Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sew, Baby, Sew!

 That's what I do when the cable server is down for over 8 hours.

Look at this beautiful collection of 5" strips (there's a name for them that I can't remember) that I won at the recent Life's a Bear Retreat with Cindy Williams.

(Ignore the green; I was auditioning leaf fabric and decided the stripes are too distracting.)  I thought the bright florals would work well in this pattern that I think I saw on someone's blog.

Because the block is similar to the Colorado block, I'm thinking it was one of my virtual Colorado friends who gave me the inspiration.

The Colorado block has flying geese in place of the solid rectangle.  

While I think Colorado is less "clunky" than this block, it didn't work as well with the "leaves" in the sashing when I worked it up in EQ.

So earlier in the week, when Comcast went down I decided to use my normal TV/Computer time to test my idea.  As of today, I have 17 of 30 blocks finished.

Some of the prints are a little large to be effective but I'm forging on and adding some fabrics from my stash to balance things out.  Right now I'm trying to eek out enough background fabric for the sashings.

On another front, I got Tiny Tuesdays assembled and I'm considering a small border of the sashing print to stabilize the edges.

The colors are much brighter in person.  This one is designated for the first great-grandchild.  I think it will be a great learning tool for colors, shapes, and matching.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Another Retreat

OK, so  I've been absent for a while ... 

I was at another quilting retreat this week hosted by Cindy Williams, The Math Whisperer -- this time a little over an hour from home, at a new-to-us retreat center in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.  Needless to say, cell service was minimal at best so I was unable to post.  

Rather than doing one of the project options, I used my time finishing up Twisted Ribbons, the project started at my first retreat with her a couple of years ago.  This is where I left off ...

After a day and a half I had this:

I am in love with the fabrics in this quilt and it will be mine!

My time on Wednesday (and early this morning) was spent assembling -- or rather beginning the assembly -- of the Tiny Tuesday Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2019 Sampler.  I got all the vertical sashing on and 5 of the 9 rows sashed horizontally.

Thanks to Angela at soscrappy  for hosting the Rainbow Scrap Challenge each year and for doing such a thorough job of making these tiny blocks into PDF patterns at  On Saturday I will be linking up with Angela's Scrap Happy Saturday 

Saturday, September 12, 2020


 New readers may not know that a little over 10 years ago I became a certified Clearview Triangle teacher.  My fascination with 60-degree triangles began in a circa 2003 class with Sara Nephew, developer of the Clearview Triangle -- Easy 3-D Strip-pieced Triangles (or something like that) from her book Big Book of Building Block Quilts.  Here is the result of that class when I was obviously in my "orange phase":

I was so enamored with the easy process to create the 3-dimensional blocks that I began teaching that technique long before I became a certified teacher.  Around 2008 I traveled to the Seattle area to study at Sara's knee, and in 2010 I went to a follow-up certification class in Denver with Marci Baker who had acquired the Clearview business from Sara.  (C&T Publishing is currently handling Clearview products.)  And, although I let my certification lapse because family life at that time (when MIL was living with us) made travel difficult, I have not lost my enthusiasm for 60-degree triangles which are integral to many of my hexagon designs, like these recent finishes:

Well, in my process of cleaning and reorganizing the sewing room, I came across a project box labeled "Serendipity."  Hmm, what could that be?  It was an exercise from that second certification class where we integrated stacked repeats into the 60-degree process like the One-Block Wonders above.  This is the fabric I took to class to work with:

And this is the book we were learning from:

Let me just say that this was not the ideal project to undertake with sawing and pounding and banging going on all around me during the window/door replacement, but I did manage to get two more blocks made.

I am not sure how all this is going together.  I have quite a mix of simple and complex.

My goal will be at least one more block each week.  When I run out of fabric it will be time to make a setting decision.  Till then, I'm just going to have fun playing.

Window Update:  DONE! 40+ windows and 5 double doors installed in a week.  This place was a-buzzing!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

A Clear View

 In anticipation of replacement windows, we did our best to relocate furniture and breakables at least 4 feet away from the work area.

Work began early this morning with numbering.

You might think that is 161.  No, it's 121 in reverse!  They started in the garage with the large multi-pane "decorative" window visible from the street and the three utility windows. The laundry room was next, followed by the green guest bedroom.  

Talk about a clear view ... to a messy garden.  Amazing what is visible without glass, especially dirty glass!

As I write this, all the windows in the family room and kitchen are out.  Replacements should be in before they leave today which means they will have installed half of the main floor windows in one day, including all the prep work of distributing windows and planning their approach.  That means they could very well be in my sewing room tomorrow!  I guess I'd better get this project off the design wall!

More on this tomorrow ...

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Crisis Averted

 and an Evening Out

My major Rainbow Scrap Challenge project last year was Tiny Tuesday that Angela/sewscrappy sponsored.   She introduced a different 4.5" (finished) block each week and suggested either straight or on-point setting frame for each one that would expand the block to finish at 7".  You probably anticipate that I had to complicate matters by not only making two each week -- one positive, one negative, but also alternating light and dark gray Grunge for the setting frames, on top of the already alternating straight and on-point settings... sheesh!

I abandoned the project about mid-year so I was pleasantly surprised to discover I had almost enough blocks for a 7x9 setting.  Last week I made the last two Tiny Tuesday blocks and finally arrived at an acceptable arrangement.

However, I felt that even with all the color, the gray frames were a little dreary.  Maybe a small sashing would lighten things up and make the quilt a little bigger at the same time.  This 2014 Alex Anderson print seemed to be the perfect option.

Hard to see in that photo, but it has both shades of gray in it, as well as a touch of yellow which I wanted to use as cornerstones.  So I cut several 2" strips to test it.  Happy with the look, I did some calculations and I wasn't going to have enough fabric!  Time to regroup ...

Friday I drove to my LAQ to deliver the Christmas secret quilt and I used that long drive time to think about my dilemma.  What if I cut 1.5" strips?  Still wouldn't work because I could  only get five 7.5" chunks out of each strip and there would be a lot of waste.  (I complicated matters by trying to calculate if I had enough miles-to-empty to get back to Crossville at the same time all that strip math was going through my head!)

Then I had a eureka moment.  What if I cut 7.5" strips and subcut them at 1.5"?  When I got home with a "real" calculator I saw that I could get 27 chunks out of each strip and not only did I have enough fabric, I had more than enough!  So the sashing is cut, the yellow is ready to cut and all is ready to assemble at the next retreat.

I am slowly getting the sewing room ready for window installation next week so there probably won't be a lot accomplished.  There are no windows in the cutting room; maybe I can do some prep work in there ...

On to the evening out ... Yesterday was our 39th anniversary and we decided to be brave and go out to dinner for the first time in months.  There is a very nice little restaurant in our community called The Cottage.  The couple who own it started the business in a very small location in a strip mall. At the end of last year they purchased a new property and started remodeling it to reopen just before CoVID-19 hit.  They used that downtime to make further improvements and have worked hard to meet all protocols for restaurants.  Tables inside and out are widely spaced, all servers are masked and gloved.  We had made our reservations for prime rib and brought our own bottle of wine.

The food was delicious, the atmosphere so pleasant.  We will definitely be back!  We drove home to a beautiful sunset.

Linking with Cynthia at Oh Scrap!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

September Already?

I finished my secret project on Sunday and added stay stitching all around the edges yesterday.  The back should arrive from Whittles today and after a quick run through the washer and an overall good pressing of top and back, I'll be off to the quilter Friday morning.  This quilt was challenging for a number of reasons, but went together very quickly once I had a plan.  You'll have to wait till the end of the year to see it, though!

Late yesterday afternoon I put my Tiny Tuesday RSC2019 blocks on the wall to see what, if anything, I need to complete it.

It looks like I need to frame about a half dozen blocks to fill the quilt out to a 7x9 layout.  The arrangement still needs work but I was pleasantly surprised that I am this close to a completed top!  I plan to do a narrow sashing between the blocks to make it a bit bigger and there will probably be a small border all around, too.

We are having replacement windows installed throughout the house starting next Tuesday and they have asked that we clear an area of about 4 feet around each window.  So I have already begun clearing off the Koala table and closing up the extensions.  

When we first moved in.

That's how it looked when we first moved in; it hasn't been that clear since!  This is last night ...

I want to remain functional until the installers actually show up at the studio door, then I can roll it to the other side of the room.  In fact, I'm thinking about relocating to the other side of the room permanently where I could have arm's access to the closet shelves ...

That's a project for another day.  Right now I need to get those Tiny Tuesday blocks framed and work on a final arrangement.  That project will go with me in a couple of weeks when I get away from window work ...