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.
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

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Tied Up In Strings

Yet another week has passed when I have been lured by the call of scraps to play and not work on the baby quilt for my One Monthly Goal project.  Kat and Cat Quilts is having her annual String Fling block challenge for Covered In Love.  This is a wonderful way to donate blocks or quilts to a special cause run by Kat.  She's a nurse who distributes quilts to grieving families in the East Texas hospital where she works with patients near the end of their lives.  I'm always on the lookout for ways to use up scraps and this is a "win/win" situation.  I lower my giant scrap pile and quilts go to people who are experiencing sorrow in their lives and can use a warm hug.  Do stop by her blog and read about her work and donate some blocks.  The drive runs through January and February and she is offering 2 jelly rolls as ways to tempt you to help.

I have finished 20 blocks so far and they are definitely addictive.

I'll be whooping it up with Sarah and lots of other great quilters at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework for Oh Scrap.  Go over and take a look at what everybody else is working on.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Just A Little Bit Off Track

This week, I was determined to work on the low volume baby quilt for my January project for One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts.  It didn't happen.  As I tried to put the blocks together, I saw that I ironed all of them the same way so they wouldn't nest properly.  I will have to do some serious unstitching before I can assemble the quilt top.  I am currently in the throes of a sinus infection and it hurts to use my brain.  Instead, I chose to play with a scrappy "nobrainer" project.  The siren call of scraps often pulls me down the rabbit hole.

During the month of June, I was inspired by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict to Attack My Scraps.  I spent weeks cutting ugly fabrics and bits of leftovers into 1.5 x 2.5 inch pieces.   I was able to cut some of the larger fabric into 1.5 inch strips which made it a bit easier.  I was smitten by a quilt in my LQS Christie's Quilting Boutique.

Christie sews samples for Kate Spain and made the quilt with scraps from a sample quilt she made for Kate's batik line, Paradise.  I LOVED the quilt (now sold) and had to make one.  Unfortunately, all of that cutting caused Trigger Finger in the middle finger of my right hand.  The project lay abandoned until November and was put on further hiatus during the Christmas holidays.

This week, it came out again.  My version is composed of years of scraps with no rhyme or reason.  It may seem bizarre to start from two opposite corners, but I wasn't sure how large I wanted to make it,  I decided I would see how much I liked it before I committed to a size.  I love it and have decided to make it large enough to fit my queen size bed.  This is truly a labor of love and will be an ongoing project.  I'm sleeping in wrist braces to avoid any further damage to my hands, but it is worth it.

I am linking up with Sarah at  Confessions of a Fabric Addict so I can get a Whoop, Whoop for my itty bitty scraps and at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for Oh Scrap!  There are lots of great projects on both of their blogs.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

One Monthly Finish

When I wrote my last blog post on January 2, 2017, I sincerely believed that I would be creating lots of great quilts.  I thought I would be posting regularly and featuring lots of pictures of my work.  I was wrong!  I did not complete one thing in 2017.

I did start a few new projects, but I found it difficult to track my progress, or lack there of, as easily as using the blog and a record of what I was doing.  I'm not sure how many online quilt alongs, BOMs, or group activities I will take part in, but the first thing I am committing to is One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts.

I'm not going to beat myself up about the amounts of UFOs  that lurk in my sewing room.  I am hoping to finish one project a month, whether it is new or old.  This month, I will be working on a quilt for the new baby daughter of my husband's godchild.  The pattern is Baby Go Fly A Kite by Dragonfly Fibers.  I've wanted to try making a low volume quilt so I chose the butterfly print from Tanya Whelan's, Zoey's Garden in the pink tone and the white.  I  found that  I needed something to break it up a bit, so I chose a green and white polka dot. 

The blocks are finished.  There will be a 1.5 inch border of the green dot and a four inch border primarily made of the pink print with some of the white print squares pieced in.  You'll have to trust me that the quilt looks a lot better in person.  The lighting in my dining room does nothing to flatter it.  The quilt finishes at 44 inches square.  I'm linking up my baby quilt at One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts.