Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Solution

Probably more information than you want, but here's how I decided to deal with Tuesday's dilemma:

I will trim the combination HST units to 4" (instead of 4-1/4") ...

... and I will cut the background rectangles and squares from a 2-1/2" strip (instead of 2-3/8").  Then I will make sure the unfinished block is 9-1/2" (instead of 9-7/8").

I don't think the block on the left looks disproportionate, do you?  Just ignore the fact it spins in the "wrong" direction.

So I kitted up 9 block sets yesterday ...

... and cut squares for over 20 more.

Bear in mind that each set of squares makes two sets of combination units.  I'll be killing two birds with one stone!  Just need to decide what I'll do with the second set of combination HSTs.

Bring on RSC-22!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Thinking Out Loud

I often find that when I write about a situation I'll come up with a solution.  Anyway, that's what I'm hoping for today ...

Earlier this month I wrote about my plans for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2022  using the block from Labor Day Madness that is in this book.

I love almost all of the quilts in this book and its sequel More Nickel Quilts.  However, I have an issue with the concept of starting with 5" charm squares in that many of the patterns require multiples of a single fabric.  How many store-bought charm packs have four of the same fabric?  Or if you have participated in a charm swap, how often do you get multiples of the same fabric?

My initial solution was to cut the required number of charm squares from some of my larger chunks of scrap fabrics.  And since I've already assembled quite a pile of potential candidates ...

... I thought I would devote today to cutting and kitting blocks to be made whenever that particular color is called for in the challenge.  But here's the rub:  In many of the patterns in these two books, the first step is to cut the 5" square into smaller pieces!  Knowing that, I decided to do a test run on a single block today to see if there might be a more effective way to cut the scraps I have chosen.

Right off the bat I could see that the side rectangles and center square of the background fabric could be more efficiently cut from strips.  I will still need two 5" squares of background to make the combination HST units, but I won't be trimming about 1/2" off two sides of two squares and throwing away three-fourths of a third square.  

Because the units and the finished block end up with 8th inch measurements, my next challenge is to see if I can change some of the dimensions to see if I can come up with nice round halves or least fourths of an inch.

The fun part of this process is that the combination units yield a second set of HSTs that "spin" in the opposite direction.

I will use these to test my theory and report back soon.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Monday, Again

Where did  the week go?

Last Monday I cleaned house (and, boy girl folks, did it need it!)  

Tuesday I entertained the neighborhood book club.  My book was Everything Beautiful in Its Time by Jenna Bush Hagar. -- a memoir of a daughter/grand-daughter of presidents.  Other hostesses have tied their refreshments to the theme of their book, so I served Texas caviar, Maine cranberry chutney with baked brie, and beaten biscuits to honor Tennessee's presidents. (You may need to read the book to get the gist ...)

Wednesday we attended a retirement luncheon for our pastor.  Alex is on the search committee for a replacement.  We have a couple of interesting candidates; we hope the search won't take too long.

Thursday I ventured to Knoxville while the skies were still blue-ish to finish my Christmas shopping.  I still have a few gaps but I had hoped to get the stocking stuffers off in the mail by Saturday.  Not so; definitely today ...

So Friday I played catch-up.  Cards are in the mail, what little decorating has been done, stockings -- really brown paper bags -- have been stuffed. I took advantage of Hubby's absence to wrap his gifts.

I spent much of Saturday just puttering, waiting for some old church friends to "drop by."  Well, they finally dropped around 4, totally throwing my dinner plans out of whack, but it was delightful to see them.  We ate the steaks Sunday night, instead.

After posting the stocking stuffers this morning I made it down to the sewing room.  Obligated is a flimsy!

It is 48 x 56 and I'm going to finish it as-is without a border. I have selected fun fabrics for the back and binding. 

Next up is stitching the rows of my RSC stars.  

I am in love with both of these quilts.  They will go to my favorite LAQ for finishing soon.

I did a little more organizing and planning in the sewing room before I called it a day.  With no place to go and nothing to do, I hope it will be a productive week.  

Monday, December 13, 2021

Serious Squirrel Alert!!

I spent the majority of Friday in the studio, checking the status of projects, and making plans for 2022.  The first thing I did was start an OMG stack of projects so close to the finish line that I can easily chose one each month to finish.  I also set aside a couple of projects with the goal of making one block each month to move them closer to the finish line.  

I was very cold-hearted and actually abandoned a couple of projects! Most of the projects that migrated to Priority One status only required auditioning and/or cutting borders, so that will be on this week's agenda (after I prep for and entertain the book club tomorrow).

But, while taking my inventory of 80+ UFOs, I came across Obligated, a pattern by Jane Davidson from Australia.

I began this project at the end of my Modern Guild days (which puts it about early 2018).  Lo and behold, I was only short two blocks!

You may notice that I was testing some sew-and-flip corner squares in the pattern, but I decided that they detracted from the overall look, especially considering the work involved to add them. So DH and I agreed we should pretend we never knew they were supposed to be in there.

I had hoped to finish assembly on Saturday, but only got six of the seven rows done.

In homage to the origins of the design, I used a collection of aboriginal prints in the blocks and background.

All of the feature fabrics have a touch of gold in them.  I tried to arrange the blocks so that the "pearls" carried over between blocks; I was only moderately successful ...

After this weekend's storms, I want to reassure my readers that we were spared here on the Plateau. Friends and family in Nashville, Middle Tennessee, and Arkansas had to take cover and lost power, but sustained little to no damage.  My heart goes out to those not so fortunate in Kentucky and other places along the storm's path.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2022

 I'm so excited about my plan for next year that I may get started early!  Here is my inspiration quilt.

It is one of my favorite quilts, currently hanging over the stair railing and visible every time I go into the kitchen.  There is a long and funny story connected with this -- my apologies if you've heard it before.

The pattern is Labor Day Madness from the book Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth and Charlene Thode. 

While the premise of the book is using 5" (hence nickel) charm squares, I had a large collection of 19th century reproduction fabric fat quarters that would work well in this pattern.  The blocks are made from "combination units" which produce a pair of blocks that "spin" in opposite directions.  Since my intent was to make a pair of quilts for the twin beds in the guest room, a particular attraction for making this quilt was a second quilt in the book, Pinwheel, that could use the second set of combination units.


However, I didn't discover until well into the second quilt that it wouldn't be the same size as the first quilt.  In fact, I would be 18 blocks short!  

So I had to make 18 more combination units which, of course, left me with 18 blocks that "spun" in the opposite direction ...  Those 18 went into a third strippy quilt (sadly, no photo).

Both Pinwheel Madness and Strippy Madness quilts were recently donated to the Waverly flood recovery.  But I could not part with Labor Day Madness.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

In the Studio

 I've been trying to spend some time in the sewing room every day lately.  And here's what I have to show for it:

Clue 6 for Macaron Mystery -- thirteen square-in-a-square units -- done!

Plus, I re-made the flying geese from Clue 4 with the correct background fabric!

Though I still have some trimming to do on those geese.

And while this photo doesn't show it, all of the rows in RSC-19-20-21 Sister's Choice are assembled.

Just a few long seams to go and it will be ready for borders (my least favorite chore).

I also did a test run (no photo) for a class I will be teaching in February to be sure the fabric quantities I have listed in the pre-class preparations are correct.  And, in between, I've been stitching leftover 2.5" squares into 4Ps.

We had some delightfully warm weather last week which gave the contractors an opportunity to get closer to the finish line.  Since they worked long after dark on Thursday, they took Friday off and we were able to enjoy our afternoon libation al fresco.

After a very rainy Monday, we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Late to the Party

I am disappointed in myself for not keeping up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (hosted by Angela at soscrappy) this year.  I have made some really pretty quilts with my challenge blocks in the past.  And I usually have had at least one, if not multiple projects, going throughout the months.  Some projects have carried into the next year until I have enough blocks to make at least a throw.  But I kept at it!  Not this year ...

I started Full Stop in January and it came to a full stop in February.

Maybe I'll whip those hashtags into a table scrap this week for a quick Christmas gift.

I was inspired by Scrap Magnet that I saw on Julie's Quilts and Costumes. But that lost it's "attraction" after the first block when I saw that my background choices didn't have enough value difference to make it worth the effort.

Though now that I look at it, maybe it ain't so bad.  I may try a second block.  I might even try some different backgrounds.  After all, it is a scrap challenge, isn't it?

To my credit, at the recent S'mores retreat I made some more Square Dance blocks (held over from 2020, I think) ...

... and assembled a rainbow of Masala Boxes.

So I'm a little late to the RSC party, but I'm getting there!  Monday I started thinking about what I want to do for RSC '22 when I noticed that I had started '21 with Sister's Choice (another leftover from 2020).  I had three blocks in the box; today I'm ready to sew blocks into a quilt.

Better late than never, right?

Check out other scrappy projects at ScrapHappy Saturday.