Friday, July 28, 2023

A new building project

 Hello all! Hot enough for you? Ha, ha, ha, I crack myself up. I know we're all sweltering. I think my plants are taking the worst of it. This may cook all my tomatoes, and I think the peppers may be done. The petunias, however, are loving it. 

So this week, sitting in my basement sewing room, I decided to get a start on making a pretty quilt for myself. Like all quilts, this has a backstory, but first, look at some pretty blocks:

Scrappy log cabins! Don't they look fresh and clean? I love log cabin quilts but I seldom make them because I get distracted by all the other fun stuff, plus most people I give quilts to want something more modern. Log cabins just scream 'old fashioned.' Plus they can be quite labor intensive to construct, but you know what? I don't care, because I am making this quilt for me. About time, right?

The fabric I'm using here is all Fig Tree fabric, which I love. It happens that I accidentally signed up for a block of the month from Fig Tree, and this is some of that fabric. I thought I was buying a quilt kit, but I may not have been paying attention when I ordered. Probably trying to do four things at once. To be fair, there was a *lot* of fabric every month, and there were also several patterns beyond the primary pattern included. I didn't make the primary quilt, but I may make one or two of the secondary patterns at some point.

One thing I love about log cabins is that there are a ton of different ways to arrange the blocks, almost as many as there are with half square triangles. I'm not sure how I'm going to lay it out yet, but it's fun playing with the blocks.
These are 8-inch blocks and I cut them all with an Accuquilt die that I bought from a friend a while ago and have been looking to use ever since. It made things almost painless, but I still got confused about how to construct the block. It looks simple but it can get confusing! I had to watch a video to wrap my mind around it. Right now I have about 20 blocks, and I'm just going to keep making more blocks until I run out of the fabrics I chose. There's more fabric, but it's different from these and I like these colors together. I'm hoping to end up with at least 48 blocks, and I think I'll make it.
Yikes! Ignore the tiny threads!
All of that will have to wait, though, because we are off for the next ten days or so, heading for the lakes and some cooler weather and old friends. Gosh, do I ever need this! It has been a rougher summer than I ever expected, but here's to some relaxation before everything gears back up again. 

Take care, everyone, and I'll see you when we get back! Let the relaxing commence!

Sharing at Finished or not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting Patchwork Applique.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Positively green

 Hello all! Bet you thought I forgot about the blog, didn't you? I didn't, but I did have quite the week. I am getting a little tired of the rain, but we had a good bit of it this week, and it was very hot, and I still had to go out and have some more fun medical tests. I think I passed, because I don't have to go back until the end of September, but who can really tell at this point? Also, I am walking out on the next doctor who says, "you know, you're getting older. . ." as though that's an excuse to ignore how I feel.

Yikes! Did not mean to rant! Today is a day for positivity, after all, because I have finished the green quilt top for the Positivity quilt along offered by our friends Preeti and Bernie! Take a look:

Yes, that is very green! And, as you can tell, I did not follow the pattern offered by Preeti exactly. I made one row with just the leaves, but it looked so bland that I had to add some zing. As you can see, I added pots for the leaves to grow out of. I think they added just enough zing and some nice depth, too.

The leaves of these plants were made from neutral scraps, which paired well with the green background. All those neutrals were hard to photograph in the outside light, but I promise that there is a nice variety. And do you like my "tree farm" on the balcony? They'll have to get planted in the ground soon, because those pots are not going to hold them for much longer.

The quilt was easy to make, and mine turned out a little smaller than Preeti's, at about 55 by 68. I think this size will still work for a Mercy quilt, and I do think someone will really like this one. The green is one of the tonals from Connecting Threads, and I got it a while ago for a backing. It turned out to be much too bright for the quilt I bought it for, but it worked well as a background here. I have a backing for this and I plan to quilt it in a nice crosshatch. What can I say? It always works and always looks good.

Oooh! Accidentally artsy!

So there is one quilt top finished! The second one is still in progress, but I had to put it aside for a while while I finished off the wedding quilt top that I've been working on. That quilt will be a bit late, but it's the thought that counts, right?

Hope you all are having a great weekend, and if you want to, you can still jump in on the quilt along. Just hop over to Preeti's blog and check out all the details!

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

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Firecracker reds

 Hello all! I am waving wildly, even if you can't see me. Welcome to mid-July! Yep, summer is going away super fast. A month from today we'll be ramping up for the fall semester. Yikes! I think I just had a moment of panic. Here's hoping it passes quickly, because I just don't have time for that right now.

What better color for a hot and wet July than red? As you may know, red is not my favorite color, and I haven't historically had a lot of red. But I do have some, and some of them are quite nice! Take a look at my four 9-inch blocks:

Okay, that is not the best picture. It's not entirely my fault-- the grass was too wet to lay the blocks out there. The stone patio was actually not wet, even though it looks it. Still, those reds really stand out, don't they?

Thankfully, I got some better pictures separately:

See? Cute reds. The red on the right is very old and I'm glad to see the last of it. And in my Judy Hopkins block book the block on the left is called Foxy Grandpa. Who could resist? 

And a closeup of the other two as well:

These red blocks were really easy and went together fast. I love the one on the right, with the red print. Such a great block. Jusy Hopkins calls it Christmas Star, but its historical name is Best of All.

Astonishingly, that's not the end of the reds! I also made two red 6-inch blocks for a separate project:

Or maybe I'll combine the two sizes of blocks! Not really sure at this point, just making blocks to make myself  happy. You know, it's the little things. (I swear that block on the left is made properly! It's just hanging weirdly on the flower pot.)

Finally for today, I never showed the green and light blue little blocks:

Last month I was very confused about the color, so I went with both pastel blue and lime green. If lime comes around again I'll sub in black or brown or something. Variety is good, right?

So that was a lot of blocks, but that's what I could manage after wrestling (literally) with some very active grandchildren. Where do they get all that energy? As my hubby always says, youth is wasted on the young. They eat like birds, too, so I really don't know where it comes from.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm working on my Positivity quilts while it rains. I think there's also laundry to do, but that can always wait, right? 

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Puzzle on the front, party on the back

 Hi all! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. Ours was good, but every time we tried to go outside for a while it rained. And so we went inside, and the sun came out. And of course that meant we went back out, and that meant a short but loud thunderstorm. It was a wild weather weekend, and very warm. But it's July, so you have to expect that, really.

Have you ever had a quilt that you wanted to name "This Took Forever?" That is the quilt I'm showing today, though it does include a fun surprise. Have a look:

Almost all green, finished, quilted, and bound! Hurray! I started calling this the puzzle quilt, which is way better than what I had called it before ("stupid green thing" just doesn't have a good ring to it) and I'm so happy it's all done, even if it took a whole year. Things have to marinate, you know? 

Is the surprise that I finished it almost exactly a year after it was pieced? Nope, it's this:

Definitely a party on the back! I couldn't resist these fun sunflowers. They're a nice contrast to all the dark greens, plus they give it a nice shot of color. And you can use it as a mood indicator, too-- sunflowers up means "let's chat," while green side up means "leave me alone." It's a multi-talented quilt!

If you recall, I made this quilt from a picture in a quilting magazine I saw in the library, using every bit of dark green I could come up with, plus a few blues and blacks thrown in for variation. It just about cleaned out that scrap bin, which is all I can ask for from a scrap quilt. 
What about "this took forever?" Well, I decided not to take it to the quilt shop and use a panto on the rented longarm and instead used a walking foot to follow all the zigzags in the quilt. It took forever, and was seriously boring, but it worked! The border is a set of straight lines, which also was boring but it got the job done.

I used a dark olive thread on the green parts, which blended with almost everything, and white on the text print parts, and then bound it in yet another dark green. The backing thread is a muslin color-- I think Aurifil actually calls it 'muslin'-- and it blended okay. I wish I'd used one shade darker, but what's done is done. I'm happy enough with it.

So there we are-- another finished quilt! I think I may send this to Quilty Hugs. Can't you see someone being cheered by this? And the 'mood' part could come in handy, too. Here's one last picture, with the tree that is about to come down. It's old and hollow, and it might fall any time, so time for it to go:

Hope everyone has a great weekend. We are seeing the grandchildren this weekend! Hurray! Gee, you have one little life-threatening incident and suddenly everyone wants to show up. . .but I'll definitely take it!

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

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Hot and smoky

 Hi everyone, from my safe perch inside and away from the smoky air outside. Yes, it has rolled in again, though not as bad as last time around. While I like barbeque that is hot and smoky, I can't say I care for it in the air. Canadian friends who are feeling the brunt of the wildfires, I really feel your pain! I hope those fires are under control soon.
So here we are at the first of July, and I already have some red blocks to show off. Warning, I took all of these pictures just as it started to rain, so the colors are a bit off. The haze and smoke did not help, either, though these pretty blocks shine right through:
Yes, the red Peace and Plenty blocks. And look at those great red fabrics! I have no idea where those prints came from. I'm guessing they were something I got in a fat quarter sale somewhere, but they look great in these blocks. I don't have much red, but these are making me happy!

I also finished off June by making these fun lime green blocks:

And then, just because the blue basket was right there, I also made three light blue blocks:

You can see that I ran out of time and it had definitely started to rain by the time I got the blue blocks out. Those are raindrops on the blocks, not dirt! Plus, light blue is always hard to photograph, but I think you can see them okay against the grass.

Because it's the start of July and we're now more than halfway through the year, I also pulled out all the Peace and Plenty blocks and laid them out:

Somehow I have ended up with 24 blocks, but this is going to be a spectacular quilt. I only count yellow and aqua after this in terms of colors, but I must be missing one. Any thoughts?

And there we are! A good finish to June and a nice start to July. You can get the pattern and cutting directions for these blocks right HERE, if you're inclined to make a few. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend with breathable air, and a very nice holiday on the 4th. And happy Canada Day to our neighbors to the north, too!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23