Sunday, April 23, 2017

"March, march, march" said the little plaid hen

This little plaid hen sent me down the Metro to Washington DC to attend the March for Science.

It was a little crowded, with lots of people from all over smiling and carrying signs.

We spent a lot of time elbow to elbow -

 and most of the day was spent squelching along in the rain.

But luckily we were dressed for rain, because science had warned us that it was coming!

I had a lot of fun, reading signs, and laughing as chanting was attempted, but since sciencey people tend to be a bit skewed to introverts, it was hard to get any real chanting momentum going...  It was a terrific day celebrating the importance of science to all of us.

Today I was warmer and drier, and got some sewing done.
There was glitter

and another multicolor chicken to join that other little clucker for April's RSC cluckers blocks.

And a few hourglasses got thrown together as leader/enders.  Though it wasn't until I'd set the blocks out for this photo that I realized that I'd made an error on the little plain hen - she's going to have to go in for a tummy-tuck!

And for those keeping score -

I'm this far along with Twinkle.  Step by step, inch by inch...

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

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It begins...

My machine is de-linted, my needle is new, and my bobbins are full.

Here goes nothin'!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Two clucks and a cathouse

Not a lot of sewing got done this week, what with one thing and another, but I did manage a couple of little red multicolored hens.

I particularly like that second one, with the cat wings.

Speaking of cats, I took a closer look as I passed the doghouse yesterday.

"What?  Dog's not using it..."

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

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Where does the time go?

I thought I had posted earlier in the week, but it seems I was wrong.  (It's possible I dreamed it...)

Here's the little rascal that has sucked up so much of my time lately -

Her name is Chuckles, and she's the sole survivor of a litter of fifteen.  This photo is the best I could get of her - it's blurry because she Never. Stops. Moving.   (She's playing with a ball here, which is her second favorite thing to do.  Eating is her very favorite thing, of course.)

The only sewing I've managed to squeeze in is finishing the back for the Twinkle quilt.  I laid it out on the big dining table to get it ready to baste.

I had a bunch of triangles left over, so I've used them to piece a strip for the back.  This was partly for interest, and partly so I wouldn't have to drive myself crazy piecing short narrow bits together to make the backing wide enough.   (I had two 3.5 yard cuts of this pretty striped fabric, which I got long before the top was finished, thinking it would be plenty.  Optimism continually bites me on the butt.)

I had the back laid out on the table and was smoothing it and taping it down, when it dawned on me that it should be upside down.
Finally, after much wrangling and starting over (because I realized that I was going to have to lay it out with the width of the quilt running the long way on the table because ginormous table isn't ginormous enough for ginormous quilt), I started pinning.

Hopefully the quilting can commence in the next couple of days.  Yay!

Linking with Quilting is More Fun than Housework, for Oh Scrap!  Come join the fun!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Finally a sewing day!

Last week a three day snowstorm kept me from my studio, and just when the snow was showing signs of melting, we had some newborn piglets in distress that we've now been bottle feeding for a week.  (They're finally at the stage where they can go two hours between feedings.  This is a wonderful step up from the every-45-minutes that we started with.) 
Anyway, today was the first time in two weeks that I could head that half mile down the road and spend an afternoon at my sewing machine.  Hallelujah!

Naturally my first thoughts turned to chickens.

I still have no idea what I'm going to do with my RSC assortment of cluckers, but I'm having fun making them and that's the part that counts, right?

The little red hen was actually constructed as a leader/ender for my main project at the moment.
I'm building a backing

including using some of the leftovers from the front of the quilt

because I'm working on this quilt again.

I realized that I was procrastinating on it because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to quilt it as well as it deserved.  But it has dawned on me that my walking foot opens all kinds of new possibilities, and it really doesn't matter that my free-motion quilting still needs lots and lots of practice.  I'm not exactly a whiz at walking foot quilting either, but it's much more approachable for me at this point.  Tally ho and quilt on!

Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday, and with Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come see all the fun!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, purple polkadot...

Well, not a bikini.  I've got some purple polkadot hexies though...

This is intended to be a long-range, multi-year project, so I don't mind poking along with it.

As nearly as I can tell from looking at my inspiration picture, I'll be making hexie diamonds, joining four of them into a larger diamond unit, then running a row of hexies all around it for a border.  Then four of those diamonds are joined together, with another border around that.  Then repeat until it's big enough or I'm bored with it, whichever comes first.  Or until I run out of fabric, I suppose.  (Yeah, right.)

I've figured out that I can fit a hexie paper into a 1 1/2" x 1 3/8" rectangle, so I've been cutting stacks of pieces that size out of 1.5" strips.  Then I stack the rectangles with a hexie paper on top and cut them roughly into hexagons with scissors.

I've been cutting my hexie 'papers' out of those annoying subscription cards that they stuff into magazines.  I experimented and found that cardstock was too heavy, but regular paper wasn't heavy enough.  My hexies are so small that it was a real puzzler - until I found those cards hit that sweet spot between those two paper weights.  (I keep running out, though, since we don't get that many magazines.)  (My relatives that do take a lot of magazines will be hearing from me soon.)

If you take a close look at those papers in the upper right corner of that photo, you can see the telltale postage-paid marks!

As for the tiny size of my hexies, it's purely arbitrary.  I ordered one of these squeezy tools

online for cutting out papers (Easy and lazy!  Double win!), and assumed that when they said 3/4", they were referring to the side measurement.  Turns out that quilters and papercrafters measure hexagons differently - that three-quarter inch was the diameter of the hexie, not the side.  The side measures 1/2", so I'm making half inch hexies.  Tada!  (I could have returned the squeezy tool, but a)that's a lot of bother and b)hey, look, a challenge!)  (Which explains a lot about my life, I realize...)

So, I'm slowly stitching away at these little monsters beauties, and will be for years to come.

Linking to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework (because oh my yes with the scrappy), and with Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts (because oh my yes with the slow).

Friday, March 10, 2017

"Who will chase the monkeys?" said the little red hen...

I played a little more catch-up (ketchup?) (also red, btw) with sewing my red scrap blocks.  With yesterday's Centennial stars safely tucked into their bin, I tackled a Buckeye

and a Whatchacallit Star.  (I'm a sucker for stars, I freely admit.)

Most of the blocks I make have scrappy backgrounds, but my Whatchacallits are all using the same white-on-white fabric.   It's a good use for the WoW, which I originally bought for a different quilt and then changed my mind.

And we all know I had to make another piglet.  I've been making them since the end of 2015, and it's just too hard to stop.  (Try to ignore the fact that he looks like he's swearing...)

And who could resist this chirpy little clucker?

When I mentioned I was clearing up the piles of strips on my cutting table, several people expressed concern about it being an ideal hideout for monkeys.  There was worry that they would spring out at me.  (I promised to wear a helmet)
Well, as predicted, several did jump out at me, then scampered off giggling.  I only got a picture of this one, and only because he tripped over my foot and hit his head on the table leg.

I fixed him an icebag and told the other monkeys to stop hooting at him, then he joined his buddies under the couch.
Rascals, every one.
I just hope the chickens don't get any ideas from them...

Linking with ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy.  Come see red with us!
And also with Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt.  There's just no end to the fun!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

I was so good that I got stars and glitter

I've been putting off straightening my sewing table as long as I could, but I was at the point where the working area on my cutting mat was smaller than a sheet of paper.  Even I had to admit it was time to do a little organizing.

See that clump of jumbled strips on the upper right of that photo?  That's what's left to do.  I didn't think to use my camera before I started, but picture that mass over a foot deep and covering my entire cutting table.   Most of it is cleared - now I just pull out a strip or two and put it away every time I go near my rotary cutter, and eventually it'll be done.  At least, it'll be done for a brief moment before I start messing it up again.

So, to celebrate, I tackled a little sewing with a clear(er) conscience.  Some centennial stars got laid out

and sewed together.

And there was a bit of glitter.

Because what's a celebration without glitter?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Holy crap! I finished something!

Yes, even I can manage a finish now and then.  Well, mostly then.  But for once, now!

Usually when I'm hit by a squirrel, I want to start something new.  In this case, the squirrel wanted me to grab an old project and see it through.
Remember this  project?  I had a sudden urge to quilt it (but not to photograph the quilting process), which I proceeded to do yesterday and today.

And I even tried out a different kind of binding that I'd been wanting to play with. 

I made a flanged binding, using the yellow/orange dots as a constant fabric for the flange, and a variety of orange prints for the main binding fabric.  (There are lots of tutorials available for this binding.  Here's one now.)  Since this was for a relatively flat table runner, I made my strips narrower - the yellow was 1.5" and the oranges were 1.25".  It worked perfectly!

Normally when I get ready to sew a binding on, I compulsively measure it and remeasure it to make sure it's long enough.  This time I decided to just let it be a surprise.

Phew!  It was a happy surprise!  Plenty left over.

You can sort of see the quilting here -

I used green thread and straight lines in the background, spacing them randomly 1/4" to 1" apart, then free-motioned curved "pumpkin ribs" in orange thread on the pumpkins themselves.

And here's my finished Pumpkin Patch.

 Complete with the required toes...

Gotta go mark it on the calendar, now: "Feb 28, 2017 - actually finished something!"

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Who else could combine glitter, pumpkins, and the owl and the pussycat? (Or would...)

I finished my En Provence top, but after ironing the last seam, I folded it up and put it away in the Box of Finished Quilt Tops without taking a photo.  Apparently, I'm done with it...
I do have this photo I took of the border, though, where I was trying to show some of the kitty fabric I used (look, Sally! Kitties!),

and noticed I had an owl and a pussycat right next to each other.  This makes me happy.

Another thing that makes me happy is giving in to the temptation to make a few Glitter blocks.  Glitter is my carrot-on-the-stick quilt - my reward for diligence in working on some of the projects already in progress.  And since Cathy is now making Glitter, too, I've been jonesing inspired to play with mine.   I pulled out the bin where I've been putting cut pieces-parts and picked out some pretties to play with.

I arranged the combinations on plates, telling myself I'd use them as leader/enders.

Yeah, right.
That top one was just staring at me, so I sewed it together, too.

And then I pulled out all my completed blocks.  There are only ten, but I really like seeing them gathered together!

And who remembers way back last fall when I fell for the squirrel of pumpkins?
I don't think I ever showed the picture of the finished top.  Here it is, complete with my foot.

I only bring it up because I've started quilting it.

Walking foot, how I love thee!

Since I'm all about the scraps, I'm linking with Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come see all the pretty!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Stars, stormy seas, and a bit of clucker surgery

(First off, someone has asked me about where to find the pattern for the silly chicken in my next to last post, and since I don't have an email address for her, I figured I'd share with all y'all.  It's right here.  Enjoy!)

With the end of February fast approaching, I figured I'd better toss together a few more aqua/teal/seagreen blocks.
I made a Whatchacallit Star -

these poor stars fell off the A List last fall, and I feel like I should make it up to them.  Poor neglected things.

And some kaleidoscopes happened.  I managed not to fall completely into their clutches.  Hey, who knew I could ever be restrained about kaleidoscopes?  Certainly not me.

And one of Chantal's Pinwheels, too.

Now these next bits probably shouldn't count as RSC stuff, since they're from the Sea of Tranquility (aka Storm at Sea) which I'm making in blue/green/teal/turquoise, but they ARE February's color and make me look super-productive, so here they are!

And then there was the clucker.
I made one of Sally's chickens with this perfect turquoise feather fabric.
But the wing.

Oh, the wing.
It bothered me.
I kept telling myself that it was fine, and when the whole quilt was together it would really truly be fine.
I wasn't convinced.
I let it marinate a couple of days, then when I saw it today, I decided it wasn't ever going to be fine at all.
So I dewinged the poor little clucker, and grafted on a whole new limb.

I don't know about her, but I feel much better now.

Linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Come see the last seagreen linkup!