Thursday, December 30, 2021

Another Pink Project

My goal this year is to spend the bulk of my time doing sew alongs, blog hops, and whatever else sparks my fancy. A few days ago I noticed the Tickled Pink blog hop and thought it would be fun to participate, especially since I had just put together a design for a heart-themed quilt in Electric Quilt.
I'm calling it Pieces of My Heart.
I've been wanting to try foundation piecing and this project gives me the excuse. My goal is for each block to be unique. EQ had quite a few hearts included plus I grabbed a couple of free designs online, like the ones on this page from Carol Doak. 

I'm not entirely sure how many total blocks I'll make. Likely, the size will depend on how many I can get finished between now and my day on the blog hop: Feb 16. It really helps me to have a deadline.

After finishing today's Studio Organizing Challenge, I decided to pull out some scraps and play with making a crazy style block. It's not the most stellar example because I didn't plan the layout at all and I was really scrounging for pink scraps, but it will do for a first effort. Maybe I'll try making another once I get some more pink fabrics.
I broke down and ordered some of the cheap pink fabrics from Marshall Dry Goods. I've ordered their $5/yard cottons in the past and they're sort of hit and miss on the quality. Sometimes they don't look so good after you wash them, but I'll be sure and prewash them before I use them so I can avoid the bad spots.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Tuesday To Do #28

This week went by so fast. I can't believe it's already Tuesday again, so I guess it's time for another Tuesday To Do. Thanks to Linda for hosting the weekly linkup party.

We didn't do much celebrating for Xmas this year, but we did enjoy a nice meal on the day. We didn't see anyone outside our household. That, of course, gave me a lot of extra time to work on sewing projects. 

I was able to finish everything on my list from last week.

  1.  Trim down all the pieces that are already sewn together.  ✔︎
  2.  Finish Part 4 of the Rhododendron Trail Mystery Quilt.  ✔︎
  3.  Get started on Part 5 when it comes out on Monday.  ✔︎
Luckily, I was able to do all of the trimming of pieces while we were watching cheesy xmas movies so I am all caught up through Part 4.
I spent a couple hours this morning cutting out pieces for Part 5 but I didn't manage to finish them all; it will probably be another 3 hours or so to get through all of them. I continued using the Cricut to cut out the pieces because I would rather not waste the fabric for all the little triangle corners that get trimmed off the finished seams. 

It's very possible I don't have enough pink fabric so I may have to drop by my local JoAnn's to get another piece of pink in order to finish. I guess I will see how many more pieces will be needed to finish. If this is the last round of pink cutting, I'll make it. But if there is more, I may have to go fabric shopping. Wouldn't that be horrible—not! =)

My goals for next Tuesday are:
  1.  I'd like to finish Parts 5 and 6 of the Rhododendron Trail Mystery Quilt;
  2.  I'd like to get started on the first color for RSC 2022 (assuming the first color is released during the next week); 
  3.  I think I'll join Prairie Moon Quilts for the Studio Organizing Challenge; and
  4.  I'd like to figure out what I'm going to make next. I'm thinking about making the Jade Garden quilt (you can download the pattern for free); I bought all the fabric for it and I've been itching to get started.
You all have a lovely New Year's Day. As usual, we don't have plans. The pandemic has discouraged us from going out much. Hopefully, next year will be better...

Friday, December 24, 2021

RSC 2022 Plans

I have been looking forward to participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for many months. I know I could have just jumped in at any time, but last year I felt I already had too many projects and I wanted to have a plan, so I've actually been thinking for a while about what I wanted to do for RSC in 2022.

I've been keeping an eye out for scrappy projects that I thought I would like but they also needed to be able to have blocks that were basically one color group.

When this rainbow stained glass quilt came across Reddit, I knew I wanted to try and make one too! There is a tutorial on how she made the blocks on Youtube here. I'd like to make some blocks every month, but this one might take a couple years to finish. LOL

I'm also thinking about making the Arlington Square quilt pattern from Pat Speth's Nickel Quilts book. I believe I could make the 9-patch units in different colors each month and then when I have a sufficient number (96), assemble the larger blocks with the strips. I have a shoebox-size tub of pre-cut 5" squares that I cut a LONG time ago (probably 15-20 years) and it would be nice to finally use some of them.

Finally, one last option I'm thinking about trying is the Bloom quilt designed by Kim Brackett, from her Scrap Basket Beauties book. I think I'll just make however many blocks that I feel like making each month and then figure out how many I have at the end.

This seems like more than enough to plan for one year. I'm not sure if I'll get them all finished by December, but it will be nice to have a choice of what to work on.

Update: Added in late-January. Flowers for Nana Girl, from Scrap Basket Sensations by Kim Brackett. It's been in the queue for a couple of years and I think I can finish this one too.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

2022 Quilt Planning

Looking back at my Planning Party quilt plan for 2021, I actually did better than I remembered. I made three of the four quilts I had hoped to make. 

There was the Queen's Jewel that I finished in February, after I got it back from the long armer.

I also said I wanted to make the Snake River Log Cabin in William Morris fabrics. I finished that flimsy in January. It hasn't been quilted yet because I decided to buy a long arm so I'll eventually do it myself, once I get skilled enough.

And I said I wanted to make an Unbeweavable quilt with 4" squares, which I finished in September. This was a fun one so I'll definitely be making this pattern again.
The last quilt, the SeaSwept, I haven't made yet because when I received the fabrics I'd ordered, the colors were all wrong so that one is still pending fabrics. I hope at some point to take the fabrics I've already received and go to a quilt shop and pick out the perfect colors. Mail ordering batik fabric sucks when you're looking for the perfect shades.

To be honest, now that I've participated in WOOFA for two years, most of my old UFOs have been finished (or abandoned) and I have almost no in-progress projects but I do have quite a few fabric sets I purchased during the pandemic. So, I decided to plan for an overall monthly goal, rather than for specific quilt designs. I don't want to feel so locked into a schedule that I can't participate in unanticipated Sew Alongs. That way, I can just choose to go wherever my mood takes me. 

So, for 2022,  I would like to finish an average of one quilt each month for family/friends, including lap-sized quilts. I've made a page where I link up the quilts I've put into EQ8 (not necessarily my designs), so when I am in the mood for a new quilt, I can start there for inspiration.

It would be nice to learn how to applique and foundation piece. I've been wanting to try both techniques for a couple years now and I'm hoping this will be the year that I either take a class or just follow along from books/videos.

I would like to become proficient using my new Handiquilter long arm, beyond just edge-to-edge. I want to be able to quilt borders and blocks separately, I want to be able to fill odd-shaped areas, and I want them to look professionally done. 

I hope to finish quilting the dozen or so unquilted flimsies I've accumulated during the past couple of years. 

I'd like to be more disciplined about making pillowcases as soon as I finish the bed-size flimsies. I don't want to have to keep leftover fabrics separated from the stash simply because I'm too lazy to spend another hour or two actually finishing everything I planned.

Finally, I would like to engage with both of the Portland-area Quilt Guilds (Northwest Quilters and Portland Modern Quilt Guild) by participating in some of their activities. I'd like to make some local friends who share my enthusiasm for quilting.

I'm linking up with JetGirl's 2022 Planning Party.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Tuesday To Do #27

We finally got our basement empty for our remodel project so this week I was able to get started on the Rhododendron Trail Mystery Quilt.

I used my cricut to do all the cutting because it was much faster and helped me get caught up. I cut the pieces a little oversized and I'll need to trim them down to size.

These are the pieces from the first three parts.
The geese from part 2.

The triangles from parts 1 and 3.
I've got all the pieces cut out for the hourglass blocks and I expect I'll be able to get them finished before the next clue comes out on Monday.
For next Tuesday:
  1.  I'd like to trim down all the pieces that are already sewn together.
  2.  I expect to finish Part 4 of the Rhododendron Trail Mystery Quilt.
  3.  I also plan to get started on Part 5 when it comes out on Monday.
Since it's Christmas week, it's probably better to keep the expectations low so that's it. I'm linking up with TuesdayToDo.

Friday, December 10, 2021

December Plans

Three weeks ago I was talking to our contractor and he said he could start our basement project early if we could get ready by the 15th. While I wasn't excited about having the mess and chaos during the holiday, I am really eager to get the project finished so I can take delivery on my new Handiquilter long arm. So, I set aside my sewing projects and have spent the last couple of weeks packing, sifting, and selling stuff. While we still have a fair amount of loose stuff to deal with, we have dealt with most of the furniture and items we want to keep. 

I have so many fun projects I'm looking forward to working on, like these lap quilts I designed using Pat Speth's Member Appreciation Blocks from her Facebook group.

Get That Morris Feeling, MAB #8 & 12
Spring Has Sprung, MAB #7 & 16
I hope to be able to return to sewing on Dec 16th, once our contractor has started work in the basement. I'm eager to get to work on the Rhododendron Trail Mystery Quilt before I get too far behind.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Morris Garden Flimsy

I got an early start on my Friday Night Sew In and spent the day working on my Morris Garden quilt. It is finished! (Well, the flimsy is anyway; I'll obviously still need to quilt it once I get my long arm.) 

I gave up the idea of making all the corners match, this one is actually the best of the four. I decided done was better and right now I just don't have space to lay it out to carefully match the fabrics.

This is made from Jinny Beyer's free pattern, Midnight Garden. I used an old set of fabrics from 2012, called Morris Meadows, designed by Michele Hill.
The squares were all cut in kaleidoscopes. I layered four repeats of the rose fabric and then cut out all the pieces. I didn't fussy cut to get any special effects because I wasn't sure I had enough of the fabric.
I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out.
This also finished up my November One Monthly Goal.

Rhododendron Trail Mystery Quilt

I decided to participate in my first mystery quilt along. I've never done one before but I have watched a number of them and thought it would be fun to try one. I love the colors for Quiltville's Rhododendron Trail Mystery Quilt so I decided to give it a try.

To be honest, except for the yellow, these are not colors I tend to just buy for my stash so I pulled what I had, but I'm sure I have enough for this project. I have TONS of yellow but I just pulled out the smallest pieces from my stacks; hopefully I'll use some of them up. And I didn't have an aqua that was more than two yards, but I had three pieces that were all close to the same color with a little different texture so I'm going to do the aqua portion a little scrappy.

As we get going, I'm sure I'll raid my scrap bins and come up with more fabrics, but this was just the first pass on my fabric wall.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Morris Melody Quilt Design

I have spent a lot of time the past week playing in Electric Quilt. I guess I haven't felt like struggling with getting the border fabric repeat to match on the Morris Garden Quilt nor have I felt like cleaning up the basement (which is really what I should be doing because we have a remodel starting just after the new year).

When I was cruising around online looking at various medallion quilts I ran across this Morris Medley BOM quilt. I thought about buying the pattern, but there were some elements I didn't really like so I started playing around with putting together a similar quilt in EQ. Then I got thinking, I'd really like to try some applique. I've seen some great pieced quilts with some applique added to make them nicer.  

So I started erasing and recoloring blocks to create more white space and then I got carried away and just kept adding applique. I'd always wanted to learn how to add applique blocks/motifs in Electric Quilt so I learned how over the weekend; it is not difficult, but it is really tedious. But I like being able to trace shapes and then play with the elements to combine them in different ways so it was worth the effort for me. The poppy and acanthus leaf applique patterns were scanned and traced from Michele Hill's William Morris in Applique book.

Anyway, I will probably never make it, but wouldn't this be a nice one if I'm ever up to doing all that applique?

All these fabrics in the design are from Barbara Brackman's Morris Tapestry and Morris Workshop fabrics from around 2012. I found it just as it was going out of print and I was still pretty new into quilting and didn't really know how much to buy for the stash so I bought nearly everything I could find. It was WAY too much. LOL

Thanks to Judy for hosting Design Wall Monday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Tuesday ToDo #26

Last week my tasks were to work on my Morris Garden quilt. Since I'd already cut the white triangles out, I needed to start putting together the blocks and assemble the quilt per the plan. It took a couple of days, but I finished the central blocks.

I'm really pleased with how the kaleidoscope squares turned out. It's difficult to see in the larger photo how the vines and leaves are all twisted up.
I still need to add the border. I had planned to just put on a basic border with a mitered corner, but now I'm wondering if I can maybe match the corners so the design aligns. Since the repeat on the border fabric is very small (less than 3") it may be possible, but I need to lay it out and see how close it is.
I had planned to finish over the weekend, but I went and picked up some library books instead and that often distracts me for a couple of days. This time I got several quilt books and I scanned the designs I liked and ended up playing with Electric Quilt again. LOL

My list for this next week:
  • Finish adding the border.
  • Make the backing.
  • Make 2 sets of pillowcases.
I'm linking up with Tuesday ToDo.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Morris Garden Almost Finished

I just need to add the mitered border, but the Morris Garden is almost complete! I'm really happy with how this quilt is coming out. 
This is the first time I've layered fabrics to cut out kaleidoscope pieces and it's definitely a technique I need to use again.
This is the border fabric I still need to add.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Nov Friday Night w/Friends

I got an early start on my Friday Night With Friends as I spent most of the day sewing. In fact, I've spent quite a lot of hours this week working on my Morris Garden quilt.

By today, I had all the pieces assembled and I could start putting together the quilt. I tried doing one mitered seam then decided it was going to be too difficult to get all the points to line up perfectly so I made the decision to tear apart all those kaleidoscope squares I had already sewn together so I could sew corners onto the octagons. It was an easier decision once I realized I could fit 2/3rds of the quilt up on the design wall.
The ripping added a bit of time, but I think my final assembly is a little smoother.
As of bedtime tonight, I have three rows finished—half of the central blocks—and have finished ripping apart all the kaleidoscope squares. I'm quite happy with how it is turning out. I should be able to just sew tomorrow unless I get distracted by something else. LOL

I'm also linking up with Finished or Not Friday.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Morris Garden Quilt

This post is a Tuesday ToDo and my November One Monthly Goal combined. I think I will make finishing my Morris Garden flimsy my One Monthly Goal. I had expected to finish it by now, but I keep getting distracted. 

I've gotten my white fabric and I've cut out all the 45° triangles and I've sewn them onto the blue diamonds, but I still need to finish sewing them onto the red and yellow. It's fairly slow going because I am being very precise in the positioning so all the edges line up when I'm done. If it's wrong, I rip it out and do it again.

I am nearly at the point where I need to figure out how to assemble this quilt. I cut out the squares between the octagons into kaleidoscopes.  I didn't have enough fabric to get really fancy with positioning so I just layered four fabric repeats together and cut out all the triangles. I ended up with whatever happened to be there, but I think it will look better than if I had just cut out random triangles and pieced them together.

So now, I need to make sure each set is kept together. I'm not sure whether I'd be better off assembling the kaleidoscope squares and all the octagons separately and then combining them with Y-seams when I assemble the quilt. 

Or, should I assemble all the octagons and then have the endless headache of adding the corners right before I sew the blocks together? I don't have a very large design wall so I would likely have to do this in sections.
Do any of you have experience with this? This is one of the more complex quilts I've made. Usually "complex" for me has been lots of little pieces. I don't have much experience with octagons yet, but I am enjoying the challenge of this project. I just want it to turn out well.

And for my Tuesday ToDo report. I had anticipated getting this project already finished, but I had a major distraction last Friday when I bought some woman's "stash" and then I got sucked into the vortex of looking through all the new fabric, magazines, and books I'd gotten. 

Then I found myself scanning all the projects that looked interesting to me so I could get rid of the magazines. And then I "organized" all the files on the computer. I'm not sure how, but the weekend just disappeared with barely a stitch. So, now I am trying to get back on track. 

I think I'll actually get this project done fairly quickly once I get going, but I am easily distracted, hence the OMG. I'm hoping it will help direct my attention.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Exciting Fabric Find

Yesterday when I was sitting around waiting for my fabric to arrive, I idly went to the Facebook marketplace and typed in "cotton fabric." I don't do it often, but I just did it yesterday on a whim. An ad came up for some woman who was moving into her retirement quarters and was getting rid of her fabric. This was the photo she posted. It looked like there was a fair amount of fabric, but to be honest some of the fabrics shown were sort of ugly. But it looked to be batik, so I made an appt and went out to her house.

When I got out there, she also brought out a tub of books and offered to sell those to me as well. I poked at a few pieces of fabric on top and there were enough pieces that I liked to make it worth the $35 she was asking so I just gave her the money and took the tubs, as requested. She wanted it all gone. And she offered me the books for $5!! Yup, took those too.

Anyway, I got home and pulled out all the fabric and started laying it out and I was shocked at how much there actually was. I did a quick tally (I didn't carefully measure everything, but quite a lot of it still has the store tags attached) and I got almost 70 yards!!! OMG! I paid 50¢ a yard for batiks! Hehe, I've never been this lucky with a fabric purchase before.
Quite a lot of the books are knitting and crochet, which I have no interest in, but there were quite a few quilt books and magazines so they were definitely worth the extra $5. Yeah, I had a good day today.

Also, I got my white fabric and I spent the morning cutting out the triangles for my Morris Garden quilt. Hopefully, I'll get it assembled by the end of the weekend, but right now I can't help pawing through my new stuff.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Tuesday To Do #24

Last Tuesday I wrote about working on my Morris Garden quilt. I hoped during the week I could 
  • Cut out and assemble the rest of the red and blue diamonds.
  • Cut out the white triangles.
  • Start putting together the blocks.
  • Assemble the quilt blocks per the plan.
Sadly, I discovered I didn't have enough of the white fabric that was part of the fabric line. I only need about 1¼ yards, but I only have one yard. It's a bummer, but I didn't have anything in my stash that I both had enough yardage and liked what it looked like with the other fabrics. So, I ordered a replacement fabric and now I'm waiting for it to show up before I can continue work on this quilt.

I did everything I could without the white fabric.
While I wait, I've been trying to finish up quick little projects that have been hanging around unfinished in my sewing room.

Over the weekend, I made six mug rugs from some scrap HSTs.
Then yesterday, I picked up another small project I'd set aside in April. It was actually easier than I expected to sew all those Y-seams.
I originally intended to make mug rugs from these small blocks (they're about 5-inches), but now that I have already made six, I'm thinking about piecing them together into a larger block. I haven't decided yet.

With any luck, I'll get the replacement white fabric soon and I'll be able to resume work on the Morris Garden quilt this coming week. I will go ahead and carry forward the remaining items on the list.
  • Cut out the white triangles.
  • Start putting together the blocks.
  • Assemble the quilt blocks per the plan.
Linking up with Tuesday ToDo.