Finishing mode

Every now and again I get on a kick to finish projects I’ve left untouched and it appears I’m having one of those moments. In my last post I said I was itching to start a new project and I not only started one but I finished it too!!

Several months back I dug into my scrap bins and cut a ton of 5″ squares, since then I’ve made several quilts but I still had many squares left. I pulled them out last week and sorted them into light and dark and laid them out in an offset pattern; within a few days I had the top finished!!

The next day I pulled a beautiful purple print from an old Denyse Schmidt line out of my stash for the back and got it all basted.

I didn’t want to use my standard Dove Gray thread color so I pulled a pink from my stash and used that for the top and in the bobbin. It blends in pretty nicely on the back while giving a little pop to the top. Since I had all those perfect squares to fill, I went with a Heart Strings quilting motif and I love it!

I squared it up and used the same Denyse Schmidt fabric for the binding. This finished at 49″ square and will be going off to Quilty Hugs for the Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge 2020.

Next up, I pulled out this “Trip Around the World” experiment I started last month and got it glue basted with a pale blue print for the back. I plan to start quilting on it later today.

[These photos were taken before it was basted]

That’s about all for today…have a great rest of your weekend 🙂

Two finishes!

I’m slowly getting my mojo back and I finished two baby quilts this week! Whoop whoop! These are destined for the Hands2Help charity challenge hosted by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict. My last post shows all the quilts I’m sending off this year, more than half of them were made many months ago but they fit the need so off they go!

The first finish this week is the Disappearing 25 patch, this tutorial was posted on Sarah’s blog at the beginning of April and I’m sure I would’ve had it finished long before now if Greta hadn’t needed her annual cleaning. I used fusible polyester batting in this one because I happened to have it left over in my stash and it was the perfect size…BUT I hated every minute of quilting it so I won’t be buying any more of that crap! Luckily once washed, it was soft and squishy – whew!

I did a simple all over meander quilting motif, then I auditioned several fabrics for binding before landing on this solid lavender. This finished 44″ square.

My next finish is a quick project called Deep Blue Sea by Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting. She offered a free pattern & tutorial on her blog and I just had to give it a go! I finished this top the night before Greta went into the shop so it sat on my design wall the whole time, just calling to me!! After I finished the D25P, I cut batting and made the back for this one. I knew I wanted to do wavy lines for quilting so it finished up very fast.

The colors are truest in this first photo

I found this fabric in my stash with blue birds but I didn’t have quite enough so I added the organic vines…the colors are perfect! This finished 38×48

I’m contemplating pulling out some other UFO tops and getting them done but I hear the siren song of starting a new project calling me!! Oh what will I do…

Oh and there is LIVE tennis to watch this weekend!! A few weeks ago the guys played a round-robin tournament in West Palm Beach, FL and now the ladies are doing the same this weekend…the final is today!! I love to watch tennis while I sew – squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Have a great rest of your long weekend…

Hands2Help quilts

I participated in the Hands2Help quilt challenge again this year. The challenge is hosted by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict and this is the tenth year!!

I made six quilts to be donated to Quilts of Compassion and Quilty Hugs charities Sarah has highlighted – these will be mailed off by the end of the month.

  1. Granny Cabin

2. Rainbox Improv

3. Meadowland

4. Squared Up

5. Plus 1

6. Plus 2

I have one more quilt in progress that should be finished this weekend – it’s called Disappearing 25 patch:

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Back to sewing!

I finally got my machine back late Friday from getting it’s annual service. I was getting pretty frustrated with the shop because they originally told me it wouldn’t take more than 3-4 days but they ended up having it for two weeks (ugh, just be honest people!). She’s humming like a champ now so I guess it’s all good 🙂

I wanted to jump right into sewing Friday night but DH wanted to venture out for dinner. SC has allowed restaurants to open up for limited seating both inside and out…we chose to sit outside. I was a little nervous at first but the restaurant had marked some tables closed so no one was sitting next to anyone else. We had a few cocktails and appetizers for dinner – it was so nice to get out for a little while – reminiscent of the ‘good old days’!!

I got up bright and early yesterday and went straight to my sewing room. I wiped down my machine with a clorox wipe (just in case!) and got her all set back up in her space… then I stalled! I couldn’t figure out what to work on first – UGH! I spun around for about an hour then finally decided to finish the Hexie pillow cover.

The last few pillow covers I made I used the envelope closure in back but I don’t like how it bulges once it’s been stuffed so I decided to use a zipper closure. I’ve done that before but it’s been a loooooooong time, so I pulled up a YouTube video for help. This was the first time I used this method but it worked really well! And here’s the final product

I used batting behind the Hexies and did diagonal quilting in both directions, no batting or quilting on the back.

The pillow is a bit overstuffed but it’s all I had on hand, I’ll have to get something more size appropriate whenever I get out for some shopping.

Next up I decided to finish the Disappearing 25 Patch top from April. I had set it aside because I wasn’t sure I wanted to use the fusible polyester batting I had in my stash (that just happened to be the perfect size!) But no more indecision – I iron basted it and I’ll be quilting on it today!

I also played around with a new mask pattern and I really like it!! I’ve been making masks using the Bijou Lovely pattern but I’ve been getting frustrated with how high they sit on my face…actually touching my lower lashes at times. I did some searching and found a tutorial using one of my dinner plates as a template and it sits so much better on my face!!! I especially like that I don’t have to fiddle with sewing in the elastic – you feed it through after the sewing is done! The first tutorial I followed is just two layers of fabric and it’s great but I found another tutorial with a pocket for a filter which is just as good.

The top mask is the first one I made for me, the bottom mask is for DH and has the filter pocket

I’ll be making more of these…I just need to remember to pre-wash my fabric first!! Hahaha!

That’s about all for today…I’m heading into my ‘Happy Place’ to begin quilting the Disappearing 25 Patch.

Have a great rest of your weekend!!

Annual service

I dropped my Pfaff off at the sewing & vac shop last Monday so there won’t be much sewing to update on today 😦 I was hoping they’d have it done before the weekend but they told me it could take up to 7 business days and it looks like that’s exactly what it will be…waaaaah! I almost bought a backup machine last week. I was putzing around online and found a Janome JW8100 on sale at Walmart for $280; I should’ve jumped on it right away because when I came back to it later it was gone! Ugh 😦

I had these grand ideas about cleaning and organizing my sewing room and so far I have not done a dang thing! [insert face palm] Instead I planted my butt on the couch and I’ve been binge watching “Grace & Frankie” on Netflix. It’s funny and serious and outlandish all at the same time! I had no idea there were already 6 seasons!! Sheesh, what rock have I been living under?

A few days ago I pulled out a hexie project I started working on several years ago and decided I would make it big enough to be a pillow cover.

Oh boy I had forgotten how doing hand work is hard on my eyes and they get tired pretty quickly. I could only work on this in one hour increments but I eventually got there. I’ll need to wait for my Pfaff to return to make the back and put it all together.

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If you’re a tennis fan then you know a LIVE tournament took place in West Palm Beach Friday & Saturday. They took all kinds of safety precautions and of course there were no spectators – but oh my, it was so nice to see LIVE sports again ❤

That’s all I have for now… wishing all the Mom’s out there a Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Tops finished

I got two tops finished this past week and a I made a few more masks.

I’m not making masks in any production line way…just a few here & there when I want a quick finish. I talked to my Mother last week and she said she had only one mask so I made 7 up that night and put them in the mail to her the next day. She doesn’t go out a lot, in fact right now she’s only going out if she as a very important Dr appt but I wanted her to have enough so she doesn’t worry. Of course, in my haste to get them out the door I didn’t take any pictures 😦 The pattern I’m using is from Bijou Lovely, I really like this one because there are pleats at the nose and chin which give it a nice fit.

I made up a few more masks last night for a friend that asked for masks – these will go in the mail tomorrow

As for the tops, I finished piecing Modern Puzzle and then folded it up until I’m ready to make the backing.

Next up I turned to my Trip Around the World. I was stuck not sure how to move forward with what I had – the top section was two strips less than the bottom.

I was going to make that top section a pillow cover and work with the rest but then I found enough fabric pieces to make two more strips!! So that’s what I did…and then I pieced it into one big panel! I auditioned several fabrics to make the piece wider and found this lovely bright yellow. It doesn’t match the other shades exactly but I like it! This is where I’ve stopped, it measures 54×56. Next I’ll figure out the backing and get it basted, I already have an idea for quilting – I’m thinking about echoing the diamond shape out into the yellow using straight lines…we’ll see how I feel once it’s basted!

My Pfaff needs it’s annual cleaning and I was going to drop her off last Monday but I didn’t and as the week wore on I didn’t want to go through the weekend with out her so now I’m dropping her off tomorrow. They said it should only take about a week, I hope it’s less!

I’m also looking at getting a sewing machine table that I can ‘drop’ my Paff into. I’ve looked at several and dang they sure are pricey! I don’t need anything with drawers or moving sections…I just want a table to drop my machine in so it’s level with the top. I’m currently researching Eversewn “Loft” series and I’m leaning toward the Loft 3. I’m waiting to get the dimensions of the opening to be sure my machine will fit.

We celebrated our Sammie girl’s 12th Birthday yesterday…we spoiled her with lots of love and kisses and gave her a few extra treats!

That’s all for now…have a great rest of your weekend & stay safe 🙂

Trip around the world?

The good old days of planning trips, vacations and weekend getaways are lost right now, so I decided to take a little quilting ‘trip around the world’. I’m not physically going anywhere, it’s actually a type of quilt making method I first saw on an old episode of Quilt in a Day from Eleanor Burns. Thanks to the internet, I was able to find it on YouTube.

This was my first attempt at a ‘trip’ and I thought I had it down after watching her video – and a handful of others as well. I picked out 9 different FQ fabrics and cut the 4″ strips…this is where I made my first mistake. I realized later the number of fabrics I was using would make my ‘trip’ extremely oblong shaped, ‘Doh!

I sewed the strips together and wanted to get as many trip strips from each so I subcut at 2.25″… it only occurred to me later this means there are more seams which again would make the ‘trip’ very narrow, double ‘Doh!

Once I laid out the first half, it finally dawned on me this was going to end up more like a table runner and less like a quilt!! I made an executive decision to adjust the second half by shortening the remaining strips…now my ‘center’ is off center.

I finished piecing the ‘off center Trip’ and then I pieced the left over strips and put them up on my design wall together… now I’m torn! I could piece them together which would make my Trip centered but I’d need to remove the two outside strips …or… leave it as is and make a pillow cover from the left over section. UGGGGH! I’ve left it up on my wall for now, hopefully I can make a decision in the next few days 😮

As you can see in the photo above, my Modern Puzzle pieces are still on the design wall. I paused that project while I played with the Trip. I went back to it over the last few days to square up the blocks and I’ve got the first two columns pieced. I should have the top done later today.

Some of these blocks are not quite the same size which is due to some of the fabrics being cut from the length side of the fabrics but also because I don’t sew a consistent 1/4″ seam. I made a purchase about a week ago that has helped with my seams – Seam Tape from Cluck Cluck Sew. These next two photos are from her website; the tape couldn’t be any easier to apply – it’s just like washi tape and you line the red line up with your needle. It’s promoted to help with sewing diagonally, like HSTs, but I haven’t used it for that yet. I’m just using the 1/4″ mark on the right side to ensure I’m getting a scant 1/4″ seam and it’s been working great!!

The only hiccup is my bobbin case, mine is right in front of the needle area so I’ve had to lift the tape each time I need to replace the bobbin. I’ll address this in the future by making cuts where the bobbin cover comes off. I’m actually dropping my machine off at a local shop on Monday to get it’s annual cleaning – ugh…I’ll be without her for a few days…now I wish I had purchased a backup machine 😉 It’s OK, I really need to give my sewing room a good cleaning and organizing …maybe this will give me the push to do it!! If all else fails I can always find another pattern and start cutting!!

That’s all for now…stay safe & stay sane…and have a great rest of your weekend 😀

Modern Puzzle

Seems like a fitting title for what the world is experiencing right now…but no, it’s just the name of the pattern I’m playing with. As I was scrolling through the various blogs I read, I came across Mary making this quilt and thought my stack of 5″ squares would be perfect for this. Each block takes four 2.5×4.5 pieces of each contrasting fabric. I thumbed through my stack and found all the matching fabrics and had just enough to make 36 blocks

This will make a 48″ square quilt, good for a baby or small child. I still have a good stack of charms left, most of them are light to medium values.

Not much else has been going on around here…my anxiety seems to be settling down a little which is a good thing, although I’m not sure what I’ve been doing that’s helped…maybe it’s the Headspace meditation I’ve been doing each morning 🙂

My weight has been holding steady even though I’ve not been making the best food choices, I guess that’s a win? I have been trying to eat more fruit – apples, oranges, blueberries, strawberries – but I’ve also been eating Reese’s easter eggs, cookies & cupcakes. I’m definitely a ‘stress eater’ so all this COVID stuff has sent me into an eating tailspin which makes me feel even worse afterward.

On the bright side, the weather here has been so nice – 70’s during the day, 50’s at night. At least we can sit outside and soak up some Vitamin D 🙂 We ‘went out’ for dinner last night – we drove through Wendy’s and then sat in the car to eat it…it was sad but also hilarious!!!

That’s all for now…stay safe & stay sane…and have a great rest of your weekend ❤

Plugging away

I abandoned the ‘color wash’ layout from last week in favor of a fun big block called Disappearing 25 patch. Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict posted the tutorial on her blog last Sunday and it was specifically designed for 5″ squares!

I laid out the four patches in the corners then pulled my solid stash to fill in the center row/column, yes that meant cutting more 5″ squares :-p I worked on putting the layouts together for a day and started piecing the blocks. Then came the fun part of cutting them up and sewing them back together…Ta-da! I have a finished top, it measures approx 44″ square.

Believe it or not I still have a ton of 5″ squares left!

I was going to fold the top up and work on something else but then I started pulling fabrics for the backing and before I knew it I had pieced the back!

This is where I’ve stopped. I found some fusible polyester batting in my closet and it’s the perfect size for this quilt but I really don’t like that batting. I’ll leave it for now and maybe I’ll feel differently in a few days! Ha!

I started playing with an idea called Magic Star I saw on one of the blogs I follow. Her block is made with 10″ squares but since I still have so many charm squares I sized it down and made a few. The sub block measures 4″ and the ‘star’ will finish at 7.5.

In other news, I decided to try baking again but this time it was cupcakes. Yay, they turned out so good and no finger burns!!!!! LOL I used a box yellow cake mix and chocolate frosting in a can (whipped in the mixer). It made 24 cupcakes, the rest have been stored in the fridge…but I’m not sure how long they’ll last since DH had 3 after dinner last night!!!

That’s about all for now… Happy Easter everyone ❤

Sewing therapy

I can’t imagine how I would be handling this pandemic and self isolating if I didn’t have my quilting hobby!! And even with that, I’ve still had a few days of gut-wrenching anxiety about the foreseeable future. I’ve experienced anxiety in the past but it usually was when a loved one was having a health crisis…all this COVID stuff feels like it’s been going on forever and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel – yet. I’m usually a pretty positive person and have always tried to look at things from the ‘bright side’…that’s getting harder each day this drags on. Ok, enough about that, let’s get to the good stuff!!!

Last week I was struggling to figure out how I wanted to quilt the monochromatic Plus top…shortly after posting I landed on a design and got to work. It went pretty quick and I really, really love how it turned out. Here’s the backside, you can see the ‘Heart strings’ quilting better

I decided to use yellow mini bracelets fabric for the binding to pull out the little bit of color in the top, then I took it outside for some photos before running it through the wash.

Once that was done I turned my attention back to the Safelight case sets. I pulled fabrics and supplies for four more and got started.

Here they are assembled except for velcro, those little tissue holders are so simple to make and I love how the trim looks!

I’ve got six sets completed…now I just need to figure out how to get them to Carole! I really don’t want to go into the Post Office but I’m not sure how else I’m going to get the envelope/box and get it mailed…ugh!

After those were done I started playing with all the 5″ squares I still have…I’ve been wanting to try a color wash style quilt like I’ve seen on Exuberant Color’s blog so I separated some of the squares into light, med & dark and put them up on my design wall…not sure it works as well with these larger squares but I’ll keep playing with it.

Like many others I’ve been cooking a lot more often and I decided last week I wanted to bake some cookies. I usually only bake cookies once a year during the holidays but I wanted something sweet so I got to work.

Unfortunately the batter really didn’t turn out, I think I messed up measuring the flour and it was too loose. I went with it anyway!! All was going fine until I pulled one pan out of the oven and thought I was reaching for the next pan to put in (without a pot holder!) – except I picked up the pan I had just pulled out O U C H!!!! My right index finger and left middle finger got it the worst but thankfully nothing that needed medical attention!!!

The weather has been lovely the last few days, low 70’s and no humidity so we’ve been eating dinner on the screened porch. Yesterday I put up a new hummingbird feeder and as we sat there eating we had our first visitor!!! I was not fast enough with my phone to get a picture of him sitting on the feeder but you get the idea here

That’s about all for now…have a great rest of your weekend!!

Stay safe and stay sane!!