Wednesday, November 25, 2015

On the Road Again

We don't do as many road trips as we used to before Mom passed away.  I'm all set up though with binding to sew.  Best of all, I have a quilt handy to snuggle under if I need a nap.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I draped a finished quilt over a chair to dry last night, and this is what I woke up to.  
 That helped me decide to get the binding on sooner rather than later before things started to get frayed or ravelly.  After much thought, I went to the 2.5 inch strip bin and pulled out a red strip, and orange strip, a yellow strip, all the way to the end of the rainbow.  The binding is all machine sewn now and ready for some slow stitching in the car.
 Of course, but the time that was done, it was too dark to get any good pictures.  Shorter days and cooler weather are really making it feel like winter around here.
Still going strong, I went ahead and put the last border on this year's sampler quilt.  Now all that remains is to applique down the tear drops.  More applique for the car?
Most people worry about clean laundry when they are getting ready for a trip.  I am madly trying to figure out which quilts I can get finished before it is time to leave.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bulk Mail Delivered

This quilt was based on giant Postage Stamp blocks.  Eventually I started calling it Bulk Mail.  It is fresh off the frame and hanging to dry after being spritzed with water to remove the water soluble blue marker from the quilting.  Right now I am in the phase of noticing all the flaws.  Tomorrow though, in the light of day, I will think about binding and take some glamour shots.
It is unheard of for me to find energy to sew on a school night, but with Thanksgiving break starting on Wednesday, lessons are winding down quickly.  I even took Sydney to LAX tonight and still found time to finish off the last third of the quilt when I got home.  Amazing!  I think it is the nip in the air that is giving me a new bounce in my step.  A chill has definitely arrived.  We were all scurrying to find long pants and jackets this morning.  I know that doesn't sound very cold to those from up north, but anything resembling seasons is a welcome change for us transplanted southerners.  

Design Wall Monday November 23, 2015

It is that time of year when the list of quilts that can get finished this year gets separated from the list of projects getting carried over to next year.  Orange peels are ready to be finished off.  I just prepped enough to sew up over the holiday weekend.  Farmer's Wife will definitely carry over.  Then there are the two new patterns I am trying out for next year.  Missouri Puzzle is the big teal block and I framed out one of the leftover nine patches.  A motley assortment for sure, but progress is being made.   

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Trial Block RSC16

I was looking for a new block for 2016.  Something large in size so that one or two blocks each month would make a nice quilt by the end of the year.  Something that uses common strip sizes.  Something "starlike".  I thought about Carpenter Star, and Ice Crystals, maybe Swoon.  I sketched them out on graph paper and played with colors.  Finally, I decided on Missouri Puzzle.  It uses 3.5 inch and 1.5 inch strips.  It is a 15 inch block.  It resembles a star.  Best of all, in dark and light, it would make a nice layout for a quilt.  Since aqua never got a turn this year, I thought I'd make a trial block with some of the aqua scraps from the cleaning up yesterday.
 Layer 3.5 inch strips of background and aqua fabric together and use the easy angle ruler to cut 8 HST units.  In addition to those you will need 9 3.5 inch aqua squares.  These can be all the same or scrappy.  I chose to use two shades because I didn't have enough of any one color.  In addition you will be making two strip sets from the 1.5 inch strips.  Dark-light-dark is needed for the corners of the nine patches, so it only needs 12 linear inches.  The light-dark-light however, makes up the center of the nine patches as well as the rail fence portion of the center section, so this will need 20 inches total.  It is fine to use multiple sections or make it scrappy.  That is part of the fun for scrap quilts after all.
 Sew the HST blocks together and make both strip sets.  Press toward the dark fabric in both cases.
 Next, sub cut your strip set.  Start with the rail fence units.  You will need 4 - 3.5 inch lengths.  Then start cutting the 1.5 inch sections.  You will need 8 dark-light-dark and four-light-dark-light
 Use the 1.5 inch sub cuts to make four 9 patches with dark in the outer corners.
 Wow is this a HUGE block.  I had to find a bigger cutting mat to put on the TV tray that sits next to my sewing machine.  Lay everything out and sew the blocks together.  It would be fun to play with the layout on this.  I've seen lots of versions with the center edge squares in contrasting colors, but I thought that it took away from the star like quality.  The center could easily be an accent or string block.
Press carefully and you will have one ginormous 15 inch finished quilt block.  Maybe next week I'll try one with the reverse color placement?  

Slow Sunday - Rainy Day Edition

I enjoyed reading about Kathy's experience with fall and the onset of winter.  It has been so hot here that we aren't feeling and change in the seasons yet.  It is a rainy day though, so staying in to catch up on slow stitching sounds just right.
 I have these applique orange peels ready to prep and need to get it done before Thanksgiving when we will have some car time and some sitting around hanging out with family time.  I have new motivation to finish off the orange peels this year so that I can start on Quilty 365 circles on January first.  I want mine to be a true calendar quilt quilt with each month laid out in weeks.  I have a plan all drawn up, but won't start until this current project is on to the next phase.  To check out more slow Sunday stitching, head over to Kathy's Quilts.  
November is all about getting quilts ready to go to the next phase.  There are enough of these postage stamp stars for two twin sized quilts with a few leftover for fun. They will be set with wide lattice and cornerstones which had me digging in the 2.5 inch square bin yesterday.  There weren't enough  of all of the colors and so one thing lead to another and the rest of the day was spent turning strips into squares and scraps into strips and generally playing with scraps.  I have one plastic shoebox already sorted by color and another one ready to be sorted and organized.  So, whatever projects go on the list for next year, one of them will definitely need to use 2.5 inch squares.  I am thinking about Arkansas Crossroads which would make a nice thematic addition to the Missouri Puzzle that is in the simmering stage.  To take a look at more scrap happiness, head over to Oh Scrap.  

Plans for Next Year

I've been busy putting together plans for next year.  Vicki and I have been working together to plan out some color schemes.  While it may seem counter intuitive to buy fabric for a scrap challenge, having new colors to enhance the stash is a great way to liven things up.  After using up lots and lots of scraps over the past few years of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I am excited to be using some of Vicki Welsh's beautiful hand dyed fabric for the RSC16.  You may purchase this special selection of fabric directly from Vicki.  Best of all, it is on sale for one more week!  Go here for all the details.
She will be sending two sets of the fabric to me.  One to use for a follow along sampler quilt, and one to give away, one color each month, throughout the year.
I have been working hard to design a row by row quilt for anyone who wants to follow along in 2016.  There will be 10 rows, and the final quilt will be twin sized.  For those who want a smaller option, I will also offer a 60 by 60 version.  You can even make it larger if you like, by adding two more rows in November and December.  The blocks will all be fairly simple and traditional pieced blocks, assembled into rows as the year proceeds.  Honestly, they are columns, but I don't think a column quilt is a real thing.
It will look something like this, but with pretty rainbow colors inserted into each spot.  Block sizes will range from 3 to 12 inches, but they will all fit together into equally sized rows in the finished quilt.  Ready to play along?  Use Vicki's fabric or your own scraps.  The choice is yours.  Pattern tutorials will be published at the begining of the month starting in January and continuing for 10 months.  That will leave a month for assembly and another month for quilting.
If you have already started pondering plans for next year, you are not alone.  I've seen lots of new blocks in the trail stages on ScrapHappy Saturday.  The button is ready for all those planning to join in for next year.  Up at the top of the right hand column is a "grab my button" gadget.  Just copy the code in the box into a custom html gadget on your own blog and the button should appear.  Then anytime you click on that button, it will take you back to the RSC16 page of my blog.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

ScrapHappy Saturday - Lime in the Coconut

There were enough lime green postage stamps to make these 12 postage stamp stars last weekend.  That means there will be enough for to put a row in each of the twin sized quilts that these will turn into.  Now I need to decide whether to sew these together and have another quilt ready to go, or keep working on quilting some more on the finished stack.  It is a quiet weekend at home!  I am so excited to be able to putter around the house for two days.  The girls want to bake for Thanksgiving.  Ryan needs a haircut.  That is all that needs to be done for two entire days.  I can't wait!
I do plan to spend some time this afternoon firming up the plans for next year's Rainbow Scrap Sampler.  Vicki Welsh has planned out some custom dyed fabric  based on next year's theme color and I am designing a row a month quilt.  It will be smaller than this year's quilt, and use a variety of block sizes.  Check back later today for more details.
Mister Linky is below so that you can share your own rainbow scrap creations with us all.  It has been really exciting for me to start to see finished quilts coming together as the end of the year grows near.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Quilt Doodles

Hanging out at LAX practice and hiding in the car from the rain.  I brought my notebook though and sketched up this block as a possibility next year.  It is called Missouri Puzzle.  Though there are a lot of variations, this one works out well with 15 inch blocks.  One light and one dark block each month would make a nice quilt at the end of 10 months

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Too Many Stars

Sydney's LAX team won the first game of her tournament this morning, but they lost the second.  Since it was a single elimination tournament, we were home right after lunch.  My goal for the afternoon was to finish off the lime green postage stamp stars that I worked on yesterday.  I pulled everything out and realized that orange was missing from the collection.  Now I just need to decide how many of what type of quilt these will become.  I like the 8 by 10 setting with 2 inch lattice and cornerstones, but I'm afraid it will be too big.  Maybe two twin sized quilts would be better?  I think I'd better do some math and make some decisions.