Monday, February 28, 2022

Design Wall Monday - Beads & Hexies & UFOs

 Hello Monday!  It's a fresh new week, and we are getting closer to the end of winter.  That makes me happy!!

I saw this cute little meme on Facebook over the weekend, and knew it was something that described me to a T!!  My sewing room hasn't been neat and tidy in years.  Areas get neat and tidy, but never seem to stay that way for long.  I did clean off my ironing area over the weekend however.  And - better yet - I finished the top of a UFO.  So, that's progress!!

My reward for getting Summer Soiree to the flimsy stage is to start on a new Quilt of Valor.  This is Beads, and I'm nearly halfway done with the blocks.  

I'm using just 2 fabrics for the bead blocks in this quilt, and a very planned layout in vertical columns alternating the colors.  However it would be a terrific scrappy quilt as well.  I might suggest this as a possible QOV block drive in the future.  

As for more UFO progress, the APQ UFO Challenge drew #3 for March, and my #3 is Gingham which is nearly done.  I am about 2/3 of the way around that quilt, stitching down the binding.  I should be able to finish that one this week, so I'm going to return my focus to getting the Blue Hexie project to the flimsy stage too.  It's also a UFO, and it's time to finish it.  I have this Island Batik package of blue 2.5" strips.  I think I'm going to use the darkest ones to put a border around the hexies.  Then I can use the other shades of blue to make a piano key outer border.  The strip set will be good Leaders/Enders in between working on a couple of other on-going projects this month.  

Linking up with Design Wall Monday: 

And with Monday Making:

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Two quilts and some visitors

The view from my dining room window onto the front yard, included these midnight visitors.  Thursday evening we saw 2 deer in the side yard as we pulled into the driveway.  But as my husband was coming to bed a couple of hours later, he looked out the window and called to me to come look.  These four deer were happily pawing away the snow and nibbling on the frozen grass - right next to the sidewalk.  We live in a small city (approx. 15,000) but are on the edges so we're used to seeing a lot of wildlife come through.  But it's still neat to watch them. 

Now for sewing news.  Here it is . . . Summer Soiree with it's borders attached, and ready to be quilted. 

My original thought had been to find a floral or a batik to use as the outer border since all of the blocks have both floral and batik in them.  The frames are a medium grey with little splashes of every color.  And with the outer borders added this flimsy is about 70 x 88.   

One of things I love about shopping in quilt shops in person, is the expertise of employees.  That is certainly true of our local shop, The Pin Cushion, here in Mitchell.  I'm sure it's a mixture of years of experience and a passion for quilting, but those ladies have such good sense of color.  I'm not ashamed to ask for assistance and ideas either.

And Cindy came through - by asking which of the colors in the blocks I really wanted to "take over".  I really didn't want any of the colors to become the main focus.  Her next suggestion was to use that same grey in the frames for the outer border, and then bind it with all of the leftover bright batik colors.  

After laying the top next to that grey fabric I could definitely see that was going to work out really nicely.  A 2" border of the white background, and a 6" border of the grey was an excellent solution for this quilt.  Thanks for your help ladies!!! 

And I got a good start on the newest Quilt of Valor.  This was my personal reward for finishing the flimsy for Summer Soiree.

Beads is the block name, or also known as Chandelier.  I'm very excited already for how this is coming together.  It's so simple, but will be striking I think.  These blocks will be ONE of my priorities this week, and hopefully I'll get the blocks themselves all sewn.  

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Aqua & Teal - Nanci's Stars

 The Nanci's Stars blocks are the last of my aqua and teal RSC blocks for this month.  They were begun when I was gifted some fabric and patterns from the stash of a friend (Nanci) who had passed away last fall very suddenly.  The blue blocks were from a table runner kit, but once I had the blocks made, I decided that I liked the block so much that I would add more via the RSC colors in 2022.

In January 3 red/pink ones were added.  The month's color was red, but I had some really pretty ruby red batiks in the stash so that is what I used. 

And this month I used 3 darker teal/aqua batiks with a light aqua. 

I have no clear plan for these blocks yet, but I do find that I think of Nanci when I'm sewing these.  And like most of my other RSC projects over the years, a final plan becomes clear once I'm done.

No sewing will happen today, as we're headed to the last home game for the Jackrabbit women's basketball team.  And then we're driving to see our granddaughter's last basketball game of the season. 

Let's see what else is going on in the RSC world this week:

Friday, February 25, 2022

Kitting up a new Quilt of Valor

 My friend Evelyn recently texted to me a photo of a Quilt of Valor she saw online, and we both agreed that it would be a great idea for a future project.  I just couldn't get it out of my mind, and even pulled out a blue yardage that I thought would be perfect.  It uses a block pattern called Beads that I've used in the past for a baby quilt, so you know I just couldn't resist. 

Wednesday's shopping produced a red and a background to join that blue.  

Thursday I had time in my sewing room, to cut the kit for this new Quilt of Valor project.  

And I even had time to sew 2 sample blocks to put in with the kit.  These are Beads (or Chandelier) blocks.  They use a 5" square, and 2.5" squares and strips.  It's such an easy pattern, and I'm delighted that Evelyn inspired me to try it as a QOV. 

This is the photo that she sent me - maker unknown unfortunately.  It has 20 red blocks and 25 blue blocks with simple borders added - and my kit is all set with the parts for the same number of blocks.  I'm excited to dive into this one - after I get borders on the current UFO.  

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Buying, not sewing

Here is a confession - there are too many projects floating around in my head, and laying around in my sewing space!  And yes, I've just added to the problem with some Retail Therapy.  

I had to work yesterday - and part of today - but over my lunch break yesterday I went shopping. A lot of yardage has now been added to my sewing room, with some of it due to be cut up very soon, I hope.

*  yardage for a new Quilt of Valor I'm kitting up
*  border fabric for Summer Soiree
*  random tan fabric for bag lining
*  fat quarters - just for fun
*  the final Pillow of Month kit from subscription

The Blue Hexies are all hand appliqued to their neutral backgrounds, so the next step must be "making them into something", right?  I have a possible design idea in my head.  We'll see what comes about now that all 16 are ready to become something.

Today after work I hope to get the borders onto Summer Soiree.  Hint, hint - I went in a totally different direction with the border than I thought I would.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Cold weather sewing

 Wind chills are real . . . and I’ll readily admit to being a complete wimp when it comes to cold weather these days. The days of pulling on my insulated coveralls to go out and feed sheep or bottle calves are far behind me.  So are the days of skiing all day with my kids.  Now, I would much rather stay in and snuggle under a quilt with a good book or some hand stitching.  I didn’t even walk out to the mailbox yesterday so I'll have to brave these temps sometime this morning to get our mail.

This whole week might be perfect for staying home to sew, with these temps.  

These 4 Farmers Wife Sampler blocks came together on Tuesday afternoon, but not without a bit of a struggle with one of them.  That block in the upper left corner is slightly wonky, and also slightly smaller than the 6.5” it is supposed to be.  But I think it will be OK once the sashing is added.  And if not, then I'll just take it apart and fix it. 

Five more small heart block were finished, and I am halfway done with the last of the blue hexie blocks.  

Quad #39 for Tulip Time was finally assembled.  My plan has been to make 40 of these sections with 4 tulips each.  I haven't decided yet if I want to set these on point or straight, or to include sashing between them or not.  It's a Bonnie Hunter pattern originally from her column in Quiltmaker magazine a few years ago.  There have been some interesting layout ideas shared. 

I had planned to attach the binding yesterday to Gingham, but ran out of steam before that happened.  Maybe today I’ll get that binding ready to hand stitch.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

UFO progress is made

 UFO #1 for this month is Summer Soiree, and it definitely needs an outer border.  It still looks unfinished at this point. A bit wrinkled from stepping on it while attempting to smooth it out on the floor - and unfinished. 

The size is 58 x 76, without any additional borders, which is OK.  But it just looks like it needs something more, doesn't it?   My current thought is adding at least a 6" border to all sides.  Or maybe  4" on the top and bottom, with wider ones on the sides.  Some thought will need to go into this. 

The other UFO that saw a bit of progress is Gingham.  Before buying something to use as binding, I decided to go through that green drawer one more time.  And in the very bottom was this mossy green piece.  The color works with the quilt and a hallelujah - there was actually enough.  

My main goal for Tuesday involves attaching that binding to the Gingham quilt, and working on this week's Farmers Wife Sampler blocks.  There are only a few more to make so I can't fall behind now when I'm so close to having them all done. 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Design Wall Monday - February 21

 There is good progress on the Blue Hexie project.  I have 13 of the 16 hexie "flowers" hand appliqued to the squares.  One more is partially stitched, and you can see that I still have 2 more to appliqué onto their squares.  NOTE: the background squares are not actually yellow, but look that way in the lamp light. 

I'm still not 100% sure what I want to do with them, but it does feel good to have kept moving forward with them.  This has been a good project to take along in the car lately.

I also have a shopping list for what I need to finish up a couple of other on-going projects - like finding something that works for binding the Gingham quilt. Nothing in my stash was quite right, or the needed size.  I’m hoping the winter storm predicted will hold off long enough to allow for some errands today.   

Linking up with Design Wall Monday: 

And with Monday Making:

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Just a little teal

 Friday morning was the perfect time to play with some teal.  I had a really pretty teal fat quarter that kept calling to me from the little stack I had pulled out of the stash at the beginning of the month.  Now it's in 2 Ohio Star blocks and in 1 of the Twinkle Star blocks.

There is just enough of that fat quarter left to use in a Tulip Time block, so that may happen over the weekend.  It's one of those fabrics that is so pretty I hated to cut into it, but now I'm loving it in the blocks.  If I see it again, I may have to buy some actual yardage.

Check out what else is happening this week in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge world.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Surprises in the mail

 Oh - the many friends I've made via quilting and genealogy social media platforms!  I really feel blessed some days by the wonderful people I've connected with over the years. We've become friends even though in most cases we haven't met in person - yet.

I was gone Wednesday and Thursday on a little road trip with my sister-in-law, but when I got home last night there was a little package in the kitchen addressed to me from my blogging friend Connie, from my home state of Minnesota.  She loves to crochet and knit, and makes the most beautiful cards.  The first thing I pulled out of the package was this crocheted scrubbie that she makes - and this lovely hand made card.  These scrubbies are so handy. 

And when I dug back into that manilla envelope there was this amazing patriotic quilt panel.  There are 4 sections on this panel - 2 like this, and 2 that say "I'm Proud to be an American".  Connie said she saw the panel in a store, and is gifting it to me.  Isn't that thoughtful and generous?  I look forward to figuring out just the right layout to use this in a future Quilt of Valor.

Thank you, thank you my friend!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2022

RBD Challenge blocks

 Scrappy Churn Dash, by Sandy Gervais - that is block #6 for the Riley Blake Design Challenge. This would make a great scrappy quilt all by itself.  I love it.  And it took all of about15 minutes to cut and sew this one.  And the colors are pretty true in this photo - YAY!!

I don't like how the colors look, but the block designs show up nicely in the photo below.  The dark blues are all kind of a dark royal blue in real life, not navy blue like they appear.  Some of the medium shades have a hint of aqua, and the light ones lean toward the powder blue.  The blocks are all 10" finished, so there will be a lot of blocks yet to be posted, and I have forgotten how many. But I think this will be a fun sampler quilt in the end. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

A finished Saturday Sampler

I realized this week that I haven't posted this finish yet . . . the 2020-21 Saturday Sampler.  It's bright and cheerful, and will be hanging in my dining room all spring to replace the winter quilt currently hanging up there.  Maybe when it's hung up I can get a better photo. 

This is one of my favorite Saturday Sampler quilts over the years, I think.  The design is adapted from Lori Holt's book Quilty Fun.  Each month we received 2 sections to sew, and we had no idea how the sections would fit together.  So the layout was a mystery and everyone chose their own fabrics.

My fabric choices were pretty safe because I went with a 30s reproduction plan.  I have enough 30s prints in the stash for several quilts - even after making this one.  I did purchase a background fabric. It's white with little navy blue squares.  And the border fabrics were purchased.  But the blocks all came from the stash!

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

To Do Tuesday

My To Do list for this week is short:

**  prep binding for Gingham quilt
** aqua/teal blocks for RSC
** 2 Farmers Wife Sampler blocks
** finish signature blocks for Sew Vintage
**  And sew Summer Soiree into rows (added goal)

I'm a bit slow in posting this morning.  Actually I'm a bit slow with even getting up or getting dressed this morning.  Sometimes it just feels really good to sleep in.  

I had a really fun lunch with some girlfriends yesterday, and when I got home these hot pink roses were waiting for me in the kitchen.  Aren't they pretty?  

Back to Saturday . . . I attended my monthly Sew Vintage group, where we celebrated Valentine's Day with a tea party and lunch.  We shared favorite tea flavors and goodies with each member.  Vintage valentines were the place cards.  Most everyone drank tea from vintage/antique china cups, but I'm more of a "mug" gal - and brought a vintage coffee mug to drink from. 

And while I was enjoying tea and socializing, my husband took grandkids to a college basketball game up in Brookings.  Lucky for him, one set of parents went too, because keeping track of all 5 might have been a challenge.  The kids all wore their Jackrabbit shirts and sweatshirts. 

And they even got to pose for pictures with Jack - the mascot.  Grandson Jack was a bit confused at first about the big rabbit having the same name as he does.  

Our season ticket seats are in the best spot for being able to "high 5" the players as they come into the arena, and to talk to the mascot. 

Monday, February 14, 2022

Design Wall Monday - Feb 14

 Happy Valentine's Day!!  And Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law and my friend Moneik, who have birthdays today as well.  My big plan is to go out to lunch with 3 girlfriends. 

Sunday sewing pretty much focused on this month's Saturday Sampler block, which is the Churn Dash block in the upper left corner.  It's amazing how that secondary design is coming out now.  This one will continue to use Christmas fabrics from the stash.  There are enough different ones for a lot of scrappy variety in this one.  

Because the blocks are easy, I'm doing 2 extra versions but without the fancy sashing. The batiks show up nicely on that pale grey swirly print.  The color is really "off" in this photo, but I'm loving how the bright colors play with the grey.

And the other extra set has a dark background, with color splashed around.  I am making more of an effort to make sure there is enough contrast in these after noticing that the purple didn't pop at all in last month's block.  In daylight these actually look pretty good, but I couldn't seem to get the colors right in the photos.  

One other project involved cutting the framing strips for some Happy Blocks.  This is a free pattern from .  I made a child's quilt a year ago with this pattern, and decided it would be a good plan for the cat fabric I bought in Sioux City last month.  This will be my PIG project for February.

Linking up with Design Wall Monday: 

And with Monday Making:

Saturday, February 12, 2022

RSC Saturday

 One of my RSC projects from 2020 and 2021 is finally one step closer to being done.  Gingham was one of the sets of blocks that accumulated each month with the RSC color chosen.  They were great scrap busters and only used 2.5" squares of the colors and the scrappy white background.  Then I framed them with 1.5" strips.  The top was ready to quilt at some point in 2021, but patiently hung in the closet waiting for a good time to have it  quilted.  I finally took it to the quilter just this last month.  

I fell in love with that multi-colored backing and just had to have it for this quilt.  But I left the thread and quilting design up to the quilter.  She chose well, didn't she?  The variegated thread and swirls just look terrific.  Now I need to figure out a binding.  

Three more aqua Falling in Love blocks joined the first 2 made.  That makes 5 aqua and 4 red hearts hanging in the closet so far.  As more colors are added, this collection will be one of my favorites I think.  

Check out what else is happening this week in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge world.

Friday, February 11, 2022

TGIF - More miscellaneous sewing

 The most important task I accomplished this week was sashing ALL 12 of the Summer Soiree blocks, so now I 'm ready to sew the rows together.  I may leave these layed out on the floor for another day or so to make sure I have them in the best locations.  

These sampler blocks were from a Pat Sloan sew-along.  I made this set using florals and batiks, and another set using red/white/blue for a Quilt of Valor.  The QOV had a very plain sashing, and I wanted this one to be totally different.  It definitely is. 

While putting away some of the brown fabrics I used on the pillowcase kits, I cut a couple of strips that I knew would work for some Framed Friendship Square blocks.  But of course I couldn't just tuck them into the project box with the squares.  I just HAD to make the blocks.  This cute dog print was left over from one of the pillowcase kits I made.

The dark brown worked well with that football square.  How appropriate with the Super Bowl coming up, right?  And then I made this pink flamingo block because there were pink strips laying around too. 

One more thing I worked on yesterday - more small heart blocks.  The bottom group with the purple flowers are going to be for a block exchange with the Sew Vintage group so I used a 30s reproduction print.  The others were cut from scraps of various things.  A couple of them were cut from leftover charm squares.  These will make good Leader/Enders in between sewing those Summer Soiree blocks into rows.  

On Wednesday afternoon I sat in the sun coming in through the family room windows, and began to hand applique the blue hexie flowers onto the batik background squares.  Thursday afternoon I did a couple more.  It's a good task while watching Olympics on TV.  

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Progress on various projects

 Wednesday morning was finally a good productive chunk of time in my sewing room.  I worked on a variety of projects that were on my To Do list for this week.  Yay!!

Block #5 for the RBD Challenge (Riley Blake Designs) is Sundial by Christopher Thompson.  This was a really easy one to sew - with squares and HSTs.  These are all 10.5" square. 

ONE HUNDRED - that is how many Farmers Wife Sampler blocks are complete.  Only 11 more to go. These were cut out, so it was just a matter of getting them sewn finally.  Prairie Queen, Railroad, Single Wedding Star, and Sawtooth are the names of these blocks.  For once it's probably easy enough to guess which is which.  

Two more Summer Soiree blocks were sashed, and the layout is beginning to really take shape.  The pieces for these are already cut, so I just keep plugging away on a couple at a time.  

When my arthritic hip told me it was time to stand for awhile instead of sitting at my machine, then I cut a variety of batik background squares for the Blue Hexies.  These have all been pressed and the cardstock papers inside are something I can pick out while watching the Olympics in the evenings.  Two of them are now hand stitched onto these background squares - a good TV watching activity late Wednesday afternoon.   

One other thing I worked on while standing was cutting some of the pieces for the PIG (Project in Grocery Sack) project I've selected for this month.  I want the pieces all cut and ready to sew once I get the main section of Summer Soiree all put together.  It will be bright and happy sewing, and all fairly large pieces.  But that will be a post for another day.  

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Coffee and Aleve

 How do you start your day?  Mine began this morning with the breakfast of champions - coffee and Aleve.  It's a bad arthritis day for me. Does that mean our weather is changing?  What it does mean is that my joints all ache this morning so when I go downstairs in a little while to sew, it will be slow going.  And I won't be dashing back up to refill that coffee cup.  But at least I have time to sew today finally.  Yay!!

Yesterday was spent at my computer, working on monthly budget updates for several work projects. And then we attended a visitation for one of my husband's good friends.  The only sewing I did yesterday was some hand stitching on a binding, and hopefully I will finish that today. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

To Do Tuesday

I didn't have to work on Monday, so I spent some time organizing and some time sewing.  First off, I kitted up 3 more pillowcases so the stack now has 10 kits ready to go when I want to make them.  It's such a time saver to have projects or individual blocks all kitted up.  I like to make pillowcases 2 or 3 at a time in an assembly line.  And I love having a stack of fun pillowcases available for gifts and to donate to various charity projects. 

Last week I forgot all about making my 2 Farmers Wife Sampler blocks, so this week I have 4 blocks to make.  Cutting out all 4 of them happened right away Monday morning, with just one of them sewn up.  This one is called Single Wedding Star, and is the 97th finished block out of the 111 total. We're getting so close to the end!  I may adjust that right side a bit to make the points match better. 

The other 3 blocks are kitted up and laying next to my sewing machine.  These should sew up quickly at some point this week.  And they are my #1 priority. 

My other priorities this week include:

** sash at least 2 more Summer Soiree blocks
** finish binding 1 quilt
** make this week's RBD Challenge block (blue/white)

And while putting away some things, I noticed a bag with what looked like lots of scraps of various coffee themed prints.  And buried in with those scraps - these big 4-patch blocks.  There are 4 of them.  Most likely I intended these to be potholders, but then . . . who knows why they were set aside.  But since I still have some Insulbrite on the closet shelf, these should be some quick potholders to finish, in between other things.