Friday, April 28, 2023

Filling the borders

[There is a small giveaway at the end of this post!]
Hello everyone, from a still-soggy Baltimore! It rained two inches today and is supposed to rain all weekend. I wouldn't mind since we planted grass seed and such, but it also got cold again. The heat is back on and the gutters are working overtime. 

All of which made getting pictures of this week's project pretty difficult. Here is the best outdoor picture I got, on the covered back porch:

Not too terribly bad for a rainy day! At least you can see the borders pretty well. If you recall, this is the purple month for the rainbow scrap challenge, and I had half a million purple 4-patches leftover from another project. (You can read that whole story HERE.) I made them up into blocks and then arranged those blocks into a fun border. Then I had to fill the border!

This was not as easy as it sounds. There were so many options! Plus, I had used a really strong green for the border, and everything else just faded away with those borders. Because I did not want to do a lot of piecing, and because I had never made them, I decided on Disappearing 9-patch. The first attempt using some fabrics from a re-discovered kit was not a success:

See what I mean? They did not look good. The green is just so strong. So I dug out every single scrap of that green that I could find, including a few small pieces from the trash, and cut every piece of purple I had that was big enough, put them together and made some blocks that looked a lot better. It was a major pain to do, but it was worth it! 

I used every piece of purple I could, and I think it turned out well. I don't think I'll make the DNP blocks again soon, but they went fast and filled in the quilt, which finished at just about 48 by 60. 

So there is that quilt top done! Hurray! It used up a lot of purple, and I only have little pieces left. I managed to scrape together enough pieces to make two 6-inch blocks:

Cuties! I didn't get to make a couple of crumb blocks, but I definitely will, because I finally figured out what I'm going to do with them. For now, though, I am pretty tired of purple and ready for some new projects. I am really happy to have used up those purple 4-patches, though! They hung out here for way too long.

And now for the giveaway! In the spirit of letting go of things that do not give me joy, and clearing out some older stuff besides, I'd like to give away what remains of the old kit that I dug out:

As you can see, there are some themed charm squares that came with the kit (minus most of the purples), along with a bunch of others that I found hiding in there as well, the two "failed' blocks, a yard and a half  of themed fabric (in 2 pieces), and the pattern that was stuck in there, too. The fabric is Natural Garden by Holly Taylor, and I'll warn you that the reason that I never made the pattern is because it requires a specialty ruler. 

If you are in the US and would like to have this package sent to you free of charge (though I won't say no to postage), all you have to do is go and fill out this Google Form right HERE. You'll see that this comes up as a quiz, but you know both answers! This is the first time I've tried this, but I can't afford one of the services and comments get bulky, so try it and we'll do the random number thing on Wednesday, May 3. If the form doesn't work, I'll delete this and do something else, but I've used Google quizzes and they do work.

Okay, enough with the purple! On to something else! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Super soggy! It was worth a try!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Setting the table

 Hello everyone! Is anyone else scratching out their eyes from all the pollen? I look like I've been crying for days. Several days this week, when I left work, my car had turned green because it was just covered in pollen dust. Then it became a very amusing game of "how do I get into the car without actually touching the car?" Spoiler alert: I lost that game.

This was a busy week, and I am behind on everything in my life, but I did manage to at least start a project that includes two small finishes this week. Take a look and then I'll explain:

You can see those cool houses, and also that I somehow never got around to taking out those azaleas last year. I really forgot about them until they started blooming this year. Oh, well!

Here's the story on the houses: have you seen the Rainbow Neighbourhood pattern by Sandra at mmmquilts? She is running a quilt along with this pattern over on her blog, and I knew as soon as I saw it that those fun houses would make great placemats. I know! I feel kind of bad that I thought that, because the two quilts she shows are adorable, but all I could think was "fun placemats."

To be fair, we eat outside a lot in the summer, and the houses make placemats in a great size for outdoors. I made two houses already, and I have an awesome purple one cut out, and I want to make an orange one, but I can't decide what will go with orange. I really need six placemats in all. The pattern has a ton of options for the houses-- different blocks for the side, different window configurations, a porch roof-- so I'm sure I'll be able to get six different fun placemats for our summer adventures.

I quilted these in pale yellow thread with straight-ish lines about an inch apart, which was probably too close. The backs are some brown/ gold fat quarters that actually make awesome backings. No clashing with the fabrics on the front! The pattern went together really easily and I was able to finish these off over a couple of afternoons. 

These finished off at just about 16 by 20, a nice generous size. And if you're thinking, "gosh, Mari, that's too big," take a look at how they are on the outdoor table:

Just the right size to keep all the food and utensils nice and clean! And away from the pollen, too. You can see that the table is glass, and things clatter a lot, too, plus I want to protect the table as much as I can.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and that the scratchy eye thing eases up soon. I might wash the car, but there's that "getting in without getting all gross" thing . . . I should just stay inside, right?

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

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Purple blocks in the rain

Hello everyone, from a very rainy and foggy Baltimore. I could barely see outside this morning. At least it's warm. We had record highs this week, which I can't say I enjoyed, but the sunshine felt great. Everything outside seems on the verge of growing out of control, too. So now it's the weekend, and of course the rain is here to help all those plants.

I had a very busy week, and I didn't get a chance to take pictures of my purple blocks until this morning, but I did finally get a decent shot of my four purple star blocks:
They're a little washed out from the rain and fog, but they still look pretty good.  I also made the Peace and Plenty blocks earlier this week:
Do you see those green things on the trees? I think they call those "leaves," and they are busting out everywhere. It's very exciting. Pretty soon I won't be able to see my neighbors any more, which I think all of us will like.
The star blocks were fun to make, even if a couple of them were a little fussy. I don't have a lot of purple scraps, but I managed to find a couple of combinations to go together pretty well. In the picture above, I've never been able to figure out if the fabric in the block on the right was purple or blue. It changed depending on what I put it with, so it's very nice all by itself in this block. 

These are 9-inch blocks, so some of the pieces in the blocks above were pretty small. I still liked making them, but small pieces take time. I also had a heck of a time with the outer parts of the block on the right. I really should have re-drafted it and made it a different way instead of trying to make those triangles work, but once I was committed I had to figure it out or find a different fabric. That sounded wasteful, and too much work, so I soldiered through it. It turned out okay.

It's a terrible picture, but the last purple thing I have to show is where I am with those danged purple 4-patches. I decided to turn them into a quilt border to use as many as possible, and I think it's going to work. I only have eight left over. Hurray! Now I just have to decide how to fill the center!

Everybody have a wonderful weekend, even if it's a bit soggy!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Heading north for spring

 Hello everyone! I hope you have had a really good week. I got so many things done! Sadly, much of it involved cleaning, and also writing assignments, but I did some other things, too. Also, I realized just as I scheduled this to post that today (Friday, April 7) is the ninth anniversary of this blog. Who knew it would last this long? And what a happy accident that I'm posting today. (It really is an accident. I'm not that organized.) I'm thrilled to still be here and see all of you so often. Thanks for sticking around!
I did do some sewing this week, and I finished up a really cute baby-sized quilt that just screams spring. Take a look and see if you don't agree: 

Isn't that so fresh and happy that it makes you happy, too? I love the green. It's my favorite Kona color with an unfortunate name-- Cabbage. It doesn't remind me of vegetables at all, but if you look closely at the background where the leaves are popping out, it almost matches that new growth.

This happy little quilt was designed by Sandra of mmm quilts, and I adapted it to fit the pieces I wanted to use. This is adapted from the second quilt in her Heading North pattern, which you can get right HERE. When I say "adapted," I mean that Sandra designed a lovely baby quilt that used different fabrics where I used the strings. I had so many string half triangles that I had to use up that I thought they would work in this pattern. And I think they did!

Sadly, I didn't get other pictures of this little quilt because it started to rain and blow all over. We're expecting huge storms today and I can certainly attest to the thunder. I plan to quilt this one up just as soon as I finish the larger Heading North quilt that I'm also working on. It's really easy, but I'm just procrastinating. 

While I was searching for the Cabbage yardage, I came across another project that uses the same color:

Yikes! I see that one of the 4-patches in the bottom block is making a break for it!

This is a Sunny Lanes top that I started but never finished (is that me or what?) I have way too many of those 4-patches stitched up, and it looks like I stalled out because I have to make more hsts. I think I'll make enough to add to the 4-patches I already have and call the project done. It won't make a big quilt, but if I add some borders it will still be usable.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! Sunday is Easter, so a happy holiday to those of you who celebrate. We will be playing Easter bunny for our granddaughter and then I have to make a ham dinner. Except for the cooking part, it should be fun!

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

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Four times the purple

 Hi all, and happy spring! It was 75 degrees and glorious here today. It's also Spring Break-- finally!-- and I finally had time to go to just about every store around in search of some Nasacort for my allergies, which are popping like crazy. I finally found some and can breathe almost normally now, thank goodness. Spring is beautiful but can really mess up the sinuses.

I have a large list of things to do this week, but I've already started playing with the purple scraps for the rainbow scrap challenge. I have been waiting for this color just to force me to do something with some long-term scraps, but first, a prettier picture:

So now the story! You may recall that I started a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt in 2017 when she was running it on her blog. (The quilt was En Provence, and you can get the pattern HERE.) The quilt is beautiful, but it has approximately 11 billion pieces, and I gave up and never finished it. I kept all the pieces, though, and in 2021, I finally finished off a smaller version of the quilt, right HERE. But I still had millions of pieces left over, including these:

These are the last of the pieces, and I have 72 of them. Yes, 72! If you're interested, I used up many of the other pieces in THIS quilt top, and in one of the borders for THIS one. It's the failed quilt project that keeps on giving!

I decided to go ahead and make these into double 4-patches, which I think works nicely. They're easy, and don't they look good with those bright green scraps? Now I need to decide on an alternate block or something to set these with. I have these fabrics that will coordinate:

Right now I'm leaning towards Ohio stars with the lightest and darkest fabrics, but I may decide I don't want to do that much work and just go with quarter square triangles. I'd love to hear other ideas!

That's what I'm playing with right now, plus I also have the happy task of figuring out to make with these:

Aren't those lovely? I wouldn't have put those colors together, but they look great. This is the prize I got from the SAHRR, run by Quilting Gail and friends. I'm so excited to win them! Thanks guys!

Hope you are having a good week and not sneezing too much. If I can use up these purple 4-patches, I'll be finally, finally done with all the pieces from that nightmare quilt. Dance party at my house when that happens!

Sharing at Midweek Makers and soscrappy for RSC23.