Sunday, March 31, 2019

Closing Up the Month of March

There were some great projects ladies shared at the Breakfast Club.

Here is Meg's One Block Wonder.
 I scolded her for not having the original, uncut fabric with her so we could compare.


Jackie's adorable Bears in Birch Trees quilt. I don't know the actual name of this pattern.
Her lucky grandson will get this beauty.


Joyce made two iron caddies, one for Marlene and...


one for herself.


This is Jackie's quilt from our January pattern, Rocky Road, from the book,
 "Perfect 10 Quilts," by It's Sew Emma. A layer cake pattern.


This month's project was, "Make It 8!" 
The pattern calls for a feature fabric, background fabric and 8 fat quarters. 

Marcia's class sample with a lovely border treatment.



Rona had her top completed prior to class. A lot of these ladies meet every Tuesday to sew which is great for me because I get to think about options for mine.



Joyce had her feature blocks completed before class and got the fat quarter blocks done and all her rows sewn together. 


Laura made her quilt before class and cut the number of blocks to make a lovely baby-sized version. 


After seeing Laura's version I decided my blocks looked perfect for a baby quilt. I might actually make two or three baby quilts since I had already made 17 feature blocks when I came to this decision. And I have plenty of background fabric to accommodate three baby quilts. 

I couldn't wait to tryout my blocks on the design wall when I got home. It wasn't quite like I pictured in my head once I saw it on the wall. I loved the colors but the large sizes of the fat quarter fabrics overwhelmed my feature fabric blocks.


So...as usual...I took an easy pattern and made it so much more difficult
because now I had to pull out my seam ripper.

Below...a new version with dark purple 2-inch centers.


After seeing the other quilts made in this pattern I came away with the observation that the 2-inch center square color made a big difference in the quilts I liked the most.

This is the same version with yellow centers.


A little hard to see the moose in my feature fabric so here is a closer look.


I even made changes to my design plan for the quilt on my midarm frame. I don't like it as much as my initial drawing but because of all the seams in this tiny area I was having trouble executing it as I imagined so I simplified and succumbed to stitching in the ditch along all my HST 1 1/4-inch squares. Tedious. Two more corners to tackle.



I'll finish all the black areas before moving to the star center.
 I was hoping to finish it by the end of today but it's too pretty outside to spend the whole day quilting. The top is just under 40-inches square.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Spring Groove

We are having a very warm March. 
Most of our snow is gone. 
I'm all for an early spring.

I have all the blocks made for the, "Baby Honu," quilt.  I need to move some turtles around...or maybe they will move around for me.  I'll have to check my blog, but I think I bought this kit in 2016. I don't know why I bought the kit because I proceeded to change over half the fabrics.


I am planning to attend Breakfast Club this week. The quilt shop website shows they will be making the pattern, "Make It 8." You take eight fat quarters, a background and a theme fabric. It was so easy to pull this group from my stash that I figure it was just meant to be that I attend this class. 


I got three more animal sets done for the Bucilla kit, Noah's Ark Animals. The monkeys and the deer went pretty quick but the giraffes took four evenings. So stinking cute! One of the gals on my Facebook page suggested I do a theme Christmas tree next year with all the animal ornaments. 
Love that idea!


Will I actually get a quilt on the frame and done by the end of March?
 It could happen.
 I have spent a long time pondering a quilting design for this top...a couple of years.
 I am finally ready to commit to stitching.
 It is just under 40-inches so I can do it! 


I find all that doodling before I start stitching helps with my muscle memory when I actually step up to the machine.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Project Updates

Thank you all for the lovely thoughts you shared with me on the passing of my father. 

My father chose to be cremated and asked my sons to fly to a location of their choosing to spread his ashes in Alaska. My father always spent several weeks with us in the summer until last summer when he became too ill to travel. We will be celebrating his life this summer when all of us will be in Alaska together. As we say in Alaska, or actually in Hawaii, we will, "talk story," about GP. 

I'll be traveling soon to spend some time with my mom but I have a few days to organize projects in my studio. Busy work helps the mind sort through thoughts.

My recent Bucilla project is turning into a long term event. I am making a set of 50 Noah's Ark animal ornaments. There are twenty-five different animals, a male and female for each type. I am past the half way point. Ten more sets to make. I filled up a fat quarter with the first 15 sets.


Hubby and I spent 10 days in Palm Springs in February. I finished three more cross stitch Santa ornaments on that trip. We encountered cooler temperatures than normal and a couple of rainy days so I never quite got around to taking photos of our vacation locale. We will try visiting again next winter and give the city a second chance.

Below is the set, Victorian Santas: Saint Nicholas, Sinter Klaas and Father Christmas.


I toted this UFO, "Baby Hono," to the February quilt retreat but didn't touch it. The Material Girls set a challenge at the retreat to work on a UFO before our May retreat dates. I guess this is what I am going to tackle for the challenge. The turtle bodies are 3-D with a shell stitched on top. The body parts are not stitched down. I had the bodies created when I stopped working on the quilt so I officially finished 16 blocks this week.


Next up is to make 14 Monkey Wrench blocks.
 I am already thinking of making changes to the pattern...I tend to do that!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Tough Day



My father, retired Gunnery Sergeant, USMC, Johnny Tex Jones, died this morning.
 He had advanced bladder cancer and was also suffering from dementia, both possibly related to chemical exposure in the drinking water while we lived on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He served two tours on the front lines of the Vietnam War but only told me silly stories about stealing ice cream from the Air Force. My husband and I called him King Putz...he was always working on a project. One of his most successful projects was restoring a 1978 Corvette. My sons called him, "GP," short for grandpa. He loved that special nickname. He took great pride in his two grandsons...they were who and what he talked about the most the last few months of his life. He always called me princess. I couldn't have had a more loving and supportive father. He had many obstacles in his life but he never quit moving forward.


Monday, February 11, 2019

My February 2019 Retreat Projects

It always seems to take twice as long to work on a project than I estimate when packing my retreat stash. I started my retreat by joining blocks to make a twin quilt. I had enough blocks to make two twins but only got one done. I still need to come up with a border to finish this top.


I made great progress on the Bigfoot pattern from Elizabeth Hartman called, "Legend." 
The colors are a little off in this photo. There are 14 tree blocks in total and I did get all of them done. I need to track down more background fabric to work in the quote, "All who wander are not lost." 


And I finished up my retreat by getting this mini quilt top done. These are ornament redwork blocks from the Australian designer, Lynette Anderson. The series is titled, "Sweet Christmas." She did offer a free pattern to set the blocks as a quilt but I made up a different design. I'm trying to talk myself into hand quilting this one. I have done a bit of hand quilting but it has been several years. It is 28-inches square so not too daunting


I took two other projects that didn't get touched but at least I didn't run out of options.

There is just something extra special about sewing in a room full of other quilters for several days. I will miss the next retreat in May and will have to wait until October for the opportunity to attend again.



Retreat Photos

Lots of eye candy from the Material Girls quilt retreat. Some are show and tell and some are projects worked on at the retreat.  I will identify patterns if I know them.

No idea what the name of this pattern is but it looks like a good one for layer cakes.


Snowballs and Nine Patches on diagonal.



BQ 4 pattern.


Don't know this butterfly pattern name.


Jewel Box with a border of 2-inch squares. Another border or two is planned to make this queen-sized.


Norwegian Snowflakes. Here is the free pattern.


Memory Quilt for a bereaved son of teacher.


Backside of the quilt.


Memory quilt for the bereaved daughter of teacher.



Backside of the daughter's quilt.


A Memory Pillow made from the deceased teacher's shirt. The school colors where he worked were purple and white.


We had a wonky tree table runner class.


No pattern info on the rest of the projects












I'm doing a separate posting to my projects from retreat.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Prepping for Retreat

I had some fun making two sets of single-alphabet straight pins and a set of double-lettered alphabet straight pins...and I had my new pincushion to hold them all.


I needed those pins to mark lots of parts to make,"Legendary," from Elizabeth Hartman.


My son who is in Air Force pilot training loves Bigfoot folklore. I want to add the quote, "All who wander are not lost," to the quilt but will tackle making the blocks first. 

The second project I'm taking to quilt retreat is a mini quilt I designed on the computer program EQ8 incorporating my redwork blocks, "Sweet Christmas," from Australian quilt designer, Lynette Anderson. I made a sample of the star block to double check my measurements. Looking good. 


I also have two UFOs tucked in the stash to take. 

In the evenings, I am usually ready to stop working on my sewing machine so I am also taking several of my Bucilla stockings that only need some hand sewing to finish off linings.


Tomorrow I will spend most of the day prepping my food. I am attending three nights and although there is a full kitchen and a small kitchen available, with 14 other quilters in attendance there is never enough room to prepare meals. I have been on a whole food plant based diet for almost a year now so no prepackaged foods for me. It's good food but takes dedicated time to prepare for four days.

And then it will be time to pack my car!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Feeling Great as February Approaches

I'm giving myself a big pat on the back for getting so much accomplished in January.

Yesterday I pulled out a little hand stitched piece I learned to make from my dear friend, Cecile, while I was living in Paris. It is a Boutis piece. Two layers of fabric are stitched together with tiny stitches to create a design and you use a long needle to pull yarn through the channels you've created. I planned to turn it into a pincushion as soon as I finished it but...four years later it has finally happened. 

I found a batik 10-inch square with the perfect colors and a few dark pink scraps.


Just made it up as I went. I also had a huge bag of crushed walnut shells in my studio for four year that were opened yesterday.


Such great memories in this sweet Boutis project.

Thursday was Breakfast Club but instead of working on the official project for January, I brought in a set of UFO blocks to finish. 


I reached my goal of making 30 blocks which gave me a total of 160 so I can now make two twin quilts for my guest bedroom bunk beds.


I spent another half day at home laying out the blocks on my design wall and now have them all packed up for the February retreat.

And speaking of the February retreat...

I started this bright tropical quilt at last year's February quilt retreat. It is 110 x 110-inches so I was struggling with the long rows in the crowded retreat space. And then when I got home to my huge studio...all the parts sat in a box for months. I'm so glad I got it done in time to share my finish a year later. It would be really nice if it was quilted too! Maybe by February 2020 quilt retreat!


A few more critter ornaments got finished last week. Blue critters that live in water.


I still have a couple of  Christmas trees up in my house. I think I will leave one of them up until I finish all the ornaments in this Noah's Ark kit and get a photo with them on the tree. I love that idea!