Sunday, January 31, 2016

I'm being stalked...

Little Miss always seems to know when I'm sewing and come to check it out.   When I'm piecing she likes to lay on the ironing board in the sunshine and the warm spot from the iron.

I'm watching you...
When I'm quilting she gets under the desk and watches, hoping a corner of the quilt will slip over the back of my desk where she can attack it.

Needless to say, if she succeeds at her goal it causes a nasty yank on the quilt sandwich under my needle. Then I hose her down with the squirt bottle and she runs away to lick herself. Of course she sneaks back as soon as I am distracted.

The other night I quilted until 10, then turned off the machine to work on school stuff.  Around midnight I kicked something furry under the desk.  Yes, she was still on guard, waiting, hours later for a sliver of that quilt to reappear. Silly cat.

In other news, you may remember that this month I asked the members of my do. Good Stitches circle to make paper pieced blocks from the Forest Quilt Along.  The ladies from the Nurture circle have been troopers with such a difficult block and here are the first 3 all together on the design wall.  You can see some more of the blocks, which have been made but haven't made it to me in the mail yet here.   Thank you, Nurture circle! You guys are rockstars and this is going to be such a cool quilt!

Linking to Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday.

Friday, January 29, 2016

December's String Diamonds

Happy Friday! The first of the string diamond quilts is done!  There are 3 of these, which were made from blocks collected during the December blocks drive for Covered in Love.  The response to the end of the year block drives were so overwhelming that I actually had to take January off to catch up. BUT, I'm ready to go again.  The link to February's block drive is at the end of this post.

Unfortunately I failed once again to wake up early enough to get the really good light, so we have to deal with some sun flare in the pictures.  These pretty, swirled string blocks I quilted with spiral squares in matching thread colors.  I did the in between brown diamonds, too, so the quilting ended up quite dense.

The quilt measures 60" square.  For the backing I used a white print that is busy enough to hide all the places my tensions wasn't quite perfect with the colored threads.

On the back are the labels, one for CiL and one listing the names of everyone who contributed blocks that month.

February's block is an easy one, a traditional split nine patch in nice earthy colors.  Be sure to check out the link if you want to participate.

Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

February Block Drive: Split 9s

Hello quilters! After our January hiatus I am (almost) caught up and ready for another quilt drive in February.  In case you've forgotten, or your new around here, most months I post a block design so that anyone can participate in Covered in Love.

Covered in Love provides quilts to the families of patients who pass away in the hospital. And while we love to receive finished quilts and tops I realize that that's a big commitment for most of us.  Block drives give everyone who wants to the ability to contribute at a comfortable level, one block or twenty, and together we make awesome quilts!

For February we are making split nine patch blocks using the above color scheme.  Theses are easy blocks; I have a simple tutorial below.  If you want to participate email me or comment (make sure I can reach you) for my mailing address!  Try to post mark your blocks by the last day of the month, but if you're running late that's usually fine. Just send me an email so I know there are more blocks still in the mail.

(Edited to Add: View some finished quilts here)

Our color scheme this month has lights and darks. The light fabrics are cream, off white and soft greys.  The dark fabrics are evergreen, dark sea-foam green, navy, denim, and dark grey.  Make sure there is plenty of contrast between your dark and light fabrics.

For each block you'll need:
(3) 4.5" light squares
(4) 4.5" dark squares
(1) 5" light square
(1) 5" dark square

Take the 5" light square and mark a diagonal line along the back corner to corner. Place it right sides together with the 5" dark square and sew 1/4" on either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to yield 2 half square triangles.  Press toward the darker fabric and trim to 4.5" square.

Layout your block as shown above, with the darks on one side and lights on the other.  If you are making several blocks you can swap half square triangles between them to increase variety.  Sew together in rows and press.  All done!  The block should measure 12.5" square.

Click here to see some of the 18 (yes, 18!) block drive quilts we made last year.  Thank you to everyone who has supported and continues to support my little charity!

Linking to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Still Diamonds on the Design Wall

If you saw Monday's post I had one of December's string diamonds quilts on the wall.  I got that one sewn up. Then on Tuesday I did the second one.  And today the last one is laid out ready to be sewn!  This top ended up being the one with the least coordination between the browns, but I still think it looks alright.  Somehow this one also ended up with a lot of blues in it.

I realized a couple days ago that I have used up all of my backing fabrics in bright colors, so I ordered some more. I usually order backings from Connecting Threads.  In their clearance section they have a lot of fabrics for less than $3, so I can order enough for a back for less than $10.  Plus if I spend over $50 shipping is free.  I've ordered loads of fabric from them over the years and never had a problem with the quality or the colors running.  I'm not sponsored obviously, just a plug for one of my favorite fabric sources :)

And here's the obligatory Rory photo.  She's holding down that stack of blocks like a champ!

Linking to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Diamonds Design Wall

Today I finally got myself in gear and started putting together the string diamonds quilts.  These were December's block drive blocks.  After organizing and counting them it turns out (3) 5x5 layout quilts will make the best use of our blocks.

I grouped them into 3 stacks of 25 by background color.  Here's Rory helping with the sorting process.  One top sewn up, 2 to go!

Linking to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Quilts in Action

Moz says, "Stay warm, y'all!" from snowy Washington DC.  Featuring the dino quilt.

Quilts in action. Because quilts are meant to be cuddled.

Friday, January 22, 2016

More Falling Leaves

Friday finishes!  I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to post these today because I wasn't able to get pictures. Yesterday was overcast and wet all day! But this morning the sun came out, and although it's cold and windy I was able to get some satisfactory shots.

These are falling leaves quilts 3 and 4, made from the blocks sent in for November's block of the month.  I set these in a slightly different arrangement from the first two quilts, which were a simple grid.

These are more quilts for Covered in Love.  I took a dozen up to the hospital last week and delivered them to the chaplains.  We chatted for a bit and I got to hear first hand about the most recent 2 quilt deliveries, that day and the day before.

He reiterated what a wonderful gift these quilts are to the families who received them, and I'm passing that on to all of you have helped: Thank you!

I free motioned both quilts with ribbon candy in the sashing and stipple over the leaves.  They finished at 54"x68".  Both were backd with cozy fall plaids.  The fifth and final fall leaves quilt is at the longarmer's now (thanks Annie McHugs!).

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Paper Piecing for Good Stitches

January was my month to pick a blocks for my do. Good Stitches circle and it somehow snuck up on me.  I a moment of temporary insanity I decided it would be really cool for everyone in our circle to make one block from the Forest QAL so that we'd end up with a set of 10 blocks. I said, a moment of insanity.  Hopefully the rest of my circle doesn't kill me before the month is over.

So, this is the status of my design wall, such as it is. I let everyone else pick their blocks first and still wound up doing the deer, which is the one block I had made before.  I am back in school (someday I am going to grow up and be done with school!) so I am sewing to the sounds of recorded lectures.  I keep moving my 15lb Patho textbook on and off my desk in hopes the knowledge will somehow leap into my brain without actually cracking the cover.  Oh well :)

Edited to add: End of the day and done! Hooray!

Hope your week is shaping up to be a good one.  Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Last of the String Quilts

Way back in October over 20 volunteers sent in nearly 300 foundation pieced string blocks to make quilts for Covered in Love and at long last they're all done!  8 quilts ready to go.

A million thanks to everyone who sent in blocks and a big thank you to Annie McHugs who volunteers her time, skill, and her batting to do some long arm quilting for me.

I quilted 4 of these and Annie did the other 4 on her long arm.  Mine are stippled, but each of hers is different and has some awesome FMQ designs.

I love these leaves she did.  The overall structure is like big feathers, but with leaves instead.  And then she did some butterflies on this really bright one.

It takes an army to make these quilts, and I so admire you guys who keep pitching in when you don't get to see the results personally.  Rest assured that these quilts are a powerful gift and that they mean a lot to the families who get them.

Thanks to everyone who offered opinions on the string diamonds design wall the other day, and also wished me well. I think I finally turned the point in my cold yesterday.  Covered in Love monthly blocks drives will resume in February after I dig myself out from under November and December's blocks!

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Design Wall Options

Halfway through January already! It doesn't seem possible. I've been making good progress on the Covered in Love quilts.  The string pinwheels are on the wall now auditioning design options.

Top left is a regular setting, below that I offset the rows, and on the right is on point.  I think I like the on point setting best, although it will mean cutting lots of setting triangles.  What do you think?

I'm also working on finishing the quilting on the latest crumb quilt.  Rory's been "helping". 

And of course now I'm sick and I just want to spend all my time napping.  Here's hoping this croup doesn't last too long.

Linking to WIP Wednesday.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

First Fall Leaves Finished

Happy New Year! And the first two of October's blocks drive "falling leaves" quilts are done :)

These two quilts for Covered in Love were made by over 20 volunteers contributing scrap blocks to make this possible.  Thanks to Nancy, Teri L. and Teri B., Rhonda, Dee Dee, Tricia, Summer, Tish, Valerie, Susan, Melanie, Kati, Dhia, Johanna, Mina, Ann, Amanda, Barbara A. and Barbara W., Jeanice and Margaret M. from New Zealand.

I'm putting labels on the back of the quilts with everyone's names.

This batch of quilts will be dedicated to the memory of Margaret M (no blog) from New Zealand. Margaret reached out to me during the very first block drive in August and faithfully sent blocks every month up through December, half way around the world.  She passed away suddenly last week and I know she will be desperately missed by her family.  And I will miss getting her packages in the mail with the New Zealand postal marks.

Quilting is a hobby that touches lives.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed, continues to contribute to Covered in Love! We are taking to month off the block drives to give me a chance to catch up, but check back at the end of the month as we will resume in February.

These are the first two falling leaves quilts. The rest are in the top-stage.  Two more for me to quilt and one for the long-armer :)

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Friday Finishes.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Holiday Sewing

I've been spending my holidays in good style, set up in front of the sewing machine and the laptop rewatching the Harry Potter movies and finishing up some Covered in Love quilts.

I've quilted and bound the final string quilt and the first two falling leaves quilts.  I'll do proper Friday finish posts on them soon.

Today I've got the last couple rounds of the falling leaves blocks on the wall and the last two HP movies cued up.  Hoping to turn these into tops today!

Linking to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.