Saturday, January 19, 2019

Another Sand Castle and a Goosey Thermometer

I thought I was done with Sand Castle blocks for this month's RSC color, but I was wrong.


One more.  Well, at least one more.  Since I was wrong before, I could very well be wrong again.  I do still have a lot of reds lurking on my cutting table.
As I was laying out the pieces for that block, I had a moment's panic about getting all the stripes going the same way.  Then I realized that I'd accidentally cut the triangles identically (and correctly!) and it was just a matter of turning the squares the same way.  (phew)
Bonnie has the string triangles and that itty bitty sashing all made just a bit over-sized, to make squaring up easier.  I've decided that given all those bias edges, I'm going to put off the trimming until I'm ready to sew the blocks together, hoping that it will increase my accuracy with these blocks.  Since I'll be piecing them over a long period of time, and (knowing myself as I do) will probably be laying them out all the time to admire the effect, I think that's probably for the best.

There's another project inching along in my sewing studio, too, which I haven't posted about yet.  (I wanted to see if it was just a squirrel that I'd lose interest in, or if it looked like I'd be able to follow through)
There've been lots of folks making temperature quilts, using colors to record the highs and lows of each day through the year.
It looked like fun, so I made a plan, cut a few triangles, and made some flying geese.


The first week went smoothly and enjoyably, so I cut some more triangles and kept on going.  I'm consulting the same source every day for the previous day's range.  Here are the first two weeks' worth of geese.  (I've made more geese since this photo was taken, and am currently caught up)


The goose represents the day's high temp, and the sky triangles are the low.  My rough(ish) rule is that I'll use a solid with a print each day, with the goose being the solid on alternate days.  But rules are made to be broken, and I'll freely substitute at my whim.  Some days will be two solids or two prints, or maybe there will be consecutive print geese.  I'm doing this for my own entertainment, after all!
I'm planning that each month will be represented by a column of geese (the geese finish at 2"x4"), then I'll set them as a strippy quilt, maybe with a narrow sashing in between.  Or maybe not.  Plenty of time to figure that out later.
In the meantime, I'm looking forward to getting up out of the blues and into the greens.  Is is Spring yet?


Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday, and with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come join the fun!


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Well, now that THAT little clusterfluffle is out of the way...

 Argh.  That was fun.  I don't know why I suddenly had a picture uploading issue, but clearing my cache seems to have fixed it, so there.

Onwards!

January's RSC color is red, and I made another Sand Castle block.


And I liked it so much that I made another.


My tally so far is one orange block and three reds.  (And don't tell anyone, but I've got squares and triangles cut for two blue blocks and another orange.  It's way too easy to cut ahead when I've got strips right there on the cutting table.)

Remember when I thought I might have enough Centennial stars made and it was time to start thinking about a finish?
Yeah, I was wrong.  Apparently I'm still making stars.


Why stop now?

In Good Fortune news, I'm still assembling blocks,


and in between I've been sewing together border bits, just to see how it'll look.


The verdict is - it'll look great!  I'm a big border fan anyway, and these just tickle me no end.  I'll keep puttering along with this quilt - not in any big kind of hurry, but just squeezing it in between other priorities.  I'm going to be very happy with it in the end!


Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday (late again!) and with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come see all the scrappy fun!

I'll also be linking with Bonnie's Quiltville Good Fortune Linky Party when it goes live.  Can you believe that some people already have their Good Fortunes done?!? 


I can't believe I forgot my blogiversary AGAIN!

It was yesterday.  After forgetting last year - which was my 10th anniversary - I swore that I would remember this year.

*sigh*

And now apparently I have to go do some more swearing because Blogger isn't letting me upload any pictures.

(@!&*(&*^%%&%$%$(&^^&*^$(&^

Excuse me.  BRB.




There.  Happy Blogiversary to me.



Sunday, January 6, 2019

Good Fortune, now with more Sand Castles

Woohoo!  Bonnie did the Good Fortune Big Reveal on Friday, and am I relieved!  Trying to figure out how all those different sized pieces were going to go together was making me dizzy!
I got a few of the blocks put together and up on the design wall.


I was going to lay out some of the multi-borders that she's calling for (which is where some of the really puzzly pieces are going to end up) (and I gotta admit I never saw that coming), but -


it's already getting a bit crowded up there.
I've got some of my Squared Away blocks laid out across the top and down the right-hand side, and my Sand Castles are lining up on the left-hand side.

Here's the first of my RSC Sand Castles in January red.


I've got a couple more kitted up and will try to assemble them over the course of the month.  My plan (and understand that I tend to use the term 'plan' rather loosely) is to cut squares and triangles for three or four blocks each month, but be happy if I even get one put together.  I can always return to them later, if I have a productive month or two further along in the year.  Or, you know, there's always next year.

So here's my sample block and my first January block laid out side-by-side, to show how they'll be set in the quilt.


And I've found that my little strippy strings (or is that stringy strips?) are really good leader/enders as I cruise along with any of the umpteen projects I usually have in active process.


I'll be building more Good Fortune blocks over the course of the week, and maybe even get some border bits put together so I can better visualize the final size.  I had thought at the start that I'd make a smaller version, but now that I've seen the reveal, I really like it enough to go ahead and make a full-sized one.  Or, you know, that's the plan.
It's good to have a plan...


Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  And when the next Good Fortune linky party goes live, I'll be linking with that, too!  Come see all the fun!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New year, new RSC project

I treated myself to a book for Christmas -


because I had fallen in love with this quilt.


(Well, actually I love all the quilts in the book and I expect I'll be making at least a few of them.)  (At least.)

But for now, I'm in love with Sand Castles.  It hits all the high points for me -
1. String piecing.  I've been wanting to do a string-pieced project for quite a while now, and this one looks like a good way to get my feet wet.
2.  Four-patches.  I've been making four-patches for leader/enders for years and have buckets of them on hand.  Always looking for a fun way to use four-patches!
3.  The individual blocks are a perfect venue for RSC colors.  The four-patches are random, but the squares and triangles to set them with are a perfect fit for the color of the month.
4.  Gabillions of itty bitty pieces to sew together.  That's gotta be my favorite thing ever!

Let's take this little beauty for a test drive.
I string pieced a couple of squares


and sliced them diagonally.


And, as usual, I was irked by how much waste there is in this method.  All those raggedy edges being sliced off and tossed because they're too small to be useful.  (I've whined about discussed this issue before.)  If only there was a better way, where all those square-ended strips could be efficiently utilized.

And then I had a thought.  What if?


and I lined up what I had so far and grabbed my trusty ruler.


And then I cut a long narrow strip of paper and started piecing.


I cut off a triangle and compared it to one of the half-squares that I'd made earlier.


Looks like a match to me!


So, off I go with my happy little strings.  I can still make the regular squares when I've got some too-short strings to use for this strip method, but this way pleases my mingy little heart.  If I end up with a seam in an awkward place, a little corrective surgery (cut here, add there) will soon set me on my way again.

And now since I had a few stringy triangles done and some four-patches near at hand, how could I help but make a test block?


Yes, of course it's orange.

I just checked Angela's blog and the color for January is red.  Thanks to Good Fortune, I've got a bunch of red strips right here handy on the cutting table.  I'm going to kit up some red blocks and see how many I can get put together by the end of the month.

Speaking of Good Fortune, Bonnie dropped another clue on New Year's Day.   I ran to the sewing machine and stitched a few up.


I tried laying out some of the bits we've made so far, but I couldn't get a sense of where we're going with this.


 (And I didn't even get any of those crazy clue#5 quarter-square units into the mix.)



I'm just baffled, I tell ya.  So many pieces in so many sizes.
Baffled.


Monday, December 31, 2018

♫ ♫ One of these ends is not like the other ♫ ♫

I barely squeaked this last top in under the wire - the last finish (well, semi-finish anyway) (a top's close enough to a finish, right?) of 2018.


Yay for Checkerboard Rails - a Bonnie Hunter leader/ender challenge from last year.  (Or possibly the year before.  I've lost track...)
In my zeal to get it done, I made things a bit more complicated for myself than necessary, however.
Here's a look at the top of the quilt -



and a look at the bottom.


That's where the "one of these ends" song comes from.  Somehow I'd extended the checkerboard section at one end, but didn't match it at the other.  (That's what I get for setting projects aside for months at a time, without leaving notes for myself.)  (Note to self:  leave notes to self)

By the time I realized what I'd done, I was too far along in piecing those whacky side triangles for this on point setting and I wasn't going back.

I left the corners for last, because I knew there were problems coming up.





Yep.  Every corner is different.  I had to resolve them one at a time.  There might have been some cursing involved.

Frankly with all those monstrous bias edges, I'm just happy the quilt turned out to be a shape that I didn't have to look up the name in a geometry book.  (Geometry was my favorite subject, but it's been several decades since I had to remember what a rhombus looks like.)

With that quiet little border added, it measures 52"x60", so a nice little lap size.  I'm happy with it.

So, happy quilt for a happy new year!  Best wishes to all!

More fun with strings!

I was quietly (well, I didn't whoop out loud, at least) pleased when Bonnie dropped the next clue for Good Fortune on Friday and it turned out to be more string blocks.

I made a bunch on Friday -


and a few more on Saturday -


I've easily got half the necessary blocks at this point, so I can go off on another path entirely, right?

The strings are turning out to be so much fun that I've got a wild idea for next year's RSC quilt.  (More on that later)
For now, know that I'm going to need a whole bunch of these -


String-string-a-ling!  Off I go!


Linking with Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville for the clue #6 linky party.  Compare admire all the stringy goodness!
Oh, hey, and Happy New Year to all!