Monday, April 29, 2019

Design Wall Monday: Twilight Hopscotch finish

Its Design Wall Monday!  Off my design floor is the Twilight Hopscotch quilt.  I added a full row of blocks to Kim Diehl's original layout, requiring yet more cutting and sewing sewing sewing (interspersed with a bit of ripping, boo).  I'm happy to show the finished top today.  

The outer border design continues the chains, which I just love.  Fingers crossed that I have just enough of the star fabric to bind the quilt.  The pattern, from her Simple Comforts book, called for 8 strips of binding...I have 8 1/2 strips.  The top currently is roughly 62x80" so on paper it looks doable. 


Daughter Erica and I went dress shopping for her brother's upcoming wedding. The wide variety of sizes in dresses between manufacturers makes for quite a guessing game amid the racks.  The couple wants to wear light colors for picture taking, so that adds a focus for the search, though neither of us found a suitable option this outing.  Erica has asked me to make new placemats for some time, so we went into Joann's afterwards to look at fabric.  She fell in love with a precut roll's mauve print, to which we were unable to find a match in yardage.  Nor was there a single bolt of fabric with that exact color in it!

We bought two jelly rolls so she can at least have one or two strips in each placemat.  I looked through my fat quarters when I got home and found only ONE fabric in my stash that was complementary---the bottom one in the photo.  We did find a very nice dark purple print for the binding and backing.  The neverending list of things to make keeps my sewing room busy!  I'm not mad :)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Sewing Sewing Sewing

That's been the motto for the last little while--lots of piecing for the Twilight Hopscotch quilt (Kim Diehl pattern, Simple Comforts book).  Today I finished piecing the star/chain blocks into rows with the sashing and assembled all together.  

I'm so happy with how it is turning out, though this photo isn't the best.  I plan to add one more horizontal row of stars and sashing, so there is more cutting and piecing to do prior to adding the final border.  

Pressing directions in quilt patterns always get a big thumbs up from me--I appreciate someone else doing that tedious figuring job!

Late afternoon found us on the field.  T-ball season is winding down, only a half-dozen or so games left.  Grandson Cove appears to be levitating on 2nd base:

If Cove plays next year he will be in a different league due to their upcoming move a few miles away, but I doubt his antsy-pantsy ways will change!  

After the game we went out to eat with DD Elaine and the boys--Cove picked the restaurant: "Red Robbing Hood", lol, otherwise known as the Red Robin restaurant. He likes it because you can play games on an iPad at the tables.  The wait time to be seated, delay in getting menus, ordering and getting food meant we didn't finish eating until 8 pm.  Elaine texted later that the boys fell asleep on the way home and she just took off their jackets and shoes and put them in bed!  I remember doing that any number of times with small kids. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Still Sewing Stars

Over the past week I've devoted any stitching time to the Twilight Hopscotch pieces and parts. I work on batches of parts to build the stars and try to leave something ready to sew before I shut down the sewing room for the night. This is a quilt by Kim Diehl from her Simple Comforts book.


The pile has grown over the week, though I ran out of the double four patch blocks to finish this last one of the original number of blocks per the pattern. I want to make the lap quilt a bit bigger and need to make more blocks.  Initially I thought of adding two additional rows  both across and vertically, but likely will not have enough of the star  fabric for that many.  If I can make two more rows across (8 more stars), the quilt would finish in the 60x80 range.  I really do prefer rectangular quilts. 

Lots of pieces and subunits have meant more room for mistakes.  My seam ripper has been busy near nightly!  Only one block got discarded as the trimming of the background behind the flip-and-sew corners made the seam allowance too narrow to salvage.  

Otherwise we are preparing for a couple of events in the family, including our son's wedding and our older daughter and son-in-law moving halfway across town in the near future.  Our grandsons will be sharing a room at their new address but still have a playroom until they outgrow that.  Meanwhile, Grant and I have been looking at houses and contemplating putting our place on the market. The idea of moving after nearly 30 years in the same neighborhood is a bit jolting, but downsizing to a single story for our future retirement makes sense as well.  We can be picky, since we don't HAVE to move, and, as we live in Southern California, house prices are crazy high--we've seen 50-60 year old houses listed in the $400-500 per square foot range.  We'll see what happens...meanwhile, there is the safety and surety of fabric to cut and sew--or unsew, as the case may be!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Pieces and Parts

Start-itis struck me this week, as usually happens when I clean up the cutting table. I had been doing a lot of organizing in the sewing room and, looking over my list of WIPs.  In June 2017 I took a class from Bonnie Hunter when she came to the Camarillo Quilt Association, for her My Blue Heaven quilt (a free pattern on her website).  I chose purple and green and named my two color version My Lupine Heaven.  The hills are covered with lupine just now. 

These are the only two blocks I managed to finish in the class, but pieces and parts aplenty were cut that day.  I guess I could call this Continue-itis!  I cut a lot more from the project box of all the different parts, which will make good leader-enders.  

Bonnie's Essential Triangle ruler saved a lot of fabric, using strips instead of large squares to make the quarter square triangles. 

Another quilt waiting its turn is from Kim Diehl's Simple Comforts book...

 
...but not the cover quilt, High Cotton, I already made that one :)  


This is the Twilight Hopscotch quilt, isn't it striking?  I made a pillow cover from stash cheddar fabrics a couple of years ago, and bought two greens and background fabrics for the quilt from Connecting Threads from their Oh My Darling line.  I planned to make the lap quilt bigger yet managed not to buy extra of the star block fabric.  Thinking myself clever, I used Bonnie's Essential Triangle Tool to cut triangles instead of squares for the star points.  Smarter folks than I can see where I went wrong...


I saved fabric but not time, as I did not think through what  pre-cutting off the corner instead of using a marked square would do to the assembly.  Very tedious job to align 64 of these star points.  You'd think I'd have learned a lesson about following directions for the next step, but just wait a sec...


I decided to cut the sewn and matched four patch strips into larger sections and cut after sewing on both sides, as I find pushing 1.5" pieces under the needle tedious.  However, this meant that the two resulting four patches spun in different directions, which I had also not considered.  Fortunately, that was unimportant for this particular block. 


Love these two green prints!  The background fabric is called "Kitchen Twine" and is a subtle ecru.  Many more pieces are ready to assemble and I look forward to more Twilight Star blocks piling up.  It's good to have more project boxes see the light of day. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Tuesday's Orts

It's been a long time since I posted Tuesday's Orts---bits and pieces of events and thoughts that I gather in one post.  This one may be a little longer than most, lol. 
  • Question: Why do people come to see a doctor if they have absolutely no desire whatsoever to take any instruction/recommendation about their health?  This has no relation to age, curiously.
  • Our 5 year old grandson Cove, in a video taken by his mom, talked about an outfit he had on, explaining that he was wearing blue pants, a blue shirt and blue underwear.  Prompted by his mom, his reasoning for this theme was "To get with the Program".  Oh, that kid is hilarious!
  • Hunter, age 3, was upset after getting out of the bathtub the other night, he wanted his mom to take the wrinkles off his fingers.  "I can't get these off!" he told her. 
  • We are overrun with mosquito hawks since the recent rainy weather.  I had to bat a dozen out of my way to pick an avocado off our tree.   Clouds of them rise up when walking on the lawn or brushing against a bush.  Wish they did actually eat mosquitoes, but alas, it's a myth.
  • Traffic RantPeople Who Have No Idea What They Are Doing.  This was in evidence twice tonight, on my way downtown to get my hair done, a small SUV in front of me was driving 10 mph below the speed limit, sped up and slowed down multiple times, drove over the shoulder line, and then sped up when the speed limit went down.  On the way home from the salon, a girl turned into a shopping center before me, and when a few car lengths in,  decided to make a U turn in the middle of the road, right in front of me.  There was also a cop watching this nonsense so I was hoping he chased her.

  •  Saw this funny Dandelion Puff Cloud in the sky last week.  
  • We've been pondering downsizing to a single story house and have been to a few open houses.  A memorable one was described by the realtors holding the showing (who were sitting on chairs outside on the opposite side of the street), as "belonging to a collector married to a hoarder".  Their daughter had come to clear out the house but brought her menagerie with her, including tarantulas in cages, ferrets, dogs, and guinea pigs. The inside of the house was very cluttered and dirty, including the carpet, the walls, and the ceilings. There was a huge radio antenna on the roof and video cameras all around the outside of the house.   The low price didn't outweigh these red flags!
  •  Oops, "that don't go there"--when your leader-ender hitchhikes....
  • At a CVS store recently I was looking at their dried fruit snacks. A package of dried Fuji Apple slices was on sale for $3.06, down from $3.99.  That sounded pretty good until I checked the weight of the package, which was one ounce "net weight".  That would make the apple slices $63.84 a pound!!  I googled "how to dry apple slices" when I got home.  Did you know you can do this in your microwave?
  • Finally, daughter Erica sent pics of a friend's son receiving the quilt I made for him.  Her comment was, "Trying to get a picture of a 1 year old on a quilt is hard".  
  I disguised his face with a smiley emoji on this pic...


...but didn't need to on this pic!  Those are his daddy's feet in the pic, not Erica's, FYI :)

Monday, April 8, 2019

Design Wall Monday--Squares, squares, squares

It's DWM again. See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  

Lots of activity in the sewing room, a few more things checked off the list.  Off my design wall and finished are two small quilts for guild, to be donated to an infant/mommy exercise class with the City. 

Falling Charms a la Missouri Star Quilt Company's method, using 25 charm squares.  My sister did this fun swirl quilting on her longarm.  I found a matching length in my leftover binding bin, love that!

Leftover flannel on the back--which my longarm quilter complained about, "It's stretchy", lol.  I hope some young mom will love it. 

What I'm calling a garlic knot/minecraft quilt is also finished.  I lightened the pic to try to show Kathy's quilting better--birds and leaves.  This is mostly made from a box of 2.5" squares I bought at a guild show, with some additions of solids from stash.  No pattern--this was just an enjoyable scrap box puzzle to layout.

The backing is the same as the binding, which was a cutoff from another quilt. Using it up! This quilt is a little longer than the charm pack one. 

I like this shape so much that I used it for our guild Pizza Box block swap.  This month's pizza box had all black and white fabrics for Maria. 

I used a few leftover pieces from the baby quilt for grandson Hunter (Adam's Rib from Fons and Porter), and filled in with her fabrics.  The monkeys were the backing fabric for Hunter's quilt.  I'm hoping this looks modern enough.

More squares in my sewing room---I finished the top made from Aussie fabrics bought on my trip to Australia in 2009, adding the two outer borders. 

I had quite a time with these pieced borders, having to take in numerous seam allowances on the squares to make the top and bottom fit.  The side borders lost an entire square and I still had to take in some seam allowances.  This is a Darlene Zimmerman free pattern that came long ago with a magazine solicitation, which she designed for feedsack prints.  Although the instruction sheet claimed this quilt was designed for "beginners and experts", I would never recommend this for a beginner---so many pieces to cut and seams to match.  It looks great now, but there was some frustration getting it together.  The quilt is small, 37x45, I think.  I'll probably end up donating it, but not yet :)