Monday, September 30, 2013

September NewFO's & UFO progress

I can hardly believe it's the end of September already!!! This year has been flying by way too fast. Finally I think I'm getting somewhat of a routine around taking care of Jacob and keeping up with school work to carve out some time to sew. I started two NewFO's this month and finished one just in time! And I helped my granddaughter Jordyn start her first NewFO! I'm linking up with the September NewFO Linky Party hosted by Cat Patches. Here's what I've been up to...

The finish is Jordyn's Love & Peace quilt that she picked out fabrics for last summer. I managed to get the binding done and label sewn on the day of her birthday last week, and gave it to her on Sunday when my son and I went up to my daughter's to celebrate.  It does my heart good to see her smiling like that! It went straight to her room and onto her bed after taking advantage of her uncle's and dad's height to get a full picture of it.
Being in the Marti & Me Club this year is creating lots of opportunities to start NewFOs. The newest start is barely started, but, hey, it's a beginning! The Seven Sisters with accompanying Set H rulers was handed out in late August, but I didn't actually set rotary cutter to fabric until about a week ago. I'm going to make it a Christmas quilt and it should be great fun!
I had this fun fat quarter bundle in my stash, pulled out several more cute Christmas fabrics, and am using the bright snowflakes on white for the background. The first three sets of stars are cut out of these fun fabrics. I got brave and layered up and cut three at a time. I didn't anything sewn together yet, so didn't have any "show & tell" to share at this month's class when I got yet another pattern and set of templates.
The next NewFO I'm working on has to be done in time to mail to Washington, DC, by Thanksgiving to be there in time for my great-great-niece, baby Opal's arrival. Opal is my great-niece's first baby. Chelsea and Dillon are so excited!
Chelsea had expected her MomMom (gramma Cindy) to make her baby quilt, and in a way she did. Cindy had completed tops for a girl quilt, a boy quilt, and a special quilt with things Chelsea likes before she passed away in May. Chelsea's mom, Shelly, stepped up and, although she's not a quilter, she got the three quilts completed including adding some personalization with machine embroidery. Chelsea & Dillon flew back to California for her MomMom's Celebration of Life and a baby shower with family and friends, and she was overwhelmed when she opened the packages with the quilts! I told Chelsea I'd also make her a quilt based on the colors she's using in the nursery and this is what I've come up with.

I'm using Acorn Quilt & Gift Company's Remember Whooo Loves You! Chelsea is crazy about owls and Cindy was crazy about making Irish chains, so this pattern is a perfect solution to include both. I selected fabrics from Maywood Studio's Memories of Love collection, Robyn Pandolph's Beach House collection, and Robyn Pandolph's Incense & Peppermint collection. The colors play so well together and provide enough of the colors Chelsea wants, plus it's beautifully vintage and feminine for baby Opal. The whole quilt will be pieced & quilted with a creamy Aurifil 50.

I worked in EQ7 to create the basic layout of the top so I could play with color placement. After a little online hunting, I came up with swatch jpg's of most of the fabrics and scanned the ones I couldn't find so the digital quilt would look close to the real thing. This afternoon I clipped swatches from the scraps to tape onto my printout so I can see what I need as far as rows sewn together strip-fashion to cut my 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" segments from to make the blocks.  

My goal is to have this quilt top done in October so I have plenty of time in November to quilt and bind it, and have it ready to ship before Thanksgiving. Nothing like a deadline to get me motivated! 

A truly fun NewFO project started in September by my granddaughter is Jordyn's "Road to California" quilt. We took our road trip from Kansas to California together in June and she got to purchase a fat quarter at each shop we found picturing something we saw along the way. Earlier this month she spent the weekend and in two good days she completed the main part of the top! Next visit we'll add borders and get it ready to ditch. While staying at her Nana & Papa's this summer, she made a small quilt in a class and did her own ditch work, so I'm thinking she may do the whole thing! So far the only part I've played is handling the rotary cutter. She's a little impatient, plus she's double-jointed, so her cuts tend to start straight and then veer away from the ruler dramatically. She's practicing on scraps, but for pieces going into the quilt, for now Mormor does the rotary cutting.

Traditional Honeycomb (surface) smocking
A non-quilting (or maybe to be included in some sort of fun artsy quilt someday) piece I worked on in late August, actually, is a North American or Surface Smocking sample. I'm part of the Smocking Arts Guild of America (SAGA) Southwind Chapter in Kansas that meets monthly. This group, which I was a member of years ago before my stint in California with my parents, used to have 15-20 members, but now has shrunk to 4 regulars. And we're getting more spread out after my move. Just to get to the meeting is nearly 3 hours drive for me. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep it up with school, Jacob care, and two quilt guilds, but for now I'm still supporting the group. So, anyway, I hosted last month (we're trying out rotating meetings to give me a break) and I taught the gals how to do what my mom called Honeycomb smocking. I've found several books that have instructions and when using gingham as a grid, it's really quite easy. These are my samples done with bright red thread so the gals could see what I was doing and where the stitches needed to be pulled up tight or carried from row to row without cinching. I've seen some gorgeous quilts done with this type of smocking, so maybe I'll try including it sometime for texture.

Honeycomb Variation (front)
Honeycomb Variation (back)
On the variation, the back is where the cool action is. Rami Kim uses this as one of the techniques in her gorgeous quilted garments and accessories. I think it would be gorgeous done on a silk and incorporated into a quilt somewhere. Someday...

For now I'm content with continuing to work on the projects I have at hand. I'm staying too busy sometimes, but plugging away at everything. School assignments are caught up for the moment, but two more due by the end of the week. There's definitely never a dull moment around here!

More snippets from the sewing room soon,


  1. You have such neat projects! Jordyn's quilts are wonderful! The baby quilt will be precious. I've never tried smocking but I love the look. ~Jeanne

  2. The fabrics for your quilt are just precious. Great work this month. I have never tried smocking either, but I have always loved it.