Saturday, December 30, 2017

Pillows to remember Grandma

Early in the summer the mom of one of my Girl Scouts lost her mother.  A few weeks ago she brought me a Red sweater her mom used to wear and asked me if I'd be able to turn it into a pillow that she could give to her sister for Christmas.  I hadn't done this before but I knew that it wouldn't be difficult.  

This is the result of a short amount of time of planning and sewing.
 She also brought me her mother's fluffy Pink robe and asked if I could also make a pillow from it.  This was a little more challenging but after I decided to actually leave the zipper in and make it part of the design they came together quickly.  I actually had enough fabric to make two pillows.
 I finished them on Christmas Eve and she was thrilled.
The Red pillow went to her sister, one Pink pillow when to her niece and she kept the other one for herself.  Many tears were shed when the gifts were opened and I know that they will continue to comfort all 3 ladies for many years to come.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Another batch of City Sampler blocks are done

With the change in my volunteer role with our local Girl Scout area service unit I've had more time to get back to my love of sewing and have made additional progress on my Tula Pink 100 Modern Quilt Blocks City Samper - my Halloween version.
Block 34 was perfect for this fussy cut witch print.
The last of the rectangle blocks chapter, block 35, was an easy one to complete.
Then I was back into the chapter featuring triangles and first up was block 46.
I had these leftover half square triangles already made from another long ago project and was thrilled to be able to put them to good use for block 47.
Black and Yellow was also the theme I felt like using when I made block 48.
I tried hard to use a variety of colors so block 49 features this fun Green fabric.
The White and Black half square triangles in this block 50 are tiny, finishing at 1 inch.
Block 51 quickly came together featuring these Green and Black prints.
I felt like using Purple and Orange when I made block 52.
And lastly, for this batch at least, block 53 showcases a big piece of the silly monsters print. 
I've completed a total of 83 blocks and only have 17 more to go.  This will definitely be the last Halloween season where this quilt is a UFO.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

More completed City Sampler blocks

Today seems to be an appropriate day to show you more of the Tula Pink City Sampler blocks I've completed recently.  I'm enjoying making them and I'm starting to see the light at the end of this project tunnel.

Some bold graphic prints was the feature for block #26.
I chose a Purple dot to pair with the cute print fabric in block 27.
For block 28 gray spider webs and the friendly skeletons work well together.
I love the blocks where I can feature some of the prints with bigger motifs such as in this block which is number 29.
Block 30 focuses on friendly jack 'o lanterns.
A Purple bat print outlines the center in block 31.
For block 32 I was happy to be able to fussy cut this poison bottle and show it front and center.
And lastly for this batch is block number 33.
I've completed a few more blocks but need to get the pictures transferred so that I can write the next blog post.  Stay tuned.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The next batch of Halloween City Sampler blocks

I've been able to continue crossing off finished blocks on my list.  Here are more recently completed ones.

I wish that showing this block 91 meant that I was nearing the end of the block construction but alas it did not.  This was just the start of the next batch of the blocks in the Haiku chapter.
Fussy cutting for the center meant I got the really fun result I was after for block 92.
Part of the fun in making these blocks is choosing which fabrics to use.  This is block 93.
There aren't as many blocks where I can use a larger print fabric such as I did for block 94.
Flying witches became the theme for block 95.
Once I added that block to the wall I took a picture of what they all looked like together so far.
Then I turned back to chapter 1 Cross blocks and made number 11.
Next up was block number 12.
I try to vary the colors used as much as possible to give the quilt more interest.  A Green print was the feature for block number 13.
Someone on Instagram commented that the feature fabric reminded her of the Pacman game.  I have to agree with her.  This is block 14.
And finally chapter 1 was finished with this completed block number 15.
Additional posts are in the works with more blocks to show.  Maybe I'll even be able to at least get the whole top done before the 31?  Time will tell.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Getting back to the Halloween City Sampler blocks

Almost a year ago I posted that I hoped to have this quilt done by the next Halloween....meaning now.  Well that didn't happen but I am back to working on the blocks and am starting to see a glimmer of the finish line ahead.  

Here are some of the blocks that I've recently completed. This is block number 64.
 I'm mixing up the colors, choosing as I go along.  Block 65.
 I love the skeletons in this block number 76.
 The eyes became the fun feature in block 77.
 I went with the contrast of the Gray and Black in block 78.
 The bottom print was added to my stash recently so I used it for this block number 79.
 I finally came upon a block that worked well for the owl print.  This is number 80.
I'm continuing to make good progress on sewing more blocks so I'll be sharing more posts on those soon.

This quilt WILL be done before Halloween 2018!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The new Girl Scout fabrics

It goes without saying that when Riley Blake Designs announced that they were coming out with a new line of Girl Scout fabrics, the leaders and moms across the country all shouted from the roof tops and anxiously waited for it to be released.

A very enterprising person on one of the Girl Scout leader Facebook sites I'm a member of started taking orders for those that wanted some.  She ended up with a lot more order than she ever expected and once it arrived she set to work at cutting and shipping the orders.
Here is what I decided to purchase from her.
I stuck with the Green and Purple prints for the most part to go with the panel. There is also a Pink color way in many of the prints but to me Girl Scouts logos and images doesn't incorporate a lot of Pink so I chose to skip those.
I haven't a clue yet what I'm going to do with them but I'm sure I'll come up with a plan at some point. I certainly have enough here to make a good size quilt so I wouldn't be surprised if one becomes a reality eventually.
As for my opinion of the prints.....they are just ok.  The traditionalist in me would have preferred to see more variety of the various things Girl Scouts are about but I also understand the need to appeal to a wide audience.  I do wish the colors reflected more the various Girl Scout levels.  There certainly isn't a level that wears a Pink vest nor a Purple vest. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

My new 301A longbed

I always thought I wanted a Featherweight machine, like so many other quilters.  But somewhere along the way in my research I learned about the Singer 301s which are considered the Featherweight's "Big Sister" and knew that this was more of what I'd want to have one day.
Recently while perusing the local Craiglist ads while sipping my morning cuppa (something I do every morning just for fun) I saw an ad for one for sale about an hour from me and I quickly emailed the seller, hoping that it wasn't gone already.
It was my lucky day and before I picked up the kids from camp this was home with me. According to her serial number she was made in 1953 and I got her for a fair price.

Some people say the black longbed is the "Holy Grail" of the 301s as there were less of them made and they have the decals that the Tan and the Tan/Oyster versions don't. The long bed versions certainly seem to be harder to find than the short bed versions.
A complete buttonholer came with her along with an extra set of cams.  I expect that I'll try this out but since I really only wanted her for her excellent straight stitch I don't plan on using this accessory much.
Her decals are in pretty decent shape considering she is 64 years old.  The finish needs some polish but I know she will shine.
I haven't had the time yet to give her the TLC that she needs but overall she isn't in bad shape and it won't take a ton of work to get her humming along nicely again.
I love that these machines are reliable work horses and I know that she will be sewing beautifully for many more years to come once I get her cleaned up.  I chuckle when I hear about the people that collect these machines and that's not me.  I'm happy to just have my one. 
When I start taking her apart and giving her some attention I'll be certain to share that process with you.  I expect it will be interesting.
She does need a name, since I name all of my machines, but the right one hasn't come to me.  I'm sure in time that it will.  Of course, I'm willing to take any suggestions under advisement. :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Baby Rory's Crayons

I have a new finish to share. This is 

Baby Rory's Crayons
This baby quilt is for my niece's soon to arrive baby boy.  Months ago my sister-in-law Felicia asked me to make a baby quilt for her expected first grandchild and after hunting around in my stash, she fell in love with the Colorfully Creative line from Riley Blake. 
She gave me free reign to use whatever design I wanted so I ultimately decided to make a modified Rail Fence quilt.  Since we already knew the gender I didn't use the Pink prints. The only problem was that once the blocks were made and laid out, I didn't like them all blending together.  Luckily I had some leftover solids from my Friends Together Forever and Our Own Art quilts that worked perfectly to give this quilt design some added pizazz.
For the quilting I again chose the Happy Times panto as it had the right scale and feel for this quilt.  I used a pale Yellow Glide for the top and a matching pale Yellow So Fine in the bobbin.
While chatting with Felicia about this quilt I learned that it's been a family tradition to sing "You Are My Sunshine" to the babies so I freehand added in the first line of the song between the quilting.
I didn't tell my sister-in-law or my niece that I was doing this.  When they folded it I told them they had to find the special message I added. They were beyond thrilled with the surprise.
For the backing I shopped my stash again and used layer cake squares of the same fabric line.  The binding is scrappy pieces of leftover jelly roll bits alternating with solid bits.
Baby Rory is due any day now and his quilt is all ready to surround him with snuggly goodness.
The binding was finished during the car ride to and from our annual China travel group reunion and I was able to get my quilt holding helpers to cooperate for a few minutes so that I could snap the pictures before the quilt was gifted.
Creating special quilts that show our love for each other is what it is all about and I can't wait to hold the new little one who will undoubtedly bring lots of joy and laughter to his parents and grandparents alike.