Wednesday, January 30, 2019

I Need a Village

Chunky Churn Dash

This morning I checked to see if I have enough Chunky Churn Dash blocks from last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge to make a flimsy.

RSC2018 - Chunky Churn Dash
The blocks will finish at 6"; I have 66 -- more of some colors (like green) than others.  I'm not crazy about the look of them set together and 66 blocks would not make a very big quilt.  Time to think about a simple setting.

I found the pattern on Bonnie Hunter's blog Quiltville's Quips & Snips.  She used alternate quarter-square blocks to set hers, so I perused my stash to see what I had at least 1.25 yds of.  (My 7th grade English teacher just rolled over in her grave ... ending with a preposition.)

I'm thinking the dark gray is too dominant.  I also think I would like the CCD blocks set on point. 

What say you?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tiny Tuesday #5

Easy peasy!

Thanks, Cynthia/Quilting is More Fun than Housework for providing the design and tutorial today.

I even had enough time in the day to add 13 more blocks to Dawn to Dusk.

Dawn to Dusk
I'm stuck for now till I can get more of the white Grunge I am using for the background.  Final arrangement will come after I get them all trimmed to size.  I am thinking to put the lighter blocks in the center.  Not sure what or if there will be a border.

Monday, January 28, 2019

A Bit of Reorganization

How I spent my Sunday

Before the installation of the gas pipe that required emptying my fabric shelves.



How I spent my Monday

Notice anything different?  The basket drawers were too heavy for one of the poorly-anchored standards and the whole construction collapsed when I started adding fabric on the shelves. What a mess!  Those white buckets up on the top shelf will probably become the repository for my scrap/strip storage system until I can use them up.

While I'm waiting for DH to do a better anchoring job, I got the shelves back up on the other side of the room.

Tomorrow's assignment is unloading the fabric off the pool table.

Devo and Sew

Dear Jane

As I approach my 1-year anniversary in the Glade at the end February, I am reflecting on how a little sewing group has eased the transition for me.  Jane, a local blog reader reached out to me in my first weeks here and invited me to come to their church-based sewing group.  I was warmly received and a year later I still look forward to the twice-monthly sewing sessions with a pot-luck salad lunch and devotional thrown in.

Unlike a guild, there is no formal "Show and Tell."  Instead, we just lay finished (or nearly finished) projects out on the gym floor to be admired and studied.

Sometimes this is where borders are auditioned or other design decisions are made.  You know, it takes a village ...

The above photo is exciting for me because it includes two of my donated tops that Jane quilted.

Burgundy and Brie
This One Block Wonder will be going to a young girl who is in the hospital waiting for a lung transplant.  It doesn't show in this photo, but Jane used gold thread in an all-over swirly pattern that just sparkles against the burgundy background.

Shooting Stars
This Wink & a Smile variation will be going to a very ill gentleman.  (I don't remember what his condition is.)  Jane worked stars into the quilting on this one.

Not only is Jane talented with the longarm, she's a great piecer, too!

Jack's Chain - by Jane
I've been wanting to make Jack's Chain for a long time but I've only seen it at a small scale.  I might be able to handle it at this larger scale!  And here's another of Jane's beauties.

Way West - by Jane
I had to take the photo from the side; the arrows really point west!  I love this idea for sampler or orphan blocks.

So that's just a little bit about our little group with big hearts.  And since we haven't seen the sun in a while, I'll share last night's sunset over Lake Dartmoor.

Sunset - 1/27/19

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Scrap Happy Saturday

Seeing Red

In my typical January fashion, I focused on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month and made a lot of headway.  I hope I can keep up the pace the rest of the RSC year!

First I made another 5x5-grid block to add to last year's Squared Away Sampler because I had missed a couple of months and wanted a bigger quilt.

I made 8 Chandelier blocks.

On  a whim I tried Fox and Geese/Crosses and Losses in red.  I am calling this one Double Shot after my dad's jigger.

Double Shot
My plan is to make three each month and work them directly into a top as I go so that by the end of the year it will be ready to quilt.

I also worked on finishing up some very old blocks that included a lot of red.

Contrary Mary
And as the month went along, I kept up with Angela's Tiny Tuesdays, even including a new one by mistake.

Tiny Tuesday
Linking up for Scrap Happy Saturday.

Thursday, January 24, 2019


Tiny Tuesday #4 is in the books!

I have wanted to make a dimensional bowtie for a long time.  Thanks to Angie in New Orleans, and with my laptop beside my machine, I was able to work my way through the tutorial without a hitch.

TT#4 - Bowtie
One in red, and another in reverse!

I am now caught up with Tiny Tuesday!  One more Tuesday in January, then on  to a new color.

Keeping Up


So proud of myself for making a second cat ...

TT#3 - Kitty
... and whipping up a couple of these ...

Big Os
... and then I counted.  I only had 3 different blocks and it was the 4th week of Tiny Tuesday!  So I went back to Angela's TT posts only to discover that not only have I misplaced the string block from TT#1, but TT#4 is bowties!

Where did I see the Big O block?  Obviously I liked it well enough to print the instructions. And it's the right size.  So, Angela, if you are reading, here's an idea for another Tiny Tuesday block!

Edit:  It was Temecula Quilt Company's One Block Wednesday!

I'm heading to the sewing room now to make a couple of bow ties ...

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Caught up with Tiny Tuesday

Just in Time for TT#4

While sitting at the eye doctor yesterday, I stitched down two circles from week #2.

Dots on my knees
I can't get over the impression that they look to be done in reverse applique.  Maybe it's just the red, or maybe it's my phone camera.

You can see from the pins that I am stitching the circles on top.  First I basted around the oversized circles I had cut, then pulled up the basting threads around a cardboard circle cut from a breakfast bar box.  After giving them a good shot of pressing spray, I pressed them dry, cut the basting threads and removed the cardboard circle.  Not perfect, but ...

I stitched the circles down with silk thread, a tip I learned many years ago when I was in my "applique phase."  (Besides, what else am I going to use that supply of silk thread for?)

The stitches disappear into the fabric on the front.  I hope I am equally successful on any future applique assignments!

Once back home, I set about cutting the cat from week #3.

Plaid Kitty
He was more difficult to cut than he was to stitch together!  I plan to make a second kitty in reverse to keep him company.  (That plaid is a remnant from a pair of shirts I made for a boyfriend and myself in 8th grade.)

PS:  DH got a good report from the retina specialist, but still has to continue with drops for another two months.  At least we didn't have to make the drive all the way back to his original doctor in Nashville!

And be sure to check out yesterday's late post of the most unusual sunset.  Off to Devo and Sew today.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Nature's Bounty

Couldn't wait till tomorrow to show you tonight's sunset.

Sunset 1/21/19

Man, the Moon!

Wolf Moon at 5 a.m. and 10 degrees
In case you haven't heard, a Wolf Moon is the first full moon of the new year.  

DH has an early morning eye appointment an hour away so the alarm was set for 5 a.m.  However,  the brightness woke me at 3:50!  I missed the red part and the eclipse, though.

Hoping to see more of the sun today.  Yesterday afternoon was the first sun in over a week!

I did a little reorganizing in the cutting/quilting room yesterday.

Cutting table corner
I still need to sort what's in those hanging baskets and move them up on the rails so I don't have to move a rolling drawer unit to get into them.

Hoping to catch up on Tiny Tuesday while I sit in the doctor's office today.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Home Again

Another Gray Day

But brightened by the arrival of Son-1 and DIL last night!  I came home from my retreat a half-day early as the kids (ha! they are over 50) were going to be stopping through on their way to a weekend couples retreat.  Always fun to see them and we got an update on GS-1's fall wedding plans.

Now it's time for an update on my Rock Island, Rock On! retreat.  It got off to a rough start on Sunday when I forgot to pack my fridge food!  (Thank goodness I made a stop at a local grocery to pick up a few last-minute things, as I had considered waiting the 1-1/2 hours till the last Dollar General 3 miles from Rock Island State Park.)  I realized I was missing the cooler when I went to put my purchases away.  A quick 7-mile drive back home and DH was waiting in the driveway with a fully packed cooler.  What a guy!

Once the furniture was rearranged, food put away, and sewing stations set up, I decided to tackle the first and second borders for 9-Patch Bonanza.

9-Patch Bonanza
The 9-patches were leftovers from another quilt -- well, the fabric was leftover and already cut into 2.5" strips and 9Ps were an easy option to use them up.  I had assembled the center quite a while ago and had planned out the borders so I straightened up the edges, measured (several times), but couldn't wrap my brain around the math required to make the 2" squares in the second border fit!  I don't know if this had anything to to with it ...

Wine Time
Maybe a good night's sleep would help....

NOT!  On Monday I was at the point of skipping the pieced border when I did a quick measurement and it was SO close that I decided to go forward with the plan.  With a bit of stretching here and there I got it on, but now the edges are wavy so I put it away till I could give it a good press.  I did cut the final borders, though, while I had the project box out.

On Tuesday I finished up blocks for Contrary Mary.

Contrary Mary
I had kitted up these blocks several years ago and once I refreshed my memory about what I was planning, they went together quickly.  However, I again had to finagle all those HSTs to fit because this project was started on a different machine.  I think I need to start making a note about which machine I have used before I put a project in time-out.  I have no plan for what happens next; these blocks may go into the next Orphan Adoption.

By Wednesday I was ready to start something new!  Jeanne at Spiral turned me on to "Dawn to Dusk" in More Nickel Quilts.   And since I am convinced this is The Year of the Blue and White Quilt, I am working with those scraps in this quilt.

Dawn to Dusk
I love the secondary pattern that makes it look far more complex than it is. (I hope next month's RSC color is blue so I can keep going!)

On Thursday I got out another old project (also blue), "English Tiles" designed by Kaye England.  The pattern was published in an old issue of QUILT Magazine but I don't remember what edition.

English Tiles
The centers are a variation of a stacked-repeat with quarter-square triangles.  I had used this fabric to demonstrate the technique to a guild several years ago so I already had 24 of the "tiles" made.  I got all 24 framed before I had to pack up to leave.

My project box did not include a fabric for the setting triangles which will make a column, nor do I have a sashing/border fabric picked out.  This is one I hope to finish up at the next retreat in a couple of weeks where I will have space to hang a design wall.

All-in-all the retreat was a success.  Unlike some previous years, we did not have any snow.  Just rain and dreary gray skies.  And today isn't any better 😞 and tomorrow will be more of the same, only colder with icing overnight.  I know other parts of the U.S. are facing far worse conditions this weekend; I just want to see the sun again!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Need some help

and an Update

OK, Blog Friends, please tell me where I've heard reference to The Year of the Blue and White Quilt.  My friends think I am crazy!

Update:  Thanks, Marlene, I think you are right!  Houston Quilt Festival is celebrating their 45th, the stone for which is sapphire.

PS:  We're having a great time at retreat and I promise a report when I get home but here are a few teaser photos

9-Patch Bonanza

Contrary Mary

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Off the Grid

Rock Island Bound

Sunrise - Grey on gray on yuck

Wildlife - Surprised to see the bluebirds active yesterday.

No sewing happened yesterday because of this:

I had to empty the shelves in the fabric/cutting/quilting room because a new gas line is being installed through the ceiling this week.  So where did the fabric go?, you ask.

On the pool table, of course!  The gas line will be connected on one end to a new propane tank (big hole to be excavated) and on the other end to a new generator (requiring a crane to install).  I am SEW glad to be going off the grid for the week!

Heading out this afternoon for my annual Rock Island, Rock On! retreat.  I am looking forward to it even more than usual now that I don't see these girls on a day-to-day basis.  There will be 9 of us this year, 5 in my cabin and 4 next door.

I have several projects lined up to work on, a couple of them are interrelated in that the leftovers from one are going into another (and maybe another).  My go-to machine is in its new Tutto case (Christmas gift to myself) and a back-up machine is already loaded into Micha.  Food for the week is in bags by the door.  All that's left to do is pack my clothes, have lunch with DH and then I'll be out the door!

Hoping to stay in touch through the blog, but not promising anything.  So if you don't hear anything from me in the next few days, just know I'm having a great time and you will get a full report when I get back.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

I Love Red!

Red is my favorite color.  I'm a "winter." I look good in red.  I love to work with red.  What can I say? I was thrilled when Angela selected red as the first Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for 2019.

I got a start on Angela's Tiny Tuesday assignment, but haven't done the applique yet:

Tiny Tuesday - Week 2
I started a totally new project on a whim that I am calling Double Shot .

Double Shot
And yesterday I added another block to a UFO I'm calling Contrary Mary (not sure why).

Contrary Mary
This is a quilt I started several years ago to use up some pieces that I had cut for another project that didn't go as planned.  When I saw the red peaking out of the box ... actually it was screaming, "Get me out of here!" ... I thought I'd try to get it finished this year.  Maybe we'll get to work on green and gold this year, the other colors in my quilt.

That brings me up to six RSC projects I will be working on this year!  Reporting in for ScrapHappy Saturday with Angela at soscrappy.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Taming the Red Scraps

I should have taken a "before" picture.  I could barely latch the Super Satchel that holds the red scraps.  Here's the "after" pic.

Fat quarters (or nearly FQs) go in the left compartments and smaller chunks on the right.

I spent yesterday creating some order out of the chaos.  I pressed and sorted strips and squares. The larger chunks were cut into 5" squares because some blogger (I won't name names) mentioned Nickel Quilts which prompted me to review my books (because another unnamed blogger issued a challenge) and now I want to make EVERY quilt in both books (not unlike another nameless blogger)!!  Maybe I should stop reading blogs ...

I know from experience that I will probably have to cut those squares into smaller pieces for some of the patterns, but at least I will be inspired to get started if I have a supply of nickels handy.

The Devo and Sew group I sew with is doing an interesting "mystery" this year.  Add up the 7 digits in your phone number, open a quilt book or magazine, and make something inspired by what you see on the page.

My number total is 39.  I wasn't thrilled with that page in either book 😕.  The "rules" allow going 3 pages forward or backward.  And it's also OK to chose another source if you don't like the first option.  Instead of going for another book, I added in my zip code which made my number 51 and that put me on the page I had already marked to do.  I win!  Can't wait to get started.

Oh, wait, that means another new quilt on my list ...