Happy New Year


2013 has arrived.  The party hats are gone and the bells and whistles are silent.  Time to open a new chapter.  My sewing rooms have been whirring with activity.  Today I’ve been spending time sorting through remnants of Sandy Quilt # 1 as I look back on my recent accomplishments.

Until I sat down to list my completed projects I had thought the list would be small.  Now I’m amazed at the length.  Here’s what’s finished:

1.  Applied the binding to Sandy Quilt # 1.

  1. Blanket stitched around the labels for Sandy Quilt # 1.

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3.  Finished Sandy Quilt # 1.  You may find links to the history of this quilt here, here and here.  These are its vital statistics:

  • The quilt has 6 rows of 7 blocks each = 42 blocks
  • The quilt measures 85 1/2″ wide  x 97″ long
  • The blocks came from Michigan (4) , Tennessee (14), Vermont (1), Washington (6) and Wisconsin (17)
  • The quilt has two borders.  Border # 1 is lavender and measures 3″ wide.  Border # 2 is black and measures 4″ wide.
  • The binding is black
  • The brand of batting is Warm & Natural
  • The backing was constructed from a variety of blue fabrics from my very own stash.

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4.  Mailed the blog hop prize.

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5.  Cut out and completely assembled five Hold Anything Bags by Dancing Cranes Designs

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6.  Gathered together supplies and finished two pressing boards, one for myself and one for my oldest daughter.

Next Week

On the agenda for next week

1.  Finish assembling the quilt back for Sandy Quilt # 2 (already done)

2.  Quilt Sandy Quilt # 2

3.  Bind Sandy Quilt # 2

4.  Add the labels to Sandy Quilt # 2

5.  Start Sandy Quilt # 3

But, before I do that I must finish cleaning my sewing room.

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced.  Go see what other quilters have been working on.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sandy Quilts: Just Not the Same


Plugging Away

I’ve been plugging away at the Sandy Quilt Block project, pressing, trimming and stitching together blocks to make four quilt tops.  Recently I took delivery of twenty absolutely gorgeous blocks.  The creator used an assortment of quality fabrics to create them.  Each one was meticulously cut, stitched and pressed.  The blocks looked wonderful except for one small glitch.  She unfortunately missed a pattern detail.  That detail instructed the seamstress to add a two-inch border of black, brown or grey fabric on all four sides of each square.  Judging by the quality of her work I know this omission was simply an oversight.  I am certain she would never intentionally skip this step.

So What Do I Do?

It would seem natural to ship the quilt squares back to the donor and ask her to add the missing borders, but I didn’t have the heart to do it.  I had already made twenty blocks of my own and figured my workstation was already set up.  The most logical solution to me was finish the quilt squares myself..

Via email I contacted her to share with her my plans.  Although embarrassed, she was very appreciative.  By sharing with her the omission she was able to avoid a repeat occurrence.  She was creating a second set of twenty Sandy Quilt Blocks to donate to a second quilter.  Our conversation saved her the embarrassment of a repeat experience.

Extra Strips

When I was finished assembling my set of twenty blocks I found myself with extra two-inch strips of black fabric.  I set aside the extra strips hoping I might find a use for them in the future.  Little did I know I would be using them so soon.

Not Enough

My plan was to long arm quilt all four Sandy Quilts, one right after the other.  With the first quilt top ready and waiting I moved on to the next group of forty-two blocks.  One by one I pressed each of them in preparation for their “wonky” cut.  As I came to the pile of twenty blocks, void of their two-inch dark fabric borders, I retrieved my previously stashed extra strips.  I carefully pressed them then began adding a section to all four sides.  As I added them I noticed my stash wasn’t as abundant as previously thought.  My pile was evaporating much too quickly.  With my pre-cut stash of two-inch strips dwindling I knew I must find another resource.

Another Resource

I set my rotary cutter aside and hushed the steam escaping from my iron.  I paused a moment to ponder my options.  I began a mental search trying to recall possible specimens lurking in my inventory.  My memory’s not what it once was thus relying on any data filtering from my brain was risky.  The simplest and easiest route was to pull storage boxes from my shelves and begin exploring.

Organization Plus

Scrounging through my stash is not at all laborious.  My regular readers are well aware of my tendency towards perfectionism.  Having this quality means my sewing room is well-organized.  All of my “in waiting” fabrics are carefully sorted and neatly filed in labeled storage bins.  When the need arises for a particular color I simply pull the corresponding bin from my shelves.  This method of storing my fabrics has proved to be a real time saver.

Plan B

I retrieved the bin containing my dark fabrics.  My fingers flipped through the candidates looking for just the right match.  I did find a small piece of black fabric.  Even though it couldn’t possibly fill my entire need it certainly would help.  To my dismay my stash did not eliminate my deficit.  Now what?  On to Plan B.

Next Option

Aside from making another visit to a fabric store, an option of which I take great joy in, in the interest of saving time and money, for now, I opted to draw from the stack of fabric already purchased and planned for borders and binding of the four Sandy Quilts I am making.  Taking fabric from that resource was certainly helpful but again was only delaying the need to replenish.

How Can These Not Match?

I retrieved the bag from the fabric store and pulled out the huge pile of black fabric.  I set it along side the scraps of fabric remaining from my twenty blocks.  I was surprised and disappointed that not only were their textures different but so too were their colors.  How in the world could the shades of black be so different?  Isn’t black, black?  Thankfully I hadn’t stopped mid-way on a quilt block.  If I had the “blacks” would not have matched.

All Done

From my border and binding inventory I cut the remaining two-inch strips I needed to complete my adopted twenty quilt blocks.  As I cut the strips I made note of the quantity I removed.  A trip to the fabric store would have to be made ASAP.  Hopefully I would be able to find fabric matching the same die lot as my already purchased fabric.

IMG_2729_New Here’s one of the quilt squares before adding the black borders

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One finished quilt square

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A sampling of the twenty repaired quilt squares

The twenty adopted Sandy Quilt Blocks are now all finished.  Each one sports a brand new set of two-inch black borders.  Now they too can join the rest of the quilt blocks awaiting their “wonky” cut.  Before long they will be side-to-side with twenty-two other blocks, all sewn together and on their way to a lucky recipient.

If you would like to revisit my previous Sandy Quilt Block posts you may find them here, here, and here.

Time to get back to sewing!  Talk to you soon.  Take care!

Sandy Quilt # 2: Will the Dust Ever Settle


I like Patricia.

I LOVE Patricia.

Patricia makes coffee nervous.

said Tom Hanks in the movie You’ve Got Mail

What a Whirlwind

Things have been frantic here.  Narrowing down the exact cause is difficult.  Perhaps it’s because . . .

I’m busy, busy, busy with the Sandy Quilt Block project,

Sandy Quilt Block Drive

I’m having a blast with Quilting Gallery’s Blog Hop and my own give away,

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

perhaps I’ve had way too much coffee, or maybe too much chocolate!  What ever the reason I think I could make coffee nervous.

Sandy Quilt Block Update

On a daily basis, my progress on the Sandy Quilt Block project appears to be proceeding at a snail’s pace.  When I step back and look at what I have accomplished since last week I get a completely different perspective.  Over the past seven days I’ve completely assembled my second set of 42 donated quilt squares.  To those squares I have added two borders.  The first border is brown and the outer most frame is black.  This second quilt is now hanging in my quilting room awaiting installation on my long arm quilt machine.  Here’s a photo of the second quilt top

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Two More Quilt Tops

I registered to make four quilts for the Sandy Quilt Block project.  With two of them ready for quilting that obviously means I only have two to go.  My intentions were to continue with the assembly process until all four quilts were complete.  Unfortunately the blocks are arriving at a much  s  l  o  w  e  r  pace and there are very few squares in my to-do pile.  Rather than wait for the others to arrive I’m will be loading the first quilt on my long arm machine tomorrow.  If all goes well my goal is to have it quilted and bound by next Wednesday.  Let’s see how successful I can be.

The Give Away Count Down Clock is Ticking

As mentioned above I’m participating in Quilting Gallery’s Blog Hop.  I’ve lost count of the number of blogs I have visited and registered for free merchandise.  You too can join in the fun by following Quilting Gallery’s link above.  At her blog you will have no less than 174 places to cruise.  Among those 174 is a link for my very own blog.  To register to win one of my adorable Hold Anything Bags by Dancing Cranes Design simply follow this link.  There you will find everything one needs to know to enter.  Don’t you dare miss out on this wonderful opportunity.  Hop on over there now.

I’m Linking Up

That about wraps it up for me.  I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced.  Stop on over and check out what everyone else has been doing.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sandy Quilt # 1: Row 1, Row 2, Row 3


Sandy Quilt Block Drive Blocks Are Arriving

Last week I told you I was participating in the Sandy Quilt Block Drive over at the Quilting Gallery.  Since last Wednesday I have been receiving packages from all over the United States and Canada.  The number of quilt blocks in each package varies.  Some contain two, some may have six and still others just might house twenty.  Together they add up to a whole lot of blocks.

Forty-Two is the Magic Number

As the blocks come in I stockpile them waiting for the magic number of forty-two.  Forty-two is the number of blocks it takes to make one Wonky Sandy Quilt.  I reached that milestone on Monday.  Yesterday I began preparing the blocks for assembly.  Each block was carefully pressed.  Once I was satisfied with its appearance I took the block to my cutting board where I performed surgery.  You see each block must be trimmed to a 12.5″ square block.  The process of cutting renders the block its “Wonky” shape.  I found this step to be rather entertaining.  As I twisted and turned my 12.5″ square ruler this way and that I watched as various possibilities developed.  I felt so powerful, yet creative like an artist.  The cuts I would make with my ruler and rotary cutter would change the block forever.  One by one I transformed all forty-two blocks into a “Wonky” Log Cabin quilt square.

Rows to Build

With my pile of forty-two “Wonky” squares in front of me, my next task was assembling them into rows of six squares.  Each of the squares has a unique appearance.  No two are the same.  Because they are all different that makes it very easy to assemble them into rows.  I gathered together six squares and sewed their adjoining seams.  Once row one was finished I continued with six more rows of six squares.  By the time all forty-two squares were sewn into strips I had seven rows of six blocks.  Time to go to the ironing board.

Press, Press, Press

All seven rows needed their seams pressed.  I used an alternating pattern to press the seams.  Row one had its seams pressed to the right, row two to the left, row three to the right, etc.  By alternating the direction the seams were pressed I was making the next step of sewing the rows together much easier.  As I pressed the seams I was careful not to distort the structure of the blocks.  From the ironing board I headed back to my cutting table.

Six Blocks Per Row, Seven Rows Per Quilt

Next step was pinning the rows together and sewing those seams as well.  Beginning with rows one and two I laid them out, with right sides together.  Since I am a real perfectionist I use lots of pins.  I’m very fussy when it comes to matching up seams.  As I moved from one end of the row to the other I strategically placed pins to avoid excessive movement of the two strips.  My goal was to finish with all seam intersections lining up perfectly.  When I was satisfied with the number of placed pins I took the strip to my sewing machine and stitched the seam.  After reaching the end of the row I snipped my threads, cautiously flipped open the two rows and peeked inside.  I was so pleased to find all of the seam intersections just as I would want them to be.  The process was repeated until I had all seven rows stitched together.  Once finished I again carefully pressed open my seams.  The end result was a really cool quilt top.  Here’s a sneak peek.

Left To Do Is:

1.  Choosing fabrics for two borders,

2.  Stitching on the borders,

3.  Quilting,

4.  Binding and finally

5.  Attaching the labels provided by each of the quilt makers.

By next week I hope to have this Sandy Quilt all finished.  If I do I will share photos of the completed project.  Once this one is done and on its way to the distributor it’s on to the next one.

Two More Quilts

Did I tell you I signed up to make two more Sandy Quilt Block quilts.  The addition of two more quilts means I’m registered to assemble a total of four quilts.  I think I’m going to be busy for a little while.

Other Projects

Although it hardly seams like I had time to work on anything but Sandy Quilt Blocks, indeed I did.  Aside from shopping for fabric for my stash, taking advantage of Craftsy’s amazing temporary reduction in pricing for their on-line classes, reorganizing my creative rooms, I also purchased materials to make a portable pressing station and made plans for an upcoming giveaway.

Did I Say Giveaway?

You bet I did.  Be watching for an announcement in the not-to-distant future.  I will be offering a free item to one lucky winner.  Shhhhhh . . . I can’t tell you what it is.  I can give you a sneak peek of the fabric or fabrics that just might be used.  Here you go

Option One

Option Two

So which one do you like?

Linking Up

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced.  Take a stroll on over there to see what everyone else is working on.

Sandy Quilts: How Hard Can it Be to Count Quilt Blocks???


Sandy Quilt Block Drive

About a week ago I set out on a journey to make 20 blocks for the Sandy Quilt Block drive.  That journey came to an end today when I attached and trimmed the final strip to my 21st block.  Oh, wait a minute!  Did I say 21st?  Yup, that’s right, 21 blocks.  Well wasn’t I suppose to make 20?  How in the world did I get 21?

Each time I made a new block I counted my stash.  Some how one of those blocks cleverly hid itself, avoiding the ongoing census count.  What’s really funny is when it came to constructing, what I thought was my final block, I made note of the beginning and ending time, I carefully documented my progress with photos and I even announced my milestone via telephone to my hubby.

Block # 21

After ending our conversation I ceremoniously added the last block to my stash.  Wanting to make sure I had the correct # of blocks I decided to make one final count.  So I started counting. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 . . . 18, 19, 20 . . . 21!  Oops!  Guess I have one too many.  No problem!  Having 21 quilt blocks rather than the agreed upon 20 meant I could peruse my stack and eliminate the one block I might be less than thrilled with.

Deciding which block to eliminate will be done later.  I figure it makes sense to wait until I take delivery on the quilt squares from my team.  Until then, here’s photos of some of my blocks.

Block # 16

Block # 15

Block # 6

Block # 3

It’s been very exciting to be a part of such a wonderful project.  To date they have teams signed up to make 45 quilts and I know they are still looking for participants.  If you have a little voice whispering in your ear telling you to take a leap and join in the fun why not do it today.  You will be so glad you did.

Well that pretty much wraps up my progress for this past week.  Other than a jam-packed day of sewing and fabric shopping with my daughter not much else was accomplished.

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced.  Slide on over there to catch up on everyone else.