Friday, January 28, 2022

Room with a View

Where am I?  

Still can't guess?

Enjoying sunny, though chilly, Southern California with DH and SIL.  Going to the Van Gogh Experience today and hoping to get to Rosie's Calico Cupboard before heading home.  Last time I went there I had to buy another carry-on to hold all the fabric!

Monday, January 24, 2022

Last Meal

Don't panic; I'm not on my last leg, or incarcerated!

It's what you do to clean out the fridge before leaving for a bit.


Half a head of lettuce, several grape tomatoes, leftover cooked carrots, and a bag of mixed salad toppings ... fit for a magazine page.

And those two single pizza crusts from last month?

... half a bag of pepperoni and a partial bag of turkey sausage nuggets, topped with the remains of a red pepper and an onion, and held in place with pizza sauce (still some left, sad to say) and the remnants of mozzarella cheese (and embellished with Parmesan).

I did find a bit of time in the studio last week, in between preparing workshop submission forms for Quilt Camp at Cedar Lakes in Ripley, WV in October.  Stay tuned to see if my proposals are accepted.

Anyway, when I hit a snag in the proposal process, I'd run downstairs for a change of pace. There I came across an old project from a class with Jackie Robinson.  I don't remember what the project was but the instructions for the kit of strips called for making combos in dark and light like this:

We put them right sides together and cut them on the diagonal to end up with blocks like this:

Well, I failed to re-read the instructions about dark/light and just started making stripsets any whichway.  Once realizing my mistake, I decided to put them together with a solid fabric.

I'll get more mileage out of the kit that way, too.  It may never amount to a finished top, but it has helped get my mind off more pressing matters!  

Do you ever use your sewing to escape (defer) what you really need to be doing?

Friday, January 14, 2022

Rocking at the Island

 Back home from my annual retreat at Rock Island State Park.  

This was my 17th year hosting a cabin of 5 quilters.  The participants have morphed over the years, but the agenda is always the same -- sew, eat, laugh, repeat.  I have missed only one year (2020 due to the TOALT).  

My first project after settling in on Sunday was the One Block Wonder I began as a class sample last year.  

I thought it would be a quick finish but discovered I still had to construct about half of the columns and then put them all together.  It needs a good pressing before I can add a simple border of the gold.   After getting to that point on Monday, I started making chandelier beads to go on the unfinished Overhand Knots.  By Monday night I had this sweet piece:

I plan to add a narrow stabilizing border on the sides and call it done.  Thanks to Diann/Little Penguin Quilts for suggesting the chandelier blocks.  They finish at 4.5", the size of the small red square.  I was amazed that the math was perfect for the already-bordered center.  Not the most professional approach, I'll admit, but sometimes we all get lucky!

Tuesday and Wednesday I worked on an original design I call Irish Grandmother (Irish Chain and Grandmother's Choice). Nann/With Strings Attached thinks it should be called Irish Fly!  I found 4-patches and cut strips for most of the blocks in the project box, but only two of the Irish Chain blocks constructed. 

It, too, needs a good pressing before I consider what to do about borders.  I used the scarlet and gray fabrics in honor of my mother who graduated from The Ohio State University in 1930.  (And, BTW, she was not Irish ...)  Please note that those last two projects incorporated the RSC color of the month!

I had a couple of big projects waiting in the wings, but by Thursday I was brain dead so I spent the day making a pile of yellow and gray 9-patches -- mindless sewing.  I have no idea what I will do with them.

All-in-all it was another enjoyable gathering.  We had a companion group in the next cabin and spent some time cabin-hopping.  I had invited a neighbor quilter as a guest replacement for one of our regulars who was out due to eye surgery.  Since she is new to Tennessee, I took time to drive her to some of the sights in the park, including the twin falls in the opening photo. (I know, there's more than two falls there! I don't know where the name came from.)  The interesting thing about the falls is that the water is coming through the limestone bluff from a lake on the other side which resulted from the dam built in 1889 on the same river. 

We are expecting heavy snow over Saturday night; more good sewing time to wrap up these projects.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Time Out

 I'm at our January retreat with limited cell service so my photos are not going to the cloud.  No photos to show; just be assured we are having a great time. I have finished this one and it came out really sweet.  Will show you when I get home.

Today I'll be working on Scarlet and Gray, an original design.  Got three rows together yesterday but still building the gray blocks.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Snow Days

The first week of the month is usually slow for me.  My one scheduled obligation on Tuesday was cancelled due to the weather so I have had a whole week to catch up in the sewing room!

We had more snow on Thursday, wet and heavy making it hard to know how much accumulation.  This was the view from my "office" (really a guest bedroom) yesterday morning.

It was snowing so much we couldn't see across the lake!  And it snowed off and on all day.  

This is the view this morning:

The cardinals and finches have been taking turns on the Droll Yankee feeder DH gave me for Christmas.

It's one of those "squirrel proof" feeders that will spin a squirrel off if it puts any pressure on the perch.  I can't wait to see that happen!

Earlier in the week I had knocked out my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks; yesterday I took care of the latest clue in the Meadow Mist Designs mystery.  I made 60 "doublets" out of the flying geese from previous clues ...

... and put flip corners on 54 HSTs from a previous clue ...

Today I put the first frame on the Overhand Knots and I've been auditioning fabrics for chandelier blocks to expand the runner to throw size.

The first one I made will finish at 6" and I think it is a little chunky.  I'm going to try 5" and see if I like it any better.  The inner red square in the knots finishes at 4.5" and I'm thinking I might need to go down to that size for balance.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Looking for Ideas

UPDATE:  I've decided on Cathy's stop borders and Diann's Chandelier blocks.  This one is going with me to Rock Island next week!

Several years ago Peg Bingham came to our guild and led a workshop on her Overhand Knot patterns.  I think she gave us a choice of a couple of table runners.  I made two.  The smaller one was gifted that following Christmas, but I still have the larger one.

As-is, it is 24" x 44" -- WAY too big for any of our tables!  If I trim it down to just include the knots, it would be 17" x 34".  That I could manage.  But it seems a shame to cut off all the excess.  

I have thought about making it into a throw but I have a limited amount of the fabrics to work with.  Most of Peg's patterns incorporate more knots into the borders and, frankly, after working on the church paraments that used Peg's design, I am all knotted out!  

So this is where you come in -- can you think of a pretty, but simple, block to surround this piece?  I'd want a throw to be at least 50" x 60".  I have a comparable background fabric and some pieces in similar colors to ones in the knots but I don't want to get carried away with scrappiness.


The Deck

Bet you've been wondering ...

All that is left are the gutters that will catch the drainage from between the decking boards.  Weather permitting, that will happen this week.  But that has not prevented our enjoying the outdoor space.  Temps were in the 70s on New Year's Day and we entertained several of our neighbors out there.

It was a bit breezy so we lowered the screen in the back of the photo.  It did a great job of cutting the breeze without restricting visibility.  I had to practically drag everyone back in to eat the chili and pot pie I had prepared for the occasion.  The party broke up just as the rain started Saturday evening.

It rained most of Sunday and Monday morning we woke to this ...

With the unseasonably warm temperatures this fall, our plants are confused.

Daffodils are popping up all over the place and several trees are starting to bud. More snow is in the forecast for tomorrow.  As long as it's not icy, I think the daffs will survive.

With questionable road conditions in parts of the county, Devo and Sew was cancelled on Tuesday so I went down to the studio instead and reconstructed my red Scrap Magnet block.

I have clarified my notes to myself about strip piecing so next month's block should go a little better.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Starting the New Year - Rainbow Scrap Challenge

I have five -- yes, FIVE -- RSC projects planned for 2022.  Granted, two of them never made it to the finish line (or really past January) in 2021, but I have been inspired by a couple of new opportunities and, if I keep up month-to-month, the goal should be reachable.

First is Square Dance which may date back to 2020.  I had a number of blocks made, and enough black squares for at least 11 more so this morning I whipped up these two:

I was inspired by Chaser, one of Cynthia Brunz Mixology series, and these were a fast fix: 

As I wrote a few posts ago, my primary RSC goal this year is going to be Labor Day Madness from the Nickel Quilts book.  After streamlining the cutting and construction process, I am happy to show my first block:

The exciting part about LDM is that the construction of the compound HST units creates a second set that "spin" in the opposite direction and those will go into Pinwheel Madness:

My fifth project is Scrap Magnet -- I made good headway on it today, but I misread my notes on the pattern and need to do a little reverse sewing. 

We had a bit of snow overnight and Devo has been cancelled for Tuesday, so I may have more time in the studio to get a firm plan in place.