Safelight Project – 5 Sets Finished plus a bonus etc.

I finished up 5 sets of sunglasses cases & makeup bags for the Safelight Project 2018 . Info on a previous post – Safelight Project 2018

Each set used 2 fat quarters , with fabric left over.   I had fun with the quilting too.  I am a much better “straight-line” quilter than a free motion quilter!  My little featherweight was great for the straight-line quilting.  It also powered through that hook & loop tape.  I put a heavy duty needle in when I started this project because I battle with the hook & loop tape if I don’t.

Safelight Project 2018

BONUS : This was a great Fat Quarter project. In fact, I realized I had some “extra” fabric after making the sets, so I decided to make Tissue Holders to match.  I found a good tutorial on You-Tube  Mini-Tissue Holder Instructional Video

These were quick and easy additions to the project.  In fact, they were so easy, I ended up making another 4 out of some scrap fabric I had sitting on my cutting table. I will send them all along to Carole (http://frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com//)for her to use as she see fit.  (They hold one of those little purse packs of tissues).  These will go out in the mail on Monday.

ETC…….

Lots of ETC this week.  Our ONE and only Senior Quilt top is stitched and halves are joined and it is set up at the church for the members to sign and offer good wishes. It will be set out for several weeks for signing. I still haven’t managed a photo!  Maybe after the service on Easter!

Sewing with the Seniors — I went to sew with my friend June at the Assisted Living facility again on Friday.  I took my bin of 5″ squares and a stack of 5″ batting squares and the 2 ladies got busy!  They each made 3 coasters, and I did lots of turning, pressing, needle threading etc. We used a simple pattern with 6 squares total for each coaster.  If you are looking for directions, check out my favorite quilt instructor video – Gourmet Quilter tutorial

They had fun with this simple project, and with the use of a few pins and a bit wider seam allowance (1/2″) we had great success.

Sewing with Seniors

I set June up to sew with my featherweight, because I knew it would power through the layers.  Both ladies had fun and want to make more next week!  They also saw my bags for the Safelight project and are interested in making that style bag during another sewing session.  I think the fun was in the choosing of the fabrics from my box of 5″ squares!  We also have plans for making some of those tissue holders.  I love these scrap friendly projects.

That’s it for now! Happy Easter everyone!

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The Safelight Project 2018

If you are a regular reader, you know I follow a blog written by Carole Carter called From My Carolina Home on WordPress.  Last Christmas, members of the Queen Bees participated in making Christmas cards for a project Carole had underway. These cards made their way to North Carolina and to  residents of a domestic violence  woman’s shelter. If you missed that post or are a new reader, you can check out our cardmaking here – Busy December Days

Carole has a new project underway called The Safelight Project 2018.  You can read the details about it on – From My Carolina Home blog

I decided I would participate again, and make the sunglasses cases and make-up bags she asked for.  I printed out the PDF instructions for making the make-up bag and the sunglasses case from Carole’s blog post.  I also went back and re-read her previous posts that she has linked for really thorough instructions and photo’s.

This is a FAT QUARTER FRIENDLY project.

It takes 2 Fat Quarters (FQ), some batting, and a little sew-in hook/loop fastener (aka Velcro or similar brand).  I have LOTS of fat quarters, plenty of batting scraps and velcro type products on hand.  I pulled out my bin(s) of FQ and spent more time selecting fabrics than I did making the first bag!

Safelight Project fabric choices

Fat Quarter pairs for Safelight project

I grabbed my batting “scraps” and my fusible tape and got busy too!

Batting and seam Tape by Pellon

I just opened my 2nd package of this Pellon EK150 Batting & Seam Tape.  I paid about $14.69 for 30 YARDS of this tape at Walmart . com recently.  The last package lasted me 3 or 4 years.  All you need to do to use it is to have a straight edge on both pieces you want to join, butt the edges together and press this on.  For a small project like this that I will do heavy quilting on, that fussy gap the arrow is pointing to won’t matter. If I was joining the pieces for a quilt, I would fuse a layer on both sides of the join to ensure there would be no shifting.  I love this stuff, and I use it on lots of small projects, like placemats, table runners, small quilts when I come up short with a bit of batting. No WASTE.  (I have a BIG tote full of batting “cut-off” pieces from quilts!) (I also love the lime green box which makes it “visable” in my cluttered sewing room…..my friend Nancy KNOWS how I lost the last roll…hiding in plain sight!)

I dug out my bag of hook and loop tape –

Velcro "STASH"

and I was set to go.

I stitched up the first make-up bag in about 20 minutes, including quilting.  I used a “swirly” stitch on my Janome for it.

Bag set for Project Safelight

It went together so easily, I thought this would be a great project to take with me to the Queen Bees gathering this week. Since I had it started, I wanted to keep going!  I packed it all up and took it along with me on Tuesday.  I did the quilting on the sunglasses case with my Singer Featherweight at the bee.  I put in a heavy duty needle (#16) for sewing the hook & loop tape.  My history with sewing that stuff is NOT good, and the secret is the #16 needle. The Featherweight powered through nicely. As you can see from the photo of the sunglasses case, it has a nice stitch for quilting too.

Of course, at a bee, I get to visiting and talking and never get as much done as expected.  So, I did more sewing last night at home. I set up an “assembly line” sewing arrangement and now have things moving along.

Assembly line sewing

Batting ready to go

I still have some corners to trim and pieces to turn and quilting to do!  It is a quick project, and doing more than one set is easy when you are doing the same step on multiple pieces. I’m please with the outcome so far, and once they are finished they will be easy to mail in a big envelope.

Do check out Carole’s post, The Safelight Project 2018 and see if you can help in one way or the other.  She has a big project, and her wonderful blog post is also full of PRIZES for participants.  The cause is so worthy too.  These bags will go to incoming residents on what must be one of the worst days of their life, when someone they love and trusted has hurt them physically and broken that trust.  The hope is to provide a positive caring message that they are worthy and valued women, and other women care deeply about the situation they are currently in. Won’t you help too as you are able?

My Border is Secure – Grandma’s Wrap-Up

My border is SECURELY attached to Grandma’s Kitchen that is! 

Since the bus company cancelled our trip to the AQS Show in Lancaster on Wednesday, I spent my “Toby – the big Nor’Easter ” afternoon and evening sewing.  (That storm was a belly-flop in my area where we got only an inch or so of snow…..)

 While we were getting buckets of rain, I sat in the kitchen and removed the papers from the back of the pieces I showed in my post yesterday (  Building Borders and Collaborating on Quilts  ).  They came off very easily because I had shortened the stitch length down from 2.0 to 1.5.

Sad daffodils

My daffodils are very sad, and it looks like I will be power washing and painting that fence this year!

I wandered out in the rain yesterday afternoon to the sewing room over the garage, and got busy with the border.  Hubby went to his train club so I had all afternoon and evening to sew.  (And it was after 3 in the afternoon before it really started to snow !) (I know….other people around the state got anywhere from 1″ to 8″….and Lancaster PA got a bunch!) 

Grandma’s Kitchen border is on, and this quilt is now massive!  91″ wide x 110″ long.  So long, that it won’t fit on the design wall or in one photo…..

Pieced border on Grandma's Kitchen

The Bottom Half

(I suppose I could have hung it sideways, but that wouldn’t be any fun…the flower and phone and heart would have been sideways)

I even remembered to stay stitch the edges before I called it “done”.   I stopped about 10:30 pm and took the picture.  The lighting wasn’t the greatest, but you have seen these blocks in better light in the past.  (I really should set a timer and come inside to eat dinner before 10:30 at night!)

Time to think about how to solve the backing issue.  You might remember I got excited and ordered the backing BEFORE I decided on just how much drop I needed and what my final border was going to be, so I only ordered 3 yards of wide backing. I did pre-wash it to, and have still got to press it with some starch and re-measure.  LESSON IN LIFE — wait until the last border is on BEFORE ordering the backing fabric!  Now I have to piece it anyway!

108″ wide backing for Grandma’s Kitchen Quilt project

I have a plan formulating, and I think it will incorporate some of the extra string blocks and a few of my OOPS blocks and that wonderful “clothesline” fabric that was just too large a print to cut up into any of the blocks for the front of the quilt.  ( I did use one piece of a fat eighth I had in Block # 6 – Wash Day for the very center of the block  below)

Block #6 - Wash Day

(If you want a better close up of any of the blocks in this project, I have an entire album dedicated to the Grandma’s Kitchen pattern – click Grandma’s Kitchen albumThis album is located on FLICKR.) 

Of course, per the norm….my quilts tend to “hang around” waiting to be quilted, so this one won’t be any different. 

(Maybe after that trip to California and my visit to OneBlockWonderWoman I will be more inspired to finish a few things!)

Final note – Grandma’s Kitchen pattern is by Pat Sloan; and the free pattern information can be found here

How did you spend your day?  Do you leave quilt tops “hanging around” too?

Scrap Dance Square Dance Mystery update

I am in month # 3 of the mystery quilt hosted by Carole – From My Carolina Home.  Check out this mystery at From My Carolina Home

So far, I am up to date and complete with my parts for a twin size quilt.  I have my 9 patches done.

9 patches are done

This step was called the Do-si-do, and the directions came out in February. I did most of the blocks in February and finished the last few up in March.

For the March step – “Coming Down the Middle” – we joined our 3 x 7.5″ strips – with our neutral.

3x7.5 rectangles joined

and our 2-1/2 x 6-1/2 rectangles –

Square Dance 2.5 x 6.5 pieces joined

My design wall is now FULL — (that is a sideways queen size flannel sheet on the wall that my pieces are pinned to.)

Scrap Dance Square Dance parts constructed

Did you see Superman and Elvis ???  There are also blocks with animals, cats dogs and llamas,  and lighthouse, and flowers.

Some fun fabric

Elvis is in the house!

It’s like an eye-spy quilt for grown-ups!  Superman fabric is well represented!!  All scraps, except the neutral!  It’s been fun so far!  April will be carried into May in my world, as I will be traveling when the next step comes out!  I will “catch up” in early May when I return from my journeys.  In the meantime, Elvis will keep an eye on things.  😉

Are you Square Dancing along on this mystery too?

A little bit of stitching

I spent 10 days away from home since my last post.  I went to visit my daughter and 3 of the grands, and got to enjoy the fun of a certain youngster’s birthday party.  Have you ever been to one of those “bounce” places?   WOW !!  Six kids from age 5-10, 3 adults to monitor among 300 or more other kids. My only “job” was to keep my eyes on the 5 year old, and I lost sight of her in the first 30 seconds.  When I spotted one of the bigger kids, then I spotted the 5 year old, and fortunately they stayed together for the better part of the hour.  Heart stopping moment, that lasted for only a few seconds.  That didn’t happen again, but golly!!!  (This grandma almost got fired!)

While I travel, I play with my English paper piecing project.  I managed to get a couple of my diamonds together.  I also realized looking at the photo below that I need to get two more pieces attached to the diamond in the second row on the right end.  🙂

EPP on the wall with houses

Every once in a while, I dig the diamonds out of the giant ziplock and give them a press and put them on the wall.  19 are complete.  I have LOTS more to go, so I need to take more trips.

Do you see the houses on the left side of the photo?  I took a class called LIBERATED HOUSES at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild a week ago with Barb Vedder and made these funky little houses.  I used scraps and enjoyed the process.  If your guild is looking for an energetic and fun speaker, I highly recommend her.  Check out her website for more info – Barb’s website

I took 5 or 6 bins of scraps to share with the class and the guild members had a great time !

My liberated houses

Here are a couple of blocks made by others in the class….

OWQG Liberated House block made by a member

3 favorites made by an OWQG member

This was a fun class and a great way to play in the scrap bin!

Speaking of funky houses – I visited the San Antonio Arboretum  Botanical Garden in February, and spotted these 2 in the new Children’s area.

Funky houses at San Antonio Arboretum

Off kilter house

I’ve played with my embroidery machine a little in the last week too, making 2 t-shirts for the youngest granddaughter. She just turned 2 and I had fun watching the wild antics of at least 10 kids under 5 at a birthday party last weekend.

Unicorn applique tshirt

Dino Shirt for 2 year old!

One project for the week was working on our Senior Quilts for church. I chair this project every year, and this year, we only have one graduate.  (What a change from the 10-15 in previous years).  Last Saturday we laid out the pattern, and then marked the rows, stacked it all up and I brought 1/2 of the rows home. Another quilter is working on the “other half”.  I had a Material Girls quilt bee on Wednesday, and took my half for the bee.  I used Bessie – my Featherweight to stitch the blocks.  I have my rows completed, and just need to give them a good press.  When the other quilter gets her half finished we will “join the rows” together!

Bottom half of Senior Quilt 2018

Don’t forget today is the day for the next step in From My Carolina Home’s mystery Quilt.  Go check out the block post and get your directions for Scrap Dance Square Dance !  Coming Down The Middle Step

I’ll be working on my pieces tonight!  I am all caught up with the last step!  Photo’s to come!

Retreat and UFO

Every year, since I have been a member of Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, there has been a retreat in early February.  I’ve attended many of these retreats and always enjoy the time spent with so many creative, talented people. As in the past, we meet at a lovely beach front hotel in Ocean City Maryland, where we are greeted most mornings with spectacular sunrises in our ocean front rooms. 

640 Dawn's early light - Ocean City MD Sunrise

There are 9 more photo’s in this sunrise series you can see hereOcean City Sunrise photo’s

It is inspiring to wake up early at this retreat, so you don’t miss the glorious sunrise.  Breakfast is at 7:30, and we are sewing by 9 am !

I took with me many items to work on at the retreat.  Turns out, only ONE project captured most of my time and energy.  I dug out one of my oldest UFO’s and brought it along, with the intent of quilting.  Just how old is it?   You can read about it back in 2012 here – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/unfinished-projects-starting-to-bug-me/

and here https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/crossroads-pattern/

and here-  https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/playing-with-borders/

About a year ago, I came across a bit of fabric that was in the same deep red/brown tones and I tucked it into the box for backing of this project.  So, when I pulled it out to take to retreat, I just needed a bit of batting.  This project was about 44″ square.  I am happy to say I finished all the quilting during the retreat. I cut the backing and batting and pin basted in our hotel suite on Tuesday night, so I was ready to start stitching when the classroom opened on Wednesday morning.  I worked two solid days quilting this, and thought it is small, there were TONS of starts and stops, and turning constantly. I decided right away I was going to “pull up” the bobbin thread, and use my lock stitch on my Janome for my start & stops, and not burying all those threads. It’s a wall hanging and a 6 year old UFO !  (I’m not putting it in a show, so hush you quilt police)  (Oh, and by the way, I KNOW there are a few crappy HST and a few geese that lost their points in this project….they jumped out at me while quilting….hey it was before I knew what I was doing…..)

Quilted and bound

 

I did most of the quilting using my walking foot. The exception is in the wide border of hearts, I used a stitch that is connected hearts, and in the narrow red border I did the same stitch.  On the outer red heart border I did some wavy stitching.  I like to use these built in to the machine stitches if possible.  They make quilting a lot easier.  If you want to see close-ups of the various quilting that I did, look at the photo’s here – UFO Finish  .  (There is also a photo of the back where the techniques I used really show). 

Yesterday,  I trimmed it down to about 40″ square, as I felt the final borders were TOO wide.  I used up a bunch of left over bits of the red to make a scrappy binding, and did the Susie’s Magic Binding technique. (Some call it binding with a flange or piping) If you have never tried this method, check out the tutorial here – Susie’s Magic Binding Tutorial(Watch the video’s too…)

I used the same fabric that is in the area around the flying geese in the flange for the binding. I love that little pop of color along the edge. I added a hanging sleeve while I was doing the binding, and the last thing that needs to be finished is to hand stitch the bottom and ends of the hanging sleeve and make a label!

Since this was the “big deal” for me at the retreat, I will stop here and ask – what is the OLDEST UFO you have sitting around, and WHY didn’t you finish what you started?  

I will tell you why this went “in the box”.  We were doing a new project every week in the class and I was overwhelmed.  I also could not figure out how to “finish”.  Our instructor had scaled the pattern in Pat Sloan’s “I Can’t Believe I’m Quilting” down to just a 1 block project instead of a whole quilt, and I didn’t “know” what to do at the time.  Of course, a few years of experience were needed under my belt before I could say, enough is enough and a wall hanging is just “fine”.  🙂

More about the retreat in the next post!

 

Scrap Decisions

I have mastered the scraps!  I have battled and won!  They are contained!  I have trimmed and cut and put order to some of the chaos and declare victory! Phew….that’s enough for now!  Yesterday I declared victory over the basket of blues, and since then I have gone through the red & oranges and basket of browns & blacks.  The yellow stacker is EMPTY!  (Ok; I haven’t tackled the laundry hamper and those zip lock bags, but I have met my goal!!!)

I was getting a little anxious because nearly a week has gone by and I had not “pulled” my fabric for Carole’s Scrap Dance Square Dance Mystery Quilt!  Are you dancing too???  Info on the mystery is here – Square Dance Begins

As I was taming the scraps, I was setting aside pieces cut to size for the Square Dance Mystery.

Step One is to cut those fabrics.

Today, I gathered up those pieces and counted out what was required and determined I had plenty set out for a Twin Sized project.  All is ready except my fabric A which needs to be cut.

Scrap Dance Square Dance Fabric pull

(Do you see Elvis?)  (Notice the Superman fabric?)  (How about those wonderful fish?) (and Cats?) (hiding in among these lovelies are llamas too!)

Selections for Scrap Dance Square Dance

 

Everything came directly from the scraps in the “yellow stacker” that I have mentioned in the last few blog posts except Fabric A.  I (gasp) took it out of my neutral box that was set aside for my Bonnie Hunter project that is a UFO. It was “just the right size”.  I went with it because Carole had suggested a tone on tone would be favorable for this constant Fabric A.

Fabric A - the ONE constant

So, many thanks to the friends who have gifted me their scraps in the last year!  I look forward to including them all in this Square Dance mystery!

When you are out “shopping” for fabrics, I strongly encourage you to pick up a few yards of those great neutrals that work for background fabrics and stash them away.  A few days ago a friend of mine came in search of “low volume” neutrals for background fabrics. Sometimes they are not easy to find, and we went “digging” in the scrap bins for her bits and pieces.

I am heading “back” to the sewing room to cut “Fabric A” and put all those lovely scraps that I have cut and sorted for this project into a nice basket to await Step 2 in February!  And, perhaps, between now and then I will get back to one of those other projects that has been hanging around for a while!

Happy scrapping!

PS – One of my readers asked “what sizes” do I cut and save – Here is “MY” list – which, as I have mentioned is a combination of Bonnie Hunter and Joan Ford.  I have this list on the wall by my cutting table, and it is a good reminder. It helps me to look at the fabric and get the best use from a raggedy mess!  Remember – press and CUT THE SCRAPS!

CUT THE SCRAPS
SQUARES BRICKS
1.5 2 x 3
2 2 x 3.5
2.5 2.5 x 3.5
3 2.5 x 6
3.5 2.5 x 6.5
4.5 3 x 5
5 3.5 x 6
STRIPS
1.5
2
2.5
3.5
4
5
6