Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Purple daze

 Hello everyone! I hope you're all having a good day. It's hot and rainy again today, and I'm getting a little tired of it. One of my brothers lives in California and my mom used to say that it was "boring" there because the weather was the same every day. I don't think I would be bored by sunshine every day, but the heat and rain is getting a little tiresome. I couldn't go walking this morning because it was 73 degrees at 6:30 am, with 94% humidity, and it was just too much. I got about 100 feet before I decided that yoga would be nice for today. Good decision, I must say!

So, now that I've complained about the rain, of course my first picture has to have sunshine in it! Here are my purple Ohio Stars for the RSC this month:

 

These are pretty! I have mountains of purple scraps, and I love them all. Probably why I still have so many of them. (Why do the pictures look so weird? Get it together, Blogger!)

The larger star doesn't show up there too well, but it is one of my cherished scraps.You have those, too, right? Pieces that are just so good that you have to save them for the right project. I kept putting this one aside on project after project because it was just too nice to use up.

 

I think I finally found the right project for that pretty paisley! I can't say why exactly I like this fabric so much, but it's been here for a while waiting for a project. I still have a small piece left for another special project, too (and no, it's not big enough to make a mask!)

And speaking of waiting. . .it's time to finish this purple project:

 

If you think you've seen this before, well, it's been hanging exactly here on the design wall all summer. Longer than that, really. It is past time to get it out of there and finished off. I have no excuses except that I'm tired of looking at it and it just doesn't excite me. I have all the pieces and the rest of the blocks, but I just don't want to do it. But I need to, because putting it back in the box feels like failure, and I need to get rid of it. I'm definitely going to need you to cheer me on for this one. Let's make that a goal for the end of August, okay?

That's my update from the sewing room! As far as the rest of life goes. . .my university finally announced that we will be all remote teaching again for the fall semester. I don't know how to feel about this. I'm relieved, and tired, and anxious, and everything else, all at once. I hate teaching through the camera. It's so limiting, and there is so much you can't do in classes. At least I don't have to worry that I will make a student sick, or that a student will give me the virus to pass on to my husband (who is immune compromised) or anyone else. But I do have to rewrite all my classes again! A small price to pay, right? But I do miss my students, and collegaues, and my books and my office. We'll all get it back someday, but right now it feels a lot like loss.

Sigh. I don't know, but I do hope everyone is having a good week and staying nice and healthy! Sew a mask if you must, and wash those hands!

Sharing at Angela's for RSC20.


Friday, August 7, 2020

Colorful summer finish

Hello everyone, and welcome to another summer weekend! Summer has certainly gotten away from me. It's no different from the rest of this year, really, just warmer. 2020 gets zero stars and a big thumbs down from me so far. How about you?

For today's quilty update, please join me in my happy dance, because I finished the quilt top I've been working on:


Yahoo! I am so happy to have this finished. If you recall, I pulled this long-term UFO out of the closet a few weeks ago and have been working on it ever since. Slowly, I admit, but working on it just the same!


I started this quilt in 2015 or so, when I made most of the blocks. This was a BOM from the Quilt Connection, but I bought the whole kit at once at a rummage sale for a ridiculous price, something like $50. I remember asking if everything was there, and the woman told me yes, but she just didn't feel like making something with so many pieces. I think we both felt that we got the best end of that deal.


The pattern is called Kaleidoscope of Kolor by Thea Jirak.  I looked for a copy of the pattern online, but didn't find any for sale. Not a surprise, since the kit was marked 2008. There was a *ton* of fabric in the kit, and all of it is Shadow Play by Maywood Studios. It really is a lovely fabric line, and they worked together so well in this quilt top. I had my doubts about "random" color placement, but it seems to have worked out!


The pattern instructions were quite odd in some places, but I managed to work around most of them. And I want major points, because this quilt was made on different machines at different times and the blocks and whatnot still fit together just great. The one thing that I've not done that was in the pattern was the 10-inch borders. Yes, 10 inches! I put a much narrower border around the quilt, mostly just to keep all those seams from popping open. There were also appliques in the pattern, and I made some of them, but I don't think they add to the quilt, and I've left them off. Maybe I'll put them in something else.


Unbelievably, this quilt top has a backing and is in a box ready to go off to a longarmer! I am keeping this one for myself and putting it on the bed in my guest room. Not that there will be any guests for a while, but I will enjoy looking at it every time I walk by the room, and isn't that reason enough to keep it?


Hope you are all doing well and staying sane in the midst of the really weird time we're living through. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and Brag About Your Beauties.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Crumbs and strings and other things

Hello all! Every time I log in to Blogger, something in it has changed. Anyone else notice this? I still want the spellcheck button back, and the save button needs to be better, but overall I'm getting used to it.  How about you?

Life here continues to be quite hectic. There are people working here, and sometimes there are very loud noises. And there is apparently going to be quite a lot of weather. If you're reading this on Tuesday, then chances are it's raining really hard here, with lots of wind. This is still pretty new to us, and a kind neighbor gave us some advice about battening down our hatches, so we've removed the hanging plants, stacked the chairs on the deck and bungeed them to the railing, and moved things that could blow around. I'm a little worried about the wind because we have so many trees, but I have strong hopes that it will all be okay.

I have been planning my classes for the next semester, which unbelievably starts in three weeks, and I've been working on finishing one of the unfinished tops I pulled out earlier this summer. I've been slowed down by the flying geese, but I am very, very close. So close that I've started thinking about what to do with the scraps. Here's one thing I'm doing:


String blocks! I have tons of strings and crumbs in these fabrics, so I'm making both into blocks. The fabrics from this quilt go together so nicely that it seems a shame to just mix them all together with other fabrics. And I really don't want to create more scraps that will just sit there. They never go away, do they? So much better to make some blocks and figure out a way to use the scraps up.

As I said, I'm very close to finishing this:


Those are all the quilt parts, just ready to add to the already-finished center. But first, I have to finish those annoying flying geese!  Nothing fits until they're finished.

Once you learn an easier way to do something, it's hard to go back to the old way. It's like washing dishes once you have a dishwasher, or sawing wood by hand instead of using a circular saw. Which is the long way of saying that all of these need to be trimmed:


Trimming these is such a chore! I know I could be more careful and make it easier on myself, but that seems counter-productive because I'll have to measure them anyway. After these geese are trimmed, I'll need 14 more, and then the whole thing should go together really fast.  I have high hopes of having this done by the end of the week, so cross your fingers!

The only other thing I've sewn lately has been more (expletive deleted) masks:


My sister also works at a university, and she needs masks for going back and interacting with students.  I also made a few more for myself using directions that Lisa gave me, and they turned out great, but my sister wanted this kind. I figure that I'll need two per class day, because I expect them to get damp during class, so I plan to have a total of 10 of them just for school. The school is providing us with some stretchy knit masks, but honestly, I don't trust those ones. Too thin, and they cling to my mouth. I feel safer with mine, and the way Lisa makes them mean they have more "talking space," if that makes any sense.

This whole mask thing makes me crazy, and I'm feeling the "corona coaster" heading downward again, so let me just show you this:


Look at those talons! This is a picture my daughter took of one of a pair of birds that keeps visiting her deck. Turns out they are juvenile Cooper's Hawks, which might be my favorite bird. And now my tiny granddaughter can say "hawk!" Do you think we might have a new birder on our hands?

Anyway, I'll be working on finishing that quilt, at least until the power goes out from the storm, and I seriously plan to get it done this week. I hope that all of you who are also in the path of the storm stay safe and that it just kind of passes over everyone without too much damage. Or at least that the power stays on!

Sharing at Midweek Makers and Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

My world is blue

Hi everyone, and happy weekend! I hope you have had a good week. I have discovered this week that the ragweed has started blooming around here, which seems a bit early, but it is definitely blooming nonetheless. How do I know? Well, I could tell you about the massive headaches and swollen eyes, but that would just be a downer, so let's just say that I can feel it. And we're not quite to August yet, which means that I had better stock up on allergy meds. I do not think the first freeze is coming to kill those allergens any time soon!

Today's update is some blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at Angela's. This month's color was dark blue, which I have very little of, but I did manage to scrape together these actual scraps in a royal blue:


I think those turned out okay for someone who has very little in the way of darker blues! Though I don't use it in quilts very often, I actually wear a lot of royal blue, and I really like the color. And look-- my flowers are still alive, even though it's been incredibly hot here.  The marigolds I had on the table, I'm sorry to say, pretty much burned up in the heat, though.


If you recall, I chose a free pattern from Bonnie Hunter called Random Ohio Stars for my RSC project this year. Boy, was that lucky! These stars are super easy to make and go pretty fast, and they look great together.  The larger stars are 12 inches finished and the smaller ones are 6 inches, which are both simple sizes for these blocks. I think I'm going to be pretty happy with this quilt.

I also made two more "catch-up" stars this week:


These are the smaller stars in aqua. I guess I never made them when I made the bigger star, because I couldn't find the smaller ones anywhere, so I made a couple of them. If I end up with a couple of extras it won't be tragic, and I really like aqua, so they would fit right in.

With the blues and the two smaller aquas, I am now completely caught up on the colors for this quilt! Somebody make a note, because this is unlikely to happen again. It's probably the one thing in my life that hasn't been derailed by the virus that shall not be named.

I hope you're all having a good weekend! I'll leave you with this picture of a very cheerful daylily I found while out walking:


Not even wilted yet! Don't worry-- it's hotter than blazes outside, and very humid, but I've been walking really early in the morning when it's a little cooler (but not drier). Even then I'm drenched in sweat by the time I get home, but I do start the day with a good many steps!

Enjoy the day, friends, and I hope your allergies are the mild kind!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC2020.