Finished Black Strip #2 Donation Top

Black Strip #2 donation top
Black Strip #2 donation top

This quilt is off to the guild for someone else to quilt and bind.

I added a larger border on the sides to make it less obviously rectangular. I didn’t want people to think only super skinny folks could use it.

This quilt was popular after listening to Christina Cameli give us her Big Ideas lecture. Get her to come to your guild! That is a great lecture.

January 2024 Donation Blocks

I am pleased that I finally achieved my goal of one block per day for the month. I have had this goal for awhile and it has taken time to achieve it.

I am still working on the Black, Grey and Brown strip blocks from my black-grey-brown scrap bin. It is pretty easy to make these in quantity using leaders and enders.

A couple of the 16 patches are straight from the box available at Sew Day. I needed some leaders and enders as I worked to finish the Grey Strip donation top at Sew Day, so I grabbed them to use. I am glad the Community Quilts team has them available.

Birthday Extravaganza pt.2

2024 Birthday Cake
2024 Birthday Cake

I spoke about my wonderful birthday gifts a few days ago. Gifts continued to arrive after I posted, so here we are again.

Julie wrote a post about our days out together. It was good to hang out. We always have good talks.

First, Amanda is responsible for my cake. Isn’t it cute? I asked my Mom for another Beatty Cake and she said she couldn’t make it for my birthday, but would make it for me another time. I was disappointed, but understand. I was, thus, super happy when Amanda’s card came and it was a cake. I have been enjoying it on my desk while I work all week.

Gifts from Allison
Gifts from Allison

I sent Allison a New Year’s card and she texted me one day, which turned into a wide ranging text discussion. A few days later a book and some fabric arrived. I had wanted the book, which she offered to me around the time of the last retreat, but I wasn’t expecting fabric. It is a half yard pack of fabric designed by my man, Phil (Philip Jacobs to you).

Philip Jacobs FQ pack
Philip Jacobs FQ pack

I have some of the prints, but don’t think I have others.

I have an idea for the black background print on the left.

I also don’t think I have the green on the right, so I will have to see about making something special with that. I love these Chrysanthemum prints and the new colors each year are great!

Handy Seam Guide
Handy Seam Guide

As I was tidying up the wrappings after the birthday breakfast excitement, another gift from Friend Julie fell out. It is a seam guide. I have a standard sewing version, which I never use. This one is designed by Carolyn Friedlander and specifically made for quiltmakers. She has a post about how to use it on her website. I have already started to study the post and think I will be able to use this version, especially in bagmaking.

My Dad got me a gift card and I can’t decide what to buy.

What a great birthday! Thanks, everyone. 😉

Enigma #4 in Process

Enigma #3 exterior in process
Enigma #3 exterior in process

I worked hard on the Enigma Bag over the weekend, but, frankly, projects get easier the more often I make them. This project went very smoothly until the end, when I didn’t quite catch the lining bottom with the sides and had to do a lot of ripping. I think this goes back to the quilting when the fabric shrunk up and left some foam showing.

I wrote myself a note to quilt then cut the piece the correct size. Sara gives specific instructions about that, but my quilting isn’t up to par, so this is my new strategy as I expect I will make another one.

All the Hackneys…Again

I wrote a similar post back in April. I took a look at it and it seems quite paltry compared to the actual number of Hackneys I know I have made. I decided to write another roundup post so I could see all the Hackneys I have made in one place. I have to say, though, that I thought I had made more.

I really like this pouch, as I have said. Those for whom I have made one seem to like it as well.

I keep thinking about making one for myself.

More New Pantone Blocks

I spent most of the Sunday of MLK weekend working on the latest batch of  Pantone blocks. I dug into some old fabric to find good matches.

Pantone has a lot of browns and I am digging deep to find anything that looks close to the colors on the postcards. I found some brown fabrics I had forgotten I had. The exercise is making me think about shades and tones that are missing from my fabric palette.

Improv from Strip Quilts

As you have seen when I have made other Color Strip donation tops, they have been followed by an improv version. I have been putting a few pieces together from the black/grey/brown (mostly black and grey) scrap bin, but it isn’t going well.

Leftovers from black/grey strip quilts
Leftovers from black/grey strip quilts

Well, I have made chunks of improvisationally pieced fabric, but mostly they are unsatisfactory. Also, I am not sure if I have enough small scraps to make three quilts. I also am not sure I want to combine the three colors into one quilt.

The grey piece looks really good and I don’t really want to ruin it. The others are meh.

I am tempted to bring them to the guild and see who wants to work on them.

Birthday Extravaganza!

No, today is not birthday. It was a few days ago. I am so thrilled that I have such nice friends and family. You would not believe the number of texts I received! Dozens! As an added bonus, I had fun AND I got a lot of nice gifts.

Thanks, everyone. You are awesome.

Gifts from DH
Gifts from DH

The first things I opened, at breakfast on my actual birthday, were gifts from DH.

As you can see, he doesn’t usually go for the quiltmaking supplies. He usually leaves that to me. I am not quite sure about the Peppermint Chocolate tea, but I’ll try it. I am a huge fan of Milka chocolate and that spread is A-MAZ-ING!!! The pin is a happy birthday pin and, yes, he got me a stocking hanger. We have more stockings than hangers and sometimes the stockings are too heavy for the hangers when there is more than one stocking on a a hanger. The hangers we have are from the Pottery Barn, but are old and no longer sold. I don’t know where he got this one, but it matches the others. I am super happy we will be able to spread out the stocking love.

2024 Gifts from Julie
2024 Gifts from Julie

Next up was Friend Julie. We haven’t been able to spend much time together lately, so she came up to hang out for my birthday and do quilty stuff.

She wiped out the progress on fabric usage I have made this year with the fabric. It is amazing , however, and I am super happy to get to use it. She always picks the perfect fabric for me. I already have an idea for it, so stay tuned.

She also got me some zipper pulls, which I can always use. I don’t have to use my fancy Split Ring Tweezer tool to put them on the zippers, because they come with a tiny baby lobster clip. There is also a lighted seam ripper, which I can’t wait to try, though I hope it is awhile before I have to use it. So many cool things! A bobbin boat, some buttons, some Tula Unicorn pins and some silicon dots for Sew Tites.  What a bonanza!

Gifts from Mom
Gifts from Mom

It was a Tula birthday as Mom got me some Tula thread. The Dragon’s Breath had been on my list for awhile and I am thrilled to finally be able to use it. Next to it is my great grandmother’s diary. Apparently there are some entries about me and my sister. I’ll have to take a look. It probably says what rotten little monster we are!

Gifts from May
Gifts from May

My sister-in-law also sent me some quiltmaking/bagmaking items. The mesh will come in handy. I’ll have to make her a bag with some of it.

I can’t wait to write a review of the books! I looked through the one on the right and it is fantastic. It is an updated version, sort of, of Around the Block**, which is one of my all time favorite books.

I received a few other gift cards and am expecting some other gifts, but if none of them come, I am super happy and feel very lucky.




**Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Black Strip #2 Donation Top Continues

Black Strip #2 in process
Black Strip #2 in process

I am using this project for leaders and enders, so it isn’t progressing as quickly as it might otherwise. Still, progress is good.

These are the additional blocks I made, some of which were rejected from Black Strip [#1].

It has that weird shape again and I don’t have enough additional blocks to make it wider. Not having additional blocks is a good thing in terms of scraps as it means I am working through my scraps (making room for more!). On the other hand, it is a not ideal situation for actually using the quilt. I might have to go with wider sides and narrower top/bottom when I do the borders.

New Enigma #4

I am still trying to figure out what my goal for bags will be this year. Or maybe what my plan for bags will be this year. Will I make more bags as gifts? Will I work on UFOs (that EPPic bag is hanging out there ready to sew)? Or what? Not sure yet.

One thing I do know is that if I feel like making a bag, I am just going to make it. I have a friend at work who is having a tough time. She wants to get back to crafting, but her life is too complicated at the moment. I was showing her photos of one of the Enigma bags I have made and it occurred to me that she might like one. I asked her and she said she would be ‘honored’!!! That makes me laugh.

Enigma #3 start for JMo
Enigma #3 start for JMo

Anyway, I finally got started on this Enigma. It came about when I was hunting through some bins of dots for Pantone blocks fabrics. I found the perfect dots based on her color request and decided it was time to start.

I didn’t have much left of the pink main fabric, so I found the stripes, which go great with that fabric. I will use it, as you can see for the sides.

I don’t think people realize that there are people who have kids who need care at the same time their parents need care. I know that is the term ‘sandwich generation’, but I don’t think people really think about it. If you know someone in this situation quietly help them out or do something nice for them.

Pantone Last Year

Apple Green House block
Apple Green House block

I talked awhile ago about selecting some fabrics. These fabrics sat on my worktable until last week when I decided enough was enough and I started making blocks.

I forgot to take photos of all the blocks before I handed them over to Friend Julie, but trust me, I did make about 9 blocks. 😉

Pantone blocks - NYE
Pantone blocks – NYE

She proves it, because she sent me a photo of the blocks.

This effort set me on the path I described earlier this week where I made more blocks. I thought I might see Julie on Sew Day and I wanted to have another batch for her, as I mentioned.

All of the 2-in-1 Cases

2-in-1 Cases - officer gifts
2-in-1 Cases – officer gifts

Today is the day where we give the officers their gifts.

Carrie, Sue and I spent last Saturday at The Granary, a local quilt store that has a great restaurant nearby.

We bought gift cards for the officers and spent time, in between eating, looking at quilt supplies and wrapping the gifts. It was another fun time with Carrie and Sue.

Scrappy Celebration Ready for Quilting

Scrappy Celebration top
Scrappy Celebration top

Scrappy Celebration is finished. Well, my part is finished. Today I will bring it to Colleen for quilting.

This quilt was nowhere near ready to give to Colleen, but except for one mishap, it went together quickly and fairly easily (knock wood). I am pretty pleased with the way it came out. It is a lot more interesting to look at than it was to piece.

Scrappy Celebration back
Scrappy Celebration back

As usual, I used a lot of the leftover fabrics for the back. Friend Julie said the look of the back is energetic. I hope that is good and not just a nice way of saying “what were you thinking?”

Notice that I didn’t use the Philip Jacobs chrysanthemum print on the back. I wasn’t ready to use it up yet.

Black Strip #2 Start

Black Strip #2 donation top in process
Black Strip #2 donation top in process

Even though I need and want to make Pantone blocks, I started on the next Black Strip donation quilt.

Yes, I went with the pink cornerstones. I just can’t help myself sometimes.

This will be a small one, though there is a small possibility I’ll make it larger. Stay tuned.

Pantone Ideas

Pantone ideas - first iteration
Pantone ideas – first iteration

We are fast approaching the end of the Pantone Project block making aspect of the project. That means we are speeding quickly towards the design of the quilt phase. I looked for the ideas that I had generated last year and couldn’t find them so I sat down and doodled what I remembered,or thought I remembered.

I don’t have tons of spare time, so the doodles evolved over several days. The colors represent different days.

Remember, we have units based on Doreen Speckman’s system from her book, Pattern Play**. As an aside, I know most of you missed Doreen’s career in quiltmaking, but anything you can find on her is worth the effort. This book is all about designing quilts using units.

Pantone ideas - evolving
Pantone ideas – evolving

Friend Julie and I are using these units for our project, which means I used those units for my doodling. In putting together these units, I made larger designs. And that was super fun.

I started off thinking of a row quilt. I was a little stiff at the beginning, but as I worked, I started coming up with some interesting shapes using the units.

Umbrella shapes
Umbrella shapes

I am super excited about the umbrella/propeller shape, which makes me want to make more of those blocks. That is an added bonus for the doodling.

One issue I have not addressed is color. You know that each unit is a different color and we are making units from colors in the Pantone Postcard Box** as they inspire us not to any plan. I am not going to worry about that now. After all, I can always make a second quilt with the colors of my choice from the same design, if I want.

You can still play along. You will need:

Decisions to Make with your friend:

  • Size of units (blocks)
  • Type of units to make
  • Time frame for making the project
  • Time frame for sending postcards








**Obviously, you should shop at local fabric, knitting shops or quilt shops. However, if you can’t, please know that I use affiliate links. I may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I do not recommend items I don’t like. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.