365 Block Challenge

Another goal accomplished! Today I finished the last 7 blocks I needed to meet my HeartStrings 365 block challenge for the year. I thought I was going to set these blocks aside and make the other ones for this quilt at the start of the new year but once I dragged everything out … I decided to keep it all out and continue on to make a set of 48 Strips and Strings log cabin blocks. I have a bunch of shorter strings all ready to go and a log cabin block is perfect for using them.

I also started another hat to work on while I watch the hockey game tonight. And look at the photo Becky sent today… I love seeing them use the hats I make for them and Becky is so good about sharing photos with me.

Progress

I’ve been working on my Strips and Strings Rail Fence blocks – this is the 8th quilt from my string bins this year and I’m kind of at the bottom of the barrel. Not necessarily in terms of the number of strips and strings left but more that they’ve been well picked over. I think I’m going to like it anyway.

And hat #30 has been finished. I substituted a K1P1 rib for the brim and forgot to change to a larger needle when starting the body of the hat. Also, there is an error in the crown decreases in the pattern – a K4, K2tog row was left out and I added that in.

I hope that all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving have a wonderful day. Keith and I will have a quiet one with just the two of us and I won’t be cooking a large meal so I’ll have time for more sewing.

I’ve had much to be thankful for in my life and I’m especially grateful for all my blessings this year.

Quilted

#14 of 21 to be quilted by the end of November was loaded and quilted today but I can’t show it to you yet. It’s my project for our Family Gift Exchange that’s due on November 14th. I’ll get it bound tonight and be done with more than a week to spare!

I also got my Lantern blocks up on the design wall today – I’ll move them around a bit before starting to assemble them but I hope to have the top finished this week too. This was the 2nd set of blocks I made last month for our Precut Challenge.

A New set of Goals

I had some errands to run, got my Flu shot, and didn’t get down to the sewing room until Keith went to bed. I was all set for a quilting marathon in November but decided I’d get an early start and combine my goals for the rest of October with November’s.

  • Quilt 21 tops
  • Assemble Plus and Lantern blocks into tops (Oct Precut)
  • Make a project for November’s precut
  • Make my family exchange project
  • Keep up with binding – I don’t expect to get all 21 quilts bound but want to get as many done as possible
  • Knit some hats
  • Start a set of String blocks for 365 challenge

I made a start by loading and quilting #1 of 21 tonight. A group HeartStrings top sent to me by Sue. Pantograph is Belly Bop.

I also got the Plus blocks I pieced while Mom was here up on the design wall and ready to assemble. This is one of two tops I’ll make for our October Precut Challenge – Jelly Rolls.

Productive

Today was a productive day and I’ll even get some crochet in tonight after Keith goes to bed. First up I finished the 16 patch blocks. I’ll get the top assembled in the next day or two.

While I was working in the sewing room I had visitors … I love glancing up from my machine and seeing the deer right outside my window. I almost didn’t see the 2nd one.

A couple hours later, I saw SEVEN walking through the yard. I only caught 5 of them in this photos.

After finishing the 16 patch blocks, I loaded and quilted one of the group HeartStrings tops that AnnG sent me to finish. Pantograph is Blowing Leaves.

Working away

I think I’m going to like this one! All the star blocks are made and more than half of the 9 patch ones are done too. Considering how much time the cutting takes it’s going pretty quickly. This isn’t the final layout. Once all the blocks are made I’ll be moving some of them around.

Finn isn’t adjusting to my schedule very well. He’s been waking Keith up and wanting to come look for me. Wednesday night Keith gave up and brought him down after midnight which was fine because at that point I was just sitting and knitting but so far he’s stayed upstairs tonight.

Split shift

I’m back on a stay up all night, sleep all morning schedule so I end up working a split shift – a few hours in the afternoon and then coming back downstairs to work after Keith goes to bed. It works for me when I don’t have any morning appointments but I’ll have to reset myself before my trip to Mom’s next week. Today I finished up the Friendship Stars and I’m ready to start the alternate 9 patch blocks – maybe that will happen tomorrow. Someone asked were the stars going to all be green. Nope – they’re all different colors and the 9 patch squares will be too.

Our power went out between 6 and 8:30 pm so I wasn’t able to cook dinner – we both grabbed something that didn’t need cooking and I’ll fix the pork tomorrow. While we were waiting for the power to come back on I played with another Friendship Star variation. I really got in the zone making these stars and maybe one day I’ll make a quilt just with them. I like alternating light and dark versions of the same block in quilts so I don’t end up with so much background fabric. I’ll save this idea for later.

After coming down and finishing the last few stars, I loaded and quilted another one of the HeartStrings group tops sent to me by AnnG. Pantograph is Seaweed – another favorite of mine for HeartStrings quilts. Lots of great texture. This leaves me with 2 to get bound and I’ll try to get them done before my trip.

Now it’s time to knit!

A new start

I have plans to get two group HeartStrings tops quilted this coming week but since I finished up a few things on my August “to do” list I decided I would start a new quilt. I was tempted to grab a 3 yard bundle – so quick and easy but I wanted to make one of the many quilts I’ve drafted but not yet pieced and it had to be from scraps, not fat quarters or other precuts. I’m on a mission to try and tame some of the scraps around here and even though this will be my 12th quilt since the beginning of the year from the scrap and string bins, there’s absolutely NO difference in how full those bins are. I’ve settled on this Friendship star quilt. I’d intended to make a bedsize quilt from a large set of fat quarters when I drafted this so it will be downsized to a throw size.

Most of my scraps are sorted by color but I’ve got a couple bins of “mixed” scraps that coordinate so I started digging through them and cutting.

I’ve got a set of green scraps pressed and ready to cut when I get back downstairs later tonight. I’m cutting fabric for the stars first although there are extra squares cut from each of these fabrics that will go into the 9 patch blocks.

I should make the background scrappy too but I’m going to make it a little easier and use a single fabric. I’ve got to decide between these although I’ve pretty much decided the one on the left is too busy for this quilt.

November’s Precut Challenge

The precut this month is Charm Squares. I don’t use them unless it comes up in the challenge but I do seem to collect a few here and there. These are the quilts I’ve done the last couple times they’ve been pulled out of the hat and I’ve liked how they all turned out.

The squares I decided to use this time had prints I didn’t want to cut and after looking around for ideas, I ended up combining several ideas into this … as you can see it’s not assembled yet but I did sew all the blocks today. I had to think a bit because half the blocks were directional and couldn’t be rotated but I think they’re all turned the right way. It looks a bit jumbled right now but I think I’m going to like it.

I did happen to have some of this print from the same line in stash and always intended to use it with the charm packs so it will be the outer border.

Something new

I know I won’t get it right all the time but this is the second pieced project in a row that isn’t turning out like I want. I knew the shade of blue wasn’t right … I like gray/blues for my veteran quilts but I ordered these and decided to use them anyway. Then, what I thought was a 2 inch finished HST die, turned out to be a 2.5 inch finished HST. Not a big deal since I had Thangles here which is how I usually make my 2 inch finished HSTs but after cutting a while, I realized I should have just gone with the 2.5 inch HSTs and cut the strips for my Rail Fence block 3 inches. UGH!

I don’t abandon projects that aren’t working out like I planned … I know that just because I don’t love a particular quilt doesn’t mean that someone else won’t … in fact Chris was begging for the square in a square top I just finished (he won’t get it, he’s got plenty of quilts and that one’s for donation) but he really liked it.

So, I’m going to finish these blocks and assemble the top but I am going to downsize it some by making fewer rows. I’m aiming for about 48 x 66 but it’s possible I might go 54 x 72. I’ll wait and see how it goes.

I will make this one again because I like the combination of stars and the rail fence blocks and I think I’ll even use the 2.5 inch finished HST die when I do make it! I do have brief instructions on my website at this link.