Saturday, November 28, 2020

Strung from the trees

 Hi everyone, and happy after-Thanksgiving! I hope you are having a really restful weekend following what was, for us, a very strange holiday. It was just us here, which was very, very different from what we usually have. I actually did my first 5K the first thing in the morning (see sweaty picture at the bottom of this post), then relaxed and cooked a small dinner for the two of us.We had turkey thighs (which are incredibly inexpensive), potatoes, gravy, and Zoomed with the family, and somehow we polished off a whole pie. I have no idea how that happened. 

I've been going through some of my old, unfinished RSC projects and finding ways to repurpose them or combine them or something because I've finally admitted that they're not going to get finished in their present state. That's the first step, isn't it? Last year I was making these strings:


I had planned to turn these into another Scrap Happy Rails quilt like the one I made for my niece, but it just didn't happen because . . .life, I guess. We're not here to judge, we're here to make progress, right? I looked for a project to repurpose these for a while, then I came upon Bonnie Hunter's pattern called Pine Tree Point, which you can get HERE. One thing led to another, and so. . .

Turns out these are the perfect size to repurpose into some cute pine trees. Yahoo! I was even able to use the background fabric that I had already cut to use in the planned quilt as a nice background for the trees. It works, doesn't it?

But wait, there's more!


Well, I didn't just make green strings, after all! I had made several months worth of RSC projects, then I think I got distracted packing and moving. (I knew that moving thing would mess me up!) I have tons of strings, but somehow I never went back to these. But now they are made up into some fun trees, and that's going to use up all the string pieces I have. Plus the quilt itself turns out really cute, I think, and the multicolor trees will be quite festive, though not exactly Christmassy. 

Miraculously, I have enough strings done for eight and a half trees, so I only have about 5 inches of strings left to piece together to finish that last tree. That sounds like a good project for today, I think, and I might have to make another pie. Oh, and here's that sweaty picture from the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning: 


Did not know I had it in me, but it felt good! (Ignore the fact that I could really use a hair coloring appointment, please.) It was all virtual, of course, but there were several of my neighbors doing it, too. I gather that it is a big deal in Baltimore every year, so this could become a tradition. I guess we'll see when there's a bigger turkey to cook!

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC2020

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Soft cut glass

 Hi everyone! How are you all today? Strangely, I feel very Christmassy. I am resisting putting up a tree or shopping, but I really feel like I could use a little Christmas. Why do you think that is?

I don't know about you, but the rhythm of my life has dramatically changed in the last eight months. Nothing seems to be going the way that it always has. Case in point-- today I have a finished quilt top! What? I know, and here it is on Saturday, when we all know Fridays are for finishes. Why not? Up is down right now, down is sideways, and sideways hasn't left the house in weeks. I didn't get a chance to take pictures earlier this week, but here is the latest top:

This is not what I had envisioned when I started making blocks, but it's finished nonetheless. And I think it turned out okay!

In 2019, I made the cut glass dish blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. And then a number of things happened, including moving to Baltimore, and somehow I got sidetracked and didn't finish the blocks. (I hate it when that happens.) They have been in a project box ever since.

This made me very sad, because I really *love* these blocks. I think they turned out really well and so pretty! I tried several layouts, but didn't like any of them, and as much as I love the blocks, I just didn't want to make any more of them. Maybe one, but not a dozen more, and I didn't want to do the math to make an on-point layout or something really creative. I just don't have the mental space to do that right now.

Alternate blocks to the rescue! I grabbed a bit of this fun confetti print that I'm pretty sure I purchased on a pre-COVID shopping trip with Preeti and cut some alternate blocks. After that, it was short work to put all the blocks into rows and add a small but colorful border. The border just acts as a frame and keeps the edges of the blocks from popping, but it includes all the colors in the top and I think it really adds something. 

This top finished at about 66 by 76, and is just the right size to be donated to a worthy organization, so off it is going, along with a backing and binding, to be quilted up and given away to give some comfort to someone who needs it. Someone gets a quilt, and I get an empty project box. Win, win!

Hope you all are having a lovely weekend. I will be painting the new garage door, then maybe I'll make some sugar cookies. You won't tell if I cut them into festive Christmassy shapes, will you? It will be our secret!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC2020.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Works in progress

 Hi everyone! How are you all doing? Yesterday, while I was trying valiantly to teach a class to students who are seriously exhausted, several dump trucks came and dumped fill dirt outside the almost-finished garage. I was annoyed as all get out and happy as a clam at the same time. It was loud and disturbing, but it means that my garage only has one more step to go. So I guess my current mood would best be  described as annoyed-happy. Or maybe happily annoyed?

Today I just have a couple of updates on things I'm working on, a part of my quest to get back to blogging more regularly. We'll see how that goes, but meanwhile, here's one new start:


A little while ago, Preeti reviewed the book Diamond Star Quilts, by Barbara Cline, and she was kind enough to let me borrow it so that I could make something small and challenging. I know I don't need to do something challenging right now, but it's not that difficult and it turns out so pretty. The picture above is just a part, and now I'm busy cutting and piecing diamonds from some of my hand dyed scraps:


So far, it's fun and a nice diversion. No guarantees that this won't turn into a UFO, though Preeti's quilt turned out to be so spectacular that it's really inspiring me to keep going.

I'm also continuing to work on the fall colors quilt I showed a bit ago:


These are all the star centers, so now it's just about distributing the star points around the quilt top. I also think this one is going to be spectacular in its own way, though I admit it doesn't look like much now.

So, what does that leave? Oh, yeah, in between, when I get tired of stitching, I've been cutting these beauties:


These are all from scraps, which takes time to cut, and they are for the quilt I'm finally making for our bed. I love all of these colors, but I have a long way to go with cutting. This is about one-sixth of what I need, but cutting can be really meditative, you know?

That's what's happening around here, except for this very exciting development:


Did you know that people sometimes sell the things they no longer want, like sewing machines and stuff like this? Very exciting! Further updates to come!

Hope you all are having a good week. Hang in there, and don't forget to wash those hands! 

Sharing at Midweek Makers and Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Stars on deck

 Hi everyone! Long time no see! You know, I do what I can right now. We're all doing our best, right? Tomorrow marks eight months since they told us we had to leave the building and learn to teach remotely. Who knew it would last this long? I've had enough, though, so I'm just surrounding myself with things that make me happy and eating way too many cookies. Hey-- they make me happy!
And speaking of happy. . .there is plenty of sewing going on behind the scenes, but by the end of the day I just haven't been posting. Oh, well! (That's my new motto for everything, by the way.) Today I have an update on one of my RSC projects for this year, the Ohio Stars. This is based on a pattern by Bonnie Hunter that you can find HERE. I've been making three stars each month in the color of the month, and here are the last ones I did in the RSC colors, the yellow:

I was determined to get those mums in and by gosh, I did. They are fading a bit now, but still very cheerful, especially on gloomy days. Yellow is like that. It just adds cheeriness to everything.

These are all scraps, of course, though somehow they continue to multiply in those new scrap baskets. Once I made the yellows, I still needed a few more stars, so I just pulled a couple of random fabrics. I tried a "neutral" star that I think came out pretty well, and just some random bits that I had close at hand:

I think these turned out pretty well, though that neutral one does look like it's going to melt right into the leaves. And how is that impatiens still alive? It must be a lot hardier than I thought. It's another bright spot, though, isn't it?

I am almost ready to put this together, so I laid them all out on my "design deck," just because I happened to have the box of them out there:

This is not the final layout or even a layout at all, just a way for me to take a picture. And now that I have, I see that I need one more star in each size. I must have miscounted. Not a surprise, really. Hmmm. . .what colors do you think? Maybe a small red or burgundy and a larger dark one as well? I'll have to think on it, but I'm open to suggestion!

Once I make those last two, I'll be able to cut the alternate squares and manage a real layout. I have some small polka dot fabrics to use for the fill-in squares, which I think will make for a fun, happy quilt. Just what I need! I haven't figured out a border yet, either, but I do have some stripes that might be interesting.

That's what's happening here! I wish there were more naps, but there have been quite a lot of walks, and when I was out a couple of days ago, I came around the corner and saw my neighbor's house and yard just full of light and color:

It was a glorious sight that pictures can't really capture, and it was just a lovely moment.

Hope you all are having some lovely moments too, and are staying well and healthy! After eight months, I hope you're staying sane, too!

Sharing at Midweek Makers and soscrappy for RSC2020.