Thursday, May 7, 2020

Creating A Quilted Legacy-Remembering Paula B

I've only been blogging for less than five years and during this time I have made so many quilting friends in Blogland. At first friendships were formed from leaving comments on Quilters' blogs, then joining QALS and, more recently, from the time I was a participant in the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers. This week, starting on May 6th, fellow quilt bloggers are celebrating the birthday of Paula Budinger, who blogged at Paula B Quilts and passed away this year on February 8th.  There are many quilters who have formed friendships with Paula and although I was not part of her circle, I was blessed with many of her kind and thoughtful comments she left over the years on my blog.  When I read Kate's post on March 1st inviting quilt bloggers to participate in Creating a Quilted Legacy Blog Hop by donating a quilt in Paula 's memory to an charitable organization, I knew I had the perfect quilt I wanted to donate.

If the above quilt looks familiar, it is one of the last quilts I finally finished during the last weeks of December and you can read about it in this post.  I knew when I made it last year, I wanted to donate it and before I joined this Blog Hop I asked Kate if this quilt would be acceptable and it was. I thought my Malka Stripes would be perfect knowing that Paula liked bright colors.  I will be donating this quilt to Hands2Help 2020/Caregivers Quilt Initiative and hope this quilt will bring comfort to a caregiver.

Thanks to Kate of Smiles from Kate and Janice of Color, Creating and Quilting for hosting and organizing this blog hop to honor Paula.

Here is a list of the others who are participating in the Creating A Quilted Legacy Blog Hop:

There are prizes for the Blog Hop.  To enter, leave a comment on a blog post, the more blogs you visit and leave a comment, the more chances you have to win a prize.
Here’s the list of prizes
Happy reading and Good Luck!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Parade of Awesome Ocean QAL Quilts

It's been awhile since I posted (March 1st) and it's been even longer since I've had a Finally Finished Quilt to post.  So, it's good that the Parade of Awesome Ocean QAL quilts is happening on Saturday, because there would have been a good chance of my continuing my Flimsy Frenzy which started in February. Before this quilt and another quilt which you will see later in this post, I had ten flimsies which happened mainly because it was hard for me to focus during Miserable March and Awful April, I really wanted to make face masks but needed elastic and hard to believe I've been waiting for over a month for delivery, and the Squirrels were running rampant while reorganizing some of my stash and projects.

The Awesome Ocean Quilt Along, hosted by the Grand Marshall of the Parade, Kathleen McMusing, started last November, and I know two others besides myself, Wendy and Emily who participated in this QAL and we all happened to be Bee Sisters from the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers group.  I posted about participating in this QAL with my Preppy the Whale post and I can tell you the mishaps and salty language continued with making the final three pair of sea creature blocks.  

There were nine pairs of sea creature/foilage blocks to be made and to assure that the colors were going to be distributed evenly on the quilt, I chose to make each pair in the same color range, sometimes making them exactly the same or using the same fabrics but alternating the positions which worked out well except with the Kelp and Tony the Turtle blocks which both happened to be green. I changed the layout on the bottom half of the quilt, which originally had both of these blocks next to each other, so the Manatee block was put in between the green blocks, thus avoiding having a green glob at the bottom.
All of the fabrics used in my Awesome Ocean Quilt were almost all from my stash, including the backing and binding which was a 15 year old batik-like print.  I ended having to purchase another 1.5 yard of the Regatta Blue Grunge which was needed for the sashing and border.  Normally I do not like to sew sashing but I have to say I never love sashing as much as I did for this quilt because it really made sewing the top together so easy--thankfully the sashing wasn't a crazy cut like 1-3/16" which would have really made me want to jump in the ocean.  As for the prints used, they were fat quarters from Lilly and Loom from Blueprint, a layer cake of V and Company Mixologie and Zen Chic for the perfect yellow print for one of the Sea Horses.

During the past two months it was easy to lose track of which day it was and I really thought I missed the AO parade and was surprised when I saw the AO QAL schedule and realized I still had time to put the blocks together and quilt it.  I machine quilted it with wavy lines like Wendy and my Wave Ruler came in handy for marking the quilt lines 2" apart.  I will admit I was not the happy participant in this QAL, being that I like to make quilts which are easy on my brain, easy cutting, cruise control sewing and I am angle-challenged so this quilt definitely made me focus on following the pattern/instruction. I now understand why my hubby and some men don't like to follow maps or listen to OnStar.; in my house, it's OnStar 10 and Hubby 1.  If there was anything awesome about this Quilt it's the feeling I had once the quilt was finally finished and hanging up on my design wall--I couldn't stop looking at it and smiling.  I know the darling granddaughter is going to love looking at it when she's in her bedroom at the Grandparent House.

While I was making this quilt, it was so easy for me to say that this was one pattern I would definitely not sew again and was ready to send this pattern off. (After the top was done I couldn't find the pattern for several days until I realized I filed it in my pattern files; I thought I needed it because I couldn't remember some of the "proper" names of the blocks).  But after enjoying the awesomeness of it's finish I would make it again only if the other Son, Demando, would grace me with a Grandchild.  I'm not going to make the collecting the State Quarters mistake again which for some reason, I filled up only one collector book and realizing once I was finished collecting quarters during the course of several years, I realized I should have done two books since I had two sons.  But in my defense, only one son showed any interest in them and I'm pretty sure the darling granddaughter's father has them.

Thanks Kathleen for hosting this QAL and giving me a sense of awesomeness during these days where we are trying to stay positive.  This pattern has given me another descriptor for "hard" patterns, there is "fear of Jen Kingwell patterns" and now "faint of Hartman" both meaning shivers at the remembrance of that sewing experience.  Be sure to check out Kathleen's post on April 25th to see the other Awesome Ocean quilts made by brave quilters and their posts.
And speaking of the darling granddaughter, I mentioned that I had another Finally Finished for this week and it's her Shine Bright Unicorn quilt and it's her bonus birthday quilt.  When I was talking to her mother about not being able to come down for there 3rd Birthday celebration, she asked me if I had made her a birthday quilt which I thought I didn't so I started making this quilt, but then remember later after I started this quilt, the AO quilt was to be her birthday quilt.  Earlier this year, I bought a fat quarter bundle with panel of the Shine Bright by Katie Webb/Clothworks and made this quilt using these fabrics and some from my stash.
The design of this quilt was based on whatever blocks I could make from the panel and fat quarters which were five Star blocks with four Rail Fence blocks, all 15" finished,  set in a nine-patch layout.  Luckily I had fabrics in my stash which worked well with the Shine Bright collection and even more lucky, I had just purchased a yard of the purple multi-dot fabric from Bernie, Needle and Foot, thinking this print would come in handy one day and it sure did.  I don't think I could have come up with this design had I not had this purple print.  In order to make this quilt 54" square so it could be a another wallhanging for the darling granddaughter's bedroom, I wanted a border in just the right color and print scale, and three-times lucky, I found the pink gingham in the backing vault and forgot I had it--it was just perfect to showcase the many prints and colors in this quilt.  I did simple wavy lines and in the ditch quilting for this quilt and am happy with the way it looks.
The Shine Bright Quilt will replace the quilt that is currently hanging over the darling granddaughter's bed; I think it will go perfect with the ginormous Unicorn laying on her queen size bed, right?

I was hoping by me finally finishing the Awesome Ocean and Shine Quilts that it would be good quilt karma and it would mean we could soon go to the Grandparent House but the quarantine in Illinois has been extended thru May 30th.  Hubby and I keep going back and forth on whether we could go to the Grandparent House and resist having the darling granddaughter over. There's been much discussion on whether this is okay and doable.  For now, we're still staying home until at least the end of April.
Before finally finishing these two quilts, I had ten flimsies hanging on the rod and now I have eight.  Although I should keep the machine quilting vibe going, I am more tempted to keep the Flimsy Frenzy going.  But I am so willing to put this aside, once my elastic finally arrives and I can sew mucho face masks for family and friends now that it's required.

I wish you well during theses days of quarantine and pray for "normal" days to return and saying not having enough time to quilt is really true.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Flimsy Frenzy February

I am writing this post during the last few hours of the last day of February and was hoping to have four Flimsies to show for the month I did not have any Finally Finish which I don't think has happened very often since I started blogging.  I only managed to sew three flimsies and the fourth one is on the design wall waiting to be sewn.  This month was busy and for once did not involve having spent too much time with the darling Granddaughter which only amounted to only four days-let's not do that again.  Rather, much time was spent on Hubby's Mohs surgery on his scalp and he was told to limit his activities for two weeks which meant no visiting or traveling until the stitches were removed.  Thankfully, they were removed right before our ten-day vacation to Austin, TX and, yes, I was able to go to QuiltCON for one day. 
Unfortunately, I was not able to walk around much since my Piriformis ailment, or as I call it, pain the butt, was acting up so I spent a lot of time finding any available chair for me to stretch my leg.  I managed to meet up with Kathleen, Kathleen McMusing, one of my Bee Sistas, whom I have exchanged many e-mails, phone calls and even a FaceTime chat.  This was the first time we were going to meet in person and when she asked how she was going to recognize, I told her look for the tall Asian woman and she responded, yeah, right, meaning she thought I was joking since she assumed I was short which I have to admit isn't a wrong impression.  I'm 5'8" and imagine her surprise so we shared a few laughs about it (middle photo and note my legs were bent so as not to look too tall-hee- hee).  I forgot to give her a Thank You Hug for hosting the Awesome Ocean QAL. I'm really sorry that I missed seeing a lot of the Bloggers I follow whom I did not know until I saw their IG posts and I appreciate the ones who posted photos of the quilts since I didn't spend too much time look at the many wonderful quilts exhibited.  If you saw someone sitting around a lot at the Handi Qulter booth, it was me.  I spent so much time there I am now considering if one is in my future and Hubby even was in agreement and it wouldn't involve him buying a motorcycle.  I know if I decide to finally get a long arm, I know I can count on Kathleen, who is a Whiz on her Sweet Sixteen, SS Tabitha.  Even though, I didn't get to meet any fellow bloggers, I did happen to meet up with Pam, an old quilt friend from over 15 years ago.
Update/Correction: I absolutely hate when this happens, but I realized that I forgot to include that Kathleen and I also met up with Liz of Savor Every Stitch and almost by chance.  She had just posted about an improv bag she made and I suspected that meant she was going to be at QuiltCon so I sent her an email.  Liz lives twenty minutes from me, came to my house once, and we communicate by email.  So it was funny that we were both going to be at QuiltCon at the same time since we seem not to be able to get together more often. If I was going to have a quilt daughter, it would be Liz. Sadly, in my excitement of seeing her, a photo of us together was not taken.  Since I wrote my post based on my photos, that is why I forgot to include her.  Since my leg was aching so bad and Liz only had a short time to shop, our time was brief but wonderful.  It was fun going to the long arm machine booths where Liz demonstrated her skills--she is a natural.  P.S., Liz is almost as tall as me.

Now back to the three quilt tops or as I like to say my Flimsy Excuse for February.  I decided that after being caught up with my Awesome Ocean Quilt Blocks, I would treat myself to some easy sewing of strips and squares and I couldn't stop at just one top. .I'm just showing photos of the three, sorry for the indoor shots, and will provide more details once they are a Finally Finish which hopefully some of them will be in March.
Highland Room
Zingy Zebra Stripe
And in case you're wondering, here is my almost #4, Citron Canyon:

We'll be making up for lost time in March and will be heading to the Grandparent House next week for visit #1.  Visit #2 which will be later that month, will involve celebrating the 3rd birthday of the darling Granddaughter.  Don't tell Kathleen, that I'm now behind on the Awesome Ocean QAL and need to catch up with sewing the Tony the Turtle and Mr. Manatee Blocks which I hope to do before coming up with another flimsy excuse.  

Here's hoping for an early spring because tomorrow it's going to be a 50 degree day with sunshine.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Awesome Ocean Quilt Along--Preppy the Whale

Today is my day to present my Pair of Purple Preppy the Whale blocks for the Awesome Ocean QAL hosted by Kathleen McMusing.  Last Fall, Kathleen asked me and the other Sistas from the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Hive if we would like to join her in making the Awesome Ocean Quilt which was designed by Elizabeth Hartmann.  It would have been easy for me to decline since, I, being the simple and easy quilter and am partial to big strips and squares.  Also, as I have made many mentions on previous posts of being still in recovery mode from making Jen Kingwell's Gypsy Wife quilt and refrain from making anything with 1" squares and increments that are not whole or half inch, I was on the fence for participating.
I could have come up with a hundred excuses for not participating but I did have one very good reason and image for doing this quilt which is I have a dear, sweet Granddaughter who loves water and all the sea creatures who live in it.  It's a good thing I also had some wonderful fabric in my stash which is one of my criteria when I participate in a QAL.  I chose to do the Preppy the Whale block because I thought it was one of the easiest blocks plus the Sperm Whale is one of my favorite sea creatures. I chose to do the smaller size of the two quilt sizes in the pattern which meant I only had to make two blocks of each pattern; I just knew I couldn't handle sewing four of these blocks.
I purchased my pattern and chose my fabric back in December and was already behind since the QAL which started in November.  Once I started my blocks in mid January, I found these tools to be helpful when sewing these blocks: a prop-it stand to hold the pattern book up while cutting fabric and sewing, a clear sheet protector cut to fit over the cutting instruction page so I can mark it with a dry marker and then erase it after I cut the patches, a mini slotted ruler to cut those tiny patches and strips and an empty kleenex box to throw away the trimmings to help keep the table clean.  What I should have also done is put a fresh blade in my rotary cutter but will for the next blocks.

Initially I cut and sewed two blocks at a time but later found cutting and sewing them one at a time was easier but more time consuming.  I found that in order to avoid cutting and sewing mistakes it is important to pay really close attention to the diagrams.  The first cutting mistake I made which was early on was because I was singing along to Whitney Houston and you can't help but to throw back your head and close your eyes.  So the no more singing when cutting rule was enforced but salty language is permitted.  I found that after making the first block, the second block went faster but such was not the case with the Preppy the Whale blocks.  I made the same cutting mistake with Patch M, I cut it both times wrong and did not notice it until after both connecting corners were sewn and saw it did not fit with Patch H.  With the second block, I kept sewing the eye piece wrong and I attributed that to be overly confident with having finished the first block and thinking the second time would sew up like a breeze so I could listen to some music. Obviously, singing and music could prevent you from staying focused.

Since I made each of the Preppy Whale blocks with a 10" layer cake square, I had to be real careful with the cutting since there was no room for error.  I really paid close attention to the special cutting direction for the mouth piece which was originally a 1" wide strip.  I was initially confused with the diagram and ended up sewing the black strip to the D patch and once the seams were pressed opened, I then trim 1/4" from the black strip.  Now as I'm writing this post and looking at the diagram, the black strip could have been sewn to the head piece and trimmed.  If I had read the instructions more carefully, and not just look at the diagram, this would have eliminated the confusion.  I will say pay close attention to the orientation of Patch E and M which even though they are not square, there were no orientation marks on the diagram like there was on Patch A which also was not a square.  Maybe if I had labeled my patches like some of the other participants did, this maybe would not be a problem.

There are a lot of connecting corners in all of the blocks and I chose to draw lines on the squares  even though I have a corner trimming ruler but I find it hard to angle the ruler to the correct orientation to make the right cut.  Again it is important to look at the diagrams to make sure you are sewing the angles right, especially when sewing connecting corners on strips and rectangles.  Did you know that it's easier to draw diagonal lines when the ruler is placed horizontally like the photo above.  I just learned this tip from blogland recently. Also when I sewed the connecting corners to the patches, I only cut out the middle piece and kept the back piece on even though it adds some bulk it help to keep my blocks straight.

I called these type of blocks as "stir-fry", there's a lot of time spent on cutting but once that's done, the several rounds of sewing the patches into segments and then sewing them together sew quickly.  This is the first Preppy Whale block sewn and this shade of purple which I would call a royal purple was very hard to photograph to show the right shade and it looks too dark.

Forgive me for choosing a favorite of the two, but I really like how the Purple Polka Dotted Preppy Whale turned out and if I had more of this favorite I would make another one but only had a 10" square of this fabric.  The other Whale, the royal purple one whom I named Sid Stitches because of the hash marks looks too dark in the photographs but hopefully will look brighter once outdoor photos can be taken.
Here are all of my blocks together and am happy to say I am current in this QAL which was made possible by my having to present my Preppy the Whale blocks on February 1st.  The Awesome Ocean QAL had an easy timeline of sewing a new block(s) every two weeks but when you're a late starter, you make all of these blocks in two weeks.  Were these blocks fun to make, yes, but I'm not sure if I am enjoying the fun but appreciating the lessons of staying focused and being patient.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to read and follow the diagrams when cutting and sewing. Sometimes you need to have a slow sewdown but not too often.  I have too many projects and stash to do this. I feel I will have earned a badge after this quilt is finished and not sure if I'm going to hold Elizabeth Hartman in the same regard as I do with Jen Kingwell. I remember Elizabeth Hartman from her Oh Fransson blog and remember the simple quilts she designed.  I find it is amazing that she has now created these wonderful patterns with all these tiny patches which are sew clever. I know I'll be happy once my Awesome Ocean Quilt is finished and hanging on the wall at the Granddaughter room at the Grandparent House for the precious one to enjoy.

Emily of the  The Darling Dogwood will be presenting the Tony the Turtle block on February 15 and I know she is making four of each pattern so be sure to check out her post.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

January Juggling

I managed to juggle some time in between the two separate one-week trips to the Grandparent House to work on planned projects and unforeseen projects this month.  My QAL blocks, planned projects, are done and as well as, unexpectedly, so are three Finally Finished Quilts which were UFOs. I hesitate to call these DrEAMi quilts since they were maybe done because I was avoiding working on one of the QALs which I will mention briefly later on in this post. Before I retired seven years ago, January was my least favorite month of the year with the cold, snowy weather which I dreaded driving in to work and the thirty-one days just went by too slowly which made the month seem to last forever.  Now I have a new appreciation for January with the weather we've been having this month and realizing that the once dreaded cold and snow makes for good sewing weather and those days can last forever. However, this is the time of the year that taking good outdoor photos are few and far between. I was lucky to have finished these quilts during a three-day sewing spree during the middle of the month and the weather was co-operative afterwards for taking a photo which usually it's not. Here are some indoor photos of these Quilts individually with some details:

Cotton+Steel Hatbox Quilt,  56" Square
I started working on this quilt last year when I decided I had to make Rail Fence Blocks from the various Cotton+Steel pinks, corals and reds with sashing and cornerstones with yardage of the Navy Hatbox and plaid print sitting in my stash.  The blocks are 10" finished.
Four different strip sets were made and unfortunately I was only able to cut three 10.5" blocks from some of the strip sets so I had to improvise making five blocks with squares from the leftover ends which went well with the other Rail Fence blocks.  Since my plan for the Hatbox Quilt is for this to be as a play mat and used fleece instead of batting, I only did minimal machine quilting of grid lines around the blocks, sashing and cornerstones and wavy diagonal lines inside the blocks and squares using a variegated pink thread. 

I found a navy and white ticking stripe fabric in the backing vault which went perfect with the top and for its purpose of being a porch patchwork blanket for the Grandparent House.  I didn't intend this to be for the Grandparent House until I realized the gold in the cornerstone fabric matched the front door. Warm sunny weather can't come soon enough for me to sit on this on the front porch with the sweet Granddaughter.

Strawberry Fields Revisited, 38"x52"

I made this top almost four years ago in 2016 and can't remember if this was a pattern or was something that I saw on Pinterest or in a magazine.  I happened to have a charm pack of Fig Tree's Strawberry Fields Revisited and once I decided on the pattern of two patches made from the charm pack and four patches with sashing, I ordered yardage of one of the red prints, spearminty green gingham and the large floral print from the collection.

I know that one of the holdups in finishing this quilt was the thread color for the machine quilting and thought none of the greens in my thread collection looked right.  I was resigned to using white but decided to look in my box containing long-forgotten Mettler threads and there I found the perfect green.  I machine quilted straight lines along the edges of the blocks and sashing with a wavy line in the middle of the two-patch and four-patch blocks.
I have to admit I don't often back my quilts with fabrics from the same collection as the top, but really glad I decided to splurge and buy two yards of the floral print for the backing.  I'll be saving this quilt for a future gift but then again the yellows in the quilt sure do match the front door at the Grandparent House.

Tiki Tok Quilt, 40"x60"
This top was also made around the same time as the Strawberry Fields Revisited top and this too was waiting to be machine quilted for four years.  I do remember the pattern which is Jack in the Box from the One Bundle of Fun book by Sue Pfau.  I used a layer cake of the Tiki Tok fabric designed by Jenn Ski which was perfect for the pattern.  This is one of the first layer cakes I purchased which prompted me to come up with the rule that anytime I purchase a pre-cut bundle, I need to buy yardage for the binding, which I did not do at the time, and is especially important when the layer cake is finally used years later. Another good rule is to have a binding drawer, like I do, to store the fabric so it doesn't get accidentally used for another quilt. Thankfully, the skinny black and white stripe I had in my stash worked for this quilt. 

I machine quilted straight lines, 3/4" apart and then wavy lines in the center squares of the block and sometimes the wavy lines went past the intended spot but it's not noticeable.  I used an Essential Thread in natural since I didn't want a color to distract from the fun colors in the Tiki Tok fabrics.
I remembered after the top was finished, it took me awhile to finally decide on the backing which involved piecing a Patty Young green and white stripe and yardage of the Tiki Tok which I happened to find in my stash. At least it was already sewn and made finishing this quilt all the more faster.  I'm glad this quilt is finally finished since it's been on a 2018 UFO list and I've been wanting to get it done.  I love everything about this quilt and will probably save it for a future gift. But then again, the yellows sure matches that front door at the Grandparent House but all of these colors are in my living room here. I really don't need another lap quilt for the living room.

It seems that I may have subconsciously finished these quilts because of the yellow/gold present in each of these quilts, but only one of these quilts will be for the Grandparent House.  I like the idea of saving some of these quilts for the giving cupboard which is an idea I am borrowing from Susan Snooks of PatchworknPlay.  I am especially liking the size of these quilts and thinking this size is not only for baby quilts but also would be perfect for family and friends whose knees may needing some warmth.

As mentioned earlier in this post, I am participating in two QALs this year:

Before I starting on my sewing spree of finally finishing the three quilts, I first made my January block for the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge hosted by Patterns by Jen. The first block color was the Goldfinch and coincidentally were yellows.
I decided to join this Challenge after learning that the colors were inspired by Birds and thought I had the most perfect bundle of ombre fabrics purchased several years ago in Colorado to use. Hopefully once the blocks are finished, I will be able to use the prints on the left in this quilt which were also purchased with the ombres.

Last year, Kathleen of kathleen mcmusing blogspot asked me if I wanted to participate in her Awesome Ocean QAL which is a pattern designed by Elizabeth Hartman.  Being that we are "sistas" from the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers I couldn't say no and thought it was time to do something challenging so I could justify my simple and easy quilt style.  The QAL started last November but I didn't start my blocks until last week after the three Finally Finished Quilts which is when I finally realized I had to get moving since I was on for writing a post for one of the blocks. You'll see this post on February 1st of presenting the Preppy the Whale block.  Can you guess what color my whales will be from looking at the colors from the blocks already made?  Here's a hint, it's not yellow.

Now that my January post is done, I can now work on my Whale blocks and then decide on a new project.  Hopefully, I won't be distracted by another UFO(s) which has yellow in it.  Maybe I am secretly yearning for the Sun which I think everyone else living in the Midwest might be doing too.

Sew Warm!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Sew Long 2019

I should have posted yesterday about my Final Four Finally Finished Quilts for 2019, but used whatever available hours I have left instead to meet this goal which I seemed to have come up with just days before the year ended. When I left for the Grandparent House on 12/26, I felt pretty good thinking that this was the second year in a row that I'd accomplished the quilty feat of finally finishing every quilt top started in 2019 by finishing the two quilts on the right of the above photo.  While I was compiling my year in review, much to my wondering eyes did see on my blog under 2019 Quilts were two tops that I had forgotten I made this year.  I knew to maintain my mental bragging rights, I was going to have to finish the two quilts on the left as soon as I returned home on 12/29 which I managed to do right before the annual NYE celebration with my peeps and our hubbies.

Here's a brief overview of these four quilts which were all mostly made with my favorite 2.5" strips from charm squares, jelly rolls, fat quarters and stash:
Max & Whisker Quilt was the first quilt cut and sewn at the Grandparent House sewing room which I refer to as my Two-dio.  The fabric line is from Basic Grey which I had purchased yardage several years ago.  This quilt measures 40"x52".

The quilting was done with a Connecting Threads variegated thread with orange being the dominate color.  I decided to use the brown stripe fabric from the backing vault instead of the yardage I had of another focus print which I decided I should use for another quilt since I still had plenty of leftovers of all of these prints.  I'm thinking of asking my 45+ year old niece who married for the first time this past May if I should save this quilt for a future bundle of joy but knowing the probable answer I'm sure she would love it for her menagerie, the dog and cat lover which she is.

The Alphabet Quilt, 37"x52", is made from a Jelly Roll and yardage of the Wee Woodland by Keiki purchased years ago, possibly the same time as Max & Whisker. It was maybe the first quilt top I made using a Jelly Roll and I can't remember the pattern or inspiration for this quilt.  I plan on using this pattern again, but maybe making it 40" wide. I suspect maybe the reason why I made it 37" wide for to make sure I could quilt it using a WOF length of fabric But since I have more experience with machine quilting than I did 5 years ago I don't mind quilting on the edge.  I also used another variegated thread with yellow being the dominant color for this quilt.
You can see that I pieced the backing (thanks goodness I made a note with drawing that the one yard piece of the lovely Alphabet print was to be pieced with the brown fabric) and yes I did grumbled a bit.  I'll be saving this for my sweet Granddaughter who will be starting PreK in March when she turns 3 and may need a sleep mat, so I think.
I originally named this quilt Beach Blanket Bingo when I had planned on backing it with either Minkee or terry cloth but since renamed it Malka Stripes when I decided to quilt it when I found some stripe fabric in the backing vault which looked perfect for this quilt.  The fabrics are from several of Malka Drubrawsky's fabric lines and yes it was purchased years ago.  The 8" blocks are made up of eight 2.5"x4.5" patches an offshoot of the Ernie pattern and set in an alternating block orientation layout. The quilt measures 56"x72". I used a Kiwi green thread which I think blended well with all of the colors.
The Liberty Lawn 8 Patch was made from four charm packs and yardage of the Liberty Lawn fabric lines again purchased years ago.  The 8 patch blocks were sewn last year while recovering from my broken left knee and I noticed that the blocks did not line up or click when sewn together.  I knew whatever I made with these fabrics that I would used the Anna Griffin green stripe fabric for the binding.  I do love the look of ticking stripe with florals. This quilt measures 40"x54".

You can see that I quilted all of the these quilts with wavy and straight line quilting which is my go-too favorite and, yes, the only way I quilt and have no guilt or qualms about not trying any other quilting.  I remember reading another quilter's blog who felt guilty about just doing meandering but the way I see quilting it's like your signature.  Sometimes I like to print  and sometimes I like to  do cursive which it seems may be a vanishing skill with the very younger generation.  I think my skills for straight line quilting was honed back in my grade school years when I had to write "I will not talk during class" one hundred times on lined notebook paper on more than one occasion so I'm used to repetition and monotony.

Also, worth noting, is that the Master Quilt Holder was not needed for these photos since I received a new light for the sewing area which can also be aimed towards the area where I sometime photograph quilts.  I thought the photos turned out great and yes it sure did beat taking them outside in the cold.  I'm sure the Master Quilt Holder appreciates the new light.

And now for my 2019 Year End Review:

28 quilts were a Finally Finish of which only two quilts used new fabrics purchased this year which meant 26 quilts were made from stash. (Here is a link to the 2019 Quilts). Eight quilts were UFOs which blocks or tops made either last year or years past. From these eight quilts, three quilts were tag-along finishes which means a current quilt with similar fabrics or background was made this year and was being quilted and it just wasn't good quilt karma not to also quilt a top made many moons ago.  Eighteen quilts were made from stash I been yearning to use, i.e., Tula Pink, Carrie Bloodstone, Malka Dubrawsky, Kaye England, Hand Maker, etc. and three quilts were made from fabric/scraps given to recently or over the years.  I also should mention that I have four WIPs which I hope will be a Finally Finish in 2020.  It's still to early to determine if my quilt production will be impacted by all of the traveling we now do to the Grandparent House and there are times when we are there that I think I really didn't need Two-dio space since I don't have much time for sewing when the Granddaughter is visiting.  I will say I definitely am knitting more now.

I had a goal in 2019 to use 100 yards from my stash and to limit purchasing new fabrics.  I'm happy say I used almost 164 yards BUT according to my records I purchased 48.5 yards making my net total 115.25 yards.  I find the purchased number surprising since I didn't include any fabrics given to me or fabrics from a subscription like FQS Sew Sampler Box or purchased under the By/Buy /Days like Valentine, Anniversary, Mother's Day, Birthday and Christmas.  I will say that I didn't indulge myself too much during the By/Buy Days but must have made up for it on other days with this 48.5 yards of fabric purchased.  And there were weeks that went by without any fabric deliveries and I was certain that some of the online sites were going to do a wellness check on me.

I'm glad I made my goal, some of my bins have room, there are empty spaces on the shelfs and my studio is looking less crowded and more organized.  Although I'm not making it official, I plan on doing the same 100 yard reduction in 2020 because I still have some fabric lines in my stash which I still want to use.  And the same goes for purchasing too. This time I'm going to use a checkbook ledger to keep better track of what I bought and used.

As I'm writing this post, I'm doing so with a cold my sweet Granddaughter gifted me from our latest visit and still recovering from last night's NYE celebration.  We've been celebrating with the peeps and hubbies for maybe the past 15 years now and we're getting older now so last night we were a little bit more cranky and complaining about our ailments and wondering who invited our parents.  At least the food was delicious and we still enjoyed Christmas Bingo, Cards and laughing.  BTW, today is a Pajamazon Day for me.

Wishing all of my Blogland Buddies a very Happy New Year and hope everyone has 2020 vision to see a lot of love, peace and happiness. Being healthy and having a lot of time to sew would also be nice too.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Big Easy #3: Winter Woodland Quilt

My Winter Woodland Quilt is only the second quilt I made this year with some new fabric purchased this Fall during my Great Fabric Fast of 2019.  I finally finished this quilt several weeks ago and thought I should write a post now since we're leaving for another visit to the Grandparent House.  Also, this may be the last quilt finally finished for the year.
I couldn't resist buying yardage and fabric quarter bundles of six woodland prints and thought this would make a wonderful quilt for my son and his family who lives next door to the Grandparent House; something I tend to give them during the holiday.  I added three prints from my stash in order to make three different variations of Rail Fence blocks.
My next favorite strip size after 2.5" is 3.5" which is the perfect size for Rail Fence blocks. I realized while cutting the 3.5" strips that I did not have enough of the yellow Moon print and thankfully I found a substitute which was a twenty year old Little Quilt asterisk print which was the perfect yellow/gold.  Remember this color because it's mentioned again later in this post.
While I was grouping the fabrics in combinations of three, I thought laying them out in a stripe formation would work by making the center rail blocks 18" (finished) wide since these fabrics were the most vibrant and the other rail blocks framing it on the side be 9" (finished) wide.  You can see the rail blocks framing the center rail blocks have more of the accent colors and the side rail blocks play a nice second fiddle.  This quilt measures 54"x81".  
Since I was backing this quilt with fleece and only wanted to do simple and minimal quilting, I decided to also use fleece instead of batting.  I should mention that this made for a very heavy but warm quilt.
You can see the Master Quilt Holder had a hard time holding up this quilt by seeing his normally hidden fingers.
While I was sewing this quilt, I realized that this quilt would go so well in the Grandparent House, see the yellow/gold painted door, that I did the unthinkable--I decided not to gift this quilt to the family next door.  In my defense of doing this, I told Hubby that my Son from the family next door told me that I had made them enough quilts and he didn't want anymore. What a coincidence that after my Winter Woodland quilt was finished that I remember this conversation and now respect his request from several years ago. Do I feel guilty, not yet.
I may reconsider if the darling Granddaughter wants to take it home but might not be for several years until she's strong enough to carry it over to her house next door, this quilt is that heavy.  As a consolation, I promised her mother that I would make her a Frozen fleece blanket but it will have to wait until I can find the fleece in the store. It's very popular now since Frozen II has been released and lot of blankets need to be made for gifts.
One of the nice things about the Grandparent House, besides being next door to the darling Granddaughter, is that taking photos of quilts, both indoors and outdoor, is so much better there, especially since I have a front porch with bannisters, a backyard with a fence and hooks waiting for a clothes line.  I just hope that come Spring I will have some new quilts to photograph since I suspect my productivity for 2019 may be less than in years past.  My next post, which will be my year in review, will also detail how well I did during the Great Fabric Fast of 2019 and if I met my goal of minus 100 yards.  I better start calculating now to see if there are any last minute Tops to be sewn before the year ends.