Thursday, March 15, 2018

Blue Tom and Jerry Quilt

My Scrap Attack goal for March is to make something from the Tom and Jerry fabric I have had stashed away for almost 10 years.  It wasn't just fabric that was stashed away, though.  I had actually cut out two pairs of pajamas from it for my grands.  Then I stashed it away!  This week I pulled out the blue fabric to decide what to make.  The cut pieces plus the leftovers added up to plenty, so there's enough for a toddler quilt.

I decided on a simple "Over and Under" pattern with white for the sashing. 

Strip piecing made for simple sewing, and the blocks went together fast.

It didn't take long to get the rows put together.

Getting all the rows into a top didn't take long either.

It needs a plain white border, right?  That's the easy part, right?  Hah!  I think I spent more time on the border than I did on making all the blocks and putting the whole thing together.

I didn't want any seams in the borders, but a width-of-fabric strip wasn't long enough.  (Or I messed up.)  I decided to just put squares in the corners.  It didn't work.  (Or I messed up again.)  Then I decided to put a filler piece on each side.  I cut them wrong.  (Yes, that means I messed up yet again.)

Every quilter knows to walk away when things are going this way, right?   The time to take a break is actually when things first start going this way.  I kept working and finally finished, but I am definitely not happy with the results. Maybe if I put enough quilting in the borders it will look better.  Right?

Finding the perfect backing fabric in my stash saved the day, so tomorrow will be basting day.  Then quilting.  Then done.  

After all the fussing I really do like this quilt.  It will end up going to the 2018 Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt Challenge.  If you're a quilter you should definitely think about joining the challenge.  This year they've chosen three charities to support with quilts - Little Lambs Foundation for Kids, Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo, and Victoria's Quilts Canada.  Little Lambs is the perfect place for Tom and Jerry for sure.  I'll have it ready to mail before you know it!

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Can I get a Whoop Whoop?


Monday, March 12, 2018

T-Shirt Quilt Update

The farther along I get on this T-Shirt quilt the more I want to work on it.  I spent the entire day in my sewing room last Friday getting this far, and boy did I have fun!  (And, boy did Hubby like coming home to a happy wife!)

The first three columns are put together, and I am loving it.

I haven't been taking enough photos along the way.  I must be "in the zone" when I'm working on it.  So, I just took some close-ups instead.  Josh has some pretty cool shirts.   

And then, right up there in importance with the Grandma Hawaiian shirts is the "Grandpa" Illinois Wesleyan University sweatshirt!

I have two more columns to put together, and they are partially constructed already.   

 I'm "this close" to finishing.  Woot!  Woot!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Throwback Thursday - Tropical Jazz & Tropical Sunrise

In 1999 I took a Stack and Whack class taught by a member of The Flower Valley Quilt Guild.  We used Bethany Reynolds' book "Magic Stack-N-Whack Quilts".  The fabric I used was a beautiful (and bright) floral, tropical print. I was intrigued with the technique and absolutely loved the blocks resulting from my fabric choice. 

I didn't take a lot of photos of my work then, but I think you can see the variety in my hexagons in this closeup. 

I let it live in my sewing room for a while as a UFO.   A long while.  I didn't want to make any more blocks so I added borders to make it bigger (68" by 98"), hand quilted it (heavily!), finished it in 2004, and called it "Tropical Jazz".  I really love this quilt.  So does my sister.  She called it "Barb's quilt" from the minute she saw it..   


"Tropical Jazz" was juried into The Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza in 2006, and since my BFF lives near Phillie she got to see it on display and even sent me photos!

In 2007 I entered it in the Circle in the Square Quilt Guild's exhibit "Quintessential Quilt", and it won 2nd place in their Large Quilts-Innovative category.

Because it was going onto the guest bed it needed a companion quilt to hang over it on the wall.  I made a center block for a Round Robin .....

..... sent it off, and the rest was added by quilty friends so that it finished at 55" by 55".  I hand quilted it, named it "Tropical Sunset", and put it on the wall.  You may have seen it in this blog entry about Round Robins.   (Barb decided this was her quilt, too!)  

By 2011 I was just a little tired of Barb calling these her quilts every time she was at my house.  I decided she was right and gave them to her.  Not really.  I decided because I love her I wanted her to have them.   To say she was surprised is an understatement.

Well, I guess I had more photos than I thought I did!  I hope I didn't overwhelm you, or worse, bore you with them all.  If I did don't tell me.  I had fun reliving it!



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

6 & 6 Report for February

I haven't been doing great on my 2018 goals so far.  Maybe I set too many?  Hmmmm, I don't think so.  There have been years when I completed between fifteen and twenty quilts, so the goals aren't unreasonable.  I just need to get focused.  And centered.  And concentrate.  And stop cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry!  

I finally finished my 6 & 6 in 2018 goal for January.  I'm really happy with the Zen Chic quilt even if it did take a while to finish.  What can I say?  It is a finish, and that's always a good thing!

It's 40" by 49" so it's a great baby quilt that can become a toddler quilt.  It's the first quilt I've made specifically to put back for great-grand/great-niece or nephew babies.  The first of many, I hope.

I hand quilted this one and enjoyed it.  There's nothing more relaxing than sitting in my rocker and stitching.  

The idea behind 6 & 6 in 2018 is to make six new projects and finish six old projects or UFOs.  Now that my January goal is met, and my February goal (the T-Shirt quilt) is progressing, it's time to choose a new project for March. That will be another "Put Back for the Grands" quilt.  I don't have a clue what it will be, but I need to decide quickly.  

In the meantime, here are a few more shots of Zen Chic!

I'm linking up with Meredithe at pomegranate and chintz.  Then I'm going to go sew.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Hawaiian Shirts and a Stash Report

Josh's box of T-shirts had two Hawaiian shirts his grandmother had made for him, and I really wanted to use them in his quilt because they're pretty special.  Originally, I wanted to figure out a way to use the actual shirt fronts, but it just wasn't going to work without taking up too much space.   I didn't have any room to spare because I was already using 25 shirts, and for 10 of those I need to use both the fronts and the backs.  

Thinking it would be easier to use the fabric from the shirts to make Hawaiian shirt quilt blocks instead, and knowing that I had seen a quilt like that somewhere, I began the search.   It turns out Moda has a free pattern that looks pretty simple and fairly straightforward. Well, it's not.  I did more ripping out than I did sewing. (Wait.  That can't be right.  I wouldn't have any finished blocks, would I?)  The first block took three hours to make! The second one took only two hours.  And, by the time I realized the trouble was entirely my fault and figured out that I needed to read the pattern more carefully, the third block really was "pretty simple and fairly straightforward".  

Isn't the 3-D collar cute?

The love bugs and peace signs are pretty groovy, too.

His favorite Gramma-made shirt wasn't there, but for some reason there was a piece of leftover fabric. I remember that shirt so well.  I have at least two photos of Josh wearing it.  I absolutely had to work it in somehow.  

At first, I was thinking that I would only be able to use it to make a label. When I pulled it out to have a look I realized there was more fabric than I had originally thought, enough for an entire shirt block.  I wanted to use a medium to dark grey for the background, but I didn't have any at all in my stash.  Aha!  The old "use-the-wrong-side-of-the-fabric" trick worked!

And it looks great!

I've arranged and rearranged (and rearranged some more), and have the final, final layout on my design wall.

It's time to start getting it sewn together.  Can't wait!

It's also time for my February stash report. It's not as bad as I thought it would be considering what kind of month it was!

Fabric Added in February  -   1 yard
Fabric Used in February  -   9.45 yards 
Fabric Added Year to Date  -  4 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date  -   23.56 yards

Net Fabric Used in 2018  -  19.23 yards 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Scrap Attack 2018 - February Report

February did not go anything like I thought (or hoped) it would.  Between having the flu for 8 days, recovering for several days, and playing catch-up with cleaning and laundry, I didn't get into my sewing room much at all.

My February Scrap Attack goal was to cut up my green stash into useable pieces.  This was a much bigger goal than I had set last month which was to cut up the blue stash, and I didn't have a lot of time to do it.  This is what it looked like before.

As with my blue stash a lot of the pieces actually looked like this .....

..... so they definitely needed some attention.  Not loving attention.  I didn't really have time for that.  Just your every day run of the mill attention.  It seems like cutting was all I did last month.  You can see in the first photo a lot of the fabrics in the back row were really those between-green-and-blue shades .  When there were only a few days left in the month I tried to convince myself I didn't need to bother with them because they weren't really greens.  I couldn't do it, though.  I had to do what I had to do.

These are the squares, strips, and bricks I ended up with.

This is what is left of my green stash.  (And those between-green-and-blue shades.)

At one point I had actually become so tired of cutting that I pulled out a few greens and made some pillowcases.  No. That is not cheating.  That is stash-busting.

It's time to pull a slip from my handy dandy Christmas gift bag of goals. I'm really hesitant.  The last two were not fun, and I don't know if I can handle cutting up any more scraps. Okay.  Here goes.

Whew!  I am so relieved.  I get to make something out of the Tom and Jerry scraps.  My grandsons used to love watching Tom and Jerry cartoons.   I think the DVDs we bought were just about worn out when they outgrew them. I had bought Tom and Jerry fabric to make pajamas for them, and even cut them out as you can see, but I never got around to making them.  It looks like maybe they were about 1 year old and 6 years old at the time.  Maybe 2 and 7.  So, they outgrew the PJs as well as the DVDs.   (I hate to admit this, but they are 12 and 17 now.)

I should be able to make a baby quilt or two from this.  Hopefully, this month will go a little more smoothly.   Fingers crossed!