Monday, June 25, 2018

A Flimsy Finish!

I spent nearly the whole weekend sewing.  Remember that box of scraps I got in the mail?  I raided it for strips to make more 9-patches for the centers of my Sister's Choice blocks.
3.5" 9-patches - I LOVE small piecing!
It turns out I got carried away and made one Sister's Choice block too many - oh well, it'll find a home in an orphan block quilt one day.  But all the others ended up here, in my completed Sister's Choice flimsy! 

5" blocks, so it measures 55.5" square
I used all but a few crumbs of the neutral I used in the alternate blocks and pieced border blocks.  I have about half a yard left of the navy.  At first I thought I'd use it for a border, but it would make such a skinny border that I decided against it.  Instead, I'll use it for binding.

I'm so tickled with the way this turned out - scrappy just makes me smile!

I'm also pleased with myself for sticking with this one project to its completion.  (Of course, I'm still making my daily blocks for my temperature quilt, but that's different.)  I now give myself permission to get back to my Flutterby quilt.  I may have to rethink that one and make it bigger than I first intended because I love it so much I think I want it on my bed!
6" blocks - I have a long way to go before this will cover my queen bed

These quilts would be quicker if the blocks were bigger, but I love the look of lots of little blocks.

And while I am tempted to fire up the machine and get sewing on those Flutterby blocks, I signed myself up for guitar lessons this summer, so I'm off for my first lesson.  Woo hoo!  I love summer as an educator!  I can't remember the last time I had so much time however I want to fill it!

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

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Start of Summer

The end of the school year for an educator is an absolute whirlwind; the couple of minutes a day that I carved out to sew a seam or knit a few stitches literally kept me sane.  But when school let out on June 1, things didn't slow down for me.  Instead, a boarded a plane with one other adult and eleven students and headed down to the Dominican Republic to build a house with a local organization there called Cambiando Vidas.  In just 5 days, we helped the new homeowners and their community members take their house from simply a foundation to ready-to-move-in.  What a fantastically gratifying experience!
In the evening before the key ceremony

The new homeowners, Andreas (c), and his sons Leidy (l) and Francis (r)
During my seven days in the Dominican Republic, I brushed up on my Spanish speaking skills, including giving a short speech in Spanish to the entire community during the key ceremony on the last night, but also worked on knitting a sock - the perfect travel project.  This is the first of my Cambiando Vidas Socks, adapted from a recipe by my friend Catherine.

Once I returned home, I had one day of rest before heading off to Yale for a two-day office retreat.  I know it is almost blasphemous for a Harvard grad to admit this, but I love Yale's campus.  I've been there several times, usually to present at conferences, but each time I am more and more impressed.  (Longtime readers, do you remember the year I had a bit of extra time after checking out of my hotel and before my flight so I walked to the New Haven airport?  That still cracks me up!)

Therefore, this is day three of my summer vacation.  I have plenty of work to keep me busy over the summer, but I am planning to pace myself, working no more than 2 hours a day, and ideally walking over to the office to get the work done, keeping work and vacation as separate as possible.  (Of course, I already blew those plans, spending nearly 3 hours in the office yesterday.  Sigh.)

My current vacation plans have included reading (most recently The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Clammed Up by Barbara Ross, and currently Murder in Merino by Sally Goldenbaum and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead), knitting (see Cambiando Vidas Socks above), and sewing.

I'm up to date on my 2018 Temperature Quilt,
The blocks on right are awaiting a June Average Temps block before they can be sewn together and added to the quilt.
and am trying to finish up this small Sister's Choice quilt, as its size is dictated by the amount of blue and neutral material I have for the alternate blocks and borders.

I received another box of scraps from one of my quilter friends in Virginia, so I'm itching to add blocks to my Flutterby quilt, but I'm trying to be disciplined and finish the Sister's Choice top first.  We'll see how that goes...

One goal for the summer is to get some tops machine quilted, but I'm hitting a brick wall.  I've reached out to several local quilters, but they've not gotten back to me.  I may have to send them out.  I'm not looking for anything fancy, no custom work, just pantographs.  Any suggestions for some affordable and quality longarm services out there that will accept my humble quilts?

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap!