Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Time to put away the pink - maybe

 The RSC color for February has been pink, which is one of those colors that I tend to collect.  It shouldn't be a surprise that the pink stash drawer is overflowing and I can't close it.  But I did make a little dent in the pink scrap bin this month.

Before putting away the last chunk of the pink cactus print I used some of it in these 3 RSC blocks as kind of a last hurrah with pink.  Maybe, or maybe not.  I kind of hate to put pink away quite yet.  

The small heart block went into the basket collecting these until I have enough for another row on that quilt.  I need a lot of them yet.  The top block is called Stashbuster, and the one on the right is the Scrappy Irish Chain.  Both were added to their respective collections.

There are 4 rows assembled so far in the Irish Chain quilt, and there are now 20 more blocks to add to the mix.  It's a totally scrappy project, and I have no idea just how big I want it to end up.  The blocks finish at 8" so it will take a lot of them.

The Stashbuster block is another RSC project this year.  This is a 10" block, and so far there are only 4 of them hanging in the closet.  But, it's a collection that will also continue to grow during the year, and maybe into 2024 if needed.

A while back someone asked me how I keep all the different block sets organized.  I use skirt hangers, and clip the blocks together onto the hangers, and hang them in the big closet.  The instructions go into one of those clear sheet protectors, and I slip the top binder hole over the hanger.  So the instructions are hanging with the blocks as long as I'm using it.  Once I finish a set of blocks, the sheet protector and pattern go into a 3-ring binder on the book shelf. 

The process works for me, and since my sewing room closet doesn't have a door I can see exactly what is hanging in there all the time.  Quilt tops are folded over a pant hanger in the same closet. 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Design Wall Monday - Feb. 27

 Sunday was very productive, and I focused on things I had on my To Do list from last weekend.  Focus was the key word for me - for a change.  No squirrels crossed my path.

The first task was to finish the Valentine pillow.  The 20" pillow front was already done and the back pieces were hemmed and ready.  All that remained was sandwiching that front with batting and a random fabric before quilting.  Originally I planned more complicated quilting, but decided there was nothing wrong with simple.  So - it's completely done, quilted and bound.  Check it off the list!!!

The 3 pocket zippers have been sewn into the pocket linings for the next Sew Together bag.  The next step will be attaching those side pieces (black with pink dots) to the pockets, which is - for me - the most difficult step in making this bag.  

I used a cream and pink batik for that lining. The outside of the bag is that Laurel Burch cat print with lots of pinks, aquas, and yellows.  The side panels are the black with pink dots, and I'm binding it with the aqua.  Kind of a fun color palette. 

One last priority project from last week's To Do list was to blanket stitch the applique pieces for the second Saturday Sampler block.  And that was also accomplished.  

The only section NOT blanket stitched is that top tape measure piece, because that will extend onto another block later in the project.  The thread and bobbin are in a baggy and tucked into the project box along with the first 2 blocks, the pattern, and all of the fabrics I've gathered. I sure don't want anything getting lost in my sewing room - because I'm doing some rearranging this week, which means the mess will get worse before it gets better. 

What is on your design wall today?

Saturday, February 25, 2023

RSC23 - week 7

 Sewing of any kind was very hit or miss this week as both my husband and I ended up with a wicked stomach virus.  A couple of days were totally lost, and then it took a couple more days to begin getting some energy back. And in the meantime we were snowed in anyway thanks to 3 days of winter storm and blizzard weather.  Thursday was a "digging out" day mostly.

Friday was finally a good sewing day, with a little focus on projects that have been on my To Do list, and a little focus on things not on that list as well. One pink Rainbow Connection block joined the other 16 already made.  These finish at 11 inches, so I'm aiming for 20 blocks total plus a border added. 

A project that has NOT been on my To Do list lately was a jelly roll project called Framed 9-Patch, and since the project box was sitting close to the top of the stack, and since I knew there was quite a bit of pink in there . . . a few new blocks were added to the neglected collection.    

One of the days when I just didn't have much energy, I did cut the 6" friendship squares for guild of the pink cactus print I bought in Arizona.  That makes 2 of the 3 fabrics cut and ready to share, with just the New Mexico one left to cut.

One of my goals for the week had involved getting caught up with the Sewcialites blocks, but I must admit defeat on that.  There was progress - and the collections are growing , but I'm not completely caught up yet.  I added sticky-notes to the patterns for Block #16 and #13 to remind me where I stopped.  None of the #16 blocks are done.  They're not even cut out.  It will happen eventually but for now it can wait.  Block #13 just needs the 3" version with the black background.  

Block #17 was a happy block for me, because it was quick and easy.  All 4 versions went together with no issues.  This is Simplicity by Vanessa Goertzen.  Thank you Vanessa for a quick block.  

A few other things happened as well this week . . .

** put together my new floor lamp for my cutting table area
** hemmed the 2 backing pieces for the Valentine pillow
** cut some pieces for small pink hearts
** prepped next section to sew on a bag (started in January)

What is the rest of the RSC World playing with this week?

Friday, February 24, 2023

Snow day, no sew day

The official NWS report is that we got 13" of new snow. But of course the wind pushes that snow into mountains much higher than that. 

I did no sewing at all yesterday, and no - I didn't get all of the shoveling done either.  That narrow path across our 24' deck has been widened, but not by much.  That snow was hip deep, but light and fluffy due to the negative degree temps yesterday.  

Dave used the snowblower on our long (and wide) driveway, and had it cleared just in time for the furnace repair guy to come down the single path cleared on our street.  The repair guy had our furnace going again shortly - my hero!!  And then the city plows came by in the afternoon, leaving a 4' wall of hard packed snow across the end of the nice clean driveway.  Guess we didn't plan to go anywhere anyway!

And this morning one of our very nice neighbors came by with his truck and big blade, clearing out that wall of snow in about a minute.  Thank you Todd, you're a life saver!

Now - coffee in hand, I'm going to go sew for awhile. Some spring colors might be calling my name.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

It's a new day

 The winter storm that was predicted for this week arrived right on schedule.  I've mentioned before that we've been in a drought so . . . let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

The bird feeders have been busy - Juncos, chickadees, cardinals, woodpeckers, and some other smaller birds I can't identify.  This poor woodpecker must have been getting dizzy as the wind kept spinning this feeder in circles on Wednesday morning.

The snow itself has moved on this morning, but we're still under a blizzard watch due to wind. And it's 3 degrees below zero - before wind chill. There is a lot of snow to shovel off the deck, and to blow out of our driveway.  And UPDATE: Our fairly new furnace is not running!  Grrrrrr!

Sewing time yesterday was again limited by lack of energy, or maybe just lack of stamina.  I managed to make the red and white 3" version of Sewcialites block #13.  This is Innovate by Doug Leko.  His directions are great, but I just couldn't do my second 3" version with the black background - yet.  So it's going into Time Out, along with block #16.  I absolutely don't have the energy to make anything very complicated and #16 has a TON of tiny pieces, even in the 9" size.  I'll catch up some other day.

There was a To Do list for this week - drawn up on Sunday before getting sick.  I'm actually surprised that I've gotten anything at all done from the list.  But the rest will wait.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


 Good thing I had written and scheduled both Monday and Tuesday posts on Sunday afternoon - because it wouldn't have happened otherwise.  A nasty stomach bug hit out house, but we're finally on the mend - somewhat. 

Sunday evening my husband began to feel sick, and by 10 PM he was VERY sick.  About 3:00 AM it hit me as well. It was a long night, and a long day on Monday.  I even ran a temp on Monday.  By Tuesday morning we both felt a little better, but both of us felt weak as a newborn kitten. "Ramblin' wreck" is how the hubbie described us on Tuesday morning. 

It's maybe good that we have this 3-day snowstorm that moved in yesterday morning, because we both probably need to just stay home and regain our energy.  

It was probably good that I had these already cut out and ready to sew.  These 2 little 3" blocks were pretty much all I had the energy to do.  It took a half hour, and even that was exhausting.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

To Do Tuesday - Saturday Sampler progress

This year's Saturday Sampler is a sewing themed quilt with a mix of piecing and applique.  Block #1 was a easy pieced block, and Blocks #2 is a bigger block that's all applique.

This one is a dress form.  My pieces are all ironed on, and ready to do some blanket stitching around them.  The top few inches of the yellow measuring tape is NOT ironed on because it will extend onto a future block.  So the paper is still on from the shoulder line out to the end. 

I think that each of the applique blocks will have a touch of black.  The floral I used in the dress form shape is another fat quarter I purchased in New Mexico.  My plan for today is getting those applique pieces all blanket stitched - except for that piece of the measuring tape. 

Also on my TO DO list for this week . . .

** quilt the Valentine pillow top
** make 2 more blocks for Scrappiness Is Happiness
** make 3" blocks for Sewcialites #14

Monday, February 20, 2023

Design Wall Monday - catching up gradually

 Slowly but surely I'm working on the sew-along blocks that needed some catch-up attention.  For the Scrappiness Is Happiness sew-along I'm down to 2 blocks left to be all caught up.

On Sunday I made Shortcut Star (week #13), Spare Squares (#14), and Twinkle Twinkle Scrappy Star (week #15).  The large block for week #12 is started but just barely, and last week's block (#16) is another smaller one so it should be quick to make. 

Somehow I missed making the dark 3" version of block #12 (Captivate by Barbara Groves) when I did the others.  So, that's the one Sewcialites block that I started with on Sunday.

The pieces are all cut for both 3" versions of Sewcialites #14 as well.  The bigger versions of this block are already done thank goodness.  There are still a couple of other 3" blocks to make, but I'm making headway on these.  And I haven't made ANY versions of the block from last week yet. 

I really don't have a firm plan for these little blocks yet, but . . . I noticed that one of the fat quarters I purchased in New Mexico recently contains the same colors that I've been using.  Now I'm thinking this could make a great center with these little blocks added around it in some way.  The small blocks could be centers of star blocks circling that floral.  All kinds of possibilities exist, and that fat quarter is folded up and tucked in with the blocks so it doesn't get lost. 

One more Sunday project was getting the borders onto another UFO, so it's ready to be quilted.  This is Country Bunnies, which was a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project last year.  I made 9 bunny blocks using the monthly color.  It was a good thing I bought plenty of that botanical print for the outer border because I realized when laying it out to cut that it was directional.  So, the long side borders were cut from vertical strips, and then I cut the top and bottom strips.  Can't have upside down pumpkins!

What is on your design wall today?

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - week 7 - pink start & some finishes

Since I was not home the first 2 weeks of February, I've gotten a slow start with pink.  There is an overflowing drawer full of pink fabric to play with however so I'm sure I'll have more fun before the month is over.  Three pyramid blocks and 2 Brighten blocks are pretty much all I have so far.

 Two of my RSC22 projects are now complete, and that's a good thing to manage while being on the road.  I took them along on our road trip to do the hand stitching of the binding.  The bigger one was finished once when we got home.

Bricks is an I-Spy quilt that will be donated at some point.  It was on my UFO list and my PHD list for 2023, and I'm happy to check it off.  There are still a LOT of bricks cut and ready in the project box, so it makes a good start for another one, maybe later in the year.  That bright yellow backing just seemed to fit the happy theme I wanted for a kid quilt.

This is Nanci's Stars, which will also be donated.  But this one has a much different story.  The 3 blue blocks were made with a gift of fabric and a pattern that I received after a friend (Nanci) passed away suddenly last year, not long after her husband passed.  Because I liked the block, and have a lot of batiks, I kept making blocks using the RSC colors during 2022, and then made all the light neutral ones to make it larger.  Nanci's sister is one of my best friends, and I've gifted this quilt to her to donate to whatever charity the family chooses, in memory of Nanci and her husband. They both did a lot of community service here, so it seems like an ideal way of paying it forward just a little bit. 

A 3rd finish on the road trip was this large table runner, which was a blue RSC project from last month. It just needed binding.  I made a smaller version for a family member in January, but used up more of the fabrics with this big one.  It's actually a bit too big for my dining room table.  Oops!  Two blocks would have been better.  

What fun RSC projects are happening this week?

Friday, February 17, 2023

More blocks

The 6" batik versions of Sewcialites blocks 13-15 were finished on Wednesday, and block 16 was released on Thursday.  Block 16 isn't done yet in any of the sizes.  Maybe that will happen over the weekend, fingers crossed.  #16 is a complicated block with a LOT of pieces.

Both of the 3" versions of block #15 (Brighten) are done as well.  That leaves blocks #12-14 and #16 to make in the dark and bright colors. Somehow I missed doing #12 in those colors.  But in the red/white colorway, I only have #13, 14, and 16 remaining. 


And that block #15 is going to definitely turn into some scrappy projects for future sewing - but not in a 3" size of course.  Instead I've been playing with the 9" version.  

There are now 2 pink Brighten blocks - for the February RSC color of pink.

And then I made a couple of blue ones (for January).  That didn't completely satisfy my need to play  with this block however, so then . . .

Yup - I made 3 patriotic ones.  And I do think these will work well in a future Quilt of Valor project.  

It was definitely time to stop playing and work on some things that were already in progress. I have been doing the Scrappiness Is Happiness sew-along with the local Sew Vintage group, but haven't stayed caught up.  So - the simple String block for Week #12 was a quick one to check off.  I believe I should have these done up through Week #16 so there is a ways to go yet. Baby steps!!

I need to make a TO DO list to help me focus for the next week.  Otherwise I know I'll keep wandering off to follow anything bright and shiny that crosses my path.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Pillow progress

The top for the Valentine pillow is all assembled.  It actually went together pretty quickly once the individual blocks were made.

The kit includes more of the darker red for binding, but had a solid white piece for backing.  I really didn't want that white backing - just too much white in my opinion.

So I dug around the stash a bit and found a piece of "ticking" in red/cream.  Look at that date on there!! I have no idea if I bought it in 2016, and if so I have no memory of what I might have planned for it.  This piece is the perfect size to use on the back of the pillow, and it gets it out of the stash. Yay!  One step closer to having another UFO complete - once I get the top quilted. 


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Trying to catch up

Once the first load of laundry was started on Monday morning, I took my coffee and headed downstairs to my happy place.  Yep - it was just as messy as when I left 2 weeks ago. But it felt good to be back.

First task was cutting out the Sewcialites 2 blocks for the 9" versions that I'm doing in green.  Block #15 was sewn first because it looked like the easiest.  Brighten (by Minki Kim) was a quick one.  I might want to add this block to my RSC blocks for the future.  

And thinking about RSC - I had a little fun on Tuesday morning playing and made this block again using Valentine fabrics.  It would make a good one for Quilts of Valor as well with a red and a blue.   The Valentine fabrics were still sitting there, so a Scrappy Irish Chain block happened too.  

Next up was Enchant, which was Block #14.  It's designed by April Rosenthal.  Again - quick and easy!  I really like the shades of green I used in this one, so I kept a couple of them out for the next one.

Block #13 was the trickiest one of the 3, but the instructions were excellent and it went together quite well.  This is Innovate, designed by Doug Leko.  I'm sure the smaller versions of this one will be more of a challenge to make so I'll just have to be very conscious of accuracy.

I'm caught up for now with the 9" green blocks.  But I haven't even cut the pieces yet for the 6" batik versions, or either of the 3" versions that I'm working on.  And the next block will be released already tomorrow.  Slow but steady - I'll eventually get all caught up.

In the meantime, now that I have this month's Saturday Sampler pattern I will get to work on it as soon as possible so I don't fall behind with that as well.  This second block is applique.  The finished quilt is a mix of pieced and applique. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Dipping into pink

 It seemed appropriate for Valentine's Day to be working on something pink or red.

These 3 Pyramid blocks were done on Monday afternoon.  The top one has pink butterflies on a lavender background, so I think it counts as pink. The one on the left is a deep coral-pink, and the one with stripes is a very soft baby pink.  There a lot of these blocks clipped to a skirt hanger in the closet, so I need to count them and see if there are enough yet for a quilt.

The parts for a Valentine themed pillow are all cut out.  It's one of the Riley Blake pillow of the month kits that I purchased last year.  I got a little start in sewing the blocks together for it on Monday - the blocks made me think of Xs and Os (heart shaped Os).  This will be a fun project to continue working on today. Hopefully I'll get the top finished later today since it's only 20" square.  

This pillow is on my UFO Challenge list, and also on the PHD list for the local quilt shop.  That gives me extra incentive to actually get it done, even though it will be after Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Design Wall Monday - Feb. 13

What's on your design wall this morning?  Check out what others are working on at:

 For me, it's time to focus on some catch up sewing - in particular . . .

  • Saturday Sampler block #2
  • Sewcialites 2 blocks 13-15
  • Rainbow Scrap Challenge pink blocks

This was block #1 for Saturday Sampler, and I need to pick up the pattern for the second one on Tuesday, at the "repeat" Saturday Sampler session.  These are fun colors to play with so I look forward to seeing what the next step will be.  

While watching football on TV yesterday, I worked on a binding, so that will also be something I hope to finish this week.  Then I'll have some finishes to show.

In the meantime - more vacation laundry, and finally getting into my sewing room again.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Home Sweet Home

 We arrived home last night about 10 pm.  It was a good vacation, but it's time to get back to a normal routine again - for both of us. 

* 15 days
* 3905 miles round trip
* 8 states

**** AND . . . 5 quilt shops!

Today's tasks involve going grocery shopping this morning to restock our empty fridge, while my husband restocks all of the bird feeders.  Then I'll unpack and start the laundry.

And maybe I'll start cutting the "friendship squares" from some of the fabric I purchased, for sharing at the next guild meeting.  I also have a binding to work on while watching the Super Bowl game tonight.  I'm probably not going to actually sit down at my sewing machine again until tomorrow.  

Friday, February 10, 2023

Vacation hiccup

 On Thursday, we spent over 3 hours sitting still on the highway in New Mexico, just east of Albuquerque, as I-40 was closed both eastbound and west due to multiple accidents.  Once traffic began moving again we passed dozens and dozens and dozens of vehicles - mostly semi trucks - in the ditches and also crashed.  Mile after mile of accidents on both sides of the interstate, and mile after mile of vehicles backed up with no way to go anywhere.

We feel VERY fortunate not to have been involved in any accident.  

That major delay meant we didn’t get nearly as far toward home as we had wanted.  So today (Friday) we spent 10 hours driving 690 miles - from Amarillo Texas to Omaha Nebraska.  Hopefully we’ll have no more issues and will be home tomorrow.  It’s been a really good trip, except for the past couple of days.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Road Trip Shopping - part 2

This will be short due to limited Internet connection. 

This cactus panel is something I saw in New Mexico and in Arizona. I did buy the panel along with some yardage to go with it at the Kokopelli Quilting Company in Albuquerque.  Each of the shops had different quilts made with the panel, so it was fun to see the variety of ideas. 

I have no clue what this will all become, but it was too cute to pass up.