What I’m Working On…

Wowza. I had a whirlwind of sewing this weekend. I did my best to get back into my old routine of getting up a little bit earlier than I needed to and sewing for half an hour to twenty minutes. You’d be surprised at how quickly those short bouts of productivity add up. I managed to do that four of the days over the last week. My goal is to do that at least that often…or more for next week.

But…I’m going to have to pick a new focus project because I was so productive, I blew through THREE projects and can proudly say, I have three quilt tops done over the last week. WHOOT! WHOOT.

Oops. I forgot to say that I sewed all of Saturday afternoon and most of the day on Sunday. It was just the thing I needed.

Friday I was in the sewing room pulling UFO projects. I am going to do the Dirty Dozen UFO Challenge that Mary at Country Threads Chicken Scratch blog always hosts. That starts on July 1st of every year. I was pulling projects and taking pictures in the hope of getting a blog post written about that. In the process, I stumbled over this project…

The project is an American Jane pattern called Tea Party Quilt. This is really my daughter Kayla’s UFO. She brought it to me and asked me if I wanted it. I really think that translates into “Mom, will you finish this for me?”

She already had the majority of the blocks sewn into strips. I just needed to sew the strips together and then sew the tops together. In the process of taking pictures for the UFO blog post, I decided I would leave this project out. I wondered if I could sew on it during morning sewing sessions or even do it as a leader and ender.

It was a great plan!!

So Saturday morning I got up and my 30-minute sewing session turned into an hour sewing session. I ended up sewing on the American Jane quilt. I was so excited about what I had accomplished that later in the day when I had sewing time again. I kept working on the American Jane quilt.

Then I ran into a snafu. As I worked to the bottom of the box of pieces, I put my hand in to grab another, and what? My hand ran into something that wasn’t fabric. I ended up looking and there was something like melted-the redried oversized chocolate chips in the bottom of the box and the substance had affected the fabric.

That had me stopping to try to figure out what to do. The problem, this was a jelly roll pattern and it uses every bit of the jelly of the roll. There was none to spare. I dug through my fabric trying to find a piece of American Jane fabric. I was willing to use something that wasn’t American Jane but I couldn’t find anything that was that same tone.

Then I realized there was a little bit on a few of the white units too. I couldn’t find an exact match to that fabric either.

I ended up deciding to not worry about it. I would sew the pieces together as is with the stains. I would long-arm it and then wash it. In the worst-case scenario, it would become a car quilt or serve the purpose of a utility quilt.

Well, that got me all curious about how noticeable the staining would be once it was all together. So rather than being curious, I decided to just sew the top together.

Here it is all together. I even found a great backing fabric in my stash. WHOOT! WHOOT!! So that is now a top and ready to be longarmed.

From there I decided that I really wanted to work on the star quilt I’ve been working on. BUT…There still was no room in the sewing room to lay things out and decide which fabric that Ila sent me will go where in the quilt.

So in an effort to clean up and make some space, I decided to work on the Oregon or Bust quilt. If you remember that’s this quilt. It is in Bonnie Hunter’s book Scraps and Shirttails II.

The pattern wasn’t on my list to make until I saw that Mary at Country Threads Chicken Scratch blog had made it and she totally changed the color scheme and the borders. I LOVED Mary’s version and immediately started collecting orange and blue shirts.

The quilt has been on my UFO list for several years and I finally…FINALLY worked on it this year. I really didn’t have anything done except the shirts collected. I think that makes it more of a bucket list item than a UFO but I put it on my list.

I ended up sewing the last 10 or so blocks and then I immediately started assembly. I had a chunk of time and wanted to use it.

My plan was to make the quilt larger than Mary made hers and larger than the pattern suggested. So I made a bunch of extra blocks.

That lead me back to the cutting table to cut more sashing strips.

I kept pushing and pushing myself to keep going on it…not in an uncomfortable way but in a goal-oriented way.

I told myself to quit for the night once I got the beginning of the corners assembled…and that’s where I ended my Saturday sewing.

Sunday morning I sewed for a bit in the morning and then was downstairs doing a few chores. Then I was back at the sewing machine. About 10 am I realized I didn’t need to make all those extra blocks. When I was calculating the size, I was thinking about Bonnie’s quilt…not Mary’s version. Mary had extra borders on hers that made it bigger. Hmm.

I ended up with this size for the center of the quilt. I opted to make mine square.

I thought about quitting here for the day but then decided nope. I knew if I stopped there, I’d put off trimming the center up. I HATE this job of sewing the most. I wanted to keep the momentum going so I trimmed it right away.

I almost stopped there for the day but I was curious to know if I had pieced enough checkerboard border so I added it onto the quilt.

I thought about stopping there but by then, I was so close to a finish. Just FINISH IT I told myself. So I did.

Oh, my word. Be still my heart. I LOVE this quilt top. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Kalissa and Craig stopped by. I showed it to them. Craig said- I love the fading light and dark. I totally agree. I love it too.

One would think I should have stopped there. I didn’t. I now had all the extra blocks. I counted. I had 25 extra blocks…so I sewed them together.

I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen with this. It’s a little big for a baby quilt but a little small for the throw. I’m debating on making more blocks. Hmm.

That’s where I ended my sewing marathon. WOW. That sure set me up much better on my UFO list. I got two UFO tops together in one weekend. That sure makes me feel good!!

Next week I have to find something else as a leader and ender project. I HAVE to clean the sewing room. You can’t imagine the disaster that room is!! Then I’ll have space to pick fabrics for the star quilt. Dare I hope to get that fabric cut and start assembling that quilt? Fingers crossed. That’s my hope for this week…oh, and I better at least get something loaded on the longarm. I don’t want to get grossly behind in finishing quilt tops!!

31 thoughts on “What I’m Working On…”

  1. Janet Corcoran

    I love yours and Mary’s Oregon or Bust quilts. I have Bonnie Hunters books so I must have this pattern. Sometimes seeing someone else’s color combo is all you need for inspiration. I have several tubs of shirts I’ve collected over the years.

  2. Gloria from CC

    Jo – your quilt is just beautiful! I would like to make that quilt also in the colors you and Mary chose but orange shirts are hard to find!!!

  3. I LOVE the borders on the Oregon quilt. I know Craig just got a ‘Craig’ quilt, but he may need this one as a Christmas present.

    I also really liked the American Jane quilt. The chocolate will just be part of the history of that quilt and you’ll rename it the Chocolate Chip Cookie Quilt and everyone will ask why you call it that.

  4. Stephani in N. TX

    My favorite posts of yours and you were a whirlwind this time around. Wonderful quilts to reward your efforts. It’s good to be a whirling dervish on occasion, especially in the quilt room.

  5. You really accomplished a lot! Both quilts are lovely. I especially like the blue and orange shirt one. I like how you did the checkerboard border much more than the plain one. I like to see what you have sewed the most too.

  6. Great finishes! Yes, I can imagine what your sewing room might look like after your marathon sewing week/weekend! It is the finished products that make the mess worth it.

  7. oh I love the chocolate chip quilt. The others are beautiful as well but there is something about the flow of that one. It must have sounded like a buzz saw coming from your home with all that activity and progress. Congratulations..

  8. Polly Currier

    Your post on African violets came out as code both from your website and thru email.
    Sounds like you had a great time this past weekend.

    1. For me too – on tablet, laptop and desktop computer even if I typed the web address into the search bar.
      It happens a couple of times a week, sometimes resolved itself later in the day, sometimes doesn’t. All it bit random and intermittent – the faults all engineers dislike!

  9. I have to go look at my blue and orange quilt again – I love yours so I must still love mine. Haha! I love all those little squares in the border. Has Bonnie seen it? And …. I really want to read your African violet post. I hope you repost it. My succulents are all looking just wonderful outside but I’ve never been able to grow violets.

  10. Congratulations first off, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the Bonnie Hunter quilt that you fell in love with Mary’s version.

  11. I really love this blue and orange shirt quilt! I have all but one of Bonnie’s books and many of her single patterns. I have started a couple of her scrappy mysteries but no finishes yet. I’d like to make one from shirts but the prices of shirts in our thrift stores are so high (almost $5.00 per shirt.) Maybe someday I’ll hit the shirt jackpot.

  12. Love, Love love your quilts! It’s always a great feeling to finish a quilt! Your “What I’m Working On” posts are my favorites.

  13. I really like the orange and blue shirt quilt! I’d like to make it!?, BUT there’s a multitude of ufos I’d better focus on first!!

  14. Carmen Montmarquet

    I really like how Kayla’s quilt came out, cute pattern! But Oregon or Bust came out spectacular! Love everything about it! Wish I could find shirts at the thrift shop like you did but they are usually priced too high like another reader said and mostly not all cotton! You did good!

  15. Clarice Vichich

    have been having trouble viewing some of your blogs..so wanted to see the violets and read that blog but it was gibberish…every third one or so seems to be that way….??

  16. I loved Brendalynne’s comment on it sounding like a buzzsaw coming from your house Haha! You are for sure the most motivated person I have ever “met”. Your finishes are beautiful and I would guess that a spot treatment on the oily residue could very well dissolve that issue ;-) . Last year I didn’t try the Dirty Dozen, but this year as I was thinking about ufos in the different genres of making, I ended up with a total of 12, so I think that means I should join in again. I have 2 crossstitch ufos, 3 knitting ufos (not counting a crochet ufo this time around lol), and 7 quilt ufos. Destiny says I need to join in! I think I need the external motivation. Blessings!

  17. Guess what? I can actually see the African Violet post just fine! You have some incredible finishes in such a short amount of time! I wish that I could be that productive too. Maybe it just takes a lot of self discipline and a regular schedule to follow. Like others have said, I really enjoy your posts like this.

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