Saturday, April 4, 2020

S is for Saturday

Oh, wait, I'm out of sequence

Nevertheless, it's Saturday and the weather was warm and sunny and there was a lot to do in the yard before I could hit the sewing room.  My one hour today was spent pulling weeds out of this bed that I can see from the sewing room.


It actually wasn't in bad shape but the onions and dandelions were a challenge.  I am one who has to be on my knees at eye level with the weeds.  An hour is about all I can handle!  We have three peonies in that area.  I had not cut them back in the fall when I should have so I didn't know what to expect.  One popped up overnight.

It is loaded with buds.  The second one is looking good.

I had given up on the third one until a raked away some of the leaf cover.


Two little sprouts of promise!  I came across a few others coming up in the woods, too,   We have already had beautiful cherry blossoms and red buds.  And most of last year's new shrubs have survived the deer's salad bar. I am a happy gardener!

Friday, April 3, 2020

D is for Decisions

Sometimes they are made for you!

I was thinking (always a red flag!) about inserting a few different fabrics into Cursor, the modern monster that I find boring.  I even went as far as checking what Grunge colors were available at Whittles (just about ALL, in case you are wondering) but since I am on a fabric diet I decided to go ahead and make the arrows I already had cut out while I dithered on ...  I could always use them in another quilt or in other ways, I thought.

Well, I had pieces cut for 12 blocks (or almost, as it turned out).  And twelve 18" blocks in a 3x4 setting would make a nice sized throw.  So that pretty much cemented my decision to continue, but in the back of my mind I am still mulling my options.  Then BAM, I'm out of the orange Grunge!  I borrowed two arrow shafts from a Jelly Roll that was very close in color.

And the decision was made for me!

Halfway through stitching the blocks as I write this.  Tomorrow is yard work but I hope to carve out time to get this together and out of the box so I can move on to a real D!

D is for Dithering

Slow Day in the Studio

Yesterday I made binding and prepped a back for Coffee Time.

Then I was able to take the dark thread off the machine.

Buckeyes and Cursors
I stitched the final seam on Buckeye Stars.
And then I dithered - does it need a border?
48" x 60" as is.
And if so, what to use?

This one is a little heavy

... and this one's a little wimpy ...

Unhappy with my choices I decided to go into full production mode on Cursor.
I started with the rail units, made enough for 4 more blocks, pressed them.
Then lost them.
Somewhere between the ironing board and the sewing machine.

Actually, I was dithering again, thinking maybe the blocks are boring all the same.
In my search for more colors of Grunge I lost the finished rails under a pile of fabric.

But by then I had lost interest and made supper instead.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

I-Sew-Lation Continued ...

D is for Dots and Dashes
a/k/a Double Wrench
a/k/a Monkey Wrench

This one is a moldie-oldie, for sure.  Its twin has been finished for quite a few years.  The two quilts are destined to go on twin beds in the guest bedroom.  I've always called this block "monkey wrench." I don't know what makes this "double"!

Monkey Wrench a/k/a Double Wrench
I have named my quilt Dots and Dashes because when the blocks are set next to each other, the background looks like Morse Code.

I have been using a collection of small florals to make these blocks with a variety of WOW backgrounds.  Seeing all the florals in the Spring 2020 fabric collections has me inspired to get back to this one.

As soon as I get the back and binding made for Coffee Time, I can put light thread on the machine and sew the last seam on Buckeye Stars.  Then I'll be able to work on Cursor and finish the Dots blocks as leaders-enders.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Squirrel Alert - C is for Coffee


Do you see Coffee in this pile of project boxes?

That's because it didn't exist before Friday night!

  Looking through Coffee-time Quilts by Cathy Wierzbicki, I saw a project that used coffee-themed fabric that reminded me I have a box full of coffee fabric, including this bright panel of cups:

Several years ago I had a secret sister who is a coffee fanatic.  
Each month I gave (or sent) her a cup that I sashed in bright colors, something like this.

I don't know if she ever did anything with them, but I was inspired to dig out the remaining panel.  Friday I separated the blocks, cut fabric for the sashing, and left the pile next to my machine.  
That pile greeted me yesterday morning and I made quick work with the blocks.  
I was inspired by Julie/JulieK Quilts to use HSTs for the setting squares.

Setting HSTs - fabric from stash
And by bedtime (albeit a late bedtime) all the blocks were finished:

Today I will finish assembly and add a border to make it a nice lap size.

But I digress!  Back to the pile of Cs.
(Speaking of coffee, you might want to grab a beverage; this list is long.)

C is for Castle Wall: This is a hand-piecing project that I started a couple of years ago with Mickey Depre at Pigeon Forge Mountain Quilt Fest.  I prepared a number of blocks to take on our TOALT in January, but never got them out of my backpack.  On the long flights it was so much easier to read a book on my Kindle, instead.

Castle Wall
The kitted blocks are next to my chair in the family room so I will be able to resume hand piecing once I finish the last of my binding pile.

C is for Caryl Bryer Fallert:  When Caryl still had her studio in Paducah, I purchased several cuts of her fabric and this pattern:

It looks like something that will require some concentrated time and attention to detail so I will re-file this project under I for Illusion.

C is for Christmas Table Runners:  This one runner simply needs quilting, so it will go in my pile of little projects that need finishing.

But there is a second project in the box.

The pieces are already cut to expand the wedges to a full-size.  I will refile this one under M with plans to finish it before the 4th of July.

C is for Continental Divide:  This one has not been started, but it is one I really want to make Someday.

A variation of Delectable Mountains from Debbie Caffrey's booklet Becoming a Confident Quilter, the fabrics have been selected and await the next retreat where I can give it my full attention.

Continental Divide fabrics
C is for Cursor:  Finally, something that will be a relatively quick finish!

This one dates from my "modern" quilt phase of a couple of years ago.  All the pieces are cut and a sample block made.  I am using only Grunge in this one.

I plan to put the two browns opposite each other in the final arrangement.  So this one will be next in line as soon as I get Buckeye Stars and Coffee Time off the design wall.

That's it for the Cs! If you got this far, I thank you for visiting.  Stay safe and keep well.

Linking with Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Another B

and some updates

While reorganizing my project boxes, I found another B!

B is for Broderie Perse
Broderie Perse is a technique of cutting motifs out of a printed fabric and appliqueing them to a background in a new arrangement.  It was a popular technique in the 18th and 19th centuries when printed fabric had to be imported into the U.S.  Because it was expensive, flowers and swags could be cut out of small remnants and spread out, usually in a medallion style that resembled chintz palampores which often featured a tree of life in the center. (That's my definition, and I'm sticking to it!)

Anyway, I started this sometime before 2002.  I used an upholstery-weight fabric to cut the flowers and I included an old dresser scarf as a dimensional element. Everything is attached with fusible except the edges of the scarf.

Dresser scarf
I recently added a few more flowers to balance the composition.  Now top stitching and thread painting are all that need to be done before quilting.  I might treat this like Bullseye and let the stitching be the quilting.  Once I get a couple more of these little projects in a pile I will break out the Pfaff and get stitchin'!

Updates:  Great progress was made on Buckeye Stars yesterday!  I finished all the blocks today.  All the setting squares and triangles are cut and assembly has begun!  Only 5 long seams till I have to make a decision about the border.

The broth I made on Tuesday was a bit unremarkable by itself as lunch.  It definitely needed more salt and something in it gave it a little "off" taste -- maybe the one cabbage leaf or possibly the plethora of asparagus stems.  Anyway, I combined it with some leftover corned beef broth last night to make a sausage and kale soup in the pressure cooker.

Sausage-Kale Soup
My husband, who is not a big soup fan, declared it delicious and a "keeper"!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Sewing the Alphabet - B

B is for Buckeye Stars

and Bullseye

Buckeye Stars - This Rainbow Scrap Challenge from 2019 is about ready for a wrap-up.  I put the finished blocks on the design wall.

There were fourteen "acceptable" blocks, one that I felt that was too dark and matchy-matchy for a scrap block, and two more "hybrid" blocks (orange/green combos) ready to assemble.

Hybrid Stars
My first thought was to "increase" the size of the block by putting it on point. (Did you know a block takes up almost 1.5 times the space of a square block when put on point?)  But, of course, that requires finding a setting fabric.  I auditioned several; a couple competed with the stars for attention and a couple didn't speak the same language.  I finally settled on this recent purchase that has a lot of the colors in it but is very subtle in design.

If I do a 4 x 5 setting, I will need a total of 20 stars so I will be making a few extra in teal and yellow.

 Layout plan - colors to be rearranged
Next up is Bullseye.  This is a project I started in a class at the NC Quilt Symposium in 2017.

Taught by Ann R. Holmes, a stained glass artist, it is an interesting fusible applique technique where the finishing stitching is done when it is quilted.  It is small so I hope to be quilting this one and several other small projects during this period of self-isolation.