Sunday, February 28, 2016

As Time Goes By

Time seems to fly by at warp speed some months and I will say that February is one of those months.  I missed my 500th blog post, my 3rd blog anniversary, and didn't even really want to do much for my birthday.   I think it is a combination of lot of things going on, maybe having a bug of some kind for a couple of weeks which threw my blood sugar totally out of whack, and just so much going on.  All I can think of is how would I manage if I worked a full time job? 

The daughter asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told her some bins for my project. Maybe about 10.
She bought me 10 which are plenty big.  They are large enough to put a RSC block fabrics and instructions into each one.  DH has asked me what I want but I am just not too sure yet.  I mean I did get a new gas range a coupe of weeks ago to replace the one we had got on Craigslist for $50 a couple of years ago.
Lets just say that I love it, when I get to use it, since DH seems to love to cook all of a sudden even more than he cooked before. We have a high BTU burner, and a large center burner, which switches out to a griddle which means we can cook enough french toast to feed the thundering herd all at one time. 

I tried to order some fabric which matched the background I was using in the block Navajo for the RSC.  I only had about 1/2 a yard of it, and thought I should probably have a way to match- maybe not exactly, but kind of get close to the fabric.  I took a picture and did a google image search to no avail.
I thought I would try to match a Northcott Stonehenge.  I had a piece of the fabric and tried my best online.  This is what I ordered. 
I think this is too yellowy, not tan enough.  If it was just a little more tan it would work fine. Of course while I was shopping for that I decided to shop for fabric for the Bag Lady group for quilt guild.

This is Shabby Strawberry by Penny Rose for Riley Blake, and I actually did supplement the yellow solid from my stash, and it went perfectly. Normally I do not pick up a line of fabrics to use, I just build my own group.  I then had to choose a block,  I decided that my block for the year would be the Twinkle Star that Angela at SoScrappy used for the January Column Along as part of the RSC. (You can find her pattern under the RSC Sampler Tab.)  It was perfect because it was a 9 inch finished block.
 Along with my fabric order was another squishy package from my wonderful friend Barbara at Wont-to-Be Quilter

A cute card, some fat quarters and a charm pack of Scrumptious which I will say that the colors and patterns are truly scrumptious.  I may make myself something out of this one! 

Another good thing on my birthday is that I talked to my two daughters that live in Oregon, and while chatting with them I organized my 2 inch strips.
And drew a line diagonally across part of the 480 2 inch black squares for Allietare. 
I managed to only  get about 10 sets of these completed (A set consists of 4 red matching rectangles, 4 neutral rectangles, and 16 2 inch squares) I still have 20 more sets to go. I am making these fun units.
Yep my text fabric because I was using scraps ended up sideways in my block.  Oh well. 
I did want to share a pic of the newest grandson also.  This was the first opportunity that we had to hold him.

Maybe it isn't that life is going by any faster than it was previously.  It is just my life is so full that I forget to take a deep breath and enjoy the ride. 


Saturday, February 27, 2016

February RSC Blocks

It is a beautiful cold, sunny day here in Michigan.  I haven't had much time for sewing for a couple of days.  We had a snow day...then Friday was a day that one came home sick.  Little boys are so needy.  Just sayin.
I decided that I would do a February wrap up of my blocks for the RSC.

Crown and Star

Saw Toothed Square

Fancy Foxes

Twisted Blossom


Isn't it amazing how many browns I came up after my initial post lamenting about my lack of browns.  I did a little bit of stash enhancement, did some deep stash diving, and with a little help from my friends I managed to come up with plenty of browns to make my blocks.  I enjoy making these blocks and can't wait to see what color is for the month of March.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Cutting Finish

Want to see what 480 -2 inch black squares?  I finally got all of the black squares cut, but I do need cut some red rectangles and then I will finally be ready to sew step 4 for Allietare.  . 

Between finishing up cutting the black squares I did do my last block for February for the RSC.  This one is called Navajo. 
The colors are Moda Bella Earth (the darker brown) and the lighter orangish tan is Ocher.  I spend more time pressing on this block than cutting, squaring up and sewing, but pressing really pays off, and all of those little HST almost simple using the Bloc_Loc rulers to square them up.  It is nice when you find a tool that makes things so much easier. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Still Cutting

I cut again most of the day, and took some time to sew!  And dreamed of other projects. 

I need 480 black 2 inch squares for step 4 of the Allietare quilt before I can even begin to sew.  Even after cutting for a couple of hours I still need about 100 more.  Ugh!  But I did take a break from cutting and did sew a little.  Twisted Blossom which I chose fot the RSC, this is the brown one. 

The cutting for this block takes a bit, but once the parts are cut, it goes together pretty quickly, especially with a curve master presser foot.  Once I was done with this I went back to cutting my black squares, and then squared up some bonus HST which I have accumulated.    I have bags with  1 1/2 inch, 2 inch, and 2 1/2 inch HST, and a whole big plastic shoe box full of HST the that need to be squared up.

I will say that the Bloc_Loc rulers do help me square up quite a bit faster.  What I am going to do with them I do not have a clue.  I see a triangle quilt in my future. 

So doing the happy dance because I did sew today.  Tomorrow back to the cutting crew. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Cutting Catharsis

I haven't been doing much sewing, but I have been cutting up a storm, and organizing a wee bit.

I showed my bin of tumblers in my previous post.  Now it is easy to grab a pair and sew for a leader and ender, but as you can see it was getting very chaotic and a hard to keep contained at times.  Also they were getting wadded up and difficult to sew because of getting all wrinkled.
I have been cutting for several days and after piling them nicely I only have about 1/3 of a bin full.

I also organized my 2 1/2 inch strips. 
I still have my 2 inch strips to organize, but I think I have had my fill of organizing for a while.  I have been cutting pieces for my twisted blossoms block  for February, and the bazillion pieces for step 4 of the Allietare.

I haven't even began to sew step 4 yet.  I have a ton of 2 inch black squares to cut, and a bunch more red sets.  While there is a lot more cutting to do, I have found it very cathartic,and calming and am looking forward to having it all ready to start sewing for this step. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Doldrums

After finally finishing the baby quilt, I am feeling that let down or doldrums for lack of a better way to describe it.  Do you ever feel that way after you finish a quilt?

I pulled out the ribbon star and worked a bit on it yesterday. 

I made up the Saw Toothed Square for one of the blocks that I chose for the RSC.  The color for the month is brown.
I then was kind of at a standstill.  What to do?  I could pull out the Allietare and work on it.  But I also knew I had fabric stacked all over the place.  So maybe I should clean up my mess.  Maybe it would be easier to be motivated to work on stuff.

First I grabbed some strips which I had already cut for the fancy fox blocks.  I have enough parts cut to make several more foxes. 

Since these are so easy to put together I decided to finish up making the ones for the month.
A batik fox, and use some of the lovely fabric I got from Julierose.
And my skulk of foxes.
I decided to then cut up some of my scraps, and while doing it cut parts for the twisted blossom which will be the next block I work on, and tumblers.

My little shoe type box seems to ever get really low. 

I love cutting up my scraps, and even pulling some stash and using it. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What Good is a Fat 8th?

What do you do with a fat 8th?  I asked that question the other day after discovering the fabric that I wanted to use for binding was only a fat 8th instead of a couple of fat quarters.  You can see that post here.

I had made a label for the baby quilt and decided to put a binding type of frame around it.  I didn't want to use the same fabric that I was using for the binding, so I decided to use part of the fat 8th that I had wanted to use for the binding.

I managed to come up with a way to slip this fabric in someway.
After washing my label faded a bit, but overall it still looks good.  I love that I got to use the fabric, and what was left from the one fat 8th was cut up to go into the tumbler quilt, as well as strips into the scrap basket system. I just machine stitched around it to mount to the quilt.  You can see it a bit on the front of the quilt, but I tried a new (to me) thread called Bottom Line by Superior thread.  I will say that I do love it to use in my bobbins while piecing.  Plus it wasn't as intrusive on the front of the quilt.

What can you do with a fat 8th?  I think a fat 8th is perfect for anything you want to do in little bits, but I think that they would be wonderful for applique.  In fact the last couple of days when I have been doing applique I have been using fabric from some of the fat 8ths which I had on my shelves.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Little Bit of Applique

I have some pieces that need machine applique.  I am a true beginner you can see how much so when I did the block for the Friendship block through quilt guild.

I had a couple of blocks that just did not turn out quite right.  The grandsons claimed them.  They think they are beauteous.

Once I got my feet wet I jumped in and did the cowboy on the bucking bronc on one of the Row by Rows which I had made which I showed previously.

The blocks below are  from a row by row.  This one is kind of nice.  I can decide later if I want to go horizontal, or vertical, for now we will just stay blocks. 

While I was at it I did the two blocks for the In Our Garden blog hop.  You can check it out here at Sew Incredibly Crazy.  There is even a Facebook , and Flickr group, but what is so cool about this blog hop is there is a different blog each month that will share 2 blocks.  One pieced and one which is applique.

I went stash diving and the majority of my fabrics were from stash, but I did do a little retail therapy and decided to use a texty background.  I think my blocks are very springy and happy, which is especially important considering we finally have "real" winter and it is bitter cold. 

I think I am becoming an applique' fan finally.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Julierose to the Rescue

My last couple of posts were about my hunt through my stash to locate some brown fabrics for the month of February's RSC.

You can read them here at My Brown Lament and here at Deep Stash Diving.

Imagine my surprise and delight when a package showed up in my mailbox.

Thank you so very much Julierose from Julierosequilt.  I appreciate the package greatly.  I teased her since she had recently made a comment about doing a destash....I asked if I was part of her destash plan.  (Huge cheesy smiley face)  There are some great modern fabrics in here that will go great in the twisted blossoms and I love the Asian print with the dragon and tiger.

I finally finished the baby quilt.  I started out with a binding dilemma.  I had purchased some what I thought were fat quarters a couple of years ago.  I had calculated with a couple of fat quarters I could probably get enough binding done for a baby quilt.

Imagine my chagrin when I discovered these were only fat 8ths and they were not really even cut straight.  With fat quarters doing the binding with the fake flange I could have made it work.  Fat 8ths--not even remotely. Ugh something which is going to get cut up and thrown into my scraps.  I did make a run to JAF and found this fun green stripe which you can see below,  that worked too, but I really did love the blues, and blacks, and the bubbles in the fabric above. 

I did get my binding done, and sewn on even though I was having some challenges so I actually ended up basting the binding down before I machine stitched it.

You can see I need to take my basting threads out, and trim up the loose threads.  I even managed to make a label.  I did Susie's Magic Binding from a tutorial I saw and I love how it turns out with the little fake flange. 

I also made a label. 
I used the bubble jet set and still need to do the rinse part.  Then figure out if I want to turn the sides over and hem them to attach the label, or do a fabric frame.  I am leaning toward a fabric frame.  This one is almost done and out the door! 

Now I need to decide what I am going to pick up and finish, and work on. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Deep Stash Diving

Yesterday I lamented that I did not have much brown (ok technically I whined) but lament sounds so much more mature.  Right?!?

I did a deep stash dive today before I wandered back to my never ending organic straight line quilting of the baby quilt.  I dove so deep I am sure I was down at least 2 if not three atmospheres, and once I headed toward the surface I was going to have to make a couple of decompression stops along the way.    Can you tell I have been reading novels which include a lot of diving lately?   I had to look it up but an atmosphere is approximately 33 feet when you are diving.

Do you know that when you have your stash all folded sometimes stuff squishes around and it is difficult to see it especially fat quarters, but I think I was successful.  

It is hard to believe that browns have such a range from golden browns, to chocolate browns to even gray toned, purple toned, and pink tone browns. 

While digging I also found some really ugly fabric!
No I didn't use this one, even though there were a lot of browns.  I actually cut it into 2 1/2 inch strips.  Someone once said if it is still ugly you haven't cut it into small enough units.  I cut some of it up into tumblers, as well as some others that I found.
While these were not ugly like the one it was nice cutting up these small chunks to be able to use up the scraps.  They were turned into tumbler units. 

Do you know what is in your stash? 

Monday, February 1, 2016

My Brown Lament

What color is missing in your stash?  I know we all seem to lean toward certain colors, and sometimes even certain fabric styles, but do you have some colors that are utterly lacking from your stash?  Brown is my color.  I don't have much brown.   Imagine my chagrin when it was announced that the color for the month of February by SoScrappy is brown.  Insert huge frownie face here!

I managed to unearth maybe 10 browns in my stash.  Not near enough!

I wanted to make 4 fox blocks for each month.  Yes I know I only shared one blue fox for last month, but I actually had three more cut out.  I just hadn't sewn them yet.

Blue Foxes
 My skulk of foxes so far.
How am I going to make 2 more brown foxes, a twisted blossom, Saw Toothed Square, Crown and Star, and Navajo block when I don't have brown scraps? 

Twisted blossom is made up of more modern fabrics, Crown and Star and Saw Toothed Square are reproduction/antique looking fabrics, and Navajo was going to be made of solids.  Am I allowed to buy fabric for  RSC blocks?