Quiltmaker 100 Blocks

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks
My block is in the November 2015 issue!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Deadlines and Dilemmas

In the last year, my extended family has grown rather quickly.  Three of our nieces and nephews have either started a family or added to their families. Which has created a bit of a dilemma for me.  I started a tradition with the first great nephew.  Being a quilter, I made him a quilt, of course. So 'of course', I 'have' to make his sister a quilt, right?  But  how can I make quilts for the two of them without making quilts for other nieces and nephews' babies?  That makes it sound like an obligation, but it is only a self-imposed obligation.  None of them expected me to make them a quilt, but I opened my mouth and told them I would. 
Not that that is a bad thing. Quilting (especially the piecing part) is one of my favorite things to do. It's just that all of a sudden, I have three baby quilts in process.  One of them is partially quilted, one is a top, and one is still being pieced.  I don't know about you, but sometimes, time gets away from me. I think that I am making good progress on something only because I am not looking at the calendar.  So I was procrastinating a bit, because I figured that I had lots of time.  Then yesterday we received an invitation for the baptism of the youngest nephew.

Oops, it is less than a month away!  A month where I will be traveling with my husband for the two weekends before the baptism, and babysitting my grandson another weekend.  Yikes!  All of a sudden, I am waaaaaaaaay behind! Because the logical thing to do is to give the baby his quilt as a baptismal gift, right?   But he is the youngest and his two cousins don't have their quilts yet. So how can I give him his quilt and not give the older ones theirs?  Especially since they will all be at the baptism.....

So I'm making this a short post, because I need to get those quilts done!

Oh, just a quick note - I will be participating in a new blog hop, starting in June. See the logo at the top right - it is going to be fun!



Monday, April 11, 2016

Online projects and losing things again.

I really wish that I had more space in this house, but since I don't, I use my dining room as the sewing room.  So, as I've mentioned before, every holiday and special occasion, the sewing room has to be converted back into the dining room so that we have a place for everyone to eat together around the table. Yeah, we could use tray tables in front of the TV, but doggone it, I have standards!  At least for holidays.  ;-> 

I usually have several projects on the go at the same time in said dining/sewing room.  So when I get bored (or frustrated) with one, I can pick up another one. And I almost always have a "thread-bunny" (a.k.a. Leader/Ender) project in the works.  And, of course, there are usually pieces/parts of various miscellaneous "stuff" spread around the room.  I call them "stuff" because they aren't really projects, but they might eventually turn into projects.  The "stuff" could be an interesting block that I saw and tried out, or perhaps a piece of a new novelty fabric that I am trying to figure out what to do with, or the latest quilt magazine that I haven't read yet.... You get the idea.  Stuff just accumulates.  

But it all has to be moved for when we use the dining room for its intended purpose.  Since Easter was a couple of weeks ago, I did the usual "pack-it-up-and-move-it" to someplace out of the way, but logical.  That's so I would remember where everything was when I needed to move it back.  Yeah, right. <SIGH>. I really tried hard this time!  But somehow, I still managed to lose a project.  

I've been working on at least 3 online projects, two baby quilts and the monthly $5 Quilt block from a local quilt store (The Quilt Company, in Allison Park, PA).  The online projects were fairly easy to find, since I had stored them together in a portable stack-able bin set (like theseand put them together. Yay, me!  So I found my 365 Block Challenge project, the Splendid Sampler blocks and the blocks from the Aurifil Designer of the Month.  I even found the $5 Monthly blocks from The Quilt Company. Which is good, because if you don't complete the monthly block, it costs you $5 for the next one!  If you do complete it and bring it in to show, the next one is free.  I like free ;->

The baby quilts were easy to find.  They are assembled, and just need to be quilted. So I just moved them to the living room and draped them over the back of the couch.  Voila, instant decor change! 

What I can't find (yet) is my Leader/Ender project.  And that is very frustrating, since I hate stopping and starting.  I try to chain piece whenever possible, and then I throw a Leader/Ender block through whenever I need to change from one type of block to the next.  I know that I will find it eventually, but ya know, it's just not worth all the time that I am wasting while searching for it.  I'd rather be sewing, and I know that it will turn up eventually.  And there is no rush, since there isn't a deadline for finishing it.  

I'll probably just end up cutting up scraps for another Leader/Ender.
In fact, the WPA Quilt-Along block just came out this week, so I think I cut up some scraps and use it as my new L/E.   Just what I need - another project! But projects are like potato chips - you can't have just one!

Here are the links for the online projects I mentioned above, in case you are interested in seeing what they are all about:

365 Block Challenge - one unique block a day, all year, and you end up making a 90 inch square quilt. hint - If you liked Dear Jane, you will love this!  It started on January 1st, but the designer is planning to repeat it next year.  So you can start now and pick up the blocks that you've missed next year.  She starts with simple blocks, and works up to more complicated ones so that even beginners can make this beautiful quilt. One thing to be aware of - the website is from Australia, so for those of us in the Western Hemisphere, the blocks are always dated with tomorrow's date. It's a little disconcerting until you get used to it. 

The Splendid Sampler - This is a project organized by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.  There are 2 6-inch blocks released each week, one on Sunday and one on Thursday.  Each block is by a different designer, and there is a mix of techniques involved.   There are also bonus blocks and projects and tutorials on the different techniques on the website.  The layout for the finished quilt hasn't been revealed yet.  All the blocks that have been released are still available. http://www.thesplendidsampler.com/

Aurifil Designer of the Month - this is another one that Pat Sloan is involved with.  Each month, there is a 12 inch block released mid-month. Make the block, post a picture of it on the site before the next block is posted, and you are entered to win a box of Aurifil thread.  Each box has 12 spools! 

WPA Quilt-Along - This is mostly local group in the Western Pennsylvania area, but there are some online only members.  A quilt block is released in April, and the idea is that if you make one block a day, by the beginning of August, you will have enough blocks to make a queen size quilt.  There is no pattern, just a concept.  So you can make your blocks in any size, any fabric, lay them out in any orientation, add blocks, modify the block, etc.  We have a picnic at the beginning of August at a local park to show off what we've accomplished.  The admission to the picnic is 'at least one completed block', so no pressure! The variety of projects is always amazing!  If you want to check it out, it is a Yahoo! Group. Go to  Yahoo, click on Groups and search for wpaquiltalong.  It is a closed group, so you need to ask the moderator for admittance. You can tell her that I sent you ;->

Oh, and the stackable bins - I have no affiliation with the company, I just love those bins.  They are the perfect size to keep the pattern, fabrics and completed blocks together.  I think I have about 20 of them.  But that's another post...