Monday, June 30, 2014

July projects

Hello all, and welcome to July! (gulp!)  And a happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends!

There's this project that I have been putting off for literally years, and I think this July is the perfect time to pull it out of the basket and do something with it. The project is this mess:

Okay, it doesn't look very messy, but it sure feels messy. This is an abandoned red and white Burgoyne Surrounded quilt that I started in 1998--I think. Maybe it was 1999, but I don't think so. Why was it abandoned, and why haven't I finished it since? Well, there's the story.

I started this as a class at a local quilt shop. It was a small class--I think there were 5 of us. As a mark of how much things have changed in the last 16 years, here are the instructions, typed on a typewriter, with hand-drawn illustrations:

The class was two sessions, but the teacher got sick and the second session was postponed, which was okay. These things happen.

And then the quilt shop CLOSED. For good. I wish I was kidding.

I tried to contact the teacher several times, but I never was able to get a hold of her. That's when this went into the drawer. I probably could have figured out how to finish it, but the instructions seem to require more details that I think the teacher would have provided. I've taken it out a couple of times since, but I've not been serious enough about it, or motivated enough, to finish it. Also, it makes me a little angry and a little sad every time I look at it. It's time to move on, although I doubt it's going to be a Burgoyne Surrounded quilt.

I have the parts all nicely separated and labelled:

And some leftover strips that aren't cut yet:

What I don't have is any yardage left. Not sure what happened to it.

I guess my first step is to assemble some 9 patches and other pieces, and then go from there.  I think I'm waiting for the quilt to tell me what it wants to be. I don't think it wants to be Burgoyne Surrounded. We'll see what happens!

The other projects I really want to finish up in July are all the HST projects. I'm really happy to get them out of the closet. This is the one I was trying to decide about this weekend:

I have a pretty good idea about using these HSTs, but it requires adding some fabric. I can't decide which way they look better, with the yellow or the blue. What do you think?

That's what's happening around here! It's a holiday week, so I doubt there will be much time for sewing. My husband is taking a few days off, so who knows what he has planned.  Probably not a trip to the quilt shop! Then comes the 4th of July, always a good party. Hope you all enjoy your celebrations!

Linking up with Freemotion by the River and probably also Freshly Pieced.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Half-square dancing

Hi all, and welcome to another summer Friday. Isn't it great? We have lots of sunshine today, but more rain is coming, so we all better get out and enjoy it while we can.

So, I did a little productive sewing this week. The brown triangles mini is now done, with borders:

The final measurement of this little quilt is 21 by 23. Not sure if those borders are too wide or not, but I like them. I have a little of the brown left, but it was a real downer as a border, so I'll use it as the binding. All of these fabrics are from Fig Tree and are probably four years old? Maybe less. I can't remember. The best part is that those bonus triangles are now used and out of the plastic bag that was their home since forever.

I've also started putting some of the blue fields and furrows together:

Oops. Drooped a little into the bush there. More triangles out of the bag. It's nice so far, but a little heavy. There are a LOT of seams. I have 20 blocks, but I already know I'm going to want one more row across and down, so I'll actually be making more HSTs. I went back and forth on whether the blue or the white should be the center, but I think the white was a good choice. I have a decent idea for a border, too, so I'm feeling good about this one.

Next up on my list are these turquoise triangles.

I'm keeping this layout, but I did see a post online of a similar layout that had the triangles oriented the same way but with sashing between them. I think I want to try that and see what it looks like. Believe it or not, I actually have a whole bunch of leftover pale blue strips that might work. If I use those, that would be even more scraps out of the closet and into a quilt to be used and loved. There's a win if ever there was one!

Finally, the yellow Odd Fellow's are done! In time for the last weekend in June!

Pretty soon I'll have to take a "family picture" of all the Odd Fellow's blocks together. They're looking good.

I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but the white on white fabric in these blocks is little dragonflies. Mr. Academic Quilter saw the fabric and asked if I was intentionally using mosquito fabric in my project. He really needs to get out more. All that time with computers is frying his brain.

Linking up with Vicki Welsh's HST quilt along, the awesome Sarah, Crazy Mom Quilts, and Scrappy Saturday. Wonder what July's color will be?

Have a great weekend everyone! Happy sewing!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Messy work in progress

It has been a few days of upheaval here. We've had a new shower installed (and you know what a mess that is), plus had some less-exciting home improvements done and some new furniture delivered. The place is a wreck! Plus, we're still waiting for the tree-trimmer to come back. He was up in our big locust tree and saw some lightning, so he wisely got right down and said he'd be back. Lightning every work day since. And pieces of tree still laying in the yard.

So, we are a little bit disheveled, but that does not get in the way of sewing! (Too much.) First, I started a new quilt, because all my old projects are finished. Ha! Just kidding. This is the quilt I started:

Pleated Patchwork, from this book by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side:**

I really like this book. Seriously, I think I have a plan for every quilt in this book except one, and none of them are in neutral fabrics. Oh, well. Here are some of the fabrics that I chose for the Pleated Patchwork quilt:

This was a fat quarter set that I got a while ago from Shabby Fabrics. I've lost the little card with the fabric collection name, but they are very nice florals. The quilt calls for 42 blocks and this set will give me enough for 20, so I need to add some others. May need to shop again. Darn. Here is one of the pleated blocks:

Super easy blocks, and they turn out well. The hardest part is finding the half-inch mark on my machine to stitch the pleats. I've got 1/4 inch well-marked, and 5/8ths is pretty much branded into the machine, but I had to mark the 1/2 inch line with tape.

I also worked some more on the HST projects. I'm still making the blue and white fields and furrows blocks for one quilt, but I finished the center for the brown HST mini quilt:

I can't decide if these are beige triangles pointing up or brown triangles pointing down, but I like it a lot. Plus, it used up all my bonus triangles! I miscounted and thought I had 69, but I actually had 73, so this used up 72 with one lonely little one left over. Yay! I have a small bit of the original fabric left over, so I want to put some borders on this by the end of this week. Right now this is 16 by 18.

So, some sewing is going on amid all the hammering, sawing, and people walking on the roof. I also did get a little fabric shopping done:

Wonder what I'll do with those?

Hope everyone is having a productive week and that things are less messy where you are. Or at least that you don't have branches and other pieces of trees laying all over your yard.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social. And Needle and Thread Thursday if I remember. Come on over and get inspired!

**Just wanted to make clear that I don't know Amy Ellis (though she has a nice blog and I'm sure she is a lovely person) and I'm not paid to promote her book. I'm using it because I'm really enjoying making quilts from it. No sponsors here! I bought the book myself!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fiesta Friday

Fiesta Pinwheels is now a finished top! Check it out:

It's not scrappy, but it sure is yellow!

I love, love, love this quilt. It was so cheerful to work on, especially when I was assembling the final top and it was raining like crazy.  It was simple sewing, with big pieces and easy shapes. If I were in a real hurry and had some time, I could easily have finished the top in a weekend. The original quilt pattern was made in neutrals, but you could seriously make this in any colors and have it look fantastic.  As a commenter helpfully pointed out, it's the value that does all the work, while color gets the credit. I am seriously considering making another one with rainbow scraps. Because, you know, I don't have enough projects. (The initial post on this quilt is HERE.)

Here's one little tip I learned about batiks: if you like the fabric, buy a big enough piece to use in a project, a yard or more. I didn't have quite enough of the green, so I went back to get another piece. Turns out the color variations between bolts of batiks can be huge, even if they're the same color from the same manufacturer. I like the variation it gives across this quilt, but if things like that bother you, buy enough from one bolt so you won't need to get more that could be a lot different. So, that's my tip--spend more money.

Green variations in one block. See what I mean?

That was the big finish for this week, but I also found some more yellows to  make a couple more triangle blocks for RSC14:

The palest yellow there is a bit of a Kona solid called Butter. This is one of my favorites. I've used it for backgrounds in several quilts. I keep thinking it's a little too light for the triangle quilt, but every quilt needs variety, so I'm keeping it for now.

It has been raining here all week, so the photos are a little gray this week. I know as soon as I post this the sun will come out, so I'd best get to it!

Even the daylilies are tired of the rain!

Have a great weekend everyone! Hope you get to do something fun!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, the awesome Sarah, and So Scrappy!