Monday, January 29, 2024

Has It Been a Week?

I have realized that it is easier to post daily if you post daily.  Once you let a day go by, it morphs into a week.  So much for my New Year's Resolution!

Anyway, it's been a productive week on many fronts.  First I chose my starting block for the Stay at Home Round Robin and got started on the first round.

Not being so thrilled with my progress, I put that project on hold.  I did manage to get a couple more blocks of 1863 on the design wall.

I now have 12 of the 27 blocks finished.  My goal is to finish a block a day.

I have determined that I have too much stuff.  Can you relate?  Anyway, it's really weighing me down so I plan to divest myself of lots of it.  Anything I don't think I'll use in my remaining years I am putting up for grabs with my Devo and S'mores friends.  What doesn't get taken will go to a charity in Nashville that supports developmentally disadvantaged adults.  So I devoted quite a bit of time over the weekend to culling through my batiks.  I had no idea how many I had!

Meanwhile, Spring is about to spring! (in spite of the sub-freezing temps)  

And my Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus has no clue what month it is.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Meanwhile, On the Lake

The sun is finally out and the snow is starting to melt.  But at sub-freezing temperatures, the lake still has ice around the edges.

I've used my extra time at home to get some more sewing done.  My chosen RSC project for last week was Labor Day Madness from the Nickel Quilts book.

The process for making the compound triangles results in a second set of triangles that "spin" in the opposite direction.  Those will go into next week's chosen project that I call Pinwheel Madness.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Just Call Me Wishy-Washy

Tuesday rolled around, the day for choosing a center block for the Stay at Home Round Robin 2024. I was stumped.  

You see, I had participated in SaHRR at couple of years ago, using a block I had made after a quilt show where various vendors offered a kit for a block all using fabrics from a particular line.  I was pleased with how that exercise worked out.

I looked in my Orphan Block bin and found three more blocks from that show and my first thought was to use one of them so that I would have a companion piece -- or even the starting point for a whole quilt.  

BUT, I also found an interesting basket block ...

... as well as a collection of big blocks left over from the Women of the Bible quilt I made in 2022.

I was able to pull together leftover fabric from the Bible quilt and was leaning strongly to starting with this ugly dark block that hadn't worked with the other light blocks in that quilt.

Decisions, decisions.   I think I will wait for the first round prompt and see which starting block offers the best possibility.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Talk about DrEAMI!

 I couldn't help myself.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  Or I could blame it on being snowbound for two days ...

Anyway, remember my RSC block of the week -- Antique Tiles?  Not only did I not stop after making three, I have nearly finished a top!

I had just enough of the bird fabric to make 12 blocks and 12 cornerstones.  whew!  I am now auditioning borders.  It is currently 33" x 42" and will make a nice kid's quilt with a 4" border.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2024

First, a SNOW update -- looks like we got around 5 inches total accumulation.  It's cloudy and currently only 7 degrees.  It is supposed to get down to -2 overnight.  My Wednesday meeting was also cancelled so I'm hoping to make a lot of headway in the studio.  Stay tuned!

As previously reported, my plan for 2024 is to wrap up the FIVE unfinished RSC projects by working on one each week with the month's chosen color.  I managed to assemble Square Dance last week at retreat and will put the borders on it next month when it falls into the rotation.

This week's project is Antique Tiles.  Apparently I never even cut the first piece on that project, so it took me a while to figure out an approach.  The first thing I did was ditch the chosen beige background fabric as too boring and too precious to "waste" on a RSC project.  Instead, I chose a smaller piece with multi-color birds but I first had to see if I had enough of it to make a reasonable number of blocks.  👍

I chose the greens and put together a test block.

Oh, that was fun!  Let's try another ...

... and another ...

This could be a finished project by the end of today!

Monday, January 15, 2024

Snow Day!

Well, the predicted winter weather finally arrived Sunday night.  As of noon on Monday we have accumulated over 3" of snow and it's still coming down.  Our son in Nashville has 6" and since our weather comes from that direction, we could be in for more.  Thankfully my Tuesday meeting has been cancelled and I'm hoping the Wednesday one will be cancelled, as well.  More time in the sewing room!

So how have I taken advantage of the situation?  Well, I took another look at my plan for Strippy Stars in my last post.  I just wasn't happy with the orangey-gold of the strippy strips.  It just didn't seem to go with the floral borders, in spite of the fact that they came from the same piece of fabric.  So I decided to use the border print throughout instead, and I'm much happier with the look.

I will need to make seven more stars to make it long enough for WOWE.  

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Expecting the possibility of freezing rain on Friday morning, we packed our heavy stuff out Thursday night so I didn't have a chance to photograph my progress till I got home.  I spent all day Thursday working on 1863.

I finished all the block centers then started planning the twelve HSTs that surround the centers.  I cut lots of strips and was able to get two blocks complete before we started packing up.

My original plan was to use a light blue-gray for the zig-zag setting but I'm having second thoughts.  It will be a while before I can get back to this project; however, I'm putting it high on my priority list because I really like what's happening.

Once home, I put Strippy Stars up on the design wall.

I think if I make a few more stars and add the dark green strips it will be big enough to donate to WOWE.  I'm hoping to have time between meetings this week to get those stars made and strips cut.  

Apologies to recent commenters for not responding; cell/WiFi service was not the best. 
 I'll try to catch up later today.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Retreat Update - Wednesday

 Still having a great time.  As planned on Tuesday I worked on Jo Morton's Strippy Stars.  

I got many, if not all, stars made but I'm not definite on my setting yet.  I have a beautiful strippy print that I want to use as the separator.  The borders are cut from that same strippy print.

The green strip in the photo is another fabric.  It will have to be fussy-cut and I'm not sure it's worth the effort.  So with everything under consideration, that project went back into the box.

Remember that "had-to-make" project I mentioned a couple of posts ago?  Well, I devoted most of Wednesday to 1863 by Judy Hasheider.  I have the centers of all the blocks made and Thursday will be devoted to making the HSTs for the outside round of the blocks.  I had planned to use a light blue-gray for the zig-zag setting, but that decision is still pending.  Watch for an update on Friday after I get home.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

If It's January, It Must Be Rock Island

So glad that the stars aligned and I am able to attend one of my favorite retreats at a nearby state park.  Four in our cabin and three more in the cabin next door.  I already have accomplished much, but before I get into that, I want to answer a question from a no-reply blogger in my last post. 

Ozark Cajun asked about my project boxes and where to get them.  They are Protect-n-Store boxes that I found in the scrapbooking section of JoAnn.  I like them because they are a full 12-inches square and I can store large blocks flat in them.  (Not to mention they are about half the price of Art Bins!)   I don't know if JoAnn still carries them; last night I found them on several sites on Amazon.  

Now, on to my progress!  Soon after my arrival Sunday afternoon I put borders on a small wheelchair top.

The pattern is my own design; I call it Irish Grandmother (long story).  Since I will be teaching it at my guild in March, I decided to put together some color samples to help prospective students as I think choosing fabric is one of the hardest parts of making quilts, especially for a class.

The top shown above has two color families (blue and brown) with a constant background; the color fabric in each block is the same, but different from the other blocks.  In my samples, the black and gold demonstrates just two fabrics, one for the background and the other for the "color".  I thought that might appeal to someone making a high school graduation gift.   The blue and red sample is just three fabrics with a different color fabric in each of the two blocks.   Again, that would make a nice graduation quilt.

I also have a lap quilt with scrappy brights on a black background. Unfortunately I am away from the computer that has that photo on it.

Monday I assembled Square Dance, an old Rainbow Scrap Challenge Quilt (circa 2020).

I cut the borders for it from the same fabric as the side setting triangles but want to wait till I have a large table to lay it out and properly measure for them.  It will measure about 54" x 65" with the borders.

Today's challenge is going to be Strippy Stars, a Jo Morton class I took at Indiana Heritage Quilt Show in 2008.  Talk about a moldy oldy!  More on that later.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2024

For new readers, the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is coordinated by Angela at soscrappy.  She chooses a color each month and you can do whatever you choose with that color.  Most of us choose a project that can be interpreted in many colors .... and by the end of the year we hope to have a completed top.

I just couldn't get into RSC last year, even though I had several partially completed projects from previous years.  In fact, I have FIVE unfinished RSC projects!

At least one of these projects dates back to 2020!

So my goal this year is to work on one of the five each week in the color of the month.  The one that requires the least amount of work will fall on the fifth week when it happens.  

This week I worked on Chaser blocks; it will be my first week project every month.  I determined that I need seven blocks of each of the nine colors I have started in order to make a top large enough to pass on to White Oak Women's Exchange (WOWE).  They make quilts for dialysis and chemo patients and sometimes they sell my finished quilts in their fund-raising boutique.  As it happened, I needed three more blocks to make the necessary nine.  Mission accomplished!

Next week I'm scheduled to work on Square Dance.  But when I checked on my progress this morning, I find I may already have enough for an on-point setting.  The jury is still out on that decision.

Friday, January 5, 2024

New Year, New Quilt

Have you ever seen a pattern you just HAVE TO make?  Or bought fabric that says USE ME NOW?

Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  I don't remember when or where I bought the pattern 1863, but it's been haunting me ever since.  (Unfortunately I have misplaced the cover so can't show you what it's supposed to look like.)

And then on a recent trip to a local quilt shop I bought the fabric in the center of this block which has been the inspiration for the entire quilt.

It's a weird shade of blue, tends toward the grey side, and I've had a devil of a time finding something to go with.  I did find one semi-solid, but had to rely on the other colors in the focus fabric to curate a collection of fabric for the project.  

After an unfortunate incident on New Year's Day when I thought I might have broken a big toe (fortunately just sprained),  I decided to take it easy at Devo on Tuesday and, rather than tote a machine and all the accoutrements, I used my time to cut out the new quilt.  Once home, I headed down to the studio to get a start..

I see that I need to up the blue.