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.

Monday, February 26, 2018

More of the same

My creative life this week was much like last week - a couple more On Ringo Lake blocks completed, staying up-to-date with my temperature quilt, and a few more Flutterby blocks sewn up.  These Flutterby blocks are right up my alley - precut scraps and free rein when it comes to combining colors and fabrics!

About half the fabrics I put in my ETSY shop last week sold already, so I added more this week. 

Maybe, one day in the far off future, all my remaining fabric will actually fit in my sewing room. (Ha, who am I kidding?)

I'm getting ready to head to St. Louis for work for a few days, so I'm hoping to prep some hexagons as a handwork option for the flights and my hotel room at night.  If only I could find my Grandmother's Flower Garden hexagon quilt WIP...
This photo is from 2013 - and is probably the last time I worked on this.  It looks really washed out in the sun, and wrinkled because it had been tucked away in a bag, but I love the scrappiness.

...moving is so disruptive!  It's been six months and I still can't find things!

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

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Reluctantly letting go

The frustrating search for the remaining yarn for my sweater has made it crystal clear - I have TOO MUCH STUFF!  My fabric stash is not only in my sewing room, but also in our storage unit and on shelving in the garage.  It's more than I need, and more than I can probably ever use.  As a scrap quilter, I rarely reach for yardage when it is time to make a quilt (reaching instead for pre-cut squares and strips), and as one who never wants to piece a backing (reaching instead for a wide backing), my yardage just sits and sits, appreciated, but not utilized.

It's time to let more of it go.  I started with the floral drawer, and pulled out 10 one-to-three yard cuts  to put in my ETSY shop.  Within hours, it started selling.  Bye-bye, beloved fabric...

On a happier note, I found a few moments to sew during my whirlwind weekend.  I'm up to 20 completed On Ringo Lake blocks, I'm up to date with my Temperature Quilt blocks, and I love the way the Flutterby quilt is coming along.

Here's hoping I find even more time this busy work week for both de-stashing AND sewing.

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

Friday, February 16, 2018

I blame Pinterest!

I set big goals for myself two weeks ago when I had a long weekend.  And I did a pretty darned good job of keeping them...

I finished my hat and have been wearing it non-stop.  It is made from Mega Merino, a soft, warm and squishy yarn that I used to sell in my shop.

I removed the offending neck from my sweater, knit on a new neck CORRECTLY, and am about halfway done with one sleeve.  The only problem is, I can't remember where I put the remaining skeins of yarn to finish the sweater.  Doh!
Sweater is based on an old cotton rolled edge sweater that I love to throw on for weekend lounging.
I finished reading Raven Threads, but am only now starting Unraveled.  It's very unlike me, but I didn't read anything for a week and a half.

I'm up to date on my Temperature Quilt, and I'm liking it.  It's going to be an odd quilt, for sure, but it'll be colorful, and sometimes that's all I need to make me happy.
I hate not having a design wall! This is most of the first two columns, but I can't put them together until February is over so I can add in the February average temperatures in the right place.  The yellows are the freakishly warm days we've had.  The darker the blue, the colder it was!
I didn't quite make my goal of 20 On Ringo Lake blocks completed, but I've got 18 and am slowly assembling the rest. 

The problem is this: I opened one of those darned emails from Pinterest with some Pins they think I'd like and they were right.  I saw this pin:
Image Credit:

and had to start making one right away!  Scrappy...check!  Will use up some of my overflowing pre-cut scraps...check!  Will challenge me...since I am new to Half Rectangle Triangle Blocks, check!  I haven't gotten far, but I am having fun seeing these blocks come together. 

I'm using this as a Leaders & Enders project for my On Ringo Lake quilt...or is it the other way around?  Either way, I'm at my machine every chance I get, which, unfortunately, isn't as much as I'd like.

That's OK, I have a two-week break coming up in March.  I'm going to name my goals for that now - finish piecing On Ringo Lake and baste/start hand quilting my new niece/nephew's quilt before his/her arrival at the beginning of April.

In the meantime, I have a busy weekend ahead of me - running the clock at three different basketball games for three different teams, watching my husband's team compete in the conference quarterfinals (send winning thoughts our way on Saturday afternoon), and driving a vanload of kids to the movies to see Black Panther (we, as a school, rented out a theater and buses to take our students).  I hope I can find some time to sew and knit this weekend, too!

Oh, and I spent an entire day last weekend watching Alias Grace on Netflix.  It was darker and had less resolution and clarity at the end than I typically like, but oh the quilts!  Beautiful!!!