Saturday, February 29, 2020

Lots of Quilt Finishes

Well, I didn’t plan to put off finishing these quilts until month-end; it just happened that way. There are four to show. Added to the one I finished last week, that makes five kids’ quilts (small by quilt standards) finished in February.

In my last post, I talked about the scrappy challenge that was given to me by our Quilts for Kids President, Sandy, last weekend. The quilt is now finished.

It still needs to be laundered and labeled, but I ran out of QFK labels, so I’ll have to run and pick some up next week. It won’t get turned in until our March QFK workshop. Scrap Rodeo finished at 38.5 x 50.5”.

Next up is the twin quilt to my February OMG (One Monthly Goal) quilt, that was Rainbow Charms #1 and this one is Rainbow Charms #2. The borders and backings are different, and they used different charms from the same charm pack. Finished size is 38.5 x 46”.

The third quilt is another String Stars quilt. I showed some of these blocks last week, but now they’re all done and so is the quilt (again, except for the label). This is the third string star quilt I’ve made since last year. It finished at 36x48”.

The next time I make a string star quilt, I’m going to try making 8.5” (unfinished) blocks instead of the 6.5”.  Since so many of the strings and strips come from trimmed quilt backings, they are looong. Maybe I can use them up at a faster clip with bigger blocks.

And last but not least is The Creature From the Orange Grove (37.5 x 46”). This creature isn’t particularly clever, as it’s somewhat mundane origin - an orange grove - would suggest. But who ever heard of an orange lagoon? Anyway, growing up in Southern California during the sixties and seventies meant that we had lots of orange groves to play in. It’s always fun in a puzzle-y sort of way to get things to fit together.

I had lots more orange scraps, but they are lying in wait with my purple and orange fabric pieces. When purple month is called for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, they will come out to play again with the purple scraps, and a new creature will emerge from the depths! muahahaha!

So, to sum up my sewing in February, here’s a collage of my orange Rainbow Scrap Challange blocks. Why not hop on over to Angela’s So Scrappy blog for Scrappy Saturday? Everyone will be sharing all their scrappy goodness.

Total orange blocks in February:  56. That number includes the scrap bucket as one block.  Also, I used ten of my seventeen 6.5” string blocks made this month in Creature, as well as a strip of selvages. The rest of the quilt was from the parts department and block orphanage.

And the five finished kids’ quilts for February:

Top: Multi String Stars, Rainbow Charms #1, Creature from the Orange Grove
Bottom: Scrap Roundup, Rainbow Charms #2

And now.... we’re on to Teal for March in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I’ll be starting on those scraps soon - after I do some studio clean-up. It looks as though Creatures have been playing in there...

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Yee-Haw! Rounding up Some Different Scraps

On Saturday I attended our monthly Quilts for Kids workshop for the Salt Lake group. Once per quarter we have a scrappy workshop, and that was this month. It’s always so fun digging in the barrels and using some of the group scraps to make blocks and things.

I was introduced to a new pattern for a 12” block made from pieces that were cut 1.5 by 3.5”. I didn’t get a picture of the blocks I finished, but will make another one here some time and show it then. I also got a wild hair to sew a jelly roll quilt as there were 2 packs of civil war-color reproduction fabrics. Those are totally not my jam, but I was itching for something different. And since I tend to live life on the wild side (haha), I got a good way through that project too.

As we were packing up at the end of the workshop, our leader, Sandy, came up to me. Now, she has seen two of my mash-up scrappy quilts (Little Orphan Scrappy and Creature from the Green Lagoon) because I turned them in to QFK as donation quilts. She had a bag of cowboy/western-themed scraps and said she thought they’d be "right up my alley”. A quilter had died and her family had given us the scraps - remains from at least two western quilts plus four completed blocks. Sandy wanted to know if I’d like to play with them and see if I could make a quilt. Sure! It sounded like a fun challenge.


Here are the scraps that were in the bag. The colors were oxblood red, dark blues, browns and beiges. The pieces were some 4.5” squares, some partial strips and other assorted small pieces.

Additionally, there were four completed blocks and parts to finish a fifth (the lower right one in the second row), which I did straight away. Five down, seven to go. The blocks measure 11.5” unfinished, which is a weird size. The bigger fabric chunks are pinned along the bottom in the picture below.  The horseshoe fabric was a little over 2 yards long, but only 20” wide. I knew I’d have to piece the backing, too.

Once I got going, I couldn’t think of anything else. I made two blocks very similar to my Beachcomber blocks (second row, left and fourth row, right), by dividing up the 11” with a one-inch strip down the middle and piecing two halves of 5.5 x 11.5”. There were enough components for me to make two more Patience Corner blocks to add to the three already made. And that left me with one block of strip pieces and 2 final blocks pieced with chunks.

The color choices of the sashing, cornerstones and outer border (as well as many of the block components) were dictated solely by what was there and plentiful enough. I was so chuffed to get it all together on Monday afternoon! And the back went together well, too. I’ll baste and quilt it later this week and hope to have it done in time for my Saturday post. There are a few scraps (and that light blue half-yard piece pinned on my design board) that will go back to QFK at our next meeting. 

Yeehaw! I roped and tamed those dogies scraps!

Now I’m back to my regular sewing, which involves all my leftover orange scraps and orphan blocks. I’m putting together another one-color scrappy quilt. Here’s a peek at what’s on the design board. This is another top that I’ll finish up, then baste, quilt and bind for a Saturday unveiling. It will be called The Creature from the Orange Grove.....

Although it’s almost a completed top, it doesn’t use up all my orange scraps. I’ve got plenty of other orange scraps that I’m holding in reserve to use with my purple scraps for another Creature quilt that is rumbling to be made when purple becomes the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month. Muahahahaha....

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Rolling in the Orange

This week I had four good sewing days (or half-days) and got so much done. Part of my motivation is that today is our monthly Quilts for Kids workshop (and a Scrappy Workshop, which we have once a quarter - my favorite!). I had three quilts made by others that I had to baste and quilt; one was done before we went on vacation, but two I did this week. No pictures, because I don’t count those in my personal totals.  :-)

This week I mainly focused on sewing orange blocks for February that I’ve chosen for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Today is our linkup, and as always there is so much fun and creativity on display as everyone shares their goodies for Scrappy Saturday

My first finish of the week was this Scraptastic Star block. It measures 16.5” and I’ll be making a total of nine of these.

Next I churned out ten 6.5” Twin Sisters blocks. I love these blocks! They are so quick and easy. 

And I must have something for “sisters” this year, because I also sewed up 10 International Sisters Blocks (pattern courtesy of my friend Preeti).

The dresses of these Sisters are (all except one) made from African fabrics, and most will be going into fundraising wall hangings for Harambe Humanitarian. That’s why there are so many with the same fabrics. I used up all my African orange fabrics. Each wall hanging will only use 8 sisters, and I’m planning on several (at least 6) more of these wall hangings. I will be working on assembling at least two of them in March, and will talk more about them - and Harambe Humanitarian - at that time. A lot has been happening that I would like to share.

Moving along....  Here are my 17 orange string blocks. They measure 6.5”. 

And I assembled (from previously-sewn and quilted panels) another scrap bucket for my orange scraps. This is a cute and simple pattern courtesy of Angela at So Scrappy.  It measures about 7x10” and is 10” deep. It’s currently holding all my leftover scraps. I’ll be sewing on those this coming week to see if I can put together an orange quilt using them, along with lots of orange orphan blocks. Stay tuned.

Last week I also showed a couple scrappy quilts in process. Here is my progress on those. All of the string star blocks are done, but only the bottom three are sewn together - but not pressed yet. The goal this coming week is to turn this into a flimsy, and then quilt and bind it. Month-end is next Saturday, and I want to count this as a finish for February.

I also showed this in-progress scrap quilt, made with a pack of Rainbow Charms and some low volume (neutral) string scraps.  Here is finished Rainbow Charms #1. It is my February OMG (One Monthly Goal), so I’m linking up to Patty’s February goal finish link-up party here.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this when it was completed; it looks so much more vibrant and fun in person. In fact, there were enough charms to do another whole quilt. That second one is already sewn. I’ve layered and basted it, so it’s just waiting for its turn to be quilted. That will happen this weekend. I’ll have that to show next week, along the finished string stars and my February recap.

That’s it for now. I’m off early this morning to my Block of the Month class, then home for a few minutes to pack off and head in another direction to the Quilts for Kids scrappy workshop, then lunch with friends. Have a great week!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Back From Arizona

It’s good to be back home again after our visit to family in southern Arizona. I’ve posted many times about our visits there, so I’m not going to again. Besides, I only took three pictures. It was nice seeing family again and everyone was on their best behavior most of the time (but there was a bit of drama here and there). The weather was beautiful until the last couple days of the trip, when it rained. But overall we had a good time, although the drive seems to get more brutal every year. And I won’t even tell you about one of Bruce’s infamous “short cuts” that took us 95 miles and a lot of time out of our way. We are considering flying next time, although that would limit the Talavera pottery we could bring back home, so we’ll see.

I did manage to get some Rainbow Scrap sewing done in orange before we left. Nothing much exciting to see - mostly selvages.

Fifteen orange selvage half hexies

Some 4” and 6” selvage columns - use to be determined at some future point

Some Beachcomber crumb blocks. Three were from 2019 and 2 were made this month

I worked some on my February One Monthly Goal (OMG) a bit. These are some of the low volume rainbow blocks I have so far.  They trim up to 8.5” and finish at 8 inches, so this may end up being one large or two smaller donation quilts.

And here are the string stars I sewed while in Arizona. There are more than this left to do, so again there will be enough for two quilts when completed. I’ll just keep plugging away.

And that’s it from my little corner of the sewing world. Not very newsy, eh? We are still tired and recovering from the “vacation” and the unpacking and laundry. The kitties are so happy to be home with us after their vacation imprisonment boarding.  We got daily pictures and updates from the vets’ office about them....

Alfie was scared (look at those eyes!) and was wary of the Peeples. 

Darla was scared, too, but mostly very PO’ed the first couple days. Reports are that she began writing a cat manifesto while planning an uprising.

But then Alfie relaxed and began socializing. After all, these Peeples were bringing them food and water and toys.

Darla was still miffed. Not so angry, but still feeling betrayed. And where is my blankie, dammit?

But Alfie took things in paw and gave Darla a good talking-to. She decided to come out and play for awhile and make the best of a bad situation. Reports were that she took a cue from Nancy Pelosi and even ripped up her Manifesto.

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Saturday.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

A February Goal

Sometimes I feel as though I’m juggling too many spinning plates (OK, that’s a mixed metaphor. See what I mean?)  Anyway, it’s time to set my OMG - One Monthly Goal - for February.

So, this little pile of 1.5-inch low volume and neutral strips (#5 on my Quarter 1 Finish-Along list) is intended to become a quilt. I started out thinking it would be fun to make an entire quilt of them.

But in my quest to make A.Serious.Dent in my stash this year, I began hearing other fabrics calling out to me. There was a particularly melodious, harp-like tune coming from my pre-cuts (that may or may not have anything to do with the Hilary Stagg CD I was listening to).

Anyway, I spied a rainbow hued pack of Tamara Kate charms, and an idea was hatched to combine to combine the two. I decided to use the colorful charms as the center and surround it with neutral strips. So, I made some test blocks.

Yes, it’s a bad picture, but I think it will work. I’ll eliminate the pinks (I can use those elsewhere) and keep it gender neutral. It’ll be a great vacation take-along project and donation quilt for Quilts for Kids. So that’s my OMG for February - to finish my Rainbow Neutrals Happy Quilt. I’m linking up with the lovely and talented Patty Dudek at Elm Street Quilts for our February OMG Goal-Setting.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
And to catch up on some things I’ve apparently forgotten to post over the last two or three weeks, here are some other blocks to share. This first grouping are four strip sets for the Seeing Stars Sew Along at Diane Knott’s Butterfly Threads Quilting. These were the Step 5 (January) blocks, and the February blocks will probably be out very soon, so I thought I’d get these posted.

Originally I planned to do an 8-panel quilt (we are supposed to make one BOM for each panel of our planned item). Then I realized that it would be much more useful to me to make four panels only; three for a wall hanging and one for a table topper. I need those much more than another quilt, and I want to keep these for me. I will have lots of blocks to pick and choose from, so I’m really looking forward to moving this one ahead more in February.

And then I sewed up our January Block of the Month blocks for a class that Cousin Kim and I are taking at one of our local quilt shops.  The bottom of the two is my official block for the class. I had chosen the solids color way for something different (for me). The top block is the extra one I’m making so that I end up with a second quilt at the end of the year.

Here are all five of the solid blocks so far.

And here are all of my bonus blocks so far. I’m actually liking these a lot more!!  The print fabric has all the state abbreviations, and should go well with a lot of colors. There will be times, though, when I will need to change the color of the BOM to suit the colors in the background (no pink or purple). 

Now, I’m caught up and so are you! Thanks for dropping by. I’m saving all my Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) blocks for the weekend. 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Goodbye Green January, Hello Orange February

Aaaaaaand..... with the turning of a calendar page, we bid good riddance goodbye to another January.  The first month of the year is always cold and yucky, so it’s never been my favorite. But now February is here. Yes, it’s still cold, but the month is short and sweet and holds the promise of some warmer weather. And some of my favorite people were born in February. You know who you are! 

I’d like to recap what I spent my time creating in the studio during the long cold month of January. First we’ll start with the finishes for this week. Creature from the Green Lagoon is finished, and the vivid blue looks really nice with the greens (even if I do say so myself) The picture isn’t the greatest, however. I’m stuck taking pictures of quilts by partially pinning them to the design wall because it’s just too cold to go loiter outside. You can click on it to see the detail.

This snuggly quilt (filed under "Creature Comforts", LOL) finished at 44.5” x 54.5”. It will be a donation quilt for Quilts for Kids. Our next workshop is a scrap workshop, and I’ll be showing this to encourage the members to save and bring orphan blocks for us to make up into useful quilts. 

I also finished the quilt from squares cut by one of my Weight Watchers friends, Annette. These fabrics are at least 20, probably closer to 30, years old. The colors are very definitely from the nineties. But they were in lovely condition.

I quilted it with pink thread in a swirly flower design that I enjoy using when appropriate. This quilt came together so easily that it was worth the extra effort to give it a little something special.  

It finished at 45x58”, which is more of a youth size. It just seemed more appropriate for an older girl. This will go to Quilts for Kids, too. If they can’t use it, we can always pass it on to another charity. These quilts, plus the others I finished in January, have been added to my “2020 Quilts” tab just under the blog header. Six quilts in January - done! Here is the recap collage (plus one straggler):

Five of six January quilts
I couldn’t add the quilt picture below to the collage above because for some reason, my collage maker software isn’t always recognizing the new .HEIC suffix (instead of JPG). 

Apparently Apple, with the iOS-11 update (November 2019) has begun formatting their iPhone pictures in HEIC (or HEIF), which stands for High Efficiency Image Coding/Formatting. It’s supposed to be the new thing, but that’s according to Apple, who has been known to make grandiose claims before. There is free software available online to convert HEIC to JPG, but I’m not going to bother. All my images from November 2019 forward have been HEIC, and this was the first one that gave me trouble. As long as I can post them on my blog or print them out, then not being able to use a picture in a collage occasionally isn’t enough to make me voluntarily play with computers. Have any of you had any issues?  Sorry for that digression!

Back to sewing.... The Rainbow Scrap January color was green, and I laid waste to my light and bright green scraps, creating a total of 51 blocks, not counting those selvage circles that ended up in Creature or the scrap bucket. The selvage columns were counted as one, but there were 17 large half hexies made of selvages.

I'm linking up to Scrappy Saturday at So Scrappy. I have already sewn my orange selvages, but I’ll save those for my next post, which may or may not be next weekend (depending on internet reception next Saturday). So if I’m not here, just think of me sitting in the sun, drinking margaritas!