Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Progress

When I got started yesterday I thought I would be forever getting everything sorted into colors.  I soon realized that I would get nowhere going through all the bags and pulling out one color and then go through them again and pull out a different color. I am not sure why I even thought to do it that way. I guess I didn't realize just how many mixed up bags I had and how badly they were mixed up. I switched gears after I did that once. I made piles of different colors on my tables and floor and I am amazed that I have all the colors sorted.

This is where I am now. There are 4 - 2.5 gallon bags, 13 - 1 gallon bags, and 2 pint bags. That pile of empty bags that held all of the mixed up colors has 11 zip lock bags, either gallon or pint size, 2 quilt batting bags, 5 plastic grocery bags and a couple of quilt shop bags.

Beside the scraps sorted by colors there is one bag of fusible pieces. I also found many 2.5 inch squares in a small bag (I might throw those away), some scraps that are sewed together (they look like starters for "made fabric"), lots of 4 patches, many half square triangles, pieces of strip sets, and a bunch of folded prairie points.

My next step will be to go through each color bag or bags and sort out smaller pieces from larger pieces and of course there will be scraps for the  dog bed donation.

I won't say that this is never going to happen again but I hope that I have learned my lesson from this mess. I will remember how easy it was to forget to go back and sort the scraps, at the end of a project,
once everything was out of sight. At least I hope I will remember, my memory is not what it used to be.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Taming the Scraps

I have decided to tackle my laundry basket of scraps. At one time it was well organized and easy for me to get everything out and organized for sewing. Not too long ago I was looking through what I have and realized that it is a mess. Over time I cleaned up in a hurry and shoved what I had left over for the scrap bags into a plastic bag. I meant to go back and sort it all out into colors when I had time. Right now I have more unsorted bags (10 bags) than bags that are sorted by color.  So I am taking time out from sewing and I am going to put this in order.

The laundry basket is 16 inches across at the top and 17 inches high. Here is oneshot  from the side and one from the top. You can see that the basket is over stuffed.










 This next photo is a few of the bags opened to show what is inside, all colors, unsorted. I have started by making piles of scraps by colors as I go through the unsorted bags. I will probable do some sorting by size after I get the color sorting finished.









This is a reason that I have decided to get this  done now. My grandson's wife wants to learn to quilt and she wants to use my scraps. She is going to make a Disappearing Nine Patch.  She is a very accomplished busy young woman, working full time as an ER nurse and going to school. This quilt will take some time but little by little I am pretty sure she will see it through. 
Jenna working on and showing off her first block.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day!

February is a pretty easy month for decorating my sewing room. I seem to have a lot of hearts.
This is the narrow design board on the wall adjacent to my bigger design wall. 
The red heart "log cabin in the round" quilt is about 15 inches square and has, at the center, a little house square that Beth Shibley sent to everyone the first time I participated in her Neighborhood Block Party.

The 2 black and white "broken hearts" are my 2 different ways to interpret Zentangle inspired hearts. One in patterned fabric and the other drawn on cloth with a Pigma pen and quilted with black thread. I used the same heart shape for both.
The pink square was drawn with a red pen and quilted on the lines with red thread. I'm not sure why I used pink fabric; all I can say is that it was when I was experimenting. 
The 3 improv patchwork hearts were left over Valentines that "didn't make the cut"when I sent  them to my friends one year.
The Black and white square with the red heart is a participant's square from one of the Basement Divas Annual Jelly Roll Races. It has the signatures from all participants on the back.






 This little 12 inch square is another zentangle inspired heart that I drew and then copied  on my all in one  HP printer/scanner and changed the color in my photo program and then printed on fabric and stitched with blue thread. I'm not sure if I made it blue to use with the yellow and blue fabric or if  used the yellow and blue fabric  to go with the blue heart.









I made this 36 inch square color wash heart along time ago when I made a lot of color wash quilts. I used to hang it in the living room from January until Memorial Day when I changed out all my quilts for red, white and blue until Labor Day. For 3 years, I didn't have an available wall to hang it. Since our last move it hangs over our bed, where it  compliments the colors in the bedspread and quilt on the bed and the curtains.
I didn't plan it that way and it was only after I hung the quilt that I realized how good it all looked together.

I took all  these photos with my new camera that arrived on Monday. It is  supposed to have an image stabilization feature for people with shaky hands. I'm not sure how well that works or it it is something for which I have a setting. I will have to spend some time with the manual. I am just happy to have a camera that takes a picture when I push the button.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

A Flimsy and Some Hearts

 I finished adding the borders for this quilt early this week but my camera was not cooperating and then I moved all my furniture back to it's non quilting position and I can't get to my design wall. However, I found a way by pinning along the top of the flimsy to the edge of a foam panel and then laid the panel flat on top of my bookcase.  For some reason my camera has been working most of the time again so I did get a shot of the flimsy. (I think my camera is working now because I ordered a new one yesterday from Amazon.) The sashing and border fabric was given to me for the back of a quilt that I was given by my friend Lynn. I admired a flimsy she was showing at the Basement Diva meeting and she gave it to me. I had already layered the top with something else when she gave me the border fabric so I hung on to the fabric for this one. Thank you Lynn, that is two quilts now that I love.





After I moved all my furniture and put all the things away from the fancy Forest quilt I got out my box of Valentine fabric. I made these 4 hearts yesterday and today. I may use them for a new February table runner. I pieced them on a paper foundation just so I would get them all close to the same size. This is not like paper piecing for precision for a specific pattern. Although I did finally learn to do that after my friend Kathy taught me how to paper piece.  She gave me a lesson so I could make a migrating geese wall hanging  you can read about it here.

I have good friends. I need to see them more often.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Another January Finish

So my big list for January has 2 sets of finished Hexie potholders. I found the 4 pieced fronts when I was putting things away after finishing the Fancy Forest and Drag Around quilts. The colorful stripe from the back and borders from those 2 quilts was still laying on my cutting table and I decided to use it for the potholder backs. The one showing the back is like the purple and yellow one next to it. I have been using my Christmas potholders so I was  ready for something new.











The Fancy forest shown here did get a binding; I used the colorful stripe. I had just finished the binding and clipped off any hanging threads and had gone over it with a lint roller when  my daughter called and wanted to pick it up on her way home from work. My camera would not cooperate so no pic with the binding.

Fancy Forest

Drag around

Monday, January 29, 2018

First Finish for 2018

I have a first finish for this year and it is not the one I thought it would be. I finished quilting the Fancy Forest but it still needs the binding.

Here it is folded in half on my table; the quilting is all in the ditch.

My camera will not take any more photos so this is the best I can do for today. I tried to use my old camera but all I can see on the viewing screen is a blur. I guess it is time for a new camera.
This is the one I finished, it is a 27 inch square "drag around" quilt. This is for our preemie great grandson; he went home from the hospital 3 days ago. I think it is about the right size for a 5 Lb. baby.  I want to send both of these with my daughter when she goes to see him this week.

I had planned to use the scraps from the Fancy Forest quilt to make crazy improv blocks but though that is easy, it is not fast. I looked around for something I could put together fast and found these wonky blocks in my "Parts Department" box. I have a bunch of colorful small blocks that I made when the Basement Divas group was planning on making Collaborative Quilts in the style of Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston. We did make one quilt but then the group took another direction, I had forgotten about these blocks and it was really by chance I opened that box. There were 8 blocks and I made the purple block using fabric from the Fancy Forest owl block. I used left over fabric from the FF backing for the border and the purple for the binding.


I sewed the binding to the front and turned it and fused it to the back. I was careful to cover the line of stitching on the back so that the stitching in the ditch on the front would catch the binding.  It takes me forever anymore to do hand stitching with my crooked arthritic fingers.
This photo shows one corner of the back folded up to show the stitching on the binding and the stitching in the ditch on the front. When I get to the corners I stitch out to the point and back to the ditch. I works well and I find it a little easier each time I gain a little more experience.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Fancy Forest Flimsy

Finally, a flimsy. I finished the second Owl block on Wednesday and thought I would get the top put together later that day or the next day. I had a really hard time deciding on the colors.I didn't want the same fabrics too close to each other and though I had some flexibility  the different  block widths dictated the rows where they would fit. I think the reason for my indecision about the fabric choices is that my design wall is not easily accessible because my sewing machine is in front of it with a table beside the machine forming an L shape. So, I can't reach the design board to layout the whole quilt without moving the machine.




I did finally move my machine and put all the blocks up on the wall in the order I thought I would use them. I decided to replace the yellow Bunny because he looked out of place with the richer colors in the other blocks. Some of the other blocks ended up being moved around and in the end I think I came up with a better balance of color and value.

I think maybe the turquoise Bunny is a bit on the pastel side also but after dealing with other issues I would have chucked the whole thing if I had to remake over another block.

I had to fiddle with the Firefly blocks and ended up taking the orange and purple one apart and re doing the body and the feelers. I should have done it as soon as I realized I messed up the order of the construction steps.





So here's the flimsy, it is 35 x 47 and looks pretty large for a 5 pound baby.






































I went to the quilt shop Friday with my granddaughter in law (who wants to learn to quilt BTW) and found a colorful backing. I bought enough of the backing fabric to use for a small  drag around quilt and I think I will use the yellow bunny with some scrappy blocks from the rest of the left over fabric from the big quilt. The bunny is 8 x 13 and laying on top of the backing shows the scale.


I am going to layer up the Fancy Forest today and I hope I can get the quilting started,  Nothing has really gone as planned as far as my time management goes so as the saying goes "We'll see".


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

One Owl

I cut and almost finished the first of two Owl blocks yesterday and I finished it up this morning. I could have finished it quickly yesterday but after agonizing over the fabric choices, I took time to run out to the quilt shop and buy one more purple fabric.  It is not that I didn't have several purple fabrics from which to choose;  I just couldn't settle on three that looked good together. The new fabric is the center purple strip on the wings and around the eyes.


So here he is, not perfect but pretty good. He did go together easily.  I am calling him a he instead of a she because this quilt is for a boy. I have been thinking about my difficulty making fabric choices and I think it has been influenced by my hesitation to use certain colors for a male quilt. Not that I think a baby is going to notice but I think I consider what his dad is going to think. I don't believe this is even a conscious consideration but I rejected some hot pink fabrics that I liked and only later did I realize why. Well anyway, I am ready to cut the next Owl block and it is, by the way, all blue green fabric. I made this choice because I need to use a particular fabric another time for continuity.

After I cut the next Owl block I am going to put away all of the fabric I have dragged out while searching for the "perfect" fabric for these Fancy Forest critters. My sewing room has reached the chaotic stage where it is affecting my serenity.




When I get the blocks down from the design wall and start putting the blocks together, I am going to put this panel on the wall.  I saw it in the quilt shop when I was having my purple fabric cut. It is digitally printed and the panel was precut in the shop so there is no selvage on the edge with the name of the company. I have no idea what I will do with it but it will decorate my wall with color while I think about it.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Finish A Long 2018

I've been looking for a quilt related goal setting link up,  something not too demanding but one that will keep me moving long. I settled on Finish Along 2018, you can read about it here. I like that I can set a quarterly goal which means I won't have to make a long list of all my UFO's right now. I probably don't have many by some peoples standards but I know from past experience that I have more than I can think of without digging through all my "stuff".

I am only going to list 2 projects for this quarter because I have a long term projects that will be ongoing.

First project is the Fancy Forest quilt that I have been working on. These are the blocks I have finished.  I have 2 Owl blocks to make and then I can put this together. I am having a hard time deciding on the fabrics for the owls but I think I can at least get them cut tomorrow. I want to finish this soon for my great grandson who arrived 2 months too soon but will soon be going home from the hospital.





































The second project is a small throw or wall hanging.  These Quails nest blocks are for The Friendship block swap group I belonged to and they are probably 5 years old. I have more of the blocks that are lighter and closer to pastel values and at some later time I will make something with them. I think the arrangement on the left  is the same as the blocks sewn together with sashing in the  photo on the right.
This quilt just needs a border and it will be ready to layer up. I think I will keep this one for some much needed color in the living room.


                                    

 I think that both these projects are doable for this quarter and that I will have time to work on my long term project as well. We'll See!                       



Saturday, January 13, 2018

Fireflys

I finished the 2 Firefly blocks; it did not go smoothly.  First off, I had a really hard time selecting the fabrics and it didn't  get any easier. I didn't want to introduce any new colors but fabric I wanted to use either came up short or I couldn't find anything that looked good with it. Then I made it all harder by mixing up some of the different size strips and having to decide if  I wanted to start over with a new fabric or deal with fixing the problem so I could use my tiny bit of fabric that was my first choice. I did a little bit of both starting over and fixing.


I had several issues with construction due to not following the steps in the order given in the pattern. My two blocks are not perfect and they are not exactly the same but they are done.

I have the two Owl blocks to make and then I can get this put together. Putting it together should be easy because all of the blocks measure exactly what they are supposed to, even though it was a circuitous route to get there .



Monday, January 8, 2018

Thistles

I made the thistle blocks today, no problems this time.

I changed my mind about the color of one block; the lavender block was originally  going to be red but I didn't want it to be the same as the spines on the hedgehog. I wanted one of the Thistles to be a warm color but I couldn't settle on which color. If I am not happy with the lavender after I make the rest of the blocks I can just change the flower part without a lot of trouble.

These are all of the finished blocks so far. I still have two Owl blocks and two Firefly blocks and I haven't decided on the colors. I think one warm and one cool is what is needed and I will repeat some of the fabrics that have been used.




































I hope I can get them finished and the top sewed together before the end of the week.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Hedgehogs

I finished the 2 Hedgehog blocks , which proved to be a lot of trouble for me. I thought  I was being so careful when I cut all the pieces but clearly, my mind must have been running around after other things. I had a number of pieces cut the wrong size. However I have 2 Hedgehog blocks that measure the correct size even though they are not exactly the same due to a "fixed up" cutting error. I don't think anyone will spot the difference easily. Besides that,it is only normal for different people/animals to have slightly different sized foreheads.






After I clear away some of the distraction in my sewing room I will move right along to the rest of the blocks. Baby Caelen, who was due in January but was born the first week in November, at less than 2 pounds, is now 3 lb 11 oz and meeting preemie milestones. He will be coming home before long. I want to get this finished and also to make a smaller "hang on to/mess up" quilt, something more practical for a little guy.