Sunday, September 30, 2018

Three for September Wrap Up

The September challenge I set for myself, working on a different WIP for three days at a time all month, has been a great motivator and I have gotten some finishes that were long desired. I chose 10 projects and either moved along or finished 8 of the projects.  

#1 was the placemats for my nephew and his bride.  Goal was met of finishing the four placemats and mailing them to the happy couple.  

This photo shows the colors truer than the final shot with the aqua floral binding.  Nice to check off that fast finish for the first project, as I was already working on it, lol!

#2 was Garden Pinwheel, a quilt made from bonus triangles from the Rick Rack Road quilt here.  
I was stuck on the applique border.  Using the GO cutter after applying Steam a Seam2 fusible to the leaf fabrics was a big help in moving this quilt top along. 

Since I already had completed the back and binding, it will be next in the quilting queue. 

#3 was Jewels in the Curio.  I started this last year on National Sew a Jelly Roll Day, from a  Civil War Homefront Jelly Roll my mom and dad bought me years ago.  It is a Moda Bakeshop pattern. Goal was to assemble the finished Jewel Box Blocks into a top and work on the three borders. 

I finished the top and reassessed the border pieces that I needed were cut.  I also chose a neutral from stash to use for two of the borders instead of trying to cobble together scrappy ones, a decision that had stalled the quilt. 

#4 was Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient.  Sue had stalled a number of times, having been started about 4 years ago with bonus triangles from this quilt I made in 2006.

After a cutting error when trimming Sue's linen background meant I had to add coping strips that looked like a doorway to me, I added the oriental lantern embroidery.  She is all finished now, with a facing on the back made from Japanese fabric my sister in law brought me from a trip to Japan. 

Simple quilting was all that was needed.

This sideways pic shows how the top facing covers the shorter side facing, eliminating bulk in the corners.  I made skinny channel to hold a bamboo skewer or knitting needle for a hanging sleeve.  So happy to have Sue finished at last, so many years after the original idea struck.

#5 was Zig Zag 9 patch, a quilt started from a block swap with an online Yahoo Group.  I assembled the top a couple of years ago...2012! (cough) a la Bonnie Hunter's quilt Rick Rack Nines, and it went to the quilter in 2017; the binding was machine sewn on in June this year and it has been waiting since then to have some missed stitching repairs and get a bath. I took it to the laundromat today and it is a finished quilt at last. 

Our CalKing bed is too wide for the zig zags to run vertically, but I still think it looks good.  The Baptist Fan quilting was my choice, and I love the texture.  So pleased to have made a bed sized quilt for US at last. 

#6 was Go Four It, a Leader-Ender I've been working on for a few years, based on Edyta Sitar's quilt in APQ magazine, with a twist.  Quilt MATH finally being worked out meant I needed to find a setting fabric for my layout.  Luckily I have found one.

The Jan Patek fabric I found at the Santa Barbara Quilt Guild show a few weeks ago is now washed and ready to cut.  I can finally turn this Leader Ender into a real quilt.  

#7 was two unplanned "squirrel" project tablerunners from a Kim Brackett book.  Inspiration struck to use charm squares instead of yardage and I assembled two tops before running out of steam.  Both are now finished. 

I chopped off the corner in this pic, but you get the idea.  This is from her Cross My Heart quilt in Scrap-Basket Surprises.  I had fun with the specialty stitches on my machine to add detail to walking foot quilting.
Above is the larger tablerunner, and below is the mini, from the same Prayer Flag charm pack that had languished in a drawer for years. 

#8  was the Medallion Star rescue quilt.  I inherited this early 90's top from my former boss, whose now ex-wife was clearing out her old craft projects.   I had chopped off some of the dated background fabric and made a new pieced border of my own 3 years ago.  

It became a sandwich and stalled during the quilting stage in 2017.  It has been stuffed under my cutting table waiting for more quilting for over a year.  I had spray basted the quilt and needed to iron it flat again before adding more quilting today.  While still not finished, it is very close to becoming a real quilt at last. 
 Walking foot quilting in the border chains...

...and surrounding the star points.  I have the four corner squares left to do in the burgundy, and a plan for the remainder of the borders.  Now September is over and I feel great about all the time I've spent in my sewing room this month. 

The two projects that didn't get touched were Barefoot in the Park, a Christmas quilt which is a layout, switcheroo and assemble the top job, and the other is framing the Mason Jar embroidery I recently finished.  I'll get to them :)  

I plan to revisit this "Three For a Month" idea in the future whenever I get overwhelmed again.  It was fun to touch each of these quilts and finish a few. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Three for September--Narragansett Browns Delivered

Three for September --I worked on a different WIP for three days at a time all month.  

The main WIP I wanted to finish got a label Thursday morning, and yesterday my sister and I showed up at our Uncle Fred's senior living facility to deliver the quilt. We surprised Uncle Fred in a common area, in the middle of a card game with three ladies, one of whom was familiar with our family through her sister (whose son married my best friend Toni. Still following?)

Uncle Fred obliged by letting me drape the quilt over him blanket style.  Never very talkative, he was still quite pleased and enjoyed the feline QC photo I showed him--he has a cat that looks like my Mini.  The ladies were all very complimentary and I appreciated their kind words.

Disclaimer on the next pic: I am lousy at selfies!
A bit blurry, but still wonderful to have gotten this pic. As we were leaving the facility, coincidentally the sister of the card player was coming in and we stopped and chatted with Mrs. Weeks. (Aside to my best friend: How about that, Toni?)

I sent a picture of the finished quilt to Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville, the designer of Narragansett Blues from her book MORE Leaders and Enders, and she posted it on her Facebook page with very nice words about my version.  Lots of folks liked my quilt, which made me very pleased.  

Good news was also received from my nephew and his new bride--they received the package and his wife "loved the placemats, as they matched her kitchen".  Such a sweet thing to hear.  

Tomorrow I will wrap up the Three for September self-challenge.  It has been a good time.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Design Wall Monday--9/24/18

It's Design Wall Monday.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts. 

Off my design wall is the "Squirrel" mini quilt, another Three for September WIP (I'm working on a different WIP every three days this month).  I got this mini quilted and bound yesterday.  This pattern is Cross My Heart from Kim Brackett's book Scrap-Basket Surprises.  The prints are Prayer Flag by April Cornell.

I used one of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine and a neutral cream thread, to play up the sort of Boho look of the prints.  The design shows up better on the mini dot backing.

I also pieced a Frankenbatt for the larger Cross My Heart runner, and cut and made binding for that one.  There was no sewing today but a bunch of clean up in the sewing room after work, as the housecleaners are coming tomorrow, yay.  

Last night I sewed up some missed spots on the machine binding on Narragansett Browns, and the quilt got a bath today. 

 There was feline QC after the binding was stitched.   Mini made sure to nap-test as well.

Are you guys sick of seeing this one?  Well, hopefully it will be going to its forever home this week when I give it to my uncle.   I'm going to have to just show up to his senior living home as he doesn't answer his phone and didn't respond to my email either!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Three for September--Squirrels

Three for September--this month I am choosing a different WIP to work on for three days at a time.

The Squirrel problem in the sewing room is a constant despite the lack of nuts or other foraging foods...unless precuts are considered foods!  For the next Three for September project, I have two tablerunner flimsies that were the result of thumbing through the book Scrap-Basket Surprises by Kim Brackett, seeing the pattern called Cross My Heart, and needing to try out my idea of using charm squares instead of scraps.  Naturally, this inspiration came at about 10:30 p.m., but I remembered a charm pack of Prayer Flag by April Cornell in a drawer, so it was a Late Night Squirrel.  

The celery green solid was in the stash and worked nicely with the Prayer Flag prints.  I am choosing from stash this daisy print from JoAnn's for backing and a Jinny Beyer print in gold for binding on the larger of the two tablerunners. 

This placemat-sized runner will be backed and bound with this mini dot in a faded red.  Nothing fancy for the quilting but I will be happy to have these off the list.  Kim Brackett has a new book out called Scrap-Basket Bounty, and I'm sure I'll be needing that book too--I love her designs.

Also off the list is the Narragansett Browns quilt, my version of Bonnie Hunter's Narragansett Blues quilt. I finished the binding today and aside from a label, it is ready to be gifted to my uncle.  I hope to have photos of this quilt being delivered tomorrow.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Things are Perking

It was a busy weekend and week so far, two family birthdays and a trip to a quilt show, then evening appointments two nights this week.  While it seems I have suspended my Three for September project, actually I am still working on several at once. 

My sister, sister-in-law and I snuck off on Sunday to attend the Santa Barbara  Coastal Quilter's Guild show. It was very well organized, with many volunteers and good vendors.  We had lots of fun shopping and signed up for some of the prizes.  My sister played on a new longarm machine and is contemplating upgrading.  I didn't take too many photos, but loved this quilt.

Yes, this is a quilt of a reflection.  The Santa Barbara Mission is a beautiful active mission and the site of many events through the year.  I loved this smallish quilt, measuring maybe 24x30.  We had a fun couple of hours seeing everything and bumping into guild members.  I found some bargains and a possible contender for one of the Three for September WIPs.  And my sister Kathy later received a call saying she had won the Singer Featherweight drawing prize!  How about that?  She is so excited.  I hope to get my hands on it occasionally too. 

For the Go Four It quilt I bought this Jan Patek fabric from The Rusty Crow.  She packages up yard size cuts and discounts them, $8 each.  My layout calls for 3.5" setting squares and also outer setting triangles so I bought three packages.  I did not want to have too small of a print in the background, but also not one too distracting that would overshadow the pieced blocks. 

I think this subtle colored print will work.  Opinions welcome.  Have I mentioned quilt MATH in awhile?  I have counted and recounted and recalculated the numbers for the square in squares yet again, to find that I have over a dozen extra of the colored sort, and am short by about a dozen of the neutral.  Jeez.  I'm very pleased to have found a background fabric at last, though, so this WIP will move along.  

Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient got more attention too. I found this quilt facing tutorial on Terry Aske Art Quilt Studio site (  I cut the facing strips two inches wider for the top and bottom, and two inches shorter for the sides as suggested.  The tutorial included cutting out a very small piece of ONLY the batting from the corners, this is about a 5/8" square (I forgot to get a picture before I sewed on the facings so it is laying on top)

The pieces are stay-stitched to aid in rolling the quilt front to the back a smidge.  The top facing will overlap the side piece when  folded to the back (this pic shows the top piece on the right).

Look how sharp that corner turned out.  I cut my facings wide and will trim them down a bit before handstitching to the back. Getting close to calling this a finish!

I spent a couple of hours today sewing a binding on another Thomas  Fire Quilt.  We still have people requesting quilts.  At work we had a patient today who lost their house in the fire.  He was very excited that their house plans have been approved by the City and soon they may start new construction.  Grant and I took a drive up into one of the worst hit neighborhoods the other day, and while there were lots cleared not much new construction has been going on.  We saw dozens of lots, many of which are for sale; most of the neighborhood went up in the 60s and original owners now in their 80s are not rebuilding.  I'm sure it will be years before the hundreds of homes lost are replaced and insurance settlements satisfied.  We will keep giving out quilts until no more requests come through.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Design Wall Monday--National Sew a Jelly Roll Day Update

For Design Wall Monday, I have the results of my work on National Sew a Jelly Roll Day.  I had a great time on Saturday making blocks from a jelly roll of Badda Bing, a fabric line from Me and My Sister designs.  There was a lot of cutting of background yardage, but after that was finished I cut the jelly roll strips in batches so I could have the constant reward of sewing them up as I went :)

Happy Tiers is the Me and My Sister pattern I am using, from the April 2016 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting (pattern for sale on their website).  I just love the cherry prints. 

The pink, blue and red prints will each make 5 block rows, but since I only got two orange and three green from the jelly roll, they have a joint row.  I paid more attention to the cherry print on the diagonal so the cake looks striped--the dark blue one in the upper right.  There will be a red one just like it.  There are only a few more blocks to sew before I can start assembling with sashing.  The magazine pattern called for 2 1/4 yard of background, but I was able to cut all the pieces, with extras, from a two yard piece of  Kona White. A fun, fast quilt in the making.  I will repeat this with the other jelly roll, Meadowbloom.  

Also on Saturday, to keep things going on my Three for September WIP play, I got the quilting done on Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient.   

Very simple stitch in the ditch and outlining Sue.  I decided not to quilt around the lantern embroidery.  I'll use the same gold print for the facing; I found a tutorial I like that eliminates the bulk in the corners and keeps them from getting too rounded.  

See more Design Walls on Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Saturday, September 15, 2018

National Sew a Jelly Roll Day--Happy Tiers

It's National Sew a Jelly Roll Day, and I am ready to cut and sew!

As I mentioned previously, my cousin asked me to make quilts for his two young granddaughters for Christmas, and I was happy to oblige.  I sent him a bunch of photos of quilts from my magazines and we decided on Happy Tiers, a Me and My Sister design, in the April 2016 issue of APQ magazine.  Recently I ordered two Jelly Rolls on Etsy and bought Kona background fabric locally. 

I didn't want the quilts to be too "young" and chose brights that are not babyish for this graphic, fun pattern.  

 Pretty and sweet smaller scale prints with cherries.

Love the name of this line!  These gals are fun to talk to at quilt shows, lots of energy.

  More saturated colors with lots of white, and inspirational phrases.

Meadowbloom by April Rosenthal.  I will leave it up to my cousin as to which quilt goes to which granddaughter, after they are made.  I'm headed to the cutting table right after breakfast :)

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Progress on Sue: Three for September

Three for September:  All this month I am choosing a different WIP to work on every three days.   

It was Sunbonnet Sue's turn, as noted in my last post, who has been going to the Orient for some years...(cough).  I brought Sue with me to an appointment Monday to have my iPhone serviced. (FYI: Best Buy has authorized Apple Services and can change your iPhone battery for $29.  The $29 price is only good from Apple through the rest of this year, then it costs $79 again.)  I sat and stitched in the car for awhile and got a couple more lanterns done.  When I got home, I had to rush to finish a pincushion for a guild swap, which I didn't take a picture of, and finish a binding on a Thomas Fire Quilt, before going to our meeting.  I didn't get back to Sue again until this morning, so am over the three days, but it's my WIP party so I'm not too fussed about it!  

The embroidery was finally finished and I ironed away the Frixion pen markings.  Maybe I've looked at this too long, but I'm not entirely  happy with my composition.  It's staying the way it is, though.

I also chose a backing fabric.  My sister-in-law Laura bought this and some other beauties on a trip to Japan a few years ago.  If I have enough, I'll make the facing from the same fabric.  Then it was time to choose the next WIP.  Since I woke up cold this morning and had to use a throw quilt, I am choosing the Rick Rack Nine Patch.  

I sewed the binding on several months ago and when machine stitching it to the back, missed some spots, which must be hand sewn closed.  Then I will need to take it to the laundromat for its first bath as it is HUGE.  A label will follow and then it can be declared a Real Quilt and come live on our bed.  Here's a pic from last year when I got it back from the quilter. 

This is a Bonnie Hunter design though I used swap blocks that were made from 3.5" squares so a lot bigger than her pattern (Rick Rack Nines is from the Leaders and Enders book).  I love the Baptist Fan quilting.  If I finish up the hand stitching quickly, I will return to Sue and also start prepping the two jelly roll projects for the National Sew a Jelly Roll day.  Lots of cutting to do. 

I also cut and made binding today for  Narragansett Browns as well as another Thomas Fire quilt that was a donated top made from a jelly roll.  The TF quilt is an odd size at 64 x 100 so lots of binding was needed.  I'd like to get all the bindings done tomorrow, if I can.   Off to sew....

Monday, September 10, 2018

Design Wall Monday: Twofer Threefer and Longarm Quilting

Design Wall Monday, see the Linkup on Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.  

Three for September: I am pulling out a different WIP to work on every three days this month.

#3 The Jewels in the Curio quilt now has a finished center.
I am not going to claim all my seams are perfectly lined up but they are only a smidge off in some places, not enough to worry about.  I am  happy with the colors and just love these repro prints in the Jewel Box blocks.  The other task for this project was to form a plan for the three borders.  I have examined all the precut pieces and leftover light fabrics I have.  Jo from Jo's Country Junction designed this quilt for Moda Bakeshop with a 4" finished light inner border, a scrappy squares second border, and a third 2"light  border, but used only one background print for her design, where I went scrappy.  So there will be some creative cutting and likely additions from the stash to make up the difference.  I also got a bunch of square in squares done for GO Four It as a Twofer :)

The #4 selection for Three for September is Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient (applique from Quick Quilts magazine 2005).  Poor, poor Sue has been a WIP for soo long.  Here's how she looks today:

Goal is to finish up the lantern embroidery, make a quilt sandwich and do some simple quilting.  I may add a facing rather than binding as I want to keep the focus on the center.  Sue will be a wallhanging at last.  

My sister sent me a message that her longarm Pfaff was finally operational and she had quilted 5 Thomas Fire quilts in the last few days, without the thread breaking every four inches as it had been.  Yesterday I took over the quilt I'm making for our Uncle Fred and we loaded it onto the machine.  This is my version of Bonnie Hunter's Narragansett Blues pattern. 

She purchased this Grand Quilter at a quilt show, it was their demo model so was sold at a discount but still not inexpensive!  Her landlady kindly let her set it up in the craft room of their house.  Here it is with the 10' rails, she has 12'. Kathy guided me through all the steps of loading the quilt and readying the machine.  

We ran into some problems with the bobbin thread that took some time to resolve, there was a dull needle to change, and part of the batting folded inside the quilt, but otherwise it was great fun to do.

The quilting is neither the prettiest or perfect on this scrappy quilt, but it is done! I'll use  the excess cut off backing for a scrappy binding.  This quilt has been more than a  year in the making, starting with the four patches as leader-enders for a good long while last year :)   I started assembling the quilt in March 2018 and finished the top and backing in June.  Hoping to get a photo of Uncle with his quilt in the near future.  I've got several other finished tops that will see some longarm action soon!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Three for September Twofer

Three for September: I am choosing a to work on a different WIP every three days this month. 
I was out of the house most of the day yesterday, errands included going to the pharmacy, fabric store, and I snuck in a lunch out with DD Erica.  I had intended to get in the sewing room in the late afternoon but succumbed to a nap and missed dinner.  Not being tired, I got stuck into sewing Jewel Box blocks into rows, with the Twofer part the leader-ender square in squares.  

 All the rows are completed and I have the first pair at the sewing machine for assembly.

These square in squares were sewn and trimmed before the night was over. Lots more  bright triangles are cut and ready to sew on.

I picked up a Thomas Fire quilt to bind, and did a little shopping at Superbuzzy for more neutrals.  

The length of Kona Snow I hope will be sufficient for another new project.  A couple of jelly rolls are on their way from Etsy to be sewn into Happy Tiers quilts for my cousin's granddaughters for Christmas.  I'm aiming for National Jelly Roll Day sewing (9/15).  This will interrupt my Three for September, but I will find a way to fit in a less work intensive WIP.  According to my schedule, the 15th will be the third day of whichever project chosen. 

Now, off to sew!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Three for September: Garden Pinwheel Top Finish

Three for September:  a WIP is chosen and worked on for three days, all month.  

Late last night I carefully toted the Garden Pinwheel quilt top to the ironing board to fuse down the leaves on the border.  I only lost one leaf, which was a thin fabric that didn't want to stick, but fused just fine once I found it under the ironing board!
If you can tell, I decided to graduate down to the smaller leaves from the corners.  The applique really adds a lot to the simple patchwork, I think. 

Lots of green scrappy leaves in all shades. Oh, I am so happy I didn't abandon this idea in favor of a finish years ago!  The top was placed back on the hanger with the backing and binding and hopefully it will come out to play again before the end of the year.   I have plenty of green threads to chose from when it comes time to stitch down the edges with a fancy stitch. 

The next Three for September WIP is going to be a two-fer.  I've been making square-in-square blocks for several years, and after an hour of playing layout on the floor, am nearing the total I need for my self-drafted quilt plan, originally inspired by Edyta Sitar's Go Four It project from APQ magazine in 2015. My blocks are 3.5" unfinished; hers were much tinier as she started with 1.25" squares for her four patches. 

I am going to keep sewing the triangles to my four patches as leader-enders while I finish assembling the rows and top for the Jewels in the Curio quilt (a Moda Bakeshop pattern).  I have another five rows to assemble for the 8x8 setting.  Cutting and assembling the borders may follow before the three days are up.
Now I've got to get out of the house for a few errands, there are more Thomas Fire Quilts to give away and they need binding. A VERY generous long arm quilter has just returned 12 quilts she did for our guild project.  They are tagged for recipients so need to be finished right away.  I'm off to Superbuzzy!

Design Wall Monday--Catching Up

 Design Wall Monday --See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  I disappeared for awhile, due to computer issu...