Saturday, August 31, 2013

Month in Review

August was a fun month of sewing for me. I'm glad I decided mid month to give myself a "vacation" from my goals and do what was making me happy and productive... filling up my new design wall with WIPs/UFOs in the piecing stage. Sometimes you just have to cut yourself some slack and play catch-up later right?

Having this design wall has totally changed my sewing habits. Sewing a stack of blocks to put in a pile next to the machine is nowhere near as exciting as putting those blocks up on the wall and getting immediate gratification! Getting one WIP and 4 UFOs to flimsy stage is the result - a big step closer to the Finish Line for these projects.
1. Design Wall Fully Loaded!, 2. Scrappy Strip Stacks, 3. Arkansas Crossing, 4. Bright Hopes, 5. Scrappy Chevron, 6. Christmas Fantasy

I also finished 2 UFOs in August and passed my halfway point on my UFO Countdown. Once cooler weather arrives I'll be ready for lots of UFO sandwiching, quilting and binding.

1. Charm Quilt #3, 2. Charm Quilt #2

Last but not least, I enjoyed sewing with red very much for RSC13 in August.

1. Red Birds in the Air Blocks, 2. Red Crossroads Blocks

My August goals ended up looking like this:

1-UFO#1 TB Jacobs Ladder*
2-UFO#2 Puppy Baby Quilt*
3-UFO#3 ABC Charm Quilt*
4-UFO#4 Charm Quilt #2-DONE!
5-UFO#5 Charm Quilt #3-DONE!
6-NewFO Project-DONE! (started Modern Maples)
7-And Sew On Blocks
8-RSC13 Blocks-DONE!
9-Finish 2 WIPs*
10-Pound Some Nails

Which means that my September goals are going to look rather familiar:

1-UFO#1 TB Jacobs Ladder
2-UFO#2 Puppy Baby Quilt
3-UFO#3 ABC Charm Quilt
6-NewFO Project
7-And Sew On Blocks
8-RSC13 Blocks
9-Finish 2 WIPs
10-Pound Some Nails

Let the thread fly... it's time to oil up Mr. Juki and sew to the Finish Line in September! With my husband and son back in school I envision many happy afternoons in my quilting room. Not to mention Football Sundays to sew down binding - I guess I'm ready to say good bye to summer and hello to fall after all.

I'm linking up to Nothing But UFOs in 2013@A Passion for Applique and The Year of the Finished Project@Never Too Hot to Stitch.
Lily's Quilts

Friday, August 30, 2013

Christmas Fantasy is a Flimsy

It's a bright sunny day... perfect for quilt pictures on our freshly moved lawn! This UFO is called "Christmas Fantasy" and it is from a December 2003 issue of McCall's Quilting. I started quilting in 2002 and during this time I had no confidence in picking my own fabrics so this a verbatim copy of the magazine quilt.
The fabrics are all from a line called "Folk Art Christmas" by Robin Pandolph. The colors are so rich!
Florals have been a favorite of mine right from the start... I love these big shabby roses.
This quilt looks much more complicated than it is. There are 4 different pieced blocks and 2 different solid blocks (the large floral on white and the small floral & pines on green) which are laid out Trip Around the World style.
Getting this old UFO to flimsy stage is one of my Q3 goals so I can check it off my list. I'm thinking this one will be sent out for quilting by a professional as I have plenty of smaller projects in my UFO quilting queue.
Isn't that border fabric a beauty?  I love the veins in the leaves and the detailed shading in the roses. Tomorrow I'll be doing my August in Review post - how in the world can it be almost September!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Scrappy Chevron is a Flimsy

We have had some much needed rain today so I'm sticking to indoor photos of Scrappy Chevron. I had enough background fabric left to add a 1" inner border and then searched my stash to find the green outer border.
I thought the circles on the border fabric were a nice contrast to the sharp angles in the top and I like how it brought out the greens in the blocks. I tried a few shades of teal/aqua but they just didn't look right.
Scrappy Chevron will wait on a hanger in my UFO Collection for a quilting marathon later in the year... I still can't face quilting in the heat & humidity we are experiencing!
I really like this layout and I'm sure I'll be trying it again. Now I get to dig around in my UFO Drawer for a new leader/ender project so I can start filling up the design wall again. What to pick...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Scrappy Chevron and Cuzco

This week I finished the blocks for my Scrappy Chevron UFO and started sewing the rows together. So far the alternating bottom rows are done which is why my chevrons look wonky the further right you look. I think I have enough of the background fabric left for a skinny inner border and then I'll see what I find in my stash for the outer border... at any rate it should be a flimsy by the end of the week.
The Fat Quarter Shop had some Cuzco by Kate Spain yardage on sale recently so I thought it would be a good idea (ha!) to indulge since I have a jelly roll and some mini charm packs of Cuzco sitting on my shelf. The fabric on the left will be perfect for backing and the others will work in as binding or something else. I so love Kate's lines!
I think the green fabric from the Juggling Summer line will make an interesting binding for a future project using some charm packs on said shelf and I chose a few neutrals too.
With HOT & sticky weather in the forecast today (real feel of 100 degrees!) I might get some sewing time in later in the day after our daughter and her boyfriend head for home. Tomorrow our son and I head out for a day trip for college visit #1. I'm looking forward to seeing how my very logical son approaches his college decision over the next months!

I'm linking up to Scrap Basket Sunday@Kim's Big Quilting AdventureSunday Stash@Fabric Mutt and Design Wall Monday@Patchwork Times.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Birds in the Air in Red

The clouds were ever changing while I was taking these pictures today and it made for an interesting experiment with light.  My design wall is still full of UFOs so the floor had to make do.

Complete cloud cover while I was laying my August Birds in the Air blocks (tutorial HERE) out:
 Sun peeking through:
 Complete sun:
I just can't wait to start putting all of these colors together at the end of the year! And, as always, I'm wondering what color we will be sewing with in September for RSC13.
I'm linking up to ScrapHappy Saturday@soscrappy.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Perfect Summer Day

Yesterday was so gorgeous... about 80 degrees, not a cloud in the sky and calm. My daughter and I took full advantage and had a wonderful 90 minute tour of our lake and the adjoining lake on our paddle boards. Then she doubled down with a slalom ski session. Summer at it's finest!

Late in the afternoon I finished assembling the horizontal rows for my Christmas UFO and the light was good for photos (minus the sunlit bottom left corner). This quilt will have a light print inner border and the outer border is a large red floral. I'm loving it!
The colors aren't as accurate in this closeup but I wanted to show the detail in these yummy Robyn Pandolph fabrics.
I also took a few pictures of what's blooming in my front garden. The rabbits and/or deer have been eating my Rudbeckia buds but a few have escaped to add some gold accents throughout the garden.
The zinnias are loving these warm sunny days.
As are the pink cosmos and purple cleome.  For some reason my monarda was really sparse this spring so I had to do some "filling" with annuals, I hope it comes back next year.
Last but not least... here is grand cat #2 Jax taking a rest on top of our living room armoire. He and his brother J-Meow are always so busy the first few days here investigating the house top to bottom. I predict lots of cat naps in their future.
I'm hoping for a repeat of yesterday's fun today... hope your Friday is a good one too!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I've got 2 UFOs on my design wall that I've been making progress on since I can't seem to motivate myself to do any quilting the last week. I'm going to blame it on the heat and on the novelty of having this big wall to play with as I've been totally in a piecing mood. Anything from my UFO Collection is fair game so instead of fighting it I'm just going to roll with it.
This might be my oldest UFO left to finish and I am absolutely going to have this one done by December since I don't have any Christmas lap quilts. The colors in my photos aren't very good today but you'll be seeing more of this one in better light.
The chevron tips are sewed together and I've got a bit of the background fabric left so I'm not sure how big this one will end up. I'm still loving the layout and working on something that feels "new".
The return of summer heat is giving my flowers a much needed lift. I spent a few hours yesterday deadheading, trimming, watering and fertilizing around the yard and they are looking pretty perky today.

Have you ever planted King Tut? It's only been in our local nurseries a few years and I just love how crazy big it grows over the course of the summer. I have 2 of these planters flanking our garage doors and they attract a lot of attention!
Our daughter is coming home tonight for a long weekend which will be a treat. On Monday our son and I have his first college visit... yes, only one more year before our nest is empty. All I can say about that right now is I hope time slows down a bit!

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday@Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Arkansas Crossing

There is something so satisfying about finishing a quilt top... it's a close second in my book to sewing down that last stretch of binding! This pattern is called "Arkansas Crossing" from the book "Quilts From the Heart" by Karin Renaud. Hopefully while I'm quilting it I'll come up with the perfect happy name because looking at this quilt just makes me smile.
Sometimes I have a hard time with borders but in this case it was a slam dunk. As soon as I spotted this fabric in my stash closet I knew it was the one.
Isn't it amazing how 2" squares end up looking like this?
On a hanger it goes... ready for quilting in the fall. Summer has returned to Minnesota Lake Country with hot & humid weather - maybe that's why I've been doing more reading than quilting or blogging lately. Or maybe it's just because I've had a run of great books, the kind that keep you up at night because you can't put them down. But I think today will be a quilting and swimming day as my quilting room stays nice and cool.

I'm linking up to Freemotion by the River.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Leader Ender UFO

After having company over the weekend followed by a day trip with some friends on Monday I'm ready to settle down and sew.

I pulled this UFO out of the drawer and started playing around with it on my design wall the other day. These 5" charms are from a Keepsake Quilting charm bundle and I apparently was thinking Depression blocks at the time.
But, after laying them out in several different ways I've decided on a Chevron pattern instead matching the HSTs to each other for the Chevron points.
I've got to finish trimming them up and piece the rest of the charms that you can see in the first photo but I'm thinking this will be a keeper quilt because I'm loving these fabrics and this color palette.
In fact, it might be hard to keep this a leader ender project! Hopefully once I have the blocks all laid out on the design wall it will be easier to resist sewing it all together NOW.

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday@Freshly Pieced.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Scrappy Sewing

My red Birds in the Air blocks for RSC13 are being assembled... here are 8 of them ready for the big white triangles to be added.
I pulled out another scrappy UFO for a leader/ender project this week and started filling up my design wall with blocks.  This pattern is called "Bright Hopes" from the book "Quilts from the Heart" by Karin Renaud.
Yesterday it became a flimsy and is now on a hanger in the ready for quilting section of my UFO Collection.
The blocks are similar to the Crossroads blocks I've been making with a smaller center - another good pattern to use up small 2.5" strips.
Putting the UFO leader/ender blocks on one end of the design wall is really motivating. Now I'm ready to find another UFO I can do this with... I need something pretty on that wall!

I'm linking up to ScrapHappy Saturday@soscrappy and Scrap Basket Sunday@Kim's Big Quilting Adventure.

Friday, August 9, 2013

UFO Mountain Summit!

With UFO Finish #51 I've reached the summit of UFO Mountain and started my descent!
image from
I would not have believed this quote a year ago... but now I CAN. 101 UFOs as of 10/1/2012 seemed insurmountable. It feels AMAZING to be on the down slope with only 50 to go. I realize that for many quilters 50 UFOs would induce panic - but to me the view is looking mighty fine!
This is Charm Quilt #3 - same vintage as Charm Quilts #1 & #2. I used the striped binding fabric again but I grid quilted this one using variegated red, blue, green & yellow Star thread. The background fabric seemed to call for that.
This quilt has some of the cutest fabrics yet... I just love those cowboys, dinosaurs and seahorses!
And the dogs - all of them.  I can't decide which one is more adorable between between the umbrellas and the vehicles heading to the beach.

The backing is pieced flannel. This quilt will be my 18th donation to Project Linus this year.

FINISH is my word for 2013... I'm getting there one UFO at a time!
image from

August Finishes

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Under Construction

After 10 months of blogging I still haven't been able to settle into a comfortable format for WIP Wednesday and I'm not really sure why. Since I love the idea of weekly recap of what's what in my quilting room I'm going to keep trying. So many other aspects of my blog have worked beyond my wildest dreams - mainly all things UFO. The quarterly goals broken down into monthly goals has been a rousing success. Same thing with my UFO Collection Countdown and my UFO Reward System. I know EXACTLY where I am at and love it!

image from
Since it makes sense to follow what is already working I've added a new TAB to track my WIPs. My definition of WIP is anything started in the current year. At year end unfinished WIPs become UFOs. In 2012 I only created one UFO that I have since finished - my Thimbleberries Christmas stockings.

As 2013 starts heading towards year end I want to keep on top of my WIPs because it would be very silly to work so hard to gain control over my UFO Collection and then blow it up again with a bunch of unfinished WIPs!

What's HOT!:

- Birds in the Air blocks for RSC13 (will be blogged on Saturday)

- My UFO for the week is ABC Charm Quilt (will be blogged on Friday)

- Scrappy Strip Stacks is a flimsy and on a hanger waiting for it's day with Mr. Juki for quilting.
- I've pulled the fabrics for Modern Maples which is a UFO Reward Project for finishing 10 UFOs.

This was a no-brainer as I had this stack of mostly Nancy Halverson fabrics sitting in my Untouchable Stash. Do you have a shelf for fabrics that were purchased one day with a project in mind?  I have no idea what that was any more but they will be perfect for this project.

Modern Maples is from the book "Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays" by John Q. Adams and was the July project for the Threadbias Sew Along. I'm getting a late start but I just love this quilt and am excited to get going on it.

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday@Freshly Pieced.