Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Orange


Angela had posted two blocks recently for the Rainbow Sampler and I have finished them with only a wee bit of trouble. The first block - Plus - went together without any problem at all but Ribbon was another story completely. I got it all together and then ended up having to take it all apart because I didn't have the correct fabric placement. I thought I had followed Angela's instructions but somehow I mucked it all up. :)

My Ribbon block turned out a bit wild and crazy looking and it is difficult to see the 'woven ribbons' but I guess that is what happens when you try to use whatever scraps are on hand. For the Plus block I used 3.5"and 2.5" strips from my bins and for the Ribbon block I was able to use a few 2" x 3.5" rectangles and 2" squares.

I also made some pinwheel blocks in orange just because I could!

Pop on over to soscrappy's and check out the links from other participants in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pinwheels

Happily, it is not all work and no play around here! You know that when you have been away from quilting and blogging on a regular basis that it can be very difficult to get back into the swing of things. So, I have been putzing around working on this and that and also making these little pinwheels for a future quilt.

I had started piecing some of the hsts way back in May or June and then just set them aside. My sister Cheryl had cut all of the neutral 2.5" background hsts for me quite some time ago  - yaaay Cheryl. For the pinwheels I am using hsts that were precut and in my scrap bins. As long as I have sets of 4 of the same fabric they are all game for this quilt. Originally, I intended them to be a leader/ender project and I am not in a hurry to get them done but it is something to work on while I organize my sewing studio as well as my thoughts.

I really need to make a new list of projects and plans and ideas. Taking a step away really does give a new perspective on current and not-so-current quilts and has allowed me to look at some things with fresh eyes.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Puttering

I am still working on organizing my sewing studio so that I can at least get in there, sit down and sew! It is a long and quite tedious business and I just want it behind me. I don't know why I let it get so out of control. I am tired of having to shift stuff and fabric and whatever just to be able to sew comfortably. The good news is that I have made progress ....


Don't these string and crumb bins look like they are full of fun? I can't wait to dig into them.

It has been a very long time since I have been able to see the floor under my cutting table!  I had a ton of stuff underneath these tables. There were bags of old jeans, boxes and a laundry basket of fabric that came from my MIL's home. The fabric had belonged to her and her daughter Wanda and I figured it was just about time that I got it sorted out. I was surprised to find pretty much a whole box of vintage fabric hidden underneath a small stack of solids. I am in the process of washing the fabric and getting it ready to go into my stash. I will have to think about how and when I will use these pieces of fabric. I wish I had taken a picture of the fabric but it will have to wait until I have cleaned and ironed it.

Over the next little while I will also spend time cutting the jeans apart and into usable chunks of fabric. This will allow for ease of storage and I won't have to commit to cutting it into quilt parts until I have decided on a pattern. I already have a lot of jeans cut into squares and rectangles waiting for me to make a quilt or two. I know it doesn't look like much when the pieces are just sitting in a bin but can you see the possibilities?

Maybe I will get one started soon because I would like to have a nice heavy quilt in the car over the winter season. I think it would make a perfect quilt for all seasons really - wonderful for warmth but also a great picnic or beach blanket.

So many quilts to make but so little time!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Back in my Studio and Words of Wisdom!

Today I made my block of the month for the York Quilt Guild - square in a square. We were asked to make a pair and I went ahead and made two sets just for the fun of it! These blocks are cute and will finish at 8". If I am lucky enough to be one of the winners this month I plan to turn it into a donation quilt. I think it will make a fun quilt for a young person. In keeping with this month's orange theme for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge I made two of the blocks with orange scraps.

Now...the words of wisdom....never, ever, and I mean ever commit to renovating three bathrooms at one time .... unless it is for your Mother of course! ;) I have spent most of my summer working on these bathrooms and it has been quite the challenge. Nothing is ever easy when you renovate because you find all kinds of problems and anything that can go wrong certainly will!!

I have been the project manager, volunteer coordinator, the designer, the shopper, the gopher, the helper and holder, a cheerleader, one of the painters, as well as the site maintenance and clean up crew. This has been a family project that was coordinated by moi and happily there were other family members that pitched in and helped out. None of us are professionals and only a couple volunteer workers have had any experience with home renos.

Unfortunately, one bathroom is not quite finished - the walls and the surround for the tub still need to be installed - but one of my nephews has thankfully taken over to complete it. My husband was scheduled for shoulder surgery in January and we would have been able to complete the project but his surgery has been rescheduled for September and we have run out of time.

The bathrooms look great and my Mother is thrilled with them and that makes all of the time and effort spent working on them so worth it. Time is very precious and it really made my Mom feel so good knowing that family members were willing to spend their time helping her.

Now that my obligation is complete (other than a few minor details) I hope to get in more quilting time. I really miss spending time in my studio!! My husband will have a crazy looking sling with foam padding holding his arm in front and away from his body and he will be unable to use his right arm at all for six weeks and he will not be able to drive for three months. I am pretty sure that I will be at his beck and call during this time but that should not stop me from hanging out in my studio. The upside is that he will be at my mercy - hee hee hee.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Orange

It has been so long since I have actually sat at my sewing machine so I thought I would treat myself today. I had spent the day working at my Mom's and I just needed some me time. I could not resist making the RSC Sampler blocks - really - who could resist making orange blocks? Well, not me in any case. The first one is a bear paw and the second one is called Kick.

My scrap organization is still underway and I am making a lot of good progress. I was using laundry baskets to hold my strings and crumbs as I sorted but I have had to upgrade to 68L (18 gal) bins because the baskets were overflowing. I am topping the new bins as well but I will not buy anything else...I will just have to use those bits and pieces up!

My scrap organization has already come in handy because it has allowed me to find the pieces I needed for these blocks. I used leftover 'triangle in a square' pieces from my Celtic Solstice quilt and I was able to find them in my sewing studio with ease. I am feeling quite virtuous at the moment ;).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Scrap Organization Underway!

Flimsy waiting for borders
Even though I really want to work on adding the borders to my little houses quilt top I have been diligently sorting through my scraps instead. It is TEDIOUS work but I know that it will be worth it in the end. I was feeling quite frustrated as I was sewing the little houses top into a flimsy because I just did not have enough clear space in my sewing area. I want to be able to properly sew on my borders without all kinds of 'stuff' getting pushed off the table top and onto the floor. And...it's not just the surfaces of the tables that are stacked with excess stuff. Enough is enough!!

Previously, I had started the process of sorting strings and crumbs by colour and I found that it was just way too much work and it took way too many containers. I just don't have the ability to store so many individual scrap bins so I gave up. This time I have taken the step of just using 3 large laundry baskets to contain my light, medium and dark toned strings. Of course, there is lots of overlap within each bin because sometimes I consider one piece of fabric as part of one category and other times I think it belongs in another. ;)) So far, I have one very large bin and one very large bag of crumbs as well. I am not sorting those by colour or value at all. I want a very simple system that I can keep up without too much effort.

Something that is really helping me with cutting down the larger scraps is my Accuquilt Go die cutter that my husband recently gave me as a gift. I don't have a lot of dies...yet...but I have been putting the ones I have to good use. I am pretty sure that if I sewed all of these pieces together that I would have enough scraps cut to make at least one quilt!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Guild Cuddle Quilts are Finished

Today is a very dull, dreary day with intermittent rain showers. A perfect day to stay indoors and finish hand sewing the last bit of binding on these quilts.

These quilts aren't very big - approximately 39" x 49" - but they will make wonderful cuddle quilts for children in need. They came to me as completed flimsies and the blocks were pieced by other members of the guild. They are basically made up from various scrappy strips of fabric that were string pieced onto a fairly thin foundation fabric. They really were perfect for me to practice my free hand quilting on and they both got flowers and loops.

My photos are not that great but trust me....they did turn out pretty cute!

Resting after the trip to the vet.
On a side note - earlier this week I had taken my dogs out to have their nails trimmed. We just arrived home and we were going up the steps to the front door when I tripped on the leash and my foot landed very, very hard on poor Peanut's front right paw. She is so tiny and weighs less than 10 lbs. and I immediately knew that it was not going to be good. I immediately started using a bag of frozen corn to cool her leg/foot and made arrangements to see the vet. Her leg seemed to be okay but the vet suspected broken toe(s) and/or bruising. I didn't have x-rays taken (she didn't recommend them) because she said even if it was broken they wouldn't splint it anyway. Peanut is still in a lot of pain if she tries to use her paw and she is hopping around the house and yard on three legs. There has been some slight improvement in that I have noticed that she has started to occasionally put her paw down to balance herself but she does not put any weight on it all. If she accidentally does she cries out in pain. Even though it was an accident I feel terrible that this happened and all I can do is hope that she will have a quick and full recovery.