Friday, September 20, 2019

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Little Drama Never Hurt Anyone...

Hi, all!

Well, it may not feel like fall yet, but it definitely feels like Friday - and you know what that means!  It's time for us to get our whoop whoop on! Are you ready?  Let's go!


Fall means that it's time to start working on the annual quilts for the grandkids, and this week I began working on Emmy's quilt.  Now you have to know this about Emmy - she is a TOTAL drama queen.  Everything is an opportunity for a dramatic moment.  She's cute, so she gets away with it - most of the time.  But we have a saying around our house - "No drama, llama!"  Usually just saying that will get her back on the right track...usually.  So when I saw Lorna's adorable llama pattern (thanks to Wendy at Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life!) I knew this would make the perfect quilt for E!

This week I cut out all the pieces (68 per llama, and I'm making five of them!)  I started to put it away to work on another project, but I wanted to see how they would go together, so I dropped everything else and started sewing.

OK, that was easy!  Doesn't look much like a llama yet, but let's move on to the next step.

Oh my!  There she is - or at least, I can see her peeking out at me!  And she definitely looks dramatic.... (And I will say, for the record, that Lorna's Sew Fresh Quilts patterns are fabulously easy, even though they look intricate.  Definitely check them out, especially if you are paper-piecing challenged, like me!  They are all traditionally pieced.)

And so I am very happy to introduce you to April Greensleeves, the first in our little band of drama llamas!  April likes Outlander (the books AND the series), lazy mornings in bed, long walks on the beach, snickerdoodle cookies, and knowing what everyone is doing at every moment.  

I can't wait to see what all her buddies have to reveal about their own personalities!  April tells me she's ready for her close-up...

So - - - can we get a whoop whoop?


And now it's your turn!  

What's got you whooping it up this week?

What's making you do a little "drama llama" dance?

Share!  We want to dance right along with you,

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I May Have A Scrap Problem... A New/Old Project, and Progress!

Hi, all!

I'm excited - something new is on the horizon - or actually, THREE somethings new!  The other day I was wandering around on Instagram and came across a lot of posts with the hashtag #mysmallworldsewcial.  A little checking, and I found that there is a quilt-along for Jen Kingwell's amazing pattern, My Small World, cohosted by @nicola_picola_ and @the_secret_sewer!  It just started on 9/15/19, so I looked at the schedule, and it is time-generous, with the quilt-along finally finishing nine months from now, in June 2020.  

You may remember that I started three of these quilts, one for each grandchild, on (oh the shame) January 29, 2016!  But since that time, they have been sitting in a box on the shelf, gathering dust.  Three and a half years is too long, so I decided to join in the quilt-along.  I don't know if I'll get all three quilts done, but it would be nice to finish at least one!

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had already made almost all the blocks assigned for the first month (9/15-10/14/2019), so yesterday I made the last block for each one.  Here are my September blocks:

These are for Lilli's version.  I can see that I will need to add more blue and less purple in the future.

These are Nathanael's.  He will definitely need more green!!

But Emmy is my consistent grandchild - rainbow colors for her, and lots of brights!

I'm especially happy that I'm so far ahead of the game for this month - I may try to do a little sewing on this project each day so I can get ahead for next month too.  And there's one sure thing about Jen Kingwell's patterns - they are fabulous scrap-busters!!!

I also worked some more on this quilt - this is 1/3 of the pieces I will need for this king size quilt-to-be.  I've since seamed these pieces up, and started on the strip set for the next third...

These have all been sewn together into one long strip, and are ready to be pressed and then move on to the next step.  I'll save that for the next time I have an hour or so without any pressing project!

It's a busy time of year, with Christmas quilting commissions coming in right and left - but for some reason, it seems that I am able to find time for these other projects more easily when I am super-busy than when I'm not!  I think maybe I waste less time, so I can carve out a few minutes here and there, and with the projects on hand and ready to go, it's easy to make some progress.

Oh, and speaking of Christmas and projects, I have cut out two of the grandkids' annual quilts - Nathanael's penguins and Lilli's Moody Blues quilt - and I'm currently in the midst of cutting out Emmy's drama llamas.  Those llamas have 68 individual pieces in each one!  Takes forever to cut out, but at least the cutting instructions are excellent.  I have one whole llama to cut, and the body pieces for one more, and I'll be finished with the cutting.  Then I can start working on their quilts!

And here's a plug for a great product, if you (like me) have lots of projects going at once.  When I went to QuiltCon, I found these great zip project bags and bought several of them.

When I finally pulled them out to use them, I fell in love - and filled all six up in a big hurry!  Looking for more, I went to the Modern Quilt Guild website in hopes of finding a store and a way to get some more - but no luck.  My husband said, "I bet they have them on Amazon," and you know what?  He was right!

I found a bundle of ten for $13.99 - a much better deal than the ones I bought at QuiltCon, although they lack the cute sayings imprinted on those - and they come in many different sizes!  You can find these by clicking here (and no, that's not an affiliate link, just my little gift to you) and enjoy the grand feeling of being organized too!

Isn't that pretty?

Now go forth and be scrappy!!



Monday, September 16, 2019

Make-A-List Monday - Sew Many Quilts, Sew Little Time!

Hi, all!

Well, it's Monday again, and time for a fresh start!  As I change my whiteboard each week, it's so much fun to erase the items that have been completed and make a new list - all the possibilities for the week are so exciting!  But before we see what's next, let's see how last week's list went...

1.  Finish the commission baby quilt.
Done!  You can see more pictures on this post.

2.  Cut out one of the annual quilts!
Done!  I got Lilli's quilt cut out and ready to sew.

3.  Complete a quilt donation for the Patchwork and Pillowcases drive.
Done!  As this is the sister quilt of the commission baby quilt, you can see more pictures on last Friday's post!

4.  Deliver a huge load of donated fabric and quilts to church.
Done - and already stashed away and ready to use!

5.  Sort and stash the scraps on my work table - they are taking over!
Thankfully, this is done too.  A clean table is so nice!

6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
We gave away several quilts this week...

This quilt went to a woman whose cancer has moved into her bones..

And the next four went to four kids who were forced to move out of a domestic violence situation.

For a 10-year old girl..
...a 7-year old girl...
..a 3-year old girl (I promise it looks more girl-y in real life!)
...and a 4-year old boy!
So all in all, a productive week that moved things forward!  By the way, how is it possible that we are halfway through September already? 

And here's what's on tap for me this week...

1.  Work on a t-shirt commission quilt.

2.  Work on a baby commission quilt.

3.  Cut out Emmy's annual quilt.

4.  Work a little more on the king size Birch Bark quilt.

5.  Start sewing one of the annual quilts.

6.  Paint the bathroom if time permits.

7.  Try to decide if I should jump into the #mysmallworldsewcial quilt-along (since I already have three version started!)

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

It feels like I'm forgetting something important in that list, but I sure can't remember what!  Oh, and number 6?  Well, that was an unexpected task, but one I'm quite happy with - because while I was at church Saturday morning sewing with my peeps, my wonderful husband replaced the old light fixture in the bathroom with a pretty new one...

...but as you can see, the base of the fixture is much smaller than the previous one.  So new paint is in order!  This room hasn't been painted since we moved in twelve years ago, so it's probably time - and I still have full cans of both of the colors I'm using in the house, so it should be a quick and easy job.  Isn't it a pretty fixture, though?  And the soft candlelight LED Edison bulbs I got give off a nice light, not too harsh, but bright enough.  

Number 7 is appealing too - the My Small World quilt-along just started yesterday on Instagram, and since I already have some blocks completed, I just might be able to keep up, even through my busy season.  (Heck, who am I kidding, they're all busy seasons!) But it would be nice to get at least one of the small world quilts pieced....

So now that we know what I'm working on this week, the only question left is - - - what are YOU working on?



Friday, September 13, 2019

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Tale of Two Quilts...

Hi, all!

Wow!  How did Friday get here so fast!  But it's here, and you know what that means - it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready?  I know I am (barely, by the skin of my teeth) so let's get started!


These words kept rolling through my head as I worked on my most recent finish(es).  You know how sometimes quilts just name themselves? Well, this blogpost did just that - "A Tale of Two Quilts"!  And here's the full story....

You may remember the t-shirt quilt I wrote about last week, and my reference to the well-loved plaid comforter that is part of it.  It was originally intended to be the back of that quilt, but the fabric was so fragile that it was unsuitable.  I put part of it on the front of the quilt, but saved the rest to be used in a baby quilt which will be tucked away until needed!

Thankfully, t-shirt interfacing works just as well stabilizing stretchy or fragile fabrics, so the pieces of the comforter should hold up well in this quilt.

You can see how nicely it's coming along - pinwheels and focal fabric blocks, both turned into snowball blocks with the addition of white corners.  But when I started sewing the blocks together...

See how pucker-y the pinwheel block is where it matches the plaid block?  I couldn't figure out how in the world that was happening, because I had squared the snowball/pinwheel blocks up to the same measurement as the plaid blocks.  I knew I could "quilt it out", so to speak, so I continued on, easing the slight fullness in as I went.  But as I was sewing the last row together, it occurred to me where my problem started.  I had squared up the pinwheel blocks AFTER I sewed on the snowball corners, instead of squaring the pinwheels, then sewing on the snowball corners.   And of course, now that I knew what the problem was, and that I could fix it pretty easily - I had enough fabric to remake the pinwheel/snowball blocks - I knew I wouldn't be happy with the quilt unless I did.  And so begins the tale of two quilts!

The first step involved reducing the quilt back to a stack of blocks - but a pretty afternoon outside made that a not-so-onerous task! Making the new pinwheel/snowball blocks was easy too, and this time I remembered to square up before adding the snowball corners.  I don't think I'll ever forget that step again!

Assembly of the quilt top went much easier the second time, with no need to ease any fabric in.  The corners all matched up like magic!  Some pretty intense quilting, and this baby (quilt) was done!

I made this quilt using the Prairie Pinwheel Baby Quilt Tutorial by The Cloth Parcel, available for free on BluPrint.  It's an easy tutorial, although I think it's missing some steps (like squaring up!) and has at least one error that I caught, but nothing drastic.  It was my first experience with prairie points, and they were fun!

I used each of the solids and the plaid from the quilt top for the prairie points, and a nice "etch-a-sketch" print for the border.  It pulls the underlying color from the plaid nicely, I think!

Lots and lots of swirly quilting makes for a huge amount of texture in this quilt!  

And of course, what could be better than that favorite sheet for the back?  It blends so nicely with the colors on the front, and with the piece I chose for the border and binding!

But wait - - - I told you it was a tale of TWO quilts, didn't I?  Well, I had that pile of blocks and it seemed a shame to just put them in the orphan block tub... and I needed to make a quilt for the Patchwork and Pillowcases quilt drive, to go to the Socorro Foundation.  So....

This cute little baby quilt was born!  I used all sixteen blocks I made - which made me feel good because the quilt pattern only used fifteen of the sixteen (why did it have me make an extra? I don't know!)

I actually quilted this one first, so I could try out the swirlies and be sure the tension on my machine was correct before I started on the customer quilt.  I love this texture!

And isn't that spring green binding sweet?  I love that color, and I'm almost out of it.  Looks like a shopping trip is in order!


And I'm happy to say I found the perfect backing lurking in my stash - and that splash of orange makes my heart sing!  

So that's my "Tale of Two Quilts" - - - can I get a whoop whoop?


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?

What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share!  We want to dance right along with you,

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Digging Out!

Hi, all!

Well, it's been busy busy busy around here (again!) but at least this week I carved out a little time to dig out from under the catastrophe at the end of my worktable...

That picture looks a little tame, and really isn't indicative of the true state of affairs....

Here's one taken from the other side!  Now you can see just how desperate the situation really was.

I don't really have time right now to do this job properly - take each piece, press it, and cut it into the many various sizes I keep on hand - so I'm going to do the "down and dirty" version of scrap management.  This involves sorting the scraps by color and storing them in tubs underneath my long arm machine.

You may not be able to tell from this picture, but there are stacks for various colors, a stack for orphan blocks, one for batiks (which I store separately) and a stack for solids (one day I WILL make an all-solids scrappy quilt!).

Those stacks are now all tucked away in their appropriate storage tubs, and I have a nice clean worktable once again.

About time!

What scrappy things are you working on this week?