Sunday, January 29, 2017

365 Challenge

Last year, I started off following the 365 Challenge an Australian quilter was posting each day.   She had designed a quilt that used scraps, which I thought would be perfect for all of my blues and greens.  The bins they are in are overflowing.  The first batch used only dark values and were 3" (finished).  I made quite a few before going south for a month.  By the time I got back, the patterns had moved on to a center medallion which I attempted.  I hated the results so threw it away and made up my own.  As the spring went on, I wanted to work on other things, so I set it what had become a 24" x 24" medallion aside.  And it's been gnawing at me ever since.

This winter, I got it out again and decided it wasn't all that bad.  I surrounded the medallion with scrappy courthouse steps blocks, and I liked it again.  Then I started making "ribbon star" blocks from a Block magazine I had saved.
 Now I'm making another border, this time using the half-square triangles cut off the ribbon stars and sewn into pinwheels.  It will be 66" square.  Question is:  what to do now?  My bins are still overflowing.  It's as if I never made anything at all!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Another UFO quilted

A couple of days ago, I finished quilting and binding the round robin I made with my local guild.  It hung in the closet all summer as I contemplated whether to add another border to make it bigger.  Finally, I decided it was big enough.  It measures about 53" x 53".  
I wasn't all that wild about some of the color choices in the borders, but after quilting, it does look quite nice.  I used some multicolored thread (King Tut's "circus") down the center of that wide teal border.  It adds a subtle shine.  And I used a black and blue batik for the binding.  I'm so glad it's finished!  That was the last quilt waiting to be quilted in my closet.  Now I can stockpile a few more!

I have several project boxes going, including a guild block of the month which I'm doing in the same fabrics as a guild "block robin."  We're making each other a block every month, and the bag I picked up last night had some lovely, rich burgundies in it.  I made the owner, Deedee, a ribbon star block and am now appliqueing a Dresden Plate.  I want to pass it along to Sheree at the February meeting because I don't know if I'll be able to go to the March one.

I'm also working on Dutch Treat blocks, very slowly; five sets of blocks for a Sylvia's Bridal Sampler swap; an adaptation of last year's 365 challenge, run by an Australian quilter; and a wild scrappy quilt from The Big Book of Scrappy Quilts which has 77 patterns from different designers.  Last, but not least, I am hosting a swap of scrappy heart blocks, most of which have arrived.  I'm just waiting for the Canadian ones, and then they'll go back out to the swappers.  

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A new project

Try as I might, I can't resist a new project.   I started Dutch Treat this week, having eyed it for years.  It's a lot like the Dear Jane quilt in that it's a sampler with lots of small blocks.  I have no plans to make a full-sized quilt because each block is reverse appliqued, but, when an online group was starting a quilt along, I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Here are my two blocks for the week.

As you can see, they are pretty wonky, and I labored over each one for two afternoons.   I'm making a purple one today and hope to finish before the next three blocks are announced.  The original quilt is in blue and white, and while I love that color combination, I thought I'd do each of the blocks in a different color.  I think the resulting table runner will be very pretty!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Quilting on a budget

I am an incredible time waster, but who cares?!  I'm retired and ought to enjoy myself, I say.  I do get a lot done anyway, but in bursts of energy.  I need to take down the Christmas stuff, but always I do that gradually.  Yesterday it was everything that wasn't tree- or village-related.  Maybe tomorrow I'll do one or the other while the cleaning ladies are here.  Paul and I have been walking at the mall when the driving is OK, about five times a week.  We go around 8:30 and return home by 9:30 unless we have errands to run.  That's not a time waster, but it does take a chunk of time.

Yesterday, I finished pin-basting a small quilt to go to the Parkinson's Comfort Project and started quilting it.  It is made entirely of scraps except the back which is a large piece I bought on sale.  There's enough left to go on the back of the next quilt which is the last one hanging in the closet waiting for quilting.  I have several UFOs that are in process, so I expect my closet to fill up again during the year.

My resolution for the year is to use more fabric that I already have rather than to shop for it (even though I still have a $5 gift certificate to my LQS in my purse!).  This is one of the "rules" that Allison, who writes the Cluck Cluck Sew blog promotes this year.  You can read it all here, and it makes all kinds of sense, even though the first suggestion, not to read blogs, is a tough one.  I know they do give me ideas, but usually that's a good thing - I prefer ideas for scrappy quilts anyway, and I love to try new recipes.  The other day, though, I discovered some sets of charm squares, both 5" and 2.5", and hope to use them in 2017.  I don't know how long they've been hiding, but at least a year.