September update on the PHD

So… 9 months gone and 3 to go with the PHD. Back in January, I committed to finishing 16 of 26 known UFO, and to starting no projects that wouldn’t be finished by year end. In other words, not adding to the UFO pile.IMG_E0621Since August 1, I have completed the teal and green pillow, and added the mountie to my  row by row quilt. That makes 4 out of 6 in column one finished.

In column two,  there remain only a couple row by row kits that went missing in my sewing room flood. They will turn into tote bags quicker than you can say PHD when they reappear. All the rest of those kits were used in the row by row quilt that is DONE. 36970988_10214639755602124_8633106233164824576_n

Column three still has three undone projects, but  two of them are presently receiving attention and should be ready for quilting by October’s end. Another awaits quilting. Of note is that the second one from the top has been finished and gifted. DSC_0053Finally, of the six items in column four, three remain and probably will not be finished by year end, although I am soldiering away on the blessed hand quilting on my first quilt. It even went to Ireland last week in hopes the leprechauns might put in a few stitches. No such luck. I did, though, and I can almost taste that finish. Or is it the Guinness? Or Dublin Bay prawns?

The total to date is 13 UFOs completed, with 3 more needing to be completed by year end for the PHD. That is very doable, given there are a number of easy finishes left in the pile. I just have to find them when the boxes return from post flood storage. Otherwise, I’ll have to buckle down and quilt the few that’ll be ready for that very shortly, assuming my long arm comes out from under wraps. Truth be told, my fingers are itching to get at them. The sewing room finally has flooring, so there is hope life will return to normal.

The real challenge now becomes how to complete new projects started this year. My Fancy Forest is ready for quilting, and my squared away BOM is on track. It doesn’t finish until November, so it’ll be tight getting it done. There’s a baby quilt partly quilted. Sounds fine, but oh, the temptations. I SO want to do the blockhead quilt along, and make my friend a quilt for Christmas, and start another wedding quilt…NO. Well… maybe. I confess I’ve started cutting out the Christmas present, but you didn’t read that here.

Linking up with Quilting Gail.

Scrap busting

Scraps. Is there anything in quilting that inspires as much discussion? We love them. We hate them. We make quilts from them. We give them away. We throw them out in disgust. We organize them more thoroughly than the card catalogues in libraries, or we pitch them into bags in case our OCD ever gets so bad we need to sort something.

The scraps that challenge me are those that have already been curated to go together. They are left from a particular project, for which you cut some extra pieces, or you used most of a fabric collection but have little bits left, or you just treasure them too much to pitch into the main scrap bag. Those I put in little baggies, and store carefully in a tub full of similar little baggies, for when inspiration strikes. The problem is, inspiration strikes much less commonly then the bags are added, and the tub is getting full. It is also buried deep in the mountain of tubs relocated to my living room after the sewing room flood.38007832_10214792636784058_7725782168407900160_n

This summer I made Deer for dinner placemats from fabrics that I loved. When they were finished, I was left with a number of bits of strip sets, and some strips, as well as some bigger chunks that were too small for the stash and too pretty for the scrap bin. As I went to get a baggie, I rebelled. “Noooo!!! I will not bag up this fabric. I will not leave it lying around. I will not dig through bins to put it away. I will USE it.” What a novel thought!41532855_10215117997837881_6322789727749537792_n

This is “Something from Nothing”, inspired by the children’s book of the same name. The center is part of Corey Yoder’s Patchwork Flower, block 13, for the Moda 2018 Blockheads #2 block of the week program. It is surrounded by strips, and strip sets, and deer that were too darling to cut up. I even broke out my previously unused blocloc half rectangle ruler to make the yellow triangles. When it was pieced, I sewed together three pieces of batting, then three strips of flannel for a backing, quilted a square spiral over the entire thing, bound it with my last few strips of teal, and called it a baby quilt.


I was thrilled with myself until I looked at my table and saw…more scraps. Still not going to baggie them, I decided to bag them. That is, I sewed them together in a tote sized slab, pieced some more batting strips, and found a piece of neglected fabric in the stash for lining. Le voila, a tote bag!


When it was done, I was left with two pieces smaller than a charm square. I put them in my scrap bag, and patted myself on the back for a job well done. And then I hung the lot of it on the clothesline and took a picture.


The end.

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I’m definitely looking for a Whoop Whoop.


Reading Cushions

The most adorable twins on earth turned one last week, and I wanted to celebrate the occasion. After all, they are daughters of my daughter’s very good friend, but what do you give the girls who have everything?

40241041_10215006465129633_7789545802640130048_nThe idea for these pillows originated with a pattern by Kajsa Kinsella in Popular Patchwork this past winter.

I started with the backs. I had been eyeing the V and Co. ombre confetti fabric, and Elizabeth Hartman’s Bjorn bear. Both came together for the pillow backs.40143665_10215006466609670_4225173884166471680_nThen came the names for the front. I made the letters with contrast strips cut at 1 1/4″. Each one finished at 4 inches tall, and GRACE, at almost 20″, determined the pillow size. 40236513_10215006472129808_2409365851489697792_n.jpgNext came the fronts. Several years ago, Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts published the Dog Gone Cute pattern which I used for the puppies on the pillow front. After all, there had to be two, but they couldn’t be identical.40235641_10215006465849651_3955335730502303744_n

Because I wanted to make the covers washable, there needed to be an opening, but I didn’t want it easily accessible to little fingers who might want to insert bits of unwanted food or other treasures, and I didn’t want the zipper tab digging into the user. This invisible zipper (so the teeth are inwards) was inserted after the quilting, and sits well below the top of the pocket.

And the pockets? Finally, after more than 10 years of hoarding, I cut into some Laurel Burch, and it was just the thing to bring all the bits of the pillow together. It also pandered to my love of bright colours, and the pale yellow, that was shouting at me because it was too neutral, was silenced.  I added a couple books to the parcel, sent them to my daughter who inserted the pillow forms, and they were done.40768662_10215065674569832_8984614817755037696_n

So far, they’re a hit! Don’t you love it when an something just “works”?

Happy spreading joy with your quilting!

Linking up with Susan at Quilt Fabrication and Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts