Sunday, May 30, 2021

Block Redux Squirrel

Squirrel!  A quilt in the June 2021 APQ magazine caught my eye--it's actually the cover quilt. It features flying geese in two versions.  I decided a cropped portion of the design would make a great baby quilt. However, I did not want to cut the large number of 2.5" squares required for stitch and flip corners and corner squares on the small flying geese--8 per block.  There would be a lot of extra sewing to try to save the small waste triangles as HSTs. So pencil and graph paper planning ensued. 


As you can see, there were a lot of seams in the pieced smaller flying geese (does this block have another name--maybe pyramid geese?). My thought was to use HSTs for the smaller triangles and assemble it in two rows, as laid out below.   I cut those from print 2.5" strips I had on hand, and cut larger corner triangles from white. 


You can see a bit of the pattern in the corner of the pic.  I sewed the small geese rows together first.  Who has already spotted what happened next?  Give yourself a pat on the back if you correctly noticed the inner geese pieces were too small. 


Yeah, way too small!  I used Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle ruler to cut the geese pieces from my precut 2.5" strips, not wanting to cut a size square I do not have in my scrap system to cut in half--or waste 5" squares--for the inner geese.


I assembled the pyramid geese and added the corner white triangles. The larger geese were also cut with Bonnie's Essential Triangle tool.  This exercise took a couple of hours, but I'm glad to eliminate assembly seams while using up lots of scraps.  I'll continue using prints for the pyramid geese and solids for the large geese, a bunch of which I cut yesterday.  My cropped portion of the quilt design will have 16 blocks and I'll add a narrow border or two to make it about 36" square.  Another new project to add to the list, but I am so happy when I can use up a lot of these scraps I save, and use as leader-enders. This is about the fourth leader-ender I have going now :)  

Monday, May 24, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Plaidish Quilt

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

The Plaidish Quilt top I offered to my niece Hannah was the project of the week.  I was able to finish the quilting over the weekend. Some of my favorite fabric scraps are in this quilt!

I used a gold Aurifil thread in the top and bottom and stitched in the ditch vertically and horizontally between all the blocks.  


Then I stitched along the narrow inserts in both directions, making an X in the center square. Simple and effective. After assembling a lot of saved leftover binding strips, I attached what I thought was a sufficient length, but as you can see from the blue and rust binding tails in the photo above, I was quite a bit short.  No matter, there were plenty of pieces to pick from.


The binding was finished by stitching in the ditch from the front.  I missed catching the edge in a bunch of spots so will need to hand sew those down and add my label.  My brother and sister-in-law will be driving out from Arizona next month, and the quilt will head home with them for Hannah.  I can't wait to build a  Plaidish2 quilt from my scraps and stash--including all the scraps I saved from my sister's trash pile last month!  Both patterns are free downloads on the Kitchen Table Quilting website, along with Erica's tutorials.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Design Wall Monday--May 17

 Design Wall Monday--see more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

There has only been a little time spent on the sewing machine lately, but a few projects got moved along.  

I made the binding for the star quilt and that got applied. 


I made the binding single fold from this cheddar print and will hand stitch it down.  A bunch of thread ends need to be buried as well. 


The Plaidish quilt was also layered with batting and backing and is resting for a bit.  I pulled a number of leftover binding pieces to use with this scrappy project.  


Recently I pulled a lot of dark squares out of the bulging 2.5" precut drawer for a Plaidish2 quilt.  The designer, Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting, designed this second scrappy quilt with limited dark fabrics and more lights and mediums, which are more plentiful in most people's stash. She designed it block style to make it simple to make the size you want. Free download is available from her store.   

I finished the quilting and binding on the strawberry block mini quilt for my sister.  Mom wants one now!


Leftover binding to the rescue again--there were two pink lengths perfect for this job.  I still plan to make a four block version for myself.  The strawberry quilt was the on the cover of the April 2021 APQ magazine. I think there may be a quiltalong happening on Instagram too. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching Mid May

 I'm joining Kathy's Quilts' Slow Sunday Stitching today.  

My Saturday contained a great deal of stitching--hubby was playing with friends in a golf tournament and I dedicated hours between laundry loads to the Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers #21 project. Only a few "bricks" had been added since last Sunday...and then there was some ripping.


Not really being much of a linear stitcher, I hopped around the house front here and there.


More bricks and mortar by mid afternoon...along with the last window...


By bedtime there lacked only a bit of mortar to add, and then the bottom of the door and house below the stretcher bars.  A good day of stitching indeed.  This is the most dense stitching on the piece, and I was eager to get it finished. I'll probably do most of the stitching around the house within the stretcher bars before finishing off the bottom of the house.  I'm looking forward to adding some of the alphabet letters to the left of the tree. 

Looking at the pattern again, I see the chimneys need to be added too! There are lots of other lovely handstitching projects to enjoy on Kathy's blog. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Mother's Day with Grandsons

It's Design Wall Monday--see more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

I haven't been doing very much machine sewing of late, being caught up in my latest handwork project, but did grab a couple of leftover blocks to whip up a quick handmade gifts for Mother's Day.  


I think this was an extra block from some guild project, or just a play piece to practice curved piecing.  I used my walking foot and ended up with sort of a squircle for the quilting as I went around. Fun!  The leftover binding bin produced a yellow crosshatch fabric for the binding.


Neglected to get a pic of the finished mat, which is about 8 " square.  Mom loved it.  I also started to quilt, but did not finish, another single block mat. 


This block I modified with the stem--pattern was from APQ magazine March 2021 cover quilt. 


I even found a fat quarter with a strawberry print in stash.  This one is for my sister.  I do plan to make myself a four block quilt from this pattern from fabrics I've already set aside.  We live in strawberry country on the coastal plain with many acres planted nearby. 

Our small Mother's Day brunch included all our grandsons and two of our kids, DIL, plus our son-in- law, who took this pic at my request.  He noted that he is not a great photographer, but given the nature of small boys, I think it turned out fine :)


They held still for a moment or two!  Look at those chunky baby legs and feet on baby Dane, yum, with oldest cousin Cove holding him, and cousin Hunter sweaty from running around.  Love having them with us.  Daughter Elaine was having a mommy's getaway poolside in LA with two of her friends, a great Mother's Day gift as the pandemic eases!


After they left and cleanup attempted, I settled into some stitching on the Loose Feathers project.  Leaves and window boxes are now added.  I'm so enjoying these pretty colors on the linen I tea-dyed.  I'm looking forward to adding more detail.  

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Doll Quilt Swap and Stitching

Lots of corny Star Wars jokes for May the Fourth!  I couldn't come up with one cornier...BUT I do remember, as a high school teenager, the original movie playing at our local theater for about three months straight, and lines of folks stretching around the building, waiting to get in!  Yes, I'm that old. The rest of this post has absolutely nothing to do with space battles...

Quilty mail arrived from Texas, from my Humble Quilts' Doll Quilt Swap partner, and it was with happy anticipation that I opened the package. Many Thanks to Liz Bushong for this charming and scrappy beauty!



I just loved all the fabrics and prints Liz used in this doll quilt. 


Mini liked the first border fabric a lot.  or maybe she was just eyeing the 1/2" center squares.


Liz generously sent this beautiful tea towel and charm with her cards.  Many thanks, indeed!  Every year I have participated in this swap has brought a wonderful mini to treasure.  If I ever get organized enough, I'll hang them all together in my sewing room.

I've spent a bit more time with my latest cross-stitch, Blackbird Designs' Loose Feathers. Not too much unstitching needed, but it does take concentration to count threads on the linen. 


This fanciful tree has several more branches to add, but I'll work on the leaves for this portion first.  I'm enjoying it very much. It is a welcome distraction from having to return to in-office work!  Luckily my commute is not far and I can come home for lunch and get a few stitches in.  Looking forward to playing with all the other pretty threads.  :)

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Stitching Weekend

I joined the Instagram Blackbird Designs weekend stitchalong and spent a number of lovely hours with needle and thread. All the bobbins were wound Friday and I studied the chart well. 


Although in looking around IG and blogs, I see that lots of people start their stitching with an outer border, I was taught to start in the middle of the design, and felt most comfortable with stitching the house first.  The star on the roof was first, actually, and then I worked on the roof a little, late into Saturday night.  


Sunday found me doing a bit of surgery for a mistake in the left edge of the roof, fortunately an easy fix.  The stars' outlines appeared as I continued on the roof, but when I filled in with the called for DMC color, the star disappeared.  More unpicking and restitching with one shade lighter...


Much better! A start on the tree there to the left was as far as I got.  I so enjoy working on the 28 count Cashel linen I tea-dyed, though it does warrant closer attention when counting threads for over two.  I'll next have time to stitch on my lunch hour--starting tomorrow we are all expected back in office seeing patients. 


I took this photo on the last day we all worked together before the shut down in March 2020. My doctor boss has been back in office for weeks already, as have many other staff.  I will have to dust off my nametag and leave home early to get the laptop set up, pick up my once weekly issued PPE and COVID screening monitor, and reclaim my COW (computer on wheels).  It has been 14+ months of working as a Scribe from home, and will be an adjustment to return to the real world--such as it is these days!  Our county is doing very well case-wise, and we hope to get to a less restrictive tier in the next two weeks.  The state is planning to open fully in mid June. Disneyland opened to California residents only on Friday, to very limited numbers of applicants.  Fingers crossed more people get vaccinated and cases don't go up again!