Thursday, August 31, 2017

It's finished!

I *finally* finished my batik hexi mini.  This one has been in progress for a long time.

I'm posting in a rush so I can link up with OMG at Elm Street Quilts.  I promise a more detailed look into this quilt and process soon.   In the meantime, here's the back:

Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - August Finish Link-up

Saturday, August 26, 2017

August Bee Blocks

I am still loving the variety of blocks I get to make for the 2 online quilting bees I'm in.

In Bee Inspired, Queen Ann asked for a Doggone Cute block.  These are from a quilt along by Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts and Lorna keeps the directions up on her site. I love Lorna's patterns and have been considering this one for a while.  After making this block for Ann, I made an identical block for me that will be the start of my own Doggone Cute quilt.

Ann asked each of us to think of a dog that has mattered to us and to pick out which of the eight Doggone Cute blocks most resembles that pup.  I chose my dog, Ivy, and decided that dog #2 was her best match.  Ann wanted bright colors so I picked orange because Ivy herself is kind of orange.

Ivy with her fabric likeness
Ivy has been with me since 4th of July weekend in 2010.  She is my first pet.  My parents were not pet people and no amount of begging during childhood from me & my brother changed that.  Ivy was rescued from a busy highway by the sister of a coworker.  Said coworker had been working on me to get a dog and she thought this one would be a good fit since she was so sweet.  They both wanted to keep her, but they had 3 or 4 dogs each and could not add another.  I had just been laid off from my job at the time and didn't think that adding the expense of a dog was a good idea.  My boyfriend, who grew up with lots of animals and loves dogs in particular, assured me that "the dog food fairy" would show up and help. I'm glad to report that he's now Husband and he does indeed buy the dog food.

In Stash Bee, Queen Mary Ann asked for Garden Stars blocks. She loves batiks and so do I!  I had a lot of fun looking for bright batiks to use.  Mary Ann suggested a technique I had not tried for the 4-patch blocks.  I tried it but did not like it at all.  Perhaps it's just me, but I didn't get enough units and had to cut more.  Luckily, I only used that method on one block to try it out and I went back to more traditional methods for the remaining 4-patches.  I like trying new techniques but I admit, I will give up if they do not work for me!

Mary Ann is using the blocks from her turn as queen to make a quilt for Friendship House, an organization that provides transitional housing for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The idea is neat: each apartment has four people, one young adult transitioning to living alone and three students studying various healthcare fields.  Mary Ann's goal is to put a colorful quilt on each of the 24 beds in the facility! 

When I saw that she hopes to make 24 quilts for this cause, I thought of my Midnight Mystery quilt.  I finished the top and was never sure what I wanted to do with it.  I made it without a plan for giving.  I knew it could easily be enlarged to be bed-sized and bought extra background to do it, but never added any borders.  I also had no idea how to quilt it and I really dislike quilting large quilts.  After thinking on it for a few days, I emailed Mary Ann and asked if she would like the top toward her goal, emphasizing that it was an unfinished top.  Mary Ann wrote back within a day and is thrilled at the donation. And I am quite sure the quilt is going where it was meant to be.

I now realize that I never blogged this quilt because it didn't actually get finished.  Here's a photo of the top.  The background looks like navy in the picture but it's actually a dark purple.  Kona purple, to be exact.

I haven't mailed blocks off to either queen yet but I will get them packaged up and shipped off in the next few days.  I can't believe how close we are to September!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Block #1 - I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along

Several of the participants from the 2017 New Quilt Blogger's Hop from this year got together and have created a Christmas Mystery Quilt Along.  Block patterns are released every 2 weeks.  I've resisted a lot of quilt alongs this year, but I really wanted to do this one.  My deal with myself is to use all stash--no buying anything for this project.

Block #1 was designed by Vanda of Quilt In Piece.  It's a snowflake.  Vanda's original design has 8 points of each size, but one of the quilters in the Facebook group is a meteorologist and she pointed out snowflakes should only have 6 points.  I just liked the look of the 6-pointed snowflake better, and the idea of fewer prisms to applique had appeal!

The 2 different prisms within the snowflake are actually from the same fabric--it's an obmre fabric where the snowflakes get bigger as the colors change.  I've had it for years.  Instead of fusible web, I used the Crafted Applique method from the book by Lara Buccella.  I have figured out why this technique didn't work for me before: not enough time under the iron.  I fused for longer this time and had no trouble with shapes adhering during the stitching process. 

I am doing this as a quilt-as-you-go.  I'm using a Santa print for the back.  I have enough for 9 blocks, so if I end up making all 12 blocks, the back will have some variety.  I'm currently almost done with my first quilt with the quilt as you go method and I LOVE it.  It's exciting to know that when I'm done with all the blocks, I can just assemble and bind!

Block #2 comes out tomorrow.  I can't wait to see what it is!

Monday, August 7, 2017

August OMG

I have a batik hexie project that I feel like I have been working on forever.  The end is finally in sight, so I am using Elm Street Quilts' OMG to help push me to finish it.

Elm Street Quilts

Friday, August 4, 2017

Blue Elephants

Blue was July's color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I'm a little behind.  I just finished my blue family of elephants for my Elephant Parade, pattern by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.

The blue gingham elephant is my favorite, though it looks gray in the picture.
I had already decided that I am only using bright colors, so instead of doing light neutrals, the August color, I will get a jump on turning each elephant family into a row.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Lots of Labels

My goal for July was to label 4 previously finished quilts--3 minis and a throw.  It wasn't an exciting goal, but it had to be done and I was putting it off.  OMG gave me the push to get them all labeled.

I print my labels onto printer-ready fabric that I buy for this purpose.  I typically wait to print until I have 3 or 4 to do so I don't waste any of the fabric.  I used this method from Quiltmaker and back my labels with scraps of muslin.

Linking up with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for OMG: One Monthly Goal.

Elm Street Quilts

Monday, July 24, 2017

July Bee blocks

I had a family vacation during part of July, so I wanted to get my Bee blocks done early.  I got one bee done before the vacation and one bee after--at least I wasn't still sewing on the last day of the month like June!

Queen Karen in Stash Bee asked for string blocks.  She wanted smaller blocks measuring 6 1/2" combined into larger blocks of 12 1/2" and put together so the strings made an X.  I made two:

I asked if there were any types of fabric to avoid and Karen said no.  I love that string blocks have a bit of everything in them.  I had such a good time making these that it inspired me to keep making string blocks!  The day after I made these for Karen, I did some quilt-as-you go blocks for me!  I don't have them assembled yet, but my string bin is as close to empty as it has ever been.

In Bee Inspired, Queen Jennifer designed an Irish Chain-inspired block that she calls Irish Eyes. She wanted this in shades of green.

 Her proposed layout looks really great and I can't wait to see her finished quilt!