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.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pink Rainbow Scrap Challenge Blocks and a Few Extras

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to live in one of those cute little houses that appear in snow globes, I have the answer.  It's boring.  This week has been full of snow and ice with more on the way.  That made it a perfect time to sew. Right now the wind outside sounds like a freight train going by.
I thought I had lots of pink scraps to use for this month's RSC, but when it came time to piece some blocks there wasn't much to use.  I had just enough for two  Mod Cabin blocks, three Garlic Knot blocks, and one Happy House block.  This will be the last of the Happy House blocks.  I started the blocks during last year's RSC.  I now have a total of forty two which will be enough for a quilt.
I  promised to make two baby quilts for friends of my daughter and one for my niece's baby.  I am month's behind in my promise.  This week I pulled out the five inch novelty charm squares that  I cut over the summer.  I used the Eye Spy Disappearing Nine Patch tutorial at Obsessively Stitching for the placement of the patches.  It doesn't make a difference with the allover prints, but I wanted all of the pictures to face in the same direction so that required the directional prints to be placed in a particular way.
It's hard to believe that  14 simple nine patch blocks yielded the fifty six blocks for the top below.
I love the way this setting creates the  sashing and corner stones.  I will make the other two quilts using the same formula.  It went together really quickly and I am eager to get the tops quilted and on the way to their tiny new owners.

Last August, red was the RSC color.  I started a red and cream scrappy postage stamp style quilt.  This week I made six more blocks.  I'll be making three more to complete the top.

I will be linking up my pink blocks with other quilters participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at Angela's So Scrappy blog.  There are always lots of great projects to inspire you.
It's also not too late to leave a comment to enter the "Welcome Baby" flannel giveaway here on my blog.  The giveaway closes on February 23rd.

The most common greeting in our area during 2015 has been, "Stay Warm."  I hope wherever you are, you are cozily sewing surrounded by warmth or air conditioning if that's what you require.

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Little Whining and a Giveaway

Last week was the first time I posted since August 30th.  Without any quilt projects to show, it seemed silly to post.  From June to September I wore a boot on my left foot to help take pressure off my Achilles tendon.  I was hopeful that it would help heal the micro tears that developed due to a bone spur. It slowed me down a bit, but I could sew.

When the boot came off in September, my foot felt great.  That wonderful feeling of freedom lasted two weeks.  The pain came back and there was no way to avoid surgery for my ruptured Achilles tendon.  The surgery was scheduled quickly so there was no time to prepare any hand work projects for the long weeks that I would be in a cast.
Luckily, we have a bathroom on the first floor of our home so I was able to get around with some help from my husband and my new toy.  The scooter was a lifesaver.  Unfortunately, my sewing room and all of my supplies are on the second floor of the house.
After the cast, I was back in the boot until Christmas. It soon became obvious that I still needed the support of the boot, so I have come full circle and am back in the boot again.  I'm not allowed to leave the house when there is ice or snow because the boot impairs my balance.  Here in New York, we have had nothing but ice and snow for weeks so I am beginning to feel trapped.

As a thank you to everyone who took the time to read this whiny story and came back to visit my blog after the five month absence, I am giving away two charm packs and a two yard cut of a coordinating fabric.  The charm packs and fabric are from the "Welcome Baby Flannel" line by Wyndam fabrics.

 If you would enjoy sewing with these cozy flannels, leave a comment.  I will pick a winner at random from the comments.  The giveaway will close on Monday, February 23.  The giveaway is now closed.   Please make sure you are not a "No Reply" blogger because the winner will be notified by email. Good luck from wintry New York where it is snowing once again.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Starting the Year off Right with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for January

Last week was the first time I used my sewing machine since October 7th.  I'm definitely trying to make up for lost time.  Blue was the color for January's Rainbow Scrap Challenge hosted by Angela over at Sew Scrappy.  My stash is unbalanced in favor of blues so it wasn't hard to find scraps to work with.

 The sixteen Rail Fence Pinwheels will be added to the forty eight I made last year as part of the RSC.  I now have enough made to complete the quilt top.
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has started an eight week Sweet Sixteen Quilt Along.  You can find the button over on the right side of my blog.  She has designed a series of quilts using 16 patch blocks.  Sarah sponsors a yearly charity quilt sew along, Hands to Help, that is a fun way to make a difference through quilting.  Hopefully, lots of quilters that participate in the Sweet Sixteen Quilt Along will donate their finished quilts to the Hands to Help project.  I really like the Sixteens and Pinwheels pattern that Sarah featured.  I think I will be using my blue 16 patch blocks with red pinwheels.

 I also added four Dottie blocks, one Garlic Knot, and eighteen Happy House blocks that will work with the groups I started last year as part of the RSC.  The two Mod Cabin blocks shown below are a lavender fabric that will work well with the blocks already started for that top.

I will be linking up with this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge at So Scrappy.  Stop by and see the projects other quilters have made with blue this month.  I will also be posting the 60 blocks I made as part of the 350 Blocks Project at Prairie Moon Quilts.  January's goal was 20 blocks.  I'm ahead of the curve this month.  Hopefully, I can keep up the pace.
Next week, I will be posting a giveaway to celebrate the reemergence of my blog.  There's more snow headed in my direction tomorrow night so stay warm wherever you are.