Monday, January 2, 2017

A New Year is Time for a New Outlook

After over a year and a half away from my blog, I realized I missed it.  Not because I provide exciting content for the quilting community, but  because it helps me to stay focused on my quilting goals.  Last January, I decided to hunt down all of my UFOs and catalog them in hopes of finishing them all.  That was a major mistake, after listing 48 separate projects in various stages of progress, I was exhausted, discouraged, and a little embarrassed that I had accumulated so much.  I don't think I finished one project, but I did start a few more that are still lying undone.

This year, I decided not to be so tough on myself.  I plan on joining Patty over at Elm Street Quilts to ease myself back into quilting with her One Monthly Goal project.  In previous years, I enjoyed participating in Angela's  Rainbow Scrap Challenge at So Scrappy.  Unfortunately, I did not plan very well and ended up with lots of blocks that were fun to make, but that I never used.  This year,  I will be using the Chimney Sweep Block made with 2.5 inch strips that  Alycia shared at her blog Alycia Quilts.

The quilt I will be working on this month for One Monthly Goal is the Kissy Fishy Quilt from Sew Fresh Quilts.   I made five blocks during the summer, but my daughter has requested that I finish the quilt so she can give it away as a baby gift.  The blocks are fun to make.  The Director of Catholic Services at the University where she works had a baby boy in December. The pattern is for 2 different colored fish. My daughter has requested that I use multiple colors so that it will be more of a Rainbow Fish Quilt.   Hopefully, I will finish the quilt quickly so the baby will have it before he starts walking.
I am linking my January project for One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts

Monday, April 6, 2015

April Goals

Last month, I finished the blocks for two quilt tops.  My first goal for the month of April, is to sew the blocks together and add borders to get them ready to quilt in May.  I also hope to quilt the three "Eye Spy" baby quilts I started earlier this year.  One of the quilts is basted and ready to go,  but backings need to be prepared for the other two.    I am also going to start a new quilt from Pat Speth's, The Big Book of Nickel Quilts.
Sharon V of Vrooman's Quilts sponsors the Let's Book It Challenge to make a project from books and patterns quilters already own.  I tried a quilt from Pat's book last month and really loved it, so I am going to use it again.  The quilt I have chosen for April is, "Stretched Autumn Star."  I plan on digging through all of my novelty prints to make it in an "Eye Spy" style.

So many projects, but so little time.  Hopefully, some of my lofty goals will be accomplished.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Let's Book It and 350 Block Project

Even though we had two light snowfalls in our area this week and still have piles of snow left from the winter, spring is finally breaking through.

In March, I finished all of the blocks for the quilt top I am making for Sharon's Let's Book It Challenge.  The pattern is from Pat Speth's, The Big Book of Nickel Quilts.   The original quilt in Pat's book is very scrappy.  My version uses monotone scraps and looks very different.   I  really love it.   My April goal will be to cut the borders and finish the quilt.
 Sarah, of Confessions of a Fabric Addict hosted a Sweet Sixteen quilt along earlier this year.  In March, I was able to complete the blocks for a top from her Sixteens and Pinwheels tutorial.  It's essentially the same quilt.  The only difference is the half square triangles are sewn as pinwheels instead of diamonds.  It's amazing how one small detail creates an entirely different look.  I love the look of the pinwheels, but the seams in the diamond shape block are much easier to deal with.
I have four blocks left over that I'm sure can be put to good use.

Even though the quilt is not completed, I'm linking up at Sharon's Let's Book It Challenge just because I love the way the top is turning out.  
Shelly at Prairie Moon Quilts is hosting the 350 Blocks Project.  The goal for March was 30 blocks, so the fifty I completed keeps me on course.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Catching Up

Thank you to everyone who inquired about my beautiful daughter-in-law and sent prayers and kind thoughts.  She was released from the hospital last Monday night, but returned today to have a plate and screws inserted into her foot to hold it together.  They had to delay the surgery until the swelling went down.  She has been in a lot of pain, but the surgery today went well and the doctor thinks she should be able to put weight on her foot in six to eight weeks.

Last Saturday was an exciting day for me.  After a week of hospital sitting, I attended an all day quilting retreat sponsored by Christie's Quilting Boutique and the Modern Quilt Guild of Connecticut.  There were unfilled spaces so the guild opened the event to non-members like myself.  It was held at a Church in Darien, CT and the special guest was Kate Spain.  I love Kate Spain's fabrics.  As hard as it is to believe, she is even lovelier than her fabrics.  Her friendly and gracious manner had the crowd eating out of her hand.  I wanted to have a photo taken with her, but no matter how hard I tried, some old lady in a grey sweater kept getting in the way.

Kate brought lots of beautiful quilts to show, visited with all of the quilters and asked about their projects.

The back is just as interesting. 

I was using a reversible pattern from the 2013 issue of Better Homes and Gardens 2013 issue of Make It Modern magazine.
The back uses cool colors.

The front features warm colors.

My version uses tone on tone fabrics and will have the cool colors on the front.  I will use purple for the border. I didn't realize the pattern was designed by Kate Spain until I started cutting the fabric.  When Kate saw what I was making, she told me she asked her husband whether he liked the pattern in cool or warm colors and he suggested she use both and make it reversible.  He certainly gave her good advice.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hands 2 Help Charity Challenge 2015

This is the fifth year that Sarah Craig of Confessions of a Fabric Addict, has sponsored the Hands 2 Help Challenge.  I love this challenge and look forward to it each year because it is not just one charity that benefits and because the quilts are amazing.  This year, Sarah developed a new challenge leading up to main event.  She posted tutorials for quilts using sixteen patch blocks.  The tutorials for the Sweet Sixteen Quilt Along are easy to follow, produce beautiful tops, and are still posted on her blog.

I have a special incentive for participating in the challenge this year.  On Monday, our beautiful daughter-in-law was in a car crash on her way home from work that was incredibly frightening.  When my son showed me the pictures of her car, the first thing I did was thank God, the second thing was to cry.  We have spent many hours at the hospital this week feeling helpless. She will need additional surgeries and physical therapy, but in spite of being pulled from the wreck with the jaws of life, she is still here to talk about it.  In the mornings before we leave to visit her at the hospital and late at night when we return home, sewing my blocks for the Hands 2 Help Challenge has kept me sane.

Quilters who join the Hands 2 Help Challenge by tomorrow, Saturday, March 21st are eligible to win one of the lovely prizes and will join with others to offer a little kindness through their quilts.  If you are unable to sign up by then, you can still join, but the sign-up prizes are only available to those who sign up by tomorrow.

This month, I am participating in the The Let's Book It Challenge at Sharon Vrooman's blog, Vroomans Quilts.  I have been making blocks for "Beach Party" from Pat Speth's book, The Big Book of Nickel Quilts using up teal scraps.  Pat's version is a very colorful contrast to my own.

Even though, I will be giving the quilt to one of the charities in the Hands 2 Help Challenge, I will remember how much comfort it gave me before I pass in on to someone else who needs a quilty hug.

You can find the button to join Sarah's, Hands 2 Help Challenge on the right sidebar.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

February 350 Blocks Project Report

Shelly at Prairie Moon Quilts is hosting the 350 Blocks Project.  February's goal was 30 blocks.  Although the month was short, I surprised myself with how much I accomplished.  My block total for February was 96 blocks.

Just in case you don't have any of your own, the following photos are for anyone who enjoys looking at snow.  This is the second time we've had snow this week.  Today's snow is courtesy of Thor.  I think that's a great name for a storm.

I made 42 nine patch blocks that were turned into three Disappearing Nine Patch Eye Spy quilts.  I tried to capture all three of the quilts in the same shot, but had to settle for two poorly lit photos instead of one. The only real difference in the quilts is that each one has a different blue fabric for the corner stones.

Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has been hosting the Sweet Sixteen Quilt Along.  She has offered lot of great tutorials for quilts featuring 16 patch blocks.  Sarah sponsors the Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt Challenge.  Sign ups for this fun charity event will begin on March 15th.   After trying out all of the 16 patch tutorials, you can find a great charity group to donate a quilt to.  I made fifteen blue/white sixteen patch blocks and twenty three red/white pinwheel blocks to create the Sixteens and Pinwheels quilt Sarah featured the second week of the quilt along.
I also made sixteen of the blue/white 16 patch blocks in January, but I'm not sure if I will use them. The blue strips I used last month don't seem to match very well.

I have been working on a Postage Stamp style red/cream quilt.  In February, I made 9 blocks to add to my growing pile.

 The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for February was pink and I had just enough pink scraps to make seven blocks.

Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts sponsors the Let's Book It Challenge.  The purpose of the challenge is to encourage crafters (she also includes other fiber projects in addition to quilting) to pull out patterns, magazines, and books we have been saving and actually use them to make a project.  All last year, I promised myself I would participate, but never got around to it.  For March, I chose Pat Speth's, The Big Book of Nickel Quilts.  The book is a reissue of earlier versions that were released in 2002 and 2004.   There are 40 projects in the book suitable for five inch scraps.  I chose one that has a lot of sixteen patch blocks that I can strip piece.
March has come in like a lion.  Hopefully, it will go out like a lamb. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Day Late, but Never a Dollar Short

I'm just getting around to posting the blocks I worked on last week.  I'm running out of pink scraps so I only made one Garlic Knot block for Angela's  Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Three more blocks for my red/cream postage stamp quilt.

I made another Eye Spy Disappearing Nine Patch quilt using the tutorial at Obsessively Stitching.  I didn't remember to take a picture of the fourteen 9 patch blocks I made for the top, but they looked very much like every other nine patch block you've ever seen.
The quilt looks the same as the one I made earlier in February, but I used a different blue fabric for the cornerstones. I have one more to make so this series may be drawing to a close.

Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict is hosting the Sweet Sixteen Quilt Along featuring tutorials for different quilts using sixteen patch blocks. You can see all of the details by clicking the button on my side bar.  In January, I made sixteen blue 16 patch blocks for the Sixteens and Pinwheels top as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Last week, I made fifteen pinwheel blocks for the top.

The blocks finish at eight inches so the 5 x 7 layout I planned would finish at 40 x 56.  I considered adding two borders to make it larger, but instead I will be making more blocks to finish the quilt at 48 x 64 with the option of adding a border to make it larger.

Retired Guy picked the winner of the flannel fabric giveaway.

Terry, who blogs at Terry's Treasures, is the winner.  Terry has a wonderful blog.  I guarantee that if you stop by, you will be inspired.  I will notify Terry by email.
Thanks to everyone who participated. The temperature this morning was minus 2 so I will be huddled by the wood burning stove ironing and cutting fabrics.  Even the heat from the iron is appreciated these days.