Well all this time at home is certainly allowing for lots of time in the sewing room. Last June I started sewing these charm squares I had accumulated into blocks. The charm squares are from a variety of sample packs from Benartex. Simple, prints in soothing colors that wanted to be made into something rather than live on the shelf in the closet (where they had been for at least two years or so).
I saw this idea on Julie’s blog, Me and My Quilts, around that time. She was making something similar and I absolutely copied her!! I cut 2 1/2″ strips and sub cut them into five inch strips. Each was sewed to a charm square, then sliced vertically. One piece flipped around and then I sewed them back together.
I did lay out the pieces in a random order first but decided I wanted something a bit more organized so I started putting them in collections by color.
Finally making up my mind, I got the rows put together and added a few borders (it is a bit on the long and skinny side).
I used this purple print from the shop for the outer border. It is from the Ginger & Spice line by Missy Carpenter and looks great with the neutral sashing. I chose purple because there are only three purple blocks in the quilt and I thought it just needed more!
Now I am looking through choices for the backing. I have decided to keep this one. It is time for me to set up a hand quilting project to work on in the evenings. I have never hand quilted anything larger than a pillow or a mini so this is a big undertaking for me.
I have so many questions since this is a new undertaking for me! Once I baste it, I am thinking of stitching in the ditch along the sashing lines. I was thinking if I had it anchored in place, it would be easier to quilt. Of course one might say after stitching in the ditch it is basically quilted already. Is this a normal progression? I need all the hand quilters to give me lots and lots of tips and tricks in the comments please!! I am thinking of using Perle cotton. Yay or Nay??? I really don’t know what I am doing here so would love any and all hints or referrals to good places to read up on this.
I appreciate the help. Hope everyone is doing well as can be. These are trying times so let’s all stay connected even if virtually. Take care all of you. 🙂
Linking up with all the usuals. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Happy Saturday Everyone. It is National Quilting Day so I really hope you each find a few minutes to work on a project or at the very least look at fabric and plan the next project!
I got my two monthly scrappy projects done for March! For RSC2020, the color is teal and I decided to make a smaller Dresden plate. I will combine it with the larger orange one I made in February and likely need to make one or two more before I put them together into some sort of wall quilt.
For the Monthly Color Challenge, hosted by Patterns By Jen, the color is orange. You might remember I did the January and February blocks with polka dot fabrics. That caused me to do a quick search though my scraps to see if I have enough polka dotted scraps to make this a theme for the sampler. I believe I do! So this month, I continued with the dotted fabrics.
The block was a breeze with a pinwheel block in the center and then some flying geese to surround it, making it a square in a square. Easy peasy and very cute!
Next up is another quilt I am working on for Mercy Hospital. I had thrifted some pretty fabrics about a week or two ago. I knew I wanted to use them in a large block design because they are quite large in scale of print. I gathered another piece from my scraps plus a cut from a blender in the shop and pieced a Giant Star Quilt using a tutorial by Jeni Baker from In Color Order. This pattern is super simple and a lot of fun. Side note: I actually made something very similar when I was about 19 or 20 years old for my parents. I remember I saw the pattern in a magazine and made with in tones of burgundy, navy blue and it had a muslin background. I filled it with a puffy polyester batting and yarn tied it. That was a whole lotta years ago!
At this point, I have the quilt basted and did some ditch stitching to stabilize everything. This weekend I should be able to get it quilted. I need to find something fun to use for the binding.
Since all of California is mandated to now ‘shelter in place’, there is plenty of time for sewing and also lots of time to read. I am LOVING this book and highly recommend it if you want something to read while we wait out this Covid-chaos. My girlfriend loaned it to me and it is such a great read.
Let’s close with a picture of my sweet grand daughters, shall we? Little sister has decided she isn’t terribly fond of sleeping in her bed and is creating some sleep deprived parents these days. Coincidentally, big sister is thinking afternoon naps are passe`. Yikes, this doesn’t make for a good combination. Hoping the baby starts to cozy up to the idea of sleeping in her bassinet soon!!
Oh my gosh, where to start! This is such a crazy world these days. The news is all-consuming as we constantly check for updates on the spread of Covid-19, within the US and internationally as well. Our philosophy is to take it seriously and try to remain calm and rational at the same time. The Governor of California spoke yesterday. He has ordered all pubs, bars, nightclubs and wineries in California to shut down for the duration. All restaurants are to cut their capacity for seating in half and move tables much further apart. People age 65 and over are to quarantine in place at their homes. No visitors at convalescent or senior homes unless it is a terminal situation and people need to be there to say goodbye. So, things are serious here in CA. I believe if people respect the rules and stay home for a bit, the contagion will be limited and hopefully the situation can be controlled. I hope you are in a safe situation and able to stay healthy.
Moving on to better and more enjoyable topics, my new grand daughter arrived on March 12th!!! Such an exciting event to break up the negative vibe we have all been experiencing. When I look at the photo above, I just love how big sister has her hands up to her face, looking at her new sister with awe. Isn’t this heart-warming? The baby is healthy and mommy is healing well. She was very chunky at birth, weighing 8 pounds and 14.5 ounces. She has dropped to 8 pounds, one ounce but is feeding well and doing fine.
Big sister surely loves little sister but is a tad disappointed in the baby’s lack of abilities. On the first day, she asked her father to bring the baby into her room so “she could crawl around a little”. Once she realized this wouldn’t happen for a while, she got a little bored of baby sister. Today I got to FaceTime with them and she was “playing” doctor with dad and little sister. I could hear my son quietly say, ‘gentle, gentle’. I think it is going well though. So all is as it should be. My husband and I were supposed to travel out to Vermont on March 31st and we are soooo sad to postpone the trip. We will go just as soon as the Covid crises calms down. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
I finished up a quilt for Mercy Hospital! I am really pleased with this finish. You may remember I started this back when the blog hop was running for the Modern Plus Quilts book. I took it to quilt it on a friend’s long arm and had a horrible time with it. In frustration, I took it off the long arm and brought it home. After ripping out so many stitches I came to be extremely annoyed with the whole thing. It was folded and placed in a basket where it sat for two years!!
I decided it was time to finish it up and really had fun with it. I used my walking foot and quilted it in a grid fashion. I outlined the patchwork plus in the center. With the wide brown stripes there is quilting running in both directions. The horizontal lines are stitched in brown and the vertical lines in green. It looks wonderful!
For the backing, I used a piece I had thrifted years ago. It is a buttery yellow batik with hearts all over it.
When I pieced the plus in the center of the quilt, I used a jelly roll. It didn’t take but 1/2 of the strips so I decided to use some of the leftover strips for binding. It looks really pretty since, naturally, the prints and colors work perfectly.
I am so happy to have this done and ready for Mercy Hospital. I am already working on the next one for them. Their supplies are down so I am trying to boost the stack for them just a bit. Mercyful Quilts is once again thrilled to be a recipient for quilts made through the 2020 Hands2Help event that is hosted annually by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I am so grateful to have our organization included. Last year so many gorgeous quilts were donated and it was hugely helpful. Thank you in advance to all the quilters who participate in this year’s event!
I have been thinking quite a bit about being home for the duration of the Covid-19 saga. Many of us are turning to our craft and sewing rooms. I read a great article about how soothing it is to involve oneself in a craft, such as sewing, art, woodworking or other project during stressful times such as these. Ray and Julia have been talking about working out in his woodshed while she is home. All three of us have been baking. Of course, I plan to sew. My shop has been quite busy the last couple of days so I think many quilters are planning the same thing.
To this end, I want to help out a bit. Lots of quilters are turning to on-line shopping if Covid is prevalent in their area. For instance, I have noticed a substantial increase in orders from the Bay Area in California where so many people are home and quarantined. To make things a bit better for those shopping on-line, I have a Free (standard) Shipping promotion going in the shop. It started today and will run through Wednesday. All orders will ship for free during that time! You won’t need to enter a promo code – it is all set up for you. I hope this is helpful to you! Click here and browse a bit.
I am going to sew this afternoon. I haven’t made any of my scrappy projects for March yet. So I need to make my orange block for the Monthly Color Challenge and then something with the teal scraps for RSC20. After that, I will pick up another quilt top to finish up for Mercy Hospital. What is your plan? Is Covid affecting you and your daily routine? I worry about people who live alone and are quarantined. Can we all support each other? Let me know how you are doing and let’s all keep each other busy and engaged.
March is going to be an exciting month! Today my sweet grand daughter is celebrating her 3rd birthday! Then later this coming week, her little sister will make her entrance to this world of ours! My daughter in law is scheduled for a C-Section on Thursday assuming the labor and delivery department isn’t overwhelmed with other babies arriving that day. I am so excited to see this baby and to learn her name. My son and his wife like to know the gender ahead of time and they save the name to be announced when the baby arrives. However I admit to being a little bit pesty and ask all the time what her name will be. They secretly roll their eyes and don’t tell me. So, a few more days and I will see pictures and know her name! Woo Hoo!
In quilting related news however, I do have a goal for this month. The stack of Mercyful quilts over at Mercy Hospital is terribly low at the moment so I am sewing madly, trying to get one quilted and finished for them. (If you aren’t familiar with Mercyful Quilts, please click here and read more about this wonderful program.) I had this top folded up and waiting to be finished. I had made it some time ago as part of a blog hop celebrating the release of Modern Plus Quilts by Paige Alexander and Cheryl Brickey. But I never finished it.
I started quilting it yesterday (after a long migraine siege this week). This morning I finished a series of straight lines through the patchwork in a coral/pink thread. Now I am pondering the wide brown and green stripes. I haven’t decided what to do there.
Finishing this quilt is my monthly goal for Patty’s link up at Elm Street Quilts. I hope to get it finished up this week so they will have another quilt on the shelf. If anyone has a lap size quilt that needs a home, I would love to bring it to Mercy Hospital. Just remember, no juvenile fabrics as they treat only adults. That is really the main stipulation.
Last, but certainly not least, would you like to see the cutest little girl ever? She got her first haircut this morning and she now looks like she is ready for kindergarten (but she is only three!) The first haircut seems to makes the child age a couple of years. She looks much more a little girl and less a toddler. Happy birthday sweet girl!
Have you set a goal for this month? Let me know! I will be back in a bit to share the news of my second grand baby! Can’t wait!!
I have a couple of small projects to share today. Both happen to involve kitty fabric which is totally coincidental. Which one do you want to see first? Oh, the linen project? Ok – sure.
I have been selling a line of cotton linen blends made by Andover for as long as I have had my fabric shop (which is just over three years now – can you believe it??) I love these fabrics and try to always keep a few choices in the shop. I have also used them to make a lot of custom Chemex covers and French Press cozies to sell in my shop. This leaves me with quite the collection of oddly shaped scraps. Obviously, I cannot throw them away. (I know you understand).
So I have been cutting them into squares to make it easier to play with them. I did a simple patchwork and quilted it up. I love the size of it and plan to make one or two more so I can use them as placemats on the table.
I quilted each of the fabrics with a different motif. Hard to see, but the kitty fabric has tiny pebbling. The black on black quilting was not fun. It is so hard to see as you are going! For the grid fabric, I did little squares that spiral this way and that. The solid fabric has loops. For the dogs I did a micro stipple. With the abstract shapes, I just outlined shapes which was easy and fun.
Want to see another kitty project? This one is totally different. My grand daughter has her 3rd birthday coming up on March 7th. I was wrapping her gifts so I could get them in the mail when I realized I had not made anything for her. Kind of silly, why do I have to ‘make’ something for her. She is equally impressed with a store bought or hand made gift. But for her first birthday, I made her a doll quilt and her second birthday I made a dolly bed.
What was I to do?? I went downstairs and looked through my patterns and fabric. Wanting a quick project (since I had to mail it the next day) I chose to make her a little apron. They have two kitties at their house whom she dearly loves (though I am not at all sure her intense affection is reciprocal). I chose a sweet fabric designed by Dana Willard – you’ll find it in my shop if you click here.
Because of the length, I had to cut 3/4 yard of fabric but it was just one piece and the ties. There was plenty of fabric left over to cut another length and line the apron. This actually made it a much quicker project. Rather than hemming under the edges of the perimeter of the apron, I just sewed the two panels right sides together (after basting the neck tie and waist ties in place). The additional layer of fabric gives the apron a much nicer weight. (Which is clearly the concern of any three year old. I didn’t want her to complain to her Gram-gram that ‘this apron is just too flimsy and light weight”. Haha)
I lined the pockets with a pop of red which makes me happy and most likely matters not one bit to my sweet little girl. Again, lining the pockets seems quicker than turning under the edges and stitching them on. This way, once they are turned right side out and pressed, those edges stay right where they should be as they are stitched.
I do think she will enjoy the D-rings though. For some reason, I suspect she might want to see if she can loop the next strap through on her own. Most three year olds have this idea they can do everything on their own and she is no different.
It was a fun and really quick make – hoping she will enjoy wearing it. Her mama and daddy cook a lot and she is their helper. Now she can sport this little apron in the kitchen.
I even labeled it – The hearts look cute but I must have put too much pressure on the fabric because the bottoms of the hearts are too open. Sigh.
These projects were definitely a couple of squirrels that happened by so I’ll be sharing over at Sandra’s monthly DrEAMi link up! Also linking to From Bolt to Beauty.
Who is celebrating Leap Year today? Me, I am!! If you’d like to join me, head over to the shop because all yardage is 15% off. Clearance and remnants are 50% off. Crazy right? Great deals on lots of awesome fabric. Happy shopping!!
I made it!! It is only the 24th of February and my quilt top is complete for the Mosaic Mystery Quilt Along. I have to tell you I had so much fun with this event – between selling so many great kits for it, meeting new quilters through Cheryl’s Facebook Group, completing this quilt top which I truly love, and seeing all of the different versions of the top. Cheryl’s QAL’s are extremely popular and there are now hundreds of Mosaic quilts in the world. The amazing thing is the speed with which some of these quilters can sew! Honestly by the time I read the next batch of instructions, there would be several (sometimes many) quilters posting their progress on Facebook. Lightening speed!
As for me, I am thrilled to have the top complete by the time of the last link up! Looking at the finished top, I am almost completely satisfied with the fabrics I used. If I could make one change it would be to change the value between my off-white fabric used for the stars and the background. The stars don’t show up nearly as well as I would like. Value is something I continue to work on. It is something I need to consider more when choosing fabrics because truly it is what makes or breaks a quilt (in my opinion).
The stars are washed out for sure but I just love the rust that runs through in Irish Chain fashion. That bold pop of color is beautiful.
Another picture, just for fun. For now, I will fold the top and store it while I move on to some other projects. I can complete this at a later time.
I need to move on to the next project. I have a disappearing nine patch started for my new grand daughter who is due on March 12th. This little quilt is so sweet with farm animals and bright red and yellow colors. Maybe she will be able to sit on it out in the yard this coming summer or fall. It is a simple pattern which I will finish in no time as the pieces are already cut and some of the blocks are done.
I also have this pair of pants I started a couple of weeks ago. They just need to be hemmed. I love this fabric and am anxious to get them done so I can wear them.
This week I have two fabric orders coming in. Both are completely different and I am excited to get them listed and available in the shop. Always plenty to do around here! How about you?
I received something really special in the mail yesterday. The family of a patient who received a Mercyful Quilt wrote a note of thanks. We quilters have talked about this and agreed we do not need to hear the gratitude felt by recipients of the quilts we donate. As quilters, we donate because it might soothe someone during a really difficult time and it makes us feel we are helping in some small way when we make and give these quilts.
But this family was so taken by this handmade gift and they wanted to be sure we all knew how touched they were. Three sisters spent time with their father who recently passed away at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento. They were given the opportunity to select a quilt and wrap up their dad with it as they sat with him. Receiving this was such a sweet surprise for them. They wanted to extend a note of thanks and this is the best way for me to share it with all of you.
The best thing was the photo they enclosed with their thank you note. I am really hoping the person who made this quilt will see this post. Please let me know if it is one of you who donated it. If I can track down the quilter, I would be happy to send the picture to the maker – what a sweet way to see your quilt providing comfort.
This picture says it all to me. The comfort it provided to three sisters and their father. The beauty of this quilt tucked around their dad rather than a plain, sterile hospital blanket is just lovely. It surely didn’t make saying goodbye to their father easy but maybe it helped just a tiny bit.
Since I am writing on the topic of our gifts for Mercy Hospital I would like to share one more story. Last summer a young woman was dying of breast cancer at Mercy Hospital. Her husband and 11 year old daughter spent their time with her. As her death became imminent, a palliative care team member asked the girl to come and choose a quilt for her mom. She explained the girl would be able to keep the quilt after her mother’s death. The girl looked through the quilts and carefully picked one out. When asked why she chose a particular quilt, she told the nurse it made her think of Paris. She and her mom had talked about how wonderful a trip to Paris would be. Since this wasn’t going to happen, she wanted to wrap her mom up with this quilt. (I wish I knew which quilt this was but I don’t have any idea). I think this is so amazing though. For this little girl to attach such an important memory to the quilt she chose must have been comforting to her.
These are the reasons we do it. This is why we spend hours cutting up pretty bits of fabric and sewing them into quilts to be given to people we will likely never meet or hear from. It is kind, thoughtful, helpful and so necessary in our world. Kindness matters. Thank you to each of you. Please know the need is on-going. Mercy Hospital is down to about ten quilts right now so if you are called to help, please donate a lap size quilt when you can. It means more than we know to so many people.
I started the month off by working on two scrappy projects. Kind of nice to play a bit and use up a few pieces from my scrap bins. Besides what else was I to do while the Super Bowl was on??
The first block I made is for the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge. The color is blue and the block was a quick make. Coincidentally, I used polka dots again this month (I used them last month too, but in yellow).
These look so happy and it is making me wonder if I should try to go for a polka dotted theme with this quilt. I need to check the bins and see if I have enough dots though. I am NOT going to buy dotted fabric to make this happen. Sort of defeats the purpose of scrappy quilting, doesn’t it?? Jen does have the colors she will be focusing on listed on her blog. I will take a look and see how many dotted fabrics I have to decide if this might work.
After this block, I decided to pull my orange bin as that is the color for February over at Angela’s RSC2020 challenge. I had absolutely no idea what I was wanting to do with them but thought I should make something just to use some of the scraps up. Plus, I was in the mood to play around.
Somehow it popped into my head to make a Dresden block. I have seen lots of minis or wall quilts with a series of Dresdens of various sizes and colors, made to look like flowers. I think I will do something like this. I like the Dresden’s with the curved tips and might alter a few to look like that as well. It will be a fun thing to work on here and there.
This week was our monthly guild meeting. My friend Sophia encouraged the guild members to make tree blocks for Australia’s fire victims. The result was fantastic. There was a sew day with one local church group of quilters and quite a large stack of blocks was created.
The variety of blocks showed a great deal of creativity. It was fun to look through them since I didn’t attend the sew day. I did make two blocks though and you can see those here if you like.
There were lots of appliqué, many strip pieced trees and an assortment of traditional tree blocks.
This tree was drawn on the fabric which I thought was quite clever. If our little guild came through with all of these, I cannot imagine how many the Wollongong MQG is going to receive. Wow!
Now that my scrappy projects are wrapped up for the moment, I am finishing up the assembly of my Mosaic Quilt top. The main portion of the top is put together. I keep looking at it to see if some portion is flipped the wrong way before I put on the borders. It is much harder to take apart once the borders are on. It looks good to me but I am going to stare at it a bit more before I take that last step!
It is February!! A. new month means another goal to set for what I will accomplish in the sewing room. This month I plan to finish assembling the quilt top I am making with the Mosaic Mystery QAL hosted by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.
I have really enjoyed making this quilt and it is exciting to be this close to finishing up the top. Cheryl did such a great job with the drafting of this pattern. Her instructions were great. One would think this would make it easy for me to avoid errors. Well, what can I say? I haven’t had to rip many seams – I think just a few little ones. Where I made mistakes was not piecing all of the blocks she instructed us to. I think I get going too fast and then don’t read everything thoroughly. As I assembled the top, I found out I had totally skipped making a set of flying geese blocks. I should have been clued in by the extra unused pieces sitting in the project tub but I didn’t really notice. Anyway, I have caught up and made the rest of the missing bits.
Let me ask you… when you are piecing a top, do you sew each row (eg all of Row A, all of Row B and so on). I don’t. I am impatient and want to see the whole thing all laid out. So I have been assembling the rows on the bed and then lifting them and stitching each row together. I love seeing it take shape like this. The design is wonderful with the rusty textured solid creating a bold chain pattern across the top. The dark floral will be used as the border.
So, it should be very attainable because I have over half of the top assembled. Just need to do the rest of the rows and get the borders cut and stitched on. Who knows? Maybe I will even get it basted?
Even though I live just a couple of hours from San Francisco, I can’t get too excited about watching the 49’ers play in the Super Bowl. Instead, I will be working on my Mosaic project. How about you? If you aren’t overly excited about the game, hop over to the shop and take advantage of the Super Bowl Sunday sale!! 20% off of all yardage, pre-cuts, kits and clearance/remnants. So many pretty fabrics to choose from!
It has been a while since I actually finished a quilt. Hurray for Squared Away – all finished and so pretty! I started this quilt in the beginning of 2018. The block of the month was hosted by Mari at Academic Quilter. Somehow I didn’t end up following along all year though. I can’t honestly remember why. Then the blocks sat and waited, all lonely and sad, until I stitched them together last spring. Since I didn’t have enough blocks for an entire quilt, I interspersed them with a modern print of Pat Bravo’s. It was from her line called Dare. I had an abundance of it leftover from a previous quilt I had made back in 2016.
I love the way this all came together. The squares are bright and fun while the background calms everything down. When I chose the borders, I shopped downstairs in my fabric shop and chose a chartreuse textured solid and then did a wider border with a beautiful print by Bari J called Bougainvillea Lilac. I love how these look together. So much so that I used the chartreuse fabric as the binding. They are perfect together!
For quilting, I kept it simple with straight lines and my walking foot. I did two different patterns, a checkerboard in the background and a simple star in the pieced blocks. This was easy and kept the quilt loose and fluffy. In the wider purple border, I did some free motion with curving lines and little hearts.
The backing fabric is a cute rainbow print with rectangles of all sizes and colors. I labeled this quilt as I intend it as a gift to my nephew who married last summer. I machine embroidered it which was fun. Don’t even ask my why it is so crooked. It just is. Kind of how things go with me. 😉
Let’s see…. what else can I tell you about this one? It was my goal for January and yahoo! I got it done! Makes me so happy – it was fun to quilt it and I enjoyed the hand stitching for the binding. It has been too long since I finished one up!
I am now working on a quilt for grand daughter number two. She is scheduled to arrive (by c-section) on March 12th, unless her mama goes into labor sooner. So that is really exciting! I will share some progress on that in a post soon.
Just in case you missed my post from a couple of days ago, I am holding a giveaway to share lots of cute scraps. You can hop over here to read about it. Be sure to enter today as this is the last day of the giveaway. I will select two winners tomorrow morning and will email the winners. Great fun if you are a scrappy quilter or if you like making quilts for kids.