Monday, February 19, 2018

Postcard from Sweden QAL

I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day! My hubby and I don't make a big deal about it--we usually celebrate with a steak dinner and nice bottle of wine, but my amazing daughter sent me these two dozen roses. They still look lovely and smell even better nearly a week later!
 I caved a couple of weeks ago and ordered a kit to participate in the Postcard from Sweden Quilt Along. It officially began on Valentine's Day, but I worked on it this weekend. It takes a lot of time to cut up 36 fat quarters and number them, but they look so bright and cheerful.
 I spent today sewing all the blocks for the rows together. I still need to trim the blocks, but I am a little ahead now. I know the trimming will be tedious, but it will be worth it. I am making the larger sized quilt that will finish 60 x 72 inches.
 I also worked on Blocks 2 for the Clementine Quilt Along, but I cannot reveal them yet! For information on both quilt alongs, check my right hand sidebar for links.
I have a another secret sewing project for the Fat Quarter Shop, so stay tuned for that.

By the way, my spa treatment soaking of my Row Along Quilt worked, so that UFO is officially completed. I hope our wind dies down soon, so I can get some pictures of fabulous it came out.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

UFO Slayer?

I have officially been a quilter for 23 years and sadly I have still not finished my first quilt and likely never will! I spent some time yesterday assessing my UFO projects--I was looking at the six tops I had stored in my hope chest and my hubby kindly reminded me there was also a tub of UFOs out in the garage too...Into the garage, I ventured. Sure enough, the tub contained my first quilt, another scrappy quilt, and this batik beauty. 

This UFO is ancient---likely 15+ years old. I know I made it when I lived in California and I still have the pattern which was from 2000. It is called Bouillabaisse and can still be purchased here:
I went through a batik phase. Batiks are striking and gorgeous looking, but they are not soft which is why I stopped using them. In its current state, this quilt is roughly 57 inches square. I could add a border, but I am not sure. I located several yards of an aqua batik that could be a backing--again I am not sold. Well, I ironed it and its potential backing and hung it in the closet to ponder. I may use it as a charity quilt for Happy Chemo as the Hands 2 Help 2018 will be coming very soon. At least it has been unearthed and won't continue to languish and unlike my first quilt I like the colors although it is far from perfect.
I dropped two queen-sized quilts off to my friend Rachel yesterday--I hand bound them for her. We are planning on trading my hand binding for her longarm quilting. She is currently in the market to purchase a longarm and had been trying out several types around town. Unfortunately, she broke her arm and had to have surgery which may delay her longarm adventures a little, but I am in no hurry when so many of my tops have been waiting years. I went ahead and took these lap sized quilts to bind for her. I can cuddle up under them and stitch while I watch the Olympics in the evenings. I will work on the batik one for Slow Sunday Stitching:
I finished this little mug rug the other night--it was a UFO from last spring. 

My Row Along Quilt is all done, but I had a little problem with some bleeding in one area, so it is having a long spa day in my bathtub with some Dawn dish soap right now. I can live with it, if it does not come out, because I am probably the only one that would notice the bleeding along some of the quilted lines by my label...Done is better than perfect! 


Saturday, February 3, 2018

February OMG

February is a shorter month, so I was a little hesitant to make a major goal for my One Monthly Goal (OMG). However, this UFO has been lingering far too long--it is my Row Along Quilt that I pieced way back in July 2013. I got it out after Xmas and got the borders on last month, embroidered my label, and pieced my backing which leaves quilting and binding.

I got it pinned this afternoon and started on the quilting. I hope to get the quilting done between tonight and tomorrow morning, so I can work on binding it during the Super Bowl for Slow Sunday Stitching:

We are not that enthusiastic about the Super Bowl, but we will be rooting for the Eagles and I am making Philly Cheesesteaks in the crock pot with some other goodies. At least we can rely on the commercials and Justin Timberlake to entertain us while I work on my binding!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Jammin' in January

 Greetings! It is hard to believe that January is nearly over. I have been trying not to start anything new, but instead focusing on my UFOs and WIPs. My favorite WIP right now is the Spelling Bee Sew Along. I have actually started to work ahead on my letters in order to restrain myself from starting something new. Yesterday, we were tasked with the M blocks. It is my goal not to repeat any of the fabrics I use in my letters!
 As part of my thinking ahead, I made a school bus block--the smaller size with the plan to use it in the label of my Spelling Bee Quilt. It is so cute!
I got my first blocks completed for Fat Quarter Shop's Clementine Quilt Along. Block instructions will post on the 25th of each month. I have a link on my right hand side bar for information about this Quilt Along fundraiser for St. Jude.
 I think my Drop Everything and Make It--DREAMi!
for January was this sweet Valentine's pillow. I made it in an afternoon from Sherri's tutorial you can find here:
My January One Monthly Goal (OMG) was my Chains of Love Quilt. This was a UFO from last year  and I got it done earlier in the month. It looks fabulous on my couch in the living room with my new Valentine's pillows. Check out everyone's January OMGs here:
I love to hand bind quilts especially in the winter when I can burrow under them to watch TV on the couch with my dogs in the evening. I bind quilts for one of my local quilt shops and I earn a discount that way. One of my friends who works at the LQS knows I love to bind, and I always tell her I would be happy to bind for her. She finally took me up on my offer. She gave me two quilts--both massive! This one was more than 440+ inches of binding and I finished it up last night. She is in the market to purchase her own longarm and we are planning on trading longarm quilting for my hand binding--sounds like a perfect trade to me! I will get started on her other quilt today for Slow Sunday Stitching:
I made an impulse buy the other evening! It is probably not a good idea to have a credit card on file with Etsy... I have admired this quilt for a few years. It is called Postcard from Sweden. There was a quilt along last year and I regretted not making it then, so when I saw that Sandra from mmm! quilts has a quilt along planned to start on Valentine's Day--I immediately started looking to find a kit to buy. Then, I found a kit to make the bigger version and it included free shipping, so I caved and bought it.  If you are interested in joining the quilt along, the information is here:

This is where I bought my kit--it makes the bigger version and had free shipping:

I am heading in to my sewing room to prep another UFO for quilting--I need to keep jammin'!


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Clementine Quilt Along Month 1

Welcome! I am thrilled to have been selected to participate in the Fat Quarter Shop's Clementine Quilt Along this year. This quilt along is sponsored to raise funds for St. Jude. I decided to use the fabrics from April Rosenthal's Mama's Cottage line. I love to play with my scraps, so I am thinking I will make a second quilt with some scraps from my over flowing bins--after all the scrappier the better in my book!
This month, we are each making two blocks of Watermelon Wheel--one finishes 20 inches and the other finishes 12 inches. You can find the instructions to make this block here:
Fat Quarter Shop is suggesting a $5 donation for each month's pattern. Here is the link to donate:
Here is a list of all the quilters participating:
*April of April Rosenthal (@amrosenthal)
Bonnie of Sunset Family Living (@sunsetfamilyliving)
Cara of That Crafty Cara (@thatcraftycara)
Carrie of Moda Cutting Table (@modafabrics)
Denise of Pieced Brain (@piecedbrain)
Elise of Elise and Emelie (@eliseandemelie)
Gina of Carpe Quiltin (@gina_tell_carpequiltin)
Heather of A Creative Pursuit (@acreativemama)
Hilary of By Hilary Jordan (@byhilaryjordan)
Jan of Cocoa Quilts (@cocoaquilts)
Jen of Heritage Threads (@heritage.threads)
Joanne of Quilts by Joanne (@turtlequilterjo)
Kairle of Kairle Oaks Handcrafted Goodness (@kairleoaks)
Kendra of Good Starter (@good_starter)
Kristen of 3 in the Nest (@threeinthenestraleigh)
Kristina of Center Street Quilts (@centerstreetquilts)
Leah of Ponderings from My Heart (@ponderingsfrommyheart)
Melanie of A Bit of Scrap Stuff (@mellierc)
Melissa of Happy Quilting (@happyquiltingmc)
Pat of Pat Sloan (@quilterpatsloan)
Pat B. of Life in the Scrapatch (@scrapatches)
Patty of Elm Street Quilts (@elmstreetquilts)
Rebecca of One Wee Bird (@oneweebird)
Sarah of 123 Quilt (@123quilt)
Seema of SSK Craft Shop (@sskcraftshop)
Sherri of A Quilting Life (@aquiltinglife)
Sondra of Out of the Blue Quilts (@sondradavison)
Stephanie of Quilt 'n Party (@quiltnparty)
Teresa of Aurea's Kitchen (@aureaskitchen)
Vickie of Crocheting Vixen (@crochetingvixen)

I hope you are inspired to join us and make a gorgeous quilt to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Strawberry Social Quilt

 I finished my 2015 UFO--Strawberry Social! I quilted it and bound it this month. I am on a mission to slay my many, many UFOs. #ufoslayer
 I just straight line quilted it on my Pfaff vertically with the help of my walking foot and my extra wide foot as a guide. I used navy thread because of the the background, but it shows more in the strawberries and greens than I am used to.
 The straight line quilting is simple and modern and goes well with the design--plus I can actually do it myself!
The backing is a busy strawberry print that hides my quilting. This quilt did shrink quite a bit probably because of the dense quilting. It is now 48ish by 63ish inches.
 Even though, I am trying not to start any new big projects, I have allowed myself a small project here and there. I made this Welcome Mug Rug using the six inch block pattern found in Lori Holt's Farm Girl Vintage. I love the Bonnie & Camille fabrics and the colors match my sewing room where I am using it.
I took Thursday off to spend the morning with my daughter before she caught her plane back to college. We enjoyed her month long visit for winter break and it was hard to say goodbye! I consoled myself with a trip to one of our local quilt shops--they had recently moved and I had not been to the new location. Their new location is all one level which is an improvement. They had a lot of fabric on sale and I picked up each of these fabrics for $2.75 a yard--I bought them all! Customer service can be a little lacking at this shop, but I am happy to report it seems to have improved.
After getting home from the airport and quilt shop, I needed a distraction project. Sherri came to my rescue with the tutorial she had just posted on her blog for this Valentine's pillow. I made mine fit a square 14 inch pillow form because that was what I had on hand. Here is a link, if you want to make one too:
 Since it is Saturday, the new Spelling Bee Blocks were posted. #spellingbeesaturday I made the little car in red like my own VW Bug and I made my camper in grays like the vintage Airstreams I like.
 Happy mail came today! I received my kit and backing for the Fat Quarter Shop's Clementine Sew Along. I am honored to have been selected to sew along and post my blocks in this charity to benefit St. Jude. Here is a link for more information:
For Slow Sunday Stitching, I am embroidering my label for my Bee In My Bonnet Row Along Quilt.
 This is another old UFO that I hope to slay very soon...


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Maintaining Momentum

Unfortunately, I have many UFOs--most are in need of quilting. Fortunately, I have several kits and fat quarter bundles that are waiting to become works in progress. I am trying to avoid starting anything new--it is difficult! The good news is I have gotten my mojo on tackling some of these UFOs. My first UFO finish is my Chains of Love Quilt. I started this last year and whipped the top right up, but ran into some problems with the machine quilting--of course, it languished. I got it all machine quilted by taking some time to redo the pin basting and marked it with a Frixon pen for the crosshatch quilting. It is all bound, washed, and ready to display for Valentine's Day decorating. It is 44.5 inches square. This was my January OMG goal, so it feels great to have that done half way into the month!
As I went into my sewing room yesterday, I was tempted to start a new project for the three day weekend. Instead, I dug out one of my oldest UFOs--my Quilty Fun Row Quilt. I had this top together in a couple of weeks back in July 2013--this was back when the blocks were still freebies on Lori Holt's Bee In My Bonnet Blog.  I hit a wall with the borders and the quilting. I was indecisive about doing the borders it called for. 4+ years of indecisiveness is enough. I added the narrow red borders yesterday and will be working on the pieced turquoise borders today. So much time has passed the white fabric seems to have yellowed, but the whites in the borders are not touching--I think it will be ok after washing and it really only shows in the bright sunshine. I am thinking I will quilt it myself horizontally either with a straight line stitch every inch or with my wavy stitch. This is NOT going to languish any more! After all, Done Is Better Than Perfect!
This UFO--my Strawberry Social Quilt was pieced at a retreat back in July 2015. I had a backing that a friend gave me, but again it got shoved aside because of quilting. I decided to quilt it myself vertically with a straight stitch. Thanks to the two football games yesterday, I am almost done with the hand binding. I will do some Slow Sunday Stitching and finish the binding and sew the hanger down too.
I got to gift this beauty this week to one of my dear teacher friends Sue! Her daughter gave birth to her first granddaughter, Kimberly, on Monday. I made this on a whim in February of last year. It is a Curved Log Cabin design and I am tempted to start making some more blocks as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2018--I want to make a bigger one to keep!
These two L blocks whipped up so quickly for the Spelling Bee Sew Along yesterday. 

I am looking forward to having Monday off and I am taking Thursday off to spend the morning with my daughter and get her to the airport to go back to college--I will try to head into my sewing room that afternoon. Hopefully, I can slay another UFO!