Friday, January 21, 2022

"Long Time Gone"

My January OMG (One Monthly Goal) is to finish putting together my Jen Kingwell quilt top.  I thought I should share the background on that so you can celebrate with me when I finish.  

Last February, almost a year ago now, my quilty friend Denise suggested we do a Jen Kingwell sew-along, and she chose the "Long Time Gone" pattern.  It isn't the style quilt I usually make, but I was onboard.  

It has a lot of little tiny pieces.  Like 1" x 1.5" strips for the Courthouse Steps blocks .....  

..... and 3" x 1.5" Flying Geese units .....

..... and 1.5" Half-Square-Triangles.

Every block has lots and lots of pieces!

Except for the Bow Tie block for some reason.  

I felt like it stood out, so I swapped that block of four 6" Bow Ties to my own block of sixteen 3" Bow Ties.  I must have been in a baby block mood!

Another change I made was to replace the 60-degree triangle blocks called for .....


..... with itty bitty Square-in-a-Square blocks and teeny weeny Economy blocks.   I must confess that it was only because no matter how hard I tried I could not make a 60-degree triangle block.  

I made some ridiculously small Pineapple Log Cabin blocks, too!

Putting those together accurately was fun.  It took a lot of pinning!

The construction of the top was easier than I thought it might be.  Blocks were put together into six sections.   Here they are all ready and waiting to be put together into a top.  Look at those tiny Monkey Wrench blocks!

It's pretty close to being finished.  Now it needs borders.  I may just make that One Monthly Goal!

Linking up with Oh Scrap!

Monday, January 17, 2022

Show and Tell - Fall Swap Blocks

One of my Covid isolation finishes was completing a block swap quilt.  I had participated in the swap with a group of online friends a few years ago, 2018 to be exact, and needed to get this off the UFO list.  The guidelines for this swap were to make a 10" block with fall colors and use Kona Bone for the background.  We each made fifteen blocks, kept one, and mailed the rest out to the other participants.  I was really happy with the blocks I received.  Swaps can be a little risky, but that's half the fun!  [photo credit Krystal Kane]

I made the block in the upper left corner.  I wanted to make sunflower blocks, but all the sunflower block patterns I could find online were pretty complicated, and since I had to make fifteen of them, I decided to call this a sunflower.  

Coming up with an arrangement I was happy with (and that didn't look like a traditional sampler quilt) was another opportunity to play!  Once I had all the blocks up on the design wall I started filling in the spaces with pinwheels, flying geese, and more.  Playing always creates a huge mess.  At least it does in my sewing room!

I played with the quilting too.  I mostly use a meander on my quilts, because I'm not very good with Free Motion Quilting so I had fun trying my hand at different designs.  Mostly just squiggly stuff.  It works, and I don't have to sew straight lines!

I tried my hand at designing my own block since I had to make an extra to round out the group.  I just cut out pieces and kept rearranging them until I had this.  You can see where I had to do some odd piecing by adding rectangles to make things fit.  Maybe not the best way to go about it, but I really like it.

It was fun.  I should do that more often! 

I really enjoyed making this quilt.  

And I decided to keep it.  It's mine!  What a concept, right?

Monday, January 10, 2022

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Red for January

The first time I participated in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge was also my last time, and I didn't do great.  Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it.  I made it my goal to make a donation baby quilt each month, and I did make three.  That's not too shabby, but I was disappointed that I didn't do more.  For 2022 I'm taking a little more reasonable approach and just making blocks in the color of the month to use in projects towards the end of the year.

Angela at "So Scrappy" announced that the RSC2022 color for January is RED!  I'll be making two blocks each month, a Sawtooth Star block with a cute Paddington Bear background and a Windmill Block with a blue on white dotted fabric for the background.  I don't know how far I'll get with those stars since I don't have much of the Paddington Bear fabric.  I guess that's kind of the point of using up your stash though.

I looked through my scrap bins and found some 2.5" x 4.5" bricks and decided I should work through those this year, too.  

There were 60 red bricks.  I cut some 2.5" squares from a background fabric and sewed them together end to end.  I have no idea what I will do with these, but I'm sure I'll come up with something.  I do not need to add any more UFOs to my list! 

This is the entirety of my red stash and scraps.  

I think I see some trips to my Local Quilt Shops in the near future!

Linking up with So Scrappy RSC2022

Friday, January 7, 2022

Improv Quilts for Steve and Ginger

I've been blogging recently about the quilts I managed to finish during the last nearly two years while isolating because of the Covid pandemic.  I was in a funk for about the first six months of isolation and not sewing at all, but then I started making up for lost time.  Now I'm playing catch-up on my blog.  

After I made the quilt for Shirley A using orphan blocks (read about that here) I had a few teal crumb blocks left and set them aside to do something else with. 

I shopped my stash and found these 2.5" strips left from Kacie's quilt (read about that here).

Then I raided my stash again and dug through my scraps and pulled more teals.

Then - you guessed it - play time!  Scrappy quilts need scrappy borders .....

..... and scrappy cornerstones .....

..... and a happy finish.


Once I decided that this would be the perfect quilt for my sister-in-law, Ginger, I wanted to make a similar quilt for my brother-in-law, Steve.  Oh, boy!  More play time!  I'm starting to like this whole improv thing!  

Steve's quilt started out with orphan blocks, too.  I used mostly batiks to make more crumb blocks .....

..... added bits and pieces of a fun shade of yellow .....

..... started playing .....

..... and, you guessed it!  Another happy finish!  

My favorite part of making these quilts was gifting them to two very special people.  I wish I could have done that in person, but the photo they sent me is the next best thing.

Love those smiles!

Linking up with "Oh Scrap!"

Monday, January 3, 2022

2022 Goals

After almost a year of Covid isolation, and then another year of being hesitant to get back out into the world, I think I'm just going to keep hanging out at home and get some serious sewing done.  I'm already used to being inside, I might as well get something done.  I must have been in a good mood and feeling energetic the other day when I wrote down my goals for 2022, because it ended up being quite a list!  In addition to my "regular" goals, I have twelve quilty goals.  Everything from "sewing every day" to "stash-busting" with a lot of other quilt projects for good measure.  

No peeking though!


In addition to my goals I plan to participate in several sew-alongs.  The monthly "Whoop Whoop!" link-up at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework, the Rainbow Scrap Challenge at So Scrappy, and the "One Monthly Goal" link-up at Elm Creek Quilts are things I want to participate in this year.  That's a lot, right?  I'm feeling good about it, though.

My "One Monthly Goal" for January is to assemble my Jen Kingwell "Long Time Gone" quilt top.  I haven't even told you about that one!  All the blocks are made, but there are a lot of them.  Now that I look at it I already see a block I want to make some changes to first.  Here's a preview -

Looking back at what I just shared with you I think I need to quit typing and get into my sewing room for a while.  As far as those goals are concerned, I'll keep you posted!

Linking up with "One Monthly Goal"

Friday, December 31, 2021

Shirley A's Quilt - "Just Breathe"

At some point during the pandemic isolation (it's all kind of a blur to be honest) my online group of quilty friends decided to have an "Orphan Block" Challenge.  The challenge was to take all those blocks left over from other projects, unused sample blocks, or maybe blocks made to learn a new technique, basically sad and lonely blocks in need of a home, and put them all into one project.  And believe me, it really was a challenge.

First, every single one of my orphan blocks went up on the design wall.  

Then, play time!  Making something out of this was a lot more of a challenge than I thought it would be.  I took some of the blocks, cut and stitched them to combine them with others to make new blocks, and some of the blocks I cut into smaller pieces.  It took a while to go from the above to this .....

..... and after deciding to fill in empty spots with checkerboard sashings, to this.....

And then it went to this.

I didn't want to end up with any "orphaned" orphan blocks, so I put most of what was left on the back.

I free-motion quilted this, and not without excitement.  I have a habit (a bad one) of getting my fingers a little too close to the needle while I'm sewing, but at least this time it was just my free-motion quilting glove that got caught and not my finger!  Whew!

Just a closeup.

One really special block went onto the back.  My grandson, Gavin, made this block when he was just a little guy and had decided, for about five minutes, that he wanted to learn how to sew.  I blogged about that here.

I am very pleased with how this turned out.

I named this quilt "Just Breathe" and gifted it to my precious friend, Shirley A, who was going through a very hard time.  She loves it.

I ended up with only these teal orphan blocks left .....

..... but I already had a plan for those!

Linking up with Can I Get A Whoop Whoop!