Sunday, August 18, 2019

Happy Blocks - now a flimsy

I managed to put these blocks together and it is now ready to quilt.  I may try quilting this one myself with simple diagonal straight lines.  But for now it’s going to hang in the closet until I find a suitable backing.

Choosing a layout

I finished the last 10 Happy Blocks on Thursday evening and this morning I laid them all out on the floor.  As I read the Sunday paper and drank my coffee this grey morning I rearranged them to try to keep similar colors separated.  I do have one "dark" area in the upper left that still needs some change. But I'm nearly ready to sew these into a finished top.

One of the best purchases over the years have been numbered pins.  When I gather up these blocks into rows, I just pin them with the row number.  I always keep the left side of the row on top and work my way to the right side at the bottom of the pile. The numbered pin goes into the top edges of the pile.  And usually I work on 2 rows at a time.  What kinds of "habits" or processes do you use to keep your rows in order? 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Saturday Sampler blocks - 2 months

My original plan was to do all grey batik backgrounds for this Saturday Sampler, but in digging further into my stash I found some very pretty pale batiks with a hint of other colors. So I'm going to make the backgrounds REALLY scrappy.  And my second month blocks are all caught up now.

The top one has a grey background with a touch of green in those subtle swirls. It worked perfectly with the green batiks.  The one below - that looks green but isn't - actually has a touch of purple in the background.  I laid these 2 blocks in the same place under my Ott light on my cutting table, minutes apart. And one is looking quite true to color and the other is very washed out. 

This morning I laid out month 1 blocks (top 2) along with month 2 blocks (bottom 2) and the big block.  There is quite a bit of purple and green in the blocks so far, so I'm excited to see what other colors of batiks will be pulled into this.  And I do know there is an applique block coming up soon.  

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Big block #1

The new Saturday Sampler program has a mixture of block sizes that is optional.  Each person can opt to buy a "big block" every other month that will be added into the mix with the regular blocks. Of course, I couldn't pass that up, right?

Big Block #1 is done, although I still haven't tackled the 2 regular Saturday Sampler blocks yet.  And actually the center of this 24" block is very similar to the regular 12" block.  

I must confess that I messed up with this block a bit.  The rust color is supposed to be in the center where I have the greenish-brown. But I cut those rust strips only to realize that I didn't have enough to make the pinwheels too - because that border was supposed to be the greenish-brown. Oops!!  But the block still looks OK.  Now I need to get the 2 regular blocks cut out and sewn.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Charm squares come in handy

Happy Blocks!  This was a free pattern from Mary Quilts and I had made 2 of them just to try out the block.  So fast and easy!!  So with charms that I sorted out of the "kid" fabrics on Monday I made 18 more blocks.  I have more charms set aside for this and just need to add the frames to them.  These blocks are 9" square, so I think if I make 10 more blocks (2 rows) this quilt will be big enough for a good cuddle up quilt for a child.  It will be a donation quilt.  

And I also cut charms for 12 more Ritzy Cracker blocks that are now in kits ready to sew as I have time.  Some of these will get a cream background and go to the guild baby quilt project.  And a few will get white backgrounds to add to my baby quilt project. 

It always feels good to get some things organized and cleaned up.  Two 12" square storage cubes are now cleaned up, several pillowcases are kitted up and ready to sew, a dozen Ritzy Cracker blocks are kitted up, and the Happy Blocks are kitted up.  By the end of August I'm hoping to have the pillowcases and the Happy Blocks all made.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A bit of organizing

Once I dug into my cubes of "kid" themed fabric looking for pillowcase options, I knew I couldn't leave the mess as is.  There were 2 cubes in this bookcase with novelty fabrics in them, and I couldn't even push one of them back into the shelf because it was such a mess.

One of the drawers I just dumped on the floor to start sorting.  From both of the cubes I pulled out more pieces big enough for pillowcases, and set those aside.  Then I folded up anything that was about fat quarter size and put them back neatly into the empty cube - ready to be used for some future projects.  I cut lots of charm squares from some of the scraps for a couple of on-going projects which I'll show another day.  What is left on the floor now is mostly "strings" and I just need to sort them into the scrap bins by color. 

The other treasure found in those cubes - leftover binding.  This is absolutely crazy!! There is enough of a few of these to bind a runner or a small wall hanging. And then for others there is maybe just 24" or so.  Some may become part of a scrappy binding for a scrappy quilt.  These all went into a gallon size zip-lock bag and are with the kid fabrics in the top cube.  That cube is only half full now. Yay!! That is progress.

The second cube is not quite as full as it was, but I'll have to organize that another day.  But the best thing is that I can easily slide both cubes back into their shelves.  And I had plenty of time to do a little sewing along with kitting up some blocks.  

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Making kits & cleaning out drawers

I decided to pull out all of the "kid" fabrics in one drawer that had enough for a pillowcase - either a cuff or the large bottom section.  And I came up with fabric for 6 pillowcases.  There is still more, but it was a good start.  Yesterday I bought yardage for plain bottoms to some fun cuff fabrics.

I purchased kind of a medium denim blue for the bottoms of 2 monkey pillowcases.  A yellow fit in with the race cars, and a tan works for the frogs.  There was already enough of the "truck" themed fabric to use on the bottoms of 2 more, and I dug into the stash for the blue and red solids for the cuffs.  I had already made some pillowcases out of the trucks so I have no idea why I had about 4 yards of it.  

Under my needle already is the last of the kits I had made before, which is light blue with yellow rubber duckies.  

Pillowcases are such a fun and easy bit of sewing, even when I don't have a lot of time.  I recently donated 7 to a children's project in Cincinnati that a friend is working on.  And then last week I took 2 pillowcase kits to the Abbott House for the girls to sew. Both were used and the little bonus is that those 2 bicycle themed pillowcases can be struck from my UFO Challenge list because they are done.  Even though I didn't make them, I did help teach the girls to sew them. 

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