Thursday, January 29, 2015

Purple Progress

If you've been following my blog you know that I'm determined to reduce my stash this year, and the first stash-buster is a purple project.   Starting out with 4.5" purple squares I made modified snowball blocks by stitching 1.5" ivory squares onto three of the corners and pressing them back.

I thought I had cut enough to make 120 squares for a total of 30 blocks, but I ended up with extra.  That happens to me quite often.  Either I don't know how to make hash marks while I'm cutting, or it's "the dreaded math" and I set out to cut the wrong number of pieces in the first place.  Either way, I just use the extra blocks on the back of the quilt and pretend that it's a design element.  

My original plan was to have bright yellow cornerstones.

Once I had the first row sewn together,  Hubby asked me if I didn't think green would look better, and guess what?  It did!  So, I ripped.

It still needs some yellow, though, so I think I will embroider centers into the flowers.  Or maybe find some cute yellow buttons to use there?  Hmmmmmm.

I had the quilt top finished last week so this week I focused on piecing the backing.  Ahhh, yes, time to use up some more of that stash!  I spent the past few days on it, but I wasn't really happy with the results.  

First of all, I completely forgot to put the extra two blocks in.  I most certainly did not want two leftover blocks.  That would make me feel like I have to use them, and by using them I mean turning them into another whole quilt!  So I ripped ..... again. 

I added the blocks, then ripped out that large ivory piece near the top and replaced it with a pieced strip.  NOW, I'm happy with it.  

Time for basting and quilting.  I should be able to get to that pretty quickly.  This is one project that will definitely not end up on the UFO list at the end of the year!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January Goal -- Done!

This is my first official finish of the year -- I completed a quilt that I started in 2011.  At the beginning of the year it was a flimsy.....

.....and now it is a quilt.

Some time ago I had set aside this great fabric for the backing.  It has all the colors from the front on it.  It's "Chasing Butterflies" by RJR Fabrics. 

I machine quilted it using a medium/large  stipple with yellow thread.

I know a lot of quilters hate binding, but it's my favorite part.  

The name of the pattern is Root Beer Float by Hyacinth Designs, but because of the colors I'm calling it "Blueberry Lemonade."  I am very happy with the way it turned out.  Not only did I accomplish my goal for this month, but I got to check a UFO off my list, and I have a charity quilt ready to donate.  This one is going to the St. Baldrick's fundraiser in St. Louis. 

I am linking up with the Finishes Party at A Lovely Year of Finishes.  

Saturday, January 24, 2015


This is my introduction for the "Grow Your Blog" 2015 Party. 

I grew up in a quilting household.  There was always a quilt in the frame in my house.  My mom's parents were both quilters.  My Gramma quilted with the church ladies at Zion Lutheran Church in St. Louis, MO regularly.  This is a photo taken of that group of ladies around 1960.   Gramma is second from the left.  

I don't have any photos of my Grampa actually quilting, but this is one of the quilts (in the Hearts and Gizzards pattern) which he hand-pieced and left for me to finish.  It was the first time I ever hand-quilted something.  I put it into my hope chest and used it for both of my babies.  They were boys, but the color didn't matter to me because it was so special to have it.

This is my mother with one of the baby quilts she was famous for making.  She made many quilts during her lifetime so this picture is special to me, as it is the only quilty picture I have of her.

And this is me!  I'm Sandy.   

I grew up in St. Louis with my seven siblings and lived there, with the exception of a few short years, my entire life until moving to Huntsville, AL to be closer to our grandchildren.  I home-schooled my two sons, Adam and Aaron from baby through high school and then continued being a stay-at-home mom.  I have been married to Hubby, Philip, for almost 40 years.  I am Gramma to Noah, Gavin, and Aidan and MIL to Brandy.  

Besides quilting and spending time with the grands I love to read, knit, and play around with photography.  

Quilting has become my real passion.  Every quilt I make is special, and I hope they bring joy to the people who receive them.  I wish I had time to make a quilt for every single family member and dear friend in my life.  And I often think about how proud of me my mother and my grand-parents would be, if only they could see the quilts I make and how much I enjoy making them.

A big "Thank You" to Vicki at 2 Bags Full for organizing the Grow Your Blog Party.  I hope you will check out her blog as well as some of the other bloggers participating.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Purple Stash

Sewing my stash is going to take some serious work.  In addition to working on finishing some UFO's this year, I need to start (and complete!) some new projects in order to use some of my stash.  So this week I pulled a project -- a purple project!  I took my purples.....

.....and cut some squares.

Then I found some really pretty ivory pieces left over from a quilt I made in 2008 as a wedding gift. 

I cut the ivory pieces into strips.

Then I cut up a bunch of little ivory squares to make blocks like this --

Hmmmm, now that I look closer, I can see that I need to rip this one apart and restitch it so that center looks better. 

Anyway, with some sashing and cornerstones, I think this will make a cute quilt.  I'll have to add some borders because, so far, this quilt is only using up about 3 yards of that stash.  See what I mean about this taking some serious work?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sew My Stash 2015

Not only is this going to be the year of finishing UFO's it is also going to be the year of using my stash.  I am joining the fun at Project: Leasa and planning to Sew My Stash this year.   (I think I need to start getting up earlier in the morning if I'm going to get all this sewing done.

First things first.  I have to show you my stash.  Gulp!  These are the cabinets in my sewing room in which I keep my stash.  Looks are deceiving, though, not every one of those cabinets has fabric in it.

I have quite a few batiks.

Actually, looks ARE deceiving.  There are two stacks on that shelf, the stack in the front and the stack in the back.

These are batiks too, just larger pieces.

The Black & Whites are normally in nice neat stacks but I have been digging through them lately, so they are just in a pile now.

I have an awful lot of novelty prints and brights.  Yes, stacks in front of stacks again.

Christmas prints and other holiday prints don't take up too much space.

Five shelves are organized by color and then there is a shelf for Asian prints, floral prints, and patriotic fabrics.

This shelf is just stacks and bundles I bought not knowing what I wanted to do with, so they just sit there ......... waiting.  I see a stack of backings I bought for baby quilts there, too.

This shelf is just ..... well ..... I'm not sure what.  Odds and ends, I guess.  There are some Loony Tunes fabrics, a few things I ordered from the Fat Quarter Shop and, Valentines fabric, super-hero stuff, and fabric from Uganda.  Yes, that's odds and ends, for sure.

These fabrics are sitting on my cutting table, pillowcase fabrics and solids.  I guess I ran out of space in the cabinets.

Now that I've taken all these photos, I realize I have a lot more stash than I thought.  Even if I pull a project once a month I won't make a dent in it. Maybe instead of getting up earlier I should figure out how to get by with no sleep at all.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Quilts for Savannah and Sahara

When I was in St. Louis last summer I made it a priority to stop by one of my favorite quilt shops, Janie Lou to buy something.   I chose this book by Camille Roskelley and some great fabrics (Storybook by Moda) for twin baby quilts.  We had twin great-nieces coming in October, and I wanted to be ready.

Even though the pattern has Flying Geese blocks, which I really hate making, it was a fun pattern with which to work.  These components.....

.....turned into this block.....

.....and the blocks turned into these quilts. 

Most of the time I hand-quilt baby quilts.  

This time I waited too long to get started, and I really didn't think about how much quilting there would be.  By the time I finished quilting them my fingers were really, really sore.  I will spare you that picture!

My sweet friend, Penny, made these beautiful embroidered labels for me.

I had trimmed the corners off the Flying Geese blocks.....

 I ended up with enough Half-Square Triangles to make a couple more baby quilts.  These are just the blocks from the peach quilt.  I also have the turquoise blocks to use.

Don't these precious babies look like they need to be covered up with some nice warm quilts?

I was so happy to have the opportunity to take the quilts to them in person.  SO much more fun than mailing them!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hoping for Another "Lovely Year of Finishes"

A new year, new motivation, new goals.  I didn't complete as many of my goals as I would have liked in 2014.  Sometimes it was because I set a way-too-complicated goal.  Sometimes it was just that life got in the way.  It is time to start again.  I am setting as my goal for January -- Finish this quilt. 

I started it in 2011 when a friend of mine had a 50th Birthday Party/Quilt Retreat.  She chose the pattern and I shopped in my stash.  (I can't convince Hubby that this means it didn't cost a penny!)

The pattern is called "Root Beer Float" by Hyacinth Quilt Designs.

The blocks were fun to make.

It didn't take all that long to put together.  I even made the binding ahead.

I really have no idea why this ended up in the UFO stack.  It just needs to be quilted and the binding put on.  So that is my goal for January.  

I am linking up with Fiber of All Sorts for the Lovely Year of Finishes January goal setting party.