Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I May Have a Scrap Problem... But I Also Have Minions!

Hi, all!

I feel so virtuous!  I played with scraps today - or I guess I should say I took my lovely grandchildren, turned them into minions...

...and we sorted out two giant tubs of scraps!!!  

After about an hour of gleefully tossing scraps into (sometimes the wrong) color piles and Lilli testing to see how a certain color looked on her brother or sister (she's a budding fashionista), we ended up with this...

Lots of piles sorted by color that I need to press and fold, then add to the already-sorted color tubs!  The big pile on the left is pieces that are more than one fabric (usually trimmed from pieced backs) that I need to take apart before putting them in a tub.  I'll put them in a basket by my normal evening seat so I can work on them when I'm not doing anything else in the evening!

I also finished the third block (second step) in the Long Time Gone quilt - this one is called Square in Square Stars.  Still need to pull and cut the pieces for the next step - that's on my list for the week!  If you've been working on this same quilt, I'd love to see what you're doing - feel free to link up below and show off!!

And now, how about some scrappy inspiration?  I saw some beautiful things on Instagram this week...

I love this unique setting for a string quilt, and wish I had caught the name of the maker in my screen shot.  If you know who made it, please speak up!!

This is another quilt that would be a great scrap buster, and there's a link for a free pattern in the pic above.  You'll have to type it in, unfortunately, but it's there!

And here's another great string quilt - I love a good spiderweb quilt, don't you?

One of the ladies in my church's quilt ministry group is working on this version of Scrappy Stars - I absolutely love the dark pink stars against the light pink charm square prints!!

And Julie over at Pink Doxies made this great 9-patch quilt, inspired by a vintage quilt.  I really like the setting with the 4-patch blocks as cornerstones.  Can't you see the scraps flying out the door as you make this one?

And my greatest scrap busting tip of the week?
I hope you are as inspired by it as I am.....

I took one look at this and thought - "Wouldn't that be amazing with a cutting mat instead of a cutting board, and you could just scrape all your little trimmings and tiny scraps into the trash can below?"

Funny how sometimes things just hit you the right way!  I may try to work out a way to do this somewhere on my worktable - ideas are rolling around in my head, and it's a good week to try it because I can be both chief and indian - my husband and I usually both try to be chief on projects like this, and that doesn't work out very well.....

So I'm also feeling virtuous because I have a substantive scrap post!  Have you been working on your scraps too?  It's a great time of year to make scrappy quilts - make one for the Hands2Help Challenge here on my blog, and you could end up with one of the great giveaway items at the end!  You can read more about it here if you are interested....

I've put a linky party at the end of this post so you can show off how virtuous you're being, too - give us some more inspiration to keep working off those scraps!!



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Make-A-List Monday - the Up-To-My-Ears-In-Grandkids Edition!

Hi, all!

Welcome to a special edition of Make-A-List Monday - the Up-To-My-Ears-In-Grandkids one!  Between lots of middle of the night "NANA!!!"s (which make me fall asleep as soon as I sit down during the day!) and too many helpers to do any sewing, I'm late posting my list this week.  But I wouldn't change it for the world!

So let's see how last week's list went...

1.  Put the borders on the Dear Jane quilt I'm finishing up for a friend.
Done!  After fighting with set-in seams (my first experience)...

I managed to get all four corners in and a muslin border sewn all around!  

I'll quilt the border, then cut scallops out of the quilted muslin area to finish off this quilt!
2.  Quilt and bind the Dear Jane quilt.
Putting on the triangle border with the set-in corners took much longer than I anticipated, so I haven't done this yet!

3.  Repair a vintage quilt for a customer.
Not finished, but hey, well begun is half done, right?  I did lay out the entire quilt and identify all the places that need repair, then went and picked up all the supplies I need to do it.  You can see just some of the repair needs in this shot of the quilt.  But as you can see, it's a lovely vintage quilt, probably at least 100 years old, so well worth saving!

4.  Start working on a scrappy quilt (details on Wednesday!)
Done!  I started on a "Long Time Gone" quilt (pattern by Jen Kingwell), and I've made the first two blocks so far...

This will be an ongoing project on "I May Have A Scrap Problem..." Wednesdays - hopefully it will help eat up some of those scraps that are wildly reproducing in my studio!

5.  Get the guest room ready for a 3-day sleepover 
with the grandkids!
Done!  Although you couldn't tell it now - 
it looks like a bomb hit it!!

6.  Bind a quilt for the quilt ministry.
Done!  And not only this one, but another that I didn't take a picture of yet.  I love this quilt - a donation from one of the wonderful piecers who bless us with their creations!

7.  Quilt a couple of quilts for Stash Builder Box.
Done!  I really hoped I'd have the bindings done too, but grandkids and sewing don't go too well together yet!

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  We gave this quilt to a woman who was just diagnosed with cervical cancer...

...and this one went to a woman who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  This one was requested by a woman we sent a quilt to three years ago and she loved hers so much she wanted a friend to have the same experience!  

So I didn't get everything done on the list, but at least I held my own!  It was a very ambitious list, so I don't feel too badly.  Here's what's on my horizon for this week...

1.  Make more blocks for my "Long Time Gone" quilt.

2.  Bind the two quilts for Stash Builder Box.

3.  Quilt and bind the "Dear Jane" quilt.

4.  Begin repairs on the vintage quilt.

5.  Quilt a couple of quilts for the quilt ministry - for a special project, quilts for our high school seniors on graduation.

6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up!

Another ambitious week, but maybe I'll have better luck this week - after the grandkids leave today, they'll be heading out on a trip with their parents for the rest of spring break, and my husband is going out of town until Saturday - so I'll have uninterrupted time to really crack down on some of this list!

So now, the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hands2Help - Tips, Tutes, and Tasty Things!!

Hi, all!

Welcome to one of my favorite weeks of the Hands2Help season!  This week is designed for us to share those things that make our lives easier - the sewing room tips, the great tutorials we've written or found on-line, and the wonderful food or snacks that we like to make to help keeping our home lives running smoothly (or to pacify us when we make a major sewing boo-boo and have to do some "frog-stitching" (i.e. ripping out - rippit rippit!).  I hope you'll share your favorites - you can do this by linking to a new post, an old post, even someone else's post (for example, a tutorial or recipe you love)!  So let's get started!!

This is a Hera marker, for those of you who don't have one yet.  And it may be the greatest tool in my quilt-y workbox!  It has made it so much easier to mark straight-line quilting lines on t-shirt quilts, which was always a problem before because chalk doesn't stay on very well, and what color do you use when your shirts are all different colors?  But I recently saw a very smart idea on Instagram, posted by Christa Watson...

She used hers to mark the center line of her squares before stitching her HSTs!  That. is. brilliant!!

And speaking of HSTs, here's a link to a great tutorial - Blossom Heart Quilts has charts that say how big to cut your fabric for different HST sizes, and there are two different methods for making HSTs - one that makes two at a time, and one that makes them four at a time.  And just for fun, here's a link to another of her tutorials that shows how to make HSTs eight at a time!  I have both of these posts bookmarked so I don't have to calculate my own measurements every time - very useful!

And now for the tasty thing!  This year for Christmas, I received an Instant Pot, and it has opened up a whole new world of cooking!  Look at all that yumminess - super simple and healthy too!  I found this recipe on the No. 2 Pencil blog, and it's amazing!  It's called Instant Pot ChickenNoodle Soup.  Definitely easy and a great way to cook a fabulous pot of soup totally from scratch (I mean, you start with a whole chicken!)  It's easy to cook the chicken ahead of time, then pull it together as soup shortly before dinner time.  I highly recommend it.  You can find the recipe by clicking here.

So now you have MY tips, tutes and tasty things for this year - what are yours?  Link up below and share them with us!  Anything that can make our lives easier as we make our H2H quilts is fair game - so let's see 'em!

And be sure to come back next Sunday, when we'll find out who our fabulous sponsors are this year!  You won't want to miss it!



PS If you are just now finding out about the Hands2Help Challenge, you can read more about it and sign up here!  There's still time!!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Graduation's Coming...

Hi, all!

Wow!  Can you believe that it's Friday again?  Where did the week go? But now that it's here, you know what it's time for - time to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready?  Let's get started!!


I am very very happy to say that I have now made a puzzle-style t-shirt quilt!  Here's where it started...

I laid the shirt pieces out on the floor in the little office off my sewing room - fortunately it wasn't in use and I could lay it out and leave it there as I worked to assemble it.

Then I pieced together the blocks across the top of the quilt, building it to the width needed for this quilt.

The next step was to establish the length of the quilt.  As you can see, I pieced together the left side, adding to or trimming blocks as needed to make it the proper length.

This is a time-consuming project - if you decide to take one on as a commission project, I would suggest you allow a good amount of time for piecing the blocks.  I exceeded the time I expected to spend on it by a good bit, although part of that was learning curve, since this was my first.

But I'm so happy with the result!

This is a fun, bright, colorful quilt...

...with blocks that span this girl's whole school career!

I used a gray Connecting Threads solid for the backing and binding - it's the recipient's favorite color!

Cross-hatch straight line quilting in Glide Battleship crosses all the blocks.  The quilting lines are 5" apart.

I'm happy to have this under my belt and in my repertoire - I'm not sure I'll make many more because of the time involved and the cost to the customer, but it was a great learning experience!

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop??

Oh - and one more thing I'm whooping about - we currently have 163 people signed up for Hands2Help!!  If you are thinking about joining in, there's still plenty of time - your finished quilts are due by early June - so sign up!  There are giveaways at the end for the folks who make and donate quilts!!


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?

What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share - we want to dance right along with you - 
And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!!



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I May Have A Scrap Problem... But This Should Help!!!!

Hi, all!

I have decided that it's time to get serious about my scraps again, and just last week I found a really great way to use some of them up!  So here's what came in the mail yesterday...

If you've ever seen any of Jen Kingwell's other patterns, you'll understand the appeal of this one.  You may be familiar with her My Small World pattern...

...or her Gypsy Wife design...

I absolutely adore both these patterns, and have actually started on three My Small World quilts for the grandkids (someday!)  I love the way Jen uses lots of different blocks combined together to create these wonderful sampler quilts.  They are appealing to me because I get bored making the same block over and over - this gives me plenty of variety to keep my interest!

So I decided to start on my own Long Time Gone quilt.  There are thirteen different block designs in this quilt. Most are simple patchwork; there is a template for the 60 degree triangles in the book, and also a paper-piecing template for a pineapple block. here are no curved seams in this quilt, making it fairly simple, even for a new quilter!

Today I started with the first block in the book, the Bow Tie block.  I started out by cutting my pieces from fabric in my scrap bins...

...then sewed the blocks up as directed!

I had a little more time to work, so I decided to cut out the pieces for the next block in the book, Square In A Square Stars.

I didn't have a chance to sew this one up yet, but it's all ready when I get a few minutes to sit down and sew!  I love having things ready and waiting...

This pattern book is set up so well for working a project over a long period of time.  Each block is well explained and diagrammed, and the pattern is printed in an 8.5" x 11" book format.  These patterns are expensive, but I've found them to be worth the cost.  There's plenty of room to make notes on each page, too!


So that's what I'm planning to work on now to help tame my scrap monster.  With any kind of luck I should be able to post new blocks each week and have it done in a couple of months?  Let's see how that works out...  😜

What are you working on these days to keep your scrap monster under control?  Enquiring minds want to know!!



Sew Fresh Quilts

Linking up with Let's Be Social today!!  Come join the fun!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Make-A-List Monday - Making Headway!!

Hi, all!

Welcome spring!  Today was absolutely gorgeous - warm, sunny, a little bit of wind, and absolutely the perfect day for the first day of spring!  And I finished a quilt today, which is a great way to start a season!  So let's take a look at last week's list and see how it went...

1.  Continue working on the commission quilt. Finish making all the t-shirt blocks and determine the arrangement of this puzzle style quilt, at a minimum.  If I'm lucky, I'll finish piecing it this week!
No only did I finish piecing it, I quilted it and put the binding on!  This quilt is ready to go!!  Woohoo!!

2.  File our income taxes. 
Done!  And my refund is on its way... I see fabric in my future!! 

3.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  We only gave away one quilt this week, and would you believe, I forgot to take a picture of it?  It's a shame, too, because it was a really beautiful quilt.  It went to a gentleman battling brain cancer.

OK!  Last week was a winner!  Love getting everything I needed to get done, and more!  Here's what's up for this week...

1.  Put the borders on the Dear Jane quilt I'm finishing up for a friend.

2.  Quilt and bind the Dear Jane quilt.

3.  Repair a vintage quilt for a customer.

4.  Start working on a scrappy quilt (details on Wednesday!)

5.  Get the guest room ready for a 3-day sleepover with the grandkids!

6.  Bind a quilt for the quilt ministry.

7.  Quilt a couple of quilts for Stash Builder Box.

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

That should definitely keep me out of trouble, right?  So now there's only one question...

What are YOU working on this week?



PS If anyone but me cares, the signup count for Hands2Help is up to 160 now!  Whoop whoop!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hands2Help - And We Have A Winner!

Hi, all!

Well, it's been one week now since we started the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge for 2017, and I am absolutely blown away by your response!  As of 8:30 last night, there are one hundred fifty one people signed up to participate!!  That. Is. Amazing!!!!

Now, if you are just arriving at the party, don't be sad - you can still enter and participate.  The only thing you've missed is a chance at winning the sign-up giveaway - but there are more giveaways at the end of the Challenge for those who finish and send in their quilts.  This is only the beginning!  If you want to sign up, click here and scroll down to the entry form and fill it out.  

And now, the moment you've been waiting for - 
who will be the winner of this beautiful jelly roll of Splendid by Amy Butler donated by Free Spirit Fabrics?

I gathered up all the names and extra entries and ran them through Little Miss Random...

...and the winner is - - - 
Beth Talmage!!  
Congratulations, Beth!  
I'll get your jelly roll in the mail sometime this week!


Next week is the Hands2Help Tips, Tutes & Tasty Things link-up week!  Start thinking about your best sewing or quilting tip, a great tutorial, or your favorite recipe for a yummy snack to sustain you while quilting, or a great easy meal to keep the family fed while you create!  I hope you'll share your favorites with us next Sunday by linking up a new post, old post, someone else's post, a link to a great recipe or tutorial - it's all good!  

See you next week!!!



PS - I sent an email last night to everyone on the sign-up list.  Please check to see if you received it - if you don't see it in your regular email box, check your spam!  If you didn't get one, you aren't on the sign-up list, so please email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com so we can get you properly signed up!!  And there were a few of you who left comments last Sunday that were no-reply bloggers - you might check to see if I left a reply to your email to contact me!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? Not Finished, but Progress!

Hi, all!

Hey, everyone - it's Friday!!!  And not only Friday, but the day where EVERYONE is Irish!  Happy St. Patrick's Day to one and all.  And you know what else that means - it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on once again!!  Are you ready?  Let's get started!


This week, once I did the Modernist post, I got to work on a project with a looming deadline - a puzzle style t-shirt quilt.  After deconstructing all the shirts and making all the t-shirt blocks, I laid it all out on the floor....

I sure am thankful I had a room where I could clear off the rug and lay this out until I could get it sewn up.  My husband hasn't been using his home office lately, so I took it over for this project!  I laid it out and let it sit overnight so I could look at it in the morning with fresh eyes.  

Everything still looked good in the morning, so I decided to start assembling the quilt top.  With the random placement of all the squares, this one is going to be really difficult to size up, so I started by assembling the top of the quilt, making sure it reached the size I needed it to be.

By the end of the day, I hadn't finished, but I did have a really good start on the quilt.  As you can see, I've done the left side all the way down, so that establishes the quilt's length.  Now I have a few more pieces to work in tomorrow, and the top will be finished!

Oh, and remember that Tuesday was Pi Day?  If the logic escapes you, it's called that because it was 3/14. Well, I got inspired and made a peach blueberry pie using some of the blueberries and peaches we collected all summer and put in the freezer - and oh my goodness is it yummy!!  

And one more really big whoop - as of this moment, thee are already 126 people signed up for the Hands2Help Challenge! Now that's something to really cheer about! 

And there's still time for you to sign up if you want to be in time for the signup giveaway - I'll be drawing a winner on Saturday evening, so hop on over and sign up now!! If you've missed the deadline, no worries - you can still sign up, and there will be more prizes at the end for those who participate!  Click here to go to the signup post.

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop?


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?

What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share - because we want to dance right along with you,
And it's alway more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until midnight Sunday.

Hope to see you there!