Thursday, January 31, 2013

Purple Prep

I always have big plans for getting some sewing done in the evenings while Kurt is out of town.  Usually I am about done by the end of my day as a single parent and collapse on the couch instead of getting something useful accomplished.  This time though, I focused on getting a little bit of purple preparation done, and made nice progress.   Every purple block is at least partially ready to go.  Some just have fabric and a pattern collected into a baggie and some are prepped for applique or cut out and ready to sew.  These three just happened to get finished while the sorting and organizing was underway.  The first block is H-2, Jacob Anthony. The one is the middle is C-5, Eye of the Cyclone.  Last on the right is J-4 which is called Adeline's Apron Strings.
Science Fair is this weekend, it is Anna's turn this time, she will be at the mall all day Friday and half a day Saturday.  Sydney still has the second level to look forward to, so the season isn't quite over yet.  They are both looking forward to wearing their new clothes, I'll have to remember to take a picture.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tiny Tuesday - Jane's Tears

Someday I will have to do something that isn't applique, but it is so simple when they are all prepped and ready to just stitch away while watching TV.  This one is called Jane's Tears.  It is C9

DJ Count 6 blocks 0 triangles 32 pieces

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mini Monday - Sweet Tater Pie

I really like the blocks where two four patches or pinwheels are made and then rotated before one is sewn on top of the other.  This is one of those blocks and is called Sweet Tater Pie.  It is Dear Jane Dear Jane block B-2

Design Wall Monday January 28th

 I SO wanted to finish the flying geese for Hawaii Sunset this weekend.  The kids all had other plans though.  Lacrosse and football and dress shopping for science fair. Can't have new dresses without new shoes of course.  There were trips to the grocery store and family movie marathons.
So before I could blink, the weekend was gone and these poor little geese just aren't quite ready to fly away.   Soon though they will be done.  Just look how close they are.  This week looks pretty busy with the usual family and work activities, but maybe next weekend?  Maybe.  Hopefully.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Slowdown

I've been stitching away steadily on the small blue Dear Jane.  Each block gets its own little treatment as the mood strikes me.  I'm well over halfway now, and starting to think that finishing might be a real possibility.
My hand quilting still isn't perfect, but it is a nice relaxing way to spend an evening while the family is watching a movie together in the evening.  Kathy is hosting a link up for slow stitching Sunday, head over to her blog to see what others are up to.
The girls both got up this morning and decided to start sewing.  We got a new sewing machine for Anna a couple of weeks ago.  There was an add in the paper that was advertising a clearance sale on school overstock machines still new in the box.  Kurt was able to drive down on his lunch break and get her all set up.  Now Sydney has taken over Anna's old machine which used to be mine, and they are both happy as clams.
Yesterday was crazy busy.  Ryan had his first football of the new season and Anna wanted to go to a Lacrosse clinic.
Not wanting to go alone, she recruited her friend Allie.  They were definitely the youngest girls there, but they stuck together and had a good time.  She seems to have talked Allie into signing up with her for the recreational lacrosse league that starts next month.   Somehow poor Sydney's Girl Scout meeting got lost in the shuffle of all that.  
By the end of the day, Anna was done though and snoozed right through the second movie in our Lord of the Rings marathon.  
I'm hoping Sunday will be a little more relaxing.  The boys are going to play Dungeons and Dragons and the girls want me to take them shopping for new outfits to wear for science fair.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

ScrapHappy Saturday - Pink Roses for Hope

Today is the last pink Saturday, though there are still 6 pink days left in the month.
So here is a bit of pink trivia to start wrapping things up

  • First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower, who loved and wore pink so much it became known as “Mamie Pink”.
  • Pink encourages friendliness while discouraging aggression and ill-will.
  • Since the color pink is said to have a tranquilizing effect, sport's teams sometimes use pink to paint the locker room used by opposing teams.
  • In 1947, fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli introduced the color "hot pink" to western fashion. She dubbed the shade "Shocking Pink," though today the color is more well-known as "magenta."
  • Pastries taste better when they come out of pink boxes or served on pink plates (it only works with sweets). Pink makes us crave sugar.

 I am running out of pink scraps, but putting the last bits to use in these pink framed geese that I am desperate to finish for Hawaii Sunset.  How about you?  Still sorting through the last bits of pink?  Ready to share your pink projects for the month?  Use the Linky below to link to your post full of pink.  

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    Tiny Tuesday - Florence Nightingale

     This was a simple and straight forward traditionally pieced block.  It is number A8 from the Dear Jane quilt.   I'm still not sure what the measurements were.  I just laid my ruler over the top of the pattern in the book, added an extra quarter of an inch all around and then cut the fabric that big.  The triangles were cut oversized and then trimmed down.
    Kurt was my model tonight.  He seems to be getting more creative with poses these days.

    DJ Count 5 blocks 0 triangles 27 pieces

    Monday, January 21, 2013

    MLK Day

    After the dentist this morning I wanted to do something calm and avoid the nap that was calling my name.  Pulling a few simple paper pieced blocks out of the Dear Jane stack seemed like a nice low impact activity for the afternoon.  There is a tiny bit of handwork to do on inset seams and odd applique additions, but I'll add these four blocks to the collection nonetheless.  Now that I've managed to stay upright all day, I'm waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in before curling up with a good book.  I read a nice review of Sotomayor's new book and was thinking of downloading the Kindle version.   It is either that or the creativity textbook for my gifted class.  Apparently creativity has a lot to do with self actualization.  

    Design Wall Monday January 21, 2013

    Thanks to Martin Luther King, I have an extra day to sew this weekend.  I chipped away at the geese for Hawaii Sunset this weekend and worked on a few more pink scraps.  Mostly though, I did some much needed cleaning and organizing.  I'm off to the dentist first thing, not a holiday for them which means I don't have to take any time off.  Anna is working hard on her science fair board.  She is the last of three and I won't be sad to see the end of science fair season.  Head over to Patchwork Times to see what everyone else has up on their design walls.  

    Mini Monday - Rose of Sharing

    I found just the perfect fabric to fussy cut for block K7.  It is kind of a big blob of a block, but is done nonetheless.  

    Mini Monday - Jason's Jacks

    This was a very simple applique block.  It is almost a perfect inverse of Bachelor Buttons from last week.  It is D-3.  

    DJ Count 4 blocks 0 triangles 17 pieces

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    Slow Stitch Sunday Dear Jane Times Two

    I had fun this week trying out some new thread from redrock threads.  I ordered some hand quilting thread for my small blue Dear Jane and some rainbow silk hues for the big Rainbow Jane applique blocks.  I also ordered some quilting needles in size 12 and size 9.  The 12s were so tiny I couldn't even get the thread through the eye, but the 9s did the job nicely.  It was a busy week with lots of evening events and an out of town husband, so it was nice to feel like I was accomplishing something while sitting through football and piano and such.  I got a couple more blocks quilted as well as a handful of applique blocks sewn down. Today has been mostly about cleaning and organization.  I was ready to sew some more geese for Hawaii Sunset, but the paper piecing foundations were missing in action.  When something is missing, my favorite strategy is to clean until it shows up.  Worked like a charm too, there is floor space in the sewing studio and I got a bunch of geese units done.  It is another Downton Abbey night so I will have some more hand sewing time.  Especially with no school tomorrow, I might just stitch the evening away.  Kathy is hosting slow stitching Sunday, head over to see what handwork everyone is settling down to enjoy at the end of the week.  

    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    ScrapHappy Saturday - Perfect Pink

     My scrap basket got full again as I was finishing up my pink Dear Jane blocks last weekend.  I had a stack of 2 inch squares that had been going through as leaders and enders turning into nine patches.
    I thought they would look good with Bonnie Hunter's Mai Tai pattern which was from the October/November Edition of Quiltmaker Magazine.  What have your scraps been up to this week?  Use the linky below to share your pink scrap creations.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    Foiled Again

    There has been something every night this week.  Usually two somethings.  One night there were three things, all in the same evening.  Kurt has been gone and I was really looking forward to curling up under a quilt on the couch.  A cold front just moved in, so a hot chocolate sounded like a definite possibility.  Instead we got a note home saying Sydney had won science fair and we were supposed to go to the awards ceremony.  Yeah!  Sydney won the science fair!  She will the the third grade representative for her school at the regional fair in the environmental category.  I'd be excited if  weren't so darned tired.  

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Wee Wednesay - Gloriae

    This is an odd looking block.  I did the star part in layers to try to add dimension, but the fabric didn't have enough texture to make it show.  My point aren't very pointy either.  Alas, G12 is done and officially crossed off the list.  It has been one of those weeks with something going on every night.  There isn't anything tonight though and I am looking forward to some quality couch time.  It is a three day weekend coming up and I am already counting down. 

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    Tiny Tuesday - Bachelor Buttons

    More simple and straight forward applique this week.  I bought two sets of Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Circles and used them to prep the pieces for this one.  I tried the freezer paper on top method, but the circles weren't round enough so I tried basting the fabric to my handy circle templates and ironing them with a bit of starch.  They look pretty round, though I wouldn't call them perfect.
    DJ Count 5 blocks 0 triangles 26 pieces

    Monday, January 14, 2013

    Mini Monday - Parcheesi

    This one was a bit tricky to figure out.  It is Dear Jane F5I started by sewing the white squares onto a green plus sign,  That was prepared for applique.  Then I made a green square with a white circle behind it and reverse appliquéd those together.  The green plus with the white squares were then appliquéd onto the top of that.  Simple right?

    Dear Jane Count
    Blocks 4 triangles 0 kites 0 pieces 32

    Design Wall Monday - Pink Blocks DONE

     I finished the last pink Dear Jane blocks this weekend from my Rainbow Scrap Challenge Dear Jane!!! Check out the bullseye that the pink squares make on my mini design wall.  It has been a lot of fun to put a new square up on the wall every time I finish a block.   When the main quilt is done I will also have this miniature quilt as a reminder.
    Here they are all together.  I'll have to check and see what color is next.  I think these went so fast because I spent some time at the begining of the month getting everything prepared.  It was really easy to just pick up a baggie and start sewing when the spirit moved me.  

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    Slowpoke Sunday -Dear Jane Quilting

     I've been chipping away at the blue Dear Jane for a while now.  It has been driving around with me all week to take advantage of odd moments.  One of the problems I had been experiencing was thread shredding.  I've been using whatever type of thread happens to be spooled onto the bobbins in my bobbin ring.  Since I have read a lot of good things about YLI thread, I put in an order earlier this week at Redrock Threads.   There are 4 spools for hand quilting: dark and light blue as well as cream and white.  In addition I added in a few more colors of silk thread for applique that will be more compatible with the rainbow colors of Dear Jane.  I have a neutral assortment, but thought it might be nice to have some actual colors as well.  Then, since the shipping was a fixed price of $5 I went ahead and added in a couple of "quilting between" needles to try.  I'm not sure what kind of needles I've been using, but they bend pretty quickly.  Since I'm not sure what size will work best I got a 9 and a 12 to try.
    In addition to hand quilting, I have a little bit of hand sewing to do on yesterday's marathon collection of Dear Jane blocks.  9 blocks completed while everyone was off playing with Lego robots!  4 of them have little melons or diamond that need hand stitching,  I'll try out some of my new silk thread and cross these off the list.  I'll have to save some to sew during Downton Abbey.  The third season started last week and I am hooked.  Do you have an hand work to settle in with on this day of rest?  Kathy is hosting a linky party, so head over to her blog and see what everyone is up to.  

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    Bingo AGAIN

     If I can get one BINGO each week I'll have all the pink blocks done by the end of the month.  It could happen........ Looks like just one more side triangle will do it for today -- I think it is applique hearts.

    These are the blocks finished so far today.  Mostly paper piecing, a few inset seams.  Still a bit on handwork to save for slow stitching Sunday.  
    The pink scrap basket is getting more empty thanks to over 100 nine patches and 4 giant postage stamps block.  Not to worry, more scraps keep coming out with each finished Dear Jane block so I have some bigger nine patches going through as leaders and enders.
    The whole family is gone to another Lego tournament today leaving me home to entertain myself.  Eventually I should do something to clean up around the house or get something ready for dinner, but I'm pretty happy with my little bits of fabric for now.  

    ScrapHappy Saturday - Dresses in Pink Make Boys Wink

    After playing with 1.5 inch strips earlier this week and finding inspiration on design wall Monday, I put together this mega sized postage stamp block.
     First I sewed all the strips together into these little 6 by 6 squares using the tutorial found here.
    Four of the little blocks put together makes a center section that is 12 by 12 blocks for a total of 144 little 1.5 inch squares.  Those get sashed with 12.5 and 14.5 inch white strips.  The final border is made from more 1.5 inch squares that are 14 units long on two sides and 16 on the other.  What pretty pink projects are you up to this on this scraphappy weekend?  Use the linky below to update everyone on your progress so far.  There are still two more pink Saturdays though, so don't fret if your scraps are still in pieces.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    Postage Stamps

    It took just one evening to sew all my 1.5 inch pink strips into postage stamp blocks.  I had been planning on rainbow postage stamps for a while now, but didn't know quite how I was going to set them together until I saw this post on Design Wall Monday.  There wasn't a pattern name or diagram of any sort, but from the picture it looks like 12 x 12 postage stamp blocks in the center surrounded by a white strip and then another border of postage stamp blocks.  Bonnie Hunter also showed a postage stamp quilt recently with the same sized blocks.  I have almost enough for 4 blocks already, I think there are enough little bits still left to finish off the last little quarter block and possibly even to make the outer borders.  If not, I'll just keep trimming up more scraps.  There are more pink Rainbow Jane blocks to make, and as soon as they are done I will liberate the scraps to add to my collection.  Check back on Saturday to see the finished block -- I think it will be awesome!

    Tiny Tuesday - Hannah's Hearts

    I get more applique done in the car than anywhere else.  Once they are prepped, there is not a lot of concentration involved.  Here is Dear Jane H-12.  This was my view as we drove over the Jacksonville bridges on the way to Thanksgiving.  I think it is funny that the hearts are purple.
     DJ Count 3 blocks 0 triangles 22 pieces

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Design Wall Monday #1 January 7, 2012

     I got two quilts to the flimsy stage over Christmas break.  That leads to the obvious question, what's next?  There are 7 Hawaii Sunset blocks done with units for 4 more.  I see a bit of geese honking in my future.
    Most of my sewing time though, was full with Rainbow Dear Jane blocks.  45 blocks done, with about half of the pink ones on the list for this month.  School starts again tomorrow though, so my sewing time will be much more limited than it has been recently.  For now, I have a student coming in to make up the semester exam, so I am off to school.  The kids all want to do something special to celebrate the last day of vacation.  I almost have them convinced that going out for ice cream counts as something special.  

    Mini Monday - World Series

     I am finding that it is very easy to stitch out a block or two each evening as while watching TV as long as the prep work is done ahead of time.  This is block B7 and it is done in a combination of traditional and revers appliqué.  The white melons are tucked between the two layers of blue fabric and then the white diamonds are sewn onto the top layer.
    Sydney is my block holder of choice tonight.  Posing with blocks is turning into a series of odd poses these days.  Tomorrow is the first day back at school after winter break.  The school year is officially halfway done.
    2 blocks 0 triangles 0 kites 14 pcs

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    Slowdown Sunday

    I was putting around the house doing all the normal weekend things when I finally hit a wall.  I just needed to sit for a bit.  Instead of reading or napping I pulled out the old blue Dear Jane quilt and settled in to work a bit more on the hand quilting.  Kathy hosts handwork Sundays, so go over to her blog to see what other handwork people are working on today.  Tonight is the season three premiere for Downton Abbey on PBS, so I will surely have a few bit more quiet hand quilting time.  While stitching I was pondering the two main possibilities for my tiny nine patches.  So I'm taking votes.  Choice one is called The Birthday Quilt.  Choice two is Ohmygosh.  What do you think?  


    153 baby pink nine patches.  I'm not out of 1 inch strips yet, but I'm calling these little guys done for now.  I'll clean up a bit and then pull out some school work.  Students are back on Tuesday and lesson plans would be a good thing to have.  

    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    ScrapHappy Saturday - Tickled Pink

    It is the first scrappy Saturday of the new year and all your pink scraps can come out to play.  I got off to a great start by dumping out my pink jar and sorting it by type.  So far the strips have been dealt with handily and are now happily sorted into 1, 1.5 and 2 inch stacks.  I'm not so sure about the chunks yet, but one step at a time, right?  Look at the adorable little nine patches that I made from the 1 inch strips.
    Mostly though, I've been working on Dear Jane blocks.  There are 13 pink blocks done so far.  Not a bad start given that there about 24 pink blocks on my list.  
    What pink projects do you have in mind for this month?  Use the linky below to share.  

    Friday, January 4, 2013


    I need one more pink Dear Jane block to get a bingo.  All the pink blocks are printed and fabrics waiting in little baggies.  Guess what I'm going to do this morning?  With 43 blocks done I have a great jump start on the year.
    I got up early and went for a walk before it started to rain. The only thing scheduled today is a piano lesson at 2.  I think it is going to be a good day.