Monday, December 26, 2016

Sweet Sixteen

I have most of my little 2-1/2" bow ties sorted into 48 stacks to be sewn into 16-patch blocks. Even though it's the same amount of work, it seems less daunting to face the task of sewing 48 blocks into a quilt top instead of 768 individual blocks!



So far I've made 16 of the blocks, which will finish at approximately 8" each. I'm anxious to get this done, but my mind is already getting in my way. I'm trying to decide if I want to put a border on it to make it a little bigger. The way it is now it should be about 48" x 56" which is just a little small for a lap quilt (especially if it needs to cover my lap!)  :) :) :)

I'll probably adjust my current layout to 6 across and start sewing a few rows together. I want to see how those corners look when they're sewn together.

I'd really like a cool way to do some dots in a border so I could call the quilt "buttons and bows", but that's just not panning out.

So now my thoughts have turned to some kind of fabulous applique. Something kind of like this:

This is a border from Piece O' Cake Designs. Unfortunately, the pattern is now out of print.

I guess I still have some time to think about it....

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Is This a New Me?

I really had no business starting as many quilt-alongs this year as I did, but that didn't stop me. So when life's blessings and challenges took priority, I fell behind.  I would wander into my sewing room occasionally to work on something, but most projects just gathered dust. Generally, once I get too far behind I lose interest and don't finish. I don't actually quit the project - I just stuff it in a bag or container to finish later (ha ha)!

Luckily (?), I have no space left in my sewing room to start another project so I'm trying to finish a few starts from earlier this year.

I have actually finished all my little blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and now I'm sewing them into larger blocks for the piecing portion of my quilt. Yay!



That is such a good feeling. I definitely want more of it! The Meadow Mystery is still in progress, so yesterday I got busy finishing what I could. And now I think I'm caught up on that one too!



I'm really liking this. Maybe this is a whole new me.....like version 2.0.  Or Vicki2017...or....hey! does anyone remember the old Commodore Vic-20 computers? Is that what they were called? Wait. Where was I? How did I get so far off-track?

**sigh**  I guess the old me is still alive and well!!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Quick Bow Tie Cutting

To be honest, I didn't really think I'd get 800 little bow tie blocks finished by year end (80 blocks each month of the assigned color) back in April when I started the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I wanted to make a scrappy mini bow tie quilt and I was already behind as the quilt along had started in January.

Monday, December 12, 2016

800 Quilt Blocks!!

What does 800 quilt blocks look like?



Full disclosure -  these blocks are very small; it's not like piecing a 12" block. Right now they're unfinished 2-1/2" squares.

These are the blocks for my first ever Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Each month for 10 months we make one or more blocks of our own choosing from scraps of a designated color. I'm really excited to finish this one, so hopefully I can have a completed quilt to show soon.

I'm working on a tutorial for making a ton of these little blocks very quickly. Sadly, it was sometime during month 8 that I figured out how to cut out 80 of these in about a half hour. That's compared to the first color I worked on, which took me 3 or 4 evenings - working a few hours each night! So if you have a lot of smaller scraps you'd like to use up, this might be a scrappy quilt to consider making.



I should have the tutorial with my super speedy method for cutting the pieces for a bow tie block posted sometime this week.

Linking up with the RSC16 ScrapHappy Saturday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving to Christmas Pot Holders

I was standing in my kitchen the other day when the towels hanging on my stove caught my eye and I thought, "hmmm, those don't really say Thanksgiving!".  ;)
So I figured I needed to change them.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Didn't Quite Catch Up

I started the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in April, so I was already behind when I chose a quilt with a lot of blocks. October is the last month that we're given a color - November and December are designated as the time to complete our quilt.

I still need to do the gray blocks and the yellow blocks. However, they should go pretty fast because I've finally got this down to a science! 

I've come up with a super fast way to cut the pieces needed to make the 80 blocks. What a shame that it took me so long! And I also have a good methodical chain-piecing and pressing routine. But that got me thinking how great it would've been to know these "speed tricks" when I started. So I'm going to take some pics as I cut and sew the last two colors and then put together a tutorial (just in case anyone wants to make a similar quilt during the next RSC). 

Until then, here's what I have so far - 80 blocks of each of the first eight colors. These little cuties will finish at 2" square! 


I'm linking up with Angela at ScrapHappy.





Monday, July 25, 2016

Pink Rainbow Scrap Challenge

I got all my hot(ish) pink squares cut, but I haven't sewn them into blocks yet. I'm linking these up with soscrappy for RSC16.


Earlier this month, I finished the brown bow ties so they got added to the box. There are now 400 little bow ties ready and waiting. I still need to get the blue ones from January (?I think?) done. I just fell behind a bit on everything this month.



Sometimes I fantasize about wearing a cute little micro-mini quilt block on a chain around my neck that has a button I could press and say "help - I've fallen behind and can't get caught up"! The dispatcher would come on, calm me down and say help is on the way. Then my front door would burst open and a fun group of super-quilters would rush in and start cutting and pressing and organizing. Most importantly, organizing.

  **sigh**  :)

12 Days of Christmas in July

I finished this quilt top in record time, thanks to the creativity and pattern writing genius of Sarah Craig who blogs at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. She ran a Christmas quilt tutorial for 12 days, after which you have a completed 76" x 76" quilt top!



The way this pattern is written is just fantastic. If you're thinking about making this quilt, let me tell you: do it! It's so fun to follow her directions and have all the seams nest together so smoothly....even with all those half square triangles going every direction!

I have quite a few Christmas quilts, so I decided to do more of a snowy winter's night take on it. I have white snowflakes on a scrappy dark batik background. And even with reversing the color scheme, it was a breeze!

I'll be linking up on Sarah's blog, where you can find lots of other quilty Christmas inspiration.

One final comment on the beauty of this pattern: today was day 12 (the final day) - I started on day 9!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Solstice & Summer Fun

I'm getting caught up on a number of projects over the next few days. I finished these flying geese blocks just before the next step in this quilt along is released tomorrow. Phew!


I love this Summer Solstice quilt by Melissa Corry. Click here for more information. 

I fell behind a little bit for the best possible reason. I've been having all kinds of fun with these little sweethearts.



In addition to the indoor playgrounds, we've been swimming to escape the 105+ degree heat...well, if you can call 90 degree water an escape! 

Anyway, it's been a blast having them all together - I miss the noise and commotion already! 






Summer Solstice

When I first saw Melissa Corry's blog post about her Summer Solstice quilt along, I thought about whether or not to join for approximately 7/10 of a second. This is such a cool quilt - actually, it has more of a hot, blistering sun kind of vibe and I love it!

She has numerous block and quilt sizes, so you can make this in any size from a small baby quilt to a king size bed quilt. She also posted a nice variety of fabric and color options. You can purchase the bundles or be inspired to select your own. After pulling out nearly every fabric I own, I came back to her original color scheme. Those colors are all sunshine and heat. 

These are the fabrics I selected. My background fabric is a white on white cross hatch.


And here are all the cut pieces, ready to go!



For more information on Summer Solstice, click here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Maggie's First Dance

I've been joining quilt alongs right and left these days! I have a need for variety in quilting - I think that could be why I have so many UFOs. I start a new quilt and part way through, I'm bored with it or something new and exciting has caught my eye.

But with a bunch of quilt alongs, I'm always working on something different. And, since I only make one block or do a little bit of cutting, I don't have a chance to get bored with it and I'm always excited for the next set of instructions to be released.

Maggie's First Dance is one of the new quilt alongs I've joined. Here is my first block:



More information on this project can be found at jacquelynnesteves.com. You need to sign up to receive the pattern and instructions by email. Her version is just darling!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Thread Journey quilt along

I've joined the Thread Journey Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard on the Aurifil blog. Here's my center section which we prepared in part 1:



After the strips were sewn together, the branches, leaves, birds, nest and birdhouse were appliqued onto the background:


We'll be working on this every two weeks. Since this was actually posted June 16, I only have to wait a little more than a week to get the next step!

This gorgeous quilt along looks like a lot of fun and I hope to improve my quilting beyond the jerky meander stitch I do now! :)

For more information or to join, click here to go to the Aurifil blog.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Progress on Two

I completed block 4 of the Summer Sampler this week. The blocks are very modern and working with all solids has been somewhat challenging, but so far, I'm happy with these!



There are a total of 20 blocks, with a new one released each Monday. This quilt along is being hosted by Lee (FreshlyPieced), Katie (SwimBikeQuilt) and Faith (FreshLemonsQuilts).

                                             ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

I've also been following a quilt along hosted by Debbie (QuiltedMoose.com) called From Louise's Garden for more than 6 weeks now. Today I told myself either join or move on. It's only 12 blocks that finish at 4-1/2" so I'm not sure why I didn't start sooner. Debbie tells the sweetest story about her grandmother (Louise) throughout the posts. So I started making the blocks today and even got all of the first 6 completed.



There's something so adorable about small blocks that can't be captured by a camera. And these little blocks certainly are sweet! The colors are more vibrant reds, golds and browns than the photo shows, also. I can't wait to see how this finishes.  :)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Ahhhhh, the Ocean!

I jumped right into the cool, refreshing color of June and got the pieces cut for 80 aqua blocks. Actually, they're not all aqua - I also included some turquoise shades too. Really, anything that I thought didn't quite fit into the box of blue fabrics.

These blocks will become 2" finished bow ties for my (first) Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016 quilt.


I love these colors and am really excited to get the little blocks all sewn up!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

July 4th Wall Hanging

My parents live in an age-restricted neighborhood - neighborhood might be a tad misleading because there are about 15,000 residents in their "neighborhood". Anyway, they go out to breakfast once a month with a small group of people that live around their block.

Recently, one of the ladies stuck a sticker on the bottom of someone's plate and that person won the centerpiece from the table. (I had visions of everyone dumping omelets and waffles all over the table, checking to see if they won!)

Anyway, my mom decided that was a lot fun and she probably needed to get in on the action. Now, my mom is more "get in on" and less "action" when it comes to most everything! So that prompted a phone call to me requesting a Fourth of July wall hanging she could offer as the next prize.

I scrolled around Pinterest for awhile and found a free pattern to make this:



It's pretty small - maybe 10" x 15", so I hope it's okay!



Saturday, May 28, 2016

Summer Sampler Block 2

Before this Summer Sampler, I've only made one quilt out of all solids. It's one of my favorites. So I cannot understand why I don't make more solid color quilts.

Anyway, this is block 2. It was a really cool block to make.



It came out way different than I pictured it when I was selecting fabrics. And now I can't even remember what I thought it would look like! No matter - I love the way it turned out.

Here are the first two together:


Looking forward to Monday.  :)


RSC16 Green Bow Ties

I'm so excited about this bow tie quilt. This month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge color was forest green. I got all of the green bow ties done.



And since I didn't start until April, I've also got to get the first 3 months done. I managed to squeeze in 80 purple blocks too.
I now have 3 colors done. Once I get caught up, it'll seem pretty easy to only have one color to do each month!


Anytime I feel like I may have bitten off more than I can chew, I go back and look at my inspiration photo and I get all fired up again. I really, really want this quilt to get finished.

I think next month I'll do brown plus the June color.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

In Our Garden Blocks 7 & 8

This fun block of the month just keeps rolling along with great blocks every month. The blocks for May were designed by Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks. Here are my two:



We don't really have 'normal' gardens here in the desert, but I took my blocks out to the rock garden since I have a plant that's blooming!




My pieced block is shown here with a little bit of greenery (and, uh.....yellowry, I guess!):




For more information on this BOM, visit Amy at Sew Incredibly Crazy. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Summer Sampler 2016

Here is my first block from the Summer Sampler 2016 quilt along. Lee (FreshlyPieced), Katie (SwimBikeQuilt) and Faith (FreshLemonsQuilts) gathered 7 other great quilters/designers and created a fantastic, modern quilt-along that features 20 great blocks!



I chose to do mine in all solids, trying to select colors that are a little softer but still deeply saturated. I'm also in this navy-as-an-accent phase so I'll be using some dark blue in each block.



The second block was just released on Monday, so there's still plenty of time to join in if you're interested! :)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Zipper Pouches


I've been traveling a bit and haven't done a lot of sewing this past week or so. I went to visit my daughter, her husband and this adorable little guy:



He's right at 2-1/2 years old now and is soooo much fun! He talks like he's 6 and is just the happiest kid. He operates at two speeds....full throttle and asleep.

Then, my closest friend came back to Vegas with me for a few days. We yakked a lot and laughed even more - we also got a few scrappy zipper pouches made. The sun was super bright so I tried to get a shaded picture, which wasn't the best idea.


The birdie pouch was my favorite:



Yesterday, I sewed up 40 of the purple bow tie blocks that I had cut last month. I also snapped a pic of this giant magnolia bloom.



I've got one more short trip this month and then I need to get serious and get somethings done! :)


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Little Progress

Monday, I sewed all the corner pieces of the purple bow ties and got them trimmed and pressed. They're ready to be sewn into the 4-patches that make the bow ties.



Then  on Tuesday, I decided I needed a little break from all the small sewing. I have this project I started a month or so ago, using some larger scrap pieces. It's a quilt-as-you-go project. Each block finishes at about 16" square.

I took this pile of 48 blocks:



And sewed them into 12 large squares:



To quilt like this:



I have a friend coming to visit next week - she wants to learn how to do a QAYG project so I'm saving the blocks until then.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

In Our Garden Blocks 5 & 6

Here are my April blocks for Amy's (Sew Incredibly Crazy) block of the month, In Our Garden. Amy has a guest designer create 2 blocks - one applique and one pieced - each month in a whimsical garden theme.



These blocks were designed by Doris of Quilting Queen Online.
I added one extra flower to the applique block. I just love her addition of embroidery for the water sprinkles.



And this is my pieced block. I made a slightly different block from Doris' darling rosebud block because I'm using only browns for my pieced blocks and I thought her design in all brown might be a little too much brown!



See more of these blocks here.

Bow Tie Plan

I made 80 orange bow ties for April's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.



And I loosely mapped out a plan for this quilt. I'll make (48) 8" finished blocks and use a 6 across/8 down block layout. Each block will be made up of (16) 2" finished bow ties. So I'll need 768 scrappy bow ties. The RSC16 posts a new color each month for 10 months (the last two months are reserved to sew the blocks together and quilt and bind). I'll need to make 80 (or fewer) of each monthly color.

What a fantastic way to make me sort through bins of scraps, using up little pieces and cutting and/or sorting fabrics.

Now I just need to get the previous 3 months caught up! It should go pretty quickly, though. These little bow ties are unbelievably fast to sew together.

Yesterday, I got the purple squares cut out. :)


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Resistance is futile...

I've been watching everyone post all kinds of fun and colorful blocks from this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 3-1/2 months and I just can't take it anymore! I have to join in. I've been using the excuse that I don't know what to make.

Then I saw this on Pinterest:


**sigh**

Well, now I have no excuse so I better get cutting.

April's color is orange. Yay!

I think the best way to join in the middle of a quilt along or block of the month is to start with the current one and keep up with the group. Then catch up on the prior blocks as you find time. That way you're a part of the real time fun with everyone else and not lagging behind by yourself.

I'm making 2" finished bow tie blocks. So I'm going to need a lot of these:



And a bunch of these:



And a big ol' pile of these:

And then I need to catch up with blue, brown and purple!

For more information on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC16), go to So Scrappy's blog.