Finish It Up Friday: Auction Quilt (& Silent Auction) !!!

I’m back! Sorry for the long hiatus. Due to some personal stuff, I haven’t been posting and commenting in awhile. Nothing major, and certainly no cause for alarm, but my life suddenly got busy. Sometimes something has to give—and in this case it was the blog. But everything should be good now and I should be back for awhile. Hooray! And I’ve been sewing! Double hooray! The biggest thing I’ve finished, by far, is the Auction Quilt.

Auction quilt front

It’s now officially named United in Faith, which is part of the parish motto of the church I’m donating it to. But, honestly, I think that title’s kind of cheesy. In my head, it will always be Auction Quilt.

This was the project that would never end. It wasn’t even particularly difficult … I just kept miscalculating things. I finished the top back in June. I used the scraps to make a jelly roll race center. I had the binding cut, ironed, and rolled up for later use. Everything was going so well.

Then I realized I didn’t have nearly enough scraps to finish a queen-sized jelly roll race backing. Not a problem—after all, what a great excuse to visit my local quilt shop! After buying more scraps, I still needed one more trip to get some yardage to pull it together. Then I had to go back one more time because I didn’t like the yardage I bought before when I put it next to the jelly roll race center. By the time I had it spread out in the living room and determined I had enough to cover the front plus 8˝ on every side, I was so beyond ready to be done with the stupid thing. Thankfully, my good friend Ruthmary agreed to do the longarm quilting for me. Such a lifesaver!

Also, quilter confession time: I hate jelly roll races. Why are these things so popular? Okay, they’re fast. But … but … ugh. Maybe if I actually used jelly roll strips instead of 1˝ leftover scraps it would have been better. Maybe. But that strip was all the way down the hall, twisting every which way, and then the dog sat on it (which I only realized because suddenly the strip wouldn’t feed into my sewing machine any more) …

Anyway, here’s the finished quilt back. Most of the people I’ve shown it to like the back better than the front! Not quite what I intended, but I’ll take it!

Auction Quilt back

 

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. So happy to be finished!


Silent auction time!

The live auction coordinator and I decided to open bidding with a silent auction. And I further decided to open it up to my readers. (Unfortunately, for shipping reasons I can only take bids from those in the continental U.S.A.—sorry!). If anyone out there is interested (or knows someone interested) in bidding, send me a private message with your contact info (address, phone #, email) and the amount. Bidding concludes on October 18th at midnight. The quilt is 80˝ x 90˝ (queen size) and comes in a reusable eco-tote bag (this one, if you’re curious). Minimum bid is $150. All proceeds go to St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church. Good luck!

And since I like to make sure Penny is featured somewhere in every post, here’s a picture of her with my pastor at the annual Blessing of the Animals last week. She was a good girl, too—minimal growling this year! 🙂

Penny at Blessing of the Animals

Father Robert Rien with Penny at Blessing of the Animals

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Fresh Sewing Day

Lily's Quilts

Oh wow, it’s June. When did that happen? It can’t be June yet because that means that craft fair season is coming–and I’m not ready!

I missed May’s Fresh Sewing Day, but that wasn’t going to happen this month. No, this time I was going for gusto!  Here’s what I did in May:

  • I bought a bunch of fabric from my local quilt store and I finally got a Clover Mini Iron II for small seams. (I plan to write a review for the iron later.) Keep in mind, I’m supposed to be on a fabric diet. But I needed it. Really. *Ahem* Moving on …
stack of quilting cotton fabric

New fabrics for my stash

  • I pieced the top of a mystery gift quilt, and practiced matching points (which I admit I still need to work on).
  • I found a foundation-pieced purple quilt from 2013 that I had forgotten about in my work-in-progress pile. Joined a few rows. Four blocks to go!
  • I pieced the top of my auction quilt for my church. Wahoo! So glad to get this one off my plate, and with time to spare. Now to think up creative ways to raise more money with it.
dog on rail fence quilt

Penny approved of the auction quilt

  • I started piecing the back of my auction quilt using scraps leftover from the front. The jelly roll race section ended up being more work than I thought, but waste not, want not. (More on this in a future post, too.)
  • I became addicted to hexagons.
  • I forced myself to step away from the hexagons.
  • I remembered that I’m a knitter. Seriously. Sometimes I think I’m a quilter from January to May and a knitter from June to December. I wonder why that is? Worked on my sweater a bit, then started making a bunch of washcloths for the craft fair junket. I want the blue one for myself. Is it bad business to hope your favorites don’t sell so you can keep them?

knitting washcloth with basket weave pattern

  • Total number of photos ruined by Penny jumping in the shot (just this month): 6
dog jumping into photo shoot

Well it was a nice shot …

That should be about it. Busy month! This was my first full month of blogging, and I just want to say thank-you to all those who have left comments, liked my posts, and followed me. From the knitters to the crocheters, from the dog lovers to the quilt lovers, you guys are all the best, and I’m humbled that you keep reading my work. (And I love that I get to check out and be inspired by your work, too!)

Finish It Up Friday: Quilting Bee Blocks

It’s Finish It Up Friday and I am officially done with my freelance editing project. Hooray! …

… Oh, right. This is a craft blog. I’m supposed to be blogging about my finished craft projects. Unfortunately, most of my crafting time this week was postponed for freelance work. I DID, however, manage to finish some blocks that I owed the members of my quilting bee. This was a good thing because I was starting to fall behind. I hate when I get behind on bee blocks, thus contributing to other people’s unfinished project piles.

quilting bee blocks pinned to wall

Cubicle wall = design wall! Adds a pop of color to the office…

The May “queen bee” chose a pattern from the book Fresh Family Traditions by Sherri McConnell. I love the fabric in the middle square of the blue block. Took me awhile to realize they were little candles. Two blocks done, checked off the to-do list, and turned in.

I was also hoping to finish the block for the “queen bee” from some time last year (!), but that didn’t happen. She asked us to make two house blocks of our own imagining for a neighborhood quilt she’s planning; her guides were  “anything goes, but don’t make cookie cutter houses.”  The blocks she got back included a zoo, a hospital, a Victorian, an igloo, a tepee, and a house on fire (that last one’s from me). I just need to complete this mansion, which is based on the Southern plantation architecture of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction. Silly me, I forgot just how much wrought iron the facade has. It’s a lot more embroidery than I anticipated.

mansion quilt block

Embroidering wrought iron onto this mansion block

haunted mansion disneyland

For comparison, here’s one of my favorite shots of the Haunted Mansion. If you squint, you can see all the green wrought iron.

I’ve learned two things. 1.) Always use some sort of stitch stabilizer (I’m partial to Wash-Away Stitch Stabilizer); and 2.) I love working with COSMO embroidery thread. Which is good because I’m going to be backstitching for awhile.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday. Also, I’m probably going to the county fair this weekend for the first time in decades. Should be fun. Anyone else have interesting summer weekend plans? Tell me in the comments!

Finish It Up Friday: More Hexagon Flowers!

 

hexagon flowers in various colors

Hexies, hexies, everywhere!

Hooray, not only is it finally Friday, but it’s the Friday before a three-day weekend! (Happy early Memorial Day to my American readers.) I’ll probably be spending the whole weekend, including the extra day, on a couple of freelance projects that snuck up on me … but it’s still something to celebrate. And I even managed to finish something, despite my schedule crunch. Yet more things to celebrate! 🙂

I mentioned two Fridays ago that I have become addicted to hexagons. This week, I finished six, count ’em, six hexagon flowers. Aren’t they pretty? I don’t know what I’m doing with them yet, but when I do decide, they’ll be ready to use. I think a few will turn into pincushions, coasters, or teal towel appliquès to sell at my craft fair booth. Little gifts like that tend to sell.

Basted hexagons and Sulky thread

I’m never quite happy with the amount of thread you can see after you whipstitch the hexagons together, so I decided to use some of my Sulky Holoshimmer thread. It has just the right amount of sparkle to it that if a stitch or two shows it looks like it was an “on purpose” embellishment. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. It’s pretty thin though, so I haven’t had too much trouble with stitches showing. As for the inside, I tried plastic template pieces, wash away stitch stabilizers, and a few other things that escape me, but I’ve decided cardstock templates are my favorite.

As the stack of basted hexagons got taller, they reminded me of a stack of poker chips. So, here’s a bit of Friday silliness for you:

poker game using hexagons as chips

Best. Poker game. Ever.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Finish It Up Friday: Zigzag Pot Holders

two zigzag pot holders

Did you know that pot holder is two words? I always see it written as “potholder,” and it looks right, but it’s incorrect according to the dictionary. Weird, huh? I thought that was a fitting bit of Friday trivia to introduce my latest finished pot holders.

Back in December, I held an impromptu class for the beginning sewists at work to make quick pot holder gifts. We were inspired by the pot holder project we saw in the book Stitch ‘n Swap (out next month, and a book I worked on!). It’s been about 5 months now, but I’m just now finishing mine.

The Christmas one was a class sample and I made it in a hurry. It sat without its binding for awhile. Nothing like a little Christmas in May!

Christmas zigzag pot holder

I like its wonkiness. 🙂

This floral pot holder was my favorite. I like to think of it as the girliest pot holder ever. So pretty … and such a good use of scraps from my Fresh quilt.

floral zigzag pot holder

Hanging by its loop on the wall

Between these and the auction quilt, I seem to have a thing for zigzags! Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. Have a great weekend everyone. Speaking off …


The ARF Animals on Broadway walk fundraiser is this Sunday! Penny and I will be walking for the first time, and she’s all ready with her ARF bandanna. If anyone is interested in donating to help dogs and cats in high kill shelters find new homes, you can find my page here. Thanks!  🙂

 

WIP Wednesday: The Auction Quilt

Auction rail fence quilt work in progress

Today’s work in progress quilt is one I’ve been calling the “Auction Quilt.” (Any suggestions for a better name? Seriously, I need to name it something for the auction program … )

Every year in October, on the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch, my church does a dinner dance and live auction fundraiser to raise money for its ministries. This year, perhaps for the first time, they will be auctioning a quilt. A quilt that I’m donating. Eek. It’s a bit of a gamble since we’ve never tried to auction one before, and I’m sure we’ll get a fraction of its worth. I guess that’s always the dilemma when quilting for a cause. Still, part of me hopes to raise lots of money just to prove it can be done!

work in progress auction rail fence block quilt on bed

When I chose the pattern, I tried to think back to quick, easy quilts that my coworkers and I had done recently. We had just made the Gator’s Club quilt from the book Quilts from Textured Solids by Kim Schaefer for a sick coworker. It’s an adaptation of a rail fence block quilt, which got me to thinking how I could adapt the rail fence block too. I checked out Google and Pinterest, then I got out some graph paper and went to town, making the whole thing overly complicated. Alternate and inverted directions, color gradations, sections where I tried to make cross shapes (since it’s for a church) … when I got to the point where I couldn’t piece the rows without slavishly following my diagram, I knew I was golden.

block layout diagram for rail fence auction quilt

The auction coordinator and I decided to stick to blue, green, and white because those are colors that people don’t have strong opinions on. Orange, purple, and pink tend to be “love it or hate it.” I added a “no flowers” caveat  (that I later broke.) Basically, we wanted the widest audience. Of course, later a friend told me, “If you don’t have strong opinions about blue and green, that means you don’t love them either.” Another friend said the quilt looked like something a grandma would love and a grandpa wouldn’t object too (thanks, I think?).

Lots of dilemmas when you’re trying to maximize donations, really.

I’m actually pretty far on this one considering it isn’t due until October: the quilt top is now done, the pieced back has the jelly roll race section finished, and the binding is cut. Hallelujah!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced Modern Quilts and Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story. If you do have name suggestions, I’d love to hear them in the comments! Thanks!

Dogs and Quilting …

… don’t mix.

dogs in unfinished quilt blocks

I think the lesson here is that if you’re cooking dinner for your mom, and you’re puppy sitting, and it sounds like all the critters are getting along … then you should immediately run to put away the quilt blocks you left out on the living room floor.

dogs in unfinished quilt blocks

Because they’ll be all up in your business.

dog playing in quilt blocks

Lucky me, I already took a photo of the layout for the WIP Wednesday post before the puppy tornado blew through. Now I just get to painstakingly reassemble the blocks. The dogs look like they had fun at least.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!