Friday, December 9, 2016

From fail to finish

Hi everyone!  Are you ready for the new and improved polar vortex?  I hear that it's coming and there is no escape.  The temps were dropping Thursday afternoon, and several people I saw were already shivery.  It would probably help if they wore coats, but hey, that's not my business.  I finally did pull out my winter coat, too.  I didn't think it had been cold enough for a "real" coat, but that wind will just go right through you.

This week I have an actual finish, one that I've salvaged from a failed attempt a few weeks ago:

This is the little quilt that I had almost given up on because of a wrinkle on the backing.  When I posted about it earlier, the general consensus in the comments was along the lines of "suck it up."  So I did, and you all were right.  I was upset over nothing, really.

One commenter, who is no-reply so I couldn't thank her personally, suggested that I make the circles gradually larger in order to finish it up and avoid more wrinkles on the back.  Genius!  That's exactly what I did.  I free-motioned the remaining circles instead of using the walking foot, and they came out a little wobbly but good enough. 

The border is quilted with a big meander that simply circles around some of the flowers in the print.  It adds just enough texture to finish it off nicely.  I also had just enough (literally one inch left over) of the blue binding in the pre-made scrap binding basket.  Sometimes those come in handy!  The binding was done on the machine in no time at all.

I was worried about this being too stiff, but after I took the photos, I tossed this in the wash and it softened up really well.  And the wrinkle that I was so worried about can barely be seen on the back!

Another little quilt in the archives!  Perhaps "suck it up" will be my motto for next year.

Hope everyone has a great weekend as we race towards Christmas.  We are going shopping for a new dining room table.  Somehow ours isn't big enough for the whole family any more.  Odd how that happens, isn't it?

Finally, an update on the Gratitude Sale--donations have raised nearly $400 for the three charities I listed!  Thanks to everyone!  There are still many nice things left, and Priority Mail means you could still have something for yourself before Christmas, so check out the tabs at the top of the page.

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and crazymom quilts.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Feeling centered

Hi all!  How are things going for you?  We are in a tizzy here, as the semester is wrapping up with exams and papers and all, plus the carpenter has promised to show up this week to finish in the living room.  Cross your fingers that he actually shows, because I am tired of living with construction.  Plus it has been raining like crazy! Too many years of 20 degrees in December has me a little freaked out by 50 degrees in December.  And the allergies hate this!

When I get tired of reading papers, I've been working on the center for my medallion quilt.  After about a half dozen different tries, here's where I am now:

I don't know if this looks boring to you, but it looked the best to me.  I tried several traditional things, like flying geese and diamonds, and none of them looked good to me.  I really wanted the central block to stand out, and everything else detracted from it.

This border is a 1 inch green frame, a 1 inch white border, a colorful rectangle border that finishes at 1 inch (!!!) and another 1 inch white border so that the rectangles seem to float in the white space.  And how happy am I that that rectangle border actually did finish at at 1 inch? 

Happy dancing!  And just for grins, the 4-patches in the corners also finish at 1 inch:

The next "round" is the pieced blocks.  My current plan is to frame those blocks as well, but I'm not sure what color to use.

I'd hate to use gray, but that's what I keep coming back to.  If I had more of the green, I might use that, but I don't have enough of any one color to use it for all the blocks.  I do have some solid gray, though.  I guess I'll have to try out some things and see.  The seam ripper is getting a huge workout on this quilt.

Finally, I want to recommend this book:

It's a little bit older book (2012), but I did find it really helpful in testing out different border options and thinking about which borders would best enhance the quilt.  Bet you could find this one at the library, too!

Hope you're all having a great week!  Off to read more papers, grade more exams, and ponder the border options!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social, Oh, Scrap!, and soscrappy for RSC16.

Friday, December 2, 2016

More testing

Hi all!  Did you have a good week?  The weather here was awful and so I spent a little more time in the sewing room, still cleaning things out.  Still feels like a mess in there, but at least I'm making some progress.  I finally packed up some things that are getting donated and emptied almost the last of the boxes.  I never want to move again.

I did make some progress on the medallion quilt, which I said I would have finished by this coming Tuesday but I probably won't.  Oh well.  Here's what I'm playing with for the first border around the medallion:

Just a mock-up!  White borders to be added in construction phase.

Somehow it always looks better in my head than in fabric.  I'm not sure I like this.  I like the unbalanced part, but I'm not sure the geese are going to work out.  They might be pulling attention away from the center block.  Maybe smaller ones would be better? What do you think?  I think I have to let it marinate for a little longer.

This quilt is all made out of hand dyes, and so is the Grandma's quilt.  I cut all the border pieces for that quilt, but I was left with smaller pieces that won't work in either one.  What's a frugal quilter to do but start making some crumb blocks?

I love it!  These are 6-1/2 inch blocks.  Don't know what they'll become, but those little pieces make a pretty block, don't they?

In a few spare moments I also made up these neutral 4-patches:

They're prettier than I thought they would be.  I don't know what they're for, either, because I am definitely not making Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, even though I just painted the guest room green and hung a purple and green quilt on the wall in there.  Frankly, I don't think a new one would work out, so it's definitely not on the agenda.

One last thing to show you.  This is how I'm storing my fat quarters now:

Wow, I can't believe how well this works.  I saw this on Pinterest and didn't really know how well it would work, but I found this shoe holder at Target for less than $10, so what was the harm in trying?  The silly thing is great!  The fat quarters fit just great, and frees up some shelf space.  And if I ever use those fat quarters, maybe I could put some shoes in it.  Or maybe some notions, it works either way.

Everybody have a great weekend.  We are going to the movies, which is good, because I'm really tired of working on things for the house.  Plus--movie theater popcorn.  Yum!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or not Friday and soscrappy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Back to the machines

Hi everyone!  Long time no see!  I don't know what happened, but I didn't sew a stitch for about 10 days.  Just didn't feel like it. (Not exactly true--I actually hemmed and mended some clothes. The horror!) That ever happen to you?  Pretty sure everyone has a spell like that once in a while.  How do you get interested again?

Here's what got me going again:

Yep, I started making a bunch of Drunkard's Path blocks from my leftover hand-dyed fabrics.  I started putting together the Grandma's top and I finally found a border that I thought would go really well with it.  Here's a sneak peek of the border:

The border is 3 blocks wide, but until I put this up on the wall I forgot that I needed to cut some full squares.  I guess I'd better do that before I get too far along.  I need 76 of these babies, so it might be a bit before they're finished.  They're fun to make, though, and you can't say the border won't be colorful.

And what is that?

I'm not sure, but I *know* that can't be squares and strips for neutral 4-patches, because I am not making Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt. Nope. No.  Besides, I really hate making 4-patches, so you know I'm really not doing it, right?

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  One really fun thing that I got to do over the holiday was meet up with Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts.

Preeti (left) and me at breakfast.

It was so fun!  We had breakfast together and it was as if we had known each other forever.  She brought some show and tell and her quilts were even prettier in person.  And look what she brought me:

A zipper bag of my very own, filled with fun fabric just right for a grandson quilt! Plus some great-smelling sandalwood soap! It was so generous and kind, and I love it.  I'll be keeping my colored pencils in it, and there's some extra room for a little pad of paper too, so I can take it along in the car.  Thank you so much, Preeti!

I also got a chance to meet up with Nancy of PugMom Quilts, and her lovely husband Mike.

Don't we look like fun people?

It was so great of them to take time from their family vacation to stop by and see us, and I hope we get to do it again soon.  This is the best part of blogging--getting to meet people who are as obsessed as I am with fabric and the fun things you can make out of it.  I got to see some of Nancys great quilts, too, along with some works in progress.  We had a great time together!

Finally, thanks to everyone who has participated in the Gratitude Sale so far.  At this point, there's been about $250 donated to the three charities, including some donations I made on behalf of others.  Yay!  I decided to keep it open until the end of the year, so there's still time to head over and take a look.  

Hope you all are having a great week.  Now that I'm getting my mojo back, I'm ready to sew up a storm.  But I am *not* making 4-patches.  Nope.  Really.

Sharing at Let's Bee Social, Oh Scrap! and soscrappy for RSC16!