Monday, July 4, 2016

July UFO Parade

I had a wonderful weekend in Southern Idaho, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the class with whom I started first grade. Now it's back to our regularly scheduled blog post!

In case you didn't see it earlier, the UFO number we'll be finishing in July is:

It seems that a lot of quilters are finishing a lot of quilts this summer. First, Martha in Boise sent two photos of baby quilts she finished. Here's what she wrote about them:
The little boy one has some of my FILs shirting in it. It goes to my niece who was very close to her grandfather. The other goes to a friend's first granddaughter due in July.

I like that Jen has decided a finished top is a finished quilt -- remember, I told you that YOU determine what is finished! For me, a pieced top is finished, because most of my quilts go to a professional long-armer.

Here's what Jen finished this month:

Jen is a schoolteacher, so the end of the year is busy busy! But she completely finished this quilt using the "Joy" pattern from Villa Rosa Designs for a teacher friend whose baby was a preemie.

Below is another "kids" quilt. It features one of my favorite fabric lines from Zen Chic for Moda, "Sphere." Jen writes that she isn't sure what backing to use -- but Jen, I love the "kids" fabric for a baby quilt!

Ohmigosh, look what Susan-in-Australia finished! This beauty
was started in 2011 – a series of c lasses at my LQS – the quilt is called Stitchers Garden.  I leant a variety of techniques, such as bobbin work, applying cording to make an outline, using the circular sewing attachment -  and I used almost all the decorative stitches on my machine.   It was a fun way to learn….and I certainly increased my collection of balis and embroidery threads along the way.
Too true, Susan!

Here is a detail shot of some of Susan's bobbin work:

Here are two more finished from Jennifer, who cleaned up and organized her sewing room, and is really going to town on the finishes! She tells me the first one is a "Shopkins" placemat for her daughter, who is Shopkins obsessed.

Since I don't have daughters, I had a research "Shopkins." Here's what I found:

Shopkins is a toy manufactured by Moose Toys. Based on grocery store items, each plastic figurine has a face and unique name. The collectible toys (which are designated as common, rare, and ultra rare) have also spawned a line of books and trading cards, as well as a YouTube channel.
Now we know!

Her last finish is a wall hanging for quilt pins. It's about 4 inches wide and 26 inches long. 

Isn't that a clever idea?

Joy finished this table runner she taught as a class last year. She is a kinder teacher than I am, as
Due to miscuts of fabric by the students, some of my pieces were given away so they could finish theirs. I was pleasantly surprised to find the two fabrics I needed in January when I visited a shop I had never been to.  My tablerunner is now complete, just in time for 4th of July!

Joy, I bet it's on your table today!

It just wouldn't be a UFO Parade without a Bonnie Hunter quilt, and Becky caps our parade with this terrific scrappy quilt.

She tells me:

I finally finished the binding on my UFO just an hour ago!  Then the hard part was finding someplace big enough I could spread it out for a picture (it is full size)! 
The pattern is Strip Twist from Bonnie Hunter's blog:  The first time I saw it I thought, "Wow!  That is a busy quilt!  I don't think I could ever make that pattern, too busy."  But the more I saw it the more it grew on me, especially when I actually read the pattern and saw how easy it was.  One day I was trimming down some scraps and this pattern was on my mind so I thought, "I'll just make a test block to see how hard it really easy."  Like potato chips, one just wasn't enough!  The top came together quickly enough, it's the quilting and binding that had it sitting in the UFO pile for awhile!  My backing fabric wasn't quite big enough, but fortunately there were enough leftovers from the top to stretch it, with a little help from some green and lavender from my stash.
Beck, I'll be heading to to find this pattern!

Here's hoping all my American friends are enjoying Independence Day -- and that it's a work holiday so you can quilt!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, July 1, 2016

July UFO Challenge

My apologies that the July UFO Parade will be late. I'm in Idaho for the 40th Reunion of the class with whom I started first grade!

In case you have a long weekend for the Independence Day holiday, here is the number for the July UFO

I'm hoping to get the UFO Parade posted on July 4th. See you then!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June 2016 UFO Parade

Not only is today UFO Parade day, and Rabbit Rabbit Day -- it's commissioning day for my favorite US Air Force Academy cadet, Blake McCown. Congratulations, Blake, and I hope you like your quilt!

I think it's appropriate that the UFO number for June is:

And now, on with the show!

Friend and frequent Ruth's Stitchery shopper, Ethel, has sewn up a storm this month. Her DH is currently deployed, so send good thoughts her way.

The first quilt she finished was from last year, and is "Strips Ahoy," a Jelly Roll Party project from last year. The fabric is by Lily Asbury from Moda, and is from the line "Fancy."

Here's a closeup of the lovely quilting:

One of the most fun things about quilting is make a quilt for a "first quilt" recipient. Ethel made this gorgeous green batik quilt for her SIL, and says she doesn't think anyone has ever made a quilt for her. She is going to love it, Ethel!

(Hello puppy!)

This Ohio Star variation is Ethel's birthday prezzie to herself. The stars are "Vintage Picnic" from Bonnie and Camille for Moda. She says this is her first time using a background color other than cream, white, or black -- a great success, Ethel!

Ethel was so happy with her "Strips Ahoy" quilt, she made another in "Black Tie Affair" by Basic Grey for Moda. This one goes to another SIL.

And not exactly UFOs, but who could resist these vintage beauties that Ethel scored in a local antiques shop?

I'd love to know the story behind this Grandmother's Flower Garden. It breaks my heart to know the family let it go, but I know Ethel will give it a good home (after a nice soak in Retro-Clean!)

Idaho friend Martha has also churned out the finishes this month. First is a quilt made from 30-year-old African waxed prints. It will be auctioned off when her DH's Peace Corps groups has a reunion, to raise funds to build wells in Africa.

Here is a second quilt made by Martha of African fabrics. I love these colors, Martha!

Martha was kind enough to include a link to the free pattern from Benartex. It's called "Amber Dreams," and the free pattern is here.

Martha's third finish is also from a free pattern. This one is "RetroPlaid" from Suzy Quilts for Birch Quilts. The free pattern is here.

And here is Martha's version:

Martha reports this one is very quick to put together, and will be a gift for a new baby.

Here's one for Martha's prize VW camper. It's called "Cut Campers."

I  know Jennifer has had a hard year, and her May finish is so appropriate (and funny!) She calls it "Sometimes I Wine a Bit," because the background fabric is printed with the phrase, "wine is cheaper than a therapist." It's a Villa Rosa pattern called "Joy."  Jenn reports she actually made the entire thing from cutting, to piecing, to quilting, and binding -- in one day!

It's Winter in Australia -- prime quilting season! Susan finished this cute winter-themed table runner using a fat quarter gifted to her by her bestie. She'll be ready to decorate for Christmas!

Visit Susan's Sewing Space for the detes on Susan's table runner.

Mary J is making a series of quilts based on Gwen Marston's techniques. MJ's "refrigerator" quilts are 12" square -- perfect to display on the fridge!

Great machine quilting on this one, MJ!

More details at Zippy Quilts, here.

Irene made a quilt from a book by two Colorado authors, "Toppers," by Lynda Milligan & Nancy Smith.

She's gifting this little beauty to her son for his new home in Wyoming.

Kerry finished this Denyse Schmidt design for her son and DIL's first anniversary. "Between the Lines" 

Kerry writes about this project and comments on her foundation piecing experience at Kerry's Quilting Stash, here.

June is shaping up to be a busy month here at 52 Quilts. But I'm planning a tutorial on mitering quilt borders -- look for it next Tuesday!

Congratulations to all service academy graduates -- especially those at the USAF Academy who graduate tomorrow!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tardy Monday Design Wall

Oops, I wrote it, but forgot to click "publish!" Here's what's on the design wall this week.

The pattern is "Chevron News" by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic for Moda. The original pattern calls for "Citrine" -- bright yellow -- but since I'm making it for an Air Force Academy graduate, I decided to use royal blue as the accent color.

There's a bit of a story behind this one. While I was in Texas last summer, I ordered a half-yard bundle of Zen Chic's "Paper" from Fat Quarter shop. I didn't have a plan for it, I just liked it. And it's OK to buy it just because you think it's pretty (thus saith the Elder Son. Smart guy, huh?(.

When May 1 rolled around and I realized I had one month to finish Blake's graduation quilt -- fast pattern to the rescue! First, I had to buy assorted yardage of "Ink" for the dark HSTs. Ruth's Stitchery to the rescue! I cut the required 10" squares. stitched those puppies together on my 1500 stitchesperinch Juki (her name is Zippy) and started to trim.

Then, this happened:

You know, the funny thing is, it didn't start to bleed immediately. When I realized I had caught the edge of my finger with the rotary cutter, I held it up and said, "Damn, that's going to hurt." Can you tell I was cutting with my left hand? Thanks to Barb Shie, I can cut with either hand.

Lucky for me, the cut wasn't too deep. So I finished up the quilt yesterday, and it's going to Denise to long-arm tomorrow. And it's still more than two weeks until graduation!

The moral of the story: Don't watch sad movies while trimming blocks!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Stash: Some Solids

The best thing about my job at Ruth's Stitchery is, when I "ooh and aah" over a new fabric line, my boss orders it!

Such was the case when our fabric rep showed us this new group of solid batiks from Hoffman. Indah Solids by Me + You.

Although they look like any other solid fabric, the grey goods (the fabric before dyeing or printing) is the same as that used for batiks. So it doesn't fray, and it has a nice "hand." I snatched up the FQ bundles of both colorways before they even hit the shop floor.

Because I want to make this quilt from Beyond the Reef.

This simple block relies on the clever placement of accent fabrics to make the quilt look complicated -- but it's not!

The Indah collection also includes a printed batik line.

 I can't bear to open the bundle just yet, so here is a peek at all the colors:

I can't wait to cut into these pretties! But first, it's graduation time, and I have three graduation quilts to finish. Come back tomorrow to see the most recent graduation quilt on Design Wall Monday.

Halfway through May? How did that happen?

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Park Bench BOM

I know, I know. I swore off Blocks of the Month for this year!

But Beth offered to teach Julie Herman's "Park Bench," and I already had the kit (bought it in Laramie last March) and well . . .

I have half the blocks finished!

Can you spy my mistake?

The block in the lower right is supposed to look like the one in the upper left. But by the time I realized I was putting it together wrong, I was past the point of no return! Luckily, one of the later blocks uses the same pieces. So I'll make it like the one in the upper left and no one will know the difference. Right?

Here's what the completed quilt will  look like:

(photo from Jaybird Quilts)

I'm using the same fabrics as Jaybird Quilts used for the cover quilt. They are "Botanics" by Carolyn Friedlander. I even scored enough "Curry" print used for the binding to back the quilt (at Ruth's Stitchery, of course!)

The QAL is supposed to last until the end of the year. HOWever (cough) Sonya is hosting Julie's newest BOM, "Sweet Tooth" this summer. So I want to finish up Park Bench ASAP so I can sew along with Sonya on Sweet Tooth!

(photo from Jaybird Quilts)

I am a big fan of Julie's patterns. Using her Hex n More and Sidekick rulers, there are no Y-seams in this fancy-looking quilt! Plus, her directions are super-clear and easy to follow. (OK, that is, is you actually follow the directions.)

Are you sewing a BOM this year? What is it? Share! Share!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, May 1, 2016

MAy Day UFO Parade

We won't be hanging flower baskets on neighbors' doors today -- still snow on the ground, and it's cold and windy this morning.

Luckily, we have pretty quilts to enjoy! First, the UFO number for May:

And now, on with the parade!

Jennifer is a recent UFO Challenger, and she is really cranking out the finishes. I love her little table topper. Jennifer let her 7 year old daughter play with the decorative stitches on her machine to quilt it. So fun, and what a great way to share the love of sewing!

Jenn's second finish for April was a set of placemats for a co-worker (they're both teachers) who raises chickens.

They'll be bound in grey and gifted to her friend when Jenn returns to work after compassionate leave. 

One of my favorite customers at Ruth's Stitchery, Ethel,  really puts me to shame with her productivity. But I love seeing what she makes with fabrics from our shop! This quilt uses Amy Ellis's new line, Serenity. 

Isn't it just lovely? So peaceful, and well -- serene!

A long-time blog follower and UFO challenger from Australia, Susan, sent in this photo of her Lori Holt Christmas quilt. Lori shared the QAL on Instagram back in 2014.  Susan substituted the strawberry block from Lori's Farm Girl Vintage for the log cabin block -- she says it's "more appropriate for an Australian Christmas." 

A group is doing Farm Girl Vintage as a block party at Ruth's Stitchery -- I can't wait to show them your quilt, Susan!

Kerry finished piecing her Bonnie Hunter mystery from last autumn. Allietare will have scalloped borders once it's quilted -- can't wait to see that! This is a large quilt -- 86" X 91" -- and Kerry reports it uses 25 yards of fabric! Way to make a dent in the scrap stash, Kerry!

All the details are at Kerry's Quilting, here.

Nancy finished Frivol #1, "Hello Darling." It is darling, and those cute tins of fabric and treats are darling, too! 

(Note: while researching the link for Frivols, I found that there is an error in the pattern contained in Frivols #1. Be sure to click on the link above before you start piecing!)

Nancy's second April finish served as an educational tool. The recipient of this cute baby quilt didn't really know about quilts -- she will now!

Another California girl has finished another Bonnie Hunter quilt. I love them, and I love that all Sandi's quilts' names begin with "K!" 

All I can say is "OHMIGOODNESS!"  Here's what Sandi wrote about this incredible kwilt:

Kissin' Korner is a Bonnie Hunter design called Kiss in the Corner!  She's awesome to bring us all the FREE patterns on her Quiltville website.  Here is a link to it should you want to make one too.  
 I really enjoy the smaller pieces.  This design used 2" and 1" finished squares.  I had everything in my stash to complete it including the back and a batting that will end up as one, but started out as four pieces.  I'm all about stretching out my stash, which also includes the batting =^.^=  You can read more about my project for April on my blog KwiltnKats..  Be sure to go to the labels box on the right and select Kissin' Korner for all about the project since I started it. You'll even learn about my oops!
Sandi, that is really something! I had to biggie-size the photo so everyone could see the details of this beauty.

Happy May Day -- 
and keep those cards (emails) and letters (photos) coming!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature