Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beach Day

1st beach day of the summer.  Lovin life.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tiny Tuesday - Liberty Star

 This is Midget Block number 62.  It is called Liberty Star and was paper pieced with 32 pieces.  After paper piecing the little star points, I had to set in the background pieces, Wow, that was not fun.  I have definitely decided that it is just easier and better to do set-in seams by hand.  Lesson learned for next time.  Still, after a couple of tries and a few trips to the ironing board, it kind of lays flat, so that is good enough for me. 
Lizzie is my quilt block holder for the dead of night. I'm having my own little midnight midget  marathon and she is good company while the rest of the house snoozes away. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Birthday

The girls celebrated my birthday by making me a homemade birthday cake complete with a fondant quilt.  Notice the spool of thread on top and row of buttons around the bottom edge?  They did that all by themselves.  The kitchen may never recover, but they had a great time doing it. 
My gift was a day in the sewing room which I used to make the rest of the Goose blocks for my next quilt.  Sashings are next.  The pattern, from Bonnie Hunter's Scraps and Shirttails II calls for 3.5 inch sets of the same units used to make the nine patches along with pinwheels as cornerstones.  I'm not sure about the cornerstones, but I'll get started on the sashings tomorrow after work.  We are required to go in for one day of post planing.  Even though I have finished everything on my list, I'll go do some tidying and such to avoid having to use a day of sick leave. 

Design Wall Monday May 28, 2012

At the end of a very productive weekend, I was faced with two big empty design walls.  One held the Scrappy Irish Chain blocks before they got put together into a finished flimsy.  The other used to have the bowtie blocks which are all assembled into rows getting sewn together.  Instead of leaving the walls empty, I started digging through bins to figure out what is next.  Last time I pulled out the star blocks, I couldn't find the tri-recs ruler to make more.  At some point it occurred to me that it was probably still in the box that I took on vacation last year to cut quilts.  Sure enough, there it was right between Goose in the Pond and Smith Mountain Morning.  Both were quilts from Bonnie Hunter's last book that I started working on last summer.  One thing led to another and soon enough, some finished blocks made their way to the wall. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

These silly bowtie blocks have been hanging out on the wall for months now.  I looked everywhere for the same gold background fabric to make setting triangles, but had no luck at all.  Kathy suggested that I make triangles of all of the various colors, which sounded like a great suggestion.  That meant digging through my humble little stash trying to find all of the colors of the rainbow, which is what led to the delay.  Everything is a mess now, and I have made a lot of triangle shaped scraps, but I think the top is ready to sew together,  Have I mentioned lately how awesome summer vacation is?


I usually get stuck on the Bs: borders, backing and binding.  This time I just took a deep breath and kept going.  Totally scrappy borders, totally scrappy backing.  I have a drawer of leftover binding that will complete the trifecta of scrapiness. 
Kurt took a look at the back and asked if I really thought nobody ever looked at the back.  Not so much for unconditional support around here I guess.  Honesty is nice too I suppose. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 1

First day of summer vacation, first project moved along to the next stage.  Borders are next.  The last time I made this quilt I used random lengths of 3.5 inch strips.  I think I might try that again this time.  I also made a list of the things I would like to accomplish this summer.  Ah, the joys of vacation!


My own little corner of serenity. 

Last Yellow Saturday

Today is the last yellow Saturday, but it is the first day of summer vacation!!  I can't decide if I want to sew myself silly or just sit comatose on the couch pretending to read a book.  Time will tell.  I do have some adorable yellow scraps just waiting to be turned into something beautiful........

Use the linky below to share your final thoughts on yellow. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tiny Tuesday - The Airplane

 Midget Block #55 is called The Airplane.  It was paper pieced in two easy-peasy sections with a minimum of fuss. 
Sydney was my helper while I worked on this block and happily sat on the floor matching up colorful fabrics from the 2.5 inch square drawer.  She even sewed them together into four patches before deciding we were finished and needed a break. I have the next block all ready to go, so I might go and get started on it now that everything is out and waiting.
Just 4 more days of school left this year!  Finals start this afternoon, so it really is just all about wrapping up all the loose ends.  I am signed up for a gifted endorsement class this summer and went to the first session last night.  It is all online, but we all met to practice logging in and get the book last night.
Kurt was home yesterday while they installed the new air conditioner -- finally!  He has just finished his big project at work and was looking forward to a nice relaxing day off.  I'm not sure why he thought having workers come and go all day would be restful, but the unit is installed and working properly now.  I'll try not to think about how much it costs to not be hot.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Evelyn Done

I just pulled Evelyn's baby quilt off of the frame.  Binding will be next on the agenda.  The baby shower for last week's quilt is on Tuesday and I will bring this one over to the neighbors on Monday.  I hope there is something good on Netflix while I sit and sew. 

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Choosing a favorite quilt to show in Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival was not an easy task.  I finally narrowed it down to two rainbow quilts that I made last year as part of my ongoing Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I almost chose Rainbow Crumb Parade because I've been doing so much with crumbs lately, but instead chose ScrapHappy Squares because of the fun way that it evolved over time.  The original block idea came from Quiltmakers 100 Block issue.  It was block 171 in the second edition that the magazine put out and was called Boxed In.
 I made one in January of last year using blue, which was the color for that month.  I liked the way it came out so much that I kept making one each month for the rest of the year.  I keep a drawer of 2.5 inch squares on hand, and sorting through it each month searching for 25 unique squares was a lot of fun.  When the blocks were all done near the end of the year I sat and stared at them for a long time wondering how I should put them together.  The outside of each block was a white border which meant something needed to go in between.  After trying out several different colors of sashing strips, a blog reader sent me a link to a quilt that she had seen with a Garden Lattice setting.  Well, that was it!  I searched the web for similar settings until I came up with an idea that would work and shrunk it down to look proportional with the blocks.  It came together quickly at that point, and was done in time to give away for Christmas.  My mom has Sunday school class that sponsors families in need each Christmas and this one one of the stack of quilts that I sent to them last year.  I still think of it from time to time, hoping it found a happy family and it is keeping someone warm and cozy. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Another Baby Quilt Weekend

 I wanted to use some yellow in today's baby quilt.  I needed pink as well, because it is for a baby girl.  I had an idea from a Jelly Roll Quilt book that I wanted to try out.  Things never quilt work out the way you plan. 
I didn't have any pink in the 2.5 inch strip drawer, but there were a bunch in the 2 inch drawer.  I am very low on yellow, but I did have some extra strips from an earlier quilt that were cut at 2.5 inches.  Slight pattern modifications soon followed.  I sewed the two inch strips into pairs and cut the yellow strips in half lengthwise.  Those 1.25 inch strips got sewn onto either side of the pink pairs and ironed flat.  Since the strip sets were now 4.75 inches, I just cut them into squares and threw them up on the wall.  It is sort of a modified rail fence effect.  I then pulled out six of the squares where I will insert letters for the baby's name:  Evelyn.  I think there is enough of the pink star fabric for a border and that will be that.  First though, I am in need of caffeine. 

Yellow Scraphappiness

Just two more yellow Saturdays left.  Looks like I've got a lot of yellow to use up!  First though, I have two projects with deadlines that I want to work on.  First, I found a cute paper pieced paw pattern and was thinking of working on a few end of the year gifts.  Our school mascot is a wildcat and I thought a few mug rugs wouldn't take very long.  Second on the list is another baby quilt. Our neighbors just had a baby girl on Monday.  I have another idea from the same jelly roll book that I used for my last baby quilt, so it should come together pretty quickly.  I might even work some yellow in with the pink in honor of my scraphappy day.  I think the rest of the gang is off to see The Avengers today, leaving me free to putter around in my PJs for a bit.  How about you, any yellow masterpieces in the works?  Use the linky below to share your progress.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tiny Tuesday - Royal Star

 This is Midget Block number 61.  It is called Royal star and had 24 pieces in 8 sections.  The seams are a bit bulky where all the star points come together in the middle, but that can't be helped I suppose.
Sydney was kind enough to hold it for a photo.  Sometimes she just cracks me up.  On the way home yesterday she declared out of the blue, how happy she is that we don't go to an Easter Party every weekend, when asked why, she told us it was because the food was too good and soon she would be round as a ball if she kept eating that way.
The next couple of blocks look like they combine paper piecing and handwork.  I think I'll do the machine part while I have everything set up and save the rest for TV time. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Design Wall Monday May 14, 2012

I had to take all the blocks down off my design wall this weekend to put together the blocks for a baby quilt. It got finished likety split, leaving the wall open again.
Instead of putting the nine patches back up on point, I thought I'd try them in a straight set.  I got bored halfway through though, and started arranging them into quadrants around a central pivot point.  I kind of like them this way.  Just a few more blocks to put together and I will decide once and for all how to put them together.  Head over to Judy's blog to see what everyone else has up on their design walls today. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

 Sydney delivered breakfast in bed to me this morning.  She made it all by herself.  I also got a card and some paper flowers that the kids made in school.  Kurt usually helps them do something special, but he has been a bit over-scheduled lately.  I think they all did a great job on their own though. 
After that I finished off the baby quilt.  Hard to believe that this quilt was started yesterday and is already done.  Now it is off to lunch so that we can get Ryan to his last football game of the season. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A New Quilt

 Someone at work is having a baby.  There is a shower in a couple of weeks and I thought it would be nice to make a quilt.  I had a blue snowball flimsy done from last years rainbow scrap challenge, but decided to check the registry just in case.  I knew she was having a boy, but didn't know what colors they had chosen.  The registry was at Target, and it was full of sage and brown.  I guess sage and brown is what is popular for baby boys these days, because the last shower I went to for a baby boy was almost identical.  That quilt was a big hit, but I thought I should do something a little different this time.  I've got all the blocks done and they are sitting in the machine now, about half sewn together.  I got the pattern idea from a jelly roll book, though a pattern doesn't seem necessary to think of four patches with cornerstones.
I was happy to get a little time in to sew after piano lessons and Girl Scouts but before our afternoon outing to Fun Town for unlimited laser tag and roller skating.  We met Kurt for a quick dinner break from work so that he had a chance to see the kids for a bit.  It is so odd for him to be working such long hours, but the deadline for his project is coming up soon and things should be back to normal soon. 

ScrappyHappy Yellow Day

Sometimes weekends are a VERY good thing.  With just two weeks of school left before the summer break, there is a lot going on.  I am planning to spend some time sewing today, though it might not be until later. 
At school, my AP Biology kids take their exam on Monday, the younger kids have already done their end of course exam and are now trying hard not to do any more work until the end.  On the home front, Kurt is on a new project at work and has been working evenings and weekends to meet deadlines.  He will be done about the same time as the rest of us, but until then I am in charge of all the weekend shenanigans.  I am sure I have said it before, but the single mom gig is not for sissies.  I hope you are all finding some time to sew this weekend.  Use the linky below to share your progress on yellow.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tiny Tuesday - May Flower

OMG!  I had been dreading this block for a while, but after prepping a bunch of applique and hand piecing, I felt compelled to work through them.  Perhaps if I did this block again I would try applique in order to avoid the teensy little curved seams.  More realistically, I'll be thankful it is done and move along with things!  It is called May Flower and it is Midget Block number 75. 
This one has 33 pieces and was hand-sewn with lots of muttering and squinting. The long background rectangles had to be re-cut to two and seven eights instead of two and one eighth.  I'm not sure if it was a typo or a printing size issue, but it wasn't going together any other way.  It isn't square, or even, or done very well at all, but it is finished, and that is the best kind of  block.  Maybe it will be charming with some nice hand quilting some day. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Design Wall Monday May 7, 2012

I finally got all the Irish Chain blocks done and that quilt is pinned and being webbed together.  As part of my ongoing quest to finish off leaders and enders, I pulled out the 1.5 inch bin and threw these nine patches up to see how many more I needed to make.  I don't think it will take too many more to turn this into a quilt.  Another bin emptied, gotta love it.  If I manage to keep finishing things off I'll have to start thinking about starting something new.  Well, maybe not quite yet, but soon. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Odds and Ends

I sat down to start the hand work on the binding for the green crumbs when I realized that I hadn't finished the binding for the last crumb quilt I finished.  These were the blocks that I made for the Crumb Along at Jo's Country Junction. It started out as a black background Amish inspired quilt, but diverged somewhere along the road.  It is officially done now, leaving me free to move on the what is next. 
We spent the afternoon at Ryan's football game, and I thought about taking a quilt along to sew down binding.  I am glad that I didn't though, as the heat was impressive and we all left in a puddle of our own sweat.  Having a quilt to carry wouldn't have helped the situation any at all. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012


 I might like the back of Green Crumbs better than the front.  It has Elvis and hats with flowers and some random bright green fabric.  What a fun way to clean out the cupboard. 
The front was also a cleaning experience with more of the green crumb blocks that just won't end.  I have the binding picked out, it is a green and yellow stripe that came with my last order from Connecting Threads.  I'll do it in the morning though.  Right now I think I'll clean up and call it a night. 

What to do?

I just finished the blocks for my Scrappy Irish Chain.  It is all over the family room floor waiting for inspection before I pin the blocks for sewing.  Ooops, just saw the extra chain block in the corner where an alternate block should be.  I guess it is good for the blocks sit for a minute before moving them along to the next step.
Green Crumbs are on the frame.  The quilting on that is about half done I think.  I did a little bit during the week, but there wasn't much time. 
The bow-ties are my biggest dilemma though.  I ran out of the cheddar background fabric and need to decide what to use for the setting triangles.  I bought a green that I thought might work, and then found a cream with cheddarish flowers on it.  I also entertained the thought of doing a medley of different colors to match the colors of each row.  I'm not sure where to head with this one honestly.  I guess I will wait for inspiration to strike.  It has been up forever though and I'd like to get the rows put together soon.
It is great to have a wide open weekend and time to putter.  For once I don't even have a stack of papers and lesson plans waiting.  With that thought in mind, I'll go decide what is next. 

Sunshine and Happiness

I am feeling bright and shiny and so happy to have a weekend.  It was wonderful to celebrate the end of the week with some sewing.  Yellow is such a fun way to celebrate the waning days of the school year.  Summer vacation projects are already spinning through my mind.  Until then, I'll keep playing with tiny little scraps of fabric.  What plans are twirling in your head?  Any great yellow plans?  Share your thoughts below, either yellow, or finishes from earlier months.  The choice is yours alone.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tiny Tuesday - Chrysanthemum

 This is Midget Block #59, it is called Chrysanthemum.  It is paper pieced in 8 sections and was simplified so that it only has 24 pieces.  The original pattern had random extra seams in the light stripes and extra corners of white fabric at the end of the medium stripes.  I left those out for a simpler looking block without quite so much bulk. 
The pattern didn't quite work out as it was printed.  The little dark triangles in the center were both part of only two sections instead of being divided evenly onto each of four corners.  I sewed it as printed, thinking I just be missing something and it would all come together in the end, but it didn't.  I had to unsew the sections to add matching dark triangles so that the two halves would be symmetrical.  It is still a little wonky where I undid things, but in the grand scheme of things, I don't think it is too bad. 
Most importantly, all of the first 60 blocks are officially done now!  I think my block count is at about 84 in total, including the applique and hand piecing that I did out of order on trips.  I never would have guessed when I accidentally stumbled on these blocks a year and a half ago that I would still be plugging away at them all this time later.  I hope that I don't get to the end of the published blocks before more are released.  I'd have to start making things up at that point to finish off the quilt.  I guess I could put in Dear Jane blocks to fill out the set, but it wouldn't be the same at all. I also have an applique CD from a book that I could re size to work with these fellows.  Time will tell I suppose.