Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Fabric Valentine

Last year I made a heart mini quilt to hang on the front door.  That's about the extent of my decorating so I did not plan to make anything Valentine related this year.

A college friend of mine and his wife posted on Facebook that their daughter's kindergarten class was hoping to get Valentines from as many states as possible.  I immediately offered up representation from North Carolina.  I didn't like my Valentine's Day card choices at the store, though, as they all seemed to be for a person in the singular.  So when I saw Patty's tutorial for fabric postcards at Elm Street Quilts, I knew that was the way to go. I had limited time if I wanted it to arrive on time, so I used a single piece of fabric on the front: no piecing and no applique.

Dogwoods!  Not only personally significant, potentially educational!

I figured using the state flower made it pretty and was a reasonable thing to mention to a class of kindergartners.  Hopefully it's readable; I made a bit of a mistake on "dogwood" and micron pen doesn't edit easily.

The fabric postcard was pretty quick and I enjoyed it!  It's 4" x 6" and I did mail it in an envelope as I thought it would be safer.  I can see more fabric postcards in my future!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February Goals

February seems to be getting the better of me.  I can't believe we're a full week in already!

I am making a quilt for my next door neighbors.  I've been planning it since about New Year's Day, but I learned two weeks ago that they are moving, so that moved my timeline up a little.  It's a simple pattern using all dog fabrics.  I don't have any photos yet, but the top is pieced and I'm working on getting it quilted.  Finishing the quilt for my neighbors is my February OMG (one monthly goal) in the motivational link up hosted by Patty of Elm Street Quilts.
Elm Street Quilts

As for other February projects, I'd like to finish 2 Project Linus quilts from my pile and get caught up on my RSC blocks.  I'm not sure I'll have the time to accomplish much beyond that in this short month.

The pile of donation tops.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Blue Cars

For 2018's Rainbow Scrap Challenge I chose two different patterns.  Both are by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  I am making both Bumper 2 Bumper and Smitten Kitten.  I now have 4 car blocks ready for Bumper 2 Bumper. These are January's blocks when the color was light/medium blue. I had some trouble with the tires because I cut the pieces to the wrong size.  Now that I've caught the mistake, I should have an easier time with future blocks.

I'm still working on the Smitten Kitten blocks from January. Hopefully I'll get caught up soon.  I hate that I'm behind so early in the year.  But the great thing about Rainbow Scrap Challenge is that are no real deadlines!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January recap

I added some monthly tracking to my quilting routine this year.  Inspired by Kate at Life in Pieces, the first is to track how many days I spend at least 15 minutes sewing.  I have no illusions at achieving 100% (that shop already sailed!) but am more curious about how many days in a year I really do get time to sew.  In January, I got sewing time 24 out of 31 days, or 77% of the month.

I'm also tracking yardage used.  I've seen several bloggers do this and I've been curious, but was never sure how to actually calculate it.  I asked Kate how she does it, and I'm using the method & math she was kind enough to explain to me in detail, with a few adjustments to make it fit how I sew.  The biggest difference is that I'm only tracking when I complete a project.  If it's a bee block or something that creating the unit is all I'm going to do, I'll add that to my monthly total, but if I'm the one finishing it, I won't track yardage until the project is done.  I am more interested in overall numbers than a month by month comparison.  This one is sheer curiosity for me.

In January, I used 9.3yards.  I'm also going to see if I can track yardage bought. I decided not to count anything given to me as a gift, including anything purchased with purchased with gift certificates.  I did not make any purchases in January.

I'm working on my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail.  Her challenge is to finish at least half of your unfinished projects AND finish anything started in 2018.  I have a list of 25 unfinished projects (I found another one since I posted my original list) and must finish at least 13 to earn my PhD. I completed 3 projects in January: I Wish You A Merry Quilt Along, a growth chart for friends, and a Project Linus donation quilt.

I'm ready for February!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

January Bee Blocks

Once again, I am in 2 online quilting bees in 2018.  The first is Stash Bee, where I am queen in my hive for January.  This means no blocks for me to make and I've been getting fabulous bookshelf blocks in the mail all month! 

In Bee Inspired, Sharon was Queen in January.  She asked for Quatrefoil blocks with pink, green, yellow, blue, turquoise, and coral.  We could choose which colors went where. This is my second time making a Quatrefoil block and I really like it.  The pink fabric was one of the fabrics I bought with a Christmas gift certificate from my mom and I love how it looks in this block.

This was not for a bee, but I did make 3 Perkiomen Valley blocks to go into quilts for those displaced by the Thomas Fire in California.  Carole of From My Carolina Home put out a call for blocks and volunteered to assemble 3 quilts.  I sent mine to her, though she is now asking that additional blocks be sent directly to the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild.  It's a great block for scraps!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Simple Quilt: Aqua Doggies

A little over a year ago, my friend Snow gave me a whole bunch of novelty fabrics from her stash.  I think she decided novelty fabrics weren't her favorites and she knows that I love them. She had clearly made a dog quilt, as there was a sizeable stack of dog fabrics, many of them approximately half a fat quarter.

I spent a few weekend afternoons while my son watched the Paw Patrol DVDs his grandmother gave him for Christmas cutting the fabrics into usable sizes, specifically layer cake and jolly bar pieces.  But there was significantly more than half a fat quarter of this lovely aqua dog print, so I didn't cut it up.  I figured I could add some borders and it would make a lovely Project Linus quilt.

I decided simple was best. The inner border is Kona Biscuit and the outer border is Kona Sable. Several of the prints in the stack from Snow were dog paw prints.  I thought they would make a great scrappy binding. There are 4 different paw prints in the binding. I did a diagonal grid for the quilting.

This was project #16 on my list of Q1 goals for the globally-hosted Finish Along.

This was also on my list of UFOs for UFO busing with Tish and a needed finish as I work toward my PhD (projects half-done) with Quilting Gail.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Growth Chart doing double duty

One of my favorite projects that isn't a quilt in the traditional sense is the growth chart I made for my son.  Last year I made one for my niece as well.  I had leftover strips from my niece's chart, so I asked a close local friend if she wanted one for her kids.  Thing is, both my son and my niece are only children and my friend has two kids.  I was willing to make two charts but she said she would prefer one chart for both kids.  We brainstormed the best way to have it personalized for both kids and this is the end result:

The numbers have been moved to the center panel that has the I Spy/novelty fabric.  I still like it better on the solid background so the numbers don't compete or blend into the fun fabrics, but it was well worth the relocation to get both kids' names in. Other than that change, I used the same method & measurements for this chart that I did when making my son's.  I combined this Moda Bake Shop tutorial by Vanessa from the Craft Gemini, with this picture of charts made for twin boys, which were based on this picture and I rolled them all into something that works for me.

My friend picked out the background fabric when we were fabric shopping together, it's Kona Robin Egg.  She told me to ask her son (age 3 at the time) what colors to use for the names and if they should be the same or different.  His favorite color is purple and he wanted them both to be purple but different shades.  His name is in Bright Periwinkle and his sister's name is Morning Glory, both scraps that I had.  The numbers are Black.  I used some Very Hungry Caterpillar dots for the binding and really like how that looks. The back is a blue train print because he is absolutely crazy about trains and I happened to have a good bit of this.

This was #1 on my list of Q1 goals for the globally-hosted Finish Along.

This was also on my list of UFOs for UFO busing with Tish and a needed finish as I work toward my PhD (projects half-done) with Quilting Gail.