Sew Day Again

We had an extended Sew Day again over the weekend. I took Friday off to work on the Oxbow Tote. There was supposed to be a ‘workshop’, but those of us working on the project just worked at our own pace.

Everyone else was working on things I would have rather worked on. I really should have brought some piecing and just done that.

Cyndi's medallion
Cyndi’s medallion

Cyndi has been finishing up projects lately. She brought the pieces of this medallion top and was able to get all the rest of the borders on.

I have to say that I couldn’t see where this was going before all the borders were sewn on, but finished the design is really good. It all comes together. Even the heavy red part in the center works within the whole design.

MaryC helped Gerre work on a quilt for a friend’s daughter who graduated. The pattern is Chain Link from Amy Smart, Diary of a Quilter. I have seen this quilt before, but never up close or in process and I was interested to see that it is a good use of a charm pack (or 2?). The two of them working together made good progress.

I think it must have been pre-cut weekend. ;0

Maria's blocks
Maria’s blocks

Maria was doing some blocks with a jelly roll, which she arranged in a fun and interesting way. On point the design is so fun and cheerful.

Maria is always thinking outside the box and making interesting quilts. She brings something new every week and I am so impressed with what she comes up with. I kind of want to make these blocks and do something similar.

All in all, despite my bad mood, it was a fun two days.

May 2024 Donation Blocks

I have continued to make donation blocks from the green scrap drawer. I have more than enough to make a quilt, but I need to finish my Diagonal 9 patch project first.

Brown Strip Donation Quilt Finished

Brown Strip donation quilt - finished
Brown Strip donation quilt – finished

This quilt was finished and shown  at the last meeting. Joelle left before I could take a photo, but she was kind enough to send me some. I forgot that I made this way back in February. I thought it was a more recent project.

Carrie did the binding, but I am not sure who quilted it. She added some orange, which I thought was a bold choice. It kind of goes with the turquoise. It is always interesting to see the choices that others make. It is a good exercise in not being in control of every step. As I have said a million times, I love the team effort.

Brown Strip donation quilt back- finished
Brown Strip donation quilt back- finished

The back is one piece of fabric, a postcard print, which I would love more if it weren’t beige!

New Donation Block Inspiration

BAMQG Donation Block
BAMQG Donation Block

I saw this block on Saturday at the guild meeting. The blocks is very appealing. I suspect it is all that pink, but it could also be the combination of pink and green.

I didn’t get the specs, but think the patches are 2.5 inches (cut), the pink sashing is probably .75 inches (cut) and the green sashing is probably 5/8 inches (cut). Once I get some of my other projects out of the way, I might try one of these blocks.

Claire is really doing a good job trying to inspire everyone to participate in the guild donation project. She always has something new to inspire us.

Patchwork Wheel Block Again

Patchwork Wheel Comparison
Patchwork Wheel Comparison

Although I don’t need more ideas for donation blocks, I can’t help thinking about them. After yesterday’s post about the new block Claire has put forward, I was somehow reminded that I have been thinking about the Patchwork Wheel blocks the guild collected in 2012.

As I said in a post back in the day, I just used the kits I was given to make the blocks. I could definitely make more of these blocks using some of the 2.5 inch squares I have collected. The blocks would be small and I would need a lot of them to make a whole quilt. I think I used 5 inch squares in the quilt I made before.

This is a different pattern and worth thinking about making again.

Finished: Little Pyramid Pouches

Little Pyramid Pouches
Little Pyramid Pouches

I finished the Little Pyramid Pouches in the middle of last week.

I am pretty pleased with how they came out. The zipper instructions are exceptional and I am REALLY pleased with the zippers. Mary C did give me a little info, which helped me shorten the zipper

They are a little on the large side. I think I might try the small version even though Mary C said that size was hard to turn.

Little Pyramid pouches
Little Pyramid pouches

This project was a good opportunity to use some of my shorter zippers.I don’t use 6 or 8″ very often, but I have a fair number.

I think I would choose a solid or a tone-on-tone for the accent strip (currently ladybugs) in the future. I think it would highlight the main/exterior fabric.

Still, all the Tula fabric do coordinate so they don’t look awful or anything.

Little Pyramid pouch - interior
Little Pyramid pouch – interior

I pulled out some older fat quarters of dot fabrics for the interior of all of these pouches. I was glad to use some of them that have been hanging around for awhile.

The lining is a little baggy. There were no directions for using a larger seam allowance (though I could have missed them). I’ll have to check to see and then adjust for future versions.

Little Pyramid pouch - back
Little Pyramid pouch – back

This pattern also uses ribbon or sewn tabs and those came out really well also.

You can see the bit of ribbon at the top. I used the leftovers from another project.

This was a fun project. I am going to try the Petunia Pouch next.


April 2024 Donation Blocks

I started off strong with my green scrap bin out and using strips as leaders and enders to make strip blocks for my next Color Strip donation top.

I made a few blocks at the Retreat, which helped with my numbers for the month. I am pleased to report that I achieved my goal of 30 donation blocks this month.

Retreat Projects

I brought 4 projects to work on. I was able to work on all of them and make significant progress.

Colorblocks 3 - quilted
Colorblocks 3 – quilted

First, on Friday, I buckled down and quilted the Colorblocks quilt. You will see some in progress posts after already knowing that I finished the quilt, but that is the breaks with my blog. 😉

Colleen did a better job of quilting Colorblocks 2, but I am not unhappy with my work.

As you can see, I have to take out the pins, trim, add binding and a sleeve. I also need to enter it into the Fair. I am really pleased I got to quilt it at the Retreat as it was a lot more pleasant to do an unpleasant job in the company of others.

After that chore was done, I was able to have fun with my three other projects. They are all Diagonal 9 Patch quilts like the one I made for my great nephew.

First, I started out by cutting some strips with the Accuquilt, then subcutting the strips into the sizes I needed. I did this and just sewed. I used 2.5 inch squares I had been cutting and saving from scraps.

Baby Jacobs quilt start
Baby Jacobs quilt start

After awhile I had a good start on all three. After I saw what I had for this version of the pattern, I did some match and began sewing the ‘A’ blocks with determination. After awhile I ended up with a lot of ‘A’ blocks, so I finished the ‘B’ blocks I needed and laid the quilt out.

Baby Jacobs Diagonal 9 Patch laid out
Baby Jacobs Diagonal 9 Patch laid out

I still had to fill in some of the blocks, but eventually I was able to make a square quilt (8 blocks x 8 blocks). I started putting it together on Sunday night and was able to finish in time to get some tickets before the final raffle drawing.

Baby Barney-Liang Diagonal 9 Patch
Baby Barney-Liang Diagonal 9 Patch

My second project, with the same pattern is for my nephew’s new baby. After I made a few blocks, I decided I needed to select darker squares, at least for the patches that are next to the background.

The background is a lot more painterly/ watercolor-y than it would be if I had used white or a light color background. I started off with about a yard and will keep making blocks until I run out.

Baby Barney-Liang Diagonal 9 Patch - show diagonal
Baby Barney-Liang Diagonal 9 Patch – show diagonal

I think it looks like a watercolor quilt from the 1990s (?).

The blue lines indicate the background. You can use the photo above for reference.  I think the fabrics will blend a little, but I think the effect will be good.

Green & Grey Diagonal 9 Patch
Green & Grey Diagonal 9 Patch

Finally, the last quilt I started using this pattern is a much more controlled palette. This is for another great nephew. I made a quilt for his sister and thought I had better make one for him before I sent hers off. They are both teenagers and might not be as understanding as my older nieces and nephews.

I kind of felt like I should work on a bag, but I wanted to do a lot of piecing. These quilts fit the bill.

Making these blocks is somewhat addictive. I want to make more and more until I have enough to make them into quilts. I don’t want to stop!! It was great to have so much time to sew. Of course, it is never enough, but I was pleased I was able to take advantage of the opportunity for so much uninterrupted sewing time.

Thread catcher by Claire
Thread catcher by Claire

One thing I forgot to mention the other day was the fabulous thread catcher that Claire made each one of the retreat participants. She wanted to work through some of her stash so she made 20 of these!!! They are large and amazing.

We each got to pick the one we wanted. I know this one isn’t turquoise, but the turquoise one that was left was not to my taste.

Now I have two thread catchers. I’ll have to figure out how to use them both.


Return from Retreat

Retreat Treats
Retreat Treats

I got back from the guild retreat on Monday night. I had time to relax, look at my projects, unpack as DH was out at a class.

Friend Julie was much more organized than me and took some photos of getting ready to leave. I thought about it several times as I packed, but it just didn’t happen. You can imagine what my living room looked like: bags, sewing machine, tools all piled by the door ready to be loaded into the car.

SIL#2 and I drove down to San Juan Bautista  on Friday where they have a Retreat Center. The guild went there last year, too.  We couldn’t get into the sewing room until 2pm, but they have a quilt shop in SJB that is a great place to visit. We got there a little late so we went straight to lunch with the group and then looked around SJB and went to the quilt shop as well as the Rock Shop after lunch. The Rock Shop had charms and tiny lobster clasps that I started using to make zipper pulls. They didn’t have as good a selection of clasps as they did last year and the ones I was able to buy are a little small.

April BAM Retreat setup
April BAM Retreat setup

I did take photos of my setup at the retreat center.

We each got one 6 foot table on which to work. I put some of my larger bags, like the ruler bag and my Sew Steady storage bag in the car so they wouldn’t be getting in my way with limited space.

The space worked out well for me. I sew in such a small space anyway that the 6ft table was plenty for all of my tools and supplies. In the background of the photos you can see two Tupperware storage boxes with a load of baking in them.

Retreat 2024: View from my table
Retreat 2024: View from my table

The room is large and there were about 20 people in attendance.

Friend Julie sat next to me, on my left, in the corner, which was an upgrade from last year when she was right in an aisle and kept getting bonked as people walked by. Bonnie, the Retreat coordinator, was on the other side of me. Rhonda sat across from me with Peggy the Charity Queen next to her and to my left. SIL#2 was in the corner across from Julie. I was happy with the people around me.

Retreat 2024: View from my table
Retreat 2024: View from my table

Across the room, Michelle and Nicki, who has been absent from the guild since before COVID, were the anchor in the other side of the room. They had a lovely little set up with a lamp and a vase of flowers. I was envious of the lamp as the light changed throughout the day, but had my neck light and that worked very well. I need to put a lamp on my list. I have one I often bring, but didn’t even think about it this time.

Retreat 2024: View from my table- right
Retreat 2024: View from my table- right

To the right from Michelle and Nicki was the rest of the group. Anna, LeeAnn, Sue, Nancy and Joelle were behind Rhonda. The Cravens covey was over there by the cupboards with Amy, Christine and Claire. I thought the setup was really good. There were no design walls, but we used the floor and the cutting tables and any horizontal surface we could. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked.

Peggy's Scottie Dog donation quilt
Peggy’s Scottie Dog donation quilt

People, as you might expect, worked on a variety of projects.  Peggy finished at least two quilt tops. One was an adorable Scottie Dog pattern made from 2.5 inch squares. She claims to have over 2,000 2.5 inch squares to use up, so she is a master at coming up with new patterns in which to use them.

I made a few green strip donation blocks, but these two efforts were the only charity projects going. There was no incentive to make charity blocks or quilts, which was a shame.

Rhonda's cat quilt
Rhonda’s cat quilt

Rhonda worked on a class project quilt from about 8 years ago. She was able to finish the top and the back, which was a great achievement in my mind since the project had been languishing for so long.

Rhonda’s project served as a great discussion starter for various ways of putting quilts together. I, of course, talked about chunking. Others talked about the webbing method, which I have to try some time.

Bonnie's Christmas circles
Bonnie’s Christmas circles

Bonnie get my prize for determination. She started a quilt at last year’s retreat and finished the top at this year’s retreat.

I really like the design. I am not sure what tool or pattern she used to make the quilt, but it is great. I like the delicate line of the curves. I want to make Black Jack from Color Girl Quilts, which also has circles, but is not the same sort of design. Perhaps I’ll have to have a year of circle quilts?

MaryC's Buffalo Plaid
MaryC’s Buffalo Plaid

MaryC, sitting in the Covey of Cravens, was churning out quilts and various projects like there was no tomorrow. She showed us her Buffalo Plaid quilt.

I was impressed with how it really looks like plaid even though the fabrics weren’t particularly plaid- like. She chose the right colors to make it look like a plaid.

Friend Julie brought her City Sampler quilt project and it is a beauty. Seeing hers I am embarrassed at mine.

Christine's Anna Maria quilt
Christine’s Anna Maria quilt

Christine was on a finishing jag. She finished a silk table runner and I am really sad I didn’t get a picture of it. She also finished this Anna Maria Horner pattern. The back was a fabulous large flower print that everyone loved.

I think Christine had the right idea by bringing binding and sleeves to work on. It seemed like she was showing us finished pieces every 5 minutes.

Joelle's scrap quilt
Joelle’s scrap quilt

My favorite quilt was probably Joelle’s scrap quilt. She made the lines of piecing on adding machine tape** (do you know what that is?). I like Joelle’s work. Her quilts have a clean, precise look to them that is very appealing. This quilt is no exception.

I also like the way she has sort of gradated the colors. I sort of want to make one of these, but I also don’t.

SIL#2's Pinwheels
SIL#2’s Pinwheels

SIL#2 brought her Accuquilt Go Baby** and cut up scraps, some of which she used to make pinwheels. One of our nieces is having her second baby in August and the pinwheel quilt will be for that baby.

I am not sure how big she is going to make the piece, but she said she will probably put sashing between the pinwheels. I guess she doesn’t want to make another dozen pinwheels, but wants the quilt to be larger.

Claire's Make It Work donation quilt
Claire’s Make It Work donation quilt

Finally, Claire worked on some donation projects. This one is made from many 16 patch blocks that I made, so I was excited to see what she did with the bits. This is one of her ‘Make it Work’ projects.

One of the reasons I enjoy the retreat is seeing other people’s projects. I like to see people’s progress and how they problem solve.

I’ll talk about what I worked on in another post.








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Green Donation Quilts Coming

Green scrap drawer: full
Green scrap drawer: full

My green scrap drawer has been full for awhile and now that I have made FIVE quilts from my black-grey-brown scrap drawer, it is time to move on. I really can’t get over how many quilts I made from the black-grey-brown scrap drawer. It is somewhat shocking, especially since I haven’t finished the grey improv piece or the black improv piece.

I have already made a couple of green blocks and have several in process. I am also working with smaller scraps to start the improv donation quilts now. It may turn out that I use some combined smaller pieces in the strip/chunk blocks. We’ll see.

The original green strip donation top was one of the first in this series. It is interesting to see how the various quilts, using the same sort of blocks has developed. I think I didn’t completely empty out the bin when I made that quilt, but I don’t remember. I am much more diligent about using every scrap now.

Grey Improv Donation Top

Grey Improv donation top start
Grey Improv donation top start

The grey improv top is looking good! It’s been a few weeks since I talked about this piece. I am very pleased.

Yes, I have made some good progress and I really like the way it is turning out. This piece is approximately 24.5 w x 17.25 tall. I have some sewing to do before it can be considered large enough for a donation quilt. Still, I really like it and it is shaping up nicely.

I am still concerned I won’t have enough scraps to make it large enough. I am trying not to worry about it. Sometimes I can’t help it.

No Rest for the ‘Wicked’

Green scrap drawer: full
Green scrap drawer: full

I am not really wicked nor am I green, but some of my post titles have been super boring lately, so I thought I would shake things up.

The green scrap drawer is too full, which is good, because I can move on to a new leaders and enders project. It is bad, though as I have plenty of other things I want to do as leaders and enders. Still, I was enjoying making strip blocks, so here we go.

One burning question is WHY do I have so many green scraps. I can remember making things out of a few of them, but not most. How are all of these green scraps multiplying?

On a side note: that large green Pointillist Palette piece is going to get cut up into smaller pieces to be part of a Niece-phew quilt.

Do you get the Wicked reference? 😉

Black Improv Donation Top Continues

Black Improv donation top in progress
Black Improv donation top in progress

It’s been a few weeks since I talked about this piece. The black pieces are getting larger and my scrap bin is getting emptier.

This is a lot more active than the grey, which you will see in a few days. Those stripes really make this piece dynamic. I think it needs some space for the eye to rest, though. I’ll have to work on that.

QST 16 Patch #4 Blue: Finished

QST 16 Patch #4 - finished
QST 16 Patch #4 – finished

This is not a difficult pattern, so it went together quickly. It was especially fast since I already had the striped triangles cut.

As mentioned, I used some mostly blue 16 Patch blocks for the alternate blocks.

QST 16 Patch #4 back - finished
QST 16 Patch #4 back – finished

I pulled out some older batiks for the back and this quilt top (and back) is ready to go to the Community quilt project.