Wednesday, March 13, 2019

the charity quilts

In my last post, I promised I would have the six baby quilts completed by the May deadline.  I should have no problem being ready to send these quilts to the Comfort Quilt Challenge in time...

Something lit a fire under me.

I have quilted all four of the tops!

I pieced backs for two of them and found pieces large enough to just use for the other two.



I had a very busy day at work yesterday, which led to a very late (2:15) lunch, which led to not wanting to eat dinner and settle in too soon after I got home from work, which led to quilting a second top!

I thought I took an in-progress shot last night, but I guess I just thought about it.  It's the pink log cabins made from the left over half square triangles...if anyone remembers that...

Today, after the super fun task of getting our taxes done (I've been paying H&R Block to do them for me since 2000 when I filed the 1999 set and haven't looked back.  Worth Every. Single. Penny.  It took about 30 minutes today.  Joint filing with the hubby and all.), I had a little time before I needed to make lunch.  So I threw quilt number three on the longarm!


(AKA Squirrel Poop)

I made lunch.  We ate lunch.  Hubby left for work.  Emma the cat sat on my lap until my leg went numb and I decided I should get up, thaw out the leg, and quilt that last quilt.


This is the oldest of them and somehow ended up at the bottom of the pile, despite much shuffling.

And then, binding!  I'd sewn the machine side of the binding on the first two, on the day I quilted them.  These two, quilted today, also got bindings sewn on.  Of the four quilts, I had made binding for two, which was nice.  I only had to make two sets!

Again into the stash and I found some nice choices.  But some of the binding fabrics aren't in the quilt.  Which is hilarious to me that a quilt judge actually marked someone down for that...

Anyways, I brought them all back down to where the light, on this dreary, rainy day, is better, for a glamour-ish shot...


...and then stacked them up neatly while I (attempted to) upload the photos.  I turned around and found someone putting some extra love into all of them.


He's crashed out over there now.  Way more than this.  Because uploading was quite the process.

Normally, from my phone, it's easiest to upload my photos into a private Facebook album.  And then I go to my real, big computer and save them onto here so I can paste them into my blog posts.  (Also, so I can delete the hundreds of random quilt photos off my phone and save space for cat photos.  Priorities.)

Today, after hitting upload and leaving my phone plugged in - upstairs - I found I couldn't retrieve my photos from Facebook.  So I went back upstairs to check on it.  Perhaps I forgot to click something.

No.

Facebook wasn't uploading my photos.  Because they had determined my internet connection was slow and were saving my battery (phone was plugged in) and data (we have an unlimited plan on the phones, as well as unlimited via Wi-Fi at home - it automatically connects to our home Wi-Fi when we're close enough).  So thank you Facebook, but I don't need your help.  Can I please have an override button?

So.

I know I can Bluetooth pair my phone and computer.  I've never tried before, but if Facebook won't let me have my photos now...when will they?

This required bringing my phone from upstairs - my intention was to have it charge while I type - back downstairs to be close enough to my computer to be able to pair.  That only took about 5 tries before it successfully paired and shared my photos.  And about 10% of my battery.

So thank you again, Facebook, for saving my battery.  Well done.

(The phone is back upstairs, charging.  And I suppose I'm healthier for the four extra trips up and down the stairs I made today.  But I'm not thanking anyone for the health benefits.  I could have taken a nap instead.  Hmmm...nap sounds good...)

But here's the thing - all the websites I clicked on from the big computer loaded just fine.  Perhaps a touch slower than sometimes, but having just been turned on, this monster sometimes likes to download updates and such as soon as possible (everyone rush for the open door at once!), so I'm used to it being a little slower at first.  So I thought this was a Facebook problem.  (Because I can look at how fast data is going in or out of my phone, but really?  What the hell does that mean?  And what's "normal?"  Because who looks at it when it's fine?  Not this girl!)

When I started to upload photos for the blog post, they did upload significantly slower.

So maybe it is me.  And my internet.

Dear AT&T: You are a HUGE company.  I pay you a LOT of money.  Please fix this.  Or at least let me know you know.

Oh boy, I went a while without photos there.


(Still loading slowly...darn!)

And now comes marathon-binding-time.

4 quilts x 36" each = 144" of binding to hand-sew.

I sure hope my internet is working fast enough for Netflix.

AND...the Rack of Shame has been reduced by FIVE quilts in the last week.  Sure, four of them were small, but FIVE.  (And I kinda want to go quilt Swoon...)

Happy quilting,
Katie

Monday, March 11, 2019

VOTE! - and blue squirrel and a dolly quilt finished!

It's time to vote again!  This is the fifth of six challenges and again, anyone with computer access can vote for their ten favorites!


My quilt is #11 and you can read more about it in my previous blog post.  (If you haven't already!)  As always, there are a number of amazing entries, but you have until Friday to decide how to use those ten votes.

Meanwhile, remember the blue squirrel from last January/February?  That link takes you to the start of it, so you'll have to keep reading to see the whole quilt if you don't remember!

While I was working on straight(ish)-line matchstick quilting on my challenge piece, the squirrel started hollering again.  I knew my Rack of Shame was getting overloaded and I know it's better to use the longarm in the cooler months, but I'm pretty good at procrastinating.  But I talked myself into quilting it.  In part because of a charity thing (that I'll talk more about shortly) that I needed smaller pieces of batting to complete.  And all I had was two king-size batts.  And it was easier to cut out a 72x72" piece than a 36x36" piece.  (Probably.)

So I decided I would quilt the blue squirrel.  On Thursday last week.  And maybe on Friday, I would quilt the graduation quilt.  Because time is ticking for that one...

After some chores and such on Thursday...and finding my backing was NOT pieced as I thought...I got the quilt loaded.


The colors here look fairly true.  It was midday and sunny, so good natural lighting.

And I decided to do custom-ish quilting.  Swirl hooks in the blue and just wiggly lines (for lack of a better term) in the grey/black/white.

This all sounded good in my head.

But those swirl hooks in small places take a lot of maneuvering and my elbow particularly was getting tired.  And it took nearly six bobbins.  And about 6 hours.


This is an in-progress shot that shows the quilting.  Sort of.  I am not entirely happy with it, but having my nose right in there didn't help.  I'm hoping it grows on me, but every time I look at the quilt, I still see that up-close view.  No matter how far away I get!  (And it didn't go as smoothly or easily as I had imagined in my head.)

I had intended, after quilting and trimming, to sew the binding on (prepared shortly before I started quilting) and maybe even start the hand-sewing side.

It was 9pm by the time I got to that point.  My elbow hurt.  My whole body was sore.  (I even remembered to wear good shoes!)  I needed to rest.  And sleep.  So I did.

Friday I tackled the binding!


First the machine half.

Not without help.


I found other things to do Friday, so this just got folded up and set on the end of the ironing board (my cats all agreed that was a GREAT idea for a cat bed!), awaiting me for the next step.  Again, I'll share the other project soon, but let's finish the squirrel first, okay?  (Right, right...focus on the squirrel!)

I had to work Saturday, and had a meeting at the crack of dawn Sunday at work (who schedules a 7am meeting on a Sunday the SAME DAY we lose an hour because of Daylight Saving Time?)...but it got me up and early and chores done, so when the hubby left for work (it was his weekend in the rotation), I was able to plunk down on the couch, request some Gilmore Girls from Netflix, don my thimble and bind, bind, bind!

Not without help.


Or more help.


The other three cats also did their part, but did not burrow or fall asleep, they just tried to steal pins, demanded pets and generally behaved in an annoying manner for a short while.

But I did finish!  It was about 7pm last night and as I looked up, I realized it was still light out!  I hate the time change, particularly the one that loses an hour of sleep, but it was very nice to not be in darkness so early any more!

Yet, it was not light enough for good photos.  Also, the 25mph winds with worse gusts were not helpful.  So today I headed outside.  Still windy, but nothing like yesterday.  (But I'm not complaining because I am instead hopeful that these winds will evaporate all the melted snow puddles that come with spring so we can have less mud and less icy patches due to overnight temps dropping.)


I ended up pinning it to the fence that encloses the outdoor cat playland because the winds were enough that I wasn't able to get a less-action-y shot of the quilt for you all on the clothesline.

The blue squirrel is complete!

My inspiration came from a photo I found on Pinterest.  There were no instructions and no pattern mentioned, so I developed my own.  My quilt is far bigger than the original, but that's what I wanted.  I wanted a quilt for my couch (or my new couch that I will soon need because I can't help myself!)  It finishes 72" x 72" and sadly, I forgot to take a photo of the back.  Okay, okay, I'll go take one...


It looks kinda like a batik, but it's not.  It's flannel!  Snuggly, cozy, fluffy flannel.  I think that helped keep Emma happy and sleepy for so many hours as I worked.

(And you can see my grey couch.  I had a red one before and while that was super fun, it also did not lend itself well to my colorwheel of quilts.  Grey seemed like a safer choice.  And the hubby, being that type of boring man who wears only black shoes and grey shirts and the like, was happy to oblige my color choice.)

So yay for a finished squirrel AND a reduction in the Rack of Shame.

The mid-weekend project was a dolly quilt.  I have a little list in my sewing room of random projects that need to be done.  I add a thing or two every time I cross one off.  And they're things like "pink pinwheels" or "green HSTs" that remind me of stuff that needs to be made into something.  The bag and dolly quilt made from the pink pinwheels was one from the list.  These are items that are easily overlooked in the pursuit of other, larger, more demanding projects, but my sewing space is becoming littered with their kind and something needs to be done.  So this little list helps me have direction when I walk into the room with no particular agenda.

The current item at the top of the list are the green "lost corners" left from my green X-Plus quilt that I made the blocks for at retreat earlier this year.  There are a LOT of them. Each block lost 8 corners.  And there are 49 blocks.  I'm not going to do the math.  I don't want to know.

So I started looking around the internet, hoping for something OTHER than pinwheels.  It seems that's my go-to for these little units and I wanted something more interesting.  I also knew I had some that were green-grey, some that were green-white, some that were green-black, some that were grey-black, and some that were grey-white.  Now, with 8 of each set, I could make two pinwheels of each colorway, but nope.

I happened across a few photos that looked like twisted ribbons that looked interesting.  And then I thought maybe I could grade the colors a little for a bit of an ombre look?

But there's a process one must go through when doing cat-assisted quilt layouts...

Inspection

Artistic rearrangement

Assess the changes

Yes, he dragged the cat bed ACROSS the project.  And then, when I moved it far enough away, he promptly plopped down in it and took a half-upside-down nap.  (That I failed to photograph because I was trying to get these pieces together BEFORE he woke up and could start again.)

That was kinda midway through sewing, so let's see the original versions...


I liked this, but still had lots of squares left over.  No more dark/dark, so I couldn't add another column, but perhaps...


Ooooh!  I like that fading back to grey at the top.  It adds a little interest...and used a few more squares...

Each of these squares still needed to be trimmed (1.75" before sewing) and then carefully sewn in the right direction.  Then pressed, also in the right direction for ease of assembly later.

I managed to get all of the columns sewn before bedtime, but had to put books and such over the unsewn portions while I ate dinner.  Because the cats, of course, have their own ideas about how quilts should be arranged.  (Unfortunately, the two pictured above, my biggest helpers, are not nearly as noisy as Luka - he always mewed loudly at it as he worked...and alerted me to the danger lurking!)


Look how much that shrinks after trimming and sewing!  Holy cow!  But I knew what size it was going to be when it finished, so this wasn't too worrisome.

Once the columns were sewn into units (hubby said they look like tank tracks, I think it maybe looks a bit like a DNA molecule), I started wondering if I should add sashing.  A good black-grey ombre fabric would be great here, but I am NOT buying more fabric for a project that is supposed to be using up fabric!

So let's do an audition!


I thought green would be too much, so maybe something totally different like blue or red?  Nope, not once I saw it through the lens of the camera.  The grey was my favorite of the bunch, but still seemed to break up the ombre-ness that was present, so I decided to just full-steam ahead sew the columns units together.

And then quilt it!

My original idea was to echo the green design about 1/4" inside.  But after realizing how many seams there were in places, and knowing my little machine would probably throw a few temper tantrums (I might, too...), I decided simpler was better and went with a horizontal line through the centers of all the half square triangle units.  I debated doing vertical lines, too, but decided it was held together enough for a dolly quilt and there was no reason to tempt fate with further opportunities for puckers!

I dug through my stash of leftover binding, knowing I wanted green, hoping to find something, but expecting to either have to piece something or cut something new.  What I found was a green (a little darker than I envisioned) piece that was the perfect length.  Truly, I cut off less than two inches when joining the ends!  (Almost sadly, the fabric is in the quilt.)

This was also bound during the marathon yesterday, but took far less time...


It measures 15.75" x 18.5" and I'm glad to have these, um, 168 half square triangles out of my stash.  But there are more where that came from.  (Anyone want them?)

The back?



Leftover fish from the blue heart quilt!


And FINALLY, the charity thing I mentioned way at the beginning.  The one that needed batting.  Last year at this time, I was getting ready to give my notice at work.  But I was still working.  A lot of hours.  And I was still stressed out and not doing much most days.  But I WAS reading blogs.  I came across Confessions of a Fabric Addict's charity quilt challenge and thought it was a wonderful idea.  But there was no way I could participate.  I found it late and was working and you know the string of excuses...  But I decided I would think forward and be ready for this year.  Perhaps even donate all on my own to Jack's Basket - one of the chosen charities that hit close to home for me.

Being an excellent procrastinator, I managed to get a couple of quilts made...in varying stages of finished-ness...yet never sent them out.  The actually finished ones.  That didn't stop me from making more...

As the year went on, I focused on making quilts from scraps that would finish the requested 36x36" size requested by Jack's Basket.  These went fairly fast and, well...


...apparently I have four more to quilt.  Two are done-done.  So I'll have six to send!

This year, I'm ready.  I have the time.  I have tops ready and batting ready and should be able to find enough for the backs of these in my stash.

I signed up for the challenge.

And now what am I doing?

Procrastinating.

(But this is better than contemplating a bin of about 300 more green/grey half square triangles that need trimming and sewing...)

Truthfully, I have about two months before they're officially due, but I should be able to have these in the mail way before then.  Okay, I WILL.  You all heard me say that, right?  I believe the word I'm looking for here is "accountabilibuddy"...

So now, it's time to go find backs.

But first, a few more cat photos.  Because I can't leave you without those, can I?


First up, Freddie helped put away groceries again this week.  I think he would have climbed in the cupboard if there had been room.  This was after he wrestled the crunchy bag into submission.  (I forgot the reusable blue bags you saw last week on account of the meeting at work that started so early it might as well have been the day before - not to worry, these work great for litterbox scoopings.)


And then there's Gabby.  I put this oversize chair in my sewing room when we moved in.  Thinking it would be nice to sit and read or sew bindings on while lounging in it.  It has a nice ottoman, too.  Well.  The chair part was promptly claimed by the cats and the ottoman claimed by ongoing projects.  Every so often I remove and wash the blanket and vacuum the chair, but it is not safe to sit in unless you'd like to look like a cat when you get up.  Even after thorough, vigorous vacuuming.  It's just beyond help.  Plus, it turns out, there is no television up there, so one can't watch Netflix while binding.  And that is fairly key to keeping ones sanity while doing the repetitive task of sewing binding onto all 437 sides of a quilt.  (That, strangely enough, only has four when I'm done with it.)

Time to go find backings.  Make hay while the sun shines because that light bar is not nearly as good at night.  (Having to go on a wild goose chase for a flashlight while working on the blue squirrel so I could figure out why my machine - just two passes and 1.5 bobbins away from done - wouldn't sew...lint in the bobbin case is hard to see in the darkness of under a quilt...)


Happy quilting!
Katie

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

project quilting 10.5

Another week, another challenge!  I was commenting to a friend just yesterday that when this is over (one more challenge after this), I am going to miss this!  While I think my hubby will be happy to not have me running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to make unicorns and such, the motivation to get in the sewing room and get something done because of a deadline has been good for me.  And, as you saw in my last post, it's been getting me in there even in the off (voting) weeks.

This weeks' the challenge is "Abecedarius" which translates roughly to the alphabet, or having to do with the alphabet.

While the first idea that pops into the heads of most is to make an alphabet of the English letters I know so well, or use some of them to make a word, I resisted the obvious option.  For those of you who know me, that should come as no surprise...

So some research and Pinterest lurking gave me some ideas, but as I was chatting with my hubby, the idea that came to be was fleshed out.

Braille.

Trapunto.

But what to write?  I didn't want to, again, use the obvious choice of the whole alphabet.  Also, that's a lot of little dots to make and fill with stuffing!

So I thought a bunch as I was researching techniques for trapunto.  Now, I know it's a technique where extra stuffing is applied after quilting, but exactly how to do it, or any easier methods than poking it through the back side of the quilt, were not known to me.  (Turns out there are a number of methods, and a number of video tutorials...)

And I settled upon a set of words.

First, I needed to translate my words and figure out appropriate spacing.  (Appropriate spacing is apparently not something anyone worries about because I found nothing.  Then again, who tells you how far apart to put words?  I mean, if you're writing, you just KNOW, right?)

Computers to the rescue - in this case, I made an Excel document and adjusted the cell sizes.  (Good thing for my many years in the field of science, as this went very quickly!)


I liked the size of this, so next up was finding something I could trace around.  While the circles are about the size of a dime, I went looking for something I could trace inside, rather than around outside, thinking I could get better accuracy that way.  It took a while, but I found something...


...in the kitchen!  (Kitchens are great places to find templates, I've found!)  This is the ring that screws on and holds the tip onto the icing squeezer (I'm sure there's a technical name for it).  It's old.  My mom gave me her extras and I'd guess the whole contraption is older than I am.  But it works far better than the newer one I got for Christmas a few years ago.  And the center was the perfect size!

So I taped things to the window (because I don't have a light box...despite my efforts to purchase one...) and got busy while the sun was shining.

Notice the fabric behind the template?  It's kind of washed out and funkified by my phone camera, but it has words on it.  Irony is funny, no?  (And if you want to get technical, it's in French, so I can't read it either.)

The technique I used calls for quilting through two layers of batting and the top, then cutting away the excess batting and layering the quilt as normal with yet another layer of batting.

So, carefully, carefully I started sewing the circles with a dark grey thread so they'd stand out...


...sew 3-4 stitches, pivot.  Much of this was done using the hand crank with minimal foot pedal encouragement.  I just couldn't trust it to go only a few stitches at a time!

And before I knew it, I was done!


(Notice the difference in lighting?  It got dark outside!  The first photo shows the color much more truly.)

And then it was on to cut away the excess batting...


...carefully, carefully, as a couple of the videos I watched mentioned accidentally clipping the fabric or stitching.  I'm proud to say I did neither!


And before I knew it again, it was done.  But this task was made much more difficult since I used (a lot of) spray baste to hold the batting layers in place.  I found running my fingers under to release the stickiness from the fabric helped some.  It was still a fairly tedious task, but I kinda like the poofy circles here...maybe I'll make a poofy circle quilt later?

On to another round of spray basting, this time a proper quilt sandwich and I made darn sure that spray basting was sticking every place it could!  I didn't want things shifting while I quilted.  Because it needed a LOT of quilting to make those circles pop again!

The next dilemma was what color thread to use.  Since I chose a lime green backing (you'll see that in a bit), my creative brain wanted to use lime green thread.  But my practical brain wanted to use the same dark grey, as some of the videos mentioned that could hide any imperfections.  (There are quite a few, but this is my first time trying to quilt perfect circles, so please have mercy on me!)  At this point I asked a friend why we had to have left and right brains?  Who came up with that idea anyways?  It messes with my creativity...but as you can see, lime green won!


After a few hours, it was starting to look like something.  I started sewing between the dots horizontally (starting near the center as well) all the way across the quilt to get things more permanently attached.  I planned to go back and do the shorter stretches, between dots, later.

But this was taking a LOT of thread...I think I went through about three bobbins of thread...and a lot of time.  Who knew matchstick quilting took that much?  (Hahahahahahaha!)


Again, different lighting, but you can see progress here.  About now I was wondering what I had gotten myself into.  The shorter spaces between dots seemed to take longer than the longer spaces.  But I just kept quilting...


...and finally it WAS done.  This was the exciting part.  I knew trimming and binding would take very little time (at least compared to the rest of the project!) and I'd be done before long.

Next up was to choose binding.  When I started, I expected I'd use the same lime green print as the back.  But as I was finishing and trimming, I felt it needed a border of sorts - something the binding could provide...


The green on the left is the same as on the back.  But then I found the grey dots.  Well, you know I have a dot problem, but this was too perfect to not use.  And it was the right shade of grey as well.  (Other fabrics were quickly discarded as too light or too dark grey.)

Binding was quickly prepared - cutting at 2" again this time, as in the first challenge - and machine sewn on the front.  I pressed it so it would be easier to turn the skinny binding to the back and headed down to the couch and Netflix.  I've started re-watching the Gilmore Girls as a treat when binding.  I've seen many of the episodes and enjoyed the show when it was originally on television, so this is fun to revisit the show.  And watch them in order without commercials!

Before I knew it, it was complete!


The back (with the dolly pinwheel quilt that I also bound this afternoon peeking out from behind)...


...and the front, finished project!

I measures about 11.5x12"

What does it say?

eat
sleep
quilt

Fitting for these challenges, no?  Since some days that really is all I do!

If you had told me a year ago, or even 3 months ago, that I would be doing these challenges, that I would be learning trapunto and free piecing and matchstick quilting and making a whole 72x72" quilt in under a week, I probably would have laughed at you.  No way.  Not me.  I can do stuff fast and I can learn new stuff, but like this.  And I don't see myself doing trapunto or matchstick quilting or trying to finish a huge quilt in under a week again any time soon, but I am having so much fun.  I truly will miss the prompts and the challenges within the challenge to myself and seeing all the other things that people imagine and create.  The things I see make me want to stretch further.  To create more things like they create and less like the traditional quilts my mom creates.  (Nothing against my mom, and I do still love to make traditional quilts!)  I am so glad I found this challenge.  And I am so glad that I didn't talk myself out of stepping out of my comfort zone and joining in the fun.

One more challenge to go, but don't despair, three of my friends are currently pregnant (they come in threes, you know!), so I will have baby quilts to create when (or if) they find out the gender.  It's been a while since I've made a quilt to give away, but I'm glad to have an excuse to buy more fabric that the hubby won't roll his eyes at!

And now it's time to go clean that poor, neglected bathroom and perhaps run the vacuum as well?  (The kitties have been less neglected of late, as today my binding efforts put me on the couch for many snuggle-able hours...)


My oldest and youngest were very happy to help.  Of course, the youngest didn't know the drill of "don't mess with the thread," so once he woke up, he wasn't able to stay long.  Skitter, however, just didn't care.  She was just happy I was sharing HER couch with her and didn't run her off completely.  But I was truly happy to have the two of them so close without any snarly whapping happening!


Happy quilting,
Katie

P.S. The Braille alphabet was created by a 15-year-old blind boy with the last name of Braille.  In my research to make this quilt, I read a fair amount about him and he seemed like a determined man in all his endeavors.  Just goes to show you that having a disability doesn't have to limit your potential!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

between challenges

When I joined in the fun for the Project Quilting challenges, I wasn't sure how much I would get done - quilt-wise - between project prompts.  It's pretty intense for some of these to get them done and I thought maybe I'd want some down time between them.  (There's a week to make, then a week to vote...)

Apparently I'm not needing the down time!

I'd been working on some of the Left-Handed Sampler Quilt 2 blocks here and there.  I was planning to make 25, but was skipping around, not making all of the set she'd chosen.  But there was a first quilt along that had 99 blocks - these 25 came from the original 99 - so I knew I could go there and pick and choose a few more.

Friday was the day - I needed 10 more blocks...can I do it?


Yes I can!

But...I made a numbered list - numbering every 5th line - to keep track of what I had made.  You see, these were all numbered and named from the first quilt along, and I wanted to make sure, since they weren't being done in order, that I didn't make the same block twice.

Well.

I was making that numbered blank list quickly while my hubby was yammering on about something.  And I forgot how to count.  So when I had made only 9 blocks Friday night, I was at #25.  I was done!

Wrong.

Saturday afternoon, after work, I realized my error and quickly pieced an actual 25th block.  But that was annoying.  I forgot how to count!

Since I had to work a good part of Saturday, I only got the blocks into a pleasing layout and sewn into rows before bedtime...


At that point, I needed to think about using cornerstones or not.  With all the colors going on, I wasn't sure what color to use, worrying that any color would take away from the blocks.  Or using multiples would result in a disaster of trying to choose a color that was different from all four blocks it touched.  So I decided I would do no cornerstones, but carefully line up rows as I went.

This afternoon (morning brought chores and a trip out for a delicious lunch with the hubby), I got to sew the rows!


The original pattern is set on point with lots of extra setting blocks and such.  I decided a while ago that this quilt, with 1" sashings and 25 blocks, would make a great donation for Jack's Basket.  I have about 4 other quilts in various stages of unfinished-ness for them, but I hope to get them all quilted up soon and sent off.  I think the bright happy colors and lots of dots will be enjoyable for a little one.

But this block, as I was constructing it, made me giggle...


This looks like Mickey Mouse ears to me!

This was actually the third thing I've finished this week, but nobody said my blog had to go in order, right?

I've also been creating pinwheels with leftover lost corners from a quilt called Garden Variety (that apparently I have not blogged about the actual quilted and bound finish...).  There were a lot and I can't stand to throw that much fabric away, so I tucked them in a bag with the remaining fabrics (it was a kit), figuring I'd get to them someday.  Well, the pinwheels as leader-enders part of the project ended a while ago and I thought a totebag would be a cute way to use up a bunch of them.

Easier said than done.


I borrowed a pattern from a friend - a pattern that used charm squares - thinking my pinwheels would be the right size.  Well.  Charm squares are 5".  My pinwheels were 4.5" unfinished.  Ugh.


So I scratched my head some, added some fabrics and used the pattern as a rough guide instead of full pattern.  Which was okay.


This is one side.  The other is identical.  (And I'm a little annoyed with myself for the few pinwheels that spin the wrong way - I was being so careful!)

I just quilted it with diagonals through the points that did not have 50 billion seams.  Easy peasy.  And without my walking foot  peg leg again.  That thing is a disaster.  This went so fast.

Don't know what a peg leg is?  This video will explain...


It's a bit long, but well worth the watch.  And the look on his face when he gets it...

Anyways, back to MY sewing adventures.

The bag went together fairly quickly and I even found some fusible fleece I didn't know I had that I was able to use instead of trying to spray baste batting in place.


It's pretty girly, but I plan to donate it to a church bazaar that sells handmade/homemade items.  I hope someone will like it!



On the inside, I used more of the pinwheels to make pockets.  Truth be told, I wish I'd put them lower, as instructed, but it felt like they were going to be too low.  Ah well...they're not poking out the top, so it's all good.  (And if I don't tell anyone, they won't know it's wrong!)

But I STILL had pinwheels left over.  What?

How about a dolly quilt?

Oh, I have JUST enough for a 4x5 layout, which will be a perfect doll quilt size!


You can't see it too well here because I piled the binding on top of it.  That binding is left over from the Garden Variety quilt.  I cut far too much and had enough plus about 10" for this dolly quilt.  Perfect!

I still have to hand-sew down the binding to the dolly quilt, but that will go fast.  (I just have to convince myself to sit down long enough to do that...)

But today wraps back around to the announcement of a new Project Quilting prompt.  This one needs to be inspired by the alphabet.  So now I'll be spending a chunk of my remaining afternoon thinking about that...and probably other things...like cats...

Because this is Freddie...


...helping.  Obviously.

And this is Lexie...


...hungry.  She mashes her head into whatever human body part she can find when she is hungry.  Lovingly.  In the fashion of "please please please pet poor little me."  My hand/arm/elbow while I am sewing is NOT a good idea, but being deaf, she can't hear me telling her no.  (I think she knows, though...)

Off to think about the alphabet.  (Good thing it's not numbers, since I've proven I'm a failure at that earlier in this post...)

Happy quilting,
Katie

PS  My unicorn took 4th in the Viewer's Choice vote!  (Almost forgot!)  Thanks to all who voted.  I'm really excited to have done so well.  And even more excited to have a unicorn.