Sunday, March 31, 2019

Three for March Wrapup

The last pick for my Three for March UFO self-challenge, Sliced Cake, has its center finished.  I enjoyed sewing the rows together for this quick to piece top, a la Canoe Ridge Creations' tutorial. 

Pressing the seams in opposite directions per completed vertical row made the seams nest nicely and there was no need for any ripping, thankfully.  I've yet to make a decision about borders and backing, but am happy to be at this point with the project.  I used border pieces for Pick #4, Aussie Feedsacks, as leader-enders while constructing this.

Overall, my self-challenge was successful over the month--of the 10 projects, three are completely finished projects, two are completed tops, and all have been moved along--some more than others.   The oldest project, Pick #3, the Sanctuary panel with applique, is now a finished quilt.  Yes!

 I used some leftover jelly roll strips for the binding and a couple of pieces from stash that matched.

Closeup of the quilting I did around the appliques.  This was just the finishing touch the quilt needed to elevate it from a panel, I think.  The quilt is destined for an extended family member; I'll need to get a label stitched on but it has had its first bath and looks good. 

Pick #5, Round Robin Star, is also a completed quilt, with the binding finished today.  I'm really happy with the spiral quilting.

The back is not flawless--the fabric was sun-faded when I bought it--but I think it is fine. 

Today I sewed the four corner blocks on the #1 pick, Go FOUR It quilt, the center is now complete. A backing has arrived for Jewels in the Curio--no picture of that yet, but I did get a pic of more batiks bought for the  Beach Cottage quilt last week for additional variety. 


It was wonderful to spend concentrated time with the 10 projects, even better to cross a few off the UFO list, which of course shall never be completely cleared! 

Thanks for all the encouragement and comments all month, I so appreciate it. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Final Pick for Three for March, and Lantern update

Sliced Cake is the tenth and final pick for my month-long challenge, and was inspired by a fabric I couldn't resist.


The macrame print was so cute. It's a little washed out in this pic, better in the next pic.  It is a Cotton + Steel print.  I last worked on this project in 2017, so it is only toddler aged :)

I saw the Sliced Cake Quilt tutorial on Canoe Ridge Creations' Facebook page using 10" squares, however I'm only making 4 rows of 17 strips.  I bought most of the coordinates from the clearance section on Connecting Threads--more came from stash.  This morning I laid out all the pieces and played switcheroo. 

Bright and fun colors and prints to play with.  There were a couple more switches after this pic.  I got right to sewing the rows before work.

Two rows complete, two to go! I will use the macrame print as borders to make the quilt a bit bigger, child size.   Meanwhile, pick #9 is now a finished pillow cover. 


In laying out the pieces after making the yellow print drunkard's path block, I remembered why this project stalled--the leftover DP blocks were all different sizes.  But since there were only four of them to trim, it went quickly and I sewed the pillow front together pretty easily. Originally I thought about finishing the pillow with a binding, but decided it would cover up too much of the rounded corner effect, so made a regular split back and stitched and turned the cover. 
This made an 18" pillow cover, a good size for a chair or couch.

The split back has >1" hemmed edges and overlaps on the sides by 3".  I'm glad to have the Lantern into a finished item and out of UFO jail.  Jen Carlton Bailly has many more DP-based patterns and lots of tips and tricks for easy construction on her website, bettycrockerass.com. 

Back to piecing and pressing...:)

Monday, March 25, 2019

Three for March--#9 Pick

This morning's number draw was #4 on my UFO list, Mythical Lanterns, a Jen Carlton-Bailly pattern. Jen taught this class for our guild last year.  I purchased a full set of her templates for the class--which she discounted for us. 

I bought some Essex Linen to use with a charm pack I had of Wing and Leaf.  Unfortunately, my choice of charms meant using the 3.5" templates, which were hard to sew neatly with the thicker Essex Linen.  I have decided to use just this block to make a pillow cover, requiring one more Drunkard's Path block to use in the corners, with borders of the Essex Linen.  I have several coordinating 1/4 cuts of the purple print that I can use for a pieced back and binding. I better not mess up as I used the rest of the Wing and Leaf charm pack to make a playmat for guild.

There was a beach trip following my last post--after a visit with my Mom and Dad, I bought a drive-thru burger and took myself to Surfer's Point.  Just as I found a parking spot, a huge group of pelicans was flying past, but I was not quick enough to get a good shot of them with my phone. There was other scenery, though, while I stitched a little on the Blackwork embroidery. 


Clouds, palm trees, surfers, shoreline and the Santa Monica Mountains in the distance. It was windy and cool and I enjoyed watching from my car.

Here's part of the Superbloom of California Poppies--from our backyard.  My brother lives close to where the Lake Elsinore Superbloom covers multiple mountains and the crowds are thick.  Pretty tame in my backyard :)

Friday, March 22, 2019

Three for March Keeps on Going!

Three for March, my UFO self-challenge, is nearing the close, only a few more picks left.  Last night I worked on pick #7, Beach Cottage, a Kim Brackett pattern from 2 1/2 inch strips.

It was good to spend time at the sewing machine after a very long and difficult day at work, getting some of each of the four color combos sewn. The blocks are assembled into ABCD blocks before final assembly. I'm looking forward to more yummy batik block making--these are easy to sew, no tiny pieces :)  Today I have off and am spending more time in the sewing room.  The pick this morning was #8, which happened to match with the same project number on my list, a small quilt with Blackwork embroidery by Stitchin' by the River that I bought at a quilt show several years ago. 


I had already cut the embroidery background pieces from this tea-dyed look Primitive Gatherings yardage, and got the edges zigzagged before tracing the pattern.

It is a beautiful day in SoCal and perhaps I will drive down to the beach and watch the waves while I stitch.  It has been quite a while since I was down there.  Later there will be some more sewing machine time and perhaps some clean up--flat surfaces are a complete disaster in the sewing room with all the projects being worked on this month!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Three for March--Another pick and progress

Yesterday it was time to choose another UFO to work on for three days in March.  The draw was #10, Beach Cottage Beauty.  


This is another slow build project that I collected Batik fabrics for gradually. It was curiously difficult to find light green batiks, so there will be many repeats. There are four different blocks made from the color combos, here are some I worked on pairing last night.  The pattern is from Kim Brackett.


I have made a number of her quilts and have several of her books, but not her latest.  The quilt on the cover of this book is gorgeous and also made from Batiks.  I cut most of the fabrics with my GO cutter sometime last year, and am happy that they will be sewn into blocks at last.  More cutting and maybe shopping for more variety will be necessary---I don't have enough of each combo for the required number of blocks.  

Meanwhile, more progress was made on Three for March projects.  The Round Robin Star's binding is attached and the quilt trimmed. I'm loving the spiral quilting. 


So glad I had just enough of that light teal blue for the binding, which I'll hand sew to the back.

Also moved along is the Aussie Feedsacks.  The quilt center is now complete.


There is a pieced border next, requiring prints to be sewn before cutting into sections, and I got those paired up. 

Some of my favorite prints are in this closeup.  Very pleased with the construction so far.  I'll try using the pairs as leader-enders with the Beach Cottage blocks and move both along.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Three for March--Jewels in the Curio Update

I had a productive couple of afternoons this weekend in the sewing room, finishing off the borders for the Jewels in the Curio quilt.  Our son came over and collected his dad Saturday afternoon for a long drive to look at a car, so I had plenty of room to lay out the quilt in the living/dining room.  Well, after I shoved over the table and chairs. 

The pieced borders fit nicely and I was happy with the color/print mix.  Then the final 2.5" plain border got measured and cut wrong. 



 My mistake was turning the quilt when I laid it down the second time--but no matter, I just added leftover border pieces and measured again. The edge really is not wavy--the quilt is just a little wrinkled in the middle.  I looked through my fabric bins today and decided against piecing a back--this top is just under 80" square so will need a lot of fabric.  I'll order or locally buy an extra wide backing, and will also need to purchase batting.  I got the binding all made today too.

My sister Kathy came over in the middle of this process Saturday night and after I made us a tri-tip and cheese quesadilla for dinner, we spent time in the sewing room.  She was making blocks for the pizza box guild challenge, and I laid out another quilt top on the floor to cut borders.  

I had sewn the lengths of border together weeks ago and just needed to measure and cut. This quilt is not on my Three for March list but is one I'd like to get done by next month to give as a gift.



A closeup of the prints, a mix of stash and charm packs from Connecting Threads.  I sewed  the borders on today and made a backing.  However, while I was pressing the backing seam I noticed a big flaw and a tiny hole in one of the backing fabrics.  Sigh.  Repairs will be necessary.  The final task in the sewing room today was repairing some pillow covers for daughter Elaine.  The tassels were drifting away from the corners :)  

There is one more day allotted to the Jewels in the Curio pick, but since I don't have any more sewing to do for it right now, I'll work more on the Aussie Feedsacks or the Sanctuary panel. 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Three for March--Pick #6

I picked the next project number to work on for three days, this is #1, Jewels in the Curio.  The last time this quilt appeared on the blog was during my Three for September challenge, when these blocks became a top. 


These Jewel Box blocks made it to the first border stage by October.  I am not a big fan of borders but they do make quilts larger faster :)


I have since sewn together three of the pieced border side sections and have one more to complete. The second of the plain borders has already been cut and sewn, ready to measure and trim to size after the pieced borders are on.  This is a Moda Bakeshop pattern by Jo of Jo's Country Junction.  I may have some yardage large enough for this twin size quilt, will have to see. Off to sew!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Three for March--Round Robin Star Progress

Today was the third day to work on the Round Robin Star.  I did a lot of sewing today after getting off  work at noon.  

My original thought, as I mentioned yesterday, was to make a pillow cover.  I got my backing fabrics ironed and then the quilt top and started to lay out the backing, but soon discovered a problem.  The quilt top was not square, and when pressed measured more than an inch longer than wide.  There was no good way to trim the quilt square so I changed gears to finish it as a wall quilt or table topper.  Once the binding was made and the backing was together, a Frankenbatt was constructed.  This time I didn't even bother putting on the walking foot--the three step zigzag stitch worked just fine with the regular foot to join the batting.  The no baste method was again tried with this small quilt, layering carefully and then smoothing the layers front and back.  Then I haphazardly folded it into a triangle-ish package and set it aside.  While the Round Robin quilt rested, I pieced a couple more rows of the Aussie Feedsacks top :)



This small quilt seemed a great place to try spiral quilting for the first time.  I used pink Aurifil thread and bravely started in the center marked with a pin.  It was not too hard to maneuver with the large harp of my sewing machine, and having the automatic presser foot lift meant I never had to take my hands off the quilt.  The stitching is not perfect but good enough. Round and round I stitched--it was quite mesmerizing, actually, watching the edge of the walking foot as I turned and turned the quilt. 


 I ran out of bobbin thread once, but the quilting took just about an hour to complete. 


I like it from the back, too! 


The straight-on shot looks good as well.  The binding will be the light teal solid fabric. So happy to have this several year old project out of its box.  Tomorrow morning I will draw the next Three for March project.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Three for March--#5 Pick

Unfortunately I was not able to get back to my Aussie Feedsacks, but they will again have their turn.  The next number picked yesterday was #3 on my list, Round Robin Star, from a challenge I joined at guild a few years ago--my first Round Robin ever.  

I started with the center star and four other members added their rows.  Being modern quilters, their ideas were nontraditional and fun.  I loved the use of the stripe in the arrow blocks and the feathers.  The leftover fabrics  I will use to make a back and binding.  I'm thinking this would make a great pillow and afford a quick finish.  The block is about 24" so it will be a big one.  My favorite method is an overlapping pillow back and binding to finish the edges, with an insert.  I was looking on Crazy Mom Quilts' blog--she always made a ton of pillows and has a good tutorial for making your own insert.  I will likely buy one.  Heck, I may buy a cheap ready-made throw pillow and stuff it in!

More interesting clouds this cold March--and it is very windy today, but supposed to be in the 70s and maybe 80 degrees over the weekend.  We have had a lot of rain and hope for a few more good storms to really break this drought.  Last year we only got 4 inches or so of rain, very dismal.


I stitched up this Improv style mini quilt-as-you-go for Guild.  We have been offered a sales table at Craftcation and a chance for attendees to meet some guild members.  I have never taken any classes--they sell out so fast and are usually during the day when I am working, but appreciate all the diverse classes that are offered.  Our current guild president has volunteered at Craftcation for several years and gotten to take free classes as a result.  She's had a blast trying out so many different types, weaving, sewing, stamping, etc.  

Okay, gotta get going, have dentist appt followed by work followed by subbing in for Bunco tonight.  As of yesterday when I left work, there were only three patients on the schedule for this afternoon.  I may get plenty of down time :)  My doctor boss has announced that starting in May he will not be working Fridays any longer.  The PA who shares our office has offered to have me scribe for him on Fridays so I can keep my full-time status and qualify for insurance.   I also fill in for other scribes on vacation, picking up hours now and then, all good. 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Three for March--Aussie Feedsacks

I spent a lot of time in the sewing room Sunday, starting with laying out the next pick for Three for March; I'm working on a different project for three days at a time, all month.  I got right to laying out all my precut pieces of Australian flora and fauna.

So fun to see all these prints again.  There was very little switcheroo needed, surprisingly.

Once the sashing pieces were laid down, piecing commenced.  It made sense to me to join a sashing row with the larger squares in sets of two, then combine the sets. I started at the bottom, since that was the closest to my seat :)  The pieces are small, but sewing 12 seams each in the two rows and then the long seam joining them took some time.  

I stopped after eight rows.  All those seams sure shrank the quilt layout!  Everything came together easily and I didn't have to get my seam ripper out once.  I gathered up and labeled the remaining rows before going on to the next project.  There are two border rows to add once the center is complete.

While I had opened the swap pizza box I received this month at guild and read the person's guidelines, no fantastic ideas had struck the first time I looked at them.  Today, however, the description of liking the Boho look gave me a direction, with her gorgeous prints.  At Sewtopia I had won a free pattern, Elizabeth Hartman's Feathers.  Since this pattern required no templates or paper piecing, I got right to cutting and sewing.  The feather was longer than the 12.5" square block guideline, so needed to be set diagonally.  It took some playing and MATH to get the block to the right size, but I did manage it.  Does it look Boho enough?


My husband had no clue what this was.  I hope the pizza box's owner does!

Linking to Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts Design Wall Monday


Three for March--Sanctuary Panel Quilt Progress, and Next Pick

Saturday was the final day for the Sanctuary Panel in my Three for March self-challenge.  We went to grandson Cove's opening day Tball game in the morning before I set to work on the quilting.

Yep, looks like the glove fits!  Watching 4-5-6 year olds play baseball is very entertaining.  We had a beautiful day for it, too. 
Lots of interesting clouds, though when they took their time passing the sun everyone had to put a sweater or jacket on, then take it off when the sun came back out.  Cove was the clean-up batter so got to run the bases at the end. He played catcher for one inning too.  Mama and Dada had a meeting with some folks at their place, so we had the boys for a couple more hours at our house.  Cove was taking requests at the piano, and Hunter picked up riders in the school bus.  

Afterwards, I got to work pulling fabric for backing and scrounged around in the overflowing batting bin for a piece large enough.  I ended up making a Frankenbatt from cutoffs, which of course takes lots of extra time, especially when you have to stop and wind a bobbin in the middle. 
I used my Hera marking tool and stopped and started the crosshatch through the appliques. 

We had a speaker at guild last month, Dora Cary from Orange Dot Quilts, who told us that she hates basting and had learned a way to not use pins or "one drop of glue" on her quilts.  I tried her method, layering the backing, batting and top as usual, and then smoothing with my hands on both sides.  Then I loosely folded up the quilt, and let it rest for a few minutes.  The cotton batting stuck to both sides and, though I used a pin in each corner to keep it straight, it did not wrinkle at all!  So time-saving not to have to stop and take out pins or use spray baste outdoors. 
There is still one long line of quilting to do, and quilting around the appliques, since I had to spend time doing all that piecing, but I am so happy to have this out of the plastic bag it has lived in so long!  

The next pick for Three for March is not quite as elderly as Sanctuary, but still old.  I went to Australia for my friend "Sue's wedding in November 2009, and bought a bunch of Aussie themed fabrics for a quilt.  #2 on my list is Aussie Feedpatches. Last seen on the blog over a year ago, I had cut the pieces for the quilt and packed them all up in the box. 
This free pattern came from an insert in an APQ subscription offer, and the simple design I thought will work well for these fabrics.  Since  I already have the pieces cut, it is ready to lay out and sew!  Hope to have a finished top in three days.  

Meanwhile, I have a block to make for a guild exchange as well.  Better get to it!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Three for March--Sanctuary update

Happily, I had today off after working an extra half-shift for another scribe yesterday.  That gave me lots of time to putter with the layout of the appliques on the Sanctuary panel.  I sketched out a couple of placement options on graph paper and chose a simple layout.  The Steam-a-Seam had been on these pieces for a long time, but they did stick just enough for me to carefully lift the panel to the ironing board and get them fully adhered. 


So fun to get these pieces out of their baggies and onto a quilt!






The log cabin blocks are repeated in the panel.  I turned a few of the flowers to add interest.


Most of the fabrics for these appliques came from stash, some from the jelly roll strips of the same line.


I'd estimate a good hour or two to get all the applique pieces stitched.  I'm happy with the placement and hope the "missing man" formation doesn't look odd, as I decided against spending time foraging for more matching fabrics for another flower.  It is busy enough.  Next to find a backing and cut batting.  I'm going to quilt this one very simply around each flower block and probably meander in the open blocks.  

Had a fun visit with grandsons Cove and Hunter and daughter Elaine between ironing on the appliques and getting them stitched down.  The boys dug into the toybox, pounded on the piano, asked for snacks, tried to find the cat, and then needed lunch.  Thank goodness for a box of Star Wars mac and cheese.  We'll see them again tomorrow for Cove's T-ball game and take them out to lunch while their parents have an appointment.  Wonderful to live close and see them grow.