Saturday, September 29, 2018

The snowmen are coming

The snowman table topper/wall hanging is ready to appliqué.  The piecing went even quicker than I thought it might.  In about an hour, while watching college football on TV, I had this together. So why did I wait so long to make this? The next step was tracing the appliqué pieces onto the fusible webbing and then ironing onto the fabrics. And I made the binding from the black print too.

The snowman faces are a fleece and the hats and noses are bright prints.  There are 4 black embellishments for those hats that can to on after it’s quilted, along with some black button eyes.  Maybe I can get the blanket stitching done around these appliqués tomorrow or Monday.

It's a little early for snowmen



I've pulled another kit out of the UFO stack to work on this month.  This one is a cute snowman wall hanging or table topper by Kimberbell.  The main part is simple piecing with snowball blocks in the center and very basic borders. That is my task today - after I finish the final 6 invoices I need to process for work.  I don't usually work on Saturdays, but today is my deadline to send out 3rd quarter invoices.  Invoices before sewing today! But I WILL get to the sewing.

The applique may take me a bit longer but it is fairly large pieces, so that is good. And there are some fun embellishments included in this kit for the snowmen.  It will look great on my dining room table this winter.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Found it!

While working on invoices this morning I had this sudden light bulb moment - and thought of one more place to look for the yardage I couldn’t find yesterday. So when I had a break, I went downstairs and looked again. Bingo!! There was the black background yardage that had been hiding. 

It has a lot of different colors in the small print and I found yardage of the pink batik that I like with it. The royal blue is OK, but I’m really thinking a nice lime green or aqua would be even better.  We’ll see what else I can find in the stash - or maybe a quick trip to The Pin Cushion is in order.  We need a light and a dark fabric, plus a third one with plenty of contrast. Starting a new Saturday Sampler is always fun, but this one is going to be a mystery quilt. It’s hard for me to choose fabrics without knowing what the plan is. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Two more string blocks

My lunch break from work was spent in my sewing room making two more rainbow string blocks. I really like this red one, but the lavender is pretty nice too.  

After finishing these blocks I spent a little time looking for a piece of yardage that I’m considering for the new Saturday Sampler which is about to begin.  I know where I saw it last, but naturally I couldn’t find it today when I really wanted to.  Frustrating to say the least when something is probably hiding in plain sight. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Rainbow string blocks

Work has been way too busy the past couple of weeks, and so far this week too.  I finished up work for the day and just knew my sewing room was waiting for me.  Mindless sewing - that is what I really needed to do.  Relaxation therapy at its best.

A few days ago I saw a beautiful scrap quilt done with string blocks done in a rainbow of colors.  It inspired me to make something similar.  Check it out at: https://blog.maryquilts.com/2018/09/19/quilted-13/. 

I’ve done several string quilts now, but this is the first time I’ve done the blocks with a single color.  What fun to dig through the color sorted scrap bins to find strings for these.  Look at the cute Minions peeking out of the blue block!

Five blocks are done - and I cut the foundation muslin for two more.  I have lots of red, orange, light blue, and light purple.  So at least a couple more blocks can happen quickly.  The crazy thing is that these blocks made no difference in the amount of scraps left to use up.

I think the green one is my favorite so far.  There are raccoons in one strip. 

Purple was the hardest color to pull together.  There were plenty of scraps, but very few strips long enough to work.  But I think it turned out just fine.  There are actually plenty of lavender/light purple strips to put together in a separate block.  


Note - I use a 10" square of muslin as a foundation and then square them up to 9.5" once the strips are all sewn on.  

Monday, September 24, 2018

Family time



I was supposed to babysit for my daughter on Saturday, but my husband said "I’ll go babysit, you go to your quilt class".  But he actually just went to get the kids and brought them back to our house for the weekend.  They played together really well both days.  A little bike riding, some time in the blow up bouncy house, and a little time reading books.  They even found the container of empty plastic Easter eggs in the garage and had fun hiding them in the yard for each other.

We have a big round coffee table in the family room and it’s perfect for puzzles and LEGO blocks. That is where they kiddos spent the majority of Sunday.  You forget how many times a 3 year old can say "why?" in a day.



And their mom and dad were able to get dressed up and attend a wedding.  As my daughter said on Facebook when she posted the photo below - "we clean up really nice".  Yes they do. And I’m glad they got to spend a weekend with just the 2 of them.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Jack’s pillow



I finally got in another hour of sewing last night after work. Since I was already at the machine mending my daughter’s scrub pants I finished making the front of the floor pillow for my youngest grandson.

I don’t do much night time sewing because I need better lighting in my sewing room.  But it was relaxing. Maybe I need to do more evening sewing since that seems to be the only time I have lately anyway.

This is all made from leftovers from the baby quilt I did recently.  There is enough of the print to do an envelope back for the pillow.  It even includes some blue (a teal blue), which is the color for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Next up is one for Mason and hopefully I can get that one started this weekend.  My husband actually volunteered to go babysit the grandkids today so I could go to the afternoon quilt class I had scheduled.  Bless his heart.  That means I should have a little time to sew afterwards.  Yay!!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Semi-retired



Grumble, grumble, grumble!  I need to remind myself that the extra hours in my next paycheck will help pay for my January cruise.  But I want to sew . . . and instead I'm dealing with invoices and spreadsheets for the second straight week.  My desk is buried in piles of invoices needing to be sent back to a contractor for pricing revisions, invoices that need to be processed out to the client for payment, and invoices that need to be entered in the correct project budgets.  BURIED is the key word.



I'm supposed to be semi-retired, but I worked full time last week and again this week.  My brain is tired and needs some sewing time to refresh the brain cells.  The 2 hours I took off on Wednesday wasn't enough.  And I'm babysitting tomorrow, even though I really need to be working on these invoices because I know I won't be done yet.  So my fun will have to wait.   Oh - and my lunch break is over!! Back to the grindstone!  And I need to remind myself that invoicing will slow down as the construction season winds down. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Digging into the UFOs



A couple of weeks ago I dug into the drawer holding kits, and just picked one.  It didn't matter which one - I just needed to find something to remove from that huge UFO list.  This particular kit was called Baby & Me, with fabrics by Henry Glass.  It's UFO that I bought from a friend when she downsized her stash. I've had it about 3 years and I have no idea how long she had it. The panel is cute, and the actual kit pattern had multiple pieced borders. It was an adorable pattern, but it was getting some age on it. So it was time to do something with it all.

I pulled out a pattern called Diva 2 that uses panels and borders them with diagonal pieces.  It's a really simple and quick pattern.  I had a couple of hours off this morning, and put this crib sized top together.  Since I don't need a baby quilt for a gift right now I think I'll wait to get it quilted some other time.  I cut the binding from the orange and will keep it with the flimsy until I need it.

Naturally there is quite a bit of fabric left over from the kit.  In fact, the leftovers will work perfectly for a couple of the big floor pillows I'm making for grandkids.  I have the pieces cut out for the capital "J" that I need for Jack's pillow. 

Using up this fabric will leave a nice big space in the drawer full of kits. Yay!!!

Monday, September 17, 2018

More fall decor

Still no sewing time yet, so I’ll show you another autumn quilt displayed in my home. This is a disappearing 4-patch made a few years ago. The fabric was a gift from a girlfriend and I just love that little pop of blue with the greens, brown, and gold. 

I worked most of the day today, and then had a short visit with cousins who were driving through the area. Cecelia and Mary are driving from Washington state to Florida to deliver Mary’s daughter’s car.  Wish they could have stayed the night, but they wanted to get as far as Sioux City tonight yet.  They had a goal of making it in 5 days and today was actually day 3 already. But they’ve stopped to visit other family, explored the Little Big Horn site, and this morning was spent at Mt Rushmore. So the first 3 days were well spent. 

My husband was supposed to leave today to spend the week on a job site - which would have left me with plenty of quiet sewing time this week. But his doctor “grounded” him due to an infection and swelling on his leg. They’re not sure if he got bit by something or if it’s from a scrape he got on a piece of rusty metal a week ago. Either way, he’s on antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory for the next week. And he’s supposed to elevate it, ice it and rest it for a few days. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Quilts from the past

Absolutely no sewing time this week has me feeling very antsy to sew. And then this morning a picture popped up in my Facebook memories of a quilt I made 6 years ago. 

This is a perfect example of designing on the fly. I made the blocks by putting a shadow type border around sections from a panel. The sashing ended up quite wide to make it bigger. And then I didn’t have enough big pieces left of one of the border fabrics so a pieced side border became a necessity. And finally I added solid strips at the top and bottom to make it long enough to actually be useful. 

Designed on the fly with no plan in place. Probably not the best way to go but it turned out ok. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fall is in the air



In spite of the hot windy summery day, fall is definitely starting to  show it's face around here. Nights have been very cool and our ash trees are beginning to turn golden. So that means it's time to change some décor in the house too.  One of my Kim Diehl miniature quilts looks good under the big pot of fall flowers on the hearth.



This small leaf and acorn table topper comes out every fall. I made this a LOT of years ago - maybe 15 or more. But it's still one of my favorites and it fits so nicely on top of the bookcase in my office.  The big metal pumpkin will probably move to the dining room table, but for now it's looking good here.



Yesterday morning I had a morning meeting across town, and this was my view as I backed out of the driveway - our turkey flock crossing the street into our yard.  It was a parade and they weren't in any hurry!  And - can you tell it's garbage pickup day? 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Giving a quilt away

One of my nephews is getting married in a couple of weeks and it gave me an opportunity to Gift a quilt.  His sisters and sisters-in-law hosted a lovely bridal shower today and I was so pleased to be able to attend. The quilt is one I made a few years ago and love, but it just never has gotten used.  It seemed appropriate to give it a home.  Jessica seemed quite pleased.

This was a wedding gift and a shower gift as we won’t be attending the wedding. It’s going to be a small intimate affair on her parents’ ranch with just immediate family.  So I was very happy that I could give her the quilt today in person. Best wishes on a long and happy marriage to Jessica and Andrew. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Borders make a difference



Your feedback helped my instincts along - and resulted in adding 2 borders to my Saturday Sampler. And I'm very, very happy with it.  The borders made all the difference.  The other bonus is that the top is done in time for tomorrow morning's Saturday Sampler show 'n tell session.  Yay!!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Odds 'n Ends



Thank you to those who reaffirmed my thought that my Saturday Sampler needed borders.  I went to The Pin Cushion this morning thinking I would do a bright green or maybe blue border.  But then my search led me to the wide backings - and there was this one.  It's very similar to the crazy backing I just used on my One Block Wonder, only in a darker version.  It's called Circle Play by Henry Glass Co.  It has all of the colors from my quilt in those circles.  A nice lime green dot will be the inner border. 

And my Red Bird/Cardinal Christmas quilt was ready to pick up too.  Bonnie quilted it with this beautiful design and a dark tan thread.  The binding is a red/green/cream plaid and is ready to stitch on.  I feel like I'm on a roll lately again with progress on UFOs and current projects. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Saturday Sampler flimsy

Well, unless I decide this needs a border, my current Saturday Sampler quilt top is done.  I decided not to use the layout provided with our patterns, and instead just set the blocks on point alternated with black and white prints.  It’s OK, but maybe does need a bit more color, which is why I’m still thinking about borders.  Currently it’s twin bed sized.

What do you think? Borders or no borders?

Monday, September 3, 2018

One Block Wonder is done

Putting the last stitch in a binding always brings me such satisfaction.  One Block Wonder is complete and this one is especially satisfying to me. It was a technique that was new to me. And I love the bright colors. The dotted Grunge birder worked out beautifully. Even the crazy backing has all of that color.  I love it. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Art quilt inspiration

Our guild had a guest speaker today.  Wendy M. Showed us a selection of the art quilts she makes, and talked about what inspires her designs, and her techniques.  Every quilt she showed made me want to say WOW!!!

This was actually a round robin done with friends.  Her center block is embellished with silver charms, applique, and 3-D flowers.  

Most of the pieces she showed are small, and several were actually mounted on painted canvas frames.  This was one of my personal favorites.  A pieced background - appliqued 3-D flowers, beads, quilting - very simple but yet very dramatic. It was maybe 12" by 24".  She even had greeting cards with tiny quilts on them.  Again - Wow!!!


Some of her pieces had beads around the edges. Some had binding. Some were very whimsical, like her self-portrait. And some were very elegant.  But all of them were so inspirational.