Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Quilt Camp

Picking and Stitching

Quilt Camp

This makes my fifth year to teach a Mystery Quilt at Arrow Rock Quilt Camp. Choosing a pattern is always the hardest part, but I decided on it in November and had it on a bed by Christmas. That is the earliest I have ever finished one. I used the Missouri Star pattern of Quatrefoil, adding a few of my favorite piecing tricks. Here's my version:

Now you know why I was inspired to have it on a bed by Christmas. The fabrics are a layer cake by Barbara Brackman with some additions from my stash. Here are some pictures of some of the blocks made by those taking the class. There was lots of variety in the fabric selections.

I'm looking forward to seeing some finishes appear on the camp Facebook page. Good job, girls!
Just a note to my blog readers:  I am moving my blog to Bloglovin, which is an app which combines all of your blogs in one place.(  This app is much more user friendly to post from the I-Pad, which is sometimes more convenient than the laptop.  Also, the Blogger app does not appear to be supported anymore, or maybe just for PC devices.  I've had more and more trouble with it lately so just decided to move the blog to something easier.  I can still send the posts by email, so if you are getting it that way, let me know in the comments and I will keep a list.  You can also follow me on Pinterest, my page is "Judy Smith" and the board is "Picking and Stitching".  I will see how it goes and may adjust as time goes along.  I do appreciate all of you and look forward to hearing how this change works for you.  

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    Friday, March 24, 2017

    Moving Right Along

         I finished the Churn Dash earlier this month.  This is the one using the Regent Street fabrics, the American version of Liberty Lawns.  I enjoyed quilting it, but it seemed to get bigger and bigger as I worked on it.  

          It is now done, though, and bringing a breath of Spring to my dining room.

     I finished it in time to leave for my week-end in New York with the local theatre group.  This was my first trip ever to the Big Apple, so really enjoyed it.  Not much sightseeing, but saw 3 Broadway shows in 2 days.  This was on my bucket list and I enjoyed it as much as I thought I would.

    From our hotel room window.

    Waiting in line to see Sunset Blvd.  

         My next big project involves Rug Hooking.  My friend Sharon and I are organizing a two day retreat here in Arrow Rock on April 7-8.  Neither of us has done this before, so we are a little nervous.  My goal this week was to make some zipper bags to give for door prizes.  Sharon had some adorable sheep fabric (rug hookers love sheep anything).  I added some companion fabric from the stash, bought some zippers and sewed like the wind. 
    5 total zipper bags, 3 boxed bags and 2 flat ones. 
    Once I made the first one, they really went fast. 

         Now to complete the rug I'm working on, so I can start a new one at retreat.  Here's the one I'm trying to finish.

         Wish me luck....


         Red is the Color of the Month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and was also the color for our guild Scrap Basket Challenge in February.  One of my 2017 goals is to utilize my Go cutter more, so used my Kite die to make a Baby Grace donation quilt.  I'm calling it Bandana.  

         I finally decided to try my hand at English Paper Piecing.  Friend Janie had given me some precut shapes several years ago, so I started with them not really expecting to like it.  Surprise, Surprise!  I love it!  It is now my favorite take-along project.  These rosettes are now a table mat, blanket stitched to a piece of flannel and decorating an antique table.

    There are sure to be a few more of these in my future.  
    Linking up with SoScrappy,

    Friday, March 10, 2017

    March. In like a Lamb

         The winter months have just flown, partly because we have had so little winter weather here in Missouri and partly because I have been on the go.  I covered the Florida trip in a post last month.  That was January.   In February, my older daughter and I joined my younger daughter and family in Puerto Rico for a few days.  I can't say enough good things about that place.  The weather was perfect, the people are so nice, the food is good and if you like beach, there is a lot of it.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures.
    Parrots at a National Forest Preserve

    Blue, blue water.

    Sunset on the beach.

    Old San Juan from El Morro, the old fort.

    Two days after I returned from this trip, our guild's retreat happened.  It was a lot of fun and I actually got all of the blocks done for the Floral Churn Dash quilt that I started last Spring.  

    The colors are not showing true in this picture.  The background is Moda Bella, Butter, a beautiful pale yellow.  I layered and basted it today, found a great FMQ design on Pinterest, so plan to start quilting on it tomorrow.   More about this one later.  
    En Provence is a quilt!  It is quilted, bound and hanging in my dining room.  Here's a picture after it was finished.

    I love these Bonnie mysteries, but happy I only made a half size.  

         I hope you are accomplishing some sewing and having some fun too.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

    Groundhog Day

       Six more weeks of winter!  In my book, that means six more weeks of good quilting weather.  I'm not sure where January went, but it sure went fast.  I spent a good portion of it finishing En Provence, which is now a flimsy.  Applause, please!
    Now if I could just decide how to quilt it.  I usually end up quilting some all over pattern on Bonnie quilts because I can't decide on a block pattern.  I layered and basted it today, so I need to decide soon.  Any ideas will be appreciated.  
        I did spend a week in Florida, sewing with friends.  We had a great time, although a couple of the girls ended up going to urgent care because of colds/flu.  We still managed to get some sewing done.  I worked on En Provence. 

    The gal on the left is a brand new quilter and this is her first project.  She did a great job and purchased more fabric during our trip to Quilting by the Bay in Panama City.  I managed to do a little damage there too. 
    I took tea towels for everyone last year and challenged them to bring them back decorated this year.   Here's the tea towel show:

    Mine is the one with the prairie points.  Here is a close-up.

    Here are some more pictures from the week.  
    The sand is as white as snow.  

    They do a good job of protecting the dunes in this area.  Wooden walkways are built over them to prevent people walking through them. 

    Here is my other flimsy from January.  This is a UFO from 2010.  It was featured in McCalls Quilting, a design by the Homestead Hearth girls, Sarah Maxwell and Delores Smith, using Jo Morton fabrics.  When it came out, I immediately ordered the printed star fabric, collected some fat quarters and then it languished in the stash until last year.  It was on my 2016 UFO list, but didn't get finished.  Most of the blocks were done, but not assembled.  I pulled it out again in December and worked on it between mystery clues.  I'm sending it out to be quilted because it is so big, about 90" X 95".  

         That's how I spent my January.  How was yours?

    Friday, January 6, 2017

    Possibilities, #1

         Do you love January as much as I do?  Its all about possibilities; making the UFO list, listing the year's goals, making the bucket list of new quilts to make, deciding between all of the challenges or blocks of the month to join.  Top of the list was the Bonnie Hunter Mystery.  The big reveal was New Years Eve and I put one block together on New Years Day to see how it was going to look with my color scheme.  I substituted blues for the purple and lavender, then at the last minute substituted the only purple in my stash for the green. Here's my block....

    I'm so glad I left out the green.  I'm still trying to use green and black blocks from Grand Illusion that I wouldn't use in the quilt.  
         Next up was cleaning and organizing my stash closet.  It wasn't too bad except for the repro fabrics.  I keep my Civil War stash separate from the rest.  Here is a before picture; 

    Pitiful, isn't it?

        Something had to be done, so another bin was created.  I separated into  lights and darks.

    One of my top goals for the year was to use more of my 
                                                       Civil War stash, so this should help.  
     There is a Stashbuster challenge called BookIt that I signed up for.  The premise for it is to choose a book setting on the shelf and make something from it.  I chose Pattern Play by Lynn Roddy Brown, which contains many CW patterns.  From that, I chose Shattered Dishes.  I have always loved the block Broken Dishes and this block just expands it a little.  The pattern as pictured takes 32 blocks, so I will make 3/month.  Love those violet  setting triangles, so might have to look for something similar.

    Here's my 3 blocks.

         I didn't really like the method for making the blocks, so adapted the directions to use 3-1/2" strips which fits into my Scrap Savers system.  

         My other new project is an adaption of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  We decided to do something similar within our quilt guild, called Scrap Basket Challenge.  We decided on 12 different colors or styles of fabrics and draw one a month.  The category drawn for January was solids.  On Pinterest, I saw a spool quilt made with black backgrounds and thought it very striking, so decided on that.  I am making 6" finished spools, using the stitch and flip method, but you could make them any size.   I will make 10 blocks per month.  I have a very small stash of solids, mostly Kona's, only the blue came from scraps.  The others were cut from FQ's (so much for the scrap busting plan).  
         More about "Possibilities" later.  For now, I'm back to the sewing room to 
    Keep on Stitchin'

    Thursday, January 5, 2017

    Accounting for the Year

         Do you like to keep numbers on quilting and sewing projects?  Until the last few years, I didn't do it either.  About three years ago, I started keeping a little notebook and by 2015, had graduated to a three ring binder and computer generated charts and forms.  I know, a little crazy, but I love it.  First, it was a UFO list, then it was stash accounting.  Now it is weekly to do lists, block counts, etc.  You get the idea.  I've created a monster and it is me.  Your eyes are probably glazing over by now, but here goes.

    MY STATS!  2016

    20 total quilt related projects completed.  Most were at least lap size.
    8 UFO's completed out of 14 declared.
    17 New starts, 12 completed
    162.5 yards of fabric purchased
    107.8 yards sewn (making the 100 yard dash)
    >350 blocks sewn (the exact figure is on Shelly's Prairie Moon blog)

    If you have any interest in seeing any of my worksheets, leave a comment and I will email to you.
    Now, onto 2017 Goals.  You do that, don't you?

    GOALS!  2017

    UFO'S - 12  ( hope to finish at least 9)
    Use more scraps in my quilts, think of them first.
    Reduce purchases, equalize purchases with usage
    Reduce Civil War stash (it is totally out of control)
    Utilize my Accuquilt GO more, revise my planning to fit the dies I have.

    Planned New Starts:
    Yellow and grey Sew-In challenge ( I purchased fabric last May, must be done by May 2017)
    Scrap Basket Challenge ( a guild activity which I will talk about in a later post)
    BookIt Challenge (a Stashbuster Yahoo Group challenge)
    6 Charity Quilts, 4 crib size and 2 twin size.

    A very modest plan for new starts, I know, but I am constantly getting distracted by the next new thing.  I know myself well.  That list will grow before the year is out.
    Enough writing, I need to sew.