Saturday, May 28, 2016

Slim pickings for green

For as busy as I've been, I sure don't have a lot to show for it.

A couple of Chantal's Pinwheels

and a plain kaleidoscope block are the only things I have for my greens this week.

Oh, and those silly wee boats I posted the other day.  I had hoped to get to my Whatchacallit Stars this week, but it didn't happen.

Some of my time was spent fanning out these fabrics that I picked out as my prize for Scraptastic Tuesday's May drawing.  I picked out this collection of fat quarters from Mad About Patchwork.

I spy a fair bit of orange in there, so apparently I wasn't quite done with last month's color.  Though I freely admit that my younger daughter's admiration for orange has really rubbed off on me.

And I pulled some fabrics that I'm going to use for a Sew Together bag for me me me!

I'd made my oldest daughter one in Australian prints and it was really really hard to let it go when the time came.  So I've grabbed a few more fat quarters and will make it up to and for myself.

And I've also spent some time on a still-secret project which I'll soon be sharing pics of, so stay tuned!

Linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Come see all the rainbow fun!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Well, *somebody* went to sea...

The cow and the pussycat went to sea...

Wait, that's not right.

The monkey and the pussycat...

 No, that's not it either.

 The pigeon and the...

Oh, that won't end well.

Here we go.
The OWL and the pussycat went to sea,

in a beautiful pea-green boat.

Phew!  Why was that so hard?

Saturday, May 21, 2016


There I was, minding my own business, peacefully (and piecefully) sewing away, when suddenly something started poking me in the elbow.
"Psst!  Psst!" said a little voice behind me.

"Psst!  Go look in the mailbox!  The mailbox!"
There was a chorus of  "Mailbox!  Mailbox!" from several more little voices.

"Psst!  In the mailbox!"
"Mails!  Look in psstboxes!"

So fine.   I went out and checked the mailbox.
There was an envelope that was both squishy and noisy.  And jumpy.
I opened it gingerly, and look what popped out:

Apparently one of Sue's monkeys had stuffed himself into an envelope and mailed himself to my house.
Needless to say, my gang of hooligans was excited to meet the new cousin.

Why, this little guy started dancing around so hard that he threw out his back.

Or ruptured his collarbone, maybe.  I'm not as informed on monkey anatomy as I should be.
In any case, I rushed him into surgery and now he's as good as new.

There was quite a lot of loudness and hilarity, then they all ran outside.  Last I saw them, they were up in the apple tree, building a fort.

The neighborhood squirrels are starting to look a little nervous...

Linking with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.   Come see more scrappy fun!  (Though not necessarily with more monkeys)

Friday, May 20, 2016

There's always room for buckeyes

I've had a fairly productive couple of days, though I don't have as much to show for it as I thought I would.  Partly it's because a lot of time was spent thinking and planning, which is remarkably hard to photograph, and there was a lot of cutting as well, which is boring to photograph.  (Stacks of triangles?  Three and half inch strips?  Your eyes would be glazing.)

I did get a couple of Buckeye Beauties thrown together, as you may have guessed from the title of the post.

And a nice green Jacks to add to the stack.

And there was a kaleidoscope, of course.

As well as another kaleidoscope.

I think I have one more cut out and sitting next to the sewing machine, though I admit I may have lost track at this point.  I get on such a roll when I first start assembling strips for these that I never know how many I'm going to end up with.  It's a good thing Angela changes the color each month, or I'd never be able to stop.  At least picking strips of the new color slows me down for a bit...

And piglets continue to turn up.

(Still not hamburger buns, Cathy.  Sorry.)

It seems like there was something else, but I can't quite remember what it was.  It's right on the tip of my brain...

I almost had it, then I got distracted when I tripped over these logs that someone left on the floor.  

I'll be linking to Angela's So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Come see all the rainbows in action!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Button, button, who's got the button? Well, I do, for one.

I think I need a new category in my post labels list.  Something like "Projects I'm not really starting no seriously I mean it..."
Because you may have noticed a new button in my sidebar - for the Gwennie-Inspired Medallion Quilt Along.   Not that I'm joining that QAL, of course.  Nope.  Got too many other things going on.
But the starting point is a basket block.  Just a basket.  What harm could come from making just one basket block?  I even had a block pattern traced out for an applique flower basket that I'd found in my 101 Fabulous Small Quilts book.  Serendipity, I say.  Kismet, maybe.
I'd originally planned to make the block with Civil War reproductions, but upon further thought I said to myself, "Fork that, let's have some fun!" and went a bit brighter.

I gotta admit, I like it. 
But then I started second guessing myself.  I really like making pieced baskets, too.  I did a scrappy basket quilt years ago that was a ton of fun - maybe I should have pieced a basket instead of appliqueing it.
So, you guessed it.

And since I can't decide between them for my Gwennie Medallion, it looks like I'm making two...

And then there's a quilt that I SWEAR I'm only making a couple of test blocks for and I'm 100% NOT starting it and I promise to put away the templates I made for the weird shaped pieces and not even THINK about Jen Kingwell's Glitter quilt from her book Quilt Lovely which I've had for FIVE WHOLE MONTHS and bought solely because I wanted to make Glitter and have since found that I want to make every single quilt in the whole book but Glitter first.
//stops and gasps for breath//

See?  I only made two blocks.
I think I'm getting a real handle on this Self Control thing, don't you?

Since Glitter involves y-seams, I'm linking to Mary Huey's Y-Seam Warriors at Quilting through Rose-colored Trifocals!   Come see the pretty hexagons!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Going round in circles

Yesterday afternoon I pulled out some Icelandic roving and my Turkish spindle and started to play.  (And that sounds like a small world, right?  All I needed was a Belgian waffle and a Brazilian... um, nevermind)

Here's a video all about Turkish spindles, with Abby Franquemont, who is the Master of All Things Spindly.  I watched that one, as well as several others, as I got ready to give my new toy a whirl.

Assemble the parts.

I love how it sits at a jaunty angle when at rest, rather than rolling off into the next room when it hits the floor.  Or worse, rolling towards the nearest cat, who will be utterly convinced that you've brought it the Best New Cat Toy EVER.  (Woohoo!)
There was a learning curve, combined with a re-learning curve.  I haven't done any spindle spinning in at least 3 years, and I've only used a top-whorl spindle.  The weight distribution of the bottom-whorl was a little hard to get used to.  (I may try to assemble this one upside down and see it it's usable that way.  Experimenting is always fun.)  (Well, not always, but usually.)  (Well, sometimes.)

Once I got some singles built up, I pulled the pin,

yanked off its arms,

and was left with a little center-pull ball ready to be plied.
I tied the leader back to the spindle

and plied from both ends and ended up with a sweet little ball of yarn.

It's not my best spinning ever, but it's by far not my worst, either.  (Full disclosure - there was a lot of cussing involved in the plying process.  Those singles were really lively and prone to twist.  With each other, with themselves, with my hair, with the spindle itself.  It wasn't all "Tada!  Yarn!") 
And even though it's all neatly packaged in a nice center pull ball, I'm going to hunt up my kniddy knoddy and wind it off into a skein so I can soak it to distribute the twist a little better. 
I'm really pleased with this new spindle.  It's fun that it disassembles to pack flat, which makes it beautifully portable.
I'm already planning to make a bag for it, too.  Because obviously I don't have enough to do.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

'Playing Catch-up' should be my middle name

Since I'm running behind in the RSC (because apparently I mislaid the first two weeks of May) (they're probably on my cutting table somewhere, buried under some 2.5" strips) (though if you should happen to see them somewhere else, would you send them back to me, please?) (now where was I?  Oh, yeah), I continued to work with green today.
More kaleidoscopes, of course.  But you knew that.

And one Chantal's Pinwheel.

And I made a push on April's 365 Challenge blocks and managed to get caught up through the 15th.  Yay!  I'm only a month behind again!

One of the personal challenges I've found in this project is making use of what I've got.  I normally cut strips and squares in 1.5", 2", 2.5", and 3.5" sizes, and making these small blocks frequently calls for off-standard measurements.
I needed a 3.25" square, which I trimmed off the end of a 3.5" strip,

and four 1.75" squares, which I got by cutting a 3.5" square into quarters.

These went into making some quick-pieced flying geese, which is a technique that is the next best thing to magic.

Though I found that the measurements were off in the block patterns, and I would have been a lot better off starting with a 2.75" square rather than that 3.25" one.  Lesson learned.  (Math is our friend.  Seam allowances are not.)  Next time I make 3" Sawtooth star variations, I'll know exactly what I'm doing!

And for the record, I haven't started a new project.  It's purely a coincidence that I've been experimenting with applique for no particular reason. 

As one does.

Linking with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Come watch us all play with scraps!