Then I felt compelled to make a pink one anyway so I made the ice cream quilt. It was fun!
These are two quick blankets I made for Project Linus. We have started meeting each month and we pick a color in which to make a blanket for the next month. Well, I got busy and missed pink and purple, so when it came to blue I was still in the mood to make a baby girl blanket, not a boy one. So I used this blue rosebuds and made the first one. I used a strip of flannel as a flange and then trimmed it up to make it raggedy just for interest.
Then I felt compelled to make a pink one anyway so I made the ice cream quilt. It was fun!
Here is an I-Spy blanket I made from a swap. I have to be honest, I think it's the one and only I-Spy I will ever do. Partly because I am not at all good with mismatched scrappiness, and it bugs me when fabrics are really, really different, like soft pastel prints and modern prints and cutesy prints all mixed up. I realize that that is perfectly okay in a quilt like this, but somehow, it takes away from my quilting pleasure.
PLUS, this blanket had everything go wrong. The first time I worked on it, I had all the blocks set up just right on a design board with some sewn together, and my cat jumped on the board and sent them all flying. It took me many months to want to figure it all out again.
When I did, I was working with that sense of "Just get this done," which really never turns out well. My sewing friend (a teen who is learning to sew with me) was helping, and we stitched entire rows incorrectly. Even she was discouraged, and I took on all the seam ripping tasks. I was so glad when it was done. But it is done, and I can now cross an I-Spy quilt off my bucket list.
Now this one, I gotta brag. This was made from some screamin' deal fabrics. I bought five charm packs that were solid samplers from Connecting Threads on clearance. There are 24 colors to a pack and they cost about $2 a pack regularly and they were discounted a lot (I am embarrassed to say I don't remember the final price because I've made (ahem) multiple purchases of their clearance samplers in the past).
Anyhow, I bought five charm packs. I cut one pack into four 2.5" squares, so two little squares and two big squares with two black squares made a block. I did the snowball corner thing on the corners of the black blocks to get the bow tie effect and tied on black buttons in the middle of each black section. All in all, it was a pretty simple quilt to make, it's a good size (54" x 72"), and it looks all modern and cool. And the fabric was a screamin' deal – that's the icing on the cake for me, truly.
I bought some more samplers and am working with them now. Stay tuned...
Oh, and both went to Project Linus!
These are three recent finishes that make me happy. I used fabric from my stash, fabric I'd been plotting to use for ages and am happy to have move along to a new home, specifically, to Project Linus and to some child in need.
For this quilt, I used some charm packs I got for a supergooddeal from Connecting Threads. Like so good, I had to buy them. I bought five packs in this color way, and five in another. The possibilities were endless, so much so that it's taken me YEARS to decide on a plan, which was most definitely not the plan.
Anyway, the fabric in between was from a garage sale score. I made one other quilt with this fabric. It's beautiful, all purples and blues and greens. Interestingly enough, it came on rolls of 3". It went perfectly with the charms, which were made into four patches with a snowball corner. The last charm pack I used to make the quilt longer. Not exactly a work of art here, but a finished quilt nonetheless.
Now this one is utilizing my Kaffe Fassett fabric. I used a solid piece of each, then cut little strips and made the scrappy bars. I ended up liking the scrappy bars best – they're so colorful up close! I used some blah fabric from Joann's that came in a three-yard package – called cream, it's actually pale yellow, which worked for this. The backing is turquoise blue fleece.
I used the Elmer's washable glue method of basting to attach the top to the backing, and then I stitched in turquoise around the scrappy bars. Confession: this is the most ambitious quilting I've ever done. I then did the birthing method and tied the top/batting to the backing with turquoise embroidery thread. Again, not a work of art, but done.
The sunrise baby quilt – isn't that so darn cute? I found the pattern here:
One thing I learned the hard way – trimming the sides and lining them up to reattach was a little more tricky than I expected. If I had noticed that *some* of the seams match up and used that fact as a guide, it would have gone much better. But I like it, I think it's very cheery. Kudos to the pattern designer on this!
I just looked at the to-do list on the side bar. Geez, those three projects aren't even on my horizon anymore. I have a boatload of projects in front of them.
Here's a quick quilt I threw together for Project Linus. It was simple, using a cute print that had been donated and a nice coordinating solid. I used batting and some donated white material for the background. I did the birthing method instead of binding.
And...I wasn't paying attention, and I sandwiched them in the wrong order. Now, I've done this more than once, so it was all the more aggravating. I don't even notice until yes, after I've stitched all the way around, and yes, after I've trimmed all the excess fabric.
Then I go to turn the blanket inside out and think, "Hey...this doesn't look right."
And the only options left are to cry, to cut off the seam I've just sewn, or apply another backing through the birthing method. I chose the latter, so this is a good, heavy blanket. Ha.
I tied the corners of touching blue squares and stitched along the bottom blue rows. Nothing fancy, but sweet, warm, and cuddly. Perfect for Project Linus! And even better, no longer to
I got all ambitious and decided to make two PL quilts out of a set of eight fat quarters that I've been hanging onto for a couple of years now. One pattern is a Carpenter's Star (four blocks) and the other is a pattern whose name I don't know but that I puzzled out how to make. I figured out how to cut the fat quarters to make the best possible use of the fabric and to use it up if at all possible. Half way through this process, one of my kids interrupted me, and I had to put the whole project aside because all the information left my brain. Sigh.
I came back to it, though, got it all cut, and sewed a BUNCH of half-square triangles (and remembered why I don't like them, since each one will need trimming and there is a boatload of them). So there is a stack that needs trimming, and I am so not in the mood to trim.
I also started the other blanket and got one fourth of it done only to find I made some mathematical error so the seams don't jive quite right. And I can't even figure out what I did wrong, so it's likely I will repeat that mistake in the other three blocks, which understandably has dimmed my enthusiasm for tackling those blocks.
So instead I have decided to organize my sewing room. This consists of sitting on the spare bed and thinking of all the places where certain things could go (but not actually moving them) and going through boxes and folders of paper to throw away all the patterns that no longer interest me so I'll have room for all the new patterns I've printed out.
I did finally move some things to make more room, but I'm afraid I will find other stuff to fill the gaps. I'm good like that.
One thing I did that was proactive was to go through my stash AGAIN and pull out more fabric that I know I will probably never use. Some of it I love, but still...someone else will love it more, and I can't stand the weight of the unfinished dreams. This has all been prompted by a donation of fabric our chapter is receiving on Tuesday. I can't turn down fabric donations, I simply can't. The potential for discovering wonderful fabric is so great, and I love it. What I don't love is having too much fabric to love. So I've started selling it on the Quilting Board. It makes me feel good to get the fabric into the hands of people who really want it. I also donate anything I can to spread the wealth and encourage quilting, especially charity quilting.
Because I make a lot of blankets for Project Linus, I'm always looking for ideas to make quick quilts. I've tried row quilts, but they never look as good as I'd hoped. On the one below, I even used rick rack on the black strips separating the fabrics to add a little pizzazz, but it still wasn't quite what I was looking for. The fabric was donated by a cool girl who had her own little fabric store in a little resort town. I guess these patterns weren't big sellers, but they went together well. I guess I didn't use batting on this one...hmmmm.
This was another attempt at simple and modular. The best thing about this blanket was that the fabric was donated by a woman who had held onto it for years before finally realizing she'd never sew a quilt and so donated it to Project Linus. When I sent her a picture of this blanket, she was just thrilled, and so then I was just thrilled. And that doesn't even count the good feelings of knowing it went to a child in need.
Here's another that seemed simple...but the seams didn't match up from the two columns. I hate it when that happens! I hid it as best I could with a thin sashing between the two columns and rick rack down the sash. I guess I was in a rick rack phase. My only complaints about rick rack are that you never seem to get enough of it in those little packages, and stitching straight through it always makes me feel like I'm driving on a really curvy road, and it's kind of dizzying.
So back to scrapbooking. It must have been in my pursuit of embroidery patterns that I ended up scrolling through a scrapbooking site (some stamps can make for good embroidery patterns; just sayin'). I found some sample page layouts for a scrap book that I thought could work well for a simple, modern quilt. Here are a few.
These templates can be found here: http://bearnecessitiesscraps.com
I thought the layout under the number 10 could look good with embroidered squares in the three middle boxes and coordinating fabric around them. Or these layouts could work with panels, which are usually too skinny to be practical. I just did something with a panel...too bad I forgot about these layouts. Oh, well. I will post the panel blanket once I get it done. Right now I'm in the middle of a very purple quilt, so I'd better get back to it!
Yesterday I got a call to make some fleece blankets in a hurry. Project Linus asked for 1,000 blankets to send to the high school back east where the shootings occurred. I managed to crank out four yesterday, with a little help from my friends!
I finally got real and used the rotary cutter to cut the strips. That was much less tedious than cutting with scissors. That just left the tying of the knots, but a friend and her daughter came over and each did a blanket, making it possible to get all four done. They are single layer fleece, which is not my most favorite form of fleece blanket (I like matching two fabrics), but what can you do. It was the nature of the beast.
I've been struggling with fabric paralysis for quite some time. You know, where you have so much fabric and so many ideas that you can't ever seem to get anything started – or finished. One one of the quilting forums I frequent, several of us posted a list of UFOs with a goal of finishing them. I listed five projects, of which I finished two, trashed one altogether, and still have two left. But then on another forum someone started a Project Linus kick-off where we each received a yard of fabric to make a PL blanket, which I did. So I've been productive, just not on my UFO list.
I really do want to finish the lap quilt on my UFO list. It's a four-patch posies pattern that I made from fabric I purchased on the anniversary of my mom's death. I spent the day doing things I knew she would enjoy, and me splurging on fabric is definitely something she would have enjoyed -- I generally feel too guilty to pay full price. I pride myself on my ability to get good fabric on sale, and I scour Craigslist for deals. We also get a lot of fabric donated to our local Project Linus, of which I am the assistant to the coordinator, so I get to scope out that fabric, too.
Which leads me to my fabric paralysis...
I'm currently kicking around ideas for utilizing some coordinated fat quarters I have. I like to come up with a pattern that will make the most of the fabric, because the last thing I need is more scraps in my stash. I recently made two French braid quilts with rainbow colors of coordinated shades, and I stuffed all the scraps into an envelope because I can't bear to look at them anymore. So whatever I do has to use up most if not all the fabric, to save my sanity.
How did I come up with this name for my blog?
I will never be recruited into the Quilting Police – I am not a perfectionist when it comes to quilting. I prefer my quilts done (not that I don't have plenty that are only partly done and many many more in the dream stages). I also like to get a deal on fabric, and I like to use up my fabric efficiently. I created this blog to show the method of my madness...
Some of my favorite sites: