Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Tuesday To Do

I'm still not feeling very perky, but it will get better - once I can stop taking a current medication that is not making my stomach happy.  I'm halfway through the course. 10 more days!! I can do it.  

A little bit of sewing actually happened on Memorial Day, with a couple of new elephants added to the herd.  It rained most of the day, following a very stormy Sunday night.  We got a couple of inches of much needed rain and luckily had limited storm damage.  There were a few big branches broken that required removal, but at least we didn't lose any whole trees or any shingles like some folks.  

This dark blue batik worked nicely for an elephant, and is also part of the Falling In Love blocks that I will make this week.  There is enough of it left to use in a Twinkle Star and maybe even an Ohio Star block.  I'll dig around to find a brighter shade of blue for a second blue elephant. 

The yellow batik has a very clear leaf design.  Some batiks have a much more subtle print, but this one isn't subtle at all.  I have a yellow polka dot laid out to make a second  yellow elephant.  And I really need to set some specific goals for this week or my wheels (and brain) will keep spinning. 

The other thing I tackled on Memorial Day was the mess on my cutting table.  Notice the circled pile in this photo . . . this is what happens when I get on a roll sewing, and don't take care of the scraps while cutting.  There is even a little waste basket sitting there to hold those little scraps as I cut, but it was full.  So now I've just piled things on top of it and next to it.  Lazy, lazy, lazy!!!

I've whittled that pile down by half so far.  Some scraps were large enough to refold and put back into the appropriate stash drawers.  Some scraps went into the color sorted scrap bins, and some is cut into squares.  I have 1.5", 2.5", 3.5", and 5" squares in small bins that are so handy for scrappy projects.  Hopefully I can get the rest of that mess handled this week.   

Monday, May 30, 2022

Design Wall Monday - prepping for blue

 The RSC color for June will be blue, in shades of bright and dark.  I have a LOT of blue to play with in the stash.  

Yesterday I was feeling somewhat under the weather, so no actual sewing took place.  I just had no energy, and chose not to share whatever "bug" I might have had with anyone else. So I stayed home and my husband went to play golf with the 2 sons-in-law, and to celebrate a birthday with one of the grandkids.  

But I did a bit of prep work with blue for the Falling in Love blocks (hearts) for June.  The pieces are cut for the 5 blue blocks, and a couple of new elephant blocks.  These design boards work so well for laying out the pieces for blocks.   

After spending about an hour cutting, I decided I was just not feeling up to sewing anything. Then I curled up in the recliner with a quilt, a book, and the TV remote.  A couple of naps may have happened during the afternoon.  And I got to Facetime with grandson Jack as he opened the present that grandpa delivered.  From my recliner I watched the birds and the bunnies through the floor to ceiling windows - when my eyes were actually open.   

Let's see what is on everyone else's design wall today:

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Last week of green

 It hasn't been a very productive week for sewing, but since I love making random blocks . . . then I guess it was OK after all.  Because for the most part, random blocks was the only thing that happened this week.

A single Ohio Star block happened with the green used as the background.

I added 1.5" borders to both of the elephant blocks that were already made, so that the blocks are now 12.5" square.  It will give them each a bit of separation too.  

Another green elephant came to play, and then a kind of coral-pink one too.

I might go back next month and make a couple of them from yellow or maybe aqua, while I'm making some with whatever color we play with in June. 

Check out the RSC projects shared by many . . .

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Lack of concentration

 Wednesday was certainly a day for most of this country to struggle with sadness, and anger that we don’t seem to be a society willing to take any steps to preventing more school shootings. I’ve spent most of my adult life as a teacher, and school has often been the safest place some of our students have.  But that has certainly changed. 

I did spend a little time in my sewing room yesterday, but just couldn’t concentrate on anything.  Mostly I moved things around aimlessly.  Finally I pulled out a pink paisley chunk of fabric with the intention of making something cheerful.  So . . . My green elephant now has a pink friend.

And this morning I will be seeing an orthopedic surgeon for my first appointment to discuss a plan for my hip problems.  My Occupational Therapist daughter gave me specific questions to ask.  I feel nervous, but also glad to make some change toward improved mobility and less pain. Hopefully.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

UFO progress

 Back in December 2021 I posted about a guild project I was involved with - Adopt a UFO.  Anyone interested in participating could bring a UFO to the December meeting, hidden in a bag or box so it could be a mystery to the person choosing it.

I really lucked out with this small project kit that I chose - stars and 30s reproduction fabrics - some of my favorites! The pattern is called Granny's Stars.

This little project went with me to the Colorado wedding a week ago, and was a good project for riding long distances in the car.  I had already decided that I wanted a square project, so would only make 9 of the star blocks.  Each one is now appliqued onto a 6" square.  I finished the final 3 of them on Monday while hanging out with the grandkids.  

The lavender and yellow strips in the kit will become the first 2 borders, but I haven't chosen anything yet for an outer border.   I may end up using the extra squares from the kit to do a pieced border of some kind and skip all of the little applique.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Elephant pattern

 A big thank you to Vicki at Crafts and Quilting for tracking down the original pattern for my elephant block.  I'm pretty sure this was exactly where I found the pattern about a dozen years ago.  The post with the pattern is from 2009.  And also a big thank to Milk and Honey Quilts for the fun pattern, because of course I plan to make more of these adorable guys.

And yes - I did finally solve my Internet issues from earlier this morning. Yay!  I thought I had left the IT world behind years ago when I moved on from my Tech Coordinator position at the school district.  But I'm glad I still have just enough knowledge left to solve a few of my own tech problems.

Internet issues

 Yesterday I spent the day hanging out with a couple of the grandkids as they didn't have daycare. Today I'm home again - but we seem to be having Internet issues this morning.  Grrrr!  I've rebooted every piece of technology I can.  It works and then it doesn't.  

We have 3 wireless networks in our house from 2 different service providers.  One would think I could get SOMETHING working properly!!!  

Monday, May 23, 2022

Design Wall Monday - some Saturday Sampler blocks

 Block #7 for Saturday Sampler is sashed, and hanging with the first 6 blocks. I'm fighting the temptation to begin sewing them together into rows. 

The other 2 versions don't have the fancy pants sashing, so they go together so quickly. 

The black background version for this month, and the grey background version . . .

The only sewing that might happen today is hand stitching while hanging out with 2 of my grandkids.  Their school was done last week, and they don't have summer daycare yet today.  I've taken along the last 3 little 30's EPP star blocks I worked on in the car recently, and a wall hanging ready to bind.  We'll see what I actually accomplish.  

What is on YOUR design wall this morning?

Sunday, May 22, 2022

A little bit of progress

 Saturday was a very lazy day for me.  No trips downstairs to sew, but I did get one small UFO project completely done.  It just needed the striped binding on the edges stitched down. 

This is a Riley Blake pillow of the month.  It was from LAST September but is now complete and brightening up my family room sofa.  I ended up just doing randomly spaced straight vertical lines for quilting.  Well, mostly straight anyway.  

There are still a few more of these kits sitting on my closet shelf, and they will eventually be made.  These are pillow covers with envelope backing so can be slipped on and off the 20” form to match the season.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

A green elephant

 While going through some old block patterns to organize, I came across this one.  I have no idea any more where I got it but I know it was free at the time.  It was online - somewhere.  My apologies to the designer for not being able to give you credit after all these years.  It is very similar to the Stomping Ground pattern that has been all over the Internet in 2022.  Long story short - I just HAD to make one again!!  This is another block that will work great for an RSC project in the future.  It's 10" so I think I'll plan to add 1.5" borders around them.  

When I first found the pattern, I used this block to make a quilt for one of my daughters - many years ago.  I'm guessing it was about 2010 or even earlier.   The bowtie blocks surrounding the elephants were made from a big rainbow charm pack swap I had been in.  Last time I saw it at her house it was well-worn and getting quite faded.  Don't you love it when you know your quilts have been loved to death? 

And I used it again to make a donation quilt in about 2016.

Finding these old photos proves to me that I loved rainbow quilts even before discovering the RSC projects online.  I love cheerful colors. 

What else is going on this week in the RSC world?

Friday, May 20, 2022

Bumps in the road

 Nothing at all happened yesterday in the sewing world around here.  Nothing at all. 

My plan had been to add the pieced sashing to this Saturday Sampler block, and sew up the other 2 versions that were already cut out.  This is block #7 in the series.  The parts and pieces are all laying on the ironing board waiting for some attention - today.

Yesterday I had no ambition at all when I was actually home.  But I did spend considerable time on Pinterest looking at ideas for future small projects like bags or runners.  

In the morning I headed to the clinic for lab work, then back in the afternoon for a follow-up appointment on the hip issue and for my annual physical.  Most things looked good, except I'm anemic for the first time in my life.  So now I'm taking big iron horse pills for a month and iron always upsets my stomach.  Bummer!

And next week I meet with the orthopedic surgeon for the first time.  They won't plan any surgery until my blood work comes back to normal but at least we'll have a plan.  I was kind of hoping to wait until fall, but that will ultimately be up to the surgeon. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Kiddy churn dash blocks

 I've gotten carried away with these 12" churn dash blocks for a guild baby quilt project.  My original plan had been to just make a couple of them from scraps.  And so I did make 2 of them from things I had in the stash.  But then I bought some fun fat quarters on our road trip, and the blocks have begun to multiply.  There are 3 more cut out and laying next to my sewing machine, ready to go.  I can get at least 2 out of each pair of fat quarters.  

I definitely love churn dash blocks, almost as much as I love star blocks.  There is currently a quilt top made with a variation of the churn dash hanging in the closet.  The block was a free one from Fat Quarter Shop called Wisdom - which is basically just a churn dash with a 4-patch added to the center.  I need to get this one quilted and bound.  I also noticed there were extra blocks left over from the Wisdom quilt still hanging in the closet too.  That is "seed" for another project. 

Lately I've been seeing churn dash blocks online with pinwheels and other blocks added to the centers for some fun variation, or with the blocks made using scraps from more than one fabric.  And of course it can be adapted to pretty much any size.  It's a terrific block for scrappy sewing - no matter what size or variations we choose to make. 

OK - time to FOCUS - on Saturday Sampler for this month, and finishing some small projects. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Riley Blake block #16

 I'm still really unorganized this week after being gone, but I did get into the sewing room yesterday for awhile.  That probably has contributed to the disorganization.

It was Tuesday so the next block for the Riley Blake challenge came out.  It was really just going to cut it out, and then work on something else.  But once it was cut out I just couldn't resist sewing it together. Wow - this one too maybe 10 minutes to sew and every piece fit perfectly.  A Single Blossom was designed by Gerri Robinson. 

There will be a 17th block - bonus - released next week along with layout instructions for this challenge.  Since I love sampler quilts, this was definitely a project I've enjoyed.

And speaking of samplers - I've picked up my Saturday Sampler pattern from last weekend, so that is on my list of things to work on this week.  And yes - I've also been making churn dash blocks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Home sweet home!

I love to travel, but it’s sure nice to get home again too.  My husband has spent most of his career traveling for work, so he doesn’t “vacation” well.  Getting him to stop on a road trip can sometimes be a challenge.  But he was willing to make a few stops on this wedding road trip to humor me.  I got to 2 quilt shops, the Mammoth Site (fossils & bones) in Hot Springs SD, and finally at the Dignity statue.

We live an hour east of the Missouri River, along Interstate 90 in SD.  And Dignity is definitely a good reason to stop at the Rest Area where the interstate crosses the river.  The view is spectacular, and the Dignity statue is quite amazing - in daylight or lit up at night.  When we stopped yesterday the landscaping was getting an upgrade, but it was a gorgeous day to stretch the legs after a long drive.  I just don’t get tired of stopping there.

My husband’s younger brother is the father of the groom at the wedding this weekend in Colorado.  We had a really good time with he and his wife at the wedding.  We don’t get together often enough, even though we live only about an hour apart. 

One brief wedding story - the bride’s daughter is about 11.  That young lady has so much poise!  She gave a toast at the reception and had everyone in tears.  She said that Kameron (our nephew) has been a part of all of the good memories she has so far, and now she is so happy because she can “officially” call him dad. Not a dry eye in the whole room!!!

Today will be devoted to laundry - and hopefully a little sewing!  Do you feel like you are going through withdrawal when you can’t sew for a few days?  I’m eager to play with the fat quarters I purchased, and to cut some 6 inch “travel squares” for guild members from a couple of fabrics I bought just for the purpose of sharing.  And I picked up a wall hanging from the quilter when I got home yesterday, so there is more binding to be done. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Design Wall Monday - more churn dash blocks

Driving the last 300 miles home this morning, so I have nothing on my actual design wall. But I do have plans for this week involving some fat quarters I purchased while traveling the past few days.

Holly’s Quilt Cabin (Denver suburb) had such cute novelty prints, and I ended up buying some to make more churn dash blocks for our guild’s baby quilt block drive.  I picked up fat quarters, and paired them with solids for those churn dash blocks.

The aqua print is full of sea creatures and very bright. The grey one - they look like hedgehogs wearing glasses.  So cute!!

We had so much fun at our nephew’s wedding, but I’ll be VERY glad to get home again today.  

Check out more design walls today!


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Road trip

Just have to share a a glimpse or two of our road trip this weekend for a nephew’s wedding. 

My husband was willing to stop at this quilt shop in Grand Island, Nebraska. I should have spent more time there so we would have completely missed the thunderstorm we drove into about 30 miles later. 

And Holly’s Quilt Cabin in the Denver suburbs was a really awesome shop. More on both shops another day. 


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Lots of green blocks

Sage green and forest green blocks are quickly piling up this week.  This was a good project to work on in between reading and scoring end of semester assignments from my online students.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel . . .

The 5 green Falling In Love blocks, with their matching 4" Hourglass blocks, were the first ones made this week.  I love this heart block!  But I really have no idea yet how they will all go together.  

I couldn't resist using that fern print for this one.  I wish I had bought more of it but if I see it again, I'll definitely buy it.  

Twinkle Stars - I just don't get bored making these.  Two green ones were added. 

Nanci's Stars were next in the line-up.  I didn't make any of these blocks in pink last month because the ones I made during the "red" month also had pink in them.  But I dug into the green batiks eagerly to make these.  

Check out the RSC projects shared by many . . .

Friday, May 13, 2022

Blocks #14 and #15 for RBD Challenge

The Tilt-a-Whirl block by Cindy Cloward went together nicely and I like my color choices.  This is block #15 for the Riley Blake challenge, which means there is only 1 more.  However, now that I've discovered the files for the 2021 challenge too, maybe I'll make more blocks later.  These are only 10" blocks, so having more than 16 of them would make a better size quilt anyway.  

And then there is block #14, the Mosaic Butterfly, by Jennifer Long.  I saw some very interesting variations of this block online last week when I was gone, so I had time to think about how to arrange my colors.  I also noticed some folks had lots of trouble making this block lay flat.

Mine lays flat very nicely and went together just fine.  But it's WAY too symmetrical.  I'm considering a bit of change because that bright blue rectangle completely destroys the idea that this is a butterfly.  I think it looks dumb bells.  So the 2 bottom sides of this butterfly block may get tweaked a bit - next week when I have more time.    

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Gifting baby quilts

 Hmmm - Wednesday was definitely a "desk day" for me.  I spent most of the day updating budgets for one part time job, and finalizing grades for 9 online students.  That leaves me with 2 students not complete for this FINAL semester.  Yay!  

But, I did give a co-worker the baby quilt made for his new son.  The young man was dropping off some equipment for me to ship for calibration, so I took advantage of seeing him in person.  The 4 owners of the company asked (a couple of weeks ago) to buy some baby quilts from me to gift to 3 staff who recently had new babies.  This one is crib sized, and was a panel that I added borders to.  I still need to sew the gift labels onto the other 2 that will need to be mailed anyway. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Churn Dash progress

Two churn dash blocks for our guild baby quilts are done.  One has bunnies, the other has bugs, and both have the same blue solid. 

I quickly realized that I don't have much for solids to choose from.  But I do have lots of kid prints.  The committee suggested that we do some with the colors reversed too.  More of these are most likely in my future because they are quick and turn out so cute.  But I may need to dig deeper for solids - or buy some.  A little retail fabric therapy might be the answer!

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

To Do Tuesday - What is next?

 Since May is such a crazy busy month, I knew that some organization and setting of priorities was going to be critical for me.  As recent as yesterday I had some priorities set that I am considering pushing back to June.  Flexibility is maybe more important.

There are important blocks to keep up with this month:

** Saturday Sampler blocks (3 versions)
** Guild President's blocks (2)
** Guild baby quilt blocks (2)
** RBD Challenge blocks (3)
** green RSC blocks

As for finishing entire projects, like Farmers Wife Sampler - some of those bigger tasks may have to realistically wait for June to happen.  I do hope to finish my Apple pillow this week however, but it's a small project so it may be achievable.  The quilting has begun, the binding and backing are both ready to add.  So we'll see how far I get. 

I'm auditioning some fabric choices for the guild blocks.  Our President's block designs are surprises, and given to the past president at our Christmas party.  So I won't show those here.  But the baby quilt blocks chosen this year are Churn Dash blocks.  We are to use 1 solid color and 1 print in each 12" block.  I'm planning to make at least 2 of them.  Churn Dash blocks are so quick, I may get more than 2 made.  I'm even hoping to stop in a couple of quilt shops on the way to our nephew's wedding, so I might look for some fat quarters for more of these.  

Monday, May 9, 2022

Design Wall Monday - making apples

It was a pretty typical Mother's Day around here yesterday - my husband played golf and I sewed.  And he asked me what was for supper.  But he did grill the steaks I had bought for Saturday, that no one was hungry for.  Quite normal for our house, as he has reminded me for decades that I'm not "his" mother.  

I have the final red border to add to this Pillow of the Month project from last fall.  My plan to quilt it is just some simple matchstick lines I think.  The back is an envelope style with that same red fabric.  But the binding is a red and white stripe that will really wake it up.  

More green heart blocks came to life as well.  And I pulled out the brown fabric that I'll be needing for binding my Farmers Wife Sampler.  No progress on that to report however.  

A couple of hours were also spent catching up with my online students.  This next week is the end of the semester, so they are frantically trying to finish up any pending assignments.  I'm really ready to put this behind me.  

What's on Your design wall this week?

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Fabric play

 I got in a little bit of fabric play time on Saturday, and began with a couple of the Falling In Love blocks in green.  I have a lot more lime green and grassy green in the stash than sage and forest green.  But I did find some to use, and got these blocks done so far.  

That fern print was a really pretty piece, and there is just enough left now to use in a Twinkle Star block as well as this heart block.  If I see it again, I plan to buy more, just because! 

Hopefully there will be more sewing time today.  After all, it's Mother's Day, so I get to do whatever I want to, right?  

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Home again - time to get organized

 This will be a short post, mainly because there isn't anything interesting - or "quilt-y" going on around here yet this morning.  Coffee is about the only thing happening for me so far.

We got home after 9:30 last night from 5 days in Houston for work.  It was an uneventful trip home as our flights were all on time.  But we did have a 4 hour layover in Minneapolis.  Not sure what's worse - not enough time between flights or too much time.  Anyway, the suitcases were brought in, but are both still sitting in the kitchen.  Unpacking and laundry will happen later today.   I was just too tired last night to even think about it. 

After going through nearly a week's worth of mail and eating a piece of toast, I went to bed.  I have guild to attend this morning, where hopefully I'll get rid of the final 4 tubs of donated fabric.  And this afternoon once the laundry is going, I hope to spend some time in my sewing room finally.

The May colors for Rainbow Scrap Challenge are sage and forest green.  My stash usually contains more of the brighter greens, but I'm sure I'll find something!  I'm really anxious to dive into some sewing after being gone all week.  

Time to check out what is happening with green this week:

Friday, May 6, 2022

Headed home

We’re headed home and it’s always good to sleep in our own bed again.

Last night some friends picked us up at the hotel and we drove to Galveston to see the bay and to enjoy a wonderful seafood supper.  The surf was rough, and the rain moved in while we were eating.

I wish I had taken a picture of my meal because it was wonderful.

The drive back into Houston was interesting - in a big thunderstorm.  The lightning was blinding and the rain came down in sheets.  Glad I wasn’t driving.  


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Hand stitching

For anyone who was guessing about my location - it’s Houston, Texas.  That pool is in the shape of the map of Texas and all lit up at night. It’s a nice view from my hotel room.

My stitching project (when not helping in the exhibit hall booth or sitting in a session) is hand appliquéing  some hexies onto a tan background.  One left, and then I plan to do a bit of hand quilting around them.  This is destined to become another Sew Together bag.  

I also have another English paper piecing project along with me, but it’s totally different.  That one has 30s prints and diamond shaped pieces. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Can you guess?

 Can you guess what state I’m visiting?  It’s work related but the view from my hotel room is fun. 

Design Wall Monday - May goals

 A new month means new goals.  The list needs to be reasonable this month because I'll be away from home here and there during the month.  There actually may be more hand stitching than usual in May as I do a little bit of traveling.   

Goal #1 is to bind the Farmers Wife Sampler quilt.  I picked this up from the quilter on Friday and as always she did a beautiful job.  

Goal #2 is to keep up with the Block of the Month projects I'm doing: 
** the final 3 blocks of the Riley Blake challenge
** Saturday Sampler blocks (all 3 colorways)
** sew some fun blocks for RSC in GREEN (sage & forest)

Goal #3 is to continue working on some UFOs and PIGs.  
** sashing more blocks for Tulip Time
** Pillow of the Month - apples

What is on YOUR design wall this morning?