Friday, March 22, 2019

Finished paneling

Hi everyone, and welcome to another weekend! I don't know about you, but I sure could use it.  It's been a very busy week around here.  Lots and lots going on behind the scenes!  Nothing quilt-related, just family and work stuff, and some of it not fun, but it certainly kept me running. Thankfully, I did have a major distraction that turned into this week's finished quilt top.  It's nice when that happens, isn't it?

Do you ever get a project in your head and for some reason it just captures your imagination and you just have to work on it, even when you have much more pressing things to do?  That's what happened to me with this project.  Sandra over at mmmquilts calls these projects "squirrels" that cause Dreami moments-- when you just have to drop everything and make it.  (You can find out more at Sandra's blog HERE.) Here is my squirrel:

Yay, a finished quilt top! This top started out as a panel that I pulled out to make into a donation quilt.  I had some yardage from the same line of fabric and now I've used up the panel, the coordinating yardage, a small brown piece, and some beige that's in the hourglass blocks.  Let's hear it for moving out old fabrics and making room for some new stuff!

This quilt looks so simple, and it is, but I'll tell you-- I could not stop thinking about it all week.  I even doodled some block layouts and alternate blocks when I should not have been doodling.  Then I went into the sewing room and tried a bunch of things.  Given the way it turned out, I think that was okay, but it was a little weird that it was taking up so much mental space. In the end it went together pretty easily.  You save a lot of time if you're not piecing blocks!

I cut the panel into 9-1/2 inch blocks, then added 1-inch red frames that finished at just a half inch around each of those.  The alternate blocks are simple hourglass blocks that are turned every row to make faux frames for the panel blocks.  Each of the blocks finishes at 10 inches, and the top is about 58 by 68. I had just enough of the green in the hourglass blocks to squeak those out, and I also used up all but about an 8 inch strip of the red border.  I divided the length of red I had to determine the width of the final border, so it ended up at about 3 inches wide, which feels a little narrow to me, but it did use up that red fabric.

In case you haven't noticed, we are stuck with indoor pictures.  This week was mostly sunny and warmish, and then I went to take pictures. Yeah, it rained and rained. I was going to brave it when it was only drizzling, but the ground was really saturated.  It's very wet out there! The indoor pictures didn't turn out toooo badly, but maybe I can get some outside on Friday and replace these. UPDATED TO ADD-- I did get some new pictures and have replaced some of them. Still very squishy outside!

Now that it's out of my head, this quilt is destined for donation to Mercy Hospital through Hands to Help. I was hoping that this would be fairly gender neutral, and looking at it now I'm not so sure.  It's feels pretty woodsy, but there are a lot of flowers in it. Perhaps I'll have to try again with another quilt. I don't have one in my head yet, but I'm pretty sure if I look around I'll find a few doodled ideas!

Finally, here's a picture that I took on campus on one of our sunny days this week:

Tulips blooming! Doesn't that just make your heart sing?

Hope everyone has a good weekend filled with signs of spring! I have lots on the agenda, including a date with some lemon bars and maybe a bit of painting.  If it rains, I guess I'm stuck with just the lemon bars, so I'm not sure whether I'm hoping for rain or not!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, Brag about Your Beauties, and probably Sandra's Dreami link party.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Spring greens

Hi everyone, and happy Saturday! Well, I had big plans for this week, but it didn't quite work out like I expected.  We had a turn in the weather and I was lured outside for a bit, and then I actually did some yard work! Mostly it was picking up sticks (where do they all come from?) and raking some leaves, but it felt *great.*  Then when I came inside I looked around and realized that the house needed some serious cleaning, so I opened the windows and scrubbed some baseboards and touched up some paint.  Do you ever get that feeling in the spring? It definitely feels much cleaner and nicer now.

All of this meant that I did not finish quilting a quilt this week, and in fact I only finished the green Cut Glass Dish blocks:

If you recall, these blocks are one of my projects for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year.  I love how they look, especially the zippy green one on the left.  Next month I promise to take a picture of all the blocks I've made so far because all of the colors look great together.

And that was it!  I did one other thing using green fabric, though it isn't as much a scrap project as a "using things up" project.  I made some test blocks to use as alternate blocks for a panel I cut apart:

These are actually simple hourglass blocks, using a dark green print and a beige print.  I'm going back and forth on whether the green is too dark or not, and also whether the green print is too busy.  I have just enough of the green to make the alternate blocks, and then I thought about using a small beige border and maybe a red binding.  I actually might have another little bit of dark green for a binding if I like that better.  This would use up the panel, the dark green, the beige, and maybe another bit of dark green or red.  Plus it makes a nice comfort quilt to donate, too!

That's all for my green projects this week, but there is one more green thing to share:

Daffodil shoots!  This makes me so happy.  Spring will really be coming soon!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! The temperatures will be falling again, but I plan to enjoy it while it lasts!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Block updates

Hi everyone!  First, thanks so much to everyone who had kind words about my brother's house fire.  They are all fine and we are all grateful that things have gone as well as they can in the aftermath.  I really appreciate your thoughts, your kind words, and your prayers. And yes, I did make my own video, and I also put a smoke alarm in my attic.  Can't be too careful!

This week is spring break, and I have three quilts basted and ready to quilt up! Yay me! But you know I couldn't leave the piecing aside, right?  So I've also been making some random blocks to add to projects that are already in progress, just whatever I feel like making at the moment.  The first ones to show today are these:

These are all the blocks I currently have for the old and new sampler I'm making. I just love sampler quilts, don't you?  Making copy after copy of the same block can get dull, but samplers give you something different to make every time.  Since I have no schedule for this, I only have nine blocks so far:

These are 6-inch blocks, and most of the ones I've made so far are the Tula Pink blocks. These ones have been really fast, but some of the others I've chosen have more pieces and will take more time.

I also made the first green block for the Tiny Tuesday sampler at soscrappy:

This block is called Multiply and was designed by Jo.  You can find the block instructions HERE.

I also did a few more of the Sunny Lanes blocks:

I've cut a bunch of green and white squares to make the hsts when I feel like it, and I've got a small tub full of hsts now, so whenever I finish enough 4 patches I can make up a block.  I'm thinking of putting them all together into a top as I go, too.  Is there a downside to this? It's all scrappy, so it's not like the colors would have to be balanced or anything.

I've also caught up on my temperature quilt:

As you can see, it's been pretty chilly! The blues are 20s and 30s, and the purples and grays are below that.  I'm really looking forward to adding in some more yellows and greens very soon!

Finally, I pulled out this panel this week and hung it up to think hard about it.

I know it's not really blocks, but if I cut it apart and added in some alternate blocks, I bet it would make a nice comfort quilt for Hands to Help.  What would you do with it?  Here's a closeup of the design:

I'll look at it and think about it while I'm quilting up these quilts.  Maybe I'll get to open the windows while I'm quilting? I can dream!

Hope you're all having a good week.  As of today, spring is officially only seven days away!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Twelve hundred and more

Hi everyone!  Here we are at the end of another week, and that means we're another week closer to spring.  Can you tell I am counting down? 

Today I have a finish to share, but this has been a very dramatic week for our family and there is some public service information at the bottom of this post, so if you are just looking at the fun pictures, please at least read the last paragraph.  We'll get to the drama in a minute, but first, here is this week's finish:

This is another finished UFO from the closet.  Whoo-hoo! And it's all scrap pieces, too, which is a double whoo-hoo! More scraps actually used, not just sitting in the bins.  The white sashing is plain old Kona white, though there are some pieces of Kona Snow in there as well.  Not by design, really, just that they got stuck in with the white pieces.  It all worked!

The blocks in this quilt are 100-patches made from scrap 1-1/2 inch squares.  I started this way back in 2016 when we had just moved to the east coast and were living in a tiny condo.  (I still think of this as "the dark times.")  We bought our house and moved and this got moved into a closet  and was left unfinished.  It happens all the time, doesn't it? 

I made the 100-patches using a very light fusible interfacing to get all the squares aligned and make the rows easier to stitch.  You can see how I did that HERE.  It worked pretty well, and I would make blocks that way again.  I have lots and lots of 1-1/2 inch squares, so I'm thinking of making some up into 25 patches.  Not soon, but I'm thinking about it!

If I had to pick a favorite block, it would be the black one.  Surprise! I was really surprised at how much color there actually is in this block.  I didn't know I had that many black pieces in the bin, but they look great together.  The white block is similar and was another surprise.  Of course, all of the blocks have a lot of color variation, but most of them don't have quite as many prints.

This quilt is destined to become a charity quilt for Sarah's Hands to Help challenge, which is why I only used 12 blocks.  The quilt is a nice lap size, about 48 by 65.  I have four more finished 100-patch blocks that will become a baby quilt a little later this spring, though I can already say that I won't be using the same sashing and cornerstones for that quilt.  All of these little squares made for a *lot* of seams and the top is already a bit heavy, plus they were a bit maddening to keep track of.  There are currently little squares all over the floor in the sewing room, which you know is making me crazy. I will definitely be cleaning up this weekend.

So, there is my finish for the week!  One more out of the closet and soon to become a comfort quilt, which makes me feel super happy that I finally finished it.  I am making serious progress on my piecing UFOs, which also makes me really happy.

And now for something completely non-quilt related:

On Tuesday morning, my brother (who works nights, so it was about 9:30 am) heard a weird noise, so he got up to investigate.  Turned out that the house was on fire and it was moving rapidly.  He and his partner managed to get out with the dogs and were unharmed, and my nephew was already at school, so he was unharmed as well.  The house, however, was a total loss.  They lost literally everything except what they were wearing.  The roof ended up in the dining room. Not to worry--they will be okay. There is insurance and they will be able to rebuild their possessions, so it will turn out.  And no one was hurt, which is the best possible news! So here's the public service announcement-- grab your phone and make a video right now, walking around every room of your house, opening every drawer and closet, and showing everything you own.  Narrate this as you go, as in "here's the antique dresser we got from Aunt Phyllis" and "those shelves hold about 300 yards of fabric" and "this is the Viking sewing machine that I bought in 2018."  Email the video to yourself or otherwise store it somewhere online. Your house doesn't have to be clean! It just has to show what you own.  If the worst ever happens, you won't remember or be able to make a list of everything you've lost, from the number of forks you own to how many towels you have, and sometimes insurance companies want proof that you actually had a new refrigerator instead of a 20-year-old Kenmore.  So do yourself a favor and make the video.  If you're worried about how the house looks, you can always make another video after you clean up!

Okay, end of lecture. Hope everyone has a great weekend.  Next week is spring break and I plan to spend it doing some outdoor work if the weather cooperates, and sewing if it doesn't.  I'm really looking forward to both!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and Oh Scrap!