Friday, June 30, 2023

On-the-Go Project Bag

After seeing my friend ooh and aah over my On-the-Go Project Bag, I knew exactly what to make her once her birthday rolled around. The pattern is in Svetlana Sotak's That Handmade Touch, and having made it a number of times, I was happy to make it again.

Knowing the exterior fabric was one of the things my friend liked about my bag, I hunted down the same graphic Essex print for the bag's main fabric. THAT's from the Balboa line by Erin Dollar @cottonandflax, and I absolutely adore it for this use. The bottom fabric is also an Essex - from Carolyn Friedlander's euclid. For the lining, I found a beautiful Jewel Tones Floral in Yellow by Makower UK. I'm not generally a floral person, but this I really love.

As I discovered in prior makes, Pellon 911FF Fusible Featherweight works great with this pattern. The bag has plenty of structure and stands on its own when empty.

For the leather handles, I purchased a 3/4" wide, 15" long strap set from Anna Graham's @noodlehead531 shop. For drawstrings, I used 5/32" cotton braided cording, which I already had on hand. They're sturdy, and I think, fit the weight and look of this bag.

The finished bag size measures 10" wide x 12" tall x 4" deep, and I really don't have any doubt that my friend will love it. I've been using mine for several years now, and I find it a handy size for not just the occasional project, but impromptu outings. Pretty sure I'll find a reason to revisit this pattern again.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

2023 Aurifil Artisan

After an enjoyable and productive year as an Aurifil Artisan, I was happy to be asked to join the team for a second year. The group of makers is varied, which I love; and I look forward to seeing the results of their creativity. Besides being inspiring, you never know what you'll learn and be inspired by from other makers, right?

Meanwhile my Aurifil Welcome Pack just arrived and here's what it held:

  • 50wt cone 2225 [Salmon]
  • 50wt large spools of 2214 [Golden Honey], 2479 [Medium Orchid], 1104 [Neon Orange]
  • 40wt large spools of 6722 [Sea Biscuit], 1135 [Pale Yellow], 1148 [Light Jade]
  • 28wt large spools of 2021 [Natural White], 2710 [Light Robins Egg]
  • 12wt large spools of 2430 [Antique Rose], 2000 [Light Sand]
  • 12wt large spool of acrylic-wool blend 8530 [Puce Magenta Pink] edited to correct
  • spool monofilament
  • small spool of 80wt #2930 [Golden Toast] and floss #4669 [variegated Stonewash Blues]
  • 50wt small spool Orchard collection by Jill Finley @jillilystudiocolours included: 1114 [Grass Green], 2886 [Light Avocado], 2115 [Lemon], 2420 [Light Blush], 2410 [Pale Pink], 2430 [Antique Rose], 4020 [Fuchsia]
  • Aurifil color card
  • brochure about all the threads, what needles to use, suggested uses etc.
  • and an Aurifil sticker!

It'll be fun to see what these threads inspire! We were invited to share an unboxing post, and unfortunately, mine was too large to share here. But if you missed it, check it out! Our first official challenge is to create something using a thread(s) from our welcome pack, so I'm mulling that over!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

2023 Summer Sewalong

Started back in 2021 during the #100daysummersewalong, I'm finally circling back to my hand-pieced bow-tie quilt for this year's Summer Sewalong with Jenn @sewfinethreadgloss.

With the 53" square quilt top fully pieced, next up is hand-piecing the quilt back, then basting. I found the perfect Aurifil 12wt 4093 [Jade] for hand-quilting, and I'm really looking forward to that. It's been a while!

If you want to follow along, I'm planning on periodic weekend updates on Instagram, which I'll always tag with #aqtbowtiequilt. Also, to see what others are working on, check out #2023summersewalong. I'm really, really hoping I can make good momentum on this project, as it's been a long time in the works!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

2023 Quilting Q2 Check In

As a follow-up to her 2023 Planning PartyYvonne @quiltingjetgirl is hosting a 2023 Quilting Q2 CheckIn, and I figured that might be a good idea! Since one of my goals for the year was to continue working towards at least one quilt finish per month, I'm happy to say that so far, that's happened. Here are my completed quilts in Q2:

A Neon Moment

Brown Crush





So on to my stated goals back in December. Note my current status/notes are in bold italics.

The Quilts

  • More stash-busting and scrap-using is definitely in order. In fact, I'm considering starting 100 Days of Scraps (or maybe I already have??), since I enjoyed my 50 so much this year. AND my scrap basket is truly overflowing. Again. My 100 Day Project100 Days of Scraps, was completed on June 1. Not just quilts, but I'm more than pleased how much I was able to create from my scrap basket. And more to come!
  • There's one quilt WIP that I'm still working on finishing - the hand-pieced bowtie quilt begun in the 100 Day Summer Sewalong. I actually have batting purchased -  a backing partially hand-pieced, and thread for hand-quilting purchased. So expect to see this one progress in the months ahead.
  • Also on my list for next year is a quilt using the stack of Giuseppe Ribaudo's Entwine that I picked up at Quilt Festival. An impulse buy for sure, they are soft and lovely wovens, so I was thinking something I'd hand-quilt. We'll see. I kind of changed my mind about using the bundle in a single project, and have been pulling one out periodically to add texture to projects. First it was for my Pantone project, Verve, and I just pulled another for an upcoming project.
  • As usual, I plan to make something with 2023's Pantone color of the year, Viva Magenta. Once I get an official Pantone swatch, I'll work on figuring out fabrics. So yes, I created Verve for that challenge, and with the scraps, Afterthought. Mission accomplished.
  • The goal of at least one finished quilt project a month continues to encourage me along, so I plan to continue with that. I really think I want to continue to go with the flow, though, about what those quilts might be.... whatever brings me joy in the moment would be my preference, and discovering what that might be is a big part of the fun. As I mentioned above, so far I'm on track with at least one quilt finish a month, deciding as I go along what those might be.
  • Bee Sewcial, an improv and solid-only bee, is heading into our 9th(!) year together and I'm up again to offer a prompt come spring. You might remember that my prompt in April was "Albersesque," and I'm happy to say I've received all my blocks from my bee mates. Which means I need to create a plan for them one of these days. I haven't forgotten!
  • And I plan to continue to participate in challenges with the Improv Quilt Studio, as I really enjoy the community and the challenges. My Duality for the latest IQS challenge was completed recently, and what a fun one it was. 
  • A new (possible) goal is that I was approached about creating a trio of quilted liturgical wall hangings for our church. I know the basic colors and themes, but no specific design ideas yet. This project will take some dedicated focus. Unfortunately, still no progress on this one.
  • A new project on the list is a smallish quilt for the Women of the ELCA Twelfth Triennial Convention in September. I have a rough idea, and the beginnings of a fabric pull. I'll share more as I make some progress.
  • Another new project is participating in the upcoming Mini Plaid-ish Sewalong with @kitchentablequilting. It's kind of tradition, and of course, I still have scraps.
  • I definitely want to keep up with the handwork, and continue to be open to learning new techniques. I recently started in on a new sashiko project, and am stitching away on it in the evenings. Completed in Q1.
  • Plus I have a new project I plan to start in January - stitching a 2023 Gingiber tea towel along with Jen @stitchalongwithjen. And I do have a nearly finished cross-stitch project to work on too. Still occasionally stitching on this one when I don't have other handwork to work on.
  • I expect I'll continue to stitch the occasional Dropcloth Sampler, and have one in my 'to do' pile, as well as seeing what else new comes up. I finished the Strawberry Needle Book, and Garden Path, which I made into even more needle books!
  • And I hope to hand-quilt that bow tie quilt, since it's all hand-stitched so far. It goes in and out of priority, and I guess that's ok too. This is finally going to happen!
The Community
  • Regular, frequent posting on the blog here and on Instagram. Still wishing I could master reels, but that takes some focus I haven't yet given it. Maybe it'll happen. I'm still averaging 2-3 blog posts a week, and posting most days on Instagram. 
  • I'll take The Scrap Basket into its 8th year, and monthly editions seem to make sense for the time being. This plan has gone pretty well and I hope to continue monthly publications.
  • Bee Sewcial has a new website, and I'm hoping to help with that this year, with updates, etc. Haven't done anything new, but I'm up for it as needed.
  • I was recently selected as an Aurifil Artisan for a second year. There's a whole new slate of upcoming challenges as I continue to use a wide range of Aurifil threads in all of my projects. 
  • I'm probably not going to make it to QuiltCon in Atlanta, but just shipped off three of my quilts going in my place, which I'm grateful for. Nothing new to report.

So there was some repetition from my Q1 Check In, but doing a mid-year check was still a good idea. I feel like I'm basically on track with my original goals, while still leaving plenty of room for the yet-unknown projects. And though I'm primarily still working on quilts, I'm enjoying the variety of adding in other types of projects as well. So far, so good!

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Diamond Flare :: June

So here's where we left off in May with the Diamond Flare BOM with Seattle MQG

mystery quilt BOM designed by guild member Taylor Krz @toadandsew, we're receiving just a little more info each month. For June, we added to the pieced triangles we made last month, and the resultant 'blocks' are the same width as the center medallion.

So they now are pieced, but not attached to the medallion.... just waiting for instructions for the four corner blocks in July!

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Sashiko Runner

Well it's been a while since I participated in 24 Days of Sashiko with Kazue @sashiko.lab, but finally, I pulled my sashiko-stitched runner out and got it finished! 

Just as a reminder, I had used Kona Windsor for the base cloth and four strands of Aurifloss 2390 [Cinnamon Toast!] for the stitching. For backing fabric, I was happy to find some of Carolyn Friedlander's Harriot Yarn Dyed in Blueprint in my stash. It has a really soft hand that seemed to go well with the stitched top. Note that the true colors are somewhere between the two photos above and below. It's been hard to get the lighting just right!

In retrospect, I didn't really need to use batting, but I did - Quilter's Dream Request. It's lightweight and low loft, developed especially for hand-quilting. Then I used the same Cinnamon Toast floss to stitch running stitches between each square of sashiko. 

I opted for no binding, per se, rather turned all raw edges in about 1/2" and then stitched around all the edges with a running or straight stitch. The finished runner measures 13" x 33", and I'm happy to have it done, basically a sampler of all the sashiko stitches I learned. 

Monday, June 19, 2023

The Dualism Challenge

It took me a while to mull over the latest challenge from Quilt Improv Studio, which is Dualism. But finally, I came up with an idea I was good with, and things were fun from there on out. 

I think part of my excitement was choosing colors and fabrics that I really loved together - Cotton Couture Acid, Kona Raisin, and a print - Cactus Needles from the Charley Harper Barkcloth line.

I used my 12" Clammy ruler to cut circles and backgrounds, and if you don't know, the Clammy is awesome at this. Piecing was pretty uneventful, and I was able to trim each circle block at 13.5" square. Of course, I played with the layout for a bit. The photo below is actually before I decided to add one more block using the print, so you can compare this with the layout I ended up with and see what you think you would have chosen.

I had great fun making a quilt back using all the leftovers from piecing the quilt front, including the extra solid circle block I didn't end up needing. 

Early on, I had a simple quilting plan that I stuck with. Using Aurifil 40wt 2570 [Aubergine] and 5015 [Gold Yellow], I stitched horizontal straight lines in the two colors and two densities. The bottom two sections are quilted with lines in Aubergine 1" apart; the top two sections are quilted with lines in Gold Yellow 1" apart. Which means the middle section is alternating with both thread colors, and lines that are 1/2" apart. 

Matched binding seemed an obvious choice for this one, which I am calling Duality, fitting fairly well considering this definition:
du·al·i·ty - an instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism.

The quilt finished at 39.5" square, and I gotta say, simple as it is in design, palette, and quilting, I'm quite fond of it. Now off to post it in the Quilt Improv Studio challenge, hashtag #qisdualism.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Embroidered Needle Books

Well I didn't expect to be back quite so soon. But here I am with my embroidered needle books, made with the embroidered squares from my recently finished Garden Path sampler. The hard part was already done, so they went together quite quickly! 

Backed with squares of Essex Linen in Natural and lined with coordinating prints from scraps and stash, they are each just under 4" square when closed. 

I purchased felt from PixieFibers for the interior 'pages' - 8" x 12" sheets European 100% Wool Felt, 1.2 mm thick. Like on my Strawberry Needle Book, I opted for no closure since they are so small. 

Anyway, it feels good to finish a Dropcloth sampler and turn it into something usable in short order. Do you have a favorite?


Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Garden Path

Wow. It feels like ages since I finished a Dropcloth Sampler, but in looking back, it was only in April that I stitched the Strawberry Needle Book. But it still seems like the Garden Path sampler took a long time to stitch, but happily, it's done now!

Stitched with Wonderfil Perle Cotton #8, the thread colors and stitches were all chosen randomly as I went. Originally these little squares, each about 3", were designed to be made into pattern weights, but I have another idea. Stay tuned to see if I can pull that off.....

Saturday, June 3, 2023

The End of the 100 Day Project

Well, it's time to wrap up The 100 Day Project! Using my scraps has been my primary focus. And although I still have plenty left, I'm happy with how many have been used. Midway through the 100 days, I posted a report, where the project count at that time was 1 mini quilt, 2 quilts, 7 potholders or oven mitts, and 3 bee blocks.

For the last half of the 100 days, I've also been able to create 2 giving blocks for Seattle MQG....

Another mini quilt, Afterthought, with scraps from my Pantone challenge quilt, Verve....

Another batch of quilted bookmarks to share in our Little Free Library (12 in total)....

AND a quilt I've been working on off and on since early April, made with scrappy blocks, Hourglass.

Wow. That felt like a lot all through the 100 days. Though I'm debating what scrappy project I want to start next, while still moving on ahead to other non-scrappy projects. Hoping I can keep up at least a little more use of the scraps during the summer months. We'll see!

Friday, June 2, 2023

May Fabric Usage

After April feeling kind of sluggish, May wasn't much different. I did have two small quilt finishes - Verve and Afterthought and finished an Hourglass lap-quilt - AND a new bag. Besides that, it was bee blocks, guild giving blocks, and a new stash of bookmarks for our Little Free Library. That doesn't sound too bad all listed out like that.

As far as incoming stash, I enjoyed an impromptu stop at Over the Rainbow fabric shop not long ago. They kindly stayed a little late for my friend, Chandra @bestcoasty and I, who were in the area to visit the PNW Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum. Though completely overwhelmed by the selections, I grabbed a few cuts as a courtesy - 1 yard each of Cotton Couture Acid, Free Spirit Tango, and Charley Harper Barkcloth Cactus Needles. Something about those rich colors just called to me.

And I thought that would be it. But wouldn't you know, the Century Solids rainbow bundle I won from Pantone Quilt Challenge 2023 sponsor, Andover, arrived. I actually didn't know it was a rainbow bundle until I received it, but how happy is that? I haven't done much in rainbow, so I'm looking forward to it.

So, some unplanned fabric purchases, but all stuff I can use, for sure. Here's my May totals:

May Fabric Usage
Used up: 14.23 yards
Brought in: 9.25 yards
Net: -4.98 yards

And just to put things in perspective, I have a net of nearly 40 yards used for the year so far. So that's feeling pretty good. Definitely still progress.

Thursday, June 1, 2023


Begun on April 4 of this year as part of my 100 Days of Scraps, the very scrappy hourglass quilt is complete, and what perfect timing, as the 100 Day Project ends today! Approximately 58" x 60", 100% of the quilt front and binding are literally, from the scrap basket, and about 2/3 of the back, as I included some bits of solid fabric there to break things up a bit. 

I got the idea of the scrappy hourglass blocks from Leah @colorfulartgirl. I loved her version, and immediately thought something similar would be a great spring scrap project, and I wasn't wrong. In fact, I got carried away and still have nearly 30 blocks set aside for another quilt or whatever.

Anyway, I made my hourglass blocks in a variety of sizes, and generally added more rounds than Leah. I just enjoyed making each block, and let them become whatever they seemed to want to be. When it came time to puzzle the blocks together, I added mostly solid scraps as filler. It all was a little tricky, but not too bad. I love the scattered look.

The quilt back was pieced with three of my extra blocks, other printed scraps and stash finds, as well as a few solid fabrics. Gotta say, it grew on me as I sat and bound the quilt.

For quilting, I did a 2" grid using Aurifil 50wt 2843 [palm leaf], a very light green that I also used for much of the piecing. I like how it's pretty subtle on a quilt that contains so many varied colors.

My binding choice may not have been the most inspired, but I had the perfect lengths of this Denyse Schmidt @dsquilts Flea Market Fancy print in the scrap basket, that I couldn't resist. And why not for this very scrappy quilt? It was that or piecing a bunch of scraps together, which didn't seem as fun at this point. Plus I love that little flower dot print.

Admittedly, at times, this felt like the quilt that would never end, and the crazy scrappiness is definitely an acquired taste. But oh, I used up a lot of scraps in it, and that feels really, really good. It's a sweet lap-sized quilt, which feels pretty perfect.