Wednesday, August 31, 2016

One Monthly Goal - August


Sew I didn't meet my goal -- again.

August OMG - Serene Glow in RSC16 color, Hazy Purple
But it's not like I was idle.  No, I was distracted by another hazy purple project and managed to get the center of the quilt completed, starting from scratch. Border decisions still to be made.

Trellis Garden
I also attached bindings to two quilts, finished turning the binding on one quilt, finished three tops, made seven backs, and made a baby quilt from scratch, including the quilting.

Gee, I wish I was still tracking my stash usage!

I didn't get photos of the finished baby quilt, but I did get a kiss from the checker at Kroger!

Reporting in for the month with Heidi at Red Letter Quilts.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Retreat Reprise

Better Late Than ...

I was out of town over the weekend with no opportunity to blog. Also no time to sew, either, so nothing to report.  Therefore, I thought I'd post a few photos of what some of the others were working on at the S'mores retreat.

Ruth's Painted Ponies
Ruth began and finished this quilt in 2 days -- and that included removing three borders to fix the waviness caused be the pieced inner border.  It was a kit that included these darling, colorful ponies.

I wish I had gotten the name of the fabric.

Ari finished the center of her flip-flop quilt gifted to her by her secret sister last year.

Ari's Flip-Flops
The beach umbrella fabric she used for the alternate blocks is absolutely perfect!  The border will be a dark blue marine print with fish and sea creatures.

Kristen finished assembling Log Cabin Star Table Topper that she started in one of my classes several years ago.

Log Cabin Star Table Topper
At that time we were working from Not Your Grandmother's Log Cabin by Marci Baker and Sara Nephew.  A stand-alone pattern has since been released as Log Cabin Star by C&T Publishing.

Several of the girls were working on their Stems and Stones from a recent Kelly Young class.

Diana's fabulous fabric collection for Stems and Stones
Ari's first two blocks - Stems and Stones

Nancy's Stems and Stones in progress
Nancy was the only one in class who used a dark back ground and it gives the quilt an entirely different look. It's all batiks, none repeated; the background is a very dark navy.

And in this photo you can see an edge of Lisa's Wedding March.

Lisa's Wedding March on the right
You can also see that we like to "loosen up" at retreat!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Retreat Day 3

A Day's Labor

Today was devoted to making a baby quilt for the checker at Kroger -- she hinted, and I thought, "why not?"

I kept it to a simple rail fence.

Regina's quilt
Regina requested pink for a girl. Though in this fluorescent light it looks more orange. Just three prints -- all from ancient stash -- and Kona Snow.

The back ...

Had planned to quilt it here, but forgot to bring the batting ... sigh.

After dinner I will try to work with the leftover pieces before packing up. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Retreat Day 2

It Takes a Village

The S'mores will call, "I need a Village!" whenever a decision needs to be made on border fabric, or the arrangement of blocks, or just an opinion in general. Here Donna is getting input on her Stems and Stones. She and several others started this quilt in a class with Kelly Young (My Quilt Infatuation) several weeks ago. The variety of fabrics they are using makes each one unique. I'll try to get photos of all of them before retreat is over.

I've been busy at my table, too. I began the day putting borders on this variation of Wink and a Smile.

Shooting Stars (a/k/a Wink & a Smile
These were extra blocks from a class sample I made 2 years ago. I also cut a wide back for this one; the binding was already made before I came.

Next I attacked the borders on Tropical Trellis, using the teal diagonal stripe as the inner and the hazy purple circles as the outer (the vote was unanimous).

Tropical Trellis
Next up was Smith Mountain Morning. All it needed was top and bottom borders.

Smith Mountain Morning
It's only taken me 8 years to finish this one!  The border fabric was made for a West Virginia shop hop several years ago. I think I will donate this one to WV flood relief.

And before the day was done, I got the center of Trellis Garden put together.

Trellis Garden
Tomorrow I want to throw together a baby quilt for the checkout lady at Kroger. And if I have time I'll work on the borders for Trellis Garden, assuming I've brought usable fabrics.

All-in-all a productive day!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Retreat Time!

Headed out this afternoon for the Smore's summer retreat. After settling in, my first order of business was to trim this beauty:

Pineapple Inside Out
I failed to show this when it came back from the LAQ. I think she did a beautiful job.

Custom corners
Fabulous feathers
I made the binding on the bias to match the borders and got it stitched on, too.

Pineapple Inside Out (Exploding Pineapple)
I also attached binding on this one:

Classic 4-Patch
And finally I cobbled together backs for the recently completed Ohio Watermelon Stars and Chex Mix that I finished in May.

Tomorrow I'll start with borders on three more quilts, then I can get back to Trellis Garden.

I'm off to bed now. Stay tuned for daily updates.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Recent Visitors

One Happy Family

Of the ten deer I saw in our yard many months ago, only three are regulars these days.

Look at the rack on that dude! If he knows what's good for him, he'll steer clear of the neighbor's yard. Just sayin' ..

Making Progress

No Ripping Required!

When I last left you I was pondering how to handle a shortage of the brown chain fabric in Trellis Garden.

Trellis Garden in progress
One solution was to make the quilt two rows shorter, but that would have left me with 5 orphan blocks. And the last thing I need in my quilt room is more orphans!

A second option was to look for a similar replacement fabric in my stash. Buying something that would match the very old repro fabric I had used was simply not part of the equation. Well, good news --I found something!

Original fabric on the bottom
Even though this quilt is intended for my give-away queue, I didn't want it to look like "Oops, I ran out of fabric." I needed a plan and early Saturday morning that plan came to me! I would put the new fabric in the outside round of chain logs in just the outermost chain blocks. This would allow me to transition to an even darker brown fabric for the half-chain blocks in the border.

Last log with new fabric goes here
It looked like some ripping would be required until I realized that several blocks, still under construction, did not have the last log stitched on yet. With a simple relocation of the completed blocks to the center, I was able to redistribute the unfinished blocks to the outside edge.

Take a look at Trellis Garden as of Saturday afternoon ...

No ripping required!

Missing blocks have been made and I am now ready to sew the last logs on the outside chain blocks and then it will be ready for assembly at retreat tomorrow.

Linking up with Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Looking for a Stopping Place

Does this ever happen to you? 

You didn't plan to work on the project ... you just wanted to see what might be ahead of you ... if you even wanted to continue with the project at all ... if you like your fabric choices ... if you have enough of the chosen fabrics ... if the pattern makes sense ... 

And eventually it's a permanent fixture on your design wall because you know if you take it down you won't be able to figure out just where you left it ...

I need a stopping place!

The saga of Trellis Garden began at the beginning of the month when I was reviewing UFO candidates to become my One Monthly Goal (OMG) using the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC16) colors.

Trellis Garden
I have to say this is one of the most confusing patterns I've ever encountered. First, the cover photo is very indistinct. Supposedly they used four solid colors to surround the 4-patch posey blocks -- yellow, green, pink and purple -- but all I can see is yellow and pink.

And to further confuse matters, there are three sizes with directions for all sizes in parentheses. AND there is an option of using a single fabric piece in place of the 4-patch posey. AND there is a specific placement for each of the 4 snowball colors. AND the alternate chain blocks include all 4 colors in specific places. AND the shading in the illustrations is confusing. AND it goes on for 8 pages  .... Whew! Now I remember why the project sat in a box for 4 years!

The box included some very attractive fabrics that had been out of circulation all this time so I wanted to be sure I really wanted to make this quilt; otherwise I should put the fabric back on the shelf. First I wasn't even sure the focus fabric would make pretty posies. I wrote about my struggles making the 4-patch posey block centers here.

While they weren't stunning, the posies were interesting. But I wasn't sure the snowball corners were going to enhance them.

Posey in Purple
Posey in Gold
Hmm, looking better ... so after deciding the final location of the posies, I got all the appropriately-color corners on. Now, what to use for the chain blocks? My first choice was a light floral print.

See how the four snowball corners continue into the chain block? I felt the floral a little too busy and conflicted with the posey blocks.  I tried a sold cream ...

Eh, kinda bland. I finally settled on a rich brown to complement the brown background in the posies.

Because of the placement of the 4 different colors I've had to label everything as I go.  Progress so far ...

Trellis Garden as of 8/19
I still have the light gold and light purple logs to add to the chain blocks today. At this point it appears I don't have enough of the brown to make the remaining 5 chain blocks or the half blocks intended for the first border.

Design-as-I-go! One thing's for sure: if I take it off the wall now, it will never get finished.

Monday, August 15, 2016

More Hazy Purple

When I was looking for hazy purple UFOs to work on this month, I came across Trellis Garden, a "long-intentioned" project that was yet to be cut.

Trellis Garden - designed by Marilyn Foreman
I ultimately picked another project as my One Monthly Goal (OMG), even though I thought the fabric qualified under the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) colors for the month.

Aloha by Laundry Basket Quilts for Moda
lots of hazy purple and evergreen fronds
I purchased this fabric at least 4 years ago at Yoder's in Shipshewana, Indiana.  My first plan was to use it as border fabric so I purchased 2 yards. Later that day I came across the pattern for Trellis Garden where the block centers are 4-patch posies and decided the fabric would work well for that.  I went back and purchased more.

I thought I had calculated correctly, but the separate cuts created a problem with the 24" repeat. I had only three complete repeats! I even tried using the horizontal repeats from far side of the fabric but those are never quite the same. In the end I started cutting individual squares that best matched the three I was already able to cut; the fabric started to look like Swiss cheese!

Initially I was struggling just to make the 13 blocks I needed for a small throw. In the end I was able to cobble together 18 blocks, enough for a larger throw!

4-Patch Posies
That's my RSC activity for the week! And while it's on my design wall this morning, it will go back in the box waiting for a time when I can address the rest of the pattern. It looks confusing and I think I need an undisturbed block of time to work it out.

Linking  up at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Guess Where ....

... I Was

Where am I?
Yep, the tire place. Second in line, I opted to wait during rotation, alignment, and oil change.  I brought along one of those "eternal" projects, the ones that linger in the back seat of my car "just in case" I have time on my hands.

One hour later!
Tied off the last stitches just as my name was called!

Last weekend I had a conversation with a few quilters from Virginia and Pennsylvania about the size of our bindings. I like for my bindings to just cover the stitching (not sure if you can see in this photo, though).

If it's a quilt I really care about, I cut the binding at 1-7/8"; otherwise I cut it at 2". How about you?

Today I'm celebrating a total finish!

Elegant Garden
The rest of the day I spent in the sewing room contemplating (Mangofeet would say dithering) about my options on my One Monthly Goal (more on that later) ...

Serene Glow in progress
... and getting a headstart on a pile of retreat projects.

Prepping for Retreat
So far one trimming, two binding, one back ... All things that require space to spread out.

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.