Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Summary

I haven't been writing, but I HAVE been quilting!  I hate to shop, but the spring sales have been rampant here and I needed a few things for my prospective travels, so out I went.  Got a new dress (none of the ones I haven't worn in ten years fit, but I need just ONE dress), a few new tops, a pair of shorts, and a new jacket/sweater.  That's a lot for me to get at one time.  If it all works out right, I won't have to shop again for five years - lol !!

I've been toying with the KonMari method for how to organize and streamline your wardrobe, but did not really embrace the concept, and then I found Project 33.  This worked much better for me.  With this method, you look out towards the next three months, so I'll be doing this again in the fall for the winter side of my clothes.

I now have a simplified "pocket wardrobe" in just a few colors.  I have taken three bags of old, tacky, don't fit or just don't like clothes out of my closet.  Some were trashed, some went into the rag bag and some got donated.  The closet looks much better and I found out that I actually had a style that I like!  Who knew I had a style?  I usually purchase in a time crunch to go to something special and buy whatever is there, even if I don't like it that much.  This time I went with a purpose in mind just to fill in a few things and with particular colors selected.  If I didn't find those, I didn't buy it.  My closet looks much better since I was ruthless in removing items!

But back on the quilty-front - just a sneak peek until I get these all finished.  These two are quilted:

I can't remember the second quilting design name, but one is called Mod Hearts:

And this is ironed and ready to go on the frame:

Then I'll have to stop temporarily with the kids' quilts and quilt one for my Quilts of Valor meeting on Friday, but progress is being made.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

QBB FQ Challenge

Quilts Beyond Borders has a booth at the Houston Quilt Show each year and gives fat quarters to quilters as a Challenge to add their own fabrics and return a finished quilt as a donation to the group.  Those that return their quilts are eligible to enter a drawing to win prizes!

This is my finished FQ Challenge quilt and detail of the quilting:

The fern-like fabric was the original FQ fabric and I added the various green and blue frames and the alternating squares with the froggie fabric.  Since I quilted it with my new panto called Route 66 that is wavy, I call it Ripples in the Frog Pond.

It would have been mailed out today, but I was able to stop myself from going to the Post Office on Tax Return day.  I have a penchant for going to the P.O. when normal people are trying to get their tax returns postmarked at the last minute ... not this year!  I'll go tomorrow...

Friday, April 14, 2017

On the Frame Friday

I have been quilting a little this week. But not much.  I hurt my back at the gym and have been resting on a heating pad a lot.   You know they say that fresh air and exercise will kill you - lol - but I'm doing much better now.  The Quilts Beyond Borders Fat Quarter Challenge quilt is what’s on the frame today:


I have a new panto called Route 66 that appears to be very versatile – It can resemble chicken wire, ocean waves, sound waves, lace, etc.  I might just take my time and play with this one a little just for practice on how to do mirror imaging and reverse paths on my computerized system.

On my way to the dreaded dentist, I saw a plane skywriting – haven’t seen that for a while, since I never go to the beach where they often are.  This guy wasn’t very good since I never could read what he was writing!

Our friendly neighborhood cormorant was drying his wings as my dog and I walked by today.  The dog is walking much better and her limp is almost gone.  We go back to the vet for her re-check on Monday.


And some more backing fabric came in this past week:

Still stocking up for the deluge of tops expected after our Quilt Retreat in June!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Check Out the Multi-Color!!

Speaking of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge, I picked out my multi-color scraps for more elephants last weekend (see this post), and finally started making them last night.  I’m lovin’ the newest additions to the herd!

Only two are done, since I am undecided about the third fabric.  But I’m pretty sure I want to go ahead and work with the directional rainbow fabric, so watch for that elephant soon!


This is the quilting design I picked for the giant Project Linus chevron top that I have mentioned:
It was a panto called Cool Beans and it stitched out beautifully – nice easy curves.  It’s finally finished and already returned to the Project Linus local group – whew!
I must repeat that it’s such a joy to return to smaller kid’s quilts … this one was 63 x 65 and seemed huge!

And in news of the weird, my poor dog has been in the cone-of-shame this week:


Although the vet really couldn’t pin down the origin, she somehow got an infection in her paw at the nailbed of one toe.  I suspect that she either got cut when they tried to trim the dark toenail or when trimming the fur between her paw pads, or she cut herself on the sharp acorn tops due to the bazillion of acorns we have had this year.  I’m not kidding about those acorns – they have been so abundant that it’s been hard for her to walk on the grass – it’s been like walking on gravel around our pond and you can’t avoid the oak trees that drop the acorns around here.

Anyway, after paying the ransom for antiseptic wipes, oral antibiotics and an antibiotic ointment, she is doing much better.  She only limps now when she has to go on the grass and then it’s much less than it was.  She doesn’t limp anymore when walking on the sidewalk, so the cone might come off tomorrow.  She will be so happy!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Auditioning for Multi-Color Madness

You may remember that I am sewing along with ScrapHappy’s Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The colors have been Purple, Aqua, and Red for the first three months and the April color is Multi-Color!

This month will require me to undertake me a little auditioning from the old fabric stash.  Some of my previously made elephants have had a few extra colors, like this one:

But the background fabric makes this block *read* aqua.  My personal challenge is to find fabrics that don’t read a certain color, so the auditions begin:

The above were rejected because the first one definitely reads yellow and the second one reads green.  Out they go.
Now these are questionable:


They have lots of colors and the bugs are cute – that one might make the cut, but the rainbow beads might be hard to turn into elephants since the fabric is directional.

Now these are really getting on target.  This one will do nicely - looks like an elephant to me - lol:

And this one has lots of color and the black background is minimized – it’s a keeper:

This one is great!
But what to do with that directional fabric issue?  Might require some heavy brain work that I’m not up to right now.  It’s in the *let’s think about it* pile right now.

Look for some multi-color elephants later this week and see which fabric made the cut (oh, those sewing puns are endless – groan)!

And on a side note:  Can you believe I’ve had this box of fabrics for a few days and still haven’t opened it?!
It’s full of fabrics that will be used as backing for my children’s charity quilts.  The sale prices were good and I’m stocking up for when my quilting will be in demand after a retreat of the Sunshine On-line Quilt Guild in June.  We’re expecting to make over a hundred quilt tops – fun! 
And the Project Linus giant top is still on the frame - this is a photo before I loaded it up when I was trying to think up a quilting design.  I hope it gets finished soon - sigh.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Local Community Service Part 2

In yesterday’s post I told of how I had spent a great deal of time in March working on Quilts of Valor projects.  My Local Community Service also includes quilting for Project Linus.

I was given four tops to work up and two were giant-sized compared to the children’s tops that I usually receive – these were more adult lap-sized.   I had a terrible time with the first of those.  It had some kind of fabric for the borders and a part of the blocks that was not 100% cotton.
I’m not sure if it was silk, poly or a poly/cotton blend, but I could not work with it at all.  It took me three days to get 15 inches of horizontal quilting (12 inches tall).  That is not much!  The thread broke every 3 to 6 inches and no adjustment I made would fix it – and believe me, I tried everything.  They had given me a wonky backing that was cut from a wide back and there was not enough there for me to pull a thread or rip it to find the straight of grain.  The combo of the off-kilter grain and the odd fabric might have been pulling the needle just enough to continuously break the bobbin thread.  But to end this poor long story, I ripped out the quilting stitches and I’m giving the top back to the Project Linus group so they can give it to a more experienced quilter. 

I was able to get two smaller tops quilted up for them – I don’t usually make tops for them as my contribution is the quilting.  My piecing is usually dedicated to sewing and quilting for the Sunshine On-line Quilt Guild.  Here are the two Project Linus quilts:

Panto is Surf

Panto is Stars 'n Clouds
I have a third top from Project Linus that is still in progress.  It is a two-color top in a zig zag design and I’m not so sure I made a wise decision about the quilting panto.  We’ll see how it looks when it comes off of the frame … this one is too far along to get ripped out, so it will stay with what I picked out.  Sometimes I wish I could stop and practice some fancier quilting, but I guess I do OK with edge-to-edge pantos and I’m pretty happy to keep cranking out kid’s quilts!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Local Community Service Part 1

The weeks have flown by.  I had my Local Community Service Week early this month and my calendar has been jam-packed.

My Quilts of Valor (QOV) group was to have a medium-size presentation (11 quilts) and a planned large presentation (30 quilts) plus several individual presentations and we started the year with zero quilts on hand.  Everybody in our group was enthused to get busy.  I was given a lovely quilt top to quilt, but it had an issue:

Did you see the block facing the wrong way?  So, even though it had its borders on, I couldn’t leave it that way:

It wasn’t a hard fix and now its lines are all straight:

And onto the frame it went to be quilted with a panto called Stardust:

Then it got returned to the group to get its binding sewn on and a label put on by hand (I don’t do any hand sewing, but some members of my group are delighted to do that part, thank heavens!).

And, of course, I had to finish up my QOVFoundation Mystery Quilt for 2017.  This quilt was designed by Sandy Berg of Raspberry Bramble Designs who coordinated the mystery.  It was fun to sew.  The pattern is available here:

This is a little of my progress as I waited in between receiving clues:

See those little post-it notes on the computer?  I highly recommend you label your pieces as you go as Sandy suggests ... The result is grand!

It went off to another quilter since I have only done edge-to-edge pantos so far and it is more likely to get some special quilting with another quilter.

More on my Local Community Service Week activities in tomorrow’s post.