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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Finish It Up Friday: Upcycled Sweater Felt Tote

Upcycled sweater tote

It’s finally Friday! This week’s finished project is a DIY refashioning of an ugly old sweater into a cute felted tote bag. The best part? Because I only used material from the sweater (and a few scrap bits of yarn floating around), the whole think only cost about $2.50 and a half hour of time. Sweet!

Last year I got really into felting. I bought needle-felting tools (my favorite being this needle-felting pen by Clover) and some roving and went to town. For those who aren’t familiar, needle felting involves taking wool and stabbing it over and over with a barbed needle. It’s almost therapeutic … . Someone cut you out and almost clipped your car during the commute? *punch, punch, punch* A coworker came to work sick and now you’ve got a cold? *punch, punch, punch* Friends not appreciating your unique brand of genius? *punch, punch, punch*

Anyway, I had picked up a couple of 100% wool sweaters on sale at the ARF thrift store and then proceeded to felt them by throwing them in the washer and dryer a couple of times. Suddenly that extra large cardigan-style sweater was toddler size. I cut it up and made a basic tote with gussets. The handles are from the strip where the buttons were. The flower is needle-punched on using yarn scraps of questionable content (I thought it was wool, but it wasn’t sticking to the felt very well so it probably had a good amount of synthetic fiber too). Oh, and the button is from the sweater, too.

Really not a whole lot more to say about it, except that it’s a lot smaller than I envisioned. Makes a great lunch bag, though.

lunch tucked inside an upcycled sweater tote

Nothing says summer like a juicy nectarine. 🙂

It turned out more or less exactly how I wanted (just, you know, smaller). I’ll make a few more, for sure. Might ditch the lining as it’s kind of superfluous.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. Also, would anyone be interested in a tutorial on this? It’s a simple project, but fun. And it’s helpful to know how to cut the sweater to preserve that “cuff” of ribbing along the top.

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.