Thursday, July 27, 2017

When in doubt ...

... Bake at 350

Did your mother/father (or parent-substitute) have any pithy sayings that you can still hear in the back of your mind today?  Mine did.

When I was new to cooking, The Mama gave me this sage advice:  When in doubt, bake at 350.  I can't tell you how many times I have said that out loud to my husband and sons.

Then there's Never pass up an opportunity to use the restroom.  (Or maybe I'm thinking about Disney's Davey Crockett movie where President Jackson advises him to "Never pass up an opportunity to take a drink of whiskey, kiss a pretty woman, or go to the bathroom...")

And I can't forget this weird advice as I headed off to college:

     Don't pass on a date; you never know who else you might meet while you're out.

     Accept the dinner invitation; it will leave you more money to spend on clothes.

What still rings in your ear?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

More LTG.

Keepin' on

Monday's task was flying geese.

Chevron strip
More flying geese.

Dutchman's Puzzle
And well on my way to completing the next section.

Notice I finished the pyramid block on Sunday.  Some of the geese will be replaced today before I start packing for Tennessee Quilts Quilt Fest.

Update:  Section finished this morning!

I think I have decided on a saturated yellow for the sashing (if I can find one this week) and the rainbow stripe for the border.  I might even miter the corners!

Have a great day, Y'all!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

LTG Update

Long Time Gone

I refuse to let this be a long time going project.  So I forge on.

The variety of the blocks has to be the main attraction of this popular quilt pattern by Jen Kingwell.  That and the great scrap busting opportunities.  Take a look at the original.

Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell
In my humble OCD mind, the pattern is organized by units, blocks (which may be part of a larger block or a block unto themselves), and sections of blocks which are filled out with checkerboards or sashing to be the same size as an adjoining section.  In the pattern book it is organized by the basic unit so that you might need to make 100+ HSTs which will go into three or more different blocks. 

I have opted to work by section, using the 1-1/2" checkerboard squares as leaders and enders.  My first completed section includes one of the first units (bowties), some of the courthouse steps blocks, and some of the HSTs, along with two sections of checkerboard and some sashing (still under consideration).

From there I moved on to this section that includes more HSTs and three of the sixteen pineapple blocks.  (Editor's note:  These may be the ONLY pineapples in the quilt!)

This next block is supposed to go into the blank space above, but I'm not crazy about it with the rainbow sashing so I may end up making a less-muddled version later if I decide to keep the sashing.

This past week I worked on the last HST block ...

... some pyramids ...

... (there will be 12 more pyramids in that block), and another group of courthouse steps.

I can see that my flannel-backed table cloth design wall needs to be replaced.  (Coming soon with new developments.)

One of the fun things about scrappy quilts is the juxtaposition of fabrics.

Totally unplanned, the chevron stripe looks like rooftops over the windows and the loose thread becomes the chimney smoke.

I auditioned several colors for sashing.  Light blue was blah and orange was eh; but a bold saturated yellow might make the cut.

Trouble is, I don't have enough of any suitable fabric to complete the whole quilt so I will do some purposeful shopping at Tennessee Quilts this week during the Quilt Fest sale. 

So that's LTG, for now.  It's been a productive week.

Like up with Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I Like

Specialty Rulers

But only those that have a scientific mathematical foundation.  Not the kitchy one-trick ones.

My favorites are the 45-degree right-triangle rulers that assist in making no-waste triangle squares (also called half-square triangles) like those in my most recent Long Time Gone block.

There are several different brands on the market, and the best ones are marked based on the finished size of the square and compensate for the dog-ears with either a flat top or a line to mark the top.  In my example, the finished square is 2" so I start with a 2-1/2" strip -- no high-level math involved.

My favorite is the Creative Grids 45-degree Half-Square Triangle (CGRT45).

Creative Grids CGRT45
It has the typical Creative Grids frosting on the back to grip the fabric and the fine 1/4" spaced lines are easy for me to read and are logically read from the flat top down.

Other examples are the Omnigrid 96 (6") and 96L (larger 8").

Omnigrid 96L
The Omnigrid is also lined from the top down in quarter-inch increments, but it relies on a dashed line to line up with the top of your strip.  I also find all the crosses distracting and the yellow difficult to read (it's a personal thing) except when I'm working with very dark fabrics.

Possibly the earliest and most common right triangle ruler is the Easy Angle.

Easy Angle by Sharon Hultgren
 I used this one for years, but I found the bottom-up measurement markings counter-intuitive (another personal thing) so I developed my own methodology for using it.

The most recent product on the market is Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle Tool which combines the half-square triangle and quarter-square triangle in one tool.

Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle Tool
The biggest shortcoming I've found with the ETT is it doesn't have 1/4" marks, which is what I needed on a recent mystery clue.

Yes, I guess I'm a ruler junkie.  But I try to avoid purchasing a specialty ruler that I will only use for one quilt.

This isn't my typical "I Like" Thursday post, I know, but it's a subject that's been on my mind the last few days.  Please visit Not Afraid of Color to see what other quilters like.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A6 - Clue #2


Alycia announced the second clue for her A6 Mystery this morning so I took a break from Long Time Gone to work on the mystery.

I was glad to be able to use my cheerful red fabric.  It's really brighter than the photo appears.

Here's the total of Clues 1 and 2.

Clues 1 and 2
After reviewing the instructions, I realize that I made two red/blue HSTs by mistake.  I'll need to reverse sew one of them and make another blue/gray HST.

These blocks are simple, big, and go together very quickly.  Thanks, Alycia, for planning this mystery!

Wildlife Wednesday

Those *bleepin'* Deer!

Remember how proud I was of the effort put into my garden several weeks back?

Garden n June 5
One evening earlier this week I was commenting on how pretty the impatiens were, full of blooms  mounded in the big urns by the walkway.  (Actually, I almost broke my arm patting myself on the back for using Deer Off to salvage them.)

Well, this is what I saw the very next morning.

Not only that, they decimated the hostas ...

... and nipped off a couple of caladiums coleus for dessert.

Now I remember why I don't enjoy fooling with the garden.  Needless to say, I've sprayed everything that remains with Deer Off again