Friday, February 23, 2018

Deeply purple

(For those of you who are interested, there is a scrap giveaway at the end of this post!)

Hi all, and welcome to the end of another busy week!  February is the shortest month, but right now it feels so looooong.  I know that you know what I mean! February is what makes March look so good.  I am ready for green and growing things, aren't you?  And so looking forward to some fresh tomatoes too.  Soon!

This week, I was super-busy, so I didn't get a lot of sewing time.  And I was on such a roll for a while there! Instead I focused on finishing up my purple scrap projects so I could feel like I had made some progress.  Sometimes that's just what you need to make the week feel like a success, you know?  Here are my patchwork scrap stars:

This month I chose to make a pink star and a green one in the purple blocks.  I like how they turned out, plus I had 15 different purple scraps to use in the blocks.  I like purple, though, so it's not really a surprise.

I also made about a dozen of the little 4-1/2 inch 9-patches from my 2-inch squares:

I could have made more, but I just didn't feel like cutting more pieces, and a dozen sounds like a good number.

In 2016, I started Bonnie Hunter's En Provence quilt, and I haven't made a ton of progress on all the pieces. I love the quilt, though, and I want to use it in our guest room, so I really want to finish it. Since this was a purple scrap month, I decided to use it to finish making all of the purple pieces in the quilt:

I didn't get all of the purples finished, but I did finish off the 4-patches and the hsts, which felt like a real achievement to me because there were so *many* of them (and you know how much I like making 4-patches.)  I still have to make the triangle in a square units, but at least I've cut all the purple for those.  I only have the yellows and greens to finish after this.  I may actually finish this quilt this year!

So now I'm finished with my purple scraps for the month, and just like last month, I am giving away what's left in my purple scrap bin!  Here's what's up for grabs this month:

There are some nice-sized pieces here, but also a bunch of smaller ones, including some 2-inch strips and a few squares.  To fill out the envelope, I added some pieces from the dots and checks bin, along with a handful of 2-inch squares and also of 1-1/2 inch squares.  All together it's about 2 pounds of fabric. 

I will send this scrap package off to one lucky winner for no charge at all.  All you have to do is leave a comment that says you'd like to have it.  That's all!  You can also leave a comment if you don't want it, just let me know.  I'll use the random number generator sometime on Sunday night (February 25) and send the fabric out next week.

Hope you all have a great weekend!  Think of me, because we'll be doing a massive landscaping/drainage project that requires hand digging not just one but TWO trenches.  If you want to come help, I won't turn you away! And if you'd like some amusement, I'll try to remember to post some pictures on Instagram.  See you there!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and soscrappy for RSC18.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sharing some love

It isn't often that I have *four* quilts to show off at once, but today I do! A few weeks ago, Bernie at Needle and Foot announced a new service project to collect doll quilts for A Doll Like Me,  the project of a lovely person named Amy who makes specialty dolls for children who are not represented by currently-available dolls, because they have limb differences or other physical issues.  Who could resist such a fun, happy project, especially after reading Amy's story?  Not me, so here are the four little quilts I made to share:

As you can see, I have a helper to show off these doll quilts.  This was my older daughter's doll, which inexplicably still lives at my house.  Even though I'm an old person I still enjoyed bringing her out to play.  And she makes such a nice model!  All these pictures were taken on a rainy day, so they may be a little washed out, but I think their cheerfulness makes up for it.

Don't worry, these were washed after the photo shoot!

Each one of these deserves a small description of it's own, don't you think?  Let's start with this one:

Those of you who have made Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilts will recognize the units making up this little quilt.  I "adopted" these 4-patches from another quilter who gave up on making the quilt, then I didn't make the quilt either.  But I still had these units, so I put them on point and then cut some aqua setting triangles and made the little top.  I quilted it with aqua thread in a simple cross hatch.  It worked out great!  I love how the aqua and pink hsts seem to make little butterflies across the top.  This is the biggest quilt at about 23 inches square.

The blue and yellow quilt is very busy, but it works, somehow.  This was made from thrifted blocks that I didn't even know were in the bag of scraps until I emptied it. There were all the four-patches and a larger block that I used in the center, which you can see if you look carefully.  I actually like how it blends in so nicely. There was also a small piece of the yellow and an even smaller piece of the blue in the bag, so I was only able to use those on the sides.  This little quilt was also quilted in a cross hatch with yellow thread. It finished at about 18 by 22.

Next is the applique quilt.  I made this applique panel years ago in a class about machine applique.  This was supposed to be a center with pieced blocks around it, but you can see what happened there. I promise that all of the pieces are very securely attached!  The panel was actually bigger, and I cut it down to about 20 by 23, then echo quilted the background and quilted in a bunch of details on the flowers and leaves.  I'm actually really thrilled with how this turned out and  hope some little person really loves it.

Finally, this might be my favorite little quilt!  Super-cute ninjas!  Because you know, not all little girls like flowers and such, and some little boys might need quilts, too. I made this one as a quilt-as-you-go strip quilt and it's the only one of the four that actually uses all new fabrics. The size was limited by the ninja piece, so it finished at 18 by 20, which is the smallest of the quilts, but is still a good size for the dolls.  Especially if the doll is particularly fierce!

The backings for these quilts were all small pieces that I had in my stash, and all except the ninjas got a floral backing.  Flowers just seemed wrong for those tiny warriors.

Each of the quilts also has a machine binding, so they can be washed over and over again.  I did have kids of my own, and I remember how much laundry was involved! All of the bindings except the black one came from my basket of bindings made from leftover off-cuts from backings and small pieces, too.

I also made a few hospital gowns to go along with the quilts, using THIS free pattern.

These are much more stylish than real hospital gowns and were easy enough to make.  I even made my own bias binding for the necks and ties, but only because I was too lazy to go to the store.  They will certainly make hospital visits a little more fun, for both the dolls and for their owners.

I had a lot of fun making these little quilts and am thrilled to send them on to some tiny humans to go with their special dolls.  I quilted all kinds of good thoughts into these little quilts and I packed those thoughts and some prayers into the box with them as I sent them winging on their way to Amy.  If you are in need of a feel-good project, consider making up a few little quilts or gowns.  Nothing but good can come from it!

Hope all of you have a lovely weekend.  I am probably not sewing much this weekend, but I am strongly considering making brownies as we will have rain today, snow on Saturday, and then rain again on Sunday.  I'll need the brownies to keep my spirits up!

Sharing at crazymomquilts, Confessions of  Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and Oh Scrap!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My blue Valentine

Well, happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  It's a fun little holiday sometimes, isn't it?  The hubs and I had our Valentine's Day yesterday, because today also happens to be Ash Wednesday.  I made filet mignon and cookies, and then we watched the men's curling round robin at the Olympics.  I'm not into it, but based on the yelling, it's a very exciting sport!

Speaking of the love of my life, remember a few weeks ago when he told me that one of my quilts would look better in "pastels?" Well, I wanted to make another quilt from that same block in a different colorway (for reasons that will become clear later this year) and I let him choose the fabric.  I chose the white and gave him several choices for the main fabric, which I narrowed down mainly by whether I had enough yardage to make the quilt.  Here's what he chose:

Yes, blue!  It's not exactly pastel, but it's the closest thing I have to a traditional calico.  Wouldn't you know it?  This is Town and Country Blues by Pepper Cory for Studio E.  At least that's what it says on the selvage, but when I looked for it online, this is not the fabric I found.  Maybe it's really old.

For this quilt, I am making 20 blocks for a throw quilt that will finish at about 54 by 66.  I did all the cutting at once, so the block making is going fairly quickly.  Once I made 160 half-square triangles, everything else was down hill.  Those things will really slow you down.

I've also started making the blocks for the Monet's Wedding ring quilt.  I couldn't resist putting a few up on the wall:

Not crooked, just in need of pressing!
This quilt is really, really easy.  Once you get past the cutting, there are only straight seams and almost no matching.  I can't see the pattern yet, but I know this is going to turn out great.  I already love the colors!  I did intend to use the blue as a background, but it turned out that I didn't like all the colors against it.  Not to worry, I'm sure I'll have another opportunity to use the blue somewhere else.

So that's the update from here! I hope you all have a happy/ holy day, or both, whichever you prefer!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Cool Regatta

This has been an odd week around here, but it's also been a great week for me to get things done. Many of the the things I normally do in a week got cancelled this week, so I had a little bonus time on my hands.  I did a lot!  Let's see. . .I wrote a couple of paper proposals for conferences, worked on learning the ins and outs of graphics software, did a bunch of laundry, and one more thing I can't remember.  Oh, yeah-- and I finished this happy little quilt!

This is one of the smaller versions of the Regatta quilt that I've been making to use up a solid jelly roll that had been hanging around here for far too long.  I'm making two, one in cool colors and one in warm colors.  Obviously this is the one in cool colors, but I had to throw in one red stripe, just because.  Don't worry, the warm one has a blue stripe, too, just because!

I made this quilt in quilt-as-you-go style, which made it very easy and very fast.  The only problem I had was the pinked edges on the jelly roll strips.  Those are a pain in the butt, aren't they?  That's one of the reasons why I don't buy these any more. I've actually started cutting the pinked edges off of the warm strips:

This makes them a little smaller (about 1/4 inch) which will make the warmer quilt a little bit smaller, but it will be a bit easier to construct.  One tip I have for the quilt-as-you-go process is to use a couple of dots from a glue stick on the edges of the strips to hold them still while you stitch the next strip on.  You'll still need pins, but fewer of them.

I like this little quilt and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, but I think it could use a little more quilting.  It's not going to come apart or anything, and it's very cuddly, but I think it might look better a little more densely quilted. For the next one I plan to stitch down the centers of the strips as well.  I think that should help a lot, at least to my eye.

This quilt finished up right at 40 by 50, which is exactly where I wanted it to be.  For the binding I used some more of the strips from the jelly roll.  I think that this means that I'll use up all but about two strips, which means that the jelly roll will be gone and almost all the parts will be in a quilt!  Yay!

This little quilt is destined to be donated to Sarah's Hands to Help drive a little later this year, along with its warmer-colored counterpart. I have a couple more ideas for donation quilts, too, but they're going to wait for just a bit.  I'm excited about the Monet's Wedding Ring quilt that I just started and another quilt I'll be starting this coming week.  That one is a free-pieced quilt, which I find quite relaxing.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I'm not sure what we're doing, but I'm hoping it involves something fun and some chocolate, too!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, crazymomquilts, and Finished or Not Friday.