Saturday, February 25, 2023

A taste of spring

 Hello quilty friends! How was your week? Mine was more of the same, except for that one day where it hit 80 degrees. Not joking! It was a taste of spring that didn't last very long, because although today has dawned nice and sunny, it may snow this afternoon. Again, not joking! It's going to be a good day to read and sew.

The weather was not the real taste of spring for this week, though. It was this happy and fun pink quilt top that I finished just yesterday:

A little washed out by morning light, but is that not very springy? This is the quilt top I made to use up some leftover pink parts from another quilt. Since this is the pink month at the rainbow scrap challenge, I pulled them out and hoped to make something from them. And I did, so I win!

The leftover pieces in question were the triangle in a square parts. After many good suggestions, I turned them into some spinny flowers, then strip-pieced the single Irish chain blocks to fill out the top. It was easy and went fast. The border is a long-stashed half yard that gave the quilt a little zip and protected the seams at the edges. I have just enough of the pink fabric left to make a binding. It's smaller than it looks at just about 48 by 54.

I'm amazed that there were enough pink parts to make all those flower blocks. I didn't know there were so many! I even had a few left-- and I threw them away. Okay, it was two triangle squares, plus a bunch of cut triangles, but no pink "wings." I just couldn't see keeping them, and I didn't want to make more squares so I could make a bigger quilt. I think I put in enough work to use up those leftovers.

So now those pieces are used, and I've almost met all my goals for the pink scraps. I'm still working on the crossed canoes quilt, but a good bit of the pink scraps will be all used up by the end of next week. It's likely that I never would have made this quilt top or used up so many pink scraps without the RSC, so I am thrilled to bits. But not little bits, because that would be more scraps.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I have amassed a number of small projects and quilt tops that need to be quilted, so I think I had better start with the basting. Looks like a good day for that, too!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Playing a round

 Hello all! I hope your week is going well. I've had a bunch of tests in the last couple of days so I'm a little worn out, but it has been quite warm for February, so that's a small compensation. While out walking I've seen things already starting to grow and a bunch of trees that are starting to leaf out. That also means that allergies are already growing, but I'll take it in exchange for some flowers any day.

Today I have an update on my Stay at Home Round Robin quilt. This is a fun project, but I'm always behind, so I haven't had a chance to show my work yet.  Here we go:

Okay, I think I like it so far! I'd make those spools a different color, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with it so far. Because I started with a big center block and wanted a lap-sized quilt that I could donate, this quilt now measures about 44 by 52.

This is my quilt through round 4, and round 5 is currently in progress. By far the hardest round for me was the stars round, mainly because I decided to make those complicated stars. They were paper pieced and then put on point, making that border 6 inches wide. They look great, but they took a while to make.

I've made some of the square in a square blocks for the next round, using the biggest pieces I have left of the scrap fabrics I'm using. These will finish at 3 inches square. I chose this size because I'm hoping to combine these units with these other leftovers:

These are leftovers from the same quilt as the pink triangle in a square parts that I'm using for the rainbow scrap challenge this month. I have at least 80 of these, and probably more if I look in all the nooks, crannies, and bins around here. I swear I really did make a quilt that used a whole bunch of pieces, just not the quilt I started. You can see that quilt HERE.

So I'm still a bit behind, but at least I have a plan to catch up, and I'll use those pieces up, too. Hurray for that! I'm hoping for a very easy final border so that I can find a way to use up the rest of those scraps, too. I'll leave you with this very encouraging picture:

Daffodil shoots! There will be flowers soon! Enjoy the rest of the week!

Sharing at the SAHRR linkup at the Darling Dogwood.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Comfort twice over

 Hi all! Is this the weirdest winter ever or what? I don't know about you, but the weather here has been really wild. So far, we've had only a trace of snow, lots of rain, and some extremely strange temperatures. Today it was 67 degrees! Which is great, but very odd in February. Do you think this means we'll have a snow storm in April? Gotta happen, right?

Today I'm showing off a finished quilt! Saints be praised, as my grandmother used to say. Here it is:

Totally not my usual thing, but I love it! This was a quilt I made in the depths of grief after my mother died. It's the Solstice Sampler, a sewalong organized by Alderwood Studio (patterns no longer available, sadly.) It brought me back and was comforting when I really needed it. I'm forever grateful.

It happens that I posted a picture on Instagram, and a friend fell in love. Could she buy it from me to give to her sister? Of course not!  I told her she could have it when it was quilted. But could it be quilted quickly? Sure! Not by me, but sure!

I fully intended to rent time and quilt this myself, but there was just no time. I have a whole stack of tops that I'm ready to quilt, and I keep trying to find the time, but there is a lot on my plate right now. So I sent this off to Alycia, who did an amazing job with the direction I wanted to go, and even did it in record time. The main pattern is very swirly, with "rays" around the center star. It turned out so great!

The backing for this quilt is a very pale blue batik, and I bound it in the very last of the bright blue that is in the quilt blocks. I had to piece scraps together and even finagle a couple of things to get enough binding, but I made it with about an inch to spare. 

The designer of the center star actually had a much more complex design, and I ended up making the block twice. Since I was sending this one off to my friend, I finished that block with the applique and quilted it up into a table mat and sent that along, too.

As an added bonus, I had changed my mind about the colors in one of the blocks, but of course I saved the corner pieces that I ripped out. Doesn't everyone? I quilted those up, too, and they became mug-size coasters. Of course those went in the box, too. 

So hurray! This quilt gave me a lot of comfort when I needed it, and now my friend's sister has a warm and cozy comfort quilt to wrap up in when needed. Comfort times two, and awfully pretty to boot.

Hope everyone has a warm and cozy weekend. I think we're getting rain, which we all know will be wonderful for some flowers. I wonder if any are sprouting yet? I better go check, don't you think?

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Brag About Your Beauties, Finished or not Friday, and the Quilting, Patchwork, Applique linkup, too.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Pink scrap energy

 Hi all! Welcome to the weekend. I don't know about you, but boy do I need this one. I'm exhausted from the bureaucracy and meetings, plus I'm trying to get a Big Important Thing done. It's a little much. I've been cheered, though, by some seriously strange weather we've had-- it was 66 degrees yesterday! No way it lasts, but it sure smelled nice outside!
You know what else is cheerful? Pretty pink blocks made from scraps! I did get a chance to make some scrappy things this week, in very short bursts. Here is the first block:

How could I resist making a pink star block with a heart in February? This is a block called Hearty by Corey Yoder and it was part of Fat Quarter Shop's Sewcialites sew along last year. You can still get the free pattern (and all the others) HERE.

I also made this block:
Can you tell I had breakfast on the balcony? This one came from one of my Judy Hopkins block books. I love those books, even after all this time. Very useful!
The Peace and Plenty blocks also got finished:
Check out those metallic stripes! The fabrics for these blocks were chosen entirely based on the size of the scrap. I didn't have a lot of pink scraps that were big enough to cut for the 12-inch blocks, but I think these were good choices.

Finally, thanks to everyone for your suggestions about what to do with the unused triangle in a square blocks. Here's what I chose to do with them:

These look like flowers, do they not? I appreciated all the suggestions for star blocks, and they would have made awesome stars, but the thought of all that cutting and piecing just made me tired. I just wanted to be done with them. Lynne suggested a one-block quilt, and Kathleen sent some layouts, and I kind of combined those ideas into these blocks. I put them together mostly as leaders and enders between the other pink blocks, so it really worked out.

I think I'll set these with some alternate blocks, made with these units:

Unbelievably, these are from the same quilt project, and I have dozens of them. There might be enough for 16-patches, but I'll probably end up making double 4-patches. And then they'll be used and out of my closet!

Okay, the rest of that pink scrap basket is getting cut up into crossed canoes blocks, and then it will be largely used up! That's coming next week, though, because for the rest of the weekend I'm going to read books and watch movies. Hope you are all doing something similar!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Pieces of pink

 Hello everyone! I hope you all had a lovely week, though it was quite cold, wasn't it? We probably should expect that in February, but somehow it always feels like a slap in the face when I step out the door. We're expecting it to be 60 in the middle of next week, though, so it's like the weather has mood swings.
By now you know that February's color for the rainbow scrap challenge is pink. I love pink and have a whole bunch of it, in pieces, in scraps, in yardage-- and in unfinished projects. But before we get to that, you know I had to dive right in and make a block:
But wait, there's more! Yesterday I was able to finish putting this one together, too:
For those of you who are new here, I have one of these blocks that was made by my great grandmother and it's one of my prize possessions. The light makes both of these look a little wrinkly, but isn't the pink fun? Polka dots always look festive, and I just love the raspberry in the second block. I don't know that it's really a star, but it's close enough.
Now to those unfinished projects. . . if you recall, my plan is to make as many things as I can each month from the scrap bins in the hope of emptying those babies out. I have a project in progress that will use the pink scraps and is probably finishable this month. Here's where it is right now:
This is a crossed canoes quilt top that I started last summer. I cut a whole bunch of pieces and made a few blocks, then put it away for a while. I pulled it out this week, ripped apart the blocks I'd made so that I could distribute the patterns and such a little better, and then started stitching some more parts together. Then I stopped before I could cut more pieces so that I could use the bigger pieces for some blocks. When I'm done with those, I'll use up as much as I can of the scrappy pieces that are left. I only made a few of the orange parts for a little sparkle in the quilt, but I'll probably take them out at the end.
There's one more pink sort-of project that I'd be thrilled to tackle this month:
Not a great picture, but all of these parts are leftovers from the last time I tried to make a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. I redid the final quilt layout in a much smaller fashion with many fewer pieces, and all of these were left.  They're all the same, triangles in a square, and there are dozens of them. Any good ideas out there?
That's all my pink progress so far! How is yours coming along? It's certainly fun to play with this happy color while it's nasty outside, isn't it? 
Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Triple project updates

 Hi everyone, and happy February! Are you caught up in the ice storm that is sweeping the country right now? I hope not, and if you are, I hope you are safe. We are not in the path of the storm, but that didn't stop our furnace from giving up the ghost. We had a very shivery night because they needed a part so it couldn't be fixed right away, but it did finally get fixed. $1700 later, it should be good for another long while now.

Meanwhile, I'm working on a few different projects at the same time. As always. First, there is the Stay at Home Round Robin:

This is my finish of the first round, which was spool blocks. Not my favorite block! But it turned out all right and made a nice chain at the top and bottom to turn my center into a rectangle. This now measures about 32 by 24 and is ready for the second round, which is stars. I'm working on them! They're multicolored and very festive.

I also started finally doing the final assembly on this quilt, which I started last year for Hands2Help:

I don't know why I never finished this. I think there was just a lot going on right then and it just got pushed to the side. Sarah is starting up Hands2Help again this year, and I'm here to tell you that it's a lot of work, so give her as much support as you can. I'm hoping to have this one all finished in time to donate for H2H this year. The pattern for this quilt, such as it is, can be found right HERE.

The last thing I'm working on today is yet another repurposing of old blocks:

Not a great picture, but you get the idea! I made the strings a LONG time ago and used some of them in a different project (still unquilted--sadness!) but was left with a whole bunch of string half-blocks. There they sat (because I can't throw anything away) until I saw the Heading North pattern by Sandra at mmmquilts. I knew I would use this layout, so I purchased the pattern and here we are. My blocks are a little smaller than Sandra's but I love it already. I also have a cool idea for making it a bit bigger. We'll see how it works out.

And there we go! Everyone stay warm and safe. I'm leaving you with a picture of the ancient heater cover in my office. I think it would look great as a hand quilting pattern, don't you?

Sharing at the SAHRR and Midweek Makers.