Friday, December 8, 2017

Scrap Scramble Blankie

Back in October STLMQG had their retreat which included the popular Scrap Scramble, in which we dumped our baggies of scraps into a huge pile and scrambled to refill the bags with new-to-us scraps.
I nabbed some cute prints that happened to coordinate with some other scraps, leftovers, and FQs in my own stash. The result was a quick little top for a donation quilt.

The little donation blankie is now quilted and bound and ready to give comfort to a small child.

Instead of batting and backing, I used one layer of polar fleece, and quilted it with serpentine stitching along the seams. The result is soft and snuggly, and it measures 40" x 44". Since it technically doesn't meet the definition of a quilt, I'm calling it a blankie, which is exactly how it'll be used.

I see more of these in my future - a good way to use up scraps and stash, and a quick, easy, and less expensive way to finish a charity project for donation. I may set a goal of making one each month in 2018. Anyone care to join me?

I'll wait until the charity projects of the guilds I belong to are announced for 2018 and see if this blankie can be included. If not, I'll give it to Project Linus.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


I've been deluged with spam lately. I've turned word verification on, but some of the offenders are still getting through. Same message posted as comments to random old blog posts, multiple times a day. I've notified Blogger about the problem, even named the offenders, but so far no reply from Blogger. 

I love legitimate comments. I'm so sorry to have to use word verification; I know no one likes it. I can tell it's cut down on real comments from actual readers. I hope you'll bear with me until the spam problem goes away and I can turn word verification off. I really love to hear from you. 

In much happier news, I'm progressing with paper pieced arcs for my Pickle Dish project. There are four arcs in each clipped batch, and 16 arcs in the banded batch. I have 8 more of yellow #2, 8 more of aqua #2, and 16 green ones to go. Still searching for the right green fabrics. 

I might replace the darkest coral ones (at top) with a lighter coral shade. I only need four of them, so it won't be a problem to remake them. 

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, December 4, 2017

November Stash Report & Goals Update

...a few days late, but I want to recap November for the record. It was a pretty good month.

Stash Report:
November IN: 8-1/8 yards (7-3/8 yds for Pickle Dish project. 3/4 yd aqua stripe from STLMQG)
November OUT: 13-1/2 yards (Original Log Cabin Triangles: 7-1/8 yds for blocks, 2-3/8 yds for border & binding, 1-1/2 yds wide backing plus 1 FQ for back.  Pink donation top, 1-1/4 yds.  Pickle Dish test blocks, est. 1 yd worth of scraps.)

YTD IN: 110-7/8 yards
YTD OUT: 141-3/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 30-1/2 yards OUT.

Whoo-hoo! It's been a good year for using stash, but I'm also purchasing new fabrics when needed. Finding the border print fabric for the original LCT top back in September really helped move that project along to a finish this month, which boosted the yardage out numbers nicely.
Original Log Cabin Triangles

Goals Update:

November Goals Recap:
1. Plan and write tutorial for Sew Bee It block for November, to hand out at Nov. 11 meeting. DONE, Propeller Block
2. Write and post tutorial for Nine Patch Stars QOV. DONE
3. Make one Dresden block and one Checkerboard block for the red project. DONE - actually made two of each.
4. Add borders to Original LCT top. DONE - not only finished the top, but got it layered, basted, spiral quilted, and bound. 
5. Work on WIVSP hand piecing project. Yes - Spent about an hour total over several sessions; accomplished about 2/3 of a row. 
6. Make one scrappy donation top to use up stash. DONE, as leaders/enders while paper piecing
7. Keep up with bee blocks. DONE.
8. Work on improv project from Jean Wells book. No. read through the first chapter again. This is so far outside my comfort zone that I'm not going to pursue it any more. 

Other: Made test blocks, selected fabric palette, and started paper piecing for Pickle Dish project.

December Goals:
1. Continue cutting and making block components for Pickle Dish project
2. Make at least one Dresden Plate and one Checkerboard block for the red project
3. Piece one donation top from stash, as leaders/enders
4. Quilt and finish one donation quilt
5. Work on Roman Road UFO
6. Keep up with bee blocks
7. Work on WIVSP hand piecing project

Pickle Dish Project 

With all the holiday stuff going on this month I won't have much time for sewing, so I want to limit my goals to moving WIPs and UFOs forward. The only planned new project will be a leader/ender donation quilt, because I need leaders and enders as I paper piece the arcs for the Pickle Dish project. Even so, I think I'll have plenty to keep me busy!

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh Quilt

Saturday, December 2, 2017

First Saturday Blocks

My "Alternative First Saturday" friends won't be getting together  tomorrow - everyone has stuff going on - but here's proof I have my blocks done! Two Dresdens and two checkerboards completed in November, for a total of five each.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Pickle Dish Palette and Pink Donation Top

After lots of playing in EQ7, I selected a dense floral for the background of my Pickle Dish project, and coral, aqua, olive, and soft gold for the accent colors. Armed with the EQ print-out, I went shopping. The background print is Menagerie from Rifle Paper Co, which has a deep hunter green ground.

Some of the accent colors came from stash, others are new, so my stash report will take a hit this month. The olive is a placeholder, a scrap from stash. It's the perfect shade of Grunge which I bought locally a couple years ago, but none of the local shops have this shade now and I don't know the color number. I'll have to search for something that will work. The black & off-white dotty prints are for the corner squares. I'm also using a variety of low-volume neutrals are from stash.

This is the EQ plan:

This will be a long term project. My plan is to paper piece all the arcs, cut all the background pieces (scissors cut from templates), lay out the parts on the design wall, and confirm the color placement before I actually put blocks together, because once the colors are paired up and sewn into a block, I can't move them around.

So I've been paper piecing arcs, in batches of four so I can chain piece. Four arcs make a ring, so it's working out well so far.

There's 8 seams per arc and I'll need 72 arcs. Even with chain piecing four arcs at a time, that's a lot of starts and stops. When I made the test blocks a couple weeks ago, I was only making one or two arcs at a time, also a lot of starts and stops. That's a lot of leaders and enders.

One of my goals this month is to use up some stash for a donation quilt top. Earlier I had cut squares of a lot of pinks. This helped get rid of some partial FQs and some scraps, and I also cut strips from yardage. After laying out the squares on the design wall, I clipped them together so I could use them for leader/enders.

A few dozen arc seams later, I had all the patches sewn into rows for this little donation top. Then it was simple to just sew the rows together and get it finished. It's 44" square.

It hardly made a dent in my stash, but that's OK. I'll cut some more squares for another donation top and continue to use them as leader/enders as I continue piecing the arcs for the Pickle Dish project.

So since I have this little top finished, I'm linking up with Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Pickle Dish Planning

In my last post I talked about my plans for a Pickle Dish quilt and my concern about the proportions within the block. Now that I'm satisfied with the block pattern, I'm playing around with fabrics and colorings in EQ7. I originally thought I wanted mostly black & white prints with colors for only the eyelashes, but I haven't been happy with anything using that combo so far.

I know I want a small scale print for the background so the seams where the blocks intersect will disappear. After auditioning several options I found the perfect print, from the Menagerie collection by Rifle Paper Co. The background is actually a deep hunter green. (Thanks Jane & Jenny!)

Some more play in EQ7 and here's the plan I'm going with:

This will be a long term project, a challenging one. This is not an easy block to construct; it's actually harder than the snake block. Stay tuned, and I'll keep you posted on progress.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, November 27, 2017

Eye of the Beholder


Ever since my friends and I have been working on the snake quilt* and Cherie taught me how to paper piece the arcs, I've been wanting to make a Pickle Dish quilt. So I played around and drafted a block.

Um, no, I don't think so.
For a 10" block, I started with 2-1/2" squares in the corners which makes the arcs 2-1/2" wide. There's too much "eye" in the center. I might as well just use a standard Double Wedding Ring pattern for an effect like this.

So I looked at pickle dish & similar quilts on Pinterest. Many use Kaffe Fasset's pattern, so I ordered the book.

And made another test block using their pattern.

I have the utmost respect for Kaffe Fasset and his pattern design team. But to my eyes, it looks like too much eyelash and a beady little eye, with big heavy 3-1/2" squares in the corners. In his pastel version with low contrast prints, featuring those prints in large corner squares makes sense. But I'm thinking of using black & white prints for my corners, high contrast, so such large corners feel overwhelming to me, especially for the small size of the eye.

So I tried again, and I drafted a version with 3" finished corners, halfway between my first attempt and the KF pattern. Knowing that some corner squaress will be light and some will be dark, I used light scraps for this test block's corners.

OK, I'm liking the proportion better. Personal taste. No disrespect toward the KF design team intended.

But are the light corners influencing my reaction? Let's look at it with dark corners.

Let's look at them all together on my design wall.

I'm satisfied with the 3rd version, medium eye and medium corner squares.

Next I'll play with colorings in EQ7. All these test blocks were made with scraps from my scrap bins. I'm thinking black & white prints with pops of color for the eyelashes. This ought to keep me busy for awhile....

*About that snake quilt - the blocks are done but we're still trying to coordinate our schedules so we can get together for another sew day to get the top finished.

Linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh Quilt