Monday, November 30, 2015

Another Finish and November “Quilt Diet” Results

The last half of November has been crazy for me. You too?  So much preparation for the Holidays (referring to Thanksgiving and Christmas)!   At least my gift sewing is done and I have moved on to other projects. I loved doing the zippy pouches, but the pillowcases were so b.o.r.i.n.g.

Anyway, how about some pictures???

Above are some of the pillowcases I made for stocking stuffers (actually, I guess I could stuff the stockings in THEM). Anyway, I made a total of 17 pillowcases and 20 zip pouches of varying sizes. I have shown some of the pouches before, but the newer ones were cuter. I just didn’t get pictures of them all. In addition, I sewed the two playmats (critters with clothing) for granddaughters and a lingerie case for my DDIL. They have already been shown and counted for my 2015 Finish Along.

But I have another quilty finish from my 4th Quarter Goals for the Finish Along. This is the light-up Christmas wall hanging called Starry Night. It was #10 on my list, but the fifth of my finishes for this quarter.

Yes, I know it looks wonky, but it is even, I promise. It’s just that all the Christmas lights (string of LED lights and battery box on the back side) do not make for an evenly-hanging quilt.

Here is the backside with pocket (bottom) for battery box
It turned out really cute, especially when lit. I do have to add two more holes to accommodate all 20 lights instead of the 18 I did; it will serve to take up some of the light string slack. And next year I will add a rod pocket at the top so we can hang it on a proper rod to move it an inch or two out from the wall.  

I even did some swirly quilting.  With the size of this finishing at 24 x 35” or so, it was a great piece to practice free-motion quilting on.

This final picture shows how you’re advised to stitch around the areas you plan to cut open for light holes. Nothing glamorous, just a small pit stop while you’re FMQ’ing. It doesn’t even show, really.

So that leaves me with 5 more projects to finish by the end of the year, which of course is not going to happen.  However, I will finish Rainbow Orbs. The quilting is 2/3 done, and although I didn’t work on it last week due to Thanksgiving, etc., I will finish it this week. And then the large matching pillow shams are ready to be assembled, so I will be able to check those off for sure. That will bring my total to 7 of the 10 project goals, which is likely where I will end up. But I am thrilled with that.

My farm girl quilt is coming along, but Lori has added several new block patterns this month, so I want to get them in - either into the quilt or on the shams. I have purchased the patterns and pulled the fabrics, so I may get close on those.

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Now, let’s talk about my Fabric Diet, LOL.  You may remember that I have decided to make a concerted effort to reduce my stash.  I decided I would not buy any fabric until 2016, with the exception of some basic Kona solids when the end-of-year clearance sales start.

Well, I  didn’t even make it one month!  There were some great Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, so I did buy about 14 yards of solids. However, in my defense, they were PLANNED purchases, just moved up a month. I bought 4 yards of medium gray (future quilt background), 3 maize (to add to the 1 yard already in my stash to be a background for a future 30’s-style quilt); 3 yards of black and 1 yd dark berry to go into a quilt for DS Shane that we are planning for the second half of 2016, and some red and teal.  Plus I had bought 2 FQs of specialty fabrics for the zip pouches. That is a total of 14.5 yards IN for November.

But the OUT (sewn/sold) story is better.  Here is my tally:

17 Pillowcases = 17 yards
20 zip pouches @ .25 yd each = 5 yards
2 Playmats, backing, fabric clothes = 1.5 yards
Pieced backing for Rainbow Orbs = 6 yards
Fabric gift to DGD (to sew Xmas gift for my cousin) = 2.5 yds
Sold on Etsy (I decided to count these after all) = 10.75
Sewn: Lined Lingerie Case = 1 yd
Christmas Wallhanging (incl binding, pockets) = 1.75 yds
Donation to thrift store (flawed embroidered batiste): 2 yds
Total OUT:  47.5 yds

So, with 47.5 yards out and 14.5 yards in, I had a net stash reduction of 33 yards!!  I did not count any scraps used in the making of Farm Girl blocks (which I will show next post) or the Rainbow Orbs shams. Those are scraps, and scraps generated by my sewing or used in my sewing are not counted.

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So, if you are still awake and with me, LOL, I won’t give such a detailed accounting of fabric ins and outs every month, but it was enlightening for me to do it this month. But I will report my month-end tallies so I can see the progress I am making!!

And one final thing. I have started an I SPY quilt of 5” charm squares from a fabric swap way back in 2012 at the Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City that I attended.  Here it is pinned up on my design wall:

I would like to finish it in December to gift to my DDIL Stacy for her kids (and those she babysits). Maybe a good winter pastime to encourage new words. And naps.  :-)

Until next time!

Cathy maroon

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Crazy Quilt Quarterly Calendar Contest

Since I am on the staff of the Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine, I thought I would let you know of a great new contest coming up. Get your work published in the 2017 calendar!  Details below:

I hope to see a lot of work from my friends, followers and fellow crazy quilters!!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, November 14, 2015

What did the Lime Say?

What did the Lime say to the Lemon?  “You’re appealing!”  (a-peel-ing)   *insert collective groans here*

Well, I do find lime the color (and limes the fruit as well) to be appealing.  And even though I cheated and stitched these blocks a couple months ago, this is the first time I`m showing theme here for Scrappy Saturday with Angela.

Lime is such a lovely SUMMER color, isn’t it?  Where is my Margarita?

By making these ahead (knowing Angela had told us in May to save our light and bright scraps for later and that this color’s turn would come), I have been able to get my Rainbow Orbs quilt pieced.  Actually, I shared the below picture back in mid-October.

Models Darla (top) and Alfalfa (scratching an itch) on Rainbow Orbs

Now the quilt back is pieced and the entire thing is pin basted. I had to order a whole 25-yard roll of batting (Warm and Plush) from JoAnn’s. They had it on sale for 50% off  online (I believe they do that about once per calendar quarter) with free shipping. So it was a great deal. The Plush is a bit thicker than the Warm and Natural or the Warm and White, but like those it is 100% cotton.  I can’t wait to try it. I like a quilt that feels like a quilt. Yeah, you can tell I am an old-timer, LOL.

Anyway, the quilting will begin any day now. I’ve been saying that for a week, but the truth is I am not quite sure how I want to quilt it. It will be simple, though, because it is large (80x96) and I have a Bernina whose throat isn’t giant. And I do not enjoy the quilting part as much as the piecing and binding.

If you have scraps, or love scrappy quilts (or even just great fabric eye candy), why not join us at Scrappy Saturday?

Cathy maroon

Monday, November 9, 2015

Finished Zippy Pouches - Do they Multiply in the Dark?

I have been sewing merrily away on Christmas gifts over the last couple weeks. After completing lots of pouches (I lost count because some have already been gifted or used for other things) I thought I should probably snap a picture or two and declare this goal for my 4th Quarter Finish-Along Challenge completed. Item number 6 on that list was to finish six zip pouches (in addition to the three pictured in that list).

So here (above) are a dozen pouches that have been constructed so far. This does not include the ones I used for gifts already or those that are in progress (another six or so).

My son Shane is an artist who likes to paint cityscapes. I thought this fabric was plenty masculine and so constructed a long pouch for him to carry supplies in. Most of the pouches  will be stocking stuffers and will likely have other small gifts tucked inside.

Two of my daughters are getting these sweet pieced pouches of Lori Holt fabrics (Modern Minis). I love the sentiments on them!!

We have baseball fans and hunters and all sorts of other interests within the men and boys of the family, so all interests were covered. If nothing else, I’ll tell them these make great storage cases for cords and rechargers for tech gear when traveling. In addition to the pouches, I have sewn six individual pillowcases for grandkids. Next up I will start on the pairs of pillowcases for the couples. I started these on a whim to use up fabric (I’ll talk about that in a minute) and they are not on my goal list.

So, the zippy pouches become the 4th finish (of 10 goals) for this quarter. My Rainbow Orbs quilt has been backed and basted and I hope to begin quilting it this week.  It is looking as though that will become finish #5 when it happens.

I have decided to go on a “Fabric Diet” for a few months (with the exception of end-of-year sales where I plan to pick up on some solids for backgrounds).  So far in November, I bought two quarter yards of special interest fabrics to finish four pouches. (+1/2 yard), but have already used 9.5 yards in fabric for the gifts and 6 yards to back Rainbow Orbs. I will do a full accounting of my fabric ins and outs at month-end.

Finally, I am listing some older fabrics in my Etsy shop. No, I will not be counting those listings/sales in my Fabric Diet. They were selected for listing weeks (if not months) ago, and I am finally just getting around to doing it.

I will be back later in the week with a post about my bright green blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge November color of the month, and a progress report on the Rainbow Orbs quilt itself.

Enjoy the lovely autumn!

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust

LOL..... I always liked that song, especially when driving.  And, dear Kerry, if you are reading this, it always reminds me of you......

Anyway, the title of this post refers to another project from my 4th Quarter Finish-Along List for Adrienne’s 2015 Finish Along.   This finish is #8 on the list, and my third (of ten hopeful) finishes for this quarter.

What is it?  It is a quilted play mat (about the size of a fat quarter). The fabric is called Dress Me Up! and it is from Dear Stella. The link leads to a tutorial. There was the companion fabric that had little clothes printed on it, and that is what I used for both of the sets I made. The first set, shown rolled up in an organza drawstring bag near the top) was completed last quarter and will be a Christmas present for my granddaughter Remington. This second set was my goal for this quarter and will be a Christmas present for my granddaughter London.

In the tutorial, they used scraps of fabrics to make their own clothes for the bunnies, bears, cats, raccoons, etc), but I stuck with the companion fabric. The hardest part of this whole thing was cutting out all those pieces!! And you can see that there are outfits (and shoes and accessories) for both boy and girl characters.

I know I would have loved something like this (out of FABRIC, not paper) when I was a young girl, back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. It would make a great quiet-time activity.

Because this second set is for London, I chose London fabric by Dena Designs for the mat back and binding, as well as the zippy pouch that holds the clothes and the rolled-up mat.  The pouch is lined with Squared Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Yes, I sewed the zippy pouch, but it is part of this set, not part of my goals for my zippy pouches for this quarter.

Both Dress Me Up! play mat sets

I will have another finish to show later this week (or next) of some of the zippy pouches I have made for another Finish-Along goal. I think my goal was to make six, and I am already at 14 and counting..... so I don’t know if I will wait until they are ALL done or if I will show what I have done to date. Still thinking on that.

Until next time,
Cathy maroon

Crazy Quilt Quarterly - Winter Issue Now Available

The winter 2015 Issue of Crazy Quilt Quarterly is now available at Magcloud, here.  You may order the magazine as a digital download, or (as I prefer) a hard copy (beautiful quality!!), or both.

This issue has loads of great winter embellishment pictures and tutorials (as well as seasonal holiday ideas) to use in your crazy quilting, embroidery, art quilting and more. It is a unique and beautiful publication, and the only one that showcases the beautiful art of crazy quilting. I hope all crazy quilters out there will support this gorgeous and energetic resource, and that other artists, quilters and embroiderers will discover its beauty and wealth of ideas to apply to their own art as well.

Cathy maroon