Thursday, February 28, 2019

Tearing My Hair

and Another Sunrise

I was so frustrated by Section 7 of Gypsy Wife yesterday that I forgot to post my progress.  I got an early start on it this morning while waiting for the lawn guy to come.  (I was careful not to wander into the back yard with him, thus avoiding another unfortunate incident on a slippery rock like last year.)

One 4-inch block and two partial seams later ...

Gypsy Wife - Section 7
... and Ta-Da!  I know it seems like I am working out of order, but Section 7 is right below Sections 1 and 2.  I was anxious to get the first 14 strips back in circulation for future blocks. 

So, what was the frustration?  I am a visual thinker.  It took me a while to realize that I could calculate the size of a block by the number of equal-sized strips that it attaches to.  (That's especially critical for me since I am using blocks I made before I had a pattern and I am trying to make them fit in appropriate spaces.)  But the way the subsections within a Section are pictured in the pattern, the strips don't line up.  Even though I have numbered the strips on my pattern book, I am still having trouble getting them in the right place.

Well, Section 7 is done well ahead of the QAL deadline and since I am already through March with my progress, I am going to have to put it all back in the box (insert sad face here) so that I can do some house cleaning -- I know, it should do itself!  Grands will be coming for Spring Break in March and then I'm off to Mountain QuiltFest at Pigeon Forge.  (I still have cutting to do for my class!)

We had another spectacular sunrise yesterday. 

Sunrise 2/27/19
I hope you don't get tired of seeing these; I know I don't!  I don't do any color enhancement or adjustment on my pictures.  I have found, however, if I stand in the shadows and don't point directly at the sun I get much better color with my i-phone.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Resurrecting a UFO

Is that the same as chasing a Squirrel?

Y'all already know I am incorrigible.  A little bit (or maybe a lot) OCD.  Capable of multitasking.  A great procrastinator.  Lazy to a fault -- wait, that doesn't fit with the rest - but it's true.  Especially lazy about things I don't want to do -- like call my insurance carrier about some coverage, or write a check for my Target bill, or call someone I don't know ...

Anyway, I had great plans to work on borders yesterday.  I mean, how hard can that be?  Cut four (well, maybe six or eight) strips of fabric and sew four seams -- four very long seams with lots of pinning involved ...

Put that in the category of Things I Don't Want To Do.

So my alternative was to pull out a very old UFO and determine my status.   To be honest, I had a reason.  There is a new Quilt Along for Gypsy Wife (now closed to any new members), and I thought this would be a great opportunity to wrap up this UFO.

Gypsy Wife - status as of 2/25/19
I had started working on another Jen Kingwell pattern, Long Time Gone, sometime in 2017 when I saw a lot of chatter on line about another of her patterns, Gypsy Wife.  It looked to me like an assortment of blocks in many sizes strewn across a bunch of strips of fabric.  I needed something to occupy my time that August while helping my SIL between her cataract surgeries, so I started making random blocks in various sizes.

I received the pattern as a Christmas gift in 2017 and started assembly in January 2018.  It had not been out of the box again until Sunday.  Imagine my joy when I discovered I had already completed Section One, the QAL assignment for February!

Gypsy Wife, section one
The trouble with these Jen Kingwell patterns that use a lot of scraps is my work surface looks like a bomb has gone off on it with all the strips, bits, and pieces everywhere.  As long as the parts are out, why not keep working on it?  Next thing I knew, I had Section Two together.

Gpysy Wife - Section Two
And today I wrapped up Section Three and added it to the other two.

Gypsy Wife - Status 2/26/19
I hesitate to be critical, but I feel I should advise any wannabees that as a pattern, this one leaves a LOT to one's imagination.  Definitely not a beginner project.

With that said, I'll leave you with two of today's images:

Morning view from the breakfast table

View from my sewing machine

Monday, February 25, 2019

Playing Games With Myself

Week in review

At this point last week, I thought my schedule would preclude much sewing.  But with the skies continually squeezing out moisture, it was not hard for me to cancel my plans and just retire to the sewing room.  After all, I had a couple of squirrels to chase!

But there were several projects I wanted to move to the next stage so I had to play games with myself in order to stay on task.  I would set a goal to accomplish, then reward myself with squirrel sewing.    Do you ever do that? 

First I needed to make the border blocks for Squirrel One (a/k/a ?) -- it needs a name ...

Testing the corner turn on Squirrel One
 ... which I used as leaders/enders while I pushed Twist of Lime Blocks under the needle.

Twist of Lime ready for borders
(I see a little blip there in the middle of the bottom row.  It may just be the lighting in the front hall but I'll be sure to check it out before attaching the borders.)

Then I  put a pile of Squirrel Two HSTs next to the machine to use as leaders and enders while adding the border blocks to Squirrel One.

Squirrel One - halfway point
You can see Squirrel Two (a/k/a/ Tumbling Triangles) peeking out.  When I had 5 HSTs made I allowed myself to make a block.  My progress so far:

Squirrel Two in progress
I am totally smitten with both of these new projects, but I have borders that need to go on three other projects so I guess more games will be on tap today.

I'll leave you with this morning's sunrise, the first I've been able to show in several weeks.

Sunrise - Feb 25, 2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Scrap Happy Saturday

Wishing for Sunshine

This being the last Saturday in February, I am duly reporting on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge progress with the color YELLOW.

I made three more blocks for Double Shot (even fixed the one that was set in sideways).

Double Shot through February
I made another sampler block to fill out last year's Squared Away Sampler, as well as eight Chandelier blocks.

I made several Tiny Tuesday blocks --

-- not my planned two per week, the second being in reverse values, but I've made a few extra blocks along the way so I shouldn't come up short at the end.  I now have the gray Grunge I plan to use for the setting/sashing so that will be a prime objective next week when the last TT is introduced for February.

Thank you, Angela/soscrappy for hosting this fun challenge to use up our scraps.  I am linking up for the weekly show and and encourage you to check out what yellow lusciousness emerged this month.

We have had nothing but rain for over a week.  So much that the lake we live on that has a spillway to accommodate any overflow, is way above capacity!


Our dock is half submerged.  But we are so much better off than others east and west of us.  I hope all my readers are safe, dry, and warm.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Squirrel 2

After slaving through TT#8 yesterday morning -- lots of tiny pieces -- I spent the afternoon making a test block for Squirrel 2 a/k/a Tumbling Triangles.

Squirrel 2 - Tumbling Triangles

I like it!  (I'd better like it after cutting all those strips at Devo and Sew on Tuesday ... )  It is not a difficult block but I need 160 of the HSTs so they will be my leaders/enders while I finish up a few lingering projects ... like Twist of Lime.

I rearranged the blocks over the weekend to make the green corners more cohesive and started assembly.  I am amazed at how much better it looks stitched together!  I have three more rows to trim and assemble today then comes the border decision.

While working on TOL I will be washing the background fabric for Squirrel-1 that came from Whittle's in ONE DAY.  Their service is fabulous!

I also need to measure Chunky Churn Dash and 9-Patch Bonanza for borders.  Lots to do; I'd better get crackin'.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Tiny Tuesday #8 and Wildlife Wednesday

Early morning visitors


I think I now know why our Leyland Cyprus have their weird shape ... 
they've been trimmed up to deer-head height!

It took me two hours this morning to whip out this week's TT block!

5-inch TT#8
It's sweet, but there will definitely NOT be a reverse-value flower this week.
Good thing I've made a few extra along the way.

I want to go on record -- I'm sick of rain!
(Remind me I said that when we're in the midst of drought this summer ...)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Another Squirrel

But first ...

I am happy to report that Whittle's had two more yards of the background I need for Squirrel 1. 

Some days, though, it's just therapeutic to cut fabric.  So today at Devo and Sew I chased another squirrel.

This stack of sweet florals will be going into this:

The pattern is from the January 2017 issue of American Quilter.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Week in Review

Where does the time go?

Last Monday's round-trip to Nashville for my annual eye exam cut into my sewing time.  And since DH insisted on accompanying me (I think he was worried dilation would affect my driving), I was not able to accomplish the Valentine shopping for him that I had planned.  I had to resort to an e-card in the end.

Sometime during the week I managed to finish the 9-patches for my squirrel project.  I was about to pack everything up until I could call Whittle's to see if they have any more of the background fabric when I had the inspiration to go ahead and stitch the rows together.

That much was not going to be affected by my border decision.  Speaking of borders, I would like to surround the center with chain blocks like the one in the lower right corner.

This was inspired by a quilt I saw online.  I don't have enough of the print fabrics to make the chain; seeing my mockup I think using the same prints would be boring, anyway. So my current plan is to make the chain black and if I can't get more of the background, I'll have to find something that either blends (it's an odd shade of white) or contrasts completely.  Stay tuned ...

The rest of the week was a blurry, rainy mess.  Thursday I managed to get my hair cut in time to look nice for our Valentines Day dinner at the golf club.  DH surprised me with a Pajamagram of the most comfortable pajamas EVER!  He also had a wine glass specially engraved for the occasion to go with the wine glasses on the PJs.

Friday's meeting of the FFG Fan-tastic Quilters featured a trunk show by one of our members.  Such beautiful quilts and I never thought to snap a single photo!  Biggest news of the day:  DH took delivery of his new Flex!  It's only been on order for 3 months ...

Saturday included a trip to the Downtown Knoxville Boat Show to research kayaks.  I think we are even more confused now than before!

This could be a busy week if the predicted rain doesn't slow us down.  My plan for today is to assemble Twist of Lime that I worked on at the Nuts & Bolts retreat earlier this month.

Twist of Lime
I hope all of you have a productive week and manage to stay warm and dry.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tiny Tuesday #7

More 9-Patches

How can something so simple require so much un-sewing?

Ohio Star
 I did better on the Friendship Star.

Friendship Star
And while I had the yellow scraps out, I made the third Double Shot block
 and added them all to last month's red.

Oops, more un-sewing!  That top yellow block is sideways 😞

Monday, February 11, 2019


Is this not the sweetest background fabric?

I stopped at Whittle's on Friday with a very specific list:  white Grunge for Dusk to Dawn, gray Grunge for Tiny Tuesdays, and a border fabric for Chunky Churn Dash as well as a wide back for same.  Of course I had to peruse the aisles looking for the CCD border and this sweet fabric just hopped into my cart!

As soon as I got home I went to the sewing room to see if I had anything to go with the new acquisition.  I found two old repro fabrics from the New England Quilt Museum.  Before I could say "Jack Robinson" (see note below), I had washed the fabric, cut strips, and started on these.

I like that the leaves in the print mimic the motif in the background.  Sunday was devoted to this:

Three more green 9Ps are waiting to be stitched today.  It's a good thing I included the selvage in my photo; I may need to order some more background for the setting triangles and/or borders.  My size so far is defined by the amount of print fabric I had.  I may consider adding a third print to make it bigger.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Jack Robinson is a name present in a common figure of speech used to represent quickness. The normal usage is, "(something is done) faster than you can say Jack Robinson" or otherwise "before you can say Jack Robinson." The phrase can be traced back to the eighteenth century.[1] The similar phrase "Before you can say 'Knife!'" dates from at least 1850, when it appeared in Charles Dickens' Household Words.[2]

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Scrap Happy Saturday

VERY Happy!

One of my RSC projects from 2017 was Chunky Churn Dash.  I had thought that I would add to my block collection in 2018, but that didn't happen.  And with so many RSC projects underway now in
2019, I decided to see if I could make something with the churn dash blocks.


Chunky Churn Dash - Bonnie Hunter free pattern
The center is already 60" x 78".  My plan is to add a 1" stop/inner border to secure the bias edges I created by my poor planning and then a 4" outer border.  And did I find the perfect border at Whittle's?

Varsity by Sweetwater for Moda
It has most of the RSC colors in the stars and some of them are gray!  The finished quilt will be at least twin size, perfect to donate to the California fire survivors.

I have had so much fun looking at all the scraps in these blocks, remembering when and where and why I have them.  Funny thing, though -- it didn't even make a dent in my scrap bins.  Gotta come up with a better plan

Hop over to soscrappy to see other beautiful scrap projects.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

More Eye Candy

N&B Day 4

My project for the day:

Twist of Lime
... Twist of Lime from an old Fons & Porter magazine.  I got the blocks made but not assembled yet.  I think I have enough fabric to make it bigger.  I cut the entire quilt a couple of Christmases ago with the intent of making a new king-size quilt for Son-2 and DIL, only to realize I didn't have enough of the light fabric to make it THAT big.  So it has languished in the box till this retreat.

Marilyn got the borders on Rainbow Swirls

Rainbow Swirls
Sena made a two-fabric bargello ...

... all she has left is the borders.

Kim started, finished a two-fabric bargello made with her own ice-dyed fabric ...

and put it away before I could photograph it.

Nancy did an expanded version of the two-fabric bargello, using a print for the "check" ...

I think it looks like the Aurora Borealis.

We have had nothing but rain for the last three days.  I think I'm turning into a prune.  Hoping we won't wake up to ice in the morning.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Quilt Show Wednesday

N&B Day 3

First on the runway is Libby's Chunky Churn Dash ...

Chunky Churndash
... before corners and borders.  A stop at Whittle's is planned for the trip home to look for a border fabric.  This quilt top (and back) will soon be on its way to California fire survivors as it will be a good twin bed size when finished.

Libby's leader/ender project today was adding sashing to Asian pinwheel blocks, a project started many years ago.

Asian Pinwheels
Sharon finished her Helix (original design). 

Priscilla worked on a row-by-row quilt.

Memory Lane
Marilyn put borders on Twisted 9-Patch (no photo) and then started on a twisted log cabin.

Rainbow Swirls
Margaret is working on a sweet Jelly Roll design she saw on Facebook.

It had rained all day so the troops are happy to have something fun to do and fun people to do it with!