Senior Quilt 2020 (A peak)

Every year I coordinate a project for my church which involves making quilts for our graduating high school seniors.

I started my quilting journey in 2008 when the Pastor handed me a ziplock bag full of 8.5″ squares, gave me some basic instructions and sent me on my way. (I was NOT a quilter, and had only “bound” quilted panels with the help of You Tube and Google).

One thing led to another and at the end of that Spring, I had made 5 quilt tops, and learned to layer and tie the quilts too.  Then Pastor John retired and I was asked to coordinate for the coming year.

Thankfully, with the guidance of an experienced quilter, Kristin S.,  I learned all about cutting and chain piecing and much much more.  My first official quilt shop class didn’t come until 4 years later.

Over the years we have made a lot of those “senior quilts” with a team of willing volunteers.  One year we had as many as 15 students graduating.  The next year, I took a year “off” from coordinating and Kristin stepped up to manage everything that year. (Burnt out?  Probably).  Sometimes you need a new perspective, and new energy and new leadership.

This year, is quite different, with just ONE senior.  When I gathered together with my quilt making volunteers in February, we had a great time selecting fabric from “accumulated stash”.  One church member had donated her entire sewing room of fabric and we had a lot to choose from.  A feature fabric was chosen, and the quilters chose companion fabrics, picked out two blocks that they wanted to make.  This was the first year we didn’t do a basic 8.5″ block for our quilt.  One graduate, and lots of sewers, and big ideas.  A little work on EQ8 and we had a pattern.  (I was tickled to get to use those skills I learned in my January class).

Fabric selection

More fabric choices

In the process of working with the fabrics, I discovered that one of the colors was bleeding all over my ironing table as I was steaming the fabric. I stopped what I was doing, took the strips into the kitchen and soaked them in Retayne and rinsed them clear.

Bleeding blue

I was thankful I had a small bottle of Retayne that came in January with an order, and was amazed how it worked. The picture above is just after I put the strips in a glass bowl of warm water.  The picture below is after the recommended soaking time and after I rinsed with clear water.  I threw a color catcher in the bowl for “good luck”.

After the soaking

Thankfully they were only strips, not pieced into the blocks with the white fabric adjacent.  Did you know that your salad spinner is a great place to wash and “spin” pre-cuts and small pieces like fat quarters.  This experience has made me a big believer in pre-washing.  I put the larger piece of yardage in the washer and did a similar process with the Retayne too.

We got together two more times to cut and sew as a group.   And, as anyone who has ever worked on a group project, sometimes there are other problems.  Working with the “same 1/4” can cause construction challenges, so I made sure to mark with tape and a seam guide everyone’s machine. Several people worked on making half square triangles and others cut various fabric units.   Our feature fabric got cut the wrong size for the pattern and in desperation to replace it, I went in a frantic search online. I finally found it for sale on ETSY and bought all they had, just in case.  A little recutting and reconstructing, and all was well again. The “miss-cut” will get used somewhere else along the line and working together, we adapted and overcame the challenge.

Quilters working at Reformation

Then in mid March, the concern about COVID-19 stopped us from meeting and sewing together. Our last group sewing day was a very productive day.  Luckily most of the blocks were either finished or near completion.  I finished up the last few blocks and one willing quilter took the blocks, and a photo of the layout, and put the top together.  Thanks to Judy M.G. for that big job! She did that in between making masks for the local nursing home and her family, while waiting on the outcome of her own COVID-19 test results. (Negative thank goodness!)

 

When I got the assembled top back from Judy M.G.,  I added the borders, the embroidery blocks and photo of the church.  Using our best “social distancing (across the width of three banquet tables), two of us got together in the empty church fellowship hall to layer and tie the quilt.

Tying the Senior Quilt 2020

Usually we have 4 or 5 people doing this, and can tie a quilt in an hour, but in order to “be safe” we had to limit how many and stay on “opposite” sides of the banquet table.  It took the two of us nearly 3 hours.  But, we got it done!

I brought it back home, and did some machine quilting on the borders to anchor them, trimmed the quilt and got the binding on.

Big wide white borders

The quilt is ready, 2 weeks ahead of my “scheduled deadline”.  (Yes, that is Susie’s Magic Binding that I always do, completely by machine!)

verses on the quilt

There are 3 verses on the quilt this year. Again, we only had one quilt to make, and thought this would make it extra special.  This students parents picked the verses back in January.  Many thanks to Designs by JuJu embroidery company for their wonderful ministry , making these digitized verses available for free.

And now, we have to wait again.  Ordinarily it would have been out in church on Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday and the remaining Sunday’s in April for the members of the congregation to sign and write messages of love and inspiration. Just as soon as we are able to gather again for services, we will have the quilt out to have the members sign.  I hope they fill those big wide white borders with wonderful messages.

Our time line has turned upside down, but we are going to make certain our one graduate knows how special she is and that she is loved by her church family.

Presentation normally would have happened in mid May, but that timeline is a bit fractured too.  Our Pastor will work with the family and determine an appropriate time to present the quilt.

The service where this is done is always very moving.  Parents wrap the quilt around the shoulders of the student, just like they did when they were young. Prayers are said asking God to guide the young graduate in the coming years, and to help them know that the church family is always with them as they go off to college and start new lives.  The quilt has a photo on it of the church, and the parents picked a verse that they felt was important to be remembered. It is our hope that the student will always feel wrapped in the loving arms of Christ, and when they may need a boost of faith, they can wrap up in the quilt which is covered in prayer and messages of inspiration.  Many prayers get sent heavenward during the creation of the quilt, and I always want the graduate to know that their church wraps them in God’s love as they go onward in life.

Once our graduate has a chance to see the quilt I will post more photo’s so you can really see it.  The quilters who have gathered together every year to work on this ministry vary from year to year and new quilters have joined in this year. All together there was Judy M.G.; Judy S., Kristin S., MaryLu W., Karolyn H., and Lydia P. and myself working on this project.  It was fun to do something very different than any quilt we had done in previous years.

Do you do a special project or have a tradition at your church for graduates to honor them as they move ahead in life?

Back in the Saddle Again

It seems like months have gone by where I have had little to report in the “sewing and quilting” world on my blog.  Many of you who have followed the blog for any length of time are aware I had surgery on my right hand in October for trigger release on 2 fingers. This was followed up by surgery on Valentines Day for the big problem with my long finger; where the arthritis was so bad that bone spurs were growing etc..

Last Tuesday (April 30) I had a follow up with the hand surgeon.

Last day in the splint

As I sat in the waiting room, with my fingers crossed (sort of) I wondered what he would say. 10 weeks in a splint was “enough for me…and I was getting impatient. First stop was the x-ray to check on bone growth –

Screw is working

The technician always puts the x-ray up on the computer screen and I can’t resist studying it while I wait for the doctor to come in.  You can see that nice 28mm titanium screw that is now a permanent part of my life.  When the doc zooms in on the x-ray he is looking for “new bone around the screw” and no hollow areas.

When he came in and checked both my hand and the x-ray, he threw the splint in the trash!  I am SO happy!  That long finger is now well on it’s way to healing!  The “titanium” screw he placed in the finger thru the first joint is now bonding nicely with new bone growth and improving every day. This is great news as the splint got in the way of a lot of fun!  AND he released me to go “live life”.  Of course, I had to ask specifically – CAN I RIDE MY BIKE???  Permission was granted!!  So; I am “back in the saddle” so to speak again.  (You may be wondering what this has to do with quilting….I’m getting there…..patience).

My shiny new Christmas bike, a hybrid by LIV, has been calling my name in the garage. Every nice warm spring day I have heard her call, and I have been SO GOOD.  I finally got to get out on her (I call her Fancy FLO) and ride!  My first ride was on Wednesday night last week with #LifecycleDE in their Community Slow Cruise.  First time out and 6 1/2 miles.

1st ride post op

It was great to be in Milford DE and welcomed back by riders I got to know over the last year.

My next ride was the “next day” and I did the Thursday Morning Wake Up ride.  My daughter leads that ride with her toddler in tow, and there were only 3 of us riding.  She took us on a little bit long route around the neighborhoods of Milford.

Lifecycle morning ride

There is a fantastic video that LIFECYCLE posted of our “morning ride” on Instagram – Thursday morning wake up ride

The bike trailer my daughter pulls has one of my granddaughters seated in it. She loves to be “out in the open”.  (Yes, in that video I am the GEEK in the bright yellow vest—-I like to be visible to automobiles!)

Then yesterday; I got the dear husband out to ride in Lewes DE on the new section of the Georgetown Lewes Rails to Trails. The segment he and I rode on was all in the town, but you honestly felt like you were out in the country in some parts, as we saw horses and barns on the North side of the trail in some areas.

Exploring the new trail

Hubby rode for 3 miles and I got an extra “nearly” three miles in a loop at the end. I road down to the canal and looped back.  The library in Lewes has a “trailhead” parking area with public restrooms; so it is a good starting point.

Last night my hubby helped me “bling” my bike rack.

Reflective tape

Last week, coming home in the dark from Milford with the bike on the rack, I felt like it was not being “seen” by vehicles approaching me on the highway. It sticks out past the hitch about 3 feet. I ordered some reflective “trailer” tape on E-Bay this weekend and it came in on Monday.

Rack in stowage position

Even with the rack in the stowed position; it should be a bit more “visible” to motorists driving behind me.   This rack holds 2 bikes and with bikes on; or stowed I am a little more comfortable about being “seen”.

Now; about that “saddle”  … the seat of the bike is often called a “saddle”….and I am most happy to be riding again. Having the splint off, I can now comfortably hold the hand grips and engage the rear brake on the bike.  Also; having the splint off makes it much EASIER to work in my sewing room!

Post quilt show, I have spent the last week working on “small things” that have been building up. I got the binding on the Carolina Hurricane Quilt (yesterday’s post) and the “Senior Quilt” for our church presentation coming up next Sunday. (More details on this project – Senior Quilts 2019

binding complete

Of course, I used “Susie’s Magic Binding” for it as well.  (See yesterday’s post for link to this method of binding all by machine) (Yes, I can make it, apply it in a day!) (NO HAND STITCHING FOR ME)

I worked on those Flying Geese (yesterday’s post) and then I decided to tackle something that has been making me nuts for at least 8 years. In the picture below you will see a mat bag I made the first years I was quilting.  I had found a free pattern on the internet and modified it to fit my needs.  It is a great bag, but the handles were terrible.  I really knew NOTHING about making bags or handles.  I’ve been thinking about “fixing” them for years, but never got “around to it”.

New handles for mat bag

The NEW handles are on the bag; and below the bag are the puny little wrinkled up handles that I cut off.  The problem with the old handles was they were “JUST fabric” with nothing inside.  Ever since I made the “Chubby Charmer bag” last year, I knew how I was going to fix the handles.  I know with the 2 layers of batting and the 4 layers of fabric and the heavy stitching they will do just fine.  This bag is big enough to carry my cutting mat; rulers; shape cut etc.  No longer will it be a pain in the hand or shoulder to carry!

While clearing things up in the sewing room; I discovered the “STACK” of fabric I put in a basket under my desk to make dog beds from.  I use the trimmings from all the 2nd Time Around fabric and things I am trimming of my own to stuff the beds.  Also scraps of batting too small to deal with get stuffed into dog beds. All that ugly, none quilt fabric got put to good use.

Dog beds for SPCA

We dropped these beds off and two BAGS of more ugly decorator fabric from the 80’s & 90’s to the “dog bed lady” in our guild on our way to ride bikes!  I still have a small stack of fabrics for dog beds and will no doubt find more hanging around.  I have a couple left here to “fill” with batting scraps and other trimmings as it comes available.

There is certainly more to do in the sewing room.  Don’t faint Nancy B., I vacuumed up there on Sunday afternoon!!!  (She would be so proud!!)

So, you see, I am truly back in the saddle again!  As I wander around my sewing room, I am picking up projects half done, and starting to “chip away” at them.  But wait, it is time to get moving this morning…there is another bike ride with my daughter and granddaughter and I need to pedal!  Happy to be moving forward in the sewing room and moving forward on my bike!  More old projects getting done tomorrow!

Back to projects – Senior Quilts 2019

Slowly I am building up speed….like an old locomotive building up steam and chugging up the hill.  The long finger on my right hand is still splinted. A visit to my surgeon is scheduled for the end of the week, and I know he will say “3 more weeks”.

I did some sewing in the last 2 weeks.  Senior Quilts is a project at my church where we make a quilt for each of our High School graduates. The idea is to wrap the graduate in love and send them ‘off to their future endeavors’ with a reminder that the church is a place they can call home, to return as often as they can, and that they are always wrapped in the love of the members and the love of Jesus, no matter where they go.

 At my February Queen Bees gathering I used the “design floor” and laid out blocks for a quilt.  With the help of my friends Judy and Suzanne, a pleasing arrangement of the blocks came about.

Layout for the "next" senior quilt

There is only one graduate at church this year. I coordinate the “Senior Quilts” project.   Judy is one of our member quilters, so I was happy to have her input. I figured I could assemble the top fairly quickly and used the “webbing method” to keep the blocks in order. (The are 8.5″ square).  I got it assembled over the course of the following week, everything except the final row and the top right block.  Those blocks get a photo and a bible verse.

This Friday my friend Nancy B. came over and she “hooped” the block for me to embroider.  I didn’t think I was up for hooping with my splinted finger.  All went well and I managed to stitch out the verse.

Verse on the quilt

The verse was chosen by the mother of the graduate. The source (besides the bible) of the digitizing is Designs By JuJu. If you are looking for scripture to stitch out she has many available for FREE on her page. I give the parents each year the link to her embroidery designs and ask them to choose. This was done on a 4×4 hoop.  It came out very clear for being so many lines in the small space.  I oversize the piece of fabric then cut it to 8.5″ square after the stitching is finished. I use no-show fusible mesh on the back and float a piece of cutaway under the hoop.

I also “print on fabric” a photo of the church.

Church photo on the corner

I use a product available at JoAnn’s —  Printed Treasures Ink Jet Fabric Sheets 8.5\u0022X11\u0022-100% Cotton Percale with great success.  I have the photo set up to print 2 per page, then I trim and stitch to a plain muslin block.  It helps to have a piece of stabilizer behind the block when stitching on the muslin this close. I used a blanket stitch and put a piece of cutaway behind it.  The cutaway is very soft and will remain in the quilt.  When printing on fabric I made certain that all the settings were at their highest quality. I also heat-set the photo with the iron from the top (with a pressing cloth) and from the backside.

The last blocks were added to the quilt and I gave it a good press and delivered yesterday to the church.  I realized that I hadn’t taken a photo of the finished top, so quickly used the “design floor” again and threw it down for a photo. It isn’t the best picture because I was in a hurry and didn’t smooth it out.

Senior quilt 2019

The color green was a suggestion by the grad’s mom and she mentioned he was an “EAGLES” fan.  Finding fabrics for young men can be a challenge. I have 3 containers of “church fabric” mostly donated by a church member. I was able to come up with some great prints that were “not florals”.  I got in my bin and dug out one fabric that I thought was appropriate too.  All in all it came together quickly.  The quilt will be out in the Narthex of the church (Reformation Lutheran Church Milford ) for several Sunday mornings.  Congregation members will have an opportunity to sign the quilt and offer messages of inspiration and hope for the future. Towards the end of April several of us will gather together and layer the quilt and tie it. Presentation is scheduled for Mother’s Day.

This is the 11th year I have been involved with Senior Quilts. I owe the origins of my quilting life to this project, and blame my husband for elbowing me in church telling me “You can do THAT, it’s just straight stitches”.  I also hold Pastor John, now retired, responsible for my quilting life!   I’ve been the coordinator of the project off & on for 10 years.  I took a 2 year break and let another quilter lead the charge when I was “stressed out” by too many years of too many grads.  Some years we have had as many as 15 graduates.  The last couple of years the numbers have dwindled. The future years there is an upswing in numbers of youth attending church and the project will take a lot more time. Thankfully for me this was an easy year.

 

And now, back to the Sewing Machine

I’ve been hanging out off and on with some lovely ladies at a local assisted living facility. My friend June, who is a resident there, asked me if I would come and sew with the residents. It’s really been a treat.

One day I came with a basket full of fabric, and this lovely lady in the photo below arrived (via her walker) with a tattered old pillow and case and asked to make a new cover for it.  She picked out fabric from my basket, and together we came up with a plan for an “envelope” style pillow cover. I thought it would be handy to have something removable that could be washed.  She liked my plan and I cut out the fabric.  She came with her “own” box of pins, still in their SUCRETS box (for the 1960’s I am guessing! She did all the sewing, I just stood by to rethread needles and wind bobbins, and iron as necessary.  In no time at all she had the pillow “slip-cover” made.  Then I took a look at the existing pillow.  Gosh, it was one of those pillow forms you buy and the actual cover of it was shredding.  My fingers went right through the covering and I could see where she had patched it over the years.

I suggested that the following week, we make a muslin cover for it, and stitch it closed.  So, the following week, I supplied an adequate piece of muslin, and again we  planned it out, I did the cutting and pressing and pinning, but Elsa stitched it herself. We stuffed her tattered pillow into that muslin case Elsa made, and sewed it shut. Then we put it in the lovely floral case that she made the week before.  It should last Elsa for many years.

Sewing with Elsa

Oh, by the way….did I mention Elsa had her birthday in early June?   She just turned 101 !!  My goodness she was happy to have that pillowcase!  (Did you notice her container of pins??)

I admired this grand “walker-tote bag” she moves around the assisted living facility with.  It has a lot of flair!  It was made by her daughter, and certainly was well done.

Elsa's walker bag

Our church project for the graduating high school seniors concluded in May.  We got together in early May and did the final layering and tying, then I brought it home to bind. (Susie’s Magic Binding of course….google it if you want to know more) Picture below is the finished quilt.

Lida Gannon quilt 2018

The quilt was presented on Mother’s Day, and the student in the photo below has the quilt over her shoulders, and is praying for her parents.  I just love the presentation at church.

Praying for parents The Gannon family

This is the first time in the 10 years I have been involved with this  program at church where we ONLY had one graduate.

My month of May was busy with a house hunting trip in the Washington DC metro area with my daughter. We spent a lovely week together eating interesting foods and wandering through countless rental properties trying to narrow down one that would suit her family for the next couple of years. I was in sticker shock over the costs of rental properties.

I had some time at 2 quilt bees, the Material Girls and the Queen Bees to do a bit more work on my “Autumn Jubilee” project.  I take the project with me when ever I go to a bee.  I now have 4 more placemats complete (except for the binding)!  No pictures until I get them bound!!

May and June also kept me busy with the From My Carolina Home mystery quilt – Scrap Dance Square Dance.  The final clue of the mystery came out in June, and was able to close the door on another successful quilt along. I had planned for a twin size, but once I had it all on the design wall, I realised the dimensions were just too small for my taste, so I made more blocks and “supersized” the twin.  (It is really a full according to the pattern, but I am calling it a supersized twin).

Scrap Dance Square Dance

It is 61×85 without borders or binding.  I will probably just layer it and quilt “as is”, because it is a perfect size. I love the spinning stars.  It is 98% scrappy. Only the white stars were created from yardage in my stash.

This project has been fun to follow on Carole’s Facebook Group – From My Carolina Home Project Sharing

I like seeing all the color choices others have made.

The pattern is still up on Carole’s blog page until the end of the month. Get it for free now, before she pulls it down to publish commercially.  It is quick, easy, and fun!

That’s it for me for now.  I have a sun dress pattern for a granddaughter all cut out and waiting to be sewn.  I am going to try to work on it “between things” this week.  I am handling the snacks at church again, all week, for the Vacation Bible School kids.  Right now, there are 113 kids registered. The shopping and organizing is done, except for ice cream and strawberries for later in the week. (And I have a volunteer who is handling that area).   I am gather motivation to crush 4 boxes of cookies in the food processor for VBS snacks tomorrow…..turning them into “sand” to go on top of vanilla pudding cups along with swedish fish!  And then there is the popcorn to pop for Tuesday…..wish me luck and pray for a wonderful week with the children.

How’s your sewing and June fun?

PS, if you are a prayerful person, pray for my friend June who broke her back in early May and is slowly recovering.

Binding containment

I knew it was going to be one of those weeks, but golly, I need a day of rest!  I had 3 mornings where ladies came to work on Second Time Around fabrics; and while they helped press, trim, measure, fold and price fabrics, I was able to sort through the stuff that was “not fabric”.  I sorted out thread spools; separating the old wooden spools from the modern plastic. I tossed the really yucky old thread, set aside other threads to be donated, sorted boxes of embellishments, lace; rickrack and seam binding. I feel like I made some headway, but come Friday afternoon, I could not see any empty flat surface in my sewing space.  I gathered up the boxes I was sorting into, and stacked them all up, and now I can see my cutting table, and my big work table again!  I needed my “space” to work on Senior Quilts.

Two days this week I worked on our Senior Quilt project at church, and we managed to get 5 quilts tied.  We use crochet cotton, and tie at the intersections of the 8.5″ squares.

Pinning Senior Quilts

Senior quilt for Eagle Scout

I brought home 4 to bind, and I have a 3 day sit & sew camp this week, so that should go fairly easy!  Now that the work table is cleared off, I hope to get them trimmed this afternoon. 

3 quilts overloaded my bag

I have made the binding for 2 of the quilts; and of course, I use my favorite method, Susie’s Magic Binding  .  I love this binding as it is all stitched on by machine, which is great on quilts that will get heavy use.  Making it does take the “extra step” but it goes quickly. 

 I was inspired to “change methods” for storing the binding by a Facebook post I read today.  Usually I roll it onto a cardboard tube, then stand that tube on my thread rack on the back of my machine. These quilts take about 320″ of binding.

Susies Magic Binding Dakota quilt

 I read all kinds of methods, and tripped over one I which inspired me.  Anne Sidell – Confessions of a Serial Quilter posted about a method she uses – How to Tame your Binding  – on her blog.  I modified because I discovered her method and my machine were not compatible.  My adaptation was to use the empty “cone” from Superior Thread to store the binding.  The cone will fit on my thread rack, and I will run the binding up and over the thread stand guide of the machine.  (I will post a photo when I am at that step)

2 spools of binding

I’ve got 2 spools loaded with binding for 2 senior quilts.  This afternoon, I will layout the other 2 quilts, select the fabrics for the binding and get it made, and “wound” on the spools.  I think I will store each spool with the quilt in a ziplock bag to keep the fraying on the edges done until I can get it attached this week.  I KNEW there was a reason I didn’t throw those empty cones away.  Note, I tried to roll the binding on neatly, but it got to be too thick of a spool, so I “layered” it up and down the spindle as I wrapped.  Hard to make it look as pretty as the ones that Anne Sidell did using her method.  

How do you “wrangle” your binding???

 

 

a sense of accomplishment

I feel like I have accomplished something today.  I started off the day with a meeting and was home before noon!! I decided to spend the afternoon in my sewing room, and I managed to get one of the Senior Quilts put together.

We have a total of 5 graduates this year at church, and I am only obligated to make one top.  I currently have 3 completed tops in my car to take back to church. The ladies have been busy getting these ready. When I left off on Saturday, I had 5 rows sewn together I think.  The rest of the 8.5″ blocks got put together and the whole thing has been pressed and is “ready to delivery”.   I had to print out some more pictures of the church on fabric and get them stitched onto blocks for the quilt I was working on and one other.

We will start signing them at church this weekend!  The other 2 tops should be done very soon.  Once the congregation has had a chance to sign and write messages of hope and faith and love, then we will get together and tie them and send them home with a quilter for binding.  Perhaps I should think about what binding I will be doing and get that ready tomorrow!!  Then I will know it is “DONE”.  At some point I will try to get a photo of the one I did, along with all the rest!

I also finished an apron that I started last week.  It is made from twill, which is a sturdier fabric than quilters cotton. One of my daughters home schools, and she “wears an apron” all day, and asked for a replacement. She also asked for something that was a busy print, so splashes and spots were not terribly noticeable.  I added an extra pocket to the apron, and made the pockets a little more substantial than called for in the pattern. I did that by just cutting an extra “piece and stitching and turning the pocket”.  I’ve made this pattern twice before, for a little girl and her dolly…..but it has been a few years. I plan to put this one in the mail tomorrow, and await feedback on the length, and the overall sizing.  I was asked to size it “generously” so that less splatters landed on the clothing of the wearer.  I tried it on and found it to be satisfactory, but I will wait to hear that feedback before cutting out the fabric I have for the 2nd one.

20170320_190847

Meanwhile, I have a garden apron to make for a “raffle basket” donation.  I need to have it done in the next couple of days.

It is nice to get a few things checked off my to do list.
Oh, by the way, my quilters math yesterday was correct and I have 10 EXTRA half square scrappy triangles. Thanks Carole!

 

Half Square Triangle FUN

525 done.  905 to go!!

I FINISHED MY 1430 !!!

  I am working on the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt and in Step 1 we needed to construct 2.5″  half square triangles.  Well, I bit the big bullet and decided to go for the KING size; and it required 1430!!!  I have been plugging away at them since mid January.  Carole promised we would not need them all the first month!

Step 2 required 432 in the construction of the first block –

144 made for step 2 of the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

I made 144 of those blocks.

Then Step 3 required 288 in the construction of the second batch of blocks –

Step 3 complete Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

I made 144 of those blocks.

And then I continued to work on my squaring up of  the rest of the blocks, 20 here, 20 there and I am finally done!  This container has 739 in it!!

739 half square triangles in this container

I figure I made about 29 extra HST’s, but hey, I would rather have a few extra than come up short at the end.  All the fabrics except the neutral came from my abundance of scraps.  I use the June Tailor Perfect Half-Square & Quarter-Square Triangle tool for marking cutting and squaring up.  I like it better than any other method I have tried.

The good news is, I am NOT burnt out on HST’s and am planning a BABY QUILT for my newest tiny granddaughter who is just 2 weeks old.  She is having grey, white, and coral accents in her nursery and I acquired the fabric Monday for her quilt!  I am thinking a chevron pattern with 4 or 5″ blocks. Graphic and modern will be the goal!!

Baby quilt fabrics

Now, the bad news is, I don’t have a lot of time before I leave on a trip to Hawaii the middle of April, so she will probably not get to her quilt until I am back home the first week of May!!   Next week is “Ocean Waves Quilt Guild week” with a meeting on Monday, followed by an executive board meeting; class on Tuesday, a trip to the airport with the speaker on Wednesday, a board meeting on Thursday and the release of Scrap Dance Tango Step 4 on Friday!!  Oh, and I am going on Sunday to pick up the speaker in Maryland!  PHEW….when am I going to pack for Hawaii??   Keep an eye open for progress as I go along.  Gosh, it might be fun to try my hand at hand quilting while I am on my 15 day cruise, but I don’t think I want to try this as a “first” project.  I would need my quilt bee buddies along to guide me and none of them are going to be tagging along!

I am still working on Senior Quilts.  We tied 3 yesterday at church, and will tie the other 3 on Saturday.  I brought 2 more home to bind, and will start prepping that binding this afternoon.  I will do those with Susie’s Magic Binding!!

I have another project  “on the floor” of the quilt room, laid out and planning borders.  My friend June started this quilt from a kit her daughter gave her at least 15 years ago.  It was a UFO that she really wants finished, but is just not quilting much any more.  I mentioned it previously and showed pictures as I was adding borders.  I am working on the 20″ drop (in the green) that she wants and am short fabric.  So, creative thinking has got me adding a panel along both sides and I will also be adding a couple of strips similar to what shows on the right side of the picture.  2016-03-25_07-37-44

It has been a struggle to get this finished for her, with her design concepts very different from mine!  Oh well, you may see this again about once a month, because it seems I can only dedicate one day every few weeks to working on it!!

Time to make some binding and think about that sweet little baby girl whose quilt fabric is calling me.  Honestly, finding time to sew is tough, because I have been hopping in the car as often as I can to go visit and hold and snuggle her!  I forced myself to stay home today, do a little laundry, clean toilets and sweep the kitchen and sew binding.  Can you guess where I would RATHER be ??  And I am thinking ahead to later in the spring or early summer when her cousins will come from Texas for a visit and to meet the new addition to our family!  Gosh I love being a Grandma!!!  And let me tell you….Grandpa is enchanted as well!

Time to get sew!!  Enjoy your projects and family time!  (Remember my last post?  Yes, the final border for Allietare is still waiting!)

 

note; Allietare is a Bonnie Hunter / Quiltville mystery quilt

           Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt is designed by Carole at From My Carolina Home blog.

Links to both are on the side bar of the blog.

 

 

 

 

 

Sewing like crazy!

Wow; today has been a full on sewing day!  I went up to church at 9 am, and worked until noon; and then this afternoon from about 3:30 until nearly 7.  Todays project – the beginning of a “Senior Quilt”.  This is a project I chaired for 5 years, and now someone else is “in charge”. Yippeeeeee !!!!

I showed up with my machine in the tote, collected a ziplock filled with colorful 8 1/2″ squares (ALREADY CUT…how cool is that); and I sat down and started putting them together, a neutral block and a colorful block.  Got all 80 together in pairs, and put the machine away; got out the iron and set the seams and pressed them open. By noon, I had them packed up and after one “quick stop” at the local sewing center, I was headed home. 

(Somehow I had lost my “O” foot for my new Janome. That foot is the 1/4 ” foot with the guide along the side.  Secured a replacement.)  

When I got back home, I took care of some household business (grilled cheese sandwiches for the hubby and self) and got on to organizing the blocks into some sort of order.  Before I could lay them out, I had to “remove” my one-block wonder blocks (29), and my “summer in the park” blocks (60) from the design wall.  (Did I mention that I built about 35 summer in the park blocks in the last 3 days??)

Senior Quilt 2014 - final layout

Senior Quilt 2014 – final layout

Here is the final layout for my Senior Quilt 2014; and you may note that I have them sewn (and pressed) now into 4 patches.  I figure tomorrow afternoon I can get the rest of it together in a few hours.  My layout is our “classic” pattern. A bit boring, but I just didn’t want to expend too many brain cells doing something different.

I did play around a bit with the fabrics; made a few extra blocks to get a nice “color” balance. Hopefully the colors will show when you click on the photo.  I am not fond of the light green or the browns; but LOVE the stripes!!.

The bible verse in the upper left corner I stitched out on my Brother embroidery machine earlier in the month.  Many thanks to  www.designsbyjuju.com !! She has many wonderful designs on her website for sale; and has felt called to share Bible verses for FREE!!!

The photo on the bottom right of the quilt is one I took when I began coordinating the project ; and I printed it on the fabric, using freezer paper, bubble jet wash & bubble jet set process.

All in all; a good day sewing today! (And yesterday and the day before too!!)  If you are counting, this makes unfinished project # 4 for February…..yes, the t-shirt project is still on the layout table waiting on the ruler, the Summer in the Park is waiting on the desk, for me to cut more strips to make more blocks; and the One Block Wonder is on the layout table waiting for more hexies to be cut too.  AND …. I have the fabric out to do a Happy Birthday Banner project for my daughter. Still thinking about how I am going to make it; but it doesn’t count as unfinished; it is in the UnSTARTED column!!!

So; how many projects do you work on at any given time?

Keep on stitching…..