Halloween Scrap Buster - a Finished Quilt!

  While I will often use scraps in a project, it's not often that a true scrap buster comes my way. Usually patterns call for 2+ yards of a neutral to keep the scraps in hand - since I don't usually keep background fabrics in my stash, I get grouchy about buying a lot of yardage to make a "scrap" quilt.

Not so with this lovely one! Chelle's Quilts put out a call for pattern testers on Instagram, and I happily volunteered to red-pen it. It only requires a half yard of the neutral, and scrap busted the Halloween out of my sewing room.

I did end up begging my neighbor and all-around awesome sewing buddy to go back to the quilt shop in Missoula and buy another 3/4 yard of the neutral so I could make mine bigger and use it for binding, too. It's a Thimbleberries Halloween print from 2006 or 2009 - something you wouldn't expect to find on a shelf, but thankfully was there because it's perfect.

I ended up buying a couple quarter yards to round out the top, but for the most part, this is all from my Halloween scrap bin. I especially love the EEK blocks. The cutting instructions are for fat quarters, but it doesn't take much brain power to figure out how to cut it from quarter cuts...or that a charm pack or two can substitute in nicely in places.

The best part - if you look at examples from her blog {linked above} you'll find a yellow and grey version. No neutral at all. Just pick two or three colors and attack those scrap bins. In fact, I made mine bigger than the pattern {one extra section on the bottom, 3-4 columns on the side} so I could see how it would work in Quilts of Valor size. Yeah, totally my next scrap one.

The quilting is loops and pumpkins, in dark purple thread on the front and black on the back. Just to continue the very subtle Halloween feel of the quilt.

The backing is a lovely Joann's zig-zag - I did buy it thinking it would be chevrons, but then realized it was the wrong direction. Oh well. It's still oh-so-subtly-Halloween. And the pumpkins look AMAZING from this side.

Oh so soft and lovely! And, um, batty. And spider-y.

63x75"

See also: Finish It Up Friday/Crazy Mom Quilts, Whoop Whoop/Confessions of a Fabric AddictTGIFF/, Needle & Thread Thursday/My Quilt Infatuation

WiP - Block by Block

  Ah, finally. Both kids are in school, and for two days a week, I have complete freedom...to go to the grocery store without getting the car cart. And to sew! I'm still working my way though several projects, one step at a time, and trying to resist the urge to start something new.

First up, the lovely Shivaun Place is a finished quilt, ready to be gifted to my sister-in-law for Christmas.

I made sure all the RSC'14 churn dashes had sashing, then I started sewing "four patches" of them together. I'm trying to make sure each four patch has a dark block so they will be evenly spaced in the end quilt.

Then I made the binding for the Halloween scrap quilt. It still needs to come off the zippers and get trimmed up, but it's moving along, so I'm happy.

I made a sheep for the Minecraft quilts. But only one, because I'm officially out of brown. I've reached the point where I need to put together an order to fill in the gaps in my solid stash.

And finally, I made the first of three blocks for my Lori Holt mini quilt swap. I'm doing fruits in mason jars. This is 3x6" - a lot of little pieces in a little block!

I'm hoping I can finish a lot of these projects up this week - I'm itching to start something new {from the to-be-finished-by-Christmas list, of course} - but I'm trying to be good.

See also: Oh ScrapBoMs Away, Design Wall Monday, Monday Making, Main Crush MondayFabric Tuesday, Scraptastic Tuesday, Rainbow Scrap Challenge, WiP on Wednesdays, WiP Wednesday

WiP - T-shirts and UFOs

  Sewing work was a bit slow last week, as we had VBS in the mornings, and several afternoons I was just too darn tired to do anything else. I think our church holds VBS this "late" in the season to remind us what teachers are about to go through, and to be nicer to them. I know I will be.

One more week until school is in session around here, and I will have two days of complete freedom! You know, to go to the grocery store without having to get the car cart.

So stitching last week was limited to the t-shirt quilt, which was finished up for quilting on Saturday.

And now the binding is all prepped and it will be a finished quilt by Friday! The client wanted it to be a surprise, so no pictures lingering about the internet, just in case.

A photo posted by Kate (@katiemaequilts) on

I also quilted the Halloween scrap quilt, continuing the very subtle theme with pumpkins. Pumpkins are fun to quilt.

Then I worked on my Not-Quite-Flower blocks, not getting terribly far because some of the pieces I needed were buried in the debris from the great sewing room move. I finally unearthed the yardage and the last three should be finished up this week.

And then finally, during the move, I made stacks and stacks and stacks of UFOs. Once things were fairly settled {sort of}, I grabbed one - the RSC'14 - and got to work. The original plan for sashing and cornerstones involved extensive piecing - similar to the nine patch cornerstones about halfway down this page.

But that meant I had to cut a billion or so 1.5" strips from my scraps, and I kept putting it off. Plus, really, 3" sashing on 9" blocks is a little much, and there's so much color from the churn dashes anyway. So I scrapped the first plan and decided to go with plain old sashing - especially since I adore the sashing fabric anyway.

Of course, now, I'm debating the "dancing sashing" from Bonnie Hunter. Then I don't have to match up the short sashing seams across the looooooong sashing seams. And I don't have to cut long sashing, and pin long sashing, and basically, deal with long sashing. And it gives the churn dashes a bit more movement.

I don't have to make the decision for a few days - I've still got plenty of short sashing to sew - but if you have an opinion, feel free to share. Unless it's the extensive piecing sashing. Then your opinion doesn't count.

See also: Oh ScrapBoMs Away, Design Wall Monday, Monday Making, Main Crush MondayFabric Tuesday, Scraptastic Tuesday, Rainbow Scrap Challenge, WiP on Wednesdays, WiP Wednesday

WiP - the Cat

  Well, the last two weeks have been a little off for me. Almost two weeks ago, my old man cat, Tycho, stopped eating. We took him to the vet, but he was in liver failure and she gave him 1-2 weeks to live, cautioning it was likely to be on the shorter side.

We started giving him fluids, and...last Tuesday, I was positive that he had hours left. His body was actually getting colder to the touch. I slept on the couch with him at night because I didn't want to not be there for him.

And then...Friday evening, he started eating again. And he's back to a normal cat temperature. And though he's still walking around slowly, he's actually walking around.

So I have no idea if this is a brief reprieve, or if he's actually okay for now. We're taking it day by day, and I'm getting back into a routine of doing things. Other than laying on the couch watching him breathe.

So anyway - obviously - my sewing has been a little off. I did manage to get a bit done in the last two weeks, though!

I made this top for Chelle's Quilts as a tester - and tested it big, to Quilts of Valor dimensions. Perfect size. - 63x72" - and a very easy pattern. Definitely on my list for my next scrappy QOV!

Oh, and in case you couldn't tell, I went for a very subtle Halloween theme. Very subtle.

I finished off my Broadway mini quilt swap and sent it out. There's a backstory I'll get into at the end of this week - it's not quite as plain as it looks.

I got the binding on this baby quilt and shipped it off to my friend. I don't usually use poly-batting, but that's what she sent, and it is adorably puffy. The quilting stands out well, though it's still soft and drape-y. My friend pieced this top about ten years ago, and finally gave up on the idea of finishing it herself. Happy to assist!

And then I dragged out another WiP - Flower - from earlier this year and got to work finishing it up. Apparently I was good enough to match stripe directions - go me! I think I sorted out all the block pieces so that I can make one or two a day as I have time.

{I'm also steadily working on two t-shirt quilts, but ironing interfacing isn't that awesome to show.}

And finally, I'm reaching the end of the pile of QOV red/white leaders/enders, so I made a practice block to test my pressing instructions. Perfection! Now to trim that stack of HSTs...

And I know I got terribly far behind on emails with the whole cat thing. I promise to catch up in the next day or so. Bear with me!

See also: Oh Scrap @ Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkBoMs Away at What a Hoot, Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Scraptastic Tuesday @ Mrs Sew and Sow

WiP - Drifting Through Summer

  It seems like I worked on a large variety of projects this week, getting close to finished {or even finished} before just stalling out and losing my focus. I blame summer. I always blame summer.

Finished: Rachel's T-Shirt Quilt. Measured: shirts for the next two t-shirt quilts. Design? Eh.

Partially Bound: my friend's baby quilt that I quilted for her. But I didn't have any light purple thread to finish it. Finally got that today, so this will be finished up in short order.

Also Partially Bound: Angel Wallhanging. And that's as far as I got until I free up the binding clips. And find spare hand stitching time. You'd think the summer would have more of that free time, right?

And then I sewed up another series of blocks for my Halloween tester pattern. It's coming along well, but I decided to make it bigger, so I'm at a standstill until more of the cream fabric arrives.

After I finished up that stuff, I looked around for a top to finish up. Taffy! All the blocks were done, right? Until I started laying it out and discovered I had managed to screw up nearly every single block. TWO errors in this one. And the ones that were sewn together weren't orientated right. Some pattern tester I am.

So, knowing that I have a ton of seam ripping to get that into a top, I got right to work shoved it in a bag to ignore for a while.

And then, because I couldn't figure out what to do next, I cleaned up. I know. I should have laid down until the urge passed or something. I can see the top of my cutting table, the bottom of my scrap basket, and a whole lot more in between.

And during this, I found the fabric I bought to make the boys pillowcases for the end of the school year. Well, I'm a little late, but they're done and on the beds tonight! And a six year age gap leads to interesting fabric choices.

And now, maybe with a cleaner sewing room, I can get back to work with a little more focus. Or not. It is summer, after all!