Thursday, June 21, 2018

Squirrel #2 of the Week, and Blogger Email Notifications

Squirrel #2 of the week is a project that was already started--Bonus points for that squirrel!  I think I bought this kit at Road to CA last year.  The company is Pineapple Fabrics and they had kits made up of different projects in the yummiest fabric, with original patterns and lots of color combinations.  I must have spent 20 minutes circling the display before I finally selected one for placemats.  Last month I got all the pieces cut, but made a decision to change the final construction after I had assembled the center fronts and the back pieces.  I made mine scrappier, no surprise there! 

While I liked the hourglass center and the fabric variety, I changed the matching side borders (as shown in the pattern photo) and decided to make mine quilt-as-you-go rather than stitch and turn.  I like a binding on my placemats. Needing some mindless stitching last night, I set to work on the sandwiching and quilting. 
Stripes, polka dots, birdies, and raindrops--aren't these fabrics cute!  After sandwiching the centers to the backs, I stitched on the side pieces and pressed them in place. I played around with some specialty stitches, selecting the maximum size stitch in the program, and with the walking foot got to quilting.  I made the quilting lines about 3/4" inch apart, but didn't mark the top.  

 ...Scrappier Front making me happy!

I was able to fussy cut the row of houses on the fabric.  I managed to get two placemats quilted before running out of steam last night.  A trip to the fabric store will be necessary for some binding fabric options, but I'm not mad :)

Blogger has announced a change to hopefully fix the comments not coming to email.  However, I don't think this is working perfectly, judging from posts I am seeing on Instagram. I'll try leaving myself a comment on this post to check, but will not hold my breath!  That "noreply" email address must have millions of emails in it by now.

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Decision and a Squirrel Project

I hope all the dads had a great Father's Day.  We went to a BBQ at my Mom and Dad's and all my siblings were there, lots of nieces and nephews, for about 30 guests.  Boy does it take a lot of set up and clean up, but we sure had fun.  The grandsons had a great time being spoiled with attention as they were the youngest in the crowd.

Now that Narragansett Browns is a finished top, I need a new leader-ender project.  A few years ago, American Patchwork and Quilting magazine had a sew along they called Go Four It, based on four patches.  I fell in love with Edyta Sitar's design, a bar quilt with braids of four patches.  However, her design called for 1.25" pieces for the four patches and I don't save pieces that small, so resized ito utilize my 1.5" and 2.5" precut strips and squares.  These I have used as leader-enders for quite some time and I have made hundreds of four patches.  Last year I showed a possible alternate layout , and have made lots more of the 3.5" square-in-squares. I revised my plan to make a larger quilt and did the MATH again.  I now only need 70 each of light and dark square-in-squares. 

I'll lay out all the little blocks individually in diagonal rows and then use 3.5" setting squares of a print or solid.  My design eliminates one bazillion setting triangles, which I am happy about!  It feels good to see this leader-ender closer to becoming a quilt top.  

A squirrel jumped out of a box while I was looking for something else in the Hoosier cabinet that houses my precuts, project boxes, and pattern books.  Oh, they are sneaky, those squirrels! 


Some Broken Dishes blocks made from a Turnover of Frolic fabric I won on Sandy Gervais' blog years ago.  I trimmed all the HSTs to 5.5" inches.  Some Grunge fabric would look great as a border, I think.  There are still MORE pieces left of the Turnover to do something with.  I need to sew faster!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Design Wall Monday--June 11, 2018

Same old, same old from this design floor!  But Narragansett Blues (in Browns) is a finished top at last.

Since I simplified the border of Bonnie Hunter's design by using strips, the corners worked out differently, but I'm not too fussed about it in this very busy quilt.

I chose to highlight the dark/light of the patchwork by making the center square a light in the 9 patches that made up the corners of the outer border. I don't think anyone will notice the break in the alternate design...do you?

Keeping up the momentum, I immediately set about constructing a backing.  The top came out 64x88" unfinished and I pulled more brown yardage to cobble together.  

Both of these fabrics have lingered in the stash for too long.  The Thimbleberries print on the right I have had for more than 5 years.  The brown in the background never matched anything I tried to put it with before, and the block print on the left I couldn't make work into something sizable enough to complement the print since I only had a yard of it.  No matter, they joined another bunch of leftovers to make themselves useful!
Scrappy and make-do are the name of the game for this quilt.  My sister has got her long-arm machine working but still is having some tension problems.  I'm hoping to put this big quilt on it and do a simple design.  The binding fabric I also picked out and will get that together soon. 

See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

DH Grant was on vacation last week and we marked his final morning off  Sunday with breakfast out with our daughters, son-in-law, and grandsons.  
 Hunter (2) tried on Papa's sunglasses.  They matched his Tshirt saying well, I think!


Cove (4) drew a picture of Papa and was concentrating on copying Papa's name on the drawing, as his mama had written.  The next generations headed off to Target and the beach after breakfast and I got a few pics later on Instagram of the beautiful day they were having.  This week should be perfect summer weather--it is the last week of school for our district, many other cities in the County have already had their graduation ceremonies.  The ocean still looks full, despite our severe drought status!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching--June 3

Progress has been made on a stitchery I started a month or two ago, and I have enjoyed working on it some mornings before work.  Our bedroom gets lots of morning light and the sun sure comes up early these days. 
Home Grown Gerber Daisy Love, by AdornIT
Since I last shared a photo, I've completed all the flower petals and almost all of the Mason jar glass aqua color.  The aqua and a gray for the jar lid were purchased for this stitchery, as neither color was present in my thread stash in the right shade.  See more slow stitching on Kathy's blog. There is a stray thread on the stitchery in this picture, from the other project consuming my time, a version Narragansett Blues (Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville pattern).

The plain border was added today and two of the pieced borders assembled and added.  It is now too big for my sewing room so I had to lay it out in the living room to take the photo.  The brown floor isn't the best complement for the shot :)

I am happy with the way the corners look before the border, they really are straight!  This tan print has been hoarded in my stash for a few years and, since every other piece of fabric for this quilt came from scraps and stash, I didn't feel too badly about cutting into it!

The changes Blogger has been making so far have resulted in a lot of alarm by Blogger users--we are not getting any comments emailed to us.  Similarly, it is now impossible to directly reply to a comment on a post, and if the commenter doesn't have an attached email, it's a dead end.  Blogger has eliminated Open ID and is working on changes to permission for third party apps--commenters would all be changed to "Anonymous" and we would have to change settings to allow anonymous commenters.  Many of us who use the Blogger platform restrict Anonymous commenters to keep spammers at bay.  I'm not sure if this is being done so that everyone who wants to read Blogger blogs has to get a Google account or what.  I'm going to try a suggestion another blogger used, which is to make the first comment on my own post and click the "notify me of follow up comments" to see if I get them emailed to me that way.  After nine years of blogging, I'm not sure what the future brings with this platform!


Monday, May 28, 2018

Design Wall Monday--Memorial Day


Today is Memorial Day, and I will remember our departed family members who served and lost their lives, the ones I knew, and those who fell before in defense of this nation.  This day of remembrance is mostly credited to Union Army General John Logan, years after the end of the Civil War, as an extension of Decoration Day, when graves of the fallen Union soldiers were tended and visited. My paternal great-grandfather was named after General Logan, and Logan has remained a family name ever since.  My uncle, brother and son's middle name is Logan; that uncle named his son Logan.  My great-grandfather's fraternal twin brother was named Grant, and his other brothers were also named for Union Generals.  

On this Design Wall Monday, I'm continuing work on a quilt for a family member who is a Veteran, my dad's fraternal twin brother (he's not a Logan, though!)   Yesterday I got the last rows stitched into sections and the sections finally became a top.
This is my smaller brown version of Bonnie Hunter's Narragansett Blues from her book More Adventures with Leader Enders.  I used border pieces as leader-enders to assemble the center.


My version simplified her pieced border with single pieces and I assembled them into sections as I went.  However, the proportion of the quilt bothered me.  With borders, it is long and skinny at 57x87.  I cut more brown rectangles for two additional rows, but couldn't face making all the four patches yesterday.  My husband told me I was "overthinking it" and I had nearly discarded the idea of additional rows, but when I laid it out this morning to take a picture, it seemed to need them. 
The sides will then match with a single center four patch as on the top and bottom.  It really is not that many four patches, 13 for each row.  I'll feel better when the quilt is closer in proportion to the 60x80 size I prefer when giving quilts!  It will look nice on Uncle's single bed. 

See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

 Last week we were called in for an emergency babysitting session, our daughter's car had a flat tire when she was leaving work and her husband was with the kids.  We finished feeding them their dinners and had another hour or two of play. 
 Hunter, 2, is totally enamored of his safety goggles and wears them everywhere. 

Cove, 4, likes to pretend he is a dentist and helpfully put gloves on before attempting a procedure on a somewhat reluctant patient.  I'm not sure what Hunter thought the leaf blower might be needed for, perhaps sound to cover the screams?  So funny. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Doll Quilt Swap 2018 Linky Party

While I previously showed the house quilt I made for Lori of Humble Quilts' annual doll quilt swap, I never showed the quilt I received.  Lori is having a linky party of all the doll quilts and they are amazing in variety and size, so fun to see them all together--take a look!

Shannon Ward of Wisconsin sent me this sweet little rail quilt she made and hand-quilted, along with goodies I promptly added to my fat quarter collection and thread drawer.  I love it and appreciate the time and effort put into the little quilt, and Lori's work to get us all paired up and sharing. 

Swaps are wonderful and I have participated in many over the years, and will continue to jump in now and again, especially for dear little projects like the Doll Quilt Swap.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Design Wall Monday--May 21

The week sure flew by, it's time for Design Wall Monday again on Judy's Blog.  I have a finish and a WIP to share today. First up, the baby quilt I showed last week.  Although I managed to delay the quilt sandwiching until Friday, once made I settled in to quilt it. 
I did an organic crosshatch with my walking foot--a fancy term for no-mark, randomly spaced quilting :)  Though hard to see, there are a few lines of green stitching among the blue.  I took my time to balance the vertical and horizontal lines.  Having made the binding already, I moved on to that task. 
The orange is a striped fabric and I liked the pop of color on the edges.  Once again, this pattern is called Meet Cute and is available in the Moda Bakeshop.  I made just four blocks for my version.  It was easy and fun and I'm sure I'll make another.  My scrap bins are overflowing.

The back is a navy blue with waves of blue, gray and cream that match fabrics on the front well.  A label and care instructions and it was good to go.  DD Erica and I drove down to Redondo Beach for her cousin's baby shower today and we enjoyed harbor views while chatting and dining.  I included a stuffed bear and a teething toy in the gift bag with the quilt, and all were well received!  The drive back from LA was a bit crowded, but less than 2 hours, so that was good.  

Last week's Jewel Box blocks all got completed, so I was itching to get piecing something else.  I pulled out another WIP, my version of Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville's Naragansett Blues, from her More Adventures with Leader-Enders book.  However, I needed some more leader-ender squares to finish the border pieces I've been sewing between the row assembly, requiring a bunch of cutting.  Finally I was able to complete another row and get it attached to the previous section. 

The rows finish at 3" wide and are assembled vertically.  So far I am happy with the browns and scrappy 4 patches coming together.  I have 12 more rows to add for the smaller version I'm making, for a lap/twin size.   My feline inspector stopped by to hog the camera shot.

I just learned that my Uncle, for whom I am making this quilt, adopted a stray cat who looks remarkably like my Mini, though his cat is a male.

See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Monday, May 14, 2018

Design Wall Monday--May 14, 2018

On my design surface is the baby quilt I showed the fabric pulled for on my last post.  Over the week I stitched all the sections and then got the final borders cut and assembled.
This pic is before final assembly of the top. I'm happy with the Grunge and modern fabrics.  It will finish about 35".  The backing and binding are cut, I have spray baste, and will need to get this sandwiched ASAP as it will be gifted next Sunday at a shower and this is a busy week. 

I hope every Mom had a lovely Mother's Day.  We had our annual brunch here with lots of family and food and enjoyed it all.  My kids and husband bought me a FitBit to help me get my steps in :)   Later in the afternoon I took a nice nap, we had a light dinner, and then I wanted to sew.  I have been working on a bin of Jewel Box blocks and matched up all the assembled component pairs the last time I had it out, making it easy to sit and sew them into blocks. 

 I just love playing with all  the colors and prints.
There was an Oops block too!

See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

I have a few more vacation photos, from our trip to Marble Canyon, fishing on the Colorado River.
 Here's the guide, Mike, powering us up the river to a new fishing spot.  He knows them all.
Here's one of the two fish I caught.  I was concentrating on holding the still live fish so was photographed without a grin.  Very pretty fish, and tasty too.  The water is cold and the canyon deep, so jackets were required early in the morning, especially when we were powering up river.  I was later glad I hadn't worn a heavy shirt under it, though.
I believe this pic was much later in the day.  My Dad and brother noted this was the smallest number of fish they ever caught, but we sure snagged a lot of moss off the river bottom.  The guide noted that the river used to be flushed every spring to get rid of the moss, but they stopped that practice.  We could see a lot of fish as we drifted, but they weren't biting that much.

Our boat trip took us all the way to the bottom of the Glen Canyon Dam; Lake Powell is on the other side of the dam.  Though hard to believe, there were big semi-trucks crossing the top of the expansion bridge, seen as just tiny specks from below.
The rock cliffs were so interesting and different around every bend.  Here the rocks were  shifted to vertical position.  Here and there you could see a green bush that managed to cling to a small amount of dirt in the rocks.  Those bushes in the upper half of the picture were probably 5-10 feet in diameter, but look tiny against the massive cliff face. 
Off the boat, we hiked in a short distance and visited a site with Petroglyphs scratched into the rock face.  I'd say these deer were probably about 10-12" long and high.  There were a number of other figures and symbols on this section of the cliff.

My final picture on the river was of these wild horses.  They totally ignored as they grazed in the setting sun.  We had seen them high above the river earlier in the day.  It was so special to see them closer up.  I'd recommend spending a day on the Colorado River to anyone--there were lots of rafting companies giving tours from Marble Canyon.  It was really spectacular, serene and interesting all at once.  A definite 10 of a day! 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching--May 6

I'm late with this post, but I did some Slow Sunday Stitching in an airport and on a plane today while returning from Arizona with my sister, Kathy. 

Home Grown Gerber Daisy Love by ADORNit
Isn't it cute?  I finished the light green on the leaves and got quite a few of the petals stitched on the trip.  I had purchased a Snap frame and it was easy to break down and store in a zip bag and carry onto the plane in my purse.  The green was stitched with two strands of DMC thread, but I used a spool of Sulky 12 wt thread equal to two strands straight off the spool for the pink petals.  It was my first time using this thread and I'm liking it.  See more Slow Sunday Stitching on Kathy's Quilts.  

I'll just share a couple of trip pics here, I took dozens!  We traveled north from our brother Ted's in Scottsdale on Highway 17 through Flagstaff and then took Highway 89A to Marble Canyon, a couple hours further north, arriving within an hour of sunset.   
While slightly out of focus in this pic, the Vermillion Cliffs were ablaze in the sunset as we pulled up to Marble Canyon Lodge with our Dad and younger brother.  I love the red rocks.  Dad took Kathy and me on a quick perusal of the area, down to Lee's Ferry a few miles away and the boat dock we'd go to and meet the guide next morning.

Our fishing trip lasted most of the day on Thursday.  This pic is of a part of the Colorado called Horseshoe Bend.  We spent a couple of hours over the day traveling up and then drifting back while fishing.  High above, we could see tiny specks of people looking down from the plateau above.  Our guide noted the cliffs were as tall as the Empire State Building here--over 1,000 feet.  Such spectacular scenery I don't think I could ever grow tired of it. 

A selfie while ashore.  My sister said, "Don't wrinkle your forehead!"  

To everyone's surprise, I caught the first two fish of the day (my first time river fishing ever), but no more.  Kathy caught five, Dad and Ted three and four, I believe.  Our guide, Mike, who has been working for 25 years on the river, gutted the Rainbow Trout and cooked them on the grill right on the boat for lunch.  So delicious.  I'll share some more trip pics next post.  It was a great day!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Design Wall Monday-4/30

Last Design Wall of the month!  Off my design surface is the Big Bag project I showed the start of last week. It was a late hour Friday night completing the panel section I had added rows to over several evenings during the week. I used flannel leftovers instead of batting, seaming two chunks before quilting.  Flannel was recommended to reduce bulk. 


I thought I was only going to quilt with some straight lines, but then I realized there would be no way to add any additional detail once the bag was complete, so added my favorite 3-step zig zag stitch to the pieces as well.  I ran out of bobbin thread twice while making the large center panel (folded in half in this pic) and two side panels. I think it was 1:30 a.m. before I finished trimming to size and zig-zagging the raw edges.

My sister picked me up Saturday morning and we headed to Calabasas High School for the class given by fellow guild members.  We were 18 students, including the school's principal, who was able to ferry folks from the parking lot with the school's golf cart. My sister, however, pulled out her transport wheelchair she uses for her elderly charges, and we set our heavy sewing machines on the seat.  "Worked a treat" as they say.  

Our first task was to use a template provided to remove part of the panel for the handles to be inserted.  Since I wanted to add a large pocket, though not taught in the class, I set to work on that job.  
More Polka Dots from stash.  I used two different gray solids from stash for the lining of my bag.  This pic shows the quilt binding used to cover raw edges of the pocket, handle section, and bag edge all finished. I used the handle cut-out portions for more pockets on the sides.


After all that piecing, I didn't want to throw them away!  I think the zig zagged edge looks just fine.  Once all the sections were sewn together, all seams covered with quilt binding and the top edge folded down and stitched in place, 1/2" dowels were cut to size in class and inserted. 

Ta-da!  Though not intentionally done, the borders on my pieced main section lined up to a single row of polka dots, which I like. The handles stop at the edge of the main section so the bag opens to a nice 9-10" width.  We had a great group of stitchers and a lot of fun making our bags, all of which were different and wonderful. I am happy that all of my bag's fabrics came from stash and scraps, the only purchases were packaged quilt binding and the dowels.  My sister, meanwhile, being a power sewer, blazed ahead of everyone.  She finished her bag way ahead of me and started on a second, which she also finished before the class ended.  Then this morning she sent me a picture of a THIRD bag she made last night.  I expect a few  more before she's tired of it!

Next up is to make a baby quilt for a shower in a few weeks.  I'll get to do more fabric play and piecing, yay!

See more Design Walls on Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Monday, April 23, 2018

Design Wall Monday, April 23

Off my design wall is the doll quilt I'm making for Humble Quilts' annual swap.   Here's the top before sandwiching.




I SMITD it--meaning I Stitched Mostly In The Ditch (ahem). 


However, once I finished the quilting, I felt the large cornerstones were too distracting, so I trimmed them back to 1.5" from the sashing.  I had already made binding so attached that right away.
I'm much happier with the proportions now.  A label is yet to be made and attached, but this will go in the mail this week, hopefully on a lunch hour.

Next on the design wall, because 25+ UFOs are not enough, I started TWO new projects.  One is for a class a guild member is teaching next weekend.  I'm prepping sections to make a quilted Big Bag. I received one in 2014 made by a guild member in a scrap box swap, and these have been widely made by other guild members since.
While many members are using panels of single fabrics, prequilting them for assembly, I decided to make similarly pieced panels for my version, using all of the dotted fabrics in my stash.

I have a LOT of dotted fabrics, one of my stash staples, certainly.  Since this photo I've laid out and sewn two sections of 20 pieces.  Three more to go...Meanwhile, an invitation to a Baby Shower arrived the other week, so naturally I decided to make a baby quilt.  Wanting to use a bunch of charm packs and squares on hand, I chose the Meet Cute pattern designed by Preeti Harris of Sew Preeti Quilts, available HERE in the Moda Bakeshop.  

It is another strip pieced project requiring mixing of patterns and scale and color, my favorite thing.  I'll make four of the 18" blocks for a "Tummy Time" size quilt.  It feels great to be using up scraps and stash.

See more design walls on Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.