Friday, January 26, 2024

Hectic Week

This week was so busy that I hardly got any sewing done. Really, I mean it this time! :-) I do have the last of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks to show you for January’s color of bright and dark green and the first round of my Stay at Home Round Robin (SAHRR).  But first I have to whine. (Anyone have some cheese to go with that?)

We have moved from Moderate House Prep Mode into Full-on Ninja House Prep Mode. That means my top priority this week was coordinating a family work day for tomorrow (Saturday), emptying desks and bookshelves that will be moved or given away. I also painted a bedroom and closet. I’m trying to pace myself on the painting. In the next week I’ll be prepping 2 walls and painting in our downstairs office/bedroom.  The week after I’ll do the touch-up on one kitchen wall and baseboards around the house. We’re trying to get ready ASAP for the photographer to come so our listing can finally go live around mid-February. In the meantime, we’ve been looking at locations and condos/townhouses and have found one that we like. But will it still be there in another week or two when we get pre-qualified for a bridge loan while this house is on the market? Who knows. I have to focus on what I can control and let go of the rest for now. 

So, color me surprised that I even have anything to show you! First up, let’s take a look at the first round of the SAHRR.

Our hostess for Round One is Wendy of Peaceful Quilts. Wendy called for us to use the traditional Signature Block (also known as Indian Hatchet).  At Wendy’s link-up, you can see all the fun additions that the participants have sewn for this first round. This is what mine looks like.

It measures 18.5 x 24” at this point, so I’ll probably combine a couple rounds into one as I move forward, which we totally can do. But we’ll see what is called for the next round. I would like this to end up at roughly 40-45” wide and 50-55” long, so I’ll be keeping that in mind moving forward.

My final blocks for Green January in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge are these simple Windmill blocks. Simple, that is, until you get rockin’ out to some Billy Joel music and lose track of what you’re doing and sew three of nine blocks backwards. *Cough, cough*. But that’s OK, I fixed ‘em. And Billy was totally worth the effort! Hey, did you hear that he has a new single being released on February 1? It’s called Turn the Lights Back On).

So, that’s it for my week. I’ll be linking up to Scrappy Saturday when that link goes live.  And if you’d like to come over and help me paint, don’t be bashful!  I invited my entire Weight Watchers workshop over to help me paint this week, and would you believe no one took me up on it? Serves them right because a good time was had by all. And by all, I mean me (wink).

Have a good week, friends!

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Frozen in Place

This week has been a bit of a low-key crawl through days. Cold, rain, snow, ice, wind. Cousin Carrie, who was diagnosed in the early autumn with pancreatic and liver cancer lost her battle with cancer on Monday night. That pretty much set the tone for the week (along with Mother Nature). We’re all still trying to take it in. This afternoon there will be a family pot luck gathering at her daughter Jenny’s house where we can all come together and just be with each other. 

So this week’s accomplishments are limited. On Monday during the day (before we learned of Carrie’s last hours), I ran around buying paint and new welcome mats, visiting the pet store (new litter box for the cats), going home store shopping for decorator accent pieces and cushions for staging the house, and going to Costco to get gas for the car and buying a case of tissues for Bruce’s never-ending cold. Or whatever it is. He went to Instacare yesterday and they were stumped. *sigh*

On Tuesday, I sewed and did laundry and vegetated. On Wednesday, Cousin Kim (Carrie’s sister) and I met up, went to a coffee shop and drank coffee and talked all morning. I took her home (her car was getting serviced) and came home from her place with lots of new empty boxes for future packing…

On Thursday I deep cleaned some rooms of the house - in preparation for moving around some furniture - and some sewing. Yesterday (Friday) was grocery shopping and lots of paperwork. 

So, I’ll show you what little I have. 

I sewed three more blocks for the Anne quilt I’m making for a friend. Now I have five done of twenty needed. I had intended to have at least 10 done this week, but oh well.  At least there’s lots of green in the blocks, so I can link up to Scrappy Saturday

And I worked on Scrap Kit #19, pictured here to refresh your memory. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Stay at Home Round Robin 2024

After skipping last year (and truly missing it), I am once again participating in the Stay at Home Round Robin (SAHRR). This is a fun annual event hosted by Quilting Gail and five other hostesses in the US and Canada.

This week we’re showing our beginning block, which will become the center of this medallion-style quilt along.  The idea is to begin with a random leftover block from our respective block “orphanages”. Then each week for the next six weeks, one of the hostesses will call out a block or motif (like a star, flying geese, checkerboard) and we’re to add that to our block and grow it into something fabulous. 

I decided to begin with this block that was given to me by our local Quilts for Kids group (it was a donation), since they know I like to play with scraps and exercise my creative bone. This block measures about 12.5” and contains bright kid colors that I’m sure will be easy to supplement from my stash as we move forward.

Bright green, orange, blue and chrome gold (and parrots!) What’s not to love?  There were also three smaller pinwheel blocks given with these fabrics, but I’ll take them apart to have 12 half-square triangles to use. 

The link for this week’s parade of blocks is HERE at Gail’s blog. The rest of the SAHRR schedule is:



Saturday, January 13, 2024

First Finishes of 2024

Woo-hoo! I finished two quilts this week! I’ve had lots and lots of sewing time, thanks to the cold and snowy weather this past week. My friend Ruby and I had planned to have a salmon lunch and then spend a couple hours in her hot tub, but on that day (Thursday), it began snowing like crazy mid-morning - almost whiteout conditions. So we cancelled it for this week. Naturally, by early afternoon it had cleared and the sun was shining.  That’s OK, there’s always next week. And Bruce has been sick this week, so I feel better staying close to home. It’s just a nasty winter cold, but it has zapped all his energy. Yesterday was Day 4, so I expect he’ll be turning a corner this weekend.

Working on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of Green (darks and brights) for January, I made some good dents in my green fabric scraps.

I loved these 16-Patch stars that Julie made for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge last year. So, since I’m trying to stick to simple (but good-looking) blocks this year, this one fit the bill perfectly. They assemble quickly, eat up lots of scraps, and allow me more time to work on assembling RSC quilts from previous years’ blocks.

I’ll make a total of 20 of these blocks for a quilt that finishes 48x60”.

You’d think that after sewing 400+ string blocks last calendar quarter, I’d be so over sewing strings. But you’d be wrong. What’s a Rainbow Scrapper to do when she has loads of strings in the color of the month? For me, the answer was to make 28 string block with a contrasting center string while using other 6.5” solid and dark green prints to round out a green quilt top. 

The first three columns are webbed with 4 more to go. I selected the Kona Iced Frappe color (also just a scrap) from my solids bin. It matched the little bit of Tula Pink scrap print and was a nice contrast with the green strings. When I ran out of the Tula print, I added in the 9 plain dark green blocks to finish them off. I love it when there’s *just* enough fabric to use and match. Click on the picture to see the colors better. You can also see that I had to add some dark green slivers to round out several of the print blocks to 6.5” square. 

Well, that quilt top wasn’t in my plans, but I was more than happy to go where the scraps led me, and the result is far fewer green scraps. Win-win!  

But the next two quilts WERE on my radar, and this week I basted, quilted and bound them. They’re coming with me (and three other recent finishes) to the Quilts for Kids workshop this morning. 

First is Chevron Stars, which finished at 40x54”. It was quilted with a vertical serpentine stitch. Last week I said I didn’t have enough of the chevron pieces to make a four-sided border, but I was wrong. We will not discuss how far my quilt math was off…. (wink).

My second finish was this striped number….. 39x46”.

And the backing - 

One of the things I was going through last week (decluttering) was my tub of home decorator prints and trims. Back in the day I used to make and sell Boho Bags. Anyway, I found two pieces of fabric that matched and perfectly fit a small 12x18” pillow form I had. Thirty minutes later, I had a little cushion (that I said last week I would not be sewing). 

I will purchase the rest of the decorator cushions - stripes, textures, etc. to add some zing to our otherwise neutral living room. Color pops of greens and blues should add some interest when it comes to showing the house for sale. I also went through all our paint cans this week and separated the dried up paints (which we’ll take to the city public works building for safe disposal) and labeled all the viable remaining paints. Finally, I made a short list of colors I need to buy to touch up baseboards and a wall or two. 

But back to sewing… two quick things. Next week I will begin putting together the third quilt “kit” whose number I pulled for January. This is kit #19…. and it will likely need plenty of supplementation. I’m really looking forward to playing with this!

I would also like to finish about 8-10 more blocks for the Anne quilt I’ll be gifting (see this post, near the end). And finally, I have some secret sewing to do for a reveal in February, but all I can show you is my color pull and some of the cutting. Stay tuned!

A potential RSC Quilt?.

Have a great week! 

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Aaaaand… We’re Off and Running!

It feels as though winter has just begun post-Holidays. We have had cold and snow this week, which is most welcome in January in a winter sports state such as Utah. And while Bruce and I stay warm and cozy indoors (because we’re old and we’re wusses), we can still accomplish things like sewing and decluttering. I do the former, Bruce does the latter - to atone for a couple decades of collecting and near-hoarding! Hehehe.

So let’s get started! This month’s color range for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is dark and bright greens. I started my week by sewing three Color Stix blocks (designed by Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is More Fun Than Housework) (was there ever a better blog title than that?)

I intend to make a quilt out of these blocks at year end and donate it to her Compassion Quilts charity. The free pattern for this simple and fun block is HERE

Last week I talked about my goal to begin sewing up the 35+ quilt kits I have assembled from scraps given to me over the last several years. This week I have pictures to show, including the kits whose numbers I drew for January and their progress so far. 

This photo shows a sampling of kits, which may contain related OR unrelated fabrics in a certain theme or color, and varying amounts of fabric. The scraps are like seeds or idea starters. If I need to add more scraps to them to make a quilt, or return leftovers to the scrap bins, well, it’s all good. 

The numbers I drew for January were 4, 19 and 26. Here are the kits. 

Kit #4

Kit #19

The third and final kit, #26, was just a bunch of 2.5” strips by width-of-fabric (WOF). I wasted no time in getting them up on the design board, and sewing them up. I had to add a few additional WOF strips to get a good length. The finished top is on the right below. 

Obviously, I’m taking the easy way out on this one, design-wise. But it’s January and there are 12 long months ahead to sew several kits per month, so I don’t apologize. When the scraps dictate an easy way, I’ll follow it. 

The next kit I tackled, #4, already had 30 of the small star blocks sewn at 6.5”. Only one of the large stars were sewn, but all of the gray background pieces were cut, and there were scraps of the small single-colored chevron prints AND yardage of both the small and large multi-colored Chevron prints. 

I used some of the gray cuts to add a bar under or over each star block, then set them to dance (alternate by column). 

By last night, I had it to this stage:

The columns are sewn into pairs, but the three pairs still need their joining seams sewn, which is why it looks a bit wonky. It is currently about 48” long, which is a good length, but it will only be 36” wide unless I add a border. I’m playing with these 2.5x5” colorful strips along the side, but there aren’t enough for the top and bottom, so I think it looks odd. And even if there were enough, the zigzags would end up in the wrong direction on the top and bottom. So I’m mulling and puzzling what to do. Any ideas?

My friend Ruby gave me an amaryllis bulb for Thanksgiving. It’s the first amaryllis I’ve ever had, so it’s been exciting to watch it grow and bloom.  This picture shows only three blooms, but it has four now. 

We have officially listed the house for sale, but our agent is only doing some pre-marketing now (to other agents and brokers). We won’t go “live” on the Multiple Listing Service until after Valentines Day at our request. We still need that extra month to shuffle furniture, buy a few inexpensive colorful items -  couch cushions, maybe a couple small bedspreads as we separate our California King bed into two XL twin beds in different bedrooms - and to get the outdoor junk pile hauled off. No, I’m not going to make quilts or cushions myself. No time. I want to stage the house in a more generic and less “folksy” manner. And this last bit is exciting only to a prospective home seller or buyer: We remodeled the three bathrooms a little over 10 years ago. At that time, the only things that weren’t replaced were the toilets. And they were original to this house built in 1963. So, last week we replaced them with brand new, low-water use models. Now everything looks sleek, modern and well kept. *sighs happily*. Oh, and I also need to touch up the paint on some baseboards and small areas here and there. That is a project that begins next week. Have a great week!