Sunday, May 6, 2018

May Bee Blocks

That's right, I got all my bee blocks done in the first week of the month!  This month's blocks were just so much fun that I couldn't wait!

Queen Velda in Bee Inspired asked for cakes!  I absolutely loved this block and had such a good time coming up with a culinary creation.  The pattern is Sweet Cakes and is a free download from Michael Miller fabrics.

Velda asked us to name our cake.  I'm calling this a Raspberry Tea Cake.  Here is what I wrote on our group blog: Welcome!  Today’s featured cotton confectionery is Dogwood Delights, where the dessert of the day is a Raspberry Tea Cake.  This tall tiered cake is light and refreshing, with swirls of raspberry, hints of traditional birthday cake, and floral accents.  Our Raspberry Tea Cake is the perfect accompaniment to a nice cup of tea.

In Stash Bee, Queen Jacqueline asked for cat blocks.  She called them "M" cats, because she was inspired by Morris the Cat from the Friskies commercials and her own dearly departed kitty Milo. So I figured I'd give these kitties names that start with M.  Meet (clockwise from top left) Meadow, Magic, Maverick, and Minerva.

And in a different Stash Bee hive, Queen Sue asked for toadstool blocks.  I had never seen a toadstool block!  I thought it was too fun not to try, so I made one for Sue.  The quilt is for her grand-niece Tilly who is almost 3. Sue's tutorial and her inspiration for the block can be found here.

It was great to have such fun blocks to work on this month!!!  I'm realizing how much I like blocks that look like things. 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

April recap & bee blocks

Yes, I know I'm late and we're almost a full week into May!  In April, Queen Marie of Stash Bee asked for bow tie blocks with a masculine feel with brown and gray as the main colors.  These were actually the first bow tie blocks I've made, though of course it's a classic block.  That's part of what I love about bees, I get to try lots of blocks, classic and new!

These were the only bee blocks I had to make in April because it was my turn to be queen in Bee Inspired!  I asked for the beautiful Starry Night block designed by Cath of Wombat Quilts. (Block being used with Cath’s knowledge and blessing.)  I let people pick a blue star with red accents or a red star with blue accents and they could use as few as one red & one blue fabric or make it as scrappy as desired.  Here are the samples I made:

April was not a great month in terms of getting sewing time.  I only managed at least 15 minutes twenty of the thirty days during the month, putting me at 66% for April and 79% for the year.  The class I'm taking at the community college ends this Wednesday, so hopefully my numbers will increase over the summer when studying and homework won't interfere.  I've been inspired to track sewing time by Kate from Life in Pieces

I completed two quilts in April, Owls and Mollie's Baby Quilt.  Both were on my list for my PhD (projects half done) with Gail of Quilting Gail.  Total fabric used in April: 6 yards.  No fabric purchases in April.  Total yardage used year-to-date: 31.6 yards.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Mollie's Baby Quilt

My coworker Mollie recently had a baby boy, Waylon.  When Mollie first told us she was having a boy, I asked if she had a theme planned for the nursery.  She told me that she planned on no theme, but if she had decided to do a theme, it would have been forest animals.

Well, I have a HUGE collection of 5" I Spy squares.  So I went through them and picked out anything that I thought might live in a forest.  Then I selected 40 based on biggest variety of animals and a somewhat limited list of colors to give it coherence.  I chose Kona Leprechaun as the background fabric because I thought the green was nice and bright and appropriately forest-y. 

Upper Left
The pattern is Galaxy by Villa Rosa Designs. I really like how quickly it comes together.

Upper Right
I used my best judgement on what qualified as a forest animal.  I didn't ask Mollie for any elaboration when she told me "forest animals" and I didn't tell her I was asking so I could make a quilt, though it's possible that she guessed. I did end up with a lot of repeated animals.  I had quilt a few owl and racoon fabrics.

Lower Left
I did straight line quilting on either side of the vertical seams.  I really like the grid it created.  I've only recently started trying Aurifil thread and my husband gave me a gift set for my birthday. One of the colors in that set matched the Leprechaun perfectly.  Except the thread broke constantly.  Now, I said I'm fairly new to using Aurifil but this wasn't my first time.  On my previous uses, the thread sewed like a dream.  I tried everything I could think of and the thread still broke.  I posted in a quilting forum on facebook asking for help--all the suggestions were things I'd already tried multiple times with no luck.  Someone tagged an Aurifil rep in the US and I had an email from her within half an hour.  She said I had tried everything she would have suggested, it must be a bad spool, and send her a photo of the top of the spool and she would send me a replacement. And within a week, I had a new spool (bigger than my original spool, mind you) plus two bonus spools and a product booklet that outlines all the different weights of Aurifil thread and their best uses.  New spool quilted like a dream and I was able to finish the quilting with far less frustration.  Now THAT is customer service!  I am so impressed!  Thank you, Aurifil!

Lower Right
Mollie and her husband referred to the baby as "Slug" during her pregnancy.  I have hundreds of 5" squares of I Spy fabrics but I was only able to find one slug.  At least, I hope it's a slug! 

I used a great print called Mama & Me for the back. I really love these bears!

I took the quilt to Mollie and Waylon a little over a week ago.  Both seem to like it, and I hope it gets lots of use and love over the years.

This was #4 on my list of Q2 goals for the Finish Along.  This is also my list of UFOs to complete for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Gail of Quilting Gail.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Yellow Cars

For once, I got my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks done during the proper month!  Well, sort of.  I'm doing two different blocks and I'm way behind on my kitties.  But I'm right on schedule with my cars!  The pattern is Bumper 2 Bumper by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  Here are my yellow cars:

I'm really exited to see this one together.  I might have a plan to eliminate one row of cars, reducing the number I need by 4.  I'm not sure yet. Looking forward to May's color!

Sunday, April 22, 2018


I finished another quilt for Project Linus.  This started with the owl print, which had been donated to my local chapter.  I paired it with Kona Lagoon and Kona Titanium, both leftover from other projects, and kept it simple so I would not lose any of the owls.

The back is a piece of minky also donated to the chapter, and it came in not long after I had finished the top.  I do not enjoy working with minky but it was such a nice big piece and quite colorful.

For quilting, I tried something new to me but that I see everywhere: the organic wavy lines technique.  I see it most from Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts, but I have been seen it becoming more and more widespread.  It's done with a walking foot. I liked it, though I space mine farther out than most others I've seen.  I changed threads based on quilt section for this one and I used some variegated threads from King Tut that I had.

Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts challenged herself to make 52 charity quilts this year. That's a lot! My annual goal is 12 quilts donated per year to Project Linus.  This will be #5 for 2018.  I'll link up with Laura when she does her charity quilting link-up for April. 

The owls were goal #16 on my list of Q2 goals for the Finish Along.  


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Q2 Goals: 2018

It's time fore the second quarter of the fabulous Finish Along. I really love the Finish Along community and motivation.  Here are my projects for this quarter.  As always, I'm listing way more projects than I will actually complete because I never know what I will be in the mood to work on.

General Projects and Gifts

1. Rin
I did the Rin-Along last year and completed a block.  Now I need to turn it into something.

2. 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.

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

4. Mollie's Baby Quilt
My coworker Mollie's baby boy has arrived, so I need to get this finished and gifted!  I'm actually much farther along than this picture indicates, I'm at the binding stage so this should be done soon.

5. Amy's baby quilt
I recently learned that a friend who has moved is expecting a baby girl in June.  I plan on using the pattern Cherish by Villa Rosa designs and using a colorful owl print as a feature fabric.

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. Dandelion
This has been my hand-sewing project on trips and I finished the embroidery!  Now I just need to turn it into a finished project.

9. Vintage holiday
This is my current hand-sewing project and I'm making good progress.

10. Patriotic Stars
I'm queen in one of my online bees this month and have asked for this fabulous star block designed by Cath of Wombat Quilts.  I will be turning these into a door decoration for my front door.

Project Linus

11. Elephants
Last year, I made elephant blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Unfortunately, I ran out of background fabric before assembly was complete and just haven't gotten back to it.  (I do now have more of the needed fabric.)

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
I liked the Snowman block by Sherry of Powered by Quilting so much that I'm doing a whole quilt of snowmen!  I've made 5 blocks and I want to make 4 more and then have fun with different embellishments.

14. Canyon
This one also got stalled out due to running out of fabric.  I have what I need now, but I just realized I forgot to take a picture; it's called Canyon because it features Kate Spain's Canyon line.

15. Scottie Dogs
This is a top that I completed over winter break that needs to be layered, quilted, and finished.

16. Owls
Another top completed over winter break that needs to be finished.  This one is quilted and just needs binding.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

March Wrap-Up

As March comes to a close, it's time to look at both the month and the quarter.  I finished two projects this month, both versions of Message in a Bottle for the Modern Plus Signs blog hop.

I used a total of 5.2 yards this month.  That puts my year-to-date total at 25.6 yards used.  I went to a local quilt show and did spend some time going through vendor's booths, so I also purchased fabric.  I bought a total of 8 1/2 yards, bringing me to 12 3/4 yards purchased in 2018.

Inspired by Kate at Life in Pieces, I am tracking how often I spend at least 15 minutes working on a project.  (I count cutting as well as sewing by hand or machine.)  In March, I managed 24 days out of 31 for 77%.  Year-to-date I'm at 83%.

I am working on my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Gail of Quilting Gail.  Since it's the end of the quarter, I thought I'd show my progress by posting my chart.  This has all of my UFOs started prior to January 1st as well as any project started in the new year.  To successfully complete my PhD, I need to finish at least half of my UFOs and complete anything I started in 2018.  Here is my progress:

Date Completed
I Wish You A Merry Quilt Along
Growth Chart for friends
Aqua/Brown doggies
Happy Weekend/Green I Spy
Secret Project version #1 (Message in a Bottle: Pirate Monkeys)
Secret Project version #2 (Message in a Bottle: Red, White, & Blue)
Laura’s Quilt

I Spy for our bed

I Spy for Mom

Food themed picnic blanket

Bookshelf quilt





Doggone Cute

Mollie’s baby quilt

Savannah (there is a chance this one will be given up on and given to someone else)

Magical Forest

Lion Pillow

Giraffe Pillow

Scottie Dogs


Sports I Spy (project with my son)

Started in 2018

Jan & Don’s quilt
Bumper 2 Bumper (Rainbow Scrap Challenge)

Smitten Kitten (Rainbow Scrap Challenge)

Scrap Dance: Square Dance (Mystery Quilt)

Friday, March 30, 2018

Purple Cars, Green Cars

I've been trying to get caught up on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks.  I picked two patterns this year.  This one is Bumper 2 Bumper by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  Here are my purple cars:

And here are my green cars:

You can see that I was not particular about type or shade of green!  These were supposed to be half right-facing but I made a mistake.  Having all of these face left meant the least amount of unpicking--sold!  The original pattern calls for more cars facing right than left so I am just going to switch the ratio.  No one will know!  (Well, I guess you know, but you don't care, right?)

And here are all the blocks I have so far this year:

I'm looking forward to adding some yellow cars in April!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Blue Kitties

I'm a little behind on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks.  I picked 2 blocks this year, which may be part of the problem.  I finished my blue cars for January but had not gotten any further.  So without further ado, my blue kitty cats!

The pattern is Smitten Kitten by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  I love Lorna's patterns!  I can't wait to add more kitties to this rainbow!  Maybe not all of them will be two months late.  I can dream, right?