Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mai Tai Sunrise Holiday Progress

Ah, the joy of three day weekend!  So much time to play with fabric.  There were PLENTY of nine patches ready to work into Mai Tai, but as I was power lifting yesterday, I was pondering different layouts.  I am thinking of turning it into Mai Tai Sunrise with a horizontal color pattern rather than the diagonal stripes   I've been working on sashing out the nine patches, but haven't gotten too many of the star blocks done quite yet.  I kind of like the open white space the sashing on the nine patches create around the stars, though it will dilute the colors.  The sunrise is over water of course, fading into some green grass along the bottom.  Yellow will rim the horizon, fading into yellow, pink and finally red along the top.  Honestly, it is more of a sunset than a sunrise, but then the irony of Mai Tai and Tequila Sunrise both being tropical drinks is lost.  I've got a bit of school work to do first, but maybe after that I can add a few more blocks to the collection.  

RSC Sampler - Bear's Paw

The bears paw block is generally found in groups of 4 with a center sashing. I wanted something a little simpler and so worked up a single paw.
I used a dark and a light orange.
Start with a large 4.5 inch square of orange.
Next get a strip of light and dark that are each 2.5 inches wide.
Pair them right sides together and use the easy angle ruler to cut 4 HST blocks.
Finally, cut one 2.5 inch square of light fabric
Sew the HST units together, trim the dog ears and press toward the dark fabric.  Arrange them on two sides of the large orange square so that the dark edge faces up and toward the large square on the left and down toward the large square on the top.  Check your placement against the picture to make sure the toes are all pointed the right way.  The light square will fill in the empty corner.
Sew both pairs of HST units together and press toward the dark fabric being careful to let the points lie flat.
Sew one set of toes to the top of the block.  Sew the light square to the top of the other.  Press toward the plain square in both cases.
Sew the side toes on and press toward the large square.  Your block should be 6.5 inches unfinished.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rainbow Mai Tai

I started this Mai Tai quilt many moons ago as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I has seen it originally as part of a post about a Bonnie Hunter cruise .  I didn't have enough information yet to put it all together, until I saw this post in Quiltmaker magazine.  Since then I've been making nine patches as leaders and enders to go along with the color of the month.  Just a few each month, but they have added up over the last couple of years.  There are even a few pink star blocks to give you the idea of how it will look when it starts to come together.  It is a school holiday today!  That means I have extra sewing time to enjoy.  First I think I'll get some more of the nine patches sashed, and then I might even work on some stars.  I think I'll do a general diagonal color rainbow, but offset the stars and  nine patches by one color to give it a more blendy effect.  I'm going to join in at Patchwork Times this week for design wall Monday in celebration of labor day.  

Around the World Blog Hop

I was tagged last week by Andee to post as part of the Around the World Blog Hop.  Given the status of the holiday weekend and the general business of everyone's lives, I chose to ask for volunteers to tag.  These three lovely quilters were kind enough to step forward.  So please go and check them out.

High Road Quilter - Shasta is an eclectic quilter.  Her work defies easy categorization and she isn't afraid to try new styles.    She also weaves and writes articles for HubPages.  

The Academic Quilter - Mari a college professor as well as a quilter.  Her bright and happy colors make my heart sing.

Zana Ninis - Katie Z. is a wife and mother as well as a quilter.  She also finds time to join in to the rainbow scrap challenge, though I don't know how with all she has going on.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hawaii Sunset Blocks Together

 It took most of the day to get these blocks together.  There was an unfortunate moment when the dog got very excited and started running around in circles.
So maybe all of the blocks didn't end up exactly where I wanted them, but at least I finally found them all.  Its a really good thing I love my dog.  Though she would also make a nice pot roast.  Just kidding.
Borders tomorrow?  Maybe.  

ScrapHappy Saturday Farewell and Moving On

 I'm feeling done with green.  I might putter a bit more today while cleaning them up and putting them away.
But I am feeling ready to jump into orange.  Bright, happy and beautiful orange.
While getting ready to start a new month, I'll go ahead and open up the giveaway for September of beautiful hand dyed fabric by Vicki Welsh.  I've already started to talk to Vicki about next year and I am really excited about the wonderful plans that we have worked up together. I won't say more than that, but be sure to keep some scraps for the new year if you can.   To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment with your one word goal for the weekend.  It is a three day weekend for me and my one word is SEW.  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Around The World Blog Hop

Andee at Modern Diary has invited me to participate in a blog hop.  Amy and Ros are also up today, so be sure to check them out as well.  The idea of the blog hop is to talk a little about your quilting process and then invite three other bloggers to post the following week.  I'm opening my invitation up to the first three readers who would like to post next week about your progress.  Just leave a comment on this post asking to join in the fun and I will add a link to your blog at the bottom of the post.

For anyone who doesn't usually follow along, I'll take a few minutes to introduce myself.  Hi, I'm Angela, and I have a quilting problem.  I started with a baby quilt for each of my three children, now teenagers, but before I knew it, quilts had started to take over!  I had fabric and blocks and thread everywhere.
For the last few years I've been hosting the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The ideas is simple, rather than letting your scraps overwhelm you, use them up  -- one color at a time.  Each month I choose a color and invite anyone who wants to join in to use their own scraps to sew something.  The projects are as varied as the quilters who share them and it is a never ending source of inspiration and encouragement.
This year I was lucky enough to have a sponsor.  Fancy, right?  Vicki Welsh has been kind enough to provide some of her lovely hand dyed fabrics for giving away to to RSC participants.  We've already been working together to plan for next year and I'm even more excited for what we have to look forward to in 2015.  I've designed a special quilt with her fabrics as the focus and will have tutorials each month for anyone who wants to join in.

I've always got WAY too many project going on at the same time.
Right now my big project is a Rainbow Scrap Challenge Dear Jane.  All the center blocks are done.  I'm working up some energy for those side triangles!
 My first foray into hosting a quilt along has been a sampler quilt of 6 inch rainbow blocks.  I've been posting tutorials for blocks to go along with the color of the month all year long.  Some of the blocks are traditional and some are a little more modern.  Variety is the fun part of samplers. I've been letting some setting ideas simmer and I'm starting to get excited about putting all of my blocks together.  I think it will have a modern twist in the end.
 I love anything with scraps, the tinier the better.  Lately I've done quite a bit with postage stamps.  These little blocks are 36 patches.  They were "extra" bits from another project.
This is the block that started it all. 
  As  side effect of using ALL of my scraps, I've started working with tiny blocks lately.  The nine patches in are made from 1 inch strips.  I'd love to do more with miniatures in the future, but it takes a long time to use up scraps that way.
I even, occasionally, make quilts that are not rainbow themed using patterns by someone else.  This Hawaii Sunset quilt was inspired originally by Jo, and when Andee, and Amy and Andra all joined in, I knew I was doomed.  Even though it is a reproduction pattern, I still seem to gravitate to the bright and happy colors.  
  Every so often I go on a binge of finishing, usually during summer vacation, when I have some time off from school.  The advantage of having so many projects in the pipeline is that it is always easy to pick something in the "almost done" stage to finish off when motivation is running hot.  

 My design process usually starts with an idea or pattern that I find while enjoying all of the great quilt blogs that are out there.  I love to pin inspiration quilts on Pinterest.  Rarely do I try to duplicate a quilt exactly, instead I love to combine my favorite parts of different quilts to end up with something unique to me.  This batik star quilt for my Aunt Brenda started with a simple star block, but was designed to use two colors of background fabric based on a sampler quilt that I had seen along the way.
Though I do have quilt design software, I love to sit with graph paper and colored pencils to plan out my quilts.  Sketching out quilt blocks is a great way to stay occupied while sitting through a faculty meeting of waiting to pick up one of the kids.
Want to play along with the blog hop?  Be one of the first three to respond to this post and I will tag you to join in next Monday.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hawaii Sunset Progress

 Yesterday was super busy with no time at all to sew.  I was determined to make up for it today.  Amy recently finished her Hawaii Sunset top which inspired me to pull my blocks out again.  They have been done for ages, but I needed more sashing strips and some of the odd little setting triangles to be able to sew it all together.  I was able to get everything cut out while the kids were swimming this morning and now they have gone off to play and I am ready to start sewing the rows together.  I'd better get busy quickly before the dog comes and helps me rearrange things.
 Hopefully that will leave a bit of time for slow stitching the binding on Jamestown Landing.  Sundays require a bit of relaxation after all.
The main activity that kept us all running yesterday was a trip to St. Augustine to visit family in from out of town.  Aunt MaryAnne passes away this summer and everyone came down for the memorial service on Friday.  From the back left it is Kurt's mom and dad, Bonnie and Tom.  Next to him is his brother, Uncle Bob and his wife Aunt Barb.  Then there is Kurt on the right and the kids all in the front row.  The rest of the aunts and uncles headed out Saturday morning, but we spent the day exploring downtown and ended the day with a dinner out before heading home again.  It was so nice to be able to catch up and visit for a while.  We live so far away from everyone that it is easy to loose touch.
It was unbelievably HOT yesterday, but we tried to walk slowly in the shade and cool off with a bit of ice cream and some swimming.  I can't remember it ever being so hot for this long since we moved here 16 years ago.  Hoping for cooler weather next week.  Ryan had a football game yesterday as well, thankfully it was early in the morning before the real heat of the day set in. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

ScrapHappy Saturday - Light and Bright

I've been thinking about some string blocks for next years RSC.  Strings are always so pesky to store, they get tangled and frayed along the edges.  I thought I'd try something new.  I used a safety pin to connect color coordinated strings together.  Then I found a belt hanger and just slid the safety pin onto the little hooks.  Now I can hang the strings up until I'm ready to use them and they won't get all knotted up.
Thinking about sewing is about all I've had time to do since school started, but I'm sure there will be some sewing time in my plans for the weekend.  How are your light and bright greens coming along?
Use misterlinky below to share your progress.

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Quilt Rack

 Look what came in the mail today!  Some assembly required, but it wasn't long before my new  rack was up and ready for quilts.
 It has five rungs.  The finish is called gunstock I think.
And it angles out from the wall a bit.  I've been wanting to have a place to hang quilts for quite a while, and finally found an Etsy seller with a style that I liked.  I'm really pleased.
The first week of school is over and I think I will celebrate with a bit of sewing while the boys are off at football.  I brought home a bit of grading to catch up on, but I'll save that for our car trip tomorrow.  Not quite as much fun as hand quilting or applique, but I guess its my fault for assigning summer reading.  It was optional, but the kids who chose to do it seemed to really enjoy the books they chose.