Friday, July 22, 2016

Zip it up

Happy weekend, everyone!  Was this as long a week for you as it was for me?  Just a number of frustrations this week, and if you're like me, that will sap your sewing momentum like nothing else.  The best thing I know of for getting out of a sewing funk is small successful projects.  To that end, I stitched up a few of these little zipper bags, which are quick and easy and just right for getting back to the projects I should be working on (which all have a bajillion little pieces):

Okay, those are kind of cute.  And useful!  We've been doing so much travelling that these will be put to good use right away.  We have at least two more trips to take before the end of August!  Most of these were larger scrap pieces, except for the blue chevrons, which was a fat quarter that was a gift from my friend Nancy.

This one might be my favorite--pink strings!  Why not?  Get them out of the jar and use them up! 

The only problems I had making these was that I used batting scraps that were a little too heavy. That made the seams pretty thick, and I used French seams so that they'd be finished on the inside, so they were extra thick.  They still work, though. For the pink strings I just stitched the strings directly to the batting.

It worked just fine, but it did leave a bunch of garbage all over my cutting mat:

I have an eraser that should take care of that.  Plus I still have this one to finish:

I want to make the zipper go all the way around so that I can open it up and lay it flat or almost flat.  I'm planning to put pockets in the lining for all the flash drives that I keep my research projects on. I'm constantly searching through my purse for the right flash drive, so maybe this will help.  And it will look festive in my research bag!

Hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!  We will be looking at more houses.  We're closing in on another choice, so cross your fingers.  And if you're in the "heat dome" like we are, I highly recommend iced tea and ceiling fans--on top of the AC, of course!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, crazymomquilts, and soscrappy for RSC16!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Not a lot of sunshine

So far, this has not been a great week for me.  The whole world appears to have gone mad, we made an offer on a house and couldn't come to terms with the sellers, and as I sat down to write this post my daughter called in tears to tell us that she has to put one of her cats to sleep.  She's heartbroken!  And I'm heartbroken for her!

Best to turn off the TV and just sit down and pet some fabric or something.  Still working on the tiny squares quilt, and look what I've got here: 

A red block!  I didn't really know that there would be enough squares for this one, because I seldom use red, but there definitely were.  This is the 16th block for this quilt, so it's time to put the sashing on all the rest and see how the layout goes.  Also, I'm happy to say that the freezer paper has held up through all 16 blocks.  Win!

In other quilt-related news, Val over at Val's Quilting Studio had a piggy bank challenge where you saved your change for the year and then counted it up and had a nice nest egg to spend on something quilty.  I didn't sign up or anything, but I did save my change for the year.  I ended up with $104.25!  How great is that?  I spent some of it on this:

Quilty software!  This is the software version of Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia, and it is awesome.  I've been playing with it and finding all sorts of things.  I know there will be several quilts coming from this purchase.  I still like paging through the book, but this is great. Plus I had money left over and now I get to buy some more fabric!

So I guess there are some things to feel good about after all.  But the world has still gone crazy.  Anybody want to join me in a quilt fort?  I'll be the one obsessing over the real estate listings.

Hope you all are having a better week! I promise to be happier next time!  I'm ending with a picture of Athena.  Thank you kitty--you were great. We will all miss you.

Sharing at Let's Bee Social. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Strawberry rhubarb

Heat plus humidity--anybody else think this is a bad combination?  It's oppressive here!

This week I made up the pink and green Grandma's blocks for my Grandma's quilt.  Poor neglected Grandma.  I haven't made any blocks for a couple of months.  I'll need to catch up!  Here are the pinks and green for this month:

Gosh, they're so pretty! I don't remember my grandmother ever wearing this color combination, but it's one of my favorites.  I love pink and green together.  They always look happy.  One of my friends went to Sweet Briar College, and their colors are pink and green, and I'm always jealous!

And speaking of green. . .the other thing I was working on this week was the tiny squares quilt.  I like the bright green one:

And what can I possibly be doing over here?

I guess we'll find out!

I have to go now and make an offer to buy a house!  Who else is excited?  I'm finally, finally getting out of this condo! I'm so excited I forgot to publish this post on time!

Have a great weekend!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC16.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Squares everywhere

H everyone!  I hope you are all having a really great week! It's warm as all get out here, and the air is very "heavy."  Still getting used to the summer!  The sunshine is nice, though.

The big thing going on here in the the "sewing area" is that tiny squares are taking over my life.  They seem to be migrating into other areas of the house, too.  We've all had a project that we were kind of doing "on the side" and then it took over everything.  That's how I feel right now!  I've been putting together some more of the 100-patch blocks from the eleventy-billion 1-1/2 inch squares that I've been collecting forever. Check out these new colors:

Artsy photo on a boulder!

Lavender, brown, and teal/turquoise! I also made up a tan block:

Color matched to the mulch!

Beige is not my thing, but this worked great!

I'm making these blocks using a very thin interfacing (see HERE for the method I'm using) and it's working out well.  The important thing is to use the thinnest stuff you can find, and I'm using Pellon 906, made for sheer fabrics.  It's little more than tissue paper, but it's just the right weight for this project.

After I made the blocks I started with the sashing, which I think really makes the blocks.  Being an impatient sort, I had to see what it looked like all put together, so then I ended up with this:

A little windy!
It's going to look great!  The four blocks together measure about 31 by 31 right now.  Not sure what is going to happen with outer borders or anything yet.

I now have 12 blocks and have sorted out the pieces for 4 more, which is where I think I might stop.  I do have enough of the pink for a second block, and the yellow, too, and I probably have enough greens to make 3 blocks, so I might expand to 20 blocks.  We'll see.

Finally, this past week I was at my parents for my dad's birthday and my mom pretty much had a mini-stroke right in front of us. One minute she was fine, the next she couldn't speak.  Just gibberish, no words.  She's fine now!  We got her to the hospital quickly and she got meds and is now home.  But I just wanted to remind everyone to go hug their parents.  Life changes in a second, and they won't be here forever.  Hug them while you can!

Enough of that!  Happy sewing, everyone!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social and Oh Scrap!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Intricate Stitches--Pink

Hi all!  Welcome back to the Intricate Stitches blocks!  This month's color is pink and the block is fantastic. I have been waiting and waiting for this block's turn to come around.  I'm so excited to show you:

This block is an adaptation of an older block called Old Fashioned Daisy, number 4209 in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia.  This is a Nancy Cabot block with a strikingly specific date: January 27, 1933.  The block shown here is an adaptation of the original 1933 block.  I changed a few sizes and such so that it would make a 12-inch finished block, but the overall look remains the same.  To make it exactly as the 1933 edition would have required templates and weird measurements, and who has time for that?

Let's get started!


This block uses four colors--white, yellow, green, and pink.  You could simplify the block by eliminating the yellow and replacing it with either white or pink.

From the white, cut:

2 2 by 8-1/2 inch strips

From the yellow:

1 2 by 8-1/2 inch strip
1 2-5/8 inch square (see note)

From the green:

3 2 by 8-1/2 inch strips
8 2 inch squares

From the pink:

1 2 by 8-1/2 inch strip
1 3-1/2 by 8-1/2 inch strip
8 2 by 5 inch rectangles
2 2-3/8 inch squares (see note)

[Note--these pieces are for making a square in a square unit for the center.  You could simply cut a 3-1/2 inch yellow or pink square and use that instead.  Another alternative is to use a 3-1/2 inch yellow square and 1-1/2 inch squares to make a snowball type unit for the center.]


First, make the corner units using strip set construction.  This is the easiest way!  First, make a strip set with one of the green 2 by 8-1/2 strips and the pink 3-1/2 by 8-1/2 strip.  Press towards the green.  Call this strip set one.

Next, make another strip set using one of the white 2 by 8-1/2 strips, one of the green ones of the same size, and the pink in the same size.  The green should be in the middle of this set--white, green, pink.  Press to the green.  Call this strip set 2.

Finally, take the remaining green and white 2 by 8-1/2 inch strips and join them with the yellow strip of the same size.  The white should be in the middle of this set--yellow, white, green. Press away from the white, to the green and the yellow.  This is set 3.

All the strips are done!  Cut each of the sets into 4 2-inch pieces.  Arrange the pieces as shown below:

You are making 4 total units, 2 each of the units shown.  The first unit should use the pieces from set 3, then set 2, then set 1.  The other unit uses the strips as set 1, set 2, set 3.  The seams should meet up and nest nicely.  Units should measure 5 inches square. Give each of the 9 patches a good press and set aside for final assembly.

The next unit is a square in a square for the center of the block. If you don't want to fuss with this, see the note above.

Use the 2-5/8 inch yellow square and the 2 2-3/8 inch pink squares to make this unit. Cut each of the pink squares in half corner to corner and then stitch them to the yellow square as shown.  Open out and press. This unit should measure 3-1/2 inches.

Almost there!  The final unit is what I call a flag unit. These are so incredibly useful and save a seam when used instead of an hst and a square.  Take the 2-inch green squares and draw a line from corner to corner on the back of all 8 of them.  Arrange them as shown on each of the 8 2 by 5 inch rectangles.

Notice that these go in 2 different directions.  You'll stitch right on the line, trim, and then press the triangle up.  Make 4 that have the triangle to the left, and 4 that have the triangle to the right.

Last, join a left and a right flag unit together to make one unit with what appears to be a goose in the center.  You should have 4 of these which each measure 3-1/2 by 5 inches.


All that's left to do is lay out the block as shown and stitch together!  Make sure that the yellow squares in the 9-patches are on the outside corners.

Stitch the units into rows and then join the rows to make a lovely block. Give it a good press and then stand back and admire!

I love this block!  I could see a whole quilt made from this block, in all different colors to make a beautiful garden.  It seriously takes more time to describe than to make, too.

And here's where we are so far:

Coming right along! This is our eighth block--can you believe it? If you've made any blocks, I'd love to see!  Send me a picture!

Have a great time with this block, and come back on August 2 for block number 9. (We'll be putting this together in no time!)

Sharing at Linky TuesdayLet's Bee Social, and soscrappy for RSC16.

Friday, July 1, 2016

I've been Framed!

Hi everyone! (waving wildly)  I have some new construction to show off today. "New construction" as in a finished "house"--  I've finished the Framed quilt top at last! I was really determined to get this out of the project box and ready to quilt up.  It's waited long enough. Here is the finished product:

Happy dancing over this way!  I am calling this quilt Framed, as I have for a while now, because really--what else could I call it?  This was one of my projects for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge last year.  The centers of the stars are crumbs, and the stars are set in larger frames made of different fabrics in the same color.  Almost everything in this quilt was a scrap or a leftover hunk, including the white-on-whites.  The only "new" fabric is the orange frame, which I cut out of a larger piece I haven't used yet, and one yard of a single white-on-white for the border (such as it is.)  Even those pieces came from my stash.

Wrinkled but finished!

This quilt is huge, which made it a real challenge to get good pictures of the whole thing.  The blocks are 24 by 24 each, which in retrospect I should have figured would make a really big quilt.  But we all know that I have trouble envisioning the sizes of things from the patterns, so I didn't really think it would be this big.  It's currently 78 by 102.  Yikes! The one thing I might do differently if I were to make it again is use a very narrow sashing between the blocks.  Matching all those points was not my favorite thing.

Given the size of the center, the only border that I added was a 3-inch strip of white all around. This mainly functions to stabilize all the edges and just softly frames out the piecing.  It really didn't need anything else.  This was made from the Moda Love pattern, available for free HERE.  If you scroll down, you can see that the pattern is offered in different sizes.  Mine is officially the "charm square" size.  A few of the layer cake size would cover a king-sized bed!  I would totally make this again, and I might just try the smallest size, which would finish at literally half the size of this quilt.

I am so happy to have this done!  It took me too long, I know, but I'm glad it's finished.  The backing will be my  remaining piece of extra-wide fabric from Amanda Jean Nyberg's Good Neighbors line--also a leftover! (The fabric for the orange frame is also Good Neighbors fabric.)

This is the Independence Day weekend in the US, so I hope everyone has a great celebration!  We are going house-hunting for the 800th time, then have some more fun things planned.  Enjoy the fireworks!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, crazymomquilts, and soscrappy for RSC16!  And since this is all scraps, also Oh Scrap! on Sunday.