Monday, January 27, 2014

Design Wall Monday

I've been finding more time than usual for sewing and was able to work on several of my projects. As January winds down I'm happy with what I've accomplished considering how sick I was at the beginning of the month.

The January block of the month got finished and I got all of the pieces cut out for the February block. I'm looking forward to working on that soon.

My Rainbow Scrap Challenge project got finished. I have lots and lots of scraps ready for future months - just waiting to hear what our next color will be to work on.

I made some nice progress on the memorial quilt for my dad. My mom had given me some of his shirts. Some of them just weren't appropriate or usable for various reasons and I was left with only four shirts to use. After lots of thought I decided to make a variation of a string block.

These colors are off - taken in my cave
The center blue strip (2.5" cut) is fabric from stash. Then there is Kona Snow on each side (1.5" cut) and Kona Black (1" cut). Then I took all four shirts and cut as many 6.5" squares as possible. I took those squares and cut them on the diagonal. These are the outer triangle pieces of the blocks.

Now that I'm seeing this picture the blue looks shockingly bright. But in reality it's not that bright. And I chose the blue cuz it was my dad's favorite color and I was wanting  to cheer up the quilt as the shirts are all rather drab. But now I'm second quessing. These blocks may become pillows and I may look for something a bit more subtle. I just don't want this quilt to be drab and depressing. It is a memorial quilt after all and could be depressing in itself.

I did start a new project this week after learning about QuiltsBeyondBorders. I'll be making a simple checkerboard type pattern using my huge stash of bright/juvenile nickels paired with a simple background fabric for the alternate squares. I'm doing this as a leader/ender project and already have most of the "twos" sewn together.

Sharing at:
Patchwork Times

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stash Report

I did some fun sewing and cutting this week but very little was a "finish" that I would use in a stash report. I did finish the second blue scrappy toiletry bag from the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. These will get put aside to be a Christmas gift in December. If I stick with the plan I will have 12 cute little pairs of bags in a rainbow of colors ready to gift.

One set completed for Christmas gifting

Yesterday I had a fun day with my favorite sewing buddies. We hadn't been able to get together for quite a while so it was a joy to spend some time together. I worked on the memorial quilt project for my dad. I didn't make a lot of progress but I had such a good time.

Sorry, Elaine. I know you will hate this picture but I wanted to document our great day.

Purchased this week - 0 yards - not easy
Purchased year to date - 0 yards

Used this week - 1/2 yard
Used year to date - 3/4 yard

Net - 3/4 yard used :) Still in the black

Sharing at:
Patchwork Times

Friday, January 24, 2014

Working on Finishes

Finished this week:

1) BOM
Last year, precisely at this time, I fell in love with Winter Solstice, a BOM over at Keepsake Quilting. It's Kathleen Starr's paper pieced pattern with her absolutely beautiful hand dyed fabrics.

I jumped right in and started on kit #1, loving every step. Then I wasn't concentrating and cut on a sew line. Ack, the fabric piece was now too small and there was no more in the kit. I waited for kit #2 to arrive with more of the needed fabric. By then, though, my dad was ill and all sewing got packed away and stalled. So now, one year later, I've ordered the full kit at Starr Design Fabrics and I'm picking up where I left off.

Today I finished block #1. I love it.

Winter Solstice, Kathleen Starr
I have also cut out the 136 pieces for block #2. I will work on that in February.

2) The Rainbow Scrap Challenge
Angela, over at SoScrappy, has challenged us to use up our scraps in monthly chosen colors. Since every Christmastime I like to provide homemade gifties for my friends and my dh's coworkers, I've decided to kill two birds with one challenge. I am going to make toiletry and cosmetic bags in each color, thereby having pairs of bags to gift when the time comes. This month the color is blue and I have completed the two blue bags. I've learned a lot from them and expect hope the next months to go even easier and quicker. ;)

The smaller cosmetic bag is about 8" x 4.5". The larger toiletry bag is about 11" x 6". I'm using the pattern from the Thermoweb blog. The instructions are easy and sewing the zipper is especially straight forward.

I will be linking up at SoScrappy, SewManyWays, WhataHoot and ConfessionsOfAFabricAddict.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Homespuns on the wall/floor

I made progress with my Bear Tracks quilt top.

It's probably going to bother me forever that the quilt isn't "balanced". The left side of the quilt should have a row of two bear paw blocks and one nine patch. But the quilt is already 82 x 101. If I add another row it would add another 18 inches to the length making it 82 x 119. If I then add another row to the width, *that* row would be unbalanced. So I'm just going to stop here and let it be. I've got all of the border components made except for the corners. I'm excited to finally be getting this project closer to being finished. I had lots and lots of bear paw blocks collected that had been from a swap back in the 90s sometime. So when I saw the Bear Tracks quilt pattern at Glad Creations I knew it was a perfect pattern to use up some of these blocks.

But not enough blocks, I still have 46 waiting for a home. I may make this quilt next. It was in Fons and Porters Scrap Quilts Fall 2013.

Scraps I Couldn't Bear to Toss by Gina Thackara

Or maybe this one made by Melissa at It's another Glad Creations pattern called Bear Chase.

Or maybe this one which I found on Flicker. It was apparently from the Oct 2007 issue of Quilt It. Isn't it beautiful?

Found on Flicker. Made by Janice M.
 So many choices, so little time.

Head over to Patchwork Times to check out other design walls/floors.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stash Report

Fabric. Soft, beautiful, and so much to do with it. There is always new, even more beautiful fabric coming on the market, so you need to keep buying it, right? Well, if you're stacking fabric on the treadmill because you are overflowing the space you have for it, you have to stop buying fabric. If you would have to live to be 120 years old to use up all of your fabric, you have to stop buying fabric. I have known for quite awhile that I need no more fabric and this is the year that I use what I have! So, I've joined Fabriholics Anonymous and I will also be keeping a stash report and reporting to Patchwork Times. I'm hoping that I will be pushing myself to finish up projects so I am able to report fabric "used"!

I will report fabric used when I finish a top - if scrappy I will weigh the top and use the estimate of 1 lb equaling about 4 yards of fabric. I will then again report fabric used when a quilt is finished - backing and binding. Also non quilts will be reported when fully completed.

This week I completed one toiletry bag. 1/4 yard!!!

Purchased this week - 0 yards
Purchased year to date - 0 yards

Used this week - 1/4 yard
Used year to date - 1/4 yard

Net - 1/4 yard used :) It's a start.

Check out other stash reports at Patchwork Times.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cute little pouch

I spent a very little bit of time in my sewing room today. I was able to put together the first of this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge cosmetic bags. It took more time than I expected as there are seams to match up.  The first time I sewed the two fronts to the zipper I forgot to consider that the squares needed to line up and, of course, they didn't. So I took it apart, used some pins and now I'm happy with how it turned out.

This little pouch is about 8 1/2" x 4 1/2"
Tomorrow I hope to put together it's mate - a larger toiletry bag.

I'm linking up at Confessions of a Fabric Addict , Rainbow Scrap Challenge, Sew Darn Crafty linkys.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fabriholics Anonymous

Hello, my name is Melinda. I'm a fabriholic. I also appear to be a hoarder of UFOs. ;) Everyone has a different definition of a UFO but to me it is a project that has been started, it has at least been cut. At last count I had over 80. But today I have made the list below and the current count is 79!!! WooHoo! Haha I also have lots and lots of projects planned and kitted but I don't count them. For now I am going to work on reducing the stash and number of UFOs. With that goal in mind I am joining other like minded quilters over at:


Goals and Rules (with my adjustments)
- To use the Stash I already have!
- Finish UFOs without distraction by shifting to fun new projects.
- Stop the insanity of constantly buying fabric - just because it's on sale or I have a coupon doesn't mean I need to buy it.
- Destash the fabrics and UFOs that I realize I am never going to use/complete.

1) No fabric purchases for 6 months beginning January 1, 2014.
2) At 6 months reevaluate status and decide whether to keep going for full year. Evaluation July 1, 2014.
3) Create a UFO list and complete 10 by July 1st!
4) No books or magazines - I have way too many of them also.
5) Exceptions

  • Notions acceptable. 
  • Fabrics for projects for granddaughter, Paige. I don't have a stash of those fabrics.
  • Fabrics for sashing and borders (if necessary) to complete current UFOs.
  • This year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge. These will not be UFOs but I will use only scrap fabric. I posted about it HERE.
Edit: As of January 23rd I have purchased no fabric.
Fabriholics has challenged us to list our UFOs. I will picture the projects that are at the top of the list for completing. The rest I will list.

1. Christmas Pineapple Blossom - from swap blocks
2. Red Four Patch
3. Batik Log Cabin - from swap blocks
4. Teal Stripes
 5. Film a Five - from swap blocks
6. Homespun Strings
7. Notre Dame
8. Black Square in Square - from swap blocks
9. Black Square in Square 2 - from swap blocks
10. Memorial Quilt
11. Chicken Feed - from swap blocks
12. Flannel Nine Patch
13. Green Bordered Four Patches
14. Nana's Garden - from swap blocks
15. Red and Stripe Flannel
16. Claudia Quilt Shop
17. Claudia Quilt Shop 2
18. Pink Square in Square - from swap blocks
19. Postage Stamp - from swap blocks
20. Wind doth Blow
21. Nineteen
22. African prints
23. Breast Cancer Sampler
24. Juvenile Crumbs
25. Mary's Green and Pink
26. Nickels
27. Purple and Teal
28. Purple Nine Patch
29. Blue Log Cabin
30. Roman Stripes

1.Batik Stars

1.Quilt of Valor - Summer in the Park
 2. Mini Batik Log Cabin
 3. Blue Christmas
 4. Yellow and Blue Stars - swap blocks
 5. Floral Sampler - swap blocks
 6. Millennium
 7. 1930s Cobblestone - swap blocks
 8. Paganelli Lattice Fence
 9. Scrappy Pineapple Blossoms
 10. Blue and Green Jewel box
 11. Green Four Patches - Rainbow scrap challenge two years ago
 12. Crayon Box
 13. Winter Solstice - BOM
 14. Scrappy Bow Tie - swap blocks
15. Homespun Bear Tracks
16. Blue and White Checkerboard
17. Nana's Garden 2 - block swap
18. 1930 Four Patches - block swap
19. 1930 Mini Churndashes - block swap
20. 1930 Nine Patches - block swap
21. 1930 Pinwheels - block swap
22. 1930 Sampler - block swap
23. Amish Pinwheels - block swap
24. Cannondale Guild Batik Sampler - block swap
25. Chicken Feed - block swap
26. Christmas 9 patch - block swap
27. Christmas bowties - block swap
28. Christmas Sampler 2 - block swap
29. Cinderella - block swap
30. Orange
31. Flannel Nine Patch 2 - block swap
32. Homespun Bear Tracks 2 - block swap
33. Maple Leaves on Black - block swap
34. Roman Stripe - block swap
35. Scrappy Four Patches - block swap
36. Siggy Trading Patches - block swap
37. Sister's Choice - block swap
38. Square in Square - block swap
39. Twister
40. Garden Siggies - block swap

1. Quilt of Valor - Stripes
 2. Bright Tumbler
3. I spy Hexagons
4. Flannel Log Cabin
5. Grandmother's Flower Garden

1. Charity Pillowcases
2. Rainbow Scrap Challenge - toiletry and cosmetic bags (2 each month)

3. Dad's Memorial Quilt

If you're still reading, wish me luck with this challenge. I think it will be fun.

I'm linking up to Fabriholics Anonymous.


Monday, January 13, 2014

More progress

I was able to spend a couple of hours in the sewing room today. First I made more components for the Homespun Bear Paw borders. Then I tackled another section of the room that needed cleaning up.

This is my work station to the left of my sewing machine. Several bins overflowing with stuff. Lots of charms, strips, scraps, blocks, and remnants of projects to be put away, along with notions galore. At the top of the pile are my dad's shirts that I am going to make into a memory quilt for my mom. I know that will be tough to work on. I haven't even had the strength to start cutting them up yet. :(

One hour later I have my work space back. Charms, strips, etc are in their appropriate containers and the bins have all be collapsed and put away. I use collapsible bins that I picked up for $1 each at Christmas Tree Shop. They come in several sizes and I must have grabbed at least 15 of them. What a difference some breathing room makes.

My favorite part of this area is my 2 1/2" strip organizer. For a couple of years I participated in (and hosted) 2 1/2" strip swaps. I use a shoe organizer to contain and display them. It is so easy to grab whatever I need from those little cubbies. Believe it or not I have already used lots and lots of these strips.

Manufactured jelly rolls are stored elsewhere in drawers.