Friday, October 30, 2020

Hsts for fall

 Hi everyone! Yeah, I know, it's been a while. What can I say? Thanks for your emails checking up on me! I'm okay, really. There has been stitching happening, but not writing. I do what I can, you know? And some things are looking up. A huge problem that we were having at work looks like it's going to resolve (hurray!) and I finished an 8-week class that I was teaching, so now I have a tiny bit more time. Zoom remains exhausting, but in between classes I sometimes play videos of my grandkids singing the ABCs. It's not scholarly, but it's keeping me afloat!

Before we go any further, here is a picture of the last of the geraniums:


I think they know they're getting uprooted this weekend, so they've decided to put on a last show. Has anyone ever tried over-wintering these? It wouldn't hurt to try, right? I have a new garage to keep them in, after all! (No it isn't finished. Soon, they tell me, but I've heard that before.) Let me know if you have any great semi-southern gardening wisdom.

As for the sewing part of my life, there has been sewing, specifically sewing a lot of hsts:

If you remember, I had planned to make Myra's Sunnyside pattern in dark blues and yellow, but then a friend gave me a bunch of golds, and Myra also posted a picture of the quilt done in multicolors by Tula Pink. So why not change the plan a bit and do something a bit more creative? I pulled out some graph paper to make a coloring page and rooted through the scraps and came up with the beginnings of what will be a fall-colored quilt.

[On a completely unrelated note-- I'm thinking of getting a used Accuquilt just for cutting hsts. Any thoughts or wisdom?]

Amazingly, I had enough scraps in enough fall colors, and here's a small part of what I've got so far:

I'm using the golds as the lights and the fall colors as the darks. I think it's going to work out just fine, don't you?

I also have done a little fabric acquisition in the last couple of weeks. I bought this stack of fat quarters, which is really not like me, but they were so pretty!

This is Apricot and Ash by Corey Yoder. I was thinking of using them to make the Sewcialites Quilt Along, except that I don't like the layout they have. I'll need to come up with a new layout before I can start making blocks. Luckily, I have more graph paper.

I also bought this fat quarter pack:

Again, not like me! But they were so pretty and looked so fresh that I couldn't resist. I have no plan for these, but I like them and they make me happy. Is there a better reason to buy fabric?

Well, there's my update! Still here, still stressed, still not sick, still trying to keep a good thought. Sewing when I can. Hope you all are doing the same. Stay healthy and sane, everyone, and remember to wash those hands!

 Sharing at Finished or Not Friday

Friday, October 16, 2020

Rising from the leaves

 Hi everyone, and happy weekend! Well, we seem to have made it through yet another week. Every week I'm surprised when Friday comes, but I'm always glad to see it. Our weather here has been up and down, but the one thing that is very evident is that the days are definitely getting shorter. I saw a cartoon this week where a woman is panicky because she thinks it's midnight, but it turns out that it's only 5:30. It doesn't sound funny when I describe, but I definitely chuckled in recognition.

This has been a hard week, but I did manage to finish the Phoenix quilt top! Here it is, out among the fall leaves:


It's pretty, isn't it? You can see that we still have a lot of green, but we've also had some leaves falling. Not a lot of pretty colors on our property yet, but there are some around here. I don't really remember last fall, but I really miss the beautiful maple we had in Wisconsin. It always turned such a pretty red-orange.


Back to the quilt! This is the Phoenix quilt, a pattern from Sharon Holland that you can get HERE. It was a super-easy quilt to put together. The most time consuming part of it was trimming the hsts, which was strangely peaceful since life is so stressful for me right now. I also had to keep referring back to the layout diagram because I couldn't keep it all straight, but that's probably just me. I kept thinking the blocks were rectangular because of the design they create, but they're actually square, which kind of confused my brain.


I made one smallish change to the pattern and used different scrap pieces to make the centers of the flowers instead of what the directions called for. I like how it turned out and added more colors to the quilt. I also thought about adding a row and making the quilt bigger, but in the end I decided that I didn't need a bed-size quilt right now, and I really liked the mix of colors that I already had. Adding a row, though, would be really easy and make this a twin quilt. 

I'm thrilled with this finish and would absolutely make it again. Just a single block would make a nice sized wall hanging, and four of them would be a nice table topper. Next time, though, I would choose a stronger fabric for the corners. I used a pale yellow this time and it's pretty hard to see in the actual quilt. I had such a nice time making this quilt that I also purchased another Sharon Holland pattern, for the Saguaro quilt, and I'm putting that on this list for after the next quilt that I've been cutting out.

So there we are! I hope all of you are staying well and healthy, and that you have something relaxing planned for this weekend. My plan is to try to get a nice nap. They've started putting the siding up on the new garage, and they start early in the morning. But they don't work Saturdays, and I won't be working this Saturday, either!

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Color challenged

 Hello everyone! We are having some beautiful fall days right now, interrupted by furious bouts of banging and hammering. I'm happy for both! I have been outside every day, and it's been quite chilly when I go out walking in the morning. Why does 55 degrees feel so great in April and so bad in October? 

Today I have the September and October blocks that I've been doing for the Color Challenge at Patterns by Jen. This has been a fun project for me during this crazy stressful year. I don't usually go for blocks with big pieces, but they have saved some of my sanity and given me a nice distraction. Here's September and October:


Hey, look at that, they're all the same size! And the right size, too. At least one thing this year is going right. 

My big challenge with these blocks was the colors, though September also gave me a challenge with the layout of the block. September's color was cinnamon, and this warm brownish batik is as close as I got:

I think it looks cinnamon-y enough, and coordinates well with the leaves that have started to fall, too. Jen's block had only four flying geese with large plain sections, and I just couldn't do that. I kept the flying geese but added some others to make Dutchman's Puzzle blocks. I like them! They fit my style a bit better.

October's blocks are olive, which is yet another color I don't have. (Amazingly, I have a bunch of next month's color, which is buff.) I knew going in that I didn't have olive, but I figured I would just substitute another green, so I did:


This is a dusty-ish green, and I really like how these blocks turned out. Those of you with eagle eyes will notice that I re-drafted the block and pieced it a little differently so that I would have solid pieces in the middle. When I first saw the block all I could see was the cool diamond design in the middle, and I really liked that and wanted to be sure it was emphasized. Plus, at this point, who could be sure that all of my pieces would actually meet in the center?

So, there's those blocks! I do love blocks, you know. And somehow I am all caught up on this project. How does *that* happen? I couldn't tell you, but I'm enjoying it for now!

Hope everyone is having a good week, in spite of the upheaval in our country right now. It's too much to even think about, and doing so just makes me tired, so here is an artsy picture instead of a comment:


Everyone stay healthy! And sane, too!

Sharing at Midweek Makers.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Autumn abounds

 Hi everyone! So, just like that, it's October. How on earth did that happen? While 2020 cannot be over soon enough for me, the year is just rushing by now. I guess this means that it's really fall, too, and the next season will be here before too long. With the pandemic and all, can't we just skip that and go right to next spring? That only seems fair.

I have another finish to share today! The closet full o' tops is slowly getting whittled down to just a few. Here is this week's finish:


Artsy, and remarkably seasonally appropriate! This is a fall flowers quilt that I made in 2018 with a bundle that I curated for Bernie's shop. Some of the fabrics are still available there, although the bundle itself is sold out. (I would hope so, since it was two years ago, after all!)

As you can see, the sunshine from this morning made getting a whole picture a little challenging. I don't care, because I am loving the sun. I looked back at the original post of the finished top, and it appears that the sunshine was an issue there, too. This little quilt apparently loves the sun!
I did have this quilted with a leaf pattern, which is fairly loose and makes it feel like the leaves are blowing across the top. This was quilted by my friend Diane, who always does a wonderful job and would do so for you, too, if you'd like.

There is no real pattern for this quilt, but you can find patterns for the individual blocks under the Intricate Stitches tab above. I remember challenging myself to use the whole bundle, and I did only have a few scraps, but I liked some of the fabrics so much that I ordered more of them. You can see at least two in my Phoenix quilt blocks, for example. It's not like I have a closet full of other fabric to use or anything. . .but that's a subject for another time!

The only thing I am not really sure of with this quilt is the binding. I was going to go for pink, but it didn't look right, and I didn't want another beige, so I went with a dark green that has some pink and gold in it. I'm not sure I like it in the finished quilt, but there's no way I'm going to redo it.

So, there is another quilt finished! I feel very virtuous. And warm and cozy because-- quilt!  Hope you all have a lovely autumn weekend. Right now there are carpenters making loud banging noises and cutting a new door from the garage to the house. Ordinarily, I would just go somewhere else with wifi, but the pandemic kind of has us all trapped, so maybe I'll just go for a walk. I might need a cookie first, though!

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