Sunday, May 31, 2020

Raspberry Cocoa is finally DONE!!

Raspberry Cocoa has been on my UFO list for 3 years and I can finally check it off.  I love the pink and brown combo in this quilt.  But the reason it was a UFO for so long is because I was hand quilting it.  And because I would set it aside for months at a time with no progress.  

I thought I had chosen a simple design, but it really got lost on this quilt.  My hand quilting choices need to be simpler when used on a busily pieced quilt.  So I ended up simplifying the border quilting - with loops in the corners only, and connected with a simple wavy line down each side. 

Raspberry Cocoa is a Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots design from a few years ago.  And ironically it was one of my #11 items from the APQ UFO Challenge.  Number 11 was announced this morning as the June UFO number. And I had just finished quilting it this morning.  The other 2 items list under #11 on my list are: Pick a Pig and Urban Cabin quilt.  I'm currently working on a PIG (6th grade) so that is good timing.  And the pillow top I showed isn't even on the list.  Guess my plan will be to continue with the 6th grade blocks, and finish quilting that pillow top so I can put it together this next week.   

Saturday, May 30, 2020

A light bulb moment

While hanging up some blocks on pants hangers in my sewing room closet, I was distracted by the WIPs and UFOs draped over other hangers in there. Two different Row By Row projects were hanging there, including this row from 2017.  

All of my Row By Row kits, patterns, and license plates are in 2 overflowing project boxes.  After  pulling this row out of the closet I had to dig into the project boxes to find the pattern again so that I could figure out when and when it was purchased.  I picked this row kit up at The Quiltmaker’s Shoppe in Manchester, Iowa while on a road trip with my husband to visit his Iowa clients.  I think I made it soon after purchasing it - and then just hung it in the closet.  I even blogged about all of the goodies purchased on that road trip.  I love all of the  Row By Row license plates and it was a blast looking through those the other day.  

And the light bulb went off in my head about then.  Wouldn’t this row look good as a long bench pillow?  I hadn’t put away the leftover backing from Hayride yet and that soft brown fit in perfectly with the spools in this row.  I know - another distraction, but I just HAD to play with this.  After a little measuring, I cut a 1.5” inner border from a red, and then added 4.5” outer borders.  It’s ready to quilt before trimming it all down slightly to fit the pillow form. I went to The Pin Cushion and bought a little more of the brown for the pillow back.  I already have the long pillow form because I made a Kimberbelle Valentine cover for it this winter.  Hopefully this will be a finish before another 3 years go by, right?

But I promise I'm still working on those 6th Grade quilt blocks too.  

Friday, May 29, 2020

More RSC blocks

 Other quilter’s blogs are always giving me new ideas and inspiration. Earlier this week, The Academic Quilter showed the Ohio Star blocks that she is making for this year’s Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  She is making 2 different sizes, but more exciting to me was seeing that she is also making blocks with the colors reversed.  

A few of those reversed blocks would add some interesting spots in my own quilt and may be a great way to break up some of the white I’ve been using in the backgrounds.  So here is a pink block to go with the pink one already made, and then a light blue one along with it’s opposite version.  Light blue wasn’t one of this year’s colors - yet - but there was a fat quarter laying on top of the bin, so it seemed like a good color to add to the rainbow. 

I'm still working on the blocks for 6th Grade.  Two more blocks are completely finished, with another 6 of them just needing the final colored pieces and the side triangles.  I have been thinking however that I really don't care for the NAME of this pattern. Love the pattern, but just not feeling that name.  So I'm looking for inspiration for a new name for this quilt.  Any ideas out there??

Thursday, May 28, 2020

This n That

I learn something new every day - I hope.  Yesterday on Facebook I saw a post about acronyms for quilting. Most were things I know and use frequently: WIP, UFO, WOF, HST, etc.  But there were a couple that I plan to adopt.

WISP - Work in SLOW Progress.  I'm binding a WISP right now.  Raspberry Cocoa is a Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots project from about 3 years ago that I've been hand quilting.  This is one of those projects that had been residing in a travel bag so I could quilt while sitting in the car or in a hotel room.  Then last winter I pulled it out to work on, and then it lay on a pile of UFO projects until this weekend.  The quilting is done now except for a narrow outer border, but I'm binding it and then will fit the final quilting into the border.  In my case, choosing to hand quilt a project almost guarantees that it will become a WISP.  

WHIMM - Works Hidden in My Mind.  This is the bulletin board in my sewing room.  It hangs between a little basement window (up high) and my ironing board.  It is my idea collection spot.  Notice the framed pinwheel blocks I've been working on - hanging there in a baggie.  And some tiny 9-patch blocks framed with the same type of triangles with hand written instructions.  Several patterns, my calendar, and hiding in there are my Tri-Recs rulers and Companion Angle rulers so they don't get lost.  And really hidden is my little flag that says FOCUS - which reminds me that I should focus more often.  

And I really need to make a sign for my sewing room with this acronym that I've seen before, but need to keep in mind.  SABLE - Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expentancy.  Every time I see that acronym I think about all the treasures living in my sewing room, just waiting for the right project.  And some of that stash is a WWIT - What Was I Thinking!  

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Progress on multiple projects

A morning off work yielded a little progress on 3 different projects.  Another set of 8 blocks is gaining rounds.  That second round of colored pieces is now sewn on and they are ready for the second narrow grey round.  And all of the pieces for a last set of 8 blocks have been cut and organized.  I hope to have all of the blocks done by the end of May. 

The RSC color for May was dark green and I finally made my dark green Ohio Star block.  I didn't get all of my dark green RSC blocks made.  For some reason I wasn't excited about dark green.  But the color for June was released early and it's PINK!!!  Yay!  My pink Ohio Star block turned out great.  There are now 17 of these blocks, with some made in 2019 and some in 2020.  Not enough yet for a whole quilt, but we're getting closer. 

And . . . the blue sashing strips have finally been added to these 12" patriotic blocks.  I made the blocks a couple of years ago - at least.  I think it was a block pattern called Fireflies from Saturday Sampler back in 2017, but I'm not positive about that.  And I'm not sure when I made the actual blocks.  The centers were fussy cut to show off the flags.  I also have no idea what I had planned to do with these blocks, but the sashing was in the bag with the blocks.  I'm going to take this next time I go to The Pin Cushion and see if I can find an appropriate border fabric to make a table runner.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Rainy day projects

A cool rainy day killed my golf plans for yesterday. And on a day like that it’s cold in my basement sewing room, so I spent the day hand stitching upstairs in front of the TV.  The binding on Hayride is finished.  This was a Sew Vintage group challenge - to make a barn quilt from Lori Holt's book Farm Girl Vintage 2.  Her patterns are always some of my favorites.

And the hand quilting on Raspberry Cocoa has had major progress made.  This is a Kim Diehl project from a previous year's Simple Whatnots Club.  I only have the final border remaining to quilt now.   Normally I would wait to bind this after the quilting is all done, but I am going to add the binding so I can make adjustments to how I line up that final quilting.  It’s a small piece so I’m not too concerned about distortion.  This has been on my UFO list for 2 years and I'm determined to finish it in 2020.  

I'm taking this morning off work, and plan to go down and sew while I have a chance.  I have a couple of Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks to make.  And the binding strips for Raspberry Cocoa is ready to stitch together, press, and attach to that little quilt.  I also have another 8 blocks cut and ready to sew for 6th grade.  And there is another UFO ready to add some sashing strips to.  Plenty to choose from so I'm not likely to get bored today. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

6th Grade progress

Halfway - that is where I've gotten so far with making the blocks for 6th Grade.  I have 19 blocks made - 20 if I actually counted that really light one that I'm not going to use.  The quilt needs 36 blocks.  I have the next 8 block sections laid out and ready to sew.  

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Flower pots and duct tape

This is really the extent of my gardening these days.  When our kids were still living at home I had a vegetable garden with the usual tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, etc.  But I gave that up and now I plant a couple of pots of flowers for the back deck and the front porch.  That's it.

This year I purchased a pretty solar powered rain gauge for the pot on the deck.  But I missed buying the bottom half of the metal spike to put into the dirt.  My husband came in and told me he had a solution but he needed my help.  Two sticks and a roll of duct tape - that was his solution.  Really?  I said one word - NO.  Guess I hurt his feelings because he stomped off in a huff.  

I currently used the plastic spike from one of those bright plastic spinners left over from last summer.  And I plan to go out to the nursery later today to get a few petunias for the last pot.   I'll see if they still have the metal spikes.  

This pink geranium was from Menards. The spike and the trailing plant were from the nursery.  I have the yellow day lily the kids brought me this week to plant in the rock garden.  And I have a BIG pot of red geraniums to set out on the porch too.  

That will be my garden for 2020.  

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Work gets in the way of sewing

It's the end of the spring semester tomorrow and my online high school classes are blowing up this week with assignments being submitted.  That is one part time job and the invoices for the other job are piling up on my desk.  So that has put sewing on the back burner.  

My plan is to put the binding on Hayride over my lunch break.  This is one of the barn quilt patterns in the Farm Girl Vintage 2 book.  It's all quilted and just waiting for some attention.  This wall hanging would look good hanging over my vintage treadle machine.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A little of this and a little of that

Saturday afternoon I got a request for a couple of masks for a friend.  I made them quickly and she picked them up that evening.  About 30 minutes after she picked the masks up I got a text message from a cousin who needed a couple as well.  So - a little sewing time after lunch on Monday and these could go into the mail the same afternoon.

I was sitting at my desk Monday morning working and saw a white van pull into my driveway.  I thought it might be Dave's new employee stopping by for his hard hat and gear, so I stepped out onto the porch.  And this is the group that popped out of the van - daughter #1 and her 3 kids.  They surprised us!!  It was wonderful to see them even though we could only air hug.  We hung out on the porch and the kids played in the yard.  Our back yard is like being in the woods - lots of big trees and even a boulder to climb on.  This was the highlight of the day for sure!!  It's been 7 weeks since we saw them in person - with us standing in their front yard. 

I have 12 of the framed pinwheel blocks made so far, and just had to play with them a little bit.  They make a good border around another patriotic block.  This is a block that I made as part of a challenge I'm setting up for our QOV group: make any favorite 12" block in patriotic fabrics for a QOV Sampler quilt.  Since the block was handy I tried out how these framed pinwheels look surrounding it.  This would be about 24" square when finished.  Definitely a possibility.

They also look great simply grouped together with no sashing.  With 12 of them I could make a table runner that is about 18" x 24" which is a good size.  Or I could just keep making these for something larger.  The fun is in the "playing". 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Design Wall Monday

One third of the 36 blocks needed to finish 6th Grade, my jelly roll project.  That one lightest block in there may not be kept. We’ll see how it fits in with the rest of them and if I have enough of the background fabric to replace it. Not sure I have the floor space anywhere to lay out the whole thing when I do get the rest of the blocks done.

Checkout a few more design walls at:

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Harvest Road - finished

Another UFO to check off the list.  This is my Harvest Road wall hanging.  That is actually the name of the fabric line, rather than the pattern name which was something about Acorns. But I just didn't see acorns when I looked this one.

It was a Sew Sampler box project made from 2 charm packs of the Harvest Road fabric. I had the background already in the stash. And I added the border and the background and binding fabrics.  Not my normal color choices, but it turned out prettier than I expected.  And it's actually large enough to use as a baby quilt instead of just a wall hanging.  

Saturday, May 16, 2020

And we have blue polka dots

The border fabric on Harvest Road is a dark blue with lighter blue polka dots.  The backing has more - and much bigger - polka dots.  And the quilting is Double Bubble (more dots) done in a pretty blue thread.  The binding process has begun on this small quilt/wall hanging.  

I may have to break out my Ott light again because that dark tan thread is nearly invisible against the background.  It's a cold rainy morning here in South Dakota, so I'm thinking I'll go hide in my sewing room for part of the day before working on this binding more.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Test blocks

It seemed like a good idea to make a test block for the 6th Grade quilt before cutting all of that background fabric.  I often make a test block using scraps but this time I did use the project fabrics.  I had cut all 36 of the starting point squares when I decided that a test block should be a good idea. 

The basic block is done like a braid, starting with a square and then adding the side strips to one corner.  I checked my sizes for all of these pieces to make sure I cut them right.  This is a really quick process and it measured correctly at this point.  

Once the braid section was complete then the instructions said to trim it down both sides so that you have a 7" wide diagonal unit.  Next step was to cut a 10" square of background diagonally into triangles and add them to the sides.  This was a very simple block with nothing tricky. 

 Final step was to square up the whole block to 13.5" using the colored bottom corner to line up the ruler.  And that is where the wheels fell off this bus . . . 

One side was sliver trimmed to 13.5" with no problems. But the other side has a problem - not a huge problem, but a small problem.  The big triangle part was able to be sliver trimmed to the correct size.  But the background square area is about an eighth of an inch too small.  

The second test block was done with scant 1/4" seams and it came out perfectly.  Knowing that solved the problem makes me feel much more comfortable cutting into the rest of the background and jelly roll for the rest of the blocks.   

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Another PIG from the drawers

I feel like something cheerful might kick start my lack of energy this week.  Warm sunshine might help too.  I looked through my collection of PIGS (projects in grocery sacks) to see what I have that wouldn't require any major purchases like background fabrics.  And this was all packed up together in a gallon zip lock bag: a jelly roll, background fabric, and pattern book.

Precut Primer is a small book of patterns by Me and My Sister Designs that I bought on the guild bus trip to Missouri Star about 3 years ago.  The jelly roll is actually an RJR Pixie Strip collection called Mirage that I may have bought on the same trip.  It's full of vivid colors in loud happy prints.  And the pattern I had marked with a sticky note is featured on the cover of the book.  It's called 6th Grade and finishes about 78" square.  This pattern called for 5 1/2 yards of background and even that (light grey) fabric was all folded neatly in the bag.  This seems like a good next project since everything I need is right there in one place - and I've moved it from the bag it was in to one of the empty project boxes.  Having a real project box instead of a bag makes it a priority, right? 

I also picked up 2 small projects from the quilter, so a little binding is in my future.     

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A finish and playing with scraps

I finally got the last side of this Happy Blocks quilt bound, and can check this one off the UFO list.  This is a child size quilt using charm squares that are framed.  I had a lot of cute charms from children's prints and used those for most of the blocks.  There are cars, monkeys, lady bugs, snakes, and lots more.  It's really bright and cheerful and will make a good donation quilt.

A little bit of random scrap play was all I've managed to accomplish so far this week for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The second light blue gingham block has been made, along with another light blue string block.  The light blue was actually last month's color.  Both of these are RSC projects that are ongoing this year.  

On Monday I was browsing through some quilting blogs and saw a quilt that used the square-in-a-square block with pinwheels as the center square.  Pop!! A light bulb went off in my head.  I had a small bag of pinwheels made with leftovers from QOV blocks.  And I had a ton of blue and red scraps left over from QOV blocks.  Why not combine those leftovers?  

 The result is 6.5" square-in-a-square blocks.  I like them.  I don't know what they will become, but I'll keep making these a few at a time.  

My next task really needs to be CLEANING my sewing room.  It's a mess again and when it gets this bad there is a drain on the creativity.  However, I've been distracted by more fabric possibilities, so I know that a deep cleaning won't happen right away. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Oh My Stars border

A 5" border has been added to Oh My Stars, making it 51" x 60".  Right now, it looks too wide.  But the decision to make the border that wide was so that if - after quilting - it looks too wide, then I can trim it down a little.  The other crazy idea running around my head was to search for one of the blue snowman fabrics in this and add one more border.  

That means I need to "live" with this one for awhile and let the ideas percolate. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Design Wall Monday - gingham blocks

What is on your Design Wall today?  Dark green is the color for May, and here are the first of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for the month.  These are the gingham blocks.  

In looking through my gingham blocks, I realized that I made 2 light green and 2 orange blocks. But I only made 1 bright/light blue and only 1 teal/aqua block. So I cut some blue scraps for a second one, and pulled out some teal for another one of those.  I also didn't make a light blue string block last month so while those light blue scraps are out I need to do that one. 

I’m linking up with: 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

One more border

Oh My Stars is mostly done, and I love the antique gold stars.  Again - thank you Nancy for suggesting the gold.

I really think this one needs one more border of the cream to make it a bit bigger.  It's only about 40 by 50" at this point.  I have plenty of the cream left and am just trying to decide how wide to make that final border.  The current border with the star points was cut at 3", so that is an option to just add another one the same width.  Or I could add something a bit wider.  Decisions, decisions.  

Have a great weekend!!  It's cold and windy and rainy here so staying inside sewing won't be much of a hardship.  I have a binding to finish, and then a border to add.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Blog frustrations

I don't understand why people feel they have the right to interfere with simple pleasures of others. 

My blog is really just my quilting journal, for my enjoyment and as a means to interact with other quilters.  But lately I've had more and more "scam" comments, plus I've noticed that new followers are definitely NOT quilt enthusiasts.  I probably can't do anything about the followers - YET - but I've taken steps to cut down on the scam comment posts.

Almost every night for the past week I get 6-8 comments posted on OLD blog posts - usually going back years - like they are trying to hide them.  Which is probably exactly why they put them on old posts. The comments vary in language, with English, French, German and other languages I don't recognize.  Always advertising something like Gucci bags or Rolex watches or some kind of designer shoes.  The content of each comment is identical (copy/paste), and I'm guessing if a person followed the link it would even go to some kind of porn or malware or something nefarious.  GRRRR!  

Over the past few months I had this happen occasionally, and found them because I get an email with the comment. So I would go to that post and delete the comment.  But this past week it's multiple ones EVERY SINGLE night!  So I've changed the settings on my blog so that comments on posts older than 7 days will wait for moderation. Then I can delete them as a group.  I'm hoping that will slow down these weird comments.  And the "name" of the person/entity making the comment is obviously a play on my email domain name.  So frustrating!!!  

Now if Blogger would just find a way for us to block specific followers, I would be even happier.  OK - my rant is over for today. 

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Gold stars - progress

The dark gold stars give this quilt an antique look.  Such a good decision to change these from the boring navy blue - and not to have chosen red.  The first 5 rows out of the 10 total are done. One of the things I really like about this pattern is how the stars drift out into the border.  Check out Pat Sloan's blog for this free pattern called Oh My Stars. 

While watching TV last night I began the binding process on the Happy Blocks quilt.  I should have gotten more than one side stitched down, but Survivor was a great distraction.  I'm definitely a Survivor fan and can't believe this is the 40th season - 20 years of fun.  It's a gloomy day and we expect rain so I'm sure I'll be binding again after work today. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Oh My Stars - color tweak

Some color tweaking has been taking place . . .

On yesterday's post I was questioning my choice of navy blue for the stars in this quilt because they faded into the background, and I asked for ideas. Well, Nancy at Wyoming Breezes suggested gold.  I think that was a brilliant idea!! Thank you Nancy!  I didn't even have to dig very deep to find this dark gold print.  After comparing it to some lighter golds in my stash, this was the winner.  The dark tone seems to fit best with the dusty tones of the blue, an there is a touch of gold in some of the cream squares.  

I picked out the stitches on the blue star corners and simply replaced them with gold triangles.  It was easier than I expected.  I cut the 3" gold squares, and then trimmed them diagonally 1/4" past the corners to make the triangle match the original.  A little care was necessary to make sure I didn't stretch anything on the bias.  

I am so glad I asked the question about the color, and am also glad that I received a couple of great ideas.  Any of the suggestions (red or gold or burgundy) would have been a big improvement from my original navy blue.  Now the stars will pop like they should.  Thank you ladies!!!  Can't wait to find the time to finish putting the 8 rows together.  I may have to do a patriotic version of this quilt so I can make red stars.  LOL

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Pick a PIG - Oh My Stars

I've picked a PIG to work on next - and it's one that I had kitted up myself a year ago at least.  Oh My Stars is a free Pat Sloan pattern.  The pattern uses 2 charm packs plus some yardage, and is a quick easy project.  I have a good start on this Project in a Grocery sack, but now am having some second thoughts on color. 

I had bought the 2 charm packs of Snowman Gatherings III, most likely on a past guild bus trip shop hop.  They are all creams and dusty blues. They layed in a drawer with other charm packs for quite a while - until I saw the Oh My Stars pattern online.  I found a navy blue solid in my stash, and must have bought the cream yardage later.  All of that plus the pattern were in a bag together ready to go.  

Not a lot of time was needed to sew the star points onto some of the charm squares. And last evening I spread everything out on the floor to play with the arrangement.  That is when I started to ask myself why I chose navy blue to make the stars because they just sort of fade into the blocks in places.  So . . . I may do some experimenting.  How about red stars?  What other color would look good with the blue and cream but still keep that winter theme going?