Saturday, March 30, 2019

Scrappy green things

Hello and happy Saturday, everyone! I hope it's going well for you.  I don't know what you're doing this weekend,  but I bought a bunch of fabric yesterday and now I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival at my house.  I don't think any of it was green, but I'm always surprised when I open the packages, so it could be!

This is the last Saturday of March (yikes!), so today I've got a small roundup of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects.  I already showed off the green Cut Glass Dish blocks, so today let's start with the Boston Common quilt:

Well, that looks happy! If you recall, I'm putting a round of squares onto this quilt top each month in the color of the month.  I still have not had to cut any new squares, just pull them out of the 2-1/2 inch square bin.  It makes me happy to use those babies up!  Some of them have been hanging around for a long time. I think in April there will be one more round, then I'll add another round of white squares, just as a design element.  I know I won't be using a brown or black round unless they're the very last one, so the white squares will add a bit of size to the quilt, too.

Next up are the Tiny Tuesday blocks:

I didn't know if I'd like tiny blocks, but I certainly do! I didn't make the umbrella, but I did make a couple of extra blocks to make my quilt bigger.  And of course I made the owl:

You can see that my owl is sleeping.  He must be tired. Actually, I couldn't find anything for eyes, so I just made closed eyes.  And I was going to make him green or brown, but I'm glad I went ahead with the green instead.

Finally, I also made six green string sections for the Scrap Happy Rails quilt:

I have to say, when I started this project I was worried about how strings in all one color would look.  Wouldn't that be awfully flat?  Turns out it's not, and I'm really glad.  Once again I didn't have to cut any new strings, and I even had a few left over.  It sure doesn't look like there are that many in the jar, but somehow they magically keep multiplying.

I initially tried to take the picture of the string sections outside, but I think the camera is going.  I did manage to get this one, which shows the colors nicely:

And that is the end of the green projects! I'm happy with my progress, and I hope you're happy with your progress, too. Have a nice, restful weekend before we tackle the next color!

See what I mean?

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Jack and Jill

Hi everyone! Is it really the end of March? That must have happened when I wasn't looking. To be fair, this has been a hard month and I haven't been looking at a lot of things.  This week I finally wound up a very large, important project that has taken up a great deal of my time the past few months. I spent a day this week at another school out of state and gave *two* high stakes presentations on the same day.  It went well, and I am happy to have that behind me.  Maybe now I can focus on important things, like the best color to use with orange in a quilt.

I was so busy and then mentally used up this week that I didn't think I'd have a finish, but it turns out I have two! Here they are:

These are two baby quilts that I've been calling "Jack and Jill."  They are just about 35-1/2 inches square and are intended as donations to Jack's Basket through Sarah's Hands to Help challenge at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

These two little quilts are adapted from the infamous 'Quick Strippie" pattern at Mary Quilts. (You can find the free pattern HERE.)  I just made the pattern a bit smaller.  Mary is an absolute genius, because I cut these fabrics on Sunday before I got on the road, then stitched up one after I got back on Wednesday and one on Thursday.  I don't think it took even three hours to make up both of these.  Not difficult at all!

Both of these are made from about a half yard of some leftover fabrics.  The pink quilt uses up most of what I had left of some fabric I had originally purchased for a quilt backing.  I used it as a backing, but still had a couple yards left over and it's been here forever.  It's a hard print to use but works great here.

I still think the fabric is really pretty but I'm really happy to see it used up and in a happy little baby quilt.

The blue quilt uses a piece that I bought for a baby quilt, but never used because I made something else instead.  The fabric has all kinds of construction equipment, and the coordinating piece is nuts and bolts. Perfect for a baby boy.

I'm also glad to use up these two pieces!  The only real use for them is a baby quilt, don't you think?

I will quilt these up in a little bit.  Since they're strip quilts, I plan to just do straight line quilting on them.  I'm actually planning to quilt all of the donation quilts at once after I have them all finished.  I have one more to do and then that will be it for this year.

When I went out to take pictures of these little quilts, I found some happy little flowers poking through the dead leaves under the trees:

Those are some purple crocus, and I don't know if you can see these very well, but they are grape hyacinths:

I didn't plant any of these, but they make me happy!

For this weekend I'm planning to rest up and read some quilty blogs and then maybe buy a bunch of fabric.  I have some serious shelf space to fill!  Apparently I've been using fabric and not replacing it with more, so there are some gaps. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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

Friday, March 22, 2019

Finished paneling

Hi everyone, and welcome to another weekend! I don't know about you, but I sure could use it.  It's been a very busy week around here.  Lots and lots going on behind the scenes!  Nothing quilt-related, just family and work stuff, and some of it not fun, but it certainly kept me running. Thankfully, I did have a major distraction that turned into this week's finished quilt top.  It's nice when that happens, isn't it?

Do you ever get a project in your head and for some reason it just captures your imagination and you just have to work on it, even when you have much more pressing things to do?  That's what happened to me with this project.  Sandra over at mmmquilts calls these projects "squirrels" that cause Dreami moments-- when you just have to drop everything and make it.  (You can find out more at Sandra's blog HERE.) Here is my squirrel:

Yay, a finished quilt top! This top started out as a panel that I pulled out to make into a donation quilt.  I had some yardage from the same line of fabric and now I've used up the panel, the coordinating yardage, a small brown piece, and some beige that's in the hourglass blocks.  Let's hear it for moving out old fabrics and making room for some new stuff!

This quilt looks so simple, and it is, but I'll tell you-- I could not stop thinking about it all week.  I even doodled some block layouts and alternate blocks when I should not have been doodling.  Then I went into the sewing room and tried a bunch of things.  Given the way it turned out, I think that was okay, but it was a little weird that it was taking up so much mental space. In the end it went together pretty easily.  You save a lot of time if you're not piecing blocks!

I cut the panel into 9-1/2 inch blocks, then added 1-inch red frames that finished at just a half inch around each of those.  The alternate blocks are simple hourglass blocks that are turned every row to make faux frames for the panel blocks.  Each of the blocks finishes at 10 inches, and the top is about 58 by 68. I had just enough of the green in the hourglass blocks to squeak those out, and I also used up all but about an 8 inch strip of the red border.  I divided the length of red I had to determine the width of the final border, so it ended up at about 3 inches wide, which feels a little narrow to me, but it did use up that red fabric.

In case you haven't noticed, we are stuck with indoor pictures.  This week was mostly sunny and warmish, and then I went to take pictures. Yeah, it rained and rained. I was going to brave it when it was only drizzling, but the ground was really saturated.  It's very wet out there! The indoor pictures didn't turn out toooo badly, but maybe I can get some outside on Friday and replace these. UPDATED TO ADD-- I did get some new pictures and have replaced some of them. Still very squishy outside!

Now that it's out of my head, this quilt is destined for donation to Mercy Hospital through Hands to Help. I was hoping that this would be fairly gender neutral, and looking at it now I'm not so sure.  It's feels pretty woodsy, but there are a lot of flowers in it. Perhaps I'll have to try again with another quilt. I don't have one in my head yet, but I'm pretty sure if I look around I'll find a few doodled ideas!

Finally, here's a picture that I took on campus on one of our sunny days this week:

Tulips blooming! Doesn't that just make your heart sing?

Hope everyone has a good weekend filled with signs of spring! I have lots on the agenda, including a date with some lemon bars and maybe a bit of painting.  If it rains, I guess I'm stuck with just the lemon bars, so I'm not sure whether I'm hoping for rain or not!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, Brag about Your Beauties, and probably Sandra's Dreami link party.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Spring greens

Hi everyone, and happy Saturday! Well, I had big plans for this week, but it didn't quite work out like I expected.  We had a turn in the weather and I was lured outside for a bit, and then I actually did some yard work! Mostly it was picking up sticks (where do they all come from?) and raking some leaves, but it felt *great.*  Then when I came inside I looked around and realized that the house needed some serious cleaning, so I opened the windows and scrubbed some baseboards and touched up some paint.  Do you ever get that feeling in the spring? It definitely feels much cleaner and nicer now.

All of this meant that I did not finish quilting a quilt this week, and in fact I only finished the green Cut Glass Dish blocks:

If you recall, these blocks are one of my projects for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year.  I love how they look, especially the zippy green one on the left.  Next month I promise to take a picture of all the blocks I've made so far because all of the colors look great together.

And that was it!  I did one other thing using green fabric, though it isn't as much a scrap project as a "using things up" project.  I made some test blocks to use as alternate blocks for a panel I cut apart:

These are actually simple hourglass blocks, using a dark green print and a beige print.  I'm going back and forth on whether the green is too dark or not, and also whether the green print is too busy.  I have just enough of the green to make the alternate blocks, and then I thought about using a small beige border and maybe a red binding.  I actually might have another little bit of dark green for a binding if I like that better.  This would use up the panel, the dark green, the beige, and maybe another bit of dark green or red.  Plus it makes a nice comfort quilt to donate, too!

That's all for my green projects this week, but there is one more green thing to share:

Daffodil shoots!  This makes me so happy.  Spring will really be coming soon!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! The temperatures will be falling again, but I plan to enjoy it while it lasts!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Block updates

Hi everyone!  First, thanks so much to everyone who had kind words about my brother's house fire.  They are all fine and we are all grateful that things have gone as well as they can in the aftermath.  I really appreciate your thoughts, your kind words, and your prayers. And yes, I did make my own video, and I also put a smoke alarm in my attic.  Can't be too careful!

This week is spring break, and I have three quilts basted and ready to quilt up! Yay me! But you know I couldn't leave the piecing aside, right?  So I've also been making some random blocks to add to projects that are already in progress, just whatever I feel like making at the moment.  The first ones to show today are these:

These are all the blocks I currently have for the old and new sampler I'm making. I just love sampler quilts, don't you?  Making copy after copy of the same block can get dull, but samplers give you something different to make every time.  Since I have no schedule for this, I only have nine blocks so far:

These are 6-inch blocks, and most of the ones I've made so far are the Tula Pink blocks. These ones have been really fast, but some of the others I've chosen have more pieces and will take more time.

I also made the first green block for the Tiny Tuesday sampler at soscrappy:

This block is called Multiply and was designed by Jo.  You can find the block instructions HERE.

I also did a few more of the Sunny Lanes blocks:

I've cut a bunch of green and white squares to make the hsts when I feel like it, and I've got a small tub full of hsts now, so whenever I finish enough 4 patches I can make up a block.  I'm thinking of putting them all together into a top as I go, too.  Is there a downside to this? It's all scrappy, so it's not like the colors would have to be balanced or anything.

I've also caught up on my temperature quilt:

As you can see, it's been pretty chilly! The blues are 20s and 30s, and the purples and grays are below that.  I'm really looking forward to adding in some more yellows and greens very soon!

Finally, I pulled out this panel this week and hung it up to think hard about it.

I know it's not really blocks, but if I cut it apart and added in some alternate blocks, I bet it would make a nice comfort quilt for Hands to Help.  What would you do with it?  Here's a closeup of the design:

I'll look at it and think about it while I'm quilting up these quilts.  Maybe I'll get to open the windows while I'm quilting? I can dream!

Hope you're all having a good week.  As of today, spring is officially only seven days away!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Twelve hundred and more

Hi everyone!  Here we are at the end of another week, and that means we're another week closer to spring.  Can you tell I am counting down? 

Today I have a finish to share, but this has been a very dramatic week for our family and there is some public service information at the bottom of this post, so if you are just looking at the fun pictures, please at least read the last paragraph.  We'll get to the drama in a minute, but first, here is this week's finish:

This is another finished UFO from the closet.  Whoo-hoo! And it's all scrap pieces, too, which is a double whoo-hoo! More scraps actually used, not just sitting in the bins.  The white sashing is plain old Kona white, though there are some pieces of Kona Snow in there as well.  Not by design, really, just that they got stuck in with the white pieces.  It all worked!

The blocks in this quilt are 100-patches made from scrap 1-1/2 inch squares.  I started this way back in 2016 when we had just moved to the east coast and were living in a tiny condo.  (I still think of this as "the dark times.")  We bought our house and moved and this got moved into a closet  and was left unfinished.  It happens all the time, doesn't it? 

I made the 100-patches using a very light fusible interfacing to get all the squares aligned and make the rows easier to stitch.  You can see how I did that HERE.  It worked pretty well, and I would make blocks that way again.  I have lots and lots of 1-1/2 inch squares, so I'm thinking of making some up into 25 patches.  Not soon, but I'm thinking about it!

If I had to pick a favorite block, it would be the black one.  Surprise! I was really surprised at how much color there actually is in this block.  I didn't know I had that many black pieces in the bin, but they look great together.  The white block is similar and was another surprise.  Of course, all of the blocks have a lot of color variation, but most of them don't have quite as many prints.

This quilt is destined to become a charity quilt for Sarah's Hands to Help challenge, which is why I only used 12 blocks.  The quilt is a nice lap size, about 48 by 65.  I have four more finished 100-patch blocks that will become a baby quilt a little later this spring, though I can already say that I won't be using the same sashing and cornerstones for that quilt.  All of these little squares made for a *lot* of seams and the top is already a bit heavy, plus they were a bit maddening to keep track of.  There are currently little squares all over the floor in the sewing room, which you know is making me crazy. I will definitely be cleaning up this weekend.

So, there is my finish for the week!  One more out of the closet and soon to become a comfort quilt, which makes me feel super happy that I finally finished it.  I am making serious progress on my piecing UFOs, which also makes me really happy.

And now for something completely non-quilt related:

On Tuesday morning, my brother (who works nights, so it was about 9:30 am) heard a weird noise, so he got up to investigate.  Turned out that the house was on fire and it was moving rapidly.  He and his partner managed to get out with the dogs and were unharmed, and my nephew was already at school, so he was unharmed as well.  The house, however, was a total loss.  They lost literally everything except what they were wearing.  The roof ended up in the dining room. Not to worry--they will be okay. There is insurance and they will be able to rebuild their possessions, so it will turn out.  And no one was hurt, which is the best possible news! So here's the public service announcement-- grab your phone and make a video right now, walking around every room of your house, opening every drawer and closet, and showing everything you own.  Narrate this as you go, as in "here's the antique dresser we got from Aunt Phyllis" and "those shelves hold about 300 yards of fabric" and "this is the Viking sewing machine that I bought in 2018."  Email the video to yourself or otherwise store it somewhere online. Your house doesn't have to be clean! It just has to show what you own.  If the worst ever happens, you won't remember or be able to make a list of everything you've lost, from the number of forks you own to how many towels you have, and sometimes insurance companies want proof that you actually had a new refrigerator instead of a 20-year-old Kenmore.  So do yourself a favor and make the video.  If you're worried about how the house looks, you can always make another video after you clean up!

Okay, end of lecture. Hope everyone has a great weekend.  Next week is spring break and I plan to spend it doing some outdoor work if the weather cooperates, and sewing if it doesn't.  I'm really looking forward to both!

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

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Gray with spots of sunshine

Hi everyone, and welcome to March! March is the month that spring finally moves in, though you couldn't tell by the weather we're having now.  Today's pictures were all taken outside in the snow and gray, and we're expecting even more of the same this weekend.  We're all tired of it, but we know spring is coming, because now it's March and the first day of spring is less than three weeks away.  Three weeks!

We spent last weekend at our grandson's third birthday, which was really fun, but I did leave with a cold as a lovely parting gift.  You forget how much little kids cough, sneeze, and drool!  It was completely worth it, but just about all I worked on this week was finishing my yellow projects for this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I'm happy to say that I finished them off, so I'm not behind in the RSC yet this year. Whoo-hoo!

First up are the string sections for my rainbow Scrap Happy Rails quilt, just because I took a semi-cool picture:

I took this on top of the snow that was on our deck table, which should still be in the garage, but optimism runs high.  Don't those yellows look really happy against the snow?  I'm so pleased with all the variety in these strips.  Amazingly, I didn't have to cut any yardage for these, and I still have some strings left over.

Next up are the Cut Glass Dish blocks in yellow:

I've thought about making this quilt for several years and I'm so happy that I'm finally doing it.  I just love how these blocks are turning out.  I wasn't really sure until I took this picture that the block on the left was yellow enough, but I think it definitely reads yellow, don't you?

Finally, here are all of the tiny yellow blocks for this year's sampler:

I skipped the regular 9-patch block, but I'm thrilled with how the others turned out, especially the Ohio Star and the Shoo Fly.  They just look so cute in miniature!  Also, I didn't want to make an orange peel applique block, but I still wanted an applique to replace it, so I went with the hexagon.  I put it on a pale blue floral just for fun, since I used some gray backgrounds last month.  I'm planning to make a larger quilt, so I added in a double 4-patch as well.  Those tiny 4-patches had weird measurements (hello sixteenths!) but I think they turned out okay.

So there's some progress! So far I love all of these projects and I'm still excited about them.  And I have some nice yellow scraps left over, so I'm feeling pretty good about the ones I've used up this month.

Hope all of you have a good weekend. Apparently we're going to have some more snow, or maybe rain. Or both!  Good time to stay inside and get some things done, don't you think?

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19.