AHIQ Challenge, June 27

DELAY AND SURPRISE 

My AHIQ Callenge Two top was finished, but there was a delay in finding the right fabric, at the right price of course.  It recently arrived and I’m very happy with the choice.  Here it is with the folded quilt top.

I’m very happy with the choice, a stylized floral.  I bought enough for the backing as wall.
Meanwhile, I got sidetracked on another improv project which will become a charity donation.  In short, it was a challenge to myself to use these ugly pieces or throw them out.  I nick named the donated  repro strips and unwanted neutral 4-patches as tossed salad and soggy crackers.  See below.
What quilter could toss out these pieces?  Not I.  Suddenly the solution came to me, the way to combine them.  So I made these cross blocks to use the 2-inch strips and the patches.  The sashing and binding are from a piece bought years ago to make a dress.  It was exactly the extra something needed to tie the blocks together.  I finished it in just a week.

This top will go to  Kat and Cat Quilts.  Kat is a nurse at a large Texas hospital and her Covered In Love charity gives donated quilts to dying patients and their families, such a beautiful cause. I’m so pleased that these unwanted scraps have become a quilt to give comfort to a grieving family.
So this is my impromptu improv quilt to share this month.  I will definetly share my Challenge Two finish next month.  Thank you, Kaja and Ann,  for making Ad Hoc Improv Quilts a place where we can get encouragement to do what inspires us.  
Please have a look at Ad Hoc Improv Quilts doings at  Kaya’s blog,  Sew Slowly, or Ann’s blog, Fret Not Yourself

RSC17 week 19

LITTLE GREEN STITCHING

This week has been beautiful weather, a perfect time to visit our local arboretum.  All the flowering trees and bulbs were in bloom when Beth and I went there on Saturday.  She also gave me a pot for my deck, filled with a brilliant yellow and green hosta from her garden and some violets that came along for the ride.  So spring is in full bloom on my deck.

But with major maintainance things going on in this building there has been very little free time for sewing.  I did get my green Folded Box block done and am very happy with it.

Another project I have started is Ad Hoc Improv Quilts second challenge, run this month by Kaja and Ann at http://www.sewslowly.com.   This challenge is to use two different blocks together.  
A while back I experimented with some stack and whack houses.  These were made with four 10-inch blocks and I made two sets of four wonky houses.  I had no project in mind for them, so they are WIPs now.  These would make a nice small quilt with alternating blocks.  I decided to go improv on these blocks, totally random neutrals.  Here are the beginning results.

I’m thinking of a theme for this group, which will use additional features.  It’s a quarterly project, so there is time to give it some careful thought and trials.
By my next post I will have a new kitchen floor to replace a rip that became a pothole.  I also have a buyer for most of my doll collection.  I have no place to display them.  I will save two or three of my favorites with childhood memories.  MORE ROOM FOR FABRIC and the money will pay for the longarm quilting on my Kaffe Fassett quilt.
I hope everyone is free of flooding now and able to enjoy the sunshine.  Green sure is my favorite color this month.  
You will find lots more inspiration at
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

AIHC Challenge, April 27

AN EVOLVING IMPROV PROJECT
I started the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2016 by making, among other things, a 16-patch block using the colors of the month supplied by Angela at soscrappy.  They were a mix of two colors each month, such as pink and brown, purple and blue.  I had no thought for any use of them when they were done.  
These were the first four blocks through April, 2016.  My only goal was to make them as colorful and playful as I could.

By August I had nine blocks, nice but not enough to use by themselves.

The tenth color was black and neutrals, which I chose to skip.  Instead, in October I decided to make more muticolored blocks and ended up with these.

I certainly had lots of color but no purpose in mind.  So they just got stuck down in a pile of UFOs untiil last week.  I had some free time and, while browsing through my stash, I found this fleece blanket with monkeys and bananas.  It was designated for a Project Linus quilt backing and at one point I had bought some banana fabric to go with it.   How many people buy banana fabric?  Only us crazy quilters.  

I only needed to add about 6 inches all around to make a little child quilt.  What better than monkeys and bananas?  The finishing touch was the 9-patch corner blocks and one flimsy finished this morning.


Is it colorful enough?  I really love it, an improv to donate to Project Linus on May 8.   In fact, I guess it also counts toward AHIQ goal two because it has two different sizes of blocks  However, I already have some blocks in mind for that goal, so just count it as an extra improv and a UFO finish.

Thanks, Kaya and Ann, for running this challenge.  I’ll be back next month for sure.  Come check out the Ad Hoc Improv Quilts doings at  Kaya’s blog,  Sew Slowly, or Ann’s blog, Fret Not Yourself

AIHC CHALLENGE, MARCH 26

This is the end of the quarter for our first Ad Hoc Improv Quilts challenge, using Chinese coins.

For me it’s a continuation of a quilt design I had in mind several years ago.  There was a group collecting small wall hangings to auction off, to benefit Hospice.  This was very meaningful to me because my husband was cared for in hospice until he passed away in 2010.  Just when I had my design and fabrics ready to use, they announced they were closing the auction because they had reached their $250,000 goal.  I was disappointed but kept the fabrics and the idea in mind.
I began my improv by challenging myself to stick to neutrals or b/w fabrics.

This  did not inspire me at all.  I stared at it with some variations for a week before dumping it.
Then I remembered the old challenge, which I had called Hope.  I began fresh with many layers of dark pieced strips, with an occasional bright spot added.
I turned it vertically and it became Seeds of Hope, planted deep in good soil and working their way up,toward the light. The sun was attached with ModPodge on this tie-dyed remnant
The layers start with gray at the bottom, the bedrock, and the hole is filled with lots of good mulch and soil nutrients.  The seeds are reaching for the morning light.
I found two lengths of green for the border and ended up with less than an inch to spare.  
This morning I found just the right backing fabric in my stash.  I’ve gotten it pinned but not quilted yet.  That will involve sinuous vines creeping upward. Sorry I did not get this entirely finished.  A health problem interfered last week, but I’m fine now and ready to quilt it and self bind it with the backing.
Here is my progression so far and I hope to have it finished this week.  The backing represents all the flowers that will brighten this useless space and bring hope to those who see them.

I’m very happy to be linking up with Ad Hoc Improv Quilter at Ann’s blog, Fret Not Yourself.  Please check out the fascinating things shared there by really talented people.

RSC17 week 9

BUSY IN BETWEEN

This week has been a mishmash of different projects.  I officially finished my teal blocks, so I decided to work on some bigger projects.  
I now have 12 of my Kaffe Fasset squares done for my Summer quilt.  One pic did not turn out well, but here are the other two new ones.  And look at the featured colors in them.  RED!  Well, it is an accent color,  but the amount varies in each block.  None of my pics show the true intense colors that KF combines. 

Each one seems to be my favorite for different reasons.  On the first I really was awed by the purple and red large block, along with the intense turquoise.  In the second, I was delighted that the red polka dot strip fit in so well.  
I have also been working on the Ad Hoc Improv Quilts quarterly challenge run by Ann and Kaja.  The first challenge is to use the Chinese coins pattern in an improv way.  Here is what I’m working on, a wall hanging which is only partly finished  but has special meaning for me.  I’m challenging myself to work with the dark colors.   

You can check out the Ad Hoc Improv Quilter at Ann’s blog, Fret Not Yourself, or at Sew Slowly with Kaja.

The main thing I’ve been busy with is quilting my Farm Boy quilt.  Once I switch to my walking foot for that, it is too much trouble with screws and shaking hands to put it on and off.  I’m doing the binding but am not finished, so I will save that for Angela’s finishing Linky.

What is RED saying to you?  I’ve been saving stash for a veteran’s quilt and this would be a good month to work on that. 
Why not check out all the fun posts at
 Rainbow Scrap Challenge at

AHIQ Challenge, 2/27

AN OLD IDEA RENEWED

In January I had no idea what to do for the Chinese coin challenge.  I love working with  bright colors and have made a lot of Project Linus kids quilts.  I decided to challenge myself by working with neutrals.  
For convenience I turned over a narrow framed canvas to the back side.  This provided a rough surface, non-slip, and a rim to hold the pieces when I move it around.  It was my design tray for the coins.  I planned to do just a wall hanging size.  The first set of strips in neutrals stayed untouched for a few days.  I was so bored with it and totally uninspired.
I decided to do black and white mixed prints, which made it more interesting but still it sat there.  So I tried out a soft teal strip of Grunge down the center.  

Nothing was stitched together yet.  It just sat and stared back at me now, for about two weeks.  That was January.
One day I recalled another challenge I was planning to do about six years ago.  It was making a small wall hanging for a very worthy charity. The pieces were then auctioned off.  I had an inspiration for a theme and collected fabrics to make it.  Just as I was going to start cutting them, the group announced they were discontinuing the auctions because they had met their fundraising goal. Wonderful for them, but I was left with an idea and nowhere to go with it.
The coin stack now became the basis for my original idea, but in a totally different form.  I had been given a pile of dull colored strips from someone who had been doing retro quilts.  The challenge now became to use these dull fabrics to express my vision. 
Here was the first layout on the tray.

At last I was on the way, began to fill it in and actually started piecing it after only six weeks of nothing.
Here is the basis of the project. I finished piecing this so far.  I have some more borders to add before quilting and binding, but now I’m on a roll.

Do you have any ideas about the theme I am working on?  I’ll let you know at the end of the challenge. See you at the end of March.
I’m very happy to be linking up with Ad Hoc Improv Quilter at Ann’s blog, Fret Not Yourself.  Please check out the fascinating things shared there by really talented people.