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?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Modern Plus Signs Blog Hop: Message in a Bottle

photo courtesy of C&T Publishing
I first discovered Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs in time to join her second mystery quilt, Midnight Mystery, which started in June of 2015.  I became acquainted with Paige Alexander of Quilted Blooms during the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop when we were both participants, and I was in the group mentored by Cheryl. In addition to being amazingly talented quilters, both ladies are incredibly nice.  The two of them recently released a book they wrote together, Modern Plus Sign Quilts.  I was thrilled and honored to be among those asked to participate in their book hop.

I was lucky enough to get to see pictures of all 16 designs to choose the one I wanted to make.  There were three designs that I was really drawn to and all of them are patterns I know I will make at some point, and I even have fabrics in my stash picked out.  In the end, I chose one of the simplest designs in the book, Message in a Bottle, because I knew it would sew up quickly and make a fabulous donation quilt for Project Linus.  And I liked it so much that I made two!

My first version started with a blue floral print that was in a bag of fabric my friend Snow de-stashed and gave to me.  I knew I wanted a red & white polka dot to compliment the look of the small flowers and I when I saw the print from Red Dot, Green Dash, it fit exactly what I pictured.  I added Kona Tomato to tie it all together.

I quilted in straight lines in groups of three.  I used 2" wide painters tape to mark the gaps. This will be going to the Charlotte chapter of Project Linus.  One of the organizations that my chapter supports is a camp for children of wounded or fallen military parents.  They specifically want quilts in red, white, and blue. 

My second version uses novelty fabrics.  (Surprise, surprise!)  The two prints are from the Ahoy Primatey line that I believe was created for JoAnn Fabrics.  I got a charm square in an I Spy swap several years ago and loved the name, so I went looking for it.  (I love puns, Husband loves monkeys, it was an obvious fit.)  I bought 3 1-yard cuts from etsy.  There was more of the blue print in that de-stash bag from Snow, giving me enough for the background.  The solid is Kona Storm. Small or medium scale novelty prints work well for this pattern, especially if they are not too directional.

I used a cross-hatch for the quilting. My original plan was to donate this to Project Linus as well, but Munchkin has become quite fond of the pirate monkeys, so this may end up as one of his.  He's been very into blankets recently and plays nap time with his stuffed animals, and of course they need to be tucked in!

This pattern comes together really quickly.  I made these two simultaneously.  It took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to do all the cutting for both and I pieced the two of them in two and a half hours.   That's two quilts cut and pieced in under four hours!  This would be a really great pattern to use to teach someone to quilt.  There are not a lot of pieces and the top comes together quickly so there is a bit of instant gratification.  It's also not overwhelming to pick out three fabrics that coordinate.  And at 48" square, it's a decent beginner size.

Modern Plus Signs features sixteen patterns.  Designs are ranked on three levels of difficulty and there is a really good mix; there is truly something here for every quilter from absolute beginner to advanced quilters looking for a challenge. Both Cheryl and Paige are selling signed copies in their etsy shops.  It's a book you'll be glad you have!

Here are my other favorite designs from the book.  Postage Plus will be a great pattern for my colorful I Spy scraps
photo courtesy of C&T Publishing

And I have an idea of something I want to try with Celestial.  This is one of the featured designs tomorrow on the blog hop and I'm really excited to see what other quilters did with it.
photo courtesy of C&T Publishing
Cheryl & Paige have daily giveaways on their blogs for the rest of the week, so be sure to check them out.  To see the other quilts on today's featured blogs, visit

Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Wanda @ Wanda's Life Sampler
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Looking for the full schedule?  You will find versions of all of the quilts from Modern Plus Signs spread out over two weeks. 

Monday, March 12th
Tuesday, March 13th
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Wednesday, March 14th
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Friday, March 16th
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Christa @ Christa Quilts
Monday, March 19th
Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Tuesday, March 20th
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood  ← You Are Here!
Wednesday, March 21st
Anja @ Anja Quilts
Thursday, March 22nd
Friday, March 23rd

Cheryl and Paige are also planning a quilt along later this year featuring designs from the book.  I'm looking forward to it!