Friday, May 31, 2019

Stitching again

Hello everyone! Gosh, I really missed you all here in blogland! Feels like it's been months since I've sewn anything.  Our house is now listed for sale and three fourths of my life is packed away in boring brown boxes.  The list of what I've packed and now need is quite long.  Why did I pack the can opener? Also, my favorite quarter inch foot is somewhere in one of the many boxes marked "sewing room." Which box? You tell me and we'll both know!

I was thrilled this week to finally, finally be able to pull out the sewing machine again and get back to some projects. Of course, the sewing machine is stashed in the china cabinet, the project boxes are in a closet, and the scraps are disguised as something else, but I will not be deterred!

What do you do when you haven't been sewing for a while? How do you get back to it?  I chose to make some nice, easy blocks and catch up on the rainbow scrap challenge at the same time:

Okay, the sun bleached a good part of those out, but they're aqua and orange! Is there a better antidote to brown cardboard?

These are the Cut Glass Dish blocks that I am making for the rainbow scrap challenge this year.  Of course I'm behind on all those projects, but I didn't pack them so that I can work on them when I get a chance. Hope springs eternal!

These blocks are really easy, but they do have 24 hsts apiece, which takes a little time, what with the cutting and squaring and all.  For once doing all of that was an absolute joy, just to be able to handle the fabrics.  It's amazing how much you miss it!

Since the RSC has ten colors, May is the half-way point, so here are all of my Cut Glass Dish blocks together, on the very damp grass:

Not sure how I'm going to lay this out yet, but I really like it so far.  I'll have to see if I can find a picture of an antique quilt that uses these blocks to get some ideas. 

Now that I've caught up on those (for the moment), I'll be adding the aqua and orange rounds to the Boston Common quilt, and then I'll pack up the aqua and orange scraps.  This will make my husband happy, because he wants to be ready to move at any moment. 

Over the last few days, we've had some really bad storms, like most of the rest of the country.  We've mainly escaped any bad effects from these, except for this:

Yeah, that's no fun, but thank goodness nothing fell on the roof! The park where I go walking had a microburst, and dozens of trees are uprooted, with some snapped right in half.  Many years ago I taught at the University of Dayton, and what happened there this past week was just devastating.  All my friends there are safe, but if you were affected by any of the storms, I hope you're safe, too.  I'm thinking about you and really feeling for you.

Anyway, I'm glad to be back and hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Keep your fingers crossed for us, because we're looking at houses again.  Will this be the magic weekend?  Will there be a house that isn't painted gray?  If so, I just may buy that one! (For the record, ours is painted in aquas, blues, and alabaster. Maybe that makes us stand out?)

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Our big new project

Hi everyone! (waving wildly) I've missed you! I know I've kind of been out of action lately, and now it's time to explain why I have hardly sewn a stitch in weeks and I'm very stressed.  Here's a clue:

Why are those shelves empty?  What has happened to all of my fabric?  Here's another clue:

Is that fabric stacked in some kind of crate?  Yes, yes it is, and the crate has handles for easy carrying. One more clue:

If you guessed that we're moving, you are correct!  We are moving to Baltimore and have been frantically packing and cleaning to put our house on the market.  Not a lot of time for stitching!

I can hear some of you now:

Mari, didn't you just move? 
     Actually, we moved to the East coast four years ago. I know, I can't believe it's been that long, either! 

Why are you moving again?
     Sometimes you find opportunity, and sometimes it finds you.  An opportunity and I found each other, and that ended with a new job and some exciting new prospects for career growth. 

Haven't you been remodeling your house forever?
     Yes, we have. We've remodelled just about all of this house.  But that will make it all the easier to sell, right?

Won't you miss Delaware?
     In a big way!  Delaware is a wonderful place with lots of nice people and some beautiful places.  We'll miss our community here a lot, and I'll certainly miss this house and our property, including the nest of Cooper's Hawks that are near our yard.

When will this happen?
      The house will be listed for sale next week.  We're packing and cleaning now, but thankfully didn't have to do a lot of painting or anything, since we've already done it!

Did you pack your sewing machines? No quilting for weeks??
     Nope, Miss Rosie is still unpacked and I look forward to using her quite a bit.  I packed the fabrics and all of my other stitching stuff, but I left out several projects that I'll be working on for the next couple of months.  And if I run out, I have a lot of ideas, and I know where to get more fabric!

Does this mean no blogging for a while?
      No, I'll still be blogging, I hope back to my regular schedule very soon!  Posts may be sporadic for a while, but I'll be back soon.  We're almost done staging the house (and moving out a lot of boxes) so things should settle down pretty soon.

Have you found a new house yet?
      No, we've barely started looking! I can already say, though, that there are waaayyy too many houses that are painted entirely gray.  Can we please go back to painting all the rooms white for selling? All those gray rooms are seriously depressing.

Anyway, that's our big new project, and that's what I've been busy with for the last few weeks.  Sorry I've kind of disappeared. But now all the contracts are signed and everything is moving forward, so I should be able to get some stitching time again soon.  I can tell you that I need to touch some fabric, because we all know that's a great stress reliever, right? I need it so much that I got this in the mail this week:

New fabrics! As the hubs would say--more to pack.  He just doesn't understand.  Those little girls were too cute to pass up.

So that's our big news! I hope you all have a great weekend that doesn't involve any boxes or moving furniture around or wrapping things in paper.  That stuff gets old really fast!

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

Very small blocks

Hi everyone, and welcome to the end of another week! The exams are done, the grades are in, the students are moving out, and everyone I know is exhausted.  And how was your week?

As you can probably guess, I haven't sewn very much lately, but I do have a few very small blocks to show for my efforts.  Here is the first one:

Oh, that orange will give you some happy energy, won't it? And it looks good with the purple petunias, too. This is the first of the orange Tiny Tuesday blocks for the rainbow scrap challenge this year. (You can find more about this sampler HERE.)  This block tutorial came from Angie and the instructions are HERE.  I know this block as Broken Sugar Bowl, but she called it Road to the White House.  All those old names are pretty interesting. I don't see either a sugar bowl or a road!

In addition to the first of the orange blocks, here are the aqua tiny blocks, which I somehow never got to show last month:

I was pretty sure I had another aqua block, but it doesn't seem to be in the box with the others.  I'm sure it will turn up, probably just as soon as this post goes live.  For those who've forgotten, these blocks will finish at 4-1/2 inches in the quilt.  They don't use up a lot of scraps, but they certainly turn out cute. 

Sadly, that is all that I have pictures of right now.  I did quilt up the two baby quilts for Hands to Help, but I plan to show those all at the same time, and I did do a little bit of handwork but didn't take pictures.  I'm hoping to finish up a handwork project this summer, though, so there will be plenty of pictures then.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!  Sunday is Mother's Day here in the US, and I have high hopes for some video chatting with my grandkids, though I doubt the 3 month old will be very chatty.  So happy Mother's Day to all moms, grandmas, aunties, and mother figures out there.  I hope you all have wonderful days with your loved ones, and maybe some flowering azaleas, too!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and soscrappy for RSC19.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Squarely quilted

Hi all, and happy May weekend! I hope you are all doing really well and enjoying the spring. Unbelievably, the weather here has been terrific, so much so that I managed to get some great pictures of today's finished project.  And I've been working outside every day this week, though I did stop yesterday when I saw a snake in the pachysandra.  That's the one thing I genuinely despise about this area-- snakes. They just creep me out completely.  Although we have a creek in the backyard, so I don't know what I was expecting.

Not to worry, no snakes came anywhere near today's project! Here is a really lovely picture taken in the park in the sunshine:

Yes, my Squared Away quilt is finally quilted and bound and super cozy! If you recall, this is the quilt that came from last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge project that Angela and I designed.  (You can still find all the patterns HERE and HERE.) I just love how this quilt turned out.

Oooh, artsy! Not artificial light, just the sun through the trees.

This was quilted by Alycia of Quiltygirl Quilts, and she did a great job with it.  I had a bunch of ideas, and she took them and ran with them. I think the collaboration turned out great.  Look at all the circles she quilted in:

Aren't those awesome? They must have been fun to do, and a great choice for a quilt made of squares.  And the design in the setting triangles is fantastic, too:

As you can see, I used a medium green for the binding.  My original idea was to use a scrappy binding, but it just wasn't looking good.  I also intended to do a machine binding, but hand stitching this to the back was really relaxing and I really needed that.  If you remember, earlier I had switched out the setting triangles and taken off the borders, so all in all this was a demanding quilt!

So there's the end to last year's RSC quilt sampler project! This one is definitely staying with me, as my kids have made off with the ones from previous years. I think I deserve to keep this one, don't you? 

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! We're finally going to see the Avengers movie, which I hear is really good.  Then there's some more stressful stuff to do, but we'll talk about that later!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF, Finished or Not Friday, and soscrappy for RSC19.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Getting warmer

Hi everyone, and happy May! I can't believe it's already one of the best months of the year.  I'm still here, still stressed, and still keeping on, just in case you were wondering why I kind of disappeared.  If you know any college students, make sure to tell them to study for their finals, because I've gotten a look at a few and whoo boy!-- they'll need that study time for sure.

I've been fighting to get some stitching time in this week and I've actually managed to put together a few things.  It calms my soul, you know? Here's one thing I've been catching up on:

Look at that sunshine!  Doesn't that make you happy in itself? It makes my heart sing, even though it bleaches out my colors somewhat. This work in progress is my temperature quilt, which is made up of blocks that record the high and low for each day of the year.  In another week I'll have enough to add another row, but for now these are the completed rows through April 18th.  As you can see, it was quite cold at the beginning of the year, but it has made the turn into some warmer weather in April. Good thing, too-- I was running out of that darker blue.  Completely ready for some greens and yellows now.

My blocks for this project are 3-1/2 inch squares, made using two 2 inch by 3-1/2 inch strips, one for the high and one for the low.  It's pretty simple, but it works, and I like the graphic quality of all the blocks running together. If I have to make a block every day, it better be simple! The special blocks, like the spinner and the heart, mark special days for our family, like our grandson's birthday.

Another project I've been working on are some Bridal Bouquet blocks: 

I love having outdoor pictures on the grass again! I've been working on these blocks for a while and they have been going very slowly because they've all been done by hand, but I'm at a point where I'm putting together a few of the blocks for the center.  I figure that I'll need 16 blocks, so I have a way to go. That's okay, though. I'm in no hurry.

I've left most of the papers in and I'm not sure at what point to take them out.  The ones that I've taken out so far have been so that I could add in other parts of the block.  Folding things easily, you know.  I think I'll leave them in and just get some more papers so I can finish the blocks.  That way I can be reasonably sure that nothing will fall apart before I get done.

Anyway, that's the short update from here! Hope everyone is having a good week. I'm hoping to have a finish later this week, so keep your fingers crossed!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social.