Monday, February 26, 2024

February - Busy!

 “I think my mom will want this quilt.”

My four-year-old granddaughter, Kate, tried to claim this quilt when I was hand stitching the binding. GP (grandpa) told her we were keeping this one. 

We had four inches of fresh snow and a sunny day so I managed a picture outside where the colors look great and you can see the quilting. 

This was a free pattern through the Moda Bake Shop, "Sky Full of Stars," designed by Kristina of Center Street Quilts. Unfortunately all the links to the quilt design don't go anywhere so I can't share the pattern.

*** update***
Two readers found the link to the pattern. Sky Full of Stars
** many thanks **

I added the last 12-inches to make a border that finishes the stars and adds a drop for the sides on a bed setting.  This quilt finished at 104-inches square. 

I took me several weeks to finally get another quilt top loaded on my quilting frame. I've got one border almost finished. Of course the hardest part of the quilting process is deciding what to do.

This is my version of the 2016 Quiltville mystery, "En Provence." I think I dropped a column. Bonnie Hunter's mysteries are always so amazing and big. This is the one and only mystery of hers that I have made. So Much Piecing!!!

I do like a bit of challenging piecing but this was so hard to keep up with when I had no idea what the final quilt would look like. A big commitment...but fun to be a part of the online quilt along. My version finished at 69 x 87-inches. All batiks.

I know I am repeating myself...but I think kitting up projects is my favorite part of the quilting process. My stash is overwhelming and I really am trying to use it. I have a lot of gorgeous fabrics and they should be made into quilts. 

Everyday I have about half a dozen quilt shops I visit...checking out daily sales, new releases and just generally getting inspired. Connecting Threads is one of those websites and I decided to check their free quilt patterns and instantly downloaded this fat quarter friendly pattern, "Weekend Fun." 

It takes 21 fat quarters and I immediately thought of a set of batik fat quarters that were in my stash. There were 20 fat quarters in the set and I easily found one more in my stash that looked like part of the set. 

 I'm thinking about treating this like a Leader and Ender project.

My next quilt start was a project kitted up last fall. It is a layer cake project. I had a older set of batiks that were released by Hoffman called, "Sparrow." I had a layer cake and Bali pop in the colorway. I also had a great background in my stash. 

The pattern is, "Banana Quilt," from the book, "Perfect 10 Quilts." This is at least the third quilt I 've made from this book. Kind of a cool layout. I'll add a piano key border with the Bali pop.

My table mate at the February quilt retreat gave me a sweet present, a set of Tutto project bags to match my sewing machine Tutto trolley. She offered to add some fun ribbon to the bags and I told her I had some Tula Pink ribbons at home that would be perfect so I would do it. 

It only took me a couple of hours to unsew the sides to add the ribbon and sew the sides back up again.  I love them! 

On to some evening handwork projects. I finished two of the 2023 Jim Shore Gnome series. 

Evergreen Gnome

Rabbit Gnome

My current Bucilla kit project is Santa's Ark. Once the ark is finished I get to make all the animals.

When I finish this I plan to do a dedicated post of various steps so it will help others. These Bucilla 3D kits are always pretty challenging and I often read the directions and decide to do things differently.

And finally...a project for Kate. A little binder she helped to pick fabrics for. 

By Annie patterns are so well written. I find the key for me is not to rush and make sure I read every sentence!!! So I just do a little bit every day. I have three more days based on how I like to break down the project. 

Lots of critters spotted in the last three weeks. I saw an ermine run unto the dog run but I wasn't fast enough with my iPhone. My neighbor texted me with her first black bear sighting in her yard. Several of my neighbors spotted him too and posted photos on our neighborhood Facebook page. A tiny black bear. Sometimes bears wake up and wander around before the snow is gone but they usually go back for a lengthy nap until temps warm up so I don't expect to see that one for several more weeks.

Hope you have had a February full of fun projects! I have a three-day retreat coming up in March. Sweet!

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Material Girls February Retreat

I love retreats!

 I belong to a couple of retreat groups but this is my only overnight group. 
The Material Girls rent out a B & B in Wasilla for a long weekend. Each room sleeps three and has a private bath. There is a full kitchen and a small kitchen so pretty nice for hunkering down for three or four days. Our retreat starts on Thursday at noon and runs through late Sunday afternoon. We have two quilt shops in Wasilla to shop at plus lots of restaurant options. 

I have a little tradition of starting my retreat with binding a quilt. I'm usually one of the first to arrive and have four tables to myself for several hours...lots of room for binding a king-sized quilt.

I still need to finish hand stitching the binding. 

I'm sharing photos of some of the projects from the weekend. Quite a variety of projects.

Mary made a spring Kuspuk...traditional clothing for Yui'pik Alaskans. Summer parkas are made with colorful cotton fabrics and trimmed with ribbon and rick rack. Winter kuspuks are made of fur.

My other projects were two Kaffe Fassett quilts. The first had paper pieced sections. I ordered the border fabric when I got home. 

Everyone got very tired of hearing me complaining about the flimsy quality of this fabric. 

My second Kaffe project had some Indah batiks from Hoffman mixed with the Kaffe fabrics so I was a little happier sewing on these fabrics. 

My husband was taking care of the pets while I was away. When we leave the house, the animals stay in my sewing room since it has a tile floor and doors that close it off from the rest of the house. One day, Logan got bored and grabbed a roll of toilet paper to rip up. 

The toilet paper was tracked all over the house. 

Thankfully...easily clean up.

The next Material Girls retreat is in late April.