Thursday, May 25, 2017

Hands 2 Help

I'm so close to finishing my Hands 2 Help quilt -- I just need to add the binding which is actually started.  Hopefully I will have it finished Friday afternoon and in the mail no later than Monday.  Today I'm sharing pictures of the whole process.  Some of the pics have been shared before so just keep looking until the end to see the almost finished quilt. 
Squares cut, packaged and ready to go to retreat to be sewn.
4 rows of 8 laid out at retreat.  I made a couple of errors sewing the blocks into rows.  At that point I decided to wait to finish this at home.  Once I got home I moved some of the rows around and also added one star. 
Quilting is done!  Time for binding. 
It's hard to see the quilting here -- click on any of these photos to see a larger picture.  The pattern is Yarn Tangle.  Thread is Teal So Fine by Superior.  Batting is Pellon Natural 100% Cotton with scrim. I used a 104" backing from Connecting Threads.  The navy blue is Kona. 

UM, oops!  I didn't bring any paper with me to retreat nor did I bring my pins with the ABC's on them to mark my rows.  So I carefully tore an envelope we were given and wrote numbers for each row with any pen I could find.  
Now you see it... 
Now you don't! Hum, writing with a Frixon pen on paper that just might be ironed wasn't my best idea. 
That's it for me now.  I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and  Needle and Thread Thursday.SaveSave

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Meandering 5 - 22 - 2017

Just a quick post this morning before I head back home.   I can share a pic of my Scrappy Stars quilt that I worked on almost exclusively at retreat.
This shows the rows laid out but not sewn together.  As it got later in the afternoon/evening as I was working on this Saturday I started messing up where the stars were being placed.  (I had an EQ printout of how I wanted the quilt to look.)  When I finished all the rows this is how it would look. (That beige on the side is carpet!) 

Um, no, I absolutely do not like those two light aqua squares together.  I fussed around with the layout once I was back at Sharon's house and came up with a new layout and I'm going to add one more star as it seemed bare of stars in the middle.  I'll get a new picture of it once all the rows are sewn together.  But first, I need to drive home. 

Goals were almost all achieved last week. 
May 15, 2017
Finish backing for “May” Wallhanging√
Measure finished tops to buy backing √
Make 14 spool blocks for retreat√
Go and enjoy retreat! √
Make Scrappy Stars quilt top eeek—still need to sew rows together but √ anyway


This week's goals mostly focus on getting Scrappy Stars done.
May 15, 2017
Sew Scrappy Stars rows together
Load Scrappy Stars backing on Ruthie
Quilt Scrappy Stars
Make and bind Scrappy Stars
Plan project for beach house visit
Sit around, read and relax

I'm linking up with the regular Monday lineup: Monday Making, Main Crush Monday and Moving It Forward.  Take some time to see what folks are working on this week. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

RETREAT WEEKEND!

Sharon and I got to the retreat center right at lunch time Thursday.  Exactly when we could set up and get sewing. We packed fairly lightly and were able to put the pedal to the metal within an hour or so.

I've gotten a decent start on Scrappy Stars.  It's great not having to cut out anything -- I can sew and sew.   Sharon, MaryBeth, Nancy and I took off mid afternoon to find a fabric store or two.  The retreat center is in the middle of no where -- or so it seemed.  45 minutes later we got to the first store, Obies.  No parking so no shopping for us.  Luck was with us as there was another shop minutes away.  Zincks Fabric store was wonderful.  Much of the quilters' cotton was priced between $4.99 and $6.99 a yard. BONUS.  I went a bit wild although I had planned to add to the stash if I found someplace with good prices.  I'll share the fabrics in another post. 

From there we drove to Shady Maple General Store.  You walk in and see seeds, garden tools and the like.  But in the back is a pretty decent fabric department.  I picked up two cute prints off the flat fold table to make pillow cases.  

Next stop was dinner at the Shady Maple Cafe.  Here's a photo of Sharon, Nancy and MB with an Amish buggy. We saw a lot of these on the streets going to and from the retreat center.  We are having fun on the first day of retreat.  
Once we got back we all got our machines humming.  I'm working on the star blocks instead of the 9 patches.  Sharon's doing a cute little wall hanging, MB put the binding on a quilt and Nancy -- er, I'm not sure what she was sewing on but later she was laying out this quilt. 
Nancy talking with Linda about her quilt.

Stephanie was finishing up a Tumolo Trail quilt from one of Bonnie Hunter's books.  She is planning on using a dark binding and not adding a border.  Hum, do I want to make one of these quilts too? 
That's it for today at the FCQ spring retreat. I'm linking up with I May Have a Scrap Problem at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation. 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie

Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday Meanderings 5 - 15 - 2017

Now I can share my ugly fabric challenge quilt.   You can see other pictures and information about it here.   The first picture is when I was trying to decide whether to leave space between the flowers and the bunnies and what to do about a border.  The rules of the challenge said 20" minimum.  I didn't want a huge piece so a small border is all I did.


And the best news was I was done before I needed it.  (Ok, so many readers know I was done early because I thought the guild meeting was a week earlier than it really was.)  Now the bunnies are hanging on a wall in our great room.  Unfortunately, there are windows on both sides of the wall and the lighting was too bright today so the quilt looks a little washed out.  I used the ugly flower print for the binding too.  Unfortunately I believed the rule that said not to use the ugly fabric on the back.  I would have been happy to get rid use up all of it that way.  See if I follow the rules next time! 

That brings me to my goals for last week.  It was a very good week for ticking things off of my list.  I'm especially happy I finished cutting out over 425 4.5" squares.  Thank goodness for my Go cutter -- I could cut 6 squares at a time. 

May 8, 2017
Make 2 more pouches√
Finish binding on bunny wall hanging√
Cut more fabric for Scrappy Stars√
Choose fabric for “May” wallhanging, fuse and cut√
Knit on Jenny’s scarf√

And this week I'm on retreat so everything has to do with it. 
May 15, 2017
Finish background for “May” Wallhanging
Measure finished tops to buy backing while shopping
Make 14 spool blocks for retreat
Go and enjoy retreat!
Make Scrappy Stars quilt top
Zig zag the elements for the "May" Wallhanging 

I'm connecting up with Monday Making, Main Crush Monday (now back to the right day!) and Moving It Forward Monday.  Enjoy the eye candy folks! I plan to! 

No duck photos today but they continue to hang around under the bird feeders on our block.  One was calmly sitting in the middle of road as we came home this morning.  They may be getting too used to the people around here! 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Visible Progress

Much of what I've been working on in the studio over the last week has been boring -- to do and to show.  Yesterday I made great progress and actually sewed something that can be shown.  Not terribly exciting but at least something! 


I did mention it wouldn't be all that exciting.  This is the center background of the wall hanging I hopefully will work on at retreat next week.  Hum ...  I may make a little change or two.  I don't particularly like the brighter square in the center and the two darker squares on the diagonal in the bottom right.  I'll check to see if the flowers might go over that bright square before moving it. 


I've also gotten all the squares done for the stars quilt which is my major project during retreat.  Using my Accuquilt Go (with only one 4.5" square die) I was finally able to get over 425 squares cut.  All the squares (with extras), the star points, extra fabrics and the layout plan are all tucked away in a project box ready to be loaded into my car.  Yea!  Now to get all the wallhanging pieces organized too. 




My, doesn't that look so nicely organized?  Believe me, the minute I start working on it next weekend it will become a total mess.  

The next picture up is Fred with Ethel and another female friend visiting our bird feeder. The ducks have become constant visitors around our back yard.  They check the ground around the feeder regularly.  I recently refilled the feeder and knocked out some crunchy bits that were clogging the feeder.  They should have been finding lots of goodies.  

Fred actually was down the stairs that lead to the basement and my studio.  So I can look up from sewing and see what's happening.  When I got up to take pictures he waddled back up the stairs. 



You can't see the 3rd duck behind Fred.  It's been fun to watch their antics.  Hopefully we will only have a few ducks visit because having lots of ducks would not be pleasant.  
That's it for me today.  I'm linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? Take some time to visit some of the blogs to see what is going on with quilters around the world. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 


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Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday Meanderings 5 - 8 - 2017

Another week zoomed by!  On the other hand, for 5 days I had my nose to the grindstone to finish off my bunny quilt in time to take it to Country Piecemaker's guild meeting at the end of the week.  Except, um, er, the meeting is this coming Saturday. 


So I took a break and continued to get my projects ready for retreat next week.  Here's one I'll be working on.  The first one is Sharon's.  She is way ahead of me in getting ready.  But she works almost full time out of the house and only has the weekends to prep.

She's making hers at 2/3rds size because it will fit where she wants to hang it better.  I'm making mine at the given size.  This is from the pattern Calendar Quils by Kim Schaefer.  
Here are my fabric picks.  The bottom row of greens is the border.  The yellows, pink/purple and oranges are the flowers while the three greens with the flower colors would be the stem and leaves.  Question: Should I change the pink/purple flower to a red or rust color? (Sharon pretty much followed the color suggestions in the photo.) I want this to look bright and springy so it may make some sense to leave the pink with purple in.  Would it help if I made the orangy colors into blues?  It would be the center flower.  Yeah, I'm indecisive for some reason. 

Somewhere, out of the picture I have the center squares for the background. I still need the bee, ladybug and butterfly.  Luckily all the designs have been traced onto paper backed adhesive.  Hopefully today I'll get them cut out so I can start ironing it on the fabric and then cut them out again.  

On to my goals this past week.  I nailed them with the exception of knitting.
May 1, 2017
Make the bunny wall hanging√ hand stitching the binding down is left
Continue cutting fabric from Sharon
Make some more zippered pouches
Knit on Jenny’s scarf nope, didn’t do it    

And this week I'll be focusing on: 
May 8, 2017
Make 2 more pouches
Finish binding on bunny wall hanging
Cut more fabric for Stunning Stars (Sharon's fabric & mine as needed)
Choose fabric for “May” wallhanging, fuse and cut
Knit on Jenny’s scarf

That's it for me.  Don't forget to check out these linky parties where I'll be connecting:  Monday Making, Moving It Forward and Main Crush Monday. (It will be posted tomorrow so come back!)  Take the time to see what's happening around the internet. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Stash busting Report April

Ok, not exactly stash busting but only a little stash growing was going on last month. 

2017
Fabric In Month
Fabric In Year
Fabric Out Month
Fabric Out Year
Total In or Out Year
April
4.875
27.750
4.5
36.250
8.5






So I did bring in more fabric than I used last month but it was only a small amount more -- 3/8th of a yard.  Not bad. May will probably be a bad month for busting fabric but a great one for bringing in more gorgeous fabrics -- I'm heading to Lancaster, PA for retreat in a couple of weeks and we plan to do some shopping. 

I've made ridiculously great progress on my ugly fabric challenge.  In fact all I have left to do is hand sew the binding down.  Um, er, do I dare admit I made a big mistake in my planning?  I thought (for several weeks evidently) that today - the first Saturday of the month - was the Country Piecemakers guild meeting.  I was furiously working away on the bunnies and flowers, the borders, the quilting and the binding.  In fact, all that is left to do is sew down the binding on the back side.  I was checking out what else was going on at the guild meeting when I realized, oh no!, the meeting is next Saturday, the second Saturday of the month like it always is. Sigh.  I'm ready early -- well after the hand sewing that will be done Monday.  Here's a look at what's coming.  I'll probably share photos of the finished wallhanging Monday, May 15.  



The good news is I'll have time to work on the other items on my goal list this week.  Retreat is less than 2 weeks away and I have several things to finish doing for it -- like cut the rest of the blocks for the quilt I plan to put together at it!  

I'm linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?.

I'll end with introducing you to Fred. 
Yep, Fred is a duck.  He and Ethel have been hanging around the back of the houses on our street.  We first saw them on Easter Sunday when the granddaughters went chasing after them.  Since then we've seen them several times a week as they graze under the various bird feeders for some tasty tidbits. One of our neighbors named them Fred and Ethel after the characters on I Love Lucy. Recently Fred's been bringing some friends with them. No Fred, keep this bounty to yourselves. Don't invite all your friends and relatives.  I don't want the yard filled with, well, er, um... duck poop.   He's standing at the top of the stairs that lead down to my basement studio so I can see him from my sewing machine.  We'll see how long we welcome them into the yard if they really start bringing all their friends and neighbors.  

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie   

Monday, May 1, 2017

Monday Meandering and OMG May Goal

Have you ever participated in an Ugly Fabric Challenge?  Country Piecemakers started an Ugly Fabric Challenge in January.  I got a floral fabric that wasn't actually totally ugly but was not something I would ever purchased. 
We all got a page of instructions.  You must use the fabric on the front; you can use up to four additional fabrics;  it must be at least 20" square with no maximum; and it must have a floral theme of some sort.  OKKKKKK.  I was busily using the back of my mind to come up with something.  Think, think, think.  Then a few weeks before Easter I thought, BUNNIES!  I checked out two patterns I already had bookmarked.  Hum, standing bunny or jumping bunny

I decided on the jumping bunny when I realized I needed to add some flowers.  Here's the sketch I came up with:


So, it isn't that beautiful of a drawing.  But please notice the really nice looking bunny on the bottom right.  The rest of the bunnies are ok, but not terrific.  Hopefully the finished quilt will look much better than this.  
So here is my first block...after I changed the haunch from turquoise to the flowers and turned a piece that was upside down to being in the right position...

I decided doing the haunch in a different color didn't work because some of my colors were really bright while others weren't. The leg just looked wrong. 

This project is going to be my OMG for May.  I'm striving for a finished quilt.  The bigger issue is the guild reveal of our finished Ugly Fabric quilts is Sat, 5/6.  Yikes.  I need to get a hop on to get this.  For the last several days I've been cutting out the little tiny pieces. (The block is 7" or so and the smallest pieces in it are 1.5" square.)  I'm hoping to get all the bunnies cut out by tomorrow and then I can get them made up.  It does go together fairly quickly.  Then a couple of paper pieced flowers and I'm ready to put this together.  Yea, I know, I'm cutting it pretty close.  Time will tell! 

Now to the goals.  I had way too much on the goal list last week. 
April 24, 2017
Work on the Stack N Whack blocks
Knit on Jenny’s scarf
Cut the fabric I got from Sharon√ started
Pick fabric for flower wall hanging√ that's the bunnies piece
Mail out FCQ Equilter packages
Make 3 more pouches and rest of the boxes – oops nope

May 1, 2017
Make the bunnies wall hanging
Continue cutting fabric from Sharon
Make some more zippered pouches
Knit on Jenny’s scarf

Yep, this week's list is really short.  I have deadlines for everything except Jenny's scarf.  It may not get worked on but hopefully I'll have time to do all the rest of the items.  

I'm linking up with my regular Monday parties: Monday Making, One Monthly Goal May Link Up and Main Crush Monday (link will go live on Tuesday.) Take some time to check these sites out.  I know I'll spend some time checking these out over this week. 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 
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Saturday, April 29, 2017

April OMG Finish√√

Yes, I am sneaking in just under the wire on the OMG finish for April.  Check here to see where I was at the beginning of April. My goal as stated was "finishing the blocks and putting them together for my stack N whack quilt."  Um, I may have gotten carried away.  As I remembered the goal I needed to make 6 blocks, put them together and put on whatever borders I decided.   Hum, that isn't exactly what it says though.  Oh well more is good. 

Here's my process after I finished all 9 blocks.  And, yes, it really helped that all the pieces had been cut out in advance.  Blocks were sewn together by Thursday afternoon, yes, just a few days ago.  A friend said I had to include the original fabric in the borders so folks can see what I started with.  It is various colors of grapes with some leaves and vines. I liked the first border of the magenta -- it seems to frame the blocks nicely. 



I'm really happy with the various designs I got in each of my blocks. This really is a fun quilt to make as you never really know what the finished blocks will look like.  


And, now the final picture of the finished top.  I had an epiphany of sorts as I was finishing the top.  We moved into an "active seniors" neighborhood in June and we certainly don't have very much property.  Translate that to not too many decent places to take pictures of my quilts.  I have my studio in our walk out basement.  Hum, I can clean the wrought iron railings and use some clips to hold the quilt... Yes, it worked very nicely despite the breeze and a little shadowing.  
You might notice the rows of houses behind the quilt.  We are very close to our neighbors.  On the other hand, Pat can mow the yard in about 30 minutes compared to 4 hours + in Powhatan.  We've met many of the people who live close by and really enjoy living here.  The tree sticking up behind the quilt is a Korean dogwood that was planted in December. We're happy to see it is leafing out beautifully.  

That's it for me today.  I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts OMG April Finish linky party.  Stop by to see whose made their goal this month. 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

RSC Report April

This month the Rainbow Scrap Challenge was to use multicolored fabrics instead of a particular color like red or purple.  Hum, I'm thinking I want my finished product to look rainbowish.  (Yes, I do make up words when necessary!) After some deliberation I decided I would pull multicolored fabrics that would read as a color.  So I came up with a green block, a turquoise block and a purple/pink block.  (Yes, you do see a frog on the left side of the green block. I thought he looked cute there.) 
When I was working on my OMG for April I found a nice piece of white Kona.  I had even cut some of it to use in the Stack N Whack but white didn't really work with the fabric.  So this find was a bonus as I have enough to make a lap quilt with these center braids.  A win-win situation.  I will be using up a nice hunk of fabric plus I'm not buying any new fabric for this scrap quilt. 

Here's a few blocks laid out according to the pattern instructions.  It's another on point pattern. (Ugh, I thought I had sworn off on point designs after having done several in a row!)  You can see the pattern in this post
I haven't figured out how I want to lay these out.  I was thinking I would run them in rainbow color order.  Maybe.  When I have more blocks made I'll think about that.   I haven't been making many blocks in each color so more blocks may be needed to do that.  So far I really like this project.  And, I'm still participating after 4 months.  Hopefully, I'll have a quilt done by the end of this year.  Time will tell. 

I'm off to work on my April OMG.  I only have the last border to cut and put on. I might be done with that by the end of today.  

I'm linking up with Scrap Happy Saturday from last week.  If a new one is posted for today I'll add a link there. I'm linked with 4/30 party.  Enjoy seeing what others are doing with their RSC blocks.

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie   

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Monday Meanderings 4 - 24 - 2017

I had a great weekend but I sure don't have much to show for the time I spent in Sharon's studio.  I do have two great piles of fabrics for my Scrappy Stars quilt.  One is already cut into squares.  The other needs to be cut with my Go cutter.  That will happen over the next few weeks as I want all the squares ready to put together during the retreat in May. 



So, with not much to show I'm going to share a table runner my friend Beth made.  She doesn't quilt a lot but she has made a few quilts over the years.  Her mom gave her a great table runner pattern and fabrics to make it.  Beth has been coming down to my house every week for a month or two to make her runner. 

She spent her first visit cutting her fabrics into strips.  Next time she came she put the strips into a bag and drew them out randomly to sew them together.  Each strip was sewn with a little curve.  

After several visits Beth had the rough shape of a table runner flimsy finished. 








According to the pattern it was time to quilt the top and the batting.  Different than what I am used to but Beth followed the directions.  I showed her how to spray baste her top to the batting and she stitched in the ditch.  After that was done she put the backing on right sides together and then stitched around the edges.  I've always considered stitching the edges and turning a quilt through a gap as "birthing" a quilt.  So Beth did that. The last step was to stitch in the ditch in about 5 places to secure the batting/top to the backing.  Next step -- show it off on the table. It really looks great to me! Thanks to Beth for letting me show off her finished table runner. 


 Hopefully I'll have more of my own work to share over the next week.  But now, it's time to see how I did on my weekly goals, 
April 17, 2017
Knit on Jenny’s scarf√
Organize and give a small trunk show√
Organize projects for weekend sewing√
Continue cutting fabric for Hands 2 Help Quilt I need over 400 and I think I’m at 130 or so….√
Make the rest of Stack N Whack blocks and sew together BUMMER, I forgot to grab the box for this one
Make more pouches (I think I only need 5 more…) √

And this week -- 

April24, 2017
Work on the Stack N Whack blocks
Knit on Jenny’s scarf
Cut the fabric I got from Sharon
Pick fabric for flower wall hanging
Pick fabric and begin ugly fabric challenge for Country Piecemakers
Make 3 more pouches and rest of the boxes

I'm linking up to my regular Linky Parties: Monday Making,  Main Crush Monday and Moving It Forward Monday.  


Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

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