Tuesday, January 16, 2018

UFO Challenge

auditioning fabric for a UFO
January 2018
While I typically don't have a lot of quilting UFOs (unfinished projects), I do have some that I've intended to make for several years. The project (fabric, pattern, kit, etc.) is frequently shuffled from one pile to another until it's buried under a stack of other intended projects.

Marilyn and I made lists of UFOs and planned projects a couple of weeks ago. I came up with over 12 projects, and Marilyn made a list of 6 projects. I consolidated my list to 6 with two projects per number, so we would both have the same numbers on our lists. Marilyn rolled a die - January's project number is 2.

Number two on my list:
    •  six panel blocks (three houses and three barns)  --  I love the colors and scenes in these blocks and even purchased some coordinating "cheater" fabric. Last week, I framed the panel blocks with a fun polka dot fabric and made three accompanying blocks and framed them, too. I pulled some fabric for borders, etc. I have no real plan for this quilt: it is evolving as I work. The quilt will be a summer throw for the sofa.
    • a row by row of a steam engine  --- Inspired by Sara's (My Sewing Room) row by row project. You may remember that Marilyn, Harold, and I rode the narrow gauge train from Durango to Silverton, CO in October. Our trip was in the works when I saw Sara's row by row project, and I called the shop to order the kit. This project will be a perfect reminder of the fun time I had on the train.

Progress is being made on at least one of these UFOs in January.

Do you have a plan to complete some of your UFOs in 2018?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hard to Resist

stack of fabric
43.5 yards
January 2018
Friday, Sheri and I went to shopping for bargains at Sheep Camp Quilt Supply. The shop was closed last week for inventory and informed customers that the Clearance Room was well stocked with fabric priced in the $4-6 range.

I came away with more fabric than I intended to purchase, but I found some great yardage for Quilt of Valor backings. The five bottom lengths of fabric in the photo are 5+ yards each and will create backings for close to seven quilts.

All of the fabric I selected was $4 a yard, a great deal: quilting fabric normally sells for $11-13 a yard.

The shop was busy on Friday, and many quilters were enhancing their stash and saving a lot of money.

Do you stock up on supplies when you find a good deal?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Bea's Headbands

four finished headbands and a fifth on the needles
January 2018
Twice a month I join a group of ladies who knit/crochet for local charities. Everyone brings their own projects, and we sit and chat while we work.

Over the holidays, I pulled a hank of yarn from my stash and decided to knit some headbands/ear warmers for the group. The younger kids seem to wear them more than hats. The yarn was purchased at the guild's Fiber Fest in 2016.

Yarn: 60% wool and 40% bamboo - bulky weight

Needles: US size 10.5

Pattern: Bea's Headband (Bea was a fun lady who was in the Tuesday night knitting group for several years. She moved to Colorado a couple of years ago.

          Bea's Headband

          Size 10 or 10.5  circular 16" needle
          Worsted weight yarn (knit double- stranded)

          Cast on 72 stitches (double strands)

          K2, P2 for five rows or about an inch

          Knit seven rows (about two inches)

          K2, P2 for five rows or about an inch

          Bind off
          Finished headband should be about 4 inches wide

Notes: because the yarn I used was bulky, I knit with only one strand of yarn; although, the blue/red headband in the photo was knit with two strands. I thought the two strands of bulky yarn made a headband that was almost too thick; although, it might be good for someone who skis.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Assembling Tavern Blues

Tavern Blues blocks being sashed
December 2017
Since I stayed home for Christmas, I challenged myself to assemble the Tavern Blues' blocks. I knew this quilt was large, but finding an adequate space to lay out the blocks and sashing required moving some furniture.
Tavern Blues with the first border attached
85 x 85 inches
December 2017
I started Tavern Blues on January 23, 2107, so I'm pleased that I "might" have it finished by the end of January 2018.

"Might" is the key word in the previous sentence. You may remember that I didn't purchase a kit for this quilt and that I amassed collected the fabric over a period of time without consulting the pattern. The only problem that created was too much fabric for the blocks.

Fast forward to December 2017 when I get serious about assembling the quilt. I open the box that contains the fabric for the sashing, the setting triangles, and the borders and discover a major glitch: I hadn't purchased enough yardage for the final border - I hadn't even purchased half of the yardage required for the border.

final border fabric for Tavern Blues
To put this in perspective, I started collecting the fabric nearly five years ago when the pattern was released. The border fabric was in quilt shops over five years ago, and the chances of any shop having the yardage now was nearly non-existent.

Optimist that I am, I began my search online, and after several hours of searching, I had only ONE hit - a shop in Longview, WA called Momma Made It. I called the shop and discovered they had 1 and 2/3 yards available - combined with the yard I had, it's still short of what I need. I definitely will not be able to miter the corners, but I'll be okay with that if I have enough yardage for the border with corner stones.

The fabric arrived last Saturday. Now, I need to tediously sew this yardage to the piece I already had, and hope that the joins are not too obvious. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I have enough fabric for the outer border on the quilt that should be renamed, Nancy's Folly.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Colonial America

Colonial America
59 x 73"
Quilt of Valor #129
Colonial America is the first Quilt of Valor for 2018. The center block motifs are all colonial images with an odd hue of blue for the background. These blocks have been marinating for a long time because I couldn't find anything to coordinate with the blue. I finally decided to add a frame around the blocks to allow the blocks to "float." The striped fabric not only separates the blocks, but draws the eye away from the contrasting colors.

The center squares were fussy cut from backing scraps and the tan sashing is also from quilt backing scraps. The striped sashing and navy blue came from my fabric stash.
I had seven blocks with a large, single motif and pieced some smaller motif scraps into blocks to have twelve blocks for the quilt top.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Little Hats Big Hearts

five finished red hats and one on the needles
January 2018
A local yarn shop (Pingora Yarns) is collecting red baby hats through January for the American Heart Association project, Little Hats Big Hearts.

The hats will be distributed at the two local hospitals for babies born in February.

One requirement is that the hats must be made with acrylic or cotton yarn. I purchased a skein of Red Heart yarn and cast on a hat only to frog it: the yarn was too stiff and scratchy for babies. My friend Sue gave me a skein of SOFT yarn she found at Walmart. I love how the yarn feels to knit, and it's baby friendly, too. Thanks, Sue

I've finished five hats and have a sixth one on the needles. I may be able to knit a seventh as well.

Yarn: Mainstays Basic Yarn (Red)
         7 ounce skein - 100% acrylic

Needles: US size 5

Pattern: 1-2-3 Baby Beanie by Lisa Seifert (Ravelry link)

Note: as shown in the photo, the pattern has garter ridge bands. I knit two hats with one garter ridge, two hats with two garter ridge bands, and two hats with three garter ridge bands.

Monday, January 8, 2018

California Thomas Fire Quilt Blocks

four blocks for the California Fire Quilts
December 2017
These four blocks are on their way to Carole (From My Carolina Home) who plans to make some quilts for those who've suffered from the Thomas Fire in California.

The blocks are also being collected by the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild in California: here's the pattern link and mailing address is listed at the bottom of the pattern page. Update January 13,2018, read this post on Carole's blog about all the blocks she's received.

The need for quilts is great, so I hope you can help by sending a few blocks to the Ventura Guild.

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