Monday, March 29, 2021

Design Wall Monday - Lightning

The moon was full and beautiful last night.  I tried to catch a photo of its reflection on the water, but photos never do the night sky justice.   
I got the first three rows of the lightning quilt sewn together.   It is a slow and steady process to get the angles right on either side, but I am very much enjoying watching this one come together.   Those nine patches have been hanging out fermenting in a baggie for SO long.   So glad to find a use for them.  I have several more baggies to deal with, but all in good time.  
I did actually empty one more baggie yesterday, converting ginormous hexies, to tiny ones for the diamond quilt.  Kurt and I watched Batman Begins together after pizza night and I trimmed so many blocks that I wore a blister on my scissor finger.  Ouch!  It was amazing how many different fabrics I had stashed in there.  Some were of questionable quality and got tossed, but the rest will make great additions to my little diamond collection.   
I think this will be a calm week.  Sydney is allowed to return to sports again after her mono episode.   We went to watch the game as a family last Friday, but by Wednesday she will be back on the field again.   Midterm exams were last week at school which means that we start a new marking period today.   That means just nine more weeks of this wild and weird school year.   We are down six teachers so far who just won't be back.   I can't say that I blame them after the year we have all had, but it is going to be sad to see them all go.   Two of them had previously planned to retire, the rest have made other plans based on the trials of pandemic education.   

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sunday - Time to Pause?

I am looking forward to a little quiet time today.   We had a beach walk this morning, then took the girls out to breakfast.  We have a restaurant within walking distance that does patio seating with a beach view.   Anna is only coming home every other weekend, which is a sign of progress.   It does mean that I spent yesterday fighting for laundry time though.  Somehow after moving her loads forward for her all day, she still managed to leave with the last load sitting in the dryer.  And Sydney, bless her heart, put a load into the washer but never started it.    I am still hopeful that I will manage to produce a set of clean sheets before the end of the day.   
I am also making slow and steady progress on sewing the rows together for the red quilt.   The nine patches are made from 2 inch squares which makes each block 5 inches unfinished.   I cut 5 inch strips of red and then used the easy angle ruler to cut triangles without the bias being on the outside edge of the strips.   I suppose to cut them from squares you would need to cut each square into quarters.   I did the math on it and figured out that I would need to start with 7.5 inch squares to do it that way.   

I've been digging though old projects, orphan blocks and random stacks.   These hexies are giant and random and are older than my youngest daughter!   I am not feeling that I want a to finish this quilt and so I will repurpose these into tiny hexies to add to my rainbow diamond blocks.   I think that I will find a nice movie and some scissors and settle in for some hand work prep time.   I had wanted to sort through all of the randomness before we moved two years ago, but somehow it all just got dumped into boxes and carried over to the new house.   It feels good to sort through it all.   

I will link up with Kathy's Quilts and Oh Scrap! today.   Looking at what others are accomplishing will be a nice inspiration for continuing to make progress on my own projects.   

Saturday, March 27, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday -- Last Green Weekend


Wrapping up Green!  I think I have some more crumb blocks in the works, but other than that, I am ready to clean up the green and move on.   I am looking forward to working with bright and light blues in April.     Don't worry if you aren't done with green though, there are still 5 more days in March.  Also, green will come out to play again later, so you will have a chance to finish off the odds and ends or play with more shades.   Green seems to be plentiful for most quilters.     
With few clouds on the horizon, it was a peaceful sunrise this morning.  I think that snook are schooling and there were lots of fishers out looking for morning catch.   
I've been playing with some random scrappy nine patches this week.  Back from the days when I had discovered leaders and enders, but not yet begun to focus on monochromatic blocks.   I think they need a consistent background color to calm down the scrappy, but I haven't found enough of one color that I like quite yet.  I'll keep digging.  I'm sure something will work out in the end.  

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Tiny Tuesday

The Tiny Tuesday Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler from 2019 is officially done!  This was such a fun quilt to make.   Each Tuesday a new block was offered, either by me or by one of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge participants.   Had I known when I started that 2019 was going to be the year of the big move, I might have planned differently.   It is such a fun collection though, and I love remembering where all the blocks came from.    

I love the owl block.  His eyes just crack me up! Sally designed this one, and the pig block as well.  Both are so sweet.  You should check out her tutorial page if you enjoy animal blocks.   
There were several flower blocks, but I feel like I could make an entire quilt out of this one.  Mari designed it.  Why are other people's blocks so much more fun than my own? 
I had saved a strip of framed nine patches for the back of that quilt, but forgot to use them.  They found a nice home here though.  I do enjoy pieced backings so much.   

After finishing off so many quilts lately, I had the urge to start something new.  I resisted the urge though, and instead decided to put some already made blocks to use.   What is a girl to do with a bag labelled "Random Scrappy 9-patches"?  
I think I will put them together with a streak of lightning setting in alternating rows of red and blue.  I showed it to my husband, and his response was, "Wow, there is a lot going on in that quilt".  I don't think he meant it as a complement.  Maybe I'll play with the colors a bit.   

Monday, March 22, 2021

Busy Weekend


It was so nice to be able to finally spend a day just sitting and sewing!   I did take a break for a beach walk in the afternoon, and did the normal weekend things like laundry and cleaning the bathroom.  Other than that though, I just played with fabric!  So good for the soul.   I made quite a dent in the green bin.  There were lots of little bits of crumbs hanging out with the strings.   I also generated so many waste triangles with the Sister's Choice blocks, and those are adorably tiny.   There is still one more green Saturday, so I should be able to polish off the rest before the month is done.   

Today it is back to school!   We have exams on Wednesday and Thursday, which is quite harsh right on the cusp of spring break.  This year evolved greatly due to COVID related changes in ways that nobody foresaw.   Next year will make more sense I am sure.   I am looking forward to doing normal things again.   Vaccines are proceeding quickly around here.  They have just opened it up to people 50 and above which has my husband off this morning to get his.  

Saturday, March 20, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - Blooming in Green


I've been so busy quilting that I haven't gotten much sewing done this month.  I finished quilting the Tiny Tuesday Sampler quilt from RSC19.   I got about half of the binding done last night before dozing off in the middle of Justice League.  Maybe I can finish the movie and the binding at the same time today.   There are lots of green blocks in progress, but nothing finished to put up on the wall.  Hopefully I can fix that today.   It looks like a nice calm day today, I'll try not to think about heading back to school on Monday.   Plenty of time to prepare for that tomorrow.
Today is the spring equinox and also International Quilting day.  Those are two great reasons to celebrate.    

Friday, March 19, 2021

Spring Break Productivity

Yesterday I painted the stairs!  My back is angry about all the bending, but they look so fresh and clean.  I almost hate to put back the plants that usually live there.   
Out bathroom glass finally got installed.  I'm just two days away from being able to shower in my own bathroom again.   The guys showed up the first time and turned right around and left after looking at the stairs.   They came back on Wednesday with two extra guys to help carry it up to the third story where the main bath is located.  
A fresh lifeguard stand is a sure sign that summer is right around the corner.  The spring break crowds have been impressive.  They aren't up at sunrise though, so no photos of crowded beaches to share.  

I have been savoring our daily  sunrise beach walk during the break.  I am going to miss that when school starts again on Monday.  Just nine more weeks though.  I think I will make it!

 The Tiny Tuesday Sampler is on the frame.  I am doing a tiny wave in the background and then minimal quilting in the colored areas of the blocks to knock down the puffiness.  I think I'm about halfway done.   I used a pieced section in the center of the backing and that has just shown up.   I was just too tired yesterday to stand at the frame and settled for some hand quilting instead.   Just two more days of break though, I am determined to make the most of it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Spring Break Quilting Fest

Spring break has begun!  Saturday we started off the week with a Wedding.  My friend Linda from work was the happy bride.   There were lots of Covid safety features, but it was still a little scary to be in a group of people again.  
The flowers were just beautiful!  I was lucky enough to bring home an extra to enjoy after the brunch on Sunday.  
I spent yesterday getting the borders on this sampler quilt.   I pieced a back and it is ready to go next on the frame.   I am picturing allover flowers for the quilting on this one.   My feathers will definitely enjoy some practice.   

I spent the afternoon today sitting on the balcony finishing up the binding on Nine Carat Diamonds.   Then I got the Tiny Tuesday Sampler quilt loaded up on the frame, so that will be next on the list.  Spring break is always a little bit of a taste of summer vacation being just around the corner.  Just nine more weeks of this terribly odd school year!  Still hoping that things start to get back to normal in time for the next one.  


Saturday, March 13, 2021

Green and Spring


Happy Scrappy Saturday!   The house is a mess, but I'm having fun organizing my green scraps.   Got to have priorities, right?

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Making a List


The Rainbow Scrap Challenge Row by Row sampler from 2016 is done.  That one took a while.  The quilting has been a backlog lately just due to the lack of a permanently set up frame, but I am still able to make burst of progress.   Spring break is next week, so I won't disassemble the quilting set up quite yet.  I think I can add one to two to the finished list before the week is done.   

School is painful right now because the kids are all so ready for a break.  I keep thinking that we never came back from the break last year.  What a long strange time it has been since then!   I see the national and state graphs coming down and keep waiting for an end to it all.  It doesn't seem over quite yet though and we keep quarantining new kids on a daily basis after contact with known cases either at home or at school.  Then the quarantined kids come back positive and we start all over again.   

I do feel better though knowing that I have had a vaccine.  It should be fully active by the time that we all return from the holiday.  After hearing the kids share their plans of grand trips and travel adventures, I can only imagine the round of contact tracing that will follow.   Glad that isn't my job!  I will just keep teaching them biology.     That is something I can do.   And I can make quilts.  Those two things are fully under my control. 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Binding Time


I just finished taking the last stitch on the binding for Frameshift!   There are still to more left in the binding pile, but I think I will fold some laundry and play with some green scraps first.  

I also finished a stack of masks for a wedding next weekend.   The bridesmaids will have fuchsia dresses.  The black masks are lined with pink to coordinate.  Yesterday I drove to Orlando for my COVID vaccine!  It ended up being the Johnson and Johnson vaccine which means that I am done with just one dose!

Today I will sew more binding.  Still two more quilts in the ready to finish stack.   First though, I'm off to Oh Scrap!  and Kathy's Quilts to procrastinate a bit more.  

Saturday, March 6, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - New Leaves


Turning over a fresh page to the new color for March of Green.  First assess your supply.  Green can be a big color.  If you feel that you have too many to tackle in one month, consider starting at the darker end of green.  We will play with the lights and limes again at a later date.   I seem to have a lot of lime going on right now, but we will see how it looks after a good sort.   

My big news for the day is that I have a COVID vaccine scheduled for 11 today.  The president finally put teachers on a national priority list!  So even though I am still not eligible by Florida standards, I can still get vaccinated at a federally funded clinic.  Originally there were only 4 federally staffed clinics in the state, but CVS is now on board and I am driving to Orlando to have my turn.  I've been back in my classroom full time for 139 days because the governor mandated that all schools would meet in person at least 5 days a week or else.  I can't wait to be vaccinated and feel like I have more protection than the green tape I put on the floor to separate me from my students.  

Thursday, March 4, 2021

March Color


Green will be the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Color for March.  If you feel that you have too many greens to take care of in one month, feel free to focus on the darker end of the greens.  The brighter and lighter shades will get another turn to play later in the year.   

Green in the color of spring blossoms and I am very much looking forward to a new season and a chance to turn the page on our long dark winter.   

Monday, March 1, 2021

Full Stop March Block - Brackets


Start with 1.75 inch strips in background and in green.  These will be sub-cut into all of the needed pieces.

  • Green strips 6 inches - (2)
  • Green squares 1.75 inches - (4) 
  • Background strips 6 inches - (1) 
  • Background strips 3.5 inches - (2) 

Sew one square onto each end of the shorter background rectangles and press toward the green.   

Arrange the strips in the following order

green rectangle, pieced rectangle, background rectangle, pieced rectangle, green rectangle

Sew all 5 of these rectangles together and press away from the pieced units.  
To set these together into a row, you should make 5 to 7 blocks.  Then sew them together with dividing strips of 2.5 by 6 inches of background fabric between each block.  Press the seams toward the green to reduce the chances of the dark showing through later.   
I had 5 different greens and so I made that many.   Because this is a random length row by row, we will add enough background onto either end to bring it all up to the desired size at the end.  If I can find another green before the end of the month, I might add one more block.   If not, I think this looks good.  
Here are all three months together so far.  I am debating evening up the rows now and adding sashing strips in between, but I haven't quite committed to a width yet.  I think that the quotations will be the largest row, appearing in pairs made it a big boy.