Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Some retreat projects

 By noon on Friday I was all set up at the retreat and sewing.  The first project I tackled was sewing all of the Ritzy Cracker blocks together, and that was finished by supper time.  Yesterday's post showed that top, which is still going to get one more vertical row as soon as I make 4 additional blocks.

Next I made the 4 Patriotic Star blocks I had kitted up for a Quilt of Valor project. Those are so quick to make.  And the leftover corner trimmings were made into more little hourglass blocks and some HSTs.

Saturday morning's first project was going to be making the blocks for Jelly Belly Bars, and putting them together to make a completed top.  Well, best laid plans . . . the jelly roll I was using only had 18 strips.  I needed 31 strips total, and didn't realize it wasn't a full jelly roll.  So I'll find some additional fabrics to blend. It's a Tula Pink fabric line from a couple of years ago, but her colors tend to be so similar that I'm not worried about finding something that works nicely. 

Enough Blossom Time tulip blocks were made on Saturday to put together 2 more quad sections.

I forgot take along the sashing and center pieces, so these will be sewn into the quads later this week.

And, last but not least are the Wisdom blocks.  There are now 7 new ones to add to the collection.  I think that brings me to 33 total, with lots more needed for a full sized quilt.  

One other time consuming thing I accomplished at the retreat was to trace all of the "house" pieces onto fusible to do the appliques on the Humble Homes project.  I still need to pull enough of a variety of blues from the stash to use and there wasn't enough background fabric in the original kit I bought, so background will need to be purchased.  

I think Humble Homes will go onto the back burner for awhile so I can focus on finishing some things closer to being done.  

Monday, March 1, 2021

Design Wall Monday - March 1

On my design wall this morning is this UFO - a Ritzy Cracker quilt.  The blocks were all made and sewn into pairs before I went to the retreat over the weekend.

This was my Friday project at the retreat.  There are still 6 blocks left, and I think I’ll be making 4 more so I can add one more vertical row.  It’s not bad, but just a little narrow as is.

It’s a totally scrappy project using the Ritzy Cracker block found on the Moda Bake Shop site as a free pattern.  I’ve used this before for Quilts of Valor, and for a family reunion signature quilt. 

I had a really good time at the retreat, but will share more another day. I did have one casualty - my iron died a dramatic death in the first hour.  It made a “FFSSSTTTT” sound, pumped out a little puff of black smoke, and that was it.  But luckily we had several ironing stations set up. 

What is on your design wall today?  Check out a few more for inspiration.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Escaping the quiet

 It's finally here - retreat day!  Yippee!!

My bags are packed and loaded in the car, except for some last minute food items from the fridge for one of the group meals.  I'll stop at Subway and pick up lunch on my way out of town.  My husband is on his own until I come home on Sunday, and probably glad for some peace and quiet of his own.

Hopefully I'll have some fun pictures to post tomorrow to show off what everyone is working on.   

Oh, and YES . . . I survived yesterday's colonoscopy, and my back is mostly better.  I've had a good night's sleep and am ready to spend some time sewing. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Prep Day on Hump Day

 Yay!!  It's Wednesday and in 2 days I'm escaping to a quilt retreat weekend.  Today is prep day - in more ways than just the upcoming quilting retreat.  I have to work this morning, but once my desk is cleared of current tasks (hopefully by noon), then my focus can switch.  

I'm making a list and checking it twice. Oh wait - that is for Christmas, right?  Well, I'm a list maker because otherwise I just don't remember to do things.  My retreat list is sitting on top of 3 UFO project boxes on my dining room table where I can keep adding to it as needed.  The project boxes hold my bigger retreat projects.  Also note the spools of thread - sitting there to remind me I want to wind a bunch of extra bobbins before I leave.  And there is a baggie with some binding strips I cut for a quilt that is currently at the quilter.  

Along the wall in my dining room is my sewing machine, and the rolling cart that is collecting some of the items from my list - extension cord, power strip, small ironing board, bags of block kits.  There is still room for my iron, a small lamp, my little box with scissors, rotary cutter, pins, etc.  And there are still a lot of things on my list that I will need to gather up.  

My other prep happening today - for the colonoscopy that is happening tomorrow morning.  After suffering a perforated colon about 12 years ago, and having 4 surgeries, a colonoscopy has become quite routine for me.  I've had several of them over the years and the prep has certainly gotten easier.  No more attempting to drink a whole gallon of the fluid that cleans you out. Now you drink a couple of small pints of flavored clear fluid.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Prepping for a retreat

I mentioned yesterday that I've been prepping for an upcoming retreat by kitting up some things to save time cutting while at the retreat.  Hopefully I can just sew, sew, sew.

So far there are kits for 5 Wisdom blocks.  I'm actually hoping to kit up a couple more of these sometime this week.  

Seven little sets of parts for Blossom Time blocks are now hanging out with the one leftover block from the last time I sewed some of these into "quads".  I need to remember to put some of the 1" sashing and a couple of green cornerstone pieces into that bag too, and then I can come home with 2 more completed quad sections to add to the 10 I've already made.

There are 4 kits for Patriotic Star blocks for our Quilt of Valor group.  

And this is the Jelly Belly Bars kit - still needing some cutting.  I'm thinking that I will just cut that background into the 5 x 10 "bars" for the centers of these blocks, and will cut the jelly roll pieces at the retreat on my smaller mat.  I'm trying to avoid dragging my big cutting mat with me.  I would really like to get this top completely done at the retreat if possible. It's very quick to sew.  It's on my PHD list and my UFO list for this year, although in reality it's probably just a PIG - but not for long. 

Even though the hunting lodge we are meeting at is only about 20 minutes from my house, I definitely don't want to run out of things to work on.  So I also have the stack or Ritzy Cracker blocks ready to go too.  I've sewn most into "two-sies", but need to finish putting them into a completed top.  Ritzy Cracker is also on my PHD and UFO lists for 2021.  

We'll see what else comes to mind before Friday.  I really need some hand work to take along for when I need to step away from the sewing machine for awhile.  

Monday, February 22, 2021

Design Wall Monday - not much to see

 My design wall is mostly empty today.  I spent part of Saturday morning cutting some block parts, and gathering some potential projects for a short retreat I’m hoping to attend next weekend. The only actual sewing that happened this weekend were 2 string blocks (9.5" square); mostly I stood at my cutting station working on block kits.  I think that standing (bent over my cutting board) aggravated the back issues that started on Friday after a totally different project.

This was what my office looked like on Friday morning - the view from my desk chair was totally depressing.  A shameful disorganized mess!!  

Maps, invoices and other documents for work needed to be filed.  A big pile of paperwork sat there on the floor and in the boxes that my husband wanted me to shred.  After spending the whole afternoon filing and shredding, and organizing - my back was killing me.  Lots of bending over the shredder, and lifting boxes back onto shelves.  But my office is clean again, except for a small stack of old photos and news clippings to go through.

No sewing happened on Sunday at all because it was all I could do to stand up straight.  I’m just hoping that my back gets back to normal by Friday this week so I can enjoy the retreat.   

I'm linking up to Design Wall Monday:


Friday, February 19, 2021

Wisdom block collection

 The collection of Wisdom blocks is gradually growing to a number that I can use for a quilt.  These finish at 9" and seem to look good set on point or laid out in straight rows.  I'm not sure yet which layout I'll use.

I did lay the 26 current blocks out on the floor to see what I have.  The backgrounds are varied, from plain white to minimal neutral prints.  

A photo often reveals something we haven't noticed before.  There is a 4-patch in the center of each of these blocks and when I tossed them onto the floor I didn't worry about which direction they went.  Hmmmm - I think I need to make sure they are more random when I actually sew rows together.  My natural inclination would be to lay them all the same direction but it looks better random.