Friday, November 27, 2020


I finished my Robot quilt!  This was my third donation finish for the month, and I needed all three to make my November OMG with Patty of Elm Street Quilts.  Last weekend was the last call for donations for my guild's philanthropy project and I wanted to have three to turn in, to bring me to a total of 8.  And I made it!  The other two were the Butterfly quilt and the Pink and Purple Postage Plus.  



The fabrics came from a bundle of 7 fat quarters that were part of the haul given to my by my friend Jen's mom.  I've essentially been adopted into their family.  Jen's mom went through her craft supplies a little over a year ago and got rid of anything she thought she was unlikely to use.  I got all the fabric!  I've been making things with that fabric a little at a time, as projects come to me, and I've been wanting to use these fun robots.  I paired them with some 5" squares from my supply of I Spy fabrics.

The back is mostly Hot Wheels fabric plus two width of fabric strips that I thought went ok and made the back the right size.  Sometimes that's all I'm looking for!

This is one of my finishes towards my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail.  While this wasn't a UFO, I created a provision in my goal that I also could count some projects from fabric I owned and wanted to use, even though they weren't in a started project.  For me, it's just as much about using what I have.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Dresden's Butterfly Garden plus giveaway on the Inspired by Nature blog hop

Welcome to my stop on the Island Batik Inspired By Nature blog hop! I hope you've been enjoying all the beautiful quilts made from Island Batik's summer lines.  I love the Inspired by Nature theme and had a few ideas, including one in particular that I've had in my mind for a while.  I sometimes think about classic quilt patterns and shapes that I haven't made before what I can do with them.  I've never made a Dresden Plate before and I've been wanting to play around with butterflies made with the blades. When I learned that my surprise collection was Tickled Pink, I knew it would work perfectly with what was in my head.

photo by K. Mellnik

Tickled Pink is a delightful collection of pinks, lavenders, light blues, and citrusy orange with lots of hearts, swirls, and flourishes designed by Kathy Engle.  I used all 20 fabrics in the collection, as well as the neutral Yolk for the background and solid pink for the binding.  Yolk is currently my favorite neutral; I love the swirls and the pale yellow makes everything look so warm.

photo by K. Mellnik

I used the EZ Quilting Dresden Tool designed by Darlene Zimmerman.  When I made my test butterflies, I couldn't decide if I liked 4-blade butterflies or 3-blade butterflies better. So I used them both!  


Once I determined what size blade I liked, I set to chain piecing.  They created quite a nice, colorful garland!

I loved my Dresden butterflies but felt like something was missing.  I decided to make the butterflies some flowers.  I used pretty small blades for this, as I wanted them to look like flowers.  With a name like Tickled Pink it felt important that one of the pink fabrics be prominent so I picked one I liked and used it for all the flower centers.  


Materials used in this project were provided to me by Island Batik, Hobbs, Aurifil, and Schmetz needles.

I used Aurifil thread 50 weight in color 1135, a bright yellow, to quilt wavy lines to represent the butterfly flight or a gentle breeze. The batting is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 fusible.  I did all quilting and piecing with Schmetz needles, the only needles I ever use.
photo by K. Mellnik


Full disclosure: I made this quilt in August!  I've been waiting that long to show it to you!  Like I said earlier, I knew as soon as I saw the Tickled Pink collection that it was perfect for my Dresden butterfly experiment.  I also knew it would look much, much better being photographed with summer foliage rather than late fall foliage, so I made it early.

photo by K. Mellnik

That meant that getting good pictures with flowers was important to me.  Once it was done, I met my friend Kate for a socially-distanced picnic at a park she knew that had a great community garden.  Most of these fabulous pictures are hers; she has an amazing eye for photographs. 

Behind the scenes; photo by K. Mellnik

Now that you have seen Dresden's Butterfly Garden, how about a chance to win some fabric?  I have some leftovers of Tickled Pink to give away.  There are pieces of 5" x 10.5" of 17 of the fabrics in the line.  These could be cut into 5" charm squares but I will leave as longer pieces to make them more versatile.  There are also a few remnants of 2 1/2" strips from the flower blades.  Leave me a comment to enter.  If you need a prompt, tell me something in nature that has inspired a quilt (or other craft) you've made.

Tickled Pink prize.  The squares are folded; they are actually rectangles.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Island Batik also has a giveway for a fat quarter bundle of either Sweet Hearts or Love and Kisses.  Both are beautiful!  You can find the giveaway on their blog, and be sure to check back tomorrow (Friday) for a new giveway and a recap of week 2 of the Inspired By Nature blog hop.  The hop continues for one more week, so don't miss it!  And be sure to check out what my blog hop partner Carol Moellers made with Tickled Pink. 

photo by K. Mellnik

photo by K. Mellnik

Monday, November 16, 2020

Pink and Purple Postage Plus

I am always looking for patterns that make good leader and ender projects.  One of my favorites is Postage Plus from the book Modern Plus Sign Quilts by Cheryl Brickey & Paige Alexander.  Last year, I made a version using I Spy scraps.  This year, I used up some of my Kona scraps in pinks and purples. 

The instructions have you make strip sets but since I use scraps, I use those instead.  It's a great leader and ender project!  My Kona bin can get really full and most of what is in there are pretty small leftover pieces.  I pulled out every shade I could find that was pink, purple, or in-between and used my Accuquilt Go! cutter to cut squares.  Then I just kept a little bin of them by the machine and paired the fabrics up randomly.


My version is much smaller than the one in the book and for this one I opted for a single background color rather than stripes.  The background is Kona Shadow.  I did not keep track of all the colors of Kona scraps but there are quite a few different colors in there!  I did wavy line quilting on a grid using pink thread.  I really like how it looks and sill use a wavy grid again.  With the squares, I wonder if I missed a good opportunity for organic orange peel quilting.  I guess I need to make another Postage Plus and give it a try!

Since this will go to a kid and is patchwork with solids, I decided that the back needed some novelty fabrics.  I had a few width-of-fabric scraps that I combined with strips of Kona in pink or purple in between.  This will be donated to Friendship Trays as a part of my guild's philanthropy project and is the second of three finishes needed for my One Monthly Goal with Elm Street Quilts

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Floral Strips UFO turned Butterfly Quilt

I recently found a UFO that was not in my count.  When I first started quilting, I was in a quilt shop in Kansas on a visit to my mom and found these three floral fabrics, all the same print but different colors.  I drew up a design on graph paper, cut some strips, and sewed up 2 strips sets.  And there it sat.  I used the fabric I had purchased as background years ago as backing, I moved the un-cut yardage into their designated color bins of my stash, and I thought I gave away the cut strips and strips sets.  Not so, apparently.


I'm trying to make some quick finishes for my guild's philanthropy project and I had previously sorted through my I Spy fabrics and pulled out lots of butterfly squares, planning to use them in a child's quilt.  Since the fabric strips from my long-forgotten UFO were floral, I figured I could combine them.  So the strips I had already cut to 3" but that were fraying due to that being probably 20 years ago got trimmed to 2 1/2" and I cut apart the strips sets to use those as well.  I used the blue and green strips to frame 20 of my butterfly I Spy squares, then alternated blue and green in the layout.


I had less of the purple but there was enough for binding.  It's quilted with a diagonal cross-hatch.  The back has some flannel remnants that I pieced together to make it big enough. 


I'm not sure of the exact date of this project but the fabric has 1998 on the salvage and I would have guessed I was still in college, so late 90s fits. Even though this was on my original list for my PhD (projects half done) with Quilting Gail, the fact that I believe I started this at least 20 years ago should qualify it, even though this is now a completely different project.  But different or not, it's done!

This is my 41st finish for the year, moving me close to my goal of finishing 52 projects in 2020.  This is also one of the three donation quilts needed toward my OMG with Patty of Elm Street Quilts.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Inspired by Nature Blog Hop

The Island Batik Inspired by Nature blog hop starts today!  This hop goes through Thanksgiving day and highlights the new summer collections.  Pre-cuts from many of these collections are available now and yardage will be available later this month.  Island Batik has a store locator on their website to help you find a store near that carries Island Batik's beautiful fabrics.

You can see the full hop schedule here.  My day on the hop is November 19th. I've had my project done since the end of August and I'm so excited to show it to you!  It's been so hard to wait!  I was sent the Tickled Pink collection by Kathy Engle. 

Each week of the hop, Island Batik will have a giveaway for a different summer collection.  This week you could win a Fat Quarter bundle of Bliss by Barbara Persing or Just My Type by Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis!  Both are beautiful!  I'll also have my own giveaway on November 19th when I show you my Inspired by Nature project. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 5, 2020

November OMG

I was a day late for my October OMG, so this month I'm picking a goal with an earlier deadline.  My guild is planning another in-person, outdoor gathering and I believe that is the final call for our donation quilts this year.  I'd like to get three more done for the donation.  Two are already at the binding stage so finishing them should be no problem.  For the third, I'm using a fat quarter bundle of robot-themed fabrics that was in the big box of fabric given to me by a good friend's mom as she de-stashed craft supplies she was unlikely to use.  My plan is to add in some of my I Spy squares with robots.  Completing all three quilts (2 already mostly done plus the robots) is my One Monthly Goal with Patty of Elm Street Quilts.

November OMG link-up is open!

Monday, November 2, 2020

Giraffe Pillow

Well, I'm a day too late to get credit on my October One Monthly Goal, but my giraffe pillow is now done!  I'm quite pleased with him and he looks great with the other animal pillows on our new couches!

The pattern is part of the Zoo Animals set by Kristy of Quiet Play.  I bought it several years ago but it looks like the pattern is still in her shop, both as a stand alone and as a set of 9.  This is the third I've made from that set and the lion is next.  They are paper pieced, which to be honest is not my favorite technique.  I can do it but I don't enjoy the process. I do, however, enjoy the results.

As with all the animals in my Pillow Menagerie, I used Kona solids.  This uses Earth, Caramel, and Butterscotch in the giraffe and Candy Blue for the background.  Plus Black and Snow for the eye.

This was on my list of projects for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Gail of Quilting Gail.  My PhD has been slow-going this year but I just might make it.  This marks either my 8th or 9th completed project, depending if I count a project that became 2 quilts as one or as 2.  With a little hard work, I may finish enough that I don't need to decide.  Two months left in the year, we'll see what else I can finish.