Thursday, June 30, 2022

Getting a little head start on purple

 There is a downside to Angela revealing the new color for July already last weekend on her RSC post.  That downside is . . . that I just couldn't resist pulling out the purple drawer to see what I have to play with. And that led to some purple sewing of course.  I can't get too carried away this week with purple because then I won't have anything keep me working through July, right?

This purple elephant just makes me smile.  He's so cute!!  He joins 2 light green, 1 blue, 1 aqua, 1 yellow, and 2 pink friends.  I haven't made a red one yet, and still want to have a second one in each of the colors, so more elephants are in my plans.  I'm planning on a total of 20. 

And while that pretty piece of purple fabric was laying there on the cutting table, I cut the pieces for a Falling in Love heart block.  And I think there is just enough of it left for an Ohio Star block. 

And then of course I couldn't resist just sewing those pieces right away.   Some fabric choices are selected for the other 4 hearts, although I may dig deeper for another one to replace that darkest fabric on the bottom.  There are plenty of options still in the drawer.  

The pieces are all cut for the Nanci's Stars blocks in purple.  These are all in batiks, and so far I have no idea just how I want to put them all together.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Home Sweet Home is a flimsy

 Goal #1 for this week was to finish the top for the latest Quilt of Valor - Home Sweet Home.

My goal has been met - Yay!!  This kit was the Liberty Box for this year from Fat Quarter Shop, and it went together really nicely.  The pattern was well written, and the fabrics are just lovely.  

I did save all of the big triangle pieces trimmed from the roof of each house block, and used them to make small Hourglass blocks.  There are enough scraps left of all of the fabrics to make more Quilt of Valor blocks, maybe more Hourglass, 4-patch, or possibly even some Bead blocks. 

Goal #2 is to attach the binding onto the Wisdom quilt, which is a UFO.  Hopefully that will happen sometime today. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Design Wall Monday - Home Sweet Home progress

 What is on your design wall this morning?
My design wall has 11 out of 12 blocks for the next Quilt of Valor.  

This is Home Sweet Home, made from the contents of this year's Liberty Box from Fat Quarter Shop.  I had really good intentions of having this top completely done over the weekend.

However, we were on the road very early Saturday morning to go watch granddaughter Sophia play fastpitch in their league tournament 2 hours away.  This is a "10 and under" league.  We're glad we went too, because we got to see 2 games.  They won the first game by a lot, but lost by 1 in the second game.  Sophia is standing in this photo - second from left.  

On the way home we stopped at a local dairy business to buy some delicious cheese.  They also carry lots of other fun items (food and non-food) made locally, or at least in South Dakota.  I came home with SDSU ice cream too.  One of the important programs at my alma mater is the Dairy Science program, and they make the BEST ice cream.  Little known fact - cookies and cream ice cream flavor was developed by the SDSU dairy science program.  The Dairy Bar on campus has always sold their ice creams, but now it can also be found around the state in some stores.  It's also sold at all home basketball games. 

Sunday sewing was pretty productive, with getting all but 1 of the QOV blocks done.  I will admit however, that I also began to look ahead to the July RSC color which is purple.  I pulled these purple batiks from the stash to use in the Nanci's Stars blocks for July.  I didn't make any blue ones in June because those were actually the first blocks I made from this pattern.  I've been making 3 blocks each month, usually with one of the colors being a constant in all 3. 

And I pulled purples to use in the Falling in Love (heart) blocks, and for an elephant or two. 

One more thing I accomplished on Sunday was to get the binding cut, sewn, and pressed for the Wisdom quilt.  My goal for today is to finish that LAST block for Home Sweet Home, and then to sew that binding onto the Wisdom quilt so I can work on hand stitching it down this week. 

The one negative thing from this weekend- is also embarrassing.  We were sitting in lawn chairs watching the softball games, and the wind was chilly so I had a light jacket draped over my legs. When I stood up at the end of the last game I caught one foot in that stupid jacket and fell down very hard and very ungracefully.  I landed on my hands and knees, but couldn't reach anything to get leverage enough to stand up. It took Dave plus a stranger to hoist me up again.  Darn those bad hip joints!!!  The rest of the day and all day Sunday required plenty of Aleve to take the edge off the pain.  I'm so disgusted with myself for not being more careful. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

A whole rainbow this week - plus a review of blue

This month I've spent a lot of time distracted by new projects instead of trying to finish existing ones, but I've really enjoyed the journey. So it's all good, right?

I did pick up 2 quilts from the quilter this week and both were UFOs.  This one is Wisdom - a variation of a Churn Dash with a 4-patch in the center.  These scrappy blocks were made during RSC20 and RSC21.  The background of each block is a neutral. Some white, some tan, some neutral prints - whatever I had.  So it's a really scrappy quilt.  This flimsy has been hanging in the sewing room closet waiting patiently.  Now it's time to bind it.  And I have a pink stripe to use for binding.  Hope to get that attached and trimmed over the weekend.

There has been a lot of blue happening this month however.  As I looked through my blocks hanging in the closet it was pretty clear that I had a lot of fun with blue.  But I may need to make one more blue elephant block.  

Blue showed up in some new projects too, including the 2 Kaleidoscope table toppers. The bright blue really popped in these.  And that border was a bonus because it was leftover from the backing on a previous project.  Perfect colors!!

And then there were the Home Sweet Home blocks for a Quilt of Valor . . . I have 9 of the 12 made so far, and the last 3 have complete roofs at least. It shouldn't take long to assemble the house sections since the pieces are cut and organized on a design board.  

That reminds me I want to make a few more of the Beads blocks for our QOV group block drive.  My granddaughter Sophia helped me pick out some patriotic fat quarters to use for more blocks.  

So even though July will see a new color for RSC I'm sure I'll still be playing with blue as well since I have some QOV projects on-going.

What's new at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge?

Friday, June 24, 2022

New leader-ender blocks

 I needed something to use as leaders and enders while sewing the latest Quilt of Valor blocks and other on-going projects, and found the perfect thing this week.  Bricks!

I kept seeing Brick quilts online recently and this is a really easy scrap buster.  Plus they are fast and easy to make.  

They are especially easy to make when I already had a zip lock bag full of the bricks cut already.  I had a different plan for these originally, but this will be quicker and easier.  So far I just had to cut some of the white strips for the sides from the scraps and that was fast too.  I have lots of white scraps because that is my Go To background for scrappy quilts.

The bricks themselves were already cut 3.5 by 6.5 inches, so the side strips are 2 by 6.5.  So now as I work on the last 6 of the Home Sweet Home blocks for the QOV, I can run these through in between.   

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Home Sweet Home beginnings

First I have to show you the amazing sky from Tuesday evening on the return from granddaughter Sophia's softball game.  Even seeing it through the windshield full of bugs couldn't spoil those stunning colors.  And yes - I did take the picture while driving.  But this is South Dakota - there wasn't another car within miles of me at the time!

  Home Sweet Home - definitely a fun distraction for the week. 

Here we go with Block #1.  The fat quarter pack is Star Spangled by Andover Fabrics.  This Liberty Box (Fat Quarter Shop) also included this quilt pattern, a cute decorative bar of soap, a little scissors, and an enamel Needle Minder.  Definitely glad I ordered this one!!  

And here is Block #2.  There are 12 house blocks total, so I do have a ways to go yet.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Rearranged - and improved

This was Block #8 for Saturday Sampler, and I found myself not liking how it looked inside that pieced sashing.  Alone it looked good, but it just didn't seem to work like this. 

I decided I could replace it easily enough without taking apart the sashing, so on Monday evening in front of the TV I picked out those seams.  I ended up leaving one corner attached and just spun those other 3 sections around.  It took maybe 15 minutes to sew it all back together. 

And here is my new and improved version!  I like it so much better.  The best thing is that it no longer seems to be "fighting" with that pieced sashing.  Yay!!

The other 2 color versions don't have this sashing, so I'm leaving those blocks just the way they are.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Kaleidoscope - I have a plan

I have a plan for Kaleidoscope!   

Monday morning I went back to the website for the company that made the little kit for the butterfly kaleidoscope blocks, thinking I would try to order another kit so that I would have more blocks to work with.  Having just 8 blocks wasn't coming together for me.

And that's when I saw how they set the blocks together - in a group of 4.  Duh!!!  Why hadn't I considered that?  And the craziest thing - is that the border fabric they used in the picture I saw was this splash of color that was already in my stash!!!  I had used this very fabric for a backing recently and had plenty of it leftover.  I made a quick trip to The Pin Cushion and bought enough solid black for those sashings and for binding.  

Top #1 is complete and top #2 is partially together.  These may end up as 20" pillows or table toppers, or one of each.   But I'm liking how these tops are coming together. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

Design Wall Monday - Saturday Sampler

Eight down, and four months to go - to complete this year's Saturday Sampler.  Here are the 8 Christmas blocks all together.  I'm sure I'll rearrange these before sewing them into rows, but it's always exciting to see glimpses of what the finished quilt will look like. 

This is actually Block #8.  It's made entirely from HSTs, and looks the least like a star block than any of the others so far.  The pattern is called Midnight Stars, so I'm not sure about this one.  Also, I'm not thrilled with how it looks inside of the pieced sashing.  

The batik and grey version has a nice clean look to it.  I used a dark blue and orange that have a really good contrast with the background.  Without the distraction of the pieced sashing, these make me think of streaks of lightning.  

The dark background version has a pinky/salmon streak and an aqua one.  These colors actually look better in person than they do in the photo.  

Getting all 3 versions of my Saturday Sampler blocks made was my top priority for the weekend, so I'm happy to be able to check them off my list.  Now . . . on to that squirrel that distracted me.

So, what's on YOUR design wall this morning?


Sunday, June 19, 2022

A possible squirrel

It’s possible that another squirrel has crossed my path.

One of the items in the mail this past week was the Liberty Box from Fat Quarter Shop.  It was a special subscription type box that they offered recently, and I figured whatever was in it would be an option for a future Quilt of Valor - so I ordered it.  And I was correct - perfect for a Quilt of Valor.

The pattern is Home Sweet Home, and the fat quarter bundle will be just perfect for those house blocks.  I can justify working on this instead of a UFO because there is plenty of blue in here (RSC color).

My stash contained an excellent piece for the background of the house blocks.  And once the blocks are done I'll go shopping for a grey for that sashing.  So, a squirrel . . . but a squirrel with purpose. 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Continuing with blue

Bright blue really popped out as I finished up the 8 kaleidoscope blocks yesterday.  I bought this laser cut kit because the butterfly fabric really caught my eye.  As I assembled the blocks, the brilliant jewel colors certainly made me happy, especially that bright blue. 

There were the pieces for 8 of these 6.5" blocks in the little kit.  I'm not really sure yet, just how I want to use the 8 blocks.  Nine blocks would have been easier to work with.  I will just leave these on my design wall for awhile and give it some thought.  

One more blue Twinkle Star joined the collection yesterday too.  

And one more Ohio Star happened as well.  

The weekend is expected to be really hot and miserable, so I anticipate plenty of time spent in my sewing room avoiding that heat.  I've pulled fabrics for the 3 versions of the Saturday Sampler blocks, so those will be my first priority.  Beyond that I plan to work more on the UFOs on my list for the month of June.  There may not be much blue in any of those projects.  Although . . . there is a new Quilt of Valor project that might just take precedence.  

Granddaughter Sophia has a softball game on tomorrow afternoon, and my husband seems to think we'll be just fine going to the game in spite of the 102 temps predicted.  I have major doubts but we'll see what comes about!

What else happened with blue this week for RSC?

Friday, June 17, 2022

Back home again

We got home yesterday evening from our Nashville trip.  It's always good to get home and sleep in your own bed.  I worked on Monday and Tuesday at the booth in the Exhibit Hall, and with a heat index well over 100 on Wednesday (free day) we ended up doing nothing but hang out in the hotel.  We didn't plan far enough in advance to get tickets to an Opry show or some of the indoor activities I checked, and it was just too hot and humid for some of the outdoor things.  I'll plan better for the next trip. 

When you've been gone almost a week, there is always a lot waiting once home again.  Dave mowed the lawn quickly before it got dark last night.  I went for a few groceries.  This morning I'm tackling the laundry and the mail.  

In the mail was this lovely little fat quarter bundle.  It was a prize for participating in the charity project Hands2Help.  Thank you Mari - for hosting/coordinating the project this year, and for sending me such a great prize!!  This will be fun to use in something new.   

Another fun thing in the mail was a letter announcing my 50 year class reunion in August in Minnesota.  Hmmm - now to rearrange my calendar a bit so that I can attend.  

And now that the laundry is started and I've made a dent in the mail, I'm going down to my sewing room. After all - my husband left for the golf course an hour ago already!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

A little hand stitching

You know what they say about “best laid plans” . . .   

Good thing I brought some hand stitching along with me on this little work trip.  I worked the booth the last 2 days at this conference.  Today was our only free day and unfortunately we weren’t able to get tickets to things we were interested in.  Obviously I should have booked things before we ever left home.  And it’s way too hot to do any walking tours or similar outdoor things - with a heat index over 100.  So we’re just hanging out at our hotel.  The husband will be awfully grumpy by the end of the day I think. 

This little project is the UFO I adopted through a guild activity.  The little stars are hand stitched (English paper piecing) and then hand appliquéd to the background.  I’ve added buttons to the center of each one.  The original kit had 12 stars, but I wanted a square piece instead so I only did 9.  And I added that purple print border instead of the intricate appliquéd border called for.  I think this will make a good pillow top once it’s quilted. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Time out

 This is my life the next couple of days.  It’s hot and humid outside, and like a deep freeze in this Exhibit Hall.  A happy medium would be good.  

Happily the rest of the hotel is beautiful.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Design Wall Monday - a Kaleidoscope

Another PIG has come out of a drawer.  This one is a Kaleidoscope, and was a very small kit I purchased a while back.  See that little bag with the black triangles?  The whole kit came inside that 4" x 6" bag along with an index card with a link to the online instructions.  

There are laser cut pieces for the 8 blocks in the kit.  This particular Kaleidoscope is a variation on the Hexie quilts, only it has 8 triangles per block instead of 6.  So it's cut from 8 identical layers of the fabric.  The gorgeous bright butterflies are what caught my eye in the first place.  

And here is block #1 all sewn together.  The instructions suggested pressing the seams open to reduce bulk, and that turned out to be a good choice.  

Then the 4 little black triangles were added to make a 6.5" block once it was squared up.  And not much was needed to be trimmed - just some slivers of the black corners.  The kaleidoscope itself was the perfect size. 

This should be a quick and fun little project.  Isn't it interesting how different the blocks each look even though they are cut from the same fabric?   

But it will need to wait until I get home again later this week.  I was willing to give up some sewing days to tag along with my husband on a business trip.  It was a No Brainer to stay in a nice hotel and not have to cook for 5 days!  And I do have some hand stitching along with me.

What's on your design wall today?

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Dark blue

There are now 25 of these Ohio Star blocks, most of which have white stars in colored backgrounds like this new dark blue one.  I need to remember to make a few again with the colored stars on the white background.  This quilt will need a good variety.  And since the blocks are only 10.5" square, it will take quilt a few more to make a good sized quilt. 

This dark blue batik looks like bleach was splashed onto a navy blue solid.  It's kind of dramatic.  

And this one - is more whimsical with the bugs in the center and the lightbulbs in the corners.  Twinkle Stars are cute no matter what kind of fabric choices are made. 

What's new at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge?

Friday, June 10, 2022

More churn dash blocks

It was so nice to have a good share of Thursday morning to spend in my sewing room.  There are now 4 more churn dash blocks made - 2 for the guild baby quilt block drive, and 2 for my own set of blocks.  

The pink and grey bunny blocks are really pastel looking.  But that's OK, because I'm sure some of the other blocks collected by the guild will also be more pastel.  They anticipate collecting enough blocks for 2 or 3 baby quilts, and at least one might be more pastel.

I really like this set with the umbrellas.  I think I have enough of all of these fabrics to make at least one more block.  That would certainly be better than just putting scraps back into the already overflowing scrap bins, right?  

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Money well spent

 I should have taken some before pictures of my dirty windows for a before/after comparison.  A 3-person crew of window washers came on Wednesday morning, and my windows all sparkle. Yay!  It took them 4 hours to do all of the windows - inside and out.  They vacuumed every window sill, and scrubbed every screen.  That was money very well spent as I just can't do a ladder anymore.  And my husband is back to more work travel so he wasn't going to have time.  

I can see the little birds even better at the feeder outside my office window.  Now, if only the sun would shine again.  I won't complain about the rain we've gotten because we really needed it, but a little sunshine would brighten the day.  

I did spend about half an hour on Wednesday in my sewing room after work.  It was budget update day, so most of the day was spent at my desk.  That isn't enough time to accomplish much, but I did get half of one Checkered Star block sewn.  This is a very low contrast bunch of colors, but might make a good baby quilt if I ever manage to finish it.

Maybe today I'll get some sewing time in - and hopefully will use these cute fabrics for a couple more Churn Dash blocks for our guild baby quilt block drive.  

I have definitely noticed that dark blue is pretty much missing from my sewing table this week so far.  But there is a little stack of options on the end of the ironing board for a block or two. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Ideas just keep percolating

 Lately my brain just won't shut off.

I have a panel that was gifted to me from blogging friend Connie in Minnesota.  I've been playing with some ideas for it, but keep coming back to doing something similar to this sketch I did.  There are 4 distinct square sections in the panel design and I think I can do the math to separate those sections like this with long strips of color.  I do enjoy "doing the math" to figure out how to make things I don't have a pattern for, but it may take me awhile to decide on final dimensions.