Thursday, March 31, 2016

A little sewing here and there...

A little Splendid Sampler update:
#10 Iowa
10 iowa

#11 Crocheted Thoughts
11 crocheted thoughts

#12 Checkerboard
12 checkerboard

#13 Scrap Stars
13 scrap stars

I love seeing them altogether:

And a cute little quilt I finished up last night:
1000 Pyramids

An 1800's reproduction fabric 1000 pyramids. I really love working with triangles. The funny thing on this quilt is that I got my last row of triangles (bottom row) sewn together in the wrong direction. My ruler for this triangle has a flattened top edge but for some reason I turned them all around and I couldn't figure out where I went wrong. At least they are equilateral triangles :)

This makes the only finish for the month of March.  Am I slowing down already??  I need to crack the whip and pull out another UFO.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Evergreen State BOM



This block nearly kicked me in the rear. It measures in total about 26"x16.5" (I think, trying to remember the height), and the bias seams are all over the place.  I had to add more of the sky fabric at the top (which should be hidden in the seam allowance).  Sigh.  Trimming up the mountains was not easy.

The one thing I liked that I didn't plan (and if I had, it would have never happened!) is that the texture of the fabrics make a rounded visual for the tulip rows.

Evergreen State BOM

This block (which is actually two different months put together) was one of the reasons that I really wanted to do this quilt. Now that this one is out of the way, maybe the rest will be a little easier? :) The ferry block may be challenging as well. The one thing that really disappointed me about this block was the waste left behind from the mountains. I am not really sure what to do with it (I guess I can make a few crumb blocks) but I think another method would have been more economical. The flash on my camera really emphasizes the grey... which had I known where it would end up, I wouldn't have used it. Looking at our mountains when they are out in their full glory do have flashes of greys and blues though, so I am ok with it overall. Because I didn't get in on the BOM when it started, I am pulling from my stash and using fabrics that came in a "boo boo" package... so it's a guess right now as to what to use. I did go back and buy some yardage pieces from Pacific Fabrics for fabrics that I know I will be needing more of (no purchase pledge was broken shortly after making it!)

I love seeing the blocks and panel pieces together
Evergreen State BOM

I tried to google and find if anyone has been blogging and creating this quilt, but I haven't been able to find any postings on it.  I only remember seeing one friend making this quilt, and from her I only saw the dragonfly block.  I'll have to check in and see how she is doing with it.

I think I am going to move on to the coffee cup block as my next one.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Hexie Progress, Row Three!

I am losing steam on my hexies! But I did finish my third row finally. It takes me a week to add the grey hexi sections and get the row sewn together, and theoretically that means I should have it done in about 6-7 weeks. But as I said, I am losing steam. Staying with it and not straying has been difficult.

Row Three

I have decided on a name for it however. It may be cheesy, but it encapsulates the start and process this project has been a part of: The Healing Time.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Though much of those doctor/hospital/travel visits were about passing time while major medical events were going on, I did bring it along with me in the down time of recharging such as going camping or to the cabin. Sometimes it was just there because my brain was so full that I couldn't do anything else but be on auto-mode to pass time.

Hexagon Sewing by the fire

I was thinking about the modern quilt movement recently and how I have also gone through many changes in my "quilt life":
1. Hand sewing (no machine of my own yet)
2. First attempts at machine sewing/quilting
3. Becoming addicted, finding online resources and groups to connect with
4. Creating through inspiration in many books/patterns
5. No pattern time, art quilts
6. No quilting because I had a lot going on and mentally I just couldn't sit down to create. Somewhere in here I learned to knit.
7. Decided patterns are not evil and terrible and it's ok to fall back in love with sewing again
8. Kits and patterns because still I have too much going on but I want to create
9. I love quilting again--both playing with my own ideas and buying patterns.

I've decided the "all or nothing" mantra that I saw in myself just isn't right for me anymore. It's ok not to have an "original". Feel the joy of simply creating because you know what? In less than 12 months I have gifted more quilts to people that love them (even if they are from a taught technique or pattern) than I have in a long time. And really, that is what it's about, right? When a child feels that gift wrapped around them, that warms all hearts. They know it was just for them.

So I know while many people are just fine with sticking with one facet of what to create; in that facet, never lose that joy in the creation--and further, share it with others. This hexie quilt has changed but it's always been the same since the start. Figuring out the setting, the colors to use as a background (which, I admit may have been a wrong choice--but the grays actually fit with the title and time that this quilt has gone through), it's all a part of the joy that I do feel when I can be making something good. Someday what this quilt meant to me will be lost in time, but for right now, it is meaningful to me.

Now to keep myself fresh, I will likely take another week off on sewing my hexies and think about the latest Doll Quilt Swap and what I want to create. The ideas are already percolating!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Splendid Sampler and Evergreen State

Time for some slow stitching.  I worked on my Splendid Sampler blocks this weekend: Friends Around the Square and Local Quilt Shop.  I'm pleased with how they both came out.  I cropped the quilt shop to a "finished" size because I like that look better with house-type blocks :)
9 local quiltshop

Friends around the square turned out much better than what I expected.  I really wasn't sure how the fabrics would come together, but they did.
8 friends around the square

Nine together:

I am also working on Pacific Fabric's block of the month from last year.  I have some fabrics that went with the quilt, but I don't have all that I need so I will be pulling from my stash.  I was so happy to find that they are selling it now!  When I inquired last spring, all the spots were taken.  I went to the Quilters Anonymous show in Monroe, WA this past Friday and there it was in Pacific Fabric's booth!  Yahoo!
Evergreen State

I finished the dragonfly block last night, and then I trimmed the panels to the needed size and added the borders to the large state panel.  Right now I am working on the mountain range that's behind the tulip field.  I was getting very confused on the various colors, but I think I have it now.  I am going to wait to sew tomorrow when my brain is fresh again.  The cutting for it is like bargello.  I have the three sections all prepped, but cutting should be interesting.
Evergreen State

Poof.... that was what I had written yesterday afternoon!

And then in the middle of my blog post that I was writing, the power went out!  It was out for about 21 hours, not too bad but bad enough that our generator kept having issues and we went out and bought a new one this morning.  We will get whatever needs to be fixed on the old one and see if one of our friends would be interested in it.  But last night I did some hexagon sewing.  I have 1/3 of row three complete and all the grey pieces sewn together.

Power Outage
I really like my new camera! I had my headlamp on and no flash used. You can see the dog laying down by the lego quilt, and smudge of a head of the cat by my feet :) It was an exciting night, but it got cold! I'm glad we have our gas fireplace, but the heat just doesn't move around like with our new furnace.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Splendid Sampler, First Seven

I am currently now all caught up on the first seven blocks of this 100 block project by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.  At first I balked at the thought of brushed cottons and flannels for this huge project, but I decided why not?  Flannels don't have to be only used as a backing or for simple designs.  There are considerations to remember when using flannel (like washing first as rule 1), but the softness can't be beat.

Here are my first seven altogether, and then below that are the four that I finished up yesterday.

Splendid Sampler first seven

#6 Focal Point
Splendid Sampler 6 focal point

#5 Simple Simon
Splendid Sampler 5 simple simon

#4 Happy Happy
Splendid Samper 4 happy happy

#3 Lots of Love
Splendid Sampler 3 lots of love

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Splendid Sampler

 I was looking for a block of the month to work on this year, and this is the one that grabbed me, Splendid Sampler. I love doing block of the month/week projects with a group because it can be so inspiring and it helps to keep it fun and fresh as the year progresses.

I knew I wanted to do soft colors for this one since I am on overload with brights.  Even as my go-to favorites, I need to take a break now and again. I chose to pull out some fat quarters that I bought a long time ago--Robyn Pandolph's Folk Art Christmas (I think the first grouping of this title. I believe she had a few different Folk Art Christmas lines). That will be my base for the 100 blocks, but if I find other fabrics that would work well, I will add those too.  The fabrics are a brushed cotton, and I also added a creamy yellow flannel to use as the background when needed. So far, I love it. I know I will be sick of the fabrics in time, but for now it's my happy place.

A start

Today I did the first, second and seventh blocks. I pieced together what needed it, and then did some needle turn applique for blocks 1 and 7, and embroidery with my Valdani thread for 7.

Hearts aflutter

ugh... I'm obviously too lazy to make sure there were no stray threads before pictures. I am definitely too lazy to take another round of pictures! :)

For the pieced and appliqued quilt in block 7, I pieced together some scraps of 1.5" into a nine patch and then tilted it a bit to fit the pattern.  It helped to add a little whimsy that the original line drawing for the embroidery has.
Snug as a Bug

I played around with the layout for block 2, and I like it. If I had a blue on hand, would have added that so it would have been more scrappy.

I don't plan to post every time I finish a block, but perhaps I will do a weekly update on the progress.  I have four more blocks to make to be caught up, and then the newest will be out on Thursday (two blocks each week).   I already have my ArtBin case all prepared for this project :)  This is officially my first project of 2016!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Cub Scout Blue and Gold Cake Auction

Tonight is the Cub Scout Blue and Gold dinner and with that we started adding the cake auction instead of an actual auction that was done in years' past.  The regular silent auction took a lot more time than what the benefits would show.  When our pack merged with another, we added their tradition of the cake auction a few years ago and it has been popular.  I wasn't planning to take part in it this year, but decided to go ahead and do it yesterday.  Darrin had a half day at school, so we baked a Mississippi Mud Cake (from my grandma's recipes, but I see it online all over now).  Browsing pinterest, I saw this idea and went with it.  The best part?  No need for globs of frosting!

Gone Fishing

Our sandy dirt is ground up Girl Scout Trefoils because our graham crackers have a nasty flavor to them.  Did anyone know that they really taste gross when they are beyond their best buy date?  The smell from the packaging alone might be the worst part.  I am wondering if packaging plays a role because I had a sleeve of Saltine crackers end up with that same chemically pungent smell.  Anyway...
Gone Fishing

Sandy Trefoils and the worm dirt is ground up Oreos.  We went to Big 5 and picked out some bobbers and fishing lures.  Overall it was a fun project to do with Darrin, and he did at least half of the work (he told me to make sure that I don't take full credit for the creation--I told him of course not!  I was thrilled he wanted to make it!).

This is how I will feel after tonight if we end up with cake....
I will need a belly lift :)