Monday, January 14, 2019

Scandi Throw Pillow - A Pretty Distraction

When I saw the tutorial by Sedef Imer from Down the Grapevine featured on Amy's Diary of a Quilter, I decided on the spot to make it right now! I have more than enough project goals to work on, but like Diann at Little Penguin Quilts, who says "Squirrel" is her middle name, I was easily distracted by this pretty pillow pattern.

The pillow looks like it is paper-pieced, and in fact that is what I thought it was before I looked at the instructions. Sedef's tutorial is easy to follow and spot-on in measurements. I did simple quilting with no binding.

Side view showing 2-inch borders I added to adjust the 14-inch pillow form pattern to my 18-inch pillow form.

The backing is envelope-style, with easy instructions included in the tutorial.

I used colors that complement my Mom's vintage pillow cases and am using this pillow as an audition for fabrics for a quilted throw for this guest bed. Most of the fabrics were purchased at Bernie's Etsy shop.

Scandi Pillow:
Finished size 18" x 18"
Pattern by Sedef Imer

Front fabrics:
Newspaper Butterflies on Yellow, Carrie Bloomston for Windham Fabrics
Elements Texture in Blue by P&B Textiles
Dreamer by Carrie Bloomston for Windham Fabrics
Story by Carrie Bloomston for Windham Fabrics

Floral Scatter in Teal by Makower UK

Grunge in Parchment by Basic Grey

So Fine #503 Genoa Gray by Superior Threads

Friday, January 11, 2019

2019 Finish-A-Long - Yasss!

I've enjoyed Instagram posts by Cedar Fork Sarah (@cedarforksarah) and was intrigued when she announced the 2019 Finish-A-Long (FAL) Q1. I checked out the link to her blog and liked what I read. Here are Sarah's words:
"The Finish-A-Long is a community aiming to motivate and encourage each other to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging around, sometimes for far too long. At the start of the quarter you post and link up a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months. Then, at the end of the quarter, you link up each successful finish from your original list."

It seems like a doable schedule for me to progress on the quilty part of my 2019 goals, listed here. I already participate in One Monthly Goal link-up, but the quarterly goals appeal to me.

Will there be cake? Yes, there are prizes to be had for participation! Yay!

So here are my first quarter goals for the 2019 FAL, prioritized from my annual goals:
  1. A baby quilt for my future grandson, nicknamed "Little Bear" by my daughter. He is due in May, and my daughter wants a quilt similar to the one pictured above that I made for our 2-1/2 year-old granddaughter, detailed here. I have the fabric in the colors she wants - blue, gray, green, mustard, and burgundy.
  2. Eternally Yours pattern test for Julie at Running Stitch Quilts. My first time testing a pattern!
  3. A quilt for 17- year old granddaughter #1, who has requested a quilt in shades of green.
  4. A Craftsman quilt I blogged about here, for my husband

To read more details about 2019 Finish-A-Long, click here.

Friday, January 4, 2019

2019 Goals and OMG for January

It is already the fourth day of January! Goals for 2019 have been rolling around in my mind for many days, so am listing them as well as my One Monthly Goal for January.

1. Catalog my UFOs (unfinished objects), WIPs (works in progress), and ideas for quilts to compile a master list of quilts to be finished or started.
I printed the project sheets pictured above last year and completely forgot about them. They will be helpful for me to see at a glance how far along I am with each project.

Here is this list so far:
  1. A baby quilt for my future grandson, nicknamed "Little Bear" by my daughter. He is due in May, and my daughter wants a quilt similar to the one pictured above that I made for our 2-1/2 year-old granddaughter, detailed here. I have the fabric in the colors she wants - blue, gray, green, mustard, and burgundy. This is my One Monthly Goal for January.
  2. Craftsman quilt I blogged about here, for my husband. I have The pieces are cut and some blocks are sewn.
  3. A quilt for granddaughter #1, who has requested a "green" quilt. She is 17, and I made her a quilt when she was 12, but I suspect it has been folded and put away in her closet - hah!
  4. Scrappy Trip Around the World, like this one made by Margaret Ferguson whose feed I follow on Instagram (@quiltsbymargie47). This should be a great project for my scraps.
  5. Another Mercyful quilt for Bernie at Needle and Foot. I blogged about the ones I sent to her in this post.
  6. Participate in the Hand-Pieced QAL hosted by Patty and Kristin. It has been a long time since I practiced block construction by hand, and it should be very enjoyable. If you'd like to hone your hand-piecing skills, read all about it here.
  7. Antique quilt revival, blogged about here. This quilt is just waiting to be restored and loved again! I did a similar project with a vintage quilt top for my niece in 2015.
  8. Lori Holt's Vintage Christmas Sampler I have the book and intend to start early!
  9. Texas Flag quilt by Aspen Tree - I have the pattern, and the fabrics are cut.
  10. Farm Girl Vintage quilt I started in 2015, to be used as a runner across the comforter in our guest bedroom. All the blocks are completed.
  11. Make little quilts for my kitties. They are all such good helpers and deserve their own pallets!
  12. Moorland Stripe Crocheted Blanket by Attic24 - I have all the yarn and the pattern.
  13. A crocheted scarf using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn in Wheat. I started it this week and also want to make an afghan from the remaining yarn.
  14. Vintage Christmas Sampler cross stitch by Lori Holt. I have the book and threads, and am waiting for the oatmeal 10-count linen to be back in stock.

2. Help my husband build fabric and yarn shelves on the wall where yarns and needlework supplies are pictured above.
My fabric stash is currently stored in the closet, and my theory is that if I can see what I have, I won't order more. Like many other quilters, I start the year with a commitment to use fabric on hand and refrain from new purchases, but my resolve usually falters by February!

3. Purge and organize my scrap jar and scrap bins.
When my mother-in-law passed away in 2017, I inherited a beautiful glass canister that has been perfect for scrap storage. But it's full! The scrap bins are a mess inside and have no room for additional scraps. If I organize and purge SIWNU (Scraps I Will Never Use - I made that up!), I will be more likely to use scraps in future projects. Cleaning and organizing makes me happy!

4. Keep "tweaking" my sewing room arrangement to make everything easy to find and convenient.
Rearranging furniture keeps me motivated and excited. I recently turned my cutting/ironing table around to make it more accessible, and it made such a difference! To make the table surface less crowded, I removed the iron and put it on the table behind it (next to my sewing machine). Now my cutting table is exclusively for cutting. My husband made the ironing table as well as a table to hold my laptop, notebooks, pens, and craft items. He enjoys carpentry in his building, and I am happy to provide him with projects!

5. Complete repairs on the vintage quilt I purchased last year and blogged about here.
This quilt is just waiting to be restored and loved again! I did a similar project with a vintage quilt top for my niece in 2015.

6. Create items for purchase in my Etsy shop and add a second shop.
My plan is a Christmas-themed shop with quilts, table runners, mug mats, etc., and another shop to sell quilts similar to the hand-tied ones I made for my kids. As I become more interested in quilt repair, I may offer that service in my shop. We shall see!

7. My garden goals for spring are to have a smaller garden and to plant more flowers.:
During last summer's heat, part of our large garden sweltered, and it was difficult to keep up with watering. This year we will reduce the size for easier maintenance. Last year I planted two packets of zinnias and was astounded at the abundance of butterflies and bees that came to play. We got as much enjoyment from watching them as from the vegetables! So one area of the garden will be reserved just for flowers. Here is the schedule::
Planting in March:
  • Tomato plants
  • French Breakfast Radish
  • Lettuce
Planting in April:
  • Seeds purchased from Burpee: Musquee de Provence Pumpkin, Crimson Sweet Watermelon, Butterstick Zucchini, Contender Green Bush Bean, Scarlet Runner Pole Bean, Dragon's Tongue Wax Bush Bean, Supremo Cucumber, Armenian Sunrise Cantaloupe, Garden Sweet Pea, Mammoth Dill, Lady Lavender
  • Cowpeas - purple pod and black-eye
  • Bell pepper plants
  • Zinnias

8. Walk more!
We both got FitBits last year and began walking early mornings. We started a little too strong, walking 5+ miles per day, and my husband developed a knee problem. The doctor fixed him right up, but we lost a couple of months in the process. When we began again, we had more realistic goals, and now generally walk 2-1/2 to 5 miles, four or five times a week. Too much rain this winter created too much mud on our dirt roads, so walking was more difficult. Holidays and colder temperatures have slowed down our motivation. We have a few days of sunshine coming up, so we hope to start walking again.

Here's hoping we all accomplish our goals in 2019! I am linking this post to Patty's One Monthly Goal for January.

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Cross Stitch Projects

My last post for 2018 features four cross stitch projects I completed this year. Over the years I have sporadically cross stitched, and this year I enjoyed it while watching TV at night. It has been fun!

"In All Things Give Thanks" by LizzieKate sat on the the
autumn table runner I made for Thanksgiving

"Love Coffee" and "Love Tea", Hinzeit patterns purchased at Stoney Creek hang next
to the coffee and tea station my husband made for me in our kitchen. I made them
twice as big by stitching over 2 threads, because I wanted them to be readable!

Lori Holt's "Farm Girl Fall Cross Stitch", purchased at Fat Quarter Shop is still unframed.

Recently I discovered Lori Holt's "Vintage Christmas Sampler" cross stitch pattern, which was released on November 28, from Fat Quarter Shop. I was unable to start it because I wanted to use the same vintage oatmeal 10-count cloth that Lori used, and FQS has been out of stock! So I ordered something similar in a 14-count cloth and will make the adjustments.

I'm looking forward to more cross stitching in 2019!

A Quilt Like Dad's - OMG December Finish

My One Monthly Goal for December was to complete quilts for my son and daughter in time for Christmas, and I made it! You can read about the inspiration here, but basically both my kids wanted "a quilt like Dad's", which was one that I made for him in the early 1980s. In the picture above, son's quilt is on the left and daughter's quilt is on the right, with Dad's in the middle.

I hand-tied instead of quilting and machine-sewed the bindings on both.

The backs of both quilts - son's is above and daughter's is below.

The quilts were a surprise, especially since we had drawn names and they weren't expecting a gift from me. The looks on their faces when they realized what was inside their bags made me very happy! They were both quite pleased.

My son's quilt colors were pretty close to the colors in his Dad's
quilt with cream, dark brown, tan, dark blue, and denim.

For my daughter's quilt I chose cream, dark red, dark purple, mustard,
and a splash of aqua, and I added a band of gray above and below.

A quilt by any other name would feel the same!
My concept of an ideal quilt - a pieced design, low-loft batting, and a complimentary quilting pattern - is not the same as that of my son and daughter. They still view the quilt like their Dad's as "the quilt" - one with cheater fabric, puffy batting, and hand-tied quilting! And the purpose of the quilts is comfort and enjoyment, so mission accomplished.
Don't worry too much about the density of quilting
When I "quilted" my husband's quilt, I hand-tied about 4-5 inches apart. That quilt has been laundered and used, and the ties have pretty much disappeared, but the 35+ year-old quilt is still holding together with no bunched-up batting.

Son's Quilt:
Approximately 48" x 68"
Random piecing, no pattern

Front fabrics:
Grunge (blues) by Basic Grey for Moda
Memories of The Civil War II by Jodi Barrows for Studio E
Eclectic Elements (Bottle Caps) by Tim Holtz for Free Spirit Fabrics
Enchanted Pond by Holly Taylor for Moda
Scraps from stash

Hand-tie thread:
Bonbons by Lion Brand Yarn 100% cotton
Woolies Flannels by Bonnie Sullivan for Maywood Studios
Hobby Lobby cotton
So Fine Pearl (#402) by Superior Threads

Daughter's Quilt:
Approximately 47" x 68"
Pattern adapted from Jedi Craft Girl's Birdies for Baby

Front fabrics:
Atelier by 3 Sisters for Moda (I've hoarded this for a few years)
Nightfall by Maureen Cracknell for AGF
Eclectic Elements by Tim Holtz for Free Spirit Fabrics
Elizabeth's Dowry by Karen Styles For Marcus Fabrics
One of her Dad's old plaid shirts
Hand-tie thread:
DMC 6-strand Ecru
Hobby Lobby flannel
Grunge in Moutarde by Basic Grey for Moda
So Fine Pearl (#402) by Superior Threads

I am linking to Pattie's OMG Finish for December

Friday, December 21, 2018

A Quilt Like Dad's Flimsy #2 Finish

My daughter's "quilt like Dad's" flimsy is complete. My design inspiration was this pattern from Jedi Craft Girl. As of now it is 46" x 67" but should end up a tiny bit larger with the binding.

I think she will like the fabrics I chose, especially the plaid, which is from one of her Dad's old shirts.

Next is to make the backing from some Hobby Lobby flannel and a "Woolies" piece left over from my son's quilt backing. Then I will sandwich with "lofty" batting, hand-tie, and bind it. I anticipate another 2-3 days to finish. I have an extra day to work on it, because our kids will all be here the day after Christmas. I'll post photos of my kids with their quilts. Hopefully they'll be smiling - lol!

My husband gave me an early Christmas gift. I've wanted a wool pressing mat since I read reviews of one on Elm Street Quilts. I chose a different brand than the one Pattie reviewed. This one is by Glaciart and measures 19" x 26", and so far I am very pleased with it. Wool enables the iron to press more crisply and stay pressed. But I'll have to keep it covered so the kitties won't use it as a scratching pad!

I'll close with two collages - one of the "down-sized" decorations we do since we retired and one of my favorite ornaments. (Click on the photos for a closer view) I gave the remainder of our family collection of ornaments to my daughter last year.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Monday, December 10, 2018

A Quilt Like Dad's Flimsy Finish

The flimsy for my son's "A Quilt Like Dad's" is finished, and I also have the back and binding ready to go. (You might notice my helper Rosie inspecting for me). This quilt is one of two I hope to complete in time to gift at Christmas. Once this one is done, I will start on my daughter's quilt. You can read about the motivation for these quilts here.

Tomorrow I will sandwich it all together with the medium loft batting purchased at Hobby Lobby. Then I will begin hand-tying with embroidery floss.

I used a mix of stash fabric in browns and blues. The backing is soft flannel. I hope it stays cold until Christmas so he can enjoy being under a warm quilt!