Feb ’17 OMG Finish

My February 2017 One Monthly Goal was to make a quilt top out of the Quatrefoil bee blocks received from The Bee Hive and Stash Bee members (with surprise blocks from my friend, Sarah Goer, and four blocks made by me). I had hoped to make a 60″ square quilt, but a few of the blocks were too small, so my Quatrefoil quilt top is now four across and five down. It is a very nice lap quilt size, and I love the depth of color in the teal/turquoise petals and the different variations of lime corners that form diamonds. Down the road I plan to make a big pillow with four of the unused blocks after I have trimmed them down to about 12″ square.

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I finished this quilt top this morning, snapped a quick pic, and then got it packaged to ship to Amy Ellis of AmysCreativeSide.com. She had a one-day quilting sale that I was lucky enough to take advantage of. I’m asking her to quilt a mazes motif in a medium grey that I think will look especially awesome in the low volume sections. This is the first time I’ve ever shipped off a flimsy for quilting, but at least I’m only shipping it a couple states away. In the 1990s my mom used to send her quilt tops to the Philippines for quilting!

Have you ever sent off a flimsy for quilting before? If you did, were you a little nervous to entrust your precious quilt top to a courier or post office?

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Feb ’17 OMG Finishes.

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Feb ’17 OMG-Quatrefoil Bee Blocks

My February 2017 One Monthly Goal is to sew together my Quatrefoil bee blocks that I received from Bee Hive and Stash Bee hive members when I was queen bee this past August. I have enough blocks to sew a quilt top that is five blocks across by five blocks down. Two of the blocks I will be including were surprise blocks (pictured below) made by my friend, Sarah, of Sarah Goer Quilts.

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I’ve finally started to press out the mailing wrinkles, and some of the blocks will need to be squared up before sewing together the quilt top. I hope to start playing with the layout tomorrow.

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Feb ’17 OMG.

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A New Work in Progress

I purchased fat quarter bundles of Katarina Rocella’s gorgeous Imprint collection in both colorways about a year ago not knowing what I was going to make with them and recently decided to use this fabric in a half-square triangle (HST) lap quilt for my great-niece, Rachel, who will be turning 18 and graduating from high school in June.

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I’ve been very drawn to some of the random HST quilts I’ve seen on Pinterest like the ones made by the fabulous Libs Elliott who uses code to generate quilt designs. I will be using a much less sophisticated method of combining fabrics for this HST quilt. I have cut 144 six-inch squares from the 20 fat quarters (at least 7 from each), and I will blindly pick out two squares at a time to sew together out of a bin once I mix the squares up really well, not worrying about combining a light print with a medium or dark print. My only rule will be to not sew two of the same fabrics together, although a few interspersed squares might add some interest.

The quilt will be 12 five-inch finished squares across by 12 five-inch finished squares down. I hope to have all my HSTs made by the end of this month.

Linking up to My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday.

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January ’17 OMG Finished

My January 2017 One Monthly Goal was to finish my modified Fancy Forest quilt top. This quilt is for a birthday present for my sister-in-law, Sharon, who will celebrate her 65th birthday in April. Sharon truly is a kid at heart, and she fell in love with the four fancy foxes I made last year, so I decided to add three Hazel Hedgehogs and two thistle blocks to make her a small custom quilt.

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The quilt top measures 33″ x 43″, and after it is quilted and I square it up, the finished quilt will measure about 32″ x 42″. I thought about putting one or more borders to increase the size but decided I’d rather sacrifice size for a cleaner aesthetic. Because it is a smaller size quilt, I thought about quilting it myself with straight lines, but I’m going to let Michael at ThreadBear work his magic. Below is the fabric for the back which I think is perfect for Sharon especially since she loves bears.

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Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Jan ’17 OMG Finishes and Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday.

 

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Table Runner, Placemats, and Napkins for my Sister

For my sister Jackie’s birthday this year I made her a table runner, eight placemats, and eight napkins using charm packs and yardage from Brigitte Heitland’s Zen Chic Reel Time fabric collection and adaptations of two of her patterns designed for this collection. I made the Tea Time table runner a little smaller than specified on the pattern, so it could fit if Jackie only used six of the placemats plus the table runner. Below is a photo my sister took after receiving her birthday present.

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The placemats for my sister are a modification of Brigitte’s Little Break placemat pattern. Each placemat has a different configuration of 2 1/2″ squares cut from 5″ charm squares. I then sewed a thin inner border of solid grey fabric and the same outer border of Reel Time Metro Dots Black on each placemat. The backing for each placemat is Lenses in Slate.

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I wasn’t sure how I wanted to bind these placemats. I thought about using the cheater binding I use for mug rugs (using the backing as the binding), but I decided I wanted to the back and the binding to be different, so I read a lot of online tutorials and emailed Yvonne@Quilting Jetgirl several times asking her questions about binding placemats since she’s made so many cool ones. Search for placemats on her blog, and you will be amazed at all the different ones she has created. I was going to cut my binding strips the usual way selvage-to-selvage and use one and a half binding strips for each 11″ x 17″ placemat using single-fold binding to reduce the fabric bulk. Then I decided to use my AccuQuilt machine to cut 67″ long strips using the lengthwise grain for 1.5″ wide strips of binding which meant that I only needed to have one binding join for each placemat. I had planned to use a decorative stitch to sew the binding down on the front of the placemats and table runner, but I didn’t like how it looked, so I ended up hand-stitching the binding down.

There are many mitered corner napkin tutorials available online. For the napkins I made for Jackie with Reel Time The End fabric, I used a tutorial from  Splendorfallsmc.blogspot.com that I saw on Pinterest, but when I tried to go into the original post on Bloglovin’, I discovered that this post had been removed. I’d like to make some more napkins sometime but may try a different method next time. If you know of a good mitered corner napkin tutorial, please share.

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Linking up to Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday.

 

 

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2017 Finish-A-Long Qtr 1 Goals

I just have three goals for the first quarter of 2017. I am carrying over one of my 2016 Finish-A-Long 4th Quarter Goals and plan to get my Quatrefoil Bee Block quilt sewn together and have it quilted. I’m thinking of trying the Susie’s Magic Binding method of binding with this project.

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I am also working on a modified Fancy Forest small quilt for my sister-in-law’s 65th birthday in April. It is actually my January 2017 OMG Goal to make three Hazel Hedgehog blocks and two thistle blocks to add to my four Fancy Foxes and get a 48″ square quilt top done by the end of this month.

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My final Qtr One goal is to to finish a secret sewing project for my sister, Jackie, that I started almost a month ago. I’m in the process of finishing up eight placemats, a small table runner, and eight mitered-corner napkins for a birthday present for Jackie using charms cut into 2 1/2″ squares and yardage from Zen Chic’s Reel Time fabric collection. Last night I asked my sister to NOT read any of my new blog posts until after she receives her present (which she agreed to do). I do plan to get this project done this Martin Luther King holiday weekend, so it will definitely be my first Qtr One finish, and she should receive this birthday gift by the end of next week. Below is a pic of one placemat and the table runner that need the binding brought over from the back and hand sewn down on the front.

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Linking up to Capitola Quilter: 2017 FAL Q1 Goal Setting.

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January 2017 OMG

I’m very excited about my January 2017 OMG. I hope by the end of this month to have the quilt top done for the small quilt I am making for my sister-in-law Sharon’s 65th birthday in April. She loves the four Fancy Foxes I made last year, and rather than using them in a wall-hanging for me, I am going to use them in the quilt for Sharon. This month I am planning to make three Hazel Hedgehog blocks and two Thistle blocks. All of these blocks are designed by Elizabeth Hartman for her Fancy Forest quilt. The quilt for Sharon will just have the foxes, hedgehogs, and thistles, and I am planning to make it 48″ square, possibly with a border around the edge.

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Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: January ’17 OMG Goal Setting.

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Dec ’16 OMG Finish with Mystery Extras

I’m late joining the December 2016 OMG Finish Linky party, but I actually finished my block and the mystery extras I promised to share about in my December ’16 OMG post within the first week of December. Not everyone knows that prior to being bitten by the quilting bug two years ago, my main creative outlet was making mosaics from glass and tile. I shared about the different kinds of mosaics I’ve made in my Quilting in Glass post. The mystery extras I made for my Bee Hive swarm members and also for two other quilting/blogging friends who have been incredibly supportive of me (Sarah@Sarah Goer Quilts and Yvonne@Quilting Jetgirl) were simple ornaments replicating the Ohio Star block made from nipped pieces of mirror glass glued on top of 2″ wood squares then grouted with black sanded grout with the sides and back stained with wood stain. I have to tell you that photographing mosaic pieces makes taking pics of my quilts a super easy task (and yet I still complain about quilt photography and dream of sending my quilts to Kitty@Night Quilter to have her take gorgeous photographs of my quilts in beautiful nature scenes). Below is a pic of the 13 ornaments I made earlier this month:

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And here is a pic of the last block I sewed this year for The Bee Hive:

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I wrote a post earlier this month with pics and links to tutorials of all the blocks I made this year for Stash Bee and The Bee Hive for anyone interested–Quilting Bees 2016.

So this is my last post for 2016. Wishing everyone a happy 2017.

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Best of 2016–Five Best Quilty Things I Learned

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Cheryl@Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a second annual linky party for our best five posts in 2016, and we get to choose the criteria that defines our best five. I’m admittedly sick of writing and talking about my favorite finishes in 2016. I could choose posts with the most comments or page views, but I’m not one who focuses much on blog stats. Last year I blogged about Favorite Pics of Animals on My Quilts, but this year I decided to focus on the five best quilty things I learned in 2016.

One:  In my 2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop-Midnight Starfish tutorial, I shared how to make eight half-square triangles (HSTs) at a time that I learned from Jeni Baker at QuiltCon in Pasadena. This year I have probably made at least 500 HSTs using this method. If only the 8-at-a-time would trim themselves, it would be perfect!

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Eight-at-a-time HST Method

Two: Glamp Stitchalot in Ann Arbor was an amazing experience, but I have to say a couple of the most useful things I learned were simple things. The first was to use freezer paper to fussy cut (cutting the size I want on freezer paper minus seam allowances). This tip was from Elizabeth Hartman. And the other Aha moment for me was seeing with my own eyes how the right background for a block can make all the difference. I was taking Penny Layman’s paper piecing class, and I was trying to make a solid fabric work as the background of her mountain block, and it just looked blah. I decided to check out the Pink Castle pop-up shop and was much more pleased with the background fabric I found:

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Paper-Pieced Mountain Block from Glamp Stitchalot

Three: Labeling–Low Tech: I can’t even say where I first saw this easy labeling technique, but it was somewhere on Pinterest or Bloglovin’. Like so many other quilters, labeling quilts is not one of my favorite tasks, but with my brother’s Meditation Quilt, I started using the simple method of folding a square diagonally to form a triangle, writing a few words about my quilt on the triangle with permanent fabric marker, machine stitching the raw sides of the triangle when sewing down my binding, and then hand-stitching the folded side down after I’ve finished the binding.

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Label for Meditation Quilt by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in My Blood

Four: Labeling–High Tech: For my Terra Australis Quilt I used a label from StoryPatches and sewed a turquoise dot border around the label. This label has a little bar code on it that is linked to an app called stkr.it which can be easily downloaded to phones and tablets. I made an audio recording–something that I’m not too comfortable doing–but it was so cool to be able to include lots of info about my quilt including the fabrics I used, who designed the fabric, and the different blocks I chose.

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Label for Terra Australis Quilt by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in My Blood

Five: Earlier this month I found out how easy it is to sew pillow covers using an envelope backing, though I found out when sewing my Christmas pillow that the direction of the fabric is important for the envelope backing!

Linking up to Meadow Mist Designs: Best of 2016 Linky Party.

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2017 Quilting Goals

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Recapping 2016

When I saw that Yvonne@Quilting Jetgirl was hosting a 2017 planning party, I felt compelled to go back and read my 2016 Goals for Quilting and Blogging and 2016 Mid Year Review posts. Overall, 2016 was a productive year. I met my Stash Bee and Bee Hive commitments (see my Quilting Bees 2016 post for pics of all my blocks with links to the tutorials), went to QuiltCon and Glamp Stitchalot 2016, made my Terra Australis quilt for my bed, a Meditation Quilt for my brother, a Breaking Bad Wall Hanging for my great nephew, the Diamond Stars Quilt for my best friend, and my Charming Plus Kitty Quilt. My longest UFO, my Birthday Gifts Wall Hanging, that was 18 months in the making, was finished in October. I also designed two new blocks, my Midnight Starfish block (included in Late Night Quilter’s The Quilter’s Planner 2017) and my Berry Blossom block. I participated in two mini mini swaps, improved my paper-piecing skills, made a few tote bags, sewed my first zipper pouch, and most recently sewed some pillow covers. My over-arching goal for 2016 was to feel by the end of the year that I was an intermediate quilter as far as my piecing skills go, and I do believe I’ve met that goal. But there’s still plenty of room for improvement 😊.

2017 Goals

Though I have a number of quilts that I want to make in 2017, I want to feel less busy and pressured than I did in 2016. That’s the main reason I did not sign up for any online bees for the coming year though I will most likely sew some blocks for the Honey Pot Bee organized by Molli Sparkles. No blocks will be swapped, no deadlines have to be met, and I get to keep any blocks I sew. Sounds good to me!!!

The first quilt I plan to make in 2017 is a lap quilt for my sister-in-law’s 65th birthday in April using blocks from Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Forest pattern. I’m leaning toward just using foxes, hedgehogs, and thistles, but that could change.

My great-nephew, Jimmy, and great-niece, Rachel, are graduating from high school in June, and I want to make a lap quilt for each of them to celebrate this milestone. For Jimmy, I’m leaning toward an ombre HST quilt in shades of blue, and for Rachel, I’m planning to use my hoarded Imprints fat quarters. I’m not sure what the pattern will be, maybe Thimble Blossoms’ Fireworks. I’m not planning to quilt any of these quilts myself, so I want the quilt top for my sister-in-law to be pieced by mid-February and the quilt tops for the twins by mid-April.

Other projects that I would like to complete in 2017 (not in any particular order, and none of these HAVE to be done next year)

  • Make pillows for my office to replace the ratty Pier 1 pillows that have been there for almost seven years
  • Finish the Bow Tie quilt that my mom started in the 1990s for my sister
  • Make an HST quilt using a quilt kit of Moda flannel fabric
  • Finish my Berry Cross quilt
  • Sew my Quatrefoil bee blocks together and have it quilted by ThreadBear
  • Finish my Gratitude Lanterns Wall Hanging for my office by hand-quilting it
  • Make another Christmas pillow because I had fun making this Christmas pillow
  • Make a more complicated bag than a tote bag
  • Continue to improve my paper-piecing skills, perhaps by using Carolyn Friedlander’s Glamp Stitchalot paper-pieced pattern to make a wall-hanging or small quilt
  • And maybe, just maybe, buy a good sewing machine (I’m thinking about a Juki)

I’m not planning to go to any quilt conferences or workshops this coming year though I may fit in a nearby class or two. Participating in any swaps is a low priority, and I’m going to try to stay strong and not get enticed to participate in any Quilt-Alongs (but I’m not making any promises!).

Linking up to Quilting Jetgirl’s 2017 Planning Party.

 

 

 

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