Charity Pillowcases: New Year, Same Goals

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Isn’t this THE Cutest Fabric!! Got it at JoAnn’s a few days ago. I have breezed down the novelty fabric aisles so many times, that anything new jumps off the shelf and into my cart. Even the lady cutting this for me said, “this must be new.” Yep. New AND cute. And soon to be made into charity pillowcases for February. Batch 11.

But first… let me show you the twenty I made for January.

You already saw the fabric one of my quilting buddies sent me in December last year. But since I was already past my goal (160 for 2012), I took a rest break and saved her fabric for January.

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Cute, aren’t they. I really love how they turned out. Thanks again, Donna S. You are a sweetheart!!

This batch, Batch 10, had fabrics I hadn’t used before. Huge butterflies and macaroons.

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These two soccer-themed pillowcases came out great. I used two FQ’s sewn together to create the band and black/white checkerboard for the body. When I can catch the FQ’s on sale for 99 cents, I stock up.

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As you all know, I made 168 charity pillowcases last year. Eight more than my 20 a month goal. (I started in May 2012.)

This year’s goal will be the same. 240 pillowcases for 2013. Twenty a month. That number has worked great for me. I sat aside a couple days and work “assembly line” style. One right after the other. I get them all to the same step and then move on to the next step. I am going to try to make one Outside The Box each month. One that is different from all the rest.

Here is a photo of all twenty.

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So… that does it for me. Just wanted to show you January’s pillowcases and bring you up-to-date on my charity project.

What are you creating? Do tell.

Linking up to….

Santa Came Early… Thank YOU, Donna S

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Wow!! Look what arrived at my house yesterday.

A box full of selvages. Just what I had on my Christmas list. All compliments of a quilting buddy of mine. We have never actually met. We chat on-line at our quilt group and via e-mail. I think we bonded because of our first names. Us Donnas have to stick together. 😀

Donna S. sent a HUGE box of all different color selvage strips. Lots of black and white. Just what I was running out of.

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I am seeing all sorts of selvage projects for weeks, months. Can’t wait to sort through them and pet each strip.

Guess what else she did? You won’t believe it. She cut out and sent me the cutest fabric to make pillowcases for my charity. The bands and the body. Already cut!!

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I will get them sewn and shipped off for this month. What a wonderful thing to do!! Love it. I thank you. My charity thanks you.

Donna S. is also into making stuff with selvages. She shared this photo of a stool she recycled with a new cover. I asked if I could post her photo on my blog and she said yes.

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Isn’t this amazing? I would like to do something like this… one day.

Hope you are doing something fun and enjoying your weekend.

Have you seen any sighting of Santa yet? Have you been good? 😀

November Charity Pillowcases

Just a quick post to show you my charity pillowcases for November. I made exactly 20 and I am already over my goal of 160 for 2012. 168 so far and there is still December.

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Pink, blue, gray, yellow, black, red, brown, beige. I used up quite a few of my larger pieces I first bought when I was just learning to quilt. Feels good. And for a great cause.

These are my favorites in this batch (Batch 9). Elephants and cats.

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I was saving this blue fabric with the hearts for something special. But I hadn’t come up with any ideas for it as yet so I used a bit of it to make this pillowcase. Who doesn’t “heart” little kitties. 😀

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Well, that does it for my latest pillowcases.

Want a sneak peek at my next selvage project?

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BBL. Hope you are getting some crafting in.

Last Of The October Finishes: My Pillowcases

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Yay!! This is the last of the stuff I made in October. I am excited!! Since I can begin to show you the things I have made so far in November. Order… got to have order. Can’t put the cart before the horse. 😀

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A couple of you asked if I would do a tutorial on how I am making my pillowcases. I am working on it. Not finished yet but I am thinking I will have it ready to post early next week.

So this post will show you the charity pillowcases plus a few I made for my Etsy Shop.

OK… Let’s get started.

The two in the top photo are my favorites in this batch. Batch 8. Black and white. So crisp looking. If I had a black and white bedroom, I would use them myself.

Stripes. I found a great flat sheet at Salvation Army’s Thrift Shop a couple months ago for just 3.99. I was able to get five pillowcases from that one sheet. Isn’t the John Deere fabric the cutest!!

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More stripes. I love these!!

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Dots. Polka dot, splashes of dots and large dots.

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Even flowers, vines and leaves.

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And these I made from the leftover backing fabric from my Hugs and Kisses quilt. I don’t waste ANY fabric. I will make it work even if I have to piece the pieces together.

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Well, that does it for the charity pillowcases. 20 in this batch for October. Yay!! I am still on track to meet my goal of 20 a month from May to December.

I also made a few I will be putting in my Etsy Shop.

This set I am so in love with. I love the colors. The freshness of the white bubbles fabric.

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BUT mostly I am happy with how the fabric strips lined up almost perfectly at the seam.

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This patriotic set was made from pinwheels I made in July.

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They were some of my practice blocks just sitting. I used most of them.

And this last pillowcase.. Purple, lavender and teal.

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I made the band from some blocks I made some time ago. Blocks I made when I was on my scrap color blocks kick last year. They were just sitting in a plastic bag. I was delighted when I laid them out and they measured exactly what I needed to make the band.

Whew!! That does it for my October finishes. Sorry it took so long. Now I get to tell you and show you my November projects. Thanks for sticking with me. 😀

Linking to…

Recycle #9: Ralph Lauren Sheet and Pillowcases

If you have been following my blog for some time, then you know what I like to do on Wednesdays. I like to go to the Salvation Army Thrift Store. Senior Discount Day.

I was dropping off four of my beloved mother’s winter coats I was never going to use or wear. Made sense someone else could get some wear out of them as cold as it has been in my parts lately.

And of course, since I was already there, just had to run inside to quickly make my rounds. I have gotten so good at it. Unless they move the aisles or change stuff around, I can get in and scoop up what I want in about 10 minutes.

Yesterday, I only found one thing I could use. This Ralph Lauren twin sheet. For just 2.99. And with my 25% discount, only 2.24. A steal.

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Not sure if that is how it is supposed to look. It looks like some of the color has washed out. But it feels great. Nice fabric. 100% cotton.

I washed it and cut it up to make my charity pillow cases. Batch 7 for my September count. I was able to get four pillowcase bodies and two tops out of that one sheet.

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Counting those, so far, I have 15 pillowcases ready for French seams.

These fabrics are waiting their turn.

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I need at least five more to make my 20 a month goal. That basketball fabric sure is cute. And I like those little birds and adorable cats too.

Plus I am making this band from fabric strips to go with this pretty yellow bottom. I may make a second one. I have enough strips cut.

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Hopefully I get them all finished by month’s end.

And in case you are wondering… I teased you in my last post about what was on my sewing table. Here it is.

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But now you will have to guess what I am going to do with it. It is old, old old. A quilt top I made last year. You can read my post about it here.

Didn’t really get all bubbly about it after I made it so it got folded and stored. NOW, it will have a new life as something else. So glad I remembered I made it. More details and photos coming up. 😀

Quilting By The Numbers: 24, 150, 19 and 0

I can NOT believe August has come and gone!! So fast. Just like that. Here and gone. Well, one more day. Today. All those To-Do’s, To-Make’s. Did some. Didn’t do A LOT.

BUT… I did accomplish quite a bit this week and last.

24. I worked on my charity pillowcases.

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As you know my goal is 5 a week or 20 a month. And being the Queen Procrastinator that I am, I didn’t start the ones for August until September was breathing down my neck. Talk about pressure!! But I did it. 24 pillowcases. How’s that for a Breakneck Sewing Marathon.

I have to say, I like this batch. Batch 6. I like them a lot. Some fabrics are new that I recently caught on sale at JoAnn’s. Footballs and helmets, owls, miniature toy cars.

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And some were leftover from other batches. I am using up quite a few novelty pieces.

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This batch also includes a few softer, sweet girly baby pink ones.

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That makes a total of 106 pillowcases made so far this year. I am on track to meet my 2012 goal. 😀

150. That’s the number of Hugs and Kisses blocks I have completed. The scrappy blocks I am making from all those squares I cut. I pulled out four of my favorites. They are in the front.

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This is how all 150 look up on my design wall. I need 12 more blocks to finish off the “X” on the right side and six along the bottom row. Unless I add more columns and rows, the quilt top will be 14 blocks wide and 12 blocks long. Each block finishes off at 5″ square.

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I didn’t realize how much I work with jeweltone colors until I saw Crystal’s comment on my blog. And I do!! My quilt will be brighter than the one I was inspired by. Bolder. Not sure I am happy with the larger prints like the navy huge circles. May swap them out.

Later this year or next year, I would love to make these blocks using baby themed fabrics. Also I have an idea for one in black and white. Need to get it mapped out on paper before I cut the squares.

19. My string blocks are coming along too. I am making them for a swap in one of my quilt groups.

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I got the final count for the swap a couple days ago. Including myself, there are five people participating. So I only have to make 16 blocks. Four per. I actually am finished. So far, I have made 19 but want to continue making them so I can select the best of the bunch for the swap. (I took out the four I am using for my wall hanging.)

I kind of strayed from the swap guidelines (make scrappy, don’t color coordinate) on a few. Not sure if I will keep them or use for the swap.

Purple and Turquoise.

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Michael and Henry.

I am calling this one the Michael and Henry block. I used three Michael Miller and four Henry Glass fabrics. I like it. Think I will keep this one and make more.

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Swap mailout deadline is Sept 30. Can you believe it!! For once in my life I am ahead of schedule. Probably because they are fun to make. And addicting. I can’t resist pulling out 12-14 strips and laying them out on a square of muslin. Then when I get bored with whatever I am making, I make a string block. My Boredom Breaker method seems to be working well.

Do you like making string blocks? Have you ever tried it? Try it. You might like it. What a great way to make a dent in the mountain of scraps I know you have. 😀

Zero. 😦 Sadly, this month will go by without a quilt top finish. How did that happen!! I could make a list but they would all be excuses. So I won’t bore you. I really DO want to quilt my quilt tops. I have to keep telling myself I will feel so much better once they are finished and the binding is sewn on. I have the finished look in my head. Now I need to get the finished quilt in my hands.

Hopefully I will have a finished quilt to post in September.

How about you? What Fall projects do you have lined up? Do tell…

Don’t forget to enter my “Be An Animal” giveaway. Three lucky people will win prizes. Could be you!!

Linking up to…

Margaret’s Hope Chest and Pillowcase Project Update

Six weeks ago I committed to making Ragged Square blocks for Margaret’s Hope Chest. They make quilts for children around the world in need. They even take requests for quilts for kid’s birthdays.

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(I borrowed this photo from their website.)

I first heard of the project on AmandaJean’s (Crazy Mom Quilts) blog. She would be assisting with sewing the blocks together. The deadline was fast approaching and for some reason, in the back of my mind, I had been working on them. I saw them in my head. I saw me cutting the fabrics. I saw me sewing the blocks. Must have dreamed it. Cause they aren’t done!! Not even started!!

They needed to be sewn and mailed to Grand Rapids, Michigan by the end of this month.

So I started on them today. You know me. Queen Procrastinator. I think I do my best work with feet to the fire. And looking like a headless chicken running around.

Anyhoo… first thing I did… moved all the stuff off my craft tables so I could get started. I needed three squares for each block. 3 1/2″, 6 1/2″ and 9 1/2″. And the three needed to be in the same color family. Now you know from following my blog that I rarely work with just a single color. I love working with a variety of fabrics with lots going on. The busier, the better. So, trying to find three non-busy same color fabrics almost brought this project to a halt.

BUT after about an hour of playing sort and matchy matchy…

I think these will work. What do you think?

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Pink, aqua and two shades of purple. Squares are cut and ready to sew. I tried to use some of my scraps but didn’t have pieces large enough. Did use a few for the smaller squares.

I think I will make two blocks from this orange group. And call it a day. Ten should do it.

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Look at this one. It’s the first one I cut. I was thinking it would work. THEN I reread the instructions. So NOT going to work!! It isn’t monochromatic.

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I’ll keep it for myself. I like it. And maybe make a few more. One day.

Go here to read all about the program and how you can help. Or maybe you just want the tutorial to make some of these blocks for yourself. So cute and looks easy.

Bookmark the site. Though the deadline for making these Ragged Squares is coming to a close, they are always in need of blocks/quilts/supplies.

Update on Sweet Dreams, my charity pillowcase project. Batch 5. Twenty-seven finished and ready to mail off.

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This is my favorite in this batch. I made two alike. Royal blue fabric with dolphins. An ocean theme for the band. With navy, royal and red dots on white background for the body. Love it!!

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I have seven more cut and ready to sew. Will save them for the next batch. For August.

Well, that does it for me. What have you been working on? Do tell.

Pinwheels and Swirling Stars

Uh, OH… I think I am in LOVE!!

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Being the procrastinator that I am, it shouldn’t surprise you (or me) that I have spent the last two days working on a project that is due for mail out tomorrow. 😀

I am making pinwheel and swirling star blocks. For July’s Block Lotto in my quilt group.

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I almost didn’t sign up. Since I suck at anything with points to line up. But decided how will I ever learn if I don’t try and go outside my comfort zone.

And guess what?

Making the pinwheels was easier than I thought. These were my first ones. Not hard. But I had to be oh so careful trimming them and making sure the seams matched perfectly to the 45 degree lines. Thankfully I have a revolving cutting mat. It worked great.

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The amazing part about this project is how the same blocks produce two completely different looks. Sew four blocks and I get a pinwheel.

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The leftover four blocks (from the original Half-Square-Triangles) PLUS four rectangles and one little square in the center and I get a swirling star. I love how the swirling star turned out.

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I will make up a few more sets and get them mailed tomorrow.

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Then I am going to make up some scrappy swirling star blocks. Just to see how they turn out. I have plenty of scraps. A boatload. I have enjoyed this project. Who knew!! Lesson learned. Try it. You might like it!!

In case you are wondering how my umbrella quilt is coming along, I haven’t worked on the back yet. Still deciding on what I want. I tried these HUGE strips. For one huge umbrella. Hate it!!

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I went to JoAnn’s a couple days ago and bought these purple fabrics. These might work.

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At least they will add color. I really do want an umbrella for the back. Got to figure it out.

And no, I haven’t let my pillowcase project fall by the wayside. Since I can whip them out pretty fast, I have been setting aside a couple days a month and playing catch up. I have 17 pillowcases ready for French seams.

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And I gathered up a pile of fabrics for the next pillowcase marathon.

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Probably will do seven more for an even 24 and then get them mailed off one day this week. It is still a fun project. So I will keep it going for as long as I can.

So… what have you been up to? Do tell. 😀

Update 7-23-12: I finished three sets.

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Linking to…

Soldier’s Quilt Top Is Finished And 2 New Umbrella Blocks

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I finished my Disappearing 9 Patch (D9P) quilt top two days ago but couldn’t get any decent photos on the inside. It was too large for my design wall. And I didn’t like any of the other photos I took in different places around the house. So I decided to take the photos outside yesterday. And wouldn’t you know it. The sun stayed behind the clouds most of the day. These are the best I could get.

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To-date this is the largest quilt top I have ever made. It measures 73 1/2″ by 91″.

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After it is quilted, it will be given to one of our wounded soldiers. Distributed by the American Hero Quilts program. Per their website, quilt top minimum measurements were 63″ by 87. So I hope it is OK that mine is a bit over.

I have really enjoyed working on this project and will be making a second quilt top. Squares are cut. Now I need to decide on a design. Something different. I have a couple patterns in mind. I will work on this next one in between other projects. So it will take longer. But that’s OK. There is always a need.

Go here if you are interested in volunteering your time and talent.

Good news!! I made progress on my Umbrella Blocks Quilt.

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There are now six umbrella blocks. I made two more. Originally I was thinking a wall hanging. I guess it could still go on the wall. It isn’t THAT big. I figure after adding the sashing and border, it will measure around 75″ by 60″.

You know how sometimes you work on something off and on, seems forever!! And then the “dislike” starts to creep in. Well, I am still loving this one.

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Even with all the sewing of those little 1 1/2″ squares for the scrappy border.

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I am getting better at making sure the seams are even. Makes for an easy trim when the edges line up. At first I wasn’t sure if I was sewing a perfect 1/4″ seam. So when Fran in my Quilt Group posted a link to a test, I thought, HEY, let’s do it. Now I can make sure. I followed the directions, measured and IT WAS PERFECT!! If I say so myself, I have come a long way since first learning to quilt in January 2011.

Want to know if you are sewing perfect 1/4″ seams? Test yourself. Go here. Thanks, Fran!!—the-perfect-seam-allowance.htm

This is what I am working on today. Something quick and easy.

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Need to get it finished and mailed off today. I can only show you the fabric since the person it is for reads my blog. But I will show you the finished item after she receives it. Sometime this week.

Hope you have a great week. Do something fun… Tell me what your crafty plans are for this week.

American Hero Quilt: 6 Rows, One To Go

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I have been steadily working on my American Hero quilt for one of our wounded soldiers. It is taking longer than I anticipated trying to get to the required 87″ in length. Perhaps if I had planned better, used math during the design stage… 😀 I am thinking wider than 3″ for the in between rows sashing would have increased the length. But inch by inch, I am getting there.

I like that either looking at it from the top or turning it around and looking at it from the opposite direction, the pattern resembles little flags. And that is exactly the look I was trying for. Yay!!

The quilt needs to measure 63″ by 87″. Currently it measures 65″ wide by 70″ height. One more row (which is 10″) and a border all around should do it.

Which means I need six more Disappearing Nine Patch blocks. I still have quite a bit of fabric left. Except for the red polka dots. Totally out. I have a 50% off JoAnn’s coupon. Hope I can use it.

So glad I only had to make the quilt top. Some wonderful volunteer ladies out there in Quilty Land will do the sandwiching and quilting. I want to get this finished and off my sewing table. TODAY. So I can move on to something else. Like the table runner I need to make and get mailed off in three days. Plus I want to get back to my umbrella blocks. Working on them makes me happy. 😀

What are you up to? Hope you are doing something you love and are staying out of the heat.

Go here to read more about this project.