Thursday, May 5, 2016

One medallion down, a couple hundred blocks to go!

I finished the corners and borders for the 365 Challenge central medallion and got them all sewn together.  Woohoo!

 Then it was back to making dark little 3" blocks to surround that medallion with.  There will be 96 of them all together, then we move on to the 6" blocks for a while.  Woohoo!

I finally found the ruler of my dreams, which is making the squaring of these little blocks a whooooole lot simpler!

I'm almost caught up with the first 2 weeks of April now.  Then there's the second two weeks of April.  And however much of May has gone by, by the time I finish April.
Yeah, this'll work.  I can totally do this.

And there's a new Quilt Along starting up that's very intriguing.  Not that I'm going to join it, of course.  Absolutely not.  Just because I already had a basket block traced out that I was planning to do eventually anyway is no excuse to start a new project.  No way am I going to tackle this.  Nope.  Totally not happening.  Nope.
Of course, there's no harm in pulling some fabric.

Purely as a hypothetical, of course.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Last Pigs of April

(Does that sound like the title of an awful novel that we had to Read and Discuss in an American Lit class, or is it just me?)  (It's just me, isn't it?)


I finished my last two orange piglets for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I'm trying not to think about the fact that I made at least ten of them in orange.  My original goal was to make four of each color for the RSC, and I think I've made at least eight every month.  At this rate, by October I'll have enough blocks to make a quilt that will stretch from here to Iowa.  (Hear that, Cathy?  We're coming for ya!)

Much as I love my kaleidoscopes, these piglets are really my favorite of my RSC blocks.  The Amazing Sally T gets the blame credit for my mad piggy-making, since she's the one who designed this little cutie.  (See the 'Featured Post' in my sidebar for links to her tutorials.)

Though the ten piglets were an easier thing to keep up with than the 30 orange peel blocks of April (Thirty?  //muttering 'thirty days hath September, April...'  Yep, thirty!) that got away from me for the Quilty 365.  I ran out of steam around mid-April I think, with some blocks stitched,

and others just cut out and pinned.

I think with a bit of a push, I can catch up and put this project back on track.  A little snipping, a little stitching - totally doable!
Though sometimes I think optimism may be my biggest character flaw...

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Not all the scraps make rainbows

After that heroic effort to catch up with the 365 Challenge, I've managed to fall behind again.

The first four days of April were meant for making the borders which surround the central medallion.  I'd hit a stop with these while I was visiting my daughter, since I hadn't brought enough fabric with me to make these 6"x18" blocks.
I've now managed to get one of them done.

And the first two corners that will help rope in that medallion.

So, taking the medallion that I made at the end of February,

I've posed it with one border section and the first two corners.

One side surrounded, three to go.
I think I can, I think I can...

Linking to Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Come join the fun!

Friday, April 29, 2016

I'm running out of April

Though given my complete inability to walk by an orange FQ lately, I'm not likely to run out of orange...
I did a quick check of what I still needed for my RSC blocks for this month, and found that I hadn't made any of my wee ships for my Rainbow Regatta.
Quickly remedied!

And I held my breath while I brought out the kaleidoscope ruler and made a couple of purple 'tame' kaleidoscopes.  In my enthusiasm for my more riotous blocks, I'd overlooked making any of these last month.

For once, I managed to make exactly what I wanted to make and then put the ruler away again, without ending up with a huge stack of blocks and a big chunk of time missing out of my life.

But then trouble started.  My Old Faithful sewing machine, which has never given me a speck of trouble in 45 years, started acting up.  It may have been resentful of my using that Young Hussy of a 1987 machine as my Main Squeeze for years, relegating Old Faithful to backup position until Young Hussy's recent feed-dog failure.  Or maybe she didn't want to come out of a peaceful semi-retirement as a bag-stitching machine.  (Oh, oops - I just realized I didn't write about my adventures making some Sew Together bags.  I made them!  They're fun!  I'll make more!)
Whatever her motivation, she started skipping stitches.  Just here and there at first, like a mild case of the hiccups, nothing to worry about, really, just keep going, la la la...
Then it got worse, skipping longer stretches.  I stopped, took her apart, and cleaned and oiled her.  (She's a 20th century machine - it's possible to take them apart and put them back together.  It's a big advantage of mechanicals as opposed to electronics.)  Once she was back together, I changed the needle (again) and she worked well again.
For a bit.  Then the same skipping, plus the occasional choking on thread.
I went even deeper with the taking apart and cleaning and oiling.
So far, so good.  But I'm holding my breath.

After all, I've got piglets cut out and ready to sew.

Can't stop now...

I'm linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday - come see all the rainbow fun!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Orange you glad it's still April?

I certainly am!  No way am I ready to be done with orange yet...

Here's that last kaleidoscope that I had cut out the other day.  I have now hidden the kaleidoscope ruler from myself so I don't make any more.  (When I ask y'all next month what I did with it, please tell me that I hid it in the top right desk drawer.  You know.  Just in case I forget.)

I even remembered to put the corners on it!

And I got a couple more Jacks blocks made.  These are a fun quick fix and I enjoy the little bit of old-fashioned goodness.

While I'm cutting HSTs for the Jacks, it's simple to just cut a few extra for my Buckeyes.  Then all I need is a 6" long 1.5" strip of a dark and a light to make 4patches out of, and I'm good to go.

Since I'm now home with my scraps, I cut and stitched some Whatchacallit Stars.  (I think even if I ever find out what the real name of this block is, I'm probably still going to call it Whatchacallit...)

Oh, wait.  They're supposed to be on point.

That's better.

And of course there would be a piglet.

Or two.

Or, you know.  Three.

And since there's still a week's worth of April left, I suspect there might even be a couple more, because it's so hard to stop.
Good thing I hid that kaleidoscope ruler, eh?

Linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday, and Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Come share in the scrappiness!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Why I can't be left alone with a kaleidoscope ruler

It started innocently enough.  I cut a few 2" strips and sewed together some pairs.

Then I paired up some pairs

and grabbed my handy dandy kaleidoscope ruler.

Of course, some more strip-pairs mysteriously turned up and were also cut.

And there was some sewing.

What I've been doing with these fancier kaleidoscope blocks is to use one set as is, straight from the cutting (you can see some on the left in the picture below) and  divide up the other sets and play mix and match.  (I didn't think to get a photo of all the sets laid out.  Picture the photo below with lots and lots more triangles.)

Here's the scraps left over from cutting all those strips.  I've been saving them right along because I think I'll be able to use them in a border for the quilt when I eventually set it together.  Or, you know, make another quilt.  Whatevs.

Here are the plain kaleidoscopes - the ones where I limit myself to two fabrics in the block.  (They still need their corner triangles sewn on.  This is just laziness on my part.)

And here are all the plain kaleidoscopes I've made so far.  Apparently I forgot to make any purple ones last month.  Oops.  I'll have to get on that.

And here are the 'wilder' version of the kaleidoscope blocks.  My Kaleido-riot, if you will.
 I seem to have made 12 orange kaleidoscopes for this month.  So far.  Uh oh.

Now these, I'm purposely not attaching corners to the blocks.  I'll make a decision when all the blocks are done whether to use one color or a narrow range of colors, or whether to just go wild and keep with the random.

I'm having fun with these blocks, experimenting with color and contrast.  Some blocks are high contrast, some low, and some in between.  I'm hoping it gives a sense of drama and motion to the quilt.  Time will tell.

Before I packed up for the day, I cut out some blocks for next time.  I like having something to start on immediately while I think about what I want to play with next.

Hmm...  There seems to be another kaleidoscope block up there ready to go.

Uh oh.

I'm linking this post to Cathy's Kaleidoscope of Butterflies Linky Party.  Come see all the pretties!

Friday, April 15, 2016

One good orange deserves another

The other day, when I was cutting 1.5" and 2.5" strips from my orange fat quarters (thereby turning them into scraps and thus perfectly legit for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and that's my story), I also cut 2" and 3.5" strips for some pinwheels.
After constructing all the HSTs for these blocks, though, I had to do an emergency consult on previous blogposts to make sure I had my pinwheels facing the right direction.

 Whew!  Got it right the first time!

 And then, since I luckily had all those scraps right at hand, I figured I might as well make a piglet.

Or two.

And then after a brief (ish) stop at Capitol Quilts - totally because my daughter needed some fusible interfacing and a fat quarter of a nice red to finish a project and I went along as an advisor, and for no other reasons, and I'm sure it's just a coincidence that she came out of the store with stuff for a whole new project (like mother, like daughter, right?) and I had a stack of fat quarters that will fit with a couple of projects of my own (one of them not even new!) -  I used my brand new first ever Kaffe FQs to make a couple more little porkers.

(I have a feeling these won't be the last Kaffe Fassetts I ever buy...)

And here are the six piggies I've made so far this month.   I expect a few more will turn up when I get back to my stash (going home Sunday), as well as some bitty boats and a star block or two.

Oh, and kaleidoscopes.  There will definitely be some kaleidoscopes.  I can hear that ruler calling me from hundreds of miles away...

Linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  I'm looking forward to buckets and buckets of orange!