Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Playing with Pinks

Due to the three inches of snow and frigid temperatures yesterday afternoon, plus the forecast for more snow and freezing rain starting at mid morning today, the District Science Fair has been moved to next weekend.  So none of us will have to get out today.  You may think that's not enough snow to bother with, but we were out yesterday afternoon and the roads were pretty slick.  We had ice the morning of last year's fair.  There were reports of multiple accidents last year involving both participants and judges on their way to the fair, so I'm sure the organizers are using an abundance of caution this year.

My Guy and I were off work yesterday, so I got to spend most of the day playing in the sewing room.  I finished up the last of the pink Twinkle Star blocks.

Twinkle Stars, Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

I couldn't resist pulling out last month's blue blocks and mixing those in with the pink. 

Twinkle Stars, Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

Now I can't wait to see what the color is for March so I can add those in too.

Playing in the sewing room also moved last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler quilt to the finished flimsy stage.  The last border was stitched on yesterday. 

 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

It's not a fully pieced border, but the short run of Flying Geese at the corners do a lot to keep the black borders from being overwhelming.  When these sampler blocks were up on the design wall, I wasn't sure this quilt was going to turn out, but I'm really happy with it now.  Drama Teen has laid claim to this one when it's done.  She wants it for snuggling on the couch.  

For more scrappy fun, check out all the links over at Soscrappy.  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Getting Somewhere on a Snowy Friday

It was 13 F when I drove Drama Teen to school this morning.  It was 19 F when we went to lunch.  It started snowing about an hour ago.  Thankfully, I'm taking the day off.  So other than those two outings, I've been able to stay home and hang out in my warm sewing room.  

This morning the last border was stitched to the  2014 Rainbow Challenge Sampler.  My usual border is to just find a matching print and add that as the border, but I wanted to do something different on this quilt.  The sashing is black and I didn't want to just finish the quilt with black borders.  In my search for inspiration I came across one of those books in my quilting library that had set on the shelf for who knows how long.  


I remember buying this book, it was supposed to inspire me to make more pieced borders.  Mission accomplished (finally!).  To be honest, I didn't make the exact same border as shown in the book, but made a slight variation so I didn't have to paper piece the blocks and narrowed the border from 6" to 4".  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. 

There is still a lot of black in the borders, but they are not solid black.  It was an easy border to modify as I didn't have to deal with coping strips and figuring out what block size would work best.  Now I just have to make the back and get it sent out for quilting.  This was one of those projects that I wasn't sure would come together but has become one of my favorite quilts.  My Guy on the other hand made the comment at lunch that it looked like "something where  miscellaneous blocks that were blowing down the street were collected and then stuck in one quilt".  He has never been a fan of sampler quilts. 

Getting the borders made were my February goal for a Lovely Year of Finishes.  It feels good to make this goal since I failed miserably last month.  Since the border was inspired by one of my quilting books, I'm also linking up with Vroomans Quilts for this month's Let's Book it Challenge

We are supposed to get snow, followed by freezing rain, then rain between now and Sunday.  I'm hopeful that means lots of sewing time this weekend.  If you live in North America, stay warm, stay dry, drive safely.  


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Works in Progress - The Last Two Blocks

It's been a hectic week.  I've managed a bit of time in the sewing room since the weekend, but not a lot.  Science Fair is coming up this next weekend, so Drama Teen has needed an editor, a publisher and an audience already this week.  I'll be glad once we get past Saturday and it's over for another year.  

Last week, block 10 in the Chocolate Marshmallow sew along was completed. 

Here's all ten completed blocks up on the design wall. 

Chocolate Marshmallows:  pattern by Amanda Bergamin
of Sea Breeze Quilts

The last two Chocolate Marshmallow blocks are going to be a challenge.  I've limited my pallet to just 3 pinks and 2 browns.   These last two blocks call for more fabrics than what I've been using.  So I need to scan my fabrics and play with the fabric placement to see if I can make it work without adding any other fabrics.  

The other WIPs are progressing too. Since I'm off this Friday, I should have the borders on the 2014 Rainbow Challenge Scrap Sampler project by the weekend.  And the last pink Twinkle Star block should get done as well. 

Go check out all the other WIPs over at Freshly Pieced, Esther's Blog and on Thursday check out Needle and Thread Thursday over at My Quilt Infatuation.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Design Wall Monday - Slow and Steady

In some ways it was a long weekend, in others not long enough.  Drama Teen had to finish her science fair report, it's due on Tuesday.  My Guy is her science adviser and I'm the report editor.  She kept both of us busy this weekend.  One day I really hope she learns not to wait till the absolute last minute. 

I did get some time in the sewing room this last week.  Grand Illusion is progressing slowly, but steadily.  

Grand Illusion
A Bonnie Hunter Mystery

It's not my favorite project, but I'll keep at it.  Last year's Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt is still a UFO.  It would be nice if I can avoid adding this one to the pile.  

That's it for my design wall this week.  I'm linking up with Judy's Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Stash Report - Week 8 of 2015

Drama Teen had a church meeting in downtown Tulsa yesterday morning.   Once she was done there we went out for lunch and then she asked if we could visit the confection shop before we left for home.  We've been there once before and it has the absolute best chocolate, so of course a few pieces had to come home with us. 

I assure you each piece was yummy (Well all but one was,  Drama Teen said the grapefruit one wasn't all that good ).  

I did manage to spend a few evenings in the sewing room this last week.  Not much stitching happened yesterday as we weren't home.  Even so, this has been one of my better weeks in terms of stash usage this year. 

Used last week:  1.32 yards
Used in February: 1.95 yards
Used year to date: 4.57 yards

Even better than having some outgoing is that there is no incoming. The fabric diet is still going strong.  I even turned down a chance to visit the quilt shop yesterday.  I'm really trying to put a bit of a dent in the stash this year.  

For more stashy stuff, check out Patchwork Times.    

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Still in the Pink

Hooray for the weekend! Unfortunately, today is going to be about as busy as a weekday.   We have places to be and Drama Teen has people to see.  But we should be done by mid afternoon, so there is some hope that I'll get time in the sewing room before the day ends. 

Two Twinkle Stars were added to the design wall this week.

Twinkle Stars
Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

I'm really enjoying these little blocks, both making them and how they look up on the design wall.  The fabric for the last two pink blocks has already been picked out, but the next block hasn't been cut yet.  I've got one more week to finish off the last 2 pink blocks.  I should be able to do that and be ready to start on the blocks with March's color, whatever that might be.  

Last year I had three Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects going, but decided to do only one this year.  With 18 UFOs and 3 WIPs already piled up around the sewing room, I didn't want to start more than one scrappy project.  Plus of the four Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects I've started, not a one of them has been finished. Hopefully you won't get bored seeing just these Twinkle Star blocks this year.  

You can see out more pink scrappy projects over at Soscrappy.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Chocolate Marshmallows

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on the question from last week's post about what was a WIP and what was a UFO.   Most everyone considers a WIP something that they are actively working on.  While a UFO is either defined by how old the project is or it is a project that isn't likely to get done.  For the purpose of WIP Wednesday, it's likely that some of my UFOs will become a WIP when I'm actively working on them. 

Now that the WIP/UFO question is setteled, I can move on to this week's WIP.  Last week, the post showed 4 of the five projects I'm actively sewing on.    I'm only going to pick one for this week's post.  Block 9 of the Chocolate Marshmallow quilt along over at Sea Breeze Quilts is done.  

Block 10 is partially assembled.  Here's the 9 blocks completed to date.

Chocolate Marshmallows:  pattern by Amanda Bergamin of Sea Breeze Quilts

Blocks 11 and 12 came out on Sunday.  The instructions are printed off, but I've not done anything with them yet.  That should change this weekend.   Now that I've got the patterns for all the blocks, it's  really time to figure out a setting plan for these blocks.  I would really like to keep up the momentum so these don't end up on the UFO list. Working out settings and borders is usually the point one of my projects is most likely to move from the WIP to the UFO list.  It can take me a while to figure out the finishing steps.  

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced and WIPs on Wednesday at Esther's Blog.  Plus linking to Needle and Thread Thursdays over at My Quilt Infatuation.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday Archives - The Never Ending Quest for Organization

This week Val is featuring Ohio Stars and/or Organization Tips for this weeks Tuesday Archives' topic.   

Val's Quilting Studio

I don't have any Ohio Star quilts in my history, but I do have a few blog posts where I've made an attempt at organizing my stash.  It's an ongoing battle, but I've had some luck at taming bits and pieces of my stash.  Back in the December of 2011, I finally got around to buying shelving for my closet so I could stack my fabrics rather than have it hidden in a bunch of plastic totes.  I wrap my yardage around a 8.5" ruler, then fold it in half and stick it on the shelves.  It makes it a lot easier to find and makes pretty good use of my storage space.  I first blogged about that here.  I don't see where I ever linked back to the tutorial where I first saw that fabric folding technique.  If you are interested in it, you can find that here.  

I do have one new tip if you have wire shelves.  I found that the weight of the piles were causing the bottom fabric pieces to end up with creases from the shelving wire.  Last month I found rolls of plastic shelf liner at Lowe's.  

I've started adding that to the shelving units and it seems to be eliminating the creases in the bottom fabric pieces.  

The other tip in that June 2013 post is to use file folders and a file cabinet to "file" your fat quarters and half yard cuts. I cut the hanging file folders in half and add a piece of acid free tissue paper between the fabric and the file folder.  It's a great way to see what you have at a glance. Plus it seems to make the most of the space available in the file cabinet. 

Based on what I could find online, the file folders are acid free, but the box doesn't say that, so the acid free tissue paper was added as insurance.  You can buy large sheets of acid free tissue paper through archival supply sites such as and  

For more of the Tuesday Archives check out Val's Quilting Studio

Wordless Wednesday - A Winter's Walk

Monday, February 16, 2015

Design Wall Monday - A Tale of Two Walls

About 6:00 last night, I heard the sleet hitting the sewing room windows.  By 10:00 there was sleet on the ground.  This morning we woke to snow covered grass.  There's no school today, so Drama Teen finally got her wish of a snow day.  Which is very fortuitous, as she wasn't making it to school anyway.  She has a very nasty cold.  I felt so bad for her yesterday, she was absolutely miserable.  Hopefully she has turned the corner and will start feeling better today.      

It was almost a perfect weekend for stitching, which is good because the next two weekends are going to be a bit busy.   On the small design wall there has been some progress on both Grand Illusion and the last Inverted Star block. 

Grand Illusion
A Bonnie Hunter Mystery

Just two more HSTs needed before the Inverted Star block is ready to stitch together.  

On the large design wall.  All the flying geese blocks for the pieced border destined for the 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler have been finished.  


 These won't be the whole border.  There is still more piecing to be done. It will just be different pieces from here on out.    

That's it for me this week.  Check out Patchwork Times for more design wall updates. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stash Report - Week 7 of 2015

We had a pretty relaxing Saturday.  It was beautiful outside, but it didn't last.  It was in the 60's at lunch, but by the time we ran out for coffee in the late afternoon it had already dropped into the low 40s.  The Weather Channel says we'll get sleet this afternoon and snow starting tonight.  Drama Teen may well get the snow day she says they've been cheated out of this year.  I'm not sure it matters, poor girl seems to have a cold.  She was pretty miserable last night with a sore throat and runny nose, but no fever.  So I don't think it's strep. She may well be home sick even if they don't have a snow day. 

It's been a good week in the sewing room.  Not an excellent week, but a good week.  There is a bit of usage to report.

Used last week:  0.53 yards
Used in February:  0.61 yards
Used year to Date:  3.22 yards

Even better there has been no incoming additions to the stash.  All the border pieces are made for the 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler, so I hope to have even better numbers next week.  

Though I didn't buy any fabric, I did place an order with Connecting Threads last week.  Their thread was on sale, so I took the opportunity to expand my color choices in the threads I use for bindings and sewing down labels. 

Since I live so far from a quilt shop, cotton thread is hard to come by here in town, so it's nice to have a variety of colors to choose from when I'm ready to finish off a quilt. 

That's it for me this week.  Stay warm and drive safely if you live in the Midwest or Northeastern United States.  Check out all the other stash reports posted over at Patchwork Times.   

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Playing with Pinks

It's been a long, but good week.  Drama Teen had her last physical therapy session yesterday.  She tore her ACL last August and had to have surgery to repair it.  She has been going to PT twice a week since the middle of September.  Yesterday she finally passed all the strength tests.  She'd really been struggling to get the strength in her quad back, but passed that test with a bit more than required.   She sees the doctor on Monday and is really hoping to be released from restrictions so she can start playing volleyball again.  She'll have to wear a knee brace for the next year when she's playing, but she's accepted that.  

I'll get a bit more time back in my schedule now that I won't be driving DT to PT twice a week.  Hopefully that will translate into a bit more time in the sewing room.  I didn't get a lot done this week.  Just one more Twinkle Star block was finished to bring the total  on the design wall to just two. 

Twinkle Stars
Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

But TS number 3 is under construction. I really like these blocks and can't wait till I have a few more colors done so I can mix them up on the design wall.  

That's it for me this week.  I'm linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at Soscrappy.  Then I'm grabbing my second cup of coffee and checking out all the posts for this week.  Have a very happy Valentine's Day!  


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mid-Week WIPS

What is your definition of a WIP?   Is it related to what your definition of a UFO is?  I'm truly curious about what counts and what doesn't.  Why?  Well this year I'm attempting to blog a bit more during the middle of the week.  There are a number of linkies for WIPs, such as WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced and WIPS on Wednesday over at Esther's Blog.  Plus there is WIPs Be Gone on Fridays at A Quilting Reader's Garden.  

So what counts as a WIP and how is it different from a UFO?  According to Wikipedia,  WIPs (work in progress) "are partially finished goods waiting for completion.  A work in progress requires storage space...".  That definition pretty much applies to my UFOs as well (by the way  Wikipedia does not list a quilting related definition of a UFO).  My definition of a WIP is anything that I've started and not finished in the last calendar year.  A UFO is any project that remains unfinished past that calendar year. At the moment I only have four WIPs if I apply my definition.  Those include: 

Poinsettias (My Let's Book It, as well as, my current leaders and enders project)

By Judy Blok for the December 2013 issue
of American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine

Grand Illusion, Bonnie Hunter's 2014 Mystery quilt that's up on my  small design wall for now,

Grand Illusion
A Bonnie Hunter Mystery

and Twinkle Stars, which is this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge Project.  

Twinkle Stars
Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

Chocolate Marshmallows, which has been what I've been featuring in the few WIP posts I've done.  Since I last posted, block 8 has been finished.

Chocolate Marshmallows
pattern by Amanda Bergamin of Sea Breeze Quilts

So I'm caught up on all the blocks through December. 

Chocolate Marshmallows
pattern by Amanda Bergamin of Sea Breeze Quilts

For some reason the pinks in these blocks is really hard to get right in the lighting conditions in my sewing room, they really are much brighter in real life.  Block 9 is cut out and awaiting assembly.  Blocks 11 and 12 come out next week, but hopefully I'll be finished with the blocks from January by then.  I should really start working on the setting for these 12 blocks.  

Hopefully all the progress on these WIPs will keep them from becoming UFOs.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monday Design Wall - My Grand Illusion of Progress

Why weekends are so short has to be one of those universal questions we all ask come Monday morning. I know I'm certainly asking it today.  It doesn't help that Drama Teen has driver's ed starting at 6:30 AM.  It's up and out the door pretty quickly these days.  I do get to work earlier, but I don't seem to manage to leave any earlier.  Oh well, just two more weeks of the early mornings.  I'm not sure who will be happier when driver's ed is over, me or DT. 

Saturday night was Drama Teen's Winter Formal, so there was a bit of time spent doing hair and make up, as well as making a few adjustments to her dress.  Plus, it was a wonderful warm and sunny weekend.  We took advantage of the nice weather on Sunday and went to the park for a nice long walk.  So not as much time was spent in the sewing room.  

In spite of all the activities, a bit of progress was made on the little design wall.  

Grand Illusion - A Bonnie Hunter Mystery and
Inverted Starby Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download

The second row of Grand Illusion is starting to take shape.  I'm going to use all the block pieces I've gotten finished, then decide if I need to make any more to finish off this quilt.  My version won't be as big as Bonnie's. 

All the red-violet pieces of the last Inverted Star block are going to need to be moved soon.  It only needs 6 more HSTs before I can start stitching it together.  Then I'll have to find another white in my stash to finish it off as I don't have any more of the white I used in the HSTs.  

On the other design wall, the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler hasn't changed any, but I have added a few more parts to the pieced border. 

I need to get going on this border if I want to have it done by the end of the month.  

That's it for my design wall process this week.  I'm linking up to Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.   

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Stash Report - Week 6

Last night was the big formal for the Freshman and  Sophomore classes.  Drama Teen didn't have a date, but went with a group of her girlfriends.  She cleans up pretty well doesn't she.  

She had a really fun time.  Unfortunately the rest of the weekend will be focused on getting her science fair project done.  From Cinderella to mad scientist is quite the transition, almost like Jekyll and Hyde.  

Sewing certainly happened this week, but it's not reflected in the stash report.  

Used last week: 0.08 yards
Used in February: 0.08 yards
Used Year to Date:  2.69 yards

But every little bit helps.  Hopefully I'll get the borders done for the 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler soon and be able to make a back for it.  That would make a nice increase in the out going.  

For more states of the stash, check out Patchwork Times.   

Saturday, February 7, 2015

February Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes

After my dismal failure to meet last month's goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, I had just about decided not to participate in the challenge any longer.  When the end of January came and that goal remained unmet, I was a bit hard on myself.  Which is silly considering that quilting is a hobby for me, it's big part of my stress relief strategy.  I work in a competitive environment with goals and hard deadlines.  That wasn't something that I desired being part of my quilting life.  But without some goals, it's easy for me to just hit the recliner when I get home and not make the effort to get upstairs and stitch a bit.  I honestly feel better after I sew for a bit, there's not the same satisfaction from spending the entire evening in the recliner.  So I'm back for the February installment of A Lovely Year of  Finishes with the understanding that "finishing" isn't going to be a quilt each month, but something that moves me towards a finish and that works in my often hectic schedule.  

Last month my goal was to get the borders on the 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler Quilt. 

 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

Of course when I set that goal I was planning on adding a few strips of fabric as the border and calling it good.  But I wasn't happy with that plan, so an idea for a pieced border took root.  A pieced border takes a lot longer than cutting a few fabric strips and sewing them to the sides.  So my goal this month is to just finish the borders.  Getting them all sewn on is a bonus, the real goal is to just get the borders to the point they are ready to be sewn on.  I've made a pretty good start on getting the pieces made.  

So that's the plan for February. Check out all the other February goals for a Lovely Year of Finishes over at Sew Bittersweet Designs.

My Button

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Twinkle Pink

This week was incredibly long, it seemed that the weekend would never get here.  Not that the weekend is going to be any less busy.  Drama Teen has a formal dance tonight, plus has to finish up her Science Fair entry.  I'm on hair and makeup duty for the first, then Photo Shop and science consultant on the second.  I may not get in a lot of stitching time this weekend. 

But thankfully there were  a couple of nights this week where I got in a bit more than 30 minutes in the sewing room.  I finished the first pink Twinkle Star block, 

Twinkle Stars
Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

plus made a good start on the second block. All the fabric combinations are picked out for the other four blocks.  I should be on track to finish all 6 blocks this month.  

Work continues on finishing off the blocks on the 2014 Rainbow Scrap projects.  The Inverted Star and Scrappy Butterfly projects both still need one more block.  The last Inverted Star block is in progress.  

A setting has been worked out for the Butterfly quilt, but I hadn't come up with one for the Inverted Star blocks.  After playing around in EQ some this week,  I figured out the setting for Inverted Star.

Center block is Inverted Star by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download.  Setting is self designed.  

It's another pieced border, so it will take a bit longer to finish this project off, but I really like the Sawtooth Stars.   I don't have anymore of the white fabric I used for the Inverted Stars, so I need to find something else in the stash that will blend with that fabric. It's a scrap quilt so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.  I'll probably add this little 4 x 5 blocks to my list of blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge each month once I find some white fabric.  

That's it for my scrappy endeavors this week.  Check out all the links over at Soscrappy for some great inspiration on how to use up all your scraps.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tuesday Archives - A Quilting Restart

Do you ever go back to your early blog posts and reread them?  I did that this week as I was trying to find a post for this week's Tuesday Archives.  

Val's Quilting Studio

I'm still doing a weekly stash report and linking up with Design Wall Monday, so not much has changed in my posts other than when I started bogging Drama Teen was referred to as Kiddo.  I'm not sure if I should to be concerned that little has changed in terms of what I blog about or to be encouraged that I've at least been consistent.  

After a bit of unsuccessful searching for a post that included the 9-patch quilt for this week's archives post, I consulted my digital quilt catalog.  Only to find that the desired subject for this post had never even made it to the blog, it was finished well before the blog came into being.    It always surprises me when I find a quilt that has never had it's shining(?) moment on the blog. So in the interest of fairness to that early quilt here is Spring Snowball. 

This quilt started off my current string of quilt projects. In 2001 My Guy suggested I sign up for a learning to quilt class at the newly opened quilt shop in town. I'd made one quilt top 14 years before, but I hadn't pieced anything since.  The class was so much fun, I enjoyed every minute of the 4 sessions it took us to get to the finished flimsy.  I was hooked and have been piecing since.  

Spring Snowballs  wasn't finished until 2010.  I have always planned to learn how to quilt, but with an active kiddo, a traveling spouse and a full time career of my own I just never found the time. So the flimsy lingered in the closet till I met Trudy, who has quilted all my projects since this one.  

That's it for my trip down memory lane this week.  You can see more quilt archives over at Val's Quilting Studio.