Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Be My Neighbor blocks

It always helps to make a test block when one is making a bunch of blocks to swap.  I just finished making blocks for an online swap of "Be My Neighbor" blocks.  There are 16 blocks in the quilt, and each of the eight people swapping is making eight of two different blocks.

Moda had created the quilt as a block of the week, so I made the one on the left (Block #1) several weeks ago.  I made my tree with two too many branches, so the next seven swap blocks I made scrappier and with only five branches and the top.  For the next block (#12), I made the nine patches way too busy, so the next blocks I made the nine patches black and yellow.

These are fairly large, easy blocks.  #1 is 18" x 18" finished and #12 is 9" x 18" finished.  Other blocks have a cute bird appliqued, but the appliqued block choices went quickly.  We were to include a little yellow in each block and the background was to be cream.  I can't wait to see what the other people are doing, but the blocks aren't due til June, so I have a long time to wait.  Hope I can remember where I've stashed my blocks after I mail the rest out.  😊

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A new outlet

I have had an etsy shop for some time but have only sold two items, one to a friend privately and a table runner via the site.  I keep adding and subtracting this as I make them, but feel it's a bit futile.  Still, what else can I do with the growing pile of quilts that aren't suited for the Parkinsons Comfort Project or the hospital's children's center?  Etsy's charges are so low that I just keep at it.  I made a Facebook page to link to the shop also.

Thursday I went to a new flower and gift shop downtown and saw a baby quilt and some other crafts by local people for sale.  I asked the owner, Alexis, if she'd be interested in trying to sell a few of my quilts, and she encouraged me to bring them down.   She said Christmas is a good time.  This morning, I took these two baby quilts to her shop and am hoping they will sell.  Alexis takes a 25% commission, which seems reasonable to me.   I don't really care about the money, but it would be nice to have a little "mad money" to buy more fabric!  😊

Monday, November 28, 2016

November weather

It's cloudy.  Gray.  Chilly.  Every.  Single.  Day.  It's November.

We got a little spoiled earlier in the month, first by going to Colorado where it was sunny and 65 degrees every day.  After we got home, it was also warmish and sunny.  But for the last week or so, November has been it's old usual self.   I suspect December will be similar until later in the month when it will be very cold and sunny right through January.  That's "normal" for the north country.

Meanwhile, it's a good time to do indoor things.  Yesterday I did a mountain of laundry.  Paul had no clean socks left - highly unusual.   I read Seven Days newspaper and a little more of Jennifer Chiaverini's latest book Fates and Traitors, about John Wilkes Booth.  It appears the Quilters Book Club group has gone moribund because, although the selection for November/December was chosen ages ago, no one has mentioned reading it.  I have it downloaded to the Kindle, but haven't started it either.  I "retired" as moderator back in July after unsuccessfully trying to get people to participate more.  People seemed to want ideas for good reading but not to share their thoughts about what they were reading.   At any rate, I'm finding Fates and Traitors really fascinating.  Didn't know anything much about the Booth family.

Of course, I've been quilting.  I took a break from the orange peel quilt to make some quick coasters in Christmas fabric for Diane, my boss at the historical society.  I usually make her something for Christmas and have run through a variety of quilted items over the years.  I hope she likes these, made with six 5" squares each.   Diane is a peach of a "boss" for a volunteer.

The biggest news is that I finished the Orange Peel quilt yesterday!  The sun came out briefly today, so I managed to take some photos...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A busy day

I ran around doing "things" most of the day and didn't get to my sewing machine until 3 pm.  At that time, I put the last two borders onto the orange peel quilt, pieced a muslin back, and laid out the sandwich.  Tomorrow I'll pin baste and start quilting.

Today I shopped for groceries, did a load of laundry, hand washed a top (rayon feels nice but is a pain to own!), washed a few windows (the sun was streaming in so it was essential), vacuumed the car and installed new floor mats, made oatmeal chocolate chip bars, sifted through a stack of old magazines, covered the grill for the winter, and...!   It was a lovely day to get a few winterizing things done since tomorrow and Monday are supposed to be very snowy.  It doesn't seem possible considering how nice it was today. 

But I am looking forward to quilting over the next couple of days.  Will probably outline the orange peels first and then may echo quilt in the larger cream spaces.  I'll probably echo quilt inside the peels as well.  As for the borders, well, I'll decide when I get to them.   I like the way the 2" tumbler border turned out.   The quilt now measures 48" by 48", so it shouldn't take long to finish.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


I finished appliqueing blue scrappy orange peels a few days ago, and yesterday I put them together into a 36" x 36" square.   That was the easy part.  I added a plain  1.5" cream border, and then started cutting out tumblers using blue scraps from my box of 2.5" squares.  Sewing those together didn't take too long, but each border needs 27 tumblers.  I really love working with the tumbler shape.  While they're similar to squares, they add some zip to an otherwise dull border. 

In the corners, I'll add some 2.5" squares, and then I'll add another cream border, probably 3" wide.  I'll quilt that square and see how I like it.  I may add more borders that I'll quilt-as-you-go, or I may leave the quilt at that smaller size.  If I stop after the second cream border, it'll have a scrappy blue binding.  

I'm looking forward to quilting around the orange peels and then doing something in the middle - either echoes or a small grid.  It will just depend on my mood.  I'm itching to try out my new ruler foot and ruler, but think I'll do that on scrap pieces first.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Ordering for Christmas

My family lives in Colorado, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and the Netherlands, and Paul's family is spread over the U.S., too.  Because many of our Christmas gifts need to go into the mail fairly soon, I have started shopping, and much of what I buy is books.  We love to give books!  And many of our family and friends rely on us for recommendations.   I try to get things that I've enjoyed over the last year or so, and these include:

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr - absolutely the best thing I read this year
A Man Called Ove, by Frederik Backman - I hesitate to see the film since I liked this so much
Tannie Maria's Recipes for Love and Murder, by Sally Andrew - first in a mystery series set in South Africa
A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains, by Isabella Bird - an old favorite.  The illustrations by Bird are wonderful, so this is the edition to get
Nothing Daunted:  The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West, by Dorothy Wickenden - picked up in an airport and couldn't put it down
Be Frank with Me, by Julia Claiborne Johnson - a sweet family story
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin - unlikely romance between a curmudgeonly bookstore owner and publishers saleswoman

While I like to support my local bookstore and have a "frequent shopper" card, shopping online really does make sense for bulk buys at this time of year.  Some of my favorites are not yet out in paperback, so I will wait and get those for gifts next year.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A coupla pix

On our trip to the Denver area, we visited Daniel's Park near Castle Rock.  What a view!

And isn't my 94 year old Mom looking great!?!