Friday, July 29, 2022

Little finishes

 Hi everyone! Has it been a good week for you? It has been okay here. I had a "playdate" of sorts with a quilty friend where we both rented longarm time at the same time and quilted away. It was fun-- and air conditioned, which we all know is vitally important right now. As I say every year, God bless Willis Carrier, and all his fellow engineers. Where would we be without him?

So, how many of you have small pieced bits of things kicking around the sewing room, just waiting to be quilted, but they never get there because there is always something better to work on? I see a lot of hands out there! I think we all have these, and this week I managed to get three of them quilted up at last:

Raining and gross again, so the pictures are a little off. Oh, well! Truth be told, these little things were very annoying to me, because I intended to quilt them for ages. I had quilty plans for all of them. They did not get done. I wanted to try new things with the walking foot on them. I did not do that. Then I took them to the longarmer with me, intending to stick them on the end of a quilt. This did not happen either.

Finally I just got tired of looking at them and spent a couple of hours using the walking foot and finishing them very simply, with cross hatching and straight lines. As always happens, this made me fall in love with them all over again. And now they're usable and cute and not annoying things I keep moving around and feeling bad about.

The smallest one might be my favorite, and I might hang it on the wall in my granddaughter's room. I'm hoping to turn her into a quilter, you know. The others will get used on tables, I think, and the largest of them might become a doll quilt. All better than laying around unloved.

So, crummy porch pictures, but three little finishes to celebrate noneltheless. Mostly scrappy, mostly useful, and prettier than their pictures. Plus a couple of pleasant hours finishing them off, so I'm counting that as three wins.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! If you are on Twitter, be sure to check out #clearthelist. It's wishlists for school supplies from teachers all over the country. It's crazy how very basic some of their wishlists are, for things like crayons, pencils, and scissors, so if you can, drop a few things in the cart for a teacher. You can do a lot of good for $10! 

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

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Steamy stars

 Hi everyone! I would ask how you all are doing, but I'm pretty sure everyone is hot right now. Good golly, this is crazy! It's supposed to be 100 degrees (37.8 C) here on Sunday. Pretty sure I'll be staying inside, as long as the air conditioning holds out. Even the birds are not flying right now, and I haven't seen the deer all week.

It has not been a great week for me, with lots of medical appointments. You know how much time and frustration those can take! But I did manage to sew a bit and I finished off the purple twinkle stars for the rainbow scrap challenge. I started on some purple birds, but lost some momentum somewhere. Probably in a waiting room. Anyway, here are the stars:

I don't know why, but I just love these things. They look kind of lacy and delicate. I don't have a lot of purple scraps, but I did have a nice selection of different values of purple. Anyone else ever have an art teacher who terrorized them about mixing certain colors together? Pretty sure that purple and yellow together were a no-go. I've always been kind of a rule-breaker, you know.

Believe it or not, there really are purple stars in the sky, but apparently we can't really see them as purple, because they also emit blue light, which is easier for us to see. The more you know! If we could see them, though, I like to think they'd look like the one above. I just love that fabric and am glad one of the last bits of it is going into this quilt.

And there is the sum total of my progress for this week. Next week will be better, though still hot, I'm sure. I'm not pining for fall yet, though, and winter can stay away, too, so I'm sure I'll get through another hot week. And hey--it means more ice cream and less yard work for me!

Everyone have a lovely weekend. Feet up and cool drinks all around, with lots of ice, too!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC22.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Clearing out more color

 Hi all! How's it going? Are you just baking in the heat? We had some spectacular storms recently, and it has been quite hot. I think the two have something to do with each other. At least we didn't lose any trees, though there are several down around the neighborhood. The wind got a little scary, but we mostly came through okay.

What's a quilter to do, stuck in the house? I'll bet you can guess. After the success of cleaning out all the dark greens from the scrap bin (HERE), I decided to have a look at some other bins. The blue bin has been a problem for me. I know a lot of people love blue, but for some reason I rarely use it, so there are a ton of scraps in the bin. I was pretty successful using the darker blues (HERE), so now I'm trying to use up the light to medium blues. Check it out:

A hunter's star as a test for a light blue quilt. I'm not sure it works, but it's kind of pretty. A whole quilt might look somewhat like old china or something. I think I need to pay more attention to where the lights and mediums fall in the block so that the edges don't fade away. The beige there is leftover from a backing, and I'd love to use it up as well.

The blue experiment may be successful, so what else can I use up? Can I throw some other color in there? Well, no, but how about a different scrap quilt?

Crossed canoes, using pinks and oranges, plus a couple of yellows thrown in for sparkle. You might not think that the pink and orange would work out, but it completely does! I got the idea for a crossed canoes quilt from Deb, who is doing this block for the rainbow scrap challenge. It looks awesome, and you can see her post HERE. I used Accuquilt dies to cut both the blue and the pink and orange sets of these blocks, and they turned out great and piece together beautifully. Hey, I have the dies, so why not use them?

My plan is to make blocks until I run out of scraps in the right sizes, then cut up everything left into squares for the square boxes. The more scraps used the merrier, but I really have no idea how many I will make of either block. Whatever I get is good, because then they are out of those bins and into something useful. Plus, then I can get some new fabric guilt-free, too!

So, there's some more colors and pieces to play with! Hope you have some, too. This last picture is the gorgeous sunset after our latest storms. Pictures never do sunsets justice, but it was a nice reward after all that upheaval! 

Sharing at Midweek Makers and Oh Scrap!

Friday, July 15, 2022

Handsome in red

 Hi everyone! How was your week? I'm happy to tell you that my head is a bit better. It helps to stay indoors, away from the nasty allergens outside. Thankfully, it is plenty warm and humid, so I don't mind it so much. But I do hate the treadmill! It's much better to walk outside. 
So, I would have shown off this quilt top much sooner today, but Google was acting very strange. It didn't want to upload photos or save things, which seem to be among its primary functions. Anybody else have that happen? Maybe it was messed up by our recent storms. It was frustrating, but I finally got everything put together correctly, just to show off this handsome red and twisty quilt top:
Hurray, it's together! This is the quilt I'm making for Preeti's Positivity quilt along, which benefits Mercyful Quilts. There is still time to jump in, and Preeti has a very easy and genius method for making the blocks. They go really fast, and even I could not mess them up.

I wanted to make my quilt gender neutral and good for anyone, and I also wanted to use up these fabrics that are not really my style. I think I succeeded on both counts. I think it looks kind of woodsy and cozy and good for people who like many different things. This quilt top finishes up at just about 60 by 76, which makes for a nice generous size.

You'll notice that I didn't make 80 blocks, as directed in the pattern. Yeah, I kind of ran out of the tan fabric. I made as many blocks as I could, then dug through a couple of bins and found these pieces that I had cut from a panel. Thank goodness I save everything, because I was able to piece them together into two large blocks to fill out the quilt top. I like how they look like puzzle pieces, too. I also added a narrow border all around the top just to corral all those seams and bring up the size a little bit.

I had to piece together the final three blocks from the leftover bits and pieces of the tan fabric. It wasn't that difficult, but I did sweat it out a bit. I did have a backup plan if I needed it, but thank goodness I didn't. As it turns out, the fabric in the picture above is literally all that's left of the tan fabric. I can't even say how happy it makes me to use all of that up. Unloved fabric turned into something cozy to comfort someone? Yes, please!

So, there is my finished quilt top! I was thinking about how to quilt this, and I think it's just going to get straight lines. I like cross hatching, so I might do that instead, but I think the straight lines would work really well for this. Open to other suggestions! I have enough of the red left for a binding, and I'm thinking about just a plain tan for the back. We'll see what I can find lurking in the stash. Before anybody asks, I did wash the red fabric before I used it, so I'm hoping it doesn't bleed. I'll wash it again before I send it off, too.

And there we are! It seems that Google is behaving now, so I'll get this posted. This weekend we are going to see my parents, which is always a treat. They now use their oven to store cookies, and have discovered the joys of takeout. I think that's the makings of a great visit! Everyone enjoy your weekend!

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

Friday, July 8, 2022

A circle of purple houses

 Hi all, and welcome to another summer weekend. It is the weekend, isn't it? I seem to have lost track of time this week. It has been a massive migraine-style headache week, for unknown reasons. Okay, it's probably a mix of Satan's own allergens and all the weather changes. And maybe I ate a little too much sugar. Who knows? I am feeling a little better now, though.
In between headache attacks, I managed to get the purple round put on my medallion quilt. I've been looking forward to this one, though I didn't know what color it would be until Angela told us. I'm glad that it's purple because it looks great this time around. Here it is so far:

Didn't I tell you that it looked good? I was concerned that I had chosen a purple that was too light, but now I think it's good because it's next to the dark blue and close to the dark green. This also took more of the purple than I thought, so I had to go with the piece that I had, too.

I call this block or unit "houses" because, well-- look at them. Don't they look like houses? They are super easy to make and this round went really fast. One reason it was so quick is that I used the diagonal seam tape from Cluck Cluck Sew to make all those stitch and flip corners. It really speeds things up when you don't have to draw lines! 

The houses are 3 inches finished, and the quilt itself is now about 54 inches square. With three rounds to go, it looks like this will finish right at 70 inches square, unless I change my mind about a block or leave out a color. Light blue could be an issue. I guess I could always switch the colors or the blocks around, right? We'll see how it goes.

Finally, I know we've talked a lot about the wildlife around here, and I definitely saw the foxes this week, and also plenty of squirrels and our buddy the hawk. (I think I love him. He's so majestic!) Of course there are the deer, too, and look who was out there this week when my head was in a bad place:

A mama and two fawns! The fawns were quite cute, running around and jumping, and they definitely cheered me up. I think they're chowing down on some wild strawberries, so no wonder they're so energetic!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend. I think more resting is in my future. I couldn't get in to the doctor until next Wednesday, so handfuls of ibuprofen are on the menu. The good news? Takeout is on the menu too! All weekend!

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