Monday, November 30, 2015

Floral strip quilt #1

My November ALYoF project is done - on the last day of the month (again), but it's done!  I even managed to work on another project or two and did some Christmas shopping AND went away for the w/e with my hubby.
For this quilt, I made strips out of the large scale floral fabrics that Cathy and I are using for our Disappearing 4 Patch swap blocks.  The blocks are 4" x 6.5" and the yellow dividing strips are 4" x 1.5".  The terracotta Kona fabric is 4" x the Width of Fabric, and I think there are 7 rows of "bricks" in this quilt.  The problem is, I cut most of my large scale floral fabrics into bricks, and I cut as many yellow dividing strips as I could get out of 0.5 meters - that's a LOT of yellow strips, and consequently, a lot of rows!
As a matter of fact, I think I have another 15 rows of floral strips with yellow divider strips left over!  That's enough for 2 more quilts!  Needless to say, I went out last Friday to buy enough "pickle" Kona fabric to use for one of the extra quilts, AND I found the perfect fabric (on sale!) for the back of that quilt.  If I look hard enough, I may have another bright piece of Kona cotton kicking around here to use for quilt #3...  or I could go shopping again!
So, the finished quilt is ready to show to you.  I used a decorative stitch on my sewing machine for the quilting, and another one to sew the binding down, so the quilt should be able to withstand some wear and tear.  It will be given to one of my favourite charities (Word and Deed) - and I hope that it will brighten up the life of a child and maybe even his family.  I'll be linking up with Melissa's Finishes Party post.
Now that this quilt is done, I've started quilting a top that I finished last year when I did Angela's Rainbow Scrap Challenge last year.  It will also go to Word and Deed, so I should really finish it and get it shipped out this year yet...  I'll post something about it soon!  
December will be the last month to work on ALYoF projects for this year, and I'm not planning to participate in it next year.  I have several time-consuming commitments already sucking up a lot of my time, and it doesn't look like next year is going to have more hours in a day, so I'm going to take a year off from that challenge.  I am hoping to join up with Angela's Rainbow Scrappy Challenge though.  You'll hear more about that in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A quick gift!

Our son moved a few weeks ago - his first apartment totally on his own!  He's lived away from home for at least 6 or 7 years, but always in a group, sharing an apartment or a house.  This is the first time that he has to provide everything that a good "home" should have - and he's discovered that he has a lot of buying to do! Thankfully, it's close to Christmas, so we should be able to help him fill in some of the gaps, but I decided to not make him wait for everything.
He mentioned that he has a fairly dark wooden dining table - and that he'd really appreciate some placemats for it.  We're hoping to visit him this weekend, and I thought that a few placemats would make a great house-warming gift.  But, with less than no time to make placemats from scratch, I had to think fast!  That's when I remembered the quilt blocks that are stacking up in my sewing room.  I've been trying out different blocks for various reason (auditioning blocks for a quilt, trying out a new block pattern, etc.) and I had several blocks that really weren't committed to any cause at this point.  They'd just need a strip down either side to make them the right size, and I'd be good to go.
What a nice surprise to find that I had made these two "x and plus" quilt blocks, using the same 3 fabrics, and one different, but coordinating fabric:
I found my stash of Kona "Snow" - cut 4 - 3" wide strips and sewed them to the sides.  That looked good, so I got them layered; I stitched them together tonight, and even got them quilted with some SID stitching. 

I'm happy with the way they turned out - and I'll find out on Saturday if he agrees!

Friday, November 20, 2015

The top is finished...

Well, I've completed my floral striped quilt top.  I don't know if there's a name for this pattern - I saw a picture of it online somewhere and realized that it would be easy enough to make without a proper pattern. I've used leftover fabrics from the large-scale florals that I'm using for the swap with Cathy, and terracotta and yellow Kona cottons.
When I had the rows done, I thought they looked unfinished, so I sewed terracotta strips up the sides.  I like the look!  What do you think?

Now that this top is done, I discovered that I have enough leftover floral panels to make at least one more quilt like this!  I'll have to find more fabric for the alternate stripes - shucks, that means that I may have to go shopping again...!
I'm linking up to Sarah's "Can I Get a whop-whoop?" post.

Friday, November 13, 2015

I've been busy!

I promised you a look at some of the things that I've been working on recently, and here they are!
First off, I FINALLY  finished a quilt that's been about 5 years in the making.  I bought the fabric on a whim, when hubby and I were on a trip to Shipshewana with hubby's cousin and his wife.  A few of my cyber-quilting friends live fairly close to Shipshewana, and we arranged to meet up at Yoder's.  One thing after another delayed our arrival, until we pulled up at 5:10 pm.  They close at 5:30....  I dashed in, while everyone else proceeded on to our hotel.  I met my friends in person finally, and we ducked in to see what wonderful things Yoder's had available.  I chose a few white T-O-T fabrics, then saw a great green.  I took it to the counter, asked for 4 yards, paid for it and my white fabrics, and then went to the hotel.  My friends stayed with us for supper, and we had a lovely evening, but they wondered what I was planning to do with the green fabric - and at that time, I had no idea!  Four yards of fabric...  Fast forward about 9 months, and I found a quilt pattern called Swirlygig.  I fell in love! and guess what - it required 4 yards of a dark fabric for the main print and the binding!  I found a great gold-yellow fabric with green splotches, added a white fabric, and made the top.  Then it got tucked away for about 2 years - until a local long-arm quilter had a sale on her quilting services.  It finally got quilted this past winter, and I put the final stitches in the binding yesterday!

Next on the completed pile is a Warm Wishes crib-sized quilt.  This is a quick and easy quilt, originally designed for Project Linus.  I've made a few of these, and always love how it turns out.  This one is made of four different colours from one fabric line, so it's kind of matchy-matchy, but the group that I donated it to loved it!  It's been layered for a few months, and finally was quilted and bound in time for show-and-tell at my guild meeting on Monday night.  It's backed and bound with pink fabric.

And finally, my swap blocks for Cathy - we're nearing the end of our large-scale floral Disappearing 4-patch swap - there's just 2 months left.  These are the blocks that I gave her for October: 

So, now I'm heading back to the machine to sew a few more rows together for my November ALYoF project.  It's coming together nicely - but you'll have to check here in a week or so to see my progress.  I'm linking up to Sarah's Whoop-whoop party!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Nov. 2015's A Lovely Year of Finishes project

I can't get over how quickly these past weeks have gone - in less than 2 months, we'll be saying hello to 2016!  Of course, the positive thing about these ALYoF posts is that I have an ongoing record of the projects I've worked on and / or completed this past year.  Sometimes I just finished one aspect of the project (piecing a quilt top, or doing the quilting on an already finished top, for example), and sometimes I've had enough time to actually take a project from beginning to end.  I haven't always completed my goal, but I have finished most of my challenges.
Now that we're getting close(r) to Christmas, I have my doubts that I'll actually be able to pull off my chosen project for November, but I'm going to do my best!
I've been doing a large-scale floral Disappearing 4-Patch swap with Cathy since January.  I didn't have a lot of appropriate fabrics when we started this swap, but a few trips to various quilt shops and a few quilt shows have remedied that situation, and I now have quite the "floral" stash!  We'll be putting our quilts together after we swap our blocks in December - at least, that's the plan...  In the meantime, my floral fabrics are starting to pile up.  I have 2 basic options - either decide on a storage option (do I store them by their main colour, or do I keep them all together in a "floral" drawer or bin?), or find a way to use them up (and save myself some sorting!).
A few days ago, I was looking for a specific fabric on my sewing table, and I came across a picture of a quilt that I'd found online somewhere - and it was the perfect solution to my dilemma!  It showed a strippy quilt - rows of a chosen solid coloured fabric, interspersed with rows of "bricks", joined together with a contrasting solid sashing type of strip.  It was the perfect project for my flowered fabrics!  I spent an afternoon cutting my floral bricks, and then auditioned several Kona cottons for my alternate fabrics.  I finally settled on a cheery yellow for the sashing strips, and a terracotta colour for the contrasting rows.  I sewed a few brick / sashing units, and added the terracotta fabric between the "brick" sections, and Voila!  It looks great!
So, my chosen project for November will be putting the top together.  It should make a top fairly quickly (I'm going to let the row width determine the overall size), so I should be able to accomplish my goal.  If I'm doing really well, I may even go for a complete quilt, but the goal will be just the assembled top.
And, just in case my description made no sense to you, here's a photo of the first 3 assembled rows, with a few of the solid strips and some of the brick sections:
By the look of my sashed brick sections, I may even have enough rows to make a 2nd quilt!  No promises though!
I'll also be sharing some pics of the last blocks I made for Cathy, and my current guild project, so check in again in a few days...  And, as always, I appreciate you stopping in to see what I'm up to!