Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Quilty 365 March Progress

My Quilty 365 circles for March are complete and now total 144 little circles!  Without further ado, here's the March lineup:
March was a month of beginnings - the first day of spring, beginning to clean out part of the abundance of scraps littering corners of the sewing room, donating said scraps to our church's new quilt ministry, and spending several days working to get our ministry off the ground and running.  It's been a busy and rewarding month!

During the course of sorting fabrics for donation several small pieces found their way into Quilty 365 circles.

Pussy willows and butterflies - Spring!

In memory of Griffen, my husband's favorite cat

Some vintage old West fabrics from a yard sale scrap bag

Debbie of Stitchin' Therapy gifted me with these two pieces recently when she came to the rescue with some dark blue tone-on-tone fabric I needed to finish up the Oregon Memories top.   These became my 'first day of spring' and Easter Day blocks.  Thanks Debbie!

And last, but not least, while sorting through several more bins of scraps, I found two more little pieces of that sweet bird fabric from my son and DIL's wedding quilt.  No more cardinals unfortunately, but these two hint at the future occupants of the nest-building activity on the little ledge atop the post on our front porch.
After nearly five months of stitching these circles, I'm still enjoying that (almost) daily time of relaxing hand stitching.   And if you read this blog often you'll know these aren't the only circles being stitched around here in the past couple months.   You can see the finished Oregon Memories quilt top in my previous post here.

Linking up with Audrey at Quilty Folk where you can see an abundance of creative quilters circling around!   Happy Friday!

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Finished Top

Well, I must admit  that my Quilty 365 circles have gotten a week (or more) behind, but we do have this to show for my (lack of) effort on that front over the past few days.
Oregon Memories (aka Astoria) quilt top completed!

Yes, there are needleturn appliqued circles on this quilt top - 28 of them if anyone's counting and I am! The double circle in the center where the fish are 'framed' by the porthole, counts as two in my book. There are several additional circles and a starfish block that didn't make the cut for the front but may make an appearance on the back of the quilt.  The top measures 57 by 66 inches.

A bit closer look
As I began to lay the circles on the design wall, it was easy to see that this top was becoming very somewhat chaotic.  All those random 1-1/2 inch border strips around the canning label blocks needed a stopping point.  After laying the blocks on possible sashings of various colors, none of which I liked, I settled on bordering the alternate (circle) blocks with a single border strip around each block. Though I had found an assortment of small pieces of deep blue tone-on-tone fabrics in the various scrap totes which looked good together, there weren't enough to complete the top.    Debbie at Stitchin Therapy came to the rescue with a piece of similar blue mottled fabric from her stash and I was able to complete the last two circle block borders.  Thank you Debbie!

A bit of South Carolina in the Oregon Memories quilt.  Thanks Debbie!

My husband loves his new quilt top, and it will go into the hoop as soon as the back is pieced from the leftover pieces of fabrics we picked up while in Oregon last fall.  So many sweet memories for him of the place he loves best, wrapped up in this quilt.

And my little bonus, there are enough scraps left of the novelty prints to make Quilty 365 circles from each to add to the collection!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Scraps Away & A New Adventure

Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has a linky party going on right now, where folks who have a problem with scrap hoarding (and what quilter doesn't!) can share their methods of taming the beast, so to speak.  Lots of great ideas for organizing scraps into useable sizes, by colors, storage systems, etc.

Here in our neck of the woods the scrap pile next to the bookcase had been growing into a pretty unmanageable heap that kept spilling over into the middle of the room.  Then there is the closet that has large bins of scraps, totally unorganized except for a couple small bins that only hold those miscellaneous, not-already-spoken-for-in-an-ongoing-project fat quarters.  Yep, no organization at all since the big move back east a year and a half ago.

So, our little country church long ago had a sewing circle and a small group of quilters, all of whom are now either passed or living in nursing homes.  Since we joined the congregation after moving here last year, I've been thinking it would be nice to test the waters and see if there was interest in a quilt ministry.  I put out a sign-up sheet a couple weeks ago, thinking there might be possibly two or three interested enough to sign on.   Lo and behold, last Sunday there were 10, that's right TEN people signed up including a young teen, and a couple have asked if they can bring a sister, or a friend too!  That I am astounded would be an understatement!  Yikes, what do I do now?!

All of this to say my pile of scraps plus some yardage is about to disappear from the sewing room this weekend when we have our first meeting.  Scrap problem solved, sort of, for a moment in time!

Of course, now we'll have to come up with a system for storing fabric donations at the church.  And, since this is a group of mostly non-quilters who don't have fabric stashes to raid, we'll be looking for all the donations we can corral to get us started on our mission.   I've rounded up a few rulers, a couple of older cutting mats, and a rotary cutter to get us started at our first meeting.

While rummaging through the scrap bins I found a few extra blocks and some unsewn pieces left over from a quilt made over 14 years ago when my daughter began her college adventures.   Cutting a few more triangles provided enough to assemble our first quilt top in the same pattern, the cover quilt on an older Thimbleberries publication called Cozy Quilts.

We already have a recipient chosen for our first effort, and I can hardly wait to get started and see where we are led to serve next.

So, my blogging quilty friends, if you have any insights to share on facilitating a quilting ministry, or teaching non-quilters some of the basics, I'd love to hear about your experiences.  I'm a total novice at all this. In the meantime I'll be linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, then off to read how others have tamed their scrappy beasts.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Quilty 365 - March Linkup

February has flown by, and 29 circles have been added to my Quilty 365 project box, which is rapidly filling up, with a total of 113 blocks completed!
I'd best start mopping the floors more frequently, gonna need another box before long!

February's mix.
February Quilty 365 circles

I mentioned in an earlier post how circles have taken over my quilty life.  I stitched a few circle blocks to add to my husband's Oregon Memories quilt top, then turned my attention to making a few small friendship star blocks to add to the mix.   Then on Saturday my husband wandered into the sewing room, took one look at the design wall and nixed the idea of the little star blocks.  He wants more circle blocks for the rest of the alternate blocks!   Um, OK, we can do circles!  So, as of last night, in addition to my Quilty 365 circles, I've hand stitched 15 circles of varying sizes for his quilt.

Sneak peek - part of top row of the Oregon Memories quilt

Time to link up with Audrey at Quilty Folk and then see what everyone else has been up to.

And, thought I'd begin March with a note of springtime hopefulness.  The last piece of this fabric, from my son and DIL's wedding quilt made 15 years ago!