Thursday, January 30, 2020

Oh My Stars Swap, a Story to Tell

I participated in Barb's (Fun With Barb blog) Oh My Stars swap and eagerly watched her blog and Instagram for all the news on the swap.  I mailed off my reproduction fabric blocks on January 2nd, and in one of Barb's IG stories, spied what I thought were my blocks on the counter behind her coffee cup--below are the blocks I made.

I watched as Barb did all the exhausting hard work of swapping the hundreds of blocks in two different sets, modern and repros---what  a job!  Finally Barb posted that the blocks were all swapped and mailed off on January 23rd.  I was looking forward to receiving them.   However, the next day I received an email and some photos from Barb, with a very sad story--my blocks had reached her THAT DAY, 22 days after being taken to the post office in California.

The mailer I used had exploded and Barb received them in the plastic We Care bag.  I will ever be thankful that someone at the post office took the time to repackage and get these to Barb.  Unfortunately, since the swap packages had already be sent out, my blocks were of course not included.  Barb generously sent me all of HER swapped blocks, despite my encouraging her to choose her favorites and send the rest to me. Barb returned all of mine as well, except for one I insisted she keep.  So sad this will be her last swap.

I received the swap blocks a couple of days ago, but really couldn't bear to go through all of them until tonight.  I looked for red and yellow stars first.

I'm thinking the upper left star was the one I spied on her counter; lying flat, it looked similar to mine below it. 

The blocks are absolutely gorgeous.  I separated the blocks into two groups--Mini liked the single fabric stars...

...I liked the two color stars just as much.

These are all so special and I'm treasuring them due to luck and Barb's incredible generosity!  Thanks to everyone who participated in this final swap.  If any swappers want one of my blocks, let me know.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Stitching Away on Dream Weaver

I've been stitching away on the Jen Kingwell Designs Dream Weaver  quilt for my son and daughter in law, though my son always refers to it as "Ashley's quilt", so cute.  I showed my version of the pieced background a few posts back, and moved on to the applique.  Since I made a very enlarged version of the background, I also enlarged the templates for the applique on a copy machine and wanted to try out the pieces.  After tracing from the printed pattern onto template plastic, I cut construction paper to mockup the pieced center design in the original size and the enlarged one. 

That's a 12" ruler for size between them.  When we had a family dinner on Sunday, I showed the mockup to Ashley and Nick and she immediately agreed with the enlarged version. We played with the fabrics she picked out at Superbuzzy so many months ago, and made some choices for the appliques.  

 It was such fun to finally get to cut into all the yummy fat quarters from Superbuzzy. 

Although designer Michelle McKillop hand sewed all her applique pieces, I machine pieced mine.  I did need to made some adjustments to several seams a few inches from the center to make it lie flat.  Some spray starch helped too!  I got a start on the next ring since Ashley couldn't yet decide on what she wanted to use for the center.  Tracing and cutting pieces takes time but these are pretty small. 

She chose a variety of white on white prints leftover from the background, and the points will be in a dark turquoise solid, which she also chose for the outer bias ring and bias stems.  I think that will look great.  Happy to be working on the next step of this beauty.  

The Meadowland QAL at Then Came June starts next week, so I want to have all the Dream Weaver center applique done before then.  The first week of the QAL is just cutting, I believe, so I should have time to sew on Dream Weaver as well.  

Monday, January 20, 2020

Design Wall Monday, 1/20/20

Several things on/off my design wall to share.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  

In the interest of keeping quilts moving along in the process, I worked on quite a few different projects in the last week.  

Make the Connection baby/lap quilt got borders added.  This is destined for guild donation. I'll cobble a back together and probably quilt this myself.  The pattern is free on APQ website, designed by Jo Kramer and her daughter for charity makes.

Binding was attached to the Sliced Cake quilt (Canoe Ridge Creations blog).   I did finish the binding but don't have pic of that.  No one specific that this one is destined for as yet. 

I finally decided on borders for the Chunky Churndash for my dad (free pattern on  Bonnie's design had three borders and corner stones and I just didn't want to do that, so added only a 3" cut border.  The top is now 72x84, which is pretty big for a couch quilt!  I'll be ordering a wide backing for it, undecided if I want to quilt it myself on my home machine or not...will likely send this out as my sister's longarm is not working.

Here you can see the gray is not a solid but a small brown print on the slate gray; this is a print from Betsy Chutchian's line called Eliza's  Indigo.  Darn those stray threads.  I had such fun making all the chunky churndash blocks.  I'm sure I'll make more in the future. 

I made a bunch of 3" HSTs from the leftovers of the hourglass blocks and decided to make a companion pillow for the quilt.  I have always liked the Oklahoma Twister pattern and quickly cut some light squares and laid it out.

I'm going to add some borders and additional HSTs to fashion another sort of Churn Dash.  Hope it works like my sketched idea.

Also finished were the last four green star blocks for my version of Bonnie Hunter's My Blue Heaven quilt--another free pattern on her site.  I'll be laying those out this week sometime, hopefully.  Good to be making progress on multiple quilts--there are a lot more waiting for attention too!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Tuesday's Orts January 2020

Tuesday's Orts--bits of thoughts and happenings that land here occasionally....
  • I just finished my first week of intermittent fasting and lost 3 lbs.  Since I'm not usually hungry in the morning, but ate mostly out of habit, breaking my fast at 12 noon works well for me. I stop eating at 8 pm--again not a problem since late night snacking isn't a habit of mine.  Otherwise I have not changed much of my diet, however, need to get off the sugar and carb train if I want to lose more lbs!
  • My fractured molar from some Secret Santa popcorn has been crowned.  That was an expensive gift.  Thank goodness we have dental insurance as the crown was priced at $1295. Gulp.
  • Mini nap-tested my Lucky quilt almost immediately and a-purr-ooved.
  •  Our avocado tree is loaded with fruit and we pick a few at a time to ripen together.  Yummy avocado toast was my treat at lunch one day this week.
 I found, however, that my recently purged spice cabinet was lacking some necessary ingredients--namely cumin.  I suffered through it with extra garlic salt :)
  •  Our first guild challenge was to make a project from a letter tile we were given in December.  I got the letter L.  I went fairly literal in my project but virtuously used only scraps and leftover triangles to make some  L blocks ...
 ...which turned on point become hearts.  I didn't add the final set of triangles yet but intend to make a pillow cover.  It was fun to play with the leftovers.  Not that the scrap drawer was much diminished, tho!
  • A lot of other scraps have been being run under my needle.  In trying to get projects moved along, I pulled out the Bonnie Hunter My Blue Heaven pattern project.  Having completed all of the purple blocks for my two color version, many green pieces were cut and sewn for the star blocks.

Lots and lots of greens and neutrals.  I tried to mix some of the earlier cut pieces with the newer batch to distribute the colors around.
For my version I'm making 24 of each color.  I'm getting pretty close to having the center blocks ready to play layout. This is a free pattern on
  •  Traffic Rant:  Besides the usual zoomers and slowpokes, there is hardly anything new to complain about--and yet, still I find something:  People who park on the corner of the street.   I don't understand why people do this when there are plenty of straight curbs to park against mere feet away!  We live on a street with a lot of kids and it really makes it hard to see them, having to creep around vehicles. 
  • We watched our grandsons over the weekend and I spent the evening after their bedtime stitching a cute owl. 
 The paper is relatively thick and pre-printed with the owl eyes and beak.  I did not have the recommended floss colors, but had no trouble selecting from my stash.  I bought this at JoAnn's Fabrics, I believe on clearance.

The Cross Stitch Style Kit came with several different precut animals and each had several choices of cross-stitch designs.  Love the kitty, of course, but the others are darn cute too. I plan to give this to a friend who loves birds and flowers.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Design Wall Monday--Christmas Barefoot in the Park Progress

It's again Design Wall Monday-- see more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.

Not being quite ready to let go of the holiday season, I spent the greater part of Sunday afternoon on borders for the Christmas Barefoot in the Park quilt, last shown in September 2019.  At that time I had had an inspiration regarding my fabric yardage shortage for the borders, while putting away the red and gold stripe I used for bias binding on a tree skirt.  My mockup below included the two borders and some corner squares to help extend the directional aqua border print. 

Luckily, besides taking photos, I had cut all the border strips and squares and written down my intentions--yay me!

The quilt was inspired by this pattern from Loft Creations; I sure miss Stephanie's blog of that name, too.  My four-patches started with a charm pack and I bought and added prints from stash to go with them.  It did seem to take all afternoon to piece and combine all the parts, but the smallish top I started with is now a generous size throw. 

Sorry the nighttime lighting isn't the best.  The borders were cut at 5" wide to make adding the charm squares simple.

This pic shows the red and gold striped border a little better.  I decided also to bring out the setting squares/triangles print to the corners, and am happy with the brightness. This was a lucky find of a Lori Holt print with all the colors matching my charms.   Now I have another finished top to add to the To Be Quilted list :)  I have been rewriting my WIPS list and there are a lot of quilts to be  finished--and started! 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Sewing Room Play and Plans

There was lots of repacking of bins and boxes and the de-Christmas-ing of the house this weekend, taking down the tree.  I also spent some time in the sewing room cleaning up the cutting table and getting boxes and bins reordered.  One mystery bag in the piles turned out to be a set of blocks I'd forgotten about. 

I had sewn the mini charm squares and blocks at a guild sew-in some weeks back.  I looked up the pattern on the allpeoplequilt website to get the layout directions.  This is called Make the Connection, a free quilt pattern for charity sewing, by Jo Kramer and daughter Kelly of Jo's Country Junction; it  uses precuts and yardage. It was a fun sew and I look forward to getting the blocks together--they were just stacked and labeled. Narrow borders will be added to complete the top.

At Sewtopia I had been door-prize gifted with a darling Christmas fat quarter collection and intended to make a Meadowland Quilt with it.  What did I just learn but that Meghan of Then Came June is having a Meadowland QAL next month!  I signed up and had to fan out the fat quarters and play. 

This is We Whisk You a Merry Christmas by Maywood Studios.  I decided to make the throw size that requires 16 blocks/fat quarters. I've left out the odd pink and one of the green prints.

The bundle's light fabrics I initially considered for all the background squares, but decided that would be too busy and I will just use a solid white for the corners.

 My center squares will be this adorable print. though.  Very excited to join in and use what I have!

I also finished this Gingiber stitchery my daughter gave me a couple of years ago--I've only picked it up now and again.   Lots of satin stitching for the scarf but otherwise very simple back stitch and straight stitch for the little speckles.  It was really fun to stitch and so cute. I may finish it in the hoop or perhaps made a pillow cover from some Gingiber fabrics I have. 

My 40 star blocks for Barb's swap got mailed off on Thursday.  Looking forward to seeing all the other yummy repro  print stars I receive back, hopefully in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020, 20-20

Hindsight, they say, is 20-20.  It seemed to me that my stitching time wasn't all that productive in 2019, but upon reflection and going through my photos and blogposts, I did spend a lot of time with needle and thread and had quite a lot of finishes: 

1. Sid's quilt--baby quilt for a  sweet boy
2. Rise Up Quilt--HSTs in green for Borderline Shooting memorial
3. Falling Charms baby quilt (Missouri Star Quilt Co method), donated to guild
4. Sajou Quilt--Lori of Humble Quilts quilt-along mini, gifted to my mom on her 80th birthday.
5. Ribbon Star Quilt--A guild round robin project spiral quilted and bound.
6. Sanctuary Quilt--an old panel and appliques finished and gifted to sweet girl
7. Falling Charms quilt--twin sized throw for family
8. Mythical Lantern pillow cover--A leftover block from a class by Jen Carlton Baily.
9. Placemats for DD Erica--strip pieced from jelly roll and yardage (6 placemats)
10. HST tablerunner from charms--gifted to my niece and her husband for their wedding
11. ModZ baby quilt--Four MQG pattern blocks became a small baby quilt donated to guild
12. Bordered Mason Jar embroidery--Small wall hanging framing a finished embroidery
13. Christmas Tree Skirt--Double sided and bound with self-made bias binding
14. Churn Dash and 9 patch baby quilt--for my newest relative born in December, grand nephew Elliott
15. Basket quilt--Michael Miller Challenge for Sewtopia
16. Four patch mini quilt--housewarming gift for my friend Toni and husband Dan
17. Sliced Cake quilt--a la Canoe Ridge Creations.  This has been quilted by my sister and only needs a binding to be finished. 
18. Pineapple hotpad--gift for my secret Santa at work
20. Chef's boas--Four made for Christmas gifts.
21. Snap bag--made two in November for Sewtopia but no photos 
22. Lucky quilt--my word quilt started at Sewtopia 2017.
23.  Minky scarves--four infinity scarves for Christmas gifts.
24: Toddler dress for Grace.

This is a very good thing! Many other projects were moved along, including during my self-challenge in March, resulting in larger finished tops:
-Twilight Hopscotch, a Kim Diehl pattern

-Go Four It , an APQ magazine inspiration 

-Jewels in the Curio

-Aussie fabrics feedsack quilt

I also finished the Chunky Churndash top for my Dad--Bonnie Hunter free pattern on her blog, and made a lot of Log Cabin blocks for the Log Cabin Loonies sew along with Julie.  Our Guild's Pizza Box Challenge I joined had me sewing a lot too, making many different blocks over the year.  Our challenge ends this month so I have one more block to make before getting back my box. 

Plans for 2020 will be focused on quilting those finished tops.  I will be doing another self-challenge likely in February/March during which I plan to "Clear the Hoosier Cabinet" of lingering projects in boxes, bins, and bags, and also go through books and patterns that can be moved along.   There are always squirrel projects that pop up, but continuing to work through the already made projects is satisfying too.  Here's to many more happy hours with needle and thread!

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...