Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Plodding along

I've been plodding along with my Flutterby quilt, staying focused by keeping my eye on the calendar and the silent raffle that is coming up for which this queen sized quilt will be one of the offerings.  My goal is to have the top completed by Saturday, as I'm headed to Salt Lake City for a conference next week.  I know I can do it!  I've completed all 168 blocks, and sewed them all into 42 blocks of 4.  I love the variety in every single block.

I've begun sewing them into ever larger chunks.  The pieced borders are already constructed and ready to be added.

I happily realized that Frances O'Roark Dowell's quilt podcast, Friendship Album 1933, is back with new installments as of September 7, so I got caught up with that while sewing.

I'm excited to share the seven Orphan UFOs that I have up for grabs through Cynthia's Quilty Orphan Adoption Event.  If you want to throw your name into the ring for any of them, visit my previous post - I'm drawing names tonight (Tuesday, September 18).

Stay safe and dry, everyone!

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap.

Friday, September 14, 2018

UFOs: FREE to a good home!!

Edited 9/18: Drawing is now closed - winners listed below and contacted via email.  Winners chosen with Random Number Generator.  Thanks for playing along!

I've participated in Cynthia's Quilty Adoption Event twice a year for a couple years now, so you'd think I'd have cleared out all of my UFOs.  WRONG!  Even though I moved this summer AND last summer, I STILL came across UFOs that I didn't even remember having!

The following 7 (seven!!) UFOs are up for grabs.  Let me know in a comment any and all projects that you'd be interested in winning, and if there is more than one taker out there by Tuesday evening (9/18), and I will randomly choose recipients.  My goal is to get these all out of the sewing room by the end of next week.  There are no restrictions on how you use the blocks - make something for yourself, for a family member, for a charity, to sell - it doesn't matter to me.  I will ship at my expense anywhere in the US and CANADA.


A.  WESTERING WOMEN Congratulations, Rebecca! Please send me your address so I can mail your package.  There is no email address attached to your profile.  If I don't hear from you by Saturday, I will draw a new winner.

In 2016, I participated in Barbara Brackman's Westering Women BOM.  I loved making the blocks and reading her posts, but I'm not really a fan of sampler quilts, so I doubt I'll ever make the last three blocks and put it together.  Will you?  I tried to use repro fabrics, and in addition to the nine 12.5" (unfinished size) blocks I made, I will send what I have left of the fabrics I used in the blocks, in case you want to go ahead and make the last three blocks.  Some are just scraps, others are as big as a quarter yard or more.

B. DOTTY Congratulations, Patricia!  Package mailed!

I love polka dots, and I love black as a contrast color.  But I can't for the life of me figure out where I was going with this project.  Half the 9" (unfinished size) blocks are a square in a square, while the other half are a type of sunburst.  The polka dot fabric is all Love by Amy Butler.  The black is likely a Kona solid, but I can't guarantee that.  There are still three uncut fat quarters of polka dot and two 10"xWOF pieces of black along with the leftover bits of the fabrics I already cut (basically 7.5"x21" each).

C.  JASON Congratulations, Louise! Package mailed!

Do you know a Jason?  I began a quilt for my son, Jason, back when we were taking karate.  The quilt was going to feature the colors of the belt up to black belt.  However, after receiving our black belts, we stopped taking karate, so this project screeched to a halt.  There is a 56"xWOF piece of the black solid, nine 8" (unfinished size) wonky stars in a rainbow of colors, and some various sized scraps of the rainbow solids (but no white or blue).  There are two pieced border strips and a free-pieced wonky JASON.  I can't even remember what this quilt was supposed to look like.

D. I SPY Congratulations, Crystal! Package mailed!

This was one of my first UFOs from before my second son (who is now 13) was even born, I think.  Which means my piecing is probably of questionable quality.  There are twenty-eight 6" (unfinished size) snowball blocks, twenty-two additional 6" squares of novelty fabric, and an 8"x72" piece of WOW background fabric.  The novelty fabric is everything from vehicles to frogs to aliens to ice cream, etc.

E.  STARS Congratulations, Linda! Package mailed!

I taught a class on these star blocks, but I doubt I'm going to make more.  They are 12.5" (unfinished size), and there are just 4 of them.

F. QUILT SAYINGS Congratulations, Cheryl! Package mailed!

I had completely forgotten about the block lotto in my guild over a decade ago when I won these blocks.  I don't even know which block I made!!  (although I think I made the wonky star - very much my style)  Each block is 12.5" (unfinished size) and includes a quilty saying.  I've included a couple close ups of the sayings for you.

G.  MEDALLION Congratulations, Sharon!  Please send me your address so I can mail your package.  There is no email address attached to your profile.  If I don't hear from you by Saturday, I will draw a new winner.

This was the beginnings of my first attempt to make a quilt for my mom, well over a decade ago.  I liked the idea of a medallion, but I just couldn't pull it together.  The center piece is about 42" square, and there is an extra 4.5" (unfinished size) flower block and an aborted pieced corner piece.  There are two 25"xWOF pieces of the background fabric.

Thanks for helping me out.  I've been on a major de-stash kick lately, and this, along with the fabric and yarn I've been steadily adding to my ETSY shop, is helping me to stay organized, focus and FINISH!

I'm linking up with Cynthia's Quilty Adoption Event.  Check it out to see if there are other items out there that you'd like.

Sunday, September 9, 2018


Not too much sewing has been taking place with the start of school.  In a boarding school environment, it is possible to literally be on duty from 7:45 AM until 11:30 PM, particularly during the first few weeks of school.  I AM EXHAUSTED!

But I did squeeze in some time for myself on Saturday.  I went to the 27th Annual Home Sewing Exchange as a vendor, bringing with me some 1 yard cuts of fabric, some skeins of yarn, and some notions that I was willing to part with.  My goal, beyond clearing out some of my stash, was to earn back my $20 registration fee and make enough money to pick up some neutral fabrics from the other vendors, since I blow through neutrals like nobody's business.  I thought my goal was lofty, since I was selling the fabric for $2/yard and selling the leftover yarn from my yarn shop for $1, $2, $3 and $5/skein, but I was thrilled at the end of the day when, not only had I earned back my registration fee, but I cleared $125.00 over that! 

I allotted myself $10 to go shopping.  I went over by $1.50, but look how much I got!!!

First, I shopped the table of the woman next to me because she was great to talk with and she bought quite a bit from me - scissors, rulers and the like for her eight-year-old granddaughter whom she is teaching to sew.  She didn't have much in the way of neutrals, but she had some others that caught my eye.

As I went around, I found some big chunks of neutrals, mostly between 3/4 yard and 1 yard cuts.

And then I hit paydirt - 15 fat quarters for $5!!
The neutral that the fat quarters are laid out on is 2.5 yards!
All told, I got about 15 yards of fabric for $11.50.  Woo hoo!  Now if I can just find time to sew it up!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Proud of my perseverance

I almost don't want to blog because I've been working on the same project for so long that I almost bore myself.  Except there's nothing boring about making scrappy blocks!  Each one is an adventure!  I bit the bullet and started the 28 extra blocks I need to make my Flutterby quilt queen sized.
I've started joining the 6.5" blocks into 12.5" blocks
And I finally found and put up a design wall (which, for me, means a flannel backed tablecloth - the least expensive and most sturdy design wall I've ever used!  When I lived in Virginia, I used the same $2 tablecloth as my design wall for 13 years!).  I'm so happy to be off the floor!

The other thing that has been taking up my time is an upcoming event, The Home Sewing Exchange, at which I have signed up to be a vendor.  It's the 27th year this local church has hosted this, and folks bring fabric and yarn and notions from their own stash that they want to unload for cheap.  Since I used to own a yarn and fabric store, and since I no longer have lots of space, I have been collecting things to take, many of which are already in my ETSY shop.  So the collecting, as well as the expanding of my Clearance section and slashing of prices in the shop, has kept me busy as well. 

I'm proud of my restraint in not starting another project until I finish this Flutterby.  It is so unlike me, but I do have a deadline if it is going to make it to the silent auction fundraiser for a battered women's shelter in November.

Today was also my first day back to work.  I was dreading it, which was silly because I love my job and the people on my team.  We had a great day!  I'm just sorry to see summer end.

I'm linking up with Monday Making and Oh Scrap!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Time to go BIGGER

I finally finished all my Flutterby blocks, but I think I need to go bigger.  As it now stands, all sewn together the quilt would measure 72" x 96" (once the final scrappy white border is included, which I haven't yet laid out below). 
Note to self - make it a priority to put up a design wall; this designing on the floor is for the birds!
If I add two more columns of blocks (28 blocks), it would measure 84" x 96", which is a much more usable size, don't ya think?  I'm donating the quilt to a silent auction fundraiser this fall, but to be honest, I think I'm going to bid on it.  I just love its scrappy loveliness!  And at the larger size, it would work perfectly on my bed!

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap and Monday Making.

Monday, August 13, 2018

I finally got a chance to SEW!

WOW!  This summer has been an adventure!  I didn't plan any big trips, but I've spent time with family and friends in New Hampshire, enjoyed a long weekend on Martha's Vineyard, caught up with my college roommates and their kiddos in Vermont, hosted some Virginia friends here in my home - and to top it all off, I moved!  It's no wonder that it has been WEEKS since I have sewn!  But I've been feeling the itch, so today, I squirreled myself away in my new office/sewing room and SEWED!

My temperature quilt is up to date through the end of July.
This is actually only through July 22, but I have July 23-July 31 completed as well.
I hope to get caught up through present day tomorrow.  My other most pressing goal is to complete my Flutterby top before school starts in a couple weeks, as I need to get it to the long arm quilter so it can be quilted and then donated for a fundraiser. (I know, I LOVE that quilt top, but I can always make another, right?)

One thing I have been able to do throughout all this summer activity is knit.  I have finished my second Little Big Wrap (LBW), and now it just needs blocking.

This is actually a photo of the first one I made but gave away.  The one I just finished is EXACTLY the same, just not blocked yet.  Can't wait to wear it when the weather cools.
I'm linking up with Oh Scrap and Monday Making.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

I love a mystery!

My kids make fun of me for reading cozy mysteries.  Since I am forever protesting about violence and graphic words or scenes in modern media, they think it is ironic that I read books with "murder" in the title.  What they don't seem to understand is that cozy mysteries aren't about the murder - in fact, rarely does the reader "witness" the crime.  Cozies are all about following clues to figure out "whodunit," usually while following along with an amateur sleuth working outside the law.  This wonderful week of summer included THREE cozies for me: Boiled Over, the second Maine Clambake Mystery by Barbara Ross (I'm from Maine); Gone But Knot Forgotten, the third Quilting Mystery by Mary Marks (I LOVE this series!);

and Deadly Nightshade, the first Martha's Vineyard Mystery by Cynthia Riggs (because we spent three days at Martha's Vineyard this week). Next up on my bedside table is Taken In, the ninth Southern Sewing Circle mystery and my current audiobook is The Cranefly Orchard Murders, the second Martha's Vineyard Mystery by Cynthia Riggs.

But it isn't just in my reading that I like mysteries.  I love the idea of a mystery quilt, although, in truth, I've never actually finished one.  I'm still working on my first, On Ringo Lake by Bonnie Hunter, but the truth is, once the big reveal happens, I usually lose interest.  I haven't worked on that quilt in months!

My 2018 Temperature Quilt is a bit of a mystery quilt since the daily weather dictates what it will ultimately look like.  I think the not knowing is part of what keeps me motivated to make new blocks for that quilt every day (well, that and how easy the block I chose to make is).  Here it is from January 1 through June 11 - I have all the blocks done through June 30, but the next row includes the block with the average temperatures for July, so I can't add any more rows until July is over.

Blocks signify high and low temps for each day of the year (through June 11 so far)
As I mentioned, we spent a few days at Martha's Vineyard this week.  Beforehand, I took my dog up to NH to stay with my sister.  Visiting my sister means time with my nieces and nephew,
One of my nieces - the only thing cuter than a two year old is a two year old wearing a sweater you knit for her!
but it also means getting to see my handiwork all over their house, from sweaters and hats and socks that I have knit for them to quilts that I have made on their walls and on their beds.  They are THE BEST recipients of handmade stuff - they actually USE it!!
My mom was out of town, so I slept in her bed under one of the first bed sized quilts I ever made, a Scrappy Mountain Majesties from Bonnie Hunter's pattern
Once at the Vineyard, I stayed busy with knitting, at the beach

and on the ferry.  Sock knitting is such a perfect travel/vacation project!

And while on vacation, I stumbled upon the Friendship Album, 1933 podcast by Frances O'Roark Dowell, author of Birds in the Air (which I own and have read) and Margaret Goes Modern (which I don't yet own).  I've finished listening to the first four episodes and I am anxiously awaiting future installments of this story.  I've said it so many times, but when I'm not quilting, I love being able to read about quilts, whether in fiction or on blogs or even just scanning photos on Instagram and Pinterest.  What on earth did I do with my time before I started quilting?

I'm linking up with Oh, Scrap and Monday Making.