Monday, March 26, 2018

Then, by Brad Paisley

I love the song, Then, by Brad Paisley.  It encapsulates how I feel about my husband so well.  Turns out, it also speaks to how I feel about this Flutterby quilt!  I loved my first block, then loved it more once I had a number of blocks laid out together, then this weekend I laid it out with some border strips and some pieced border, and, I tell ya, I love it even more now!

Then I did the math and realized I need 140 blocks to make it the size I want.  Oh well, they go together quickly.  50 down, 90 to go!

I'm linking up with Monday Making and Oh Scrap.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Fickle me

Sometimes I lament how long it takes me to finish a project.  I can't help but compare myself to the amazing quilters whose blogs I follow who seem to be able to crank out a new project every few weeks.  I have to remind myself that my process is different, and that we aren't here to compare ourselves to each other.  And when I take stock of everything I AM doing, it's actually quite a bit; it's just spread out across several projects.  What can I say - I'm fickle.  What I feel like working on today isn't necessarily what I'll feel like working on tomorrow.

The project that received most of my attention today is my Sister's Choice quilt.  It's simple and fun and since I already have so many precut scraps, the blocks go together quickly.
I've decided to keep the alternate blocks constant, as several of you suggested.
I also managed two more On Ringo Lake blocks, bringing my total up to 30, and three more Flutterby blocks, bringing that total up to 39 blocks.  My temperature quilt is also up to date.  It was a satisfying day at the sewing machine, which is good because I also took my kids bowling today, and my 7 year old nephew kicked my butt!

Yesterday was mostly spent hand quilting my new niece/nephew's quilt.  I bought a wide backing from my LQS rather than piece a backing,
In addition to the Judie Rothermel backing, I picked up a few WoW remnants - can never have enough of those.
and I've enjoyed watching Heartland while I work on it.  My niece calls the show "a TV version of a country song," and I guess she's right.  But I love country music, have always daydreamed about being a cowgirl, and the scenery is breathtaking, so it works for me!
Yesterday, there was actually SUN so I could quilt with natural light.  Spring, I am ready for you to arrive!
I've also been working on a new knitting project, loosely following a pattern, but modifying it to use up all of the yarn I've designated for the project.  I played yarn chicken, hoping to get to the end of the row before a color change, and I won!  Whew!  I made it with just inches to spare!
The pattern is Dourado on Ravelry, but I am modifying it to use up my mini skeins of Katia Ombre yarn
And look!  I've continued to unpack from our move in August, and came across this pixellated heart that I had forgotten I had pieced!  I think it needs some other hearts to keep it company so it can be made into a useable sized quilt, don't you think?  But I'll save that project for another day - I have plenty to keep me busy these days.
Made with 2" squares from my scrap bins
In the meantime, all my quilty adoption items were shipped out on Tuesday, and I've started to hear that they've made it to their new homes.  I hope to see what they become in someone else's hands.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Forward motion on FOUR projects!

My kids had a half day of school on Friday, so I picked them up and took them snowboarding for the afternoon, and then out to dinner with my mom, brother, and younger sister and her family.  It was a fun day, but I didn't get a lick of sewing done.  I had prepped some hexies to work on at the ski lodge, but my 2 year old niece was there, so I spent the time hanging with her.

In light of my family-heavy Friday, I had no qualms about sequestering myself in my sewing room this weekend.  Not only did I do a major re-organization and cleaning in there (my brother is spending the night tonight, and since my sewing room is also my home office and my guest room, it needed attention before it was ready for a guest), but I was also able to move four projects forward.

On Ringo Lake now has 28 completed blocks:
22 left to go.  They go together quickly since I've already made all the components, but the monotony of the color scheme slows me down.  Yes, it is scrappy, but I'm used to scrappy with all colors of the rainbow, not just four colors.
Flutterby now has 36 completed blocks:
I am LOVING this!  Definitely making it big enough for me to use!
I've finished 4 Sister's Choice blocks:
5" blocks - I LOVE small blocks!  They are just so cute to me!
But in doing so, I got to thinking how many 5" blocks it would take to make a useable sized quilt - A LOT!!  That's what alternate blocks are for, right?  I've always wanted to make a quilt with QST blocks/hourglass blocks as the alternate block, so I made four alternate blocks to see if I like the look - I do!

My question, though, is this: Since the blocks are so scrappy, should the QST blocks be scrappy, too?  I mean, instead of using one constant neutral and one constant navy blue (although it looks black in the photo, doesn't it?), should I use a variety of neutrals and blues for the alternate blocks?  If you have an opinion, please chime in!

And finally, today I rearranged my Starburst quilt a bit so I can start to quilt it.  When I finished the flimsy in October 2016, I noticed in my photograph that the yellow and green blocks in the bottom right corner should probably be swapped, but ugh!  Unstitching?  Yuck! 

So I just let it sit.  And sit.  And sit.  But the baby I've decided to give it to is due in less than two weeks, so it is time to stop sitting and start quilting.  So I swapped the green and yellow blocks (in the lower left corner in this photo). 
It's been packed up for months - excuse the wrinkles.
Does it make a big difference?  No, but it isn't niggling at the back of my mind now.  My goal is to piece a backing and have it basted no later than the end of the day Tuesday.

Tuesday is also the day that I'll be choosing recipients for my 5 quilt projects that are up for adoption.  If you haven't checked out the quilt adoption items at Cynthia's blog, be sure to hop over there - there's some fun stuff up for grabs for free!

I'm linking up with Monday Making and Oh Scrap.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Adopt me, please!!

EDITED 3/20/18: My adoption event is now closed.

I am a starter.  I get ideas, and I can't wait to start playing around with fabric to see where the idea will go.  Unfortunately, rarely do I finish.  I run out of steam, or the idea doesn't pan out the way I had hoped, or my attention is diverted to my next great idea.  My pile of UFOs is embarrassing.  Shameful, even.

Which is where YOU come in.  By adopting my unfinished projects, you can help me alleviate my guilt over my Quilter's ADD.  This time around, I have 5 projects up for grabs.  If you are interested in adopting a project, leave a comment with that project's letter (A, B, C, etc), and if more than one person is interested, I'll throw names in a hat and have my kids pull winners.  If you are interested in more than one, let me know any and all that interest you in your comment.  Be sure to include your email address if you are a no-reply blogger so I can contact you for your mailing address.  I have no restrictions on how you use these - make a quilt for yourself, for a loved one or for charity; as long as it is being used, I am happy.  I am also happy to pay shipping so there is no cost to you.  Truly, I have no space and any little bit that I can move out, the better.  I will select the new "parents" on the morning of Tuesday, March 20, and ship out as soon as I receive mailing addresses.  I am located in Massachusetts, and am happy to ship to the US and Canada (so sorry if you are visiting from elsewhere).  My home is smoke-free, but I do have a dog (although he doesn't quilt).

OK, here we go!

Back in September 2013, I came into possession of a white-on-white fabric with dots and circles on it.  That's all it took to get me to pull any and all 5" squares with dots or circles from my pre-cut scraps bins and start throwing something together.  I love the idea and the fabrics, but I just couldn't get excited about a layout.  Here are some of the things I tried:

I give up.  Here's what you would receive:

  •  Eighteen pieced blocks that measure 5" (unfinished)
  • Twenty-eight 5" squares of assorted dot/circle fabric
  • Thirty-two 2" x 5" WoW background strips
  • Four 2" squares of WoW background squares
  • Fifty-nine 2" squares of assorted dot/circle fabric
  • 24" x 14" piece of WoW background fabric plus a couple smaller scraps of same fabric
  • Plus the random blocks below

Not sure what I was doing here, making kites, maybe?  These block quadrants are 4.5" unfinished.

Seeing as my boys are now teenagers, this project is AT LEAST ten years old.  I remember thinking I'd make a "Love Bug" quilt, making heart blocks out of fabrics with bugs on them.  I made one heart and moved on to something else.  Story of my quilting life.  Here's what you would receive:

  • One 6.5" pieced heart block
  • Seven assorted bug fabrics, ranging in size from 6.5" squares to a quarter yard
  • Thirty-seven 4" squares of WoW fabric

Way back when my boys still thought I was smart and pretty and cool, they wanted to quilt with me.  My youngest started a farmer/tractor quilt, and lost interest after just one sewing session. (OMG!  Is Quilter's ADD hereditary???)  Anyway, he was fine with me letting go of the material he had picked out for his quilt.  Some of it has been repurposed, but we are left with three adorable tractor panels and some other random tractor/farm fabric.  Here's what you'd receive:

  • Three tractor panels that measure about 9.5" 
  • Four approx. 11" square tractor/farm squares of fabric

I gravitate towards small panels, thinking that I'll use them for the center of blocks.  Earlier this year, I tried this with some small seed packet panels that I'd been hoarding for years, and it turns out I didn't like the result at all.  Probably just the setting I chose, but now I'm reluctant to use these little panels.  They are lovely, but I just don't know what to do with them.  If you have an idea, throw your hat into the ring for a chance to own them.  Here's what you'll receive:

  • Two WOF pieces of Botanica by Judith Baker Montana for Robert Kaufman; one piece measures 22", the other measures 18".  There are 81 little approx 4" flower blocks total on the two pieces together.

I have been working on a scrappy Grandmother's Flower Garden hexagon quilt for well over a decade.  My quilter friends back in Virginia were great about giving me their leftovers and cast-offs, and one baggie that I received contained pre-cut hexies.  BONUS!  I've put those hexies to use, but then there were these elongated hexagons as well.  They don't work for my current project (believe me, I tried!), and I am NOT starting another hexagon quilt, so these are just sitting around collecting dust.  Anyone want to make a hexie quilt with these?  They are primarily reproduction fabrics.  Here's what you'd receive:

  • 325 pre-cut elongated hexies that measure approx 2.25" x 3.25".  The one basted hexie in the bunch measures 1.5" x 2.5".

Be sure to check out the other items up for adoption from others at Cynthia's blog.

And if you are new to my blog, I recently sold my yarn and fabric shop and moved to a new state, so I am in a rather constant state of de-stashing as I try to fit into my new home.  My ETSY shop has destash fabric from my personal stash as well as "direct from my recently closed yarn shop" yarn at very reasonable prices.  New items are added nearly every week.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Vacation Sewing

I know that there are some folks out there who can knock out a quilt in a weekend, but I'm not one of them.  I am S...L...O...W...

But I'm having a great time sewing away on my school vacation so far!  Saturday was a no-sew day because I took my boys snowboarding and then had dinner at my twin sister's house.  On Sunday, I finished adding the hexies I'd made so far to my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  Time to prep some more hexies for travel and meetings.

Monday didn't include much sewing, as my younger sister taught her final yoga class before my new niece or nephew arrives (yeah, she's 9 months pregnant and still WAY more flexible than I am) so I drove to NH to take her class.  By the time I got home, I was in need of a nap, and then I had to (gasp!) cook.  The only drawback to vacation is that the dining hall is closed.  I am SO SPOILED not having to cook for my family anymore.  Well, except for vacations. (sigh)

But today, I went in to work for a couple hours in the morning, and sewed ALL AFTERNOON while binge watching Psych.  I thought I was getting a lot done, but when I laid out my blocks, the total seemed a bit paltry for the hours of sewing I put in.  Maybe I should listen to a story instead of watching a show...

Oh well.  There are many days of sewing left in this vacation.

I am linking up with Monday Making and Oh Scrap.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Woefully unprepared!

Last week, I visited St. Louis on a counselor visit to Washington University. 
The courthouse under the arch is where they tried the Dred Scott case - cool!
I left on Wednesday, well prepared with two books to read and six flowers worth of hexagons ready to baste and then sew together for my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt...or so I thought.

I had finished one book and all my hexagons by Thursday evening. 
I did all the basting on the planes.  I use the mylar pop-out templates, not paper.

Oops!  Ran out of templates!  Gotta add the flowers to the main quilt to free up some more templates.

Oh well, my second book would get me through the flights home on Friday, I thought.  WRONG!  The nor'easter that battered the East Coast meant that all flights were cancelled, and they couldn't re-book me on a flight home until SUNDAY!!!  Luckily, Washington University was gracious about bringing me back to campus and providing me with a room for my extended stay, but what was a gal to do?  My second book was finished before bedtime on Friday.  Luckily, Washington University is situated next to Forest Park which has a zoo, a history museum and an art museum, all FREE to the public.  Saturday was a day of exploration!  I walked miles and miles, enjoying the park, the history museum and the art museum.  I ran out of steam before I made it to the zoo, got something to eat and went to bed ridiculously early.  Then, I bought another book at the airport on Sunday to help me make it through the day.

I made it back home on Sunday just in time for Sit Down Dinner duty and study hall duty.  It's a busy week here at school, exam time, so I don't have much time to sew, but I'm using every spare moment to sew these hexie flowers onto the quilt so I can free up some more of my templates.

(If you've not used the templates before, you pop them out once a hexie is completely surrounded by other hexies.  I have a combination of "Quilt Patis" and "Brandy's Mylar Pieces" - which has apparently gone out of business - but I've also made my own templates before with card stock and a hole punch.  I prefer this method over traditional English Paper Piecing where you actually baste onto the paper.) 
The backside of my quilt.  You can see there are only templates in the outside pieces.  I use that black "stick" to pop the templates out once a hexagon is completely surrounded by other hexagons.

But starting Saturday, I have TWO WHOLE WEEKS OFF!!!  Can you tell how I excited I am?  My own children will be in school (they had a week off in February, and will have another week off in April), so I am dreaming of spending all day, every day, creating!

And in April, when I have two more counselor visits scheduled (to Vanderbilt in Nashville, and then to six colleges in Ohio: Kenyon, Denison, Wittenberg, Ohio Wesleyan, College of Wooster and Oberlin), you can best believe I am going to bring more handwork than I think I can finish, just in case!

I am linking up with Oh Scrap and Monday Making.