Sunday, March 27, 2022

Lenten Challenge Week 4

I can't say I was able to do a block every day as we had appointments away from home a couple of days.  But I still managed to get seven done by skipping some of the more difficult ones.  In other words, I chose easy ...

Anyway, here's the lineup for the week ... in no particular order.

Shiprah & Puah


Crippled Woman

Mary Magdalene

Martha & Mary

Pilate's Wife


Other than the Marys and Martha, I was not familiar with any of the other women.  I think some times the author has stretched to make a devotional connection, but I am inspired to find out more of their stories.

I've had several comments on my fabric choices so thought I would give you some specifics.  The primary background is from Sarah's Story (Moda), as is the rippley piece I used in Dorcas. Two of the navy pieces are from Indigo Gatherings (Moda).  I also purchased a FQ pack of 100 Years (Andover) but I have been unable to use much of it since it has a lot of white in it.  I've supplemented with some robin's-egg blue TOT pieces from my stash.  When I first fell in love with the navy/light blue combo, I had no idea what I would do with it.  I think this sampler is the perfect place for it.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Pay it Forward

 In a recent post I related how I had fallen out of love with these Sister's Choice blocks.

So I gave them to the White Oak Women's Exchange to use however they saw fit.  Here's the result:

The large one was made to sell in their annual fundraiser to support their sewing mission ... and the smaller one will go to a chemo patient receiving treatment at the local oncology treatment center.

Finished quilts in less than a month from my donation!  Those WOWE gals are truly dedicated to their mission!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Wildlife Wednesday

 On Sunday, as I was eating breakfast I glanced out the window and saw this:

Cedar Waxwings in transit from somewhere South stopped in our tree to rest and take advantage of the holly berries in the nearby tree.  I wish I had been outside when they arrived or left because they make the most interesting z-z-z-ing sound when they fly in a flock.

While the previous week's snow did a number on our fields of daffodils ...

... it didn't damage much else.  We have lots of little grape hyacinths popping up in the back garden ...

... and the Lenten Roses are blooming in the front garden right on time.

Looking out of my sewing room window, these pink blooms drew my attention ...

... apparently something in the azalea/rhododendron family, but doesn't look exactly like either.

I was excited to see that my peonies popped up overnight.

Time to get the stakes in place before they get too big and floppy.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Challenge Week Three

 It's a good thing I got a little ahead with the Women of the Bible blocks because last week just kinda slipped away from me.  Here's the lineup for the week

Sunday - Miriam  

Sunday - Deborah  

Monday - Jael  

Tuesday - Tamar  

Thursday - Rahab  

Saturday - Hannah  

I went ahead and ordered two more yards of my background fabric and indeed, the postage was nearly equivalent to the two gallons of gas it would have taken me to go get it.  And therefore there was no temptation to shop elsewhere while I was in the area so money saved there!

Last week I also tested a couple more 3-yard quilts, trying to figure out how much additional fabric, or even IF, Devo will need to make more blocks instead of borders.  I think it is going to be a matter of what size pieces the design calls for, but I'm guessing an additional half-yard per fabric should be enough in most cases.

Next week has a doctor's appointment and a trip to Nashville on the schedule so I need to make good use of my sewing time when I'm home.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Ambition and Improvisation

Well, my plan to complete a 3-yard quilt in one Devo/Sew day was a little ambitious, but not a total failure.  I was able to get all the blocks made from precut strips and three two-row sections together between 9:30 and 2:30 (with a one-hour lunch break) but never got to the borders.

My scheme was that we, as a group, could kit up these quick and easy quilts using fabrics we have in the church closet so that they would be ready for a charity sew day.  After discussing my idea with the group leaders, we decided that maybe we'd be better served using the portion of the three yards that would have been dedicated to the borders for additional blocks since borders are everybody's nemesis.  We like for our encouragement quilts to be at least 50 x 60.

Here's a close-up of the fabrics.  I fussy cut the red toile floral at 8-1/2".

What does one do when she plans to spend the day sewing, but somehow leaves the spool spindle at home?

She improvises with a soda straw!

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Quilts in a Jiffy

Have you heard of 3-Yard Quilts?  

Donna Robertson (Fabric Cafe) has published a series of booklets, each for making eight different quick and easy throws with just three one-yard pieces of fabric.  (Instructions include larger sizes which would require more fabric.)  

My quilting neighbor Sally can whip out one of these in a day, so I thought I'd give it a try.  The concept appealed to me because I have a lot of "why-did-I-buy-that?" and "what-can-I-possibly-do-with-that?" fabrics.  So over the weekend I pulled eight "ugly" fabrics and paired each with two yards of complimentary calmers.

Here are seven kitted up and ready for cutting.  Number 8 is cut and ready for me to take to Devo and Sew today.  

My plan is to take one to each sew day and be able to leave it for our TBQ stack of encouragement quilts.  You'll have to check back tomorrow to see how that goes.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Around the House and in the Kitchen

After temps near 60 on Friday, we woke Saturday morning to this:

The cardinals were patiently waiting their turn at the feeder, taking advantage of a free handout ...

It's a good thing I thought to bring in a small harvest of my daffodils, 

because we had about 3" of heavy, wet snow that destroyed them ...

... but once the sun came out, the dark/warm surfaces melted pretty quickly and we were able to make it to church Sunday.

Anticipating the weekend weather, we shopped big on Wednesday so we wouldn't have to shop on Saturday.  Even with a full larder and freezer, I felt it more important to clear out leftovers from the fridge.  So Saturday I threw together a stew of leftover pork masala and turkey loaf, tiny Yukon potatoes and the remnants of a bag of frozen peas.

Sunday I did much the same, this time using up leftover chicken primavera, augmented with fresh onion, mushrooms, and peppers.

While cleaning out the fridge I disposed of a jar of pizza sauce (opened in July) and a jar of carnitas sauce, both of which "buzzed" my lips when I tasted them.  I really need to do a better job of moving things out!

Monday's meal is planned and we are dining out on Tuesday!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Challenge Week Two

So far I have kept up with my personal challenge to make one block a day from Women of the Bible Quilt during the 40 days of Lent.  In fact, I made one extra block in case I have a particularly busy day and can't get down to the sewing room.

So here's my progress to date.

Monday - Samaritan Woman

Tuesday - Rachel

Wednesday - Jezebel

Thursday - Rebekah  

Friday - Asenath 
Saturday - Jephtah's Daughter 

After I finish each block, I choose the fabrics for the next day.  I hope I have enough of the background print; I may need drive to Knoxville next week (though postage would probably be less than the cost of gas ...) 

 As you can see, so far none of the blocks have been particularly complicated.  However, I am not crazy about the mixture of 10" and 15" blocks, so I will probably resize the two 15" blocks at some time and if the math doesn't work, I'll just replace with another block.

Saturday, March 12, 2022


 It's a good thing I was a day ahead on my Lenton Challenge because yesterday I chased a squirrel.  As with most things in my quilting life there is a backstory ...

Sometime in early 2020 I decided I wanted to make a "summer" quilt for the king-size bed in our very yellow bedroom.  I chose to make Sister's Choice blocks with alternating yellow and gray backgrounds, each one being unique.  

By October of that year I was 26 blocks shy of the 99 blocks I needed.

Except for occasionally working on a block here and there, the project has languished in the box for almost two years, taking up space and keeping usable fabric off the shelf.  Recently I realized I have totally fallen out of love with that project so I  gifted all the finished blocks to an organization that makes quilts for chemo patients.

As I was putting the unused fabrics back on the shelf yesterday I thought I could/should do something with the yellow, it being the RSC color this month.  Wait!  I had just read about Quilters Stand for Ukraine on Pat Sloan's website.  She is offering a free banner pattern (donation to Unicef suggested) in the colors of the Ukranian flag -- blue and YELLOW.

Instead of just wondering IF I could use one of the yellow fabrics, I set about planning, then cutting, then sewing ... until I had my version to hang in a front window.

Notice the blue fabric has sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine and the background has blue and gold leaves.  I reduced the size to fit some of my scraps and when I got to the star in the center I couldn't make the math work so I substituted the SiaS. 

Yep, it was a Drop Everything and Make It kinda day.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

My Lenten Challenge

Last week, at the beginning of Lent, I challenged myself to make one block each day from the 40 blocks in the Women of the Bible Quilt.  

(For those who might be interested, the book of devotions and quilt patterns is offered by Stitchin' Tree Quilts in Woodbine Iowa.  It is available in print and PDF versions.)

I considered working in the suggested layout sections, rather than numerical order, but I realized that I am using many of the same fabrics in the first few blocks I made and it might look unbalanced if  similar fabrics are bunched together in sections of the quilt.  So I am reverting to numerical order for a more even fabric distribution of the fat quarter collections I'm using.

Well, rather than bore you with a daily report on my progress, I decided to do a weekly recap.  

Wednesday - Sarah

Thursday- Hagar

Friday - Delilah

Saturday - Joanna 

Sunday - Eve  

I can't wait to get to some of these women I've never heard of, like Asenath or Shiprah!  As I said before, there is no connection (that I can discern, anyway) between the block and the woman, but the devotional thoughts are worthwhile.

I will add that the pattern directions appear to be aimed at a non-quilter, one who might not have all the tools at hand that we quilters have.  I have changed measurements in many cases to use the Easy Angle for HSTs or to simplify construction by strip piecing.  I am also considering downsizing the 15" blocks to 10" so that I won't have to make all the filler blocks.