Wednesday, May 22, 2024

On hiatus

Hello quilty friends! I was really hoping not to have to write this post, but here we are. Things have taken a turn, as they say, and I need to put the blog on hold for a bit. If you're a blogger, you know that it takes a bunch of time and energy (and sewing!) but I just don't have that right now. It's time to admit that I can't photograph and write and plan and also look after what I need to look after at the moment. So, I need to take a break.

Not quilty, but enjoy this calming mountain view!

Not to worry! I love blogging and connecting with all of you, so I will be back. I can't tell you when that will be, though. Probably a couple of months. I am turning off comments to keep the spammers and such away, but you can email me at academicquilter at gmail dot com if you feel like it. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful summer (or winter, depending on where you are) with lots of fun quilty projects.  See you soon!


Friday, May 10, 2024

Lit up from within

 Hello everyone! How's it going? I am very slowly getting better and I'm sure that the end of the semester will help a lot. Also helps that the trees have finally fully leafed out and there is shade and green everywhere. Also a ton of rain, but that's another story.

I have a finish to show today! What? Yeah, I sent this one out to Alycia and she did a great job with it, then I've spent the last three weeks putting the binding on. Baby steps. But it turned out so great! Take a look:

It glows, does it not? One of my neighbors stopped when I had it hanging up to take pictures and told me how much he liked it. That never happens! Note to self: finally get around to building that arbor in the back yard. . .

If you recall (and who can blame you if you don't?) I made this last year and it's just 3 inch finished squares arranged in various gradients. I actually started with a split 9-patch design, then added some more squares to one side and started twisting and turning things. I thought it would be a mess, but it absolutely isn't.

After all that fun on the front, I chose a pretty plain print from Connecting Threads (I think) for the back. It's not quite as humdrum as it looks, and when the quilt is tossed on a chair it actually looks quite nice. The binding is a blue and black floral that's been hanging around here far too long. It works for this quilt. I did a hand binding so that I could stitch a few inches at a time when I felt like it. I forgot how great a hand binding looks. I might have to find myself some more hand sewing. You know, to fill all that extra time I have.

Alycia quilted this with a check and chase style panto and I love how it turned out. So much texture! I was worried about the white thread on the dark blue, but it really doesn't look bad. I'm usually okay with a little light thread on dark, but I really dislike dark thread on light fabrics. Is that a weird thing? How about you?

So there we are, another fun finished quilt! I'm fairly impressed with myself because I've been absolutely exhausted and I still managed to bind this thing. I am feeling better a little at a time but it's still hard to get through a whole day. Mostly I've come home and collapsed every day. But at least I know now that I will get through it, however long it takes.

Ah, well! Have a lovely weekend, enjoy the spring flowers, and a Happy Mother's Day to all US moms, grandmas, and mom-like people. I hope you get unburned pancakes with your breakfast in bed!

Sharing at Finished or Not Friday and Quilting, Patchwork, Applique, too.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Some yellow, some purple

 Hello all! How have you been? I don't know how it is where you are, but wow the pollen has been amazingly bad this year. Everyone I know has itchy, watery eyes. And the cars turn green. And the sneezing, and. . . yeah, you get it. It is zero fun on top of everything else.

I have made a little tiny bit of progress on my RSC projects. Hurray! It's been hard but rewarding to work on the stitchy stuff, even if it's a little bit at a time. I'm pretty sure I'll end up with a couple of nice quilts at the end, no matter how slow it is.  Since it's the yellow month for the RSC, first up are my yellow blocks:


Oh, very cheerful! And will you look at those happy trees in the background? Even if they're shedding a bunch of pollen, it's like seeing old friends.

If you recall, I'm making Preeti's Granny Long Legs one color at a time. It's a really easy pattern, and would be even easier if I strip pieced it and made it like she wrote the pattern. Oh, well! Here are the purple blocks:

Purple and green always look so good together, don't you think? The whole quilt would look great in purple with a green background. An idea for later!

And of course, the blocks so far all together:

Yep, it's going to be a cute quilt! I skipped the red, but only because I didn't have the energy to sort through the red bin. I'll do those next and then whatever color comes after. I think it will really come alive with a few more colors. 

That's it for me for now. We are heading into final exams and my energy level is at an all-time low, except for maybe when I had newborns. I know I haven't answered the lovely comments you all have left, and I feel bad about that, but I just have no bandwidth right now. Please forgive me, and know that I appreciate every one. 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and try to stay away from that pollen!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC24.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Full aqua hearts

 Hi everyone! How are you doing? I am getting a little better, but I still don't want to talk about it. I do appreciate the kind messages and comments, though, so thanks! I am really cheered by them, and by all the spring that is happening. We already had to cut the grass, after first getting all the sticks picked up. Danged trees! I do have some very happy news, though-- my sweet niece has had her baby! She had a cute little girl with a very old-fashioned name. I know she's very tiny, but I swear she looks just like her mama!

If you recall, my niece requested a baby quilt in 'aqua and gray and Harry Potter.' She got a lovely aqua heart full of love. Take a look:

It turned out almost exactly like it looked in my head. I feel like there is something 'off' about the heart, but I didn't have a pattern and I fussed with it enough. My niece loves it, and that's all that matters. As you can tell from all the wrinkles, I washed the quilt before I photographed it, because I was so excited that I forgot to take pictures first. Oh, well! I did iron it, but it didn't much help.

I couldn't bring myself to put gray on the back of a quilt for a baby, so instead I used these fun owls. If you know anything about Harry Potter, you'll know that owls are pretty important to the story, so I feel like they fit. And the quilt looks great on both sides, too.

But what about Harry Potter? Well, if you look very closely, you will find several things in the quilting, including:

A magic wand!

A Golden Snitch! (Which looks like baby Yoda, but oh well!)

And the part that made my poor niece cry. . .

"You are so loved."

There are several other things hidden in the quilting, but you get the idea. They aren't perfectly quilted, but they're meaningful to my niece and her husband, and that's what counts. All in all, it's a little unconventional, but the baby looks adorable on it, and she should be able to use it for quite a while, as it finished at just about 40 by 50. Can you get any better?

Hope you are having a good week! I'm getting better slowly, so I hope to see you again really soon. Take care!

Sharing at all the usual places. See sidebar for details!

Attention Baltimore quilters!

I was contacted by a lovely woman named Cindy who is the founder of Ryan's Case For Smiles, which makes and donates pillowcases for kids hospitalized for cancer. Sadly, the coordinator of the Baltimore chapter is retiring and they are looking for a new person to head this very active chapter. If you are interested, please contact dana (at) caseforsmiles (dot) org.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Spring is busting out

 Hi all! How are you doing today? Obviously something very big is up with me right now, as I haven't touched any fabric in weeks. Not taken one stitch. I don't want to talk about it right now, but I did want to pop in and say hello. So, hi! (waving wildly) Hope everything is going great with you!

Spring is busting out all over right now, and in addition to the pollen it has brought us some really pretty scenes. One of these is on the walk I take every day, and I just want to share it:

Forsythia, magnolia, dogwood! Don't they make a pretty picture? And do I need to mention that those would be some great quilt colors? The flowers and color are definitely raising my spirits. 

One other thing that's quite happy-- the daffodils on our hill are blooming, too:

Is there anything prettier than yellow flowers? Maybe pink, but there are no pink daffodils!

Hope everyone is enjoying spring, or whatever season you are entering. I am looking forward to warmer days, more sunshine, and longer days.

Take care, all! See you when I can.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Just a little late

Hi all! How are you doing? I have been very busy, and very tired. It's possible I'm overworked. This makes me no different from anyone else, but I am certainly feeling it right now. Also, I went to two-- two!-- big gatherings where I interacted with many people, and my introversion kicked in big time afterward. You know how you just want to curl up sometimes by yourself and read a nice book? Just me? Well, okay, then. . .
There has been sewing but not posting! Part of that tiredness thing, you know? I did finally finish my Stay at Home Round Robin quilt top, and I could not be happier with it. Here he is:

Yes, this quilt is a he, but isn't he handsome?  And, as usual, he turned out to be very different from what I expected. But I'm still very happy with how it turned out!
The Stay at Home Round Robin is a project run by Quilting Gail and friends, and you should definitely go look at the finished quilts at the linkup! Everyone gets the same prompts but they all turn out so different. I skipped the last prompt for this project, which was 'letters and numbers,' and opted for the border instead. It worked for me!

I messed up on the almost-last round with the pinwheels. The prompt was 'four,' and pinwheels have four parts, so that worked. What didn't work is that the Accuquilt die that I used was mismarked. The half-square triangles were supposed to be 1-1/2 inch finished, which would have made 3-inch finished pinwheels. Nope, they were 1-inch finished. Adjust, adjust! A little cutting and it worked out okay. Hey, maybe I can pretend those dots are really Os and then I will have gotten the last prompt, too!

This little quilt finished at just about 50 by 54 and will eventually be quilted and donated. It's just the right size for a kid quilt and I think the ships will be captivating for some young person. And do you see what else is that picture? Daffodils are coming!

I said that I went to two people-intensive gatherings, and one of them was Quiltcon. What a show! I went with Preeti and met some lovely people (Hi Emily! Hi Michelle!) and saw a mess of really great quilts that are far beyond my abilities. I have just two pictures from Quiltcon to show, and they're not of quilts! 

This was a double rainbow from our window at the hotel. I feel lucky to have seen it, and even luckier to get a photo!

And finally, a lovely camelia. Spring is on the way! 

A great big thanks to Gail and Wendy and everyone involved with the SAHRR. It was fun and a really nice quilt came out of it. And everyone have a great weekend! I'm off to finish grading some midterms, and then it's pizza for dinner. I love it when that happens!
Sharing at Finished or Not Friday, Brag About Your Beauties, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Quilting, Patchwork, Applique, and the final SAHRR linkup at Quilting Gail.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Another round for the house

 Hello everyone! Happy Wednesday! Halfway through the week, so everything after this is heading for the weekend. It is very loud here at my house right now. They are finally fixing the floor after our roof leak and there is a lot of pounding. There are four guys here and they all have hammers or nail guns. I know it will be worth it, but I really need somewhere to hide.

I have put another round on my stay at home round robin! This is a project by Quilting Gail and friends, and I think this is its third year. It's my third year, anyway. Here is the current status of my project:

Okay, it's looking better than I thought it would! I usually have no confidence in how things will turn out when I start them, other than 'that might be pretty.' This week's prompt was 'square in a square blocks,' and you can see mine right there in the corners. I started with the ships in the center and I'm pretty happy so far with how the rounds are turning out. And I'm really happy that those ships are getting used in something! I had so many ideas for them, but none actually came to pass, so I'm happy they are being used here.

Last week's prompt was triangles, but I really thought I had enough triangles in this little quilt already. Instead I added the golden yellow spacers to the top and bottom and decided to use the star fabric for whatever the next round was. The stars were left over from another backing, so so far everything here is a leftover or scrap. The blue square in a square blocks made great cornerstones and they also go nicely with that pretty yellow. 

At this point, my little quilt measures 42 inches square. Wait, what? How did that happen? I don't know, but here we are. There are two more rounds to go, so I think I will end up with a very nice toddler quilt, perfect for donation. 

Whatever the next prompt is, I'm ready! Hope your week is going well, and I hope the hammering is done soon. Then I will have a floor again!

Sharing at Songbird Designs for the SAHRR.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Still brown, but bright

 Hello all! How was your week? We had a decent week here. The weather has been more like spring than winter, though you can see from the pictures that we still have that winter landscape. I am really starting to long for spring, even though we have not had a very harsh winter. We're starting to get longer days, though, and the extra light is making me happy. I am looking forward to some serious sunshine not so long from now.

And in this still-brown winter landscape I have a very green quilt to show off! It's a bright spot, that's for sure. Take a look:

Is that not bright and happy? And scrappy as all get out, too.

I made this quilt last year during the purple month for the rainbow scrap challenge at Angela's blog. Just about every bit of it, including the backing, is a leftover or a scrap. I started out with the plan to use up all those leftover purple 4-patches. Long ago, I started to make Bonnie Hunter's En Provence pattern and instead ended up finishing it (much later) as THIS quilt. But it's the quilt project that keeps on giving, because this is the fourth quilt that has used up the pieces that I made for that quilt. Gosh I hope all those pieces are gone now!

If you notice, the green in the current quilt is the leftovers from the backing of the main quilt. I had to stitch some bits together to get it all to work, but it did work! I love this green and I think it works so well with those purple 4 patches. The backing is the final pieces of backings left over from other projects. I did cut the binding from a half yard I had, mainly because I was feeling too lazy to piece one together from scraps. Ah, well.

This was quilted in a nice swoopy design by Alycia, who did a great job, as always. It just ties all those weird bits together in a really nice way. Her blog is really interesting, too.

See that blue tarp on my neighbor's roof? A tree fell on it and there is a ton of damage, as you can tell from the size of the tarp.

So that's my bright spot in a brown, dreary February! I love how this turned out and am happy to have used up those purple 4-patches at long last. Now I can stop feeling guilty about them! That's as good a reason as I've ever heard for making a quilt.

Hope everyone has a lovely, relaxing weekend. I hope I do, too! I'll be packing up stuff and moving furniture so that we can finally have the floors repaired after the roof leak in December. I can't wait!

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

Friday, February 2, 2024

Two rounds

 Hello all! How have you been? I'm doing okay. Classes are well underway and I'm already giving quizzes. Yeah, I'm that kind of professor. And hey-- apparently I'm in Blogger jail! I can't comment on any Blogger blogs. I just tried and it first refuses to 'sign me in' (even though I'm already signed in) and then when I try the other ways it tells me either that my comment failed or that I'm insecure. Okay, maybe the comment is insecure. It's unclear. So I'm sorry that I haven't commented on your lovely creations! Anyone know how to get out of this, or is it just a 'wait it out' kind of thing?

Anyway, all I've had time to work on for the last few days is the Stay at Home Round Robin from Quilting Gail and friends. Here's where I am after two rounds:

The first round, from Wendy, was the signature blocks, I made three sides in red and the bottom in blue. Do those blue ones not look like choppy seas? I added the green borders just to bring everything up to a 'normal' size. It was 36-1/2 by 26-1/2 after that first round.

Wondering about that odd red thing in the center of the upper red row? I couldn't make the math work for the red signature blocks to fit properly, so I made a piece a little bigger than the other blocks to fit in the middle and space everything out so it looked decent. I didn't really figure on the nice way it fits with the signature blocks, but it works!

The prompt for the second round was 'two colors' and I thought this was a great opportunity to use some leftover quarter square triangle blocks. The blues aren't as light as they look in the picture, and we can just pretend they're fog rolling in to the harbor or something. These blocks are 4 inches finished and I am so thrilled to use them up. 

So that's where this project stands! I'm hoping to stitch some things this weekend, and maybe send off another quilt top for quilting. Or maybe I'll just put my feet up and read a book until I figure out how to get to make comments again. Have a great weekend everyone!

Sharing at the SAHRR linkup and Finished or Not Friday.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Snowy but still green

 Hey all! So here we are in this wintry less than wonderland, where we have been for several days now. I have to say I'm a little tired of it. Everything was closed yesterday because of the weather, and I once again had to shovel snow. Once was a fun novelty, but I'm over it now. Like, really over it.

I've been getting ready for the coming semester, which hopefully will start on Monday if all the students can manage to get to campus and move in, but I did find time to start in on my second RSC project for this year. Here are the two blocks, photographed in the snow this morning:

Those are different, aren't they? I've seen several people in RSC-land who have made quilts with tons of pieces and they have turned out amazing. The pattern I chose doesn't have a ton of pieces but I think it will look cool in rainbow colors. It's called Granny Long Legs, by our sweet friend Preeti. (Surprise, Preeti!) 

This pattern is not complicated, but I'm making mine scrappy so I had to figure out how to make just one block since the pattern is strip pieceed. Once I did that it went together really quickly. It's much less complicated than it looks!

I almost didn't make the bright green block, but I was able to dig out enough of these fabrics to cobble one together. I think the dark green one could have used a little more contrast, but I'm sticking to the scraps I have, not making more. I'm really, really pleased with how the bright green turned out. Better scraps in that bin!

The pattern has 25 blocks, but I'm going to go for 16 blocks and see how things turn out. I know for sure that there are a few colors that won't make it into a quilt (no light green! maybe no dark blue!) but I'm confident there are enough scraps in most bins to make a block each month. 

Okay, back to my reading list! Must write some more assignments to be ready for Monday.  Everybody stay warm and dry. If the snow is going to melt in a few days, why shovel it now? :) (And hey--do you like the larger print? I'm on the fence.)

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC24.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Centered and quilty

 Hello all! How many quilts are you sitting under right now? It is seriously cold here in Maryland right now and I'm just sitting here crossing my fingers that someone moves our upcoming big work meeting to Zoom. Too much to hope for? Well, today I shoveled snow for the first time in literally two years, so I'm feeling entitled to hope for that.

I just have a couple of updates today. I know I told you about the Stay at Home Round Robin by Quilting Gail and Friends, and it starts this week! You can get more information about the whole project right HERE if staying at home and sewing sounds pretty good to you. The first step is to choose a center block to start with, and here is mine:

Okay, that's more of a center panel than a block, but I'm using it anyway. I made this a long time ago and I had so many ideas for it, but none of them ever got done. So why not use it now? And can you tell I was really, really motivated to take an outdoor picture? Look at that snow! This block measures about 19-1/2 by 28-1/2, which is kind of big to start with. The rounds don't have to go all the way around, though, so I expect I'll be putting a few on the top and bottom and not all around. Some will go all around, though, don't worry!

The other thing I've started working on is the Dot to Dot Quilting Challenge from Angela Walters at Quilting is My Therapy. Unbelievably, the videos and some of the extras are free, and you can get all the information right HERE

Angela is selling a couple of practice panels, but I have a ton of medical bills to pay from this past year, so I pulled these two pieces out of the closet:

These have a lot of the same shapes as her panel and are good sizes for me to handle (the bigger one is about 36 inches square) so I think they'll work out.  I basted them and was brave enough to quilt in a couple of triangles so far, and I'm pretty pleased. I figure I'll get some practice and learn a few new things, and get a couple of pieces out of the closet as well.

That's life in the sewing room around here right now. We're going to get more snow, so I had better locate that heating pad and be ready to shovel again! Stay warm, wherever you are!

It's a little windy as well as snowy!

Sharing at the SAHRR linkup at Quilting Gail.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Stormy pink January

 Hello all, and happy weekend! Are you having a storm this weekend? We had one last week and it looks like there is another one coming. I'm happy to report that the roof did not leak again. Hurray! The industrial dryers are gone and it is much, much quieter in the house now. The storm left a ton of debris on the lawn, though, and you'll see some of it in a couple pictures in this post. I really need to get those old trees cut down. . .

This week, I sewed! It was great, especially because I put the binding on a bright, happy pink quilt. Check it out:

Does that not shine in the dreary, weak January sun? I am so thrilled that it's finished and that I actually got a picture of it--it's been a bit windy here. We had a huge storm with all kinds of rain and wind and it really did a number on some of our trees. Debris everywhere!

With some of the many limbs that came down!
This quilt was made from leftover parts from another quilt-- really!-- and you can read the whole story HERE. If not for the rainbow scrap challenge last year, I'm not sure that those parts would ever have gotten used. They kicked around here for quite a while.

 The front of this quilt turned out great, but I love, love, love the back! A while ago I mentioned that this could be my favorite fabric ever, and a kind soul gifted me a big piece of yardage. I love it so much. It worked great on the back of this quilt, and I have a nice big piece left over to use in another quilt, too. I am already dreaming of what I can do with it.

This little quilt was quilted for me by Alycia, who hosts Finished or Not Friday, too. The texture is perfect on the quilt, just enough of the swoopy and swirly stuff to complement but not overwhelm. She did a fantastic job! Once this was washed , it turned out even better, all nice and crinkly. 

I am so happy to have this done and to see those weird leftovers turn into something soft and cozy. Maybe this is why I have such a hard time letting go of all the bits and pieces and weird chunks and mistakes. Look what they can turn into! Spoiler alert: I sent Alycia another quilt made from still more leftovers from that same quilt, and it turned out equally awesome.
Everyone have a wonderful and safe weekend! I have to try to get more of those sticks and limbs and stuff cleared off the lawn before the next storm, then I'm planning on cozying up with a nice book in my newly quiet and dry house. Highly recommend that you all do the same!
 Sharing at Finished or not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Brag About Your Beauties,TGIFF,  and the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting, Patchwork, Applique. And soscrappy for RSC24, too!

Saturday, January 6, 2024

New year, new rainbow

 Hi everyone! How's 2024 in your corner of the world? I'll tell you about ours at the end of this post, but so far it's been a real trip. Over the holiday I did almost no sewing! Can you believe it? I just needed the break from everything so much. My brain needed a massive rest. It was lovely, and now I'm back to my regularly scheduled life. Classes don't start for a bit yet, but the getting ready is definitely in full swing. 

For the rainbow scrap challenge this year I've decided on. . . Drunkard's Path blocks! Giant ones, too. Take a look:

In December, AccuQuilt had a 'buy one, get one' sale on their cutting dies. This was huge, because those things are really pricey and I generally can't afford them, so I treated myself to two new dies. One that I got was the 7-inch finished Drunkard's Path block. It's a departure for me, that's true, but it makes the cutting so, so much easier and means that my blocks will actually turn out.

In comparison to the blocks that I usually make, these blocks are enormous. This makes the curves so much easier to sew, too. As a bonus, I figure that by the time I make 80 or 90 of these I'll be an expert at piecing curves.

I'm pretty cleaned out of dark green, but I do have some bright greens, and I think they made lovely blocks. Each cut makes two blocks in opposite colors, and I did manage to find a piece of dark green that works. You need those darks for good color balance, you know.

Trying to be artsy! Failing!

So that's one RSC project begun! I have another one in mind and I may join in on some of Angela's tiny blocks, too. We'll see.

Here's why 2024 so far has been a trip and a half:

Our brand new roof leaked, and those are the industrial dryers that are drying out the wood rafters after everything on the roof got fixed again. They've been here a week.They are seriously loud and are making me crazy but are doing the job. I don't care so much about the drywall in the ceiling, but I can't even think about the damage to the wood floor without choking up. The insurance guys said they'll make us 'whole,' but gosh, what a way to get there!

Okay, we're keeping a good thought, right? Nothing to do but break out the rainbows and get stitching!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC24 (can you believe it?)