Sunday, February 28, 2021

Under the Wire

 I actually finished a Table Scraps Challenge project this morning.  

I would report in with Joy at The Joyful Quilter but I forgot my password.

Well, almost finished -- the binding will be stitched down during Sunday wine time.  

This small 16" x 16" table topper is made from four orphan blocks.  Sometime in my early quilting life I was practicing with Hopkin's Square blocks (design by Judy Hopkins).  I thought the two identical prints in coordinating colorways would be interesting.  But, as you can see, there was not enough contrast for the design to really show up so I ditched that option -- though I have gone on to make several quilts with that block.  And if you participated in my Magical Mystery, you may recognize it ...

Do I get extra credit for using a sort-of yellow?

Monday, February 22, 2021

SAH Retreat Finale

 All-in-all, I had a very productive retreat with one complete baby top and two throws only lacking borders.

But first, let me tell you about my Love-Hate relationship with half-square triangles.  I love the sparkle they give to stars.  I love the way they can direct your attention in a certain direction.  I love that they are fabulous receptacles for scraps and there are so many different ways to make them.  BUT I am SO dyslexic when it comes to HSTs.  (And, for the record, not much better with light/dark 4 patches that need to form a chain!)

Well, my Jacob's Ladder quilt has both HSTs and 4Ps!  I can't tell you how many times I had to grab Jack (the Ripper).  The pieces and parts were building on my design wall for the entire week.  I saw it every time I entered the sewing room.  I stared at it as I sewed.  Can you see the problem above?

I caught that one, but there were many, many more.  Imagine my chagrin as I was stitching the last long seams ...

No matter how many times I chanted "the gold needs to kiss," I still blew it over and over.  Fortunately this was easily fixed and I'm only two long seams from a finish.

The baby quilt made from the Anne of Green Gables fabric is a neat design, but I doubt I'll use a wonky setting like this gain any time soon.

The last project for the week just "happened."  I was looking through this book for inspiration ...

... and found a design using neutral string-pieced squares.  I happened to have a large collection of neutral string squares I made years ago so it didn't take long to mobilize.  

I have plans to add a border, though it is big enough now as it is.

Like I said, my Stay-at-Home Retreat was a success -- and I even cooked dinner every day!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

SAH Retreat - Day 3

I basically took  a retreat from my stay-at-home retreat.  I slept late, then spent a lot of time on the computer.  Since we had sunshine for the first time in weeks, I accompanied my husband (and half the community) to the grocery in the afternoon to lay in supplies before the next snow which hit overnight.

Enough, already!

I did spend a little time in the sewing room, though, and managed to get the center of the baby quilt together ...

... and auditioned fabrics for the triple inner border.

I have decided to reverse the order and put the green next to the center.  

Then I began another new project using my stash of 6-inch (finished) neutral string squares.

I intended to make all the blocks in X formation, but made a mistake on the first block and made an O.  After considering doing a mix of both (Hugs and Kisses), I decided to make them all Xs.  The sashing colors are pulled from the border fabric.  As of this writing, all the squares are in sashed pairs (I woke at 4 and couldn't get back to sleep); maybe the blocks will be finished by dinner time!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

SAH Retreat - Day 2

I acted on Monday's threat and began a new project yesterday.  But first, a little back story ...

In October 2007 Alex and I took a quilt cruise up the New England coast and down the St. Lawrence River.  I know this because it is documented in a quilt I made with challenge blocks I won.

My block below was selected as one of two winners by the teaching staff that included Alex Anderson and Paula Nadelstern !

We all had to use this challenge fabric to make a 12-inch block in the weeks prior to departure. 

I was quick to put the blocks into a BQ (Maple Island's Big Quilt):

Anyway, one of our shore excursions was a visit to The House of Green Gables on Prince Edward Island and I bought a yard of this Anne of Green Gables commemorative fabric which has been on my shelves in three different sewing rooms since then.  

Time to put it to use.  I came across a pattern in this book that uses 5" squares of a feature fabric.

I debated about making it bigger than the pattern but putting those wonky sides on finally got my goat so a baby quilt it will be.

With a grand due any day now, I'm thinking it will be gifted soon.  Today's  retreat project is to make the borders.  That is, after I get Jacob's Ladder assembled ...

Monday, February 15, 2021

S-A-H Retreat

The S'mores were scheduled for one of their favorite week-long retreats in Kentucky this week -- Nuts and Bolts a/k/a Buts and Bolts a/k/a Nots and Bolts -- but with an oncoming ice storm followed by single digit temperatures, the conference site suggested/requested we cancel without penalty.  As disappointed as we all were, we are now grateful we didn't need to attempt the trip!

Knowing that we were all half-packed and wanting an excuse to use some of the 6 pounds of taco meat she had prepared, Nancy offered to have a sew day at her house this Tuesday.  Well, weather conditions in middle Tennessee have been dicey at best (my eye appointment in Nashville Monday morning was cancelled) so we had to cancel that event, too.

What does one do when the week has been blocked out for a retreat?  Declare a Stay at Home Retreat!  

Since most of my planned projects were already in the van, I decided to see what I could do with the remnants from Cathedral Stars and in two days I have completed enough Jacob's Ladder blocks for a small throw.

The missing block needed a minor adjustment.  And the arrangement still needs work.  I will add a double border and call it done.

Meanwhile, outside the sewing room window today the ice was building on branches ...

... then the temp went up and rain erased most of the ice.  What's coming next is questionable as we are on the dividing line of the weather map.  One son in Arkansas had 5 inches of snow, another son in Nashville had an inch of sleet.  We have a generator and if the weather gets worse, I can still sew.

I'm considering starting a new project tomorrow ...

Monday, February 8, 2021

Snowy Sunday

 And Monday Musings

Some parts of our county got 5 inches; looks like maybe we got 3.  Heavy and wet.  

I spent my snowy Sunday playing with orphan blocks.  

Looks like there may be a few more UFOs in my future!

Starting on the upper left ... two hand pieced blocks circa 2000 (no photo).

Next, remnants from Bonnie Hunter's Cathedral Stars ...

I really like the secondary pattern.  I have plenty of the HST fabric and will make the 4Ps as L/Es.

I have no idea where the next piece originated.  I plan to make it into a 3-block table runner.

To the right of that is a collection of HSTs, mostly repro 19th century fabrics.

I'll be looking for ideas.  Next to those is a collection of leaf blocks.

Looks like I started something, but I have no clue where I was going with these.
Near the bottom right are two blocks I made based on a ceiling design in a cruise ship nightclub.

I have since found a third block so another table runner it will be!

That should keep me out of trouble for a while ...

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Chasing Rainbows

Week 5 Review

Last weekend I was putting away some fabric that I had pulled for Christmas projects.  That's when I spied a box of long-forgotten black and white spiderweb blocks.  Twenty of them! They are probably 10 years old.  Why had I let them lanquish so long?  And do I really even care about them any  more?

As to the first question, apparently I was struggling with a background fabric.  Really?  How hard can it be to find something to go with black and white?  Since there is a touch of red in some of the prints, it looks like I had been leaning toward a mottled bright red but it's definitely a bit bold.  

As to the second question, I really had no desire to make another full-size quilt.  I even considered giving the blocks away.  But, just for grins, I went on a search for an alternative background.  It was not easy finding options that would hold up against the busyness of the prints in the blocks and in the end I decided on a yellow ditsy print reminiscent of the 30s.

Before I knew it, I had finished 12 blocks.  That's when I read the instructions (you know, you should always read the manual first!) and discovered the pattern called for sashing between the blocks.  If I did that, 12 blocks would make a nice throw.  And, voila!

And bonus points for using the RSC color for February!  Still searching the shelves for an appropriate border, but it is OK as is at 44" x 58".

I also found time to make a few RSC blocks:  Sister's Choice and Square Dance.

Strips have been cut for the Scrap Magnet block and fabrics chosen for Full Stop quotes.