Friday, July 12, 2019

Fabric Hunt--Chunky Churndash

I have completed all the Churndash blocks for my version of Chunky Churndash, a free pattern from  Bonnie Hunter of I'm making for my dad.  I showed him some stash fabric choices for the alternate hourglass block, and darned if he didn't pick a favorite of mine!

I have no recollection of where I found this fabric, I just loved the pomegranate and leaf on the pretty blue.  It has not been in stash long.  However, I only  have a one yard piece and need another yard.  I have been unable to find any online as this collection is from 2016, and Kim Diehl's recent collections do not contain a similar blue. I've been searching for a similar background color, but the slightly grayed down blue is quite elusive.  While shopping at my local fabric store today, the clerk went round and round pulling bolts and having no luck except for a tonal solid, which I didn't really want.  Giving up, I perused the clearance bolts and decided to change gears entirely when  I found this print: 

Eliza's Indigo by Betsy Chutchian.  The gray background has a blue tone to it and I actually like the smaller scale print as well.  I mocked up the alternate block at home. 

This not the cream print I'm using but is the same tone. 

All the scrappy blocks seem to play well with the gray print.  I'm sure my dad will like it just fine--he wasn't picky except didn't like the dark red I first showed him (lower right in the pic below).

I thought it would look great with his maroon couch but was given a pass on that idea :)  The alternate block fabrics are taking their turn in the laundry and then cutting will begin using Bonnie's Essential Triangle tool and matched 3.5" strips.  If my math is right (cough cough), I can get 9 quarter-square triangles from each strip.  I need 140+ for my layout.  There is plenty of both fabrics and if mistakes are made, I will be okay!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Design Wall Monday--Placemats

Design Wall Monday rolls around again....Off my design wall are the placemats for daughter Erica.  She had picked out some stash neutrals to go with the one mauve print in a jelly roll she liked. There were enough jelly roll strips for the mauve to bookend the neutrals.

I assembled all 6 placemat front pieces in one sweatshop sewing session!  My comment to Erica was that these looked like ice cream :)  I made the backs from the rest of the jelly roll pieces; Erica left the layout and fabric choices to me so I changed the orientation to horizontal. 

It was easiest to sandwich and quilt them in batches of two, since she wanted them to be all alike.  I used specialty quilting stitches on my machine, with cream thread.   In total there were five different stitches used; I kept track of the stitch number and setting information on an index card to ensure the placemats were uniform. 

Fortunately this was the only part of the job that involved ripping.  There may have been colorful euphemisms that accompanied the unsewing.  Ahem. 

All quilted now--showing three backs and three fronts.  I've got them trimmed to size and the binding fabric is being prepped. I'll apply the binding to the back and bring it to the front for a nice machine stitched finish.  Hope to have these done by next weekend--before the customer complaints roll in!

See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Rocking and Rolling and Sewing in California

Our Fourth of July started off with a bang from an earthquake yesterday midmorning--the epicenter was 180+ miles northwest of us in Ridgecrest but the house was swaying and rocking pretty well.  I was in my sewing room when my husband yelled "Earthquake!" just as I realized one was happening.  It lasted a good long time, the curtains on the sliding glass door swayed on and on.  We did not have any noticeable aftershocks of the 6.4 earthquake yesterday, though they were occurring, per the news.  Then this evening a second one hit harder.  I was in the powder room handwashing a tablerunner and held onto the sink until the swaying stopped, then joined my husband in the living/dining room where the chandelier and hallway lights were swinging.  No damage, but it was unnerving.  We soon learned it was a 7.1 magnitude quake, meaning the 6.4 yesterday was a foreshock, and tonight's was the real shock.  The basketball game in Las Vegas my husband was watching was postponed, and we saw a replay of the crowds at the Dodger Stadium reacting to the shaking.  The players didn't notice anything.

Aside from this excitement, Independence Day was pretty low key. I made cookies, then sewed binding on the tablerunner while sitting out on the patio, love doing that.  I purchased a box of  binding clips with a 50% off coupon at JoAnns and they are so handy.  Later we watched a movie and had a simple dinner.  As soon as dusk was dark enough, there was plenty of firecracker noise in the neighborhood, despite fireworks being illegal in all but one city in our county!  Our daughter posted that they had a peakaboo view from their new house of the City's fireworks program at the College.

Simple quilting with the walking foot. The HSTs were made from charm squares.  I won a huge stack of Dimples charm squares years ago at Superbuzzy and still have many left.  Can you find all five trapezoids I formed in the quilt?

Drat that stray thread!  For backing I used this newly purchased Cotton + Steel fabric I bought at the Picking Daisies shop in San Luis Obispo on the shop hop a few weeks ago.  The binding is an aqua solid I had in stash.  

I hand-bound the tablerunner and hope my niece and her new husband will enjoy it.  The wedding is quite a drive away, almost 3 hours by car taking about 10 different freeways.  If you have used Google Maps, you'll know that distances are given for different transportation methods, including walking.  Google helpfully noted that a person could walk the 152 miles in 2 days.  What???  This ridiculous estimate sent me down a rabbit hole, where I learned that the average man can walk 4 miles an hour.  Well, maybe if they didn't stop to rest, eat, sleep, eliminate, or talk to anyone it might be possible to walk that distance.  Not exactly realistic, Google, especially through Los Angeles!  We look forward to visiting with many folks we don't see often and helping the couple celebrate their union. Fingers crossed that the estimate of only a 5% chance of a larger size earthquake occurring is true!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching Again

I have occasionally joined Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching--more often than not I fail to post stitching progress on her blog linkup, but I enjoy reading and seeing all the pretty stitching news.  I've been working on the Slave Quarters stitchery that will eventually become a quilt for my sister.  

Lately I've been working on it in the mornings for a few minutes before breakfast, since I have to wait 30 minutes after I take my thyroid pill to eat anything.  

There is a lot of open space on this panel, which is on about an 11x17" piece of fabric.  I should get this finished by the end of the week at this rate; two smaller panels remain to be traced and stitched.

I'll also be slow stitching down a binding for a wedding gift due next weekend, a tablerunner for our oldest niece.  

These HSTs were sewn into a top in November 2018 and I got it sandwiched and quilted today.  The binding is an aqua solid and has been attached. 

See more Slow Sunday Stitching posts on Kathy's Quilts. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

June Gloom and Sewing Room

Typically in Southern California, low clouds and fog hug the coast in the morning and burn off in the early afternoon.  No so for the past week or so--it has been socked in all day, living up to the June Gloom title.  While that means we don't need to get out our room air conditioning unit yet, it makes for long days with no sun!  It has been easy to stay in the sewing room with this weather. 

I think I have finally made enough of the Chunky Churndash blocks to move on to the alternate hourglass block.  For that I will have to confer with my Dad about what colors to use. The dark red print I bought during the Coastal Quilt Run may appeal to him.  One thing I noticed about Bonnie's free pattern (available at is that no yardage measurements were given for the alternate blocks or the borders!  I'm sure I can figure it out but it would have been nice to have a starting point--my version will have more blocks and less border.  I will use her Essential Triangle tool to cut the quarter-square triangles from strips instead of the usual  big squares cut twice in an X.  

Some slow stitching has also been happening on the Blackwork embroidery I am making for my sister. 
 The first of four panels is now complete.  Once all are stitched, I will set them into a small quilt per the pattern.

My version will be much scrappier, though, as the Civil War prints drawer is absolutely jammed full.

I took a couple of days off to join my husband on his vacation week.  We had a late breakfast invitation today from daughter Elaine and grandson Hunter, and afterwards we did a bit of shopping and then drove up into the hills above downtown.  
This whole area was burned in the Thomas Fire in December 2017 and the cross was damaged. A lot of work has gone into re-landscaping and reviving the area, which is called Grant Park.

Lots of new plantings with an emphasis on native plants.  None of this was here when Grant and I were married at the cross decades ago.

 I captured some folks getting their group photo in my attempt to photograph our pier and coastline looking to the southwest. 

Though it was overcast we were still able to see our Channel Islands off the coast.  The big gray paved area on the far left is our Fairgrounds parking area.  The Fair begins at the end of next month, which means there will need to be a lot more time in the sewing room if I want to enter anything!  I told my sister I have 8 quilt tops in the closet...