Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pinwheels

A few days ago, I started making pinwheels using a couple of charm packs I've had for at least a year.  They're 1930's prints by Boundless from Craftsy.   I like their solids more than Kona solids, but hadn't worked with any prints before.  I'm not wild about the "hand" of these prints.  They feel cheap to me, but the resulting quilt will be small anyway.   I have a bundle of fat quarters in a different line of Boundless prints and hope they feel a little more substantial. 

I used the quick and dirty method of making the half square triangles,  putting two squares face-to-face, sewing all the way around the four sides, and cutting diagonally both ways.  This results in lots of bias edges, but it's fast and when fabric isn't prewashed, it doesn't stretch too much... in theory.  I only hope the reds don't run in the wash.

Yesterday, we had a young man scraping our little back porch, using a sander much of the day.  At the same time, the lawns were being mowed, so the cacophony was overwhelming.   I usually read for a while after lunch, and sometimes I even take a little nap.  Not yesterday!   I spent most of the day sewing,  farthest from the "action."  I got a lot of blocks made and then started to sash them in an on-point setting.  I have a few charm squares left, but probably not enough for a pieced border.

The porch work continues today until it rains, possibly this afternoon.  So I'll work in the sewing room again and will probably finish the top.  That will make 3 waiting to be quilted, so it's time to tackle at least one before starting anything new.  I also need to put a binding on the little quilt I made last week.   This weekend looks relatively free, so I hope to make a little progress with UFOs.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

State guild meeting

Yesterday's state quilt was held just over the state line in New Hampshire.  The drive back and forth was gorgeous, and I was happy to be accompanied by Pat and Robin.  The time goes by so quickly that way.  Attendance was light, perhaps due to the nice weather, and there were only two vendors, so I only spent $5 on raffle tickets.   Here are a few of the show and tell items I liked - all were wall hangings, and the bottom two were only 12" square.  As usual, I came home with IDEAS...





Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all!  We all had mothers, after all, and some of us are mothers.  I feel very lucky that my mom is still vital at age 94.  Still driving, attending classes, going swimming, and buzzing around.  I rarely call her because she's never home!   She uses a walker when she's out, just for stability, but it's hard to keep up with her nonetheless.  At right are Mom and Paul at a park near Denver last fall. 

It's raining here today (what else is new?), so we won't be grilling or gardening.  Yesterday I did do a little gardening and hope to do some planting during the week.  There are a few places in the yard that could use some new perennials.  I would like to plant dahlias and iris, too, near the house where the soil is less than optimal.  Last year I had tomatoes there, but I'm going to use pots for those this year.  I like to go to the garden stores during the week, so if I get a chance, I'll do that.  We don't plant vegetables until around Memorial Day here anyway, so even though I'd like to plant, it's good to wait.

Yesterday I finished appliqueing the wool piece and squared it off.  I'm setting it aside while I work on a small Rail Fence Diamond quilt using what's left of a jelly roll.  Everyone in one of my guilds received one from a rep of Quilting Treasures, and it's been fun to see what folks do with them.  I'm using a pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Co. (https://quiltingtutorials.com/tutorial/make-an-easy-fence-rail-diamond-quilt-quilting-quickly-with-jenny), with black diamonds.  My goal is to have a piece small enough to practice quilting in a spiral with my walking foot.

Chris helped me gather and load miscellaneous junk around the house to take to the town-wide bulk trash day yesterday, and he'll come over at noon to join Paul and me for lunch at the Chinese.  Eating Chinese food is a long-time family tradition.  Dad used to boast that he could feed our whole family of six for $10, so we used to go for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and any other special day.   For dessert we'll go home for a blueberry pastry I made yesterday with refrigerated puff pastry dough.  That was so easy that I'll be working with it again soon.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Wool applique WIP

The sun was shining for the first time in many weeks, so I quickly took a picture of my wool work in progress.  Unfortunately, the pane threw a shadow on the photo, but you can get the idea of what's happening.   I'm using a light green cotton blender for the background.  There will be centers in each big flower, and I'm going to embellish a little with embroidery after everything is stitched down.  This has been fun!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

This n that

I seem to be sailing from one thing to another these days, mostly library related, with not a lot of sewing time.  I'll be glad for Sunday (Mother's Day) when I don't plan to live on anyone else's schedule! 

Last weekend was the library board's annual Spring Fling fundraiser.  Caterers and bartenders set up, along with a band and a magician.  We trustees do a lot of the physical labor, and there were about 150 people there for a great time.  I don't generally enjoy those kinds of events (stand around chatting, balancing food and drink), but it was indeed fun.  Some of the Friends and I sold raffle tickets which offered an opportunity to chat with people (while not needing to balance comestibles).  Profits were good.

Tuesday was the annual Town vote on the Town budget, library budget, high school budget, and more.  We had done quite a bit of politicking for the library budget and staffed the polls (actually a grassy knoll outside the polls) all day.  It was in the high 30's and raining most of the day, but we were successful by a wide margin, thank goodness.   Our board meeting the following morning was quite jovial.

Today I'm helping run some focus groups for library planning, at noon and at 6 pm.  Over sandwiches, people are telling us what they think library should focus on in the coming years.  It's been quite interesting and fun.  I'm the note taker, while a local minister is leading the discussions.  Good ideas are coming out.

In between all this activity, I've been working on a small (14" square) wool appliqued piece, a vase of flowers, my favorite theme.  I have all the pieces cut out and have been basting on a few at a time before using embroidery floss for stitching.   I even bought a project box to store woolens in - my paper shopping bag has outlived its usefulness.  Now to figure out how to store the floss.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Small projects


There's something to be said for making smaller pieces.  Because they get done quickly, there's a nice sense of accomplishment.  Yesterday, I finished two things - how often can I say that?!? 

First, there was a little wallhanging I made for Cindy to give Taylor, a new graduate of Cornell's School of Veterinary Medicine.  Taylor has a gray cat and loves horses, so I looked through my pattern books.  Couldn't find a paper pieced horse, but Janet Kime's It's Raining Cats and Dogs is always good for a cute cat or dog pattern. 

I had  a very nice Laurel Burch fat quarter that I used for the back, binding, and collars, and then I rummaged around for some gray.  I love the background fabric, and added the star just to give it a "wish upon a star" feeling.  Taylor really worked hard to get through a demanding curriculum. 

This was fun to do and only took a couple of hours.  Most of the time was spent changing out presser feet - sewing, walking foot, free motion foot, etc.  Gave me a chance to clean the machine in between, too.  I sewed two triangles to the upper corners so that it can be hung on a wall with thumb tacks.   And then there was the embroidery and beading - not my favorite thing to do, but done!

I was on a roll, so I made a little blue batik zippered bag for Polly's birthday tomorrow.  We're meeting her at Quechee Gorge for lunch May 8 and have a gift certificate to Keepsake Quilting for her.  The bag is just a cute way to wrap it.  I machine quilted the bag, which measures about 6" x 9". 

On tap today:  figure out how to set a bunch of  multi-colored 12" scrappy heart blocks.  Yes, another bigger project!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

swaps

I'm a sucker for swaps!  It's so much fun to get those little packages of blocks in the mail.  This year I'm participating in several:
  • Be My Neighbor - a Moda block of the week from 2016.  I think there are 16 blocks, so each of the 8 people participating made 2 blocks, which are fairly large.  Every block had to have a little yellow in it.  My two have gone to the hostess and she'll swap them out in June.
  • "Back to Our Roots" - my online swap group began as a group to swap blocks from Sylvia's Bridal Sampler, by Jennifer Chiaverini.  We are to make sets of five of the same 6" block and mail them in by the end of August.  I'm the hostess, and so far I've made five sets.  Here's one of my Orange Peel blocks, using a charm pack of William Morris prints.  I keep thinking about making more, but I got side-tracked making some blocks in the Moda "Blockheads" block of the week program.   And as hostess, I keep thinking maybe I'll make a block for each person participating?  Not sure.
  • A "block robin" in one of my local guilds (I belong to two).  We pass a bag of fabric we've chosen around all year until the big reveal in June.  Each of us is making two blocks per person this year.  I told people I don't care what size the blocks are, as I plan to make a quilt with a variety of sizes.  I'll combine these with the guild blocks of the month and some others I've made.
  • A row robin with my online group.  Our first rows aren't due to the next person until fall, but I am not gathering fabrics and thinking a lot about the bookshelf quilt I'm planning.