Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Just Sew June Wrap Up and One Monthly Goal

Hi.  I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilt's One Monthly Goal, and also wanted to thank everyone that used the #JustSewJune hashtag!  We've had over 100 hits, so that's wonderful.  I've been following most of the posts and leaving comments, and it's been so much fun.  

Let's keep going, this time with #JustSewJuly.  Try to do something sewing related for at least 10 minutes a day.  Quilting, hand sewing, garments, piecing, whatever you choose to do, for at least 10 minutes (and of course can go longer).  Share it on social media with the #JustSewJuly hashtag, and I'll encourage you to continue!  It's so beneficial to your mental and physical health, and so easy to to find just a few minutes to do something productive.  It's progress!  Try it, please!

My One Monthly Goal was to make pajamas for me and my son.  I did get both pairs done, as well as many other projects.  Here's a quick wrap-up.  

 Matt's Southwestern inspired pajamas (flannel)
 My Island Batik pajamas, with a top I purchased from Land's End. 

I did 26 of the blocks so far for PamelaQuilts's June Mini Madness quilt, in the 6" size.  I need to get the last ones done, and do the setting.   This isn't all of them, but most. 
 All Island Batik. 
I started the commission quilt.  I'm hoping to get it finished as a top by next week, and get it quilted.  
Currently, it's 30", ready for the next pieced border.  Fabric is Red Elegance by Nancy Zieman for Riley Blake. 

I also finished 2 table runners for the Stitching Sunshine blog hop, and got 2 Patriotic scrappy runners done, as well.  I quilted a flag, a mini and 2 mug rugs at the same time, but they don't have binding yet.  
And I also got some masks done.  This was also while dealing with tendinitis in my right hand, and I'm a righty!  It's been a productive month, and I'm hoping this productivity will continue.  

Remember to #justsewJuly when you can!  Try to get something done each day.  
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

2 more finishes

I have 2 more runners finished!  I'm so happy to be making progress with my UFOs.  These are from the Island Batik Freedom quilts I made last year.  One went to a Triathlon participant, and the other was a Quilt of Valor given to Fr. Timothy.  You can see previous posts on those.  And since the Island Batik Ambassador challenge was also Free, I wanted to get more done for that, as well.  

The quilt for Fr. Tim used 10" squares, and I cut them down to make the star blocks.  These trimmed pieces were sewn together for the background of these runners.  I just kept sewing them together.  I think I used them all, but may find more in a pile somewhere (of course, there are piles).  I used them as leader-enders for chain piecing blocks.  That's one of Bonnie Hunter's ideas, and I love it.  It's better than sewing on scraps and tossing them away.  Anyway, I just kept adding to them last year, then set them aside. Then my friend Lily the Batty Quilter from Etsy's Quiltsy Team suggested a Patriotic challenge for June.  Since I had these started, I was hoping to finish them and list them for the challenge, but I wasn't done in time.  That's fine, since they're done and now in my Etsy shop.  

After looking at the blue and white/mottled stripes, I decided they needed some fun applique, so I put Wonder Under on the back of some red Island Batik Basic and ran it through the Accuquilt GO! die cutter, on the Stars die #55028.  It cuts 3 different sizes, so I figured it would be fun to use all 3. 

Since one runner is thinner than the other, I varied the placement and number of each size, then stitched them down with red Aurifil 40wt thread, on my Janome Horizon 9450.  I was thinking of using the embroidery file that comes with the purchase of the die, but had ironed them down first.  It's easier to have the program put a "placement" line first, which I forgot.  It was going to be a challenge to line up all the stars for the embroidery machine, so I took the easy way and just did the stitching myself.  I added more of the Red basic for borders.  I used 3 Tours Wavy Stars panto on the Prostitcher, and Auriful 40wt Liberty thread, a red, white and blue variegated.  I think it looks awesome! The stars echo the applique.  

When the wide backing was loaded, these were the first things I had quilted.  There was enough space to the side to quilt some mug rugs and a mini quilt, which are next to get binding.  I also quilted a flag, that will be bound soon, and the 2 yellow and blue runners for the Sunshine Stitching blog hop (see yesterday's post for that, and a give-away).  

Any progress is good!  What did you do for #justsewjune today?  Each day, just try to do something for 10 minutes or more.  It really helps to see progress!  

Monday, June 22, 2020

Stitching Sunshine!

I'm so happy that Carla from Creatn' In the Sticks thinks of great blog hops at the best times!  Let's share some Sunshine!  Stitching Sunshine!   

I hope you had a few minutes to check out yesterday's posts.  I'll share the list at the bottom, so you can go back.  I also encourage you to visit today's bloggers, and see how they chose to spread some sunshine and inspiration.  And check with Carla each day for the daily list this week. 

I've been making lots of really big quilts, and haven't made many table runners lately, so my goal when this hop was announced was to use some of my large stash of prints I've purchased over the years to make this design.  I love how the Ribbon Star block looks when it joins another.  I've made this same pattern (my own) a number of times, and love how it looks.  This time I picked fabrics that reminded me of sunny days, blue skies, lemonade, and yellow roses.  Okay, and a chocolate cupcake, too.  
The Lemon print is an older one from Hoffman.  I paired it with the blue with silvery feathers, a white tone on tone, and a yellow swirl fabric. I wanted to emphasize the blue in this one, so turned the blocks so the blue would continue and twist around the center block of lemon fabric.  I quilted it with Warm and White batting, and an all-over floral design.  It's pieced with Aurifil 50wt, and the bobbin has Aurifil 40-3, the top thread is Superior King Tut, which I'm trying to use up, but the variegated light blue gives a nice accent to the design.  I'm hoping that Aurifil starts adding more colors and variegated threads to the 40-3 line. 

The second runner, same block, same blue and white fabrics, uses an old yellow rose print.  The yellow is an older Island Batik fabric I received in an Ambassador box.  You know I had to use Island Batik for at least part of this, right??  This was also pieced with Aurifil 50wt, and quilted with the same King Tut, with 40-3 in the bobbin.  I used more scraps of batting, which makes me very happy.  
 For this one, I used the Funky Roses panto for quilting, and wanted the yellow to twist.  When you see the runners next to each other, you can see the difference playing with the block makes. 

It's the same block, same color order, just placed one turn to the right.  That's why I love making this design.  I usually try to pick the first border to play up the twist color.  I also play with blocks in the corners of each border.  All the triangle block pieces were cut on my Accuquilt GO! machine.  It makes it so fast, and no trimming needed for the blocks.  

I'm happy to say that I also got a number of other runners, a mini quilt, a flag, and some mug rugs quilted at the same time.  I had a piece of wide backing that was only about 62" wide.  I think I had purchased a few yards at once, and this was left from 2 other quilts.  So, I loaded that, found batting scraps to match each piece, and layered them as they fit on the backing.  I did have to change threads a few times, because the pieces were different colors, but I feel I accomplished a lot, especially since I didn't have to load new backing each time.  I'll share photos of the rest as soon as I finish the binding. It felt so good to have a sunny day, glass of lemonade and bouquet of yellow roses, as well as be productive with a number of UFOs.  

I want to remind you to just sew something, by hand, or machine, either quilting, piecing or garment, for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day, and add the hashtag #JustSewJune.  I'm cheering everyone one.  Post on Instagram or Facebook, please.  It really does make you feel good to be productive and relax into the hum of stitching for just a few minutes.  You can of course sew for more than 15 minutes.  
Let me know what you sew!  

I'll have a little gift of some fabric next week for anyone who leaves a comment on this blog post.  Maybe it will be enough to motivate you to Just Sew!  I'll cover shipping to US addresses, so if you live elsewhere, and want to cover the additional cost of shipping, let me know when your name is picked by Random.org.  

And here's the list of yesterday and today's bloggers.  Go spread some sunshine, then sew something! 

Thanks for visiting.  Please visit my Facebook page and follow me there, too.  


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

June Island Batik Ambassador FREE challenge

What do you think when you are told you can do anything, when normally there are boundaries and rules to direct you?  Or a certain collection to use?
As an Ambassador, normally we have something that helps to direct the creativity.  Free theme is just that.  So what would you do?  How would you play?  What would you make?  Especially now, with Covid-19 Quarantine and Work from Home and Social Distancing in place?  Would you need something like Hope? I certainly did.

I'm a huge fan of Bonnie Hunter, and Eleanor Burns.  Both are very inspirational.  I've used Gudrun Erla's patterns, too.  We were asked to do a quilt-as-you-go last year, and I used Gudrun's first pattern, which I've had for years.  So, when Bonnie Hunter joined with Gudrun to do the Elvira stitch-along for Quarantine Quilting, I started following Gudrun on Social Media, too.  She has some great ideas and designs.  When she offered the Hope pattern as the second quilt-along with sewing on May 3, with thousands of others making the same quilt, plus interviews with other Sewlebrities, I decided to get the pattern.  I wasn't sure I would be able to work on it May 3rd, but liked the design and the idea behind it.  Proceeds from donations towards the pattern would be distributed to people working on frontline issues with Covid-19 Pandemic in her area.  

I had other things I needed to work on for May, mostly the Santa Fe quilt and more masks.  And I had just purchased my Janome Horizon 9450 from Pocono Sew and Vac.  (Seriously, the best place to get machines and machine supplies!)  
Would I be able to figure out enough on the machine to get a good seam allowance??  I had barely wound a bobbin!  But I needed the distraction of this project, knowing thousands would be making it.  I needed Hope.  I pulled an older 10" Stack Pack called Paisley Dots Brights from my shelves of Island Batik Ambassador boxes, and decided to just go for it. 

I cut the additional strips from Island Batik Solid Black, some extra squares from 1/2 yard cuts we get, and that Sunday afternoon, I cut and sewed the A blocks.  Over the next few days, I worked on masks, and Santa Fe, and trimmed down the A blocks.  I started doing the B blocks as leader-ender while piecing Santa Fe.  

When Santa Fe was ready to quilt, I worked on finishing the blocks and did the traditional Barn Raising setting for Hope.  I added a border of solid black, and then asked 2 friends what they thought the outer border should be.  Both said red.  My Hope measures about 75 by 95", and is a great size for a twin bed, or full size, or huge for snuggling on the couch, with your person or pet.  

I decided to use Hobb's Heirloom 80/20 Cotton poly Black batting, and a grey wide-back I have.  I put it on Vanna, my Handi-Quilter Amara long arm, and picked the Circles Meander that came with the machine.  I used Aurifil 40-3 thread in 2250 Red for quilting, and love the look of the red thread on the black and yellow.  

Here are a few more photos.  

And I will probably do a few more FREE projects this month.  My One Monthly Goal is to make pajamas for me and my son.  I have a pretty purple teal swirl from Island Batik for mine, and his is a southwestern print.  I have a few more masks to make, as well, and need to start on a custom King size quilt.  There's also a Sunshine blog hop in a few days, and I need to get something made for that, and Quiltsy Team on Etsy is having a challenge to make and list 3 Patriotic items.  I better get to work/play!  

For my pajama pants.  So much prettier in person.  

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you visit the other Island Batik Ambassadors and their Free projects.