Thursday, May 2, 2019

One Monthly Goal for May

Isn't spring supposed to be here? It is still in the 40s this morning, and it's raining and miserable. Last time I drove up to Jackman for quilt retreat, it was raining and miserable. Jackman is in the mountains; and the last 20 minutes of the drive, the rain changed over to snow. It got downright scary. There is no snow in the weekend forecast, thankfully.

My One Monthly Goal for May is to finish this quilt. The pattern is called Star Crazy by Sue Garman, and it was a featured block of the month four or more years ago on Alex Anderson's online Quilt Show. There are seven more borders that must be sewn on, two of them pieced. The pieced units are finished, so that'll help speed things along.

There are some gorgeous quilts folks plan to work on this month, including one with Converse sneakers, lol. To see what goals others have set for themselves for the month of May, click here.

I'd still like to get those other three quilts from last month finished but better to not bite off more than I can chew, lol.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

April OMG Done!

My goal for April was to finish Yankee Puzzle #3, and I just finished mere minutes ago. Whew! I knew it was nuts to hope I could get three more quilts finished and bound; but without the push from OMG, I'm sure I wouldn't have finished this one either.

To see what goals others have accomplished this month, click here

I quilted it with a pantograph called Spilled Ink, and it was harder than I anticipated to stay on the lines when I quilted it. So it's, lol. But, as the Dear Janers used to say, finished is better than perfect.

It's been such a busy month. My granddaughter stayed with us for nearly two weeks while her mum and dad were traveling out of state. Mini is a toddler, so she was all over the place, running up and down the length of the house playing. No chance of getting any sewing done while she was awake, and I was just too darn tired after she went to bed in the evenings.

There was clean up after she went back home, which was just last Wednesday; then a Saturday meeting, and moving one of my sons to a new location on Sunday. Truthfully, I'm amazed I managed to get this quilt finished.

I am leaving for a quilt retreat on Thursday for four days, and I am so looking forward to it. I plan to work on a few projects that I want to work on, not those I should be working on--all paper pieced, two scrappy, one planned. I won't finish any of them, but it'll be fun.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

One Monthly Goal for April

I started the last of the three Yankee Puzzle quilts for my quilt chapter's charity project this year, and my goal this month is to finish the quilt in its entirety. I am having a house guest for a couple of weeks in the middle of the month, so I hope it's not an overly ambitious goal. To see what goals others have set for themselves for the month of April or to sign up, click here.

These are 24-block quilts, and I have just the 6 blocks made so far, so 18 to finish up plus a little 4" border will bring it up to the size I need. The blocks finish to 13-1/2", so they'll go quickly as long as I make the time to sit down and do it. 
Yankee Puzzle #2 is on the frame waiting for quilting....

...and Yankee Puzzle #1 is still waiting for a backing.

On top of all that, I'd also like to get my QOV quilted and bound. Four quilts finished and out the door this month would be lovely. I think this might be the last of my charity projects for several months, until I get more of my own projects done.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Last Finish for March

I've been sick with a very bad cold for a week now; but before that, I finished quilting and binding my Ombre Herringbone for NICU, an ongoing charity project for my quilt chapter. The diamonds are strip pieced in the same manner as the Strip Tease quilt I made a long time ago. I actually finished another one of these Strip Tease quilts last year, but I've been wanting to try some variations. This Ombre Herringbone was one of them. I changed the angle of the diamond so that I could chop it in half evenly where the colors changed. 

I used a gradation of four fabrics I hand dyed years ago to make the quilt. During the piecing process, I had to wash a couple of pieces that were already sewn together, and the blue bled. I worried about whether or not the blues would bleed when the quilt was washed; so I washed it in Synthrapol, which is supposed to suspend any excess dye in the wash water. The white pieces on the front came out perfectly white, every one of them; but my flannel backing, which was originally white with blue frogs, is now blue with blue frogs. A backing dyed to match. Couldn't have worked out better if I'd planned it that way, lol. Just wish I knew why that happened.

Adult bibs for Alzheimer's patients and for use in local assisted living facilities was another project my quilt chapter worked on last month. These are pretty simple to make, and I finished four more of them right before I got sick. 
I also managed to get a couple batches of melt and pour soap made this week before my energy was totally sapped.  Dinosaurs for the little girl who likes dinosaurs....
 ....and succulents. Making soap is just plain fun.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Finish and OMG Done

We headed south last weekend to see Mini (what her mama has been calling my little granddaughter, as in Mini Me from an old Austin Powers movie, lol) and also to finish the puff quilt ... and it is finished, whew! I swear it was harder getting the backing on than anything else in the quilt. I cut it smaller than the top, because it, well, puffs; so I was afraid the backing would stick out around the edges.  In cutting it smaller, I wound up having to create another pleat in the puffs around the edges to ease in the extra fullness. Never again!!

Today should have been a paperwork day, but it's turned into a sew day, which is way more fun. Just checked off my One Monthly Goal, which was to finish the top of my In Honor Of (credits here). Yay, I like it so much!

This has been sitting around for a couple years at least. Fulfilling a goal set by me that doesn't necessarily have to be an entire quilt every month is so doable. I think this will work out just fine as long as I don't get too ambitious.

It also happens to be UFO Challenge #9 on my chapter list, so now I need to get it quilted!

Update: to see what others have finished for the month of March, click here.

Next up, quilt the Ombre Herringbone, which is waiting on the frame. And...

... another Yankee Puzzle I started in our chapter workshop a week and a half ago. Haven't got the first one quilted yet, but I'll get there. Still working on sewing the blocks. All of my fish MUST be swimming in the same direction, so I am trying to keep the black away from the border strip so there will be enough contrast. It's getting complicated, lol.
My quilt chapter is also doing a round robin this year, which they've called the Pizza Box Challenge. Guess why. I'm not a designer--I'm a need-a-recipe-give-me-a-pattern-any-day girl; so I'm asking myself why I signed up. That said, I finished round 1, and I'm happy with it. I kept it simple, no need to make myself nuts. The reveal isn't until June, so I can't show you a thing!

This is the center block I made for my challenge. I love scrappy, so I ran with it and included bunches of fall fabrics in my box. Of course it'll be interesting to see what comes home.

Friday, March 8, 2019

March Finish -- Prehistoric

I know that spring is right around the corner because the daffodils tell me so. But you wouldn't know it by the temperature--it was 10 degrees when I got up this morning. They're difficult to see in the photo, but there are two daffodils that have popped up, about 5" tall now, snow be damned.

The other reason I know that spring is coming is because my Christmas cactus--which NEVER blooms at Christmas--is bearing some new buds and blossoms.

It's actually a Thanksgiving-spring cactus because that's when it blooms. Last year at Thanksgiving, it had more blossoms than it's ever had. The real spring Christmas cactus, called a summer cactus according to the tag, actually does bloom in the summer. But only once in about 4 years, hahaha. 

I got another row finished on the In Honor Of QOV this week, but the push was to finish the dinosaur quilt for my granddaughter for presentation this weekend. Although I bought the rest of that cool border stripe that was on the bolt, it still wasn't quite enough for the pattern I intended to make, so I elimated the additional piecing, added the three borders and called it good. Just as well, because it's bigger than I anticipated, which is fine. 

I wound up having to piece the side borders, which was interesting, and definitely a make-it-work moment. I managed to match the motifs perfectly, and most of it got chopped off in the corner miters, lol. 

And for her new toddler-sized pillow, a pair of pillowcases to go with the quilt. 

It took me three days, working most of the day and into the evening, to start and finish the entire quilt, plus the two pillowcases. I think I am a new fan of panels.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Another February Finish

First and foremost, I apologize if someone has posted a comment to my blog and I haven't responded. Blogger is still not forwarding comments to my email address. I have tried to fix it several times without any luck. I shall keep trying.

B-Ribboned, from a kit by Carla Klop of Kits by Carla, is finally quilted, bound, labeled, and ready for presentation. Done. The Maine state coordinator for Quilts of Valor had a booth at our chapter quilt show in October last year, and she gave me the kit to make, along with several more panels. A few of our chapter members took panels to work on also, so I'll have a few more quilts to pass on to Donna.
I love kits, and this one was nice because it included fabric for the backing and binding as well. I have to say that the ribbon border was a bit of a chore but well worth the effort. I quilted it with a pantograph called Patriot. It's the one I use most often for my Quilts of Valor, mostly because I haven't yet found another that I like.

This is another QOV I've been working on for awhile, and I'm anxious to get this one finished up too. It's called In Honor Of, from a pattern I found in the Jan 2013 issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting by Diane Tomlinson. They run a pattern for a QOV in every issue, which is one of the reasons I continue to subscribe to the magazine.

This quilt is made with Stonehenge fabrics by Linda Ludovico. I like these fabrics and this pattern so much that I bought enough to make two, one to donate and one to keep.

Recently I found a dinosaur panel at Marden's, and I was surprised to see it's also made by Stonehenge. Last week I found some of the companion fabrics from the same collection at Cotton Cupboard in Bangor, enough to make a small lap quilt for my granddaughter. She's into dinosaurs these days, so I want to hurry up and get this made before she goes out of her dinosaur phase, lol.

I guess most quilters probably have plenty of UFOs, and I have dozens. I am a sucker for an inviting new project whenever it comes along, which means whatever is current is most likely abandoned. Several years back I found the One Project a Month program and signed up. In the right sidebar is a link to that website, and my list of monthly finishes follows. For me, it hasn't been entirely successful, even though I did manage to finish 12 quilts last year; but it's still motivational enough for me to keep at it.

This past week I discovered a website called Elm Street Quilts. They have a similar program in place called One Monthly Goal, and they have sponsors and monthly drawings for prizes. What's not to love? So I signed up, and I'll give that a try too. More motivation. There is a new icon in my sidebar that will take you to the page with information about the challenge.

In keeping with the rules of the challenge, my One Monthly Goal for March is to finish the top of In Honor Of. If I persevere, I might even get it finished. You can visit the Goals folks have submitted for March here. If you're interested, you can sign up too, but hurry if you plan to do it--the deadline for sign up for the month of March is the 7th.

Lol, I need all the motivation I can get--some of us need it more than others. My quilt chapter is also doing a UFO Challenge this membership year. For those who wanted to participate, we were to choose 10 projects to complete before our second meeting in June. Those who finish all 10 would have their names submitted for a prize drawing. So far I've finished one, so I doubt very much if I'll pull it off. But even if I only get 2 or 3 done, that's still more than I might have got done otherwise. My list of 10 UFOs for the challenge has also been added to the sidebar.