Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Old meets new

Hi everyone! I hope you have begun to thaw out from the major storm that hit most of the US this past weekend.  Amazingly, we did not get snow, just lots of rain followed by rapidly falling temps.  The high on Sunday was 48, with a low of 16.  It was crazy!

Since we couldn't really go anywhere or do anything, and I didn't want to work on a paper, I spent two days in the sewing room and got a lot accomplished while the hubs was in the other room screaming about sports.  Something about pass interference.  Anyway, I went through the UFOs and discovered that I only have eight that need some piecing work.  I tossed one and repurposed the fabrics set aside for it, and made an actual paper list of the others.  We'll see if that helps get them done.

After that, I felt so virtuous that I went ahead and started another project!  Hey, I also worked some on a UFO, which should be done soon, so I felt entitled. Here are the first three blocks for that new project:

I guess I officially have another work in progress!  These blocks use some of the coral fabrics I pulled last week, and a few other fabrics, too:

I decided to go ahead and add some olive-y greens and some happy yellows to the corals, and then threw in a few aquas for a little zing.  Some of these are small scrap pieces, but mostly these are fat quarters and half yards.  More than enough for the blocks I am making.

When I was making those two mug rugs for my sister's birthday, I was looking through the Tula Pink 100 Modern Blocks book and really liking some of the blocks in there.  Since all of those blocks finish at six inches, I decided to combine the old with the new and make a sampler using half modern Tula Pink blocks and half older traditional blocks.  It happens that I made a Sylvia's Bridal Sampler before I started blogging, and I still have the book, and all those blocks finish at six inches, so that was an easy way to pick out some traditional six inch blocks.  I think the "old" and "new" blocks will blend together just fine.

I've chosen 48 blocks for a sampler quilt that should end up a nice lap size.  I have no time line for this, but it should make a nice project to work on when I feel like it.  You know I chose traditional blocks with lots of little pieces, right?  Should keep me busy for a bit.

Finally, in the spirit of "old meets new," last night our daughter safely delivered a baby girl, so we are grandparents again! Just as thrilling as the first time.  Of course, she is absolutely beautiful and I can already tell that she is very smart, just like her mom and dad.  Lots of baby snuggles in my very near future!

Hope everyone is having as great a week as I am, and that you're staying warm!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Red squares and strings

Hi everyone! It has been a very busy week here, though we are still waiting for the arrival of our new granddaughter, so I'm just popping by today to share the start of two more rainbow scrap challenge projects. I got to work on these a little this week, but didn't have time for much else. If you recall, one of my RSC projects is the cut glass dish blocks, but I have two others I'll be working on this year as well.

Today's post has to start with this photo of some lovely flowers, because all the rest of the photos today are extremely boring:

I needed some spring this week, so I stopped and got myself some flowers. Carnations from the grocery store, not a florist, but still lovely.  They certainly have brightened the place up and made me just a bit happier amidst all the gray here in January.

One of my RSC projects for this year will be a Boston Common quilt.  Boston Common is a lot like Trip Around the  World, but it starts with a rectangular center, not a square.  Here's my beginning:

I told you the pictures were boring! As I've said before, I save squares in three small sizes, and I'm going to make the Boston Common quilt from the 2-1/2 inch squares.  Even with last year's Squared Away project, I still have tons of these squares.  The plan is to make a "round" every month, with a white round thrown in when necessary.  I added the whites here because I think the red is likely to conflict with whatever color comes next.  This wasn't all of my red squares, but it was close!

My last RSC project for the year involves strings.  Apparently it's the year of the string quilt, because they are everywhere!  My plan is to make a Scrap Happy Rails quilt from Amanda Jean Nyberg's book No Scrap Left Behind.  I made one of these last year and it was super easy and turned out great.  Here are my red string sections:

Another dull photo! String quilts are so appealing because every fabric will work for them.  Funny story-- last year I cleaned out all of my old scraps, so this year I had no red to work with (I do have just about every other color, though.)  I asked friends for some red strings, and they were all very generous, so almost none of the strings in these sections is from my own fabric.  They still look great, though, don't they?  I have a lot of strings left over, so I'll have to think of a project to use those up, too.  I'm thinking donation quilt.

Those are my starts on the two remaining projects! They'll look a lot more exciting as we go along and add to them, I think.  I did one more RSC-related thing this week, though it isn't red:

This is the kitten block from Tiny Tuesday.  Isn't it adorable?  I could see a whole litter of these, in many colors.  It happens that my daughter has a gray cat, so of course my cat has to be gray.  (She also has a white cat, but that would not have worked so well.)  I'm weighing doing this quilt, too.  The blocks will be fast and we all know tiny things are so cute, even in geometrics.

We are expecting a nasty weekend with rain and snow, and then a deep freeze and ice.  Sounds like a good time to make progress on some quilty projects! Hope you all stay warm and get some stitching time too.  Stay in the sewing room with all that nice cozy fabric!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Needing some spring

Hi everyone! How is your week going?  We had a small snowstorm last weekend, which gave many students a bad excuse for missing the first day of classes.  I can't really blame them-- because who likes trudging through melty, gross snow?-- but really, they live a block away in the dorms.  It's not that hard!

I don't know about you, but as soon as the holidays are over I'm ready for spring.  Snow is great in December, but not so lovely in January.  Since I can't do anything about the weather, I've pulled out an unfinished project that uses pretty spring-like fabrics:

Yeah, the springy colors look a little odd against the snow, but don't they look happy?  This is the last block I had to make to finish off the Community Sampler, which was a summer project from Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell.  I have no real idea why I didn't finish this, except that I hit that wall where you have only a little bit left to do but it just seems impossible.  Does that ever happen to anyone else?

So, I've been working on the sampler, which is actually all cut out, so I have high hopes of finishing the top soon, plus I've been adding to these:

Yes, the blocks are in the snow, which is why everything looks a little blue. These are blocks for a quilt like Bonnie Hunter's Tulip Fields quilt.  My blocks are much bigger than hers, though, because I made these string blocks as an RSC project a couple of years ago and I wanted to use them up.  And yes, I cut mine across the strings instead of down the middle and I'm not sorry at all.  My quilt won't be exactly the same, but it will be equally cheerful and spring-like!

 That's pretty much all I've been working on since it's been a pretty busy week so far, but I do have a question.  I have a bunch of fabrics that I would call corals.  You know what I mean by coral-- not red, not orange, not pink:

I have a project in mind to use these fabrics, but I'm not sure what colors to put with them.  What colors would you use?  I'm thinking green, but maybe yellow as well, like in that small print piece?  Or would you stick with the cooler side and add in some blues?  I really don't know, but I do want to get started on the project. (Because I have no others to work on, don't you know.)

Thanks for any help you have to offer with those colors.  I hope you're all having a good week, and that you're not facing down another snow event. There haven't been many for us this year, but I'm already done with it!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Tiny foursomes

Hi everyone, and thank goodness it's Friday!  I could not wait for this week to be over.  I spent a good bit of it with a really terrible migraine, the kind where all you can really do is lie down in a dark room and whimper.  Sadly, few people can take that option for very long, so I actually had to try to *do things.*  I was unsuccessful at most of it.

Thankfully, my head is mostly better now, and it's the weekend, so I can just kind of rest and try to catch up.  Obviously I got no real sewing done, so now I'm behind where I wanted to be.  I swore that this year I would stop feeling like I was "behind" on sewing, but that lasted all of ten days.  I will try to work on that some more.

One thing that I can talk about today is this four-patch project that I've started as a leader-ender scrap project:

Aren't those cheerful? Leaders and enders are little bits that you stitch together in between parts of another project, and you can read more about them HERE if you want.  I've thought this was a great idea, but mostly I've failed at it.  These little four-patches might turn the tide, and they build up amazingly fast (or maybe I just sew too much.)

These little bits will finish at only 2 inches square.  When I'm saving scraps, I save the pieces as chunks until it's time to use them, then cut what I need.  When the scrap gets pretty small, I cut it up into 2-1/2, 2 inch, and 1-1/2 inch squares so I can squeeze every last bit of value out of those pieces.  I've been saving these in bins separated by size:

This is the 1-1/2 inch bin, and I think it's time to use these up.  There are thousands of squares in there! And I just keep adding to it as I cut more scraps.  I saw THIS quilt project from Amanda Nyberg (now retired!), called Lost in the Crowd, and was seriously inspired.  This would make a great use for thousands of squares, don't you think?

I've been keeping this container filled with squares next to the machine and grabbing pieces when I remember, then tossing them into a basket. 

Believe it or not, this container is a repurposed produce container.  Our grocery store sells cut fruit in these, with one kind of fruit per compartment, for a ridiculously expensive price.  Sometimes I get some, though, because stress is a real thing and it's better to eat fruit than chips. 

I want to stitch these into double 4-patches when I get a chance, to make blocks that are a little easier to handle, so I tried out some alternate block possibilities:

These are Kona Butter, Bahama Blue, and Cabbage.  I'm really drawn toward the green, which is also what Amanda used.  What do you think?  Maybe I should make up a couple as an experiment.  I think the Butter is definitely out, but I do love both the others.

That's about all I accomplished this week.  For the weekend, I'll be resting my head and checking my phone obsessively as our daughter should be having her baby any day.  A new granddaughter-- I can't wait!  Hope your weekend is good!

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