Monday, October 16, 2017

Mid-Month Crunch

Having been sick for two weeks, progress on my sewing and quilting to-do list has been woefully lacking. Now that I am feeling almost entirely back to normal, the goal will be to try to tackle that list with gusto from here on out to month's end.

So, first, I have made all the triangles for Emma's wall hanging. They were easy-peasy with the help of Thangles papers.

The stack of HSTs; probably made a few too many.

Our sketch of what it will look like.

Pressed HSTs measuring 2.5 inches. 
I would like to continue working on the wall hanging, but another list item is also screaming for attention: the October UFO. Since tomorrow is a sewing day with Sharon, I think I will devote the day to working on it. One good, long day of sewing could accomplish so much on that deadline, and it would feel really good to see yet another UFO bite the proverbial dust.

Which means that continuing to work on Emma's wall hanging will wait patiently off to the side for a day or two. I am determined, though, to finish both this month, so it won't be waiting for long.

I am linking up today with Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Significant Hexie Progress

My heading indicates that I have been making significant progress, yet the big breakthrough hasn't been in actual stitching. No, instead, I have been thinking (always dangerous business for me!) and somewhere along the line I had a great breakthrough idea. An "ah-ha moment," if you will. Why this never occurred to me earlier makes no sense whatsoever, but I'm glad I have eventually arrived here. Let me explain.

Back in the summer, I shared a post about all the random hexie flowers I'd been making over the last couple of years. I had a nice little variety of random flowers, yet had no particular intent for any of them. It was just something to work on when I needed handwork. Consequently, they were accumulating. Never did it occur to me that I ought to add another ring around these existing flowers.

But why not?!?! Seems like a perfect way to use them. Since I have apparently taken to making what looks like an eventual Grandmother's Flower Garden, (scroll down in this post to see) I need to put these older ones into service.

I placed a ring of pink hexies and a ring of blue hexies on this mat, and auditioned a few of the small flowers. Here are some options I may go with.

I will very soon have enough flowers to get a nice little quilt going! I know so many quilters never work without a definite plan or goal in mind. My method, more often than not, is to just sew some stuff together and see where it takes me. This seems like a nice destination.

Linking up today with Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy's Quilts. It appears I will have quite a lot of slow stitching in my future, eh?

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Baby Quilt Finished

With all the coughing and sniffling and wheezing going on around here, accomplishing very much in the sewing room has been difficult at best. Yes, we are still trying to recover from our respiratory infections. It's been brutal!

Finally, yesterday, I found myself sufficiently fortified to quilt the woodsy baby quilt that DD Emma and I made two weeks ago. She needs it for the baby shower tomorrow, so I was running out of time.

In anticipation of Thursday's being a good day for sewing, on Wednesday evening I prepped the quilt sandwich. Since it is small-ish at 44" square, I opted to spray baste the layers. It worked pretty well, but I wouldn't go much bigger, I think. Just too much wrestling of fabric, in my opinion. Using a flannel for the backing is a good idea for a baby quilt, but this plaid offered a new challenge - keeping the lines straight. I took my time and did a pretty decent job. I think for future reference, I will use a solid if I am quilting it at home, or I will long-arm quilt it if using a plaid.

My plan originally was to just straight-line stitch in one direction all across the quilt. However, after we went to the trouble of haphazardly arranging the blocks so that there is no definite up and down, I thought simply outlining the blocks should be the better way to go.  I am glad I made this decision, and I finished the quilting in a few hours.

After a little break to rest achy shoulders, I attached the binding and stitched it down. It turned out pretty well, all in all, and I am pleased with it. I was worried that I would be embarrassed to send it off with Emma, for everyone to think my workmanship was shoddy. It passes my quality control standards, so off it goes. *grin*  Oh, it has its imperfections, to be sure, but not so glaring that anyone would be dissatisfied.

Yes, I even remembered to add the label. Emma wanted to leave it blank for the new parents to write the baby's name, birth date, and weight after he arrives.

In with the gift, she plans to include a box of color-catchers for laundering. I think that several of the fabrics in this quilt have the potential for running.

I do believe that DH and I have finally turned the corner on our sicknesses; hopefully this is all for us for the remainder of the fall and winter, and then some!

Linking up today with Finish It Up Friday. She has an interesting string quilt to share; check it out!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Random Flowers and Stars

The pace has really slowed down here at the old homestead lately. Both DH and I are still trying to overcome the creepy crud  --  head and chest congestion along with deep, bone-rattling coughs. We are a sorry pair, let me tell you.

I have busied my needle a bit, along with the sewing machine. I've a trio of scrappy stars to show for my efforts, along with a trio of hexie flowers. Neither set of blocks has a definite plan. Since I still have quite a to-do list, I don't dare let myself engage with a NEW project! In the very near future, I can see myself a bit more free to start a new quilt.

These stars are fun to make, but like any scrap quilt there is an endless pile of scraps on the cutting table. I have a total of 13 stars now made and another 5 ready to be sewn. The 5" blocks are meant to be sewn with charm squares for setting blocks. I will make these until I grow bored with them and see what I do with them. In other words, I don't have a plan; I'm just making stars.

And speaking of not having a plan, I continue to make random hexies and haven't a clue as to their future. I am leaning toward Grandmother's Flower Garden, but I could change my mind at a moment's notice.

I have much on my list; I don't have time to be under the weather! Hopefully I will get back in gear soon.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Upper Respiratory Infection

Throw me a pity party??

Since Wednesday, I have been suffering mightily, readers. After living with DH and his 13-day bout with a respiratory infection, I figured it must not be a contagious thing or I surely would have caught it. On the 14th day, I did. And boy, has it packed a wallop. I got my antibiotic early on in the hopes that I would catch it before it got as bad as hubby's. Well, perhaps in duration, mine will be shorter, but the effects have kept me housebound for four days. Energy to sew?? Barely an ounce.

I glue-basted some hexies one evening. Sewed some hexies another evening. Made three scrappy stars today. Each effort was exhausting.

I had to miss sewing on Friday morning with the Frankfort Girls, doggone it. I had some stuff to share and always love being with those gals. Terry sent me a picture of one of her recent finishes. Since I haven't taken photos of my small recent accomplishments, I will devote this post to comparing three versions of the same quilt.

Long Road Home by Red Crinoline Quilts is a quilt that I first saw when Sheryll showed us her finish of it back in 2011. I went bananas for it, and so did Terry; she then suggested that we make one together. I was all in. Below is Sheryll's version.

As things often do for quilters, some projects get going right away while others have to wait their turns. I did start pretty soon after that initial discussion, but it took me about 4 years to finish it. Mine looks quite different, too, as I did not have nearly the variety of neutrals required for the setting blocks. Because I was trying to use from the stash, I decided that I would simply use what I had in very scrappy fashion.

Here's my version of Long Road Home - hand-quilted! Yeah, I did, and it took me forever.

And now we can add Terry's to our collective efforts. Hers, like Sheryll's, is much more in keeping with the pattern as designed.

I have always been fascinated by the different looks a pattern can take simply by the choice and placement of fabrics and colors. I love this quilt in both the original pattern and in my "off-the-rails" version.

Hopefully, I will be back tomorrow with improved health and an update on my meager stitching.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October UFO

My task this month in the UFO challenge is to finish Tell It To The Stars, a quilt-along project I began in 2014. Judy at Patchwork Times hosted the year-long event, and I did okay until about October of that year when I just fizzled out. After sitting in storage for three years (the quilt top, not me!), I am ready to finish it off. Click here to read my original post about this quilt.

The photo above shows how far along I am - and I truly had forgotten how much of it was done. What a pleasant surprise. I've just this morning pulled it out of the closet. This should be an easy UFO to complete.

I vaguely recall what forced me to halt my work on this quilt. After piecing that spiky green border (which was very detailed, as I recall) I thought all that was left was to do a solid outer border or perhaps a small containment border and then a larger outer border. I was wrong. I had to do one more pieced border. Having just finished what I thought was the last of the piecing, I wasn't in the mood for more apparently, so I quit.

Doesn't take much to turn me off a project, does it? Below is the pieced border that forced my shutdown.

Thankfully I had the good sense to print out a copy of the remaining steps. I have spent some time studying the instructions and I do believe I can finish without too much effort. I look forward to being able to claim another small victory in the UFO challenge. Getting this to the flimsy stage will make me quite the happy gal. Wish me luck!

Just to keep things interesting, I am joining the One Monthly Goal challenge at Elm Street Quilts blog. I did one earlier this year, and figure I am sufficiently ready to try again. It's fun to see what other quilters will be finishing this month. And, I have also snuck in to the party at Silly Mama Quilts.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Scrappy Stars

Three days into October and I find myself in that place where I have finished up some big stuff, have more big stuff to tackle, yet I am not quite ready to face it just yet.

So, I play.

Scrappy Stars, the pattern by Thimble Blossoms, seems to keep me entertained at the moment. Those sweet little 5" blocks are just so easy and fun, and by going scrappy with them I am allowed to grab any random fabric that strikes my fancy and work at making some magic with it. Here are my most recently made stars. All in all, I have made 8.

By zooming in on them like this you get to see that I have not been particularly diligent at matching those intersections in the center. From a distance they are fine, but close inspection - well, that's another story. I may try pinning more accurately, but truly in the scheme of things, those won't bother me too much after they join the other 142 stars. Yeah, I have a ways to go.

What I ought to be doing is digging out the parts and pieces for finishing off the October UFO. And I need to get going on quilting the baby quilt that Emma and I made on Sunday. As long as I'm itemizing things, coming up on Saturday is History Day in Greenfield and I am once again going to demonstrate hand quilting, so I need to get that project all ready to go.

With a sizable list of "oughta' do's" I seem to be very content with playing in the stars. I'm gonna' have to get in gear here shortly.

Linking up today with Free Motion By the River for her Tuesday Linky Party.

Hope you get a chance to take some time to play!
Happy Quilting, Friends!