2018 Qtr 1 Finish-A-Long Goals

I have four goals that I am highly motivated to accomplish this first quarter of 2018, and for the first time since joining the quarterly finish-alongs back in 2015, I am planning to keep all of these projects. The first is my Summer Sampler 2017 Quilt that I so enjoyed working on last year and recently started working on again (see my Summer Sampler Re-Emergence post for more info on the gazillion filler blocks I’ve been working on!). I’m getting close to getting this quilt top finished and to the long-arm quilter, and I can’t wait until I can put this amazing quilt on my bed! Below is a pic of the inner medallion section on my design board:


Next are a set of three pillows to coordinate with my Summer Sampler 2017 Quilt. One of my favorite quilting books, Quilts Du Jour by Marny Buck and Jill Guffy, has some striking modern pillows in it. The pillows I am planning to make from this book using scraps from my Summer Sampler 2017 Quilt are Salsa, It’s a Wrap and Sushi:


The Sushi pillow will use Kona Emerald, Sage, Aqua, and Coal scraps, and the Salsa and It’s a Wrap pillows will use Kona Emerald, Chartreuse, Aqua, Berry, and Cerise scraps:


Also coordinating with my Summer Sampler 2017 Quilt will be my Wayward Transparency quilt that I plan to quilt myself. Check out all amazing versions of Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl’s awesome Quilt-Along pattern at the Wayward Transparency Quilt Along Link-Up. I have two of the four blocks completed and hope to join the linky party by the end of January. Below is a quick snap I took of one of my blocks that uses Kona Emerald, Sage, and Aqua solids:


And last but definitely not least is the Scattered Squares baby quilt pattern test that I did for my friend, Sarah, of Sarah Goer Quilts. I also plan to quilt this quilt top myself. I’ve named my version of this quilt, Jackie’s Aviary, because my sister loved birds, and I had originally purchased the bird fabric with her in mind. Below is a photo of the finished quilt top and a close-up of the bird squares before I started sewing:



Linking up to 2018 Qtr 1 Finish-A-Long Goals.

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Summer Sampler Re-emergence

Now that I have finished several quilts and pillows for Christmas gifts, I can turn my attention back to my favorite quilting project ever (though my Dogs in Sweaters Quilt that I gave to my niece, Mary Frances, for Christmas is a close second). I really enjoyed working on the Summer Sampler 2017 last year (see my Post about this project that has some of the 17 feature blocks I sewed and provides a lot of information about this amazing skills-building sampler).

This New Year’s weekend I started working on the filler blocks that will help turn all my blocks into a gorgeous quilt top. I sewed all the large sawtooth stars and one of the small sawtooth stars. I also started working on the paper-pieced narrow flying geese units.


My January ‘18 One Monthly Goal is to sew the remaining 15 small sawtooth stars, make 23 more narrow flying geese units, sew 20 diagonal flying geese units, and make a total of 184 half-square triangles for the HST border. Whew!!! See the mock-up below, and keep in mind that I have substituted Kona Coal for white in this project:


I hope to as a bonus to finish my Wayward Transparency Lap quilt top this month, but no promises! I am trying very hard to get my Summer Sampler quilt top to the longarm quilter by mid-February, so most of my quilting energy/time will be directed to finishing this quilt top.

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Jan ‘18 One Monthly Goal.


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Dec ‘17 OMG Finish

For my December ‘17 One Monthly Goal, I decided to repair the binding on the cat quilt that I had sewn with my Brother sewing machine. It was extremely uneven in places, so my plan was to carefully rip out the machine-stitching on the binding on the front of the quilt and re-sew the binding down by hand. Well, shortly into the process, that plan was literally shredded as I tore several holes in the binding fabric even though I was going very slow and taking my time, and I even had a few slight tears in quilt itself near the edges. Yikes! Basically the stitches were too close together which made it practically impossible to cleanly remove the stitches. So I painstakingly ripped the entire binding out no longer worrying about salvaging the binding but trying not to rip the fabric of the quilt. I repaired the tears with little patches of matching fabric using double stick fusible web. Then I started the binding process all over again, this time sewing the binding down with my sewing machine on the front side using a 3/8” seam allowance to hide the little patches and hand-sewing the binding down to the back of the quilt. It turned out well, and I’m glad I did it even if it was almost triple the work!



The cat quilt was given to a local friend for Christmas, and she loves it! Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Dec ‘17 OMG Finishes . This quilt was on my list of 2017 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Goals. Linking up to 2017 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Finishes.

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Happy Hedgehog Holidays!

I made my friend, Kristen, a Hazel Hedgehog pillow for Christmas and for her birthday which is on Christmas, I made her a simple tote bag using a Cotton+Steel Canvas Hedgehog print by Sarah Watts.


And for her son, Aidan, I made him the Stretching Cat pillow that he is holding in the photo below. I love his real cat,  Meow Mix, surveying the action from the window in the background.


Both of these pillows are 2017 4th Qtr Finish-A-Long Goals. Linking up to 2017 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Finishes .

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2018 Quilting Goals


I am definitely one of those people who loves to plan, but I can also be quite spontaneous which is why in college I chose the oxymoron Spontaneous Planner to describe having both of those traits. I am appreciative of Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl hosting a #2018 Planning Party to help me refine what I want to accomplish in the coming year.

Free Motion Quilting

My biggest priority in the coming year to become more proficient with the actual quilting of quilts, particularly focusing on regularly practicing free motion quilting. My Juki TL-2200QVP Mini is a powerful straight-stitch sewing machine that is known for its FMQ capabilities. To be honest, sometimes it feels like TOO much of a machine for me, and it’s very easy for me to go to my little Brother sewing machine which I know like the back of my hand (probably because I have spent hours looking at the backs of my hands when sewing with it!) rather than my Juki. For one thing, the Juki machine is much heavier. And threading it isn’t as straightforward, and then there’s the bobbin that is hidden unlike the Brother where I can easily see how much thread is left on my bobbin. And it has to be oiled! Alright, I know I’m whining! Most of my fellow quilters have powerful machines with similar challenges. One way to build my free motion quilting skills is to make a FMQ sampler quilt similar to this one by Crazy Mom Quilts using a Quilt As You Go (QAYG) technique. I’m thinking of making 12 1/2” solid blocks in beach colors with a few white stars interspersed amongst all the solids.

Walking Foot Quilting

I also want to improve my skills with the walking foot. I took a class from Jacquie Gering on walking foot quilting in July and love her WALK book, and there are many quilting designs in her book that I want to try. I’ve read about other Juki owners not being happy with the walking foot that came with their machine. I found the post that Laura of Slice of Pi Quilts wrote about the problems with her Juki machine’s walking foot very informative, so I ordered the Janome Even Feed Foot Set for high shank machines from Amazon but haven’t made it a priority to start using a walking foot on my Juki. I’d like to remedy that in the first few months of 2018.

Right now I have two quilt tops waiting to be quilted with the walking foot: my Random Intention Baby Quilt and my Forest Daybreak quilt (though maybe FMQ might be a better option for the Forest Daybreak quilt or a combination of the two quilting techniques. Any suggestions? Also I think this quilt needs a new name. It just does not evoke a daybreak in a forest to me—so I would also welcome suggestions for its new 2018 name!)

I do have another project that I will definitely use the walking foot to quilt, but I can only give you a sneak peek. I have tested a pattern for Sarah Goer Quilts called Scattered Squares and below is a pic of the little birds I used in my version:


By the end of January, I will have tested another pattern for Sarah. Look for her new patterns in the early part of 2018. I have to tell you that they are striking, modern quilts that I’m glad to have in my quilt repertoire.

I will also be using the walking foot to quilt my version of the Wayward Transparency Lap Quilt that looks similar to Yvonne’s example in greens. My colors are Kona Aqua, Sage, and Emerald, and I actually have two of the blocks sewn but not photographed yet.

Finishing Up 2017 Projects

I only have two projects from 2017 that I want to complete. First and foremost is my Summer Sampler 2017. I loved working on this project, and it really helped increase my confidence with paper piecing. I only reluctantly put this project aside when I needed to turn my attention to quilts for Christmas presents, and it made me sad to take the blocks off my design wall! Below is pic where I was playing with the arrangement and trying to leave some room for the filler sawtooth blocks and flying geese, but since this finished quilt will be 70” x 70” and my design board is only 48” across, it really didn’t work!


I hope to start sewing some of the filler Sawtooth Star units in January (maybe even Christmas weekend!).

I’ve fallen way behind in my 2017 Chocolatier Block of the Month. I’ve been faithfully picking up the pattern and fabric each month from ThreadBear but have not touched this project since August except for eating the chocolate that is included in each month’s package! I’m not in love with this project, but I think that I will like the quilt when it is finished, at least I hope I do!

New Projects:

I fell in love with Sarah Goer’s Rainbow Autumn Chain Blocks that she posted on Instagram in October and sewed the two blocks below to help her get her quilty wishes granted. I enjoyed the challenge of combining a light, medium, and dark value in orange and green so much that I decided to join The Bee Hive again in 2018, and I am the queen bee for January. My swarm-mates will be making me the Autumn Chain block in rainbow colors.

My best friend, Mary, bought us both quilt kits from ThreadBear that uses Modern Quilt Relish’s Bowtie Pasta with a Twist pattern. I think she is hoping for some more free quilting lessons from me!

And for Mary’s birthday in October, I want to make a custom butterfly quilt for her daybed using this large Take Wing Butterfly pattern by Lillyella Stitchery for the top of the daybed and some  Butterfly Charm Blocks on the overhang.

Also in October is my niece, Kim’s birthday. I’ve been thinking of making her a Dog Gone Cute quilt.

The last project that is on my radar is starting an Ice Cream Soda Quilt. Jodi at Tales of Cloth has a new EPP Mandoline quilt pattern that is very pretty, but when I think of starting an English Paper Piecing project that I can work on when away from my sewing machine, I keep going back to the Ice Cream Soda quilt using Alison Glass fabrics, so that’s what I’m leaning toward at the moment.

This is the time of year when many other quilting tempatations are starting to appear. I can’t promise that I won’t add any other projects to my list, but I will say that I am going to be VERY picky!

Linking up to #2018 Planning Party.

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Gateway to Paradise Quilt Finished

My best friend (also named Mary) and I worked together on this quilt for her sister, Debra. We started it almost two years ago cutting the colorful fabric from a jelly roll that I think I bought from Craftsy and recently got it finished and in the mail to her sister. It feels good to get this old UFO done! It was one of my 2017 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Goals.


Linking up to Sew Can She: Show Off Saturday. Also linking up to 2017 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Finishes.

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Slinky’s Friends

My niece, Mary Frances, has a wonderful dachshund named Slinky. One of her friends gave him the nickname of The Ambassador of Joy, and it totally fits him! I purchased Elizabeth Hartman’s Dogs in Sweaters pattern earlier this year and a few months ago decided that the lap quilt would be the perfect Christmas gift for Mary Frances (and Slinky!) this year. This is one of my 2017 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Goals.


I gave Michael at ThreadBear free rein with the long-arm quilting, and I could not be more pleased with how this quilt turned out. (And a big shout-out to my brother, Bill, and sister-in-law, Sharon, for paying this custom quilting!) Below are some close-up shots. Just look at how the different directions of the straight-line quilting accentuate the dog’s face and body! Each dog’s sweater has a different quilting motif, and this top dog has snowflakes quilted on his sweater. The quilting in the negative space around him is reminiscent of dog bones.


Dog # 2 has flames on his sweater and is surrounded by clouds.


The third dog, also known as The Smart Dog, with appliqued glasses, has chess pieces  quilted on his sweater, and the quilting around him looks like scientific symbols. This guy is my absolute favorite!


And the last dog who is in the middle of different sized pebbles has a couple cats quilted on his sweater. Slinky lives with two cats and would love to be better friends with them if they would let him!


Here’s a photo of the cats on the back:


Both Mary Frances and Slinky are fans of quilts. Below are a couple of pics with Slinky snuggling in quilts. The first one is him with the Morning Coffee and Cream Quilt that I made for my sister.


And here he is all cuddled up with the Fashion and Food Quilt that I made for Mary Frances in 2015.


Feel free to check out more photos of Slinky on his Instagram The Slinky Chronicles.

Linking up to My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread ThursdayBusy Hands Quilts: Finished or Not Friday, and Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday. Also linking up to 2017 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Finishes.



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