Sunday, December 26, 2021

Year-End Wrap Up

It's always fun to look back to see what I made each year. I knew there weren't many quilts this year, but there were more projects and other bits, and I still like to have them all in one place, so here goes: Quilts, Other Projects, and Blocks. (Links are attached if you want to read more.)


1. Valued Bear Paws

This was a quilt that was started last year during the Quilter's Color Quest led by Rachel Hauser. At the time I made it, I said that I hoped to make more Bear Paw Quilts this year based on other blocks made in that workshop. Oops. Didn't happen. I donated this quilt to Margaret's Hope Chest for the Mother and Baby Program (for mothers experiencing postpartum depression or other perinatal distress).

2. I've Got the Blues

This quilt was originally intended to be a donation quilt, but my husband claimed it. The pattern is Chain Linx by Karen at Sugar Free Quilts.

3. Positivity Quilt

This quilt replaced the Blues quilt above for donation to Mercyful Quilts, a quilt collection by Bernie at Needle and Foot for end-of-life patients. Preeti at Sew Preeti Quilts challenged us to overwhelm Bernie with quilts and supplied patterns, layouts, tutorials and inspiration.

4. M's Birthday Quilt

This is a present for my brother-in-law to celebrate his 57th birthday (this week). He opened the quilt a few days early and is already enjoying it while visiting my sister-in-law. They sent photos. Yippee! (His smile is cropped out for privacy.)

Other Projects

1. Two pillows for my living room chairs

Both are from shopping my fabric drawers--a squirrel of a project.

2. Cosmetic bags, sunglass cases, and tissue covers

These were donated to Carole from my Carolina Home for the Safelight Domestic Violence Shelter.

3. Three placematsno

These are from leftovers from my Positivity Quilt. I'll be donating them to my LQS for the spring collection for distribution through Meals on Wheels. 

4. Purse for my granddaughter

It's based loosely on a pattern by Aleah at no time to sew.

5. Featherweight Cover

This was another squirrel project made from a piece of vintage fabric I found at a local antique market. Now when my machine sits out in the living room, the mess is a little more organized and prettier.

6. Scrappy Grands Projects

No, I didn't make these, but it sure was fun being with the grandkiddies after a long time apart. I taught my granddaughter how to make an accidental landscape wall hanging. My grandson got in the quilting spirit by making his own quilt block--with tape! During another sewing session, my granddaugher made a hand-sewn tissue cover and I made my grandson a teeny tiny blanket for a beanie baby, but somehow there are no photos.


Much of my year was spent making blocks a little at a time for PQs (Potential Quilts).

1. 52 blocks (one each week) in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors and the Year of Scrappy Triangles patterns.

2. 48 blocks of the Confetti quilt by Rachel Hauser.

3. 121 hand-pieced 4-patch blocks from my scraps and vintage (by way of having them for so many years) fabrics. 

So...that's 4 quilts, 13 projects (plus the grandkiddie projects), and 221 blocks.

This coming year, I hope to add to the triangles and finish that quilt, finish the Confetti quilt, make more Bear Paw quilts and more placemats, and start fresh quilts with all the new fabrics I collected over the year.

Also, I hear there is another Quilt-Along with Preeti and Bernie for Mercyful Quilts. And who knows what else the year might bring?  

I'm linking up with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs for the Best of 2021 Linky Party. I know this is more than 5 favorites (but it is 3 sections), and I like to keep all my finishes in one place rather than have multiple year-end posts. I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to share.

I hope that all of you will unwrap a new year that's full of happiness, health and time for lots of quilting.

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

All the Colors

Squeaking in here with one more Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC)/52 weeks of Scrappy Triangles post before I change the calendar. I made the last two triangles today because I need to put the sewing mess away for a bit for holiday celebration. Because there are no specific colors chosen by Angela for RSC in November and December (we're supposed to be putting our quilts together for the year--yeah, that's not happening here), I decided to make my remaining 9 scrappy triangles for the year from whatever colors I liked, trying to use mostly multicolored scraps again. 

I think it's funny that I gravitated toward orangish and greenish fabrics. I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of going wherever the scraps took me, though. So, I now have 52 different blocks, and I can see that I need many more, not only to complete the possible layout but to make a decent sized quilt. (These blocks will finish at only 6 inches.)

I randomly laid out the year's worth of blocks on the guest bed today. The light is poor due to gray skies and snow, but at least it gives you some idea of how the quilt might look. 

This is the layout I keep using, but I might stagger the blocks a bit to get rid of the huge navy areas and have a more zigzag effect. I've seen both layouts online, but I'm not sure of the origin of either. If you know, please tell me so I can make appropriate attribution. Either way, I will need a total of 90 blocks, which means I need 38 more. I could keep going with the RSC colors each month and one block a week, but I'm getting itchy to finish this project, so I'm pretty sure I'll try to make quick work of it in the new year and continue with whatever works. I'll have to pick out my favorite scrappy triangle blocks. I have a feeling that I'll go for mostly triangles with smaller pieces as I'm starting to run lowish on larger multicolored scraps. Anyway, that's the plan. 

I'm still considering my options for RSC for next year. I'd like to continue winnowing the smaller scraps, so maybe I'll do something with the blocks in Easy Machine Paper Piecing by Carol Doak. I also want to do something based on the Bear Paw blocks I made during last year's Quilters Color Quest led by Rachel Hauser. And then there are all the possibilities with the new fabrics I collected most months this year to spice up my stash. Oh, there is also the collection of scrappy placemats I started this year. Maybe I could do something with that. Do I even want to stick with one color each month or shall I make every month a scrappy rainbow? Your guess is as good as mine right now. 

In the meantime, I have my Confetti quilt top to finish up. No photos today, but I am oh so close. I think. I have five more blocks for sure for a 49-block quilt. I could go for 64 blocks, though. Hmmm. So I could be finished very soon or stretch it out a bit to use even more scraps. I also have my little hand stitching project with four-patches, but I'm not in a great hurry with that one. 

I'm linking up this weekend with Angela at So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap.

I'll leave you with a bit of our tree. It's a petite one this year, but I still managed to cram every last ornament on it. 

And a bit of our weather this week. Dandelions on Thursday. What?? In December?

And more seasonable today:

I might do one more post this year of my finishes, but if time gets away, I'll post it early in the new year. Until then, Happy Holidays, however you celebrate! (And do try to stay safe.)

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Birthday Quilt

It seems like most of what I've done this year is blocks and small projects. There haven't been many quilt finishes. I'm not sure why that is, but I am excited today to share a quilt. Such a satisfying project. And I'm pleased to say that I finished it a whole month ahead of the gifting for my husband's younger brother's birthday. (He's not on social media, so I can safely share this now without ruining the surprise.)

M lives in a house with 4 other guys with special needs. Each of them has his own room. And this past summer, I got a glimpse of M's room when we picked him up for an outdoor family reunion after many months apart. I knew that I wanted to make him a quilt this year, but that brief visit was the inspiration I needed to make decisions about design and color. 

I've made this quilt design before. It's based on a colorful batik quilt I saw on Etsy several years ago. The site is no longer active, and I have no idea who designed it. If someone knows, please let me know so I can give credit. Anyway, the first quilt was this one I made for our  brother-in-law L in 2012. That one was smaller in both scale and size, but I knew that a larger size would work well, too.

M's room is a light yellow-green. The furnishings are wood tones. He has a charcoal-colored easy chair and a rug with grays and blues in it. I forgot to take a photo when I was there and had to rely on memory for the blues. I'm thinking (hoping) that they were somewhere between a medium and greenish blue. 

I wanted a scrappy look with prints that read as solids. (There are no solids in the quilt at all.) Most of them are from my stash supplemented with some new fat quarters. I started by cutting about 2/3 of the plain squares and then a variety of strips and squares. I had some vanilla/gray grunge fabric that I knew would stand out well in the flying geese and nine-patch squares. I made the flying geese first using paper foundations. It's my favorite way to make geese as it's great for getting good points. I put the nine-patch squares together webbing style like some quilters sew together quilt blocks. I laid out plain, geese and nine-patch squares first and then planned the colors and locations of the other blocks in place on my design floor aka living room carpet. (I was too lazy to go upstairs to my design curtain.) 

As I laid out the quilt, I added more plain squares in the colors I needed. Here are close-ups of the types of blocks in the design.


Flying geese



Block variation 1

Block variation 2

Block variation 3
I placed the variations randomly after laying out the first three types of blocks, turning some in different directions. 

The backing is lighter than I envisioned, but I couldn't find one with blues and greens that I liked. So I went with a fallback fabric that I've used for years. I'm happy that it's still available at my nearby big box store. It is buttery soft, and while it might look like solid ivory from afar, it actually has a khaki vine print.

Please excuse the wrinkles. This was folded away over the weekend.

Can you see the vines?

I quilted with a khaki thread I hadn't used before, and my sewing machine loved it. I used my beloved meanders, so relaxing and one of my favorite all-over designs. 

My initials and date show up more than usual, but I always sign in the lower right corner. The geese were too small and the next block over just happened to be charcoal. I had to make sure I wrote neatly!

Here are the stats: 

Pattern: Unknown. Blocks finish at 6 inches.
Fabrics: Variety from stash and store.
Batting: Fairfield 80/20. (My machine loves this.)
Thread: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing; Coats Egyptian Cotton machine quilting thread (30 weight) in Dogwood. I've never used it before, but my machine LOVED it, and I was thrilled that it comes on a cardboard cone (1200 yards). I wish my favorite quilting thread wasn't on a plastic cone. I really hate plastic waste. So it's nice to know this is available and that it works for me. I used a strong hand quilting thread in off white for hand sewing on the binding. It's no longer available, and now it's almost gone. Waah.
Binding: I think it's a Keepsake Calico in a mottled green.  
Size: 60 3/4 inches square before quilting; about 58 3/4 by 58 1/2 inches after quilting; about 55 5/8 inches square after washing on cold and machine drying on low. I expect it will relax a bit with use.
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer Treadle 115 for free motion quilting and  machine work on the binding.

Just a few more photos--

Hey, it matches my chair!

Yummy texture after washing

I love how quickly this quilt came together and that the plain blocks moved it along but not as alternate blocks but as part of the overall design. Must do this again. Gifty quilting is fun.  Any gifty quilts in the works for you this month?

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Scraps, Sale, Squirrel, Scenery

 Another month, another post about small steps. My progress has been slow. But that's okay. September and October are our favorite months for sightseeing, so there has been a lot of time on our bicycles and on foot enjoying nature. Here are the bits I got done this month. First up: my Rainbow Scrap Challenge/52 Weeks of Scrappy Triangles. The RSC color was lime. I think I used some limes in my last go at green scraps, but that's okay. I have a lot of  limes. Surprisingly, there are not a lot of multicolored scraps with lime in them, so I didn't deplete that multicolored bin by much, but even using up some mostly-lime scraps is okay.

This month's blocks have a lot of tiny bits in them, so it's probably best that my fabrics were more green than other colors. I'm not real pleased with the top left block. There's not a lot of contrast in those sawtooth parts. But I'm not bothered enough to redo it. It will be fine with all the other blocks in the end. Last month I mentioned that I wasn't sure if I'd do one more orange block or a green one for the last week of September which was also the beginning of October. I did make one more orange block. 

Yeah, it doesn't look like an orange block, but if you look closely, you'll see there is at least a tiny bit of orange in each fabric.

I think this ends the colors for RSC this year, but there are still 9 weeks left in the 52 Weeks of ScrappyTriangles. I might just mix up the colors for the rest of the year--or I could repeat the colors for each month. Then I still have to decide if this project goes into next year for more blocks or if I will just finish it up. I do need more blocks to make a decent sized quilt. 

I didn't buy fabrics to go with RSC for the last several months, but made up for that a bit last week. My daughter had given me a gift card for a local store that has a small quilting area. I almost bought a new shirt, but the quilting fabric was too much of a pull. and it was all on sale! So I selected some turquoise and orange bits. I could have bought some limes, but I bought those back when green was the RSC color.

Hey, these would make a great quilt by themselves!

Oh, wait, I did buy lime--in the little embroidery scissors. How about that?!

My other project was the Confetti quilt, of course. But first---there was a Squirrel. 

A little blurry, but I wanted to zoom in so you could see the peanut.

And, hey, it was lime!!

Our temperatures took a nose dive this past week, and so I went searching for the slippers I knitted last year. Uh, oh. Not good. I had worn major holes in them. So I found some leftover yarn from an afghan I made years ago, and quickly knitted up some new ones. I used two strands of two shades of lime, hoping they'll last a little longer than one season. The pattern is similar to one my mom used to make that she called CuddleMocs. There are lots of versions of this online. I just winged it making the rectangle a little shorter than my foot so they'd fit nice and tight. I really do like knitting, but I hate sewing knitted things together almost as much as sewing a hem on a dress. So please pardon the wonky seams. I sewed on the little buttons from the old slippers to kind of disguise them. My mom used to put big fuzzy pom-poms on hers. Anyway, my feet are toasty now. This squirrel was so distracting, I made Sandra's awesome links in the post about her latest amazing quilt finish wait until I got these done. They didn't take long to make. I did them at the same time on the same needle. 

Then it was back to the Confetti quilt. Here are this month's blocks. 

You can see that each row is a different block, but they still look all random. It's not the way I'll arrange them, but fun to see them together like that. I now have 36 blocks. I'll make at least another set and then see where to go from there.

I'm still working on the hand pieced four-patches. I think there are about 100 now. I need to cut more squares.

So that's my makings for the month. Here's what else we were up to. I was going to post more vacation photos, but I'm past that now that we've roamed closer to home. 

We took a bike ride on the Falling Waters Trail, which I love. 

And Wednesday, we celebrated the 44th anniversary of our first date by hiking along the ledges in a nearby town. A unique geological formation right through town that gives it its name of Grand Ledge. The trail winds along the river at the base of the rocks, sometimes a bit precariously. It was a little chilly and foggy-ish, but perfect for hiking. 

The color is finally starting to come--the latest I've ever seen it. And look at those flowers still blooming like crazy in the park. 

Soon it will be too cold for these little excursions. And then I think a lot more sewing will happen. I'm beginning to plan a quilt that probably won't be made in bitsy monthly steps. I can't wait. 

I'm linking up this weekend with Angela at So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap. And with Sandra at mmm quilts! for DrEAMi (Drop Everything And Make it) because yes, those slippers aren't quilted, but they did take me away from her blog post!! (Go check out her quilt, though! And her links to the process.)

I hope you are having fun quilting--but take time, too, to chase squirrels and enjoy nature.

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.)