To-Do Tuesday 121 Weekly Progress Update

 To-Do for the week of Nov 30th-Dec 6th:

  1.  Finish my Turquoise and Grey Sashiko squares and make them into a set of five coasters for my stepdaughter, Alisha. √Done
  2. Finish my Black and Gold Sashiko squares and make them into a set of five coasters for my stepson, Drew √Done
  3. Write my December 2021 One Monthly Goal post.Done

To-Do #1

The finishing instructions in the Sashiko coasters kits I’ve seen so far suggest that the Sashiko square be placed right sides against another piece of Sashiko fabric and stitched around the perimeter leaving a gap of 2-3″ to be turned right-side out and slip-stitched closed. I like a more finished look as well as coasters that have more substance to them, so I used a piece of batting between the Sashiko square and the backing fabric and chose to bind these 4.5″ square coasters with a contrasting solid fabric, using the mini binding tutorial from Twiggy and Opal. Don’t be surprised to see more variegated turquoise on grey Sashiko fabric coasters in 2022. I think I might need to a set to keep!

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To-Do #2

I also finished the Sashiko coasters for my stepson, Drew, using black binding fabric. They measure about 4″ x 4.5″. These dark, masculine-looking coasters aren’t exactly to my taste, but I really like how they look with these simple wood Christmas ornaments, and hopefully Drew will like them.

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To-Do #3

This past week I wrote my December 2021 One Monthly Goal post about making a Cardinal Mini Quilt. The good news is my Kona Cardinal fabric arrived on Saturday.

Bonus:

I wrote a post on Friday about my Christmas North Stars quilt which is my November 2021 Favorite Finish:

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To-Do for the week of Dec 7th-13th:

  1. Make progress on my Cardinal mini quilt.
  2. Start working on a Sew Tiny Christmas ornament. Have you seen the free Sew Tiny Ornament Sew-Along hosted by Kitty@nightquilter on Instagram? I definitely want to make one of the tiny Christmas trees with a little embroidery embellishment.
  3. Start working on a simple pink tote bag with a not-so-simple paper-pieced star on one side.

Linking up with Texas Quilt Gal: To-Do Tuesday.

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November 2021 Favorite Finish

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In early November I finished a 54” x 54” throw-size Christmas North Stars quilt (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman) that is primarily for my sister-in-law, Sharon, but is also my brother, Bill’s Christmas present this year. Last year I made a North Stars Quilt to include in my Christmas decorating that has a white polar bear, two otters, a walrus, and a seal. When I showed Sharon the pattern and told her she could pick four of the blocks, she chose the muskox, the foxes, the reindeer, and the bear but requested it be a brown bear instead. We decided to use a muted Christmas palette of some dark and olive green, red with a tinge of brown, cream/brown, gold, and taupe/grey. The above photo is on their couch right after they opened my package that I sent from New Mexico to California.

 

I ordered some fabrics from Tim Holtz’ Christmastime collection that captured that palette perfectly (I especially love the Christmas Carols fabric that I used in all four blocks that looks like it was printed on old parchment), and used several fabrics from my stash including a cardinal fabric that I fussy cut for flying geese units in the bear and foxes blocks. Below are close-ups of the bear and foxes blocks before quilting where the cardinals are easier to see as well as the brown and red grunge fabrics used in these blocks:

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I used several different Essex Linen fabrics in the Muskox and Reindeer blocks that provide such wonderful textural interest:

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The background fabric for all four blocks is Essex Homespun Silver and the sashing fabric which is subtly different than the background fabric is Essex Homespun Charcoal. I love the texture of these fabrics, but they definitely fray easily. Sharon specifically requested that the quilt be backed in minky fabric which I found at the Etsy shop CaliQuiltCo. I sent the quilt top and the grey minky fabric off to Jessica who has quilted a couple other projects for me and who coincidentally lives about four miles from Sharon and Bill (too bad I can’t get air travel miles for all the miles my quilt flew on airplanes!). Jessica, who is on Instagram as @sugarmillquilts, did a fabulous job with the quilting using Glide Celery thread which is a gorgeous shiny light green thread and the edge-to-edge quilting pattern called Fire in the Jungle worked wonderfully for this quilt. The photo below shows the beautiful quilting on the minky back:

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Since this was the first time I’d used a minky backing fabric, I was pretty nervous about binding this quilt and asked for advice from other quilters on binding with a minky quilt backing. I was encouraged to treat it like regular quilting cotton but to stay-stitch 1/8” from the edge to stabilize its fluffiness. And that worked like a charm! I did end up using a wider binding on the minky side of the quilt to further contain the fluff that tends to shed. 

Below is a close-up of the foxes after quilting that shows off the Glide Celery thread:

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We recently had our shed repainted, so I thought the quilt would look nice against the bright terracotta background. Since this photo was taken, I’ve had a black curtain rod that extends up to 120 inches mounted at the top of the shed to be able to more easily photograph quilts outside without using duct tape!

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I’ll close this post with a photo of Sharon holding her quilt. Doesn’t it make quilters feel wonderful when their quilts are loved and appreciated?

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Linking up to Meadow Mist Designs: Favorite Finish November 2021.

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December 2021 OMG

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I will make this quick since it’s December 1st, and I still have a lot to do to get ready for Christmas, especially since I’ve decided to squeeze in a couple more small holiday projects. My December 2021 One Monthly Goal is to make a Cardinal mini quilt using Amy Friend@During Quiet Time’s paper-pieced Cardinal block. I’m waiting on some Kona Cardinal fabric to arrive (don’t worry I have a back-up plan of using Kona Chinese Red fabric if my order gets lost in the holiday mail). This mini quilt will be in honor of my sister, Jackie, who loved to watch cardinals out her kitchen window in Dearborn, Michigan.

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: December 2021 OMG.

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To-Do Tuesday 120 Weekly Progress Update

 To-Do for the week of Nov 23rd-30th:

  1. Finish my Reindeer mini quilt and write my November 2021 OMG finish post. √Done
  2. Finish my Christmas Present Dresser Runner. √Done
  3. Work on a squirrel project that I started a few days ago. √Done

To-Do #1

I finished my Reindeer mini quilt and wrote about it here.

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To-Do #2

I finished the Christmas Present dresser runner and on Sunday decorated a table-size metal Christmas tree with the runner underneath and a Christmas Baubles mini quilt behind it. It definitely looks festive but also busy (which is usually not my style, but I make an exception for Christmas because of all the fond memories associated with the various ornaments).

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To-Do #3

And for my squirrel project (for anyone not familiar with squirrel in the context of quilting, it is a project that one had not planned on making but all of a sudden jumped to the top of the to-do list), over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I finished two Little Llama mini quilts (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman), each measuring 15.5″ x 20″ that I took to my office yesterday. The ugly tan paint on the wall isn’t the best backdrop for photographing them, but they still make me smile every time I look at them. I named them after my parents. The first one with the turquoise Christmas Carols background is Cleo, and the second with the red background is Jack.

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To-Do for the week of Dec 1st-7th:

  1. Finish my Turquoise and Grey Sashiko squares and make them into a set of five coasters for my stepdaughter, Alisha.
  2. Finish my Black and Gold Sashiko squares and make them into a set of five coasters for my stepson, Drew.
  3. Write my December 2021 OMG post.

Linking up with Texas Quilt Gal: To-Do Tuesday.

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November 2021 OMG Finished

My November 2021 One Monthly Goal was to make a reindeer mini quilt. A few months ago I purchased the Sleigh Ride Sew-Along foundation paper piecing pattern from Juliet at The Tartankiwi. She is one of my favorite FPP designers, and when I saw her Sleigh Ride pattern, I really wanted to make a table runner with three reindeer and a sleigh to add to my holiday decor this year, but a mini quilt with just one reindeer was much more doable.

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If you read many of my blog posts, you’ll know that I tend to quilt very minimally, but I had fun experimenting with different kinds of quilting with this mini quilt. First I did some quasi straight line quilting using a light grey thread  (Aurifil Dove 2600 50 wt) on all four borders with the width between the lines slightly varied. Next I outlined the reindeer with the same grey thread and then I also stitched around the inner perimeter of the reindeer with matching brown and gold-brown thread. And THEN I got a little adventuresome! I wanted to add some texture to the reindeer’s fur and remembered Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl sharing about thread-painting her amazing Stone Sheep mini quilt. Now she used many colors and weights of thread that she explains in detail in this Auribuzz Thread Matters: Pairing Thread Weight and Needles post. I only used a brown Mettler 712 50 wt thread, but I still like the texture created with this thread. Initially I did some free motion quilting to “paint” the fur texture, but because this mini quilt was only 15.5″ by 15.5″, I actually had more success using my walking foot and flipping the quilt around keeping my needle down.

Finally I hand-quilted some gold stars using DMC 5282 gold metallic floss (most definitely NOT a friendly thread for hand quilting!). I also added a barely visible french knot eye in DMC black floss.

All I need to do now is to cut some dowel to hang this mini quilt. I had planned to take it to my office but decided to keep him home. So instead I made TWO mini quilts to take to my office that I will share about tomorrow in my To-Do Tuesday post with Texas Quilt Gal.

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: November 2021 OMG Finish.

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To-Do Tuesday 119 Weekly Progress Update

 To-Do for the week of Nov 16th-22nd:

  1. Bind my Northern Lights Wonky Stars quilt. √Done
  2. Work on my Christmas Present Dresser Runner. √Done
  3. Work on my Reindeer mini quilt. √Done
  4. Restitch the first Sashiko square with the speckled gold background with black thread that I stitched initially with variegated maroon thread, and stitch the dashed box box around the fourth Sashiko square. √Done

To-Do #1

I did finish my Northern Lights Wonky Stars quilt that measures 36.5″ x 55″. It will go on the lounger in the living room. I love how the Primitive Stars quilting with variegated thread done by Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting mimics the wonky stars.

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To-Do #2

I finished the Christmas Present Dresser Runner flimsy and plan to take a photo of it once it is quilted and bound, hopefully in the coming week.

To-Do #3

I also made a little progress on my Reindeer mini quilt and also plan to take a photo of it after it is quilted and bound. Again I hope to get it done this week.

To-Do #4

I stitched the dashed box box around the fourth Sashiko square (top square below) and restitched the first Sashiko square with the speckled gold background with black thread that I stitched initially with variegated maroon thread (bottom square below). I plan to get these finished in early December.

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To-Do for the week of Nov 23rd-30th:

  1. Finish my Reindeer mini quilt and write my OMG finish post.
  2. Finish my Christmas Present Dresser Runner.
  3. Work on a squirrel project that I started a few days ago. More to be revealed next week!

Linking up with Texas Quilt Gal: To-Do Tuesday.

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To-Do Tuesday 118 Weekly Progress Update

 To-Do for the week of Nov 9th-15th:

  1. Bind the I Spy quilt for a special child in my life who will turn one in December. √Done
  2. Start another quick project for my Christmas decor this year. √Done
  3. Stitch a fifth Sashiko square with the speckled gold background with black thread. √ Almost Done
  4. Spend some time figuring out how I’m going to quilt my Reindeer mini quilt. √Done

To-Do #1

I did finish the I Spy quilt for the special child in my life who will turn one in December (her parents are not comfortable with any kind of specific online reference to her, so I’m respecting their wishes). For info on the pattern, please see this post. Below are the inaugural photos using the mounted curtain rod on the shed. I like the back (second pic) almost as much as the quilt front that features the Robert Kaufman A to Z Animals panel. Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting did her usual lovely job quilting this toddler quilt (41″ x 46″) using the Splash quilting motif.

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To-Do #2

I am making a runner for my dresser using the Christmas Present Table Runner pattern by Primrose Cottages on Etsy. Below are the five Christmas Present blocks.

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To-Do #3

Here is the fifth coaster almost done with black floss on the gold speckled background. I still need to stitch the dashed box around the design in the middle.

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To-Do #4

After pondering for a couple weeks how I wanted to quilt my Reindeer mini, I started simply by quilting mostly straight lines on the outside borders slightly varying the distance between lines. Then I got a little more adventurous, and I hope to share a finished mini next week or at least an in-progress photo.

To-Do for the week of Nov 16th-22nd:

  1. Bind my Northern Lights Wonky Stars quilt.
  2. Work on my Christmas Present Dresser Runner.
  3. Work on my Reindeer mini quilt.
  4. Restitch the first Sashiko square with the speckled gold background with black thread that I stitched initially with variegated maroon thread, and stitch the dashed box box around the fourth Sashiko square.

Linking up with Texas Quilt Gal: To-Do Tuesday.

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To-Do Tuesday 117 Weekly Progress Update

 To-Do for the week of Nov 2nd-8th:

  1. Bind my North Stars quilt for my sister-in-law, Sharon. √Done
  2. Work on my Wolf Abstractions Project. √Done
  3. Stitch another Sashiko square with the speckled gold background with black thread. √Done

To-Do #1

I did get my Christmas North Stars quilt done which is primarily for my sister-in-law, Sharon, but it’s also my brother, Bill’s Christmas present. We recently had our shed repainted, so I thought the quilt would look nice against the bright terracotta background. You will probably see more shed-as-backdrop photos as I bought a black curtain rod that extends up to 120 inches that has been mounted at the top of the shed to be able to more easily photograph quilts outside. I’m going to write a blog post later this month that shows some close-ups of Christmas North Stars and the minky backing.

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To-Do #2

I also finished the Wolf quilt top quilt that measures 60″ x 65″ for my friend, Laura’s 50th birthday in January using Violet Craft’s Wolf Abstractions pattern. I mailed it off to Rebecca@Rebecca Grace Quilting yesterday for her to work her quilting magic on it. This is the first time I’ve sent a quilt top to Rebecca, and I’m really excited to collaborate with her. Below are a couple photos of the finished quilt top. In the first one, the wolf’s face looks wider because of the angle of the camera shot. The second pic was just a quick snap that shows most of the wolf and more accurately depicts the shape of the wolf’s head and the background grey fabric (Kona Grizzly). I promise to take much better photos when the quilt is finished!

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When emailing Rebecca this past week about the progress of my Wolf Abstractions quilt top, she asked me to share a little more about what I meant when I said that I use a basting stitch to help align paper-pieced units or sections that are being sewn together that have odd angles. I use the largest stitch length on my sewing machine which is 5.0 (first photo below), and I fold up the seam allowance to check to see if the pieces appear aligned (second photo). Sometimes the edges align just fine but two seams in the middle aren’t meeting quite right, so I take out the basting stitches and shift things over and sew again which can mean that now one of the edges is a little off. I then decide if I can live with it, and if I can, I sew the seam with my normal paper-piecing stitch of 1.6 and sometimes trim a little from the edge to even it up. A downside of sewing both a 5.0 stitch and a 1.6 stitch on the same seam is little pieces of paper can get stuck between those stitches which I sometimes have to pull out with tweezers and sometimes I leave the itty bitty paper fragments alone.

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I’ve gotten much better and faster at sewing together the sections of paper-pieced projects, but it can still stress me out! For me, it’s a task I do when I’m fresh in the morning and have no interruptions. One other tip I can share to make sewing paper pieced sections together easier is to tear out the papers of the inner units that no longer have a seam edge. It reduces the weight and bulk of sewing sections together, which was particularly helpful with this ginormous wolf! Three years ago I wrote a post about paper piecing tips (linked here) that may also be of interest.

To-Do #3

Here is a third coaster done with black floss on the gold speckled background.

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To-Do for the week of Nov 9th-15th:

  1. Bind the I Spy quilt for a special child in my life who will turn one in December.
  2. Start another quick project for my Christmas decor this year.
  3. Stitch a fourth Sashiko square with the speckled gold background with black thread.
  4. Spend some time figuring out how I’m going to quilt my Reindeer mini quilt.

Linking up with Texas Quilt Gal: To-Do Tuesday

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To-Do Tuesday 116 Weekly Progress Update

Something is wonky with this post. Basically it is repeated in some kind of Edit mode. I tried to fix it, but it became clear after a few minutes that it wasn’t going to be a quick fix. I’ll probably email Word Press sometime soon to see if they can help me out. Now onto more Wolf paper piecing!

 To-Do for the week of Oct 26th-Nov 1st:

  1. Work on my Wolf Abstractions project. √Done
  2. Stitch a Sashiko square with the speckled gold background with black thread. √Done
  3. Write my November 2021 One Monthly Goal post. √Done

To-Do #1

I’ve made some good headway on my Wolf Abstractions project. Overall it’s going well, but I’m glad I’m using basting stitches to first join the pieces together because quite a few have had to be ripped out (or “unsewed” LOL) and re-positioned before trying again.

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To-Do #2

Here is a simple Sashiko pattern that looks nice with the black floss.

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To-Do #3

 I took a short break from doing large-scale paper piecing and made the reindeer below this past week using significantly smaller paper piecing. You can read more about it in my November 2021 One Monthly Goal post here.

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To-Do for the week of Nov 2nd-8th:

  1. Bind my North Stars quilt for my sister-in-law, Sharon.
  2. Work on my Wolf Abstractions project.
  3. Stitch another Sashiko square with the speckled gold background with black thread.

Linking up with Texas Quilt Gal: To-Do Tuesday.

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To-Do Tuesday 116 Weekly Progress Update

 To-Do for the week of Oct 26th-Nov 1st:

  1. Work on my Wolf Abstractions project. √Done
  2. Stitch a Sashiko square with the speckled gold background with black thread. √Done
  3. Write my November 2021 One Monthly Goal post. √Done

To-Do #1

I’ve made some good headway on my Wolf Abstractions project. Overall it’s going well, but I’m glad I’m using basting stitches to first join the pieces together because quite a few have had to be ripped out (or “unsewed” LOL) and re-positioned before trying again.

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To-Do #2

Here is a simple Sashiko pattern that looks nice with the black floss.

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To-Do #3

 I took a short break from doing large-scale paper piecing and made the reindeer below this past week using significantly smaller paper piecing. You can read more about it in my November 2021 One Monthly Goal post here.

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To-Do for the week of Nov 2nd-8th:

  1. Bind my North Stars quilt for my sister-in-law, Sharon.
  2. Work on my Wolf Abstractions project.
  3. Stitch another Sashiko square with the speckled gold background with black thread.

Linking up with Texas Quilt Gal: To-Do Tuesday.



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November 2021 OMG

A couple months ago I purchased the Sleigh Ride Sew-Along foundation paper piecing pattern from Juliet at The Tartankiwi. She is one of my favorite FPP designers, and when I saw her Sleigh Ride pattern, I really wanted to make a table runner with three reindeer and a sleigh to add to my holiday decor this year. Unfortunately my time is limited, so I decided I would make a mini quilt for my office with just one reindeer. And since I was only making one reindeer, I made his nose red (it’s really tiny!!!), and of course his name is Rudolph!

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My November 2021 One Monthly Goal is to turn this reindeer into a mini quilt by doing some simple quilting and binding it with a bright Christmas fabric.

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: November 2021 OMG.

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