Saturday, September 28, 2019

A few more little things

Hi everyone! It's the last weekend in September, can you believe it? It's still hot, hot, hot here and still dry, so the grass is turning brown and the leaves are falling.  We don't have a lot of color yet, but I have seen a couple of trees starting to turn a lovely yellow.  It's going to be really pretty around this property in a few weeks.

I just have a few tiny blocks to show today.  I thought I would finish something small, but I didn't finish binding it yet. Oh, well! Here are my tiny blocks for the week:

These are the last of the purples, and I love them all. I think they turned out great, but you can see that the lantern block is just a tiny bit too long. The seams appear to be off by about 1/32nd of an inch each, which doesn't show in bigger blocks but certainly shows here. Not sure what I'll do about it, since I don't want to rip it all out and they're off by about the width of the thread. I'll probably trim it and then make it fit. It's still very cute, though! The other two tiny purples are my own and weren't offered by Angela. I think they're cute, too!

Since we're nearing the end, I thought I should pull out all the tiny blocks and take inventory, so I pulled out a small design board (foam core board covered in a batting scrap) and took them all outside.  Here are the reds and yellows:

And then the pinks and oranges:

And last but not least, the greens to purples:

That's 44 blocks, with the Bow tie repeated twice. Not sure how that happened. I think I need more pinks and more yellows, and maybe one or two more reds. I started out thinking that 56 blocks would make a lovely little quilt, and I think I'll still aim for that.

As for a layout, I was thinking about making them shadow blocks, or else there is the striped quilt layout from Tula Pink's Modern Blocks that I like a lot. I'm not sure! How do you plan to set your blocks?

There's where we are-- lots of color in little bitty blocks, with the end in sight. Not sure what I'll do for the "dark" month next month, but I'm pretty sure it won't be brown. Maybe multicolors? Decisions, decisions!

Have a great weekend! Linking up with Angela for RSC19.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Bit of this, bit of that

Hi everyone! Apparently the trees have gotten the message that it's now fall because the leaves have started falling around here. Or maybe it was the fact that it was 95 degrees here on the first day of fall, I don't know. I do know this: it rains a whole lot less here than it did in Delaware, which is odd because it's not that far away. Huh.

So, it's been hot and dry, which is okay and makes having the sewing room in the basement pretty comfortable. I'm making progress on getting things put away and cleaned up, but I still need to get a cutting table and a wastebasket.  Somehow my wastebasket got lost in the move.  How crazy is that? I've been basting some small quilts and just generally still getting organized, so I've been working on a couple of small things in between over the last few days.

Here's my first little project:

Yes, this is a new thing, because why not? A while ago I made a little bitty free-pieced word quilt called Joy, and now I'm making a small free-pieced word quilt to go with it to hang in my office.  Can you guess what this word is? I'm not that happy with the Ns, but I'll probably leave them since I know I'll be cursing over the dreaded S letters. Kindness indeed!

I also dipped into those pesky purple scraps and made a couple of Tiny Tuesday blocks, but I'm really looking for a way to use up this scrap:

This is a years-old piece of leftover strip set, and I just can't bring myself to toss it.  I have this weird thing about it, but I really would like to use it up, maybe in a tiny block. Any suggestions out there?

Finally, I've been finishing up the gray 4 patches for my nephew's quilt:

I have about 30 more of these to make (because the pattern calls for something like a billion of them) and I've used up a LOT of the gray scraps I had. The only ones I left out were the flowers, and I don't think I'll need to sneak those in at all. Just have to add here that 4-patches are boring to make, and gray 4-patches are doubly so.  The quilt is going to look great, but getting there is not half the fun on this one!

So that's the dispatch from my sewing room for now.  I do have some things basted and I'm looking forward to getting a couple of them finished up really soon.  And the search for a cutting table goes on! Hope you're all having a good week!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Little pink finish

Hi all, and welcome to what is officially the last weekend of summer. It's true-- Monday is the first day of autumn, so this is the last gasp of summer. Around here it's hanging on quite well, thanks, since it's supposed to be 85 on Monday, but it will still be officially done. Usually I don't mind, but this time I feel like I've missed the whole summer, what with the move and all.  As long as that doesn't mean a longer winter, it should be okay!

Today I want to show off the first finish in my new sewing room.  It's not very big, and it took a long time to get here, but it's done just the same:

Ta-da! Yes, this is a little baby-sized charity quilt that I started waaaay back when, for Sarah's Hands to Help challenge.  It finally got finished quilting and a binding and is all ready to be sent off to Jack's Basket.  And take a look at the tree above-- we had a twin trunk tree in front of our house in Delaware and we have one here in Baltimore too! It was a sign that we should definitely buy this house.

This little bitty quilt is just 36 by 36, which is the size requested by Jack's Basket.  That made it super-easy to make and super easy to quilt up.  I used somewhat wavy/ somewhat straight lines with the walking foot to quilt this.  Somehow whenever other people do this it looks great (especially Lorna!) but when I do I'm not happy with it.  Maybe the lines need to be closer together? I don't know. Guess I'll just have to keep trying until I really get the hang of it.

The binding for this little beauty came from my semi-magic basket of bindings.  When I cut the long pieces off the sides of a finished quilt, I turn those into bindings and then keep them in the basket with the length marked. I had a great piece of binding just for this quilt. It's a little wide on the front, but I don't mind that. I'm just happy that I didn't have to make a binding and got this finished up quick!

So that's one down, and the first one finished here in Baltimore. Yay! When Preeti came over a couple of weeks ago, she looked in the sewing room closet and said, "you have a lot of quilting to do!" Take a look and tell me if she was right:

Yeah, those are all tops waiting to be quilted up, so I think my task for this weekend will be a lot of basting. Some of those are a couple of years old, and they're not keeping anyone warm hanging up there. Now that summer is officially over, the season that must not be named can't be far behind, and we'll be needing that warmth!

I hope you have a great weekend! Enjoy the last few minutes of summer, because it won't be back for quite some time!

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

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Four patch frenzy

Hi all! How's your life been? We've had quite the time around here. Let's start with this-- I am allergic to cats. So if, theoretically, I moved into a house with carpets and window treatments and such and a cat had lived there before me, my sinuses would swell up and I would have a big headache until I either moved out or employed someone with big industrial rug-sucking machines to clean the place.  And of course ripped out all of the offending window treatments, washed down the walls, and used the big sucking machines on all the nooks and crannies, too.  So when a neighbor mentioned the cat that used to live here, it solved a couple of mysteries and caused some trouble, but at least I'm feeling better now.

And how have you been?

Now that I can breathe again, I've started working in earnest on the quilt for my nephew. If you recall, he wanted orange, and I've been working on making four patches for Kevin the Quilter's mystery scrap quilt. It's turning out pretty well, even though there are a ton of four-patches to be made. Here's how far I am:

Okay, that doesn't look like much, but there are tons of four-patches waiting in the wings. I decided to make the center from two patches so that I could get more variety in the center, which is a pretty solid block of orange. I just don't want to have the same fabrics next to each other. Is that weird?

Of course, I did not have this many oranges in the stash.  I used most of the orange scraps I had, plus I purchased some orange fat quarters to cut up. I thought there was plenty of variety, but you know that you can always use more.  I get bored with stitching the same fabrics over and over, and a little stressed about making sure that there aren't too many that are the same. I'm not done with all the four patches in orange yet, so I think I might get a few more pieces just for a little more variation in the four patches. I think it might need some lighter oranges, just for a little zing. A few brights never hurt!

This is a two-color quilt, and I chose to use gray with the orange, because, you know, Joe is a guy and I wanted it to look masculine but not Halloween-ish:

I think the gray is going to work!  As you know if you have read this blog at all, I am not a big fan of gray and I generally don't have very much of it around. I used every single piece I could find, plus I bought some fat quarters, and I was able to eke out all of the gray that I needed. I *may* have cut one strip from a piece of yardage, but you can't fault me for that, can you? And I used up a lot of gray that was never going to get used in anything else, so that's a win, too.

I actually liked working with the grays a little better than the oranges. They're a little easier on the eyes, and for some reason I didn't care quite as much about how the different fabrics went together.  (I wonder what that says about me?) The grays don't photograph nearly as well, though!

So, now that our new place is cat-allergen free, I am back to it. The sewing room is not yet all together, but all the fabric is out of boxes (again), I've wiped down all the shelves and washed a few things, and I've gotten the books arranged.  And I found the walking foot, too, so maybe there will be a fun finish later this week.  We can hope, right?

This last photo is from the window in my office. By far the best view I've ever had. Usually I'm looking at some kind of building they put up in the 1970s, but all the offices in our "pod" have these huge, tall windows. It's great, and I'm happy to be looking at trees instead. Allergic to those, too, but at least they stay outside!

Hope you're all having a good, allergy-free week and getting some stitching in. And if you're selling your house, be sure to tell people about your pets! Or at least spring for some rug sucking when you move out!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

A tiny new start

Hi everyone, and happy weekend! I hope everyone had a good week. I unpacked some more boxes, made some curtains, hemmed some others, and found my power cord. Yahoo! Then I sewed! It was heavenly.  I love the new sewing room. Here's one thing I didn't expect-- it's very quiet. I still don't know where some of my scraps are, but it was very peaceful while I was down there looking.

I have *so many* projects in various stages that it was hard to know where to start. I decided to start with some small things and catch up on some tiny scrap blocks:

As you can see, I ended up with five tiny blocks so far. As you can also see, one thing I haven't located yet is the charging cord for my camera, so I'm stuck with cell phone pictures. Yeah, not my favorites, either, but at least you get the idea.

These were so great to make. I did locate some blues, and these blocks only take a little bit of fabric, so I was able to eke these out. I had saved the "violet" block from a few weeks ago for when we finally got to purple, but now mine looks a little weird and I can't quite figure out what's wrong with it.  Maybe it will look okay once it's sewn to the others.

Do not get attached to this tree. . .

I decided to try the latest block, the Storm at Sea (how appropriate!) and I'm not super-pleased with it. So many tiny pieces! I did the paper piecing with seam allowances, and it was pretty bulky at some intersections. I had trouble lining up the points, too. So I'm not thrilled with it, but I'm keeping it because I don't want to redo it. It will look okay once it's with all the other blocks in the quilt, right?

That was all I had time for this week, but it felt great. It's almost starting to feel normal around here, but there are still some boxes left, and the painting hasn't even begun. Nonetheless, this weekend I'm going to go get the stuff for a design wall! Doesn't that sound exciting? No promises on actually getting it put up, but at least it's a start.

Hope you all have a good weekend! The picture above is of some roses that the deer haven't eaten yet. Maybe these aren't very tasty? Good thing they're pretty!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19. So glad the hurricane missed Florida and that Angela and family are safe!