Friday, July 01, 2016

UFOs completed in June 2016

Now, bear in mind that these "completed" UFOs are *only* tops.  They are NOT quilted (yet).  I have been making a truly concerted effort to sew the UFOs I have laying around .. whether they are commercial kits, projects kitted by myself (i.e. contains the pattern & fabric), or bagged works in progress.   The actual *quilting* is a completely different effort to be done at a future date. :-)

I previously blogged about the trailer placemats, the 4-patch Posey One Block Wonder, the self-mitered baby blanket and Shadow Box quilts, so this post will be for the tops I have completed since then.   I really have been on a roll and feel pretty doggone good about it. :-)

* "Majestic Mountains", designed by Ray Steeves of the 3 Dudes Quilting in Phoenix Arizona
Every year, I attend a quilting Retreat in Phoenix to meet up with my online Delphi forum quilting buddies.  Our hotel is just across the intersection from the shopping center where the 3 Dudes Quilting shop is.  The Dudes are always very nice and devote one evening of a demo or something just for us.

In 2011, Ray showed us his newest (at that time) pattern, which he called Majestic Mountains.  The pattern calls for sewing strip sets from jelly rolls but for our demo, he wanted to show us the shortcut .. using striped fabric instead of making a strip set.  We got a sheet of instructions.  

In our Retreat goodie bag, we had received a gift card to the Dudes and it was burning a hole in my pocket.  So, I looked around for some striped fabric.  (Realize that this was back in *2011* and this being 2016, my thought process at that time isn't all that distinct).   I found two striped fabrics and bought enough to make the pattern. 

Upon my return home, I prompted put the pattern and striped fabric away.  It emerged just now (June 2016).  In comparing the pattern photo and the striped fabric that I bought, I was thinking that perhaps the striped fabrics were just a little too similar to offer a nice contrast to each other .. but it is what I had bought and I certainly didn't have another use for them ... so I simply made up the pattern.

I'm not *thrilled* with it but that could be because of the striped fabric I chose.   It certainly was an easy enough pattern to construct.

* "Beyond Horizons", designed by RaNae Merrill for Blank Quilting
This pattern features using ombre/gradient fabric.  It's a striking modern/contemporary design that caught my eye not only for the unusual layout but the use of gradient fabrics.  I have a nice stash of that kind of fabric simply  because the color changes were so pretty!  I had no idea HOW I was going to use them when I bought them, but this is the pattern for sure!

This pattern *used to be* a free download from Blank Quilting.  However, it's not there any longer.  Neither is it available at the designer's site.  BUT ... due to sheer, doggone persistence, I *found* an archive site where it *is* still available.  Soooooo ... if you like this pattern, I strongly suggest you download it from the archive site NOW and just file it away for future use. The archive is here.

What I really liked the most about this pattern is the optical illusion of the way the stripes flow from one edge back around to the other edge.  I'm going to do a faux trapunto behind the circles, to give them a little bit extra dimension.

 The circles are appliqued.


* Hexagon One Block Wonder

The progress of this quilt was previously blogged about but now the top is done. 

I had made all the hexagons that I possibly could from the fabric that I had but when I sewed them all together, there were quite a few "void" areas ... I couldn't create a rectangular interior but needed to have one.  From another online quilter, I read where, in a similar situation, she simply appliqued the base fabric onto the hexagons until she *did* have a rectangle.  Because the base fabric is such a large scale floral print, unless you looked VERY closely at the edges (of the interior rectangle), you'd never, ever be aware that the entire thing wasn't made of hexagons.

After the yellow stop border, I put a white, wavy resting border and *then* the piano key border.

That white wavy border is constructed in a VERY sneaky way!  I didn't think of it, but saw it demonstrated in a Fons & Porter You-Tube video.  What you do is to sew a plain, standard (in this case, white) border next to that inner yellow border.  The edges of this border *will be straight* at this point.  You create/draw the wavy edge on a long strip of paper and trace that wave onto the outer edge of the white fabric.

Then you put the piano key border (or whatever border you want) UNDER the edge of the white border, making SURE that the raw edge of the piano key border is completely covered by the wavy border of the white strip.  Then you BASTE the wavy line down, connecting the two border fabrics.   You then APPLIQUE the wavy strip to the piano key border!!  Isn't that the sneakiest technique ever???  I love it. :-)

I have enough of the yellow fabric to make the binding from it, so it will match the inner yellow stop border.

* "North" a pattern and fabric from The Cloth Shop, Granville Island, Vancouver, British Columbia

Mr. Pirate & I recently took a 2+ week road trip with our new-to-us small travel trailer up to the Pacific Northwest and even further north, into British Columbia.  One quilt shop that we visited was The Cloth Shop on Granville Island in Vancouver.   The shop itself is tiny-tiny but has just a whole lot of interesting things to see.  I was looking specifically for some fabric that would remind me of this part of our trip. I had already purchased a Canadian Maple Leaf design, so I didn't want that.
What I did find was a pre-packaged set of coordinated fabrics ("North") and a "pattern" to make a horizontal strip quilt.  These fabrics were reminiscent of the Canadian northwest and their indigenous peoples.

I also found the most AMAZING "fleece" fabric.  It's polyester on a knit backing, so it's not going to ravel and is the most luxurious, soft and cuddly fleecy stuff on the front.  Not quite like Minky or Cuddle but similar.  I bought enough to be the backing of a personal sized throw.

In fact, because of the width of the pre-packaged North fabrics, it turned out that I could actually make a self-mitered blanket with the fleecy stuff, instead of doing a traditional binding.  So that's what I did.  Whoa .. this throw is seriously soft!  :-)

* Beads of Courage bags

Say what?  What is this?  Well, Beads of Courage is an organization that gives "milestone" beads for kids undergoing cancer treatments.  It's tough enough when you are a child to have such a terrible disease and every little thing that can distract them  or make them smile is welcomed.  The milestone beads are threaded together to make a necklace.  Sadly, some kids acquire a LOT of beads and their necklaces are very, very, very long.

The kids need a place to store their necklaces and/or loose beads and that where the bags come in.  Beads of Courage has directions available to make bags in two sizes.   They are simple-simple to make, even beginning sewers can make them.  While the samples I've seen show bags made from a single piece of fabric, I used up orphan blocks, strips and pieces to make the bags .. making sure that the bags fit within the stated size criteria.

On the aforementioned road trip, I was able to make 10 bags and here are the ten bags that I was able to finish ....

 Sharp eyes will notice that the bag on the far right has a woven label on it.  These are specific labels that Beads of Courage will mail to you  .. these are their own labels.  There is no cost to you for getting the labels and each bag needs to have one of these labels on it.

and this is how they look when the drawstring is gathered up.

If any of you would like to make a small difference in the life of a child undergoing cancer treatment, please consider making some bead bags for them.  They are quick, easy and very gratifying.

Beads of Courage website

bag directions (and label ordering)


  1. You really are making great progress on all your UFO's. I love seeing them all. Each is so different, and wonderful! Also thank you for the link to the pattern for graduated fabric. Love the quilt top you made! Also, thank you for the Link to "Beads of Courage". I've never heard of this organization, but I subscribed to their newsletter and am going to try making a few bags. Heaven knows, I have a lot of fat quarters to use! Question, the directions of the bags mention serging, does that mean I have to get my serger out?

    1. Angie, regarding the serger .. nope. It's just the way to finish the interior bottom seam allowance. I don't own a serger, so I always do a "faux" serge ... zig-zag over the raw edge. It accomplishes the same thing.

      You'll find that their directions aren't the most "polished" in terms of construction details and methods. If I were giving a drawstring bag as a gift, I wouldn't leave a raw edge (serged, zig-zagged or not) on the inside; I would do it a little differently so that all the lining seams were facing towards the exterior fabric. BUT ... that takes a little more time and if the goal is to make a LOT of these bags in a very SIMPLE way so that sewers of all experience levels can do it, then their construction technique is perfectly acceptable.

      Once you've made the first one and understand the steps, you can sew the rest of them assembly-line fashion and really whip them out.

      I've been using up my stash of ribbon to use as the drawstring. Sometimes they coordinate with the bag fabric and sometimes they don't. It all makes for a very cheerful bag. :-)

      Also, I don't *necessarily* make the front and back of the bag the same. Upon occasion, I only had a single orphan block .. that become one side of the bag. For the other side, I used a solid piece of coordinating fabric. I don't think the kids are going to mind.