Friday, July 12, 2019

Seeing Beothuk stars

Hi everyone! It's been yet another hot and rainy week here, and really, it's starting to get old.  I wish it would pick one-- hot or rainy, but not both.  I know that some of you are rolling your eyes right now, but this has been one wet summer so far.  If I had a north side, it would be growing moss. 

Anyway. . .I have had some trouble focusing lately (can't think why that would be) but I did manage to put together the rest of the Beothuk Star quilt top, and I really like it!  See what you think:


I think it turned out great! This was a free quiltalong from Sandra at mmmquilts, though I am way past the quiltalong finish date.  Big surprise there.  The quilt was designed by Sandra and is named after the Beothuk people, one of the indigenous peoples of Newfoundland.  The touching story of the last of the Beothuks is HERE.  Worth a read, really.


This was a fun little quilt to make, and it went together really quickly.  Once you get all the hsts made, it's really just an organization issue.  I put mine together in a little different order than Sandra recommends because it made a little more sense to me to make the yellow star first and then construct the rest around it. 


I really like the colors in this little quilt, but I bought the kit from Bernie's shop, I didn't choose them myself.  I was worried about the print background, and while I was working with it it was fine.  It's a really pretty fabric, but now that the top is finished it makes me feel a little twitchy.  I'm having a small problem with the fact that everything doesn't match up.  This is why I don't use patterned backgrounds very often.


When I was dodging the raindrops to take these pictures I realized that these might be the last photos I take of a finished quilt top on this property.  This makes me a little bit melancholy, but I promise that there are many great places to take quilty pictures at the new house, including not one but *two* decks that just scream to have quilts hanging from the rails.  I'll miss this property, though.

So, yay, another top done!  Since we're moving, it's going right into a box to go to the new house.  I'll have to have a quilting marathon once we get there, because there are a *lot* of things stacked up now. 


I have one last thing before I go.  I wrote a small guest column for the Craft Industry Alliance blog about the decline of one of my favorite places, Nancy's Notions.  If you're interested, you can check it out HERE.  While you're there, there are a lot of other great articles to read, so stay a bit and check those out, too.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  And to those of you out there in Louisiana, I'm thinking of you and hoping that you all come through the storms just fine.  Stay as dry as you can!

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Piecing a sashing

Hi all!  Well, it's still hot and sticky and rainy, our house still hasn't sold, and I'm still stressed.  We have a moving date, though, so maybe things are looking up!  I'm meeting with my new colleagues this week and making good progress on getting ready for this fall, plus I've packed up most of the kitchen, so it's takeout city around here-- my favorite thing!

Over the last few days I was trying to figure out the sashing and cornerstones for my coral quilt.  If you recall, I am making these blocks for a quilt, and I got the idea from the Pantone quilt challenge from Bryan House Quilts and no hats in the house. I know, I missed the challenge deadline, but that was not my motivation anyway, especially once I made a few blocks.  After several tries, here's what I came up with for the sashing:


What do you think?  It took a little while but I think I finally hit on the right thing for this quilt.  I love these blocks and I really wanted a pieced sashing that would complement the blocks without taking away from them.  The cornerstones will be the coral square in a square pieces. 


To make these sashing pieces, I started out by drawing them out, intending to paper piece them.  That worked okay, but I did eventually just cut the pattern up and use it as a template instead.  It worked out better for me that way.


When I drew out the sashing, I forgot that I would need to put the pieces under the paper before stitching to make it work.  The way it was drawn wouldn't allow for that,  which is why I'm not a paper piecing designer.  But it worked great as a template!


I'm thinking of putting some of the green in a pieced border, though I haven't sketched any of that out yet.  I definitely think it's going to need a pieced border, though.  Maybe with some flying geese?  Or maybe the green should be the binding?  Hmmm. . .


Anyway, that was a kind of a nice exercise for me, and now the quilt is all designed, so it's time to finish making those blocks.  I'm still having to do this in short bursts, so maybe one or two at a time will work out.  I'll definitely finish this quilt this fall (she said!  We know that's a long shot, right?)

Hope everyone is having a good week!  People keep trooping through the house, and one of them is bound to buy it, right?

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Saturday, July 6, 2019

Blocks among the flowers

Hi everyone, and welcome to yet another hot, sticky day.  Gosh, it has been sooo hot and sooo humid all week.  The fourth was so bad that there were a few times I started to think that it was getting hard to breathe, so we skipped the fireworks and watched some of them on TV.  Not the same, but apparently the humidity made it so that the smoke just kind of hung around instead of drifting away, which made everything really unpleasant.  Best to be in the air conditioning, I think!

We did have some house showings on the holiday, but I was able to get in a little bit of time with the machine.  I decided to catch up on the tiny blocks for the RSC19 sampler:


The flowers are loving the heat and humidity, can you tell?  I was too lazy to get down off the deck and take pictures elsewhere, so they're all with the plants today.  Oh, well!


If you recall, these blocks will finish at 4-1/2 inches, so the pieces are really small.  I've been trying to use as many pieces as possible from the square bins, and it's worked out pretty well.  Since these pieces are so small, I can usually trim down the squares to fit, and that gives me a lot more variety, too.  The squares for this checkerboard (which is my own block, not one that Angela gave a pattern for) were cut from the 1-1/2 inch squares, down to 1-3/8 so the block would be the right size.


All of the pieces for the blue blocks also came from the bins, including the accent pieces in the block on the left.  The block on the right is all from the 2-1/2 inch squares.  I made "cheater" hsts for the corners and then cut up a couple other squares for the side pieces.  It worked!  Good thing, too, because I don't have very much blue to begin with and it was just lucky to find matching squares in the bins.


The butterfly had to be cut from a bigger scrap piece, but that worked out okay, too.  This guy gave me some trouble, and there may or may not have been some butterfly parts laying all over.  In the end I gave up and ended up with an imperfect butterfly.  But at least he's still pretty good looking!  What he doesn't know is that he may get remade yet again, if I can figure out where I went wrong to begin with.


I'm so happy that pink is the July color, not just because it's one of my favorites, but also because I haven't packed that scrap bin yet.  It wouldn't fit in the box with the others, so I guess I got lucky there.  The first pink block was so easy that I finished it in just about 10 minutes.  At that rate, I could make a whole quilt from these!  But probably not at 4-1/2 inches each, though.

So, there is the result of a couple of happy hours over the holiday! It was a nice time in the AC, watching the clouds roll in and drop a little more rain, then get plenty hot again right afterward.  I can think of worse ways to spend an afternoon, can't you?

Hope you're having a good weekend and staying nice and cool! Ice cream and Popsicles highly recommended!

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Triangle party

Hi everyone!  First, I have very good news-- we have found a house, and they have accepted our offer.  Yahoo! We will have a place to live in Baltimore.  Our house hasn't sold yet, so right now I'm going back and forth between being really happy about the new house and being really panicky about owning two houses.  Finding a house is a huge relief for us, though, even though we may have to eat pretzels for supper for a few months. 

How should I celebrate finding a house? Well, by sewing something, of course, and to heck with the mess. The problem with pulling things out to stitch isn't having to pull things out and put it all away, but having to be super careful about the threads and the little snippets and the dust caused by the fabrics.  And it *is* annoying to have to put it all away now that I've had an actual sewing room.  But anyway. . .

I decided to finally, finally get started on the Beothuk Star quilt from Sandra at mmmquilts.  Yes, the quilt along ended in June, but I've been a little busy.  Here's as far as I got:


Piles of untrimmed hsts in the mulch!  Hey, I didn't say I got far! I just started with the cutting yesterday.  Thankfully, this is a really easy quilt and I have high hopes that mine will turn out as pretty as some of those I've seen online.


I think these colors are really pretty and they were doing a pretty good job of making me happy.  I bought the kit from Bernie's shop, and it looks like she has just one kit left, so you could hop right over there and get it.  She does have yardage, though, so you could make your own kit.  I was a little nervous about using a patterned background, but it turns out that the fabrics look great together and the print fabric looks good.  I did switch out the lighter pink in the kit for a pink fat quarter from my stash, mostly because I liked my pink a lot and I really want to use it.

That's it for the stitching time I've had so far this week, but I do plan to work on this over the 4th since I can probably leave the mess out there on the table.  I doubt that anyone is going to want a house tour on Independence Day-- but I'm willing to be wrong!


On a completely unrelated topic, I noticed this week that I have peppers and tomatoes!  Have I mentioned that it's been remarkably hot and wet here?  It was something like 92 degrees when I took these pictures.  It's certainly been great for the plants.  This year I got some pre-planted pots from the garden center and I didn't have high hopes, but it looks like I could be making salsa pretty soon!

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe 4th. I'll be taking it easy and sewing, then we'll probably do some food outside and maybe go to the fireworks.  Depends on whether it's raining or not!  Happy Independence Day, and enjoy your celebration of our great country!


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