Q4 Finish-A-Long List

I'm in! 2018 FAL

Well, the last FAL list of the year! I’ve been debating whether or not to make a big list or small, but I think that for now my parameter will be that the projects on this list have to be more than halfway to completion. A partially pieced quilt top is good, but fabric that is cut but not yet sewn just adds clutter to the list. With those limits in mind, here are my projects for the 4th quarter of 2018.

List is L-R, row by row.
  1. Blue Dancing Cats Baby Quilt: Top is done, need to find a back, sandwich, quilt and bind. The nice thing about small baby quilts is that I can use a single piece of fabric for the backing!
  2. Pink Dancing Cats Baby Quilt: Top is done, need to find a back, sandwich, quilt and bind.
  3. Pinwheels and Polka-Dots Baby Quilt: Top is done, need to find a back, sandwich, quilt and bind.
  4. Ugly Flannel Baby Quilt: Top is done, need to find a back, sandwich, quilt and bind.
  5. Nautical Nine Patch: Top is done, need to find a back, sandwich, quilt and bind.
  6. Floral Checkerboard Baby Quilt: Top is done, need to find a back, sandwich, quilt and bind.
  7. Bri’s Quilt: partially quilted, need to finish the quilting and then bind.
  8. Cheerful Primaries NICU Quilt: Top is done, need to find a back, sandwich, quilt and bind.
  9. Raspberry Kiss pot holders: one pot holder is quilted and just needs to be bound, the other still needs to be quilted. (The photo shows the first one bound, but it looked terrible so I picked it out and need to replace it now.)

I have a couple of other goals for the quarter that won’t result in fully finished projects, but I’d like to list them for accountability.

  1. Seeing Stars Quilt: finish piecing the blocks and make the top.
  2. Rasberry Kiss Quilt Top: I have the fabric starched and cut and plan to make this my retreat project at the end of the month. My goal is simply to get the top pieced.
  3. Rosy Plus Quilt Top: I pulled this old monster out of the UFO box and want to at least get all the fabrics prepped, cut and laid out. I don’t know if I’ll finish the top or not. (I had the fabrics partially cut, but am combining a couple of UFO projects to just get the fabric out the door, so kind of need to go back to the drawing board.
  4. Big Block Retro Quilt: Honestly I’d like to get this fully completed by Christmas for my grandmother, but not sure if that’s realistic. I hope at least to get the top pieced.
  5. Make small and large design boards for portable sewing days.
  6. Practice free motion quilting.
  7. Improve and step out of my comfort zone with walking foot quilting.

Linking up at She Can Quilt for the 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long!


3rd Quarter Finish-A-Long Finishes

I’m so annoyed that I forgot to link up my finishes for last quarter, especially as I actually had quite a few! But I got busy with job interviews and lost track of time, sigh. The good news is that I’ve been hired and will soon start a full-time counseling job, so that is awesome! And even if I didn’t link up, I still feel quite pleased with all that I got done. So here’s a quick re-cap of what I managed to complete.


elephant quilt done

  • Frances Firefly Pillow (Elizabeth Hartman pattern)  This turned into the elephant mini-quilt (it’s a present for one of my supervisors last year) based on the recipient’s taste. It’s finished and I love it! I may actually still write a post just about this because I think the last time I posted about it I hadn’t determined if it would be a wall hanging or a pillow.

dog in sweater pillow complete

  • Dog in Sweater Pillow (Elizabeth Hartman pattern) — I love this pillow! And it was much easier to make than I thought it might be. There are a ton of pieces, but as long as you stay organized, it comes together without much trouble.

cheater quilt finished

  • Cheater Baby Quilt: everything done but the binding (new for Quarter 3) — Finished and just waiting for me to finish quilting Bri’s quilt so that I can send them to the girls.

hanging towelsFALQ3

  • Finish sewing buttons on these hanging towels (they’re not stained, just a poor attempt at tea dying). Done and already gifted to my mom. Yay!

Even though I didn’t finish these projects, I did make some progress on a few of them.

  1. Sneakers Pillow (paper pieced pattern from Quiet Play)  — No progress, except to change to a different pattern. Not sure if this will get done, actually.
  2. Zipper pouches with small paper pieced blocks on the front. (Butterfly Charm blocks from Lillyella Stitchery) — No progress.
  3. Wool & Wax Tote: fabric and pattern are pulled — No progress.
  4. Fat Quarter Friday: fabric and pattern are pulled/printed — No progress.
  5. Found 30s-esque UFO: blocks unearthed in bin under my bed, can’t remember exact plan so need to decide on a layout and piece to flimsy, then finish (new for Quarter 3) — Determined layout, but did no other work on this project.
  6. Bring the Basics Wallet: fabric and pattern are pulled/printed — No progress.
  7. Burp cloths: I found more baby-ish flannel and want to make these up and get it out of my stash. (new for Quarter 3) — No progress.
  8. Bri’s Quilt: top is mostly pieced, needs borders and then to be fully finished — Top is done! Back is made! Quilt is sandwich and quilting begun!
  9. Cat in a Box 1 & 2: These have been cut up into kits and bagged in two different colorways. I may end up combining them into one quilt. I’ve had this fabric forever and just want see it go! (new for Quarter 3) — Blue and pink dancing cat baby quilt tops finished!
  10. Bind practice quilt block into pot holder. This project went to the great quilt cupboard in the sky. Adios!
  11. Big Block Quilt: fabric cut, just needs to be pieced then fully finished — No progress.
  12. Jeans Pocket Tote Bags: in the same bin that had the 30s blocks I also found a ton of denim scraps including lots of pockets. I want to turn them into tote bags using some of the canvas I have on hand. Ultimately I’d like to make quite a few of these, but for this quarter I just want to hash out my method and make up a prototype. — No progress. Also I’m not sure why I was so excited about these before, but…I guess they’re still something I want to do.

A Few Finishes

I’ve been pulled off track my current projects by a burning desire to finish up and move on from some (much) older projects that I’ve had bagged up as kits or semi-finished projects for a long time. Most of these are on my UFO lists that I posted at the beginning of the year, although I’m clearly not going in any kind of order! And right now I have finished tops, not fully completed quilts. Still, they’re much closer to being done than they were before. Actually as I look over the lists, I can see that I’ve managed to work on more outstanding projects than I realized. Go me!

nautical nine patchNautical Nine Patch — This busy quilt is made using all of the fabric leftover from the nautical fabric I used in my nephew’s quilt (which was also a UFO project earlier this year). My notes indicate that I have more of this fabric in strips to make a small railfence, but I think that I used every thing except for some negligble scraps in this top. I’m happy to see the back of this fabric. All that’s left to do is sandwich and quilt it. I have more of the seersucker fabric I used on the back of my nephew’s quilt, so I plan to use it here for the same purpose. It’s in a different colorway but otherwise exactly the same.

blue-dancing-cats.jpgBlue Dancing Cats — I’ve had this (and the pink fabric in the next quilt) for quite a long time. It’s fun and cheerful but I didn’t quite know what to do with it at first and had far more of the accent fabric than of the actual cats. I made some pillow cases and then decided I really should make it up into baby quilts as that had been my plan when purchasing the fabric. This is a small quilt — about 30 X 38 inches.

pink dancing catsPink Dancing Cats — The pink quilt is even smaller than the blue one, approximately 30 X 30. I had to piece one of the cat squares from some smaller square I had cut from the fabric. I’m not too sure what I’ll do with the leftovers, but there isn’t that much left of the fabric at all — I may just put it in with my scraps. As you can tell from these photos, a lot of my sewing time happens in the evening now, so very little natural light. They are more of a true white in the background than the lighting indicates.

pinwheels and polka dotsPinwheels and Polka Dots — These pinwheels are some of the first patchwork block I put together. The black and white polka dot nine patches stand out a bit better in person, but overall this is kind of an odd quilt. I also used the trimmings from strip piecing the nine patches to add enough length to the border, which definitely adds to the strangeness. Still, I kind of like it and I think it will be a fine top for practicing free motion quilting. This wasn’t on any UFO list, but it was a project I uncovered as I went through my stash earlier this year.

ugly flannel baby quilt

Ugly Flannel — And finally, this ugly flannel baby quilt. I cut these squares from flannel scraps years and years ago, after making burp cloths I think. You can tell that the sqaures aren’t exactly precise and that the flannel stretched, too. The rows were partially pieced together, I just had to sew them together. I think the most that can be said about this top is that it is bright and soft. And it will be fine for free motion practice! And it is one more UFO discovered during the stash archaelogy project that I am happy to see move closer to done. :)

I can also see how my piecing has improved over time — the last two projects were partially pieced, while the other three were just cut. I am still working on a consistently perfect 1/4 inch seam, but I’ve made loads of improvement since I first put together the pinwheels and even the simple flannel squares. Now that I have time to work on quilting regularly, I also can see my skill increasing in real time which is nice. Before when I’d finish a project or two every year, my pace of improvement was glacial and frustrating! And I’m also pretty darn impressed that I’ve managed to pull together five quilt tops in a few weeks — even though they’re tiny, they still take some time!

I’m linking this up to: Finish It Up Friday, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, and Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday.


To Do Tuesday: September 4, 2018

I was not quite as successful at working through my list this week as I had been previously — I finally committed to organizing my desk/craft table/general external landing spot for my brain this weekend and that took up quite a lot of my time. It’s not entirely finished but the space looks a LOT better. I also underestimated how much time it would take to finish the Elephant project, so between the two, not much else really got done.

curved Star seeings Stars sal

  • Make the curved stars blocks for the Seeing Stars QAL. Not entirely done — I have two completed and want to get the third done so that I am only a week behind! These are my first curved blocks ever and honestly they turned out better than I expected, with minimal swearing. ;)
  • Make the next set of star blocks for the Seeing Stars QAL. Not done — pinwheel blocks shouldn’t take too long, but my other projects took precedent this week.
  • Keep up with the City Sampler SAL. Not entirely done — this ended up being a casualty of the desk clean up, although I think I did need a break from these blocks after completing the triangle section. I’m ready to go on these now, though!
  • Make the first week of blocks from the City Sampler to start catching up. Not done. I have the blocks cut, but not pieced.

elephant quilt done

  • Finish the elephant pillow. Yes! Done. Well, mostly — I’m checking in with my friend today and will see if she prefers a pillow or a wall hanging. But the quilting is done and the finishing that is required is minimal now, whatever direction the project takes.
  • Make a few more zipper pouches. Nope. Not done. Mostly because I have to get (from my stash) different fabric and I hated to get out new fabric while I was trying to clean up the whole space.
  • Sandwich Bri’s quilt. Yes! Done. I even started quilting before acknowledging that I was avoiding the clean-up project.

rosy four patch baby quilt

  • Bonus project not on the list: While I was cleaning I came across a bagged UFO of floral squares I had cut up a while ago to make into a small baby quilt. I allowed myself the distraction and went ahead and sewed it up! I even cut a backing and batting and have it sandwiched. After the curved stars and the tiny pieces of the City Sampler blocks, I have to say that these straight seams were a real breeze to piece and a simple pleasure as well.

On my list for this week:

  • Finish the Elephant project as my friend desires and give it to her.
  • Keep up with the City Sampler SAL.
  • Make last week’s pinwheel star blocks for the Seeing Stars SAL.
  • Make this week’s star blocks for the Seeing Stars SAL.
  • Finish the zipper pouches.
  • Make time to play.

Linking up to To Do Tuesday.

September OMG: City Sampler

block collage

So, I’ve been thinking for the last few days what I would select as my OMG for September. God knows I have enough projects in progress to choose from! I decided that I would really like to have the first 35 blocks of the City Sampler quilt finished by the time the #100days100blocks2018 SAL finishes in October. I have been doing a reasonably good job of keeping up with the blocks since I started (with block 36), but have a feeling that without a plan, those first 35 will become the millstone weighing this project down.

Initially I thought that a reasonable goal for the month would be getting all the pieces cut for the blocks as well as stitching them all up. But I took the fabric to a sit and sew this afternoon and…it took me a couple of hours to get the pieces cut for just six blocks. Now, granted, there was a lot of chatting and I spent more time thinking about color placement than I usually do (it’s been a lot of sewing by the seat of my pants)…but still. The blocks themselves take a while to stitch up because there are quite a few tiny pieces in each block. So I think I want to get all the pieces cut (for the first 35 blocks) and at least 15 of the blocks sewn together this month.

I’m linking up at Elm Street Quilts/One Monthly Goal, a monthly accountability link-up that helps me stay on top of projects!



I am posting this just under the wire but really wanted to meet this goal as I have been trying really hard recently to finish what I start. So here is the elephant pillow top, finished. It is not yet a full pillow, though, because the person I am giving this to is deciding whether she wants a pillow or a wall hanging. I have decided that’s not on me, though! At least as far as timeline is concerned — now it’s in her hands. :)

In addition to the very wonky hand quilting, I also quilted large spirals in the navy background, plus around each applique using navy thread. It’s hard to tell but there is also some hand stitching embellishment on the elephant as well. I wish it stood out more, but live and learn I guess! You can see it a bit better in real life.

Phew! I am posting this at Elm Street Quilts, but mostly I am so happy to have completed at least one of my darn monthly goals!

ETA 9/1: I’m also linking up at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and TGIFF at Anya Quilts — I was a little brain dead last night and forgot to add those links!

To Do Tuesday: August 28, 2018

Well, looking back I did get stuff done this past week, but it’s all kind of a blur! And I didn’t finish as much as I would have liked, but I just need to keep on keeping on, I guess. Last week I planned to:

  • Make the tiny scrap block for the charity quilt. Partially done — these take a really long time. Good news is that I don’t have to have it completed until the end of September.

tiny pieces progress

  • Bind the cheater cloth baby quilt. DONE! Much better (but not perfect by any means) binding than the nautical quilt!

cheater quilt finished

  • Help my friend finish her quilt. DONE! And she is super proud of it, as she should be!

km quilt front and back

  • Keep up with the City Sampler SAL. DONE! I like seeing them all together, too often my focus is on the current block only.

city sampler 45_52


  • Make this week’s star blocks for the Seeing Stars QAL. Not done. :( I realize that I have been putting it off because the curves intimidate me. But no way to get better than by doing, so that’s on my agenda for today.
  • Get Bri’s quilt sandwiched. Not done. :( I just ran out of time to get to everything.
  • Give myself time to play. DONE! Part of my playing was just messing about with fabric and pattern combinations, but I also got all the stitching done around the fusible applique for the elephant pillow.




paisley splash
This is an old picture — all the pieces have now been stitched down.

For this upcoming week I plan to:

  • Make the curved stars blocks for the Seeing Stars QAL.
  • Make the next set of star blocks for the Seeing Stars QAL.
  • Keep up with the City Sampler SAL.
  • Make the first week of blocks from the City Sampler to start catching up.
  • Finish the elephant pillow.
  • Make a few more zipper pouches.
  • Sandwich Bri’s quilt.

Linking up with To-Do Tuesday and Monday Making.