel.  Seems like a fun idea!

Last Saturday I taught a class for beginning free motion quilting.  It was fun!  The one take away I got from teaching was that thread really matters!  I know I was hesitant as a beginner to spend a lot of money on thread, but now I know that it really does make a difference - Aurifil is my preferred thread and I use both 40 and 50 weight for quilting and find that the results are worth it, plus when you take into account the amount of thread on one of their spools, it really does not cost that much more, especially because you don't need to purchase several spools for each quilt.  If you are not happy with your results when free motion quilting, I really suggest trying out different thread!

Working on my May UFO challenge.  These are some old blocks from a free Craftsy Block of the Month.  I only had 13 blocks done, but decided that was enough, and it's perfect for setting on point.  I have now added sashing and setting triangles, and have it basted!  Will I finish before the end of the month?  Maybe!  We'll see how the next couple of days go...

May Island Batik challenge!  Reveal coming up shortly :)  I don't think triangles are tricky, I love them!

June Island Batik Ambassador Challenge in progress!  You are going to love this one - have you noticed other Island Batik Ambassodors teasing their blocks, yet?  We have a specific block theme for June - New York Beauty.  They are going to be spectacular!  There will be a blog hop, prizes and lots of fun, so you'll want to keep your eyes out for this one!

So, now I'm pretty much up to date, I'm looking forward to the next few weeks, and sharing the fun things I'm getting ready to work on!  I've missed sharing my projects, and looking forward to getting back into the habit of blogging more frequently.  What have you been working on this month?  Something fun, I hope!

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Sisterhood Quilt Along!

 Sorry for the delayed post, I've been having some technical difficulties, and know how that goes!  I wanted to share a new Quilt Along that started last week - I'm sure it's not too late to jump in and play along.  It's the Sisterhood Quilt Along by Kate Colleran and Tammy Silvers.  I signed up to play along and made the first block for last week's installment - the technique was half square triangles, and I made block one:  Doris

In all the craziness, I totally didn't get this blog post written, but I'm trying to catch up!  I dedicated this block to my dear friend, Brenda who passed away last year.  She was such an influence in my church and community with a generous and kind spirit.  Part of the reason I didn't get this post written was because I was in the midst of helping put on our annual Women's Retreat on Saturday.  We sure missed Brenda, and there were definitely tears shed, but the retreat came along just fine.  She left a lasting impact in so many lives, and we are learning how to forge ahead without her leadership on the committee.  So, it was a fun, emotional week and I just wasn't able to put together words for my post...

I'm excited about this quilt along - if you decide to join in, you'll need to purchase the pattern, but that's the only cost involved!  I was able to pull fabric from my stash, so I'm looking forward to making more blocks!  Thanks for taking a look at my block - here's a list of the rest of the featured designers - can't wait to see what they create!

Block 1 - Pamela at Pamela Quilts (me!)
Block 5 - Toni at Quiltoni
Block 6 - Deb at Quiltblox
Block 13 - Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts <---That's me!
Block 30 - Joy at Shout 4 Joy

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Slowpoke Sloth - April Island Batik Ambassador Challenge 2022

 Being asked to make a Funky Friends Factory softie for April was a fun challenge!  I found some colorful pink fabrics from my Island Batik Ambassador Box from January and decided to make Slowpoke Sloth for my project.  I thought a pink sloth would make a sweet gift for my little grand daughter Juliette, and if I liked making them, I know of several other people who would enjoy such a cute stuffed toy!

Hello cutie!  I chose Fuschia solid for the body and this softer pink for the accent.  In the past I have embroidered eyes, or used felt, but for this one, the look of the safety eyes really makes the face I think!  I bought a dozen sets in different colors so I can see a rainbow of sloths in my future!

Slowpoke Sloth is a fairly easy pattern to make.  The snout is just a little fiddly to deal with, but other than that it was smooth sailing!  You do have to stuff the arms and legs separately, so you do have to hand sew five little seams after stuffing, but that goes quickly. The nose is appliqued on and this time I remembered how to do the buttonhole stitch!  Just a couple of embroidery stitches and the mouth is done, and you have a finished sloth!  I was glad for the extra help of the online tutorial since I couldn't figure out how to do the mough, but it was really easy. I like using batik for these because you get such nice smooth seams and a crisp looking finish.  My advice for stuffing is to use plenty - then add a bit more to make them nice and full!

She has velcro on her hands and feet so she can "hang out" on various poles and branches!  (oops, I spy some stray stuffing strands that I should have brushed off)

And she sits quite nicely, too!  You can see how the velcro is attached in this picture.  She has the cutest little bum and tummy!  So round and cuddly :)

We went out for a little swing on the back patio!  I think she enjoyed spending some time outdoors, it was a beautiful evening.  

When she spotted the buds on the Crab Apple tree, she decided she needed a little snack!  Thanks to Pauline McArthur for providing us with patterns for this challenge - go check out her Funky Friends Factory to see all the cute patterns she has available - and there are videos and step by steps online to help you if you are nervous about trying one.  They are so fun!  And don't forget that Island Batik has so many lovely fabrics to make them with!  And don't forget the Aurifil thread and Schmetz needles - got to have those as well!  I used bright pink in 50 wt and a size 12 needle for this project.

Monday, April 04, 2022

Craft Room Overhaul 2022

 My sewing room is usually a crazy disaster area, so I think it's about time to see if I can do something about that and maybe make it a little better!  I'm joining in with Kim of Persimmon Dreams and Kim of Go-Go Kim to do a Craft Room Overhaul.  (If you want to join in, go check out their blogs!)

For this week, we are showing the current state of our sewing room, so I took some pictures so you could see my mess!

These are my closets - the one on the right is where I keep my regular fabric stash, sorted by color in those baskets.  As you can see the baskets are overflowing and I have fabric stuffed in between them.  The closet on the right holds UFO project boxes, my Island Batik Stash and some backing fabric.  I also hang dresses from the curtain rod that I'm not using.  The bankers boxes on the top shelf hold flannel scraps, and I have some kits and other future projects stored up there.

Sewing table, full of stuff as usual.  Ironing board, with a shelf of books, etc.  Thread storage, projects on shelves and decorative knick knacks.  On the side wall there is a wooden dresser, lots of stuff plus a vintage singer machine that I'm not sure if it works.  Shelf with more storage over that - those small bins hold a lot of notions, and there's a lot of clutter there as well.  Oh, and below the table there are a couple of plastic totes, one with fabric scraps, one with batting scraps, and an old chest with batik fabric (non Island Batik!) stored inside.  On the right side of the dresser are a lot of batting pieces, and I forget what else is stuffed back there. That definitely needs cleaned out!

Cutting table under the window, stuff under neath it, including paterns for sale, and a current project.  To the right are two plastic bins that hold pre cut fabric and other projects.  There are a couple bins on top of that with scraps.  To the left of the cutting table is a larger plastic storage drawer unit, storage unit on top of that with strips, more baskets with projects and a bag of selvages.  My wastebasket  is on the floor.

Design wall - more piles.  On the floor is a bulb crate, which is a perfect storage unit!  Too many project binds and piles on top, including some quilts and a jacket to repair.  To the right, mailing supplies, a bag of flannel scraps and my spare machine.  To the right a rolling storage unit with yes, more projects!  Some books and who knows what are there, too.  The basket on top holds alteration projects, so I have some work to do there and should get on top of that.  Looks to me like I have a few too many projects, and maybe need to figure out a bette way of getting those under control!

Wish me luck, I may need it as I dig into all this clutter!

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Three Rugs and a Pile of Scraps

 Since I did so much good work finishing quilts last week I thought I would spend this weekend getting my sewing room squared away and setting up some projects for April. (including a bonus project using the supplies provided in my Island Batik Ambassador box in January!)  There was a young lady at the quilt shop who was interested in some of my selvages plus yellow and orange scraps for a project so I thought I would sort some stuff out to pass on to her.  While I had the selvages dumped out on the cutting table I pulled out a few and made a couple of mug rugs.  Then I sewed a bunch of the selvages end to end with the plan of eventually making a knitted rug with them.  When I got bored with that I put them away and pulled out my bin of binding ends to sew together to add to my crocheted rug.  (See my thought flow here?) I think it's been a couple of years since I worked on this project!

After I got all of these sewn together I rolled  them into a ball - it's a good size one!

Then I got out the rug to see how big it really is - not quite as big as I was thinking it was.  Still a lot of work to do on this one!

It's kind of lopsided looking, but I'm hoping it'll even out eventually.  Or I hope it will block out...we'll see!  Might be a few more years before I get it big enough!  Ok, while I'm in the rug mode, maybe it would be fun to get that Jelly Roll rug out of Island Batik going!  This collection will make a wonderful bedside rug for my bedroom - Mountain Gems.  So pretty!

I sewed all the strips together just as they came from the package.  I've been saving the rolls of Hobbs fusible batting strips from the Island Batik boxes and this is the time for them to become a project!  The batting was super easy to fuse to the strips - I was curious if there was fusible on both sides.  There is, but I didn't have any problem with it, it would lightly stick to my ironing board, but pulled right up and didn't leave any residue.  It made an impressive pile when I was finished!

For the next step I had to search my sewing room a bit to find the gadget I purchased to make the sewing of the strips easier.  I highly recommend acquiring a Jerry's Jellyroll Jig for sewing the rope for the rug!  This made the job so much easier - that and the fact that the batting was fused to the strips so everything was all in place.  The sewing went so quickly!

After sewing, I started rolling all this up into a ball for sewing later.  The ball ends up being the size of a soccer ball - I am planning on sewing the rug later this month, but it's nice to have my rope ready for when I want to put itogether so I can just concentrate on sewing the rug.

I had another project I wanted to pull fabric for, so I did a big dive into my Island Batk stash looking for colors to use.  Well, one thing led to another and I ended up making a big mess and lots of piles of fabric.  I found the fabrics I wanted, but then I had to deal with the aftermath!  I decided it was time to reduce some of the excess, so set myself some limits on what I wanted to go back into the closet and made a plan for using some of the remaining fabric.

I'm challenging myself to make something out of this pile of green scraps.  I have an idea, so you'll see more about that in a few days!  After this my sewing area was a total disaster, so seeing that Kim (Persimon Dreams) and Kim (Go-Go Kim) are doing a Craft Room Overhaul was pretty good timing!  I do have a busy month ahead, but I really want to make some progress in getting my room organized, so it's as good a time as any to get started, and maybe inspired as well!

I'll get some pictures and write up a post tomorrow about the current state of my sewing room.  It's been worse, but it certainly could be better!  Hopefully after this it will be much better!

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Baby Puff Quilt

 Several years ago I quilted a special quilt that I called Puff Reborn,  It began with an old baby quilt that ended up inside of a new quilt featuring the same design - quite and interesting project, and you can see more of the story in this post.  It turns out that the owner of the original quilt just had a baby and her grandfather decided she needs her own dragon quilt, so I got to quilt Baby Puff!

This quilt is only 36 x 43 so was easy to finish.  I just stitched around the applique and did swirls in the background.  I used green thread on the bottom half and aqua on the top half and it came out great!

Isn't the dragon cute?  It was fun to make this quilt for the next generation - I hope she loves it like her mom loves her Puff!  

I thnk this wraps up my projects for March, it really was a very productive month!  April looks to be a busy month, so we'll see what I get done - our Islalnd Batik challenge for April is not a quilt, but it will be fun...just saying!