BAM Officer Appreciation Gifts

Organizing 2021 Officer Appreciation Gifts
Organizing 2021 Officer Appreciation Gifts

Last Saturday was the first guild meeting of the year. Traditionally, we have given the officers appreciation gifts at this meeting. COVID-19 or no COVID-19, 2021  was no exception.

Maria's Officer Appreciation Bag 2021
Maria’s Officer Appreciation Bag 2021

Mary C was kind enough to be  the drop-off point. Her house is more centrally located in the county than mine and she has a good porch. With county rules on sheltering-in-place and ‘travel’ because of COVID-19, this year was a little harder to organize. People had to mail their gifts, or drop them off, as allowed. Also, I tried to be sensitive about costs and encouraged people to write notes instead of buying a gift. I also offered up notepaper, etc for people who were really struggling.

Last week I went over to Mary C’s house and we assembled the bags, physically distancing and wearing masks. Mary C has a wonderful backyard and I am always happy to spend time there.

Members of the guild came through magnificently! A few members made bags so we could contain the other gifts. I couldn’t believe the effort that people took with the small gifts. If last year was good, this year was better. We got an amazing array of gifts. I don’t know how we will match it next year.

Maria's Officer Appreciation Bag 2021 items-detail 1
Maria’s Officer Appreciation Bag 2021 items-detail 1

Mary C went out at the last moment and got the gift bags (large pink bag in the above photo) so we could ‘wrap’ them. We had to drop the bags off at officer’s houses and we wanted it to be less easy for them to peek before the meeting.

Lots of zipper bags, but also supplies like needles, Iron Off, and Quilt Soap. Embellishments, gift cards and fabric were also in evidence.

I was so pleased and the officers were very happy. It wasn’t as good as doing the whole thing in person. however, it meant we got to spend more time organizing the bags so they looked pretty.

BAM Door Prize Organization

BAM January Door Prize
BAM January Door Prize

Yesterday was the first time we gave a door prize in 2021. The bag isn’t as full as some were last year, but we are trying to tone them down a bit.

Tim made the bag. SueG made the zipper pouch. Carrie made the coasters, pattern weights and the thread catcher (not shown). The other items were all donations one way or another. I enjoy the team effort.

Earlier this week, I received a big box of items from Carrie. She made coasters, pattern weights and thread catchers for all of the months of this year. She did the work in record time without any fuss! It was fabulous.

Once I got all of Carrie’s contributions, I decided to organize the offerings. I got everything out of the bag and laid it all out. I put as much as I could into SueG’s zipper pouch. Not everything would fit, so I put each month’s gifts temporarily into a plastic zipper bag until I get more containers for the months.

Door Prize Organization System
Door Prize Organization System

2020 All Donation Quilts

“Sometimes the world’s problems are so big we think we can do little to help. On our own we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.” Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

This year I contributed something positive to the world.

Donation Quilts and Tops for 2020

Doing Good

2020 All Donation Blocks

Like last year, I still have in the back of my mind that I would like to make 30 donation blocks per month-360 in a year. This year’s achievement is 124 blocks. I feel like I have made a good effort even if I haven’t quite achieved my goal.

I didn’t take photos of all of the donation blocks I made:

  • 4 blocks- March-16 patches
  • 8 (or so) plaid blocks from the plaid donation top


Gift Post: Mini Maker Case

Mini Maker Case
Mini Maker Case

I finished the Mini Maker Case in September. I wanted to save the post  for after I gifted it. The recipient, Friend Julie, reads this blog on occasion and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

The small Oliso irons didn’t arrive until after her birthday, so this ended up as a Christmas gift. I sent it off with the iron and a couple of other gifts last week. I meant to take a photo of my iron inside the case, but forgot. I hope she will take one after she receives it and has a chance to look through her gifts.

I want to make one for myself. It is kind of a talisman for when Sew Days start up again.

More Donation Quilting

Purple Strip Donation Quilt - quilted
Purple Strip Donation Quilt – quilted

Tim sent me some photos on Saturday of the purple strip donation quilt I finished back in March of 2019.

I really like the skinny rectangle motif he used for the quilting. I think it echos the strips I used.

Purple Strip donation quilt quilted
Purple Strip donation quilt quilted

It took him awhile to quilt this. I think he was having a hard time getting inspired. I can understand. I blame the pandemic.

He’ll get someone to bind it or maybe I will next time I visit; we’ll see.

Charming Donation Top

Yes, I have been working on a lot of donation tops lately. That is how it goes during the piecing of Fabric of the Year quilts. 1) there is a lot of piecing; 2) I have to keep the pieces in order and subtle changes in color are not always obvious in the wrong place until the whole thing is sewn together and 3) I can’t not sew with leaders and enders. Not using leaders and enders just seems wrong. Thus, I have made a few donation quilts.

Charming Donation Top
Charming Donation Top

This donation top is an offshoot of a pattern Peggy modified, the Plus quilt.I made one using our standard postage stamp donation blocks and wasn’t super excited. Someone will like it, but I wanted to modify it.

I wanted to make the top a little bigger, so I used charm squares to make up the plus instead of the blocks. I don’t think it really worked the way I intended. I only gained an inch on each side. That is why I added the borders. Not very modern of me, I know, but someone will like it.

It also went together very quickly. I made the whole thing in a few hours, which is always a bonus.

That Nicey Jane fabric (with the giant dots) was laying around bugging me. I am glad it will go to a good home.

Pinwheel Donation Top

 I saw a pinwheel quilt. Since I am trying to teach my students about block structure, I showed them this quilt. I was trying to make the point that they  had the skills to make it.

I was amazed when one of them came up with a method of making the quilt that was completely different than what I was thinking. She was thinking QSTs and I was thinking Flying Geese. I was so impressed that she was really thinking about how to make it. It validated that I was getting through.

Pinwheel Donation Quilt
Pinwheel Donation Quilt

I decided to make the quilt her way – using QSTs – to see what I thought. I ended up thinking there too many seams  and think I will try the pattern using Flying Geese. Still! I am just excited that a skill I think is really valuable is getting through.

I made the back also, but don’t think I took a picture and the whole package is off to the Community Quilt chair for quilting, etc.

16 Patch Plus Quilt

16 Patch Plus Quilt
16 Patch Plus Quilt

I was able to finish the top and back of one donation piece during the Retreat. This will be a small quilt, but the Community Giving team has an organization that makes boxes for new mothers. They want small quilts that fit in these boxes, so I don’t feel as bad about making a small quilt.

Peggy made a few of these with the 16 patch blocks I made earlier this year after seeing Cheryl Bricker’s quilts in the presentation at the meeting. I decided that I would make one as well since I had some 16 patches I had made and giving them to Peggy wouldn’t do much for her except add to what she had to store. This was a better option, though the blocks aren’t super cohesive.

I am thinking of making one of these with charm squares. It would go faster and be larger.

Weekend Traffic Jam

Traffic Jam #2 top
Traffic Jam #2 top

I finally got my act together and put Traffic Jam #2 together. Seeing Peggy churn out donation quilt after donation quilt at the Retreat really kicked me in the backside. I got the blocks out and just started sewing them together. I had to find fabrics for sashing, so I did that and eventually sewed it all together.

I have to make the back, but I can do that this week, then it will be ready to go.

Rock Candy Cut

Journey 2 Nebula icon
Journey 2 Nebula icon

I spent some of the very little time I had to sew this week cutting out Rock Candy, the next Journey2Nebula project. It is table mat made with diamonds.

This will be a matching piece to the Seaside table runner.

So far, I am ok with the fabrics I chose. I am not 100% sold on the layout, but I am ok with it. I have seen some in the Facebook group that I really don’t like. I don’t sincerely dislike mine, so I can live with it. We’ll have to see.

Rock Candy - Pieces cut out
Rock Candy – Pieces cut out

I wasn’t very excited about using the rulers for this project. This project requires the Sidekick or Super Sidekick. The directions said to turn the ruler over and cut from the wrong side at certain points. There are no lines on the wrong side and I worry about the distortion. It seemed to work ok.

I also didn’t like the large size of the Super Sidekick for the small-ish diamonds. Amy didn’t have the Sidekick, as I may have mentioned, and I didn’t want to buy it so I had to suck it up. I did try the Creative Grids Lazy Angle ruler she included. I tried it as it is smaller and fits my hand better. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to use it for cutting these diamonds with the Jaybird pattern. It is configured a little differently and its use wasn’t intuitive. C’est la vie.

According to the schedule, I don’t have to start sewing until Tuesday, but I may sew it together any way. We’ll see.





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Most of the Traffic Jam #2

I have all of the Traffic Jam #2 blocks done. That doesn’t mean I am able to show you them all, but most are available for viewing. Somehow I am missing 5 of the blocks

Now I need to find some sashing fabric and put the top together. I think I’d like to try making one of these tops with a darker background. Not necessarily black, but with a color rather than just white.

Jawbreaker Pillow Top

Journey 2 Nebula icon
Journey 2 Nebula icon

I worked hard on the next Journey2Nebula project and made good progress over the weekend. Surprisingly, we had two social activities, so I couldn’t spend all weekend sewing.

Jawbreaker Pillow Top
Jawbreaker Pillow Top

This project is turning out better than I thought it would. I don’t mind the greens too much and think they will be ok for my niece.

The names of the projects are kind of fun.

I think the grey keeps the greens under control.

Now on to quilting.

First Catch All Caddy

This post should have really been the first one I wrote about the Catch All  Caddy class. I should have posted it before the Baseball Catch All Caddy post. I realized that my mom, to whom I planned to gift it, reads my blog and I wanted it to be a surprise.

Paint Tube Catch All Caddy
Paint Tube Catch All Caddy

As mentioned in the Baseball Catch All Caddy, this was the project from my first Zoom class and I really liked the pattern. Lynette taught the class and she did a great job. I was impressed with her overhead camera set up (she used her iPad on a tripod). I need to figure out that kind of setup for when I teach. Things take time.

I used the color scheme of the original, because I really like that slate grey. I used a Cotton Couture solid from Michael Miller. It was easy to work with, though I didn’t like the fact that the holes where the basting stitches had been showed even after I took them out.

Instead of making a scrappy border for the pocket, I used one piece of fabric. It is the paint tube fabric that goes with the set of bags and holders I am making for my mom. I was actually glad to add this one to the group, because I am running out of useful bags to make for her. She really liked t he bag and thought she might use it to carry a project between her recliner and her sewing room

Paint Tube Catch All Caddy
Paint Tube Catch All Caddy

The bag went together pretty easily, which was why I could make two in one day, though I did cut the fabric for this one the day before the class.

I kind of like the simplicity of the bag and the opportunity to highlight favorite fabrics or scraps on the pocket border. I was thinking that I could use ribbon as well. I have some of that Renaissance Ribbon and this project would be a good way to highlight some of it.

I had some trouble with the lining, but was able to fix it when I closed the turning hole. I don’t think Mom will mind.

Jawbreaker Sewn

Journey 2 Nebula icon
Journey 2 Nebula icon

I worked on the Jawbreaker pillow top over the weekend in between working on my donation projects. The Journey2Nebula video for  this week’s piecing is available. I didn’t wait for it as I had time and want to keep progressing. Also, I have done this kind of piecing before and will do it when I eventually make the  Spin Wheel quilt. I have done this kind of piecing before.

Jawbreaker pillow top
Jawbreaker pillow top

I should have pressed the way I normally press rather than pressing open partly and pressing to the side partly. I worked out the issues, but bouncing between the two methods wasn’t helpful. My fault.

I think the piece looks good and I will probably be able to finish it this weekend, so I can stay on track with the series.

I was annoyed again at the partial blocks, but watching the video made me understand Julie Herman’s thinking about the design choices. I may even follow the rest of the pattern!