Saturday, October 28, 2023

Gold star

Hey there everyone, and happy weekend! It's been a very busy and very weird week. It was in the 80s this week, which was very weird, and very sweaty. Get those students in a room with no AC and it gets funky fast. They also have started a bunch of road projects, which I do not appreciate in October, and on top of everything, I got a flat and it couldn't be patched. I had to buy two new tires! Apparently, you can never buy just one. Don't we think that we should have solved this problem by now?

Anyway. . .I finished up one of the last of the star blocks for the RSC star quilt. One block! Here she is:

A gold and yellow star! No RSC star quilt would be complete without one of Angela's Twinkle Stars, would it? This gold and yellow star turned out nicely, though the contrast is a little strong. If I'd had enough of the lighter yellow I would have switched the colors, but I'm trying to use up scrap pieces. But who doesn't need a gold star?

So now I have 31 blocks. I must have skipped a couple along the way, because I should have 35. Maybe there weren't enough scraps for some colors?
Let's hear it for a design floor! I have two more (lighter) aqua blocks cut out but not stitched, and I could make another yellow, which would still leave me needing one more block. What color do you think that should be?

I may not have made much progress this week, but it feels good to make some progress. At least I know where I am. And speaking of making progress. . .

A while ago, when I couldn't sew but I wanted to touch fabric, I put all my books and notions into the closet and pulled all the fabric out where I could see it. When Preeti came over last week she couldn't take the fact that it was all jumbled up together, so she sorted it all out by color. Didn't she do great? It feels pretty wonderful and comforting, and why did I have the fabric where I couldn't see it anyway? Thanks Preeti!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. We are awaiting a big weather change and a big event for our family coming this week. It's a pretty lousy event, but it does mean that some things will be settled and we can all move on, at least for a while. So I hope you all get some serious relaxing done this weekend!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Beauty for a small person

 Good day everyone! How are you today? I'm hanging in there. It's getting to be that time of year when it's dark when I get up and getting dark when I get home. This is no fun, especially because, somehow, the darkness makes people forget how to drive. Get it together, people! We can still see you trying to go 100 miles an hour through the traffic, even if it's dark outside.

Ah, well. Today I have something much brighter and happier to show off-- a finished baby quilt! Here she is:

Look at all that happy brightness. I almost took this little quilt apart because I wanted a print for the alternate blocks, then I remembered that I had looked for a print and didn't have an acceptable one. Good thing I remembered before I started in with the seam ripper. 

I made this little quilt top back in May, mostly to get those very cute churn dash blocks into a quilt top, and then hung it and the backing in the closet to age a bit. You know how that goes, right? Quilt tops have to age before they ripen enough to be quilted up. A friend needs a baby quilt for a girl, so I pulled this out and quilted it up to give to her. A win all around, I think. And Lord knows we need some wins around here right now.

I quilted this in a simple cross hatch, but used the serpentine stitch to make a wavy cross hatch. It looks great! Sometimes the simplest things are the best. The wavy cross hatch is also in Jacquie Gering's Walk book, along with some other cross hatch ideas.

The backing here is a fun dot that looks pink overall but is really a bunch of different colors. I originally had pink for a binding, but the aqua with the dots looks much better and goes with the fun owls on the front and the dots on the back. Overall, I am so happy with the way this turned out, and happy to pass it on to my friend to give to a 7 month old baby girl. 

With that, it's off to the weekend! Even though we're in this cycle where it's kind of nice all week and rains all weekend, I'm still happy to have a couple of days to rest a little. Hope you all get some rest, too, and maybe find something nice and bright to lighten up the darkness. Happy weekend!

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

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

A small splash of sunshine

 Hello all! How is your day going? I'm just working through some stuff, trying to get some grades done and maybe find a few minutes to throw in some laundry. Long ago I read a column or something about the "eternal three--" kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry. No matter how much you work on them, they always need more work. That author was not wrong.

Thankfully, I also found a few minutes to make two lovely yellow blocks for the rainbow scrap challenge. I have a bunch of yellow, mostly in smaller pieces, but it worked out this time. Here are the blocks:

I definitely like them! I love yellow, but it can be such a difficult color to work with, especially when you are trying to showcase it. It's hard to get gradations, and a lot of yellow fabrics slip into orange or have a tint of green or something. I think I chose wisely enough for these blocks.

This block is called Golden Samovar (what a name!) and it came from one of my Judy Hopkins quilt books. I have the BlockBase software, but I find that books give more realistic cutting directions and sizes and you generally end up with a better block. The software can be helpful, but no one has updated it for how we sew today and often the cutting directions are not suited to piecing with modern methods. I think no one has updated them since hand piecing days, really.

This block is called Double Aster and just looking at it makes me happy. All that sunny yellow goodness just shining out! It's also a good illustration of what I mean about the difference between the block books and the software. See those light yellow hsts? You'd piece them from squares in some way, right? The book tells you what size squares to cut to get the hsts you need. The software has you cutting a square in half twice to get four halves of an hst. Also, if you look at the medium triangles that are pieced to a yellow triangle and then pieced to the larger dark yellow triangles, all of those triangles should obviously come from squares cut in half twice to make four pieces, right? The software has directions for cutting single triangles with various degrees of angle. Better to just look it up in the book!

I could go on about this all day, but I won't! Time to throw some laundry in and get some more grading going. Those essays won't read themselves! Enjoy these happy yellows, and I hope to see you again later this week. Maybe I'll have some clean shirts by then, too!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23

Friday, October 13, 2023

Sandy aqua heart

 Hello all, and welcome to another fine fall weekend. As I write that, though, I'm watching the clouds gather, and I'm pretty sure that means we're going to have some fine fall rain. Pretty sure that will whip even more leaves off the trees, too. Can freezing winds and the dreaded s-word be far behind? I'd like a little more fall color first, please!

This week I worked really hard to get a quilt all finished, but I'm only done with the top. The top is adorable, though! Take a look:

This heart is kind of 'freehand,' in that I just made it by arranging pieces on the design wall, with no pattern. It's pretty easy to make a heart, though I might have messed up there in the middle, but I am going to find a way to be okay with it. It was kind of fun, and pretty distracting, making sure that there was no place where the same fabric touched. I didn't quite manage that, but again-- let's find a way to be okay with it!

It will not surprise you that the aqua to turquoise pieces were cut for a different quilt that I never made. For the rainbow scrap challenge this year, one of my goals was to make something small with the scraps and quilt it up, so this is my "use-it-up" for the aqua month. I am so, so happy to use those pieces, and I think I have just enough for a scrappy binding, too. The background looks white but is really a sandy batik with splashes of yellow and a pale pink. This is just about 44 by 50, a perfect size.

There's another reason that I'm so, so happy about this quilt-- my niece is having her first baby, and she asked for "aqua and gray and Harry Potter." Well, I have the aqua covered, that's for sure! And I also have a gray backing for this quilt, but I'm looking for a way to sneak a little Harry Potter in there. We'll see what fun stuff I can think up that goes with the quilt at least a little bit. I'll probably just have to quilt some Harry Potter symbols into it.

I feel like that's a win, even if it isn't completely finished yet! If it rains this weekend I'll be able to at least baste it, otherwise it will wait a little bit. The baby isn't coming until January, so for once I'm a little ahead of the game. 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I went out and took these pictures while I'm waiting for the windshield replacement guy to show up. Something from the road hit the windshield right at my eye level as I was on the way home this week, and it cracked all the way across. It was a little scary! Everybody be careful out there, because those big pieces of glass are really pricey!

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 soscrappy for RSC23.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Catching some falling stars

 Hi all! Long time no see! How have you been? We are only talking about good things today, so no need to go into how I am. But hey, here's a happy thing-- the part for my sewing machine made it here from somewhere in the outer galaxy and my machine is now back home, stitching away happily. If only it could stitch away without me there, I would get so much more done! 

Today I'm trying to catch up on my RSC blocks. I'm not behind, I'm just going at my own pace! Thinking about it that way makes me feel so much better, especially since I haven't put together one of last year's projects yet, either. This week I managed to make two turquoise blocks:

Are those not very cute? Yes, I will lose a few points when I put everything together, but I just can't care. I think they'll look great anyway. And, of course, the leaves are falling in earnest now.

This is a block called Odd Fellow's Chain, and I made a whole RSC quilt from this block once. Yes, it has a lot of pieces, but sometimes I find that very relaxing. A lot to keep track of, no time to think about bad stuff. And I love how it looks in the aqua!

Ignore the water spots! It decided to rain this morning, but took just enough break for some pictures. The second block is called Broken Star, and I also made it before. This time was a smaller size, which made for some really interesting cutting sizes. I must have messed up somewhere because I'm going to lose a few points, but I still like it.

I have 34 blocks for this project now, and I haven't made any yellow ones yet, so once I make a few of those I'll be closing in on the final number of blocks for this year. I thought I would set these with an alternate block, but I think that would make the quilt too big. So I guess some playing around is in order.

That's it for today! I feel lucky to have gotten this far, and I think I may have some more time in the coming weeks. This stuff we're dealing with is heavy, folks, and it's not coming to an end soon. I need to build in more happy spaces for myself, that's for sure.

The last tomato! Time to pull out those plants and get everything cleaned up. Hope everyone has a great weekend! I'm off to search through some happy yellows.

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC23.