Sunday, January 26, 2014

Library Project

I recently stumbled upon Adrienne's Library Project at her Chezzetcook Modern Quilts blog. She has challenged us to dig into our modern quilt library and select projects to complete this year. What a fantastic idea! There are so many books that I love but haven't worked from yet. Here are the books I pulled for 2014...

1.  Scrap Basket Sensations by Kim Brackett. The cover quilt has always appealed to me, but I've selected Over and Under for this challenge. I can't wait to dig into my modern scrap bin and chop everything into 2.5" strips.

2. The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman. How cool is Kitchen Window to feature favorite prints?

3. Zakka Style compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale. I love everything about those nesting boxes on the cover. The prints, the linen, the applique leaf. Yes!

4. The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird. I bought the book when all the modern girls were quilting along. I'm not good with long-term projects, so I'll try to pick a few favorites for a table runner or other small project.

5. Quilts Made Modern by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. I have lots of small pieces of solids piling up. The cover quilt would be a great way to use them up.

I'll be keeping you posted monthly. I missed the deadline to link up the to-do list, but I'm playing anyway!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WIP Wednesday

It's official. I'm a topper. I could piece tops 'til the cows come home. Some day soon, I'm going to have to get some of these projects quilted and finished.

Top #1: All of these fabrics were pulled from Joan's stash. The pattern is Elizabeth Hartman's Charm Squares Baby Quilt pattern. The baby quilt uses 5" charm squares, but Elizabeth also included instructions that use (38) 10" squares plus 2 yards of background to make a twin size quilt. So fast and modern!

Top #2: I found (24) mile a minute squares in Joan's stash. I pulled some of her calicoes to border each block. I'm ready to piece some friendship block sashing before assembling the top. 

Top #3: For some strange reason, I've never made blocks like this before. I needed some leaders and enders while I pieced the red and blue top, so I reached into a bag of Joan's scraps and went to town. For a more modern version of this idea, refer to 15 Minutes of Play.

It was Joan's desire that her stash be used to make quilts for Habitat for Humanity, so that's where these quilts will go. Eventually.

** As I typed this post, I got an email from my MQX friend, Diane. She offered to machine quilt some of the Habitat tops on her new long arm! Woohoo! Aren't quilt friends the best?! **

Today is the perfect day to stay inside and sew!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stash Sorting

 A few months ago, a crew from our guild cleaned out the sewing room of a member who had passed away. She was sweet and kind, and I enjoyed seeing projects that we had worked on together at workshops and retreats.

I'm still sorting through her fabrics and supplies. I did make some progress over the long weekend. I found some UFOs that I wanted to finish, and did. Joan had pieced this Dresden plate, and prepared the center circle. I found more of the floral fabrics, pulled out some of her batting scraps, and completed this sweet wall hanging. Those of us of a certain age will quickly recognize the 90's calicoes!

 This table runner was even easier to finish. The top was already layered with batting and backing, ready to quilt. The runner and Dresden will be sold at a guild auction in July. Why is it easier to finish someone else's UFOs than our own?

I mentioned last week that our guild provides quilts for local Habitat for Humanity homes. This is the pile stored here that is waiting to be quilted. Another member has more at her house. Yikes! It may be time for a machine quilting workshop.

There are several single men and teen boys who will need quilts this summer. As I was sorting Joan's stash, I pulled all the manly fabrics and kitted up a few quilts.

In the '"keeping it real" department, this is what my garage still looks like...

I have a deadline to get this all cleared out by the end of the month. Hubby wants to park his car in the garage this winter.

Stuff is so overwhelming! I have a new organization plan for this year. I'm focusing on one area of the house each month. It is a relief to walk into a room and realize that I don't have to worry about it yet. I'll get to it later.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mother-Daughter Craft Time

 Julia and I decided to play with fabric scraps and mod podge today. As soon as I saw the little leftover bits of this jelly roll, I knew I wanted to make one of these ticker tape canvases from Crazy Mom Quilts. There are so many fun art canvas projects on Pinterest, I had already picked up two canvases on sale somewhere.

Julia went diving into all the scrap bins for her favorite bits. Can you tell she has a favorite color? She's even dressed to match! (Pretend you don't see the clutter on the fridge door.)

She included pieces of Army and Marine Corps prints. And I love the pink heart.

I was wearing an orange scarf today that matches my piece. 

It was good to put down the laptops and cell phones for a while and actually make something. Thanks for the inspiration, Amanda!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bears in the Suburbs

Phew! This 5-year old UFO is finally a completed top. Sharon from Ninigret Quilters challenged us to finish one UFO each month. For January, we were told to complete #7 from our list.

How about a recap? In February 2009, Judy Laguidara at Patchwork Times lead a quilt-along called Bears in the Forest. I immediately signed up and pulled fabric from my stash.

Step 2 half-square triangles completed...

 Stitching during a retreat weekend...

 Step 4 was completed by March 21. I'm not sure what made me stop there, but this is as far as I got. Was I unhappy with the brown border? It is a little dark, but it will have to do.

 When I was ready to take pics, I asked Julia and boyfriend Fred to hold it up. I accidentally called him Pete. Oops! (Pete is settling in at Camp Pendelton. He's fine, but anxious to get started with training.) This was Fred's first time holding a quilt for me and he did a fine job. Remember the quilt Julia made for him?

I'm not comfortable quilting anything this big on my Bernina, so I'm calling this one mostly done. I'll be donating it to Habitat for Humanity, so I'll see if someone in the guild will quilt it.

I don't live in a farmhouse, so I've renamed this one Bears in the Suburbs. It seems like there are bear sightings nearby every summer. I hope they stay away from my backyard! (There was one in Fred's yard once.)

Quilt Stats:
Quilt Along by Judy Laguidara
Started February 2009
Top completed January 13, 2014
72" X 87"

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Stash

 Julia and I were in desperate need of some retail therapy yesterday, so we headed to our local quilt shop, Folk Art Quilts.

I had signed up for a New York Beauty block of the month, but hadn't picked up my kits in a few months. I thought I might be 2 or 3 months behind. Imagine my surprise when Mary brought out 5 kits! It's not that I haven't been to the shop for that long, I just forgot about them. Julia and I have always wanted to work on a New York Beauty together. Now we have to!

While we were in the shop, we realized that Julia will be free to attend our quilt weekend retreat in March! We originally thought she would have another commitment. We'll start the NYB then, but we also needed fabric for the Saturday workshop. The blue Bali Pops are hers, and the yummy Tonga Treats are mine.

We couldn't stop there. The navy blue batik is for the binding on the San Diego top from last week. Julia couldn't resist the Philip Jacobs petunias. And I needed to replenish my low volume stash.

That was one expensive trip to the quilt shop, but worth every penny!

Molli Sparkles

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Two-day Top

This is what happens when I need to be distracted. A quilt top gets pieced in two days! Pete finally flew to San Diego on Friday to report to Camp Pendleton for Infantry Training. The polar vortex cancelled his flight which kept him home an extra four days. We have no idea when we'll get to see him again, hence the need for brightly colored fabric!

Maybe I should call this quilt San Diego Serenade. The top measures 48" x 60". That's not a bad size for a lap quilt, so I might leave it borderless. What would you do? Border or no border?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Batik Project

 I've been itching to start something new. While surfing Pinterest last night, I came across a Fons and Porter pattern that attracted me. I knew immediately that I could use this package of batik strips that I've been hoarding. Actually, I gave them to Julia for Christmas two or three years ago.

I paired up the strips and started chopping them up.
Ooh, that lime and raspberry combo is so yummy.

The best part about this pattern is that it uses virtually the entire strip with minimal waste. I think the scraps will be perfect for a Ticker Tape canvas.

This is what I have after about two hours of work! Fun, right?!

If you are interested, here's the link to Kristine Peterson's pattern, Color Study. Or you can jump to Kristine's inspiration, Gemini by Blue Underground Studios.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Random Monday

My blocks are done for the first round of our guild's Friendship star swap starting next week. I like the high contrast of two fabrics, as opposed to the scrappiness of the block I made for the instruction post. That block may be destined for the spare block bin.

 Pete wanted to replace a worn out pair of cammies, so the name tape needed to be moved to the new pair. Three months of boot camp was enough to wear a hole in one knee.

My reward for sewing for him is that I get to keep the old cammies! I'll be surfing the web for ideas on what to make. I'm thinking tote bag, zippered pouch, key fob...

On New Year's Day, hundreds of brave souls plunged into the freezing water to raise money for charity. Don't let the beautiful view fool you. It was only about 20 degrees!

 Bill and Pete were two of the crazies. I had the camera and Julia had the towels. I hope this is one of those things they only need to do once.
 There are uniform pieces all over the house. I hope he remembers to pack it all!

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. I've loved having both kids home, but I had really gotten comfortable in our empty nest! Julia will be home for two more weeks, so we're hoping to get started on a New York Beauty block of the month from our local quilt shop. We've wanted to make one together since we met Karen Stone in 2005. I think we're ready!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014

Happy New Year! 
The Ninigret Quilters newsletter editor has challenged us to complete one UFO each month in 2014. (Hi, Sharon!) She asked us to make a numbered list of 12 projects. Each month, she will tell us which number to work on. I love a challenge with a deadline, so here's my list...

1. Alphabet Quilt. I think I started hand appliqueing these blocks in 2003. I remember stitching at Little League games. I finished the blocks and the top in 2013, but I think it could use some borders before quilting.

2. RIMQG Crayon Challenge.  I was assigned the magenta crayon and started with a great Martha Negley print from my stash. (April 2013)

3. Swap Soup. Started in 2011, this quilt is a mash-up of blocks collected in various swaps.

4. 4x5 Bee. I really loved participating in this 2011 bee, and I'm ashamed that these blocks are still in a pile.

5. Vintage Modern. A sweet little top made last July, this won't take long to quilt up.

6. 3x3 9-patch swap. This was my first online swap in 2009. It took a while to collect the piano key strips for the border (no duplicates). I'm not happy with one corner, so it sits. It WILL go off for quilting soon.

7. Bears in the Farmhouse was the first quilt along I quilted along with in 2009. It could use a border before quilting. It will probably be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

8 & 9. Quilts of Valor. The lattice top (8) and the pile of log cabin blocks (9) were both started at quilting retreats. The lattice was a class sample for a workshop I taught in 2008. The log cabins (late 90's?) were supposed to be Colorado Log Cabins with the cute star points. It's time to finish these and get them donated.

10. Ninigret Friendship Block Swap. Three months of block swapping begins in January. Yay!

11. Tangerine and Teal Triangles. A workshop with Marianne Hatton last September produced this fascinating top.

12. Xcentric Stripes. My overflowing stripe collection needs to be cut up and used!

The biggest project of the year will be another wedding quilt for another nephew. It probably won't be another award winning quilt, but it will be stitched with love!

I'm looking forward to another productive year at the sewing machine.