Saturday, September 30, 2023

RSC23 - Week #38

 I'm on the road to recovery following my hip replacement surgery.  But the only sewing I'll be doing for a couple of weeks is hand stitching.  That also means my blog posts will  probably be shorter and less frequent than usual. 

Just a little bit of final aqua sewing happened earlier last week, so I saved it to share here today.  There were a few leftover jelly roll strips from various projects, and they've become Zipper blocks - one aqua, and the others are just whatever colors I had. These finish at 8 x 12, and will continue on as an RSC block for the new year because they are such fun.  There are 7 of these hanging in the closet so far.

One more Morning Glory block (by Bonnie Hunter) is done.  It joined a pink one and a yellow one.  Since these are paper pieced, I'm pretty sure I'll only make 1 per month and end up with something small.  But I do love how the block looks, in spite of a bit messy point alignments where the aqua meets the green in some places.    

Check out what else is happening in Week #38:

Thursday, September 28, 2023

September in Review

At the beginning of the month I set some very ambitious goals for myself.  But today is the END of my sewing month.  This afternoon I'm having my right hip replaced, so whatever I got done before now is all that is likely to happen, except for handwork.  It was a couple of weeks before I was able to do the stairs comfortably after the first hip so I expect the same this time.  

In the handwork stack for my recuperation time there is plenty of binding, and 2 small hand quilting projects to work on. There are 2 pair of pants to hem for a friend.  And there are some kits to prep for sewing.  I'll have enough to keep me busy hopefully.

  • RSC color is Aqua - YES, several new ones
  • misc block testing for new ideas - YES
  • Borders added to Scrappiness Is Happiness quilt - NO
  • Sunflower Sew Together bag - finish assembling - DONE
  • Make 5-6 additional mug rugs from scraps - DONE - lots more - 20+
  • Finish the guild challenge Crumb Quilting project - NO
  • Saturday Sampler - new pieced block (month 9) - Yes, but may need to remake it
  • Choose a PIG (project in grocery bag) to start in September - Christmas table topper & it is a finished top, ready to quilt
  • Watermelon table topper #2 - quilt and bind - NO
  • Quilts of Valor 
    • make 1 additional top - DONE
    • bind 1 quilt - DONE
    • wash & label 2 quilts - NOT YET
  • Bind Pole Star (cruise quilt) - DONE
  • Bind red/white wall hanging - ready to hand stitch the binding

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Autumn Wonders

 I know, I know - it's not a good time to start anything the day before my surgery.  But Pat Sloan's new sew-along had already tempted me.  Autumn Wonders is the name, and one new FREE 12" block will be released each Wednesday.  There are only 9 blocks total, so it's workable, right?

Last week I made block #1, but decided to use patriotic prints so the blocks could be used in a Quilt of Valor.  That was a good plan to keep things simple.

Then this week I decided to make "just one block" using actual fall fabrics.  I have a gallon zipper bag full of fall fabric scraps.  And I love how it looks in those fall colors!  So maybe making 1 block each week in both colorways will be OK.  I'll get behind next week but that's OK. 

Block #2 will be released later this morning, and I have some time to sew this afternoon.  And because I love the design of this 12" block I am pretty sure that I'll make more of them in the future from scraps. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Quilt of Valor sampler & kits

I tried to get the Quilts of Valor things more organized yesterday.  One spare bedroom has become my QOV storage area, and it was out of control again.  Quilts ready to present, quilts ready to go to long arm quilting, quilts needing to be washed and labeled, and lots of block sets we've been collecting. It was time to dig in and organize the piles. 

That Quilt of Valor top that I kept pushing aside is finally a flimsy.  The horizonal rows for this one had been done for a couple of weeks, and just folded up on the end of my ironing board.  And that means there were other things piling up on top of them.  That ironing board is now cleared off except for the mug rugs needing quilting or binding, and hopefully those will be gone in the next couple days.  

This new flimsy is a sampler using some recent test blocks and several orphan blocks, with a grey sashing, and then a blue border.  It's slightly larger than most of our QOV at about 66 x 78.  But it has made a dent in the leftover QOV blocks laying in the box. There are still a few more blocks, that can wait their turn in a quilt.

I had 2 more "kits" in my sewing room for QOV ready to assemble, so I pulled out the kit for another of the Beads/Chandelier quilts.  This kit was actually pinned together into diagonal rows last spring at a sew day when no one else was able to come.  

Three diagonal rows sewn together on Sunday, and then - OOPS!  Time to get the seam ripper out because I turned that 3rd row upside down.  It was an easy fix, but frustrating none the less.  I may or may not get any more rows assembled before my hip surgery this week. 

There was also a gallon zip lock bag holding over 100 more of these Beads blocks collected from our group members over the past few months, so I sorted them into 2 more sets of 41.  The extras are "seed" for one more set.  

I cut setting triangles and corner triangles for the 2 Beads kits, and today I plan to cut some borders.  That will make 2 complete Bead kits ready for our QOV ladies to sew.  There is already a kit for another Floating Star quilt, and enough red, white, blue Rail Fence blocks for a kit as well. 

This was the first Beads Quilt of Valor, made in 2022.  Actually I made this one as a sample for our group to see before deciding to do this block pattern for an on-going block drive.  This one only used 1 red and 1 blue, and a common background.  These new ones will be scrappy but still very pretty.  

Monday, September 25, 2023

Design Wall Monday - September 25

 Another start to a new week, and this is a week I've been anticipating for awhile.  Three days from now I'll be getting my second hip replacement.  Late Friday the results of the stress test came back showing nothing new the doctor was concerned about, so I've been cleared for surgery.  It will be a huge relief to be able to walk without pain.  

We'll skip talking about my design wall today because you all know mine is cluttered with way too many projects.  So I'll show you my most recent finish - Pole Star.

This is the quilt that was the project on the Alaskan Cruise back in June.  The pattern and kit was all done by designer Heather Black.  The blocks are ALL paper pieced.  It wasn't difficult, but it was time consuming.  I've grumped about the colors - not my favorites - but I do think the block design is great.  

What really makes this quilt into a beauty is the quilting.  Becki (at The Pin Cushion) suggested the thread color and the stitching design. I could see it would be wonderful even before it was done.  She chose really well.  It's beautiful.  

See - the block design looks amazing in patriotic colors!!

What's on your design wall today?

Saturday, September 23, 2023

RSC23 - Week #38

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge is one of my favorite things each week, because there is so much inspiration to fill me with joy!

My attention has been totally taken up with making mug rugs for the past couple of weeks, although a little bit of aqua and teal have caught my eye for other projects too.  Aqua showed up in the wedges around these 2 Paw Print mug rugs.

Aqua showed up again with the Snowmen.  These are all 6" finished - and the stack is growing quite quickly as my obsession has continued.

Some aqua is in the center of this Potato Chip block.  I think there are about 10 of these now.  They'll become a donation quilt most likely in 2024.

And finally I found the teal triangles had been cut for this Twinkle Star block, so it made sense to finish it up.  It joined only 1 other similar block hanging in the closet.

There is an aqua version in the works of Bonnie Hunter's paper pieced Morning Glory block.  The aqua sections are all done, but only about a third of the leaves are finished.  Maybe that will be my end of the month show n tell next week.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Another new block

Hmm  . . .  you know I have a hard time resisting a free sew-along online. 

Pat Sloan is doing a new one called Autumn Wonders, and yes I just had to give Block #1 a try.  Because it's kind of a test run for me, I used scraps from Quilt of Valor fabrics. I really like this block - fast, easy and I think it could make an awesome QOV all by itself. 

I have no idea yet if I'll keep up with this particular sew-along, but I can always just save each week's block and see how it goes.  There are only 9 blocks (12" finished) in this one, and the layout design is quite unique so it's worth saving for future ideas no matter what. 

This block was pretty much all the sewing that happened yesterday.  However, I wound several bobbins, and cleaned out the bobbin case in my machine.  And it was time to change my needle.  If only I had enough ambition to clean OFF the desk my machine sits on. That still needs some attention. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Thursday highlights

 Normally my husband doesn’t notice anything that might need cleaning.  He’s just one of those people.  And he rarely steps foot into my sewing room.  But Wednesday he stopped in to chat, and commented that there were dust bunnies in the corner near my cutting table.  LOL. I reminded him that I currently am struggling to bend or even walk some days.  Cleaning wasn’t too high on my priority right now.  Next thing I knew he was coming back in and vacuuming.  Thank you, thank you!!  Maybe I’ll have to keep him after all. 

Digging around in the scrap bin to see what aqua was remaining, and I found some pieces with these cute snowmen.  They demanded that I fussy cut a couple for mug rug centers.  They are in the queue now for hand stitching the binding, which may happen today - just because. 

I made this month’s block for Saturday Sampler yesterday, but I’m not at all happy with it.  My fabric choices were not the best for this one.  That dark green bothers me.  So, I may have to remake it some other day with better color choices.

A few other things happened in the sewing room while I was down there, and tolerating the standing and sitting better than the day before.  The binding is now attached to the second Quilt of Valor, so that will be my task the next few evenings I think. 

And I finished sandwiching the mug rugs with backing and batting scraps.  There are 20 of them ready to quilt and attach binding.  I haven't counted them all, but am guessing that I've made almost 50 of these little mug rugs.  Some are done. Some are not.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Mid-week check in . . .

 After weeks of productive sewing I may have hit a temporary wall.  Actually it has more to do with the hip pain than anything else as the stairs to my sewing room have seemed daunting the past couple of days.  Even standing at the ironing board or sitting at my machine seem to be getting harder to tolerate.  So, I've spent lots of time working on hand stitching the binding on a Quilt of Valor.  

Yesterday afternoon I did venture down those stairs to my basement sewing room - knowing that coming back up would be difficult - and pressed another QOV binding so it's ready to attach.  I'm hoping to do that sometime today. 

While downstairs yesterday I also pulled out the project box that holds a bunch of orphan blocks to see what other goodies might be in there.  I found 3 more 6" blocks that would make good mug rugs. 

I did sit down at my machine long enough to quilt 3 more of the mug rugs that were sandwiched and waiting.  My intention was to get my Saturday Sampler block made too but that didn't happen. 

On the health front my second hip replacement surgery has gone from scheduled for next week to "tentative".  My pre-op physical included an EKG, and then another EKG, and then a stress test scheduled.  My irregular heartbeat has been controlled for several years by medication. However, now they see some changes they didn't like - hence the stress test which will be done on Friday morning.  In the meantime I'm still required to stop taking any pain meds/anti-inflammatory meds for the 2 weeks prior to surgery - just in case I can still have that hip replaced.  So it's a waiting game for me.   

Monday, September 18, 2023

Design Wall Monday - September 18

 It was a good weekend, and I actually feel ready to tackle a new week.  Saturday morning I left - by myself - to drive to Sioux Falls for grandson Jack's flag football game.  And I left early enough to make a couple of stops to shop before the game.  Can't remember the last opportunity I had to shop without an impatient husband along.  He had golf plans for the whole weekend, so he didn't miss me at all. LOL

One of my stops was at Hobby Lobby where I had time to just browse.  I picked up some 40% off bargains to add to this basket for the silent auction at the guild quilt show coming up.  I found a coffee cup, and matching paper plates and napkins.  I also tucked in the 2 pumpkin mug rugs that I made.  

Thinking of more pumpkin mug rugs happened of course. So Sunday after Dave left for the golf tournament I pulled out the bin of orange scraps, and made 6 strip sets for more pumpkins.  Two of those almost immediately joined the pile of mug rugs ready for finishing.

Tucked into the project box full of orphan blocks were these 2 leftover Lori Holt blocks that I had completely forgotten about.  These identical Canning Jar blocks are now in the mug rug pile too.  Notice that little chunk of grey binding?  That's all that is left of one more leftover binding strip from that drawer.  It feels great to use things up.

My Design Wall is currently controlled by scrappy projects.  What's on yours?

Saturday, September 16, 2023

RSC23 - Week #37

 Only a little aqua came out to play this week.  But LOTS of scraps have been getting attention.

This Stashbuster block used up a few aqua pieces.  There are about 10 of these blocks so far hanging in the closet.  They are 10" finished blocks.

I've been admiring the Zipper blocks I've seen online this year and decided it would be a good use of some leftover jelly roll strips, paired up with scraps.  These are 8.5" wide by 12.5" long.  

One more aqua Zipper happened on Thursday, before I got distracted by more scraps.

On Wednesday I cut the pieces for 14 new 6" mug rugs.  Thursday I pulled out more batting scraps and cut those into the right size for the mug rugs.  Next up was backing scraps.  I haven't decided yet on backing for the Christmas and Snowflake versions. 

Six of these new ones use patriotic fabrics, so the leftover backing from a recent Quilt of Valor seemed like the perfect backing to use.  One of the 6 is even quilted.  

What else is happening in the RSC world today?

Friday, September 15, 2023

On a roll

Yup - still playing with the small mug rugs.  Are you getting bored with these yet?

I did work on some of the bindings - just because they kept calling to me.  So, there are 14 of them all finished with binding.  There are another 24 in the stacks that are quilted and the binding attached.  I've discovered that each one needs 24" of binding.  

And then THIS happened on Thursday morning.  There are 14 more in the works: 4 snowflakes, 4 Christmas, and 6 patriotic.  The wedges for the sides are all cut, so these are lined up on my sewing table ready to go.  Every time I poke around in the scraps I find more options for these. 

This might just possibly become a bit of an obsession.  

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Sticking to a plan?

 No, I'm still not sticking to my plan for the week. But I do feel like I've made some progress on things that are Works In Progress.

Last week I purchased a gorgeous Christmas border print.  Believe it or not I didn't make a 60 degree runner with it, although I have plenty left to do so.  Instead I cut 60 degree triangles.

And VOILA - a new Christmas table topper.  It isn't quilted yet but the top itself is done.

The other WIP was the red and white wall hanging using the 3" Sewcialites blocks plus the abandoned Stay At Home Round Robin project.  I picked it up from the quilter on Tuesday, and the binding has been attached.  It's ready for hand stitching while I recuperate. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Wednesday check-in

 Today I have my pre-op physical required before my September 28th hip replacement surgery.  I just had my annual physical in April, and I doubt anything has changed. But it's a requirement.  It cuts into my sewing time for sure.  Labs at 8:30 and then the physical at 1:00.  

Yesterday - in between some work tasks and conference calls - I quilted all of the little mug rugs that I had made in the previous couple of days.  Every bit of these came from the scrap bins, as will most of the binding needed.  I've been using leftover chunks of binding on these, and that drawer is much less crowded now.  The batting and backing are also all leftovers from other projects.  The batting pile in the closet has shrunk a little, especially the small pieces.  But the actual scrap bins - just fluffed up.  

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

To Do Tuesday

Yesterday morning I didn't get to my sewing room until much later than usual because we had a guy here to do bat mitigation.  Shudder!!  He had already done a walk-around last week, but did another this morning before plugging little openings along our roof.  He also went through our whole attic area but didn't find anything concerning.  And he put in an "escape cone" just in case any were hiding in that attic.  It allows them to exit but not to come back inside.  Again - shudder!! 

One important task for this week that I totally forgot about in yesterday's post - binding for 2 Quilts of Valor.  The strips are now cut and sewn together.  Maybe today I'll get them pressed and ready to attach to the quilts.  These 2 quilts will be awarded sometime this fall unless rescheduled. 

The QOV sampler blocks I've been working on have all become rows finally.  Next step will be sewing the rows into a top, but I've been dragging my feet a bit on this one. It's so easy to procrastinate when there are scraps to play with that are calling my name.

Four Valentine mug rugs and 2 Christmas ones have joined the 6 Halloween mug rug stack.  None of these holiday mug rugs are sandwiched or quilted yet, but that will be a quick task.  Those triangle ones made great Leader/Enders in between the QOV blocks. 

Monday, September 11, 2023

Design Wall Monday - Sept 11

September 11 once again.  My youngest daughter was a senior in high school, and I was teaching in that same high school on the "original" 9/11. It's hard to believe it has been 22 years ago already.

I had Quilts of Valor in mind on Sunday and worked on another block test.  The Pinwheel Star began with a scrappy pinwheel made from triangles trimmed from other blocks. It briefly became a square-in-square by adding triangles to the sides and turning the pinwheel itself on point.  It was 6.5" square, so worked perfectly for the center of a simple sawtooth star.  There are more of those little pinwheels in the QOV bin, so there may be more of these in the future.

On Saturday our Sew Vintage group was challenged with "everything pumpkin" for our October meeting.  That made me think about pumpkin mug rugs to add to the stack.  So I used the apple pattern (Lori Holt) and just used orange strings from the scrap bin to piece that pumpkin shape.  

A lot of other random sewing happened on Sunday as I was home alone with no interruptions.  I started a new Christmas table topper, made a couple more scrappy Potato Chip blocks, played with more mug rug ideas, and then hand stitched some binding on the cruise quilt.  I must also confess that I bought a kit for a Christmas bench pillow on Saturday. How long can I resist starting it?  

Now it's time to finish assembling the rows to the Quilt of Valor I started last week.  And there is a new Saturday Sampler block to sew.  Those will be my first priorities this week.  Then I can play with scraps to my hearts' content, and work on the Christmas-y stuff. 

Check out more design walls today -

Saturday, September 9, 2023

RSC23 Week #36

It's my favorite Saturday of the month! Every second Saturday there is Saturday Sampler at The Pin Cushion in the morning, and then our Sew Vintage group gathers in the afternoon.  The other thing happening today is a Sew Day for our guild, which I may pop into for a little while.  The Sew Vintage group is just my favorite. The photo below is from almost 4 years ago.  A couple of current members are missing from the photo, and one of these ladies has moved away. 

(Sew Vintage group in January 2020)

A second Dutchman's Puzzle block used a slightly darker aqua, along with orange.  I'm making these with batiks for the geese, and scrappy white-on-white backgrounds. 

As I went to hang it up with the first one my brain began thinking ahead on this one. What if I make all of these with aqua batiks, and then change up the other color each month?  Hmmm . . . 

Another Stashbuster block is done, and while I was poking through the greens for the 4 squares in the block, I came across the lime green polka dot strip and made a quick Small Heart block.  

The Boxed Squares project gained 7 more blocks this week, but 2 of them have purple in the center.  That's because I have a bunch of those centers ready for frames and they are in a variety of colors.  Because these blocks are only 6" finished, I'll need a LOT of them to make a good sized quilt.

Check out more Rainbow sewing . . .

Friday, September 8, 2023

Sew Together bag #20 and more

This Sew Together bag is #20.  Inside are 3 zippered pockets. These are really good for hand stitching supplies.  My cousin has used hers for knitting I believe.  My granddaughters each claimed one this winter for school supplies.  

It's quite possible that I should branch out a bit and learn how to make some other interesting bag design now.  LOL

Two new hot pads . . . done!  These finish about 10" across, so they are perfect for setting a small casserole or saucepan on.  They are a little too large for just lifting things out of the oven however.  There is 1 layer each of Insul-bright and batting inside of these.  

They both came together from scraps. Yay!

I've linked up today with Alycia's Finished or Not -

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Binding & bags

I'm very excited because the "cruise quilt" is back from the quilter.  Becki is the young woman who quilted this for me, and it's very pretty.  The dark blue binding is attached and today I'll begin the hand stitching.

When she and I discussed the quilting it was determined that this one needed a more dense stitching design.  This is more of a display type of quilt instead of a cuddle-up-on-couch type of quilt.  The thread is a subtle variegated thread with the yellows, pinks, blues in the quilt.

That last long zipper has been sewn into the Sew Together bag. The only thing left to do is to trim up those handle ends, and attach the small pieces at the ends that loop the handle onto the bottom of the bag.  This one is so close to being finished.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Mid-week progress?

 Progress has been made on my secret guild challenge project - but I just can't share it. However, it is halfway quilted so that is positive progress.

A bit of progress can be reported for other projects.  Two rows of the Quilt of Valor sampler have been sewn together along with long sashing strips to separate them.  Three rows remain.  More scraps have been cut and organized for on-going scrappy projects and future scrappy projects. Why does the quantity never seem to decrease? Hmmm . . . . . .

The Sew Together bag that was kitted up and ready to sew also has seen progress.  The hardest part is done except for some handwork.  Sewing those side panels onto the lining and then attaching the whole thing to the front is a slow process because there are so many layers: the outer fabric, the batting, pockets, interfacing, side panel, and binding to finish the edge.  

I'll hand stitch that edge binding, and then the final step can happen - putting on the long zipper.  I've found that the zipper section goes on easier if those sides are already finished.  

A little additional playing with scrappy hexies has taken place too.  I kept thinking that the 6" mug rugs are fine, but if I made them slightly bigger they would make good hot pads too.  In the scrap bin were 2 chunks of a coffee cup print, so they've become the first 2.  One layer of Insul-Bright and one layer of batting seems to work nicely for the hot pads.  I have already quilted the red one, and attached binding to the edge.  The aqua one might get quilted today.  These are about 10" across.