Monday, January 22, 2018

Fancy Forest Flimsy

Finally, a flimsy. I finished the second Owl block on Wednesday and thought I would get the top put together later that day or the next day. I had a really hard time deciding on the colors.I didn't want the same fabrics too close to each other and though I had some flexibility  the different  block widths dictated the rows where they would fit. I think the reason for my indecision about the fabric choices is that my design wall is not easily accessible because my sewing machine is in front of it with a table beside the machine forming an L shape. So, I can't reach the design board to layout the whole quilt without moving the machine.

I did finally move my machine and put all the blocks up on the wall in the order I thought I would use them. I decided to replace the yellow Bunny because he looked out of place with the richer colors in the other blocks. Some of the other blocks ended up being moved around and in the end I think I came up with a better balance of color and value.

I think maybe the turquoise Bunny is a bit on the pastel side also but after dealing with other issues I would have chucked the whole thing if I had to remake over another block.

I had to fiddle with the Firefly blocks and ended up taking the orange and purple one apart and re doing the body and the feelers. I should have done it as soon as I realized I messed up the order of the construction steps.

So here's the flimsy, it is 35 x 47 and looks pretty large for a 5 pound baby.

I went to the quilt shop Friday with my granddaughter in law (who wants to learn to quilt BTW) and found a colorful backing. I bought enough of the backing fabric to use for a small  drag around quilt and I think I will use the yellow bunny with some scrappy blocks from the rest of the left over fabric from the big quilt. The bunny is 8 x 13 and laying on top of the backing shows the scale.

I am going to layer up the Fancy Forest today and I hope I can get the quilting started,  Nothing has really gone as planned as far as my time management goes so as the saying goes "We'll see".

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

One Owl

I cut and almost finished the first of two Owl blocks yesterday and I finished it up this morning. I could have finished it quickly yesterday but after agonizing over the fabric choices, I took time to run out to the quilt shop and buy one more purple fabric.  It is not that I didn't have several purple fabrics from which to choose;  I just couldn't settle on three that looked good together. The new fabric is the center purple strip on the wings and around the eyes.

So here he is, not perfect but pretty good. He did go together easily.  I am calling him a he instead of a she because this quilt is for a boy. I have been thinking about my difficulty making fabric choices and I think it has been influenced by my hesitation to use certain colors for a male quilt. Not that I think a baby is going to notice but I think I consider what his dad is going to think. I don't believe this is even a conscious consideration but I rejected some hot pink fabrics that I liked and only later did I realize why. Well anyway, I am ready to cut the next Owl block and it is, by the way, all blue green fabric. I made this choice because I need to use a particular fabric another time for continuity.

After I cut the next Owl block I am going to put away all of the fabric I have dragged out while searching for the "perfect" fabric for these Fancy Forest critters. My sewing room has reached the chaotic stage where it is affecting my serenity.

When I get the blocks down from the design wall and start putting the blocks together, I am going to put this panel on the wall.  I saw it in the quilt shop when I was having my purple fabric cut. It is digitally printed and the panel was precut in the shop so there is no selvage on the edge with the name of the company. I have no idea what I will do with it but it will decorate my wall with color while I think about it.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Finish A Long 2018

I've been looking for a quilt related goal setting link up,  something not too demanding but one that will keep me moving long. I settled on Finish Along 2018, you can read about it here. I like that I can set a quarterly goal which means I won't have to make a long list of all my UFO's right now. I probably don't have many by some peoples standards but I know from past experience that I have more than I can think of without digging through all my "stuff".

I am only going to list 2 projects for this quarter because I have a long term projects that will be ongoing.

First project is the Fancy Forest quilt that I have been working on. These are the blocks I have finished.  I have 2 Owl blocks to make and then I can put this together. I am having a hard time deciding on the fabrics for the owls but I think I can at least get them cut tomorrow. I want to finish this soon for my great grandson who arrived 2 months too soon but will soon be going home from the hospital.

The second project is a small throw or wall hanging.  These Quails nest blocks are for The Friendship block swap group I belonged to and they are probably 5 years old. I have more of the blocks that are lighter and closer to pastel values and at some later time I will make something with them. I think the arrangement on the left  is the same as the blocks sewn together with sashing in the  photo on the right.
This quilt just needs a border and it will be ready to layer up. I think I will keep this one for some much needed color in the living room.


 I think that both these projects are doable for this quarter and that I will have time to work on my long term project as well. We'll See!                       

Saturday, January 13, 2018


I finished the 2 Firefly blocks; it did not go smoothly.  First off, I had a really hard time selecting the fabrics and it didn't  get any easier. I didn't want to introduce any new colors but fabric I wanted to use either came up short or I couldn't find anything that looked good with it. Then I made it all harder by mixing up some of the different size strips and having to decide if  I wanted to start over with a new fabric or deal with fixing the problem so I could use my tiny bit of fabric that was my first choice. I did a little bit of both starting over and fixing.

I had several issues with construction due to not following the steps in the order given in the pattern. My two blocks are not perfect and they are not exactly the same but they are done.

I have the two Owl blocks to make and then I can get this put together. Putting it together should be easy because all of the blocks measure exactly what they are supposed to, even though it was a circuitous route to get there .

Monday, January 8, 2018


I made the thistle blocks today, no problems this time.

I changed my mind about the color of one block; the lavender block was originally  going to be red but I didn't want it to be the same as the spines on the hedgehog. I wanted one of the Thistles to be a warm color but I couldn't settle on which color. If I am not happy with the lavender after I make the rest of the blocks I can just change the flower part without a lot of trouble.

These are all of the finished blocks so far. I still have two Owl blocks and two Firefly blocks and I haven't decided on the colors. I think one warm and one cool is what is needed and I will repeat some of the fabrics that have been used.

I hope I can get them finished and the top sewed together before the end of the week.

Friday, January 5, 2018


I finished the 2 Hedgehog blocks , which proved to be a lot of trouble for me. I thought  I was being so careful when I cut all the pieces but clearly, my mind must have been running around after other things. I had a number of pieces cut the wrong size. However I have 2 Hedgehog blocks that measure the correct size even though they are not exactly the same due to a "fixed up" cutting error. I don't think anyone will spot the difference easily. Besides that,it is only normal for different people/animals to have slightly different sized foreheads.

After I clear away some of the distraction in my sewing room I will move right along to the rest of the blocks. Baby Caelen, who was due in January but was born the first week in November, at less than 2 pounds, is now 3 lb 11 oz and meeting preemie milestones. He will be coming home before long. I want to get this finished and also to make a smaller "hang on to/mess up" quilt, something more practical for a little guy.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Bunny Blocks

Yesterday I cut another pile of 1.5 inch log cabin strips and then decided that I needed to straighten up my space  in order to work more efficiently. I had the Fancy Forest pieces cut for the blocks and they were taking up a whole table because I had 2 blocks laid out for piecing.  I finished the 2 blocks but it took the entire rest of the day and an hour this morning.

I wanted to completely outline the ears due to the value of the background not having enough contrast with the white inside ear fabric. I started with the yellow bunny and the ear section didn't line up at the connector corner points. I fiddled with it and never got it right. I decided I would scrap it and start over but first I put the turquoise bunny together . I had cut some of the connector corners the wrong size and didn't find my mistake until I was ready to add the ear section to the eye section. I fixed it and the rest was  easy  easier. Making the turquoise bunny showed me how to fix the yellow one and I didn't have to scrap what I had already done. 
For the rest of the blocks, I will check the size of the cut pieces as I lay them out. I knew I should do this already from my experience with the first Fancy Forest quilt.

My plan for today is to cut more strips for the log cabin blocks. Doing this is also helping me to tame my scrap basket and that is a real plus. Working through that with a purpose is better than to dump it out and try to sort it, which gets discouraging very fast.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Log Cabin Quilts

Once again, I am thinking about making Log Cabin Christmas quilts for family. This time for all the great grandchildren. I made 9 Log Cabin quilts with red white and green fabrics for Christmas 2000. I  made one quilt for each married couple and one for each grandchild. You can read about those quilts here.

Now I have 7 great grandchildren, maybe I should make a couple extra quilts.  That would be 9 quilts and if I start now I should be able to get them done in time for Christmas next year. I think that I should make 9 identical blocks and let them find the blocks in their quilts, as I did the first time.  Maybe I should just make some extra identical blocks and if more GGkids come along I can use those blocks in quilts I make later.

I got these boxes down from the closet shelf.  The top box is 2 inch strips of all colors; I will pull out what I want and cut them down to 1.5 inches.
The center 2 boxes are Christmas fabrics, some are strips and some are pieces.
The bottom box is 1.5 inch strips. I will pull out the colors I want  and then I will put these boxes back on the shelf and make a new box(or boxes) for the strips I want to use. I like having a lot of the fabrics I used before. When  I made a family quilt in the past, I included something somewhere in the quilt from everyone else's quilt.

I found these seven blocks in my "odd block box" and I will use these as a start.  

The first time I made the Log cabin Christmas quilts, I finished ALL of my UFO's, yes, every last one! Log cabin blocks are labor intensive and become boring after a while. Sometimes I needed a break from them but I would not allow myself to start any new projects. So, when ever I needed a rest from the log cabins, I worked on a UFO project. I think I will do the same again and first up will be the Fancy Forest 2 quilt.

This is a good time to get started because the weather is such that we will not be going out for a few days. I do regret that I might not be able to get to the quilt shops to take advantage of the Christmas fabric sales. I will keep an eye on the weather and we'll see if there is a chance to get out. Of course, there is always the Internet.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Cristmas

Merry Christmas


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Fancy Forest 2

Yesterday I started sewing the Fancy Forest Fox blocks. I had some of the pieces cut before we moved on October 1. I had everything put away in a box waiting for the background fabric; I finally bought it this week. I cut all the strips for the background and I am moving forward even if I have second thoughts about my fabric choice.

I revisited my rules for myself about making these blocks (after I made some mistakes in cutting).
One rule was to lay out the pieces for each block on a flannel board before I started sewing it together.

This helps me to understand why the instructions say to sew things in the order given. I can also see before I sew if something is not the right size, like cutting that 2 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch blue background strip 5 1/2 inches (yes, I did that and I saw it before I sewed onto it the connector corner ear squares).

These 4 Fox blocks went together quickly and with no problems; however there is a problem with my background choice. It is too close in value to the white in these blocks.
I photographed them in a blue flannel board and maybe the blue shows through on the white ,in the photo, making it seem closer in value that it is. This is the only block that the white and blue are next to each other. I am going to continue using  the background as I have already cut all the strips for the blocks and sashings.  I will think about what I can do To make a definition between the white and blue when I get ready to quilt it. I don't think this is going to hang on the wall and baby will probably not care.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Friendship Blocks

For a number of years I belonged to the "Friendship" group at the local quilt shop. We met once a month and one or sometimes two of the members presented a block pattern with color preferences that they wanted the other members to make for them. Depending on the size we could request either 2 or 3 blocks. I asked for "Triple 4 Patch" blocks at least 3 times and made 3 quilts that I loved. I made quilts from almost all of my "Friendship" blocks.

So..... Saturday I was rattling around wondering what to do with myself and decided to have a look in my box of odd blocks.  I found a number of blocks that I made to try out a pattern or a colorway, some that lead to quilts and some that didn't. I did find a large size zip lock bag with 12 inch "Quails Nest" Friendship blocks. 

There are enough blocks for 2 quilts, one with lighter nearly pastel fabrics and these that are darker, richer colors. I am going to work with these first. 
I picked out 9 blocks and then made 3 more to make a more useful size quilt. I dragged out 3 flannel covered insulation panels that I didn't use on my wall and started arranging; I think I am finished moving them around.

I am considering sashing strips and border fabric from my stash or maybe I will shop for something.  I have time to think about it, there will probably be no more sewing till next week.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Autumn and Me

My grandson took this picture on Saturday when they came to visit so we could meet her. I am not biased when I say she is beautiful.

Our new little great grandson is holding his own. He was 1lb. 14 oz. at birth.