Thursday, September 30, 2021

September in review

September has been a very busy month, will lots of blocks made, and I definitely added to the "flimsy" numbers hanging in my closet.  But I did actually quilt one of those flimsies myself as well.  The Rainbow Friendship baby quilt is completely done.

Finished tops for this month included a Quilt of Valor made from the Summer Soiree blocks, the UFO project Circa 2016 (tons of tiny blocks), and a baby quilt using the Fish School row from an old Row By Row kit.  I have to admit it's kind of fun to look in the closet and see these tops hanging there.  The Circa 2016 quilt is in the hands of a quilter, so I'm anxiously waiting to see what she does with it.

Halloween Party is "kind of" a flimsy - and it's because I can't decide if I'm going to leave it as is or add some borders to make it bigger. I have enough of the background print to add at least one border, but I can't decide.  If I add a light border, then I feel like it will need a final darker border and that might involve making another purchase. 

Plenty of progress on block sets for other projects was made - Farmer's Wife Sampler (over half), Checkered Stars (not quite half), second set of Summer Soiree (all made), Tulip Time (8 more Tulips), and more.  I even managed to make and send 4 blocks to a charity block drive.  

I'm always happy when I see mostly blue notes in my goal list. And it's OK to keep moving those red notes into the new month.  

  • Monthly sew-along projects
    • choose fabric for NEW Saturday Sampler - delayed one month
    • weekly Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks - kept up and we're over halfway!!
    • weekly Summer Soiree blocks - all blocks made
    • Pillow of the Month - NO
    • Simple Whatnots  - NO 
  • Squirrels & PIGS & other new things
    • Block drive - patriotic Jelly Belly Bar - parts cut for a few blocks
    • Halloween blocks (new project) - it is now a flimsy
    • who knows what Squirrels may cross my path this month??
    • Pick a PIG - Queen's Garden runner - not started
  • Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC21) in ORANGE 
    • House block - - DONE
    • Bunny block - already had a coral one, so no orange needed
    • Twinkle Star blocks - made 1 in orange
    • Tulip Time blocks - 4 new Tulip blocks were made
    • sandwich & quilt - Scrappy bright Friendship block baby quilt - DONE
  • UFO and WIP projects - make some progress
    • APQ UFO Challenge #1 (Temecula Circa 2016) - in hands of quilter
    • Sew all of the Wisdom blocks into rows - NO Progress
    • make more pillowcases
      • 2 pillowcases for Quilts of Valor - NO
      • 3 Halloween pillowcases for grandkids - DONE & delivered + 2 extras
    • more blocks for Checkered Stars - 4 more blocks made
    • navy blue Sew Together bag - NO Progress
    • Fish School quilt - flimsy stage
    • Quilt the little Lori Holt Bee Patriotic project - NO Progress
  • Cleaning and Organizing my sewing space
    • clean off my cutting space
    • organize the patriotic fabrics

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Summer Soiree in summery colors

Yesterday wasn't much of a sewing day, but it was a fun day.   

One block to show - the final Summer Soiree block in the second set of blocks.  I made this set in bright batiks and summery florals. These blocks will hang in the closet for awhile because I have not decided how I want to put them together.  But there are 12 of them ready to become a new quilt.  

Mostly in the morning I did a bit of organizing again.  During the month I had made 4 new Tulip Time blocks, and I cut the sashing to sew them into a new "quad" section, plus kitted up another 4 of the little blocks.  And I've put away all of the Halloween fabrics that I had scattered around as I made the pillowcases for the grandkids and the Halloween quilt.  

And in the afternoon my husband and I played golf with some friends.  We all played the front 9 holes, but on the back 9 we ladies just rode in our cart and followed them.  It was hot and neither of us gals really wanted to play all 18.  But it was actually fun to just follow them in our golf cart, park in the shade, enjoy the breeze, and sip a cold beverage while watching the guys finish the round.  And there was almost a hole-in-one to witness, as one of the guys had a ball stop just 1 inch from the cup on #17.  That would have been exciting!

The trees are beginning to put on their fall colors.  We were kind of struck by the streak of gold leaves dusting the fairway on this hole.  It was like someone had spilled a big jar of golf glitter in just that spot.  I took this from the ladies tee box on #4. 

And today I get to present a Quilt of Valor to a veteran here in town.  More on that another day. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Home Is . . . final block

 The "mystery" block to finish off my house collection is complete. Although . . . it might need a little heart in that center.  Maybe. 

The Home Is sew-along from Pat Sloan included this Courthouse Steps block with a cat or a dog silhouette.  We no longer have our kitty, but his memory is still a big part of our lives as we had him for 19 years.  So it seemed perfect to include this block with the houses. In the steps, I used one strip of each color of house made over the course of the year.  

I love how these blocks play together.  My plan is still to use a Circle of Nine layout, but haven't decided on anything yet.  I need to find something colorful to use as the sashing or spacers and that might help me decide. Ironically when I layed them out on the kitchen floor for the photo I realized that just sewing them together like this would work too.  So . . . these blocks will hang in the closet and marinate a bit while a plan is developed.  

Monday, September 27, 2021

Design Wall Monday - another QOV

 Another flimsy is complete and ready for quilting.  This Quilt of Valor was made with the red/white/blue Summer Soiree blocks (Pat Sloan), plus a couple of simple borders.  Sampler quilts really make me happy.

The only thing purchased for this one was that navy outer border print. I had some of it already, but not enough for a border.  Everything else was in the stash.  Counts as another scrappy quilt right?

I have another set of these blocks to play with, but in summery bright fabrics. I haven't decided yet what I want to do with that set. 

What is on your design wall today? 

I'm also linking up with Monday Making:

Sunday, September 26, 2021

A good reminder

 Saturday morning I went to the funeral for a friend who will be missed by everyone who knew her.  Her brother-in-law was the pastor and he gave us all some good advice.

Life is too short.

Take the trip, eat the cupcake, read the book, laugh more, hug those you love every chance you get.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Orange is in the house

 The orange house block brings the total to 8, and I have a plan for something different for the 9th (final) block in this RSC project.  This block is "Home Is" from Pat Sloan.  My plan is to use one of the designs from the Circle of Nine book for these blocks, but I haven't made a final decision yet on which one to go with.  The center of the circle however will be the "mystery" 9th block. 

I chose all bright saturated colors for these blocks.  If you've followed me very long then you know bright colors are my happy place.  

I took all 8 blocks out to the deck and layed them out in the dappled sunlight.  I really love all these bright colors together.  That final block will NOT be a house, and it will have all 8 of these colors in it.  

I'm linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge today:

Friday, September 24, 2021

Progress on a couple of projects

 Thank you to everyone who confirmed my feeling that a darker brown sashing would be better with the Farmers Wife Sampler blocks.  I bought a lovely rich deep brown and have added the sashing to a dozen of the blocks to try it out.  It was definitely the right decision.

This photo isn't very good and definitely doesn't show any of the colors accurately, but I can see the contrast I was looking for with the sashing.  These blocks will be set on point in the quilt so there will be setting triangles needed too - probably also cream like the cornerstones.

The Quilt of Valor that I’m making with the red/white/blue Summer Soirée blocks is coming together.  Half of the blocks are now sewn together and both borders are cut and ready to add. I used the fabric in the background of that last block for the inner border.  And while I was shopping for brown, I also bought enough of a navy blue star fabric (that was in a couple of blocks) to put on an outer border.  

I’m really hoping that by the end of the weekend that the Quilt of Valor will be a finished quilt top.  There probably won't be any sewing time on Saturday as I'm going to a funeral, and in the evening one of our neighbors is having a get-together.  

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Blocks, blocks, blocks

 The final block for Summer Soiree (Pat Sloan design) was released yesterday, and I managed to get the red/white/blue version made.  I'll make the batik/floral version another day.  She ended the block series with a beautiful star block and I love star blocks "the mostest". 

I added the 2" frames around all of these blocks, half red and half blue.  Originally I was thinking that I would look for a print that reads lighter than the frames for sashing in between the framed blocks.  And then maybe I'll add an outer border of a blue print.  However - maybe I'll add just a light colored inner border and a darker outer border, without sashing between the blocks.  I kind of like them butted up together like this.  The quilt will be a future Quilt of Valor.   

I was distracted yesterday by the contractor showing up 2 hours early to replace my walk-in door on the garage.  Early is so much better than late, right?  This door was ordered in May and just arrived this week so I'm thrilled they were able to get here at all.  The door is now installed, except for the digital locking mechanism which still hasn't arrived.  

The previous door had no window, and it had gotten to a point where it didn't lock consistently or securely.  The new one has a nice window to let some light into the garage.  This is a BIG improvement for sure.  And while we wait for the digital lock we do have keys for it. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Farmers Wife Sampler progress

 We are up to 60 blocks completed for our Farmers Wife Sampler challenge.  Seeing that little stack growing is very exciting for me.  I know that I wouldn't have gotten this far if not for making them along with a friend each week. There are 51 left to make for the complete quilt, so with 2 per week were still have about 6 months to go.

This little basket is just the right size to hold my blocks, the book, and the envelope full of templates.  I don't always use the templates themselves unless the shape is unusual like in the Honeycomb block from this week.  If it's a triangle, square or rectangle I just measure the template and rotary cut like with any other block piece.  The book never gives any measurement except saying the finished blocks are all 6.5" square.  Even the sashing strips have a template - for a 1.5" by 6.5" strip.  Isn't that funny?

And speaking of sashing, notice on the book cover the sashing is a dark brown with a cream cornerstone.  You can't see it, but the setting triangles along the edges are also cream.  I was digging into my "brown" drawer in the stash to see if I had anything similar to that dark brown.  This medium brown solid was in the drawer, and there are over 3 yards of it.  

What do you think?  My first impression is that it is too light and doesn't have a good contrast with some of the fabrics in the blocks.  Plus it's kind of a "poop brown" which isn't a color I would normally buy, so I'm not even sure what it was even purchased for.  

I may pull a darker brown just to see if the contrast works better, even if I don't have enough of it to actually use.  I've even considered using black.  Anyone have some feedback for me?  

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Is it Tuesday already?

 September is nearly gone, and I just checked my list of goals to see how I've done so far. HMMM - not as well as expected, but I have been able to check off a few things so I guess it's all OK.  

I'm working on blocks this week for ongoing projects - Farmers Wife Sampler, Summer Soiree, and the orange house block for RSC.  

Checkered Stars will be one of my continued projects this week again.  The parts are all on my big design board, so I can just move it around as needed.  All of the white and grey pieces are cut, but I still need to cut some of the colored pieces from the second charm pack for this one.  Maybe I'll have the top done by Christmas!  LOL  

The Halloween Party blocks are all assembled into a top, and I went with the diagonal layout after lots of deliberation.  It's 48 by 60 without borders, which would be an OK size for a good couch quilt.  But I really feel like it needs borders. There is plenty of the background left to put on a narrow or medium size border all around.  And then I will decide whether or not to add a final outer border.  

Last Friday I got in the car and drove to 5 of the 7 quilt shops on a regional shop hop.  And I'm quite proud of myself for NOT spending a lot of money.  It's so easy to go crazy on a shop hop because every shop has unique samples made up to tempt us.  Each shop was giving away a mini charm pack and a pattern for something to use those little pieces.  One pattern used the minis to make a 16-patch block that was then set on point inside a churn dash block.  Such a simple, cute idea.  

One granddaughter wants a bag to carry her lesson books to piano lessons, so I was on the lookout for some musical fabric.  Rhythms & Hues (3Wishes fabric) jumped out at me.  It is so pretty with the splashes of colors, and all of the musical instruments.  I bought enough for a bag and a pillowcase.  

On a side note - We are going to a wake this evening for a lovely lady who was our nearest neighbor when we lived on the farm back in the 1970s and 80s.  She raised chickens and always brought us 2 or 3 fresh chickens when she butchered, as a thanks for being careful not to run any chickens over when we drove by every day.  Yes - free range chickens!!  And the year that Laura was due in early January, we had been snowed in already so many times. She called to reassure me that her husband would help us get to the highway if I went into labor and were snowed in - OR she would help deliver that baby.  She had one of her 9 babies at home.  Luckily I went into labor between blizzards just before Christmas!  She also babysat our youngest one school year.  We were blessed with wonderful neighbors in those years!!

Monday, September 20, 2021

Design Wall Monday - Sept. 20

 No sewing happened between Thursday morning and Sunday afternoon.  But I did manage to get last week's Summer Soiree blocks made, so I'm caught up again.  And this week Pat Sloan will post the 12th and final block for the sew-along.

My batik and floral version used a yellow flowery print, with a red batik to pick up the color in the flower petals.  I debated about making one stripe red and one aqua, but decided to stick with just the red in this one. 

And my patriotic version alternated reds and blues. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to use her layout design or not.  She has each of these blocks framed, and then sashing and cornerstones added.  I like how it looks, but am just not sure what direction I'll go with them. 

 The rainbow baby quilt is all quilted and bound.  It really did turn out cute, and every single part of it was pulled from leftovers - even the backing and batting. The blocks started out as a challenge to the Sew Vintage group back in July to make something using scraps.  All of the bright Friendship blocks were made with scraps.  The border and the yellow binding was something I found in the stash, and that border was chosen partially because August's RSC color was aqua, and I finished the top in August.  The backing was left over from a graduation quilt back in the spring, and the batting was left over as well.  I even quilted it myself on my regular machine.

What is on your design wall today? 

I'm also linking up with Monday Making:

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Just a bit of orange

One small challenge for this week was to cut a Halloween panel apart and make "something" - which turned out to be a couple of mug rugs.  Obviously there is a LOT of the panel left to play with but it was a good start.  A little hand quilting will help these take shape.  You can see the needle in that bottom one, toward the left. 

I outlined the witch and the moon already, and will finish up on the left side.  Then I'll do a bit of the same on the top mug rug.  They are kind of cute!!

 I've been slowly quilting the rainbow baby quilt the past couple of days.  I have about a quarter of it left to go, and then I'll get the binding on.  Maybe tomorrow . . . because I'm headed to Jonah's flag football game shortly.

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge today!!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Historical quilting

 Thursday afternoon I saw something amazing and beautiful - an antique Political Ribbon Quilt.  This was a full sized quilt covered with antique ribbons from all over the country, along with a few pins and buttons.  There did seem to be a focus on Mitchell, and even the Corn Palace, but there were many other locations and organizations represented.  

The edges of the quilt and a few ribbons were Shattered Silk, so it was beginning to disintegrate in a few places.  But most of the ribbons were in remarkable condition.  And most of the dates on these ribbons were 1890s. 

The quilt was donated locally and I don’t have many details, other than the donor wishes to remain anonymous.  There is a plan to display this incredible quilt, in a safe and responsible way - once they figure out what will work best.  This is a big quilt so it will take some creativity to preserve.  

I took a few photos, in particular of ribbons that were specific to Mitchell.  I'm wishing I could have taken more pictures because there were some really interesting ribbons and pins.  At this time, I don’t have any details on who might have made this beauty or who collected all of the ribbons.  But I’m sure glad I got to see it in person.  

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Random stitching

Wednesday morning was wide open for sewing, but I had so many project ideas floating around my head that it was very hard to focus.  However . . . I bribed myself.   

If and only if, I got both Farmers Wife Sampler blocks for the week made, then I would allow myself to play with something else.  This Homemaker block was really tricky, with angled seams.  Victory was sweet when it turned out the right size and layed flat. Yay!!

Old Windmill was simple because it was just half square triangles.  We've completed 58 of the 11 blocks to date.  Seeing that pile of 6.5" blocks growing taller is very satisfying.

Checkered Star is a PIG that I've been working on all summer - very slowly.  Two more blocks have joined the set.  The parts are cut for more, so I'm hoping to keep doing a couple of them every couple of days until they are all done. 

And my reward for progress on some on-going projects was to play with one of the Halloween panels that have been languishing in the drawer.  So far a couple of mug rugs are taking shape using sections from the panel plus scraps from the drawer.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Midweek progress

 My spreadsheet tells me that with the Halloween pillowcases I just made for the grandkids, I've made a total of 29 so far this year.  Mason chose the purple bat fabric for his pillowcase.  And Jonah - my bug boy - picked the spiderwebs.  That didn't surprise me as he is fascinated by all bugs. 

Daughter #1 had an idea for a good Christmas gift for Olivia.  She's taking piano lessons, and could use a nice music-themed tote bag for her piano books.  I think that will be a fun project.  

Tuesday I pulled out a pile of quilts for babies and kids to see what I had available.  Daughter #1 needed a gift for a friend.  There were several good options for a little girl.  I sent her pictures, and she chose the Beads quilt that I made about a year ago.  Seeing it again made me think that I should make these blocks again for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  

I've made enough of the Halloween blocks (20) for a good sized couch throw.  However, my obsessive need for symmetry is having trouble with having those half squares across the bottom.  So now I'm trying to decide whether or not to make it bigger. I have plenty of fabric.  Or maybe I need to change up the layout completely to eliminate those obvious squares.    

Hmmm . . . an alternative layout would solve that problem.  I left all of the blocks in the same location, but turned them so that the background forms a stripe between the colors.  This will require some thought.  Any feedback would be highly appreciated.  


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

It's Tuesday!

 Sunday morning was cool and beautiful, so it was an excellent day to go to the zoo.  These 2 kiddos and their mom were my companions for a couple of hours.  The animals were pretty active since it was cool outside.  We saw bears fighting over food, the Singing Dogs were howling, the Komodo Dragon was walking around flicking his tongue, and the black rhinos were happily grazing up close to the fence where we could see them easily.

Sophia was headed to a softball camp right after the zoo, so she was wearing her softball pants and shirt.  I passed on sitting in the stands for 3 hours watching the camp and went shopping for new tennis shoes instead before hitting the interstate and heading west toward home.  No luck finding shoes however!  I have trouble with shoes due to my Achilles problems.  I'll keep looking.  

Monday afternoon sewing was brief, and interrupted when the contractor showed up to fix our deck door.  The locking mechanism had arrived.  Now, we're still waiting on the new garage door - which we thought had arrived, but is actually back ordered yet.  Olivia chose the black cat fabric for her new pillowcase and I got that one done.  Jonah's spider web case is partially sewn.  

And I made 2 (identical) blocks for a charity block drive. They chose a modified 9-patch block in fall colors.  Today I'm hoping to make a couple more of these, and finish Jonah's pillowcase. Then I can start working on Mason's pillowcase. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Design Wall Monday - Summer Soirée

 The Summer Soirée blocks from last Wednesday are very different from previous weeks.  But they were kind of fun to make, and they do look good with the other blocks.

One block using the brights, and the other block using the red, white and blue.

There are only 2 blocks to go on this sampler, so at some point I'll need to actually make some decisions on layouts, sashings, and borders. 

I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday and Making Monday.  What are you working on today?

Sunday, September 12, 2021

My weekend

 As usual, my husband is playing in a golf tournament all weekend. Again. Is it winter yet?  But I had plenty of fun things going on this weekend to keep me busy for a change.

Saturday I went to the movie Queen Bees with a friend, and then out for a beer.  We enjoyed a nice cool evening on the patio of a local establishment.  So relaxing!  And I would highly recommend that movie.  I know it’s available to stream on some platforms.  But I was glad it came to our local theater.  I think there were maybe 10 people at the 4:30 movie, so social distancing was not a problem.  

Earlier on Saturday I had quilt guild, and then the Sew Vintage group met. I think there were only 8 of us at Sew Vintage, but it was enjoyable as always.  

And today the plan is the zoo in the morning with 2 of the grandkids, and then who knows what else will end up on my agenda.  I hope you all are having a good weekend too. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Playing with orange

With the Rainbow Scrap Challenge moving into orange for the month of September, I found myself drawn to Halloween fabrics and falls fabrics.  

I wasn't playing with scraps for these Halloween fabrics, but instead pulled out some fat quarters and other yardage.  There is a whole drawer full of Halloween prints in my sewing room.  There are some new Halloween pillowcases kitted up for grandkids, and then there are these blocks.  I picked out one of the Pat Sloan blocks that I really liked and decided to play with the block in Halloween fabrics.  This is block #7 from her Summer Soiree series.  I have no idea how many I'll make or how they will eventually be layed out, but these will make a cute quilt.

Now . . . the Ohio Star blocks and the Twinkle Star blocks were made with scraps.  These have now been added to the hangers with the other blocks made with previous colors.  More of both are needed to make quilts using them, but there is no rush.  These may just continue on into 2022.

There will NOT be a new orange Country Bunny block made this month.  A few months ago I made a coral bunny block, so I think this satisfies that colorway sufficiently.  But I do plan to make an orange house block - maybe that will happen next week.   

I'm linking up with RSC today . . .

Friday, September 10, 2021

It’s almost the weekend

Still playing with Halloween fabrics!  But no sewing happened yesterday.  I worked in the morning, then helped a couple of quilting friends attach law enforcement patches to a banner, then headed to my grandson Mason’s flag football game.  

I’m working a half day today again, but I have the pieces cut for a dozen blocks using my Halloween prints, and can’t wait to make some progress on them.  

My weekend should involve plenty of sewing time again because my husband is playing in a 2 day golf tournament. Again.  

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Fish School flimsy

 Sometimes a change in plans makes all the difference in whether you like a project or love a project, and Fish School is one of those times.  I love how this turned out!!

The new jelly roll I chose was a line called Glass Beads, and the colors are so pretty with little dots and circles of lots of color.  This was a much better finish than the Kaffe would have been.  It has a "cleaner" look.  And I can use that Kaffe jelly roll in something else eventually.  

This worked out to 43 x 52", and should make a nice baby quilt with it's bright primary colors.  There are enough left over strips to do a scrappy binding too.  Now to find a good backing.

The fish row was a Row By Row kit that I picked up in Iowa several years ago.  I had originally thought it would be a bench pillow or maybe a table runner.  But this is what it really wanted to be.  There are more of these row kits in my cabinet, so maybe I can do something similar with another one eventually.