Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Stash busting

A little stash busting went on today at my house. Over the weekend I let my granddaughter play in a box of fabric and today I was cleaning it all up and decided to do something with some of it.  This box (given to me by a guild friend who was moving) contained lots of 6" wide strips plus partially stitched sections using those strips. There appears to be enough fabric for at least 4 good sized quilts.  

I started with the green and purple collection and now have half of a large top pieced and the other half all organized, pinned into rows and ready to finish.  There is still enough of these fabrics left to add some borders and make binding and still have some left.  And I played with the pink and blue fabrics and made some pinwheels. Maybe I can do a combination of pinwheels and strips. 

I pulled some burgundy and pink strips and blocks to bring to guild on Saturday. Maybe someone else will want to finish that one.  Thanks Mary - hopefully we'll get some useful quilts made with your generous donation.   

And it all started with a little girl saying "grandma, can I play with these?". 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Saturday sewing with help

I got 2 more 3" blocks made for Temecula Circa 2016 and have 4 left to make so that I'm caught up again. I hadn't really expected to get any sewing done this weekend since we have our 4 year old granddaughter here. But she discovered my stash and was having lots of fun "carpeting" my sewing room, so I took advantage of the time in there with her. The picture is pretty blurry but she laid out tons of strips, then picked them up and relaid them, . . Repeat, repeat, repeat. Kept her busy for over an hour. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Short road trip

I am on a short road trip yesterday and today with my sister-in-law, and since she is also a quilter I didn't have to whine and beg to stop at any quilt shops. In fact she insisted because she needed to pick up one of her sewing machines at one of the shops in Rapid City.  We actually stopped in 3 shops yesterday.  And the shops are selling their 2016 license plates for Row By Row now even though their patterns will not be available until the official start date of June 21.

The purpose of the trip is to pick up my granddaughter Sophie to bring her back to my house while mom and dad finish the packing for their big move east over the weekend. But it also gave me the opportunity to have supper with 3 Rapid City friends last night.  And SIL Kathy went to supper with friends of hers too. She lived here for about 15 years and has lots of friends here. 

And we're stopping in one more quilt shop this morning before picking up Sophie and heading home.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

One more row

One row closer to being done with Allietare.

Most likely I will get NO sewing done at all in the next few days. Tomorrow I'm driving 300 miles west to Rapid City to pick up my granddaughter Sophia and coming back on Friday sometime with her. Then over the weekend I expect her mommy, daddy, and baby brother will arrive at some point - after the moving truck loads up their household. They are moving back to Sioux Falls which is only an hour east of us. Yay!!

I did build a little extra time into this trip west to have supper with a girl friend who lives in Rapid City, and I'm sure I'll visit at least one quilt shop while I'm there. 

And when things settle down again next week I have to make a decision about replacing or repairing my sewing machine.  Right now I'm leaning toward replacing it with a new machine which might be fun. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

License plate fun

I've added 2 more license plate blocks.  The blanket stitching still needs to be done but the pieces are all fused down to the backgrounds.

There are about 8 or 10 of these license plates from last year's Row By Row Experience and I'm hoping to collect a few this summer too. I haven't decided if I make a wall hanging using just last year's plates or go for a bigger quilt and mix the years. This will be a WIP and it's kind of fun to just let the project evolve over time.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The "blue screen of death" . . .

This wasn't in my sewing plans for today! I have no idea whether my lovely computerized machine can be repaired or not, but it sure changed my plans for the day. 

Guess it's time to pull out my ancient Singer, run a couple of new bobbins and see if I can at least finish what I was working on this morning.  Or maybe it's just a day to clean my sewing room.

May 22 - Status of the Stash

I realized this morning that the last stash report I made was April 24 - a whole month ago!  I've done a bit of sewing since then.

These 2 blocks are Centauris for May in our Saturday Sampler. The first one is my bonus block to enter into a drawing to hopefully win all of the bonus blocks. This month's them is batiks and I went for bright ones.

The second block is made with the Saturday Sampler fabrics, which are an over-dyed muslin. Very crisp fabric that sews like a dream. I don't usually go for these dusty colors but I have to leave my comfort zone once in awhile.

Over the past month I did finish a quilt top (elephants in 30s fabrics) and a table runner (Easter Sunrise). I've made a TON of blocks of various sizes that will have to be added in later to the stash used. And I've bought some background, sashing, and border fabrics to finish up some other projects. 

So here is the stash report for the past 2 weeks.

In this month: 6 yds
In this year: 56 yds
Out this month: 5 yds
Out this year: 53 yds

The stash is leading but not by very much. And I'm optimistic that I'll be bumping up those "out" numbers this summer since I won't be working full time. I have some major sewing plans.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Dark green Crown of Thorns

The RSC color for May is dark green and I finally settled on a batik for this latest Crown of Thorns block. Not much time was spent in my sewing room this week but that's OK. There is always the weekend . . . although I plan to play some golf this weekend too.  I did do a little sorting and cutting late this afternoon, and even pulled out a UFO that was given to me long ago to finish or pass along. More on that another time.  And I still haven't found the flimsy I posted about yesterday.  It's a mystery.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Throw Back Thursday - looking for old UFOs

I know this one never got quilted, so now I'm wondering what drawer or box this flimsy is hiding in. This was from 2010 according to my old photos.

I need to start looking deeper in that sewing room.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Weekend fun

We promised grandson #1 a new bike for his 5th birthday, which is in 3 weeks. He has had a strider bike (no pedals) since he was 3 and so do his little brother and sister.  But it was beyond time for a "real" bike and this was a good time to take him shopping.

Sunday we had lunch with the family and then grandpa and I took him shopping for his bike. His face just lit up with smiles as soon as he saw the bike display at Walmart. After trying out a couple of bikes he picked out the Spiderman version. And he rode it down the aisle, through the checkout lane, and out of Walmart with the training wheels on.

Once he was home he made one trip up and down the sidewalk with the training wheels while dad got out the tools. Then the training wheels came off.  15 minutes later he was riding all by himself and about an hour later he was even pushing off to start with no help at all. Mom finally had to make him come in for a break and to have supper.  The strider bikes help them learn balance and steering, so it was an easy transition. I'm a believer now that I've seen it happen.

This was a perfect kind of grandparent time with a kid - watching him smile and laugh while learning to ride a bike. So glad we could be part of the experience.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Just playing

An idea for using the license plates from the past Row By Row Experience. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Mama Chicken - FGV

A new Farm Girl Vintage block has been added to my collection of FGV blocks. As always, I made both sizes. I've been looking forward to making this one because I think she is so cute. And just maybe I'll make her little chick next.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Easter Sunrise #1 is done

I bought the pattern for this table runner a couple of years ago at a quilt show.  The same booth was also selling the gradient fabric for the background and I bought a large enough piece to make 3 of these table runners.

And then I put it away and forgot I had it until this winter. No surprise there.  Then I stumbled across that bag and realized how easy this UFO would be to finish.  I cut and appliqued 2 of the 3 runners. And this week I got one of those quilted and bound.

I decided to keep the quilting very simple and used black thread to machine quilt just a few rays extending from the center cross. I also quilted a simple line against the black silhouettes.  Now the next step is to get the second one quilted and then decide if I'm actually going to make the 3rd one or not.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Easter Sunrise

A quick look at my current project. I made 2 identical table runners with an Easter design and I managed to add just a little quilting to one of them. A full view tomorrow - if I get the binding stitched on. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Meet Samson

This is Samson - the newest grand-puppy.

My older daughter's family lost their beloved dog Bailey in February but they knew they didn't want to wait very long to get another dog. They've been "shopping" around - checking at the Humane Society and checking into area breeders. After a couple of months of searching, they found this little guy. Samson came home today and the kids fell in love with him immediately.  It was mutual. 

I got to FaceTime with them for about 15 minutes while they all played in the yard. That poor puppy was worn out by the time they went in for supper. 

Circa 2016 is up-to-date

Last Friday's block for Temecula Circa 2016 is the bowtie - again 3" square. And I made 8 more of the 2" HST blocks too.  I can't wait to see what we are doing with all of the blocks we've been making the past few weeks. I love the center section that we made already, but have no clues about how these next blocks will go together. 

This is the center section using the first 3 weeks' blocks. I love it.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Garlic Knots

I've become quite fond of Bonnie Hunter's ideas for using up scraps. She writes a column called Addicted to Scraps for Quiltmaker magazine.  This block from a past column in 2014 has been quite popular online lately and I just had to try it out.

I made 2 different sizes - one using 2.5" squares and the other using 1.5" squares. (And there are a couple of rectangles in there too.)  The big one ended up finishing at 8" and the little one is 4" finished. This block was a 6" block in the original column. But I just decided to use the sizes of squares I frequently cut. The purple and yellow ones came out of the tin box holding my postage stamp cuts (from my scraps). The red and blue ones came from some strips in my scrap bin. And I always have lots of white scraps left over from other projects because I like white backgrounds.

Check out Bonnie's Addicted to Scraps links.   The links with the block titles will take you to the Quiltmaker magazine site although the patterns are not online.   

These only took 15 minutes including the cutting time.  More of these are undoubtedly in my future. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Auditioning borders

I finished the last 3 missing blocks last night for this UFO project. My husband is away again this week for work - that is 6 weeks in a row! So I have sewing time in the evenings.  It's a Saturday Sampler from 2007 and I am still thinking about how this will all go together. Any ideas for me?

Right now I'm leaning toward a very narrow black sashing between blocks and a slightly wider inner border around that center. The narrow sashing would separate the blocks and also give it kind of a stained glass look.  Then I found this gorgeous batik in my stash. It has some purples, green, pink, and orange. The blocks are all batiks so I thought this might work. But that blue block sticks out like a sore thumb, even after moving it into the middle. 

So I need to keep digging in the stash to see if I have anything else that is more multi-colored. Or I may need to go shopping for that border. That would be a shame.