SIL Works

I have to say it is great to live around the corner from another quiltmaker. It is even better that she is my SIL. We had Craft Night on Monday, as usual, and I got to see some of her new works.

SIL MassDrop Donation Quilt
SIL MassDrop Donation Quilt

In terms of donations, she is on fire. She took one (or, perhaps, more) of the MassDrop fat quarter packs given out at the Retreat and has made two quilts so far from it.

The first one has a self-bordering effect, but the ‘border’ is  is part of the design. I like the larger and smaller squares for the design. She made another version as part of her seasons series using Pointillist fabric that is super cool. I’ll have to take a photo and post it sometime.

The other donation quilt, which I failed to photograph, is brilliant. She is using the stitch and flip method with Jelly Roll like strips, so the piece is quilted at the same time as sewn. The design comes out like a giant log cabin. This technique would be great for a charity Sew Day activity and would produce a lot of small quilts quickly.

SIL Design Wall, October 2017
SIL Design Wall, October 2017

SIL also has the Terrain quilt on her design wall. She has a layered effect going on on her design wall. The right arrow is pointing to it. You can also see some of the large back I made (arrow on the left is pointing to it) for the Terrain .

One of the good things about having a quiltmaker nearby is the almost instantaneous dose of inspiration. I can walk over, see what is on SIL’s design wall, go home and be reinvigorated.

What Else We Did at the BAMaQG Retreat

BAM 2017 Scrap Attack
BAM 2017 Scrap Attack

I wasn’t the only one busy at Retreat. A lot of charity blocks and tops were made. People also worked on their own projects.

MassDrop gave the guild a bunch of fat quarter packs to use to make charity quilts. The group did not disappoint. Right there, at least 5 were made. There were only about 4 packs left at the end of the day on Sunday, so I think others are in process.

Yellow Donation Quilt
Yellow Donation Quilt

Gerre had taken my Yellow Donation quilt and quilted it. She was working on the binding on Friday at the Retreat. She finished it and, thus, finished the quilt at the Retreat. I was pleased that she had worked on the top I made. I always feel happy when Gerre and I collaborate, especially when she says nice things about my color combinations. 😉

Michelle S' map quilt
Michelle S’ map quilt

Michelle S was working on, what I think of as, a map quilt. She had a different name for it, but I thought the blocks looks like a map or aerial photo.

Retreat 2017 Workspace
Retreat 2017 Workspace

I didn’t take as many photos as I expected to. I was focused on sewing and getting as much done as possible. There was a lot of moving around to shared cutting tables and ironing stations. People were also very chatty and interested in what other people were working on. It is always interesting to be in a Retreat situation because you get to see how other people work, what they are working on and how they interact with other.

Terrain Donation Quilt to be

Well, I seem to be quite lackadaisical lately with the posts. I thought I would have more time this week and, apparently, didn’t. I was sewing, so there is that.

At the retreat, I started to sew together some Terrain rectangles I had laying around. You might remember that I made the Renewed Jelly Roll Race from this line of fabric. it started out as a disaster, and ended up pretty well after. At some point in dealing with the disaster, I must have cut up these rectangles, but I really don’t remember doing it. I especially don’t remember WHY I might have done it.

Regardless, they have been laying around bugging me. I brought them along to the retreat and when I was sewing the Mostly Manor Lozenge blocks together, I used these as leaders and enders.

Terrain Donation Quilt
Terrain Donation Quilt

At Craft Night on Monday we looked at different layouts and eventually settled on the one shown.

SIL and I are working on this together.

I brought some white for another project and we used a lot of it to make the background. SIL plans to quilt it.


Stars #3 Donation Top

Somehow I didn’t get to working on any of my other projects on Sunday. I did do some random sewing as well as tidying up. My cutting table was a wreck. It was getting to the point where I had about six square inches in which to cut. Very difficult, I assure you. I started chopping up the scraps that were making the mess into pieces for future use.

Stars #3 Donation Top
Stars #3 Donation Top

One task I did accomplish was finish the third Stars donation top on Sunday.The BAM meeting is next Saturday and I wanted to get that done, so I was pleased. I had been rummaging around in my fabric the day before and was reminded how much backing fabric I have one hand. I made a back from some of the fabric even though it made the quilt more girly than boyish. It was quicker to use a large piece than to piece a bunch of smaller pieces together.

I am pleased with the asymmetrical layout of the top. It isn’t quite ideal, but it is much more interesting than the first version of this design. I don’t know that I will make more of these blocks right at the moment. I have some blue and white 16 patches that have been hanging around waiting for their turn on the design wall that I think I will work on next for a donation quilt. We’ll see.

Stars #2

I needed a break from quilting to do some piecing.

I had the Star blocks on the wall and had figured out how I wanted to put them together. I also wanted to get them done since the guild meeting is coming up and I’d like to having something to turn in. Since my design wall is overrun those blocks seemed to be the most logical project.

Stars #2 top
Stars #2 top

I put the blocks together in, basically, the arrangement I showed in the previous post.

I didn’t put the blocks together completely. I omitted some of the corner blocks in order to make the arrangement a little off balance. Some of the blocks share corner blocks. I think this adds movement to the quilt.

I think this quilt really shows what can happen if you keep the blocks on the design wall for awhile and look at them.

I have four more of these blocks and will make another quilt in a similar, but slightly different arrangement. I am not quite done playing with the arrangement.

I made a back for Stars #2 as well and will give both to the guild at the next meeting.

Mostly Manor HST Quilt

I finished trimming the HSTs I got as a kind of freebie from the Lozenge quilt at Craft Night.

My darling nephew asked me a question (or made a comment) about the HSTs and after answering I suggested I might enlist him to arrange them. He wandered off and that didn’t happen but my SIL picked them up and began arranging them. She came up with some different arrangements.

I am sure I will pick one of them when I get ready to put them together.

Pinwheels and squares
Pinwheels and squares

I like the one above because of the combination of combination of squares and pinwheels.

Gradated stripes
Gradated stripes

The one above is my favorite. I like the way she sort of gradated the colors. I have to add some white squares to the corner to make it into a square.

This will be a donation quilt and a good leaders and enders project (not that I need another one.

Stars Even Better

This project makes me feel like I am beating a dead horse.

Finalizing Stars #2 Design
Finalizing Stars #2 Design

I kept making Flying Geese to turn the 16 patches into stars and putting them up sort of higgeldy piggeldy on the design wall. Suddenly, I saw I design that was better than the straight set I had been planning.

I am not sure about the fifth block. If I keep it, where will it go? If I chuck it out, will there be too much white space? The white space will be background fabric – plain white.

More Stars

I am slowly working on the Stars donation quilt. I have a few full stars made and am working on the others.

I am working on these as a leaders and enders project in between another project. The other project has a lot of applique’ so I don’t always get to piece the stars. Still, the stars are appearing.

Stars Donation Quilt #2 - in process
Stars Donation Quilt #2 – in process

Due to the fact that I still have not set my large design wall back up, I am using an inadequately sized design wall. This means that pieces get overlapped and crammed together, which can be annoying, but can also be inspiring.

I was determined to do a 9 block baby / small child quilt for donation. Upon seeing the stars partially made and crammed together, it occurs to me that there are other design options. I think I will make more of a free form layout rather than a straight set. It will be more interesting and have a bit more negative space for someone to express their  quilting artistry.

Star Donation Quilt #2 – in Process

I liked the previous Star Donation top so much that I decided to make another one. As I have mentioned, I have a lot of leaders and enders opportunities, so I am not making as much progress on donation tops and blocks right at the moment. Still, slow progress is better than no progress.

Sawtooth Stars to be - Donation Blocks
Sawtooth Stars to be – Donation Blocks

At the moment, I have the blocks done. I will make Flying Geese to add to make them into Sawtooth Stars.

Not all of the blocks have black background patches, but I did try to keep the background patches dark so as to continue to explore that look.

I also decided to make this one larger – 9 blocks instead of 4. Still, looking at it makes me think I could make two donation tops with these blocks for the NICU, if I wanted to make them smaller. I will see what I think when I finish making the blocks into stars.

Team BAM

I know you probably roll your eyes at the way I go on a bit about donating blocks for someone else to make donation tops. Quilts do actually get made from these blocks, which is great and you do know that I do make tops as well.

I forgot to mention the work of mine that Erin finished last month.

Retreat Donation Top quilted by Erin
Retreat Donation Top quilted by Erin

You might remember the Retreat Donation top? This is truly a team effort as I took shards Maureen was giving away at the Retreat and made them into a top. Erin did a great job quilting and binding it. Two guilds, three people = truly a team effort.

Donation quilt - Erin's finish
Donation quilt – Erin’s finish

She also finished a top that I don’t think I made, but was made from some of the single blocks I contributed. I am pretty sure I ddin’t make the top as there is no sashing. I usually put sashing between the 16 patch blocks to give them space.

Anyway, I really appreciate Erin’s work as it is a tangible example that we are working as a team to contribute to those in need.

One Small Block

June donation block
June donation block

I am using En Provence for leaders and enders so my donation quilt/block progress has slowed somewhat. I did manage to make one block.

I am back to using white and will send this one to the guild rather than use it to make a quilt. I have enough blocks at home to make donation quilts and will focus on those. Someone else can use this one to make a quilt.

Walker Bags

Walker Bag n.1
Walker Bag n.1

BAM had a Charity Sew Day on May 6th. Peggy and Michelle created kits and a pattern for walker bags for a local nursing home. I made three, though not without mishap and only with the help of SIL.

The first one I made was the pink and purple version. I liked the fabric combination.

Patriotic Walker Bag
Patriotic Walker Bag

While SIL turned the first one (the first seam is right sides together), I started in on a second. I wanted to kind of do an assembly line and get as many as possible completed. I don’t use much patriotic fabric, but I did like the flags. They are cheerful and a little jaunty.

Walker Bags n.3
Walker Bags n.3

I was kind of confused about the various seam allowances so I did have to rip a bit. SIL also ripped for me some.

I stuck a ruler in one of the pockets to show the depth. It was a little too tall for the pocket, but I am sure they will work for smaller items.

All around it was a good day. We finished about 25 bags and there was a lot of laughter, which is important as well.

Star Donation Quilt

Sawtooth Star Donation Quilt
Sawtooth Star Donation Quilt

I turned in the Sawtooth Star Donation top and back on Saturday at the BAMaQG meeting.

(insert gif of me dusting off my hands and moving on)

I was sad to see it go as that was a really great quilt. I know some family with a sick baby will love it, though and makes me happy.

People at the meeting agreed that it was cheerful even with the black.

Yes, I used different background fabrics as I had a few fat quarters and thought I might as well use them up. Pretty soon I’ll have to break into yardage again.

I’ll probably make another one of these. I have some more black squares and it is a good use of them.

Sawtooth Star Donation Blocks

Black background donation blocks
Black background donation blocks

Here is more, finally, about the new direction in which my donation blocks are going. I talked about this last week and had time and brainspace to make the ideas a reality. How long this whim will last remains to be seen.

Remember I can make any blocks I want for charity blocks. Peggy will do something with them, if nobody else does. Still, I feel kind of obligated to make enough of one type of block to make a small quilt so it is easier for the Charity Girls who do a ton of work already. Also, I like the 16 patch/postage stamp format. It makes for easy leaders and enders that take very little brainspace while I am working on other projects.

Thus I was looking for something that would work with 16 patches. I didn’t really need a pattern since I can figure out most quilt blocks myself and my DH will do math if I need help. I especially wanted to make something with these black postage stamp blocks so that they wouldn’t be a drag on Peggy and Michelle.

Donation Sawtooth Star
Donation Sawtooth Star

I saw the magazine Quilting Quickly, which I normally don’t buy since I don’t often buy pre-cuts beyond charm packs and the name makes me a little crazy. This time it had a colorful 16 patch on the cover with an almost Sawtooth Star, but sort of Jacob’s Ladder quilt on the front. It gave me the idea to make Sawtooth Stars, so that is what I did.

Immediately I thought of Sawtooth Stars and decided to make them.

I used the Wing Clipper method of making the Flying Geese that make up the legs of the star with scraps. I usually don’t keep pieces large enough to cut a 5 1/8″ square in my scrap bins, so my choices were limited, but I am pleased with how cheerful it came out. The Pure Elements Linen background (not quite white) helps with that. I think a black background would not have given the impression of them looking so cheerful.

The blocks are 16″, so without sashing or border, I would make a 32″ square quilt. I am not sure if I will add sashing or not. We will see.

I am pretty excited about how fun these blocks turned out. Seriously, I really want to turn all of my donation blocks into stars! I guess it is a good sign when you don’t want to give away the quilt!