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 


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Travels in Maryland

Do you read Wyoming Breezes written by Nancy?  Several times she's shown Little Free Library boxes.  I'd never seen any until this week.  Right next to Natalie's preschool on the grounds of Univ. of Maryland were these two. Daughter Jenny says she's seen them around town.  I have't seen any but I'll keep looking. 
A Little Free Library at CYC at Univ. of Maryland

Natalie picking a book from the children's Little Free Library by CYC  at Univ. of  Maryland.
I don't have photos from the "trunk" show for the kids in the preschool.  Jen and I shared about 25 quilts from very small (6" x 7" all the way to twin bed size.)  Jen asked the teacher who was taking pictures to forward some to me.  Hopefully I'll have some to share eventually. 

After the trunk show we went over to the Music School to attend Maryland Opera Studio Opera Al Fresco. Before we got to the building we saw this van.  This is used by the marching band.  Jen said it was funded by a Go Fund Me account. 

We sat on the main staircase in Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center to see (and hear!) scenes from operas.  Wow!  I was so impressed with these first and second year graduate students.  They did such a professional job on all of their performances.   
Orlando by G. F. Handel, libretto by Capece.  Performers were Zarah Brock, Allysa Packard, and Louisa Waycott. 
Unfortunately all the scenes were in other languages (Italian and German, I think.)  But a nice synopsis was given before each scene so you could follow along pretty well. The students did a great job both with the singing and the "acting" part.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Although I'm not an opera enthusiast I've enjoyed many an opera where Jenny has been in the orchestra or, like this, she wanted to support a friend. I'm not sure I'll get to another one anytime soon but UMd has a great opera department. 

I'm up at Sharon's now.  I'm working through her stash of blues, greens and turquoise to get squares for my Scrappy Stars quilt.  She's happy to move out some fabric.  I'm happy because she has a really deep stash in those colors.  It's a win-win situation.  Here's my little sample layout.  I keep auditioning fabrics to make sure they look ok.  I've already eliminated a fabric that was blue on beige.  It stuck out like a sore thumb. (Those  two spaces that look like solid cream are actually the flannel of the design wall.) 

I'm linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? and Finished or Not Friday.  Take some time this weekend to enjoy some eye candy.  I've already seen one quilt that has caught my eye.  I may have to add it to my maybe someday I'll make file.  

Hope you are enjoying a great weekend. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Scrappy Stars for Hands 2 Help

Are you making a quilt or two for the Hands 2 Help effort this year?  Click on the icon to the right to learn more about the program.  

I'm making a Scrappy Stars quilt designed by Sarah who blogs at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and is running the Hands 2 Help event.  In January, she hosted Stunning Stars Quilt Along.  Scrappy Stars was the first quilt she shared.  Complete directions can be found here.  I fell in love with her quilt and the quilts that she said inspired her. I decided to make mine bigger to fit the requirements of the charity where I'll be sending my quilts.  You can see all the Stunning Stars quilts under "Tutorials" on her web page. (And, there's a bonus because all of last year's Nifty Nine Patch designs are also listed there.)

I designed my quilt in EQ7 just to figure out how big I was going to make it and where I was going to put the stars.  I decided to wipe out work with my blues, turquoise and blue green fabrics.  And, maybe I should confess to the wipe out part as I'm running low on them.  I've gone through my scraps and fat quarter collections and cut a bunch. I will have to cut into my yardage considering how many blocks I need. (425!) I hope to raid Jenny's and Sharon's stashes this week when I'm up visiting.  

Here's the beginning of my cutting. (I am using the basic die that came with my Accuquilt Go. The squares are 4 1/2" unfinished.)  The navy blue will be the stars.
Are you wondering how I am keeping all those squares straight?  I'm recording all of them as they are put into my plastic bin.  
At the time this picture was taken I had 125 squares cut. (I may tweak the size of the quilt once I start making it.)  My plan is to take this as a kit to the mid-May retreat Sharon and I are going to.  

I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and MidWeek Makers over at Quilt Fabrications when it is posted. Stop by these linky parties to take a peek at what folks are working on now.

That's it for me. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie  


Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Meandering 4 - 17 - 2017

A Wild Hair . . . 

Ok, I admit it.  I had a wild hair on Thursday afternoon. Earlier, I was beginning to get the house ready to have the family over on Easter Sunday.  And, I looked for an appropriate "springy" table runner.  Christmas √, Fall √, July 4th √.  And that was the end of the table runners.  Mostly dark things.  

Then I went to my quilt group Thursday morning and someone shared a catalog from Shabby Fabrics.  Ohh, there were so many things I liked. It is a beautiful catalog with lots of fun kits, mostly appliqué using laser cut pieces.  And then I saw this kit:

Nothing really exciting but it was springy and pretty.  My little brain started planning and scheming.  First, I have tons of fabric so who needs a kit?  Then, I thought, I borrowed Nancy's log cabin Go Die and I haven't even tried it yet.  Then, I thought, 3 and a 1/2 days -- I could get 3 12" blocks made, pieced, quilted and bound in that amount of time.  I'll take a look when I get home. 

You know where this is going don't you? 

The finished product.  Ok, I admit it; I did goof off more than I should have. I had to do the binding on Sunday morning before singing at church.  Thank goodness we sing at the 11 am service not the 9:30 service.  It was done and on the table before I got ready to go. Phew, made it in the nick of time.

The thread is a YLI variegated although you can't tell on the finished product. Batting is a leftover piece of Pellon 60 Cotton/40 Poly.  The digital design is specific to log cabin blocks by My Creative Stitches.  I bought it some time ago but didn't have a use for it until this week.  That might have been why I knew I could get this done in the allotted time.  Except, it took a bit of trial and error to get the correct placement. I'll try to remember to show some pictures of it on the table sometime this week. 

On to my goals.  Well you know what I spent most of my time on this week! 

April 10, 2017
Make more pouches√
Finish the last of the boxes
Make some Stack N Whack√
Cut more fabrics for Hands 2 Help quilt√
Cut and make multicolored RSC blocks

Well not the most successful week because of that little trip off of my goal's list.  But not too bad. (Do you see why I have a goal list every week?) 

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

Make more pouches (I think I only need 5 more…)

So, let me explain some of my goals.  Jenny and I are going to Natalie's preschool at Univ. of Maryland to present a small trunk show to a class that is studying quilts. We are each showing about 5 quilts and parts of quilts to the class.  The fun thing about the classes at UMD is the kids choose the subjects each quarter.  So, we know the kids will be interested but we don't want to make it too long so they get bored.  I'm still choosing what to bring.  

I'll be staying with Jenny from Wednesday to Friday morning.  On Friday after everyone goes to work and school I'll drive up to Sharon's house and have a mini sewing weekend. She is always gracious when I beg to visit her. I'll head back home early Sunday afternoon.  (Hum, I might want to review that time frame as that is the end of some school's Easter break and traffic on the I 95 corridor might be beastly.) 

I'm linking up with my regular linky parties. Monday Making, Moving It Forward Monday and Main Crush Monday (on Tuesdays for a bit.) Enjoy some down time by visiting some of these sites -- it's a great way to get inspiration. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Say No to Straws

Now a note from the California Environmentalist in me . . . 

Several years ago I read about an effort in California to stop the use of plastic drinking straws in restaurants.  From what I remember activists were going to restaurants in their towns asking them not to give out plastic straws with every drink.  I forget what percentage of restaurants joined this voluntary movement. But it did have small, local success. 

Thus began my personal campaign against straws.  I do not take a straw when I buy a drink.  I return straws that are automatically given to me.  Sometimes I even tell the wait staff not to bring straws.  Now my friends are hearing about my little bit of activism.  So far I doubt I have made a major impact.  But I have made a personal impact.  Neither hubby or I accept a straw at restaurants and we go out several times a week for either lunch or dinner.  (By the way the national average is 4 meals out a week.) This picture was from dinner Wednesday night.  Not only was I given a straw, it was also wrapped in plastic.  Hum, if we didn't use straws like this we could save on both items. 

So why are we anti plastic straws? 

Plastic is a major trash issue and environmental hazard.   Here's an ICK for you: a lot of plastic ends up in the oceans.  Take a look at Straw Wars: The Fight to Rid the Oceans of Discarded Plastic published by National Geographic this week.  As author Laura Parker says "...straws have become one of the most ubiquitous unnecessary products on the planet." I definitely agree with that. There are times when straws are helpful, but they don't need to be an-every-drink item.  

Aside from washing up on beaches and looking bad, straws and plastics are damaging to animals that live in the oceans.  They don't realize that straws and other plastics are not edible.  So, they try to eat them.  Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don't. Instead  they get the plastic caught around body parts. (Remember Mumble from the movie Happy Feet?  He wore 6 pack rings around his neck.)  If the plastic makes it to their stomachs it doesn't degrade.  This impacts larger animals who might feed on them.  And, ultimately, we humans will be eating fish who had plastics in their food chain.  Another ICK -- plastic is made from petroleum.  Now doesn't that sound appetizing? 

The next thing to note is it takes a really long time for any plastic to degrade.  And, when it eventually does it releases toxins into the air and/or water.  Don't you want to be a sea turtle living in an area where toxins from plastics are being released?  Or maybe a small sea bird. Not likely. 

Do you realize there is a Pacific Garbage Patch?  I had a vague idea that garbage was floating in the ocean but I am shocked to read that it is considered to be as large as a continent. (Mother Nature Network

Now what can you do to stop the production and use of 500,000,000 million straws a day? (One Green Planet) Yes, five hundred million straws made in a day worldwide.  And this is for a single use product we don't even need.  Stop taking straws in restaurants and fast food locations.  Stop buying straws.  Tell friends and neighbors about the need to stop adding to our plastic pollution by using straws.  This may not sound like it will be a really big help, but it is a start. If we could quit accepting straws unthinkingly, imagine of how much better our environment would be.  

I am a native Californian and lived there off and on during my growing up years, went to college there and started my marriage and family there. I became much more conscious of waste, recycling and the like while I lived in Ca.  Pat and I have recycled for years, we had a large solar array with our house in Powhatan that provided about 75% of our energy, and we now have a hybrid electric car.  We do take helping Mother Earth seriously.   Join us in our anti-straw campaign.  Take some time to read some of the articles I've linked to above.  It is truly eye-opening.  Every decision to not use straws helps. 

Let me know if you want to join in my no-straw effort.  It's probably one of the easiest actions you can take to help our own environment. 

Phew, I'm getting off of my soap box now.  But, don't be surprised if I bring this up again in the future.  

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 


Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday Meanderings 4 - 10 - 2016

Here's what I've been working on: 

I won some of these blocks from a block of the quarter drawing from Faithful Circle Quilters in Maryland. 
There were 2 12" blocks, 4 9" and 1 8" block that didn't make the picture.  This was a stripe challenge.  Most of them were browns, rust, greens and cream or grey.  I've made most of my blocks with the teal/turquoise because of the one block on the left that was bordered in teal.  Check back to this blog to see the purple stripe block I made. (Sometimes it helps to actually attend the meetings because I'm pretty sure there was no stated color plan for this!) 

I've been making blocks off and on since the beginning of the year.  I've purchased a beige fabric to go around (between?) the blocks. I might need to do some brown/rust/beige ones but, honestly, I don't think I have any stripe fabric with too much of the other colors.  Eventually, I'll have enough to make a lap quilt of some sort with these.  I've add these blocks to my to do list for a while so after maybe another 7 or 8 blocks I'll be ready to figure out how to place them into a quilt.  

I've also been making these cute zippered pouches.  Sharon and I will be making enough to give to our fellow retreaters in May.  She's already finished 15 and I'm at the 11 mark with fabric and zippers at the ready for at least 4 more. (The FCQ retreat will have 29 participants! Yikes.)  Any extra ones we make we'll donate to the $10 and under table at the 2018 quilt show.  It's a win-win for sure.  I'm having a lot of fun picking fabrics.  Here are two of my favorites:

The dog fabric was used on a professional tote for Aimee. (It had fingerprints on the outside and the dogs were on the inside.)  The foxes were the backing for Theo's quilt.  No doubt I'm going to keep one of these as I just think they are way too cute.  The pattern is Bridget's Baguettes by Atkinson Design.  This is surprisingly easy to make.  Once you have your fabric, interfacing, fusible batting and plastic cut and prepared it only takes about an hour of sewing time. (Yep, it's all of the prep work that takes the most time.  And, picking cute fabric pairs.)  You'll see it is still on my weekly goals.  I'm getting close to the number needed so I should be able to move on to other things soon.  

Speaking of goals -- how did I do this past week?  Not bad. I admit I've been goofing off a bit recently.

April 3, 2017
Make more pouches
Make 6 folding boxes
Knit additional rows on Jenny’s scarf√ started
Continue cutting fabric for Hands 2 Help Quilt
Make more blocks for stripe challenge quilt
Finish red RSC blocks and begin multicolored ones not yet!
Plan April OMG quilt

And this week . . . 
April 10, 2017
Make more pouches
Finish the last of the boxes
Make some Stack N Whack blocks
Cut more fabrics for Hands 2 Help quilt
Cut and make multicolored RSC blocks
Make more stripe blocks

So that's it for me this week.  I'm linking up with my favorite Monday links Monday Making, Main Crush Monday (that is moving to Tuesday -- I'm not sure if it is a permanent move or a short term move. I'll link with it tomorrow), and Moving It Forward Monday.  Be sure to take a few minutes to check out these blogs for some great inspiration. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

March Stash Busting Statistics

March was a great month for using fabric!  Now if I can keep this up!

Fabric In Month
Fabric In Year
Fabric Out Month
Fabric Out Year
Total In or Out Year

Here's a review of what I finished this month. 

I'm linking up with Can I Get a Whoop, Whoop? Not too many Linky Parties on Saturdays. If you have any to recommend please leave the info in the comments.  Take the time to look at what folks are doing in their studios this week. 

And before I end, I just have to share this cute photo of Theo, the youngest grand baby.  It was a peas kind of day!

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie