Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Midweek Sewing Update

Did you have a nice Easter? Ours was quiet, which afforded a lot of sewing time for me. And yes, we had Belgian chocolate from Trader Joe’s. What more could you ask for?

On Sunday I sewed the borders onto my Cityscape. I’m pleased with it, but dreading (as always) the basting process and the quilting even more.

I’m going to attempt to quilt those rays in the skyline with clear thread.  And I  know the borders will be different than the main part. But that’s all I’ve decided for now.

Below is my latest Splendid Sampler block. It’s #11 for me (I think).  I’m going to sew another one today after I baste the quilt.

I also recovered my ironing board and you can see a bit of the Makower laundry fabric beneath the left of the block. I didn’t take a picture of the ironing board itself because.... it’s just an ironing board. But a cute ironing board now!

That’s it for now. Short and sweet. See you on Saturday!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spring Stitching

Happy Spring everyone unless you’re in the southern hemisphere, then Happy Autumn!  Either way, the temperate seasons we’re coming into are beautiful!

Last week I mentioned but didn’t show my purple improv (scrap) blocks. They’re 8.5 inches and I had enough of the smaller scraps to do 8. I still have larger chunks of purple scraps - from fat eighths to FQs, but I didn’t cut them up for these blocks. I`m doing other quilt tops that may call for those larger chunks. If not, they’ll be ready for RSC2017.  Speaking of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, why not join us over at Angela’s SoScrappy for Scrappy Saturday. There is always lots of great eye candy!

This week I finished my Birds and Bees quilt which uses mostly fabrics by Tamara Kate for Michael Miller. I love the navy fabric with colored stars, but am not crazy about it as the first border. The quilt finished at about 56x64” (after washing), so it’s not a huge quilt.  I worked out the pattern on Pattern Jam according to the fabric I had on hand. We forgot to take a picture of the back which is made up of the outer border fabric, plus the binding fabric (aqua) and yellow. The quilting is a simple stipple and batting is Warm & Natural Plush. It will go into the linen closet to be added to the pile of Quilts for Christmas Gifts this year.

This is also a finish for my 1st Quarter Finish Along Goals, #6 to be specific.  And this is the 3rd quilt finish this quarter.  I am hoping to possibly finish one more this month.

I have finished three more Splendid Sampler blocks since the last time I shared. They have just introduced block #12 (the 36-patch ), but I have only done 10 blocks to date. Two of the introduced blocks have lots of embroidery and I am not enjoying that right now after doing my crazy quilts (see older blog posts) for the last 15 years.

The bottom block was supposed to have an embroidered center, but I included a Lori Holt little fabric piece instead  and then surrounded it with selvages. It did not turn out as I hoped. In fact, I think it’s fugly.  But it’s done and it’s staying as is. In a quilt, who will know or care?

Moving along, this is what I am working on now. I was originally doing some crazy-pieced 6-inch blocks with the thought of graduating the colors as I went around. But it wasn’t looking good. Then I pinned the 2.5” black strip around it and really liked that. So, from this picture I have decided to include the black border, skip the crazy patch, eliminate the red and olive green, and cut off the top light blue/white part of the print.

And then the colored outer border surrounding the black inner border will be pavers (bricks) of color, and most of them will be from two fat eighth assortments from Vicki Welsh in Blue/Green color wheel and Grape. They are drool-worthy!  So, hopefully I can finish this up next week.

Have a wonderful Easter!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Scrappy O’Purple Saturday

A belated Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all.  As neither Bruce nor I have any Irish in our ancestry, it is just more of an honorary fun day for us. We even forgot to wear green....

Anyway, today were are celebrating not green, but purple scraps. If you join us over at Angela’s Scrappy Saturday linky party, you can see all sorts of purple scrappiness.

First up for me are the two Dresden circles I did this month; one on a pale pink background and the other on a pale yellow background (trust me, it’s much paler than the photos make it look).

Dresdens with scrappy HST block...
I’m making these for two separate quilts. As each block will finish between 18-19” square (will trim them all up at the end to see), I will set each in a 3x4 layout possibly with sashing. They will go on the daybed in our “girly” guest room.  We also have a masculine guest room in an African theme. That room doubles as our library and music room. We have no kids living at home so we use the rooms for whatever we want. But each has a place to sleep. But I digress....

Above: the purple Dresden on yellow. Below, the purple Dresden on pink. The pink one is my favorite...

I finished these 16-patch blocks made with 2.5” squares to go with the others. Now I have 10 each of blue, brown and purple. They will be 8” finished. I rather like the contrast of the rich purples with the black and white.

I finished some crumby slab blocks, too, but didn’t get a picture of them. So I’ll save them for next week when I do my final purple recap.

This weekend will be for quilting my Birds and Bees quilt, which I finally basted on Thursday.  I’m trying to figure out what other finish I can squeeze in before month-end.

Until next time,
Cathy maroon

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This and That

Now that we are feeling better around here, it’s good to get back into the swing of things. I much prefer to blog at least twice a week, and it gives me an opportunity to show things I might otherwise skip.

In the last post I showed a picture of my blocks for the Splendid Sampler.  In the “group” photo in the bottom right was a horrible version (of a very nice block) that I knew I had to redo. Here is the redone block and it measures a perfect 6.5 x 6.5 inches.

I think I figured out what I did wrong the first time. In cutting out the blocks, I was so worried about color placement that I didn’t trim all the pieces to size. Oooops. That other block ended up at 7.5”, LOL. I have caught myself before - forgetting to trim the last two sides or something. Either I am starting down the road to dementia, or I had better pay attention when I cut!

I also did my two monthly blocks, as planned, for my Notting Hill Quilt. It is named after the fabric line Notting Hill by Joel Dewberry which is the primary (but not the only) fabric I am using.

This month, for the Sugar Block Club (see link in sidebar), Amy designed a variation of the orange peel block. It was labor intensive, but I really did enjoy the process.

And since I’m doing two Notting Hill blocks per month, I pick the second one myself. This month I selected Card Trick, a block that I once used in a wall hanging about 15 years ago. I should get that out and snap a picture some time. Anyway, here is Card Trick.

So, that brings my total up to 10 blocks of 20 needed - I am halfway there!! Still on track to finish the blocks in August. I will have white sashing between the blocks in the final quilt.

Back in November I was selected in three different prize drawings/contests as a prize winner (Gingher Scissors from Cynthia Brunz’ Quilty Adoption prize drawing; Hand-dyed fabric from Vickie Welsh in Angela’s Rainbow Scrap Challenge monthly participation drawing; and 3.5 yards of fabric from Fabric Jam in their December Design Contest).

Fabrics I selected from Sew me a Song
My good luck is back again (my lottery ticket bought when we visited Arizona notwithstanding).  First, I won a $25 gift certificate to  Sew Me a Song, a cute fabric shop on Etsy for my Helen’s Garden quilt being drawn in the 4th Quarter 2015 Finish Along.  The fabric I selected is in the picture on the right. Becca, the owner, is so amazing!

AND just this week (on my birthday, the 14th), I won the Pi Day Giveaway from Laurie3.14 on Instagram. The prize? 314 bits of fabric, ranging from inchies to triangles, rectangles and a piece leftover from a tumbler quilt.  So awesome!

If things DO come in threes, I’ve got my fingers crossed that maybe this Friday’s lottery (which is the last one on my ticket) will be fruitful. HA HA.

Cathy maroon

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Scrappy Purple Cats and Butterflies

This month is for the color purple in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. To join in with all the other sewists* (see end of post) at Scrappy Saturday, I am linking up with Angela. Swing by and see all the scrappiness and happiness in purple.

The REAL Purple Mama Cat arrived last week! The first one, made when I was “high” on cold meds at the first of the month, had a crooked tail and a decided list to starboard.  I decided she was feral and let her go. Into the litter (trash) box. New Purple Mama Cat came together sweet as a song, and before I knew it, kittens started arriving. They took no time at all to gather around Mama, forming a 24” square.

The kittens were so happy that they invited their brown and blue cousins for a visit on the design board. A good time was had by all, hehe. Thank goodness I don’t have to feed them!

From cats I went to butterflies and began plugging away at the RSC Sampler blocks for March. They are 6” butterflies, and for the size of quilt I am making, I needed 12. 

They were sewn flew into their column after I took the pictures and now hang with the other two January and February columns. 

This one is my favorite butterfly. I love the colors, contrast and touches of yellow (and pink). The fabric is leftover from my Helen’s Garden quilt and is by Tamara Kate.

And I’ve been continuing with the Splendid Sampler, although I didn’t do the embroidered block (may come back to that later).  So here is my next block, which I love.

The picture below also shows all of them to date, including one that I need to redo (the lower right). It’s too wonky and big (so much for scant 1/4 seams). But I like how they’re  looking.

In the coming week, I’ll be making 2 purple Dresden blocks and more of the 16-patch scrappy purple blocks with white and black centers. Then from there, who knows. I have lots of purple left. I also have a quilt to baste, etc. At least I have my energy back.

Finally, I got a new iPadAir2 this past week. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. It’s faster, has better graphics, and doesn’t crash like my old iPad2 (which was four years old). I’m keeping it for the grandkids to use for their games. Maybe. If they give their Grammy the required quota of hugs every visit!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* OK, so do you say SEWIST or SEWER (sow-er)?  I say SEWIST, but many people still say sewer. To you, here is this:
Credit for this brilliant discovery (many years ago) goes to Melody Johnson .

Until next time,

Cathy maroon

Saturday, March 5, 2016

My Sewing Studio: Purple Haze

It’s PURPLE month in March for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. And as this is also my birthday month (and a new iPad Air will be mine this weekend!), I am tickled purple that Angela at So Scrappy has chosen it for us.  The accent color, which is optional, is yellow. A little yellow goes a long way (especially with its complement, purple), so we will see how that goes.....

For the last month I have been dying from   suffering with dealing with the nasty 100-day virus.  Let’s just say that my personal color for February was green..... (ewwww!)   But even though it’s only been 4 weeks, I feel so wonderful today as I write this. It has been in the high sixties temperature-wise today, and I have thrown open the windows to get some fresh air. I’ve had no meds for 24 hours, and I even slept through the night with no coughing or nose-blowing. I have energy!!  It is common to feel good with this virus, then relapse, but I am hoping that maybe I’m finally over whatever it was..... Fingers crossed.

So, here is my Purple Progress for this week:

These are the Vintage Sheet Rail Fence 9.5” blocks. There are 12 of them, and they will join the 18 blue and 3 brown. At the end of the RSC (or maybe I should just say “at the end of the rainbow”) there will be enough to make some sort of zig-zag rainbow scrappy sheet quilt. Or something.

I did pull all my purple scraps and sort them by size. I have been cutting like a madwoman and the picture below is my proof.  It contain the makings of: 12 kittens (foreground on tray), Mama Cat (purple with yellow stars fabric pile on right, 2 piles of 20 Dresden blades to be made into two blocks (one on pale pink, one on pale yellow) and 2.5” squares which will be sewn into 10-12-ish 16-patch blocks with white and black centers.

I hope to get at least half of that done this week, as I expect Angela will be introducing our RSC Challenge Quilt Block for March. Then I will need to make lots of those, depending on size.   Whatever is left over from that will go into purple crumb slabs....

And although there is a purple haze in the studio this month, I am working on several other things (like any quilter worth her salt, right?)

I am playing along with the Splendid Sampler hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. These are my first five blocks. I chose those colors because they are what I have most of in my stash, and I wanted to trim them down. The result is a very girly-girly look, which is really not me, but IS perfect for my granddaughters. So who knows how long I will play along or how many quilts it will end up making. I’m thinking that by the time these 6” blocks are done (100 of them in the Sampler), I can sew up some basic alternate blocks to use with them. Another one to wait on and see....

The block below is my favorite. It was designed by Jen Kingwell, However, instead of using fabric circles as the pattern calls for, I went with my crazy-quilting background to add crocheted flowers, bits of lace flowers, yo-yos and some embroidered greenery.  And doesn’t that green fabric look rather like enamelware?

The project below is that Hoffman digital cityscape print that I am adding borders to. I have two of the prints and will do the  same for both.  They should both finish out at about 48x60, which is either a large wall hanging or small lap quilt. As I get further along, I will be using a lot of my Vicki Welsh hand-dyed batiks in the border piecing. Stay tuned.

And finally, my Birds and Bees quilt has been pieced and bordered. I have the backing sewn and the batting ready. All I need to do is baste it in order to quilt it. But I have not felt remotely like doing that for weeks.  If these good vibrations keep up, however, I expect I may baste and quilt it this week.

Sorry for the long post. The non-purple items should have been a separate post earlier in the week, but...... you guessed it. I didn’t feel like it.

If you like scraps, why not join us at So Scrappy for Scrappy Saturday, and see what everyone else has been doing with their purple!

Cathy maroon