February Donation Blocks

I have other projects to use as leaders and enders, but I have been making a little progress on donation blocks. Some you have seen, but this is the total number for February. I am channeling my friend, Marty, somewhat. She loves brown and for some reason I am trying to use up the brown squares I have.

I gave a slew to Peggy at the guild meeting the other day. The ones I have made in February are small in number but mighty in potential good.

Finished: Cactus Flower Flapper Apron

Cactus Flower Flapper Apron
Cactus Flower Flapper Apron

I have made several of these over the past few years and still like the way they turn out. The last one I made was for my mom, I think.

I made two of these at a time. The second one is still in progress. No, it isn’t Christmas or a birthday, but I had them on my mind, so I decided to make them.

I have been adjusting the neck hole a little, but left it the original size this time. I don’t remember why I adjusted it originally. I think the fabric looks really nice in apron form.

Yes, I used some of my precious Philip Jacobs fabric, but why not? It isn’t like there is a shortage at my house.

This is the pattern you can use with a yard of fabric. The pattern is called Flapper Apron from the Decades of Style pattern company. I bought it in 2018 when I was out shopping with Amanda. The clever part of this pattern is that you cut the pattern out on the bias. The biggest attraction is that you only *need* one yard of fabric to make it. I usually make the apron reversible, which takes 2 yards. As mentioned before, I like to give myself a little breathing room with 1.25 yards on each side. Still, the pattern is designed for one yard of fabric.

The Effects of Basting Update

Remember I talked the other day about changing the way I basted EPP pieces with bunny ears? Well, I used some of those pieces and came up with some interesting results.

EPP basting update results
EPP basting update results

Some of the pieces don’t meet.  Is this problematic? I don’t know yet, but it isn’t ideal.

I tried to stitch the edges of the pentagons together as tightly as I could to minimize the hole.

Basting Update - back
Basting Update – back

The back shows must the same. I did the pieces (shown in the photo on the right) first and hoped that when I added the second pentagon that they would end up together. No such luck.

We’ll have to see what the effect is later. For now, I think I will try to manage the bunny ears.


What’s on the Design Wall – Small

Small design wall
Small design wall

Yes, I am fortunate to have two design walls. I found, while they were folded up and not usable, that I couldn’t really make quilts. I managed one, which seems paltry compared to last year’s general output.

Again, I was surprised at what was on the small design wall. I knew about the yellow improv quilt, because I had been working on it a little since July, but I had completely forgotten all the other projects. They feel overwhelming and I will probably donate the blocks to Maria’s orphan block project or make donation quilts out of them. I am not in the mood to deal with extra blocks at the moment.

I can’t wait to see how the yellow improv bits I made without benefit of design wall fit into this piece.

Last Gift Bags?

Gfit Bags - finished February 2022
Gfit Bags – finished February 2022

I finished a few more gift bags from the fabric I received for Christmas from Friend Julie.

As I think I mentioned, we needed small bags, so I have been concentrating on those. They take a long time just because there are more of them. These have been in process for a week or more, but I finally finished them over the weekend. Yay!

What’s on the Design Wall?

Large Design Wall February 2022
Large Design Wall February 2022

I was surprised to see projects pinned to my design walls when we put them back up over the weekend.

I knew I had left projects on there, but the mists of time clouded over which ones they actually were.

I took all the bits and bobs off the large design wall (pictured) and pressed all the pieces, then put them back up. I really thought I was finished with that Pop Parade Ends quilt. I was shocked to see it still in process. The crazy part is, which I am sure I mentioned before, is how many quilts I made out of the Pop Parade (great name) fabric bundle. Most were FQs, but some were half yards.

Still, I made two donation quilts, one improv-ish and one out of the leftover HSTs from the X quilt. I also made the X Quilt from this Pop Parade line.

Pop Parade Ends donation top in progress
Pop Parade Ends donation top in progress

Granted, the last bits of leftover Pop Parade fabric is not much. I paired it with other ‘ends’. The two light pieces on the edges (only in the above photo, not the detail, right) aren’t sewn to the quilt yet. I have to see if I want them there. Part of that decision will be measuring.

It is a great feeling to see that I am almost done with a quilt and didn’t even realize it.

Design Wall Reinstallation

Reinstalling the design walls
Reinstalling the design walls

Finally, I finally got on DH’s schedule to get my design walls reinstalled. He had a three day weekend (I didn’t ), so he felt like he had the spare time.

He got a new white stick for one of the design walls so everything matches and looks nice. We put up both of the design walls and my refreshed inspiration board.

After a tough 1.5 weeks of family stuff, I wasn’t really up for the disruption, but it is hard to find a time that works, so I gritted my teeth and we got the work done.

In the photo, the room looks like a disaster. It really was. A lot of the furniture that needed to be moved was on wheels, so it was pushed out of the way easily and put back easily. I was surprised how easily, I got everything back into place so it wasn’t on my nerves.

We switched where the two design walls were. We installed the new one (large) where my sewing machine is now back in June of 2020, so it had to go on the other wall where my sewing machine used to be. I kind of like the new location. The light is better over there. I wonder if that will change my fabric choices? I’ll have to make sure not to keep projects on the design wall for too long.

I will say it was a shock to have stuff on the walls after months of bright white, empty walls. I didn’t like it at first. After letting the idea settle overnight I found the effect warmer and more cheerful. The room does look smaller.

2022 Cutting Chart

2022 Cutting Guide
2022 Cutting Guide

I finally figured out what I was cutting during 2022.

This guide details many fewer pieces than previous years. I have a lot of pieces I have cut and need to make into quilts, so I am scaling back.


3 1/2 x 12 1/2 – this piece is for the Half Hexie Star quilt

2 1/2 x 4 1/2 – blue gradation quilt

2 1/2 x 2 1/2 – FOTY 2022

2 1/2 x 2 1/2 -I cut 2 1/2″ squares to have them handy in case I need them. I can’t seem to give it up.

1 1/2 x 2 1/2 – pieces for another Scrap Dash. I am not sure I am cutting all the pieces I need to be ready.

1 1/2 x 1 1/2 – More for another Scrap Dash

I am not sure what happened to cutting charts for 2020 and 2021. Can we blame that on COVID? Based on my 2019 cutting chart, I may need to cut more for the pink gradation quilt. I also need backgrounds for the Spin Wheel quilt, which I’d like to get off my to do list this year.

La Pass M7 Rosette #1

La Pass Month 7 Rosette #1
La Pass Month 7 Rosette #1

I finished the first rosette for month 7 and am pleased with how it came out. The ombre fabric looks good. I’ll be interested to see how it looks in the entire piece.

Now I am frantically working on the second rosette.

The notice came that Month 8 will shortly be in the mail so I need to speed along.

Finished: HST Sawtooth Star Top & Back

HST Star Finished Top
HST Star Finished Top

I finished the HST Star quilt in time to give it to the community quilts team.

I am pretty pleased with the way it came. A sort of dull charm pack (why did I buy it??) turned into a cheerful quilt top.

HST Star Finished Back
HST Star Finished Back

The quilt isn’t very girly and I wanted it to be suitable for boys as well, so I chose an Italian restaurant print I have had for years. It is time to use it and this is a good use of it.

Basting Updates

You’d think that basting would be basting. As I mentioned the other day, there are a couple of different kinds of basting. The other day I found that I can improve upon my glue basting.

I have been trying to manage my bunny ears. Until now I have basted so the diamond bunny ears are folded in the same direction. For triangles, I make sure I fold them in all different directions, so all of the bunny ears don’t end up in one location when sewing.

Basting: folding the bunny ears in
Basting: folding the bunny ears in

Recently, I saw a picture that someone posted of their glue basting and realized I could fold the bunny ears in.

Don’t ask me why I didn’t think of this before. I just didn’t.

I wasn’t quite sure how this would work out and I didn’t realize I could do it until I had only two diamonds and one triangle to fill in.

Basting: bunny ears under control
Basting: bunny ears under control

The overall technique works. There are no bunny ears to manage. (photo right: shows the piece half basted).

The only potential issue I see is that the area where the bunny ears would be are a lot thicker than the other areas. There are also several layers of glue. The triangle points are particularly thick.

We’ll see if that is an issue and I’ll report back.

HST Sawtooth Star

HST Star - making legs
HST Star – making legs

I made good progress over the weekend on the current donation quilt. I talked about it the other day. Talking about it really made me want to get it done so I could hand it in at the meeting next weekend. It has been a long time since I have made a quilt.

I didn’t know how this was going to shape up as the picture I saw was small and not very attractively styled. I knew that it wouldn’t look hideous regardless, so I stayed the course.

I had sewn a bunch of HSTs from the charm pack I had. To make the legs, I needed to rip off some of the white triangles in order to make the legs. I decided I didn’t want to make giant Flying Geese and would make the legs into giant HSTs.

HST Star - foreground complete
HST Star – foreground complete

I was able to get the foreground part of the quilt done on Saturday, which was great.

The white brightens up the slightly subdued colors of the charm pack.

La Pass M7 Progress

La Pass M7 rosette #1
La Pass M7 rosette #1

I finished the first M7 rosette or so I thought. I wanted to weave the outer pentagons and thought I would wait until Month 8 came to see what Pink Door did about the outer ring.

The outer pentagons use an ombre fabric and Pink Door has leveraged the ombre qualities for those pentagons.

I may want to keep the gradation smooth rather than including the weaving motif I have seen. Stay tuned.

Fixing Hello

Two Hello Pouches
Two Hello Pouches

After writing the Hello Pouch pattern review, I couldn’t stop thinking about these pouches. The pattern has a lot of potential and by that I mean the design is good. I think the execution could be better. Regardless, I didn’t want to toss out these pouches even if they aren’t my best work.

Hello Pouch Vinyl Edge
Hello Pouch Vinyl Edge

I looked at them and decided that the problem was the vinyl edge. The vinyl edge also included the zipper end, which was fraying like crazy. I didn’t like other parts, but I could live with them. That meant that I needed to get busy on the vinyl edge.

For the zipper edge, a little bit of glue (that dries clear) or Fray Check would be a big help. I cut some fabric strips and installed them over the zipper and down the side of the pouch to cover the vinyl. This did the job, but was a lot of extra work and I wouldn’t want to do it again.

Hello Pouch Vinyl Edge - annotated
Hello Pouch Vinyl Edge – annotated

If I made this again, I would try to allieviate the things to which the arrows are pointing.

The top arrow points to the edge of the bottom that I quilted. It is much too thick and hard to sew through.

The second arrow points to the vinyl edge and I just dislike the look of uncovered vinyl (naked vinyl).

The edge of the zipper is shown by the third zipper. See how it is fraying? Blech! That looks so terrible. Also, I’m afraid that the zipper would be frayed and falling apart.

Covering the vinyl zipper
Covering the vinyl zipper

What I did was cover the edge with a strip of fabric. This picture shows the vinyl edge covered by the fabric strips. It isn’t a very good picture and you can see the zipper folded down, which I don’t like. While I do like the way they use the zipper, I don’t like the ending. It also inteferes with the way the pouch closes. the only thing I could figure out was for it to fold down on the inside. I think I would rather have the tail of the zipper hanging down like in the Inside Outside Pouch.

Inside of Hello Pouch
Inside of Hello Pouch

There are a lot of good reasons why the design is the way it is. I understand that. I just found the  bottom really hard to sew through. You can see how thick and runscheled the inside looks. If I tried this pouch again, I think I would sew a lining to cover the edges instead of using a binding.

The design of this pattern is great. I just think some of the techniques used were unnecessary and overkill.









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HST Star Donation Quilt

I am working on a donation top. I saw a picture in Today’s Quilter and thought it would give some relief to poor Peggy who has been the recipient of a 100 or so HSTs recently.

I started going through my charm packs after Peggy asked for HSTs for donation quilts. I used up 4 charm packs (2 of background) and sent the HSTs to her without making a quilt.

Donation 9 Patch blocks
Donation 9 Patch blocks

Finally, I decided that was a little mean and I was inspired by a Sawtooth Star quilt made from HSTs. One day last week on my lunch hour I started sewing the center blocks together. I made three HST 9 patches in about half an hour, which made me very happy on a lot of levels.

Stay tuned for the finish (or another in progress shot.