Friday, January 19, 2018

UFOs: 2018: in which the blogger is off to a great start!

I'm participating in the UFO Challenge that Judy is hosting over at Patchwork Times. despite this being my 4th year participating, I still have some pesky UFOs lurking around!
January got off to a good start, with #10 being the number of our UFO to work on. to say I was disappointed would be accurate:

it would be fair, and again, totally accurate to say that this is my least loved UFO on the 2018 list.. but like my granny always says: "eat a bullfrog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse can happen to you all day long...."
so, that's what I did! since this schoolhouse (paper pieced) quilt kit from Connecting Threads has been on my UFO list for 4 years now, it's obvious that it wasn't getting  done unless I MADE myself do it!
I made an executive decision, too: since the fabrics are super ugly, it didn't really make sense to me to make a quilt that is so time consuming when I hated the fabrics right from the very start! I saw a nice (and easy!) quilt over at Wedding Dress Blue, and thought that would be just the ticket!
( I can't find the original pattern to link to; sorry! I guess it's a good thing I printed it out!)

this quilt finishes at a nice size of 48" X 60". there were 20 (?) FQs in the pattern pack from CT, and this quilt pattern works best with 15. some of the fabric was dated 2008 on the selvedge, so it's good that it's used up- and I'm happy to get it moving on to somewhere where it will be loved and used.

I really enjoyed making the Sidewalk Pattern quilt, so it occurred to me to dig out use another Connecting Threads kit that I had purchased (12 FQs & pattern, $13). I was interested to see how much more I would like this quilt with some brighter fabrics. and yes, I like it much better! (the blue cast is from the snow; it's much brighter in person)
i'll definitely be making some more of these.

I also finished #6 on my UFO list- it was just a matter of sewing down the binding on the back of this quilt.

I pieced this quilt 4 years ago, and it was hand-quilted by a dear friend over a year ago, so it was definitely time to get it done!
it didn't' really take too long to finish either, which always makes me wonder why it took me so long in the first place?

it's a twin size, and the kona yellow is papaya. the browns/tans/blacks/creams/grey is a kona jelly roll that my son gifted to me Christmas 2013. I don't think it's available anymore- I think the jelly roll was called Old Film. (or something like that...)
this quilt is another favorite (but i say that about lots of my quilts!) and I'm glad to finally have it done! thanks, Judy!

RSC18- rolling right along...

it was a cold and snowy week here, but lots of sewing happened, so it's all good!

last week I forgot to mention that the tutorial I'm using for my #holidaypatchworkforest blocks is from Amy, over at Diary of a Quilter. 16 more blocks were added to my forest this week, making them the final of the blue blocks that I 'll be doing for RSC18.


despite this being my 5th (!!!) year of RSCing from my suitcase of squares, it never seems to get any emptier. rather, it just gets fuller and fuller- to the point that it won't even close anymore!

( I can save you the bother of clicking through and scrolling to find out more about my suitcase of squares: I cut all my scraps into 3" squares, and then store them in a vintage suitcase that belonged to my mother.)

I've pieced dozens of quilts (really!) from that suitcase... some fabrics are used up now- especially the favorites, but they've been replaced with some newer favorites, and gifted and shared fabrics. so the quilting goes on...

the nice thing about using the consistent size to piece {most} of my RSC blocks is that they're all interchangeable, and it makes using up orphan blocks fairly easy. (even if not terribly attractive.)
these blocks for the RSC18 Squared Away BOM will finish at 12½" inches. it was nice to actually sew with some triangles- I've done squares for so long, that it was a nice change. I tried to play nicely with all the other playground folks, and stuck to light blues, and a contrast for the + in the middle. I'm happy with these blocks, and I look forward to seeing what else Angie and Mari come up with for the rest of this quilt...

Saturday, January 13, 2018

icy blues... to match the weather outside!

the weather here in northern PA has continued to be rather wacky: yesterday it was 56°. today it's snowy and icy, with a low forecasted for tomorrow night of -5°!

all the better to sew with, my dear!

a bit of RSC sewing for me this week:

I've finally started on my holiday patchwork forest quilt. I'm trying to be a good RSCer, and stick to blues. the blocks are easy and fun, and I'm lliking them so far.

I'm a bit worried about my eclectic and bohemian look, though. not sure I can pull that off. but i'll persist, and as I add in more colors, it should be fine. (right?!)
I've been "studying" the #holidaypatchworkforest quilts on instagram, {how can blogger NOT EVEN KNOW the word instagram?!} and I know what I like (the bright, scrappy and a bit crazy ones) but I'm not sure that I'm headed in the right direction. pinks, yellows, oranges and aqua seem to make some beautiful quilts that I'm drawn to. many of the HPF quilts don't seem to have purple in them. did I miss the memo about purple? I like purple- I don't love it or hate it, but it seems to be conspicuously missing in many of the quilts...

a RSC finish for me this week: my granny square quilt. (and double yay- it's already at the long-arm quilter in the queue for a donation quilt. ) it turned out ok- I don't love it as much as I thought I would, but it's just fine. it turned out to be about 90" square.

the dolly quilt is not a RSC project, but it is blue (and all from stash!) I planned on doing Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt this year- On Ringo Lake. I completed clue one in a timely manner. then the triangles and geese started flying faster and faster and I realized I would never catch up. so rather then relegating 50 cute little 9 patches to the UFO pile, I finished them into a dolly quilt. all the littles at my house have been playing with it all week long, wrapping up dolls and cats, too.
click on over to Angie's for more RSC blue goodies!
i'm also linking up to Bonnie- click on over there for some beautiful On Ringo Lake quilts! 

Saturday, January 06, 2018

off to a blue, chilly start!

it's still colder than blue blazes here in northern PA, but that's ok- the RSC color of the month is blue! (we're looking forward to a heat wave on Thursday- the temp is supposed to go above 40°!)

I didn't venture into the sewing room (it's upstairs, and no direct heat) until later in the week, but I had plenty to keep me busy downstairs.

my LQS gave me a big (BIG) bag of scraps- a hodgepodge of odds and ends. combined with my stash of small pieces, it took me several evenings of cutting and sorting to get them all pressed and cut into the 3" squares.

usually I cut the colors month by month, but this year I thought it would be better to see what colors and fabrics I have, rather than drag it out all year. it was fun to have the colorful infusion of fabrics from the quilt shop-it will make for some interesting piecing throughout the year.
( I am friends with the shop owner, but she knows that my friend Karen and I do a great deal of quilting for MCC quilt auctions, so that's why the fabric was passed along to me...)

this year one of my projects for RSC18 is 9 patches- above is my first installment of blue. as I was picking the color to complement the 5 blues, I purposely picked a color/combination that I would normally not choose. I'm pleased with the eclectic, bohemian look of these 9 patches.
I made 16 (only 1 more than I intended!) for a 90" square quilt at the end of the year.

my "beloved" kona cotton solids are back again this year- only this time in a 9 patch. I've used the kona indigo, splitting the 9 patches {fairly} evenly between the 5 indigo patches and 4 indigo patches. the colors are cloud, stratosphere, robins egg, Dresden, denim, nightfall, regal, and ???
click on over to visit Angie at soscrappy to see what everyone else is doing, and to welcome some new RSCers.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

looking ahead {with excitment!} to RSC18!

2017 just flew by, and now it's time to look ahead to all the possibilities of RSC18! this will be my 5th year RSCing, and I'm just as excited as I was in RSC14!

as I'm sure you've probably heard on the news, the whole east coast is locked in a cold snap. as in Cold. Snap. like single digits! we've not been above freezing for over a week, and nothing above 26 is in the 10 day forecast. YIKES!
but: {secretly} that's ok with me. I like the slower pace of winter-time, and the chance to get some things done. (I don't make this unpopular announcement with hubby- we heat our house with wood, and the yucky weather does make lots of things harder around the farm)
in looking ahead to RSC18, here's what i have in mind:
  • last year I LOVED the indigo/kona solids 16 patch that I did. (to be sewn together soon. very soon) so this year i'll be doing indigo/kona solids again, but in 9 patches.
  • just last night I heard about a new BOM: over at Academic Quilters. I never quite got around to her BOM with my UFO last year, but I'm excited about this one: it uses squares! much of my scraps I cut into 3" squares, and the suitcase is overflowing again, so this should be perfect!
  • I'd like to make some more 9 patches with the 3" squares from my suitcase. this year, I want to focus less on the "rainbow-y" look, and I'm going to be shooting for more of an "eclectic bohemian" look. (lots of bloggers seem to do that effortlessly, especially Ashley and Rachel) I've nothing against rainbows, but I want a different looking quilt this year.
  • something new for me this year: (so new, I haven't even sewn a test block!) The Holiday Patchwork Forest. I've seen these quilts floating around on pinterest and instagram but didn't' really take note of them until i saw Carol's bright and cheery quilt, definitely not done in Christmas colors. of course, a quick instagram search brings up thousands more possibilities! I'll be narrowing down my color palette, and getting started on this for RSC18.
  • I have a few random UFOs floating around, which I may combine with my RSC18 sewing.... we'll see.
at any rate, I've lots of sewing to keep me busy, and out of trouble, for the coming months ahead. I've really enjoyed the community of quilters that I pal around with for RSC and the UFO challenges. thanks for being part of that community, and thanks for stopping by! make sure you click on over to Angie's to see what everyone else is doing- you never know when inspiration will strike!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

buckle up, 'cause here comes 2018!

I'm participating in the UFO "Challenge" with Judy at Patchwork Times. it's pretty loosey-goosey and no pressure, but it's still good to have the accountability and camaraderie of other quilters. this is at least my 4th year participating in a UFO challenge. despite getting 8 of my 12 UFOs done last year, there are still a few UFOs lurking about...
#1: BOM started from a LQS several years ago. the blocks are all done- 16 blocks at 15" each. I have the sashing fabrics all picked out. I'd like to get this to the flimsy stage, and will pass it along as a MCC quilt for one of the auctions.

#2: technically not a UFO, but still a bunch of possibilities here. I'll use all {some} of these strips for a quick donation quilt or two...

#3- Amanda Jean hosted a QAL this summer with this quilt. ( I have the book) and despite pulling and petting my fabric choices, I wasn't able to participate. I'd like to make mine with low volume strings, and perhaps red/teal for the alternate blocks.

#4- this was on last year's UFO list; a holdover from RSC16. I'd like to get it done- maybe in time for Christmas 2018?

#5- a low volume Rail Fence. I pieced this awhile ago- maybe 2014? I really, really like it- time to get it quilted (myself) and in use, rather than in the closet!

#6- a Bonnie Hunter scrappy nine patch for MCC. all the blocks are done; I've lots of background fabric. time to get it sewn into a quilt!

#7- this quilt was pieced from Kona solids in January of 2014- after receiving a book from my daughter- Jelly Roll to Heirloom (or something like that) for Christmas. this picture is not current- it's quilted (by hand, by a dear friend) and just needs the binding sewn down.

#8- this RSC17 quilt is a recent completion and Rainbow Squares was not chosen in the Great Quilt Gifting of 2017. (secretly, I'm glad. I really, really like this one!) I plan to quilt it myself. (sadly, no long arm quilting is in the foreseeable budget...)

#9- again- can a picture in a book technically be called a UFO? not sure, but I like this quilt, and I'd like to make a similar one with the 3" squares from my suitcase, but with prints. we'll see. I feel like Growing Up Odd would make another good use of my 3" squares...

#10- this kit was an impulsive (but economical) buy from connecting threads a few years ago. it was #10 on my 2017 UFO list as well. I love the schoolhouse block, and would like to make a quilt from them, but I don't really like the colors. maybe it's time to use the fabric for a different quilt, and make this pattern in colors I really like?

#11- another hangover from the 2017 UFOs. I've definitely fallen out of love with this quilt- it's a BOM from a quilt guild that I belonged to in the late 1990s! it's time to do something with these blocks- even a orphan adoption is better than sitting in my drawer!
so there we have it- 11 quilty projects to keep me busy throughout the New Year! thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

sharing the love... spreading the warmth...

since my children live spread out all over the country (a son in WA and another son in the Bronx) we planned to celebrate our Christmas early this year while we were all together. We had our family Christmas on Saturday, December 16. it was a lovely day- full of memories, and all the traditions that we would normally do on the 25th.
my youngest son, G, chose not to come, but my mother heart loves him all the same, and despite the full house with all the children and grands, I missed him just the same...

the little girls, A and B, were especially happy for new jammies!  and look: everyone smiling! everyone looking!

we drew numbers for the quilt picking- #1-#5. I had 11 quilts to choose from (!!!) so even the last person had a nice selection to pick their favorite. my oldest daughter, M and her husband K were first. they chose one of the RSC16 column-along quilts. (they chose the twin size; that leaves the lap size for me! yay!) here they are in front of the tree with "baby" C. C will have a new baby brother in March, the quilt is hiding M's cute belly...

my son D is a Corpsman in the Navy, stationed in Bronx, NY. (go figure...) he and A chose the Flying Geese quilt.

second son N is married to P, and they have a little girl, E. N is in the Army, stationed in Seattle, WA. it was a treat to have them here and visit with them for almost a week. (it was fun to watch the 2 cousins together, too. they're only 6 days apart in age) N and P chose a low-volume patchwork quilt, sofa size. I guess I never blogged about it... but you might have seen it on instagram.
A is 11, and chose this Roman Stripes quilt. (it's made out of the same fabrics as D & A's quilt) I made this quilt quite awhile ago- glad it's finally found someone to snuggle with...
(here's a tutorial on how I made it) and here's where I pieced it together- almost 8 years ago. yikes! 
baby BJ (sometimes I still call her that, even though she's 10 years old now...) chose the pinwheel quilt. I blogged about this quilt here, too. this project has been in my RSC roundup for a few years, going through several evolutions, and even thrown in as a UFO a time or two, too... but now it's "done" and we'll piece a backing for it this week, and set it aside to be quilted.
a couple quilts weren't chosen that I was sure would be top on the list, but that's ok. we might have a wedding in our near future, and some can live in the sewing room closet until they find a home. others will go to MCC. one way or another, all the quilts will be loved and used.
my instagram feed has been full of smiling children, happy faces and lots of snippets of memories in the making- not much sewing at all for me this month of December. but- of course, that's OK! i was glad to have some time with my family. when our children are small, we honestly don't' realize how fast the years will fly- because those days can really drag, can't they?
one day they're all grown and gone, and it's a big deal when they all come home and we can be together. enjoy those moments while you can!
and click on over to Angie's, too! lots of great quilts getting done!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

in which the blogger gets her act together...

we have so much to be thankful for: family, friends, home, bountiful food... we have all we need and so much of what we want, and for that I'm Thankful!

now the Christmas season is upon us (how did THAT even happen?!) and we're busy preparing for all the joyousness and traditions that go with the celebration of Jesus' birth.

finally got some pictures of my completed (flimsy) 16 patch. Name? how about Rainbow Boxes? sounds good...  (shown here) in its layout phase.

another big one at 90" X 110". this one seems to be a favorite with the little girls. we'll see who picks it for the Great Christmas Quilt Giving in a couple weeks.

a bit of time this week for some RSC sewing. I realized I hadn't done any of my grey crumb blocks, but an evening of sorting and sewing got that task accomplished...
(and why do those jars of scraps never get any emptier?! it's a mystery....)
while you're clicking around, be sure to see what everyone else is finishing up- it's that time of year!

Friday, November 10, 2017

what does November mean?

November in RSC Land means our blocks are done (or nearly so) and we start to see some pieced flimsys in our Saturday linkups.

I tend to make lots and lots of blocks, but I'm not always so great at finishing them into tops... I have some good new to share this week, though!

new for my RSC17 block list this year was the low volume 16 patches. I had lots of the 3" LV squares left from my Plus quilt that I decided to use them again this year in a 16 patch.

with the completion of my brown 16 patches this week, I was ready to lay out the blocks...

I had already been pondering how I wanted to lay them out, so it didn't really take too long to settle on a design. the layout is 9 X 11 blocks, so the quilt should finish at 90" X 110". (another big'un!) I had 9 blocks leftover, but unfortunately they weren't the right color or shade, so I'll be "custom" piecing a few more of these to get the quilt done.
I'm loving it so far!

these pinwheels started as one of my RSC15 projects, and I pieced (and pieced!) a boatload of them. I finished the first quilt with them (shown here) and just this week completed this one. it measures 62" X 78".

I'm calling it Windblown Pinwheels: I'm sure there was  pattern in the colors somewhere, but in the process of picking the blocks up off the design floor, and then up to the sewing room, they must have gotten jumbled a bit... that's ok! finished is better than perfect, right?!

those long nights of sewing...

we're in that time of year for us where the garden work is done and *mostly* cleaned up, and it's still not time for butchering- turkeys and pigs. does that mean I have *extra* time? no, not really {haha} but there have been lots of evenings where I can work in the sewing room, piecing away..

I felt like I had so many brown scraps, but I was able to get these 19 crumb blocks pieced in one evening: see above {those long nights of sewing...} from caramel to chocolate, all the browns are there...

can I say just one more time: these Kona indigo and the COM are my favorites? I say that every month... and I say that I say that every month...

I'm concentrating on getting some of my RSC16/17 blocks pieced into tops for our Great Quilt Gifting in early December, so these indigo 16 patches will have to wait until Christmas time-ish to get pieced into a top. BUT: they're at the top of my list- can't wait!!!
colors: (not in order) honey, sable, earth, pepper, chocolate, expresso and ???.

the 16 patch LV blocks are all done- and getting ready to be sewn into a top. I wasn't sure how I'd like them, but so far they're looking great. (sneak peek here) 

and a few (16) lonely pinks to add to the crumb stack. my {tallish] crumb stack is from RSC16 and RSC17. I have an idea how I'd like to piece them into tops; I'll start that project in the New Year. but I think I'll take a break from crumb blocks next year... (not that I'm running out of crumbs or anything... they're having babies up in the sewing room as. we. speak.)
speaking of RSC18: (18?! how did that even sneak up on us?!) I'm planning on participating again next year, but entirely uncertain what my blocks/projects will be... I'd like to do something that uses LOTS of my 3" squares from my suitcase of squares, but I'm not sure what I'd like. I want to do something a bit more multi-colored, but then that kind of defeats the purpose of RSC, right? I'll keep pondering, but I'm open to suggestions...


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