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Saturday, June 30, 2012

another top done

I felt like a little instant gratification, so I made a small cobblestone quilt like the ones Wanda at Exuberant Color does.

I dove into my batik stash and pulled a dozen fabrics that looked okay together as a group, then sorted them into pairs that I cut at 7-1/2".

Isn't it funny ... the more fabric you have, the harder it is to go ahead and make a decision about pairing two up.  At least, that's the way it is for me!  I have batiks in lots of colors, but they all seemed to be either greens or browns.

I made cuts at both sides of the pair o' squares to give me three strips, then I cut the top and bottom of the middle strip...
next I moved the underneath portion of the middle strip to the top o' the set.  One pair o' squares gives me two blocks each!

After piecing a dozen blocks I put the top together, but then I decided to make four more to make it a 4x4 layout. 

I wish I'd chosen a different fabric for the border, though.  And the two blocks in the top right corner ... not the best of friends!  Whyyyyy can't.... whyyyyy can't we all just get along? 


Now, the block below should go to the "what was I thinking?" department...

... those colors just won't dance together!

So that's what I was up to yesterday, sweating all the while.  Sew forth and sew on til later...

Friday, June 29, 2012

testing, teaching, learning

I still haven't located my houses, but I admit I haven't made finding them my top priority... I know approximately where they are!

I wanted to test this slashed block to see if I like it enough to make an entire quilt, another way of using my stash.

I pieced a 9-patch block from 4-1/2" squares of African fabrics, then slashed and added a 2" white strip.  Craftsy had the slashed block as one of their January BOMs... when I showed this to Charlene she said the 9-patch version was also done, but I didn't find it.  Anyway, kudos to Craftsy if this is their design!

Yesterday Charlene brought some really pretty table runners and place mats to the senior wellness center, where she teaches on Thursdays.

She found the instructions for the 10-minute Table Runner on You Tube (http://youtu.be/Kfg8BMUakOc), and she instructed us on the techniques while Pat sewed together the class sample.  There are only two pieces to cut:  13" by WOF and 18" by WOF - we were amazed at how easy it was!

After it's sewn you just add a decorative button at each end!

The placemats can also be made from a fat quarter.

Well, that was my yesterday, I hope yours was just as relaxing - enjoy your Friday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No-sew, but sew nice


Well, I didn't get to sew yesterday but the day was sew nice in a couple of ways:  (1) less humidity meant cooler weather and (2) I got to spend a good part of the day with my buds Char and Pat!

We went to see Madagascar 3 at the Academy 8 theater in Beltway Plaza (Maryland).

I liked this movie but I think I liked the first one more, maybe because the characters were just being introduced.   BUT it's always a happy time to have popcorn and a movie with friends, rared back with your feet up on the rail. 

We had lunch afterwards at Ruby Tuesday and as I was leaving I noticed the lobby floors ... it's funny I never paid attention to their floors before!

Isn't this pattern gorgeous?  And the colors are great too, I like that subtle touch of red between the two-toned green 16-patches.

Since we were so good at Beltway Plaza by not making a run into the JoAnn's (Char said she was proud of us!), after lunch we rewarded ourselves with Italian ices at Rita's Ice Custard Happiness. Pat got a mango ice, Char and I each got a strawberry gelati, yumm!  Calories, get behind me (ooops, not there please)!

But we weren't the only ones who liked dessert... this cute little doggie got his/her reward too, and Pat got a chance to feed it to him while his mommie collected her change!

Being with Char and Pat is always an adventure, so you know it had  to get better!

There's a produce truck affiliated with a food bank(?) that parks one street over from Pat's house on Tuesdays, which distributes a variety of produce.  Whatever they have on hand is entirely free for the taking (but they do take donations for the food bank).

Yesterday they had cabbages and some of the biggest sweet potatoes I've seen since I left North Carolina! 
aren't these huge compared to this man's hand?  I picked up one and said to the lady, "Are these sweet potatoes from North Carolina?" and she said "Yeah, how'd you know?"  Well, it turns out she was not only from North Carolina, but also from Fayetteville - my home town!  Small world, I tell ya!   I got half a dozen potatoes but I passed up on the cabbages - not a huge fan.

So that was my day, I hope yours was just as nice - whether you sewed or just chilled out!  Have a great Wednesday... sew forth and sew on til later!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trees, glorious trees

I wanted to create tree blocks to go with the houses I got in the Wonky House Swap in March even though I wasn't involved in that part of the swap.  In keeping with the guidelines for the tree swap I decided to stick with the 5x8 finished size, using my paper pieced crooked geese.

The good thing about using these crooked geese for tree tops is that you don't have to think, just sew blocks together!  To make it even easier and minimize seams at the end, I taped the geese together at their flat bottoms before I paper pieced them.  The tree trunks were all made by sewing background fabric to either side of the brown trunks, easy peasy!  What will I do different on the next ones?  I'll use narrower size geese for the tops; as you can see from the one immediately above on the left, there's not much background fabric on that one side.  (I'll redo that one.) 

The first three blocks were made with 4" geese; the last one was 2".  So, my next batch will be made from 3" geese.

Here's one I appliqued onto the background:

It's a cute tree but I'm not sure if I'll make more of those or not, we'll see.

After I made a few I decided to see what they looked like with the wonky houses, so I pulled out my box that's clearly marked "Houses"...


But when I opened it up... yikes, where are my houses???

I'll have to go on a hunt in my sewing room... I know they're in there someplace, I just have to find them!  Which might mean actually cleaning it up again.  Oh well...

Have a great Tuesday, sew forth and sew on

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer in the city

Hot town, summer in the city, back of my neck getting dirty and gritty.... 

It was so hot yesterday, after I got my hair done I just came home and flopped!  I wanted to make a few more heart blocks, and some trees to go with my wonky house swap blocks, but that'll have to wait for cooler days because my sewing room was like an oven (by now, have you guessed I don't have decent AC in my house?)

Anyway, I want to share these pictures from a watermelon festival in Italy that Debbra in California (Hi Deb!!) sent me a couple weeks ago.  Maybe looking at these will make you feel cooler?

I noticed a definite nautical theme and flowers, except that one donkey at the top... who invited him???

Have a great Saturday; sew forth and sew on

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tis the season

I finished piecing the top for the 6-inch blocks I was working on, this was a very easy top to piece.  I should put it in the category of a "get er done" quilt! 

For the border, I decided to use a piece of batik-y fabric I had, just to use it up.  I cut the strips to finish at 4 inches... I think this will give me a large enough quilt.  I'll piece something for the back, not sure what yet, whatever I find in my stash that compliments the front.

In my guild (and bee) we are asked to make heart blocks to be used when a member has lost a close family member, and we want to remind them that we're thinking of them. Anyway, the idea is to make up some to be kept on hand rather than when they're needed, so yesterday I decided to make a few after I finished putting the border on my quilt top, while I was thinking about it.

When you say "heart block" most people automatically think of a red heart on a white background, but actually the heart can be any color as long as the block measures 6-1/2".  In the top one at the left, I cut a heart from a piece of red scrap yardage I had on hand and appliqued it onto a white background.  In the second heart, I sewed together 3/4" black and white strips to make a mini 9-patch that I appliqued off-center onto a solid red fabric.  The b&w strips were cross cut at 1" to make the 9-patch. I did a little trimming to neaten it up :o)

I decided to use blue scrap yardage to design the block below:

I cut a slash in the background fabric, added a 1" strip from scrap yardage for a little accent, then cut the 6-1/2" background to which I appliqued the blue heart.  Easy peasy! 

Well, today is the first day of summer - at last, the season has caught up with the heat!  Get out and enjoy it, but take a bottle of water with you.

Sew forth and sew on

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This n that

Three things to be happy about:
(1) pulling off a surprise
(2) making Dad's favorite meal
(3) eating under a tree

It's a few days past Father's Day and it occurs to me I never knew my father's favorite meal.  Oh well, it's a bit late now - that dude would eat anything!

As for pulling off a surprise?  Yesterday Pepco was on our street cleaning out water or something from the electric areas beneath the street.  They hadn't put up any "No Parking" signs, so a couple cars were in their way and there was this one car they couldn't work around.  At one point I looked outside and I saw my neighbor's car being towed away down the street!

I wish I could have seen his face when he came home from work and found the car he left midway the block on the left hand side, now parked at the end of the block on the opposite side of the street!  But my rambling point is, they had to shut off the electricity right smack in the middle of my sewing session and I didn't finish what I was working on.

Here are a few more pictures from Saturday's Friend and Family day at the rec center:
Char and Gwen do the wobble

Yetunde knits while Carolyn binds a small quilt

Char poses with her challenge quilt, a Jacob's Ladder pattern

Today is our quarterly retiree luncheon, I hope it's a good day for a barbecue!  I'm taking the easy way out with an apple pie from Costco - gotta love those deep dish pies!

Have a great Tuesday, sew forth and sew on...