Saturday, November 30, 2019

Simple, hollow, and pointed

Hi all, and hello to all the new followers I got this week! I don't speak Russian, and I have no need for "sexy ladies" at this time, but I really hope you enjoy all the quilts!  (I bet there are a lot of you who know what I'm talking about. Fun, hey?)

Hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving! We went to my daughter's and got to spend Thanksgiving with a tiny girl, and got to see some older grandkids, too. The weather turned out to be great, unlike other parts of the country, so I'm extra sorry for those of you who got stuck and couldn't get over the river or through the woods. Here's hoping the rest of the holiday season is better.

 So yesterday, after some nice leftovers, I finished up the first of the hollow 9 patch quilts.  Here she is:

Yahoo! I think this one turned out to be a beauty, and I am so, so pleased with it.

If you recall, I made 9-patches from 2-inch squares in the color of the month last year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Since I stitched the colorful squares around a white center, I called these "hollow 9-patches." I got enough of those 9-patches to make two small quilts. I guess I could have gone with one larger one, but I think these will be nice for some small people, and they need small quilts.

The sashing is a white print called Glee from Victoria Findlay Wolfe which turned out to be so perfect for these blocks that I'm also using it for the second quilt. The setting triangles are a print from Kim Schaefer, which also turned out perfect. No backing or binding yet, but I definitely don't want any more of my quilts hanging out here longer than they need to, so I'm hoping to quilt this up over the winter break.

I realized as I was putting this together that these 9-patches are the same size as the Tiny Tuesday blocks, and now I'm kicking myself for not realizing it sooner. I could've combined them or something, though they are very different. And speaking of the Tiny Tuesday blocks:

Up on the design wall! Don't they look great? I think this is the final layout, but they sure are fun to play with. This is another of my "over winter break" projects, I think, though I may not be able to wait.

Hope you all are having a wonderful, restful weekend with lots of sewing time. Apparently we'll be getting nasty weather tomorrow, just in time for the first of December, so I'm might be doing some stitching myself. And I think there might be leftover pie, if the hubs hasn't eaten it yet!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Bright spots for a gray day

Hi everyone! Are we all feeling motivated today? Hah! I am feeling a bit more creative than I have for the past few weeks, and I've actually pulled out a couple of RSC projects that I think I can get finished up pretty quickly. And hey-- I have a few days off next week for some small, obscure holiday, so I may have some actual sewing time, too!

The first little project I want to finish up is actually from last year's RSC. You may remember the hollow 9-patches that I made to use up some 2-inch squares. I ended up with quite a few of them, enough for two small quilts. Here is the first one:

Wow, nothing like a shot of color to wake up your creativity, is there? I've played with these for a while, and I think this will be the final layout. Maybe I'll move a couple.  I'm just going to use a plain narrow white for the sashing, and I haven't decided about borders yet. It will be small, but it will make a nice child-sized quilt.

Here's what I'm doing with the remaining hollow 9-patches:

Putting them on point!  This will be another kid size quilt, but it will still be a usable size. Thankfully, too, I know some small people who like colors.  The best part of these two layouts is that they mean that I have only 4 of the hollow 9-patches left over, and I just might stick those on the back.  Win!

So there's the plan for one set of older blocks. The other project that I pulled out to finish pretty quickly is from this year, and it's these blocks:

These are the Cut Glass Dish blocks, and I love them. I just don't want to make any more of them! The plan was to make 30 blocks, but I think a quilt made with just 20 blocks will still be a very nice lap size. Plus, the blocks will not be waiting in the closet any more but will get to be in a nice, happy quilt.

I need five more blocks, and I was thinking about using pink and purple, but what colors would you suggest? The red always throws me off, so I do need something to balance it. Do you think the purple would do that?  Plus, I thought I liked the layout shown above, but, wow, I really don't. It looks like I'll have to play with those blocks a bit more.  They do look like cut glass, don't they?

That's the update from here for now. I'll be stitching these together and trying to figure out a layout for the Cut Glass blocks. Oh, and then I might have to go to the grocery store. I'm wondering if it will be very crowded this weekend. Probably not, right?

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19 (soon to be RSC20-- eep!)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

A jump start

Hi all! Long time no see! I don't know what's wrong with me lately, but I seem to be in a bit of a creative slump. This doesn't happen to me all that often, and it is definitely no fun. Do you think it's related to moving and having all kinds of personal upheaval in my life right now? Hmmmm. . .

Whatever it is, I need to get out of this, so I decided to do the only thing that I know for sure will perk me up-- start a new project. Sure, I have a ton of projects in various stages of completion on the shelves in my sewing room closet, but none of those are exciting me at the moment.  Since this new project really should be something simple because I just want it to jump start some creativity, I decided to go with Alycia's Winter Quilt Along (which you can find HERE).  She promises just one hour per clue, and it's entirely possible that I can handle that.

I needed two darks and a light, so I decided to clean out the dark blue and dark green scrap bins, because you know I'll never use those anywhere else, and I paired them with some toned-down yellows:

That makes a pretty pile, doesn't it? Those blue pieces are literally all the darker blue pieces I could find without cutting into yardage. I think we can say that blue is not my favorite color. But yay for getting those babies used!

After a bit of cutting, and a little stitching, here's the end of clue one:

Notice that I said "clue one," not "hour one." Alycia definitely sews faster than me!

So now I've started another project that should go quickly, and it's already kick-started my mojo a bit. I already feel a little more energized about some older projects. I even worked on the En Provence quilt a bit! I'm feeling pretty good about that, and I hope to have the top for it finished soon.

Here's one more thing that's getting me more excited to sew things, though it's really difficult to get a good picture:

I told you it wasn't a good picture! But we've finally gotten most of my new design wall installed. I decided to go with the wall on this side of the room even though the design wall has to be a bit shorter because of the ledge.  The light from the window shines on this side, plus I can use the whole wall without a lot of obstructions. I have one more 4 by 8 panel to install, but I needed to get some more flannel to cover it with.  I used the panels from Lowe's found HERE, and wrapped them in THIS white flannel from (no sales affiliations here!) Caution-- the flannel shrinks quite a bit, but it does wash up nice and soft, and everything seems to stick to it pretty well. Also, get plenty of duct tape to tape it to the back of the panels.

I could just weep looking at this, and I think I had something in my eye a bit earlier when I started sticking things on the walls. I remember sewing on the dining room table for a very long time, then I was so thrilled to be able to have a piece of flannel on the wall for a design wall, and now I have 24 whole feet of design wall (plus the little bit under the TV there).  My heart is bursting with gratitude.

Anyway! I think I'm getting a little bit of excitement back, and I'll be stitching things up. If you need me, I'll be downstairs!

Sharing at Finished or not Friday with Alycia with more gratitude!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Tiny blocks on Tuesday

Hi all! Has the arctic cold hit your area yet? We're supposed to get hit with it starting today, so it's time to hunker down and get out all of the quilts so we can be ready. Some of them are still in boxes, but I promise that I'll be pulling them out this afternoon. Wouldn't want to be cold in the morning, after all!

Today I want to show the last of my tiny Tuesday blocks:

Yahoo! I know these usually get shown on Saturdays, but I thought it was appropriate to finish up the Tiny Tuesday blocks on a Tuesday.  Also, I really tried to get outdoor photos, but many of them didn't turn out this time because the days are getting so much shorter and there's no light. It's indoor picture season, folks.  I'll try to be creative with that.  Updated to add: I managed to go out this morning and get a couple outside.  These are better, believe me.

None of these were blocks that Angela presented, because I needed to add some blocks to make 56 for the layout I want.  These are all traditional blocks, but in a smaller size. Surprisingly, none of them was especially difficult, though I did have one that came out 1/2 inch too big:

I was sure I had done the math correctly, but it's too big, so I'll have to take it apart and trim the pieces down. Amazingly, through this whole project I only had problems with a couple of blocks, and not necessarily the ones you would think, either.

Because I made a black block earlier, I made a couple more black blocks this past week.  You know, so the block I already had wouldn't be lonely:

I really didn't think that I would make any black blocks, but these are colorful enough that they really don't seem like holes in the quilt, which is what I was afraid of.  That one at the top is made from some really treasured Mary Engelbreit scraps, so you know that I'm quite fond of that one.  For the others I just used some scraps that I liked and had in the correct sizes, but I think they turned out lovely.

I do have to make one more block, though, because included in my 56 are these two:

Yes, I somehow made the same block twice. Which one would you keep and which would you remake?  Any suggestions for a final block?

I've decided to go ahead and use the striped layout from Tula Pink (see the example HERE) and I'm trying to choose the two stripe colors.  Here are my current choices:

I'm leaning towards the white with the tiny dots, and I've seriously thought about using the blue for the darker stripe.  This blue might be too dark, though, so I may look for a different one. I know I don't really want the beige or the gray. Hmmm. . .here's a thought--what about a pale yellow?  Would that be too much?

I guess I'll have to experiment some! Good thing the weather is going to be crummy so I won't feel guilty for being inside. Everybody stay warm and dry this week!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Try, try again

Hello all! Here we are in November and it's definitely started living up to its name. It's gotten cold and windy, but of course I love it when its dark outside at 4 pm. It makes driving home even more exciting. At least most cars have their lights on now. The deer, not so much.

As you may know, Bonnie Hunter has released the colors and yardage for her yearly mystery quilt. (You can find that info HERE if you're interested.) I love Bonnie, and her quilts, but I have not had a lot of luck with the mystery quilts. I made Easy Street with no problems, then got hung up on Celtic Solstice. I tried again with En Provence, but I have once again failed miserably.  I think it's the Tri-Recs pieces. I just really dislike cutting them and making them, and they are crucial to those two quilts. Of course I didn't do the ones with no Tri-Recs, which now seems like a dumb move on my part.

Indoor pictures! Because outdoor pictures don't work in November.

I did finally finish Celtic Solstice (and I'm almost over the trauma-- just kidding! I actually like it now), but what I have now for En Provence are some blocks, a ton of pieces, and absolutely zero desire to make any more of either one.  I thought I might use the mystery time this year to finally get this baby out of the closet and off the UFO list.  So, here was my thought-- how can I put this together without stitching even one more unit, but still use up most of what I have?

The first thing I did was pull out all of these pink/ magenta pieces. I feel like I made a billion of them and it turns out that a billion is enough to make a completely separate quilt.  I plan to make some stars from them and do something else for an alternate block. Maybe in yellow? But that's a problem for another time.

I have enough of the purple and green units made to completely finish up 14 blocks, so I thought I would round that down to a nice dozen blocks and set them 3 by 4.  I played around with the other pieces for a sashing and came up with this:

I kind of like this, because of the secondary stars and the circle effect, and also because it does not require any more pieces to be stitched, just the quilt top assembled. Still a lot of pieces, but completely doable. It will not have as much color or vibrancy as the one Bonnie designed, or be as big, but it will be done and out of my closet.  And-- I can't stress this enough-- I will not have to make any more pieces!

I have no real idea what to do for a border yet, but I have these to work with:

I think I should be able to create a border from those, don't you? It may not look like much, but there are a *lot* of 4-patches there.

That's my plan for "mystery season." If you are making this year's mystery, I'll be cheering you on from here. Cheer me on, too, and maybe we'll both have quilts at the end of this!

Hope you're all having a good week!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Almost enough blocks

Hi everyone! How is your weekend going? After massive storms the night before, I woke up yesterday to temperatures in the 40s, and there is a freeze warning for tonight, so now I'm really facing the reality that it's fall and winter can't be far behind.  But it can't be yet, because I have too much to do before winter! So top of my list for today is a new winter coat.  But first. . .

I made a few more of the tiny blocks this week!  This brings me to 49, which means I have only seven more to go.  Here's the latest installment:

In January, when we started, I did not know that I would like these so much, but I really do! Do you think it's because they're so small, or because they're so quick to make, or what? All I know is that these are fun to make and go pretty fast, though I had to do some fancy math for one of them this week.

Check out those colorful leaves in that picture! I was sure I wasn't going to make any dark or black blocks, but right there in the string jar was a long piece of the strawberries fabric, and it was enough to make the Bullseye block that Angela posted earlier:

I think that turned out ok. It's the right size, and I like the strawberries. The red block there is also one from Angela.

Since we started the orange blocks, I've wanted to make a Dutchman's Puzzle block, but since the tiny blocks are something of an odd size, I never sat down to do the math for the flying geese until just now, but I finally figured it out:

Okay, I turned the pieces and ended up with a star in the center, but overall this looks pretty good, doesn't it? For anyone who wants to know, the geese are 1-5/8 by 2-3/4 unfinished. To make 4 at a time, I used a 3-3/4 inch square and 4 2-1/8 inch squares, then had to trim them down a bit. But it worked!

My other orange block is a smaller version of the State of Georgia block from the Squared Away sampler:

You can make any of the Squared Away blocks by cutting the squares at 1-3/8 inch each.  Little, but they work!
And then I also made a raspberry colored Anvil-style block:

And then I was done for now!  The raspberry block is strobing a little, but it's not that bright in person. It's just against those dark trees, so it looks really bright.

Hope you're all nice and warm and dry and are getting in some stitching time this weekend. If we all think warm thoughts, do you think can we stave off that winter thing? I'm pretty sure I feel like skipping it this year. We can try, right?

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Hope and kindness

Hi all, and welcome to November! Yes, November! Who can even believe it? 2019 is just racing toward the  finish line, isn't it? It freaks me out a little, to be honest. Know what else is freaking me out? We had no trick or treaters! Not even one. It was so, so weird. At our house in Wisconsin we would have tons, like you-need-10-bags-of-candy numbers, and last night not a single one. So my students are getting Halloween candy as a bonus for coming to class Friday, because if I keep it here you know what will happen, don't you? That's right, a hubby with a stomach ache.

So this week I finished up those happy little word quilts that I was working on:

Aren't those darling?  They're pretty much exactly what I wanted, and I have the perfect place to hang them, too.

The little "hope" quilt measures about 8 by 13 and is made entirely from scraps, mostly from the string jar. Even the single fold binding is a scrap. This is the first time I've ever made lower-case letters and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. I quilted it with the walking foot, and I'm thrilled with that, too. (And look at the mum!)

The "kindness" quilt got something of a makeover from the last time I showed it. I wasn't happy with the letters just in a banner-type line, so I cut them apart and tried a few different ways to put them together. I finally settled on the 'dancing' layout, which works with these letters and with the word itself, too.  I quilted this little quilt in a 45 degree cross hatch with the walking foot, which did not take long at all. This one also got a single fold binding and I am really happy with how it turned out.  Kindness measures about 7 by 24 inches.

These little quilts were free-pieced, which means I made the letters through trial and error, without any patterns. I used Lynne's Liberated Letters tutorial and it helped so, so much. (You can buy it HERE.)  I would really like to make a few more for practice because I have a *great* idea for a quilt made entirely of words. I'm not sure which practice words would go with what I already have, so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Everyone have a wonderful weekend! The temperature is supposed to drop about 25 degrees or so overnight, so I hope I'm not a popsicle by the time you're reading this!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and Quilting is More Fun than Housework.