Friday, November 17, 2017

I Wish You a Merry Quilt ALong progress report

I am really enjoying the I Wish You a Merry Christmas Quilt Along!  Ten of the twelve blocks have now been released.  Here are nine of mine:

My deal with myself when I decided to start yet another project is that I can't buy anything for this project; everything (including batting and backing) is coming from stash. In the beginning I was worried about the lack of a unified look, but now I figure there is enough variety that scrappy will look just fine.

I've previously showed blocks 1-5.  However, I've redone two of those.  First, I decided that my original Santa's Belt (block #3) was too abstract to be immediately recognizable, so I redid it with solids.  I forgot to take a solo picture, but you can see in the center of photo above.

I liked Christmas Tree Farm (block 2) by Janda Bend Quilts so much that I expanded it and turned it into a holiday decoration (blog post coming) so I needed to make a second version for the quilt.  One of the QAL hosts is also doing quilt as you go and I LOVED her quilting design, so I copied it.  Don't you love the outline of the trees in the empty squares?

Block 6 was an angel designed by Sandra Healy.  I modified this one a little bit and am really pleased with my version.  I simplified to one background and added the tree as if the angel was putting the star on top.

Block 7 is a Poinsettia and comes from Sandy Star Designs.  My points don't really match on the leaves but I'm going with it anyway. I used one of the circles on the train die with my AccuQuilt to get the perfect circle for the center of the flower.

Block 8 is not pictured in the group photo, though I did make it.  It's a pair of presents and comes from Alice Samuel's Quilt Co.  After seeing a lot of quilters struggle with this block on Facebook, I decided to use the alternative instructions from host Pretty Piney and do the ribbon as all applique. I'm still not really pleased with it and I'm not sure I'm going to use it my quilt, to be honest. Many quilters used an alternate present block and I may look at options, or I may pick some other Christmas/winter element and use that instead.  Or I might decide these presents are fine any use them anyway.  I've still got a few weeks until all the blocks are released and made and I need to decide.

I had been saying from early on that I hoped for a reindeer and block 9 did not disappoint!  Snowy Days Quilting designed a fabulous reindeer block that is super cute!  The facebook community for the QAL has been really great and since I rarely make the blocks the day the pattern is released, I get to see what everyone else does before getting started.  I saw someone put a round nose on their reindeer and instantly knew I wanted a round nose, too.  Once again, I used one of the circles from the AccuQuilt die that is for a train.  I think maybe this reindeer needs a name.

That brings us to the current block from Cwilt Fabric & Haberdashery.  I admit, I didn't love the lantern when I first saw it.  But when I saw people on facebook putting a candle inside the lantern, I fell in love.  I used a candle and I took some of the other elements in the original block out, so mine is much simpler but I really like it.  Holly is another item that I hoped would show up at some point, and while this isn't strictly a holly block, it checks that box for me which makes me happy.

Only two blocks left!  I have decided that I want my quilt to be four by four, so I will make four extra blocks to bring my total up to sixteen.  Problem is, I don't want to duplicate anything and since I don't know what the last two blocks are, I can't make the extras yet.  Sigh.  I doubt this will be done before Christmas, but when I get down about that I just remember how much fun I'm having.

Monday, November 6, 2017

November OMG

Several years ago, I saw a quilted advent calendar in a magazine.  Munchkin was about a year old and I thought it would be fun to make while he was young.  It's been in my thoughts for 3 years now, and on some finish along lists, but I haven't done it.

Well, today is the day!  (Or, rather, November 2017 is the month!)  I am making it my one monthly goal to get this advent calendar done by December 1st.  I went through all my Christmas/winter I Spy squares and picked out 25 for the calendar. 

I'm linking up with One Monthly Goal for the linky party hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts.

Elm Street Quilts

Sunday, October 29, 2017

September & October bee blocks

I'm behind in posting my bee blocks!  Luckily, I'm not behind in sending them; most of these have long been received.

Bee Inspired's September Queen Jen gave us all a lesson in the color wheel when she asked for LeMoyne Star blocks in tertiary colors.  I had to  go shopping for this one.  This was my first LeMoyne Star and I am completely in love!

September Queen Debbie from Stash Bee asked for tulip blocks.  Debbie has been super generous to everyone in our hive, so I wanted to make her two blocks.

In October, it happens that Janice was Queen in both bees!  So I could chain piece her blocks.  She picked a scrappy block and asked for high contrast between the two fabrics.  If you look closely, you'll see that one of the blocks for Queen Janice has the same 2 fabrics as Queen Jen's LeMoyne Star from September.

Stash Bee has 9 hives, and one of the queens from another hive asked for bookshelf blocks to make into a quilt for her 80-year-old uncle.  He's a voracious reader and especially loves westerns, so she wanted cowboy/western themed blocks.  This was a perfect storm for me: I'm a librarian, I'm making my own bookshelf quilt (including blocks from last year's Stash Bee), I love novelty fabrics, and my mom is a big fan of cowboys/western things so she's given me several fabrics that would work.  So I crashed that hive and made a cowboy bookshelf for Queen Kim.

I love my online bees and the variety I get to make for people!  If you are interested in joining a Bee, Stash Bee sign-ups for 2018 open on November 1st.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Jelly Roll Twist

You all know I love my I Spy fabrics.  I've hosted several I Spy swaps, and one of them was for 2 1/2" strips so we could all have our own I Spy Jelly Rolls.  I used some of these strips to make Jelly Roll Twist, one of the shortcut quilts from Fat Quarter Shop.  With a Kona Highlight (color of the year 2016) charm pack for the solid, I thought it would be bright and cheerful.

Except I didn't realize how big it would be.  It's no secret that I don't like quilting big quilts.  So I ripped a few seams and turned it into 2 quilts!  Both are a decent size for Project Linus.

This was project number #15 on my list of Q4 goals for the globally hosted finish along

Completing both Jelly Roll Twists was my One Monthly Goal for the linky party hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts.

Elm Street Quilts

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October OMG

I really like the OMG monthly goal setting party, and I was pretty consistent this year until September.  October is a busy month for me and it will mean not much sewing time.  I'll lose probably two weeks when my machine goes in for a tune-up. 

I made a Jelly Roll Twist quilt with an I Spy jelly roll created by a swap I hosted a while back and some Kona Highlight.  The top ended up being much bigger than I liked, especially for Project Linus donations.  So I did some seam ripping and turned it into 2 quilts.  Getting them both done is my One Monthly Goal for the linky party hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts.
Elm Street Quilts

Friday, October 6, 2017


Q4 Goals

I love the motivational link-up party that is the Finish Along. I had a really great Q1, a reasonable Q2, and a not so great Q3.  I always to list way more projects than I will actually complete because I never know what I will be in the mood to work on.

I break my goals into 3 categories: general quilts, mini quilts and pillows, and quilts for Project Linus.

General Projects and Gifts

1. Tree Farm
I've been doing the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along and I particularly loved block #2, the Christmas Tree Farm block designed by April of Janda Bend Quilts.  I loved it so much that I took the block I made for the sampler and expanded it to turn it into a holiday decoration.  The top is pieced and I'd like to get this done in time to hang it for the holidays.

2. growth chart for friends
After making a growth chart for my niece last month, I had leftover strips.  So I am making a chart for friends who live in town and have 2 kids.

3. Savannah
I took this class in 2011 and haven't touched it since the day of the class.  It's time to either finish it or pass it on.

4. Rin
I did the Rin-Along earlier this year and completed a block.  Now I need to turn it into something.

5. Magical Forest
I need to assemble my blocks from Stash Bee 2017--I'm making a magical forest!

Mini Quilts & Pillows
Pillow Menagerie
I am slowly making us a menagerie of animal throw pillows four our couch, as I got rid of the big cushions that came with the couch because they were so big it was annoying.  The following are pillows I have patterns and fabric for, and I've spent time getting the pattern pieces enlarged and color coded.
6. Lion--pattern is from the zoo animals collection by Kristy @ Quiet Play
7. Giraffe--pattern is from the zoo animals collection by Kristy @ Quiet Play
8. Bear--pattern from Juliette of The Tartan Kiwi

9. Vintage Holiday
I've had this one on my to-do list for a while and started the sewing on a recent work trip when I wasn't driving.  It is my current hand sewing project.

Project Linus

10. Elephants
I've been doing the Rainbow Scrap Challenge with elephant blocks all year.  Now that the year is coming to an end, it's time to put them all together.

11. Christmas Sampler
The last block for the I Wish You A Merry Quilt Along is released on December 5th, so I'm hoping I can complete the quilt before the end of the year.

12. Dog Gone Cute
I made a Dog Gone Cute block for one of the women in a quilting bee, and I liked the block so much I made a second for me. I am slowly making my way through all of Lorna's amazing dog blocks.

13. Snowmen
Another I Wish You A Merry Quilt Along block that I liked enough to turn into another project: the Snowman block by Sherry of Powered by Quilting.  I've made 5 blocks and I want to make 4 more and then have fun with different embellishments.

14. Noah didn't build a log cabin
I was fooling around one day and framed a donated Noah's Ark fabric with some large log-cabin style blocks.  It needs to be layered, quilted, and bound.

15. I Spy Jelly Roll Twist
My current Project Linus sewing: Fat Quarter Shop's Jelly Roll Twist pattern with some I Spy strips from a swap, plus Kona Highlight.

16. 3 1/2" square purple quilt
I Spy scraps with purple as the alternating fabric.  Since this photo was taken, all the rows are made and need to be assembled together.

17. 3 1/2" square blue quilt
I Spy scraps with blue as the alternating fabric.

18. Halloween Costume
I'm making myself a Red Riding Hood cape from a pattern in a book.  I can't find the photo at the moment, but I do have all the supplies I need and I've started cutting up the sweatshirt that will become my cape.

19. Dinosaur
Using the same book, I plan to make a dinosaur sweatshirt for Munchkin for Christmas.

20. Princess
I have a donated Disney Princesses print that I plan to give the same log-cabin treatment that I gave Noah, above.

I've been doing lists of 20 so far this year, so I will keep that trend going.  I know I won't finish that many, but it does feel good to cross at least some things off the list.

Friday, September 29, 2017

String Quilt

Back in July, the Queen in one of my bees asked for string blocks.  I had so much making hers that I kept my string bucket out and just kept making blocks. 

I decided to really go after scraps and did this as my very first Quilt As You Go project.  In addition to the scrappy strings, I used up batting scraps.  I love using fusible tape to make larger pieces out of batting scraps. I also used fabric donated to my Project Linus chapter for the backing.  After sewing each block, at which time I also quilted it (!) I trimmed to 7 1/2".
The back of one block, after joining
Turns out that I love Quilt As You Go!  (QAYG)  Having the quilting done once the piecing is done just feels so good!  I used a method for joining the quilted blocks that I learned from the Craftsy class Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine with Ann Peterson.  One thing I will do differently next time is use non-directional prints for the backing.  For this quilt, it got too hard to try to get the prints to face one direction so I just decided it didn't matter.

The sashing on the blocks is some leftover Kona Meringue.  Last time I made a string quilt, I was sorry I didn't use the same fabric in the middle of each block to give some continuity and order.  I used the Meringue this time, but didn't think about how the joining method would mean each block was outlined.  So there are a few more lines than I planned.  Next time, I'll use the same fabric in each block if it's not QAYG and will skip it if I'm doing QAYG.

The string quilt was item #4 on my list of Q3 goals for the globally hosted finish along