Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Digging into the mess

An interesting and semi-productive morning was spent in my sewing room.  As I mentioned yesterday, the mess in the room has been wearing on me.  So this morning I decided I had to do something about it.  It's quite amazing what you find when you actually dig into a disorganized mess.

I started with the cutting table and ironing board. Both were full of odds and ends of random things.  The first task was to collect all of the pieces of the Halloween OBW quilt that is "in progress" and put them together in one neatly organized project bin.  So that is ready to work on again soon.  And I finished sewing that last 12 Saturday Sampler blocks that were laying on the ironing board, so those are ready for May.  There are still some triangles left, and two different pieced units. But I think I finally have an idea of how these might go together.  And the ironing board is cleared off. Yay!!

Next I tackled the scrap pile that was growing on the right side of the cutting surface. Larger pieces were folded up and put back into my stash drawers. The smaller pieces were sorted into the scrap/string bins by color.  Buried in the scraps were 7 "kits" for patriotic Garlic Knot blocks, and a bunch of leftovers from a Kim Diehl project.  Those Kim Diehl scraps were from Cracker Jack, and I had begun to sew them into pinwheels - way back during the winter when I was finishing up the original project.  

So, I finished sewing them into 6 pinwheels that measure 6.5" square.  I'm not sure what these will become eventually, but one step at a time, right?  They are now tucked in with other Kim Diehl projects waiting to be made.

The Garlic Knot block kits were next.  They're so fast to make, and it didn't take long to finish these up too. These will all be added to the stack for a Quilt of Valor.  

My cutting table isn't very large, but it's now clean.  It's actually a kitchen cabinet section with a butcher block top.  The basket in the corner (made of magazine paper) holds patterns and my largest rulers. The center back has an office caddy that holds my often-used smaller rulers and various marking tools.  On the far right is my scrap bucket, made by friend Carol for each of us in the Sew Vintage group.   

There are plenty of other areas in my sewing room that still need attention.  But that will need to wait for another day.  

Monday, April 29, 2019

Design Wall Monday - Waterwheel wall hanging

This is actually beyond the Design Wall phase, but it is what I'm trying to finish this week.  It has been a "progress free" zone in my sewing room lately. But I did manage to get binding onto the wall hanging I made on the cruise in January. 

Waterwheel is a Judy Niemeyer pattern that is paper pieced and ended up about 39" square.  We chose the colorway prior to the cruise and our kit was waiting for us on the ship when we arrived. Mine has lots of pink and orange with black, so I chose a solid black for binding. Bonnie quilted it with a sharp looking geometric design in orange thread. Excellent choice.

My real task this week SHOULD be cleaning up the mess in my sewing room. I've gotten lazy about digging through looking for things, and then not putting away the mess I've made. The number of WIFs and UFOs don't seem to be shrinking much. And the "stuff" for the bus trip is overflowing the plastic tub.  And I only have part of the prizes at my house so it could be worse.  It's difficult to be creative when my creative space is such a mess. 

Check out more Design Walls at:

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Random but interesting

Isn’t the detail on this lamp post interesting? I stepped outside our hotel for a little fresh air between conference sessions, and saw this. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A travel day

One of the biggest benefits of flying out of a regional airport- rarely having to stand in line very long.Headed to Chicago this morning for work. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

One Block Wonder - 3 sides pieced

Three of the 4 sides of my Halloween One Block Wonder are now pieced and hopefully this afternoon I'll get the 4th side at least pinned together into vertical rows.  The black on the top and bottom was a "design as you go" decision.  We'll see how wide this quilt turns out and maybe I'll add black to the sides too.  

On the left side (about center) I have pinned a half hexie to overlap the panel. I'll do 1 or 2 on the right side too but maybe toward the top half. Both the bottom and top sections overlap the panel rather than being cut off for a straight seam to join them.  I may actually hand applique those sections to the panel.  That big polka dot edge on the panel just peeks through in places, and that is what I was hoping would happen. 

No sewing is likely to happen tomorrow as we'll be going to one of the daughter's for Easter.  I need to get some laundry done today, and make some deviled eggs for tomorrow.  

I've linked to Design Wall Monday. Go check out more:

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A very slow process

Crawling around on the floor to arrange and pin these hexies may be the end of my wanting to make any more OBW quilts.  This has been killing my knees and my back, but I have 2 long vertical rows sewn together and 2 short vertical rows sewn. Several more are pinned. I have to take each pinned row to the basement to sew and press, then bring them back up. So this will definitely be a slow process.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

My Halloween OBW is progressing

I'm glad I have a large floor area in our living room, where I can lay out blocks and they aren't in the way of walking, etc.  (We mostly live in our family room.) But with this OBW project I probably need even more space due to the paper plates the hexies are on. I have to say it makes it really easy to move these hexies around and change their locations.  I've had this laid on the floor for several days now where I can pass by, observe the way it looks, and move a hexie or two to a better location.  You can even see on the left where I have half-hexies remaining on plates. The other halves are pinned together into the vertical row next to the panel.  

I have one vertical row pinned together and am ready to sew it together later today after work - and a pedicure.  Once I do that and determine that it is the correct length that I want, then I can get more serious about lining up the rest of the hexies exactly where they will end up.  I don't want to have straight edges lining up with the panel making a sharp division between hexies and panel. A few hexies will extend over onto the panel, but I'm not sure yet exactly where or how many.  So this will be a slow process with other projects happening in between.  Enjoying the process, right?

My social media vent of the month

Over the weekend, some person (pest, hacker, cyber criminal) posted comments in an unidentified Asian language onto 9 of my blog posts.  Five of the comments were on separate posts from March. But 2 of the comments went onto posts from 2012 and 2 more onto posts from 2011.  I've had this happen before, sometimes in an Asian language and sometimes in an Arabic language.  Very frustrating to be targeted. 

I found them all (hopefully) and deleted them, then deleted the emails that come from Blogger to notify me of a new comment.  Since all of the words were live links I was careful NOT to click on any of those words.  But I have to admit that I'm always curious about the real purpose of these.

Are they hiding criminal communications?  Are they attempting to get me to click on the link and by doing so to install some kind of malware on my computer that could steal my identity or clean out my band account?  

By hiding these on posts from past years or past months, it suggests immediately that the motive has to be criminal.  I'm just thankful that Blogger sends me an email each time someone leaves a comment so that I know where to look to delete them.  As if we don't have enough criminals lurking in our own communities, now we have to worry about people on the other side of the world messing with us.  GRRRRR!  

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Happy Blocks

Sunday sewing included some playing.  I saw a cute quilt made with Happy Blocks on Mary's blog and just had to make some.  These are made with charm squares and 2.5" strips, both of which I have in abundance.

The link to her instructions is, plus she has a lot of other free patterns.  

I had a small bag with lots of charm squares that I have collected from online swaps over the years and knew there were some cute dog and cat charms.  And there were also lots of polka dots, some bugs, and dinosaurs.  Overall I think there will be enough to make a child sized quilt.  I know I don't need any new projects but these were too much fun to not make some. 

I might have to put the Minnesota loon charm square back in the bag, but the rest of these should work well together.  

A lot of other quilty fun was had on Sunday.  I worked on hand quilting while watching the Masters golf tournament on TV this morning.  About half of my Saturday Sampler blocks were updated later in the morning, then I played with these Happy Blocks. While pulling the charm squares out I also gathered a couple of future projects and put fabric and patterns together in project bags.  And then I rearranged the One Block Wonder blocks on the floor so that I'm a little closer to deciding on a final layout.  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Design assistance

I know he thinks he's being helpful, but he's laying on top of 2 paper plates with hexies.  He was sleeping under the piano across the room, but as soon as I began to lay these down he waddled right over and plopped down in the midst of my project.  And when a 20 pound cat stretches out for a nap he takes up considerable real estate.

Winter returned

This is our back deck this morning, and it's still snowing.  Officially we got 16.5" of snow since Wednesday on top of rain and then ice.  Our house is U-shaped and this deck is protected in the U.  Plus we have 60 trees in our yard so it really is fairly well protected unless the wind is out of the south.  On the north side of the house the snow is hip deep on my 6' husband in places on our driveway. He is out there now (on his 65th birthday) wrestling with the snowblower trying to clear the driveway and then sidewalks.  No snowplow has come through our street yet either so we aren't going anywhere today, unless it's much later.  

Considering the impact a storm like this has on livestock, we have it really easy. I do remember how much work it was to keep our cattle safe when we still farmed.  And it's the middle of calving season around here. 

For comparison - this was yesterday morning - before we got the wind along with additional snow. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Snow storm sewing time

Yesterday's ice storm turned into a blizzard over night, with lots of wet snow sticking to everything on top of a thick layer of ice.  That meant I wasn't going anywhere today, and freed up some time to sew.  The temptation to begin a new project was very strong.  But I looked at the UFO projects hanging around and decided to work on the Halloween One Block Wonder that was on my UFO list for February - with no progress. 

All of the hexie halves for this project are now sewn and ready to lay out with the panel.  I chose a Halloween fabric panel for this OBW that has a larger scale design, so I cut the strips slightly larger than the pattern book recommends.  These were cut 4.5" so the hexies are large.  And some of them have very interesting looks to them.  A bowl of lettuce and an orange slice come to mind with these two.  And some are a bit too monochromatic, but I think they will blend together nicely with the panel.  

The new blocks are in the stack on the left and the blocks made during the class I took are in the stack on the right.  The panel is folded up on top.  And this clears off a nice bit of horizontal surface in my sewing room for now.  Each pair of hexies is lying on a paper plate so they should be easy to lay out and rearrange on the floor, which is my next step.  I think this could end up being a very large quilt.  

As for the weather, it began here Tuesday evening with rain that continued most of the day on Wednesday.  By supper time it began to freeze.  Those little icicles formed all along the edges of our deck railings.  You can even see the layer of ice on top of the railing.  It was pretty, but we know this was also happening on tree branches and power lines.  Our lights flickered a few times during the day but did stay on.  We were luckier than a lot of people in this part of South Dakota who did lose power.  

And this was what we awoke to see this morning.  We now have about 12" of fresh wet snow, which is half of what they predicted we could get before this ends tomorrow.  But it's taking its toll on our trees.  Our house sits on a lot that is just over an acre and has 60 trees on it.  One of the biggest ones is an ash just outside our family room windows. And one huge branch was hanging so low this morning that it was nearly touching the windows. So my husband went out and knocked a lot of snow and ice off that branch.  But it hasn't lifted back up by much so we're concerned that the branch will come down with this wind, or need to be cut later.  He also plans to go out now and blow the snow from the driveway before the second half of this storm hits us this afternoon.    

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A brown bag

It's always fun to put those final stitches into any project and that happened for the brown floral Sew Together bag.  A little label and a zipper pull added some little extra touches to this one.  I'm hoping the knitter this one is going to will enjoy it.  I'll get it in the mail to her next week. 

The ends and lining are peach with dark brown stitching.  Those pocket sections gave me fits on this bag, including broken needles. But in the end it turned out fine.

In the past 3 weeks, both of these Sew Together bags were finished from the kits I had cut.  Two more full kits remain, plus I found another bag front that I had made from selvages as a class sample a couple of years ago when I taught this class at The Pin Cushion. So that makes a third one in the UFO/WIP list. But I think it's time to work on something else for awhile.  

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Closing in on another finish

Another Sew Together bag is nearly finished.  I took this photo just before adding the top zipper and handles unit.  So now I'm watching the  Baylor and Notre Dame women play in the NCAA women's basketball championship - and doing the hand stitching to finish this bag.  

Then maybe next week I can dig into my April UFO Challenge projects.  The number drawn was 5 and I have 3 projects on my list under #5: a set of 2 Minion pillowcases, a pillow top with a camper block from Lori Holt's designs (needs quilting), and my large Farm Girl Vintage blocks need to become quilt tops.  Just deciding which project to pull out might be the hardest thing.  Or I could go back and work on a couple of UFO projects from previous months.  What to do, what to do?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

RSC19 - aqua kitty

Some lunch hour sewing and my aqua cat block is complete.  I really like the yellow heart on this one.  But it wasn't without some seam ripper time.  When I was doing a final pressing on the completed block, I noticed that one of the 1" squares was sewn onto the wrong corner of an aqua rectangle just under the cat's collar.  Oops!!  But it didn't take long and I had that replaced.  

Now I'm going to get back to working on the brown floral Sew Together bag.  I had time to sew the end sections together and got 1 of the 3 zippers into the pocket sections today.  But rest will have to wait as I have things to work on for both of my part time jobs this afternoon.  

Monday, April 1, 2019

Design Wall Monday

What's on your design wall today?  Mine has various blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  RSC19 color for April is aqua and I had some fun this morning with my stash of aqua fabrics.  Check out a few more at:

The 6.5" flower block is from Lori Holt's Spelling Bee book.  I love how the aqua block turned out and it fits right in with the other colors.  Right now I have no idea what I'll do with these blocks but they so cute that I know they will speak to me at some point.

The rainbow string blocks have been accumulating since last year, so there are colors not selected yet for 2019.  There are actually 13 blocks in that stack.  Each of them is squared up to 9.5" and I'm thinking that I'll sash them with black to make the colors pop.  These will make a good donation quilt for a child most likely. 

There was enough of this aqua Grunge dot left from the border of my OBW quilt to make another Ohio Star.  These blocks are 10.5", and again I have no idea exactly what they might become. But that's OK isn't it?  

I've also pulled the aqua fabrics to make my cat block.  It will have a bright yellow heart.  I might even have time to work on the cat block yet today.  Plus I need to get back to work on the brown floral bag I'm making.  Sounds like some good goals for the week.