Monday, September 17, 2018

Pumpkins Aplenty

I've been doing the Fall Quilt Along from Partners in Design.  They did the Christmas quilt along that I followed along with last year.  It's a fun way to do lots of different blocks with different techniques.  One of the blocks this year is a super cute pumpkin block designed by Bobbi of Snowy Days Quilting.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to make a small quilt to decorate the door for fall.

The pumpkins and stems are all scraps.  The background is Kona Candy Blue. And I had the perfect fabric for the back:

Aren't the small pumpkins the cutest?  The original design had a more tapered stem and I did it that way for my FAL block.  But I really didn't feel like I got a lot more bang for the fiddly pieces buck, so I took out that part for the wall hanging.  
Pumpkins as designed with pointy stem bottoms
Last year, I did the same thing with the Christmas Tree Farm block by April of JANDA Bend Quilts.

I'm so excited to put up these pumpkins! Here it is on my front door:

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Scrap Dance

Every January, Carole at From My Carolina Home starts a scrappy mystery quilt along.  I did the original Scrap Dance and Scrap Dance Tango and was excited to start Scrap Dance Square Dance this year. 

I decided to use my novelty/I Spy scraps for this year's mystery.  Once it was revealed that there were spinning stars, I altered the layout a little bit so there were only completed stars.  It just so happened that it worked out that I could make two smaller quilts from the pieces I had already assembled, so that's what I did!

They are a bit busy, aren't they?  The solid is Kona Sand and I wish I picked something that showed up more.  But I really like them.  So much fun stuff to see.  Both of these will be going to Project Linus. 

They look very similar because they are all scraps and there is a fair amount of repeat, plus I was originally making just one quilt.  Here are close-ups of them both:


And here's a close-up of one of the stars.  This is the star in the middle of the quilt, so you can see that I used spiral quilting around the entire quilt and started in the center.

I really enjoy Carole's mysteries and love that she designs them with scraps in mind. I linked to the other Scrap Dance mysteries I completed, but figured that maybe you want to see them without clicking the links.

Original Scrap Dance
Carolina Dancing (Scrap Dance Tango)

Scrap Dance Square Dance was #18 on my list of Q3 goals for the Finish Along


Friday, September 7, 2018

Birthday Banner--September OMG

I've been making a series of seasonal and/or holiday small quilts to hang on our front door.  I've been wanting one for birthdays and with 2 family birthdays in October, now seems like a good time.  I've got brightly-colored letters cut out and I will be adding a (fabric) cake.  My son's birthday is mid-October and I'd like to have this to hang on the door for his party to mark the house, so it seems like a great project for my One Monthly Goal link-up with Patty at Elm Street Quilts.  My goal is to have it completed and ready to hang by the end of the month.

these letters have not been ironed down yet

Sunday, September 2, 2018

July & August Bee Blocks

I've stayed caught up in both of my online quilting bees, though I'm behind in posting pictures of my blocks.  Bees are great for giving me a variety of blocks to play with in a variety of styles, color combinations, and techniques.

In Bee Inspired, Queen Jen of June gave us free range for our blocks, though she did give ideas and a few block inspirations.  I had already made and mailed my June block, but then one of our members was ill and in and out of the hospital, so I volunteered to make a block on her behalf.  One of the blocks Jen posted as liking was this Blooming Squares block from Quilter's Cache.  I hope I got Jen's tertiary color range right, but I have to say I absolutely love how this turned out!  Jen plans on making the blocks into mini quilts so I added a border around mine to make it look more finished.  I think there is a very strong possibility I will make this again. (I didn't love the tutorial, though, and felt like it was not very thorough or easy to follow, so consider yourself warned.)

Bee Inspired for July was Queen Sue.  Sue asked for a toadstool block.  She asked for the same block in Stash Bee earlier this year and I crashed her hive because I liked the block so much.  I was thrilled to make two more toadstools.  This is for Sue's niece, Tilly, who is almost 3, so novelty prints were encouraged.

Stash Bee's July Queen was Queen Heather.  She asked for a Scrappy Crossroads block designed by Lori Holt.  I was able to use 2 1/2" squares already cut and in my scrap stash.

I actually made my August blocks fairly early in the month but I didn't feel as though I could post them until they were actually in the mail.  I finally got them packaged up and have received confirmation that all have arrived to their intended Queens.

Queen Karen of Bee Inspired asked for Wanta Fanta blocks in shades of orange.  I had seen the Wanta Fanta block in Stash Bee many times but this was my first time making one.  Karen asked that we not assemble the block components so that she can mix and match, so that's why my block isn't fully assembled. I tried to repeat as few fabrics as possible, though orange is not my favorite color so my stash lacks a lot of depth in the orange bin.

Queen Mary Ann of Stash Bee asked for double bow tie blocks in shades of blue.  Mary Ann is making a quilt for each bed in the Friendship House in Fayetteville, NC.  I was in her Stash Bee hive last year as well and made blocks for a Friendship House quilt and I was so impressed with her goal and the program that I sent her a completed top that she quilted and donated.  I knew I wanted to make extras blocks for this great cause.  One of our members is undergoing extensive medical treatments, so I made two blocks from me and two from that member.

The September Queens made their requests yesterday so now I need to get busy!  I really do love the variety of blocks in my bees and getting to talk with quilters from all over.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sports I Spy

My son (currently age 4 1/2) intermittently gets interested in my sewing.  Sometimes he'll ask to sew with me and he'll sit on my lap for a few minutes.  I decided to pull a group of I Spy squares specifically for when he wants to sew with me.  This took us probably 4 months of really occasional sewing to get pieced, then waited for me to quilt & bind. 

Side note: I've been calling my son "Munchkin" on the blog and that now seems too young.  I've been wanting to age up his nickname.  He loves fire trucks and fire fire fighters and he frequently calls himself a Fire Monkey.  So he will now be known as Fire Monkey.

I told him to "be goofy"
Fire Monkey determined which squares to put together, 2 at a time.  Sometimes he sits on my lap, sometimes he helps feed the fabric, and sometimes he gets on the floor and watches me put my foot on the pedal.  We did most of the sewing in short sessions, as his attention span for most things is not very long.

I personally don't like things to fall heavily into society's ideas of properly gendered themes, but that gets trickier when I'm making quilts for Project Linus.  I have been told that some places won't give a quilt to a boy if it has even a tiny bit of pink on it.  Since I know my chapter frequently gets quits that are pink and/or flowery, I try to make quilts that fall into sterotypically boy areas.  For this quilt, I picked any I Spy square even remotely related to sports.

This was #16 on my list of Q3 goals for the Finish AlongThis is also my list of UFOs to complete for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Gail of Quilting Gail.

We turned it in to Charlotte chapter of Project Linus tonight. I was worried he'd be upset that he wasn't keeping this but he has not been.  Fire Monkey and I talked about how this quilt would go to a kid who needs a quilt.  His next quilt, though, will be for him to keep.

Yes, his eyes are closed on purpose.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


In January 2013, I was reading class descriptions from my local quilt shop when I came across one that said, "Scared of curves?  This is the class for you!"  Well, I was scared of curves and I had seen the class sample, so I figured it was a good chance to conquer my fear.  I bought the pattern and the specialty ruler it required and did all the pre-work (cutting) for the class.

I ended up being the only person who enrolled in the class.  The instructor decided not to cancel on me and moved the class to her home where she had a studio in her bonus room.  She walked me through using the "curves for squares" ruler and sewing the curves.  I didn't enjoy it, but I didn't run screaming, either. I got maybe 20 blocks done.  (Keep in mind each block has only one seam.)

When I got home that night, I put the bin with the project under the guest bed and didn't touch it again for years.  Literally years.  I was pregnant when I took the class and I had other sewing that I cared more about getting done before the baby came.  And I still didn't like sewing curves.

Well, it is now long past time to finish this.  I had no desire to make any more blocks, so I laid out what I had in as pleasing an arrangement as I could.  I added a border to make it a slightly better size for Project Linus and I'm calling it done.  I do not consider my fear of curves conquered, but at least this is finished and I don't have to think about it under the bed taunting me any more.  I am not sorry to see the last of this project!

Oh, and I am happy to note that I played binding chicken and won!  This is how much binding I had left:

Funny side note: I haven't looked at the actual pattern in a while, so I've been calling it Savannah because I live half a day's drive from Savannah, Georgia.  But the pattern is actually called "Savanna," presumably after the animal prints used in the pattern's cover version.

This is on my list of projects needed for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail.  Finishing Savanna was my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for the link-up hosted by Patty of Elm Street Quilts. (Goal setter #107)
Elm Street Quilts

This was #2 on my list of Q3 goals for the Finish Along

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Coral, Queen of the Sea

A few years ago, I bought the panel for Coral, Queen of the Sea by Stacy Iest Hsu.  The panel included a Coral Doll, doll-sized quilt, doll-sized pillow, Mr. Bubbles the seahorse friend, a doll skirt and a doll mermaid tail.  I stored the panel away hoping that a child in my life would go through a mermaid phase.

That's a lot of projects in one panel!

Fast-forward to early June when I was texting with my sister-in-law about my niece's current preferences.  She's super into mermaids!  Great timing, because we already had a July trip to visit her planned.  I dug out the panel and was thrilled to find that it was as cute as I remembered.

Noodle loves Coral and had a great time putting her to bed. 

I typically don't make 3-demensional projects.  This one was too cute not to buy, and I'm really happy with the end product, but I didn't enjoy some parts of the process.  The blanket was easy.  (I even quilted it for real instead of using the turn-it-inside-out-and-tie-it method in the directions.)  The pillow and Mr. Bubbles the seahorse friend were easy.  The doll was a little tricky, especially turning her limbs right-side out.  And the skirt and mermaid fin, well, I'm not sure I did those correctly.  I totally cheated and used ribbon instead of the printed ties for the closures.  Overall, while this is not my favorite kind of project, how can I be sorry about the extra fussy parts when this is the end result?

This was #7 on my list of Q3 goals for the Finish Along


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Q3 Goals

Q3 Goals: 2018

I can't believe half the year is over!  We're now into the third quarter of the 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 2013 and hated the curves, so it sat untouched for 5 1/2 years.  It's finally a top and just needs to be completed.  I'm ready to put this one behind me! 
3. Magical Forest
I need to assemble my blocks from Stash Bee 2017--I'm making a magical forest!

4. April's Baby Quilt
My coworker April is expecting a baby girl in August.  I have the top completed.

5. Elephants
Last year, I made elephant blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I took the pink elephants out for their own quilt, so this is a more traditional rainbow.  Two of my closest friends from college are expecting their second child in September and I really want to give them a rainbow made of elephants.

6. Devin's baby quilt
My good friend Devin, also a college buddy, is expecting his second child soon.  I plan to make an I-Spy quilt to match older sister's. 

7. Coral Queen of the Sea
I bought a panel to make the doll and accessories a few summers ago and now my niece is way into mermaids, so I finally have a reason to sew them up!  I've got the pillow and Mr. Bubbles done, just need to finish the rest.

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.
8. Lion--pattern is from the zoo animals collection by Kristy @ Quiet Play
9. Giraffe--pattern is from the zoo animals collection by Kristy @ Quiet Play

10. 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.

11. Vintage holiday
Another hand sewing project.  I have the applique completed but I'm not sure how to bind it.  I'm thinking a faced binding, but I'm not sure how to do that, especially with felt.

Project Linus

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 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. Color block I Spy
A UFO I forgot about, this is a top that needs to be turned into a finished quilt.

16. Sports I Spy
When my son wants to sew with me, I pull out a bag of sports-themed I Spy squares and we chain piece until he gets bored. It's in rows now, ready to be assembled. 

17. Postage Plus Leaders & Enders
I've been using 2 1/2" squares as leaders and enders and will put them together using the Postage Plus pattern from the book by Cheryl & Paige.

18. Scrap Dance Square Dance

19. Patriotic Stars, part 2
These were my bee blocks from April.  Most of them were turned into a door decoration, but I still have a few blocks left to turn into a donation quilt.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

July Goal -- OMG

It's been a few months since I linked up to One Monthly Goal hosted by Patty of Elm Street Quilts.  I like the motivation, so I'm back for July!

I have a long-term UFO that I'd like to finally get done.  Several years ago, I took a class for a pattern called Savanna that was popular in my area.  It featured curved piecing, something I was intimidated by.  I took the class but didn't touch the project after that.  The class was in January 2013.

Knowing I had no desire to continue the curved piecing, I dug out the blocks that were already completed and tried to turn them into a design that made sense.  Getting this completed to donate to Project Linus is my goal for July.

May & June recaps

I know, we're almost a full week into July.  But I never recapped May, so I planned to do May & June at the same time.  And at this point, what's one more week late?

Inspired by Kate at Life in Pieces, I've been tracking days that I spent at least 15 minutes sewing.  In May, I got sewing time 28 out of 31 days for 90 %.  In June, I got sewing time 24 out of 30 days for 80%.  My year-to-date total is 147 days (out of 181) for a total of 81%.

I'm also tracking yardage used (calculated when a project is finished) and yardage bought.  In May, I used 4 yards.  In June, I used 5.3 yards.  My year-to-date yardage used is 40.9 yards.

I did, however, make fabric purchases in both May and June.  In May, I bought 6.75 yards and in June I bought 8.8 yards.  My yardage bought for the year is 28.3  That's more than I intended, though almost all of that is for specific, intended projects that will likely be finished by the end of the year.  Some of the June fabric purchases were specifically for the Eye-Spy Swap hosted by Val

I finished two projects each for May and June.  May's projects were Scottie Dogs and Elephants in the Garden, both donation quilts for Project Linus.

In June, my finishes were a baby quilt for my friend Amy's daughter and a patriotic door quilt for me made of bee blocks from Bee Inspired.