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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Moving At A Snail's Pace

The Extreme Ironing webportal describes extreme ironing as "the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt."

I had lots of  fabric to prepare last week.  Unfortunately, I chose a humid day to get it done.
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The blocks for my Chimney Sweep/Album blocks were from a swap that  used pre-washed fabrics. Even though I no longer pre-wash my fabrics, I prepped yards of Kona natural and some Civil War fabrics to sew more blocks.  While I can't say I was as wet as the gentleman in the photo, I was pretty damp.

Here they are placed with the rest of the blocks.

I hit a snag with the baby quilt I am using as my June One Monthly Goal project   I was using a traveling combination cutting board/ironing surface and didn't realize my iron touched the handle that was dangling off the edge.  The polyester braided handle melted and left a residue on the iron's surface.  In my blissful ignorance, I proceeded to iron my blocks.  Ugh! What a mess.

These are a few of the pieces I had to remove.  I made some new block components and will sew them today.  This small project is wearing me away, one small disaster at a time.

If you are buried in scraps and looking for an innovative way to use them.  Take a cue from the art work I found at Home Goods this week.



I didn't measure the shadow box frame, but I would guess it was about 24 inches square.  The fabric appeared to be wool, but it could have been a blend.  I'm not sure how I would like this color combination hanging on my wall, but it might be an artistic way to store jelly rolls on a sewing room wall that doesn't get much sun.

I'm happy with my seven Chimney Sweep blocks so I am Whooping it up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  There are lots of fabulous projects posted this week.  Stop by and check them out.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

One Monthly Goal For June

How can one person be so busy and still not get anything done.  That's the question I've been asking myself all month.  I did work on a few things, but nothing is finished.  More than a few years ago, I joined a swap making Chimney Sweep/Album blocks using Civil War fabrics and Kona natural fabric.  I loved the way the blocks looked, but there weren't many of them and I though t the construction was a little fiddly so I put them away to mellow.


I pulled out the 12 original blocks and realized they would make a great quilt.  I finished 7 and plan on making an additional 11 before adding sashing, corner stones, and borders to flesh out the top.

We spent the first two weeks of May visiting Washington, DC and Florida.  Since it was a driving vacation, I took along some handwork to keep myself busy on the way.

I'll keep making groups of hexagons as my summer car project.  These were made from a charm pack of Martinique.  I have another Martinique pack and 2 other charm packs that use similar colors so I should be able to keep busy for a few trips.

In January, I chose a baby quilt that I planned to finish as my One Monthly Goal project at Elm Street Quilts to be used a gift for a new baby's first Valentine's Day.

It didn't happen.  The baby is now 8 months old and ready to be Christened on the last Sunday of June.  Hopefully, I can finish it in time.  I will be posting my One Monthly Goal for June at Elm Street Quilts.  Patty Dudek is the hostess and she welcomes everyone to join in.  If you haven't set your own goal, stop by and see what everyone else is planning to work on.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

H2H 2018 Quilts

Once again, Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has hosted a wonderful challenge to quilters.  Judging by the quilts posted to the 2018 Hands 2 Help Challenge linky, this year is probably the best year ever.  Due to severe procrastination and a bad case of distraction, I did not complete the 2 projects I had intended to donate to the H2H Challenge.  Luckily, the many UFO's I constantly complain about came to the rescue.  Through a wonderful stroke of luck, one of this year's featured charity organizations, Victoria's Quilts Canada, requested quilt tops.  I had two tops that fit the 50 x 70 requirement and one top that needed an extra row of blocks to comply.

Since the tops have been hanging around my sewing room for a while, I thought they might enjoy being photographed in new surroundings.  On Thursday, my husband and I took a trip to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.  The NYBG is one of the premier gardens in the world and the largest located in any city in the United States.  New York City has botanical gardens and arboretums located in each of its five boroughs, but the NYBG in the Bronx is the most spectacular of all.


We managed to find a beautiful late blooming lilac in the recently refurbished lilac garden.  The fragrance was delightful.  This is the third Gumdrop quilt I have made.  I love how it uses up tons of 2.5 inch scraps and looks so bright and lively.




The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden produces blooms from May to October.  June is the most magnificent month.  The garden is awash with blooms representing almost any type of rose you can imagine, from China Roses to Climbers and Knock Out Roses and everything in between.  We found a lovely climbing rose bush that was very fragrant. Unfortunately, the bench was slightly shaded, but it didn't take away from the beauty of the flowers.



I couldn't fit all three tops in my tote bag for the trip to the NYBG so it was photographed at home.

Thanks to Sarah for another great Hands 2 Help Challenge.  I loved that this year's challenge not only gave a choice of charities to choose from, but each charity requested a different type of quilt and or top.  Hopefully, I will get the two baby quilts done and they can go out in the mail to the Little Lambs Foundation for Kids.

Visit Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict and check out all of the fabulous quilts and tops donated to this year's challenge.  Unfortunately, I didn't post mine in time so I linked up with Sarah's Can I Get A Whoop Whoop.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

One Monthly Goal For March

After spending the month of February furiously sewing string blocks for the annual string fling block drive at  Covered in Love, I'll be spending the month of March quilting a UFO.  This baby quilt was started in 2011 as part of a scrappy challenge at Marcia's Crafty Sewing and Quilting blog.  As I went back through my blog trying to find out how old this UFO is, I found 3 posts claiming it would be quilted in the month of the post.  This is the month to finally complete it.

 I am linking up with One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

One Monthly Goal for February Completed

When Kat from Cat and Kat Quilts announced her annual String Fling back in December, I had no idea I would become obsessed with making string blocks.  I completed 65 blocks, the pile is shown below, with an additional 35 blocks made into a string quilt top.    The quilt top was my February goal for Elm Street Quilts: One Monthly Goal program. 

I finished the top last night and took a picture.  This morning, I packed two large USPS Priority boxes.  The first box contained:  65 string blocks made by me,
including an additional fifteen I made last week,
thirteen made by Carol Ann, Melinda, and Susan from the quilting group I belong to,
 and fifty three blocks, I did not get to photograph, made by Debbie, also from the quilting group.  Lest you thing the rest of our group is composed of slackers, Debbie had already made the blocks and was looking for a good home for them.

The second box contained:  two tops made from the Film At Five pattern at Wedding Dress Blue, 2 pieces of yardage that are suitable for backing fabric, and my String Style top.

The Film At Five tops were made in 2014 and would never have reached the top of the quilting pile.  Hopefully, Kat can use them to comfort a bereaving family.


I only got to mail one of the boxes today.  I planned to stop at the post office after I finished my shopping.  While I was in COSTCO, I took a picture of some cute outfits to send to my daughter-in-law for her approval.  While checking the pictures, I noticed the photo I took last night of the string quilt.  I used tone on tone fabric for the corner pieces that would form the centers when all of the blocks were assembled.  Two of the blocks had print fabric that I thought I replaced last night.  I remembered cutting the fabric, but I obviously never sewed it into the blocks.


The first picture contains the block that had to be fixed.  It is in the top row, third block on the right.  The corners were replaced on two blocks to correct it.  I don't know if anyone else would have noticed it, but once I saw it, it made me crazy.  I mailed the first box, came home, ripped open the second box, and fixed the error.

The new box will go to the post office in the morning.  I don't think of myself as a perfectionist, but after all of the work the top took, I couldn't let it go like that.  What would you have done?

I'm linking up to the  February Finishes at Elm Street Quilter for One Monthly Goal and Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

One Monthly Goal February

I didn't complete the baby quilt I planned to finish for my January project at  One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts.
I was delighted at how crisp the points of the HST turned out in the blocks.  It wasn't until I started to sew the blocks together that I realized how careless I was when ironing and sewing the individual blocks.  The seams where the blocks intersected were so thick, I would have needed a bulldozer to pull the needle through to quilt them.  Most of the blocks will have to be taken apart and resewn.  Even though I planned to use it as a first Valentines' Day gift for the newest addition to the family, I didn't have the interest in redoing it.  I put it in the pile of items that must be worked on and started to make a string quilt instead.


A few of the fabrics are from my own stash, but most of them came from a giveaway from quilt designer Wendy Shepherd who blogs at Ivory Spring.  You might be familiar with her Spring on Bleecker Street quilt along.  The free pattern download is still available.  Wendy was offering a box of fabric to anyone who was willing to pay for the postage.  The box was overflowing.  Unfortunately, I was not blogging at the time so I don't have a picture to share.  She designs patterns for different fabric companies so the variety was amazing.  I have already ripped apart 6 blocks that didn't match well and have a few that still need a row or two removed, but I am going to try to complete the 35 blocks and put the quilt top together as my One Monthly Goal for February  There are already 147 quilters linked up and I am joining them over at Elm Street Quilts  One MonthlyGoal linky party.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge and More String Blocks

I promised myself that I would sew something other than string blocks for the Covered In Love String Fling this week.  It was a lot harder to resist than I thought it would be.  I made 35 string blocks.  The Rainbow Scrap Challenge at So Scrappy used light blue for January, but I had to sneak some medium blue into the 7 blue string blocks.  I also made a  Dresden Plate block with 3.5 inch blades.  I didn't fasten it to a fabric base.  I am waiting until I have all of the blocks finished so I can decide where each color will be placed.
These are the rest of the string blocks I made this week. 



I won some lovely scraps from Erica at Kitchen Table Quilting.  Many of them were 2 inch strips so I immediately used them in my string blocks.
I really enjoyed making the string blocks and will probably continue making them throughout February.  Hopefully, my scrap pile will be a few inches lower by the time March arrives.
I am linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge at So Scrappy and Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework