Monday, April 27, 2020

Design Wall Monday--4/25/2020

Design Wall Monday to close out the longest April in history...see more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  

Lots more activity in the sewing room, including quilting smaller projects.  I made a Baby size Moda Love Quilt a couple of years ago and it stalled after the top was pieced--a fairly typical bump in the road for my quilt making process!  Something simple was called for and, since I had the right size batting and quickly stitched up a backing, quilting commenced.  


I started this quilt with a charm pack of Bonnie and Camille fabric and added neutrals and a few other additions from stash to finish out the layout.


Chunks of leftovers for a backing.   I used my Hera marker to space lines 1" apart and neutral thread.  I love the texture it gives.  There not being any other Bonnie and Camille fabric in stash, there were many options pulled and rejected.  Finally I happened upon a green print that works and it has been cut and sewn, ready to attach when I have the walking foot out again. 

A leader-ender project jumped ahead of others too.  I finished up the last five blocks of Cross My Heart from Kim Brackett's Scrap Basket book and commenced layout of the tablerunner I'm making for my brother, all greens from scraps and stash. 


The bright yellow-green blocks were too loud and got pulled, and I had one leftover double.  I have to cut setting triangles before assembling but have the rows pinned in stacks.

Mini, my 15 year old cat, found the empty project box irresistible...


Her, um, +/- 15 lb body didn't really fit in the photo box...

But she gave it the old college try--for a few minutes anyway, lol.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Qurantine, Family, Masks...Slow Sunday Stitching

Our County's "Stay Well at Home" restrictions still in place make for lots of time indoors.  Add to that working from home, and there is not a lot of mileage added to our automobiles.  I did get out yesterday to mail the doll quilt and also send out another top to be quilted. 

A "quilt in the wild" shot of my backyard poppy preserve before mailing off to Canada.  We weren't supposed to include any extras this year for the Humble Quilts organized swap, but I couldn't resist using a couple of leftovers to make a tiny item. Shhh, don't tell Lori!


This is a coaster made of a sample 9 patch of 1.5" squares and a leftover 4.5" stripe square.  It was small enough to slip into the card I included in the package.  I first went to the local shipping store but after I learned it would cost $43.00 to ship by UPS, I drove myself to the Post Office.  My cost was $14 there--it may take longer, but will find its way through Customs and into the Canadian system in the next couple of weeks. 

Mask making included sewing up child size masks for our grandsons.  Star Wars for Cove, and Paw Patrol for little brother Hunter.


Daughter Elaine had not really wanted me to make them masks, as she said they were not taking the children out, but then she ended up having to bring Cove to the doctor for a small sore on his cheek.  She was afraid it was an infected spider bite.  Fortunately the doctor's office provided masks, had the patients wait in their cars until called in turn, and everyone's temperature was taken before entering.  The doc told her to clean it with a scrub product and get the scab off, then use a topical antibiotic.  We had a "social distancing" car visit with them yesterday and Dada tied the masks on for size.

Cove is stretching out in height and getting shoulders, my husband observed!


Hunter in a more dynamic pose, ha ha!  We had a good visit with the family and can't wait until hugging and kissing is once again allowed.  So hard to stay apart.  

We also had a social distancing visit with our son and pregnant daughter-in-law and could give them the little baby quilt for our next grandson in person.  I set up chairs in the backyard 6 feet apart and they entered the backyard from the street.  My blurry photos of the finished quilt notwithstanding, they  loved it--son Nick observed it had a lot of his wife Ashley's favorite colors.


I originally planned to use the blue solid for binding but did not have long enough strips left to avoid a lot of joins, so chose the same background light gray (Kona Silver) and added matched piecing to the corners for interest. 


A cute elephant print found on clearance at Superbuzzy.  I hand stitched down the binding, which I don't often have time for as a last minute finisher!--but there is lots of extra time these days for slow stitching.  I'm linking to another Canadian's blog, Kathy's Quilts, for Slow Sunday Stitching

Plans for today include an unpleasant task my husband wants to do--sorting out and closing an offsite storage unit.  Sigh.  I hope to get back to my sewing machine sometime today....there are more masks to work on.  Our guild is now tasked with sewing elastic on some paper PPE N95 masks which have dried-out plastic band elastic.  I believe these masks may be going to the homeless, but am not sure. Another guild member has cut the elastic to size and packaged it with the boxes of masks, so helpful! I'd like to get through the box of 35 in the next couple of days before getting another box delivery :)

Monday, April 20, 2020

Design Wall Monday--Endless April

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

I have a finished doll quilt, save for a label, which I will soon be sending to its new home far from SoCalif. 


Simple crosshatch with the walking foot.  I used a "hand quilted" stitch from the machine menu.

I like the extra texture of the thicker stitch.  You can also see the plain square's stripe detail in this pic.

The paisley fabric used for the Bar back and binding have been in stash a long time.  The background color of the paisley was hard to match with thread, being really neither brown nor gray.  

I sat outside at the patio table to stitch the binding to the back, ending up with brown thread as the best match.  There were a lot of steps added to the FitBit while cleaning off the chairs, tabletop, getting out the chair pads and opening the umbrella.  This requires checking for insects--we have a lot of black widow spiders around here.  A small spider did emerge onto his front porch from the top of the umbrella as I raised it, demanding to know what in tarnation was going on, but after glaring at me six feet below, turned and went back inside.  

While I had the walking foot on the sewing machine, two other small quilt sandwiches took their turn under the needle.  First was a small quilt for philanthropy donation that was cobbled together from a small bundle of fat 8ths that has been in stash awhile, with some stash additions. 


I have very little girly fabric in stash, but did manage to puzzle it out.  The binding is  Kona Pink Flamingo and the backing a mint green dot yardage.

Very simple quilting for this playmat that will be donated to a mother and baby group through the County. 

The next quilt took three different tries at choosing the design.  There was a lot of ripping happening before I was satisfied with the direction the quilting was taking. 


This is a playmat for our grandson due to be born in a few months.  I did not want the quilt to be stiff and finally struck on an offset plaid sort of design. I did not mark anything, just aimed for intersections in the piecing.

I love how it turned out--modern prints and straight line quilting worked out great.  Binding to follow...

Friday, April 17, 2020

Doll Quilt Moving Along

Lori of Humble Quilts' annual Doll Quilt Swap is in full swing.  I've seen a number of great doll quilts other participants have received on her Facebook group page.  I got the little top sewn together, it measures about 21". 

The uneven 9 patch blocks look pretty humble, but I'm hoping the quilting will add more charm.  The quilt sandwich is resting until tomorrow for the quilting step, and binding has been made.  I took a pic of the 1880 era antique quilt that inspired my layout, since I couldn't get a link to work from the auction site where I found it through Pinterest several years ago.


The description notes the border is a tiny red check, not a pink print.  Is this not striking?  I've never seen anything like it.  It was hard to see the quilting but appears to be a simple crosshatch in each triangle quarter.  The quilter's nine patches are much simpler than mine, with a single muslin/off white and mostly two different prints.  I want to get this little guy in the mail by Tuesday, and also send off large quilt to be quilted. 

I have made a lot of scrappy cross blocks while sewing 9 patches and masks.  These will become a tablerunner for my brother when I finish all the cut pieces.  I made a similar runner a couple of years ago from a charm pack--the full quilt pattern is in Kim Brackett's Scrap Basket Beauties book. 


The latest batch of masks went to my fellow employees who are still seeing patients at one of our practice locations. 


That was a lot of cutting and sewing over two days and my fingers need a rest!  A family friend has requested masks so there will be more cutting and sewing over the weekend.  Our county is still doing well with under 400 confirmed cases recorded, and low number of 13 deaths from COVID-19.  There is a cautious hope that we may soon have quite a downturn in new cases and more recovered folks.   We will stay the social distancing course...and wear a mask in public :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

See What I Did There?

More sewing on the Doll Quilt Swap project--Lori of Humble Quilts has extended the mailing deadline but I hope to be able to send mine off by the original month-end date. 

I used the paper plate method for arranging my blocks and keeping them in order at the sewing machine.  My squares are cut at 2".

Leader ender blocks on the left, and the first five 9 patches with the setting squares. They looked so cute...but, does anyone notice why my heart suddenly sank?  If you see gaps around the setting squares, you will have correctly deduced that MATH kicked my butt again.  I cut my setting squares  at the finished size of the 9 patch block. After despair, there followed a session of option auditioning.  I mocked up smaller 9 patches with 1.5" squares, but they were small and would require so many more that I would not have enough of the striped fabric for the doll quilt.  I then tried cutting down the 2" squares to 1.75" but it still did not work well with the cut setting squares.   I really didn't want to dedicate a lot of time to re-cutting the print squares either.

Mini was of no help during this portion of the design process, laying on the floor in this weird position at the bottom of the stairs!

My next idea was to trim down the finished 9 patch to 4.5 inches, and this turned out to be the best option.  The 9 patch is preserved but will now be an uneven 9 patch when the setting squares are sewn.
Final layout after switcheroo.  I love the setting squares' change of direction in each quarter from the center out.  The design is more striking the larger the quilt gets and I'll do that one day with bigger squares--I can see it in a modern design too.  The rows are pinned in stacks and ready at the machine.  It should sew up fast.  I'll ponder backing, quilting, and binding options as I sew.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Design Wall Monday--Doll Quilt

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

On my design surface are pieces and parts for Humble Quilts' annual Doll Quilt swap.  I have wanted to recreate an antique 9 patch quilt I pinned several years ago, and this small scale quilt is a great place to try it out. The alternate square is a stripe arranged in different directions, quilt is circa 1880 per the description on 1stdibs (sorry,  I am unable to link the URL).  My version will be very scrappy whereas the original quilt used two squares of two different fabrics and plain muslin for the remainder of the 9 patch. 


I dug through my messy box of leftover CW pieces and parts but ended up having to cut most of the 2" squares from larger scraps. The 9 patches will be 4.5" by my figuring. The red shirting stripe has been in stash a long time; I'm happy to have a worthy place to use it.  My swap partner is in Canada so I'll need to get this stitched up and quilted in the near future.  The antique was hand quilted in a crosshatch.  I will likely machine quilt mine, depending on time.

Meanwhile, more masks went out the door today....
Wonderful Nine Patch Quilt that alternates with a striped fabric adding to the sense of movement from the diagonal Nine Patches. Soft and rich colors throughout. The outer border may "read" pink but is actually a tiny red check. Measures 86" x 92",

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy

Joining Kathy's Quilts' Slow Sunday Stitching today.  Happy Easter!

I've continued working on a cross-stitch in my downtime between Telemedicine patients, especially when the patient fails to connect with the Video portion and reverts to a telephone call with the doctor, leaving me with nothing to scribe.  



This Lizzie Kate design is from a 2004 Easter Sampler booklet I scored a thrift store a few years ago.  I don't have all the colors called for but will substitute with what is on hand. I'll put the word SPRING at the bottom. I like these prestretched canvases, which I have bought in a 3 pack at Michael's as well as Hobby Lobby.  The project remains in our home office so I don't finish it too quickly!

We don't get to spend Easter with the grandsons, but visited them yesterday for a long time in the front of their house, keeping 6 feet apart, of course!  Grandson Cove was in and out of the house, and when watching from his bedroom window, occasionally called out, "You're too close!" to his parents and us, lol.  He was very upset when Kindergarten shut down as he loves his teacher.  Mama has had to become a preschool and kindergarten instructor in a flash, as the school year was canceled two weeks ago.   Poor Mama!

Our county has done pretty well, less than 300 illnesses and 10 deaths, which were all people in their 70s and 80s with underlying health conditions.  Such a scary and hard time--stitching and sewing masks help to pass the time and feel useful.  I must have made over 50 by now, with a few for neighbors to sew today. 

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

And Masks Keep on Coming

It seems all sewists and quilters are turning out masks as fast as they can.  I haven't sewn much else, though do sneak leader-ender block pieces in now and then.

I did take the time to make my own mask, which I wore when I picked up an order at JoAnn Fabrics yesterday.  There were some unused gift cards collecting dust in the sewing room so I ordered some packaged batting for the baby quilts for guild, and also some off the roll wide batting for larger donation quilts.  It took about three days before I learned the wide batting was not available; they credited me back with an online gift card but gave no reason why it was not available.  I was able to collect the crib sized batting curbside.  


These masks were all delivered yesterday to our daughter Elaine--she wanted a non-pleated style so the green one at the top is hers.  I got this free pattern from the Shannon Fabrics website.  It has three layers (I used batik for the 3rd layer) and is assembled stitch-and-turn for the mask and the ties. I did not do my ties that way, as I loathe trying to wrestle skinny ties right side out.  I cut straight of grain binding and folded in each side to the center and then in half and stitched, similar to how I'm doing the AB Mask pleated type.  I will note that the Shannon Fabrics mask has three sizes available.  The adult size is quite large and best for men.  I gave the first one I made to my nephew and made the Teen size for Elaine.  The four pleated masks at the bottom are for Elaine's inlaws--including her husband's grandparents who live in the Bay Area.  Spreading masks far and wide, haha.

Erica's boyfriend requested a black mask and modeled how he will look wearing it at work, lol.  Elaine's husband Chris also wants a black mask, so that will be on the agenda tomorrow, along with masks for his brother and sister-in-law.  Meanwhile, I am making masks for close friends of Elaine and Chris's and was happy to have a little 5 year old girl to sew for. 

Fat quarter stash finds for the requested pink color.  I thought the stripes were cheerful.  Little brother will get a fun blue print, no pic of that yet.

My husband asked for a mask for one of his customers, who never lets us pay when we go to her restaurant and are always so nice to Grant.  An oriental print long hoarded in stash went to this worthy cause. 

Meanwhile, I am still working from home though it is spotty at best sometimes.  Telemedicine only works with smartphones or computers with camera access and many of our older patients do not have that kind of technology.  When the doc is making phone visits, I can pick up my LizzieKate cross-stitch for a few minutes. 

There was a bit of progress today since this pic, I finished the yellow chick and part of another flower stem. I adore the needleminder I got from the Coni the Spinster Stitcher.

Finally, a fun memory from some years ago:

Tiny Cove on his Mimi-made baby quilt.  He's now six and was enjoying Kindergarten before the quarantine.  Our son texted yesterday that his son is now "half baked" as his expectant wife is halfway to delivery in August.  The boys can't wait to meet their new cousin.  Hoping the curve flattens and disappears by then.  Stay home, stay safe, people!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Busy Sewing Room

Sewing room stitching continues at a high rate, both for guild mask-making and my continuing effort to finish up WIPs and UFOs, charity projects, and squirrel projects. 

Six more masks for Guild today..I've turned in 26 so far.  Our son stopped by this week and while here picked out some fabric for a mask.  My dad has now requested a mask for himself and Mom since the news is now that wearing masks in public may be of some benefit.  My husband has been wearing his when he grocery shops, along with wearing gloves.  Next I'll need to make one for myself! 

Last year sometime I made a bunch of blocks for Quilts of Valor from a kit I had picked up at the Road to California show.  I added many more of my own fabrics to complete additional blocks.  Some I had set aside to make later and that time arrived :)  You can see I marked an additional stitching line to make HSTs.  


I liked the planned floating star as it is a lot easier to sliver trim to size without worrying about cutting off points. 


I made another couple of blocks with the cutoffs, similar to this one from last year, and will mail them all together.  Some baby quilt tops have also been stitched for guild and I'll show those next post. One of my weekend errands will be purchasing batting as I am down to scraps.

Addressing another UFO that is woefully behind, the Dreamweaver quilt for the now nearly one year marrieds--I did some surgery to the medallion that insisted on being bowl shaped. 

The new plan is to tighten up the outer ring by increasing the seams on a few pieces toward the center, and then appliquéing the smaller ring on top.  This isn't ideal but in the end will work out better. Note that my version is greatly increased in size from the original Jen Kingwell pattern and  machine pieced rather than hand pieced.  Once appliqued to the already completed background, things should go faster!

Currently I am working from home, and there is a lot of down time between telemedicine patients.  I started a little cross stitch to pick up when I'm waiting at the computer. 


This is a vintage Lizzie Kate pattern I bought at the thrift store a couple of years ago.  I'm making the design on the right in the photo, but using Spring instead of Easter for the lettering.  There are a number of color substitutions that will happen along the way, but I started with floss on hand that matched the pattern numbers.  I'd been missing having handwork to do and this is a fun stitch.