Monday, April 1, 2024

March Merry Makes

March was a way too busy month for me since it involved participating earlier this month in Villa Rosa Designs Fast and More Fun Blog Hop. This in a way was timely since the quilt I made ended up being a birthday quilt for the darling Granddaughter who just celebrated her 7th birthday. But i did have two other projects needed to be done this month which were the March project for Country Threads Dirty Dozen UFO Challenge and the secret project which I mentioned Demando had requested.
As a participant in the Villa Rosa Blog Hop, I was given five pattern cards and one of them was the Clover Table Runner designed by Tricia Lynn Maloney/Orphan Quilt Designs which I had to make since it is such a clever design even though I did make a slight modification by not adding the side borders.
It just so happened that one  of the five projects which I could choose for the March UFO Challenge was to make something with my Green scraps leftover from previous projects which was perfect for the Clover Table Runner. Coincidentally, I needed to make another table runner for Demando,  so this crossed another item off my To Do List.
These greens made my heart sing. I just love all of the different shades which was perfect for the pattern. I machine quilted with wavy vertical lines with a CT Essential Thread in variegated greens. The green stripe binding and backing was found in my stash as well as the scrap piece of batting. After I made this runner and looking at the runners made by the other participants, Wendy/Pieceful Thoughts, Nancy/Grace and Peace Quilting and Tracie/Joyfully Tracie, I realized I made my runner wrong; there were supposed to be a double row of the squares and not a single row. I don’t think Demando needs to know this, right?
Since I still had a day left in the month, I decided to make another Clover Table Runner and this time add the double row of squares but making it bigger and again not adding the side borders. I used a charm pack and yardage of Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket which has been in my stash forever. I machine quilted in straight and cross hatch lines using a CT Essential Thread in Caramel. The pieced backing was made with a scrap of 1934 yardage and a Debbie Mumm Classic print and the black and gold check print for the binding was happily found in my stash. I am just loving making runners which could be used for a table, a chair, hung from a wall or on a door and can be made in a day. It’s especially nice when you can find all the fabric and batting needed in your stash. 
Last, but not least, is the secret Demando project which is a birthday quilt for his girlfriend who absolutely loves purple. I made this quilt using a version of the Rambling Rows pattern and my stash of purple fabrics spanning over twenty years. I used prints from my Lonni Rossi and Kathy Davis stash and newer prints recently purchased within the past few years. It was fun mixing all of the shades of purple. I did have to purchase the backing and was glad to have found the purple pin dot print for the binding in my stash. I machine quilted using a CT Essential Thread in Violet with all wavy lines. I usually combine straight lines with the wavy lines and I am loving just the wavy lines. I agreed to make this quilt even though this is for his girlfriend whom I like. I figured, since Demando’s Godmother, a dear friend of over 45 years, also loves purple and has asked me to make her a purple quilt, if I need to retrieve this quilt from the girlfriend, I’ll just send the Godmother to her house. Just kidding, I have plenty of leftovers to make her own purple quilt.
One last photo of the lovely Purple Quilt which I have not named but maybe I should call it Demando’s Delight. I need to take some time off before our next trip to the GP House. I have taxes to do and closets to clean but I am rebel ready for Sandra/mmmquilts Eighth Annual Luminous Layers QAL which starts on April 3rd.

Linking up with: My Quilt Infatuation/NTT

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Villa Rosa 2024 Fast and More Fun Blog Hop

Today is Day 6 of the Villa Rosa Fast and More Fun Blog Hop which I am one of the 28 Bloggers participating and it’s my day to present my quilt. Five new quilt patterns were designed for this blog hop and since I was one of the last bloggers to join, I was asked to make the 31 quilt (top left) to ensure the pattern was well represented in the blog hop. Before I present my quilt, I thought I would mentioned the following:
  • You’ve probably have read the previous posts from the other Bloggers, read the story of Villa Rosa cards, seen the list of all the Blogger Participants and of  the wonderful giveaways and Grand Prizes, so rather than repeat this again, here is the Villa Rosa link for you to read and also if you want to purchase a bundle of these five pattern cards.
  • If you leave me a comment, your name will be entered to win either a set of the pattern cards above, a chance to win a sponsor prize or be entered to win one of the Grand Prizes. One of the Grand Prize is an Electric Quilt 8 download and the winner will be selected on the EQ Blog so you will need to register there for this prize.
  • Registration for the prizes closes on Sunday, March 24th. Please be sure to leave an email address so you can be contacted if you are one of the lucky winners.
So let’s get hopping—here is my version of the 31 quilt pattern: The Hungry Caterpillar.
This is only the second time that I’ve made a panel quilt and have only purchased a few which were novelty/kid prints. I have a nice stash of Eric Carle’s Brown Bear and Hungry Caterpillar fabrics from making several quilts for the darling Granddaughter, so I purchased the Hungry Caterpillar panel. The 31 pattern sews up fast as long as you have the right sized panel but unfortunately The Hungry Caterpillar panel was too small.  I could have altered the panel by removing the stripe border and adding strips to get to the right size but I didn’t want to because it was too cute as is. I added the necessary strips of the Adventure Land dots to three sides of the panels which made it a little busy and uneven. It complements the somewhat solid HSTs which I changed the orientation of them from arrows to a butterfly shape since I thought it was more fitting for the caterpillar theme.
I was afraid that my changes deviated too much from the 31 pattern but now that the quilt is done I think the changes are subtle. I had a love/hate relationship while sewing and machine quilting The Hungry Caterpillar. It wasn’t until I added the wide stripe binding, which wasn't in the plan and glad I did, that I finally loved it and in my mind I'm calling it Cater-thriller.
I opted to use white Aurifil thread instead of a variegated thread for the grid and straight line machine quilting since I wanted the quilting to be quiet against the colorful prints. The machine quilting was a little challenging with the backing being a blue fabric purchased many moons ago from Joann’s and I don’t know if this combined with the 80/20 cotton Pellon batting caused the big puckering and pinching resulting in my having to used the seam ripper too many times. I’m pretty sure it was during this time I hated the quilt. I was so relieved after the final line was quilted. The Hungry Caterpillar Quilt will be a gift for the darling Granddaughter who will be turning seven next week. This will be a wall hanging but would have been a wonderful playmat for tummy time if she was still a baby. She is growing up too fast and hope she will enjoy this quilt for at least several years.
I wasn’t too familiar with The Hungry Caterpillar story which was published in 1969 until the darling Granddaughter. My boys weren’t big fans though I do have a caterpillar memory spanning from when I was a young girl of maybe five to a mother of five-year old Demando. When I was young and playing outside with my friends, we spotted a bunch of caterpillars so we ran home to get empty jars to contain them. I was sad and very bummed that my mother did not have any. I kept this memory of my disappointment and vowed that I would always have an empty jar ready for my kids. When Demando was born, I started saving empty jars and had a bottom kitchen cabinet specifically for the day they would be needed. Several years later when I picked up young Demando from kindergarten, he was being real quiet sitting in the backseat. I thought he was sad because he was having a great time at the playground. When we arrived home and I turned around to talk to him, he opened his hands which had at least a dozen very tiny yellow caterpillars squirming. Even though I wanted to scream, I did manage to say “I’ve been waiting for this day” and walked into the kitchen and told Hubby that we needed a jar and without missing a beat he pulled one from the cabinet. After the caterpillars were settled in their jar and Demando was very happy, I quietly whispered to Hubby to get rid of the jars. I realized then this may have been why my mother didn’t keep empty jars. All kidding aside, I still have a cabinet of empty jars in the garage but I’m not saving them for bugs.
Thanks to Tricia and Villa Rosa for letting this big fan participate in the Fast and More Fun Blog Hop. I’ve been buying Villa Rosa cards for at least ten years now, at first from local quilt shops and now buying  them directly from Villa Rosa. I have at least twenty-five cards which I keep in a special binder. I also liked that Villa Rosa provides a link for you to keep an online list of cards you want and cards you own. Sometimes I get confused when I click on the Rose Cards link and hundred of cards appear giving me a heart attack thinking they’re mine but my cards are under My List—Phew! The 31 pattern is only the third Villa Rosa quilt I’ve made but I did make a version of the Clover table runner which I will post later since it was made for the Country Threads March Dirty Dozen UFO Challenge. If time permits, I hope to make the Gypsy Rose pattern (which I already owned before the blog hop) using a much loved stash of fabrics fitting of the pattern name purchased many moons ago.

After today, there are only two days left for the blog hop so here are the remaining bloggers for today and until March 21st. Happy reading and good luck!

Tuesday, March 19
Shout 4 Joy —
The Darling Dogwood —
Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting —
Quilts of Valor Foundation —

Wednesday, March 20 — First Day of Spring!

Grace and Peace Quilting —
Happy Cottage Quilter —
Joyfully Tracie —
Patchouli Moon Studio —
Electric Quilt Company — (be sure to leave a comment here if you want to be eligible for the grand prize of an Electric Quilt 8 download

Thursday, March 21
Villa Rosa Quilts — 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

More Finally Finishes for February

My Plush Phase for backing flimsies continues with my two latest finishes; Baby Bullseye (left), a fairly new project, and Yellow Rose Double Nine Patch, a UFO of at least ten years. Of course, they both have stories or explanations.
I didn’t expect  my Baby Bullseye project which I started last November to be finished way so soon but I was motivated by my other two Peeps, who joined me in making another Bullseye Quilt, almost twenty-four years later (You can read about our first Bullseye Quilt here), who were finishing their Flimsies sooner than me. I was thinking that I was going to be the last one to finish her Flimsie but it turns out I was second, just like the first  time and it was Linda and not Mary who finished first. Did you notice my use of a modern word Flimsie—twenty-four years earlier, I called it a Top. It’s also a good thing that I now have modern technology in the form of a Blog Post, iPhone pics  and numerous Texts to refer to as I recap how the second QAL went, definitely something I could have used before.
After the pattern was purchased from Mary Etherington/Country Threads, and just like the first time, the guidelines planned which were the backgrounds were to be grays and low volume whites, no tans or beiges, modern prints and blenders and definitely no calicos since the Baby Bullseye was going to be modern and the size and number of patches to be exchanged before we met for a morning of merriments which always include good food and conversation. We each exchanged 30 squares of backgrounds and prints in two sizes and most notably there were no duplicates. One Peep did have not much of a modern stash but did provide the blenders which were definitely needed for a bit of calm in the blocks. We were a little bit more looser with the pattern, after all we are older, a littler more ornery with more quilting experience by changing the size of the blocks and one peep exchanging pre-cut circles and quarter circle templates to cut the circles from the folded squares which made the Baby Bullseye blocks less wonky. I will admit that I made a mistake with the Baby Bullseye pattern by not realizing that the backgrounds on Mary Etherington’s  Baby Bullseye  Quilt was not neutral but were different color prints which I love and wished I did. But in my defense, I did write if I ever were to make another Bullseye quilt I would use grays and low volume prints so my mind was already set. After the exchange was made, we each sewed our own way, texting each other with our progress. I would like to mention that my Baby Bullseye is almost true to the pattern unlike the Peeps. I think they were a little bit more ornier than me.
Baby Bullseye was so named because it is a smaller block with only two circles sewn on the background which would have been enough if we used the sizes given for the pattern. But because the sizes was increased for both the background and circles and after playing around with the first four blocks sewn, I thought a third circle could be added, especially after having the left over circles from cutting away the backs of the first circle after the second circle was sewn which was the perfect size for the third circle. I am going to narc on the Peeps now since they kept their circle blocks intact without quartering them so they made their flimsy with whole circle blocks which is why they were finishing before me. I should narc some more by saying one of the Peeps did not cut away her circles. Although I liked the look of the whole circle blocks and was tempted to do it myself,  I’m glad I quartered my blocks although it was a lot more sewing but  I do love the scrappiness which is eye candy to me.
I sewed 140 Bullseye block which was way more than needed but then I hadn’t decided on a layout. After deciding to sew them as nine-patch blocks and making twelve of these blocks, a sashing of a gray dot on black was definitely needed. If I could change anything, it would be the cheddar yellow cornerstones since it looks like post-it notes but thankfully with all of the eye candy it’s not too noticeable, right? While I was sewing the flimsy together, I did sing Baby Bullseye to the tune of Baby Sharks doo, doo, doo,  doo.
One of the big challenges for me to finally finish my Baby Bullseye was deciding how to machine quilt and if it was going to be a quilt or a throw. Before the blocks were sewn together I played with the idea of making it a rag quilt but decided that there would be too much fraying and decided to make it a patchwork throw. It helped that I purchased yardage of a Smokey Gray Plush Minky Dot last summer and also seemed to be in a Plush Phase right now, especially when you see the next throw. I did pin baste 3” apart since I wanted to avoid any shifting since the flimsy was almost as wide as the Plush and it seems like that took forever but was worth it. Machine quilting with straight lines on the black sashing and cross-hatched  wavey lines on the center of each bullseye block was a little challenging especially with the circle seams sometime flipping over and being careful not to sew over it. When I was sewing the circles onto the background, I wasn’t so willy-nilly with the seams like the first Bullseye quilt and tried to sew within a 1/4” seam allowance by remembering the flipping seams. I now know how my long arm machine quilter who did my first Bullseye felt and her frustration and quite possibly her Karma was paying me back. 
The Baby Bullseye Patchwork Throw measures 56”x74”and is a perfect lounge size for the couch which is where it will be laying for awhile before deciding if I should wash it. I do like the way it looks right now without the fraying but as Mary Etherington says it’s not a true Bullseye until you wash it. BTW, I never washed the first Bullseye Quilt which is still happily sitting on my quilt rack. To think the Peeps and I did the first Bullseye QAL together twenty-four years ago when we were just mothers of eight school age and young adults and now grandmothers of sixteen grandchildren between us (allow me a little sniffle and a tinge of envy here because I only have the darling granddaughter), I am grateful we still are friends with fabric who still quilt whenever we can. I think our grandchildren take precedent over quilt time now.  I did mention in a text to the Peeps that with modern medicine working on longevity that it may be possible to live until we’re 120 years old, we could do another Bulls-eye QAL in twenty-four years and maybe after that. And wouldn’t that be a fun project for the retirement home. I did insert three big laughing emojis.
Before I started working on the Baby Bullseye quilt, I finished the Yellow Roses Double Nine-Patch Patchwork Throw.  After the Granddaughter Quilt #1 was finished earlier this month, I was reminded of  this flimsie which was made at least ten years ago from a Henry Glass fabric collection called Possibilities and was designed by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan which was purchased twenty years ago. I loved this rose print as much as the Sweet Rose print and after sitting in my stash then for ten years I finally made a quick flimsy with big plain and double nine patch blocks measuring 13.5” finish just to alleviate some quilt guilt. Thanks to Eunice, my quilt alter ego who remembers what I should be sewing,  I finally finish it by making it a patchwork throw by using a pretty butter yellow Mindy Dot Plush I had in my stash which was the perfect shade although it’s hard to tell from the pic. I’m glad this is a finally finish and looking forward to using it as a new travel blanket. With the Three Bear Throws finished in January and these two for February, I have now finished five Patchwork Throws/Baby Boomer Blankies which I’m calling a Royal Plush. BTW, Eunice has now gone from time-out to Jail and won’t be released for awhile since I have some new projects.
Along with a secret project for Demando who is recovering nicely from his recent hip replacement surgery, I have to start working on my project for the Villa Rosa Designs Fast & More Fun Blog Hop. My fabrics has been picked and ready for die-cutting, the pattern reviewed and I am looking forward to working on it because, surprise, it will be for the darling Granddaughter. Maybe that’s how I find time to quilt if I always say it’s for her. Insert Big Wink Emoji.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

First February Finish-The Granddaughter Quilt #1

The Granddaughter Quilt #1 is my February finish for Country Threads Dirty Dozen UFO Challenge. Leave it to Eunice to escape from the time-out corner to let me know that it was time to finally finished the Granddaughter Quilt #1 which has been a UFO since 1999. I started quilting in 1996 and after I have made both of my sons’ bed quilts plus starting to accumulate a nice collection of fabric especially after getting a job at the local quilt shop, I had visions of making quilts for my future granddaughters and grandsons. Never mind that my boys were only in middle school and high school back then and definitely weren’t dating, but it was something I felt a quilter should make.
Although the flimsy was finished in 1999, I’m pretty sure I purchased the Jennifer Sampou’s Sweet Rose fabrics before I started working at the quilt shop. I remember seeing Sweet Rose advertised in a quilt magazine and went to Joann’s to look for it. One of the first things I learned as a new quilter was the difference between buying from a chain fabric store and a quilt shop. And another thing to remember was that if you really loved a fabric, and I thought Sweet Rose was the most beautiful fabric with roses, to purchase yardage which I did along with the blue stripe. I didn’t have a pattern in mind until after I started working at the quilt shop and one of the patterns to make with a large focus print was a simple Irish Chain made with plain squares and nine patches. It still is one of my favorite patterns. The red and white fabrics in the nine patches were not from the Sweet Rose collection but from Robert Kaufman and Moda.
I have wanted to finally finish the Granddaughter Quilt #1 (GD#1) since 2022 after the Grandson Quilt #2 and  the Granddaughter Quilt #2 were finished. I had listed all three quilts for the 2022/23 UFO Challenge but didn’t feel like quilting another twin size quilt when it was GD#1’s turn. I committed to finishing it for this year’s Challenge when the number came up so that’s how the GD#1 was finally finished with Eunice, my quilt alter-ego who always sew the right thing in my Studio, reminding me. Ironically, I did purchase the light blue backing fabric from Joann’s in 2022. I machine quilted with CT Essential Thread in a light blue with horizontal and vertical straight line quilting with crosshatch diagonal quilting. After the horizontal and vertical straight line quilting was done and while I was quilting  the diagonal lines, I was thinking that the quilting was going well, better than the Granddaughter Quilt #2, and  I thought too soon. After two rounds of the diagonal lines, the quilting felt too tight and some of the stitches were popping when I ran my hand over it.  There could be several reasons why this happened; it was Quilt Karma for finishing Granddaughter #2 quilt first, the bobbin thread was too tight or quilting with ricochet diagonal lines which is when you quilt the first diagonal line until the end of the row and then pivot the quilt to quilt the next diagonal line until the end again and so on until there’s no more space left to quilt. I spent several hours removing all of the diagonal quilting lines and redid the diagonal lines but with no ricocheting and quilting one row at a time. I also made sure whenever I started a new bobbin to check the tension to make sure the thread wasn’t tight. I did a combination meander and straight line quilting for the border. The binding was always going to be the blue stripe and has been sitting in the binding drawer for all these years. I hand stitch the binding down which is what I would have done if the quilt was finished earlier. I did check the Granddaughter Quilt #2 to make sure the binding was hand stitched also and it was. The Granddaughter Quilt #1 measures 63”x86” and is the smallest out of the four quilts by a few inches.
I am pretty sure this is going to be my biggest finish this year even though there are a lot of month left to sew. It was pretty ambitious of me, as a 20th Century new quilter to want to make four twin size quilts for future 21st Century grandkids. Two of the quilts were made from Jennifer Sampou fabrics and all were simple makes which is still my favorite way for quilting. One thing I very rarely do now is making quilts with borders. When Julie Herman’s book Skip the Borders came out in 2012, I fully embraced  this modern concept. It’s so much easier for machine quilting.
Here’s the quilt quartet, almost twenty-five years in the making, not a saga, just my determination to finish them despite only having one darling Granddaughter. To me, the fabrics are timeless and I still have these fabrics in my stash. The two granddaughter quilts will be going to the GP House and it’s time to look for a chest or hutch to hold her growing quilt collection.
With my February Dirty Dozen Challenge project a big finish, I am looking forward to having the rest of the month to work on current projects and maybe start new ones. I do have on my must-do plate a request from Demando and my project for the upcoming Villa Rosa Designs Fast & More Fun Blog Hop next month. Eunice is also bugging me with another project and if it’s finished this week, I am sending her to jail. It’s always a battle between Peace and Piece in my quilting mind.

Linking up with: My Quilt Infatuation/NTT

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

January Joy

Before I retired over ten years ago, I hated the month of January with its thirty-one days of the worse Winter weather involving commuting to work. If there was a month for me to hibernate, now that I’m retired, it would be January where there would be no traveling or leaving the house but with the GP House and weekly visits to the Chiropractor and fitness center, it’s not possible. With the freezing cold and snowy weather during the middle of January, the only good thing was that it made for great sewing conditions and I appreciated this long month. After my Happy Bubbles Quilt was finished, there was only one flimsy, the Sherbet Pips Brick Rows (the one on the left) I planned to finish which was for the January Country Threads Dirty Dozen UFO Challenge. As a result of finishing Sherbet Pips, three more flimsies came across the finally finished line, which brings a total of six finishes for January. There is an explanation as to how these four were quickly finished and, if you noticed, I did not refer to them as quilts because they’re all Patchwork Throws/Baby Boomer Blankies or all backed with Minky/plush fabric with no batting in between which I have always said are quick makes. 
The Sherbet Pips Brick Rows has been a flimsy since August, 2022 but it seems longer than this because this fabric line designed by Aneela Hoey for Moda was purchased at least ten years ago and  had been a mind bug for me to finally make something with the stash.
I purchased thirteen half-yard cuts of whatever prints were available out of the forty-two (I’m thinking maybe they were purchased from before Amazon bought them out and 1/2 yard cuts could be ordered). My first thought was to make a simple one patch quilt of rectangle blocks set vertically.
I somehow realized that some of the prints had movement and would look better cut horizontally. Twelve  prints were paired and cut into 3.5” strips, sewn together in strip sets, then subcut into 6.5” x 9.5” rail blocks and set with an alternating layout. Six blocks were needed for each row and was repeated  again. After the flimsy was sewn, my plan was to back it with minky/plush as I was glad to have finally made something with the Sherbet Pips fabric. I set it aside as I wasn’t in any hurry to finish it since I really didn’t want to use any of the remaining gray Chenille Plush by David Textile which is no longer available. It is my favorite plush which I have used for several patchwork throws, as with Carrie Bloomston Throw which is the darling granddaughter’s favorite bedtime blankie. I am saving the remaining Chenille Plus for another bedtime blankie in the hopes of finally getting my Carrie Bloomston throw back and I may succeed since it will be made with Carrie Bloomston fabrics which has rainbows and leftover from the Happy Bubbles quilt.
After becoming reacquainted with Sherbet Pips Brick Rows, I realized that this was a fun and easy pattern for 3.5” strips. I did rethink my idea of backing it with Minky/plush and instead making it a quilt but decided I needed a patchwork throw more than another quilt. I used a gray Minky Fleece Fabric Dots recently purchased and I have to say is now my new favorite plush and also comes in several shades of gray.. I machine quilted straight lines on the edges of each 6” row and then did a wavy line between the rails. Any reservations I had with Jinny Janome sewing plush are no more. The binding was one of the stripes. Sherbet Pips Brick Rows measure 54” x 72”. Since I had almost two yards left of the Minky I thought I would save it for one of the flimsies below.
I have lovingly referred these flimsies as the Three Bear Trip as the focus print used was named Bear Trip and I made three flimsies with a little tongue in cheek with the Three Bear name. My plan was to always finished them together at the same time and finished them as quilts. These were the last of the twelve flimsies made in 2020 and I am glad they are finally finished as patchwork throws/Baby Boomer Blankies. The quilt on the bottom right is the one I thought I could used the leftover Minky from Sherbet Pips Brick Row and was just going to set it aside. But Eunice, my alter-ego of quilting the right thing in my Studio, thought since Jinny Janome was already set up with a Jersey Knit Needle used for quilting plush fabric and gray polyester thread that I could easily finished the Three Bear Trip flimsies since I had other Minky fabrics in my stash. I thought it was a good idea until once I started I realized I would only have six days before leaving for the GP House and during this time had laundry, housework, chiropractor appointments, a get together with the Peeps and our hubbies and a band gig was planned. Like I said, backing a flimsy with Minky is a quick finish and was able to bind Sherbet Pips and finish the Three Bear Trip in three days. I spent the remaining days, before leaving for the GP House, recovering and playing with fabrics along with the household chores. I did send Eunice to the time-out corner.
I thought I would share some details behind the Three Bear Trip Patchwork Throws/Baby Boomer Blankies. The Bear Trip fabric was purchased in January, 2020 during a Texas vacation at Sew Crazy in Cedar Park. I fell in love with the prints which came in two color ways, one with a pink background and the other with a gray/white and the prints are slightly different with the motifs. I did purchase some other prints but for the most part used what I already had in my Cotton+Steel, Art Gallery, etc. stash. The Bear Trip prints are so interesting and there are so many international landmarks and features like Big Ben, Roman Coliseum, Tower of Pisa, the Golden Gate Bridge, Taj Mahal, temples, yachts, water fountains, etc. Sadly, a few months later, travel became restricted due to COVID-19 and there was a travel lockdown in our state. The Three Trip flimsies were made in May, 2020, right after the first visit with the darling granddaughter after two-months of not being able to see her. Each flimsy was made with a combination of  4.5 5” and 2.5” cuts to make either 4”x8”, 8” or 8”x16” blocks. Since finishing the Three Bear Trip, I have named them according to the Three Bears story. Another note is that after deciding on backing all three flimsies with Minky/plush, I used the same brown and white polka dots fabrics used as an accent in all three flimsies for the binding. It’s a good thing I found enough of this print in my stash to make fifteen yards because I must have forgotten to set aside any fabric in the binding drawer.

Baby Bear (40” x 48”)
This was the first flimsy made but the last one to be finished. I machine quilted it the same way as Sherbet Pips, straight and wavy lines. Baby Bear will be saved for the Baby Boomer Blankie vault as I think it would be perfect to give to someone who will be retiring and have travel plans.

Mama Bear (40”x48”)
When I made this flimsy with the focus print which had the pink background and dominant reds, I had planned on giving this to the baby daughter of our new neighbors whom I thought were of East Asian descent with their dark hair and skin tone so I made sure to include the Taj Mahal and other Asian landmarks. Later, Hubby learned that they were Venezuelans so another quilt was given. I backed Mama Bear with a brown dot Minky which I found to be stiff like vinyl/pleather and not as snuggly as other plush/Minky. Maybe after washing it will become softer and this is my reason for wanting to keep this one for myself.

Papa Bear (48”x64”)
Papa Bear was the last flimsy made because the 8” blocks were sewn from leftover blocks and patches from Baby Bear and Mama Bear. The fluffy pink plush used was a piece that has been sitting in my stash for maybe five years and I have been trying to use it for several other flimsies but was not the right shade nor the right size. Luckily or do I say serendipitously, it was the right shade of pink and the right or exact size needed with nary a 1/4” to spare. One of the nice things about using plush is you don’t need the extra 4” width or lengthwise as you would for fabric backing. Papa Bear is so soft and cuddly and when it’s folded or rolled up, it feels like a giant stuff animal. I quilted with straight grid lines around each 8” block and then a diagonal wavy crosshatch across each block. I should mention that I used the same gray polyester thread for all three Bear Trip. Papa Bear has been given to the darling Granddaughter and has been enjoyed these past few nights on her bed; but not enough for her to surrender the Carrie Bloomston throw back to me.
I am so happy to have these four once upon a time flimsies now made into patchwork throws. I cannot say enough about using Minky/plush for backings. I am now on a hunt for purchasing more fleece dot Minky since it’s a nice alternative to the plush chenille and comes in wonderful colors (some I already have) especially when it goes on sale for 40% off. And I also need a new supply of Jersey Knit Sewing Machine needles which I have ordered.
Adding to the January Joy is that all of my Baby Bullseye Blocks are sewn and ready to be laid out. There are 140 blocks finishing at 5-1/2” and I need to hustle. My Quilt Peeps already have their tops sewn which is due to them not following the instructions/pattern exactly to which I confess I did not also but mine is more truer. I can’t wait until mine is finished so I can do some narcing.

I am hoping for another productive month in February but with warmer weather please. Not that I need any more new projects I do have a few must-sew lined up. With Eunice in the time-out corner, the Studio Squirrels have been let out.

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation

Monday, January 22, 2024

Happy Bubbles

I had planned on my Happy Bubbles quilt to be the first one finished for the New Year since I always like to begin with a colorful quilt, but Love 2024 took precedent. After Love 2024 was first finished, Happy Bubbles was ready for machine quilting since I had pin basted it before we left for the GP House. I know it’s way too early to say this, but Happy Bubbles is my favorite finish so far.
Last year, when I participated in Kelly Young, My Quilt Infatuation’s book launch of her Perfectly Pieced Quilt Backs, I have been wanting to make her Bubble Bath quilt which was one of the 18 bonus quilt patterns. Besides being a fun pattern, I had purchased in. November, 2022, Carrie Bloomston Happy fabric collection of 24 pieces which was perfect to use for Happy Bubbles. I bet you can guess how I came up with the quilt name which I, of course, hummed “Tiny Bubbles” during the merry making. BTW, I’ve made several quilts with my stash of Carrie Bloomston fabrics but this is the first time I’ve made a quilt exclusively with just one collection.
I didn’t have enough of one light print to use for the background/sashing so I used the two above on the right. The grid print was used for the connecting corners and the scribble print was used for the sashing. The focus print on the left was used for all of the large bubbles.
There are three bubble sizes and I separated the fabrics i.e., prints were for the medium bubbles and the grid and colorwash colors were for the small bubbles.
Once the bubbles and sashings were laid out and segments sewn, assembling the quilt top was easy as the diagrams and instructions to do this was clear and understandable. What I like about Kelly’s patterns is that her patterns look complicated but really are simple. I will confess, that after all the bubble blocks were made, I did not want to sew another connecting square for awhile.
Once the top was sewn, I thought using two different backgrounds didn’t seem to blend as well I would have liked, so I added a 2.5” border of the grid print, which I think ties the backgrounds together better.
Of course, I had to make a pieced backing since I had leftover blocks. Luckily, the bottom half of the backing was already sewn for another project but ended up not being used and has been sitting in the backing vault.
I machine quilted with soft, meandering horizontal lines spaced 1” apart with silver Aurifil thread. Although I really didn’t want to use the main focus print for the binding, it was the right choice. Happy Bubbles measures 52” x 72”. The rainbow-loving, darling Granddaughter will be receiving this quilt as well as another one to be made with the leftovers. I have to confess that although I did say in a previous post that I didn’t want any fabric for Christmas, guess what, I did purchase, through the generosity of a gift card from Demando, Carrie Bloomston latest collection “Found” which is her first batik collection and would also look great with this pattern.
Kelly’s first book Stash Statement was released in 2018 and the quilt I wanted to make back then from this book was the Murrina quilt which reminds me of the Bubble Bath pattern. Kelly has announced that this book (originally published by Martingale and no longer in business, the rights have now been purchased by Fox Chapel/Landauer who published Kelly’s last two books Scrappy Improv Quilting and Perfectly Pieced Quilt Backs) will be re-released in April with a new cover and in addition to the twelve patterns, there will be three new ones. Not an affiliate link, but I’ve already preordered a copy.
We’ve had real, real cold and snowy Winter weather, typical of January this week and there was no way I could ask the Master Quilt Holder if we could take a glamour photo outside. Also, I really didn’t want to go outside either. I think this inside pic looks nice. There’s going to be a warm up in a few days which will be much appreciated although I will admit cold weather always makes great sewing conditions. I do have a few more finishes before January ends.

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation/NTT