Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Triangle party

Hi everyone!  First, I have very good news-- we have found a house, and they have accepted our offer.  Yahoo! We will have a place to live in Baltimore.  Our house hasn't sold yet, so right now I'm going back and forth between being really happy about the new house and being really panicky about owning two houses.  Finding a house is a huge relief for us, though, even though we may have to eat pretzels for supper for a few months. 

How should I celebrate finding a house? Well, by sewing something, of course, and to heck with the mess. The problem with pulling things out to stitch isn't having to pull things out and put it all away, but having to be super careful about the threads and the little snippets and the dust caused by the fabrics.  And it *is* annoying to have to put it all away now that I've had an actual sewing room.  But anyway. . .

I decided to finally, finally get started on the Beothuk Star quilt from Sandra at mmmquilts.  Yes, the quilt along ended in June, but I've been a little busy.  Here's as far as I got:


Piles of untrimmed hsts in the mulch!  Hey, I didn't say I got far! I just started with the cutting yesterday.  Thankfully, this is a really easy quilt and I have high hopes that mine will turn out as pretty as some of those I've seen online.


I think these colors are really pretty and they were doing a pretty good job of making me happy.  I bought the kit from Bernie's shop, and it looks like she has just one kit left, so you could hop right over there and get it.  She does have yardage, though, so you could make your own kit.  I was a little nervous about using a patterned background, but it turns out that the fabrics look great together and the print fabric looks good.  I did switch out the lighter pink in the kit for a pink fat quarter from my stash, mostly because I liked my pink a lot and I really want to use it.

That's it for the stitching time I've had so far this week, but I do plan to work on this over the 4th since I can probably leave the mess out there on the table.  I doubt that anyone is going to want a house tour on Independence Day-- but I'm willing to be wrong!


On a completely unrelated topic, I noticed this week that I have peppers and tomatoes!  Have I mentioned that it's been remarkably hot and wet here?  It was something like 92 degrees when I took these pictures.  It's certainly been great for the plants.  This year I got some pre-planted pots from the garden center and I didn't have high hopes, but it looks like I could be making salsa pretty soon!

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe 4th. I'll be taking it easy and sewing, then we'll probably do some food outside and maybe go to the fireworks.  Depends on whether it's raining or not!  Happy Independence Day, and enjoy your celebration of our great country!


Sharing at Let's Bee Social.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Summer florals

Hi all!  Is it unbearably hot at your house? Right now my handy dandy weather station says that it's 96 degrees. That's a bit extreme, don't you think? It's supposed to rain tomorrow and break the heat, and for once I'll be thrilled to see rain around here.  In our ongoing housing saga, we think we've found another house. Hurray! Send all your good thoughts that they accept our offer.  Every finger I have is crossed!

So, if you remember, I somehow packed my favorite quarter inch foot when I was packing up the sewing room.  That was a dumb move! I finally gave in and bought a new one, and then I had to test it out to be sure I liked the seam it gave.  Everyone has to do that, right?  Well, one thing led to another and I ended up with this:


That's a lovely little test piece, don't you think?  Obviously I had a lot of sewing mojo built up because I just kept stitching, and it was such a joy. 


This took just a couple of afternoons when no one was scheduled to tour the house.  I admit that I didn't draw lines on all of those little squares, so some of the corners are a little bit "organic."  I love them anyway, and we all know that real flowers aren't perfect, so I refuse to let myself feel bad about it at all.


This whole piece is made from scraps. For the flowers, I sorted through my box of 2-1/2 inch squares and just chose the first nine that had four matching squares.  The leaves all came from the 2-1/2 inch squares box, too. The flower centers came from the 1-1/2 inch square box, though they had to be trimmed down just a bit. The lavender sashing was in the string jar, which is sitting out and acting decorative in one of the bedrooms.


I actually had a pattern for this, though I didn't really need it once I got going.  It's from Quilt Sampler magazine from. . . Spring 2012.  Yeah, it took that long.  But it was worth the wait!


I plan to quilt this up and use it on the table just as soon as there is time to set up the machine for an hour or two again. It looks great already, but I think it will look even better with a simple crosshatch.  I think I have a scrap binding that's big enough if I can locate the ziplock bag I put those in. Pretty sure I know where it is, though, which is a good thing because I don't know where half my clothes are right now.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend that is nice and cool.  We will have all of our fingers crossed, plus we have three showings and then an open house, so we'll be busy.  Send many good thoughts!


It's still Friday, so I'm sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or not Friday, as well as Alycia's TGIFF and Cynthia's Oh Scrap!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Fresh block piecing

Hi everyone, and happy summer! How are things going for you?  Our housing saga continues. We thought we had found a house but it did not work out.  The search goes on.  We're coming up to a deadline, though, and it's a hard deadline, because we have to move before school starts, so we will find something else this week.  Somehow it seems harder to move now than it did to move across the country.  And real estate, which is weird to begin with, is really weird here. Lots of odd rules to get used to.

In spite of the drama around here, this past week I actually managed to sew some blocks! It's been an experience with my stitching stuff stashed everywhere and needing to be put away the second I'm done with it, but I finally figured out that I could fit in a few minutes of cutting without too much mess, and then stitch up what I had cut when I had a few minutes longer.  It worked!  Here are the blocks I made the past few days:


Oh, gosh, those make my heart happy! These are 6-inch blocks for my old and new sampler quilt.  It happens that these are all blocks from Tula Pink's sampler book.  I decided to work through those before I tackle the more traditional blocks.  If you recall, for this sampler I'm making 48 blocks that each finish at 6 inches.  Half are the more modern blocks from Tula Pink, and the other half are traditional blocks, many with lots of pieces.  The Tula blocks have fewer pieces and are much simpler to put together, which certainly suits my life right now.


I cut these blocks in some quick moments and stored them in sandwich bags until I could stitch them.  Here's a tip-- be sure to label your sandwich bags! I spent way too much time trying to remember which cut pieces went with each block.  By the way, don't those flowers look great?  They are a spot of sunshine for me.  I only planted pots this year so I could take them with me when we leave.  ~Sigh~ I really do love flowers.

Anyway, I now have 17 of the 48 blocks finished:


I love them all!  It's kind of funny to see how alike they are, and yet so different.  When the whole thing is together I don't know if it will be really apparent which blocks are Tula blocks and which are more traditional. Or maybe it will be super easy-- we'll see! Stay tuned!

Hope you all are having a good week.  Last week, in addition to house drama, I had a part of the orientation for my new job and got the keys to my new office.  This week I'll be moving books and such into the new place and trying to get things set up.  This is very exciting! I really can't wait to get to work in the new place.  Not really looking forward to moving all those boxes, but it kind of goes with the territory.  Keep your fingers crossed that it goes well!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Down memory lane

Hello, friends!  Long time no see! What can I say?  Life happens.  It has been a jam-packed couple of weeks. I went to my usual conference and participated in a panel presentation, which was fun and interesting, but exhausting.  The conference was in Pittsburgh this year, and let me tell you-- Pittsburgh is a beautiful city! We didn't get a lot of time to explore, but I would definitely go back. After the conference we went to visit the grandchildren, and that was pure bliss.  My oldest grandson kept calling me "honey," and they were all just a joy.

On the home front, I've been trying to sew, but literally every time I pull out the machine, someone wants to look at the house.  This is great, but frustrating! We think we may have found a house in Baltimore, too, if someone else hasn't bought it before this publishes.  The housing market is crazy!  We've scheduled times to look at houses, only to get canceled because someone bought it before we could get there.  I guess we'll know pretty soon, though!

Since I haven't been sewing, how about a trip down memory lane instead? I have a few pre-blogging quilts that I've never talked about and they're feeling neglected, so how about a good look at this one:


Wow, that's a lot of color! It's really a lot, because this quilt is huge-- 74 by 96. I'm pretty sure that was the biggest quilt I had made at that point.

I made this quilt in 2006 for my daughter to take to college.  She was very involved and helped choose the fabrics and the backing.  You can tell she's my kid, because I think there are 52 different fabrics in the blocks, plus the background, backing, and sashing, and all of them are colorful.  Most I wouldn't have chosen, but they work great here.


This quilt taught me so much.  It's from a pattern in Quiltmaker magazine (sorry that I didn't keep the pattern so I can't even tell you when it was published, but I think it was 2005) and is the first quilt that I fully paper pieced.  I think I had made a wall hanging size quilt to learn paper piecing, but the blocks here were all paper pieced.  I remember tracing the pattern onto a lightweight paper instead of using a copier, and there are 48 blocks, so you know that took forever.  It certainly did teach me paper piecing, though!

This quilt also taught me to measure twice.  It happens that I cut every single piece of the sashing half an inch too short.  10-inch blocks, 10-inch sashing, right?  I cried when I realized my mistake, but then I just cut more, which means that I had pieces of that pink hanging around here for years.  There's probably still some somewhere.


This might be the first quilt I had long armed, too.  It was such a behemoth that there was no way that I could even think of quilting it.  It's also quite heavy, but she went to college in Wisconsin and lived in the dorm, so it worked out! I certainly got no complaints that it was too warm.


I've been storing this for awhile, so now it's going back to live at my daughter's house.  We've talked a bit about cutting into two smaller quilts (horrors!) and that may happen someday if she has more kids.  I'd love to see grandchildren playing with the quilt.  It would make two perfect kid quilts, don't you think?


All this time later, I still love this quilt. It was way outside my comfort zone at the time, and I would do so much differently now (use a copier, for one), but it's still great. And my daughter still loves it, so that's a win all around.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.  I'm going to try to pull out the machine this week and get some things done.  If someone buys the house, that would be better because I could make a mess again, so send all your good vibes! I'll be back sooner rather than later!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Finished or Not Friday.