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Week One: Summer Projects Update

I have no pictures this week. On Friday, I accidentally spilled a water bottle into my bag.

  1. Baby Quilt for Attikus
    • Fabric Chosen
    • Fabric Cut
    • Blocks Pieced
    • Blocks Assembled
  2. Receiving Blanket for Attikus
    • Fabric Chosen
  3. Baby Quilt for Rohan
    • Fabric Chosen
    • Fabric Cut
    • Blocks Pieced
  4. Receiving Blanket for Rohan
  5. Baby Quilt for unnamed child
    • Fabric Chosen
  6. Receiving Blanket for unnamed child
  7. Hoo Are You? Quilt
    • Background Fabric Chosen
  8. Leaders and Enders Quilt
    • Fabric Chosen
    • Fabric Cut
    • Blocks Pieced
  9. Bonnie K Hunter Mystery Quilt 2017 – On Ringo Lake
    • Fabric Chosen
  10. Project Linus Quilt
    • Out for quilting by Tacy Gray
  11. Harry Potter Tote Bag – Red
    • Fabric Chosen
  12.  Harry Potter Tote Bag – Yellow
    • Fabric Chosen
  13. 2018 The Quilter’s Planner Block Sample Quilt
    1. 3 out of 17 blocks are finished.
  14. Flogging Molly Quilt
  15. 2018 Friendship Quilt Blocks
    • June
      • Fabric Chosen
      • Fabric Cut
      • Fabric Appliqued
    • July
    • August
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I’m alive!!!

Yes I have finally completed my second masters degree. I’m very tired. I can’t wait to start blogging about quilting again. Actually I can’t wait to start quilting again! I have so many projects that I want to work on.

New UFO and Wannabee list:

  1. Baby Quilt for Attikus
  2. Receiving Blanket for Attikus
  3. Baby Quilt for Rohan
  4. Receiving Blanket for Rohan
  5. Baby Quilt for unnamed child
  6. Receiving Blanket for unnamed child
  7. Hoo Are You? Quilt
  8. Leaders and Enders Quilt
  9. Bonnie K Hunter Mystery Quilt 2017 – On Ringo Lake
  10. Project Linus Quilt
  11. Harry Potter Tote Bag – Red
  12.  Harry Potter Tote Bag – Yellow
  13. 2018 The Quilter’s Planner Block Sample Quilt

So this is my list. I can’t wait to see what I have finished by the time I enter the teaching credential in August. I have two months!

Pony Express Winners!

I don’t know how but we managed to visit all 12 shops within a week and 3 were in a different state! On Saturday, we were at the Painted Lady at it’s opening time. We received our stamp. I bought a really cool panel that features the Union generals. I know there is a lot of turmoil right now regarding the Confederate generals. I think it would be a good idea to have the Confederate generals as a panel. Before anyone gets upset, please hear me out. I’m working on my Social Science teaching credential. Someday I might have to teach American history and I’d totally want a Civil War quilt. I think being able to have imagery is an important part of teaching. I’m not saying I’m glorifying but having a quilt with Civil War blocks would be cool. Again just my opinion. This is one of the reasons I’m actually enjoying the Pony Express because if I have to teach about Manifest Destiny and the Development of the West/Frontier I’d like to touch upon the Pony Express.

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Now that that is out of the way, let’s continue with the shop hop. Our next stop was The Quilter’s Faire where my mom got her stamp. I chose to not get my stamp here because we were so close to finishing but each shop only had one winner. I took a risk by doing this but it paid off. Off we went to Monica’s, where my mom won first place! I got my stamp and then rushed back to The Quilter’s Faire where I won first place.

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My mom had the opportunity to pick her own fabric, worth $75. I was given a fat quarter bundle worth $75. It was perfect timing because my mom was letting me know about the round robin she will be hosting in her quilting classes. She needed a 10th person, aka me. Have you ever done a friendship Round Robin quilt? Basically, you have 10 people and each person gives a journal and fabric of what they are looking for in their quilt, maybe a theme or a pattern book. Originally, I was thinking of the Be My Neighbor quilt by Pat Sloan. I’d provide the patterns, background fabric, and roof fabric. But now that I have this Western-y fabric. I’m thinking back to the block patterns that I received back in 2016 during the San Diego Quilt Cruiser run. I believe those were all Western theme AND I have 10 blocks! I would just need to cut up the fabric and provide baggies and the journal. I guess I’m set!

 

Pony Express Part 2: California

The next part of the Pony Express included my mom, my boyfriend, and Porkchop. We headed to San Diego. There were only two shops but they were far apart from each other. Our first stop was Memory Lane Quilts where they showed off the Pony Express messenger bag. It’s super cute. I have the pattern but there were parts that I didn’t understand. Being able to see it in person and know someone who made it means I can get in touch with them in case I need help. I can’t wait to make mine but in Finding Dory fabric. I still have 1 yard of Finding Dory fabric.

Then we were off to Julian. I’d never been until now and I loved the scenic drive. I had no idea that Julian was known for it’s apple and cider. We got our stamp at a brand new quilt shop, Quilts N’ More Julian. It’s super duper tiny. Like Itty Bitty. But has a lot of potential. The location is great as it’s next to the main street. I can totally see myself coming here again for a relaxing weekend of sewing and eating apple. Before we left, we decided to grab a quick bite at Apple Alley Bakery.

On day three we were sans the boyfriend as we headed to Los Angeles. I did NOT drive. Out first stop was Tops and Bobbins in Hesperia were I bought a cute little kit that uses the Pony Express fabric line. The pattern that is included is titled Wild Ride. I also bought another Bigfoot block from the Southern California Quilter’s Run because I’m thinking of incorporating it into a bag. Off we went to Northridge.

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I’d never been to Candy’s Quiltworks. I guess it has been open for a long time but I’d never heard of it. It’s a large shop! I managed to buy three more neutral fat quarters. On our drive there we saw the damage of the Las Tunas Canyon fire that happened during Labor Day Weekend. I don’t live anywhere near that’s fire prone but it looks and sounds scary. At one point, we saw where the fire jumped the freeway. I’m not sure if homes were damaged but wow. Scary stuff.

The drive back home was brutal. I hate driving through Los Angeles. I get so anxious. My mom ended up getting off the freeway and we took side streets from Altadena to Glendora. We reached Glendora at 3:30PM. They were very disorganized with the Pony Express event that we didn’t stay at all. We actually didn’t look through the shop. My mom and I looked at the time and made the quick decision to drive to Norco in order to receive our 9th stamp. We used Google maps and with traffic we were going to get there at 4:45. The shop closes daily at 5PM. We were definitely raising against the clock. But we made it!

Yards of Neutral Bought: 1

Total Yards of Neutral: 14.75

Pony Express Part 1

When I started this blog, I thought about naming it, “The Traveling Quilter” because I love to travel. But now I’m thinking I should have named it “The Shop Hop Addict.” Yes, I just started another shop hop. This time it’s Northcott’s Pony Express.

IMG_20170909_084431718We started on the very first day by driving to the furthermost three shops which were in Utah. Saturday morning at 5:45AM, my mother, my dog, and I headed north. When we passed Baker we were hit with a huge (to us) microburst. It was intense! I’d never driven in rain. Before we reached Baker, I had noticed in the distance a very ominous looking sunrise. It reminded me of the entrance to Mt Doom from The Lord of the Rings. Little did I know that we’d be passing that area. But it was exciting and we were on an adventure.

IMG_20170909_081733636_HDROut first pit stop was right before we reached the border between California and Nevada. It was pouring rain but Porkchop had to potty. It was a very interesting rest area as it had binoculars looking out in the vast desert land. There were a lot of crows that were not afraid of people. They were the owners of that rest stop. One crow let me get really close and I was able to take a picture. Then, we were off again.

I hadn’t been to Las Vegas in over 15 years and it still looks grungy (I don’t like Vegas). There was so much construction that it felt like the city just ran forever. Our next stop was in Mesquite, Nevada. There was nothing special here, we just needed to stretch and put gas into the car. Porkchop was super happy to be out of the car for a brief 10 minutes. Then confusion set in, I had no idea that we’d be driving through Arizona. My geography must be really bad OR I need to spend time with a map. Maybe both.

We were only in Arizona for 30 miles but it was a surreal 30 miles. I had never heard of Virgin River Gorge. Have you? I was the driver so unfortunately I was unable to take photos our first time around. It was really breath-taking. A bit scary with all the curves. Before I knew it we were in Utah and it was such a contrast to the desert-like gorge. It was green everywhere. It was cloudy on our way to Cedar City and the drive just reminded me of my train ride through Scotland. It was such a wonderful drive.

IMG_20170909_203003722It was my first time in Utah and I can’t wait to go back. Maybe someday I can stay for a week or two and explore the area. By the time we reached Cedar City it was 1PM (Central? Mountain? Time). Our first stop was Hurst Ace Hardware. I’ve been in an Ace Hardware store before but a Hurst Ace Hardware is way different. The best I can explain it is if Target met JoAnn’s and Home Depot. It was fun to quickly rummage through everything. The fabric selection was great. Large for a store that has other stuff. The quilts hanging on the walls were beautiful. I totally showed off how Californian I really am. While there I stated in disgust, “ugh, they don’t have coconut water!” I was self-judging at that point. Really I’m worried about coconut water while looking for fabric.

We then started our trip back to St. George. We stopped at the second Hurst Ace Hardware and then Scrap Apple Quilting. I felt so bad for the owner of the quilt shop. My mom and I were really loud (typical Latinas) and all the customers were quiet. It was like a library. But to be fair, we had been stuck in a car for over six hours. My mom napped most of the way. We had a lot of pent up energy. Scrap Apple Quilting is such a beautiful shop. It was big and had a great selection. I managed to add four more fat quarters to my neutral fabric stash.

Then by 2:15PM we were back on the way home. This time, my mom drove from St. George to Barstrow so that I could take photos of the gorge and study for my CSET exam.

Yards of Neutral Bought: 1.5

Total Yards of Neutral: 13.75

Birthday and Finished Projects

Happy Birthday to me! I just finished celebrating my 33rd birthday so I haven’t a lot of time to quilt. Instead, I had the opportunity to celebrate a week of me with my parents and boyfriend.

My celebration began with dinner at my favorite restaurant, Famous Dave’s. I love the rib tips because the recipe calls for a dry rub versus BBQ sauce. I don’t get a chance to eat at Famous Dave’s very often but when I do it’s always for a special occasion. I order the same meal: rib tips with a side of mustard, BBQ beans, cornbread, and BBQ chips. I got hungry just thinking about it.

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After dinner, we all went back to my parents house to open presents, aka Amazon boxes. I was so excited because my parents got me a ukulele! I’m super ecstatic because I have always wanted one. When I was a teen, I used to play the guitar and vihuela because I was in a mariachi band. I’ve had a love for folk instruments for a while. Now that ukuleles are popular and with the magic of YouTube, I’ll be playing in no time. One of the songs that I’ve been wanting to learn how to play is “I Lava You,” featured, as a short, in the movie, Inside Out. My parents gifted me a diffuser. I’ve been using it almost every night and it’s been so helpful with my sleeping habits. I add a little bit of lavender oil and turn it on 30 minutes before I go to bed, then I spend the time using a coloring book. I have no trouble falling asleep.

Then, the next day, I celebrated with my boyfriend. I went to Denny’s for my free breakfast meal. I love Denny’s because I have associated it with great childhood memories. Afterward, we went back home and I opened a lot of presents. I don’t know if I’ve ever received these many gifts as adult before. My boyfriend gave me $45 in Starbucks gift cards, $100 cash to use for my quilting habit, 3 coloring books (Bob’s Burger, World of Warcraft, and Moana), and a thumb piano. Have you ever seen one of these before? I know of a few teachers that have used them in the classroom for managing the students. Now I have one for my classroom. Look at the amazing things you can do with a thumb piano!

Then, we were off to Disneyland for the rest of the day! I don’t remember when was the last time I had this much fun. We laughed so much while on Splash Mountain. Andrew made me laugh when he was chosen as the rebel spy during Star Tours. We tried to go on as many of rides as possible within six hours.  We walked and talked for hours. It was great.

How much quilting did I actually finished? Not much. I did manage to finish my Halloween bag. It doesn’t look bad at all. When I started I was really worried because of the cross. Now I’m okay with it. I’m ready to show it off at the guild meeting. My mom also finished a flannel baby quilt. The fabric is from 2003 and features Peter Rabbit. It was given to me by my boyfriend’s grandmother. The grandmother had started the quilt and managed to complete the nine-patch but then decided quilting wasn’t for her; instead she started a non-profit. I gave the quilt to my mom because she keeps baby quilts on reserve for when a baby shower in announced. Mom was recently certified for long arm quilting so she has been practicing every chance she gets.

Row by Row Finale

After my boyfriend left the hospital we decided it would be best if I stayed with him for a few days. I don’t have a sewing machine with my boyfriend so I wasn’t able to continue working on projects. However, while I was there, I managed to go to a few local shops for the last week of Row by Row.

My first stop was Piecemakers in Costa Mesa. This place is a wow! It’s such a odd feeling to go to a shop and feel like you’re at home. I kept thinking I was at my grandmother’s home except my grandmother’s home doesn’t look like that. It was an ideal of what grandma’s house should look like.

IMG_20170901_184447970The first room features home decor ready to be purchased. While I looked around, I discovered a tea room! They have a tea room in the middle of the store and they serve apple pie! Then *mind blown* they bake their own apple pies in their kitchen classroom upstairs. Guests can take an apple pie baking class. How cool is that? I didn’t sit down to eat some pie but it looked delicious. Maybe next time. The back of the store has fabric, patterns, yarn, embroidery patterns, etc. Of course I purchased some fabric: one fat quarter neutral and some fabric for a wannabee quilt, maybe for the upcoming National Jelly Roll Day.

Upstairs is a whole different beast. There was a room with Christmas ornaments, ready to buy quilts (they were beautiful!), classrooms that can be reserved, and a beauty salon. This shop has it all, even a band! In early October, there will be a Fall Holiday Sale and I can’t wait to go back with my mom. I truly think she would enjoy the place.

IMG_20170830_132216832Once I got back to Anaheim, I took my boyfriend on a food adventure to Zzaam! I’m not sure how long this place has been opened but I’m glad it’s near by. Back in 2011, I had traveled to Seoul and fell in love with their food. My favorite food while visiting was Mandu-Guk (Dumpling Soup) and I’ve never found it in the USA until recently at Zzaam. I’m looking forward to going back to the restaurant because I didn’t get the Mandu-Guk. I was so excited that I didn’t read the menu. I ended up ordering the Street Soup. It was a little different from Korea but that’s because it was missing Spam and Franks. Hah! It was delicious.

My next adventure in Orange County was in Tustin. My boyfriend and I began our day with breakfast at Snooze AM Eatery. I’m not a fan. I think the food and service is better at Denny’s so I won’t be going back. But anyways, after breakfast, we headed to Mel’s Fabric and Sewing Center for another Row by Row. My boyfriend, Andrew, ended up talking to the owner about the long arm quilting machine that was on sale. The only thing keeping my boyfriend from purchasing the long arm is the space. We have no idea where we would put it. Decisions…

My boyfriend is interested in buying his own machine in order to make a living for himself. With the seizures getting worse and worse, we aren’t sure if he will be able to have a full-time office job. I am just thankful that he has been able to keep attending grad school. We are both in our mid-30s therefore the idea of being permanently disabled is scary. I’m one of four people who take turns driving him around but I don’t know how long everyone else will continue to help us. There was already one negative Nancy who advised my mom (not even me!) that I should break up with him.

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When I get stressed about life, I end up buying fabric. And that is exactly what I did! I went back to M & L’s Fabric to buy fabric for the Project Linus quilt. I’m been wanting to purchase Disney’s Lilo and Stitch fabric for a really long time. I didn’t have a reason to but when I saw that Project Linus asked for a neutral fabric, I jumped at the chance. The fabric on the left is a bright beautiful orange (the photo doesn’t do it justice). I’m loving the color combo of orange and teal. I’ll try and remember that for next time.

I realized I was on a Disney kick when I purchased some Mickey Mouse fabric to make some ears and a travel bag for my friend Susan over at Wilderness, Found. I can’t wait to finish this project because it was meant for her birthday (August) but I didn’t start until September. Maybe we will be able to go to Disneyland for one final summer adventure. And of course, I couldn’t leave without buying MORE neutral fabric.

Yards of Neutral Bought: .375

Total Yards of Neutral: 12.25

Mystery Quilts, Hospital Visits, and Reflections

Don’t you just love a good mystery? Pat Sloan currently has a mystery quilt sew along titled Grandma’s Kitchen. It is fantastic! When I heard about the quilt, I knew exactly what colors inspire me because of an old painting my grandmother had: Horse and Buggy Days by Paul Detlefsen. This painting used to hang in her botica (pharmacy) and then in the children’s room in Mexico. When my sister bought her first house, she asked my grandmother for the painting and now it resides in Southern California. A minimum of three cousins have fought over the painting. I can’t wait to start the quilt!

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I have so many quilt projects in the works! For example, I started my fellow cohort graduation presents. Each member of the cohort will receive a microwavable bowl holder, a mug rug, and a notebook. There are seven or eight members so if I start now I’ll be finished by May. At least that was the plan!

IMG_20170827_160059334_TOPMy boyfriend ended up in the emergency room after finally collapsing from a seizure. We knew that eventually it would happen as the seizures began to progress but I was sad to hear that he was alone when the second one happened. You see, last week, he had a seizure in front of this grandmother. She freaked out and called the paramedics. When he arrived at the emergency room, the doctors unknowingly gave him seizure medications that caused an allergic reaction. My boyfriend didn’t have to stay over night but his throat and tongue swelled up. Then this last seizure, he was alone, he collapsed, hit his head and severely bit his tongue. His tongue got infected. For three days, he didn’t say anything but wasn’t getting any better. He went to Urgent Care who told him to go to the Emergency Room where he was admitted for seizures, the tongue, high blood pressure, and the infection.

I hate hospitals. Despise them. My boyfriend found out that I was uncomfortable because my first reaction was something along the lines of, “no, not the hospital, that’s where people go to die!” My childhood memories are of my mom sitting next to my little sister for three years until my sister passed away. Then my sister sat next to her daughter after she was born with a heart problem. I remember my grandfather being in the hospital weeks before he died. It’s just not a fun place. Then, when I lost my own daughter before her birth, I knew that if she lived the amount of surgeries she would need. Therefore to see my boyfriend in a hospital bed, and I siting there waiting for the time to pass…I was uncomfortable.

While sitting there, I received a sign! I was scrolling my Instagram page when I came across a posting by the Fat Quarter Shop regarding the Project Linus‘ annual mystery. I’ve always wanted to do something memorable to honor my baby. How about a quilt? I really need to go shopping for fabric IF I’m going to work on another quilt.

Finally, Bonnie Hunter just let her fans know that her color choices will be available in eight weeks! She has been giving her fans black and white photos and its like ugh… killing me with excitement. I have over 12 yards of neutral fabric and I can’t wait to use them. I just have to think it will be October before I know it.

Paper Piecing: Guild Workshop

IMG_20170525_194224125 - CopyThis past weekend, I finally took a paper piecing class. My guild thankfully offered the class so I jumped at the chance to learn how to paper piece. The reason I wanted to learn how to paper piece is because I’ve been wanting to make the Project of Doom! If you don’t know what it is, it’s a Harry Potter inspired quilt. I mean who doesn’t love Harry Potter?

When I signed up to take the class, I knew it was going to be a tulip-like pillow project. I was less than enthusiastic. I’m not a fan of floral designs but I wanted to learn so I accepted what was available. I kept avoiding buying fabric for the longest time. Eventually on the day before the class, I rushed to Quilter’s Cocoon and bought some Halloween theme fabric.

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I didn’t mean to buy so much fabric, let alone, Halloween fabric. I started searching the clearance fabric sale which is where I found the spider neutral fabric. It was the neutral that caught my eye! So right there and then I told myself, well my tulip will be a Halloween tulip. I found the poke-a-dot fabric and then the purple and green. Those were on sale as well which is why I bought them. I spend $20 so I guess it wasn’t that bad. I figured that if I didn’t like the project, I could make something else. Hint: I ended up making something else.

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Lana was the class instructor and she is a great instructor. In fact, she is a former elementary school teacher! A lot of quilters are former teachers. I think that’s an interesting correlation. She shared a few of her paper piecing quilts such as the ones above. My favorite one was her Three Sisters Paper Piecing Quilt from 2009 (it’s the featured image). I’ve been looking for the pattern online but I doubt it exists now after all these years. It is beautiful!

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When I started my paper piecing I kept thinking I was messing up. I was seriously stressed out about my choices of fabric, along with my straight lines. I could see that there was something different from the pattern that I saw but I couldn’t point to it. Can you see the difference between my block and the block that was used as an example? It’s a different flower!!! My tulip is WAY simpler than the one that was shown to us when we signed up for the class. Isn’t that funny. Even Lana hadn’t noticed. It wasn’t until we began to sew the four tulips together that it finally dawned on us. Our tulips were not going to look anything like the tulip that Lana had made.

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It was at this point, when I had trimmed my blocks, that I began to like my paper pieced tulips. I liked the purple and the Halloween themed. I really thought they stood out. However, I am always looking to see what I can do differently on the next quilt. I’d go with different values of green and purple. It would add more depth.

IMG_20170812_151357958And then this happened. I should have added sashing in between my tulips! You can’t tell they are tulips and this upset me greatly. I’ve made a major mistake!!! I didn’t want a giant lime green cross! So this tulip pillow will be becoming a Trick or Treat bag. It is going to be similar to the charity bags that I sewed earlier this year. The only different will be the pockets. It won’t need pockets. What am I supposed to do with yet another bag? I might just give it away.

But silly me, now I want my own tulip quilt. I honestly think wannabees are simply part of a quilter’s life. I went on to Google images for tulip fields. I was really inspired by the following image:

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Photo Credit: Unknown

I love the yellows, the purples, reds and pinks. I love how they go together and how you can see the greens and hints of white. I love how it reminds me of my time in Amsterdam. And on the plus, it’s not blue. Whenever I think of Holland, I am reminded of the Delftware (blue and white pottery). But when I think of Tulip fields I see color. I live for brightness and warmth. When I get to this quilt, I’ll be using my lovely scraps. I have lots of scraps (mostly cool colors) and can’t wait to see what I can do with them. And this time, I’ll be sure to add sashing.

My Local Quilt Shops

Last week, my mom and I decided to visit a new quilt shop in our area. It’s called Easy Quilting Corner  and it’s located in Riverside. It’s a very small yet filled to the brim kind of place. It reminded me of the fabric shops in Prague. The owner is super friendly and helpful. I bought the dog version of the newspaper that I had bought earlier during the Southern California Quilter’s Run. This one is titled the Canine Chronicle. It’s so cute. I can’t wait to use it.

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Afterwards, we headed to Grand Terrace where Bluebird Quilts is located. Their Row by Row is so cute! And they have the previous two years available. I didn’t really have any money to buy them but wow. My mom bought a pattern that features the license plates from the Row by Row and she has been collecting them. I can’t wait to see when she makes that quilt. It’s going to look great. While at Bluebird, I picked out a simple neutral fabric that looks like a soccer ball. I can’t wait to go back when I have money for a few more patterns. The owner creates amazing stuff.

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After we were done with our little excursion, I had time to make my own mini marker roll up holder. I didn’t use a pattern! It was a little complicated but I figured it out. If you notice I used my Asian-theme fat quarters that I used to make a wallet, an ear bud case, and a library tote bag. I still have more fabric! I have to figure out what I will make next. Hah! Maybe a coin purse? Or a notebook cover?

 

Screenshot (11)A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had messed up on my measurements for my leaders and enders challenge. I ended up cutting my stars fabric too long and now I have only 129 stripes which isn’t enough for my 60×72 inch quilt! I’m redesigning my quilt and the image on the left is sort of what I am now planning. I have 12 blocks going across and 11 up and down. I’d need 132 blocks total for this design to work. I have 129. So I have to figure out how I’m going to work this. I found another neutral fabric that I don’t like so it will be going into this quilt. I’m planning on either giving this quilt away OR keeping it in my car as an emergency blanket.

 

Yards of Neutral Bought: .5

Total Yards of Neutral: 11.875