Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Progress on the pillow top

Happy Halloween!!

My quite large Halloween version of One Block Wonder is hanging in the dining room this month.  I made this one in a class a few years ago, and really enjoy pulling it out to display during October.  It has a panel in the middle, and the hexies were cut from 6 more identical panels.  There are still a few leftover hexie pieces in a drawer.   

The bench pillow top (18" x 36") came together well.  There were SO MANY pieces to cut, but I'm liking the results to this point. I'm still trying to decide how to quilt it.  I had a leftover piece of batting just the right size, but still need to dig out some muslin to back that pillow top before quilting.  

Black isn't usually a color I associate with Christmas, but admittedly it does allow the greens, gold, pink and red to pop.  The kit has more of the solid black for binding but I think I'm going to use a red - maybe even a red stripe.  In the stash I found a subtle green print for that envelop back.  The pattern called for the gold, but the piece wasn't large enough, plus I didn't want a gold back to this.  

Monday, October 30, 2023

Design Wall Monday - Oct 30

 A new project has been poking at my brain for the past couple of weeks, but I have so many projects waiting in the wings that it was hard to decide on just the right one.  Finally - I made the decision to go small . . . with this bench pillow.

Trim the Pines is a Riley Blake kit that I purchased just this fall.  I have made several of these bench pillow covers over the past couple of years.  There is a Halloween one on my love seat right now.  They finish about 18 x 36, with an envelop back to make them easy to switch out.

This Christmas one has these 4 ornament blocks, plus some green tree branch pieces above them, to look like the ornaments are hanging on the tree.  I've gotten a good start.

There wasn't much sewing time this weekend, but it was a good weekend in spite of that.  We left the house about 7:15 on Saturday morning to drive 85 miles to watch both granddaughters at their swim meet.  Both girls (ages 11 and 10) did really well and keep improving their times.  Olivia even placed 3rd overall in one event.  They swam against each other in 2 events.  In one of those they were even in the same heat.  

Once the swim meet was over we all enjoyed a late lunch together.  We were missing one SIL and 2 of the grandsons, but still had a fun time.  It was bitter cold when we left in the morning, and snowing when we drove home in the afternoon.  On the way home we listened to the second half of the SDSU Jackrabbit football game on the radio.  They were playing their biggest rivals (USD Coyotes) - both undefeated this year.  Our Jacks won . . . 37-3!!  Once home we watched the whole game that we had recorded.  On a side note - college basketball begins this week!!

So, my design wall this week has the bench pillow on it.  Maybe I'll have it mostly done by next weekend.  And I have to get my Saturday Sampler block made too.  It is the center focus block for this month - and appliqued.   What's on YOUR design wall this morning?

Saturday, October 28, 2023

RSC23 - Week #43

 One of my quilt show purchases was the Curvy Log Cabin ruler. 

I have a gallon zippered bag full of light neutral strips, and a bin of other shaped scraps.  And the fall scraps were already out because I've been using them for the Autumn Wonders blocks.  So naturally I gravitated right to them for a coupe of practice Curvy Log Cabin blocks to try out the new ruler.  

I'm sure there will be more of these made in the near future, and using that clever ruler.  And using up more of those narrow strings from the bag of neutrals.

I used a lot of the light neutral 2.5" x 4.5" bricks for these 2 new Potato Chip blocks.  These finish at 12", and there are a dozen of them right now.  

A light neutral background has been working well for the fall colors version of the Autumn Wonders block each week.  I've used a different one for each block so far.  This week's block is a simple Churn Dash block, which is one of my favorites.

The patriotic version is done too.  This flag print was leftover from a Quilt of Valor backing, but it sure works well in this block. 

What else is happening in the RSC world this week?

Friday, October 27, 2023

So many projects . . .

 I've really been itching to start a new project this week, and keep looking at my list of PIGS (yes there is a list) to see which project might be next.  PIGS (projects in grocery sacks) are any project that I've purchased but haven't begun yet.  Some are actual kits and some are just a pattern, fabric and possibly a ruler.  I know there are plenty of things to finish, but I have a craving for something new.  

I did play a little bit earlier this week with the specialty ruler (Curvy Log Cabin) I purchased at the quilt show.  The ruler makes it so easy to make that block.  That reminded me about the Wonky Log Cabin project already waiting in a project box, along with THAT specialty ruler by the same manufacturer.  Hmmm . . . this would be a fun choice for a new project. 

This kit for a Christmas bench pillow is a more recent purchase.  It was actually one of the things I considered cutting out while recovering from surgery. That didn't happen obviously.  This might be a quicker finish than starting a big quilt.  

There are also 2 pillowcases kitted up for the granddaughters' Christmas stocking goodies.  Those would count as something new, right?  

There will be some NEW projects happening, along with working toward some finishes on those WIPs and UFOs that are patiently waiting. 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Guild quilt show - Part 2

 Oh the quilts!!  As always there were so many beautiful quilts to see.  This post is going to be very photo-heavy.  

The Viewer's Choice winner from the quilt show is this sweet quilt with a feminine vintage vibe.  Brenda was also our Featured Quilter this year.  

Viewer's Choice 2nd place was Tammy's heartfelt tribute to her late husband. She made these angel wings from her husband's solid color work shirts.  A local long arm Artist quilted it, and it actually appears to glow around the edges of the wings.  I got tears in my eyes again just thinking about this one.  

I wish I had gotten a photo of the 3rd place quilt and winner as well.  My apologies.

I have a weakness for Kim Diehl fabrics, so this one caught my eye.

Who could pass up these amazing applique feathers!

Whimsical, then traditional, then very modern . . .

Bright colors always draw me in . . . and these pieced diamonds were beautiful.

Christmas is always fun.

The first 2 on the right are examples of Saturday Sampler quilts from past years.

The hand embroidery on this one is stunning, and so is the hand quilting.  

I could go on and on and on, but these are just a few of the highlights.  Our next quilt show will be in 2025.  And in 2024 our guild will host a bus trip shop hop to "somewhere". 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Wednesday already?

October needs to slow down!!  I'm not ready for November to arrive because that usually means snow and cold weather.   

The patriotic version of Autumn Wonders block #5 came out very nicely.  This really makes a terrific block for a Quilt of Valor.  I might end up making more of them from the QOV scrap bin.

Block #6 will be posted later this morning, and I'm eager to see what comes next from Pat Sloan.  While the red/white/blue bin was front and center, I worked on a couple more blocks using patterns we've used before.  

I've made so many Floating Star blocks and these Split Back Star blocks that I could make them in my sleep.  I don't even need to check the pattern for cutting sizes anymore.  The dark blue in all of this week's blocks is an old one found deep in the stash.  This red with the big stars is a new purchase.

The block I've been calling the 4 Square Star is turning out to be one of my favorites too.  I think this may have to be the next block pattern I share with our QOV group.  There are 6 of these now, with various backgrounds (cream, white, prints).  

I was all excited to have a sewing day yesterday that didn't materialize as expected due to a variety of interruptions.  And today I have a lunch with retired staff from the school where I spent 2 decades teaching.  But before and after lunch I have some work tasks with a Thursday deadline that popped up.  That will limit the time spent sewing unfortunately.  Sigh!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Quilt Show fun Part 1

Our small quilt guild - Heartland Quilters - holds a quilt show every other year.  Opposite years there is a shop hop bus trip.  Such great ways for the guild members to enjoy our sense of community. 

The theme this year was Crazy About Quilts.  The raffle quilt was sewn as a group project by members, and featured crumb blocks. 

I definitely think the raffle winner of this quilt was pleased.  

Members put together baskets of goodies to also be raffled off.  I think there were 17 different baskets, and every one of them had such fun things in them - coffee, wine, food items, sewing notions, movie theater passes, and more.  One of them was full of vintage hankies and a book on using them for quilt projects.  The winner literally squealed when her name was announced.  

There were 5 vendors who attended.  Oh my goodness - so many fun things to purchase!  I bought a specialty ruler, some adorable button sets, a little bag pattern, a panel to make 8 zippered project bags, some patriotic jelly roll strips, a few fat quarters, and a piece of yardage for pillow cases.  

I also bought the Tell the Story 2 challenge project from Mary's Quilt Market.  There is a charm square and instructions in it for next spring's challenge project at her shop. She came all the way from Arnold ND to be vendor and also gave a fabulous trunk show on Sunday.  

One of the vendors had these amazing woven bags - large, medium and small, in so many different colorways.  I was gifted this large red, white, and blue bag as a thank you for my volunteer work with Quilts of Valor.  What a wonderful gift!!  Thank you Brenda.  I do believe it's going to be perfect to hold my QOV things.  It's big enough to hold a quilt folded up when we go to make a presentation.

Speaking of Quilts of Valor . . . we had a table set up right inside the entrance.  The table had a donation container and I'm happy to say we collected a few dollars to keep supporting our work. 

In another post this week I'll show some of the amazing quilts at the show.  

Monday, October 23, 2023

Design Wall Monday - Guild Challenge projects

Happy Monday!!  I survived the big weekend of our guild quilt show.  It was awesome, and the committee sure deserves a high five because they worked their tails off.

The challenge project this year was to use a "crumb block" somewhere in a small quilted item.  These are the 10 entries and each attendee could vote for their favorite.  The applique lady in the upper right was the 1st place winner.  

My project received 3rd place!  That was sure a pleasant surprise.  The crumb kitties were fused on, and outline stitched using black thread. I used embroidery floss in various colors to do some big-stitch hand quilting in a diagonal grid.  

More quilt show photos will be shared this week as I go through the pictures I took.  There were so many wonderful quilts.  I made sure not to overdo it either day, but I'm headed to bed early tonight as I'm really tired, even though I didn't assist with the quilt show set-up or tear-down this year.  

What is on YOUR design wall today?

Saturday, October 21, 2023

RSC23 - Week #42

 We're getting close to the end of another month for RSC. What has been happening?

I haven't had an opportunity to play much with my neutral scraps yet, but did manage to work a couple into the Autumn Wonders block #5 this week.  

A few different neutrals were used in the first 4 of the Autumn Wonders blocks too.  I have a lot of neutral scraps available to play with. 

Today and tomorrow is our bi-annual quilt show hosted by our local guild. There will hopefully be lots of eye candy to share in the next few days.  

Friday, October 20, 2023

Sea Otter is a flimsy

The Sea Otter mosaic wall hanging is all ready to quilt.  

My stamina is pretty much non-existent yet, but with some short bursts of energy this week I did manage to get all the little mosaic pieces ironed onto the background.  The borders were a quick enough addition.  So this top is a done deal for now. 

I thought I had enough energy to make this week's Autumn Wonders block.  The autumn colors version is partially done, with units ready to join into a finished block.  But I was definitely "out of gas" by then so it will have to wait - probably until Sunday as our guild quilt show is today and tomorrow.  The patriotic version doesn't even have fabrics selected yet.  That will give me something to do on Sunday.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Thursday This n That

There has been progress on the Sea Otter wall hanging.  

The water pieces are all ironed on and the freezer paper template around those has been removed.  Most of the water pieces were good sized.  Now I'm working on the face, which has a zillion tiny pieces.  But it's slowly taking shape. I'm thinking this might be a good project for matchstick quilting. The closely spaced stitching lines would hold down those little pieces instead of trying to outline stitch them. 

I also swapped out a wall hanging in the living room.  The Haunted Halloween quilt is now hanging from this shelf/rack. It was a free Fat Quarter Shop project this year.  

It replaced the smaller Boo Buddies quilt, because Boo Buddies is going to the quilt show this weekend as one of my entries.  The larger wall hanging actually fills the space a lot better. 

Hopefully today I'll get the last of the face pieces ironed onto the Sea Otter, and can then add the batik borders to it.  And I picked up a couple of table toppers from the quilter so those will be ready for binding too.  

Family genealogy has been on my mind again lately, as I've tried to track down birth and death records for some ancestors for my DAR membership application.  Two weekends ago when my older daughter and family were here (tree branch trimming), she and I got to talking about the grandfathers.  Both my dad and my father-in-law served in World War II and the conversation turned to old photos and war "mementoes".  So it was inevitable that these 2 boxes came out. 

I have the small oak box that my dad used to keep his military ribbons, a few photos and some other odds and ends of wartime memories.  He was an 18 year old paratrooper dropped behind enemy lines near the end days of the war.  Just a kid, like so many!!  He rarely ever would talk about his experiences but I do know the stories behind a few of the items.

My father-in-law was overseas much longer than my dad as he was already in his early 20s at the start of the war.  He was an army tank mechanic.  The old metal box (top) holds mostly old photos from his military days, and a few other trinkets.  My brother-in-law lent me the box so I could scan the photos so the whole family could have them.  

So - one of my cold weather tasks will involve scanning pictures - in between sewing projects.  

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Hump Day

 Hmmm - the only sewing that happened yesterday was a little bit of binding on the little challenge project for the quilt show.  And I can't show you that yet because we have to keep them anonymous until the winner is announced on Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday was a gorgeous and perfect fall day, with sunshine and a high around 70.  This morning is grey and chilly - with a chance of some light rain. 

The view across the street shows just a small variety of colors.  The ash tree in front has already dropped about half of it's golden leaves. I love that deep red tree poking it's head out from the back. 

I've printed off today's Autumn Wonders block (#5 from Pat Sloan) but probably won't do any sewing on it until tomorrow.  I might look for fabrics for them, but my priority this morning is to get one more Quilt of Valor label sewn onto a quilt.  So far this morning I've been on the phone with 2 different families to get dates set for QOV presentations for their loved ones.  

This afternoon I'm planning to play cards with some friends. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

A new week

Another new week, and this is the week of our bi-annual guild quilt show.  We will set up on Friday for the Saturday/Sunday show.  I plan to show 2 quilts plus 2 wall hangings. 

And I am nearly finished with the challenge project for the quilt show.  Yesterday I finished the hand quilting, and got the binding attached.  The challenge projects had to be small and include a "crumb block" element somewhere.  

Right before supper time yesterday my grandson (6th grade) Facetimed me for some help with his Language Arts homework.  That was actually fun - for me, maybe not for him. LOL

Heading to PT this morning. And I have a haircut this afternoon.  But hopefully some time will be spent today sitting in front of my sewing machine. 

Monday, October 16, 2023

Design Wall Monday - October 16

My design wall (ironing board) this morning has the Sea Otter wall hanging on it.  This is kind of like a paint by number project . . . but with tiny fabric pieces.  There are 84 little pieces in this kit, and thank goodness they were laser cut already.

I have a small start on the layout of the pieces so far.  

I'm learning quickly that standing at the cutting table or the ironing board is tiring. Not painful, but definitely tiring.  I have no stamina yet.  Sigh . . . 

A little more binding happened over the weekend, and I sewed a label onto a Quilt of Valor.  

My weekend was mostly a good one.  Saturday Sampler and Sew Vintage groups were so entertaining, especially after being cooped up at home for the past couple of weeks.  It's the people - and the quilt-y inspiration!!  Then I went grocery shopping, and realized it was just too much walking, bending, and reaching.  It was a good reminder to NOT overdue things yet. 

Saturday, October 14, 2023

RSC - Week #41

Nothing new to show for this week except for the 4 blocks I made on Thursday. Friday was PT day, plus a bunch of errands - no sewing.  But I’m sure there was a lot of scrappy fun happening elsewhere this week.

I’m caught up with the Pat Sloan Autumn Wonders blocks, in both fall colors and patriotic colors. I’ve been using fall themed scraps from a big bag of leftovers from an old project, so it has made it very fast to find just the right colors. 

We had 2 days of much needed rain, and received almost 3 inches.  As the rain fell, so have the leaves.  our backyard looks like a carpet of leaves.

It’s Saturday Sampler & Sew Vintage day today, and I’m really looking forward to some outings.  Last night my girlfriends picked me up and we went to a play (On Golden Pond).  It feels so good to begin some normal activities again.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Survived the stairs

 Today is the day - for navigating the steps down to my basement sewing room.  Slow and steady with my cane and the railing, and not at all painful.  It was 2 weeks ago today that I had surgery, so I've met my goal of being back to sewing within 2 weeks.  I promise not to overdue it yet.  Two hours was all I was ready to handle today.

The freezer paper template has been ironed onto the background for the Sea Otter wall hanging purchased in Alaska in June.  Next steps will be adding the small pieces already laser cut to make this applique piece. Then the freezer paper template can be pulled away. 

The remaining time today in my sewing room was spent making last week and this week's Autumn Wonder blocks.  This is the Pat Sloan sew-along going on.  I am doing 2 of each block - 1 in autumn colors, and 1 in patriotic colors.

OK - it's lunch time and I need to scrounge up something to eat. Then I can spend the afternoon in my recliner with some hand stitching and watch it rain.  

Monday, October 9, 2023

Design Wall Monday - October 9

 My design wall is empty this morning.  But hopefully it won't be that way too much longer.  I'm on the mend with the new hip, but it isn't going quickly enough to keep me from boredom right now.  Hand stitching just isn't satisfying my need to sew right now.  I spent more time reading the past few days than I have stitching, which is OK too.

I've been working on the mug rugs.  The pile of finished ones has slowly grown. There are 6 Halloween themed ones currently on the side table next to my recliner. 

We had a picture perfect autumn weekend - sunshine and temps in the upper 60s.  On Friday evening one daughter's family stopped on their way to the Black Hills for the weekend. They brought supper too!  And all day Saturday the other daughter and her family were here, working hard on some yard work we needed help with.  Her husband manned the chain saw to trim lots of dead tree branches.  The 3 grandkids and grandpa hauled branches. My daughter brought all the fixings and made a yummy lunch of tacos. She's a really good cook.  This tree trimming was a BIG job, and my husband just can't handle some of this alone with his back issues right now.  Our trees look so much better now, and we're a bit more ready for winter.  Sunday my husband went golfing (doesn't bother his back), and I relaxed in the recliner with a good book.

I had saved the 3 most recent books in John Sandford's Prey series to read while recuperating.  Ironically I love this type of book, but hate this type of movie.