Thursday, January 19, 2017

Starting one more

   I am bad.....starting a new sew along/block a month.  I wasn't going to do this.   But I keep seeing so many great blocks each month, and this month is purple, and I wanted to make this quilt "Soul Searching".   Or at least that is what I keep telling myself.....excuses to convince myself I am not jumping in over my head.  So the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is going on at  Scraphappy blog.    Please join me being insane:)

   And I have a purple block for this month.  I am not going over board, but one block won't hurt, will it?
I adjusted the Soul Searching block size for 2'' strips instead of the 2 1/2''.  It is large enough at this size, as it ends up at 18''.  A dozen of these will be a big enough quilt.
  Note:  The quilt is found in Making Quilts by Kathy Doughty.

Continuing string blocks.......
I made 4 more string blocks while putting this one together.   Comments indicate there are several of us working or planning some string creation this year.  I am using it as a leader/ender project to build up a stash of string blocks for instant gratification when I get inspired.
  Questions arose......I do prefer using fabric for my foundation, but have done about 30 so far on phone book pages.  The paper almost falls away as the pages are so thin.  An evening of watching TV shows and all the paper will be history.
     I had to root around to find the old, very thin fabric I use for foundations usually.  I found the basket shoved behind some batting leftovers.  So this weekend I will get some pieces cut for this next batch of strings.

Jumping up and down today.....Sir Old Man found a guy who got my computer functioning again.  It was locking up and driving me crazy.  They also got my back-up straightened out and I feel safe again.    Relief.  Happy stitching.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

De-stash with string piecing

  I caught Bonnie Hunter's Quilt-Cam on Sunday afternoon.  It was a short version but always fun.  In between her latest news/adventures she was doing some string pieced blocks she intended to use for a border.  So when I need some relaxing mindless sewing I tend to do string blocks too.

  I have done string blocks in various sizes, and color ways, and many different layouts.  

  •  Shaded floral strips to create light and dark blocks.  
  • Color family  blocks with black strip dividing each block.  For a line drawing to plan this one  here is the post. 
  •  Shaded colors to create butterfly wings. 
  • Leftover random string blocks joined for a quick quilt.  
  • More floral strings with sashing to form window panes.   

     I do not have a specific project in mind for these, but did like the suggestion that Bonnie gave about the center string.  She was using various red strings in the center---corner to corner to begin.  She was mixing widths, but many commented that a narrow or single width might be best and eye-pleasing.
I am experimenting with 2 sizes of strings to begin.   One set I will use narrow dark strings, and the second group is getting random width dark strings.  I am hoping to empty--maybe--one bin and have it more a controlled mess as string blocks.

  I am using old phone book pages as foundations this time.  I often/usually use muslin or old light weight fabric.  But the fabric does add weight to the quilts overall, so I just decided to shorten my stitch length to tiny and sew on paper.  I also prepped by using a glue stick to hold the center starting fabric in place, since that first piece likes to slip and slide on me.
Happy stitching. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

From this to this!

  I showed this set of strips last week.....unsewn.   I should say that I used 27 different floral fabrics to build the strata from dark to light.  I only used one width of fabric cut.  Although some fabrics were FQ and I did have to sew a couple of cuts together to get close to the full width.    I made random sub-cuts in widths from 2 1/2'' , 2'', and  1 1/2''.    So from this.................................. THIS!  All the strips were sewn over the weekend.  I warned that the width would shrink, and it did.  It is now 30'' wide by 42''long.      That is just the nature of this bargello style design ----  small pieces and lots of seams.  Plus it is always a surprise when you see the blend of the fabrics.  No matter how much you think you have it planned and arranged, it is always a little surprising to see it come together.    This one has a floating feel to it.  And an impression of a garden blooming on a hillside.   I will let it live and breath a little until I decide on the border color.

    While I was pressing the florals, I was reading thru my Projects list that hangs on the cabinet.  Since mid-December, I have made good progress.  I love marking thru items and putting up big fat check marks!   A couple of things are finished, and only one project listed is left that needs to be worked on.    So design time is slated for later this week.  I need some mindless sewing for this afternoon....string piecing it is.   Happy stitching.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Stitching on the 13th


    Nothing unlucky here about the 13th......okay, just a few stitches to unsew, but sewing is a good thing.   And sunshine abounds and circles look good in the sunshine.

   This quilt will be like the "Rest of the Story" to follow the Therapy Quilt.  For now it has no borders and will rest on a hanger until I decide on a finish.  I have an idea or two but nothing solid......just impressions that flash through my mind when I look at it.
  I am sure I will run across something that will inspire me to finish it up.  

  Surprise, surprise......I found a set of strips--florals, you see--- organized and partially sewn together.  I remember beginning the process of selection and arranging in the early part of last year.
   I finished the rows, pressed and made some cuts.  Random cuts of 1 1/2'', 2''. 2 1/2'' are now hanging on the design wall and ready to join.  A lot of columns to join and it will shrink in width quite a bit.  That's okay as I did not find any notes to self with ideas on it.  I will make it up as I go.

   One more thing before I go to start dinner.   A winter blue set of scraps turned into a small pieced table runner. The pattern is from Connie at Freemotion by the River .   I altered it a bit and left off the border.....I ran out of fabric.   But it will be a good one to finish up and donate to the guild for next year's auction.
   Enjoy the weekend and stitch on.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

More of those circles

   A quick glance at my project list and plans for the month shows I have been moving right along.  This list was begun in mid-December and just carried over to January.  The last 2 things for the month concern  the rest of the circles and 9 patch blocks.

  The remaining circles went up onto the design wall and I shifted and played around with the lay out for a day or so.    You have to let things simmer sometimes to be sure of what you want.  It helped that I came down with a stomach virus and couldn't do much of anything, too :)

   This photo shows that I have a couple of sections joined.....note the layout used.  I resorted to my original staggered layout for a couple of reasons.  I have 3 sizes of circles because of the size of scraps I used.  The mixed sizes--big, small and in-between-- looked a little "off" to me when laid out in regular rows.   I had a lot of "half circles" already made for the ends and I did not want to waste them.  And finally, less precise matching was less stressful for me.  Or that's my story and I am sticking to it.   I have a few more rows of circles to join, and then a decision on borders.

  In the midst of sewing rows and sections of circles  together, 9 patch blocks marched on.   My stack of strip units have turned into great little 9 patch blocks and total about 80 to date.   This will be up next to decide on finally layout and such. sourdough flopped and the starter died.  The 2 loaves I made were awful and Sir Old Man put them in the back yard for the deer/birds/wildlife.   The starter requires a lot of  patience and maintenance to get going.   I resorted to my favorite recipe for herb bread and made a nice loaf.

To share......
   If you are interested in making a few or a lot of blocks for the Women of the Bible quilt/sew alongs that are going on  check out this source.   Quilter's Garden quilt show is sharing blocks on their website and the info will be available for only 2 weeks.  So download while you can, and be sure to sign up for the newsletter to keep up to date with the blocks and info.  Thanks to Cheryl at Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting blog for sharing this.


  And this is my positive note for the week.  A friend who recently lost her husband shared this on FB.  It seems someone else understands my obsession with those red birds, aka cardinals.
They are reassuring signs of hope for me and always seem to pop up when I get low.  Just like the notes and comments from old and new followers, a few words lift my spirits when I seem to be struggling with the frustrations of the situation.    Thank you all.
  It has warmed up here for a few days after sleet, freezing rain and snow of last weekend.  I intend to bask in its glow for a little while today, before I finish up those circles.  Happy stitching.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Let's be Legendary

   Deshaun Watson said in the last huddle, "Let's be legendary."   And they were......Clemson National Champions!  Congrats, guys.  Go tigers.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Simple mats

    First, let me say, that each of you are a great part of my blog life.  What a wonderful band of cheerleading quilters you are.  I was very touched by all the comments on the Therapy Quilt post.    I get overwhelmed with the past year.   I get tired easily.   and I get cranky when my fingers don't work right and my vision gets fuzzy.  I know some of you  carry your own health problems each day.    So thank you for reaching out to me.

   Today was a finish up day for simple stuff that I started.   I used 2 pieces of the panel fabric for small place mats for the kitchen island.   I added scraps of fabric that blended with the design.  Straight lines for quilting to finish them off.

    And the longer section I turned into a small wall hanging for the kitchen too.  I used some floral fabrics to mix with a "coffee creamer" colored scrap.  The binding was odds and ends in the binding box.  Simple but it fills the blank space on the side wall for now.
  I was getting tired by this time and it shows in the wobbly binding....I will wash it and no one will know.  Please keep my secret:)

  The sourdough adventure has taken another twist, as in throw out the first bowl full that was foamy but not rising.  A good bit of reading/research and it was decided that I did not have yeast fermenting, but some stinky bacteria that was not what I wanted.  Barbara at CatPatches pointed me in the direction of an article by a microbiologist that clicked in my mind.

  So yesterday I began a new batch of starter with whole wheat flour and pineapple juice.  Today it is foamy and bubbly......I hope from yeast.  Once again.....I am just stubborn enough to stick to it for one more try :)  Besides if it snows this weekend, bread baking would be perfect.
Happy stitching.
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