Project Hiatus

Everything is packed.
I decided to chill for these  few remaining days before my trip.
Since my work table has turned into my packing-for -vacation table, I really can’t work on any projects.
The next best thing is to design NEW projects!

Abbie, from Sparkle On! with Abbie posted an invitation to join a Christmas QAL.
I have never done a mystery quilt,and I am still considering doing this.
One of the perks, besides the fun in working with this group of creative people, would be the chance to learn/practice some different techniques.
Abbie did get me thinking ahead on seasonal projects.
I am usually a last-minute type of person.

During this self-imposed hiatus from working on projects, I decided to design an autumn quilt.
Autumn is my favorite season, even though in my  area of Texas, autumn is a bit different.
I remember dragging books about fall, and setting up scarecrows,  baskets of leaves, pumpkins, and other autumn goodies to my classroom for the children to experience autumn.
The room was turned into an Autumn Festival, even though the outside temperature was still 90 degrees and above.
On one particularly hot, September afternoon, I was standing outside with my students who were waiting to be picked up after school. One of my students started shrieking with delight when she saw a dried, dead, brown leaf fall to her feet. She shouted, “You were right, Mrs. Cunningham, it IS autumn.”
I loved her enthusiasm!

As I was saying, before I bird-walked off topic, I do love autumn.
I’ve been wanting to make an autumn quilt for some time.
Some shops already have gorgeous fabric that just shout, “Autumn!”.
These are some of my quick design sketches.

This is already larger than I want, so I would adjust this to something more like a lap throw.
The second border would be made of multi-color nine patch blocks.

The leaves would be made of different autumn colored fabric on beige, with a gold-ish border.
I would cut the block in a wonky fashion and set the blocks in different directions as part of a tumbling leaves design.
The four corners would probably be paper pieced blocks of an owl, a squirrel, an acorn, and maybe a field mouse or pumpkin.
I found these free paper pieced patterns on Craftsy.

Owl   Pattern on Craftsy
This is more of a Halloween background so I would change that up a bit.

Squirrel Pattern on Craftsy

I found these squirrel blocks on Sew Fresh Quilts .
These are definitely beyond my skills, but I just thought they were great blocks.

These are just preliminary thoughts on a quilt I might or might not make.
I just enjoy fooling around with designs.

Oh, by the way, my Brack Pack friends and I are taking a road trip to Crystal Bridges in November.
We should see some beautiful autumn foilage.

As usual, I got side-tracked and started looking through Lucinda Ganderton’s book, Block a Day.
It is the Bird Block, block #77.
It was fun playing around with this block.
I have two sketches using this block in two different directions.

There are still a couple of more days of waiting and preparing for my trip, so I have time to play with some more designs.


Oh, and aren’t these cute?
I found these luggage tags and thought they would be just right for our trip.
The purple and blue stripes are for my granddaughter.
The polka-dots are mine.

If this post seems to be “all over the place”, it is because I am “all over the place”…more so than usual!

Quilt of Valor

Last week, I went to Pattern Jam to try out some designs for the QOV.
I used fabric photos from the collection on Pattern Jam just to give me an idea of a color scheme.
First Design

This afternoon, I spent some time looking at different Quilt of Valor designs.
On Pinterest, I found a pattern for a 5 point star that I thought was pretty cool.
American Quilting has a great tutorial on how to Stack, Cut, and Sew Stars.

I thought I might use these stars for the QOV, but then I pulled out the
Lucinda Ganderton book, Block a Day.
I am a little more comfortable working with the 12″ blocks.
The star is appliqued onto an 8″ block, and I know I can make that into a 12″ block.
But, I just couldn’t come up with a design using the star blocks.
I still plan to try my hand at the stack and cut stars, but not for this project.

The blocks I chose from Ganderton’s book include: Mississippi Spin, Spinning Heart, Variable Star, Pennant, and Friendship Star.
Second Design

I originally planned a quilt with three rows, sashes, and two borders.
But, the QOV site suggests that an ideal size for a quilt would be 60″ x 80″.
This design did not meet the minimum size required, which is 55″x 65″.
Third Design

This is my second plan.
As I posted this plan, I realized that I will need to turn some of the blocks to keep it symmetrical.
I will be in Dallas this weekend, and I plan to shop for fabric.
The patriotic fabric is out now.
I have seen some at JoAnn’s and Wal-Mart.
I would like to have some of the red and blue with a sprinkle of gold.
Then, I can use a gold for the sash.
The pennant block would look good with a star fabric and a stripe fabric.
I’m thinking that the heart might be gold, if I can find one that compliments the red, white, and blue.
Maybe a white on white, and a white with gold might work.
I’m still not sure this is the design I will use.
I will be visiting one of my daughter-in-laws and I plan to ask for her ideas.

PJ Day

I officially declare today to be a Pajama Day.
1. The time change messed me up.
2. It’s Monday.
3. It’s raining.
4. I finished two large quilt tops yesterday.
5. Because I can!

Note: I do wear earrings and comb my hair on PJ Day, so I am spruced up a bit. 

After finishing the border on the Hope quilt yesterday, my original plan was to wait until today to finish the Tribute quilt.
I took a reading break, and then decided to finish the Tribute quilt.
It felt so good to get this done.
Lot’s of stories and memories with each of the blocks.
The quilt is so big, it was difficult to take a good photo.

The border is the same pink fabric that was used to frame the house block in the center of the quilt.

Thanks again, to Lucinda Ganderton.
Her book, Block a Day, was the inspiration to tell my mom’s story.
This is my first time to make a quilt with so many different types of blocks.
The book provided great instructions for cutting and piecing the blocks.

Hope Quilt

The time change has thrown me a bit off, but I managed to complete the top of the Hope quilt.
The keyboard strips were an accurate fit for the borders.
This quilt is a bit too much color for me,
It works out in that the quilt was a self-challenge to use up scraps.
I’m also surprised that my plan-as-you go method worked out better than I thought.
This is the best picture I could take.

Top Left Corner

Top Right Corner

Good Fun

“I know that it’s wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.” Dr. Seuss.
Another rainy day, and I loved it.
Got a lot done on the Hope quilt.
The vertical sashes were a bit difficult for me.
I had to rip the sashes a few times because the corners did not match.
My sister suggested I use teal for the sash, and I’m glad I listened to her.

Tomorrow, I will add the keyboard border.

Thanks to Lucinda Ganderton and her book, Block a Day.
This makes two quilts, and two tote bags that I have made using the blocks from her book.
Great resource!

New Tool

My son uses a design program when he is planning a piece of furniture he will be building.
He asked if there were any quilting design programs, and that was the first I ever thought of something like this.
After a bit of researching, I found a free program, Pattern Jam . 
I also found an app for the iPad, Quiltology.

I tried the free program today, and I am still learning how to use it effectively.
One glitch that I ran across was in designing the border.
The border for my Hope quilt is not solid.
It is made of keyboard strips.
I was not able to find out how to insert the different keyboard strips.
The result was a border showing just one keyboard strip.
I will keep playing with this and see if it is worth using.
One benefit I can see already, is the ability to layout the design and color scheme.
This is the result of the Hope quilt on Pattern Jam.

Tonight, I will be attending my first guild meeting.
The Alamo Heritage guild meets at a church that is near my house.
This will give me the opportunity to ask people about quilt design programs.

Oh! Exciting news.
Lucinda Ganderton, the author of Block a Day, commented on my blog!
I was so happy to read what she had to say.
Her book has been a great resource for me.
I highly recommend the book.

Sunday, Sunday

inspirational-sunday-quotes-8My granddaughter says that Sunday is her favorite day.
I agree with her totally!
It is my favorite day.
The quote is from freshmorningquotes.
After going out for a Sunday breakfast, I returned and got busy finishing the blocks for the Hope quilt.
I may not make the quilt just yet, but I feel good that the blocks are completed.
Today’s Blocks:
Block #215 Figure 8

Block # 216 Frame


Block #197 Diagonal Squares

Block #338 Scrappy 9-Patch Chain

Block # 319 Checker Square

Block #338 Scrappy Squares (This will be the center block.)

This is the first design layout, without the sashes.
I don’t know what color would be best for sashes.
Any ideas on this are welcomed.
Design Layout

Rainy Day

The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My belief is that the best thing one can do when it is raining is quilt.
We have had a Saturday of beautiful, steady, peaceful, rain.
After reading a bit, I proceeded to indulge in a Rainy Day Saturday of quilting.

I need about four more blocks to complete what is needed for the Hope quilt.
These are the blocks I made today.
There was hardly any gray and pink material left, so I had to choose blocks that did not require more fabric than I had.
This was a bit of a challenge, but it worked out.
Block #138 Floating Square

Block #142 Octagon Check

Block # 141 Corner Cross


Block #144 Shoofly

Block # 139 Overlap
Block #148 Checks

Day 62

On January 1, I began the project of making a quilt block a day.
The blocks are from Block a Day, by Lucinda Ganderton.

When I started, my OCD kicked into high gear, and I was focused on making one block each day, in order.
I finally gave myself permission to take a break, and even skip around.
Instead of setting a goal to finish all 365 blocks, I set the goal to learn new skills with each block.

I designed a Tribute to Tonie quilt, using 35 of the blocks.
Some of the blocks were used to make totes and pillows.
Some were given to a friend.
At this time, I am making a quilt called Hope. I am using 25 different block patterns.

Today is day 62, and I have made a total of 57 blocks.
Considering that I have gone out-of-town a few times, and I was sick with the flu for two weeks,
I feel good about making 57 blocks.

More importantly, I do believe I have learned many new skills.
The mistakes that I made in the process of piecing the Tribute quilt, have already been corrected.
I can see improvement in the blocks I am making for the Hope quilt.
The cutting, seams, and piecing are more accurate.
I am also finding it easier to make squares such as the following:
flying geese, boat squares, hourglass squares,pin wheel square, stitch and flip, diamond squares, and house squares.
There are a few more squares in the book that I have either not gotten enough practice. or done at all.

Many of the remaining blocks are repeats and variations of what I have done already.
There are some scrappy blocks that I do not see a need to make.
After I finish this Hope quilt, I will make a few more of the blocks; but I think I have already achieved my goal of learning more skills.There might not be any more new skills to acquire in the remaining blocks.
I can benefit from the practice, but it would probably be more effective to practice by making other projects.

This book has been a great resource.
It has even helped me learn how to calculate how much fabric I need for projects.
Another plus is that I am using my fabric stash!

These are the blocks I made today for the Hope quilt:
Block #111 North Star
Block #228 


Block #170 Churn Block


Block # 247 #4 Square Block 


Block #122 Bauhaus Block

More Birds

Today is Dr. Seuss Day.
Each year, this was one of the best events in my classroom.
We celebrated all week.
Reading, Writing, Math, Art…Everything Seuss!
I’m even wearing my Cat in the Hat Shirt today.
I celebrated appropriately, and then came home to make more bird blocks.

Block #63 Log Cabin

Block #66 Nine-Patch Cross

Block #79:Double 4 Patch
( I goofed again on the cutting, so this is an adapted version.
Not to happy with it…so it might be pitched.)

Block #94:Four Patch
Block #107 Balancing Blocks