Sunday, November 3, 2019

OMG for November

What on earth is the matter with Blogger these days? I have been having a devil of a time uploading photos. And they are still not forwarding all of my comments. If this keeps up, I may wind up switching to WordPress. Get it together, Blogger!

Here we are in another new month, and I have two more UFOs I want to cross off my list. The first one is a pattern from Maple Island Quilts called BQ2. I am calling mine Woodland Scenes... because that's what this flannel fabric looks like to me. This will wind up being a sofa quilt for camp.

The second one is the Missouri Two Step. This one is only a couple of years old but still time to get it off my plate.

To see what others would like to accomplish this month, click here.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

OMG for October Done

Woo hoo, made it under the wire again, and two more UFOs bite the dust! One is Yankee Puzzle #1, and I'm donating it to a local veterans' shelter.

The other one is Stella Blue. I think my friend Koleen did an excellent job choosing the colors and fabrics.

See in the upper left corner of the photo, how five of the flying geese blocks are flying the wrong way? I panicked momentarily, thinking I got them backwards; but I double checked the pattern, and it's correct.Not that it matters, I suppose.
I used a pantograph that was more dense than I usually use, but it is the sort of thing I think Koleen would have chosen had she quilted it herself. In the end I very much liked it.

There are some excellent finishes this month. See what others have accomplished here.

I'm aiming to finish two more quilts in November. The blocks for the Missouri Two Step are all put together, just need to add some borders. And I have a BQ2 quilt top finished and ready to quilt. 

I made this sewing gadget holder a week or so ago. The pattern was given to me by a friend, and unfortunately it wasn't attributed. I hunted for it on the internet but no luck. Anyway, it is nothing more than a quilted cover with pockets that slips over a freestanding acrylic 10" x 8" picture frame. Quick to sew and oh so handy. 
Not having made one before and not having a photo in front of me, I didn't realize that so little of the base fabric would show on the front. This is the back of the sleeve, and I really wanted to see more of this fabric on the front. Had I known, I would have used my focus fabric instead of the red for the bottom pocket. I have more of the selvage fabric, so maybe I'll gift this one and make another to keep. 
I also made a bunch of soap this month. Candy corn... 
Beehive soap, scented with honey...

And animal soaps for my granddaughter.
I like to admire my soaps, so I line them up across the windowsill in my kitchen, lol. DGD stayed with us a couple weekends ago, and she piled all the soap bars into her big teapot and played with them all weekend. Sometimes the simplest things are the most fun.

Friday, October 4, 2019

One Monthly Goal for October

I have two goals for the OMG Challenge this month--to finish the last of the Yankee Puzzle quilts, which has been sitting on the frame for weeks now....

.... and to finish the Stella Blue quilt. Stella Blue is a pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co, I believe, and the center part of the top was made by my quilting pal Koleen, who passed away a couple of summers ago. She also had the flying geese units for the border made, but I had to square them up and sew them into the borders. My 1/4" seam allowance is not the same as Koleen's was, so I had a devil of a time getting them to fit correctly.

It's a very pretty quilt, and I love the colors, so looking forward to finishing it.

To see goals others have set for themselves for the month of October, click HERE

I have some other projects in the works this month. The Missouri Two Steps blocks are finished and ready to be sewn into a top.

And because I am not one to shy away from creating more UFOs, lol, I started sewing this miniature flag quilt, a pattern by The Hope Chest. It requires the use of the Split Recs ruler from Studio 180. I don't think half rectangle blocks are particularly easy to do, so I am thrilled how easy these blocks are going together.

When I first starting seeing the demos for Studio 180 at quilt shows, I didn't pay much attention. Who needs more rulers, not to mention the expense? But I finally took a Hunter's Star class with a local instructor certified to teach the Studio 180 methods, and I was hooked. These rulers are based on the same concept that so many of us use for half square triangles--make it oversized and square it up. They work as advertised, and boy, do they save a lot of headaches. Quite a few of these rulers are for specific types of units that are a trial to make, so I now own most of their rulers. Money well spent. I am not affiliated with these people, just a happy convert.

Last but not least, two things came together for me this week. My quilt chapter is doing a Bucket List Challenge this year. How many times have we said, gee, I always wanted to make this quilt, hence the challenge.

I was originally going to do a Wheel of Mystery (also called Winding Ways), but I found a couple of the larger Twister rulers on a recent bus trip and bought them because I always wanted to make a Twister quilt. Coincidentally a gal in our chapter did a demo on Wednesday for the Twister block. So! I have a new grand-niece in the family, and I want to make this small baby quilt for her. It will measure about 40" square, depending on how wide a border I add.

It is cold here today, in the 40s. I hated to turn on my heat, but it got too chilly in the house. I'm hoping it will be warmer in the afternoons on Saturday and Sunday so I can get out and wash windows and screens to put away for the winter. I'd really rather be quilting, lol, but this needs to get done.

Monday, September 30, 2019

One Monthly Goal Done...

...done, just under the wire. The top of the Heat Wave quilt is done! It turned out that it wasn't that refreshing of a change, lol. This was one of the more challenging projects I've done because of all the points. There was a lot of sewing, ripping and re-sewing to get points where I wanted them, and it is still far from perfect. But it won't get better, so it was time to stop fiddling with it and get done.

No idea how or when it will get quilted; but after 25 years, it's a good feeling to have the top done.

Ready or not, fall has arrived in Maine, a bit early this year it seems. The temperatures are already dipping, and the leaves are changing color and falling. Even this tiny tree, barely an inch and a half tall, is starting to turn red. Summer is my least favorite season, but we had such a beautiful summer this year that I hate to see it come to an end.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

Star Crazy was my One Monthly Goal for August; and it is disheartening that, for a second month, I couldn't get this project finished. I sewed on the next two rounds of borders, and you can see how badly rippled the outer white border is. I should have measured the quilt top before I added the last green border, but I took it on faith that my quilt dimensions matched the directions for cutting that border. Wrong! And I know better!! 
There was no way that was going to quilt out, so I rrrrripped them back off. Put it in the corner and haven't touched it since. I'll continue to work on it, but my One Monthly Goal for the month of September will be a refreshing change. It's a pattern called Heat Wave by Karen Stone, copyright 1995, so it's an oldie but goodie.
I hand dyed a gradation of colors plus the background for this quilt, a long, loooong time ago. I spent much of my time at camp this summer working on paper piecing the blocks, and I finally finished all of the component parts. I did run out of the hand dyed yellow right at the very end, found another piece of it, and will finish up the last couple blocks. Then it's time to put it all together.
Paper plates work very well to organize all the parts. I took a class with Michelle Renee Hiatt last summer at the Maine Quilts show, and that was a suggestion from her. It works great, and I've been organizing my sewing that way ever since. You can stack 'em up and keep everything separate. Sometimes I write cutting instructions right on the plate. 

My One Monthly Goal for the month of September is to finish the top for the Heat Wave quilt.  It's doable.You can see what others are doing this month here.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

One Monthly Goal for August - Reboot

Up until yesterday I was no further along on the Star Crazy quilt, but I now have the top and bottom triangle borders finished. I tried to get this quilt finished in May, didn't happen. This month for my One Monthly Goal, I'm planning (again) to finish the top and get it quilted and bound. I really should be able to get this done!!

To see what goals others have set for themselves for the month of August, click here

NOT part of my monthly goal is to finish the Two Step blocks. I have 24 more blocks to make, but they're quick.
Also want to make a few of these border blocks for a pineapple quilt I've been working on for ages....

....and a few of these scrappy rectangles blocks, which I've also worked on for ages. This is one of a series of scrappy one-patch quilts that I'd like to make. My Strip Tease quilts that I've made in the past also fit that criteria, all 45-degree diamonds.

For years now I've been cutting up my scraps into sizes and strips that I commonly use, and I have a big pile of these rectangles. These are cut 2" x 3-1/2". Never occurred to me until yesterday that these are perfect for leaders and enders. I can make a big pile of twosies, then sew them up into a block. They finish to 9", and I only have 20 put together so far, so I have a ways to go.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

OMG for July Done

Yikes, I almost forgot to post my OMG finish for July. I actually finished this quilt, In Honor Of, my seventh Quilt of Valor, a week or so ago; but I was ramping up for Maine Quilts, so no time to write a blog post.

To see what others have finished for the month of July, click here

This quilt by Diane Tomlinson appeared in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine, Jan/Feb 13. The original quilt was made with Stonehenge fabrics, and I liked it so much that I bought enough to make two quilts--one to donate and one to keep.The Maine state coordinator for QOVF had a booth at Maine Quilts, so my quilt is already gone.

This one was quilted with a pantograph called Patriot, which is my standby for the quilts of valor. I haven't had much luck finding pantographs to use for these quilts that work for me, but I did come across a new one the other day with stars and crescents that I liked. Soon as I remember where I bookmarked it, I'll buy it!

I finished another top the other day, a very simple pattern called BQ2 from Maple Island Quilts. Now it's in the RTQ queue, behind the last Yankee Puzzle. Just one more.

Today I am working on these blocks from Missouri Star Quilt Co's tutorial called Two Step. I love their tutes and their BLOCK books. One of these days, I'd like to make their line up of "disappearing" quilts. Their newest one is a disappearing crazy eight block, I think, and it looks very interesting.

My summer cactus is finally blooming again. And in the summer! The flowers look almost like a double blossom, very different from the Christmas cactus--which never blooms at Christmas.

The bugs up at the lake have been horrible this summer. They adore me, so yesterday I made a 3-pound batch of Summer Soap scented with Juniper Sage fragrance oil. It's a plain white bar so nothing to see really. One field researcher swears it's the best thing to repel mosquitoes and other bugs. There should still be plenty of bugs around by the end of August when it's cured, so we'll see how well it works then.