Friday, March 31, 2023

Only a year late

 Hi all! Yes, thank you, I am feeling much better now. It took a lot of laying around on the sofa, but that's just the kind of assignment I am well suited for. When I was sick as a kid, I used to lay on the couch and watch soap operas with my grandmother. Have you seen daytime TV lately? It is definitely not those soap operas!

Anyway, once I dragged myself to the shower and started to feel human again, I finished up a quilt top that I started a year ago. We should be very pleased that it only took me a year, right? Take a look:

If you recall, last year I started this for the Hands2Help Challenge. It was supposed to be a quick quilt, and it really was, it just took me a year to get around to it. (You can get the pattern, such as it is, right HERE.) Sarah is back for the challenge this year (hurray Sarah!) so I thought I should probably finish it up to donate this year.

This quilt used up just about every single colorful 2-1/2 inch square that I had saved, and a whole bunch of white squares that I had either already cut from scraps and leftovers or I cut down from hunks and chunks of leftover white on whites. It feels so great to have all of those pieces cleared out and used up in a cheerful quilt.

There is a ton of variety in the squares I used, everything from Christmassy prints to colorful batiks. Just toss it all in! The alternate squares look gray in the pictures, but they're really a print that has some blue and red dots interspersed in there. In person it looks quite good, not gray at all.

This quilt top is just about 50 by 60, and I realized as I finished it that it would be the perfect quilt top to send to Victoria Quilts Canada if I added one more row or a border to each end. I think that's what I'll do, and it will get made into a nice finished quilt much sooner than if I tried to quilt it up. It took a year to finish, why take another year to quilt?

Hope you all have a good weekend. Spring is busting out all over here, and this is what it looks like on our hillside:

 Can you GET more springy? It's full of pollen, but I love it!
If you haven't been over to Sarah's to find out about this year's Hands2Help, you can find a bunch of information and sign-ups HERE. Go check it out and leave Sarah a nice comment while you're there!
Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Brag About Your Beauties, Finished or not Friday, and the Quilting, Patchwork, Applique linkup.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Green in more ways than one

Hi everyone, and please stay back at least 6 feet, for your own sake. This has been a miserable week for me. I was feeling crummy last week, but I managed to get a lot of work done and even some sewing. And laundry! This week, not so much. I had a flu shot in October, but I apparently still got a flu strain, because it has been a lay-on-the-sofa-and-cry-until-the-meds-kick-in kind of week. Not even joking. I cancelled my classes, but didn't have the energy to give my students alternative assignments. I couldn't even do Zoom meetings. It was no fun. Zero stars, do not recommend.
Which is all my way of saying that I made very little progress this week, on anything. I do have a couple of things to show that I finished before someone hit me with a hammer, though. Here are some 6-inch green blocks:

Okay, they're cute. You can see that it was raining and that made the colors look amazing when I took a picture. They say that we're behind on rain for the year, but you sure couldn't prove it by me.

I also made the green Peace and Plenty blocks:

I was thrilled to get three of them out of the scrap bin, because there were just not a lot of large enough green pieces in the bin. You can't tell unless you look really closely, but I had to piece together some of the parts for the block on the right. I really wanted to use that fabric!

Okay, just one more thing:

These are little 3-1/2 inch blocks that I made from some "bonus hsts" that I got from the cutoffs from another project. I'm not sure I remember that project because they've been in the bin for so long. Unbelievably, there are more than 60 hsts, which will make 15 little blocks. This will become another doll quilt. Lest you think I already have too many of those, take a look:

Some of the stuffies have to share blankets at naptime! This clearly will not do. (Just ask my granddaughter, who put her dolls and stuffies down for a nap.)

Okay, time for me to go back to the sofa. I'm doing better, with much less crying and shivering, but why take chances? Hope you all are having a much better weekend. Enjoy this last bit of green:

Also, Blogger tells me this is my 700th post. I'm having Tylenol to celebrate, how about you?

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Blue times two

 Hello everyone, and happy St. Patrick's Day! Is there green beer in your near future? I can't stand the stuff, but it's my brother's birthday, and he's always loved it. When he was a kid, he thought everyone celebrated his birthday with a fun party. I guess that's a reasonable conclusion. This year, though, I'm feeling a little under the weather so I'll just wave to all you revelers from over here on the sofa.

I have nothing green to show today, but I did finish a couple of fun blue things. I have this pile of quilt tops, see, and it really needs to get smaller. It was easy to quilt some straight lines on smaller things, so that's what I did this week. Check it out:

Well, those look fresh and fun, don't they? This all started with the four blocks in the center of the smaller quilt. I had started another quilt with those blocks, but I got bored and put all the cut pieces away. I pulled it out and repurposed many of the cut pieces into these two quilts.

Let's start with the bigger quilt, shall we? It's not very big at about 44 by 56, but it used up a bunch of those blue print and white squares. It may not be very large, but it is quite cuddly!

For the quilting, I just stitched straight lines on each side of the piecing lines in both directions in a pale blue thread with a walking foot. I have really grown to love that thing. It's simple quilting, but I think it really works.

The front of this quilt may be calming, but there's a party on the back! Check out those happy bees. The fabric is actually a bit brighter than it appears in the picture, and it makes a really fun contrast with the blues on the front. 

The smaller quilt is just about 36 by 36, so a table topper size. It got quilted in a cross hatch, and if you look closely you'll see that I made a measuring error with the lines. Not wanting to rip out quilting, I went ahead and repeated the mistake so that it looks intentional. I marked the lines with a Hera marker, which was pretty unsatisfying. I don't know why, but it was hard to see the lines and made me a bit frustrated. Probably operator error there, don't you think?

This little quilt also has a happy backing! It's a bright green with blue swirls and it works really well with the front.

So hurray! Two more finished pieces out of that pile, done with some pretty simple quilting that was easy to do and fairly relaxing. It feels like a victory to get every piece moved out of there and into the finished pile, that's for sure!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Good thing St. Patrick's is a Friday this year, isn't it? I'm going to try to figure out what to do with the last remaining pieces from the original quilt, dozens of blue prints hsts. Any suggestions?

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

Friday, March 10, 2023

Scraps all around

 Hi everyone! I hope you have had a good week. I am starting to see some leaf buds on our trees, and I am happy dancing like crazy over that. Soon there will be leaves! That means there will be shade over the balcony and the deck again, and at some point it might get warm enough to have breakfast outside again. Won't that be glorious?
If you have been following along, you'll know that I started the Stay at Home Round Robin, a project hosted by Quilting Gail and featuring several of my favorite bloggers. (waving wildly to Roseanne and Sue, Wendy, Anja, Emily, and Chris!) Astoundingly, I have finished the round robin quilt top! Take a look:

You know, I had my doubts, but I think I like it! The center block is a panel that I have had for a long time, and the final border is a coordinating print, which I cut lengthwise for the side borders. I had folded the receipt in with that yard of fabric, and it appears that I bought the panel and coordinating yard in 2008. Yeah, time to use them up.

In addition to the round robin challenge, I challenged myself to use up a specific set of scraps that I had saved that went pretty well with the center block. I used up a whole lot of them and only have a few squares left, which is a huge win in my book.

Because I only had small pieces left by the time I got to the end, I made the final pinwheel round as spinners instead of pinwheels made with hsts. I only had big enough pieces to make a few, but I think they work scattered in with the bird fabric. I also used up a ton of leftover 4-patches, and man am I happy to see those used up!

This quilt measures just about 60 by 70, which is perfect because I wanted a top big enough to donate. Because there is so much going on in this quilt, I'm thinking of just quilting it with straight lines across. Or do you think a serpentine stitch would look better? Or meandering? Now I'm confused. . .let me know what you think!

So yay me for finishing this, using up those scraps, and having something that I'll be able to donate, too. I feel very accomplished about this. Before I sign off for the weekend, I have to show you one more thing:

An entire herd of deer in a field near us where an old house was torn down! It was quite the majestic sight!

Hope you all have a great weekend! They're predicting rain for us, mixed with snow. I guess winter isn't done with us quite yet!

Sharing at the SAHRR linkup at Quilting Gail's blog, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Brag About Your Beauties, Finished or not Friday, and the Quilting, Patchwork, Applique linkup.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Greens with a side of pink

 Hi everyone! It's the second week of March and we're about to have a "cold spell." You know it's been a wild winter when highs in the 50s in March count as "cold." I'm super-thrilled about the noticeably longer days now, though. The sun is now setting after 6 pm! Hooray!

Over the weekend I started looking at and playing with my green scraps for the rainbow scrap challenge. I have a good supply of green scraps, but I used a bunch of the dark green ones last year, and most of the mediums and lighter greens are in small pieces. I managed to get together enough pieces of the same fabrics to make these two star blocks:

Darker greens are hard to photograph, but I think you can see them okay. These are 9-inch blocks, and I think they turned out all right. I wanted to have two darker green blocks and two lighter ones, so I also eked out this block:

Not a bad start, but I'm not sure I'm going to get another light green star out of these scraps. I'll have to wait until I make the Peace and Plenty blocks to see if I have large enough pieces left over.

Last month I was using up the last of the pinks and I squeezed out two random 6-inch pink blocks:

The one on the left did not turn out as expected! Probably not the best fabric for that block, but it does look better in person. Not sure what I'm going to do with the 6-inch blocks, but they're festive and could turn into something fun. They're a good size and easy to make.

Also hiding in that basket were a bunch of long strips of a pretty white fabric with pink flowers. I cut them all to the same width and joined them together and ended up with this:

Just about seven yards of quilt binding! I am a happy camper. Those fabric strips didn't turn into quilt blocks, but they became something useful nonetheless.

And there we have it! A good start on greens and some cleanup of the pinks. Still working on the pink pieces, but I'm sure we'll get there eventually. Meanwhile, I'm looking for a pattern or idea to use up all those little green bits. I'll leave you for today with some pink and green together:

The hellebores are blooming! Spring is on the way, cold spells notwithstanding. Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Scraps all day, flowers coming soon

 Hello everyone! So, have you noticed that it's March now? March! How did that happen? Truth be told, though, our weather is about a month ahead of that. Spring is popping out all over, and bringing with it lots of pollen. Can't even tell you how many times I've sneezed in the last few days, and my eyes are very itchy. But at least it's warm!

I have somehow accumulated quite a pile of tops of various sizes that are waiting to be quilted. I'm embarrassed about what's still at the bottom of that pile, but this week I started tackling some of the smaller pieces in that pile. Happily, I finished two this week. Hey, they're small! Here is one you might remember from last September:

A cute starburst made of scraps! The squares were a rainbow scrap challenge project, then finally got put into a quilt top, and today they have finally graduated to a finished quilt!

I quilted this with a walking foot in a pale yellow thread. and just quilted lines that meet in the center and radiate off in all directions. It was fast and fun, which is the best thing when you're quilting.  The lines aren't evenly spaced or anything, so let's call them organic. Yep, like the lettuce.

The backing for this little quilt is a piece that I bought from someone's destash sale, and the binding came from a half-yard of a snappy coral that I had on the shelf. I'm kind of disappointed in the coral binding, but it's done and it will have to do.

Taking pictures of this was a bear, but above is one last one I was able to get through the gloom. Yes, we're having more rain! But this little quilt is done and ready to donate. Quilt number two is much smaller, and somewhat less cheery, but equally scrappy:

Yes, it's one of the little quilts I made in January to clean out the blue scrap basket. Hey, it was on the top of the pile! 

You can see how puffy this is. I used a scrap of the Hobbs Poly-Down batting, which made it extra puffy. I used a dark blue thread to quilt it in a simple cross hatch and a bit of leftover dark blue binding to finish it off. I think it turned out okay, but the important thing is that it isn't in the "waiting" pile anymore.

I have a few more small quilts basted and ready to tackle, so I may start that this weekend. Otherwise, I'll just be over here, sneezing and planning the garden for this year. And look what's coming up on that front:

A hillside full of daffodils coming soon! Have a great weekend!

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