Monday, July 26, 2021

Design Wall Monday--New Quilt Request

Design Wall Monday rolls around again.  See more design walls/surfaces on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

I received a message from younger daughter Erica asking if a month is enough time to make a quilt.  Her boyfriend's best friend is getting married and she wanted to give him a quilt.  She had a pattern all picked out for a throw sized quilt.  I said "Sure", of course, and Saturday afternoon I drove up to their place.  The pattern she decided on is a two sided--with opposite colorway on the reverse.  It is called Double the Plus, by designer Emily Dennis of Quiltylove.com.  

We first visited Cotton and Chocolate Quilt Company where Erica quickly picked out a gray tonal for the blocks and a black and white print binding fabric.  Kona Snow or Bone was our first choice for the white, but the bolts were pretty picked over--due to the California Quilt Run, no doubt.  Lots of shoppers were enjoying the day.  We needed 5 yards, but didn't want several pieces to make that amount.  A trip to JoAnn's Fabric followed.  Their bolt selection was also pretty slim; however there was Kona Bone in 108" width so Erica bought two yards.  If I cut correctly, I should not have to piece any of the sashing or borders for the White side.


There is a lot of cutting and stitching in my future!  Good thing I have fresh blades for the rotary cutter. 

Erica's boyfriend's mother is from Ireland, so I found the name of the tonal fabric amusing.

I also came home with payment for my services--Erica bought this for me:


How could I pass up this cute print that matched my manicure?  It was lovely to spend a couple of hours with Erica and a great excuse for a favorite rural drive instead of the busy freeway to get there and back, while singing along (badly) to the radio.  It was a mood booster for sure :)

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--Smyrna Cross

Slow Sunday Stitching--see more links on Kathy's Quilts blog. 

Blackbird Designs' Loose Feathers #21 Garden of Life is getting closer to being finished.  I stitched the large bird's body first and added the Smyrna Cross stitches in the wing last.  A new to me stitch, it was fun and pretty fast, being worked over four threads. 


I stair-stepped down the bird's back to outline the area.  This nighttime pic is a bit off in color. 


Daytime pic is better.  I love the texture the Smyrna Cross stitch gives the wing. The bird got his legs and feet and the last portion of zig zag border was then completed.  

While there is plenty of color in this design, I liked that the soft palette was limited--only two greens, pink/peach, blues, and ecru and a light taupe/tan. Left to finish are the rest of the phrase in green below Friends, and then my initials above the F in Friends. Oh, and a few light taupe highlights amid the flowers in the trees I skipped.  I'll enjoy completing the last stitches this week.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Design Wall Monday--My Lupine Heaven

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

Well I don't have a design wall, so my design floor will have to do.  It's been occupied by the same quilt top for the past couple of weeks.  


This is my green and purple version of Bonnie Hunter's "My Blue Heaven", a free quilt pattern on her Quiltville website.  I cut the borders and got them sewn on easily. 


I liked this fabric the best of the several choices pulled from stash--I wanted to stay more white than ecru.  No recollection at all where I picked this up, but I had about 3/4 yd and have leftovers.  Then I sewed together a row of the green hourglass blocks already completed for the outside border. 


I am not really liking the teal/aqua blues in these blocks--they seem very distracting as there is no teal in the star blocks.  So here it sits until I overthink/decide whether to continue the borders or make more hourglass blocks without the teal.  Opinions welcome!

There is another quilt sandwich waiting for quilting so perhaps I will work on that and get it off my cutting table this week!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching July 18

Slow Sunday Stitching--join in with Kathy's Quilts weekly linkup.  Lots of great stitching to enjoy there. 

The Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers Garden of Life project continues to occupy most of my stitching time--the sewing machine has remained untouched this week. But there has been some unsewing...

I noticed AFTER stitching the entire pathway that the bottom of the house was incomplete.  Luckily the area was one color and not very dense. 

Much better with the door full length as it should be.  I also finished off the last row of bricks on the house and added the ecru mortar. 

A bit of grass, the rest of the tree trunks, the zigzag border, and the pink flowers at the top border are all complete.  I got a little start on the bird's head there below the house and tree.  Smyrna crosses will fill the bird's body. I haven't done that stitch before but look forward to working those.  

Since I accidently turned my linen the wrong way when I first started stitching this design, I will have a very tiny top and lower edge to deal with.  I found this mistake after I had completely stitched the house and half of the upper left side of the pattern and alphabet. I'm thinking of adding a fabric border but will decide when all the stitching is done.  

I did also notice that in late night stitching--without great lighting--that the A and B of the alphabet are not the correct color--they are blue, not gray.  But I'm leaving them blue, as a nod to the designers, Alma Allen and Barb Adams--some may be aware that Barb Adams passed away recently and their happy design collaboration has ended after all these years. 

And now for some Baby Spam: 

Youngest grandson Dane feeling Papa's beard during a break in eating his oatmeal.  He is pretty much full time walking at not even 11 months old.  So happy to be able to pop over to visit and help out now that our son's little family lives close by. Mama was getting in a run at the beach while Daddy had to help with inventory at work on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Guild Projects

We had our first in-person guild meeting this month, and the call went out prior for turning in finished quilts for philanthropy.  I had two finished quilts taking up real estate on the cutting table, and two quilt tops ready to be sandwiched with batting I bought last month, after running out of the guild-provided batting with the others.  Now, that batting buy was an adventure.  I went to Walmart because the batting is fairly inexpensive there.  The fabric/notions department was deserted of staff in the mid-afternoon when I went.  I stood at the cutting counter for a bit, with the big bolt of batting; a staff member from another department came over to cut the yardage for me, but didn't know how to run the price tag printer.  Instead she found a scrap of paper and wrote down the SKU from the bolt and the price.  The cashier's reaction when I later brought up my items through the line and handed her the paper was pretty entertaining.  "WHAT is this?"  She rang it up after my explanation, shaking her head the whole time :) 

Anyway, I had two quilts with ready backings since February. Make the Connection, a free charity quilt pattern from APQ magazine using mini-charms, was quickly layered and machine quilted with my new favorite, fast wavy lines. My version used many fewer blocks than the pattern, but since it is block-based, adjustments are pretty simple. There are actually only two different blocks--they are just turned to make the stair-step effect.  Clever! 


I used a green Aurifil thread and the walking foot.  The leftover binding box turned up some striped bias binding that matched the solid green, and I cut more strips from the same fabric in the fat quarter drawers.  It took way longer than I imagined to sew all the short pieces together, so I was regretting my choice for a bit. 


The nighttime shot grays out the solid green.  Can you see where my binding stripes changed direction?  I could not figure out how I did that, but I liked it!


Pieced backing and quilting.  Nighttime photo so the colors are dull.  Anyway, I was able to turn in three donation quilts at the meeting.  One top is still awaiting quilting, as I ran out of time, but it is sandwiched and ready to go:  


This was our Round Robin guild challenge.  The blocks are 12" finished so I chose to quilt the smaller charity quilt and get it turned in first!  There is also another finished top and backing for a baby quilt to get sandwiched and finished before next meeting.  Hopefully we will have more attendees next month, though some folks joined the meeting through Zoom. It was good to get to visit in person. There were snacks--and I won one of the raffle prizes! The 2021 Quilter's Run starts next weekend.  Only one of the shops is close by--Cotton and Chocolate--but I may run to it!

Monday, July 12, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Moda Love Pillow

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

I actually sewed something for the first time in weeks!  My mood being what it was, the untouched big projects on the cutting table remained where they were.  I dug into a box of smaller unfinished projects for something more attractive, and found a Moda Love pillow top I made last July from a mini charm pack. I pulled some choices for a backing and pawed through the leftover binding drawer for something suitable.


After sewing on some 2.5" borders to make the pillow to 16.5" square, I decided not to quilt the pillow front but ironed on some thin interfacing and stitched a few straight quilting lines by machine, just to hold the interfacing on, as the fusible wasn't very sticky. 

The mini charms, Bubble Pop by Sandy Klop, have a '30's-40's vibe, and I found this floral leftover binding that seemed to go well.  However, there was not enough to go all around the pillow top.  I pulled many different choices from stash but nothing really felt right until I tried this Pezzy Print, another Sandy Klop fabric, in black and white.  I wanted to use as much of the floral as I could, and positioned equal sections of the Pezzy Print in the corners only, trimming them to extend 3" from the corners. 

I attached the flower print sections one at a time as I made my way around the pillow sandwich with the walking foot...


...Stitched in the ditch by machine from the front to finish. I think it turned out well!  It needs a pillow form and then will be ready to brighten up a couch or chair.  I'll share another finish next post. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

June's Mixed Bag

Here we turning over a new calendar page.  I still have not sewn a thing in weeks, but did get some more mood boosting from family and fabric.  Our son and daughter-in-law spent the weekend with the tedious job of trudging up and down stairs at their apartment putting moving boxes in a truck. We were invited to help the other grandparents with watching baby Dane.   


Who could resist spending time with these chunky baby legs?  Dane's other grandparents took us out on their harbor cruiser.  

Dane enjoyed co-captain duties. 


The Grandpas enjoyed the scenery while he took the helm :)  It was a beautiful day with great conversation and play, and snacks!  I got to give Dane his bottle and put him down for a nap too. 

After donating blood on Tuesday, I went looking for rotary cutter blades.  Prices for these blades have soared incredibly.  I first tried Michael's in town, but they only sell Fiskar's brand, which I did not think worked in Omnigrid cutters, so a trip to JoAnn's was necessary.  I had a 40% off coupon but asked a salesperson if I could use it for the blades.  Happily, I could.  I also scored a nice remnant for 40% off. 

Part of this fabric pull has been waiting years to be turned into something.  I needed the larger blades to cut through the six layers for the magazine pattern saved along with the fabrics.


My plan is to make only six "crazy method" stars for a runner. The brown will be the spacers. 


The pattern is in this specialty publication...


...which I've held on to for 10 years!  Many times I've nearly put the fabrics back in stash.  I hope this will restart my sewing mojo. Meanwhile, slow stitching continues on the  BBD Loose Feathers #21, Garden of Life. 

I am barely going to have enough linen at the top and bottom of this stitchery!  Framing will be a challenge but I have some ideas and am not too worried.  There are many more hours of stitching time to enjoy yet :)

Some Sewing and Scenery

I've been spending little time in the sewing room lately, sewing a few blocks and rows together here and there, but not making much prog...