Thursday, March 28, 2024

2024 Quilting Q1 CheckIn

It's time to join in the #2024QuiltingQ1CheckIn with Yvonne of @quiltingjetgirl. I'm glancing back at my goals from January's Quilting Planning Party to see how I've done.

(Italics are from my original post; regular text is my current response.)


  • The Cozy quilt was a new project for a new year, and happily, I finished it just a couple of weeks ago.

  • I needed a baby quilt for an upcoming shower, and after glancing at the gift registry, decided the already completed Whisper would be perfect. I ordered a couple of coordinating crib sheets off the registry to go with, and the new mama seemed very pleased.

  • Another finish was Diamond Flare, the Seattle MQG BOM from 2023.

  • Hourglass II quilt - I had 30 leftover quilt blocks stashed, and planned to either make them into a quilt or gift the blocks. My friend, Ellyn @ellynzins offered to make a charity quilt with them, so yay! See a glimpse of her wip here.
  • A new Bee Sewcial prompt and quilt - I'm scheduled for July, so this is on the back burner for a few more months. Meanwhile, I'm making blocks for my beemates as assigned.
  • Blocks for a new group quilt opportunity, and here they are. The blocks are for a modern potholder quilt project organized by Linda @flourishingpalms. See her wip here.

  • New Seattle MQG BOM for 2024. The "Like, Totally" BOM is underway! 

  • Participate in the #PanroneQuiltChallenge2024. The challenge is underway, as well, and I have a work in progress. Plenty of piecing is done even though I don't know final layout quite yet.

  • Other quilts as my whim dictates. There's been a few small finishes!

Whew. I'd say I've done pretty well meeting those quilting goals! That definitely feels good.

  • Cozy quilt fits here too. See photo above. What a joy it was to stitch!
  • Looking forward to trying out the new Aurifil 8wt. Below is a photo of one (of three) of my finished squeeze-frame pouches

  • Other handwork TBD - My daughter, Rachel @snippetsofsweetness, gave me a sashiko piece for my birthday, so I've been working on that.

  • I plan to continue with the regular blogging and publishing monthly or so newsletters. This has been going well.
  • I also plan to continue to participate in the Aurifil Artisan program, with several commitments upcoming. And I have. In addition to a post about the new 8wt thread, I've also shared about Thread OrganizationUpcycling, and using Multiple Threads

New Directions
  • Maybe not new exactly, but I feel the need for a studio refresh - recover ironing table, new cutting mat, new pins, organize supplies. I did get a bunch of new pins, cleaned my notion drawers, and organized my labels. 
  • We'll see what comes up. Yes!

Working on this post, it's hard to believe all that was accomplished in the last three months. I feel like I'm finally moving forward again. Even though I have a few projects in the works - my Pantone project, gift bags made with Mini Series Sew Along blocks, and mini mini quilts for the local art box - I really want to continue to take it as it comes and enjoy the process. That's my goal.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Pantone Quilt Challenge Inspiration and Fabric Pull

Seems I'm having a slow start on my Pantone project this year, but I have been thinking about it. In fact I have an initial fabric pull to go along with my peach fuzz, (l-r) Konas Black, White, Ruby, Orchid Ice, Raisin, Terracotta, and RJR Apricot Ice. 

It feels unique, even to me, and was inspired by a palette I found by Artcoast Studio @artcoast on Pinterest. I kept coming back to it, so I finally just decided to try it.

Meanwhile, my design inspiration is a vintage rug I pinned from Chairish @chairishco years ago. Unfortunately I can't find it on their site anymore, so have no better credit.

I'm keeping things pretty simple (I think), as time is flying by, but I just began sewing some stripes, so we'll see where they take me.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Ainsley Crossbody Bag

Before I jumped in to the Pantone Quilt Challenge, I wanted to take some time to make myself a new bag. Svetlana of Sotak Handmade had recently released a new pattern - the Ainsley Crossbody Bag - and I wanted to give it a try!

For fabric, I used selections from a fat-quarter bundle new to the stash, the Afternoon Bliss bundle from Fabric Bubb:

  • Meadow in Dusk from Dusk Fusion by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery for the exterior
  • Aerial in Clay from Gathered, also by Bonnie Christine for the interior zippered pocket lining
  • Freckles in Acorn from Cotton + Steel for the exterior zippered pocket lining

It's kind of difficult to show the details off well, but there are three zippers in this small (9" x 6.25") bag - the main one on top, one under the front flap, and one on the inside pocket. All were made with black stripe zipper by the yard from Sullivans Trim. Zipper by the yard is fairly new to me, but this product is lovely, and I was successful in getting the pulls on!

On the back, there's a patch pocket, where I added silver rivets to the top corners.

I had substituted leather lacing for the strap loops at the sides of the bag, then stole the leather handle off my current bag and just clipped it right on. I'm a little concerned the bag might be just a bit small for my needs, but I'll try it out at least. It just turned out SO CUTE.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Like, Totally :: March

While watching our Seattle MQG zoom meeting this week, I finally got a start on this month's BOM blocks - a collection of flying geese!

I thought to go through my stash of charm squares for potential background fabrics, a holdover from my earlier quilting days, and was happy to find a nice handful of bold black and white prints. I used them in the blue block, and those three single geese at the bottom of the photo above. I kinda think they'll add a punch in the final quilt. Now they're all safely stored away until next month's assignment.

Friday, March 15, 2024

The Cozy | Hemming

My Cozy quilt is finished! SO different than my typical quilting project, it was absolutely a joy to do.

After all the hand-stitching and cutting away the shapes, it was time for trimming the edges, and surprisingly, that was one of the most worrisome parts of the process. Where the center fabric and my stitching ended weren't always completely the same, and because of that, I chose to make a 3/4" hem rather than the suggested 1/2". But it all worked out! The hemming itself was fun to do, and I used several colors of Wonderfil perle8 for that, just like I had throughout the stitching of the quilt. I've come to love the trimmed 3/4" 'tails' even on the binding.

Just for fun, I'll give you a glimpse of the back, where my stitches show up pretty well, I think.

So that's a wrap! I kinda miss stitching on it already!

Past Cozy quilt posts, for reference:

Thursday, March 14, 2024

My Peach Fuzz

Better late than never, I now have a Pantone swatch of this year's Color of the Year, Peach Fuzz (thanks to my daughter, Rachel @snippetsofsweetness!) and a small assortment of possible fabric matches, the first step in my participation of this year's Pantone Quilt Challenge 2024, hosted by Sarah @bysararuiz and Elizabeth @elizabethkray.

First up, the solids! Sarah and Elizabeth shared a generous list of possibilities, which led me to order the following (l-r):

  • Kona Ice Peach
  • Kona Peach
  • Cantaloupe Bella Cotton Solid 
  • Art Gallery PURE solid in Peach Sherbet
  • RJR Fabrics Apricot Ice 

I see that the list Sarah and Elizabeth shared has been updated since I ordered my fabrics to declare PURE Solids (Art Gallery) Georgia Peach or Shrimpy as the closest matches they have found. But of the five solids I have, I definitely think the top option - RJR Cotton Supreme in Apricot Ice - is the closest match. I'm not going to be ordering any more fabric at this point, so I'll just declare Apricot Ice as my top choice, knowing full well it's not a perfect match.

Just fyi, when I compared the swatch with (l-r below) Kona Ice Peach and Kona Peach, the brand I regularly use, Ice Peach was closer, but much lighter.

Just for fun, I had ordered a few fabrics that were either a print or not 100% cotton (l-r):

  • Brussels Washer in Creamsicle, which I was thinking was a linen-cotton blend, but it's actually a linen-rayon blend
  • Thatch in Melon
  • Grid in Blush
I was surprised (and disappointed) how poorly they coordinated with the swatch or my preferred solid. OH well.

At any rate, I have a decent assortment of peachy fabrics to start with. Now to decide on a design and what, if any, other colors I want to add to the mix. So stay tuned!

p.s. Are you participating in the challenge? If so, what fabrics are you using? Inquiring minds want to know!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Aurifil Artisan Challenge :: Multiple Threads

When I started out with this mini quilt (10.5" x 11"), I wasn't intentionally making it for this month's Aurifil Artisan challenge, which is to make something using multiple thread colors. In fact, it wasn't until I was ready to quilt it and started pulling out threads in a variety of weights and colors that it dawned on me that I could.... and should! 

Early on, I named this piece Downtown, inspired by the print scrap in my original fabric pull. I had in mind something fairly small, as I chose more scraps and stash fabrics to pair with the print. Honestly, it may be a while before I'm ready to make a big quilt. I feel like I'm still in recovery mode after last year's big tryptich. So when I had a couple of hours on Friday afternoon and felt like digging into my scraps, I just went for it. I initially thought I'd do something with a variety of print scraps, but once I found that scrap - the last of a 2012 Jay McCarroll Center City print - I decided I wanted it to be the feature.

The piecing was random, as I created a few small blocks, then puzzled how they might fit together. At this point, it was just a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours at the start of the weekend. 

The backing was pre-determined - also a scrap of fabric already spray-basted to batting - and though I'd intended on making a quilt front that coordinated better, I let that go for convenience and the pure joy of using that dot fabric.

It was as I began mulling over quilting that things got more interesting. There were so many colors in this small piece, and any one thread color didn't seem to fit. So I began to search for thread colors that matched the fabrics, and in doing so, pulled several different weights as well. The quilting plan at this point? Decide as I went.

In all, I ended up using 10 different threads! I put Aurifil 40wt in the bobbin, and then just started in, quilting basically from the center out, one color at a time. The threads I used for piecing were:

Aurifil 50wt 2225 [Salmon], 2479 [Medium Orchid], 2975 [Brass], 6010 [Toast]

Aurifil 40wt 2692 [Black]

Aurifil 28wt 2625 [Arctic Ice]

Aurifil 12wt 2000 [Light Sand], 8530 [Puce Magenta Pink]

The quilt is bound in Kona Sangria, and just to let the thread show off, I machine-bound it, top-stitching with more of the 12wt Puce Magenta Pink. 

At some point during quilting, it dawned on me that I could add in a couple of more thread weights and colors by doing a little hand-stitching on the print sections. That also solved my issue of not really wanting to machine-quilt on them, but knowing they would still benefit from a little something. Thus, after the quilt was bound, I used Aurifloss 6722 [Sea Biscuit] and Aurifil 8wt 2420 [Light Blush] to add some outlining and filling stitches to those sections.

I love that this little foray into the scrap basket pretty much decided what it wanted to be along the way! Creating Downtown was refreshing, and I'm anxious to see what's next.

Monday, March 11, 2024

The Cozy | Cutting

It took me exactly four weeks to do the stitching on my Cozy quilt. Let's just say, I enjoyed it immensely, and I'm kind of sad that it's done. Unfortunately, I had a terrible time photographing the stitched quilt. Inside or outside, photos make it look like a crumbled mess. Due to the jersey knit, it really does have much more drape than a regular quilt, but it's so beguiling in person, I hope I can capture it better once it's complete.

That said, it was pretty exciting to move on to the cutting step. I hadn't really planned on saving all the cutting to the end, but I'm glad that I did. It took me just three or four sittings to complete that step. I should say, I cut out all the complete shapes. There were several partial shapes along the edges, that I left to trim as I was preparing for binding.

Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Scissors, Medium 6-Inch Micro Serrated Blades, were suggested for the cutting step, and I'm glad I nabbed a pair. Being serrated, they seemed to grab the knit just the right amount to do the trimming.

It felt like things just got better and better as I trimmed the shapes. I had been a little worried that my Cozy would be boring, compared to all the brightly colored versions I was seeing from other Cozy quilt-makers.

But once the trimming was all done, I was more than happy with what I saw! I was able to get a decent photo of the trimmed quilt, even though the front porch was barely big enough. I think laying flat gives a better view than having the quilt hanging. Whatever, it's on to the hemming now!!