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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Finishing up before packing up and closing down.

The time of year when I am very sad.  Sad to be leaving the glorious sunshine in Arizona and heading back to the rainy west coast.  Weather here has been much cooler than normal and lovely for playing tennis and having windows open during the day and not having to run our a/c.
I got my crazy windmill blocks finished by digging through all possible sources of white prints and black fabrics in my scrap box and stash of fabric.  Not much to be found but the reds were easy. Blocks will get trimmed and assembled back at home.  There are 13 so one will be an orphan block or put on the back of the quilt. 
 A couple more of my stargazer blocks are made but the rest are packed somewhere in boxes to be mailed to my WA state address for pickup after I get home.  Fabric weighs a lot so I use the 'if it fits, it ships' boxes to save money on having an overweight suitcase.
Boxes have been taken to the post office.
Plus quilt is ready and packed in those boxes.
A new quilt started that has been a ufo for a couple of years.  It is a Villa Rosa, Portlandia and I have the top completed and ready to take home for quilting.
My green scrap blocks got done for Oh Scrap but having trouble loading the picture onto her site.
And I dug out my container of 'economy' blocks.  These were started many years ago and using scraps.  A good leader and ender project.
And so happy that all my L-7 blocks are made!
That is about all that is going to happen here.  Time to service my machine, extra oil and packaging in a heavy plastic bag so that nothing dries out during the heat of the summer months.  I also bag all my thread and have heard I should pour in some mineral oil?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

In like a lion....

The weather here in Mesa started off as a very cool March and it has been wonderful.  At this time last year, the afternoon temps were up to 99 and last week, we were having temps in the mid 60's!  We are warming up now to mid 80's in the afternoon and warm evenings but am hoping that at home, the cold weather will also be warming up to comfortable temperatures by the time we return for the spring and summer months! But, good sewing time!
My Plus quilt got put together.  This was a kit from Connecting Threads and it has sat for a year.  It was very slow sewing, one row at a time once I got it up on the design wall and had to keep checking to make sure I had my pieces in the correct placement.  I modified the pattern which added to the confusion!  But very happy this is on my 'needs quilting' list instead of my 'to do' list.

 And a really simple quilt from Villa Rosa got put together as well.  This is Sheryl and it is a really simple way to use up some fat quarters with background fabric.  I think this will need a border to make it large enough for a Quilt of Valour.

I started playing with half rectangles using some 10" squares and background.  I have a pattern in mind but will see how this goes.  I need to sit in the front of the tv drawing the lines on the back of the background rectangles.
I .
 I dug out my green scraps as yellow greens and light greens are the scrappy colour of the month.  More string piecing planned!

 And another Villa Rosa kit that is called Show Biz.  You have turn your head to see this properly but it has a cat panel in the center and lots of oranges, pinks and purples. 

I  splurged and bought myself a totebag at the tennis tournament.  I could easily have made myself this bag BUT... the fabric is fabulous and not available anywhere.  The gal making the bags said it is impossible to find tennis themed fabric. 

 I pulled out a kit I purchased at a quilter's garage sale.  It looked great and had all the pieces cut in it.  BUYER BEWARE!!  I opened it up and yes, there were cut fabrics but all in one length - 6.5" and in black on white and white on black fabrics.  But, it needs 4.5" strips of the same fabrics AND it needs red fabrics in both lengths.  The red was easy for me... but had to really scrounge in my fabric closet for the rest and I don't know if I have enough but will finish it at home where the supply is better.

 But, I did get to try a new ruler that came in my monthly box from Fat Quarter shop and it is quite slick. It is called "mini simple folded corners"
And this is what the finished blocks look like:

I have the binding ready to stitch for the Villa Rosa Show biz along with almost being finished with my L -7 blocks.  They have been my leaders and enders as I have worked on the other projects and almost there!

Another project on my list was to cut the blocks for the Moda Stargazer quilt.  A lot of cutting and each block gets put into a ziplock bag - 20 of them!
I have one block stitched and another one on my design board.  This will end up heading home with me but the cutting is done and that was the complicated part!

My husband had Moh's surgery on his face last week and is recovering but it is a long time just sitting and waiting for each step.
So, I started knitting a scarf.
And I managed to get my Quilter's Planner March block completed.
Down to less than 2 weeks of sewing time left here and weather is warming up plus lots of tennis tournaments happening!  Busy but happy days.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

End of second month of the year - how time flies!

Very cool here in Arizona...winter weather has arrived in late February.  Crazy! But, I get to dig out some sweaters and warmer clothes to wear though I must admit that wearing long pants feels strange.  However, it is more like quilting weather than hot temperatures are, so that is a good thing and the mountains are getting some much needed snow in northern Arizona.

I finished pressing my brown half square (Cornerstone pattern from Etsy) quilt top and you can compare it to the quilt in my last post that was blues and yellows that I didn't stitch together the way the pattern intended.
Quite a different effect!This might need a border to get to the correct size for Quilts of Valour but a great way to use a package of 10" squares.  Sews up quickly and if you have a package of squares on hand, an excellent way to make a donation quilt. (hmmm... I see an error in block placement that I can easily fix - how did that happen?)

I dug out my blue bag of scraps and made some blocks.  Blue was the colour for January for Oh Scrap and I cut some 3" strips from odd fat quarters that were good for rail fence blocks and then I used my strings for some really scrappy blocks.

My 7 - L quilt blocks are still the same on the design wall but the strips are getting sewn together as leaders and enders and I do have a bunch of blocks to take to the next step.

Then I dug into my lavender and purple scraps and it didn't seem like I had many?

So, I took out my scrap bin that "was" crammed full of odds and ends of fabrics and started sorting the fabric by colour.  At first, I was just looking for purples but figured if I was making a mess, I might as well sort.
The small pile of purple went from small to much larger! There were a few that I moved into the red bag but otherwise, had a decent amount to choose from. 

And then I went through a bin of 3.5" strips and found some lavender in there so had enough to cut strips for rail fence blocks and did use up some strange fat quarters that probably arrived here in a Free Spirit fat quarter surprise box from Etsy a few years ago.  I had more than enough to make rail fence blocks and then a large pile of strips for foundation piecing some scrappy blocks. Working on the blocks created total chaos and a bit of a disaster zone but in the end, I used up a lot of fabric.

I ended up with almost 50 rail fence blocks so a few more and I will be able to  make a donation quilt or may mix them up with other colours to create a rainbow effect.
I also got my Pow Wow quilt put together and added the outer borders.
Now, I am determined to cut fabric for two projects.  The plus block quilt has been waiting for me since this time last year and the Moda stars block is a new project resulting from a picture on Instagram that I just loved when I saw it.  So, off to cut and to work on my L 7 blocks. Less than a month left to get projects finished that are on my to-do list. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Olympics and quilting

It amazes me how some bloggers find the time to blog daily?  I find it takes me at least 20 -30 minutes to post a blog including uploading my pictures.  Today, blogger is really slow at uploading? 

This is my current design wall.  I am, as always, working on three projects at once.  The Pow Wow quilt by Cluck Sew now has all the blocks made and am stitching on a sashing between the vertical rows and, hopefully, by this evening, the top will be a finished flimsy, ready to send back to my summer home.
I have made 40 eye spy happy blocks from a set of 10" squares plus some of my own fabrics added in.  When I get back 'home', I have a lot of kids fabrics that are perfect for adding to these blocks.
The L-7 blocks are my leaders and enders for the other projects!
I have my stack of finished happy blocks... 50 of them!
And I have cut some blue 3.5" strips for the Scrap Happy blocks for February.  I am thinking that some rail fence blocks will work.  I haven't made January's blocks yet.  The colour is lavender and purple and I do have the fat quarters and scraps pulled for those.  My vague plan is to make rail fence blocks and create some diagonal rows sort of like a rainbow?  Will see what actually happens at the end of the year! I was surprised that I don't have many purple scraps and fat quarters or small pieces of yardage here... IF I was home, that would be a different story!
Last week, I finished up my leftover daisy fabric into the Colour weave blocks but those will get put together into a top later this spring or summer.

My blue/yellow blocks got assembled, totally incorrectly but I carried on and put the blocks together into a top.  How did I  misread the directions?  So, the result is totally scrappy which is ok but not what the pattern intended.
Since I wanted to make the block correctly, I chose another stack of 10' squares and cut them up as per the pattern, (which I did with the above quilt) but took the time to read the instructions and assembled the pieces in the order which the pattern instructed me to do.
This top is put together but needs pressing so you will have to wait for the next post to see the finished project.  Looks very different and a lot more organized than the chaotic blue one!

So, have been busy with tennis and quilting and watching the Olympics.  I try to save my ripping out, drawing lines on the back of squares for half square triangles or snow ball corners for my tv time.  And can also trim blocks with my portable cutting board on my lap. 

Rooting for Canada of course but it is hard when watching US television!  The CBC Olympics app on my phone helps a bit but we are at the mercy of NBC here as to what they choose to televise. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

New Month: February projects

Even though it was a crummy start to 2018, I spent quite a few hours in my sewing room and managed to complete a short list of projects.
1. Flannel squares are now a quilt top
2. Quilter's planner block one completed
3. Happy blocks made (70+) and 5 preemie quilt tops ready plus more blocks left over
4. Blocks for California fire victims completed (enough for a quilt top)
5. Field day (surrounded 16 patches) quilt top made.
6. Daisy prints split 9 patch 10" squares top completed.

I have the Field Day quilt ready to take home and finish:
And the happy blocks got sorted into those suitable for preemie quilts.  I had to do a wee bit of math.  A finished preemie is 30" x 36" but my blocks were going to finish at 10" which would have meant quilts measuring 30 x 40 - ooops!  So I put the blocks on the design wall and took ¼" off the top and bottom edges of each block making them 9.5" finished in one direction and still 10" in the other direction.  Problem solved!
And 5 of them ready for the next step:
Under the ironing board are some surrounded 16 patches but they were too dull to include in the kit I made, my plus block and fabric and pattern for a star block quilt.  Lots of ideas, not enough time!

This is the split 9 patch made from 10" squares.
Block for January from the Quilter's Planner and even better, a block also completed for February!

I started a project from 10" squares called L7 - are they L's or 7's?  Well, sad to say, I stitched a bunch of blocks incorrectly.
So, will be unstitching or frogstitching during tv time.  They are supposed to look like this!
My kit from Connecting Threads fall sale is almost ready to put the blocks together.
And I though that the leftover daisy fabrics could be used in a color block quilt - pattern from Moda Bake shop.

And I pulled this project out from the UFO stack - two years old so time to start cutting.
And, there are still the projects from January that I didn't get started on or started but never finished!
- 9 patch surrounded
- plus quilt
- Sunland stitchers mystery Xmas quilt
- batik table runner that needs quilting
- Welcome hangings from Patchabilities need finishing.. blanket stitch and binding

But, off to decorate for Valentine's day.