Thursday, April 30, 2020

Pineapple Update

Gotta love Whittle's!  The fabric I ordered on Monday arrived yesterday.  
The faded denim blue is working well with the pineapples.

On today's agenda to finish.  Remaining fabrics will go back on the shelf.

While waiting for delivery, I did this ...

Clean cutting counter
I also spent time going through linens and relocating to the newly relocated bedrooms.
Did several loads of laundry to wash things I will be giving away.
Also began reorganizing the pantry.
Felt like I got 10,000 steps just coming and going between rooms!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Sewing Down the Alphabet

Explosions all around

Having finished (for the time being) Dots and Dashes, and putting Eventide in timeout, it was time to put some thought into Exploding Pineapple.

This is not your traditional paper-pieced pineapple.  It starts with two equal squares, stitched RST on all four sides.  The top square is then cut on the diagonal up to the corner stitching and the resulting quarter-square triangles are pressed to the outside.  It's a very imprecise process, no worry about points, and a fun way to use up scraps.  But I have found that I still need a sense of order in my process, which is apparently why these blocks have languished in a box for several years.

If  I just grabbed a square, any square, from the pile, I might end up with mush like this.

I thought adding some solids would help the pineapple look.

Still not doing it for me.  Thinking it might be a "value thing," I tried this light/dark/light combo ...

Much better, but in the end I realized it's taking too much thought and I'm not having fun.  So the existing blocks will go into a baby quilt when the sashing I ordered yesterday arrives.

Moving on to F, there is only one box, labeled Flying Geese.  I had picked up a collection of oddly colored FQs at a modern guild "yard sale"  -- kind of snot yellow-green paired with a brown-gray.

But look at the name of this design!  I thought they would make interesting flying geese.  Then I found this pattern ...

I'm not thrilled with where I am going with this, though.  I think the goose, made with stash fabric, is too dark so it's going into timeout while I contemplate my options.

The end result of working on all these projects lately is I haven't taken time to clean up after myself and the cutting/working/ironing stations look like there's been an explosion in my studio!

Cutting counter

Work station
While I cleaned up today, I was thinking about how I will tackle the Gs, both projects I want to see to completion.

Stay tuned, and stay well!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Two More Finishes

Apparently I'm in the baby quilt business! 

I've been making little gems to Jack's Basket 36" specification, but it has occurred to me that our guild supports a pregnancy center here on the Plateau, so that is more likely where they will go.

A couple of weeks ago I made Blue Toile from leftovers of an earlier quilt ...

Blue Toile
... and it was soon followed by Crazy Cats, also made with leftovers from another small quilt.

Crazy Cats
Last week I finished two tops with leftovers from Dots and Dashes I and II.

I love the lawn print I used for the side setting triangles.

London Lawn by Moda
I wish I had thought of using something like that on Dots and Dashes.  I may try to find something similar to border the twin D&Ds. 

Backs and bindings for all these baby quilts are prepped; they are waiting to be quilted.

Now to order some sashing fabric for the pineapple blocks ...

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Is it Sunday yet?

One day just seems to blends into the next during this period of isolation.  How about you?

The weather did not cooperate last week so I didn't get my 1-hour-per-day working in the yard.  Instead, I finally got around to some much-needed home reorganization.  With some assistance, I switched the beds in the two guest rooms.  (And that required putting away the last of the Christmas decorations, as well as the stack of quilts I used for a trunk show in February.)

The twins went into the green "Garden Room."  I call it that because it overlooks my "secret garden."

And the queen bed went into the periwinkle "Iris Room," named for the wall color which doesn't show in this photo.

I was never happy with that dark headboard against the dark green wall in the other room and the twins were very crammed in the smaller purple room.  All the bedding is in line to be laundered today and I hope by this time next week all will be back in order in those two rooms.  This week I will attack my closet and, if I find the time, the pantry.

I managed to get some sewing done, too!  Dots and Dashes II is nearly finished.

Dots and Dashes II
I want to add a small border to it and its sister, D&D I, but I'm undecided what to use.  It may require shopping if I want them to match.  So for now it is going into timeout.

Eventide is going back into the cubby, too, until I can devote my full attention to it as it will be staying with me.  I think it will look nice on the queen bed in the purple room.

I will be devoting my sewing time today to Exploding Pineapple.  I have quite a few pieces cut and marked for additional blocks. 

Exploding Pineapple
I may also just put the finished blocks into a baby quilt and recycle the rest.  A baby won't care that the "pineapple" effect doesn't show ...

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

I'm getting there


Yes, Ds are almost done.  However, when I was pulling out the boxes for this photo, a couple more D's made their way into the stack.    Both involve diamonds.

Diamond 4-Patch
I think this is a Fons and Porter pattern.  These blocks are left over from a coffee-themed wheelchair quilt I made for a friend.  I started this next project when I was in my "modern" phase.

Diamonds are Forever a/k/a Boomerang
The D4Ps will go into the Parts Department and Boomerang will go back into UFOland until I'm in the mood to work with diamonds again.  So, let's take a look at my options in E-land.

Enchanted Garden (a/k/a Give Peas a Chance) was started in a workshop with Cindy Williams, the Math Whisperer.

Enchanted Garden
I have always been "enchanted" by optical illusions and really wanted to push through this experience.  However, what doesn't show in the above photo is a minor flaw in the two sections.

One identical section is a full 1/2" to 3/4" bigger!  Stitched on the same machine, two days apart.  The only difference is I paid more attention to pressing the second day and used Best Press.  I have come up with a way to use the quadrants I have finished, but I really want to give the project a second chance.  I have pieces for the other two quadrants already cut and probably enough fabric to make another section.  This Project will go into time out until another retreat with Cindy in September.

Exploding Pineapple is a fun technique.  I started this project to use up some unloved 30s/40s type fabrics.

The problem is I don't love the blocks, either.  The pineapple effect is lost in all the busy patterns of the prints.

So I added some solids to the mix.

Still not perfect, but since my husband seemed to like what I have on the design wall, This will become my leader/ender while I work on finishing ...


This is a Miss Rosie's Quilt Company pattern.  I saw several people working on it in blogs a couple of years ago and fell in love with the vertical lines of red squares.  I wasn't happy with some of my fabric choices, especially that one light big star, so stopped before adding the final rows of stars on either side.

I have most of the missing blocks cut and even though I'm not thrilled with the "squareness" they will add to the finished dimension, I'm back in love with the project because I have a place to use it.  So Eventide will be the next project to come out of the box.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday Scrap Status

Spring has sprung

I felt like a slug last week, just couldn't get any momentum going.  First, it was unseasonably cold most days with morning frost, so that precluded my working in the yard for my 1-hour-per-day goal. And one day was broken up by a drive to Oak Ridge for a follow-up ultrasound on my thyroid (all is well!).  The week was also interrupted by the Big Seven Five.  I think I may have been depressed that we couldn't gather the family to celebrate.

I did move a few scrappy projects forward, though.  I settled on a final arrangement for Dots and Dashes.

Dots and Dashes
This is a long-time UFO that uses a collection of pastel florals I had accumulated over time.  I have one more row to assemble, then I can attack the long seams between rows.  Since I had made some new, fresher blocks to perk up D&D, I pondered what to do with the rejects that are mainly non-floral.

I have enough blocks to make a nice baby quilt with a London lawn border.  I am finding baby quilts give me quick satisfaction of accomplishment.  Plus, just how many full-size quilts do I need?

Speaking of which, I finished this baby quilt last week.

Crazy Cats
The cats panel was in my stash and I used scrap strips to frame them.  I also used leftover bits for the border and binding.

And, finally, I eeked out a Rainbow Scrap Challenge block in light blue.

On Saturday we drove to a garden center in Pikeville to pick up a couple of hanging baskets to brighten our front entrance.  I had to do something to distract from the destruction in the landscape caused by the roofers.

Happy Birthday to me!
Linking with Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Friday, April 17, 2020

D is for Done

... and Dots

But no Dashes yet ...

I've had a lot of trouble focusing.  I read that I am not alone.

Instead of using the blocks I had already made for Dots and Dashes, I made more Monkey Wrench/Churn Dash blocks that used more pastel florals.  I started planning what to do with the unused pastel paisleys and polka dots.  I broke out an old project of Grunge HSTs and trimmed/pressed/sorted 300 blocks.  All the while stepping over Crazy Cats on the floor.

Yesterday I said to myself, "Pick ONE goal and stay focused!"  So I picked the easiest one.  Finish Crazy Cats.  At 36" finished, this seemed doable.  The panels had been framed, the setting blocks made, the borders cut.  So I set to it and by lunch time I had a flimsy!

Crazy Cats
 "Done and dusted," as they say.  Complete with back and binding.

Finish #10 of 20 in 20!

Linking with Alycia/Quiltygirl for Finished or Not Friday.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

S is for Serendipity

I'll get back to D soon, I promise!

Just so you know, I have been trying to sew and have made considerable progress on Dots and Dashes.  Terrible photo, I know, but this is the final arrangement.  I have 4 or 5 more rows to re-press  and square the blocks.  But it seems like for every step forward I make two back.

So I thought I'd tell you a little story of serendipity, prompted by a request of my sister-in-law.

I was married (and divorced) before I met my current Main Man.  In  little over 12 years we lived in Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia (4 homes), Arkansas (6 months) and Kansas.   Which probably contributed to the breakup ...

I have never baked much, then or now, but one of our favorite scratch cakes in my first marriage was a recipe I found in the "Nashville Seasons" cookbook, published by the Junior League, if I remember correctly.  It starts with a custard, rather than creaming butter and sugar as usual.  It is SO moist!

Well, sister-in-law requested I send her a copy of the recipe today as she has misplaced her cookbook so I got out mine to photocopy.

Do you see who submitted that recipe?  Alex's grandmother!  I had been baking his family's favorite chocolate cake long before I met him!!  My mother pointed this out to me over 40 years ago; looking at the recipe today reminded me of my good fortune -- delicious cake and a fabulous husband.

Now I feel the urge to make a chocolate cake ...

Friday, April 10, 2020

C is for Crazy!

and Cats

Wait, I'm not even through with Ds and I'm supposed to be moving on to the Es!

After sleeping on more "pressing" issues overnight, 
I awoke with a new plan to fix my Dots dilemma from yesterday.  
At Gayle's (mangofeet) suggestion, I moved the triangle error ...

... to the other end of that row.

And that simultaneously corrected the other pressing issue.  
You see, in order for the block seams to nest, I need "innies" in one direction and "outies" in the other.  And the blocks need to alternate within a row as well as from row to row.

Vertical Innies and Horizontal Outies
Rather than take a clue from the first quilt I finished several years ago ...

Dots and Dashes #1
... I carefully pressed all seams inward on the new batch of blocks.

Sew, I had a plan!  But on my way downstairs I noticed this

View from my front door
Do you know how hard it is to concentrate with the entire Mexican army pounding away on the roof???  I needed to get my mind off of this, too ...

Smushed Peony
I spied the cats in a pile of fabrics and decided their bright colors would distract me.  
I will need to sash them in order to get them to a uniform size.  
Then I will come up with a plan for alternate blocks, hoping to use some of these brights in the mix.

Dots will have to mature another day.