Sunday, April 30, 2023

And So Ends April....

Boy this year is moving fast!  I only wish my projects were moving at the same speed!!  

The Raffle Quilts Go Away Again

Once again the late start on the raffle quilts meant I didn't get them done.  Two weeks out from the opening day, I was still waffling about whether I could really make a push to finish them.  Unfortunately, our community garden was hit hard when we lost two of our Steering Committee members in March.  One, our events coordinator, suddenly passed away.  Then our Vice President (and local government liaison) was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer and had to undergo surgery and chemotherapy.  The remainder of the Steering Committee reached out to our garden members for help in coordinating and finalizing the day's events and picking up the supplies for the day's activities.  

My DH and I volunteered since we usually worked with the Event Coordinator to set up the event on the day so had some idea of how she usually approached it and what needed to be done.  My husband had also already put in for the day off from work the day before the event.  That allowed us to further help by going to pick up all the supplies needed.  Once that all came forward, the plan to try finishing the quilts had to be packed away again!

The good news is that I did get to move them that much further forward.  All of the basket blocks for both are done and the border print strips for both are cut and ready for layout.  I was still debating on whether to add more applique to the pastel version (I've put flowers in three baskets but should I do four?).  I was also waiting to get the light version off the design wall so I could figure out which of the butterflies in the border print fabric of the dark version I would cut out and applique for the remaining three border cornerstones (I already have one prepped and made two applique squares for the center).

What this really means is that I must, must, must get this started early next year (perhaps right after the New Year) in order to get them done on time.  So there is still hope for this project.

Made Another Sash

In addition to helping coordinate the event, I also volunteered to make the Grand Marshal sash again.  We found out at the last minute that the scheduled speaker wasn't going to be able to attend after all but was sending someone from their office to officiate.  That freed me to make this year's sash a little less elaborate than last years

I scaled back some of the ideas I had planned to use for it (so ditched the canning jar blocks) but was still was able to have some fun with my little embroidery machine and Accuquilt Classic letter dies.  Pictures from the event can be seen on page 5 in the latest edition of our community paper on the website here.

Progress on the Accuquilt QAL

The week of the garden opening, I was also supposed to finish up my Rainbow Log Cabin blocks for the Accuquilt and AQS quilt along.  Needless to say that didn't happen until after the opening day!   Then I had time to finish up the blocks and sew them together for the center of the top.

Up to that point, I had not given any thought to what I was going to use for the borders for this top.  I wanted to carry on the rainbow theme but didn't have anything in stash so a shopping trip was then in order.  I found a pretty bold and busy print that picked up all of the colors used in the blocks.  

Both the pattern and Erica Bottger of Accuquilt put their borders right up against the blocks.  With my dark print, I felt it "choked" the center that way so added an additional light inner border pieced together from the unused 12-1/2" light strips I had die cut.  The blocks in the top finish at 11" although the BOB* die itself cuts enough strips for a 12" finished block.  Now I have to think about how to quilt this and (fingers crossed) bring it to a finish this year.  

*BOB = "Block on Board" meaning all the pieces for the block are cut with the one die.

April APQ UFO review

Once again, I wasn't able to make time to work on the American Patchwork and Quilting UFO pick for the month.  The number pulled was "4" and on my list that is my "Make It Scrappy" project:

This one was started back in 2019 when I made a wall hanging version of a MODA Bake Shop design as a gift for my MIL.  When I made the letters for hers,  I also made letters for a lap quilt version for me.  I had finished all the letters and put the center of the top together but I still have to put borders on it.  

Well, that didn't happen this month but some good did come from thinking about working on this!  I had pulled out the storage bag for it at the start of the month so now needed to take a picture of what I have for it for this report.  Lo and behold, I also found a piece of this print bundled up with it:

It was the fabric I had used as the background for the word "Scrappy" in both quilts.  Well, it just so happens that I had recently bundled another cut of this same print with fabrics for my next string quilt project.  I had been lamenting that I was just short of what I needed of that print for that project.  I thought I was going to have to find another print to use because I didn't think I could get more of it.  So I guess it does pay to pull out that UFO project even if you don't get to actually work on it!!  

I have a note in my planner that in July there is a "World UFO Day".  Yes, there is a day for everything although quilters will be celebrating that one differently than most people, LOL!!.   Maybe I can make a plan to try and catch up on all of the ones I haven't gotten to this year when that day/month comes.

Fabrics are in for the next Angela Walters FMQ Challenge

Angela Walters has another of her Free-motion quilting challenges starting in May.  It's called "Floral Frames" and this time she will be doing stitch patterns that can be used in borders.   

Since about 2019, Angela has designed panels for demonstrating the designs she will show how to stitch out.  This allows quilters to literally stich along with her without having to be in an "in-person" class.  I liked the colors of this year's panel (Blue, White and Lime!) so decided to splurge on getting the panel this time since I will be able to display it with my other Blue & White quilts when it's done.  

I purchased the panel, coordinating threads, border and backing fabrics.

I'm also hoping to stitch up the quilt top I made last year in order to do her "Fillers" challenge.  

If you've been curious about Angela's challenges, in her last weekly chat she reviewed the history of the challenges she has offered, all of which are still on You Tube.  Additionally she is offering a discount on the purchase of the prior year panels if you are interested in getting any of them to try out her challenges.   

Cross Stitch Update

My plan for the month was to get my "Maybe Wine" cross stitch project done.  After re-starting it by ripping out work previously done on the top flower,  I felt I made good enough progress on the re-do to finish it up.  Unfortunately, all the changes in plans for the garden opening left me too pooped to stitch most days.  

I started the month here....
...and ended it here.

Luckily for me, there is a special cross stitch event starting tomorrow so continuing work on it is already on the agenda for May!

So that's it for April!  The month didn't "Shower" me with finishes but hopefully some finishes will "Bloom" in May!!

Monday, April 10, 2023

Moving It Forward Monday

 The APQ Scrap Happy top is done!

There is a column of neutral squares on each side to complete the top.
A future queen-size quilt in honor of my love of scrappy quilts! 

I Forgot To Add!  Right before I finished sewing together this top, I happened to see this video by Tracey of "The Sewing Channel" on You Tube.  She had a good tip (starting at 2:53) for a top like this that has so many seams along the edges.  She showed how it was a good idea to run a line of stay stitching about 1/8" from the edge of quilt tops with lots of seams in order to keep them from opening up as you handle the top going forward.  Good idea and done!!

The next steps on this will be to decide on a backing and finalize the quilting plans.  

However, all of that can't happen until after I finish the raffle quilts and the AQS/Accuquilt Log Cabin Quilt Along.

Today's focus is to make the last of the black basket blocks for the Butterfly-version quilt (see the pastel version in progress here).  I would need to get the tops for both versions completed by at least the end of the week if I'm to have any hope of having these ready in time. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Work(s) In Progress Wednesday

Raffle Quilts:  The blocks for the pastel version are done and the layout is in process.

I need to play around with the layout and balance the color placement.  I also think I will make a few flower applique motifs to add to some of the baskets.  

Now I can also start back on making the basket blocks for the (original) butterfly version.

APQ Scrap Happy:  As of yesterday, the blocks have all been sewn into columns

The wall is so full, I had to overlap the last two columns in order to fit them all on my design wall.

They are now down off the wall and sitting on a chair waiting to be stitched to each other.  Going forward, I will sew these looong columns together as a leader/ender.  With all the seams to pin, it may take awhile though! 

Accuquilt and AQS Log Cabin QAL:   Today, Accuquilt and AQS are starting a quilt along  for Accuquilt's Scrappy Log Cabin pattern (the introduction is on their blog here and Part 1 of the QAL is here).  This is great news for me as I had started one back in 2021 for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.   So for once, I am ahead of the game!

I figure this is a good time to play some catch-up.  They discussed die cutting the fabric today, but my strips are already cut and I have a few blocks made already.  I figure when the "Scrap Happy" columns are done, this will take its place as the primary leader/ender.  

As usual, so much to do, so little time......