Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Quilting Accomplishments

About a year ago I made a list of quilts I had in my mind, some of which had been bouncing around in my head for years. Over the past 12 months I've kept track of the quilts I made from that list, as well as the ones that were surprises - unplanned and unknown at the beginning of the year.

The results: I made 9 from the possibilities list, plus 15 surprises. Of those two dozen quilts, 16 were throw size; the rest were wallhangings. Whew!

Here is the list of possibilities and finishes:

Titles in Red have become realityTitles in Red were on the possibilities list
Art Deco (Fast Friday Challenge)Superman
Balkan Puzzles times 3Me, in Words
Can't SleepIn Love with Animal Prints
Coffee RoadLacy Dresden
Dare to DresdenRosa's Travel Quilt
DonnaThe Mystery of the Missing Library (Nancy Drew)
Draw from the HatCherries Jubilation (Think Outside the Block)
KathleenBinky Patrol Quilt (Stanislaus Family Justice Center
Liberated Quilts*New - Pink Animal Print Quilt
Manila*New - Lights On, Bob!
Nancy Drew*New - Wedding Wallhanging
North Wind*New - San Francisco Giants
Paris Blue*New - Music Stamp
Parts Only*New - Follow Your Dreams
Quilters' Playtime*New - SantaCard Gift Card
Red-Winged BlackbirdStars and Stripes - wasn't on Possibilities list but should have been as it was in my head for a couple of years
Redwood Family Center (2)*New - A Tropical Medley
Roxanne 2*New - Cake!
Solitude (Fast Friday Challenge)*New - Light the Night Fundraiser
Solvorn, Norway*New - Menswear, Gleen's Wear
Square in a Square*New - In Verdant Dreams
Stanislaus Family Justice Center*New - Christmas Fundraiser
Superman*New - Thanksgiving Quilt
Tango*New - Dogs, Dogs, Dogs
Think Outside the Block
Vicki C.

I enjoyed that experiment so much, I'm going to do it again for 2014. See here for the current possibilities list. For the next few weeks I'll add to the list as I remember projects.

Follow along and see what happens in 2014!

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Year of Retirement Quilts

I have named 2013 as The Year of Retirement Quilts. I have made six quilts for retiring co-workers this year. That's a lot! In comparison, I made two retirement quilts last year. In 2014 I anticipate about the same number as this year.

I keep a list of upcoming quilts in my Outlook Tasks at work, arranged by due date. They help me keep organized. Months ago, the list became so long, I had to break it up into two tasks: quilts due in 2013 and those due in 2014. Whee!

The retirement quilts for 2013 are:
Lights On, Bob!
San Francisco Giants
A Tropical Medley
Menswear, Gleen's Wear
In Verdant Dreams
Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs
For retiring co-worker Linda C. 
60" square. Mostly from stash. 
Started 12/11/2013, completed 12/16/2013.

During my spy mission of Linda's cubicle, I noticed she had several pictures of dogs. She also wears black and red fairly often, which helped determine the color scheme for the quilt. She dresses in a classic style, so I kept the quilt design rather simple.

I gave Dogs, Dogs, Dogs to retiring co-worker Linda C. today. Linda was very surprised, never expecting a quilt. As it happens, Linda happened to wear an outfit in black, red and gray today. She coordinated perfectly with her quilt!

Dog fabric squares laid out on the design wall
I cut double layers, and alternated Front and Back layers for symmetry:

Vertical strips attached

Horizontal strips attached

Main part of quilt top sewn together

Close-up of quilt top
Lots of dogs!

Border attached
The red really makes the quilt sing.

Once again, the finished quilt

I may be able to squeeze in one or two more quilts by the end of the year. One quilt is due shortly after the new year begins. It is another dog themed quilt, for yet another retiring co-worker. I have looked online and pinned several possibilities to Pinterest. One cute print may be found locally, so I will check it out tomorrow night after work.

The other possible quilt would be for my granddaughter Piper. She's three years old, and I've made her two quilts so far: Piper's Polka Dots and Pipes and Piperoni. But she's still two quilts behind her older sister Reghan, who had four quilts by the time she was four. Grandma needs to get busy. I looked at Jo-Ann's last night, in search of the cute frog fabric Piper liked on our visit together about a month ago. But the print I found last night didn't seem right. I'll check online to see if I can find the one we saw before.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

WIP Wednesday 12/11/2013

Electric Quilt sketch - Dog themed quilt
For retiring co-worker Linda C.

Fabrics from stash
Dog fabric must have been a donation, because I don't recall buying it.
After spying at Linda's desk, she appears to like dogs. Linda dresses very classically, often wearing red and black. I think this dog fabric will work well for her, since it's fun without being too cartoonish.

Large square of theme fabric
Inadvertently cut 15", .5" too short, but didn't have enough yardage to re-cut at the proper size. So I went with the flow and cut all of the squares 15". I plan to make up the difference by making the border a bit wider. 

First strip sewn to the side

Strip added to the bottom
There are just 9 large blocks like this, so the quilt should go together quickly.

Trying out the red border fabric. I like it. The white dots add a little femininity and interest. I have some plain red fabric, as well, but at the moment I'm leaning toward the print.

It shouldn't take long to get this quilt done. I don't usually sew on Thursday nights. It's the end of the work week for me, as well as rehearsal night. I'm usually pretty tired by the time I get home. But with such simple, no-brainer blocks, I might sew, after all.

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Friday, December 06, 2013

Christmas Quilt Delivered

Christmas themed quilt
 Fundraiser for local charity
Top made from stash
Includes Snowball blocks
Original design. 60" square. 
Began 11/30/2013. Completed 12/4/2013.

A few Santa themed squares on the design wall

Main part of quilt top sewn together
White in the Snowball blocks was bothering me. Too bright.

Considered several fixes, including subbing in a light green.
In reality I was on a tight deadline and had no time to undo stitching, re-make the blocks and sew the blocks into the top.

My solution: add more white! I ditched my plan for a dark green border and subbed in white, hoping that the Snowball blocks would make more sense.

Quilt top finished
In person, the border reminds me of the white trim around Santa's outfit. The Snowball blocks look like big buttons. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Trying a new batting: Buffalo Batt Comfortloft (Jo-Ann's)
90" wide, folded once on the bolt
I bought six yards, enough for three quilts.

I've been using packaged Soft N Crafty for a long time. Lately the wrinkles have been getting on my nerves, as they stay in even after letting the batting breathe for 24+ hours. Hoping this new batting will work better for me.

Results: The batting works beautifully for me. It lies nice and flat, with no wrinkles.

Finished quilt


I delivered the quilt to Bethany Christian Services yesterday. The quilt will be sold this weekend at their annual fundraiser. I hope the quilt brings lots of money for them.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Tuesday Update - 12/3/2013

Over the weekend I started a new quilt, a fundraiser for a local charity. It's Christmas-themed, at their suggestion.

Electric Quilt sketch

Fabrics from stash

Christmas fabric must have been a donation, because I don't recall buying it. Cute!
White-on-white reminds me of snow. Will use it in Snowball blocks.

First nine-patch block

Most of the nine-patch blocks. Note the center red block. The three sets of red blocks are a little different from each other. The center set uses reds from the other two. I call it a hybrid. there wasn't enough of either reds to make four blocks, so I combined them.

Nine patch blocks done

Background fabric for Snowball block

Fabric squares for the corners
Drew a diagonal line through the center

Placed on background, sewed on the line

Pressed toward the corner

Trimmed away excess red, leaving background intact

Folded triangle back in place
Could have trimmed red before pressing, but I like to make sure the corner works first.

As seen from the back. Can just see a red shadow behind the white fabric, top right.

All corners sewn, pressed and trimmed

There are some waste triangles left. I may use them for another project or donate them to Binky Patrol. Either way, I put all of the triangles in a zip bag to keep them together. Makes them easier to find later.

As seen from the back

Snowball blocks added to design wall

Close-up of Snowball

 The quilt is due in a couple of days. I stayed home from work today and did quite a bit of sewing. I'll continue this evening, as well. Plain squares of the Santa fabric need to be cut, then the blocks sewn together and a border attached. My goal is to get the quilt close to knot-tying stage by bedtime tonight.

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