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Monday, August 31, 2015

Woe was me, bits and pieces

Three things to be happy about:
(1) kids going back to school - yes!
(2) mood rings
(3) letting concerns roll off your back

Woes come and woes go, but this woe kept coming for no rhyme or reason!

My PC was just rebooting without warning, then it wouldn't boot at all - woe!

I unhooked it (no small feat because I have to pull my heavy desk out from the wall to get at the back) and took it to the Geek Squad.  He plugged it in and it worked like a charm, don't you just hate that?

I admit, there was a lot of dust covering the vents that I wiped off, maybe that was the problem??

Meanwhile, I've been using those 3-1/2" squares I cut to make little sets for my x and plus blocks.

I was spending a lot of time trying to get just the right pieces together, and I think that might be why I was spending "a lot of time" to get the sets put together!

So then I had a bright idea!  I found Pinterest and flickr posts from others making this quilt ... it "freed" me!

From looking at those other blocks, I realized all over again that whatever I put together will look great!

So now I'm just pulling strips and cross-cutting them into 2" squares and 2 x 5" rectangles without a lot of heavy thinking.

They'll all look good in the final quilt!

Did I have this conversation with myself before??

Enjoy your Monday, sew forth and sew on til later...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Another UFO

Three things to be happy about:
(1) scary movies
(2) finding hidden treasure
(3) buying fabric online...

... which I haven't done in more than 2 years!

I was going through a bag of scraps (and discards) looking for large hunks to cut down when I found a zippered bag with these cute little blocks!

I vaguely remember participating in a half-square triangle block swap when I used to hang out on the quilting forum at About.com.

Oh my that place has changed in the last 15 or so years!  It started out being called something like "the mining company," covering any and all topics before it evolved into what it is today.  Well, it still does that, but now it's more organized, and Janet Wickell does a fantastic job as their quilt expert!

Anyway, I don't remember how many of these HST's I collected, they're probably scattered here and there among my stuff, but at some point I pieced a few blocks and even joined three sets of pairs together...

There were eleven blocks in the bag, made from 2-1/2" squares with muslin as the background part.

I like the look of these set flush together; this will make a great leader/ender project!  I have lots of 2-1/2" color strips, so as I'm cutting fabric I'll cut some muslin strips to use for HST's.

My Easy Angle ruler will make cutting triangle pairs easy enough.

That's it for now, have a great Monday -  sew forth and sew on til later!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Cutting mostly done

Three things to be happy about:
(1) big red balloons
(2) orange popsicles
(3) strappy sandles
I've done a lot more cutting to clear off my cutting table, and I cut the fabric whether it was Alexander Henry or not!

This 1-3/4 yard piece is hot from JoAnn's that was on their remnant table at $4 a yard!  Had to get it, you know what I mean?

I sliced a 7-inch piece and cut some neutral strips!

Here's a piece that used to make me s-s-stutter!

I've had this for so long, I mean SO LONG, and couldn't think of a project to use it in ... and I didn't want to cut it ... then a few days ago I looked at the fabric and realized I didn't like those flowers anyway!

I'm not a sweet and flowery fabric kinda gal; however, I did fussy cut this piece to get 3-1/2" squares for my x and plus project.  There's more of it left, it'll come out of the box and go under the 2" blade next time I cut!

Wanna see what that messy corner of my table looks like now?

Ta-daaa - big difference!

Just dribs and drubs that I need to neaten off out of the way.

These are some of the scraps I created during the cutting process...

More scraps!!

... and some of the many strips I cut, all a-tangle...

All I managed to sort so far - just the tip of the iceberg!

There's a lot to be said for sorting fabric strips as you cut them:

(1) you save time at the end...

(2) they don't get all tangled up...

(3) you avoid fuzzy edges...

(4) it's more efficient...

(5) they're ready to use in case you want some before you finish cutting...

(6) sew forth and sew on...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cutting up

Three things to be happy about:
(1) purified drinking water
(2) Jesse French pianos
(3) making your own trail mix

It's not exactly trail mix, but lately I'm snacking on a mixture of raw almonds, Craisins, and crystallized ginger.  One day I was about to get some pre-packaged trail mix from Whole Foods when I realized that little $7.99 bag of stuff only had two things I liked, so I started making my own!  How healthy is it?  I dunno, but at least none of it gets tossed out!

I'm cutting fabric now and I just realized it's taking me away from what I was doing with the Scrap Crystals UFO.  It all started when I really looked at my cutting table...
How does it get that way???
what a mess!

I just started grabbing pieces and cutting 2 inch strips, and those 3-1/2" squares I talked about for the x and plus project.  Then I realized I should be using my GO cutter for the squares, since I have the die!

Well, one thing led to another... I was digging in my container for the 3-1/2" die when I saw a 3-1/2 x 6-1/2" die that came with the set - it was still sealed in the package, had never been used!

So then I decided to cut 3-1/2 x 6-1/2" pieces for the lozenge leader-ender project that I very gently shoved aside a few weeks ago.

Long story short, I now have a stack of 3-1/2" squares and 3-1/2 x 6-1/2" rectangles, ready to be used when I pick the project back up again.  I don't know how many more I need, but I know I need lots!

Did I finish cutting all the fabric leftovers from the cutting table?  Nope - I don't think the pile went down at all!  Today there will definitely be more pressing and cutting and sorting.

Have a great Thursday, sew forth and sew on til later!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Plugging away

Three things to be happy about:
(1) keeping at it
(2) working through boredom
(3) osfa dresses

OSFA, as in one size fits all - they're so comfy to wear inside when its hot outside!

Nothing much happening on the quilting front - I'm still cutting strips, trying to get a good mix so I don't have all "new" pieces for the final blocks in the Scrap Crystals quilt.

Can you tell I'm getting bored with this UFO??

Since I'm cutting 2" strips anyway, I figured I may as well kit up more parts for the "x and plus" blocks.

The pattern uses 2" strips and 3-1/2" squares - read my latest post about this project here.

Geez, has it been over a year since I worked on that one??

Ho hum ... *sigh* ... sew forth and sew on...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Show and share at the guild

Three things to be happy about:
(1) artisan bread
(2) watching an old movie
(3) knowing what to overlook

I love sharing what goes on at our guild meeting, especially the gorgeous quilts!

Saturday there were two from Nadine - a round robin, and a "wickedly easy"

Azalia paper-pieced this one from a Fons and Porter magazine...

Maxine made one block, then another block - then a quilt!

Two from Elsie...

And last but not least, a member of Bethesda Quilters brought their beautifully hand-quilted raffle quilt...
(I claim this quilt - it's mine, it's mine!)

Then it was time to share food!

That's it for now, sew forth and sew on til later...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Silent Sunday

photo taken at a Black Memoribilia show in Gaithersburg, Maryland

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bee challenge

Three things to be happy about:
(1) new school supplies
(2) a bentwood rocker
(3) a favorite recipe

I forgot to show you the quilt I made for this year's bee challenge.  I wasn't here for the unveiling in June, so I didn't get to see or photograph all the other quilts!

We were given a half yard of the light green batik; the challenge was to make a modern quilt within a certain size range.  Quite frankly, I think "modern" is in the eye and mind of the maker!

My idea was to make a two-color quilt from batiks in my stash.  I love when you can shop your stash!

I used these fabrics - purples, blues, and greens closely related in color but different patterns:

gotta have a zinger in there to add interest!

From 1-1/2", 2-1/2" and 3-1/2" strips I cut these pieces (for ease of reading I'll drop the 1/2"):

1 x 3,
1 x 4,
3 x 3,
3 x 4,
2 x 2, and
2 x 4.

Combining pieces to make 4-1/2" blocks:

sew a 1x3 to a 3x3, add a 1x4 on the side...

sew two 2x2's together, add a 2x4 on the side...

Lots of math but easy breezy to do!

I wanted texture, lots of texture -  I wasn't afraid to throw in some pale purple with the green!

Can I pull it off??   Only 1/2 yard of the challenge fabric, not much room for mistakes!

All the green blocks made and previewed on the design wall - looking good!

I made the dark blocks the same way as the others, creating 4-1/2" blocks and mixing mixing mixing the blues and purples together to add texture and interest!

The quilt finished at 40 x 40.

By combining fabrics from the same general family but with different surface designs, I definitely did what I set out to do!

Notice the gently curved line quilting, keeping it simple!

That's it for now, guild meeting today.  Have a great Saturday, sew forth and sew on til later!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

An ouch, and more eye candy

Three things to be happy about:
(1) new neighbors
(2) strawberry smoothies
(3) crunchy snacks

Don't you hate things that make you go eee-accck!?  This one may be my fault and it may not be... not sure.

During the winter months the low tire pressure icon was lit up on my dash because of the cold; it's supposed to go off after about 5 minutes of driving but it always stayed on so I just learned to ignore it.  Honda says it does that sometimes but they can't fix it, don't worry, everything's fine.  So I got used to seeing the icon and didn't pay any attention when it came on again, but I should have though - it was a gen-u-ine low pressure warning.

I went out in a hurry to get gone, and found a flat!

AAA came within 10 minutes, replaced the flat with my "doughnut" and told me I should get the real tire back on within about 30 miles of driving (okay... how many miles to the doctor and back, and Target, and Costco, and Whole Foods) - sheesh!

Ideally AAA would have fixed the flat but he didn't have any plugs, so when I finished my errands I went by the service station to get it fixed.

So now everything is okay, no more low pressure icon, tire drives fine - whew!

On a happier note, here are 6 more pieces of eye candy from the Annapolis show...

Gotta love scrappy, especially stars!

I like these fuss-free designs, they go on my gotta-do list...

And finally three applique'd quilts; sometimes I look at quilts and go "wow!  look at the talent!!"

That's it for now, have a great Thursday, sew forth and sew on...