Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer Projects

 Yesterday was the big cupcake wars battle.  For those people wondering, cupcake wars is a TV show based on baking cupcakes, not a battle where you throw cupcakes at one another.  That might have made an even bigger mess, but I can't be sure.  Anna, Ryan and Sydney each had two hours to bake four each of three kinds of cupcakes.  They were required to use at least three of five mystery ingredients.  The mystery ingredients were caramel, pecans, chocolate, strawberries and graham crackers.
Anna won the award for presentation.  She made a bunny/turtle out of the pecans, caramel and chocolate.  Most impressive.  The girls had to make their cake batter from scratch, but Ryan was allowed to use a mix.  Given that he has never baked anything before, it seemed like a reasonable handicap.  Cleaning up again took most of the afternoon, but everyone was happy and busy.  Can't ask for more than that, right?
 So I spent the morning with my Costa Rica Team planning our camera trap deployment for Costa Rica.  The afternoon was open though, except waiting for the bug guy to come and try to get rid of the giant bugs that seem to have invaded lately.   So while I waited, I did some major organization of the OMG Churn Dash blocks.  There were so many bits and pieces made, but I didn't know if it was enough of the right colors for my plan.
So I pinned the nine subunits needed for each block together.  5 nine patches and 4 backgrounds for the X blocks.  4 HST units, 4 striped bits and 1 nine patch for each churn dash block.  Here they are all ready to go.  After sorting and counting those, I realized that I only need 137 more blocks for my finished quilt.  I'm not sure when I'll get back to it, but at least I'll have a note to remind me when that happens.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tumblers and Mid-Year Progress.

Bonnie Hunter announced a new leaders and enders challenge, sending me off to dig up my tumbler blocks.
I knew that somewhere I had a stack of tumbler blocks that had been cut from deconstructed men's shirts.  Sure enough, stored away neatly in the cabinets over the washer and dryer, were was a basket full of little tumblers and a big stack of giant tumblers.  I also found a strange wad of un-ironed fabric and backing scraps that must have been stashed there to help clear out the guest bedroom at some point before company arrived. Then I found some miscellaneous baskets full of un-ironed parts and pieces to many random projects.  
So in addition to monitoring the morning session of cupcake wars in the kitchen, I spent some time ironing, sorting and putting away.  We are off to the vet in just a few minutes, but after that, some more sorting will go along with some trimming and organizing.  
We will be having a mid year update in July for anyone who wants to share their Rainbow Scrap Challenge progress so far.  I am doing some inventory of and catch-up in celebration.  I hope that all of your projects are coming along well.  Think about pulling out your blocks to share with us all as we reach the halfway point of the year  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Design Wall Monday June 29, 2015

 It's been a while since I put the churn dashes up on the wall.  The wall isn't big enough though, and I needed to know how many of each to make.

So I sat down with some graph paper and colored pencils and started counting.  I will need 400 blocks, so far I have about 150 completed.  Now that I have a plan, I can keep going without having to do another big display.  So my design wall today is more virtual than tangible, but extremely useful nonetheless.  I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times, so be sure to go see what everyone else has up on their design walls today.
I spent most of the morning helping Anna to finish painting her room.  Now that it is reassembled, I will enjoy some sewing time this afternoon.  Our neighbors son is in town for a visit and he will be be bringing his family over for an afternoon swim, but other than that, it should be a pretty calm afternoon.  This might just be our only week of uninterrupted summer vacation and we are trying to enjoy every minute.  I gave each of the kids a day and asked them to play something special they wanted to do.  Ryan wants to go to Taco Bell for Dorito Loco Tacos on Tuesday.  Sydney wants to stay up all night watching movies and eating popcorn on Wednesday.  Anna wants to have a home version of cupcake wars with Sydney on Friday.  That just leaves Thursday, I think I will take the gang out to see Jurassic World.  Soaking up every minute of summer!  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

When to Stop?

 Part of the quandary with long term scrap projects is figuring out when you are finished.  I prepped another stack of orange peel blocks for applique last week.  After getting caught in New York having sewn up all my prepped blocks, I wanted to make sure that the next trip has plenty of hand work ready to go.  I think this stack should keep me busy for a while.  I'll keep going on these until the end of the year.  Most of the fabrics are hand dyes and batiks leftover from my Sawtooth Sampler and New York Beauty quilts, so these blocks need to keep going at least until those two projects are done.  If you want to check out hand work, be sure to visit Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday.
Then I spent some time organizing my OMG Churn Dash blocks.  These little guys start with 1 inch strips that have been getting sewn in bits and pieces for several years now.  I need to get out some graph paper and colored pencils to figure out how many of each color I will need.  The plan is to have diagonal stripes of colors in rainbow order, but I'm not sure how many blocks or how big the quilt should be.  I guess I'd better decide that so that I can figure out how many of what to get ready to go.  It will still be a long term project, but it can't go on indefinitely.  Can it?

July Color Annoucement

The color for July will be red.  We've been working on cool colors for a few months now, so this will be quite a change.  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

ScrapHappy Saturday - Farewell to Blues

Hopefully your light blues are starting to dwindle.  For me blue is one of those colors that just doesn't ever go away.  The new month doesn't start until Wednesday, so I know that I will be using these last few days to finish up as much as I can.  Use the linky below to let us know how you are doing with your light blues.

Friday, June 26, 2015


The shirts for Miranda's quilt are all stabilized and trimmed.  It took about 8 hours for that part.  Definitely the slow and tedious part of making t-shirt quilts.  The bottom and top rows have large designs and shirts with the front and back combined.  Both of those are trimmed to 18 inches in height.  Then their are three smaller rows which are 8, 10 and 14 inches.  I tried to cut the shirts as small as possible while still keeping all the designs.  Now I'll need to get some color decisions and I'll be ready to sew the top together.
The kids are all off at camp and Kurt has the day off.  He got back from a trade show late last night after being diverted to another airport for weather delays.  The kids were all happy that he brought back goodies.  There were these sunglasses with flashing lights as well as some water bottles and t-shirts.  I think we will go out to lunch together, what a treat.  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Slendor

 I'm still waiting for it to feel like summer.  I am waiting anxiously for a few lazy home days to sew and putter around the house.  I was at work three days this week doing organizing for the homeroom curriculum.  They were only half days, but the girls are in camp this week, so by the time I dropped them off and went to school, there wasn't much time before going to get them again.  Today was a home day though, so I started stabilizing the shirts for Miranda's T-Shirt Quilt.  The blocks are about half done, but I'm out of stabilizer.  I thought I had plenty, so I'm wondering if it is hiding somewhere?  I'll have to go and dig a bit more after dinner.  There is a lasagna in the oven that should be ready any minute now.
On the way home from the morning drop off today, I spotted this family of Sandhill Cranes.  So sweet!  Tomorrow is the last day of drama camp, so the evening will be the performance of Annie Junior.  Sydney is one of the orphans, Anna has been volunteering as an assistant and Ryan will run a follow spot for the technical crew.  The weekend looks wide open though.  Anna has started painting her room, so finishing that up will be first on the list.  Hopefully sewing will get to be second though.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

SlowDown Sunday

 All the Orange Peel blocks that I sewed up at the begining of the year got sewed up during our trip to New York last week.  First on my slow stitching agenda today is to prepare some more for the second half of the year.  I wanted to lay all these out though to make sure I choose different fabric for the new blocks.  I am definitely going to sew each block together with 4 subunits in a circle formation of the same color.  Almost definitely.  Somewhere I have a stack of freezer paper templates which are nicely reusable for ironing on to the chosen fabrics.
Yesterday Anna came with me to a quilting day for Quilters Against Kids Hunger which is a local group making quilts to give to at-risk kids at local schools.  Usually they have lots of kids who come to help out, but yesterday it was just the retired ladies and Anna and I.  She had lot of fun though, sewing around the edges of layered quilts.  I was on trimming and turning duty as we only brought one sewing machine.  After the quilts got turned right side out again, Anna switched to sewing a faux binding around the edges.  Though we only spent the morning, she sewed about 15 quilts, and admitted to enjoying herself while doing it!
I hope you are all finding some time to slow down and enjoy some hand stitching today.  Be sure to visit Kathy to see what others are stitching on this Father's Day Sunday.  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

ScrapHappy Saturday - Light on Blues?

 ScrapHappy Saturday and I am finally home again!  I just pulled out this stack of nine patches ready to be framed.
They will be added in to this collection which is growing slowly month to month.
What are you up to with your baby blues?  You still have today to continue to work on your blues as well as next Saturday to wrap them all up.

Use misterlinky below to share with us all.