Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving


Here's to time well spent with those dear to us.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Design Wall Monday

On and off the Design surface are the Winding Ways blocks.  Due to some recent time sitting in doctor's waiting rooms, I was able to pin a bunch more pieces.  These curvy blocks require a lot of pinning, which of course adds to the total time it takes to make a 12 piece block.  But after some dedicated hours I have a pile of finished blocks:  


All 36 copper blocks are complete, and join the 6 cream blocks already sewn, and the 9 combined teal and copper blocks for my planned layout.  I have 30 cream blocks to make before assembly can happen but I'm feeling that downhill slope!  Feeling virtuous, I allowed myself to start a new project.  Well, this is two year old idea that I've wanted to make. 

This is a picture of the finished mini quilt I made in 2012.  I bought this as a kit at Helen's Hen House Quilt Shop in Florissant, MO (the website now shows a new name and location for the shop), which I made and gave away in 2012.  I always meant to make one for myself, and was reminded of this during my scrap drawer organization a couple of months ago, when I found some leftovers from the kit. 
Most of the browns in my new Turkey came from a bargain-priced scrap bag I bought at Helen's Hen House. I had fun digging through my nicely sorted 2.5" and 3.5" scrap drawers for additional prints and background selections. 
Poorly lighted shot of the quilted sandwich. I changed the kit layout to add a plain row to the right of the tailfeathers. 
This fat quarter for the backing also came from Helen's Hen House.  I used a couple of leftover triangle-squares for corner hangers and will bind this with a Jo Morton print.  I had a really fun time putting this together and plan to get the binding on tout suite.  

Thanksgiving is rushing up fast and there's a lot to do in the next few days, as we will host as usual and I've just learned of three more guests coming, making our total 22.  I've taken Wednesday off but this dear little grandson will be spending it with me, as his daycare is closed that day: 


Silly face, Cove, waiting for more snacks, please, at his last visit. He's getting close to 9 months old and already trying to stand alone for a few seconds, I hear.  Four teeth now, and as active as can be.  I doubt much holiday prep will happen Wednesday, but can't wait to have a Mimi day again!

See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Monday, November 17, 2014

MQG Scrap Swap and Catching Up (again)

These last months of the year are speedy, aren't they?  Here I am, catching up after a long break again, my apologies!  But busy I have been.  In the quilty department, there is this:

The Modern Quilt Guild I'm now a member of has monthly meetings.  There are a great group of ladies and several men in our growing guild.  A couple of months ago there was a challenge where members signed up to swap a shoebox full of scraps and make a quilt out of the scraps--keeping the modern aesthetic in mind.  I was very lucky and my name was drawn to swap with one of the finest and most prolific quilters.  However, that was a bit intimidating and I pondered, made a board on Pinterest, pawed/sorted the scraps, and scrolled through many of my quilt show photos but still could not come up with anything striking, until, of course, the rapidly approaching deadline.  The funny thing is that one of the photos I happened upon late and thought, "oh that would be a great idea",  turned out to be of one of HER quilts at the County Fair in 2013! (here it is---note the Blue Ribbon)
 
  It was a good jog of inspiration, however, and off I went. 


In the box were a lot of solid strips and chunks, and a lot of prints.  I decided to separate them and make a two-sided tablerunner.   I played around with pencil and paper and came up with these banded pairs of solids.  We were allowed to add one fabric; I added the green Kona solid in Tarragon, as my swap partner Kathy told me she liked sage green. I actually took a scrap from the box and matched it.

 I thought making the banding in black and white would help unify the design.  I think it did. 

The alternate blocks got random triangles, mostly in the neutral scraps. The hardest part of this was getting the triangles on the corners, oddly enough.  Then, for the prints, I decided to unify them with one shape and started cutting tumblers. 

While my pencil and paper idea included a lot more open space, it didn't turn out that way when I laid out the cut tumblers.  I loved all her modern prints and wanted to use as many as I could, weaving in the background color, in a sort of color progression.

Very simple machine quilting and binding.  Originally I was only going to use the green for the binding but at the last minute I threw in the black and white print around one corner.  The binding got put on the morning of the deadline!


 My co-worker held it up for me during a quick photo break. 

Back view.  Finished size was about 21x50.

I was so excited to see if Kathy liked the tablerunner that I nearly forgot I was getting something back.  The first two pairs of swappers had fantastic ideas and some made multiple items from the scrap boxes.  Then it was our turn.  I showed Kathy what I did with her scraps first and was pleased that she really liked what I came up with. Then she revealed what she did with mine: 

I had by this time completely forgotten what was in the box of scraps I submitted.  Kathy took all the Asian prints and chunks and made a HUGE bag--probably 24x30".  She and her husband have been bringing similar bags to the Guild meetings that hold quilts to share and projects they are working on.  These have been much admired by all, including me (excuse the lighting making pics way too yellowed).

The bag is completely lined and has a giant pocket inside. Kathy even added some hand stitching around the handle opening and on the inside pocket.  The blue fabric surrounding the rectangles is what fabric she added.  She also made me a small bucket from other scraps, which I neglected to take a photo of, but now lives on my ironing board.  We both agreed it was a fun challenge for making your brain work, and I'm sure a lot of members were kicking themselves for not participating. I can't wait to use the bag for the next guild meeting :)  

Since my last post, I have been able to keep up my early morning sewing for a number of days.  It really is nice to get some stitching in before going to work, and inspires me to get back to the sewing room at night, too.  There is certainly enough that needs to be done in there. I'm working away on the Winding Ways commission quilt and hope to be sewing the top together before too long.  It is a challenge of another kind!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Round Up

I thought September went fast, but October passed by in a blur as well, though plenty of events occurred.  DD Erica went to London, Paris, Edinburgh and Glasgow.  No sooner was she home than DD Elaine and family went to Puerto Vallarta.  Grandson Cove was a champion traveler, his parents reported.  He turned 8 months on the day they returned. All had a wonderful time, thankfully. 
Cove studying the Airline Safety Card
My sewing room has not seen nearly enough action this month, nor has my blog.  One more year without my finishing the Witches quilt or a Halloween wallhanging, both of which are still neatly folded on the Hoosier cabinet.  I'm still working on the Winding Ways quilt but it is very slow going.  I did spend time with a box of pieces last week, pinning segments, in a waiting room while DD Erica had a surgical procedure.  I also put some  "big" stitches in the Pink Lemonade quilt, which is still not done.  Erica didn't need much nursing when we got home, but still I couldn't seem to settle to the machine.  I had to ask for another month to get Winding Ways completed, and hope that is enough.  Sheesh.

Halloween week snuck up on us as well.  The decorating was haphazard at best but there was some done! 

The owls are felt coasters from Target last year.  The skull light has some great flickering bulbs.  (No idea where to get replacements for them when they finally burn out!)

Erica and her best friend obliged at the last minute on Halloween with cobweb duty.  (Pay no attention to that silly man in the doorway).  We had more trick-or-treaters this year than last--its always iffy when the holiday falls on a Friday, in my opinion, as it seems more people hold parties instead of going out.  Grant resorted to handfuls of candy in the last hour when things slowed.  It was all over by about 8:30.  Our first trick-or-treater of the night was our grandson.  His mom and a best friend plotted for a year the babies' first Halloween costume and revealed their secret only on October 31st.  It did not disappoint:

In the hat, Cove was Wayne, from Wayne's World, and friend Jude was Garth.  Party On, Excellent!    Southern California got a treat Halloween night as well, a drenching storm, with some showers overnight and the next morning.  Our rainy season starts October 1, so it feels a good omen that the month did end with measurable rain!

Cove spent today with Mimi and Papa today while his parents celebrated their 3rd wedding anniversary.  He's crawling, standing, jumping, babbling, and rarely still.  Which explains the short naps.  We loved every minute, of course, he is such a sweetie.  November is filling up with events and the holidays will be here before we know it, so it was nice to savor a Sunday with Cove.  My goal for the coming week is to get in some sewing time every morning, even if it is only a segment or two, then continue that after dinner.  Fingers crossed!