Tuesday, March 1, 2022

February Recap: Part 2 and Plans For March

In my last post I talked about the projects I worked on in February.  In this one I'll recap the rest of the things that were also developing throughout that month and are now going to "bloom" in March!  Let's hope that's also a harbinger for the Spring weather and season too!

Raffle Quilts for the Garden

As a quilter, I am always looking to try a new-to-me "quilty thing".  A big thing in the quilt universe are "raffle quilts" .  I am a member of a community garden and I was asked a few years ago if I might make one for the garden's opening day event.  Actually my garden President mistook a comment I made about "thinking about it" as me "volunteering" to actually do it!   Fortunately I was able to get out of the commitment that time.  For me, it seemed like a HUGE task with a firm deadline!  Not to mention that I didn't know what I could make that would have wide appeal.  After displaying my quilts at our garden's Art Show last fall and seeing the response to them, I revisited the idea of making a raffle quilt.  However, the "what to make?" still stumped me.  

Then at the end of January, I happened on a Jenny Doan Missouri Star Quilt Company You Tube tutorial:

The pattern she was demoing was their "Baskets and Butterflies" quilt showcasing Jason Yenter's new  "Elysian" fabric line for In the Beginning Fabrics.  Oh that is a beauty and a perfect garden theme!  I have made basket quilts in the past and have another one in progress but Jenny's baskets are larger and the construction very simple.  Hmmm, could this be doable?  

When I checked on the pattern and fabric in early February, MSQ had the pattern and the layer cake used to the make the baskets but not the butterfly border fabric.  As I went searching for it elsewhere, I discovered something interesting: at Keepsake Quilting they had the border print (although strangely, not the layer cake) but also had another Jason Yenter floral border print in white on clearance.  At that point, a plan was hatched!  

I knew that many people in my garden would love the bold and bright colors of the original quilt but there might be people who would also like a lighter colored quilt.  What if I used my own batik stash to make baskets to go with the clearance border print and made both from the same pattern for the raffle?  I told the garden President of my idea but also said it wouldn't be a definite commitment (aka something she could advertise) until I could get all the supplies in and make a few test blocks to make sure I could do this by our opening near the end of April.

Well it took a while (darn the supply chain!) but as of Sunday, everything has finally arrived in house:

Ironically, by the time I finally put in the order with Keepsake, they no longer carried the "Elysian" border print and I had to order that from someplace else (and thanks to Bear Creek Quilting for that!).  Also when I was ordering some batting during a "Friday Flash Sale" from Fabric.com for another project, they had a pretty garden themed panel on sale at half price.  It's the "Be Kind" fabric on the lower right in the picture above.  I figured that would be great for helping to fill out the backing although I also think it could wind up on the front.  I picked up a coordinating wide back from Keepsake for the rest of the back and that still has to come in.  For the black quilt, Jenny used the multi-squares print from the "Elysian" line for her backing but to save some money, I decided to just use the same black Kona used for the background.  

I've already cut the block sets from my batiks for the light quilt.  Now that the layer cake is in, I'm hoping to start on the test blocks over the next few days so I can make an estimate of what it will take to produce these and make a final determination of whether I can meet the deadline.    

Quilts for My "Kid"

The first and last time I made quilts for my two sons was all the way back in 2008.  

Kaye Woods "Six Hour Quilt" made with novelty fabrics and a serger.

I did start a string pieced project for some new ones the next year that started out with them helping to piece the blocks.  Those have been UFOs for a good while!  As my sons hit their twenties, I have asked them from time to time if they were interested in new quilts and while they said yes, I got no responses when I asked them to think about what they might like.  My youngest son often used my "Floribunda" quilt when picnicking with his girlfriend and took it with him when he moved out last year.

So you could knock me over with a feather when my oldest son asked me last month "for a favor".  He had come up with some colors he liked and wondered if I could make them into a quilt for him!  My son is also a big fan of the "Harry Potter" book and movie series and over the years when I came across Potter-themed fabrics on sale,  I often picked them up with the idea of making him a themed quilt at some point.  So when he came to me, I asked if he'd also be interested in that too.  So we struck a deal:  I told him I would make up the "Potter" quilt in the near term and once I could figure out fabric and a design for his colors, I would make that for him too!    

Last month, I was able to get some some additional coordinates and some "Potter" themed fleece for the back to round everything out.  I have already mapped out a simple design for the fabrics and hope to add a few paper-pieced designs from the book "Spellbinding Quilts" to the big central panel of the quilt.  My hope is to get this one started either this month or in April.  

My son's quilt colors.

I'll give the Quilt Muses a month or two to strike me with inspiration for the colors he gave me.  If I haven't found anything that sparks my interest by then, I will talk with him again about what he is looking for in the finished quilt to see if we can collaborate on a design idea.   

Back To "Daily Blocks"

Last month Pat Sloan announced she's doing another "Block-A-Day" sew along for March again this year.  When she made her "Hope" blocks last year, I was encouraged to also embark on a BAD project (seriously, no pun intended!!).  At the time, I had been eyeing Cathy's "Wishing Rings" projects and since the blocks looked similar to Pat's, I decided to do it too.  Since Cathy's blocks were way smaller than Pat's, I decided to make it a year long project.  Eventually, I added two more BADs to the daily list:  blocks to finally make a "Trail Mix" quilt (which I started along with the "Wishing Rings") and the Log Cabin blocks for the Country Threads quilt "Hometown USA" (which I started in April).  

I shocked myself in that I managed to complete the Log Cabin blocks in a month and subsequently completed the top and layered the quilt in May (and you can see the finished quilt here).   However after that I realized that trying to do both "Wishing Rings" and "Trail Mix" was proving to be too much (since I was also piecing baskets for another Cathy-inspired project) so I dropped "Trail Mix" in favor of focusing on the "Rings".   I managed to keep up on those in fits and starts right up until November when I stopped processing scraps for the blocks so I could focus on finishing projects for the end of the year.

Pat's announcement, reminded me that I only need to make four more months of "Rings" blocks to finish out that project.  So I am going to try to work on those while I also start this year's blocks.  Pat has updated her "String Bean" block pattern that she used back in 2015 for a similar quilt along.  Her block starts with a  2" x 8" finished center and 2" finished surrounding strips.  Since I love my Log Cabin die and have a lot of strips already cut, I decided I wanted to convert my blocks to utilize those as much as possible.  So I did two test blocks:

The one on the left stars with a 2-1/2 x 8-1/2" rectangle and adds 1-1/2" strips around it. The smaller block on the right starts with a 2-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch rectangle and does the same.  Reviewing Pat's quilt layouts, I've decided to go with the smaller block as it looks more balanced and I also have a die to cut the centers.  However because my blocks are smaller than hers, I'll need to make two a day for the month to get a lap sized quilt.  The plan is to work on these and finish the "Wishing Rings" blocks so that I can restart "Trail Mix" as Daily Blocks in April!

Dredging Up Another WIP

Last month I had planned to also re-start work on my "Emeralds" quilt project in the hopes of being able to have it ready early to put out at the start of the month for St. Patrick's Day.  

Well that didn't happen!  I still want to try to work on it and see if I can bring it to a finish or at least a top, if not by the holiday then at least by the end of this month.  If not, well there's always next year!  

So that's all that was occupying my mind last month!  Let's hope I can focus more on the actual sewing and quilting this month!


Vireya said...

Wow, you have so many projects happening it could easily get overwhelming! Good luck with the garden raffle quilt, I hope you can get that made, and it makes lots of money for the community garden.

Have fun with all the rest of your projects too!

Mary said...

I second Vireya's WOW - love all of your projects and choices!