Thursday, June 30, 2022

Hiding in the scrap bin

Hi everyone! I don't know about where you are, but we are back to hot and sticky, with thunderstorms every couple of days. It is summer, after all! And hot sticky weather is great for tomatoes and other good things that grow in the garden, so I am looking forward to a good harvest before too long.

Today's theme is: green! If you recall, I cleaned out the green scrap bin and started making a quilt top to use up every bit of the dark greens. Those things have been hanging around for far too long! But not any more, because look:

Yep, they turned into a finished top, just like that! Every bit of this quilt top except the white/gray background is a scrap. The background is a weird text print from Zen Chic by Moda, and I don't know where I got it from. There's quite a bit left, too, so it may turn up as a background in something else. 

Look at those geraniums! This top is all half-square triangles, and I made mine to finish at 4 inches. Every dark green scrap that was big enough got cut up for this quilt. I also threw in some medium greens and a few blues, too, just to fill things out. Really, there's everything in there but the kitchen sink. If it was mostly green and the right size, it went into the quilt.

I saw this block in a magazine I was leafing through at the library. I'm pretty sure it was Quiltmaker, but I didn't take a picture of the magazine itself. Not sure how many blocks were in the magazine quilt, but you can see that I only had enough scraps to make 9 blocks, plus I added the borders. I'm completely okay with this because this quilt still finished at about 60 inches square. This is a great size for something made entirely from one scrap bin!

I was so determined to use up all of the triangle pieces that I had cut that I put the leftovers together and added them to the borders. It works well enough, and it's fabric I didn't have to put back in the scrap bin. Or throw out, you know, because I certainly got a little tired of the dark greens after a bit.

So, there is the quilt that was hiding in that scrap bin! Who knew, right? But there is one more green thing to show off today. Check it out:

Yep, we had the house painted! It looks so, so much better and much more modern. The color is actually called Deep Emerald, though it has a lot of blue in it, not just green. We love it and are so happy with how it turned out. There are a lot of painted brick houses around here, but most of them are white, tan, or gray. The dark green looks pretty sharp, I think. Now we move on to some landscaping for the front and a new color for the front door. The hubs wants red, but I'm thinking a bright aqua. I guess we'll see who gets to the paintbrushes first!
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! It's the Fourth of July weekend here in the US, so I hope your picnics and get togethers don't get rained out, and you get to see a lot of fireworks. It's a frustrating time and an imperfect country, but it's still a great country full of great people. That is worthy of celebration, even if a lot of what's happening now isn't. So Happy Fourth, everyone!
Sharing at Finished or not Friday, Brag About Your Beauties, the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting Patchwork Applique, and Oh Scrap!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Starry, starry birds

 Hi everyone! How are things where you are? We had our house painted this week. It looks amazing, like a brand new place. I'll need to take some "after" pictures, but I am so thrilled with it already. The only downside was that they started super-early, like dawn, so it was quite noisy quite early. But it's done and I am sleeping in tomorrow!

Since I was up, I worked on a bunch of my Positivity blocks, and then I caught up some on the rest of my RSC blocks. First up are the blue stars:
Look how great! Every time I make these I am thrilled with how they turn out. This time I made the triangles oversized and cut them down and the final blocks were so much easier to construct. I searched all through the blue scrap bins and chose the happiest brights I could find. Really, all that's left in those bins are the lighter blues. I am happy about this, because dark blues are not my favorite. Here's a slighter closer look at those fabrics:

I'm thrilled to use these up, and they make great stars. I swear the one on the top right is a deep blue, even though it does look like a black fabric in the picture. And isn't that paisley fun? 
Next up, of course, are the blue birds:

Gosh, what a bunch of personality these guys have, and they certainly seem to like hanging out in that tree. Check out those checkered orange legs! These are free-pieced birds, made without templates, with a tutorial from Lynne at Patcherie Menagerie. You can get the tutorial right HERE. The tutorial is completely worth it, because every time I make these birds, I get happy.

You can see the fabrics a little better in the picture above. Most of those scrap bits were just laying around, waiting to be used for something, and here they are in some happy birds. Not a lot of bright blues for these either, but just enough to make it work. 

Since we are halfway through the RSC, I thought I'd get a couple of progress photos of the whole lot of blocks so far. Here are the stars:

That is a nice constellation laid out on the 'design patio,' isn't it? Right now I'm thinking of setting them with blue sashing, but we'll see. 

Here is my lovely flock of birds so far, laid out on the design lawn:

Well, they are cute, but it appears that I failed to make green birds. Oh, well! They might get made another time, might not. I'm pretty cleared out of dark greens, thank goodness. I don't really have any black birds, so maybe I could substitute those. I do have some black fabrics that would make great birds.

So, there we are! A painted house and caught-up projects! What could be better? Hope you all have a great weekend. I'll just be over here, plotting what to plant now that the house is done!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC22.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Projects in progress

 Hi everyone! How's it going? I'm having the strangest sensation lately. I think it might be something called "relaxation." Not sure, though, because it happens so very rarely.

I'm getting back to the sewing room and making some progress on various projects. First, though, there is this little quilty piece that I made up from the leftover green blocks from the RSC medallion:

Gosh, I think this is adorable, plus it uses up those extra blocks and keeps them out of the orphanage. I'm going to have to make more things with this block, too, because I think it turns out really well, and was really simple to make. 

As a side note, I'm pretty sure I have chosen the wrong flowers for those pots this year. The squirrels have been at them like nobody's business. They seem to hate the vinca plants, because they keep uprooting them. What do you think, gardeners? Do I need some geraniums, or maybe more petunias? What will keep the squirrels away?

Anyway, I also started in on the new Positivity project over at Sew Preeti Quilts. These are my first blocks:

Yes, the background is red. I like it! I've had these fabrics, which are from a line by Holly Taylor called Woodroses in Winter, for a very long time. I used to belong to a quilting group and I ended up with a lot of pretty fabric that is just not my style, including fabrics like these. Does that ever happen to you? You just get carried away and you're afraid of missing out and so you get fabric without thinking carefully? Yeah, I get it.

Anyway. . .these blocks are really easy, and I think they're going to use up the rest of that fabric for me and make a quilt that is fairly gender neutral. I've been calling these blocks "twisties" (mainly because of how they're made), so does that make this quilt "twisted trails?" It's a working title, I think.
There are a few other things I'm working on, and I have a picture of one of them:

These are the blocks made of green triangles from my scraps. I've taken every dark green and medium green piece out of the scrap basket, and I've cut whatever I could into these triangles. Everything that was too small got cut into squares or strings, and everything that couldn't be cut into those bits got thrown away. It was very liberating! There's a few blues in there, too, and at least one black piece. Whenever I feel like it, I stitch a few triangles, and when I have enough, I put them into a block. It's very relaxing! I have no idea how many blocks I have cut. I guess we'll see!

So that's the report from this sector for now. Lots of bits and pieces, a red and tan quilt in progress, and a nearly empty green scrap bin. And at least one squirrel who eats flowers! Maybe I'll see what I can do about that. . .have a good week, everyone!

Sharing at Midweek Makers.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Blue and green all around

 Hi all! Long time no see! I've been away for a conference in Atlanta, which was hot, sticky, and expensive, but so great to see people in person again. Everyone was so excited that it almost overwhelmed the presentations. Also, true fact: we shared the hotel with a comics convention, so there were people dressed up as various characters, including a full set of Power Rangers, interspersed with our very serious group. It was interesting! After the conference, the hubster and I may have made a couple of detours on the way home. It was fun!

Obviously, I did not take my sewing machine, and the mental break from everything was great. I came back raring to go on a bunch of things. First up in the sewing room was catching up on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge:
Yes, this is the latest update of the medallion quilt I'm making in the colors of the month, one round for each color. I love how it is turning out, even though I've made a couple of mistakes in these rounds.
The green round was for last month, and this is the block, if you can't tell:

This is a traditional block called Cracker, from Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia. It was super-easy to make, but I didn't really pay attention to the column I was looking at, so I made the wrong size. There was supposed to be one more block per side, but they didn't fit. Oh, well! I think it looks just fine anyway, and I like the movement in that round.
The bright blue round is simple flying geese attached side by side to make a nice border. You can see that I needed a coping strip in there to bring the center up to the right size for the geese to fit. I think it works. The medallion is now about 44 inches square, which is right where it should be with 4 rounds to go. (I think.) Looking forward to that next round, which is also spectacular. Hope it's a great color!

I said at the top that we may have made a few small detours on our way home, and here is one place we stopped:

This is in North Carolina, and was a beautiful day. On the mountain it was about 70 degrees, at least 25 degrees cooler than down the mountain. The view is looking northeast toward Tennessee, which I'm pretty sure is actually in the photo, too. And that's me and the hubster with the sign, of course. We got talked into taking the sign picture by a lovely Ukrainian family (long in the US), who talked to us a bit about their country. They were very happy that their children and grandchildren in Ukraine had made it to Moldova and are safe. We took their picture, so of course they insisted on taking ours. It was a super-nice interaction.

So the medallion is caught up, and I may have pulled out some fabrics for some birds, too. I guess they're next! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone, and I'll let you know how they turn out!

Sharing at Finished or not Friday, the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting Patchwork Applique, and soscrappy for RSC22.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Hands2Help Grand Finale'!

 Hello everyone, and welcome to the final wrap-up for the Hands2Help Challenge for 2022!
There are a TON of "thank yous" in this post, but first, let's see how many quilts were donated through this year's Challenge:

562 quilts!!

Good golly! That's a lot of quilts and a lot of comfort! Friends, I think we did great! If you haven't filled out the form to count your quilts, you still can, just to get a final number. If you haven't finished up your quilt yet, please count it when you finish it.
Many, many quilts went to the organizations listed for the challenge, but some people opted to give closer to home. A lot of those quilts went to Project Linus, children's hospitals, local hospices, and foster care programs. It was heartening, too, to see some quilts go to women's shelters and other such organizations. Great job, everyone!

First, the thank yous:

There are so many thanks to go out! First, many thanks to our guest bloggers:

Sandra at mmmquilts!
Alycia at Alycia Quilts
Thanks so much, fellow bloggers! I couldn't have done it without you!
Next, thanks to the quilters and small business people who donated to the prize pool:

Jane and Beth at Plain Janes and Co. Quilt Shop
Every time a small business person donates, the prize is coming directly from their own income, so be sure to show these quilters some support whenever you can! 
Other single quilters donated prizes, both fabric and gift certificates, but wished to remain anonymous. Thank you! You are tremendously appreciated!

A huge thank you as well to all of the larger companies and shops who donated:

Warm and Natural quilt batting

A very, very large thanks to all! Be sure to remember these supportive companies whenever you are out shopping, and thank them for their support when appropriate!

Then the prizes:


Ah, the prizes! We all know the prizes aren't the point, but they are nice to have. Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed by the volume of the prizes and how to divide them up fairly. You know how some things can be so big in your head that you just dread them? Yeah, it was like that. Here's where a huge THANKS goes to Lisa, who came over and helped me turn this:

into this:

It was amazing and so, so helpful. Thanks Lisa! We used a random number generator to choose the recipients of the prizes, so everything was as random and as fair as we could make it. There were 102 prizes for nearly 200 quilters, so randomness and fairness were important to me. Each person only received one prize. A special note to our international participants-- the postage for physical prizes is overwhelming, so when your name was chosen, you received a digital prize instead. I know they're not fabric, but I hope you enjoy them!

Some of the prizes have been sent already, and I've sent out the emails for the digital prizes. The rest of the prizes will be mailed out this week. Some of you have offered to pay the postage for your prizes. After seeing the cost of the postage, and after a great deal of thought, I will reluctantly and gratefully accept. No obligation, but if you are so moved, please get in touch.

As for who actually got which prize, I've compiled a spreadsheet that you can find HERE. (You need to have the link to view the sheet, and it isn't editable.) I've listed the prizes by first name and last initial plus your city. You can find yourself on the list, or just wait and see what shows up in the mailbox!  And as promised, as soon as the rest of the prizes are sent out, the sign-up forms with your information will be deleted.

Finally. . .

The biggest thanks of all goes to all of you who made quilts and donated them to others. Thanks so much to all of you for coming on this adventure and doing some good this spring. I've gotten a lot of emails thanking me for taking on the challenge this year, and really, it was my pleasure to do so. This been a great experience, and I hope it has been for you, too. 
Now that our challenge is finished, if you are up for another to take on this summer, jump over to Preeti's blog and join in on the Positivity Quilt Along. The schedule is very relaxed, and you'll really like it. 

All best wishes to our friend Sarah, the original mastermind of this challenge, and many prayers for her good health. Happy summer, everyone, and happy stitching!

Friday, June 3, 2022

Cheerful checkerboard

 Hi everyone, and a happy Friday to you. It is currently raining here, but that's a good thing, because it's bringing in cooler temperatures. Plus it's good for all the flowers I planted this week, so. . .hurray for the rain? After all the wet we've had so far this year, it feels weird to say that!
I'm finishing up a paper and getting ready for a conference, plus my niece is coming to visit this weekend, so I haven't done a lot of sewing. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. My little bits did add up to something cute, though, and it has a story, too. Here she is:
Hey, it's small, but it's cute! I actually think it looks quite cheerful, and who couldn't use a little cheering right now? This is a simple checkerboard made with bright green squares and blocks made of selvages. I can take credit for assembling this cutie, but the selvage blocks were made by Cathy at Crazy by Design.

As sometimes happens when a project doesn't turn out, Cathy offered the blocks above for adoption some time ago. I took them and planned to separate them into 4-patches and make a bigger quilt. You know what happened, right? Yeah, I never made the planned quilt. Preeti found the blocks in my sewing room when she was over and put them up on the design wall. This pretty much forced me to do something with them, you know?

I ended up taking the blocks completely apart, and then looked for a fabric to tie them all together. The selvages are a lot of different colors, but I think the green kind of unites them. And it certainly looks cheerful, doesn't it? The quilting is just a simple crosshatch through all the blocks, done with the walking foot. You can't see it really well in the pictures, but the quilting does go through the selvage blocks, too.

I didn't make the selvage blocks, but I do like them. I've never saved selvages, but I get the appeal. They are colorful and have a lot of fun designs, and when you stitch them together like this, you get fun stripes. I didn't have any more of the green for the backing, but I did find this piece of Daysail from Bonnie and Camille. It's a cheery color, too, and it was perfect for this quilt. The binding is a turquoise piece that was just big enough. I think they all work!
This little quilt ended up at just about 40 by 52, and it will be a donation quilt. I think there's some kind of program for that finishing up pretty soon, so I'd better get on it! Thanks so much to Cathy for sending the selvage blocks off to me. They were fun, and I think they turned out okay!

Hope everyone has a fun, relaxing weekend! It's summer now, so it's totally acceptable to sit around with your feet up and a nice cool drink. What's in the drink is up to you!

Sharing at Finished or not Friday, Brag About Your Beauties, and the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting Patchwork Applique.