Sunday, February 28, 2021

Lows and Highs

I didn't sew a stitch most of the week--Monday came with awful news that our Uncle Fred had been taken to the hospital after a stroke. He was found in bed in his senior apartment by the housekeeper; somehow it took many hours before he was transported to the hospital, not sure why. He could not swallow or speak, was breathing on his own but not able to move. After a few days in the ICU and  brain imaging studies indicating a severe, deep frontal stroke, the impossible happened: Uncle Fred began to improve. 

 

This pic is from September 2018 when my sister and I surprised Fred at his senior living place to give him the Naragansett Blues (Browns) quilt I made him. 

Uncle Fred has still got a nasogastric feeding tube, but is able to move his arms and can say some words in response to questions. He has been moved out of the ICU and we hope rehab will be started soon.  Our brother Kevin has taken charge of his cat, a stray Uncle Fred found near his senior apartment and took home even though he was not supposed to have a pet. "Cat" was removed per the facility request.  She/he looks a lot like my Mini. We hope that Fred will someday be able to return to Independent Living but he has a long way to go.  I'll be visiting him in the hospital in a couple of days.  I hope to see him give me a Thumbs Up, as he did to our brother Kevin when he asked him to "fight hard to get better".  Dear Fred!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Design Wall Monday--A Finished Top

 It's Design Wall Monday.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

The Greenpiece BOM is a finished top at last.  I sewed the last border sections on with only some difficulty, namely that I trimmed before I should have and had to add an extra piece to the bottom border.  Then I sewed the bottom border on upside down.  Sigh.  Directional print...

So satisfying to see it all together at last. 

I love the way the border picks up so many of the block colors. 

The join I had to make in the bottom corner blends in pretty well from a distance...

...and is just a little more noticeable closer up. 

Lots of leftover fabrics from each month's kits will go into the scrap bins and fat quarter drawers.  I will have to purchase backing but plan to send this out to be professionally quilted.  

Mini has been waiting a long time for the Greenpiece quilt box to be emptied, LOL!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Nearly There on Greenpiece

The well-aged Greenpiece BOM is THIS CLOSE to being a finished top. I got the assembled flange pieces cut to width and length of the quilt center and sewed them on with a scant 1/4" as directed.

The top and bottom flanges overlap the first border.  My sliver trimming of the extra triangles on the pieced first border section shown several posts ago definitely was the right call, as with the addition of the outer border pieces there would have been 5 layers in parts of that seam!  Next I pressed the outer border fabric that has been folded in its protective plastic sleeve all these years.  I never noticed until now that the fabric was designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.  So pretty!

This was when she was designing for Moda, she has been with Andover the past few years.

The binding, lengthwise side border, and top and bottom border pieces were all cut, and I made the binding right away.  The border pieces will get assembled and sewn on likely on Saturday, as we have a family dinner tomorrow for Mom's birthday.  My husband plans to stay home as he has not been vaccinated yet and is frequently out in public for work, though he wears a mask and sanitizes constantly--his COVID shot is next week.

I got out of the house for a bit on Tuesday afternoon when I went to donate blood.  Afterwards I drove down to the harbor, intending to get out and walk a bit, but it was very very windy.  I noticed tons of birds flying around near the harbor mouth around what I first thought was a fishing boat.  Upon pulling into a parking lot, I realized it was actually a large sand dredge.  Our harbor is man-made and therefore periodically requires dredging, which can go on for months.

Can you see from this not-very-clear, through-the-windshield photo how much sand was being blown by the wind?  I took a video but the lighting was dull. The birds were being thrown around a lot in the air, there were hundreds to the left and right of this scene.  I didn't stay long in the parking lot, as so much sand was being blown on my car, I didn't want the paint to suffer.  I later got a photo of another driver...
..of our nearly 6 month old grandson Dane taking the wheel :)  So cute!  He's filling out and getting some hair.  I sent some pics of our son as a 6 month old to our son and DIL, as they wanted to compare who he looks more like at that age. 
 
As COVID numbers go down in our county and more and more are vaccinated, in-person grandson visits  may be soon be in our future.  There is talk as well of the county opening the schools again, though the individual districts have the final decision about whether it is practical to open for the remaining 3.5 months of the school year, with most staff in lower tiers to get vaccinated.  Meanwhile, as long as I'm allowed by my employer, I will continue to work from home--and not have to wear an N95 mask and plastic face shield in the office while doing medical scribe duties.  Glad for that option!

Monday, February 15, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Laundry Basket Quilts Mystery

 I'm very late to Design Wall Monday, but do have something to share. See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  

I've been working on the stalled mystery quiltalong that Laundry Basket Quilts gave last year.  The next block was #5 and I needed 8 of them.  I went back to a scrappy layout for this block--the Ohio Star block #4 just had too many small pieces to go scrappy and remain sane.


Lots of pieces to cut but it went together fairly well.  There was a little ripping when I sewed the second small triangle on the wrong side of the square--in more than one block :)  Two of these blocks are located in the center of each outside row in the quilt.

And that completes the 36 outer blocks of the quilt, with 64 to finish. Doing them in sets of blocks makes that number less painful.  I have looked at the Instagram hashtag and there are lots pretty finished mystery quilts.  I'm going to copy a different layout that I found.  Just wait and see!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching and Ohio Star Blocks

 Kathy's Quilts' Slow Sunday Stitching comes around again.  My current cross-stitch project gets picked up at odd times so progress is slow. 

So far its just a pale yellow blob, of which the top right portion had to be redone as I drifted too far from center.  The bottom row has some problems too but counting stitches late at night is really unproductive in poor light and needs attention during daytime.  

Next stitching project I want to do is from a thrift store find a few years back.  Less than a dollar!

I love the sentiment and the soft colors but not the X next to Friends.  Not sure why that was necessary. 

Meanwhile, in the sewing room a relatively young WIP is getting worked on.  I'm tired of tripping over the box I purposely pulled out!  I started Laundry Basket Quilts' Mystery last year when the pandemic shutdown first started, but only got a few blocks in. 

I got as far as the first three block sets but downloaded each step through block 15--there are 100 blocks total in the quilt.  My version is very scrappy and not blue and pink like Edyta's, but I like it.  For the 4th block, an Ohio Star, I decided to pull in green, my favorite color.

I used Bonnie Hunter's Essential triangle to cut the tiny hourglass block quarter square triangles from 1.5" strips, as I was using 10" squares for the neutral and it was easier.  However, I ran short of fabric and had to search for a match to the neutral.  

The top two blocks have the close match fabric in the hourglass blocks, Kitchen Twine, which I used for my Twilight Hopscotch quilt.  Pretty good, right?  Those need to be sewn up and and trimmed but I'm happy with them.  I also want to add a little black somewhere in the quilt, as well as different greens, and will look at the next few blocks to see where that might be appropriate.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Backings

Design Wall Monday rolls around again.  See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

In an ongoing effort to clear the cutting table of stacked up quilt tops, there has been a lot of auditioning and cutting.  My stash tubs are full, but of such random lengths and patterns that cobbling a backing takes time.  A few months ago I bought clearance fabric at two different shops, so at least could start with a two yard piece. First up, the Round Robin top from our small group from guild. 

I based this design on a tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew blog, but added an additional round. My blocks are 12" finished.

Although the prints appear black and white in this photo, they are not.


The recently purchased Lotus blossom print is directional so I had to pay more attention when assembling the backing.  The navy button fabric has been in stash a long time. 

This improv play piece got the top strip added and a backing made from the same solid green mixed with trimmings from another quilt.  I even had enough to make the binding.  We make placemats for guild that go to a senior center and I enjoy using up odd block parts for this.

The trees are sort of Corona shaped...:)

I used more of the Lotus print, some cutoffs, and one fat quarter for another backing. This is for the Make the Connection top I finished over a year ago.

Free pattern on APQ website, one of Jo Kramer's designs.  It has a matching solid green border now, bringing it up to 45" square.

I love this lady bug print.  The neutral on the right was leftover from the Dreamweaver quilt backing I made our son and daughter-in-law for their wedding.  Apparently I haven't got a pic of the finished backing. 

Finally there is a donated guild quilt top.  This is also the Cluck Cluck Sew pattern, with the added heart that the Las Vegas MQG added for victims of the Vegas hotel massacre a few years ago. 

I got some batting from guild and the backing will be the two green fabrics.  Pastels are not something I tend to have in my stash so this was the closest I could come up with. Simple quilting to follow!

There are still plenty of quilt tops hanging in the closet needing their backing and binding partners...

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Pieced Borders with an Oops

 Next task on the Greenpiece BOM quilt was to add the pieced borders I made a few years back.  When I went to pin on the side border, I noticed a mistake.  

Can you see it?  I did not trim away the bottom layer on the triangle corner when assembling, meaning a lot of bulk when added to the quilt top.  Some very tedious surgery was required on the four long sections of pieced border. 

Besides the triangle center, I sliver trimmed the seam allowance and used a pin to tease the fibers away from one side of the seamline and pull it free. You can see the difference with the triangle trimmed in this pic:

I did have one mishap where I cut through both triangle layers, but since I saved all the kit fabric leftovers, easily found a matching 2.5" maroon square for repair.

After performing the surgery on all four sections, they were pinned on and matched up like a dream!  I have cut and prepared the fabric for the next step, a flange in a maroon dot.  Perhaps I'll find time tomorrow to cut the four lengths of flange and get them pinned on between telemed patients.  


The final step is cutting/adding the floral outer borders and cutting binding pieces.  Getting so close to a finished top, I can almost taste it :)

Meanwhile, I needed a new embroidery project to keep my hands busy when not at the sewing machine. 
This is a Bucilla kit that includes a little frame along with the fabric and floss, which I probably picked up on sale at Joann's or Michael's store.  I don't remember where I got the horse floss holder, but Efficient Me had already separated all the floss strands and attached the mane when I kitted this up.  Happy to just thread the needle and get going! It was interesting to note the laundering instructions recommended NOT using fine washables-type detergent to clean the needlework, but mild dishwashing liquid.  I'll show progress when I have some more to show--so far I've only added a few rows of the pale yellow flower petals, too boring to share!

Monday, February 1, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Greenpiece Progress!

 It's Design Wall Monday.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

My goal for today was to have the wool applique on Greenpiece complete.  I am happy to say that was accomplished early.

I moved on to the assembly of the borders, after trimming the tree block to 20.5".  Though I miscut the first set of borders, luckily the kit was very generous with fabric. 

The two borders went on with no issues and I moved on to adding the already completed pieced  block/applique block sections to complete the center. 

They went on like a knife through butter and I am so happy with the final image  here.  There are a lot of hours represented in this photo! Two borders and a flange are in progress and then the top will be finished--after all these years since I started getting the kits in 2009.