Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cussing a blue streak

Since I didn't get many cluckers made over the last couple of months, I've gotten a little out of practice with my foundation paper-piecing skills.  Not that I had much in the way of skills in the first place, but the hiatus sure didn't do me any favors.
Not to mention the fact that it was about 9000 degrees in my studio yesterday, which made it entirely too hot to think.  My valiant little box fan tried to help, but failed to make any difference whatsoever.
After a certain point, my brain just refused to participate any further.
This made paper-piecing ridiculously a bit more difficult than it is even on a good day.
I swear, for every seam I sewed, I ripped out two.  Sometimes three.  I put pieces in backwards, upside-down, sideways, and/or the wrong color.



So, I believe this clucker's name is "%&$#*&!%" -  a blue streak for a blue chicken.

In other news, the auditions for sashing color for Long Time Gone continue.


I only had some small pieces of gold handy, but I like the warmth of this color.  I'll try a buttery yellow next, I think.
And orange is on the horizon.  Gotta give all the other colors a fair chance first, though...



Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Come see what's up with blue this week!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Monday's Mini Madness

This week's Marvelous Monday Mini was fun, though I departed from the instructions to make the block.
I took one look at the 'draw a line corner to corner on 1.5" squares and sew on either side of the line' direction and said a big 'Nope!'  Instead, I grabbed a couple of handy 3" squares and  did the 8-in-1 trick.


A bit of squaring up to get those teensy weensy 1" HSTs


and I was (almost) done.  The only problem with the 8-in-1 trick is that you only get eight HSTs, and I needed nine.


So, I made and trimmed one more HST, this time using a couple of scraps, and filled in that center.


Some 1" strips were added as the borders, and another week is done!


I've made better triangle points in my time, but these pieces are so tiny that I'm not going to unpick and re-sew.  It's certainly good enough for a galloping horse - even a lumbering turtle would have a hard time spotting such itty bitty booboos!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Little Baa Blue

come blow your horn...


Can't go wrong with a plaid sheep, right?
Of course, I'm not actually making a sheep quilt, so I'm a little puzzled by the fact that these little fuzzlumps are starting to turn up in my sewing room.
I'm sure it'll be fine, right?

And auditions continue for Long Time Gone.  Or maybe it'll be named Gone Even Longer...

Purple batik.


A nice green.


And blue.  Well, there are actually three different blues here, since I didn't have a big enough piece of a solidish blue to try out.


The jury is still out.  These are okay - not exciting, but okay.  I like the blue more than I thought I would.  And I haven't started rummaging in the oranges yet. 
But I don't even have half the blocks done yet, either, so it's a decision I can dither over for a good long time.  And we all know how much I love a good dither!

Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday (better late than never, right?) and with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come join the fun!




Thursday, July 13, 2017

Long Time Gone Auditions and a Marvelous Monday Mini

I'm still caught up with the Temecula Monday Minis!


Between these little cuties and the Long Time Gone blocks, I'm getting so used to working with 1" strips that a charm square now seems humongous.  Even the 1.5" strips are starting to look a little chunky...

Speaking of Long Time Gone, I've started auditioning fabrics for the background sashing.  (Even though I'm far far far from finishing.  I'm a bit of an optimist.) 
First up was this fabric that I've had hanging around for almost forever.


I originally ordered it for a background for a quilt, but for some reason my brain thought 'light tomato' meant red.  Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be pink instead.  Now I audition it for everything, and I've yet to find a use for it.  I may have to just sit down and design a quilt especially for it.
It's definitely not what I want for this quilt, so next I tried a cream print.


Nope.  It's slightly darker than this photo makes it look, but still is just a bit too quiet, and not warm enough.

Moving on.


This dark red is a little more promising.   It's definitely going to stay in the running.

And I had a nearly-black batik that's okay.


I think I'd like it better if it was a true black, which would make the colors pop more than this almost-gray does. 

I'm going to keep digging through the stash, seeing what I can come up with.  I'd really like to make this just with what I've already got on hand, but a bit of shopping wouldn't be the end of the world.
Maybe a nice indigo? 
Or maybe orange...




Saturday, July 8, 2017

Just Clucking the Blues

I'm trying to do better with blue for RSC than I did with last month's yellow.

Blue clucker -


check!

Some Centennial Stars (sadly neglected for months!) have also been made.


I keep forgetting how much I love these stars until I start making a bunch of them again.   Luckily they finish at six inches square, so I have an excuse to make lots and lots of them!  (That's a good thing, right?)

I may or may not go back and try to catch up some yellow blocks.  In the meantime, I've got a big stack of blues to play with, so let the good times cluck!  Er... roll!

Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Come see what others are doing with their blues!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Well, I'm caught up with ONE thing, anyway!

The blocks for this week's Monday Minis are done, and I even finished the last two from last week.


Since last week's first two blocks -


featured critters in the center, I continued with that theme.
Chicks, pigs, cats, sheep.  
Now I just need cows.  Or maybe giraffes...


Linking with Linda at Kokaquilts for sew stitch snap SHARE.  Come see all the pretty projects!



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Around and around and around (and around)

Once again, I seem to be involved in a project that I'm not actually starting.  Truly not starting this quilt.  I've just been reading Marti Michell's blog, since I love her rulers and she does fun tutorials, and generally just minding my own business.

She's been doing a QAL of Jen Kingwell's pattern "Long Time Gone."  Being a big fan of Jen Kingwell's work (you should see how many bookmarks I've got in my copy of "Quilt Lovely"), I've been watching avidly as cute little block after cute little block has been built over there.

Because there's no harm in looking, right?

Next thing I knew, I had cut a whole bunch of 1" strips and these little pineapples were starting to appear.


It's amazing how many times you can go around and around, and still not have a bunch of finished blocks.
Though I've finally gotten a couple done.  (Thirty-seven itty bitty pieces in each block.  Thirty-seven.)


And making rafts of flying geese is no problem, since I've been making them anyway.  (I had a bunch of triangles left over from En Provence that are perfect for geese.)


And how could I possibly resist these little 3" churn dashes?


I only need two more, but I think I might have a hard time stopping.  They're quick to make and absolutely adorable - in other words, completely addictive!

So far, I'm just playing with some of the blocks for this QAL, not really making the full-tilt "Long Time Gone".  More like a "Be Back Soon", actually.  Just making a few blocks.  Seriously.

Since I've had 1" strips on hand lately, it was too easy to fall into the Temecula   Marvelous Monday Minis.  Here are last week's block and two of this week's.


I still need two more to get completely caught up, but since I made two extra blocks for the first week, I could technically call it even...



Linking with Oh, Scrap - because Scrappy could be my middle name!  Come see all the fun!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Burgoops!

Another Burgoyne block done!  I hurried to get a picture of it before the nice afternoon light faded.


Oops.  Hey, everybody, do me a favor and close your eyes and count to three!

One, two, three...


There.  That's better.

I thought I was going to quit at twelve blocks for my Burgoyne Surrounded quilt, but I've noticed that I'm still cutting components. 
Apparently, Burgoyne is going to be really surrounded...

Linking with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come see all the fabulous projects!





Saturday, June 17, 2017

I've got a Bee in my Bonn... er, umm... Blocks

I'm so in love with this old yellow bee print that I seem to have used it in every block I made this week.
Like this Chantal's Pinwheel, for instance.


And this racing hen is just chock full of bees.

(That might explain why she's in such a hurry.)
(That's Sally T's pattern, btw.  Go here for the tutorial.  You know you want to make some racing cluckers, too.)

And Burgoyne #10 is done, also full of bees.


And cats, too, if you look closely.  It's just been a critters kind of week!


Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Come see all the yellow fun!





Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Itty Bitties and more Itty Bitties

It seems most of my sewing lately has involved itty bitty pieces.  Like the second block in the Temecula Monday Mini QAL, for instance.


That whole block measures 4" unfinished.  The little block in the center?  That's a tiny 1.5" finish.   Itty bitty HSTs.  Itty.  And bitty.

And more itty bitty HSTs turn up in the 6" blocks I'm doing for the 365 Challenge.  Those little half inch triangles involve a lot of breath-holding.  And occasional swearing.



Those two put me at only a month behind in that Challenge.  Well, a year and a month, but who's counting?

For a bit of relief, I managed to sew another Burgoyne Surrounded block together.  (That's #10!)  These finish at 15", so practically feel like circus tents after all those bitty blocks.


I haven't pressed any of the above blocks, yet.  Need to get out the iron and ironing board and do a major flattening session, as you can see.

And look who turned up while I was shuffling through my scraps -


Just when I thought I'd thrown them off the trail, here come those monkeys again...



Linking up with ScrapTastic Tuesday.  Come see what everyone is up to with all their bright happy scraps!




Sunday, June 11, 2017

Not starting another project. Absolutely not. Sort of.

I saw a fun looking quilt along posted on Temecula Quilts the other day, but managed to resist jumping in.  No way, got too many projects going already.  Nope nope nope.

Danger averted, yeah?

Then on Kathy's blog, I saw that she was starting the quilt along and talking up how much fun it was gonna be.  I covered my eyes and started chanting "La La La Can't see you!"

And then.  THEN I saw on Sandy's blog that she had seen Kathy's blog post about the Temecula post and was joining up and AGAIN pointing out how much fun it will be.

This was getting deep.
And it wasn't like I wasn't already cutting 1" and 1.25" strips for another totally unrelated project that I'm also not starting...



So I figured what's the harm?  Monday Mini week one -


Though it doesn't totally explain why I made three of them.


Then again, if you consider the fact that I'm mostly not making a Burgoyne Surrounded quilt but am piling up more and more bits ready to be stitched into blocks-


and have sorted those bits into kits for blocks 10-12 (because I was totally going to stop with nine blocks for this completely imaginary quilt),


then I guess it makes total sense that I would make three times as many blocks as I needed to for this new quilt along that I'm absolutely not starting.
It's only a mini after all.  How could this possibly go wrong?


Linking with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap! - because I seem to be burying myself in scraps!







Friday, June 9, 2017

With a chick chick here...

When it came time to make a chicken block this week (I'm getting behind on my cluckers!), I reached for my stack of scrappy strips in this month's RSC color - yellow.

Then, as I thought more about yellow and chickens, it occurred to me that yellow chickens could easily be chicks.  So, lacking a pattern for a chick, I decided to wing it.  (Sorry...)

I cut pieces from 2.5" strips and from 1.5" strips, and just slapped them together.


A little squaring up, and I had a couple of cute chicks.


Though that little fellow at the top of the photo bothered me a bit.  His head had a bit of a lumpy-grumpy look.
So I grabbed Lumpy and did an emergency forehead transplant.


There.  That's better.

But when I set him down next to his little buddy Buzzy..


it looks like Buzzy will need surgery, too.


A while back, a very dear friend and I were joking about names for this chicken quilt.  I laughingly suggested something that would necessitate adding some chicks in with the hens.  Naturally, she double-dog-dared me.  So, now that I've added the chicks,  I just might have to name this quilt "Mother Cluckers".  (A double-dog-dare is a double-dog-dare, after all!)


Linking with Angela at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Come watch us play with our best yellows!





Sunday, June 4, 2017

Burgoyne, bulldozers, and a healthy dose of oops...

I didn't put together a stitch of yellow this week.  Total scratch in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Though I did do a little non-sewing yellow work.

My daughter and son-in-law have birthdays 13 days apart, so this year they threw a joint birthday party.


And because 42 is the lucky number, they naturally picked a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy theme.  And I was rash enough to suggest that a cake shaped like a bulldozer would be perfect
I know, right?


Turns out that bulldozer cakes aren't really readily available commercially, so I undertook to make one myself.


And it was pretty tasty, too.

There wasn't any Vogon poetry, unfortunately, but we did squeeze in a little Vogon singing.  Or at least what we imagined Vogons would sound like if they set their poetry to music.  (It was equal parts hilarious and raucous.  The best way to sing!)


I did manage to get a bit of sewing, in amongst the baking and the frosting.  I've been trying to make some of the Challenge 365 blocks that I got behind on last year.   I dropped the ball in mid May, working on the 6"(finished) light blocks.  (I had managed to sail right along with the little 3" dark blocks.  Apparently the transition to these ginormous 6" blocks was a step too far...)

This is one of the ones that bogged me down in the first place -  I started it twice last year and ended up cursing each time.   Third time's the charm, right?


And this one also had me growling last year, but it worked this time around.


There are a couple that I'm pretty sure I had made after skipping those two, so I pushed ahead to this one.


I was really happy with it until I started getting one of those nagging little feelings that something was wrong.


Check out that ruler.  This is supposed to be a 6.5" (unfinished) block.  It's only an inch too big.
*sigh*
I had changed the techniques used in the pattern, using easy angle and companion rulers instead of what was called for, in an attempt to waste less fabric.  Unfortunately my measurements went astray somewhere along the way. 

I took another crack at it, and was a little more successful this time.



Though I really like this block, and wouldn't mind making a whole quilt of that larger size.  If only I'd written down the measurements, instead of winging it out of my head...
Oh, well, it'll make a welcome addition to the orphan box. 

And Burgoyne Number 9 is now done.


I thought I'd be able to stop there, but I've already started cutting bits for Number 10.  Stay tuned for more Burgoyning action!


Linking with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap, and with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  (a yellow bulldozer is yellow enough for the RSC, right?)