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.
I recently had a conversation with the chairperson of our Community Service team within our local quilt guild. We were talking about the recipients of the quilts we make and the quantity of quilts she had available. The discussion came around to our local Children’s Protective Services team. This team includes officers of our Sherrif’s Department who have the very sad task of removing children from home’s where they are not in good, safe situations.
These officers like to carry blankets in the trunk of their cars so they can wrap up a child if needed when removing them and taking the child to social services and a foster home. The officers asked for blankets or quilts without batting. These kiddos are often put into carseats and the quilts can be too thick.
Thinking about this need, I decided to make some blankets with quilting cotton and flannel. These would be cozy and so easy to make. Plus they wouldn’t take up much room in the carseat. To do this, I looked at my stash as well as the fabric in the shop and selected some pieces that worked together nicely.
The sizes of the blankets were somewhat dictated by the pieces of fabric I wanted to use. The first blanket I made turned out to be 42″ square when finished. I cut pieces of flannel and quilting cotton that were each 1 and 1/4 yards – so almost a 45″ square, depending on the width of the fabric. I pre-washed everything because flannel is known to shrink a bit. After pre-washing, I pressed all of the fabrics and laid them out, right sides together. Then I squared up the pieces. A quick stitching around the perimeter, leaving about five inches open to turn it right side out, took little time. Once the corners were popped out nicely, I pressed the seams and top-stitched around the perimeter at a 1/8″ margin. I top-stitched again about two inches inside of that first go around.
I have a number of yards of gray flannel in my stash that has been sitting for a long while. It looks great with these silly animals. I am sure it will work with other pieces as well and will try and use more of it for these sorts of blankets.
For each blanket I cut one piece of flannel and the other woven cotton. However this could be easily adapted according to the stash a person has to use. Stretch knits would work and be really cozy. A woven cotton backed with minky or cuddle fabric is also a great idea. All of these are thinner than a typical quilt.
On of the blankets I made is quite a bit smaller because I had a little piece of flannel I wanted to use. It finished at 32 inches square. The navy flannel with sweet little daisies is so soft and the size will be perfect for a smaller child or toddler.
The need for these blankets makes me so sad. Last year these officers had to remove about 100 children from bad situations within our county. I couldn’t believe that number. It is much more than I would have guessed. If the blankets are helpful in this awful time for a child, I am happy to make them. They take little in the way of supplies or time and might be soothing during a scary time. I plan to bring these to our community service group and check to see if other guild members might want to make one or two. Really, they take so little time and most likely we all have one yard cuts waiting to be used.
OK – Let’s talk about the Trash to Treasure giveaway now! I have mentioned before that two of my sisters have an Etsy shop together. It is called 6 Monkeys & Co and they make and sell custom children’s clothing and gifts. One of my favorite things they make are traditional baby bonnets. They are soooo sweet and make a wonderful (very affordable) handmade baby gift for a newborn. Please take a peak here to see them. If you find yourself in need of a fantastic gift for a grandchild, niece or nephew, be sure check out their shop.
Anyway, when my sisters are sewing, they are inclined to toss their scraps. When you are a garment maker, it doesn’t make sense to keep these pieces of fabric if they aren’t big enough to cut into a useful piece (sleeve, skirt, collar, etc) for a piece of clothing. But as a quilter, I want all the scraps, ALL THE TIME! So Cathy and Patti save them for me. At the moment, I have accumulated tons. Sometimes I cut them into 5″ squares and figure I will make an I Spy quilt. But let’s be real. This pile is growing and I think it is time to share the wealth. If you would like to have some of these, please leave a comment. I will pick two winners and each will receive a great package of assorted scraps. Some are novelty fabrics, some blenders and lots of little florals and stripes. My sisters only save the larger scraps as I explained I wanted to be able to cut five inch squares with them so the pieces are really usable. The fabrics are great quality and would make a really fun scrappy quilt. Giveaway open through Friday, January 31st.
NOTE – Giveaway Now Closed. Thanks for entering!! Congrats to Sam and Sharon – winners of all these fun scraps!
I have almost finished my January goal which was to quilt and bind my Squared Away quilt. I will share that later this week. For now though, how about some scrappy treasures?? Happy sewing all.
Sharing at some of my favorite link ups. Check them out at the top of the page, under link-ups.
Currently many quilters are making tree theme quilt blocks to donate to the Woolongong Modern Quilt Guild in Australia. This chapter of the MQG is making quilts for the families who lost their homes in the currently raging bushfires. As a native of California, I am too familiar with the devastation of wildfires and am happy to contribute a few blocks to the cause.
Here is some of the information as posted by the Woolongong MQG on their Facebook page. If you hop over to their Facebook page, there are some blocks shown for inspiration. You will likely see many on the other quilt blogs right about now. Side note – if you are following RSC2020, this is the perfect month to make the tree blocks since the scrap color for January is green.
How you can help: We have decided to make tree blocks. The tree is a symbol of growth and nourishment. A tree symbolizes the generations of a family; a tree sprouts from a seed, the roots provide strength and stability, and whilst the new sapling is young and vulnerable they are protected by the other trees until they grow and flourish. In time the branches spread and then create new fruit that gives life to the next generation.
There is no restriction to one type of tree block. We would love our quilts to be beautiful and diverse just like our wonderful communities ….. If you would like to help, please make a tree block of a generous 12.5 inch square using a low volume / white or pale grey background. Once completed please send to:
Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild PO Box 54 Jamberoo New South Wales AUSTRALIA 2533
We are going to distribute the quilts made to the families who have lost everything. We would like to ask that blocks be mailed for arrival by the end of February. We thank you in advance for your support. #bushfireblocks
For my blocks, I chose to use the tutorial written by Kirsty Cleverly over at Bonjour Quilts. It is a bit different than some of the other blocks and I like the look of it. Plus, they come together quickly. Aren’t they cute? I like the three tones of green in each one.
There are certainly other tree blocks you might choose to make. This pine tree block is really cute and simple. The tree portion (it was drafted for a pillow) creates a 12 1/2″ block which is great for this. The Tree of Life block is traditional and lovely but oh my, so many HST’s. If you are interested though, here is a tutorial over at Fat Quarter Shop.
Post Update: I just learned of an incredible tutorial for another tree block! Designed by Linda at Flourishing Palms, she created the tree to emulate the shape of Australia. I love it! Click here for a well written tutorial for this cool block.
I know there are plans to set up a station at QuiltCon in February to collect blocks. If you know someone going to the show, or if you are going, it might be nice to gather blocks from quilters local to you and contribute them there. This will certainly will save on mailing expenses. Our local guild is making blocks and I am hopeful there will be quite a few to mail in. (If you happen to be a local member, please bring your blocks to the Tuesday night meeting in February!). Hoping you’ll be moved to make a block or two for this worthy cause – Happy Weekend everyone!!
My husband retired in July of 2019. It has been such a fun adjustment for both of us. He is just getting to the point where he doesn’t automatically think he will be going back to work on Monday. We often have to think twice to remember what day of the week it is. Mostly, it is like life is all one long weekend, which is awesome!
This weekend we decided to spend a few days up the mountain at our little bungalow in Downieville. We haven’t been here in a couple of months what with the holidays and general busyness. We had hoped for a snowy weekend but it doesn’t seem like that is going to happen. There is a dusting of snow just a bit higher than us. Maybe it will get cold enough to snow a bit lower. I hope so!
This morning we took a nice long walk between rain showers. Because we are on the river up here, winters are very damp and chilly. All the moisture in the air creates the perfect environment for all sorts of moss and lichen to thrive here. The oak tree trunks and lower branches are covered right now. It dries out quite a bit when the weather is warm and then greens up in the cool of winter.
I love being up here. It is so quiet and really relaxing. This afternoon I will sit in my cozy little kitchen and list a stack of patterns in the pattern shop I have. It has been a while since I worked on that shop and I have hundreds (truly – hundreds!) of patterns to list.
Later today I have a date with a good book and a sweet quilt. I am currently reading Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. This has been in my stack of books to read for a long while now and it is really good. This quilt is one we keep up here and I love it. This was the first time I did a block of the month and it was hosted by Aurifil some years back. The bright colors are unusual for me and it makes me happy!
This town is tiny and I could smell someone baking something yummy this morning. Of course this makes me crave something home baked. We don’t keep very much in the way of a pantry up here but I do have flour and sugar. I think I will make beer bread this afternoon. We brought elk chili (from the freezer at home) up for dinner. Don’t you think beer bread will go great with that?
Anyway, that sums up the weekend for us! Last week I did quite a bit of quilting on my Squared Away quilt. I would estimate I am about 1/2 way to finishing. So that is the goal for this week. Finish the quilting and then move on to binding it for the first finish of the year. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!
Being the start of the new year, there are all sorts of fun quilting challenges, projects and quilt alongs to take part in. Today is the kick off of a fun quilt along, the Camden Road QAL. Hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs and Cindy of Hyacinth Designs, this might be just the project to start your new year right. The pace is a bit quicker than Cheryl’s Mosaic Mystery QAL which I have been sewing along with since late summer. As you can see in the picture above, the Camden Road pattern is gorgeous!
Cheryl, the designer of the Camden Road pattern, curated several kits and asked if I would stock them. She based the kits on a floral print by Pat Bravo called Femme Metale Boho. (This vivid print with berry, teal blue and orange is available in the shop). From there she gathered other Art Gallery prints that look fantastic with the Femme Metale print. These kits are helpful for quilters who don’t enjoy putting their fabrics together.
Each kit creates a different look depending on the background fabrics used. For the purposes of this post, I am showing the kits in the smallest size of Camden Road – finishing out at 45 1/2″ square. The pattern also has options for a lap size and twin size quilt. What do you think of the version above with its mint green and off-white background fabrics?
Here it is with a background in Macadamia and Linen, which are a soft beige with pink tones and a creamy off-white. With these background fabrics, the look is warmer.
This version is lots of fun with two print backgrounds. The teal blue has tiny plus signs and the inner background fabric is a tone on tone white dotted fabric. Using small prints like this adds movement to the overall look of the quilt.
The Camden Road pattern is fat quarter friendly, uses lots of flying geese blocks and is a sure success. Cheryl Brickey is a pro at pattern design and her instructions are very clear. Through the 28th, the Camden Road pattern is 25% off if you use the promo code, CAMDENROAD. Click here to take advantage of the sale. For more details on the quilt along, click here.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. Hope your week is off to a creative start! I took Julia back to the university yesterday and she started classes that afternoon. The holiday break went so quickly – now it is time to get back on track.
Happy New Year Everyone! Last year I set and linked up an OMG with Elm Street Quilts exactly once, in January. I finished the goal, so that was a good thing. I didn’t remember to link up the finish though. And that was the end of my organization plan for 2019! Anyone want to take bets on whether I can do a bit better in 2020? Who knows? I am going to give it a shot though. So many times I flit from thing to thing which doesn’t make for a lot of finishes. Hoping this will help me get a few things accomplished.
This month I plan to finish my Squared Away quilt. Last week I got it basted and I have been quilting it with straight line patterns. It is going well and I would guess I am 30% done? So it should be easy-peasy to finish quilting it and get it bound. I really like the look of this so far and it is going well.
I also got my first block done for the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge hosted over at Patterns by Jen. I was a lurker with this challenge the last two years, watching others make these fun blocks. So I am joining in. One block a month is attainable and while it likely won’t make a dent in my scrap bins, at least I will use a few! This month is yellow. It was actually tough to find two yellows to use together as apparently all of my yellow scraps are exactly the same value. This looks pretty good though. Side note – when I was looking at my scraps I couldn’t remember where the heck any of them came from. Then I remembered that Mari sent me lots of yellow pieces last year when I lamented not having a yellow bin. So, Mari – do these look familiar? Did you give me these???
Did you see this great story in the news? I love stuff like this!! To whomever left this woman a tip of $2020 – you are amazing!! I would rather read about these sorts of events than politics any day of the week.
OK – that is it for now. Today I have a Chemex Cozy to make for a customer. I am also hoping to get outside and help Ray with some yard work – the last four days have been migraine days so I have been a couch potato. Maybe some fresh air will do this quilter good. How about you?