Sunday, January 31, 2021

Sunday Finishing


I finished the yellow block of Leap Year last night while we were finishing off watching Shitt's Creek as a family.   
This was the very last Dear Jane block, left side number 6 which is also known as tumbling blocks.  It was English paper pieced.   Though I haven't done much of it, the inset seams worked well that way.  
This is the final border, the right side, ready to be sewn on.  Hard to believe that all these years later I will finally have a finished quilt top.  I started this quilt in 2013 right after finishing my Tiny Tuesday Midget quilt from Sentimental stitches.   A lot happened at first, most of the top was finished before the end of that year.  Then it got set aside, and the longer a quilt is in hibernation, the harder it is to wake it up again.  It will be done today though, at least the top part.  The quilting is another story.  I'm  linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday and Oh Scrap! today.  

Saturday, January 30, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - Last Pink Weekend

 I hope that all of your pink plans are wrapping up.   I feel very done with the rosy shades and ready to move on to bright and shiny yellow for February.  

Dear Jane has 3 out of four borders sewn on and just three more blocks to finish for the fourth.  There is an end in sight!  I made this green block on Wednesday and it took SO long!  HST blocks for the center pinwheel, the orange peels appliqués on top followed by reverse applique of the circle over that.  I changed up the diamonds on top to use a failed attempt at pinwheels.   The entire top should be complete before the day is done.  

Pink was a good month for me this year.  I think I've added a few more crumb blocks to the mix since this photo was taken, but I definitely used LOTS of bits from the pink bins.  I don't have quite so much yellow fabric to work with, but it will be fun to dig in and see what  I can find.   

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Dear Jane Marathon day

I took a day off of work yesterday and decided to sew.   Its been busy and I just needed a breather.   The blocks that are left on Dear Jane at this point are mostly tricky in some way.  This one is called tumbling blocks and has all these inset seams!  I will do English Paper piecing on this one for sure.   
Then there is this one, it was simple enough, I don't know why it waited so long.   I think there are three more to go?   Two need some hand work and I just didn't get to the third by the time everyone came home.   I ran out of freezer paper, and spent the day running around the house finding other things to use instead.   I think I finished only three blocks completely, but two more are well underway.  

I'm usually pretty done by the end of the day right now.  I get home in time to walk the dog and start dinner and then I'm usually ready to collapse.  Seeing the finish line though, I will have to try to make some progress even on school days.  I think I'm settling back into a pattern again with the new semester.

Anna is back at school in time for class "shopping" and Ryan is all settled in with 2 and a half in person classes!   Sydney is glad to be back to brick and mortar, the online learning was OK for a while, but it started to take an emotional toll over time.  

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Slowly on a Sunday


I had a little burst of Dear Jane sewing yesterday and finished off the left side!   It looks like I just need 8 more for the right side and this quilt will be DONE.   I'll have to go back at some point and figure out when I started this girl.   I used to have the kids pose with the blocks, and they were all pretty tiny at the time.   This is the ultimate in rainbow scrap quilts, so be sure to visit Oh Scrap! if you are working on something scrappy today.  
I just need to finish up the applique sewing on these last three blocks.  The closer I get to being done, the more liberty I take with the design.   The ones that are left are tricky in general, so I am simplifying and going for the feel of the pattern rather than trying to get every detail perfect.   There wasn't supposed to be a diamond in the middle of that teal block, but I just felt that it needed more color.    Lots of people have slow stitching to share at Kathy's Quilts, so be sure to pop by if you have hand work saved up for the day of rest.     
This yellow guy was an odd mix of applique and paper piecing.  You could see curved seams in the original block, but my mind just said "nope" and I moved on with life.  

It was nice to enjoy the weekend after a busy week at school.   We are on a block schedule this year, and the new semester started on Tuesday.  So that meant a batch of new kids.  New names to remember, procedures to establish, a second first day of the school year.  Most teachers are redoing a class that they had first semester, but I am switching preps which means a lot more time to get ready every day.  I've taught Honors Biology for a lot of years, but never in a time of COVID.  Social distancing means modified labs and the I still have kids e-learning which means that everything is digital.   Just when I thought that my job was settling into a routine, BAM it is all new again.  They are starting to vaccinate teachers in Florida, but only those who are over 65.  It doesn't seem to be going well so far, so my turn could be a long way off.  The governor declared teachers as critical infrastructure workers, but we are not critical enough to get vaccine priority.  

There was a rocket launch this morning.  A Space X Falcon 9 going into sun synchronous orbit which meant that it went directly overhead.  Usually they head out to sea.   We were late on our beach walk this morning because of rain and were just getting back home as it went up.  I have the usual weekend chores t finish up, but I hope to get that left side attached before the end of the weekend.  

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Still One More Pink Saturday


I hope that everyone is off to a great start on PINK!  As hard as it is to believe, there is still one more pink Saturday after today.  If you are done with pink, consider pulling out a UFO or getting some of your other colors sorted and ready for this year's projects.   I pulled out Dear Jane this week.  Just 12 more border blocks to be done with this one.  The pinks are done, so I'm moving on down the list.   How are you pinks coming along?  The linky tool is below.  Please share with us all and then visit others to give them encouragement.


Monday, January 18, 2021

Monday Feels Like Sunday

Tomorrow is a new semester at school.  Sydney will be going back in person for the first time since we were all sent home last March.   While I was happy to keep her home and safe, the e-learning is getting more difficult over time and she is one of many who will be returning in person tomorrow.  She asked for black masks in a child size.  Anna wanted more from of sailing fabric.  I don't have any blues to match exactly so I used a variety of greenish blue hues.  I had cut out some atom fabric earlier and blue goes with everything.  I'm awfully tired of mask sewing now, but I'll add the elastic and be done with this batch.  A friend from school wants some for her wedding, and I fixed some elastic for another, but after that  I should be done for now.  
I finished off the orange block of hand quilting on Leap Year and so started on the yellow.  
The plan had been to sew on Dear Jane today, and I did get one block done this morning.  This is block number 12 on the left side.  I stitched a tiny applique diamond to the top and added it to the collection.   Most of the day though was spent moving my sewing room -- AGAIN!   Since we've been here I have moved my machine several times.   Ultimately, Sydney's room is meant to be the sewing studio, but until then I am camped out in Ryan's room.  His spring break was tacked on to the end of the winter vacation, so we are unlikely to see him again until summer.  He called last night and was able to switch his schedule around to have in person classes!  Two and a half of them.  Good news indeed.   Now I'm off to wrap my mind around having a new schedule tomorrow.  I've traded 8 seniors in Capstone Research for 24 9th  graders in Honors Biology.  We are on block schedule now, and some unknown number of students will still  be learning from home, so even a familiar class will seem new again.   

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday Feels Like Saturday

 Having gotten caught up on pink, and with a three day weekend to look forward to, I decided to pull out a UFO.  Dear Jane has top and bottom borders, but it needs left and right to be finished properly.   

I pulled out the completed blocks and it looks like there are 10 out of the required 26.  Not bad at all.   

After a bit of time this morning, here is 11.   It is block number 6 on the left side and just needs a tiny bit of applique to be added to the wall.   I'll settle down for a little bit on hand work as soon as I hop over to Kathy's quilts to see what other hand stitching is going on this sunny Sunday.  It looks like she has pulled out a UFO as well.   With an extra day in the weekend, I will try to cross another block or two off the list.  Hopefully Dear Jane won't be a UFO for too much longer.   

Saturday, January 16, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - SEW much Pink

 I think I finished pink!  I'm always tempted to add a new block right now, but that would be unwise.  I will admit to spending some time sketching out a new string block plan.  Not every month will include vacation days, and staying caught up will get harder.  So I will get some organizing done and sew some more masks.   What will you be sewing today?  Use the linky tool below to share your plans with us all.  There are still two more pink Saturdays after today, so don't worry if you aren't done yet.  

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sunday Sewing


I might be done with all the pink this month.  I'm having urges to start a string quilt, but I won't always have as much time to sew as I do right now, and I shouldn't start more than I can finish.  Yesterday I got the green lattice blocks sewn to go between the flower blocks and made some more stars and shooflies.   I've been making a few more pink hexies while watching TV with the girls in the evenings.   We are working our way slowly through Schitt's Creek.  Ryan didn't want to watch with us, but he is back at school now, so I think we might have some more hexie stitching evenings in store.  I've been trying to encourage everyone not to hang out alone in their own rooms all the time, but I haven't had much luck so far.  
It was too chilly this weekend for beach walking, so we settled for looking at the beach while walking the dog.   I think it will be warm again during the week, and then cold just in time for next weekend.  Funny how that always seems to be the way of things.  Next weekend we have an extra day for MLK and then we will start a new semester.  That makes this week exams, so it will be full of busy days.  I think I'll find a nice movie that I've already seen and spend some time putting those pink hexies together into a row.   First though, I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts and Oh Scrap!  So many new quilts getting started in the new year, and lots of great quilts getting finished up from last year.   Seeing other people finishing quilts is almost as fun as finishing them yourself.  

Saturday, January 9, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - Pink Progress

I hope that your pink scraps are seeing some action so far.   I am enjoying a fresh start despite the news and everything that is happening in real life right now.  Sydney spent the week with strep throat.  It is a sad day when you are thankful for a bacterial infection because the alternatives are all scary.  Ryan is headed back to the University of Florida today.  All of his classes are online, but he still wanted to go and be there in person.  He had to plan his move in time so that he could get his scheduled Covid-19 test which is required for everyone.  Anna is a complicated story, I'm not sure if she will be allowed to return because she has been having some more serious issues that I haven't really discussed online.  She is stable now, but being away and unmonitored is a scary thought for her right now.  So I guess you can see why fabric is such a joy right now.  Sewing is uncomplicated, brings immediate satisfaction and doesn't require any scary decisions.   I am loving my pink scraps right now and very much looking forward to making more shoofly and silly star blocks today.   Uncomplicated, easy, and pretty.  Yes, that is a great plan.  Please share your pink progress so far.  It is fun to see other people creating and to hear about their own ups and downs.  

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Crumb Plans


I am determined to take care of all the little odds and ends this year. I don't want to use up all my scraps by any means, but I do want to be left with useable bits that can fuel future projects.   

 It was extremely satisfying to sew tiny leftovers all together and square them up into these 4 inch blocks of random happy scraps.   I don't have a plan yet, but at some point I will collect enough in all the colors and turn them into something lovely. 

I was surprised as  I searched through unfinished projects and block collections at how much I have hanging out in limbo.  I tried to update the "My Quilts" tab of my blog with links to help me remember which projects are waiting for attention.   I think that I will rotate some of them into project bins.  With my sewing space in constant flux right now, being able to pull out an individual bin to work on might make productivity a little easier.  I know someday I will have a dedicated sewing space again.  I never would have guessed when we downsized houses that everyone would rush home again to shelter in place during an ongoing pandemic.   I guess life is full of surprises.  

We had a family Minecraft session last night and fun was had by all.  My son Ryan got us all accounts as a Christmas present and we have spent many hours all gathered around the kitchen table since then collaborating in our little digital homestead.   I was keeping one earbud in and monitoring the events in DC while we played, but that is a story for a different blog.   

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Productive in Pink


I tend to be very productive at the start of a new year, so I try to rotate through big colors to start the year.  This year is pink.  It must be having two girls, but my pink bin is always overflowing.  They are practically grown, so I'm not sure I should blame them -- maybe I just like pink.   I made a few more shooflies and stars last night and tried to polish off the last few crumbs bits.   I am squaring these up to 4 inches right now and searching for inspiration.   I thought about alternating between black and white framing squares.  Then I thought about alternating diagonal and straight set blocks.  Then I saw some cute black framed blocks sashed with white and bright solid cornerstones.   Maybe just white with black cornerstones?  They definitely need some sort of dividers, because the bulk is just a bit much, but I haven't settled yet on what they will become.  For now it is nice to not have so many random bits hanging around taking up space.   I was planning on cutting some more green 1.5 inch strips to make Garden Lattice alternate blocks, but I could not find my ruler yesterday.  Anna finally sat down for an evening snack and found it hiding under her chair.  On the bright side though, I tidied everything up as I searched madly for that darned ruler for the last two days.   With all the kids home I am sewing in the family room and can't leave everything strewn allover anymore.   

Monday, January 4, 2021

New Tracking Sheet for 2021


Stephanie has been kind enough to make tracking sheets for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge again this year.   It is available as a word document or as a PDF.   She also has a RSC Pinterest page set up, so be sure to check that out.   

I have resisted Instagram so far, feeling that I had too much social media going on to keep track of, but I am phasing out of Facebook, and so dipping my toes into Instagram.  I will have one of my daughters show me the ins and outs over pizza tonight.  

For now though, enjoy the tracking sheets and shop for some inspiration

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Tracking Sheet PDF

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Tracking Sheet Word Document (editable)  

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Pink Play Day 3


We were off to a late start on our beach walk this morning.  It doesn't get as hot right now, so there isn't quite the same rush to get home before it is too warm.   
My husbands company sent a tin of peppermint bark as a holiday gift.  The peppermint bark is quite tasty of course, but look at that adorable tin!  It fits my hexies perfectly.   Am I the only one that gets a huge kick out of adorable containers?   I got a nice start on my pink hexies for this month and even cut a few more fabrics as I was sorting through the pink bin.  

There are lots of pinks in there, but they are all well sorted and organized.   I think that went through it when I made the bin during "safer at home" this summer.   I have dug out plenty for strips in all the sizes I need for this year's blocks.   
I still have quite a few crumbs to take care of though.  I think that they will get trimmed to 4 inches and framed with some white?  Maybe I will alternate white and black for a checkerboard?  Or maybe I will use cornerstones?   Playing with crumbs will be first on my list today.
Yesterday was all about getting new projects for 2021 organized and started.   I had quite a few empty bins waiting for projects and they are all sorted for my new projects.   I tend to work on a project for each strip size these days, so I continued with that plan.   The bins are numbered, labelled and ready to go with the appropriate strip size and partially assembled blocks.   
I have tutorials for most of my plans posted as links on the RSC21 page.   So after digging a bit deeper into Bonnie Hunter's Garden Party block, I found out that I had misjudged the dimensions a bit.   I remembered that it was based on a 1.5 inch base but that there were some slightly wider parts.  For some reason I was sure that the corners were wider.  Now that I look deeper, my block is not actually the same as Bonnie Hunter's block.  Thanks to Cathy for information on the original source of the pattern.  I found that the original quilt was in Quiltmaker #163 which was published in the May/June 2015 edition.   It is available on the Quilting Daily website as a digital download.    Still, rather than remaking the 12 blocks that I have already made, I am going to call mine Garden Trellis rather than Garden Party and just keep moving forward.  It is quite similar except that the flower petals are a bit thinner which will result in more negative space between the blocks.  
How are your 2021 plans starting to shape up?  I will link up at Oh Scrap!  and Kathy's Quilts to see what other scrap based and hand sewing projects are underway for the new year.   

Saturday, January 2, 2021

RSC21 Week 1


I have started off the new year with a blast by completely forgetting that it was Saturday!  I've been happily sewing the morning away thinking that it was Friday.   What a funny way to start 2021.   I have been avoiding the thought of returning to school with a lingering thought that I need to grade some essays before Monday.  I am enjoying pink far to much right now though.   I've finished off 10 Garden Party blocks using a design by Bonnie Hunter.  As much as I searched, I could not find the quiltmaker magazine in which the pattern appeared.  I saved it carefully for years knowing that this quilt was definitely on my someday list.   I might switch to a contrasting color in the centers, but other that that, I am enjoying this pattern very much.   I read through the pattern several times, and I think I have all the measurements right, but if now, these dimensions work out nicely I think.  

So what pink scraps have you pulled to play with this year?   The linky tool will be available each Saturday so that you can link to your blog and share your scraphappy progress with us all.   

Friday, January 1, 2021

Hashtag - Full Stop Block 1

Row 1 of the Full Stop Quilt is Hashtag.  It is honestly one of the most complex blocks I am planning.  I always have more energy at the start of a a year than at the end, so it is good to get the hard part done now.    
The hashtag is traditionally known as a number sign or a pound sign.  In recent years it has been adopted as a tag for social media posts.   While not properly a punctuation mark, I feel that it fits in well with our theme this year.   

You will need some 2 inch strips to start.   These will be cut into rectangles
From pink: 
  • 2 rectangles 6 inches by 2 inches
  • 2 rectangles 8 inches by 2 inches
From background:
  • 3 rectangles 6 inches by 2 inches

In addition to the block fabric, you will also need 4 rectangles for sashing.  These are 2 inches by 8 inches.   
Start with the short rectangles and lay them out, alternating between background and pink.   
Sew the strips together and sew toward the pink fabric.   If you are having trouble getting the strips sewn evenly, you can use rectangles which are a bit longer (such as 6.5 inches) and square the ends up during the next step.   

Make sure that the seams are all nice and parallel and cut this strip set into  three 2 inch strips.   The seams should be parallel and as even as possible.  
Now lay down the two longer rectangles in between the strip sets.   

Sew these 5 strips together to make your block.  Press again toward the pink fabric.   
Make 5 of these blocks and then assemble them into a row by sewing an  inch strip of background fabric between the blocks.  

Here is the finished row.   Mine ended up at about 45 inches, so I will eventually add a total of 19 inches of background fabric to either end.  I won't do that quite yet though.  I want to leave my layout options open for now.