Thursday, April 25, 2019

World Penguin Day

Apparently today is world penguin day.  Which makes it an appropriate day to share my quilt top of penguin blocks made by hive 4 in this year's Stash Bee.  Completing the top was my One Monthly Goal for the link-up party hosted by Patty of Elm Street Quilts.

At 74" x 90" this quilt is big for me, so photographing it on short notice (so as to post on world penguin day) was tricky.  Here's the best I could do:

I don't currently have anything big enough to back this, so it's on hold as a finished top for the moment.  Nancy at Grace and Peace Quilting recently wrote a great post about fabric shopping at IKEA and using duvet covers as backing which I thought was brilliant, so I'm hoping to plan a trip to the Charlotte IKEA soon to find something suitable.

Penguin block pattern is by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts, blocks were made by my fabulous hive-mates in Stash Bee, Hive 4.

Here's another thoroughly bad photo.  This is why I don't like to make big quilts!!!

April Finish link-up is open!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

All Aboard the Accuquilt Express!

The April Island Batik challenge is baby quilts made with the Accuquilt Go!  Accuquilt is an industry partner this year and generously sent every ambassador an Accuquilt Go! cutter, an 8" Cube set, and a 2 1/2" strip die.  Talk about Happy Mail!!!!  I wanted more of a scene than a traditional quilt block, so I combined Sawtooth Star blocks cut with the Cube with a train die I already owned. All aboard the Accuquilt Express!

photo by K. Mellnik
I used the Flea Market collection; there are 20 prints in the collection and I used 14 in this project.  In addition to a stack (10" squares) of the full collection, I was given yardage of a Mum in Weeds and Mum in Kiwi.  I used the Weeds yardage for the ground and the binding, the Kiwi yardage for the sky/background, and a strip of Island Batik's new solid black for the train track and the wheels.  The puffs of smoke coming from the engine are batik solid in gray. This quilt is 40" square.

I used a blanket stitch and Aurifil 1320 Bright Teal for the train applique.  It blends beautiful with the teals of Flea Market.  I love cross-hatch quilting and used Aurifil 2000 Light Stand.

The fabrics were provided to me by Island Batik.  Accuquilt and Aurifil also provided materials that I used in this project.

I've had an Accuquilt cutter for a few years and I absolutely love it!  The speed and ease and accuracy in cutting just cannot be beat.  This was my first time using the Cube set and there are so many blocks you can make with these dies!  I had the pieces cut out for the sawtooth star blocks in under five minutes.

cutting the sawtooth stars

I don't have a baby in my life right now who doesn't already have a quilt so this will be donated to my local Project Linus chapter.  As I do with most of my donated quilts for babies and kids, this is backed with fleece.  I love the weight of a quilt top + fleece (no batting) especially in the south when a heavy blanket often isn't needed.  It's also soft and cuddly.

And of course, I had to set it up with a train track!  I love how the bright fabrics mimic the colors of  of our toy trains.

I love making baby quilts, so I was super excited about this challenge.  I also think it's important that a baby quilt is still fun and relevant when the child is no longer a baby.  Here's proof that my five-year-old approves of this quilt.  And yes, he asked to be in a picture!

I really loved the colors and patterns in Flea Market and I'm pleased that it makes what I think is essentially a gender-neutral baby quilt.  The teal train makes me happy every time I see it!  You'll see these same fabrics in a completely different look in my May project!

photo by K. Mellnik

Monday, April 15, 2019

Q2 Goals

I did not have many finishes in Quarter 1 of the globally hosted Finish Along.  Here's hoping Quarter 2 is more productive!

I've got a fairly long list.  I always list more than I can finish because I never know what I'll be in the mood to work on. 

General Projects and Gifts

1. Tea cozy for Dad
My dad, a big tea drinker, has used the same tea cozy for my entire life.  It's pretty shabby.  He asked me to make him a new one.  I've got the embroidery done, now I just need to create the cozy.

2. Devin's baby quilt
My good friend Devin had his second child last year.  I'm making an I Spy quilt to match big sister's.  This is finished except for the last of the binding--I'm waiting for baby's name for the label that will get sewn into the binding. 

3.  Extra for Miren
The baby from #2 also has a big sister.  I'm still waiting to hear from her parents what Miren, age 3, is particularly fond of, so this one is undefined so far.  It will likely be either a pillowcase or a small pillow.

4. Giselle's Baby Quilt
I have a coworker expecting a baby boy this spring.  I'm mostly done with this one, I just need baby boy to arrive so I can add name and birthdate to a label and sew it into the binding. 

5. Island Batik May Project
Here's a sneak peak of some of the improv from my May Island Batik project.  I know, improv, me?  But it will be glorious!

6. Island Batik June Project
The theme for June is "Try a Technique."  I've got several ideas and fabric pulls for all of them, I just need to choose and get started.

7. Island Batik July Project
July's project will feature Aurifil thread.  Check out the beauties that I will be working with:

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 was my hand-sewing project on trips in 2017 & 2018 and I finished the embroidery!  Now I just need to turn it into a finished project. I'm super close to having this one done!

Project Linus

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.
14. Patriotic Stars, part 2
These were my bee blocks from April 2018.  Most of them were turned into a door decoration, but I still have a few blocks left to turn into a donation quilt.

15. Blue Forest Animals
This was a fabric donated to my Project Linus chapter that I really liked.  I have the blue print cut into 10" squares, plus 2 other fabrics and a plan.

16. Elizabeth
This is a fat quarter quilt that is mostly cut and partially sewn.

17. Penguins
When I was Queen Bee in Stash Bee this January,  I asked for penguin blocks.  I'm so excited to create this Waddle of Penguins!

18 & 19. Sailboats
In Bee Inspired, I asked for simple and fun sailboat blocks for a charity quilt.  I received enough to make two quilts.  Ahoy, Matey!

20. Hidden Stars
I've been doing the QAL hosted by Sherry of Powered by Quilting from her Hidden Stars pattern.  I have most of my sub-units pieced and think it will go quickly once I get the blocks assembled.

So there's my crazy long list!  I know I won't get all of these done, and I'm okay with that. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

April Bee Blocks and an Adventure

I'm pleased to have my bee blocks done before the halfway point of April.  I like having a little breathing room!

In Bee Inspired, we aren't a traditional bee this year but a few of us are taking turns asking for blocks that will be made into charity quilts.  Ann of Brown Paws Quilting asked for chicken blocks.  Aren't they cute?!  The original tutorial is from Sew Inspired.  The comb is a bit fiddly but overall I'm happy with this flock.

Queen Karen of Stash Bee asked for red and pink heart blocks that she will make into a quilt for a child in foster care. This is such a fun quick block that I made three.

I love know blocks I made end up in quilts all over the world but I am especially pleased that many of them end up donated to people who need something to brighten their day.  I hope these hearts and chickens find great homes and put a smile on someone's face.

As for the adventure, yesterday I met Carole of From My Carolina Home in person!  It's always great to meet online quilty friends in real life!  Carole is the organizer behind Carolina Hurricane Quilts for those impacted by Hurricane Florence in 2018.  For folks in North Carolina, Carole has made arrangements with 5 quilts shops across the state to be drop-off points.  I'm her runner for the Charlotte area/southern Piedmont shop.  So yesterday morning I loaded up the 10 quilts that have been dropped off at Quilt Patch Fabrics as well as one I made and drove to meet Carole about halfway between our homes.

Eleven quilts for the Carolina Hurricane project, and you can see where we had lunch through my trunk window
Carole has all the pictures of the two of us (plus our delicious sushi lunch) on her camera, so we'll have to wait until after Easter for those.  Here are the eleven quilts in the trunk of my car and the restaurant sign can be seen through my open trunk window.  We'll get together again in July or August to transfer any other donations.  The quilt drive is open for several more months and she is able to match completed tops to willing long-armers, so if you are looking for a place to donate quilts or tops, check out all the info here. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Fat Quarter Quilts

Last fall, I visited my college friend Jen.  We've known each other a long time and I know her family, too.  I was sent home with 2 big boxes of fabric and other craft supplies from Jen's mom, Judy.  Judy, a life-long crafter, realized she won't use all her craft supplies in her lifetime so as the essentially adopted daughter, I was given a TON of fabric and other sewing supplies. Much of the fabric was fat quarters, both lose and in coordinated bundles.  I had been seeing all the quilts that Nancy of Grace and Peace Quilting made in 2018 using the Simple Gifts pattern from the booklet Fat Quarter Love by Weeks Ringle & Bill Kerr and decided this was a pattern I needed to own.

I had a fun fat quarter of musical horses that I bought at a LQS several years ago because I liked it, but never knew what to do with it  I combined those horses with 3 fat quarters from Judy and tada!  Fun quilt!  Here's the fabric pull so you can see the fabrics better:

 From a lovely coordinated bundle of fall fabrics, I picked out four that I liked together and presto!  Another fun finish!

I know, it's a fall quilt being photographed in spring.  Perhaps it looks more fall-like on a barn?

Both are quilted with cross-hatch quilting and bound with whatever leftover binding I had that seemed to go with the main fabrics.  Simple Gifts sews up very quickly and I can see making quite a few more!  You'll be seeing many more quilts made with the fabrics Judy gave me.  These will both go to my local chapter of Project Linus.

These were quilts #18 & #19 on my list of Q1 finish along goals. They were also both on my list
of projects needed for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

OMG: Penguins!

I have chosen an April goal for the One Monthly Goal linky party hosted by Patty of Elm Street Quilts.  This year, I want to make my bee blocks into a finished quilt early in the year!  I was queen of Stash Bee in January and asked my hive-mates to make these fabulous penguin blocks, pattern by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.

I am now the proud owner of 16 lovely penguins.  My goal for April is to sew them into a completed top.  Truth be told, I'd love to get an entire quilt finished, but a top is more realistic for this month.

April link-up is open!!