Saturday, February 9, 2019

Sand Castles and other fiddly bits

I'm totally in love with my Sand Castles blocks.  I got one yellow block stitched up for February's RSC -

and then another.

Taking a closer look at those two I had to admit they were rather boring similar, so I'm going to have another dig through my yellow scraps and see if I can come up with something a little bouncier.  In the meantime, I grabbed another red for last month,

and then did one in a multi-color with no dominant color, which would have been hard to squeeze into RSC format.

Up on the design wall they went!

You can my goosey temperature blocks on the left.  Here's a close-up of the first week in February.

It was a goofy week, since we went from -10 to 62 in a 48 hour period.  It's hard to know how to dress...

I'd hung up a piece of a black starry print as a possible sashing for my geese, but I'm having my doubts about it since the darker blues disappeared right into it. Picking a sashing color is going to be a problem, since I've pretty much got every color involved in my temp scale, including white and gray which could have been tapped for sashing if I'd thought ahead at all.  (note to self:  try to think ahead more often)
It did occur to me that I hadn't used pink (though I'm thinking of using hot pink to indicate temps over 100 degrees this summer)  (hopefully there won't be much call for it) (because yikes!), so I grabbed the nearest hunk of pink (more of a coral actually) and hung it up behind the geese.

Eh.  On the other hand, I don't actually have to make a decision on this for another 10+ months, so I've got lots of time to dither.  (It has occurred to me that I could use the colors that are going to represent the high temp as sashing for the low temp months, gradually swapping them for low temp colors used for sashing in high temp months.  Sounds complicated and grisly, so I'll be giving it more thought.)  (The easiest way out would be to just skip sashing altogether, and that option is still in play.)

And you might have noticed that one big block trying to sneak into all the pictures.  I've got one triangle star to show off.

I've spent scraps of time over the last year or so, cutting triangles and sticking them in a bin.  The blocks are a bit nit-picky to sew, but I do love my fiddly bits.  There's no plan and no hurry - I just am in love with this block so I'm going to sew some stars.  Sort of a slow-motion squirrel, you might say.

Linking with soscrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come see all the golden scrappy wonders!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Star Patch is nearing the finish line

My oldest WIP is still chugging along, getting closer and closer to being done.  I've finished all the quilting (by hand, no less) except for the last two rows in the outer borders.  Since I think the lines of quilting will be easier to keep straight if I have a clear edge to work with, I've started applying the binding, then I'll go back and finish the quilting.

I've had this bright stripe set aside for a long time since it contains all the colors in this bright scrappy quilt.

When I started sewing the strips together, I had a moment's pause.  Should I drive myself crazy go to the trouble of matching the stripes?

I tested by folding the strip down to see how much that jog was going to show. 

The answer?  Not much.  And certainly not enough for me to fuss about at this point.
Carrying on, I stitched it in place,

and started the hand stitching.

There's a line of quilting 1/4" from the edge of that green border - the plan is to echo that with a line 1/4" from the binding, then run one more line right down the middle.  The end is in sight!

I've been working on this quilt, off and on, for about 15 years at this point.  It's going to feel really good to finish it!

Linking with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!   Let's all celebrate the scrappy!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Glad to see the end of January

If for no other reason than that my January strip for my temperature quilt was starting to get a little unwieldy.

Here's the last week of the month - the white triangles represent all those nights we had where the temps were below zero.

Now onward to February!  Every day puts us that much closer to spring!  (Can't wait to start working with greens and yellows!)

Another thing I finished in January was my Good Fortune top.  I've tucked it away for now, since I have several other projects queued up for quilting.  (Check out the last Good Fortune Linky Party here, to see all the lovely mystery quilts!)

I do love it truly, and it won't stay dormant long!

With a new month, we have a new color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge - yellow for warmth and brightness at this chilly and drab time of year.
I cut some squares and triangles for Sand Castle blocks and laid out the first one.  (The next three yellows are stacked neatly at the bottom of the picture)

As I mentioned earlier, I'm cutting my string triangles from strips rather than making strippy squares and slashing them diagonally.

I've been cutting newsprint strips of the correct width and as long as my paper would allow, then cutting off my triangles as I go.  The only problem was when I got to the end of the strip and ended up with a rough HST.  It was possible to sew it on to the end of a new strip, then true up the next triangle, but it was a bit of a pain in the butt.  It would have been nice to just add on another strip with tape, but I was pretty sure that tape and a hot iron would make a pretty bad combination.

Oh, if only there were some way to easily attach one thing to another.

Oh, wait...

I lined up my papers and stitched right through.  The pencil line was added after the stitching.
Like this:

Those aren't cutting lines, especially since they'll be buried under the fabric strips - they're just there to give me a heads up that seam lines are in the neighborhood and I might want to compensate with wider or narrower strips to keep the bulk under control.  I try to keep plenty of choices available!

Lumpy seam allowances are yucky, after all!

Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Come see all the golden delight!

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.


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.


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!