Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April UFO

The UFO Challenge has certainly been a good idea for me. There's no way I would have had some of the recent finishes I've shared here if it weren't for the prodding I get because of our challenge.

On Friday, we drew the number for April's project. Number 5. On my list, number 5 is "blue and beige monkey wrench."

Let's dig it out and investigate the situation.

Well! This is certainly a ravelly mess! I have 27 hand-pieced blocks stacked here. How old you ask? Well, they were made when my son was in high school and college, because I made them when I traveled to track and cross country meets. He graduated from high school in 2001 and graduated from college in 2005. It is entirely possible that I made some of these when he was a high school freshman, so that takes us back to 1997. Whoa. We are approaching 18 years?!? Well, yes, I guess that is possible.

They've been stored in this tub/tote. Safe and secure. Spool of thread and several needles, too. Wait till you see all the rest.

I've got yardage; it looks as though I've stuffed every random navy and beige fabric in the pile.

I've got cut out pieces. Triangles and squares. Ready to go!
I've got a partially sewn block, the final seam pinned and ready for stitching. What a mess! It was crammed down in there like I'd put stuff away in a big hurry.

This is the block opened up - first order of business will be to press this little guy!

And last, we have the stack of finished blocks. I certainly had no idea that I'd finished 27 of these blocks. Perhaps the track and XC meets just stopped, so I did, too. I honestly do not remember.

My goal for April is to get these blocks made into a quilt top. I have some ideas incubating, and I will be sure to keep you all in the loop with my decisions.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Royal Finish

Someone commented that my purple KF project looked so rich and regal, so I thought maybe it could be called royal, too, as it goes to one of my two princesses - the soon-to-be college graduate, Emma. I finished the borders yesterday and waited until this morning to take a picture so I could use daylight to help show it off. (Since neither of my girls reads their mother's blog, I have no worries that the surprise will be ruined.)

I am thrilled with how it has turned out and am eager to get it off to Terry for machine quilting. It measures 71"x87". I will get the backing prepped today, and hopefully deliver it for quilting this week.

 The lime green inner border works very nicely as a pleasing contrast, and I like the "tame" outer border - it allows the floral and dotty inner blocks to grab all the attention.

This March has been ultra-productive! I didn't even have this quilt on my immediate radar as the month began. My entire focus as we entered March was cutting out Snowbird Stars. I finished that quilt top by around the 10th of the month, and went into this soon after. And all those FWQ blocks were squeezed in between. See what I mean about being productive? I sure hope this new-found industriousness hangs around for awhile.

I am closing in on my 1000th post soon; this post is my 990th since beginning this blog in 2009. I ought to try to say something profound, but I fear that I will not. You may not believe it, but I try to be profound every post, yet it just comes out Jayne. *grin*

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Plenty O' Purple

Emma said she wanted a purple chevron quilt using Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Since she is about to don the gown and mortarboard for her walk across the OU stage, and since I put this quilt on the to-do list for 2015, I figured I'd just better get 'er done.

These blocks went together so easily. I couldn't have picked a more user-friendly design. I saw the quilt pictured on Pinterest, which was for a $10 pattern. Like so many pictures of quilts that you see, the construction looked completely straightforward, and I thought I was certainly skilled enough to come up with acceptable dimensions to make this without a pattern. So I did.

Each block is made from an 8.5" square with two 4.5" squares sewn to opposite corners. (I cut away the excess, and have a very hefty pile of HSTs for a future project.) The center is 7 blocks x 9 blocks and measures 56" x 72" -  it fit just perfectly the top of this full-size bed. Now for borders. I think I found the perfect fabrics to accentuate this quilt. What do you think?

I've already gotten 2 sides of the green inner border attached. I will attempt to get the remainder of the borders finished today. Shouldn't be any difficulty in that.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Planning Ahead

In a couple of weeks, several of my quilting friends - most of which consist of the Frankfort girls - will be heading out for Canter's Cave and a 3-day quilt retreat. We did this last April, and at that time we booked for the same time this year. Already, a year has passed and we are looking ahead to another productive retreat.

In the spirit of having stuff cut and ready to sew, I spent most of Thursday cutting out a kit that is at least 4 years old. It has been sitting off to my left every time I sit at the sewing machine, reminding me that it needs to be sewn. I put it on the goals list for 2015, and there's no time like a good, long retreat to get something like this done.

All tucked up and ready to sew. Initially, this looked quite involved, but in actuality, there are a few 9-patch units, a few 3-rail units, a few HST units, and sashing. I will just break it down into the easy parts, and then stitch 'em all up. I won't let it be a daunting task.

Our internet has been offering very spotty service the last couple of days. I don't like it when I can't access my games and blogs! No posting and no reading! :(

I did,  however, have a book already downloaded through Overdrive, and listened to it whilst cutting. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith was a very enthralling mystery. And guess what?! Robert Galbraith is the pen name of . . . J.K. Rowling. Yes, that is correct. She does a fabulous job with the mystery genre; our book club met yesterday to discuss this book, and we all agreed it was a wonderful read.

I am off to the quilting room to sew some purple Kaffe blocks. I hope to have an update on that tomorrow.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March Goal Met

Oh yeah, I am doing a little happy dance today, ladies and gentlemen, because I finished off the 25th block in my UFO March challenge.

I have known since before the first of the month that I needed to get these blocks done, yet I didn't start on them until the 15th. What was I thinking? I really wanted to accomplish the task, though, so I have deliberately focused my sights on achieving the goal. The big sewing day at Terry's on Tuesday was what put me over the top. I planned for it by getting the last 11 blocks all cut out. Then I took only those pieces to Terry's to work on. No alternative options allowed. It was quite a lot of fun seeing them take shape. By the time I packed up to head for home I had only 4 blocks left to make. I did 3 of them that night, and finished the last block yesterday morning. Ta-da! Goal accomplished.

Hovering Birds - I have two of this block; the other is hand-stitched.

Grape Basket


Streak of Lightning



Hovering Hawks


Maple Leaf

Peace and Plenty

Steps to the Altar
Now, do I stack these away for another couple of years like I did the first 28 blocks I made? Hopefully not. I have considered my options from this point on. I do think I am done with making blocks for this quilt. Yes, I know there are 111 blocks in the book; I choose to stop at 53. I will add in some setting blocks (plain? HST? QST? something fancier?) and I will consider sashing strips and cornerstones. Ideas may have to incubate for awhile, but I would like to see this sampler quilt finished up. I will try not let it languish too long.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Grand and Productive Day

What a great day we had yesterday at Terry's. Three tables, 7 sewing machines, two ironing boards, 8 quilters - we were B-U-S-Y!

We had some fantastic show and tell quilts to share. You can have a look, too. They are wonderful!

 Jan brought her finished Lucy Boston English paper-pieced quilt to show us. You may remember our Canter's Cave retreat last April where she was finishing up the blocks. Well, this is her glorious finish! What a labor of love and dedication. Click here to go back to Canter's Cave to see close-up views of the individual blocks.

Jan wasn't finished with EPP, either! She had this surprise for us to see - It has the hexies in the center, and broderie-perse border. A thing of beauty, to be sure.

Since Jan has become quite the expert on EPP, she gave a demonstration on the method at a guild meeting a month or so ago. She wanted the quilters to understand that you don't have to make massive quilts with your hexagons; smaller projects are possible, as well.

Other quilters had beauties to share, as well, so let's see what Cherie has been doing.

Both of these quilt tops are recent projects from Cherie. The chevron quilt is made from layer-cake sized squares, which makes for a fast completion. The 4-patches on black is Cherie's first attempt at putting blocks on point. She conceded that it's not as difficult as she'd always imagined. ;)

From Mary, we have this beauty.

The quilting on it is amazing, so I'm showing you the back, too. Mary said the pattern was a free one from Moda that came out with one of their lines of fabrics. She used dyed muslin on the backing, and in reality, the blue is much darker. I was fighting some serious sunshine coming in the big window, so my colors are affected.

While most of us worked at our sewing machines, Jan was binding. By the end of the day, her binding was finished, and this is her newest finish. Those are covered bridge panels.

 Our hostess, Terry, stitched and stitched all day long, and was able to show us this finished quilt top. She has decided not to use a border, so she's ready to take it to the quilting machine.

I just had to get a picture of this table mat that Sharon O. is making. Her handwork is exquisite. Look at how delicate this is. The tiny flowers, and the stitches, oh my, what a gorgeous addition to her decor!

What did I do? Well, I have just one more FWQ block to make to meet my goal of 25! I was ultra-productive; I made 7 blocks at Terry's and made 3 more here at home last night. That means I've got just one left. Pictures of all of these will be the subject of tomorrow's post.

We had a wonderful day, and I got to catch up with some quilters I'd not seen in quite a long time. What a great group to spend a day with and to boost one's creative juices. Love it.

Happy Quilting, Friends!