Monday, January 28, 2013

Joining another Quilt-along (just shoot me now!)

This is the third of Melissa's quilt-alongs that I have joined.  I have been resisting since she announced it, but this morning when I saw Week 3's post, I finally broke down. 

I figured I could at least make one block and use it for a pillow cover. Since I want to use what is in my stash, I pulled out my layer cake of Mama Said Sew. 
 I had bought 2 metres of what I thought was Bella Snow to go with it on Saturday (I wish solids were marked on the selvedges, or the bolts had the names), but this morning when I pulled out my solids, it turns out it was Bella Feather - obviously I like that colour!
Again, my colours are off because it's another dreary day, but you get the idea.
This was my original pull:
Because there was only one of each fabric (except for the gray chevron), I used two different prints for the centre star.  Then I realized that I would actually need two of the same prints for the bursts as well, so I browsed my solids and pulled Bella Blue-Raspberry.
Tasks for Week one, selecting and cutting - complete!
And week two - complete!
This is my first time trying Melissa's method for making HSTs. I usually use my Easy Angle template and chain-piece the triangles.  I think I prefer my way.
At least I got to use this old tool I've had ever since I started quilting so many years ago, pre-rotary cutter days. It's a piece of acrylic that is exactly 1/4" square, and was used to add 1/4" cutting line after we traced those horrible cardboard templates we used to use.
 (UBI:  I took a quilting class right after I graduated high school, back in 1978 - so that means I've been quilting on and off for 35 years this year! Not that I've finished much - go figure!)
Then I got to work on Step/Week Three - today's assignment.  Melissa has shared a no-waste method for making Flying Geese and since I was trying new things, I gave it a try:
All done!
Again, I usually use my Easy Angle and Companion Angle templates.  There are pros and cons to both methods, but I would definitely use Melissa's method again if I was using direction prints (like I was here).  There was no having to think about which way to cut the fabric prior to sewing.  It is slower than I'm used to, though, so I will continue doing it my way most of the time.
I am loving it!  I may jump ahead and sew this together, but I think Melissa may have created a monster - I want to make more and make a full quilt - maybe with nine blocks or 16 blocks!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Stash Report 2013, Week 4 - Oops, I did it again!

Easy Street is causing me to break my resolve not to add to my stash this year!  I ran out of blacks-on-white so I had to make a quick run to my favourite store yesterday.  I couldn't go Thursday to support my LQS, but I certainly made up for it yesterday!  (Please pardon the lighting in all my photos, it's another rainy day here on the Wet (West) Coast of BC, Canada - also be warned, I tend to ramble and this post is more so than usual!)

Added this week: 6.75 metres

Added Year to Date: 25 metres

3/4 metre were blacks-on-white, the 2 metres of Bella Snow is for next-up project using Mama Said Sew and the rest - well, just because ;o).  There are 2 metres of the black and white check which may become sashings or a binding, and a bunch of fat 1/8ths to add to the stash.

Hamels has these wonderful baskets full of fat 1/8th's and I was having trouble finding any blacks-on-white. They even let me go through their hidden closet of stash as well - there were bags and bins full just waiting for room in the baskets on the floor! (When I figure out how to get the picture off my phone, I'll share it.) I've come to the conclusion that there must be lots of Easy Street quilts being made here in the Fraser Valley, because there wasn't one to be found.  I ended up with 2 Fat Quarters and a piece of yardage.

But I did find all these other great pieces while I was digging.  There is a method to my madness when I buy fat 1/8ths and I usually don't buy more than 10 at a time - at 99c each, I'm getting 1.25 metres for just $9.90 - a bargain in Canada where prices can be as high as $16/metre.  A fat 1/8th in Canada is also 5" tall (whoops, my math was off - it's 10"x22"), so I can get 8 charm squares out of one piece or strip it down a la Bonnie Hunter-style.  I've included more on how I sorted these ones at the bottom of this post (just so I don't bore you!)
I also had a finish this week!  My Gramma quilt top is finished:
Used since last report: 4.5 metres

Used Year to Date: 5.25 metres

Net Used/Added for 2013: 19.75 metres

I bought this as a kit the same year my grandson was due; since he is now 4, I figured I better get it done as part of the Year to Get it Done.  The kit was purchased at Tangled Threads in Lynden, WA, another shop I consider local to me as it is only about 40 minutes away from my home.  It was packaged with a blah black background, so the owner let me choose a different fabric - I choose these wonderful splotches in primary colours.  It also came with a soft print in a light green for the arrows - which no longer went with those primaries - but I liked it so I left it in the kit to be added to the stash later. 
I bought a charm pack of Moda Marbles in brights and left the whole thing until this past summer, when I raided the charm pack to add blocks to my Tetris quilt.  Alex picked the aqua Minkee from my stash for the backing, and wants a yellow binding - and Gramma, can you put a hammer and a sword on it? Not sure how to accomplish that - on the label probably - even though this quilt isn't specifically for him (it's for the spare room that the grandkids use).
The sayings have positive affirmations and are hand-printed by Block Party Studios - they have lots of options available, including some for quilters!  Tangled Threads carries a wide variety, but BPS has so many more online (no affiliation, just thought I would share the link now, instead of when I get the inevitable questions).
I continued piecing Easy Street blocks as leaders and enders.  I need a total of 300 4-patches to make mine king-size, and I got them all done! Now on to 32 of each more block, and I can finish that quilt up!
The kit was generous - I had a full 1/2 yard left, plus some smaller pieces and triangles for the scrappy bins.
BTW - do you ever do this?
I think I need a haircut when I start tying my hair back with selvedges!
Now, on to my Fat 1/8ths purchases:
I tend to buy for one of the following reasons:

- it will find into a current project
- it will fit into a planned project
- it is from a new/current line that I might buy more of (cuz I'm getting it at a much cheaper price, up to 1/2 off the regular price)
- it fills a colour gap in my stash (a fat 1/8th is the smallest size I put in my colour bins)
- or just because I like it!
Today's purchases were:
1 fat quarter and 1 fat 1/8th - put away with my Hexie Madness project, which is still stalled.  Made from all '30s-style prints (and a few real ones from my grandmother's stash).  Every flower is different, no centre/ring combination is the same.  I am currently at about 80 of 270 flowers needed.

1 fat 1/8th added to my tribute-to-Mom quilt.

2 fat 1/8ths added to my coordinates (ignoring the one Christmas fabric moved to the above project)

Hamels sells scrap bags of coordinated prints - it works out to about $5.33/metre and can include current lines, like Vintage Modern and Blitzen!  By adding to these bags when I find bits in the fat 1/8ths bin, I've been able to gather enough to make lap-size or baby-size quilts.  Which I should probably do soon again, as I am now up to 2 overflowing shoeboxes full.
The black wordy print got put away with the rest of my Word Play fabrics - I have enough now to make a lap/twin quilt - I just have to decide on the accent colour.
And the rest, well let's be honest - it doesn't all get put away at once (as you can see from my piles-to-file on top of my bins of colour!

Have a great weekend!  I'm off to Easy Street for now!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday Stash Report, Week 3 of 2013

Nothing in since my last report, only 1 item finished...but it's better than nothing! (which is where I thought I was at)
Added this week: 0 metres
Added Year to Date: 18.25 metres
My finish - a cushion for Zoey's rocking chair - made from the scraps of her bedroom set.  I have enough left to make a pillow in the Trip-around-the-world pattern (almost finished!), then what's left goes in the scrap bins (although a few pieces have already made it into the Easy Street quilt).  This little cushion only measures 6.5 x 9 inches, plus the ruffle, about a fat quarter's worth of fabric.
Used since last report: .25 metres
Used Year to Date: .75 metres
Net Used/Added for 2013: 17.5 metres
I didn't get much this week as I have had to refocus my efforts on working from my home office as a mortgage broker.  It's been about 4 months since I was laid off, and there aren't a lot of jobs available for my skill set (plus I did miss the freedom of working for myself). I find it difficult to be accountable to myself, but I have been working on making a schedule and sticking to it.  I've also stepped up my efforts with my Creative Memories business to add that extra income until the economy improves (which is slowly happening here, not that it was as bad as most other areas - we were so fortunate). That meant this past weekend was spent hosting a scrapbooking weekend - what a lot of fun we have, and I am reinvigorated to work on my own photo albums - now I just have to fit that in too!

Linking to Judy's Sunday Stash Report at

Friday, January 18, 2013

Project UFO #2 - Just Takes Two

My assessment of this UFO is that I am close to being done! I'm going to be perfectly honest - once the first quarter of the quilt assembly was revealed, I wasn't crazy about it.
I did continue making blocks slowly, when I needed something mindless to work on.

After all, I had strips of fabric pre-cut. (Here I will admit that I am very spoiled by Bonnie Hunter's easy instructions and use of the Easy Angle and Companion angle - in fact, I cut most of my blocks using those same tools.)

As I'm trying to prioritize my UFO projects for this year, I took a hard look at this and decided that I've had fun while it lasted so I played with some layouts, and came up with this:

It still needs a bit of work, but I love it so much better!  
I'm going to move two of those 9" blocks to the bottom row, decide which blocks I want to do to fill the gaps, add a solid red inner border and the checkboard as an outer border and call it done!  It will make a beautiful wall hanging or table topper and measure about 36" square.  As Phil Robertson would say, I'm happy, happy, happy!

This block needs some peels appliqued to the corners:

I think I'll keep the melon block in the centre of the top row, keep the middle row as is, and after moving things around, I probably only have to make a couple of 3" (finished size) blocks, maybe a bit more of the flying geese, and some checkerboard.

I'm putting this on the February UFO list and hope to have it done in time for Valentine's Day! I wish I could go work on it right now, but I have a weekend of scrapbooking planned!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mid-month UFO update

So far, I have finished one of 4 UFOs, and worked on one current project. I also made something new from start to finish!


Dragonfly Table Runner

 A rare moment of winter sunshine washed all the colour out, so back inside I went!

 I used a new-to-me fibre to create the wings - it's called Angelina and you use an iron to fuse the fibres together (between sheets of parchment paper).  I purchased it in Calgary last year, but have found it locally at A Great Notion in Abbotsford.  A bag was $5.99 (it looks like it's on sale for $2.99 right now), and after I made the wings, it doesn't even look like I used any - a little goes a long way! The colour I used was Gold Iris - gold with a hint of purple shimmer.

Chair Cushion for Zoey

Using scraps and a bit of Liberated piecing, I made a small cushion for her rocking chair.  Her rocking chair has solid sides and back, so I only put a ruffle on the front.  The challenge was how to keep it on the seat.  I've decided to use velcro rather than ties, and will apply soft side of self-stick velcro to the seat itself.  I've already applied the hook part to the back of the cushion before I sewed it together.  PS: It is actually square, just puffy so it looks funny right now.

Working on:

Easy Street (upgraded to King Size)

Corner Triangles - 4 - finished

Setting Triangles -  7 of 16 - finished (six shown)

Block A - 2 of 25 - finished
Block B - 1 of 16 - finished

In between assembling triangles and blocks, I am working on making the extra parts I need for a king size version as leaders and enders.

Still to do:
Gramma Quilt
Pure Happy Quilt
Just Takes Two Pillow Cover

I think I'm still on target, as long as I get my rear-end off the couch in the evenings!

And thank you for all the lovely comments in my previous post - I haven't been good at responding lately, but I will try to do better!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Easy Street - not much progress since the reveal!

Here is what I have done so far!

 Alex loves to help me layout blocks!

I had a slow-down in my progress after making up the corner triangle and 1 setting triangle from Step #7.  I really want this quilt to go to my daughter and her husband, but the final result ended up more aqua (Bonnie's lime) than purple liked I had hoped. But sometimes that's the trouble when you try to change around colours on a mystery quilt! If it was for me, it wouldn't have been a problem, I love aqua.

I found some lighter purples in my stash and made up another corner.  I was starting to feel like Goldilocks - they were too light.

I bought  more medium purples to substitute and made up some sample blocks and my daughter loves the result - so my Easy Street is dark purple, medium purple and lime - no aqua to be found!

And this is Alex's vision of the quilt so far! I think it would be a little hard to quilt ;o)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Stash Report Week #1-2013

It's a new year, a fresh start and I am doing the Sunday Stash Report again this year.  It really helped me to be more mindful about my purchases, and gave me the incentive to get things done! I highly recommend it to anyone who overspends on fabric, accumulates Un-Finished Objects (projects not done - UFOs) or just needs some accountability, like me! I guess that might be a good reason to have a partner in life, when you've been single as long as I have, you can develop some bad habits when there's nobody around to catch you when you fall of the wagon!
I ended 2012 just slightly in the read - only 5.85 metres added to the stash (approx. 6.4 yds).  My goal this year is to decrease the stash by 25 metres or more.
I'm off to a good start - NOT!  The two places where I shop regularly both had New Year's sales, and this is when I stock up on batting, notions and thread, and any fabric that I need for upcoming projects.

Added this week: 18.25 metres
Added Year to Date: 18.25 metres
Used since last report: .25 metres
Used Year to Date: .5 metres
Net Used/Added for 2013: 17.75 metres
On a positive note,  all of the fabric is for existing or planned projects that have a deadline of being finished this year, so hopefully it will all be counted out.  My grandson also helped pick out some of the fabrics for some I-spy quilts that he is going to help make, so he can be blamed for 2 metres of it! We made a little book of 5" squares for him to take home (so he didn't take home all the fat 1/8's I bought!).  He was so proud of his selections, but of course I forgot to take a picture before putting away those fabrics!

These flannels are for Christmas pyjamas at the end of this year - talk about planning ahead!

Some Michael Miller (I already have the coordinating Owl print) for a Christmas quilt, and fabric for 2 of the 6 pillowcases I make every Christmas.

The only piece of fabric I bought was this brown and cream print - its bolls of cotton!  It would be perfect if I decide to make Bonnie Hunter's Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll! Now hopefully, I can stay out of the stores for a few months.

I do have one finish, sort of.  I've taken a break from finishing the binding on this table runner tonight for my daughter, Sarah. It's also one of my UFOs for January, so I am happy to have a finish in the first week of the year!

Friday, January 4, 2013

UFO/WIP Review #1 and another Linky Party

In order to determine what I'm going to work on this year, I decided I need to do a thorough review of everything I have.  I actually started this project in August, but got tied up my Christmas sewing and it fell by the wayside.  So each day this month, I'm going to pull out one project, make a decision, document the next step and file it in the project box.

I also found another Linky Party that I'm going to join (I must stop surfing...)

Let's Make Baby Quilts!

Let's Make Baby Quilts!

hosted by Michelle of, she has a lofty goal of finishing 50+ baby quilts this year.  Every Friday, we share our progress, or a tutorial or even a finished project.  Since I have at least 6 baby quilts in progress or planned this year, count me in!

In the spirit of the Linky Party, my first UFO/WIP review is one of my favourites that has been on hold since last summer. 
 Pastel Twister

I've added one more row since this picture was taken.  I'm loving how it is turning out.
It started out as a pre-sewn Moda fabric panel (Lilac Hill I think) made up of cottons and wovens.  I bought it about 3-4 years ago but never got around to doing anything with it.  Once I saw the Twister tools, I knew exactly how to finish it...cut it up! 
One of the things I don't like about these pre-sewn fabric panels is how the seams are done.  They are serged, topstitched and the seams don't match.  At the time I bought it, I thought I would just tie-quilt it and be done.  But it was just too pretty so I set it aside.
I bought the small twister tool, which was too large for these weird-sized squares, so with a little tape, cardboard with new lines drawn on it and some practice cuts, I made a smaller one that would work. 
To keep my blocks organized, I marked my Fons & Porter pins with numbers and marked each block as I cut it.

I sew the row together before I cut the next row, and add the rows together as I sew as well.
I have 3 rows sewn together, only 10-11 to go for a crib-size quilt! (Pardon the colours, most of my pictures get taken late at night!)  This one is slated to get completed in February, unless I get my January projects finished early. It will start my pile of quilts to have on hand for gifting.