Tuesday, April 30, 2019

OMG Success and What's Up Next

Again, I'm sneaking in just in time with my April OMG Finish.  My goal was to make two pillow shams to go with my Sea Glass quilt.  And, yes I finished both shams in time. The last one was finished about 10am on the final day. 

The room really needed some color and these have succeeded.  Below is a close up of the quilting Ruthie and I put on the fronts. 

The square design is Spring Sunrise Block 4 from My Creative Designs. Above and below the designs are Fulton Feather Border also by My Creative Designs.  The thread is So Fine #   

Now it's time to figure out what will be my May OMG.  This time I'm going to list a couple of goals as I'm pretty sure I can get several of these projects done. First up, finish this granny squares top. (This is the second one.) I took this picture to audition the inner border -- I had two different greens I could use but I decided I would use the same brown as the sashing.  Then, I'll use this leftover fabric for the border.  If I can get it quilted that would be a bonus but not part of my OMG. 
Next I want to quilt and bind two friendship stars quilts.  You can see both on the design wall here.  Here are the two quilts along with the backing I'll be using.  Well you can only see one of the quilts and the backing.  The backing is a wide back so I plan to load the quilts one after another.  It should save some time. 
And, last I'm planning on getting at least one quilt top made while I'm at retreat.  I've decided I should use this fabric I bought a couple of years ago.  Time to make it up and get it to some charity.  I may also make a pillow case but that won't be part of the goal. I'm not sure which of these fabrics I'll use with the parrots but they all would go really well.  Must consult my Quilts for Baby Easy as ABC by Ursula Reikes and the other two books in the series.  I use them all the time, must make a decision and start cutting! These fabrics are so fun so I'm sure I'll really enjoy making the quilt too! 
So three projects: granny squares becomes a top, 2 friendship stars quilts will be quilted and bound, and my parrot fabric will become a quilt top.  That's a lot of goals but I'm pretty motivated to get these things done.  

That's it from me today.  I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts' OMG April Finish Link Up, and Quilt Fabrication's Midweek Makers.  I'm also hoping to link up with Needle and Thread Thursday when it becomes available. I've just spent way to much time blog hopping instead of finishing quilt my royal blue snowflake quilt.  On to the studio! 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Monday Meanderings 5 - 29 - 2019

Oh NO!  The month is almost done and I'm not done with my OMG -- One Monthly Goal.  But I have 2 days to finish.... will I succeed?  OF COURSE I will.  Probably on Tuesday! Here's the first one done: 
Ruthie did a wonderful job quilting out these designs. The second one is quilted, it just needs the backing made and sewn together. I should be able to do it tomorrow morning or Tuesday.  So, I expect I'll have a successful OMG this month. 

Here's what distracted me from OMG.  Our chorus, The Spotsylvanians, is having an open sing called Sing for a Night to get people who might be interested in joining in the fall to have a chance to hear us up close and personal.  We'll have snacks, door prizes and a chance for guests to sing along if they want.  So, for two of door prizes I embroidered a kitchen towel and an apron.  Here's the apron. 
It was an uphill battle as I hadn't tried any embroidery except in the owner class.  Ugh.  I couldn't even figure out how to open a design from the USB stick.  Many videos* later I figured it out.  I'm tickled how well it turned out although I probably should have made the design slightly bigger.  It will be a nice door prize. *Have you heard of Sewing Mastery? They have short videos on using sewing machines.  It appears they have the most for Vikings but also cover some Berninas, Brothers, Pfaffs and Singers.  Not all models are included such as my Bernina 635 (or any 600 machines.) If you need some info on your machine it is worth taking a look at the videos. 

So, how did this last minute activity impact my goals this week?  Not too badly.
April 22, 2019
Bind Mystery of Powhatan quilt
Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt
Finish sashing granny blocks
Quilt snowflake quilt nope, didn’t happen
Make pillow shams for our bed One done, one to do

And what's up for this coming week? 
April 29, 2019
Finish last pillow sham
Quilt snowflake quilt
Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt
Border granny top 
Prep another project for retreat

That's it for me now.  I'm linking to my regular Monday linky parties: Oh Scrap, Monday Making, and Moving It Forward. (Oops, Moving It Forward doesn't have a link today.) I've just found What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney Quilts. I'm going to give it a try for a while.  Take some time to browse some of the bloggers who link up at these parties.  I'll be back sometime this week for my OMG link up.  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Monday Meanderings 4 - 22 - 2019

Happy Earth Day!
Before I get to my progress and goals this week I'd like to take this Earth Day to share some sad statistics about plastic. Plastic has invaded the oceans, the mountains and even Arctic ice.  Here's some info from Ocean Conservancy, specifically, an article on trash free seas. 

"From plankton to whales, animals across ocean ecosystems have been contaminated by plastic. Plastic has been found in 59% of sea birds like albatross and pelicans, in 100% of sea turtle species, and more than 25% of fish sampled from seafood markets around the world."

Hum, am I getting a side of plastic with that shrimp I love?  Or maybe my fish tacos should be named fish and plastic tacos?  Plastic is being ingested by ocean creatures. And, we enjoy eating them. This is another reason to clean our oceans, lakes and rivers of plastics.  It's time to really reconsider our love of plastics and start looking at what we as individuals can do to help contain plastic.  You can read about the research being done on plastics in our marine food chain at National Geographic.

Can we as individuals make a difference?  You bet we can.  I started years ago by giving up straws as often as possible.  I never take one at fast food restaurants.  I ask waiters not to bring straws to the table, I don't use them.  I talk to wait staff about only giving straws out if asked. And, I'm tickled to see one of my favorite restaurants near our beach house is thinking the same way.  This was left on our table recently.  (Ironic how it was laminated with plastic, but it is a start.) 

My closest friends have mentioned they hesitate to take a straw when we go out to meals together. A start but I really wish they would think about it all the time not just when we are together.  Another friend has bought collapsable, reusable straws for her family.  

My next attempt at making a difference was to bring my own metal silverware to our neighborhood's monthly pot luck instead of using the supplied single use plastic knives, forks and spoons.  It's easy to wrap a set of silverware in a cloth napkin and bring them with us.  We've convinced another couple to do the same thing. The more I talk about it, the more likely it is that others will start doing the same thing.  It's so easy to carry your own.  

Does one of these ideas seem easy to you?  If so please help our oceans by changing some habits. It's pretty easy to skip using a straw every once and a while or all the time.  

Now back to our regularly scheduled quilting blog! 

I spent most of this week wrestling with a quilt called Mystery of Powhatan. It was a mystery,  it was fun, it's attractive, but we had no idea how big it was going to be!  And, that answer is HUGH once the whole quilt was done.  After I finished it I stashed it in the "to be quilted" closet as I didn't really need another queen size quilt. Fast forward to Hands 2 Help 2019. One of the suggested recipients is Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project.  They are looking for twin, full and queen size quilts. Hum, I'd already bought a wide back for the quilt.  Yes!  Time to get this out and quilt it.  Except, with the two borders it is bigger than the wide back I purchased.  So, I decided to take off one of the borders and make it narrower. Or so I thought. So, then I decided to take off the inner border and just not use it. In the end I took 4" off each side and it still is a healthy 81 x 104ish inches with the final border smaller.  

I carefully measured the backing.  It would be really close especially when 5 or 6" would be used to clamp the backing to the rollers of Ruthie, the long arm.  So I sewed some additional strips of fabric on the top and bottom of the top so I could clamp the excess fabric and have enough for the backing. All right. Let's get this quilt done. Um, not so fast. I have been basting my quilts to the batting and backing instead of just letting the batting and top float over the rail.  Good thing I did that because the batting was about 3" too short for the quilt top.  OH GOOD GRIEF!  Easily solved but not all that quick.  I trimmed off the batting on one side as I worked down the quilt.  Then I used that piece and hand stitched it to the end of the batting.  And then, I let Ruthie do the rest of the magic and it is now quilted. 

Later this week I'll figure out the binding hopefully using the excess I cut off of the border.  If not, I don't know what I'll do for a binding.... I'll take a better picture when I get it bound.  

I made it through all of my goals this week.  The hand quilting part was a very short time but I did get some work done on it.  There's still 4 more sashing pieces needed between the rows of granny blocks but at least progress is being made on all fronts! 
April 15, 2019

Load and quilt Mystery of Powhatan quilt
Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt
Continue sashing granny blocks for larger quilt

Finish border on snowflake quilt

And this week...
April 22, 2019
Bind Mystery of Powhatan quilt
Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt
Finish sashing granny blocks 
Quilt snowflake quilt
Make pillow shams for our bed 

Have you ever succeeded in getting 4 lively grandchildren to stand up nicely, smile (without making monster faces or sticking tongues out) and generally look put together for a group picture?  Well, no, neither have I recently.  But I did catch this picture of them being swung on a hammock today. They were having a blast. 
From left to right Sophie, Theo, Ellie and Natalie: cousin fun. 
I'm linking up with my regular Monday parties: Oh Scrap, Monday Making, and Moving It Forward.  You know the drill -- I'll come back tomorrow to link up with parties that haven't started yet.  And, yes, I will definitely be spending time blog hopping this week.  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Monday Meanderings 4 - 15 - 2019

Happy Tax Day to all of my USA readers.  Ok, so most people don't think this day is a happy occasion but we were well pleased with this year's tax return.  

I realized I have yet to announce my March stashbusting report.  It wasn't horrible but I didn't do all that much "busting."

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

Yea, the only reason it's still showing I'm using fabric is from previous month's usage. Bleh.  Hopefully this month I'll have a big finish or two that will make a great big dent. 

Or not, since I did some online shopping last week.  Sigh.  How do you turn down the chance to buy quilt shop quality fabric for $2.91 a yard.  I'll wait.  Reread that statement.  Yep, you can't buy fabric at this quality that cheaply usually.  But Thousands of Bolts had a sale last week.  

I actually took a look at the fabric because I need a backing for the friendship stars I showed last week.  There were pages of fabric to go through -- most I wasn't interested in. I found a red with white polka dots that might work so I ordered 3 yards. I looked again and added 3 more fabrics that would work as either pillowcases or quilts.  Um, I wasn't sure whether I had any fabric to go with the new fabrics so I checked again, used the site's Color Matcher and came up with a green that goes with most of the prints. In the end, I purchased 7 yards of fabric and the total cost including Priority Mail was under $30.  Not too shabby.  I'm pretty sure I placed my order on late Monday night and it was in my hands by Thursday mid day.  AMAZING.  (No, I am not being compensated for these comments.  I was just blown away by the price, quality and the service.) 

Here are my purchases -- first the cute prints and then with the the other two fabs. 
It's so much fun to get new fabric and start a new project.  I'm guessing one of these prints will become a new quilt pretty soon.  I tend to make mostly "boy" quilts or gender neutral quilts.  I haven't taken the red fabric to the studio to see if it actually works with the friendship stars quilt tops.  Even if it doesn't there will be something it will work with. (Like the cute bunny fabric to the left.) 

So with all that shopping going on you might wonder if there was any quilting or  piecing going on.  Um, not as much as there should be.  Sigh.  Here's the goals report. 
April 8, 2019
Load & begin quilting Mystery of Powhatan quilt Nope
Begin sashing granny blocks for larger quilt
Finish border on snowflake quilt√ well, I would have except I ran out of the last border print. 
Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt√ 
Plan aqua pillow shams nope, didn’t even look at the fabric

And for this coming week... I've got several day things that will cut into my quilting time. But here's what I'm going to try to do. 

April 15, 2019
Load and quilt Mystery of Powhatan quilt
Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt
Continue sashing granny blocks for larger quilt
Finish border on snowflake quilt

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap!, Monday Making, and Moving It Forward. Have fun checking what folks are working on around the internet. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Monday Meanderings 4 - 8 - 2019

On Saturday my design wall looked like this.  I laid out both sets of Friendship Star blocks and decided it made a lot of sense just to sew them together.   I've ordered some red to use as a backing. There is a good likelihood they will be done in the next month or so.  Both will be given away.  I've got a few things on the side of my design wall that probably should be either done or taken down.  Don't hold your breath on either of those things happening. 

Today I worked on this snowflake block.  Ugh... not happy with my original plan. 

This is going to Jack's Basket as part of Hands 2 Help.  They are looking for smaller quilts -- 36" square approximately.  The snowflake and the grey border are about 18" so I thought the corner 9 patches and border would bring it up closer to 36". I often ask Sharon or Beth for advice on quilts that are not going together well.  Sharon nixed the softer blue -- too blah.  And the 9 patches are out of scale with the original block.  Darn, I hate it when she is right.  Back to the drawing board.  I'm going to see what else might go around that block.  Hum, what are the chances of me having any snowman fabric in the right color?  So this one needs to stay on the goals list this week.  

My goals list did a great job of keeping me focused this week. Everything got moved forward.  
April 1, 2019
Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt 
Finish blocks for Hearts for Gumboat
Begin work on the snowflake quilt
Pick a UFO to work onactually, sewed the blocks together so they go in the to-be-quilted closet
Work on next granny block quilt

This coming week I'll continue to focus on my hand quilting even if only for a couple of hours.
April 8, 2019
Load & begin quilting Mystery of Powhatan quilt
Begin sashing granny blocks for larger quilt
Finish border on snowflake quilt
Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt
Plan aqua pillow shams 

I don't have much going on this week so there is a good chance I can get a good start and perhaps finish some of these items.  

I'm linking up with my regular parties: Oh Scrap, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, and Moving It Forward. I'll check back later to add the other link.  I enjoyed time checking other blogs.  It's addictive and I come away with so many great ideas.  Hope you check out a few too. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenge and One Monthly Goal

This year I've gone wild with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I'm not sure why I am making 3 different block sets but I am.  Since I rarely post about the blocks I thought I'd drag them all out and show all of what I am making for the RSC.  

First up a single block each month.  This is called Bright Block by Ravenna87.  (I'm sorry to admit I have no idea where I got this from.) It's not very exciting yet but wait til I get some sashing and the flying geese border.  It is really cute. 

Next up is a Propeller Block.  I used one that Jan at The Colorful Fabricholic gave directions for.  And, if you click on Newer Posts at the bottom of the post it will take you to her next post where she shows several ways you can lay out the block.  I started the first two months by making 4 of the blocks but for some unknown reason I went to 3 for March. I may go back to making 4 blocks just so I have lots of blocks to play with when I'm ready to make a quilt or 3. By the way, that top left block is actually a dark green with light green swirls in it. It may not make it to any of the final quilts.
My last set of blocks is based on Stash Statement by Kelly Young.  You can see the pattern I'm using here. It's been a lot of fun to make these blocks -- I'm making them oversized and then trimming to the size needed. 
In these pictures I'm trying to get an idea on the color of background fabric I want to use.  I will probably make the quilt smaller than the one Kelly features.  I like the fabric on the left but I don't have enough.  The fabric on the right is too dull for these pretties.  And below is a definite NO! in my mind.  I may have a hard time using that fabric for anything. 
One of these days I'll take the blocks to a quilt store and audition fabric for the backing. I could actually being making the rows each month and be well on the way to a finish by the end of the year. 

Before I lose my opportunity to link up to the One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts here's my goal for April.  
You may be asking yourself what I'm going to be working on -- Pillow Shams. Not my favorite activity but our bed and Sea Glass will look so much better with turquoise pillow shams instead of boring white pillow cases.  My plan is to set Ruthie to quilting designs on the center rectangle and then finish off the shams. I'm tired of all the white in the bedroom so I'm pretty darn sure I will finish these this month with no problems!  

I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts' April Goal Setting Linky Party and SOScrappy's Scrap Happy Saturday.  (Hum, interesting how my pillow shams work right in with the Aqua at RSC this month.)  I'm ready to finish my goals for this week so I'm heading down to the studio.  I need to sew! 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie