Monday, March 31, 2014

March Quilt Update

Previous 2014 posts:  First of year quilt update  (There are individual class posts for 4 Bonnie Hunter classes as well if you click on Feeling Crafty label and go to older posts.)
                         End of January quilt update
                         February quilt update

March goals:

3 quilt tops/backs - Malea, Zyra (need April), Elena - yes (Zyra's is basted and ready to go)
3 Block Of Month's (BOM's) current - yes
Quilt, bind, finish 2 Scrappy Mountain Majesty (SMM) from last month - Caleb (need April), Josh - yes
Bind and Finish Dancing Nines Shirt Quilt (DN) - Jon (need April) - yes
Celtic Solstice (CS) - 20 blocks - yes
Roll Quilt - yes
Swap Blocks and Charms (March and Aprils charms to get ahead LOL That's only 1500 2 1/2" squares) - yes
UFO -- finish edging on burp cloth and small blanket -- crochet - yes
Mark and put tricot baby quilt on frame. - yes

SMM, DN, CS, ST, and BSS - all are Bonnie Hunter patterns and most are available free on her website at 

1st - It is a new month and I am excited.  We do not have any travel plans on the calendar and other than spring cleaning, I can focus on my projects.  Woohoo!  It will also be fun to watch the season change this month.  I am ready for spring.  Well, let's get sewing!  I start out the month by putting together my 3 BOM's and a couple of CS blocks as well.

Since we are meeting family today for a birthday lunch for Mister, I crocheted on the baby burp cloth during our drive.  The evening is spent cutting squares from 2 1/2" strips for our March exchange.  I need about 750 of the little buggers to send out and I am almost there.  I am using space in the office at my mini sewing area.  It works.

2nd - Today I finished cutting squares for March, cut swap blocks squares and sewed HST's.  I am trying so hard to stay on top of the scraps so did some fabric clean-up and then went to the den for some hand quilting for a couple of hours.  Good day.

3rd - Completed my swap blocks today.

4th - Crocheted on burp cloth and gave Scott the afghan from last month to take to Cassie in Utah.  One last picture of it.

5th - Finished burp cloth today.  Started in on the edging for the matching blanket.

6th - It's a rotary day.  After pulling stacks of fabric from the studio (too cold to work out there still), I set about cutting the strips and squares for three "girly" quilts.  I am going to do a Scrappy Trips (ST), another Scrappy Mountain Majesties (SMM), and a Bricks and Stepping Stones (BSS) using many of the same fabrics.   I put in a little time crocheting as well.

7th - We went to the clock show today so I crocheted all the way there and back.  On our way back, we stop at a Hancocks Fabric since I have not been to one here in Texas (none in Dallas) and run into a sale that I can't walk away from.  I get 22.44 yards for $40.00.  Nice.  Once home, I finish cutting for bricks quilt and start an online search for the crochet thread I have been using.  That is the problem with UFO's -- when you start one back up and run out of a supply, it may be impossible to find.  We checked at Hancocks, JoAnn's, and several other spots on our way home.  No luck.  Then an online search lets me know that the thread I am using is no longer being made -- time to put out a request in the different groups I belong to.  Fingers crossed.

8th - It is time to start the BSS quilt.  I start out sewing strips of a black and white polka dot to a variety of fabrics.  From there, I cut the strips into segments and then sew them into my four-patches.  For a little fun, I take the last little bit of each strip and start sewing a crumb strip.  Not sure what I will do with it, but it's a fun leader-ender along with my CS blocks.

Next the four-patches are attached to 3 1/2" bricks and voila -- I have matchsticks.  All the matchsticks are completed and I spend some time continuing my search for crochet thread.  No luck yet. I continue my work on the matchstick blocks by sewing them into pairs.

It's time for a change so I sew and cut the HST's for my SMM quilt.  Enough for today.

9th - When I finished the matchstick blocks last night, I set them in the living room.  Upon waking this morning, I see that Mister has started his layout of the BSS quilt.  I am really going to love this one.  Today is the Dallas Quilt Show and we have such a good time.  Once home, I sliver trimmed the HST's and start the ST blocks.  I finish four of them and wonder if I like them before calling it a night.

Oh --- along the way, my little crumb blocks are growing.  I am doing one with the ST leftover strips from cutting the panels.  Fun Fun.

10th - No sewing today.  A little crocheting.  We have a local thrift store that has been posting an ad about 65 boxes of fabric but it was an "all or nothing" item for $900.00.  Sorry --- not for me.  Well, today they post that they are opening it up to "by the box" for $13.00 a box.  Now it is worth checking on so Mister and I head down there.  We are the first ones so I get to peek in each box/tote as we help them restack them for easier access.    When we finish, I have one large tote and a second box that I wish to take home with me.  My expenditure is $26.00.  Let's go see what I have.

Mischief:  First up, sort to wash.

Calling it good, I grab some "nesting" material for the birds and leave the studio for the day.  Each year, I put out thread and fabric scraps for the birds that live in the backyard.  Each year, it disappears quickly.  I crochet for awhile.  It certainly is a long way around this little blanket.

11th - I wake early as I have a ton on my mind.  The list is long for today, so let's get going.  I start out by cutting my SMM HST's into strips.  I have the washer going and fabric from yesterday is on it's way toward being clean.  I also spent some time cleaning up the studio -- obviously -- and got 3/4 of the way through quilting my DN quilt.  This is a heavy bugger.

12th - Sewed 2 more ST blocks, 1 CS block and cut all washed light scraps into system.  I finished washing everything from yesterday's purchase for a  total of 11 washer loads.  Wow.  Completed the quilting on DN, trimmed it, and selected the binding.  Mister is working on the Audi with Scott, so I just keep on going today.  I sandwich the red/white/blue SM quilt from last month baste, and get it quilted as well.  Still on my own, another sandwich for the multi-color SMM from last month as well. GOOD DAY!  (Quilt police beware:  I don't care if it is perfect --- these are not for show - they are to be used and loved.  After all, these are only my 3rd and 4th quilts to EVER machine quilt and I am doing it free motion on a 301A so no stitch length regulator of anything.)

13th -  I have to say that I absolutely love piecing on my featherweight.  Her little hum is so soothing as I stitch along.  Mister has finished the layout for the BSS quilt and we are short blocks.  Back to the machine I go after a quick run out to the studio for fabric.  I make 32 more matchsticks, giving me another 16 blocks.  Now we can complete the layout.  Once the layout is finished, we walk away and let it lie so that we can check it out again tomorrow and see what needs to be moved.  A couple of ST blocks and one CS block are added to my growing stacks before I start in on the SMM blocks.  Within a couple of hours, I have all 80 made.  Woot woot.  Since I have a little more room to cut now, I cut the binding for my DN quilt and start in on the dark scraps from the thrift shop which are washed and ready to be put into the system.  Once that is finished for the day --- it is time to walk away from the machine and rotary cutter for awhile.  Snuggling into the sofa, I finish crocheting with the little bit of thread that I have and make it around the blanket before running out.  Now what to do.  I have still not been able to locate a match.

14th - What a great day for an estate sale.  It has been awhile and I am ready to hunt down treasures.  The first one we go to -- YES!  All that you see here for less than $10.00.  Love these finds.  We take our goodies home and the fabric is introduced to the washing machine.  I never pre-wash new fabric, BUT I don't know the history of how this was taken care of and what it was exposed to so, into the machine it all goes.  Mister goes out to run errands and returns with some white crochet thread for me to add to the blanket.  I spent the rest of the evening cutting light  and dark solids from the thrift shop purchase into the system.

Mischief managed:  This is the result of my work on the tote and box from the thrift store.  It is now time to move it all to the studio.  I think Mister is wondering what the loveseat looks like. (The purple bag is the scraps that will be tossed after all my trimming and cutting -- not even large enough for crumbs or strings.  I think that is a dang small amount of waste for all of this fabric.)

15th - We are midway though the month.  How can that be?  I feel like I have been very good at staying focused, but have not checked many things off my list yet.  Drat.  Today we have promised our friend Benjamin Calais that we will work the Dallas Wine Trail at his winery so I gather up my crocheting and off we go.  It is after 6:00 when we arrive back home, and I spend the remainder of the evening finishing and cutting all the tubes for the ST blocks completing 2 CS blocks as leaders and enders along the way.  The office is rapidly becoming a disaster zone.  Goodness but I am ready for a weather change.

16th - Our daughter and son-in-law officially moved out as of today.   I start the morning knowing that I have all this fabric on the loveseat that needs to go to the studio.  That means some preparation is necessary in the studio itself.  After about an hour, I am ready but have created a very tall stack of fabric that needs to be stripped and squared.  Small pieces that I have found inside various tubs.  Anything smaller than a fat quarter comes into the house.  Mister just shakes his head at me.

We are 5 days from hosting a party in our home --- it is definitely time to start spring cleaning.  Since we have an empty bedroom, that is the best place to start.  We spend all day washing, dusting, vacuuming, shining wood floors, washing windows, etc. and then begin the process of moving furniture and clothing back in.  By 4:00 -- I am beat and we call it a day.  My treat for hard work is to cut the scraps that I found while organizing.  I get a long way but finally call it a night.  Tomorrow is another day.

17th - I start the day early by sorting laundry and finishing my work on the scraps.  Yay!  The really good part about all of this is that I have managed to cut most of the 2 1/2" squares that I need for next month as well.  (Doing the happy dance here.)  Now to stay on top of this situation.  I had thought I was doing well until finding all these small pieces.  In my defense, many of them were from my CS quilt and I think I just put them back in the tubs because I wasn't sure if my daughter was going to make this quilt also.

It is time to clean for the day again.  Today's agenda is the master bedroom (since it was halfway emptied yesterday anyway), the master bathroom, and laundry.  By 4:00, we have again scrubbed ourselves silly but the task is accomplished.  Time to stop for the day.

After dinner, I get the weave for the BSS quilt finished and am halfway through attaching the rows together.  I stitch the DN binding together and get it pressed and ready to go.  After that, I cut the binding for the red/white/blue SMM and finish stitching and pressing it as well.  Two CS blocks get completed along the way before I settle in to crochet for awhile.  Another productive and non pictorial day.  Sorry.

18th -Dallas Blooms is at the Arboretum and we are taking Mister's Mom for the morning.  I think we all need a day out in the fresh air (my nose is full of 409, Windex, etc.) and a little simple walking.  The trip to pick up Mom allows me some time to crochet and I am making progress on this little blanket.  We have a grand day together and arrive back home around 6 in the evening - tired, but refreshed at the same time. What a fun day.  I make a trip out to the studio to put away all the cut fabric again but that is about it for the evening.

19th - Back to spring cleaning.  Ugh.  We get the living room, den, and dining room finished today.  One would think that that would go faster, but no.  We are taking our time and doing every little thing.  If a piece of furniture needs new protectors on the feet so that the floor isn't scratched, it gets them.  Everything is moved and cleaned behind and the art and photography are moved around a little to change things up.  My Singer 27 Memphis treadle is moved in from the studio!!!  So fun and she looks so pretty in the living room.  It is still 4:00 before we are able to call it a day.   I head out to the studio and put the bindings on the DN and red/white/blue SMM quilts.  Once I am comfortable on the sofa, let the hand stitching begin AND I complete the DN quilt.

20th - It is a beautiful day out and since I am up early, I open the doors and settle into the sofa to quietly hand stitch the binding on my second quilt.  The birds are singing and it is truly a peaceful moment.  I am able to finish before Mister wakes and our day begins.

Today is the kitchen and the office.  One room is at the front of the house and the other in the back.  Time to divide and conquer.  Mister takes the kitchen and I tackle the office.  Again, we are at it all day -- I told you the office was a disaster.  All is right in our world by 4:00 again which somehow always works out to be quitting time.  I very carefully finish the BSS top while Mister works on the grandfather clock in the living room.  Neither of us wants to leave any mess in our nice clean rooms.  Once I have the top finished, I make a matching back and this quilt is ready to move onto the next stage.

21st - Enjoying the birds again, I sit and crochet until I am once again out of thread.  Goodness, am I ever going to finish this project?  Once Mister wakes, I am errand girl.  I have party supplies, plants, and pictures to pick up.  I even manage a stop at JoAnn's for some thread and a few more yellow and black fabrics for a quilt to cut next month.  I think I have enough for it now.  Meanwhile, Mister cleans the main bathroom and once I arrive back home --- He starts planting while I make the beer batter bread and cheese ball for the party we are hosting tonight.  When my treats are ready, I join him and we work on the flower pots together to finish up the yard.  We actually get everything finished with a couple hours to spare and just relax before getting ourselves cleaned up.  Whew --- let the fun begin.

22nd - Another item gets checked off the list today.  I finished crocheting on the blanket - that's right, I didn't need very much more, but enough to not be able to skip adding it.

I wish I had been able to finish with the same thread, but it doesn't look terrible together.  Since this is a first for me -- I had never worked with crochet thread at all -- I am quite pleased with the way it turned out.  Hopefully it is still okay for a little girl -- remember this was a UFO started years ago but now has a home to go to.  Here is the blanket and burp cloth together.

Next goal for today is to get the SMM blocks together.  I do get the weave finished and a couple of CS blocks as leader/enders, but that is as far as I get.  Also as leaders/enders, I finish the scrappy block made from the leftover strips on the ST blocks.  I know --- it's sad that I did this but I really kinda love it.  I'll hold on to it for awhile until I find he perfect spot to place it.  It is about 15x15.

23rd - Sew, sew, sew.  I love piecing and this month certainly has provided ample opportunities for me to do so.  The SMM quilt top is finished and the back is made also (really didn't take the time to smooth it out for picture - sorry).  Another two ST blocks and 3 more CS blocks are added to the stacks as well.  I'm getting there.

24th - There is one week left in the month and my hand quilt project has not been touched since day 1.  I'd best get a move on there.  After working on it for 2 1/2 hours, my fingers need a rest so I am off to the studio to start quilting on the multi SMM.  Within just a few minutes, I break a needle and after replacing it, go about finishing the first quadrant, only to discover that the tension is WAY off --- huge loops all over the back.   GRRRRR.  Now one hour of quilting will mean about 4 hours of picking out.  I am so excited.  Not.  I get about halfway through picking it out before losing my mind and finding something else to do.  Two ST blocks are added to my stack.  Definitely not in the mood for pictures.

25th - My morning starts by finishing picking out the dang quilt.  Then I settle in and watch a movie while hand quilting for a couple of hours.  It's time to hear the hum of a machine so I plant myself in the office and finish off all the remaining ST blocks.  Whew.    Is my mood good enough to even touch the multi SMM --- yes and it gets the quadrant re-basted.  Mister does a layout for the ST quilt and I spend the remainder of the evening working on another UFO crochet project -- a very soft blue afghan.

26th - I worked on pictures for the blog first thing this morning and the my daily movie and I headed for the quilt in the den.  Another 2 1/2 hours of stitching and I feel like I may be making progress.

Two weeks ago, Mister and I discovered that a very good friend of ours has stage 4 cancer.  It has weighed heavily on our minds and we have shed more than our share of tears.  Today, we found out that he is going to do some chemo to try and extend the time he has left.  As soon as we got off the phone, I went straight to the studio and grabbed all of my 2" shirt strips that were left from the DN quilt and a box of 2" solid squares that had been cut earlier this month out of the thrift store scraps.  Hooray for ready made parts to work with.  I sat down at my machine and started my own strange version of a jelly roll race.  My strips were various sizes and I just sewed them together one after another with a little square in between each one until I ran out of strips.  I keep this up for about 4 hours non-stop and finally have a quilt top and back for Jason to take with him to chemo.  The borders are more of the strips that were cut from the thrift store purchase -- they match the 2" squares and I found a few orphan blocks from the DN quilt to use in the corners.  I am still not ready for bed though so I start the weave on my ST quilt.  Today has been good for me --- quilt therapy.  There are many mistakes in this quilt -- most likely as it was sewn through tears most of the day -- but I don't care.

27th - Five days to go --- will I make it?  There is still quite a few unchecked items on the list.  I finish the ST top and it has a whole cloth back so I am ready to  move on with it. I do love it now even though I was not at all sure when I first started putting it together.  There are so many different fabrics in it and will keep little Malea busy looking for things for hours.  Perfect for a 2 year old.  I will admit though that some of the blocks are more loved by me than others and I do have a desire to work on a quilt in light green, dark purple, lavender, and white as a result of this.

The last of the CS blocks are finished while putting the ST top together as well.  Twenty more into the drawer, giving me 60 now and I don't feel like I have made a dent in the bins.  This is definitely going to turn into 2 quilts.  No way on earth I can quilt anything this large on my sweet 301.

28th - Starting the day with a movie and hand quilting is becoming a routine here.  However, I have so little left that instead of a movie, I settle for the sound of the birds in the backyard and enjoy my last few stitches, just finishing as Mister wakes.  He helps me roll this sweet baby --- awesome!   A trip out to the studio results in me realizing that it is an absolute mess.  Mister discovers me on my hands and knees vacuuming every little nook and cranny that I can get to.  He pitches in to help and soon the studio is back in tip top shape.  Nice.  It has been a few days since I even touched the multi SMM so I am ready to tackle it again.  After running several test sandwiches, I am ready to roll.  It goes smooth and in no time (well about 3 hours) I have it off the machine and ready for finishing.

I decide to switch to a blue variegated thread and grab Jason's basted quilt to give it a go.  I break another needle, switch it out, and continue on.  You can see where this is going right?  Yep -- I get to the bottom of a quadrant and again have a mess on the back.  Lesson learned!  This will never happen again.  I grab the quilt and my ripper, send Mister to the studio to clean the machine while I start to rip out my mess.  Afraid of the 301, I cut and make binding for both the multi SMM and Jason's unfinished mess.  In doing so, I grabbed the little triangles cut off where the strips are joined and played with them for fun.  I love the little pinwheels that are a result of this.  I finished the evening cutting a few more 2 1/2" squares for the April exchange.

29th - It's a new day --- I am the little train climbing that mountain -- I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  But wait, I don't really want to try just yet.  Mister has asked if I want to take a walk and I had asked to go back to the arboretum again so we kill two birds with one stone.  What an archaic expression.  Goodness.

One of the things I notice at the Arboretum is the test gardens and how they remind me off a patchwork quilt.  Is this not just oh so beautiful?

After our beautiful morning out, it is time to be that train and tackle quilting Jason's quilt.  If I can keep my eyes clear and pay attention, I might be able to get this accomplished.  Out to the studio I go.  Success!  I get it quilted and bound in addition to sewing the binding onto the multi SMM quilt.  We are off to an art unveiling -- perhaps we can drop by Jason's on the way.

30th - My early morning sewing while listening to the birds is to bind the multi SMM.  The red is just oh so awesome.  I tack down all labels on the four finished quilts and am ready to gift.  Whew.

We were not able to deliver Jason's quilt yesterday but have set up to be there this afternoon.  While waiting, I make two battings out of scraps.  The tub is now empty again and since I have three quilts to sandwich,  this is good.

We take pictures of this month's quilts outdoors (you can find them on the Pins tab at the top of the blog) and then head off to visit with a dear friend and deliver his quilt.  The rest of the afternoon is spend with Jason and Tina and we love every minute of it.  When we start home, I am starving so a stop at Babe's for chicken must take place.  Yum.  When we are at home again, it is not long before we both recognize that we are beat and head for bed.  Night all.

31st - It is the last day of the month and my list is still not complete.  Since I do not have the fabric for the tricot quilt, I focus on moving forward and sandwich and baste the SMM.

While working on that, we hear a package arrive and it turns out to be my tricot.  Perhaps I will get this list finished today after all.  I head for the studio for my pattern and other quilting supplies and start the process by taping the pattern to the floor.

The next step is to tape the tricot over the top of the pattern.  I know it barely shows, but it is there.

Step three is to trace the pattern onto the fabric.  I set about getting it accomplished.

 Finally, Mister and I get the quilt stretched onto the frame along with the batting and backing.  We are ready to rock and roll on this baby.  I did it!!!  Every item on my list is complete and I even did a few extras.  What an amazing month.  (This is an awful picture, but the best I could get in time to post.)

With an empty living room floor, I take a little bit of time and sandwich the BSS quilt so that it is ready to baste when I finish quilting the SMM quilt.

I am ready for April --- how about you?  Thanks for sharing in my adventure this month.  Please feel free to leave a comment or share the long, boring story.  See ya next month.

Oh --- and keep on creating.  It helps to keep us all sane in this ever changing world.

Bye now.


  1. great accomplishments, I wasted a month, need to give myself a boot in the rear and get going, I love all your scrappyness.

    1. Thank you for the compliment. Having goals seems to help keep me on track. Now if I could do the same thing with exercise but I guess I don't have the same passion there.

  2. Owo my. I am impressed by the quantity of projects you worked during march, Beautiful quilts. Very weel done! Hugs from Brazil.

    1. Thanks so much. My daughter-in-law is from Brazil. I loved visiting there and hope to again.

  3. Your quilts are beautiful. Nice colours and patterns. Wish I could get that much done in a year. I do everything by hand and it takes a lot of time. In the 30 years I have been quilting, I have only made about 24 quilts, 2 mug rugs and a wall hanging. Not bad for the time I guess. I have only made 3 tops by machine in all those years and can't say I haven't liked it as it is so much faster. But still like hand work as it keeps my hand from cramping up with arthritis . We'll keep up the great work. Love your blog.