Saturday, August 25, 2018

Citrusy delights

(For anyone who is interested, the monthly scrap giveaway is at the end of this post!)

A while ago, someone asked me what my favorite food is.  I was stymied! I like so many different things, but then it came to me-- the one food I really love and will eat any time, any place, in any form.  It's any kind of citrus fruit-- lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges, oranges, oranges!

I love oranges, but I haven't felt the same about orange fabric.  Much of it is pretty, but I just haven't used it very much. So for the RSC this month I didn't have a whole lot of scraps to work with, but I did manage to cut up enough to move the projects along.  I admit that I cut into a couple of fat quarters to get some more variety, too.

First up is the stars, which I've been calling "galaxy stars," though that's not the "real" name of this block:

I got six stars, more than I expected.  I now have 34 or 35 stars and I'm running out of the blue fabrics.  Since my whole purpose was to use up those dark blues, I think it will be time to finish these stars up very soon.  Not sure of a layout or anything, but I know it will be sparkly!

Next up are the hollow 9-patches.  This month I eked out eight orange 9-patches:

Since I only had a few reds last month, I also scrounged up enough for a couple of browns:

Brown is one of the colors that I seldom use, so there are very few scraps, so I'm somewhat impressed that I managed two blocks!

Finally, I also made the patchwork scrap stars in orange:

Those are certainly festive, aren't they? Blue always looks great with orange, and the bright green is a happy contrast.  I'm really looking forward to putting this top together in just a short while.

That's the roundup of my orange projects!  I feel like I'm right on track to have a couple of really nice quilts by the end of the year.  This year's projects have been pretty simple to finish up each month, and I've really appreciated the low stress.  And I'm sure when I finally get these quilts together I'll appreciate it all the more!

Which brings us to the scrap giveaway for this month.  As you know, I'm cleaning out the scrap bins each month and giving away everything that's left after this month's projects.  This has been fantastic for me and I hope it has for you too!  It's helping me so much to be rid of those old fabrics. Here is this month's package:

Because there was so little orange (many of those pieces are small), I also cleaned out the brown bin, which also did not have a lot in it.  Together, though, they make a decent-sized bunch of fabrics for a giveaway.  I've also included a handful of 2-inch squares and one of 1-1/2 inch squares, too.

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all!

To have a chance to get this package of fabric delivered to your door, at no cost to you, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post.  Really!  (Sorry that I can only ship to the US and Canada!)  Just to make it interesting, tell me what you're really looking forward to about fall.  I am really looking ahead to some cooler temperatures, and maybe some drier weather, too.  Leave a comment and I will use the random number generator to pick a winner on Monday afternoon. 

I think I need to go eat an orange or something right now!  Hope you are all having a lovely end to the summer.  School starts next week-- wahoo!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC18.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Shirts off her back

Hi all!  It's the end of another week, and it's been another hard slog.  I'm trying to get ready for a new school year and that means lots of books and lots of time on the computer.  Posts might be a little sparse for the next couple of weeks until I get into a new routine.  We all know that I'm trying to arrange my schedule for as much sewing time as possible, right?

Today I am showing off the t-shirt quilt top I finished this week:

Wahoo!  I am happy to have this top finished.  If you recall, this is for my daughter, who saved the shirts from the political campaigns she worked on years ago.  Of course, when she was done was politics, they came to live at our house, and then they lived in a box when we moved to the East coast.  And now they are out of the box, and out of the closet, and on their way to becoming a cozy memory quilt.

I had planned to lay this out differently, in columns, and with black sashing, but I was informed that I was incorrect about these choices.  Good thing there's someone looking out so I don't make those kinds of mistakes!  I did a lot of trimming and rearranging and ended up with a puzzle-style quilt that's almost square, just about 60 by 62.

I'm actually glad that I changed things up, especially the sashing.  This is Kona Pesto, which turned out to be a terrific green.  I have just enough of it left to use for a binding after I quilt this.  I'm not sure how to quilt it right now, mainly because of the difference in thicknesses between the shirts and the sashing fabric.  This top is quite heavy, so I'll need a very light batting.  Has anyone ever quilted one of these?  Any good advice?

That was pretty much all the sewing I got finished this week, but it's a big load off my mind.  Piecing this was not difficult, but it certainly wasn't the most fun I've ever had quilting.  The piecing was fussy, and not in a good way.  Probably did not help that it was very hot and very humid (both in the 90s).  I really should get a fan for the sewing room, but it would just disturb the dust.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  I'm going to alter some new clothes for the new year and then work on those schedules some more.  Definitely hoping that I can talk the hubs into taking pity on me and getting takeout.  I think the odds are good!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday.

Friday, August 10, 2018

A long, hot week

Hi all!  Are you enjoying the dog days of summer?  I understand that most of the world is experiencing a hot summer, and I'm here to tell you that I'm just done with it.  I've had enough.  It's at the point where I'm starting to feel ready for snow, and we all know how desperate a situation that is!  There's a reason why most of my neighbors are off on vacation right now, and it's not because of great hotel rates.

I'm really just writing this post today to say hello and give a small update.  I didn't have a lot of time for stitching this week, or much of anything else, but I did make a little progress on the t-shirt quilt:

I fused all the shirts and trimmed them, and I've started arranging them into columns.  I don't know what possessed me to fuse the shirts with a hot iron when it was 95 degrees outside, but the sweat was dripping off my nose midway through.  It worked out, though, and I do like the black sashing, too.

I decided to put the quilt together in columns, so that I only have to make sure that all of the shirts are the same width and the length of the design won't really matter.  So far two of my columns are 12 inches wide, with the center column at 15 inches.  The bad part is that I'm going to have too many 12 inch ones and not as many 15 inch ones, so that center column may need some filler pieces.

That was it for the stitching!  I also pulled out this basted little quilt:

I basted the Harry Potter quilt, too, but didn't get a picture.  I'm going to try to get those done soon, but I'm making no promises about when that will be.

The only other thing I accomplished (that I can photograph) was to make some bread, which does not sound exciting to many people, but I finally got to eat some decent bread for the first time since February.

All of the packaged and frozen gluten-free bread I've tried is just awful, and seriously expensive.  I made this from a mix from King Arthur Flour.  It tastes like "real" bread and I got to have a sandwich.  This was the happiest I've been about a PBJ since first grade!

Anyway, that's the update from here!  I hope your weekend includes a ton of air conditioning and lots and lots of stitching time, or at least some lemonade and ice cream.  I'll be sitting under the ceiling fan with some books and daydreaming of the sewing machine.

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Squared Away Block 8

Hello all, and welcome back to the Squared Away quilt project! We are heading into the home stretch with block 8 out of 10 blocks.  This quilt was designed by me and Angela of soscrappy as a fun, free project to use up some scraps.  If you have just found this quilt along or have missed a block, links to all of the blocks so far can be found on the tab at the top of this page or the tab on Angela's page at soscrappy

Our colors for this month are orange and brown, neither of which are major colors in my collection, but I did manage to make a few blocks:

State of Georgia, Workbasket magazine, 1935

This block is called State of Georgia, a 1935 block from Workbasket magazine.  For this block, you will need a little bit of an accent color.  For the tutorial block I managed to find a tiny bit of brown fabric, but if you scroll down you'll see that I used blues as the accents for my other blocks. 

Let's make the block!

Cutting for a 10-inch block:

This block uses strip piecing to make some units.  If you already have squares cut, go ahead and use those instead.  No need to let them go to waste!

From the background, cut:

8 2-1/2 inch squares

From the orange, cut:

2 2-1/2 by 10-1/2 inch strips
1 2-1/2 inch square
1 4-1/4 inch square OR 2 2-7/8 inch squares*

From the accent, cut:

1 2-1/2 by 10-1/2 inch strip
1 4-1/4 inch square OR 2 2-7/8 inch squares*

*these are for making half-square triangles, so they can be oversized to trim down after stitching


First, use the 4-1/4 inch squares to make 4 2-1/2 inch hsts using the 4-at-a-time method described last month, or use the 2-7/8 inch squares to make the hsts using conventional methods.

Next, make a strip set using the orange and accent 2-1/2 inch by 10-1/2 inch strips.  Stitch the accent strip between the two orange pieces, then cut into 4 2-1/2 inch sections.  If you are nesting your seams instead of pressing them open, press to the accent color.

That's it for the units--time to assemble the block!


First, make the center 9-patch using the hsts, 4 of the background squares, and the orange 2-1/2 inch square.   Arrange as shown and stitch, paying attention to the directions of the hsts.  The accent triangles should point in toward the center.

Press to the accent triangles and the orange center square. The center should measure 6-1/2 inches square.

Gather the remaining sections and background squares and lay them out as shown:

Join the pieces into rows and the rows into a finished block.  Give it a good press, stand back, and admire!

Your block should measure 10-1/2 inches square to finish at 10 inches in the quilt.  I love this block because it's so simple to make but gives such a nice effect.  Wouldn't it look great as a whole quilt? 

As always, this month I made three of the 10-inch blocks:

and two 15-inch blocks for a separate project:

That finishes off the eighth block of our quilt!  We'll be quilting this up in no time.  As always, hop on over to Angela's to see some more blocks and some of her variations.  If you are so inclined, remember that Angela has a linkup at her blog every Saturday, and we would all love to see your blocks.  You can also link up Instagram posts there, and be sure to tag me (@academicquilter) and/or use #squaredawayquilt so I won't miss seeing your pretty blocks. 

Our ninth block will be posted right here on Saturday, September 1, so be sure to come back for that.  Our quilt will be finished before you know it!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC18.

Friday, August 3, 2018

A new summer project

Hi everyone!  It has been a busy week around here, with our customary heat and rain, and lots and lots of library time.  We were supposed to get the house power washed this week, but it didn't work out, so next week it is.  We did get rid of the wasps, though, so that's a good thing.  And I tried a couple of new recipes, plus made several loaves of lemon zucchini bread, which I sliced and froze so that I can have a piece every day for a while.

On the quilty front, first, some exciting news for me.  My quilt made of orphans and strings, called Misfit Toys, was accepted for the AQS quilt show in Virginia Beach!

I am so excited!  The very first thing my husband said was "we have to go,"  so I guess I'll even get to see it hanging.  I've never done anything like this before, so I'm a little freaked out. The closest I've ever some to having a quilt in a show is the "show and tell" portion of the quilt group I used to belong to.  Did I mention that I'm excited? 

The show isn't until October, so until then, it's back to the present. Now that it's August, I think I might want to start my "summer projects."  Yes, I thought I would get a lot more done this summer, but some things have not gone as planned.  Oh, well!  I've made a bunch of progress on some things, not so much on others, but have definitely not wasted my time.

My new "summer" project is a t-shirt quilt, a type of quilt I've never made before.  When my older daughter was in college and just after she finished, she worked for several political campaigns, all of which came with t-shirts and various other memorabilia.  When we moved, I asked her what she wanted done with them (because of course they were left behind at our house), and she said she wanted a quilt made from them.

Now that it's almost three years later, and I made her sister a Harry Potter quilt, I'm finally getting started on the project.  About time, right?  Yeah, she thinks so, too. First I cut up the t-shirts and rough cut around the motifs.  Mostly I just cut all the seams off and separated the shirts into what's essentially piles of fabric:

Now I have piles of what used to be sleeves, motifs, and then backs and fronts.  The next step is to fuse stabilizer to the backs of the motifs, then clean them up into more standard sizes.   It looks like most of them will be about 9 by 14 or so (these were big shirts.) Then I'll figure out the sashing and whatnot.  And just what I'll use for backing, too.  If anybody has any good suggestions, I'm open!

Cutting up the shirts was all I had time for this week, but it's a start! Hope everyone has a great weekend.  We are expecting heat and heavy rain.  Why try something different, right?

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday.