Saturday, April 10, 2021

A Little Blue

I've not spent much time in the sewing room this week in part because the weather has been lovely, calling me outdoors.  I've also felt a slow down in my desire to sew since finishing and sending off the quilts to my great nieces and nephew.  So, I've done some overdue pruning and yard clean-up. I have to admit to being a fair weather gardener. Various things in the yard are in bloom and other things are just beginning to come up, I want to enjoy them all before it gets too hot to enjoy the outdoors.  I planted this azalea last year and am so happy to see it blooming so abundantly. I had one like this at our old home and had to leave it behind when we moved. I'm hoping this one will turn out as special as that one was. Time will tell. 

I did get a little done in the sewing room. I pulled out my blue scraps and made a placemat for myself. I have more scraps to make a second one but haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe today.  I had fun with this. Since it's so small and just for me I took the dive and did some real free motion quilting. No pattern, no marking, just put the needle down and go. It turned out better than I thought it might. The edges don't lay flat, but no matter about that.

Most of my time in the sewing room this week has been spent marking my tablecloth. The photo doesn't show the marking very well. I'm hoping to have the star points stand out so marked the green triangles more and the star points less. The four square blocks are marked with roses and I don't yet now what I'll do with the dark squares. I'm not done marking yet but am moving along. I stopped by the quilt shop in Redding yesterday while I was in town to visit family and bought the thread I need for quilting it. I really need to move a little faster to get this done if I want to actually have it on my table this spring. 

I've also made a little progress on my leader/ender project which is also mostly blue. I'm not using scraps for this project, but older fabrics from my stash, with a few new fabrics to complete the design. It will also be a tablecloth someday. Well, actually, all the fabrics in this picture are new. Hmmm, guess the older fabrics will come along in the second blocks. Anyway, I like what I have so far. A little bit of work on my main project and that's it for the sewing room this week. 

One more thing before I go. Recently I posted a picture of my armoire and said it needed some shelves that I wasn't able to do. I received a comment on that post from Maggie of The Cheerful Chickadee who told me about a simple way to get it done. I followed her advice and it's done! New shelves and better organization in the armoire. Many thanks Maggie! 

I'm linking up with:

Angela at So Scrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 

Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!

Beth at Love, Laugh, Quilt for Monday Making

Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Mid Week Makers

I hope you are having a lovely weekend!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Slow and Scrappy Weekend

Good Morning Friends. Yesterday I got out the only scrappy green blocks I've managed to make for the March Rainbow Scrap Challenge and decided to put them together into a runner for the china cabinet in my kitchen for Spring. I put some purple and rust scraps between them to extend the length and then found a green, purple and rust fabric to use for the border. Not sure what I'll use for the binding just yet - haven't gotten that far, but the top is done. The colors of the border fabric don't show up well in the photo, but the fabric is a very good match for the green blocks and purple and rust sashing. So I finally have a "table topper" for Joy's monthly table topper challenge from the Joyful Quilter partially finished. I chose purple for the sashing because my Spring tablecloth is all in purple and green and I needed a runner to go with it. And I love the color combination of purple and green. 

My leader/ender project is coming along nicely, almost finished with my quarter square triangle blocks, should be able to get those done today. A while back I purchased Bloc Loc tools for trimming half and quarter square triangles and am so glad I did. Using them is making such a big difference in the accuracy of the finished blocks. Once these pieces are done I can move on to getting the larger block they belong in put together. This is a two block project and the pieces I've been working on are only for the first block. There are 13 of them to get done and then I'll move on to making 13 of the second block. 

I recently cleaned out and rearranged my armoire as storage for my hand work projects. Adding a couple of shelves would be helpful, but it's not something I can manage myself. Anyway my projects don't sit out all the time now gathering dust while I'm not working on them. I think I'll do some work on my red and gray chevron blanket this morning. Though I had hoped at the beginning of the year that I could stick with my goal of staying out of the sewing room on Sunday and giving that day to hand stitching, I've completely failed. The only slow stitching I've done this month is hand sewing down the binding on the backs of two quilts that got sent to family members in Alabama this month. You can see the post about those completed quilts here

I recently saw a travel iron at our local craft shop and thought it would be a great addition to my sewing corner. I made the purchase and am so glad I did. I had been using my standard size iron in the corner but it often hit the thread spools that hang above my little pressing mat. The little iron fits perfectly and never hits the spools. It's helped make the sewing room more efficient. I don't have to unplug and move my iron to the pressing table when I have larger pieces to press, or clothes to iron. The little iron just stays in its corner.  

Well, that's all for this morning. Thanks for stopping by and reading. I hope you have a lovely week. 

I'm linking up with Angela at So Scrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and Kathy at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching. Stop by and visit their blogs to see the lovely and creative things others have been doing in their sewing rooms this week. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Deliveries Made

Good Morning friends, it's a lovely morning here in Paradise and I'm glad to be in the library in my cozy chair, enjoying my coffee, hearing the birds sing and watching the morning rise.  It's been a good while since I've made a post. I've been working on various projects that have kept me away from my computer, but this week I'm playing catch up with any number of things around the house and yard, and now it's time to get a new post going. 

Over the last two weeks I have sent three quilts to the grandchildren of two of my sisters who live in Alabama.  The first one I finished was for Ellis, my youngest sister's grandson, but I was working on completing a quilt for his sister Blaire so waited until hers was finished to send the package. It was a surprise to them and their mom, my niece Hannah.  

Back in November I finished a queen size Magic Star quilt and realized that I had enough fabric left over from that quilt to make another Magic Star quilt, though a small one with smaller sized blocks. It was completed in December. I thought of this quilt while the large one was on my design board. It struck me one day that looking at the block design diagonally one could almost imagine a turtle instead of a star. So I started searching the internet for turtle sketches and found lots of them.

I chose one for my quilting pattern and made a template of it. I think you can see most of it in this shot okay, the sun is shining on just a part of it, the head isn't really showing. 
I was able to enlarge the sketch to fit the blocks perfectly. The layout I did had the turtles going in different directions all over the quilt. 

I found a good fabric for the back that I though went well with the turtle theme but had to add a little bit of another fabric to it. I was glad for another green fabric that went well with the main one and it turned out well because it shows up the turtle design on the back much better. 

Ellis was delighted with his gift, Hannah sent a little video she took of him dancing around on it the evening it arrived. 

I completed the quilt for his big sister Blaire on March first. It was a UFO that had been waiting for my attention since 2016. Here is the picture of its beginning on the design wall in Mom's studio. I'm afraid it's not a very good picture. I think I took it at night with the florescent lights on in the studio. The heart in the center came from the quilt I did for my niece Sadie. Her quilt had four large pink hearts on it, that you can see here. They were appliqued to a yellow background that I then cut away before quilting it. The yellow heart in the center here is one of the background pieces cut from Sadie's quilt. 

The design went through some significant changes before it was settled and I could finally work on completing the quilt. I had blanket stitched by hand around all the hearts on Sadie's quilt with a darker pink to make them show up against the background better and knew I needed to do that with Blaire's quilt too, but didn't want to do it by hand again. Also, the embroidery thread I used on Sadie's quilt ran and stained the quilt - I didn't want that to happen again. We ordered an open toe foot for my machine to do the blanket stitching on Blaire's quilt. It doesn't show up in this picture, but does help the heart stand out a little bit better from the background than it would otherwise. The border fabric is also left over from Sadie's quilt. Blaire is happy with her gift and sent me a picture of it on her bed, which it fits very nicely. 

Last year I sent a crib size Elephant quilt to my great nephew Beckett, you can see that post here. I did manage to get it to him while he was still the baby of the family. It wasn't long though before his little sister Danleigh was born. The third quilt I sent to Alabama went just last week and was for Danleigh. I've posted about the beginnings of her quilt, the pink and yellow string quilt I made, you can see that here. I stopped writing about it though because I didn't want to publish pictures of the final design or my progress on the quilt knowing that her mom, my niece Sheena, reads my blog and I wanted the quilt to be a complete surprise to her, which it was. The open toe foot we got for my machine made the finish of the string quilt possible. It allowed me to satin stitch around each of the butterflies that I appliqued to the quilt. 

The butterflies are very special. I had tried to make some using a butterfly coloring book I have. The tracing worked okay but the ink that I used to color them which was supposed to be permanent wasn't, so I didn't dare use them. I had about given up on the idea of getting butterflies on the quilt when I got a comment on a post I had made about the difficulty from Rebecca Grace of Rebecca Grace Quilting. That started a conversation between us that ended up with her sending me the beautiful butterfly fabric that was left over from a quilt she had appliqued with them. It was so kind and thoughtful of her. You can see her post showing the pretty quilt she made using the butterflies here. The butterflies made both of our quilts extra special, and Danleigh, even at nine months old notices and is attracted to them. I am very grateful for the gift. 

Now that those projects have been completed and sent I feel like I can relax a bit and work on something for myself. So I've pulled the Spring Tablecloth top that I made last year out of the closet to finish. I've added borders and am working on finalizing the quilting design and getting it marked. The corner squares were very serendipitous. I have a stash of charm squares cut from a variety of scrap fabrics. There was barely enough border fabric to cover the sides and top/bottom portions of the quilt, but not enough to reach the corners. So I pulled out my charm square stash and there just happened to be four squares of just the right floral purple and green fabric to get the corners done. 

I also have pieces cut for some of the blocks I'm going to use for another tablecloth. I am using them for leaders/enders while I piece together nine patch blocks for another project that I'll write about some other time. For now I'm making quarter square triangles, part of a larger block. 

There are more projects, so many more, waiting for me to get to them. I could do this 24/7 and still never catch up because new projects keep coming to mind. For now though what I have going for the moment seems like enough to keep me busy for a while. 

Thanks for reading! 
I hope you are having a lovely week!

I'm linking up with the following blogs as their links open up. 

Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Mid Week Makers

Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday

Denise at For the Love of Geese for Put Your Foot Down

Nina Marie for Off the Wall Friday

Alycia at Alycia Quilts for Finished or Not Friday

Fredreique at Patchwork and Quilts

Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!

Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday

Beth at Love, Laugh, Quilt for Monday Making

Dione at Clever Chameleon for Color and Inspiration

Jennifer at the Inquiring Quilter for Wednesday Wait Loss

Monday, February 22, 2021

Goal Reached

Well it's been quite a month. I set my OMG for February on the 3rd and by that date already had 10 blocks for the project done. I heard from my friend Laura Cootsona, director of the Jesus Center in Chico, CA about the need for hand made quilts for the expansion of the Jesus Center on January 23rd.  On January 25th we had a zoom meeting to discuss the project. I believe I started the quilt on February 2nd. I finished it today. That's record time for me! A twin size quilt from start to finish in less than one month. Of course that also meant that was all I worked on during that time, with one exception which I will discuss below. 

The pattern I used was Lauri Simpson's 9-Patch Block, which was #8 for Moda's Block Head's 3 for 2020. I used mostly scraps and stash fabric, but did have to make a few fabric purchases to complete the blocks. I chose teal, pink, blue, and purple, and made 10 - 12" blocks of each color. I began with the teal blocks. One of the purchased fabrics was for the center of each block. I found a fabric that had each of the four colors I had chosen in a little floral pattern on a white ground, to pull them all together. 

The next set of blocks were the pinks. Getting 10 blocks done went rather quickly because I was chain piecing. It actually took far more time to find enough fabric from my stash and scraps of the right value in the chosen color. I had to purchase a dark pink for the four square units in the pink blocks. I also needed a light blue and a dark purple to complete the various sections. What was interesting to me was how different the blocks of two different colors looked when lined up next to each other on the design wall. The teal and pink blocks looked like I had used different patterns. I wondered at this point in the process if I had made a mistake in choosing to use only a single block pattern. 

I made the blue blocks next, and then the purple ones - they didn't look so different from each other as the teal and pink had. But I knew they were not going to look very good if I kept them in single color sections and just lined them up across the quilt.  So it was off to the bedroom floor since the design wall was taken up with another project. 

So I chose a pretty simple layout and am quite happy with it. Five blocks across and eight rows down made a 60" by 96" top. It's for a twin bed, I didn't add a border. Once the layout was decided on connecting the blocks and sewing the rows together went pretty quickly. I wished however that I had a leader/ender project ready to go when I made this since it was all chain piecing and I could have gotten a long way on another project if I'd had one ready. 

I had decided against doing more large quilts but this was a special project so I went ahead with it anyway. It wasn't as large as the queen size Magic Stars quilt I did last year, so was a little more manageable. However I knew that the layout of my sewing room would make the marking, layering, and quilting difficult. So last Saturday I did a major room rearrangement. This photo shows the original arrangement. The table with the quilting machine facing the window but on the far side of the room with very little room between my chair and the closet doors behind me. Tables had to be moved to support the quilt and all the stuff kept on the cutting tables and the pressing mat on the pressing tables had to be moved. It was a big chore every time I needed to do marking, basting, and quilting. 

I kept seeing on Pinterest craft rooms and quilting studios that had large square tables in the center of the room with lots of space around them and wondered if I could make that kind of arrangement work. It would mean moving my quilting machine to the table in front of the window and moving the large shelf unit to the far side of the room. You can see I made quite a mess getting the shelf and cabinet emptied so they could be moved. It took pretty much all day. Dan helped with the movement of large pieces and I did the rest. I knew right away that the four tables in the middle of the room would be far more functional for me in that arrangement but wondered how the quilting was going to work with the machine against the wall in front of the window. 

The tables I have are from Dan's mom's art studio. I knew when we had the estate sale of her things that many people would be interested in her tables, because she taught art classes on them for many years and her students were the people who came to the sale. But, I also knew that they would work perfectly for my sewing room so I kept them all. I have six of them in the sewing room. They are the perfect height and their size means they can be easily rearranged as needed. I have just enough room in the sewing room to line four of them up in a row if I need to baste a large quilt, and did that for the Magic Stars quilt. I'm so thankful to have them. The new layout is to have four in the center of the room, two for my cutting mats and two for my pressing table. There is plenty of room all the way around the tables so movement around the room is much simpler than it was in the original layout. Also all my cutting tools are right there on the shelf behind the tables so I don't have to keep those things on the tables anymore. They are always within easy reach.

The other two tables are now up against the outer wall facing the canyon, with the quilting machine in front of the window. It works so much better than the former arrangement! The quilt can't fall off the end of the table because it runs up against the wall and the window. It's made doing the quilting so much easier. I didn't need to move my sewing desk where I do my piecing on my Bernina, it's been in the perfect spot all along. I can see right along the canyon and down into the valley right from my sewing chair. It's such a lovely sight every time I look up from my sewing. 

Well, my rearrangement took a whole day and nothing got done on the quilt that day, but I'm sure the improvement in the layout saved me at least that much time during marking, basting, and quilting.  Anyway, the quilt got done and my One Monthly Goal for February was reached. 

I am linking up with:

Patty of Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal

Beth at Love, Laugh, Quilt for Monday Making

Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap

Judy of Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday

Thanks for stopping by and reading. Have a lovely week! 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

February One Monthly Goal

I love to read and for many years would read four or five books at a time. I don't read nearly as often or as much these days but have numerous quilting projects going at one time in place of the books. One book I did read recently is Confessions of X by Suzanne M. Wolfe. If you are familiar at all with the life of St. Augustine this may be of interest. It's a novel, not about Augustine but about the life of his Concubine, so of course Augustine is present almost throughout. It's fiction of course, and a great story beautifully written. I'm going to be reading more of the author's work soon. 

Now on to the numerous projects in the sewing room. There is the making of Peppermint Patty quilt blocks, the string quilt applique project, the Charm Square Heart quilt, and beginning experiments with foundation paper piecing a Storm at Sea quilt. There are more waiting in project boxes to be cut and pieced and a few hanging in the closet waiting to be layered and quilted. So many options to choose from when I go to the sewing room to work. 

However, they are all on hold now. My One Monthly goal for February is to get a new project done - all the way done, complete. I'm using Alternate Block 8 from Moda Block Heads 3 by Laurie Simpson for my pattern and making 12" blocks. The blocks on the design wall are the beginning of the first section of the quilt. I have three sections to go and want to have the blocks completed before I make the final design decision. The other three sections will be one each of pink, blue, and purple. This is a donation quilt. I've given away many quilts in my time, though to this point all to family members. This is my first donation quilt. If you are interested the information about the local non-profit I'm donating to is below. 

I received a request last week from my dear friend Laura for help with getting quilts made for the expansion of the Jesus Center in Chico, CA. Laura is the director of this local non-profit that helps the underserved and homeless of our community. The Jesus Center has long had a shelter for women called the Sabbath House. They are now in the process of moving and expanding their facility to include shelter space for men as well. There will soon be 35 beds for women and 25 beds for men. The projected date for opening the new faciltiy is April 1st. Laura is hoping for at least 20 new quilts by the opening. I can make one, maybe two. If you are interested in finding out more about the Jesus Center click here to go to their web site. They serve our community in so many ways beyond offering meals and shelter. If you are interested in helping Laura get quilts for the shelter beds please let me know in the comment section below and I will contact you with details about the project. 

I'm linking up with Patty at Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Finally Finished

Well it's taken me long enough but I am finally finished with my little needle book. I don't actually know when I started it, early last year sometime. It's nothing fancy. If I ever do another one I will do it differently, not that I need a fancy one, just a better approach. I didn't have everything I needed to make a normal needle book when I started this one but went ahead and started and went my own way with it, which turned out to be a rather lengthy process that discouraged me. So it's just been sitting undone for a long while. I finally picked it up last week and got it finished. I like the fabrics and the colors, and it works just fine for it's purpose, keeping my needles safely in one place. 

I've made good progress on my pink String Quilt for the OMG for January but it is now the 31st and I didn't make my goal. It's still high on my priority list but will take a bit longer to finish. This is an early picture, I can't show any progress at this point because it's a gift and a surprise so will show pictures when it's been given. It involves applique which I have never done very well. It remains a challenge though the open toe foot I got for my Bernina machine is a being a big help with getting pieces attached. I've also been practicing with the apliquick tools I borrowed from my friend Kathy. They take some getting used to. I don't know if I prefer them to needle turn applique, it's been a long time since I've done any of that so will have to try some and see what I think.

Speaking of needle turn - I pulled a very old project out of the closet this week. My first and only applique project until now. I was talking with Kathy who took the class with me and finished her quilt many years ago. She mentioned that old project and I went got it to show her my few pieces, only to find that I had finished two of the applique panels before I abandoned it. I just might have to see if I can get some work done on it this year.  There is a lot more work to do on this and I don't know if I'll get to it any time soon, but I'm glad to have found that I'm further along than I remembered.

I also pulled down a box that got put at the top of the sewing room closet when we moved in 3 years ago. I had no idea what was in it and was somewhat pleased with what I found. The box contained a partly done dress for me and one for my niece who is now in her twenties - toddler size. The size of the dress I was making for myself is way off for the me I am today as well. The cancer experience has changed me and I weigh far less than I did when I started that dress. I don't even know why those projects got put aside and never finished. I suspect I was in the midst of doing them when we made the move onto Dan's mom's property, into a house of our own. Anyway, I was pleased to find them because the fabric for the dress is beautiful, one I have always loved. It won't be a dress now - I've removed all the seams from the pieces I had managed to get sewn and will be using the fabric for a quilt. I don't have a specific plan in mind just yet, but it will come. There were also other stray bits of lovely fabric in the box that I will find a good use for.  

In addition to the mystery box from the closet, I took a couple of storage boxes out from under the bed. They have been holding other pieces of fabric that I purchased long ago for other clothing projects that I never got to. One piece will work well for a back for my Peppermint Patty quilt. It's an extra wide fabric and I have 5 yards of it! It's been sitting in that box for years. There was also another floral fabric that I love in that box. I'm not sure what I will do with that, but now all the found fabrics are in the closet in my sewing room with my other fabrics.

I thought I was nearly done making blocks for my Peppermint Patty quilt but I made a change in the layout and realized that it meant making more blocks. I spent most of the day Friday cutting pieces for the blocks. I pulled some fabrics from my stash and scrounged through what little is left of my pink scraps to get enough for all the needed blocks. Here they are all stacked and ready to be pieced. My plan is to get at least five of them done a day before starting work on other projects. It should only take me a couple of weeks at that rate to have all the blocks I need. 

I've done a little work this week with my pink scraps. Getting the right size and number of scraps for any one block has been a challenge. Guess I could cut my little bits down to 1.5" pieces to use for a postage stamp quilt but I don't know that I have the determination to tackle a quilt with pieces that small. So I only have these few pink blocks to show for RSC January. The paper pinned up with the blocks shows what a nine patch postage stamp quilt in pink could look like. 

I worked on my crochet lap blanket before sunrise this morning. It's been sitting ignored for several weeks. A couple of rows needed to be pulled out and redone and so it sat. I got it back out this past week and spent several mornings working on it while enjoying my morning coffee. I also spent today and last Sunday working on hand quilting what I've been calling my "purple leaves" quilt. Don't know quite why I've been calling it that because the print on the fabric isn't of leaves at all, it's of feathers. Old age? Chemo brain? Who knows, but I realized last week when I was working on it that I was stitching around feathers, not leaves. Anyway, I'm making some good progress on it and am enjoying the break I'm taking from the sewing room on Sundays. I'm anxious to get this little piece finished so that I can move on to my Floral Log Cabin quilt which is going to take me much longer to finish. 

I hope your quilting adventures take you to happy places this week.

I'm linking up with the following blogs as their linky parties come available: 

I'm linking up with Kathy at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching

Alycia at Alycia Quilts for Finished or Not Friday

Angela at So Scrappy for RSC2021

Beth at Love, Laugh, Quilt for Monday Making

Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!

Fredreique at Patchwork and Quilts for Patchwork and Quilts 

Denise at For the Love of Geese for Put Your Foot Down

Jennifer at the Inquiring Quilter for Wednesday Wait Loss

Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday

Nina Marie at Creations, Quilts, Art ... for Off the Wall Friday

Patty at Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal

Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Second Sunday

Well, here we are at the Second Sunday of January and I've managed to stay out of the sewing room today and focus on hand quilting my Purple Leaves whole cloth quilt. I've finished up the lower parts of the hoop where I was last week and was getting pretty close to the edge of the quilt so have moved the quilt in the frame back toward the center where there are more leaves to stitch not so close to the outside edge. As you can see I'm still in Christmas mode. I think I'll enjoy my tree and decorations for one more week but by next Sunday Christmas should be put away. I will probably keep my Christmas tablecloth on the table, but flip it to the back side. I purposely gave it a backing that I could use when Christmas was over. It still has trees all over it, but it's not so obviously Christmasy. 

I stitched on my little quilt for a few hours this morning and have been resting and doing a few other things this afternoon, but am ready to get back to stitching for a while longer now. When I want to watch TV while I stitch I come out to the couch. The light out here is good and the couch has a fold down section where I can very conveniently put all my tools, tea, and snacks. It's a pretty comfortable place to work. The fireplace is nearby too, so the room stays cozy on these cold dreary days. That's my kitty Nigel laying up against the wall - sorry he's a little fuzzy in the picture. 

I don't know how many Sunday's in a row I'll manage to stick to my plan to spend them hand quilting but I'm off to a good start. Ha! Two weeks. 😊 

Well, I hope you are having a good start to your week. Stay safe and Healthy! 

I'm linking up with Kathy at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching

Friday, January 8, 2021

In the Pink

January's color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is Pink and I've been doing quite a bit in pink this week. I found a pattern from Moda Block Heads 3 from last year that I will be using for some of my Rainbow blocks this year. I pulled out my pink scraps and put together 3 blocks on Saturday last weekend. I'm afraid that's all the pink blocks I'm going to get in that pattern because I have insufficient scraps to cover the need for dark, medium, light, and pale pieces in each block. So I've pulled another pattern from Block Heads 3 and will be making a few of those in pink tomorrow. 

I've also been working a little bit each day on my Peppermint Patty quilt blocks. This is a quilt I started years ago when I learned about doing paper piecing with freezer paper. I had done a couple of paper pieced quilts previously using regular printer paper and had a horrible time getting the paper removed. The thought of not having to sew through the paper at all was intriguing to me so I jumped into a new project and got quite a bit of it done pretty quickly. Then life happened and it got put on the shelf, and that's where it's been for years. 

Today I finished my Snowflake quilt top.  I chose to use the alternate pattern for block 4 that designed the center rows on the diagonal instead of straight across as in the original pattern. Not having done that sort of piecing before made for a challenging learning experience. I also wanted to extend the borders so it would fit my kitchen table. I wanted the outer border to be solid blue, but I didn't have enough blue left. I did have some extra rows of blue and white sewn together because I had misunderstood the alternate pattern and thought I needed more that I actually did. That turned out to be a good thing. I knew I didn't want an all white border but wasn't sure how I was going to get the blue in there when there wasn't much left. While browsing through Pinterest, I saw a quilt that had borders with some small squares of color placed in the midst of the solid border. It looked nice and gave me the idea to use the extra pieced strip sets to make 2" blocks in blue and white and put them in the borders. I'm pleased with how it turned out.

After finishing the Snowflake quilt I set about cleaning up the tables that had a bunch of fabrics and lots of scraps piled up all over them. I sorted through what was there and either folded the fabric up to put it in my stash or piled it into my colored scrap bins. What I was left with were several pieces of the extra fabric strips that had been cut on the diagonal for the center blocks before I realized I didn't need them. I played around with putting them together in different pattens and came up with some diamonds. Those were also a challenge because I've just not done sewing on the diagonal like that before. After messing up the first one I figured out a way to get them lined up correctly so I could get nice points that came together as they should. They are on the design wall now beside the snowflake quilt. I think I'll use them to make a runner for the top of my china cabinet. 

That's about all I managed this week. I have other projects to get to so won't be layering or quilting the snowflake quilt this month, though I did purchase the batting and fabric for the back of it. There isn't any blue in the backing fabric, but the snowflakes all over it keep to the theme nicely. 

My One Monthly Goal for January is to finish my string quilt and I started doing a little bit toward that finish today, but I have quite a way to go on that one. I'm playing with Apliquick tools I borrowed from my good friend Kathy. I've only done a little bit but they seem to be promising to work better than needle turn for me. 

Stay safe and well. I hope you have a fun and productive weekend. 

I'm linking up with the following blogs as their linky parties come available.

Alycia at Alycia Quilts for Finished or Not Friday

Angela at So Scrappy for RSC2021

Beth at Love, Laugh, Quilt for Monday Making

Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!

Fredreique at Patchwork and Quilts for Patchwork and Quilts #34

Denise at For the Love of Geese for Put Your Foot Down

Jennifer at the Inquiring Quilter for Wednesday Wait Loss

Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday

Nina Marie at Creations, Quilts, Art ... for Off the Wall Friday

Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Slow Down Sunday

Hello 2021, am I happy to see you! Just a quick post today. I wrote a rather lengthy post on the 31st, a review of the good things in my life in 2020. It also covers quilts I finished at the end of 2020 and more of my quilting plans for 2021. You can find that post here. I realized after posting it though that I had left out one of the very best things that happened for me in 2020.  My birthday/Christmas gift from my husband, Dan. 

It's a beautiful hand made Amish hand quilting frame. One of the lovely things about it is that I can use it anywhere in the house, so today I'm in the living room in front of the fireplace and the TV, that I can watch while I stitch. I've not used it a lot since it's arrival in October because other projects I needed to finish were taking my time. However, I want to make a commitment this year to try to finish the two hand quilting projects that I have partly done. They have both been in the works for many years and it's time to get them done. Setting aside Sunday for slow stitching also gives me the chance to slow down and rest from all the activity going on in the sewing room during the rest of the week. 

The first project I want to finish is my Purple Leaves quilt, it's a small table cover. I loved the fabric so much I couldn't bear to cut it up so decided to make a whole cloth quilt of it. It's much smaller that the other and is on the frame and getting some attention today. 

The other is my queen size Floral Log Cabin quilt that could easily take a year to get quilted even with a commitment to work on it one day a week this year. I've thought for some time now that setting Sunday aside for hand work was a good idea, I just didn't do it. I'm not good at New Year's resolutions but think making such a commitment is about the only way I'm actually going to accomplish the quilting on these pieces. 

I hope this New Year finds you well and happy with lots of fun quilting adventures for the coming months. 

I'm linking up with Kathy at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.