Wednesday, August 21, 2019

I May Have a Scrap Problem... But Not A Stash Problem!

Hi, all!

It occurred to me this week that (a) it is only slightly more than four months until Christmas (!!!!) and (b) I had not yet thought about what I was doing for my grandkids' annual quilts this year (!!!!!!!!).  For those of you who may not know, I make each of my three grandkids a quilt for Christmas that reflects in some way what they were like or what they liked that year, with a fun label that tells a little bit about them, their likes, and sometimes something funny they did that year.  It serves as kind of a yearbook for them, and I love the thought of their own kids reading the labels someday and learning about their parents when they were little. 

So - time to get to work!  Emmy was the easiest - at seven, she is a total drama queen this year.  

I had seen Wendy's wonderful "drama llama" and knew that it would make a wonderful quilt!  Off to Sew Fresh Quilts with her fabulous selection of pieced animal quilts, and I picked up the pattern.  Then I went to the stash, and pulled these fabrics...

...which are ever so much prettier and "dramatic" in person!  This is going to be a fun quilt to make, once I get through the detailed cutting instructions.  

Nathanael's quilt took a bit more research.  He always loves the color green, but he has several green quilts, so I wanted to do something a little bit different.  Then I remembered Penguin...

...Nathanael's best buddy!  He carries Penguin with him almost everywhere, and I've had to sew his flippers on several times.  So I started looking for a pieced penguin pattern.  As luck would have it, Elizabeth Hartman had an adorable version, and my stash yielded loads of cute penguin body fabrics!

I guess it pays to hoard black and white fabrics for years and years!

Lilli was a little bit more of a conundrum.  She's in her moody tween stage and doesn't seem to like much of anything lately - this picture is pretty indicative of her mood lately....

But - - - she still likes the color blue, and I still like to make her quilts, so I started looking for a pattern that would work with fabrics I had on hand.  I looked through my Pinterest boards, and didn't see anything that sparked my fancy - and then I remembered my Wedge Play Workshop book by Christina Cameli!  There are a bunch of quilts I want to make in that book, and while I didn't settle on the one I remembered when I thought of the book, I did find one that I loved....

...AND I found beautiful fabrics (after many many changes in the pull) to make it with!  I had originally settled on a slightly different array, but when my daughter realized it was for Lilli, she suggested removing the purples (apparently Lilli is NOT fond of purple these days) and adding back in a couple of prints I had pulled out.  I'm happy with this pull and think it will be a fun and beautiful quilt!

So - no scrappy sewing, but I am at least playing in my stash and preparing to use up fabric!  What have you been working on this week?  Are you also getting into Christmas mode?



Monday, August 19, 2019

Make-A-List Monday - Staying Cool!

Hi, all!

My new best friends these days are the two fans in my studio!  One is a floor stand model that turns from side to side - that one moves the air around the whole room.  And then there's the battery powered clip-on personal fan that is currently clipped to my sewing machine.  Between those two and the air conditioning, I'm managing to stay cool and get lots done!  It's hard to believe that August is shaping up to be the hottest August in recorded history (following the hottest July and the hottest June) but I'm grateful that I have plenty to do inside to keep me busy!

That being said, let's see how last week's list went!

1.  Make the baby quilt top.
2.  Quilt it if there's time!
Done!  I'm super excited about how this turned out, but I'm not going to show you the whole quilt now - it's a gift so I'll share more pictures after I give it away!

3.  Meet with a friend who needs binding on a quilt.
This didn't happen - she got busy and needed to reschedule.

4.  Write an estimate for a quilt commission.
Done!  The fabric is on order, so I'll be starting on this one soon!

5.  Quilt a quilt for the ministry.
Done!  I'm working through our stash of Christmas tops for a special project - three more to go!

6.  Quilt another UFO (that stack is getting smaller!)
Done - and I'm happy to say there's only one more top in the UFO stack!  More pics to come on this one, probably Friday.

7.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done - and it was a VERY busy week!

This quilt went to a gentleman in a nursing home...

...and this quilt went to a gentleman who went in the hospital for a procedure and had complications. He is now in the ICU.

This quilt went to a woman diagnosed with cancer...

...and this quilt went to a lady in rehab who is confined to a wheelchair, but loves bright colors!

This quilt went to a two-year old girl going through some serious health issues...

This quilt went to a new baby boy...

...and this one went to a man who was seriously injured in a farming accident.

And last but not least, this quilt went to the husband of one of our ministry members, who is headed to a rehab hospital.

Whew!  I told you it was a busy week!  And this week is shaping up to be another just like it.  Commission jobs are starting to line up, plus I realized that I hadn't even thought about the kids' annual  quilts yet!  I'm trying to get my own things done before the commissions get started.  So let's see what's on my plate this week!

1.  Start on the commission quilt when the fabric arrives.

2.  Start on another gift baby quilt.

3.  Pull fabrics for Emmy's quilt.

4.  Pull fabrics for Nathanael's quilt.

5.  Decide on a pattern for Lilli's quilt.

6.  Quilt the final UFO top in the stack!

7.  Quilt at least one more quilt for the ministry project.

8.  If time allows, start cutting fabrics for one of the annual quilts.

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

So much going on!  But it definitely means I don't get bored.  And there's so much fabric to play with - the hard part is just choosing what to pull out next!

So now, the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Friday, August 16, 2019

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Call For Help, and Meet the Gang....

Hi, all!

Well, Friday has rolled around once again, and we all know what that means - it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!  I can't wait to see what you all have been working on, so let's get started!


First of all, the call for help.  My Instagram friend, Sarah Hunter, who blogs over at Lazy Cozy Quilts, is hosting the Patchwork and Pillowcases Drive to benefit the Socorro Foundation.  

"The Socorro Foundation, a non-profit organization (and 100% volunteer) is opening a Family Shelter and Education Center that receives families released from federal agencies.  They provide families with a safe place to rest, shower, eat and prepare for the next leg of their journey to their sponsor family  In addition to much needed supplies like clean socks, diapers and formula, families receive educational courses on American laws, culture and language to give them a head start in rebuilding their lives.  The shelter intends to provide for 100 new people every three to five days, and hopes to double their capacity soon."

From her website, here is the information about what they need:

For Quilts

These quilts will remain at the shelter and will be washed on an almost daily basis, so the specifications below take into account the need to be “heavy duty” and easy to care for. 
  • Minimum length per side 30″
  • Maximum length per side 40″
  • Must be NEW and UNUSED.
  • Quilts do not have to be patchwork design. Almost* any of your favorite baby quilt patterns can be used. 
  • *Please do not send rag quilts or hand tied quilts. They are wonderful, but they could be choking hazards. 
  • Please refrain from adding ribbons, buttons, or any embellishments. They could be choking hazards.
  • Please avoid the use of holiday or sports team specific fabric prints
  • Please use cottons and batting that are machine washable and machine dryable.
  • Please use secure quilting methods. Straight lines or stippling work great!
  • Freshly washed quilts in scent free detergents are appreciated!

For Pillowcases

The pillowcases will be given to children when they arrive and are theirs to keep. 
  • The standard pillowcase size is 21″ x 30-32″
  • Must be NEW and UNUSED.
  • Please use fabrics that are machine washable and machine dryable
  • Freshly washed pillowcases in scent free detergents are apprecaited! 


Ship to: 
The Soccorro Foundation
310 N. 3rd Street
Hidalgo, TX 78557
You can find out more information on the Socorro Foundation, including their Amazon wishlist, by clicking on the Patchwork and Pillowcases Drive link in the paragraph above.

In a world that sometimes reflects the meanest side of humanity, quilters shine as generous, open hearted and open handed to all.  I hope you'll join me in supporting this very worthy effort!


Well, despite my best efforts, I didn't manage to get a finish this week - two days out of town will really mess up your plans!  So I thought I'd share pictures of some of the wonderful ladies who work in our quilt ministry at church....

This is Lisa (on the left) and Deb (on the right).  Lisa spends most of her time standing right there cutting up scraps - trying to make headway but really just staying afloat!  Deb likes to find backs for the quilt tops - she's cutting one here, as you can see.

Sherry is working on a baby quilt - she doesn't have much time to sew each week, because she teaches 5th grade girls at 6:15, but she tries to come in and do a little bit each week before class!

Theresa is new this fall!  She is still afraid of the sewing machines, but she likes to iron, so she's helping clean up our fat quarter bins and sort out the things that shouldn't be in there.  Maybe I can get her on the long arm machine next week!

And here's Rita!  She really doesn't like to have her picture taken, so I had to sneak this one.  This lady is a quilting machine!  She keeps me hopping, binding the quilts after she takes them off the frame.  

We had a smaller group this evening - missing were Mary, another Lisa, Donetta, Lynn, and Gina.  We've got a really good group this year!  These are the hands that complete the quilts that bring comfort people in need. 

So - - - can they 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, August 14, 2019

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Playing With Scraps!

Hi, all!

Well, I am so happy to be able to say that I actually got to play with scraps this week!!  I just decided that it was time to dig into those scrap bins and do something.  I grabbed with the 2.5" box...

...and started chain piecing some center strips for the D9P in last week's post.  This will be an ongoing project, so I did a bunch of these and then set it to one side to work on something else scrappy!

This huge bag of denim shirt sleeves had been sitting on my studio floor for about a year, and I was so tired of tripping over it!  So I decided that it was time to cut it up into squares and throw away what I couldn't save.  

It was well worth my time - I ended up with 338 five inch squares!  But the question now was what to do with them?  So I grabbed a pile of men's striped shirts I had been hoarding and started cutting them up...

...and now I have....


I did actually start playing with the cream denim squares and some of the stripes, made some HSTs, and came up with a potential layout...

...which I'm thinking may become a baby quilt someday.  I'm still thinking about this one but I don't think it will be too long before I get back to it!

So what wonderful scrappy thing have you been working on this week?



Monday, August 12, 2019

Make-A-List Monday - Hot Summer Fun!

Hi, all!

Well, Monday has rolled around again, and wow, is it hot outside!  But there's always something fun going on in my studio, and the heat is just a good reason to stay inside and play!  It was a busy week last week, so let's see how I did on my list...

1.  Bind four more quilts for the quilt ministry.
Done!  And not only these four, but four more that I did at church Saturday morning....

2.  Quilt a couple of quilts for the quilt ministry.
Done!  These two are for a special project for the ministry...

3.  Quilt another UFO.
Not only quilted, but completely finished!

4.  Prep the fabrics for a gift quilt. (I'd love to start on it, but one of my fabrics is back-ordered...)
Done - and not only prepped, but I've made a good start on it!

5.  Find a backing for the gift top I finished last week.
I not only found a backing for it, but I finished it!  Woohoo!!

6.  Play a little bit!
Okay, I played a LOT!  I had a lot of fun last week cutting up scraps...

...and I did a little chain piecing of some other cut scraps...

And I made yogurt (high fat, low carbs) in my instant pot...

...and I made some really yummy keto-friendly bread that made a nice substitute for cornbread with our barbecue one night!

7.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  This quilt went to a man with Stage 4 liver cancer...

This quilt went to a woman who is recovering from a series of strokes...

This one went to a man just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer...

And this quilt went to a man who is working through sobriety from a meth addiction.

So, all in all, a pretty productive week!  This week, unfortunately, won't be quite as productive, as we will be out of town for a couple of days for a quick trip. But I've still got some things I need to do this week, so here's what's on tap for me...

1.  Make the baby quilt top.

2.  Quilt it if there's time!

3.  Meet with a friend who needs binding on a quilt.

4.  Write an estimate for a quilt commission.

5.  Quilt a quilt for the ministry.

6.  Quilt another UFO (that stack is getting smaller!)

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

I've definitely got to stay focused on the top of the list this week, since I've got several commission quilts due in any day now and this baby quilt must be finished in time for a September shower.  So some of the other quilting may have to wait - but at least I've got it in the wings if I do have time! 

So now, the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Friday, August 9, 2019

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A No-Longer-UFO!

Hi, all!

Welcome to Friday - it's finally here!  And you know what that means, I'm sure... It's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready?  Let's get started!


I have been on a mission lately, to get some of the tops I made over the spring and early summer finished.  I'm very happy to say that this week I finished TWO of them!  I can't show you one - it's a gift and would be immediately recognizable to the eventual recipient - but I do have one I can share...

I made this quilt originally to use up the hourglass blocks I had made for a project that fizzled.  Rather than throw them into the orphan block tub, I decided to see if I could pull together a quilt top with them.  

I found this beautiful koi panel that worked well with the colors in the hourglass blocks, and some deep Espresso brown Kona for sashing.

I put the top on the frame, and tried to decide how to quilt it.  That's always a sticking point for me!  I didn't want to just do a random meander, so I opted for wave-like organic lines horizontally across the quilt.

Here you can see the "waves" across the back of the quilt.  It's a shame the color isn't better - this back is a beautiful peachy-pink with gold arrows on it.

And how about one more picture, just because it's pretty?

So - - - 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!