Feb 062016

I am going to have to stop opening the emails from Project Quilting, I keep falling for the challenge! I failed to finish Week 2’s challenge, but had to try again for Week 3, and here I am. I really do have other quilts I should finish instead of making new ones.

The theme was “thread” and Kim made some spool tutorials available if we wanted to use them. I looked at them, and thought “that looks easy, I can design my own.” So I did, using the same block idea but modernizing the spool. When was the last time you saw an actual wooden thread spool? Yeah, me neither. These are plastic thread spools.

I dug around in my stash and found a suitable stripe, and some white, then went to my scraps for some background strips. Here are my initial pieces – you’ll note I’ve carefully cut the stripe one way for one set and the other way for the other set. You can also see my square ruler set to line up the 3 7/8 mark on the edge of the “thread” print. I decided to make my units measure 4 inches (finished), so the spool block finished 8 inches. spools fabric 1

spools fabric 3

spools fabric 2

I  made four blocks and arranged them to create a secondary design like this:spools four blocks

Then added more scrap strips for the border, and the last of the stripe fabric to bind it. I left the spools unquilted so they would stand out a bit from the background. And that is this week’s excitement here in Deary, Idaho. (Can you find the square that I cut a little off?)spools finished

 February 6, 2016  Posted by at 8:08 pm Challenges Comments Off on Project Quilting Week 3 Challenge quilt
Jan 092016

I wasn’t going to do it this year. I have a full plate already, thank you, I don’t need a Challenge every other week. But I opened the Project Quilting email from Kim at Persimmon Dreams, and the topic of the first challenge was “Confetti”. My immediate thought was “where did I put those scraps I was thinking of using for a confetti quilt?” So of course I dug them out and scrambled to finish my little quilt in 3 days.

I used scraps I dug out of the waste basket after my sister left (I’d loaned her a machine while she was here), trimmings from her scrap project. They became my confetti bits and I chose a pale green background. I only had a half yard of the green which limited the potential size of the piece right off. The method is simple – sew all the bits to a strip (or two) of background fabric, then cut them apart and iron the seam. Here’s a few of the pieces at this point, with the edge of my 6 inch ruler for scale.conf4 step 1

Repeat until you’ve covered all sides of the bit. In the past I’ve put my confetti quilts together at this point, trimming and adding as needed to get things to fit. This time I trimmed all the blocks to the same size, which made for much faster assembly. conf4 step 2conf4 step 3conf4 step 4

In the interests of speed I skipped a border and kept the quilting simple. confetti 4

It didn’t turn out quite the way I’d envisioned, but it is done. I’m calling it “Waste Basket #2” (Waste Basket #1 isn’t finished yet, and #3 is barely started) and it measures all of 12.5 X 17.5 inches. That was my excitement for this week, here in Deary, Idaho.

 January 9, 2016  Posted by at 7:25 pm Challenges Comments Off on Slight Distraction – Project Quilting Challenge 1
Jul 312015

When I first saw the email announcing the Riley Blake Fabric Challenge, I said to myself, “nope, not doing that.” Then I read an excited email from my sister saying, “hurry up and sign up, we can do a joint project.” So I did, and we came up with a plan while we were at QuiltCon (which I haven’t written about yet, oops). Then a week after we got home again she emailed me and said, “sorry, I can’t do the Challenge thing after all, too much else on my plate.” Or something to that effect. I could have dropped out too, but by then ideas were racing through my head. Once I have an idea I have a hard time not diving in and starting it. (Finishing is another story, hence the fleet of UFOs flying around here.) After too much time spent comparison shopping online, I bought a Fat Quarter bundle of every fabric in The Cottage Garden line. My sister had bought a yard each of three prints at QuiltCon and shared them with me. Those plus the six 8th yard pieces Riley Blake sent out provided the material for the quilt I made: front, back,  binding, sleeve and label.

After all those ideas I’d had, and when I ironed the fabric (after washing, which I always do) I had another – wouldn’t it be fun to make nests with the red/pink flowers inside instead of eggs? I cut out the flowers in rough ovals, cut a whole bunch of random width strips, and made nests sort of log cabin style. I kept sewing strips on until I started to run out.


I pieced a background to use the blue flowers, also using a yard of birds in the trees print, cut and pieced to provide the shape I wanted. The nests, after several days of playing with arrangements, were appliqued on with a narrow zigzag stitch. For the back I used the rest of the prints, mostly pinks, which I had played with to try a Ricky Tims Convergence style quilt. I wasn’t pleased with the outcome so using it on the back was perfect. I made it big enough with the last of the FQs, saving out one for the sleeve. I’d had free-motion quilting in mind as I pieced it but by the time I had it layered and basted I’d decided to do something easy with the walking foot. The walking foot and I are old friends, but I hadn’t done any free-motion work in months and knew I was rusty. The tangled branches in the background fabric inspired my improvisational intertwined zigzag quilting.

The quilting part took twice as long as I had scheduled, but I got ‘er done before the deadline. Then mis-sewed the sleeve and had to rip out the seam. I nearly ran out of thread for the binding, but didn’t, and IT IS DONE! YAY! No new UFO here.


You can see all the entries here. Mine is number 206 or so.

 July 31, 2015  Posted by at 12:14 pm Challenges Comments Off on My Riley Blake Challenge entry is done