Sunday, February 18, 2018

Improv Day 1

I certainly didn't start the day out thinking I would be making something totally improv, but that is exactly what happened!   There I was just sewing along on a project (that I can't share yet) when I got tired of that and started playing with scraps.

Last July I won a box of scraps from Myra at Busy Hands Quilts.  Her scraps are so much more interesting than mine!  I started with this 5 inch scrap . . .

Added some leftover binding Myra used on something. 
And now we have this . . .

I love this yellow and blue floral.  Does anybody recognize it and know what line it is from?  I'm not really very creative, I just keep adding fabric in rounds.  Next round was this . . .

Then I didn't know what to do next and my eye was caught by some other scraps and I started sewing those together . . .   The pieces with black in them were exactly those sizes and the lighter floral was in a long strip so I cut up the long strip for a kind log cabin effect.  LOVE these colors!   

I just noticed that there are pink flowers all in a row.  I should have flipped those around a little bit more.  Oh well.  Moving on . . .

This was a random block I sewed together after something else had to be trimmed while making one of my bee blocks.  I've had it for a while.  I figured it would get used somewhere . . .

I added an extra strip to one side of the pink and gray block so it would fit up against the log cabin . . .  Starting to look more improvy and not so symmetrical.

Now that those two sections are sewn together, I added another low volume strip with gray in it to the bottom of this piece.

OK, back to the scrap heap!  I found three rows of little squares already sewn together so I just made them into a 9-patch.  I didn't get the corners matched up the greatest, but that's ok.  Close enough!

I had some pretty gray scraps with touches of turquoise so I took those and just wrapped them around three sides of the 9-patch . . .  I was trying to sew with the scraps as I found them and not cut them up too much.

Now I'm going to put these two sections together . . . except the log cabin section isn't quite long enough to go with the other one so I sewed a few crumbs together and added them to the right side to make it long enough . . .

Now here they are all together!   I'm loving these colors!

And last but not least Myra's lovely scrap box had some AWESOME fabric (I think maybe Amy Butler?) to put a perfect border around this to make a doll quilt.

There is a fun story behind this doll quilt.   I get most of my blog notifications via e-mail and I was getting way behind on reading them.  So I decided I was just going to delete all the e-mails I hadn't read yet so I could be caught up.  There were 100 or so that were going to be deleted.  For some reason, and I can't even remember why, I decided to click on this post from Bernie at Needle & Foot Fine Fabrics.  I think I was supposed to.

Thanks to Bernie, I learned about a wonderful lady named Amy Jandrisevits owner and creator of A Doll Like Me who makes dolls for children who might possibly be missing a limb or have some other unique characteristic about them and she makes dolls that look the the child.  Bernie had the idea to collect doll quilts to send to her that she could send to the child along with the doll she makes for them.  If you want to read in more detail about A Doll Like Me, please read Bernie's blog post and join in the event she was inspired to start called Share the Love, Quilting for Kids. 

So far, I've just got the top put together but it's basted and ready to quilt!  Maybe I'll have a finished quilt to show you in a few days.  What are you going to do with the first block you started making you ask?   I have no idea! It did kind of get abandoned, didn't it?  It possibly might be the base for another doll quilt!

I can't wait to see all the quilts that get made for this event.  There are already quite a few and you can view them on Instagram at #adolllikeme.  I'll be adding mine there soon!

Linking to:

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Dreami Moment (Drop Everything and Make it)

Lately, my time has been consumed by a project that I can't show until March.  Not exactly a good strategy when you have limited time and you want to blog about what you are making!

Finally, I had a Dreami Moment where I just had to drop everything and make it.  I'll be linking to Sandra's linky party , the inventor of this new quilting term.

I still have no quilts of my own and the few mini quilts that I have made are decorating my office walls at work.  I had to brighten that place up!  My plan is to collect one or more mini quilts for each season so my first one will be one made from a free mini pattern designed by Alison at Cluck Cluck Sew called I Heart You.  Thank you, Alison!

Here is my fabric pull and some of the pieces cut out . . .

If you have ever wondered why patterns sometimes say read the pattern through before you start sewing, this one would be a perfect example.   The largest heart in this mini calls for a 12 x 12 piece of fabric.   I didn't have that size of piece in the fabric I wanted to use so I wasted sewing time piecing together a 12 x 12 piece. Silly me!   What I didn't realize, is that was only the starting point.  The pieces for the heart were to be cut from that and the scrap that I had would have been just fine for the smaller pieces needed  So learn from me!  I'm sure some of you more experienced seamstresses probably wouldn't  have made that mistake.

Here is my progress so far and I hope to have this finished later today!

1/30/18 Update!   Here is the finished mini!

In unpacking some more boxes from our move (yes I am slooooooow at this) I came across the very first thing I ever made on a sewing machine.  Even back then I had the quilt piecing DNA in me and just didn't know it!

My mother wasn't a quilt maker but she made a lot of our clothes and doll clothes growing up and she let me play around with the scraps.  She showed me how to sew a straight seam and the rest is history.  I took a piece of fabric and just started adding scraps to the sides of it until I had a piece big enough to make a pillow.  I don't remember my age when I made this but I think it was around 8 or 9.   Notice that the bright neon pink fabric is the biggest piece.  Even as a child I loved bright loud colors! Can you guess about what year this was?  Don't worry, I am not sensitive about my age so I won't be insulted if you guess way wrong. Hee! Hee!

Poor thing could use a good wash!

Along the lines of nostalgia, when my sister visited me a few weeks ago she handed me this mysterious box!
 You can already tell by looking at it that is is pretty old.  I am guessing from the 70's.  Inside was a project I had started years ago and got bored with and never finished so gave them to my sis.  My sis doesn't throw anything away.  She saved this all these years and gave them back to me.  Crocheted granny squares!

I'd love to hear about the very first thing you ever made!  Please share in my comments!
Linking to:
Crazy Mom Quilts
Busy Hands Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Throw Back Thursday

Sunday, January 14, 2018

First 2018 Finish!

Well, she's not a quilt but she IS a finish.  And for me, that means a lot.  Introducing Hazel Hedgehog!

Back done with the dreaded minky.

I have been seeing this cute pattern around the internet for a while but when I saw the pillows that Jayne over at Twiggy and Opal made, I really wanted to try it.  They are SO cute!  And she made it look easy.  Maybe for experienced seamstresses but for newbies, not so much.   Let me explain . . .

Let me just say, all minky is NOT created equal.  Right, Anja?  (grin)   The backing was a from a scrap left over from Kenzi's quilt and I thought for such a small project, it wouldn't be that difficult.  Think again.  I've used other kinds which sewed up beautifully.  This stuff is stretchy and furry and thick.  It's going to be super cuddly, but I did not enjoy sewing with it at all!  Oh the hazards of ordering fabric online.

The piecing part was easy and I probably got that cut and sewn in just a few hours.  I am beginning to realize that piecing is probably one of my favorite parts of the process.   

I made this for my daughter and she wanted the version with glasses.  I've never used fusible stuff before so this was my first try at it.  The stuff I got worked ok but I have to tell you it sure wasn't because of the good instructions.  I had to guess at a few things.  Poor instructions are a pet peeve of mine.  

I would love to hear any tips and tricks about how to keep the edges looking smooth when you do the stitching around the edge of a fused piece.    Especially what kind of stitch to use and what stitch settings.  Mentor me, please!

I've already learned that I should have made the background part a little bit bigger than the instructions said because the quilting I did on the pillow turned my once square pillow top into a rectangle.  Oh, well.  She's still cute.  And I definitely learned a thing or two so it's a win/win despite the difficulties.

And even though it isn't a quilt, YAY for finish number one!   Yes, I am whooping it up!

Linking to:

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Productive Day!

I think I've finally climbed out of a major mojo-missing-in-action phase and back into the land of the productive.  At least I did today.  I hope it continues!

I had the most fun day yesterday with my sister and niece who came over to make pillows.  I only see my sis a few times each year so I really enjoy it when she comes.  I let her and Cacey (my neice) shop my fabric stash and make pillows!  I don't know why I didn't think to take pictures of our day but I didn't!  I guess I'm not totally back in the blogging mode yet.  Well, it's probably just as well because Cacey didn't get hers all the way done and she wants to surprise her husband.  I'll show pictures when she gets them all done.

Today I finished up three bee blocks I needed to do.  The first one was for November's Bee and I finished one block in November as I was supposed to but then I never did finish the other one.  I don't know what my problem was because it was a very easy block.  My apologies, Paige for the extreme lateness of this block!  At last they are done and going out in the mail tomorrow along with some extra HST's and triangles for more HST's if you want them.  I also included extra background fabric in case you want to make the second block taller.

Then I worked on the block that was due in December for Emily.  I'm not quite as late for that one but STILL . . . late!  Ugh.  I hate missing due dates.  But it has made me more determined to keep up with next year's blocks. I mistakenly signed up for three bees in 2017 and did not make that mistake  this year.  Here is Emily's library book shelf block!
We were supposed to do a theme of some sort and my theme is color, and pattern!  Two things I really love.   The fat book that is leaning actually looks like some paper I have seen on vintage books before.  So Emily, here is my piece of bookshelf that I hope represents a little piece of me.  I am so looking forward to seeing all of your book blocks together.  There have been some very creative people who added things like microscopes and lamps.  I'm not that imaginative.

The third block I made was for Sharon.  She is the queen bee for January 2018 and I actually got my block done early for once!

What a good feeling to be caught up with my Bee hive commitments.  Now  I can start checking off some other things on my "want to get done" list.

Tomorrow, it's back to work for me and the start of a new semester at the University where I work.   Hope you have a wonderful week!

Linking to:
Oh Scrap!
Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2018 Planning Party

Yvonne at Quilting JetGirl is hosting a planning party for 2018.  I have not set any yearly quilty goals for myself before but I have found that I am much more productive when I do have a plan and a goal and a deadline.  

Tish at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland came up with specific definitions that I really liked for those unfinished projects.    Tish, thanks for helping me categorize!  Here is a short summary of how she defines things:

UFO (Unfinished Object):  Any finished quilt top that is waiting to be quilted.
WIP (Work in Progress):  Anything that has been cut and started
Kits:  Fabric purchased with a specific result in mind but not yet begun.

At this point in time, here are my UFO's:   I currently have seven. I will be listing my 2018 goals at the end of this summary of what I have going on.

Quilt made by Vicki, quilted by Jen Strauser and waiting to be bound by me!

Mom's 1-patch quilt partially quilted

Mom's gift box quilt

I have I have nine WIP's which are projects that have either had fabric either at least cut out or even some sewed together:

1.  Hedgehog pillow 

2.  Kenzi's pillow.  Will be made with the scraps left over from making her quilt
3.  Pretzel twist
4.  Western quilt

5.  Stash Bee quilt #1

#6 Stash bee quilt #2

7.  On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt

8.  Geese Migration (only 3 blocks made)

9.  Leader/Ender project

Kits and quilts with fabric purchased:
Morgan's quilt
Dana's quilt
Sweet Dreams
Quilt Camp
All Purpose Tote
Autumn quilt
Floral and black Block of the Month
Boundless Layer Cake HST quilt

My goals for 2018 are:

1. Finish two things in each category by the end of 2018.  If I manage more than that, I will be VERY happy!  

2.  Finish a secret sewing project for an upcoming blog hop

3.  Participate in the Bee Inspired Stash Bee 

4.  Possibly do another Mini blog hop.

5.  Try to do at least 15 minutes of sewing each day (when I am home)

6.  Make a scrappy quilt using only old stash.

7.  Make a new ironing board cover.

I'm excited about getting going on my goals!  Having it written down is somehow motivating.  Good luck on your goals for 2018!

Linking to:
2018 Planning Party

Best of 2017

Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a Best of 2017 Linky Party.  How you define "best" is up to you!

So here we go!

#1.  Most visited post of the year was the very first one of 2017 about my vintage quilt top given to me by my husbands sweet mama.  We don't know for sure who made it, but she thinks it was my hubby's great grandmother.  The biggest reason it was the most visited is because Wanda at Exuberant Color mentioned it after I asked her some questions about identifying the pattern.  That lady has a tremendous following! WOW!  So those visitation numbers were a little inflated.

The REAL most visited post of 2017 was the  Quilters Laundry Day Mini Blog Hop Quilt Along that Jen Rosin and I hosted with over 1700 views.  Jen Rosin at A Dream and a Stitch was the designer and I was the organizer.   She designed the cutest pattern called A Quilters Laundry Day.  The pattern was provided free for quilt along participants but is available for purchase here from Craftsy.  You should try it!  It really was a fun easy make.  We provided the pattern and put the word out that anyone could participate that wanted to.  It was so fun anticipating how each quilter who volunteered would interpret Jen's design.   One quilter made a pillow, one appliqued her version, one made a baby quilt out of it, several made their quilts on the clothesline a 3D version.  Lots of fun creativity going on!  Here are the two that I made.  A day and night version.

Jen and I were so excited about the greats results of this QAL!  Click here to see a gallery of all the different creations.  I've even seen in a few other "Best of" posts that some of the participant's reveal post was their most viewed this year!  YAHOO!  We should be getting ready to do our third annual mini blog hop QAL very soon so stay tuned!  Let me know if you are interested in participating.  We had some nice giveaways too!

My favorite post and also one with some of the  most comments (that didn't have a giveaway) was my biggest finish ever.  It was the first quilt bigger than a baby quilt that I ever completed.  As most of you know, I learned to piece years ago but just learned how to quilt in 2016.   So you can imagine how thrilled I was to finally finish a full size quilt from start to finish!  You can read about that finish here.

One of my favorite posts was my reveal for a mini exchange that I did with Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate.   Here is the quirky mini I made for her, and the story behind my fabric and design choices can be found here.

I absolutely LOVE the mini she made for me!  
She is such a better seamstress than I am.

Mystery quilt.  This is the first year I have participated in a mystery quilt and I really enjoyed the slow pace of the one put on by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs.  Here is my post about that.

So those are my five favorite quilty things about 2017.  Now I am going to enjoy going to read the top five of my fellow bloggers!

May you have a blessed and productive quilty New Year!
Linking to: