Sunday, August 20, 2017

Slow and Steady on Sunday

 I'm so close to being done with the center blocks for the orange peel blocks.  I think it is just this teal block and then two in browns.  Then border decisions will follow.
I also made good progress on the strings yesterday.  I was curious about whether I would be able to get enough contrast with just neutrals to still see the pattern.  I think that it will work.  Then I made a trek out to get some background and border fabrics for Nine Carat Diamonds.  More details to come, but I think it will be fabulous.
There is still a bit of schoolwork to be done before Monday, along with more laundry, but there should still be some time for a bit of hand quilting and maybe even a string block or two before the day is done.  I'm linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday and Oh Scrap! today.  Be sure to make a visit before your day gets underway.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

ScrapHappy Saturday

I'm off to run 8 miles this morning, but will update as soon as I am home again.  First full week of school is done and all is well.
OK, home again after a morning run.  All showered and ready to start the day!
I finished putting the blocks together for Nine Carat Diamonds on Sunday.  I'm pondering a thin rainbow striped inner border and then a wider outer border of black and white or maybe something in charcoal grey?
 Being done with nine patch leaders and enders for a bit, it seemed like a good time to switch gears.  I have a ton of four patches made from 2.5 inch squares hanging around.  Those are now in the process of getting turned into 16 patches.  A few neutral squares have already started to work their way through the process.
While in organizational mode, it seemed like a good time to get some more leaders and enders ready to go.  Now I just have to decide which main project to get back to work on while these extra blocks wait patiently.
How are your neutral fabrics coming along?  Misterlinky awaits!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Funday

 I need just one more row of nine patches on point to finish up this quilt.  The green nine patches are already made, they just need to be framed and I can sew the rows together.  Nine patches are so versatile!  This quilt was to use up leftover nine patches from something else.  I wonder what I will do with the leftovers from this quilt?  There are always leftovers.  Always.
It is awfully nice to have a weekend already after only 2 days of school.  It almost feels like summer again.  Except of course for that thought in the back of my mind that I'd better try to remember what I'm teaching on Monday.  The freshmen are taking a pretest.  That will give me a bit of time to do the first grading of the new year.  The AP kids need to actually learn something though.  I'd better do something about that before the end of the day.  Still plenty of hours left in the weekend though.  I plan to enjoy all of them!
While dropping off Ryan yesterday afternoon, I was able to pop into Jo-ann's to pick up teal and brown thread.  I had tried Michael's in the morning when I was up north at the gym, but they only had a few colors.  Joann's had only size 8 in the brighter colors, but it will work well enough I'm sure, even though I was using size 12.  There doesn't seem to be too much difference.  Just a few more blocks until I can move on to the border!  I think I will do something slightly wavy with gray thread.  Maybe an orange peel shape with the points on the seams between the colors?
I'm linking up with Kathy for Slow Stitching Sunday as well as Cindy for Oh Scrap!.  Be sure to visit for some hand quilting inspiration and scrap busting ideas. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

ScrapHappy Saturday - I'm Neutral


Nobody seems to feel neutral about the neutral month.  Hopefully you are using the opportunity to get some scraps put together though.  I found this huge stack of neutrals hanging out in my sewing room waiting for a little attention.  The fact that this giant pile of fabric could be hiding unnoticed tells you a little about the state of me studio. I have been trying to collect a more diverse array of neutrals.  Now the trick is to put them to use.  That should be the fun part though.



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Pencil Pouch

Anna asked me to make her a pencil pouch before school started.  Just in time for the first day, I finally whipped one up for her.  I think that everything is set for the morning.  First days are always so exciting!  

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Thread Play


I was sure I wouldn't have enough colors of thread when I started hand quilting the orange peel quilt.  So I found some at Connecting Threads and hit order.  In hindsight, I should have waited until I was a little further along.  Lavender is pretty close to grey, and a then I found a spool of pink hiding in the thread basket.  Before long, all the blocks were quilted except orange, brown and teal.  Then yesterday, my thread order came in.  Orange is good, but how can there be no teal or brown in all of this?  Fortunately, I'm really enjoying quilting with the pearl cotton, so I'll line up the circle quilt to be ready for next on the list.  I'm sure of all these colors will come in handy then.  No rush though, isn't that all part of the point with hand quilting?  I'm enjoying each block as it comes and continuing to ponder the border.  I hope that you are finding some time to enjoy your Sunday.  Why not head over to see what slow stitching other quilters are up to at Kathy's Quilts?  

Saturday, August 5, 2017

ScrapHappy Saturday Goes Low Volume


Sometimes the light colors can feel a little left out of the rainbow fun.  So every so often, it is nice to give them a chance to come out and play.  This month will be all about trying to use up the light neutral scraps that you just haven't been able to rid of in a while.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

NEW Month

It is a new month, that means a new color!  I was so carried away with the storm that wasn't, I almost forgot.
For August, we are going to be working with the light neutrals.  Cream, ivory, mixed backgrounds.  You get the idea.  Try to expand your range from snowy white to paper bag beige.  This is also a chance to get rid of light pastels that don't blend will with your main color scraps.  If you lights won't work with your blocks, feel free to take a catch up month.  I know a lot of us could work on blue for years and years.  Don't skip it because you are scared though.  It is fun to play with contrast to get odd ball neutrals to work together with enough contrast so that the pattern shows up.  If worst comes to work, you can always make a few placemats or potholders.
Emily totally fell apart before it reached this side of the state.  It was windier this afternoon than it ever was as the remnants of the storm passed overnight.  Best of all, our roof got fixed today, so we will be ready if we really do get a storm.  There was a small leak over the garage, but it is all better now.

While I was waiting on the roofers, I was quilting away on my Orange Peel blocks.  Pearle cotton with big stitches goes to super quick!  I finished off all the blocks for which I could find a suitable color of thread.  I don't seem to have anything in orange or aqua, so those blocks are on hold until my order comes in from Connecting threads.
Probably for the best though, my fingers are sore from too much hand quilting.  Now they will have a chance to rest up a bit while the order is in the mail.
While I am waiting, I need to decide what to do with the border.  Changing colors for each of the piano keys might be a bit much.  Something in a neutral perhaps.  

Tomorrow is the first day back to school for teachers.  I was in today trying to get a head start on things.  Everyone will be back tomorrow for lots of meetings and frantic getting ready.  For now I'll take a deep breath and enjoy the last few hours of vacation.   

Monday, July 31, 2017

Something New



 After realizing that Tropical Storm Emily had made landfall on the other side of the state, we did a quick run to replenish the hurricane supplies.  That sure came out of nowhere.  Hopefully it won't mean much more than rain.  Might put a damper on the roofers that were headed over in the morning though, to fix a leak over the garage.  As soon as we got back, I pulled out the Orange Peel quilt to baste.  As soon as I walked away to grab the batting, Lizzie moved right in to quality test the quilt for me.
It is all basted now, and I have just taken the first quilting stitches.  I'm using a number 12 pearl cotton for the quilting.  It is the first time I've tried it, but I think it is going to be really pretty.  It goes quick too.  Bonus!
Lizzie grudgingly relocated to the back of the couch.  She doesn't seem too happy about it.  We'll have plenty of time to bond though, it looks like a couple or rainy days are headed our way.  

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Slow Down Sunday


It is the last weekend before school starts again for teachers.  On Thursday we will all report back to work and start to get ready for a new year.   Today though, I am celebrating the completion of a quilt.  The green Broken Dishes blocks were made from the bonus triangles for a Sister's Choice quilt which I made for Mom.  They finished up at some odd size.  1 and 3/8 inches maybe?  Most of the units weren't big enough to square up to 1.5 inches, and 1 inch just seemed so very tiny!
After they came together, the hand quilting took a while of course, but it is done now!  Each block got four orange peels pointed to the center of the block and then I made Xs in the sashing pieces.  The border is a triangle shaped rope for which I had a stencil.  The corners got a bit unique, but I think it all worked out in the end.  I used frixion pens to mark the quilting lines and it worked like a charm.
I just threw the whole thing in the dryer when it was done and hit the quick refresh button.  When it came out, all the lines had disappeared magically and it had that great crinkle look that is one of the best parts of quilts.
Lizzie approves.  Testing out new quilts is one of her favorite jobs.  I'm linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday today in celebration of hand quilting and Oh Scrap! because what could be scrappier than bonus triangles?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

ScrapHappy Farewell to Bue

It is always sad to say goodbye to a color, especially blue, which absolutely goes with everything.  Still, finishing off one color is always a sign of something new on the horizon.  I'm just back from a morning run, freshly showered and ready to dig in.  How about you?  Misterlinky is below, please share with us all.  

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Turning the Last Corner

I have just turned the last corner on the border for my green Broken Dishes Quilt.  It is a fitting metaphor as the last week of summer vacation begins.  It is a good time to start finishing up odds and ends while trying to wade back in to thinking about the new school year.  I'm even talking to Mari about a challenge quilt for next year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I think that it is going to be awesome!
I am anxious to finish off this green quilt so that I can start quilting on my Orange Peels quilt.  I want to use pearle cotton for the quilting on it which will be something new for me.  
 Yesterday Kurt and I took his sailboat out for the first time ever.  He's been working on building it for the last year and a half.  There are still a few finishing touches he will work on now that we've taken it for a test run, but it worked great.  We were out on the river on a beautiful sunny day, sailing alongside 4 dolphins.  Not a bad life at all.  This morning I was up early to get in a quick run before it got to be too hot.  Then Anna and I did a few errands to start getting some supplies for school.  It is hard to believe that summer is almost gone!  I'm soaking up every minute.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Slow Down Sunday

These orange peel blocks were my hand applique project from two years ago.  I was trying to showcase the scraps of hand dyes and batiks from other projects.  The blocks have been finished for ages, just waiting to be put together into a top.  I seem to always get bogged down at that stage.  It is all together now though!  I have a backing fabric picked out, that won't take long to piece together.  After that a quilting decision needs to be made.  I'd love to hand quilt it, but I'm still not done with the hand quilting project that I have in progress.  Decisions!  Maybe if I go and pull out that other quilt in progress it will motivate me to get it finished up.  First though, I think there is laundry and the kitchen needs some attention.  Even on summer break, life happens.  If only everything didn't need such constant attention and upkeep I'd have more time for quilting.
The best way to procrastinate for a while longer though, is to spend some time with Kathy at Slow Stitching Sunday, and check out Oh Scrap before real life takes over.  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

ScrapHappy Saturday

Sorry to be off to a bit of a late start this morning.  I've started training for a half marathon and today was a long run.  Just 4 miles as I am still in the begining phases.  After a quick shower though, and a few dropoffs for morning activities, the rest of the day is open for sewing.  What are your plans for the day?  Misterlinky is below.  Share with us all.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Border Patrol

I've been cutting border pieces today.  It is pouring rain outside and its just Netflix and I with baskets of scraps.  Bliss!  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lazy Summer Days

I've been puttering around the house all week not accomplishing much.  I thought it would be nice to finish some things off though.  These orange peel blocks have been hanging around mostly done for a while now.  Today I finished trimming away the background fabric behind the applique and trimmed the blocks all down to size before squaring them up and sewing them into groups of four.  I had no idea how many block there were until everything was sewn together.  Now I can see that I need eight more blocks to have enough for a small throw quilt.  Somewhere I have the templates still I think.  If not, I can make another from the finished block.  It shouldn't take too long to make that happen.
Ryan is volunteering at science camp again this week.  Anna has three shifts at the hospital to keep her out of trouble.  Poor Sydney doesn't have much on her plate though.  She is taking great pride in sleeping until lunch and staying up until all hours of the night.  School is just around the corner.  We'll have to get her back into routine before then.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

ScrapHappy Saturday Homeday


Ah, to have a Saturday at home!  No out of town trips or far away lacrosse tournaments.  No errands or have to do today lists.  I think I might sew something.  How about you?  Do you have some time to sew something blue?  Share with us if you do.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

No Place Like Home

One thing about living life on the road is that there is plenty of time for slow stitching.  14 hours in the car, several in airports, then planes and busses.   So many opportunities to sneak in a circle here and there.  
We are finally home again though, with no plans to go anywhere at all in the foreseeable future.  
 I think the green circles are all done
 Red has more than one month, and I need to figure out where one ends and the other starts.
The yellows are all ready to be sewn together.  
Not all the trips have made it into the photo stream, but here are a few highlights.
 We took the kids to Universal for a few days.  We have annual passes this year, so it was a great opportunity to take advantage of them.  This was us at the Blue Man Group.  Anna and Sydney both loved it.  Ryan wanted to know why is was so strange.  We were trying to get a group shot when the lady behind us photobombed us.  I told here I would tag her on Facebook, but I've forgotten her name now, Karen something?
 Anna is way too old, but still wanted to pose with the minions.
Before that was my trip to Kansas City to grade AP exams.  The performing arts center was really cool.  From certain angles, it looked a lot like the Sydney Opera House.  
After that we were off to Atlanta and dropped the kids off with their cousins before heading out to an adults only all-inclusive resort.  So relaxing!  No photos yet, but I'm sure they will show up before too long.  
So now, finally, I am home again for the rest of the summer.  I think there are full two weeks with no major activities or trips!  I can't wait.  The summer list is long, and I'm sure that I can't get to all of it, but I will give it a try!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

ScrapHappy Saturday -- Cool Blue

Hope that you have found some time to dig into your blue.  Think of water and cloudy skies.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Design Wall Monday July 3

In honor of the July being the blue month for RSC17, I finished off Dear Jane top row triangle 13.  I love the little melons which I prepped and tucked into the seams before the geese got sewn together.  Then it was quick and simple to finish off the little bit of applique to hold them down all the way around.  
Then this last green triangle was all that was necessary to finish off the entire top border.  
 So TaDA!  Here is the top border for my Dear Jane quilt at long last.  The silly triangles seem to take so much longer than the little blocks, but I'm determined to get them finished off.
 Here is my little map of progress.  I've been saving squares and rectangles for each of the fabrics as I finished the blocks.  Getting closer every day to getting this one done.
Saturday Ryan had some friends over for his birthday.  It was a nice motivation to finish off some cleaning and organization projects that had been on the list for far too long.  The kids had a good time too.  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

New Month, New Color

Time to phase out yellow and start to work on blue.  Hope you are feeling energetic, I know that blue is a big color for most quilters.  It sure is for me.  After a month of sparse scraps with yellow, it will be nice to have plenty of choices this month.
 I did get one more triangle done yesterday.  Ignore the odd tilt to the diamond at the top.  It was supposed to tilt the other way.  I am always mystified by paper piecing patterns with inset seams.  Seriously, how is that supposed to work?  Not so well when I am attempting it apparently.  Life is full of imperfections though, and I'm fine with that.

I did manage to dig up enough yellow skinny scraps to eke out these tiny log cabins.  I'll need to generate some more scraps in the yellow bin before there is enough variety for more.  Check out the blues though, no end to variety in the blue bin!
Please link up below with your own progress on yellow or blue.
I'll be back to my scraps soon enough.   First though, Ryan is having a birthday pool party today.  I'd better go and make sure that the house isn't embarrassing before kids start showing up.  Since his friends are also my students, I'll make sure the house is in decent shape.  Once they show up though, I'll be trying to hide.  I think the sewing room might just be the perfect place.  


Friday, June 30, 2017

July Color

Feeling Blue?  I hope so, it is going to be the color for July.  

Top Row Progress


I got a couple more triangles done yesterday.

 I really like this teal one.  The diagonal lines are nice, and it isn't too fussy.
This yellow one wasn't so bad.  I lost one of the sections in the trash can, but it turned up again.  Lots of triangles, but they weren't too strangely angled.  
I'm making excellent progress on the top row.  It looks like I just need three more blocks to finish it off.  That shouldn't be too hard to accomplish.  I say that before looking at the blocks of course, but optimism is a virtue.  
And here is the progress on my color swatch map.  Getting closer every day!
Sydney is going to a mall in Orlando with one of her friends.  Anna wants to go shoe shopping.  Ryan even asked for a trip to the store to buy supplies for his birthday party tomorrow.  Sounds like I busy summer day.  I guess I'd better get a move on.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

More Triangle Progress

 I got a few more pieces put together on the EPP triangle.  My points are still having some issues, but practice makes better I suppose.
 This green triangle was paper pieced.  It seems a bit wonky in the picture.  I'm pretty sure it is OK in real life.  It was paper pieced in 6 sections.
This appliqué block is all prepped and ready for hand stitching.  Not a bad day's work all in all.  I think I am going to the dentist tomorrow, but other than that, it should be another nice calm day.  Those are the best kind of days after all.  Eventually I'll have to start accomplishing real life things again, but for now, this is so much more fun.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Dear Jane Again

It has been oh so long since Dear Jane saw any action.  I thought that yellow should get a little progress before the end of the yellow month.  The middle of the quilt is completely done.  All that is left now are the triangles.

 This is number three on the bottom row.  It was paper pieced in three easy sections.
Then came number 10 on the bottom row.  I had paper piecing patterns already printed, but they didn't seem to want to come together without inset seams.  Instead, I thought it would be fun to try English Paper piecing.  Look how much fun!  Just a few more pieces and then I will try to take out all the paper.
So much fun to have a home day!  

Saturday, June 24, 2017

ScrapHappy Saturday - Last Yellow Saturday


Technically, there is almost a week left in the yellow month, but next Saturday will be the first of July, which will mean a new color.  That gives you a few more days to finish off your yellow scraps.  My yellow circles are almost done.  Hopefully I'll find some more yellow scraps to play with before June ends though.