Saturday, February 17, 2018

Squared Away Sampler

I made these blocks for the Squared Away Sampler quilt as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. The name of this pattern is Wishing Ring and I quite like it.

I made my blocks with two different fabrics in each plus a neutral. The focus fabrics are all purples even though the second block is so dark that it looks almost black.

Because of fabric placement I don't really see the circular design in the top block and it looks very square to me. Although, if I squint I can see the larger ring. ;) The second and third blocks look different compared to the first because the ring around the center block has much more definition.

I think this block has lots of possibilities and I may take some time to play with it a bit. Who knows....I just may start another quilt. :)

I am linking up with other participants in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge here. Pop on over to get a big dose of scrappy inspiration!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Progress :)

I have been making slow but steady progress on my happy and scrappy quilt blocks. I ran out of room on my design wall and I wanted to see how things were coming along so I moved them to the 'design floor'. Oh....I love it!
This was the first photo that I took of my design floor and as soon as I looked at it I realized I had made an error in positioning my blocks. Boy, taking a photo and looking at it or even just looking at it through the camera lens can really help identify those sneaky little oopsies.

The zigzag layout is the actual layout from the magazine and after seeing my blocks laid out this way I know I like it a lot.

This is the layout that I originally showed on my design wall and I like this layout too. It will be pretty tough to decide which one to choose. ;) I still have a lot more blocks to make so I don't have to make my final decision yet but I really do like the offset blocks.

Last evening I started with this big pile of hst parts at my sewing machine and after a bit of sewing it dwindled to this.

I now have 160 hsts prepared and ready to be sewn into my blocks but according to my math I still need 80 more. Of course, my math is always fuzzy. ;)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Spontaneous Fabric Purchase :)

I had a bit of retail therapy yesterday, okay I have to admit, I had a lot of retail therapy. ;)

I had to go to the post office to mail my January Block Lotto blocks to one of the lucky winners and Fabricland is located across the road from the postal outlet. They were having a sale so I decided to pop in to check it out.

When I got in there I realized that the sale was not what I was interested in and I immediately zoned in on the clearance section.

I hit the jackpot! They had several shelves of good quality quilting cottons that had clear out prices of $3.88/m and $5.00/m. Those are my kind of prices. :)

I did spend quite a bit of money but I certainly feel that I got my money's worth! Whenever I see prices like this I like to stock up on fabric that I can use for backings or pillowcases - and I did. :) If you can believe it I did leave something on the shelves for others to purchase.

Lots of variety in my fabric choices from modern to traditional. I guess that does reflect the type/style of quilts that I like to make. I just love quilts!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Midget Block #93 - Cross & Crown

I got another cute little midget block finished. In honour of the colour purple for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month I decided to make mine with purple fabrics.

I followed the recommended piecing method and paper-pieced this block. I didn't have too much difficulty or use more fabric than I thought I should. Maybe I am getting better at it. lol

My little block makes me think of Spring even if it looks like this outside. It has been quite cold and at 6:30 this morning it is -15C (5F). It is supposed to warm up on Wednesday to 4C (39F) - virtually balmy weather. :)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Design Wall

This is my design wall this morning. It doesn't look like it has changed very much but I have added a few more of these great blocks. I love how it looks! I have been working on these blocks just about every day and I have at least 20 of the smaller units that make up the whole block pretty much ready to go on the wall.

It is taking me longer than I anticipated to make the blocks because I have to do a lot of cutting....boring! I am trying to do some every day but it really can get tedious. ;)  I have also been digging deep into my strip bins and some of the strips have been in there so long that they are very hairy. I guess it is about time they get used. :)

If I make this quilt according to the pattern in the magazine, there are a total of 50 large blocks and I think 8 partial blocks needed. If you consider that each block takes 4 smaller block units that means a whole lot of 2.5"squares and hsts.  I didn't follow the pattern instructions from the magazine to cut my hsts because I think there would have been too much waste. I used my own process and this includes the use of my easy angle ruler. This ruler is so easy to use and convenient for cutting hsts from my 2.5" strips. I think it is one of my most important tools!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Prepping Dear Jane

This past week I had intended on getting a Dear Jane block made but I just didn't seem to find the time to get it done.

It really does require a bit of time and effort to make the templates out of freezer paper, trace them onto the chosen fabric, cut them out and then stitch it all together.

So, I spent some time this morning getting some Dear Jane blocks prepped and ready to be stitched.

I hope that doing this prep work will allow me to pull out a block at will and work on it as the mood strikes.

I now have two blocks completely ready to sew and I have four that still need a bit more work to get them to the ready stage. I hope to work at that over the next day or two and, who knows, I may even get a block completed. :)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Nine Patch in a Square

In 2016 I started making Nine Patch in a Square blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Angela had posted a tutorial on the process here and I thought it would be fun to join in.

I got a total of two months worth of blocks done, blue and brown, and then I fell off the wagon. Well, I have decided that this year I will try to get the rest of the blocks made and turned into a finished quilt.

I went digging into my bin of 2" squares looking for purple and I found these 4 patches.

They were extras that I had saved from making Bonnie Hunter's En Provence quilt and they made a nice start to this month's blocks.

I currently have no ideas or plans for a layout other than alternating the light and dark frames. :)

These are all of the blocks I have made so far and I can see that it really does need some lighter and brighter colours added. Of course, that will happen over the next few months as long as I don't fall off the wagon again. :)

Linking up with other participants in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Block Lotto

Have you seen any of the new blocks that are being made for Block Lotto this month? I think I am in love!!

Last night I made this one as a trial and I know that I am going to have to make a lot more of them. ;) The premise is to use a starting orphan block that is 3.5" or less and then work your way into a block that will finish at 9".  The only other rule is that it must be made from scraps - no problem here. :)

For this block I started with the green/blue hst. These little orphans can be complex or as simple as a single hst. I don't know about you but I have lots of little orphans that need homes. I hang onto those little pieces thinking they will find their way into a quilt but not always sure that it will happen. Well it will happen now!

Kudos to Robin for coming up with such a great idea for the blocks this month!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Happy and Scrappy!

This is my design wall this morning and I very happy with it! I put these blocks up on the wall so that I can see how it is going to look and it is lookin' good. :)

I started working on these blocks as leaders and enders while I was making On Ringo Lake and continued while I was working on my Framed Blocks so I did get a good start on them. On Ringo Lake is a finished quilt and my Framed Blocks is now a flimsy waiting for a backing and quilting so this quilt will now be my main focus. I think it will leader/ender itself. :)

I still need to cut lots of 2.5" squares and triangles in both neutral and scrappy fabrics. That is the boring but necessary part of making blocks that result in beautiful quilts. I think if I just leave various 2.5" strips of fabric sitting out on my cutting table that I can just pick away at the cutting and maybe it won't feel so onerous. :)

I can't remember who it was - I am sorry, I wish I could - but I was told that this block is called Arkansas. I think it is a very effective block design and I am sure there can be many variations made depending on how the individual blocks are turned, colour placement, etc.

I had a late start this morning....I woke up with a headache and not feeling so great. I did miss my exercise class on Tuesday and my Guild meeting yesterday because I just was not feeling so good. I had my flu shot this year so I am hoping that this feeling will pass quickly and not progress. This girl just wants to have fun!!!!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Antebellum Album

Oops....I may have started two of these quilts!

After I posted about the ugly block yesterday I thought that I hadn't really given this block much of a chance. Honestly, it wasn't its fault that it was ugly and I decided to finish it and place it with a bit of care on my design wall. Now that it is finished I can see that it does have some redeeming qualities and that it isn't quite as ugly as I thought. Maybe it has inner beauty and a good personality. Whatever it is I am game to try the next block using this colour scheme next month as well as the green\yellow\black combo. :)

Of course, I had the mandatory oopsie along the way and I think I like it. It may have possibilities but it will have to wait for another day and another quilt.

One of these units is not like the others. :)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Fabric Angst

I think I have finally pushed myself over the edge!! Well, at least when it came to choosing the fabrics that I want to use for the Antebellum Album quilt. I literally spent a whole day trying to decide which fabrics to use and that was after spending an afternoon working it out with my quilty sister Cheryl. I do not know what has gotten into me and I just don't get why I am having so much trouble figuring this out!

I wanted to use red in my blocks because I have a lot of small scrappy pieces of red civil war fabrics and that means lots of scrappy variety. So, I finally decided on using red, gold and black for my blocks. I also have some red and black yardage that would work for borders and I thought that was my solution. Whew....decision made....again.

Not so fast!! I started making my block and it just looked so dark and dreary and pathetic looking sitting so crooked on my design wall and I just couldn't love it. :(

My next option was to use chrome yellow, green and black and I really like the way my block turned out. I am using fabrics from a fat quarter bundle and that is where the rub is for me. I don't usually choose my fabrics based on one line/designer. I had purchased this bundle with the intent of integrating it into my civil war stash to expand my scrappy options - not to use all of it in one quilt. I really like scrappy particularly with civil war fabrics. So, I guess this is where I am - I am making a totally colour and fabric coordinated civil war quilt. Well almost, I do have lots of black scraps as well as some green scraps. Coindicentally, some of those green fabrics also have chrome yellow accents.
Wandering Lover
Now that I have made my decision I will probably go all in and see if I can find some of the fabric used in the center of this block. I think it could make a nice border or backing.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Design Floor

I took a photo of my design floor this morning to show my progress on the framed blocks. I think this is such a great design both for the block and the quilt. I made the last grouping of blocks yesterday and started joining them into segments last night. I had intended on spending the evening hand quilting but my husband ended up taking over the family room to watch the football game and that is where my hand quilting is. I have no interest in football so I played in my sewing room instead.

I am glad I took this photo before I got any further because when I saw the picture in my camera I noticed that I had some blocks turned the wrong way.  See the blocks on the bottom left - the black edges should not be grouped together.
All fixed now - I just needed to spin the section around. :) These blocks were made from the block of the month for Block Lotto and I really liked them so much that I decided to make enough for a whole quilt.

The Block Lotto winners names have been drawn and unfortunately I wasn't one of them. These two blocks will be winging their way to one of the winners soon.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Dear Jane - Lakota Sioux (C13)

Last Thursday my quilty sister Cheryl came for a visit and we spent a wonderful afternoon together chatting and going through my fabric stash. We were petting the fabric and picking and choosing fabric options for different quilts. It was a lot of fun but totally unexpected.

Normally, when she comes she brings her quilt tops so that they get quilted and then she takes them home to bind them. Over the past while it has transitioned from her helping me to quilt them to her doing most of the work herself and I busy myself with other things.

Well she put a wrench in our visit this time and at the last minute decided not to bring her quilt tops so that it would be a purely social visit. Well, I had made other plans and one of them was to work on this Dear Jane block while she quilted.

So later in the visit as we were sitting at the kitchen table having tea and chatting I pulled out my little prepared block to work on. She had never seen me do any hand stitching previously and even though she likes my little blocks she has absolutely no desire to make them - way too small for her. Cheryl was interested in the process and had some questions but by the time the block was stitched together she was just about ready to fall asleep. We were chatting the whole time but watching someone hand sew can be like watching paint dry!

Anyway, my little block is finished even though I cheated with the design a little bit. I used tiny squares in the inner corners of the block instead of half square triangles. I think it turned out pretty cute!

This evening I think I will spend a couple hours curled up under my Seven Sisters quilt while putting some quilting stitches into it. The poor thing really is quite neglected. :(

I am linking up with other slow stitchers over at Kathy's Quilts.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Midget Block #116 - Garden Maze

A new month and a new colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Time is marching on whether I am ready or not!!

This month we are working with our purple and lavender scraps. I found a way to use up a small amount of said scraps in my latest midget block. Actually, because this block was paper-pieced it really did use up more of the scrappy strip of fabric than you would think. ;)

That pile of pieced fabric just looks like way too much for such a small block but it all got trimmed and somehow put together into this little cutie.
Of course, there was a minor incident where things did not quite go as planned but it all worked out in the end. :)

I am linking up with other RSC participants here.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Antebellum Album

Barbara Brackman is hosting another BOM this year called Antebellum Album and the first block has already been released. There will be a total of 12 blocks and each will be released on the last day of the month and each block will finish at 12". Barbara provides really great historical information with the release of each block and it is very interesting to read.
Westering Women
I participated in her Westering Women BOM and I totally love the quilt that I made from the blocks that she posted. I chose to make mine in red, blue and brown and I designed my own layout.

I am looking forward to participating this year but I can't seem to decide which colour scheme that I want to use.

I have a ton of small civil war scraps, and I mean really small, and they are stored in a couple large bins under my sewing table. I also have a variety of fat quarters and some yardage to choose from. My quilty sister Cheryl came for a visit yesterday and she helped me with trying to decide which colour palette I should use. I started out with red, teal, and gold. Sounded good but I don't really have much in the way of teal. So, we moved onto red, blue, and gold and I thought that would be it. But, this morning I am now debating - pink, brown and ? or green, gold, and ? or should I just go with the red, blue, and gold. Why can't I decide - it is just a quilt!!!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

On Ringo Lake is Officially a Quilt :)

I put the final touches onto my On Ringo Lake quilt last night. I tucked in the thread tails from quilting, stitched down the label and finished up the binding. This was the 2017 mystery quilt hosted by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville and she generously provided us with another really great quilt design.

I think my quilt turned out amazing especially when you consider how much difficulty I had with the sashing. At some point, during the construction of the blocks and/or sashing pieces my seam allowance was changed to accommodate something else I was working on and it didn't get put back into the correct position. Add into that the fact that I had issues with setting the sashing strips into the correct orientation and you get the picture. My seam ripper had a really good work out and even then I have lots of missed intersections but it doesn't really matter. I think my quilt is beautiful. :)

While I was working on getting the top together I had the blocks and sashing strips all over my sewing room floor for quite a long time and every time I moved within the room they moved as well. At many different points of time I was tempted to just sweep the whole thing up and put it away for a very l-o-n-g time.

Now that the quilt is finished I am glad that I persevered because I love it. :) I think it is a such a great design and I love the block pattern even without the fancy sashing. I think I would like to make another quilt with this block design but with a straight setting instead.

My quilt finished at 73" x 86" and was quilted with Cansew #6660 on top and light tan magnaglide in the bobbin. I used 80/20 cotton/poly for the batting. I finished it off with a scrappy binding using the same fabrics in the border setting triangles. The panto I used was Fluent by Hermione Agee and I just love it. I will definitely be using that panto on many more quilts.

I am linking up over at Quiltville - hop on over to check out all of the links.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Good Progress!

Wow, I can't believe that I managed to get the whole circle portion stitched together. It took a wee bit of effort because there were some slight curves in the piecing. I just took my time and pinned the units as I went.

I laid out the pieces so that I knew which piece needed to be added in the correct order. The blades were pieced in units of three and they are put together on a curved angle so there was potential for confusion.

block laid out for piecing
I also starched and pressed as needed to help the circle lay flat. The green star portion still needs to be stitched into the center of the circle and I know that it will be a real treat to do it. ;) I haven't decided yet if I will attempt it by machine or if I will just do my best with hand stitching.

There is one more outer row of points that need to be added to this block and that will turn it into a circle before it gets turned into a square. This is a photo of the block pattern that I am using.