Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Sewing Room and Exciting Update

Over the weekend I had two objectives, one was a requested visit to our daughter Erica and her boyfriend Ryan's residence to keep the cats company  for a little bit while they were out of town.  

Bruce kept his distance, but did come out of the bedroom to keep an eye on me. 

Zuzu was much more vocal and accepted petting--she's amazingly soft..  She was hard to get a pic of, as she was constantly moving and vocal.  I threw some toys for her, but she was really begging to get outside--she's very sneaky and I had been warned to watch for a jailbreak.  After a half hour or so visit, I threw some treats the other direction and hurried to get out the door before Zuzu dashed back.  

Erica had suggested I make a visit to the Cotton and Chocolate quilt store while in town, and I had no objection to that! At the quilt shop, I found a sale bolt that I thought would work well to complete the backing for the bookshelf quilt.  I picked up some on-sale fat quarters and bolt ends, and also a Scrap Bag.   The last time I had been in this shop was when Erica asked me to make a quilt for her boyfriend Ryan's best friend, Gavin,  and we had bought the main fabric there for the Double the Plus pattern.  I found it an amazing coincidence Saturday, when I went up to the cutting counter, that of all the bolts of fabric in the shop, the clerk was holding the bolt of Dublin fabric we chose for Gavin's quilt!  

I got to work on the backing, for which I chose a vintage fabric I picked up in a thrift store some months ago. 

This 42" wide Hoffman fabric has 18 colors in the print. 

I liked the complement with the scale and background of the repro blue and white fabric I found at Cotton and Chocolate on a good bolt-end sale.  Another purchase was a scrap bag for $6.00 that held all these pieces:

That is a lot of fabric for a very low price! It was a good thing I had something to distract me while waiting for a long-anticipated event: 

A proposal and engagement!  Ryan had secretly visited us, showed the gorgeous ring, and asked for her hand.  He planned the whole thing and completely surprised Erica at the winery they were visiting.  Lots of their friends were hiding and she never knew!  She said Yes and we couldn't be happier.  Lots of wedding planning to come! 

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching--Winter Bouquet Finished

 Slow Sunday Stitching--see more beauties on Kathy's Quilts blog. She's just starting a cute new stitch. 

I finally made myself finish up the last of the surface stitching on this DMC kit--Winter Bouquet is complete at last. 

The final areas stitched were the petal lines in the center flower, a few more white details in the blue sprays, and a couple more stems for the bright pink sprays, all in one strand of floss.  This stitchery consumed a lot of hours!  I haven't made a plan for the finishing as yet. 

This first photo was dated April 10, 2022, so it has been a long term stitch.  Of course, there were long periods where the project was napping....

Pondering the next project. I have a few kits on hand but none are striking my fancy just now :) We do have a new baby grandson arriving in a couple of months, and a family wedding sometime in the next year. In looking around Pinterest or Instagram, I see other stitchers' works with more reference line stitching than the North/South, East/West that I have always used, and am thinking about that as a help to keep the ripping and re-stitching down to a minimum!  Ok, off to the sewing room to work on the last borders for the Plaidish2 quilt. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Design Wall Monday--Plaidish2 Progress

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

I got the final two rows attached to the Plaidish2 quilt top.  

This is a big quilt already, and will grow another few inches in each direction after the outer borders are added.  I spent a couple of hours cutting up colors from my precut 2.5" scrap drawer, which is completely full!  The outer border is assembled in groupings, so lots of mixing and matching will be happening.  

I love using my rotating Omnigrid mat and a small rotary cutter for trimming jobs like this.  

Caught a couple of crows that landed in the backyard--very unusual to see them here.  I watch flocks of them head inland almost every evening, but they don't often stop!  Our hills and lawns are still very green from all the wet weather these past couple of months, though the snow on the local mountains has melted. My favorite volunteer flowers did bloom recently, after a several year absence due to the drought. 

This patch is below the bridge I pass over every day on my way to work.  So pretty. 

I'd say these flower spikes were about 18-20" tall.  Lots of poppies in bloom in different areas, too, including my small backyard patch.  The garden centers have been crowded with folks putting in spring plantings.  I have avoided going on the weekends but plan to get some flowers soon. 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Sewing, Quilting, Binding

I've spent a lot of time recently sewing, quilting and binding--If only those activities worked off more calories!  
First up, a baby quilt that has been waiting for the already-made binding to be attached and finished. 

Entirely from stash, with a lot of pink fat quarters pulled from the fat quarter drawer. Many of the black and white prints were leftover from the baby quilt I made our now 7 year old grandson. 

The monkey print was also from that baby quilt.  The gray print was leftover from another quilt back as well. Using it up!  I had the measuring tape print awhile too--I thought it was fun for a baby quilt. 

The "Make the Connection" charity quilt was also finished with a white print binding, but this pic is only of the finished top.  Free pattern on American Patchwork and Quilting magazine website, by Jo Kramer. My sister and I are rejoining our local Modern guild and I will donate these two. 

While looking for something else in the Hoosier Cabinet, I pulled out the project box with the Plaidish2 blocks.  The A and B block components were all finished last Fall and I had  sewn together  just a couple of rows.  I think this got abandoned for Sewtopia prep. 

A and B block sewn together. 

As of dinnertime tonight, all these rows are together.  Two more rows to add before the center is done.  I did not cut any of the outer row C blocks yet, wanting to avoid too many repeat fabrics.  The Plaidish and Plaidish2 patterns are free on Kitchen Table Quilting. She has a lot of Freebie tutorial patterns. 

Next project to cut and sew up is a baby quilt for our next grandson, due in a couple of months.  I have a plan and fabric selected.  More on that later...

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Bookshelf Quilt Top is Done

So happy to report that the Bookshelf Quilt in progress for nearly a year is a completed TOP!  I really wanted to have it finished by March 31, but April 1 is not a bad second:)  I used the Fabric at Work Bookshelf Quilt pattern as my basic guide for my bookshelf's construction. The background fabric I was waiting for arrived  pretty quickly. 

This is Carmen, by Nancy Gere, from Windham Fabrics.  I liked the stylized print late-1800's print and thought it would make good "wallpaper" behind the bookshelf.  I started with the feet. 

My idea sketch for the feet turned out to be too small, but upon enlarging it, I ran into the hardest kind of math--QUILT MATH!  Eventually I found myself sewing a 30 degree angle and nearly had an aneurysm trying to attach the opposite foot piece and make it come out the right size and width! Finally the bottom of the bookshelf was complete. 

I was really happy with the contrast of the print to the solid brown of the bookshelf. Next was more design decision-making for the bookshelf 's top. 

I had cut WOF strips of the brown solid in two widths, just to start with.  I knew I wanted to have a crown at the top of the bookshelf so there was a lot of trial and redesign for the height and configuration. For reference, the bottom shelves are 12" tall, the top shelf is about 9", and the bottom drawers about 9" as well. 

Here I was confusing myself by trying to add a 45 degree angle to the crown, but this was entirely wrong and way too heavy looking. 

That's much better.  It was quite a struggle to get to this point!  I ended up cutting the crown pieces down and sewing two different strips of background on the ends to form the angle I wanted, without making it too heavy-looking. 

I'm certain this could have been more simplified by appliqueing the ends of the crown onto the background, but overall I think it works just fine--the print is busy enough. 

Finally, today all the border pieces were added and the top completed!  The drawers will get two knobs each at some point in the finishing process.  I have yardage with a white and black print from stash to use as backing, and the binding will be solid black. On to the next step...

Design Wall Monday--Catching Up

 Design Wall Monday --See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  I disappeared for awhile, due to computer issu...