Sunday, August 30, 2015

I've got more blues than I thought...

I didn't get a lot of sewing done this week, though I did throw together a couple of blocks.  Even though I said last week that I wasn't going to make any more Ohio stars for RSC until the new color was announced, I made one anyway.  Because habit, I guess.  Another black background with multicolors, though this fabric is something that I've had for decades. 

And there were monkeys, of course.  Because there are always monkeys.  I need to count them again at some point, since I've completely lost track.
But my big time sucker consumer was my effort to get a little more organized.  I hauled in a folding bookshelf that I had stored in the garage and started sorting fabric.  These are the ones that I've already cut strips and squares from, in my efforts to have materials ready to go for scrap quilting.

Here are some piled high on a chair that I still have to sample/process.  Some are fat quarters that I picked up on my birthday binge, and some are old fabrics that I've pulled from storage boxes.

And there's another boxful to go.  And a couple of boxes out in the garage still that contain mostly heavier weight fabrics that I use for bags, though there are probably a few quilting weight cottons mixed in. 

At least the end is in sight.  Organizing has got to be my least favorite thing.  I'm more of a run and fling kind of creator, so this whole fold-it-up-and-put-it-away thing is a real drag...
As a reward for all my hard work (and to keep me from repetitively banging my head on the wall because it was more appealing than organizing), I allowed myself to make a pig block:

I've got a project in mind (because pigs!) which I'll post about as I go along.

Last of all, I have to share my favorite highway sign EVER...

Seen in Pennsylvania, where apparently they have a DOT with a sense of humor.

Linking with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, where the fun never ends.
And since the new color for RSC2015 has been announced (Orange!!  Hurray!!) at So Scrappy, I'll link my last indigo/black block with Angela as well. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Well, they're not quilts, but I did manage some finishes.

No knitting finishes, either, though there's been a bit of knitting happening.

I'd actually finished these little projects a while back, but I was waiting until they had been presented to their new owners.  That would be the grandkids, whom I got to see in the last couple of weeks.
First off is a composition book cover for young Mister C.

A strip of Sally's snake fabric sneaked in, because 8-yr-old boy?  Brightly colored snakes?  Totally unavoidable.
He pronounced himself well pleased with the red swirls, too.   Because red is the best color ever, of course.

 My granddaughter's color preferences are in a quieter range.  Blues and greens are more her style, so her comp book cover went a whole different direction.

Inside, her comp book is graph paper, since she's a math enthusiast and is about to embark into the wilds of geometry. 

Here's a peek at the lining.  I couldn't resist sneaking in something a little noisier, without violating the quiet colors thing.

Back to the Boy.  Who is now a Boy and his Shark.

See the winning smile?

And check out the teeth.

And back to blue and green again for the Girl.  Instead of a pencil case, she got more of a travel case, which should prove more useful to her.  No teeth, alas.

The pattern for the shark is something that I saw on Sew, Mama, Sew quite a while back.  The other projects are things that I saw tutorials or patterns for somewhere out there, then had to wing it when sewing time came since I didn't have the foresight to print out a pattern or instructions or anything...  Having my sewing area and my internet-access area in two different places isn't always as convenient as I could want.  It does make me exercise my brain, though, so that's probably good.  Probably.
Wouldn't want Left Brain and Right Brain to get lazy, after all.  How could I dither without all the conflicting input?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Even Rainbows have a Dark Side

My granddaughter has been  visiting for the last two weeks, so I haven't spent as much time sewing as I would normally.  Though she did come along and keep me company a couple of times.  I showed her my quilts, I sewed, she read her book, and a good time was had by all.  (If I could read and sew at the same time, I'd totally do it.)  (Must investigate audiobooks further.)  (Soon.)

I made some more Ohio stars for RSC, using the multi-colors-on-black, plus one with just plain black and gray.  I'm thinking that rainbows come from rainy clouds and rainclouds are black and gray, so it all makes sense.  To me, anyway.
And it's my quilt, so there we go.

I also made another yellow block and another purple, just for fun.  I'm declaring myself caught up (finally) so my plan from now on will be to make a few blocks from each new color, then wait until the end to see what I'll need to round things out for a final finish.
I added the new blocks to the layout I currently have underway, then just as I went to snap the picture, the sun came out.

Here's the red corner:

And here's an attempt to catch the next corner, with new blocks in place:

That dark wedge in the lower left is my foot, as I attempt to block the sunshine with my legs.  All I managed to do was make stripes...

It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, though.  There was some monkey business.
Check out this sweet little monkey fabric I found at that quilt shop I went to last week.

It had to go into a monkey block, right?

You know how sneaky those monkeys are...

It's Scrap Happy Saturday, so I'm linking to So Scrappy for RSC2015.  Come see all the fun!
And also?  Linking with Oh Scrap!. at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.  (Usually I have another post for Cynthia's linkup party, but this week this post will have to do double duty...)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Stacks and cats. Lots of cats...

As I mentioned the other day, an astute quilting friend had pointed out that using colorful prints on black backgrounds was a great solution to the no-indigo-so-gotta-go-with-black-for-August RSC dilemma.
And then she sent me some to make sure I had enough.
Sally T is one of my favorite people - I always scramble when I see she's made a new post.  Her rainbow critters make me smile.

And because of my expressed devotion to the pukeko, she also sent that lovely print in the foreground.
I can't thank you enough!  The chicken fabric alone made my day, then the pukekos (pukekoes?  pukekossi?) made my year

And then?  And then my sister-in-law and I set out for a quilt shop that she'd been telling me about.  A land of riches, full of fun and fabric.  (And right next door to an ice cream place.  How perfect is that?)
She brought her daughter and I brought my granddaughter and great shopping was done.
This was my birthday treat to myself - and they even tied it up with a bow...

There are some brights on black down toward the bottom of the stack, and I continued on my quest for neutrals.  And I had monkeys in mind with several of my choices.

So, with all that loot, did I immediately stitch up Ohio stars for the RSC?  Did I make a bunch of monkeys?  Did I even make more mystery sawtooth stars?


I made cats.

Of course I did.

I had a pattern that made 12" blocks with quite a lot of empty space above the cats, and I wanted to make a smaller, more centered version.  So I farted around with my rulers and, starting with the nose, worked my way out to the edges of the block, empirically.  Because that's what I do.

I think I had cats on my mind, because Sally's present also included this:

Kitties and pukekos?  How perfect does life get?

I've been wanting to make one of her critters for next year's RSC, but hadn't been able to make up my mind which one.  Bunnies?  Kitties?  Fish?  This might be the decider...

And the leader/enders piled right up as I stitched up my cats.

Nothing like a little I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing to keep that fire stoked...

Linking to Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, because I'm currently up to my collarbones in scraps...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Garden Party

Bonnie Hunter is showing off photos of her Garden Party workshop in Las Vegas today.   It's making me want to make another one.
I don't even have the border sewn on the first one yet.

Maybe I wasn't really done with it after all...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A productive afternoon and a small mystery

I've only had one sewing day this week, and actually it was just for a few hours one afternoon, but I feel like the time was well spent.
This month's color for RSC is indigo, though black or gray can be substituted.  I have a lack of indigo, but an astute quilting friend pointed out that a good strategy is to use a multi-color print on a black background.  Hey, it's worth a shot.
I had two prints that fit that description, so I made a couple of blocks.  (And another green one, because who ever has enough green?)  

I figured I could use them in the corners, since I'm toying with putting all the dark background blocks around the outside.  (Well, for the next 5 minutes anyway.  I'll probably have a completely different plan tomorrow.)

A better picture would be helpful, but we're stuck with this one.
I figured there was no down side to making the blocks - if I don't use them in this quilt, I'm sure to be able to fit them in somewhere else.  I highly doubt this is the last Ohio Star I'll ever make.

So, three Ohio stars, three little monkeys (because there are always more monkeys), and...

See those blocks at the bottom?.
I have no idea why I made those.

But somehow, I now have six of them.  Six four-inch sawtooth star blocks.

Yeah, I don't know either.
Cute, though.

I bet I'm going to link to Angela's So Scrappy this Saturday.  There'll be rainbows galore!

Monday, August 10, 2015

hydrangeas and hydrangeas

A couple of weeks ago, I received a handpainted hydrangea from my friend Lee Anna  because I'd commented on a post of hers a while back about one of her color experiments and we decided to do a collaboration. 

Because I'm a quilter, I want to cut it up and put it back together.  The question is, how?  I've got several ideas that vaguely involve circles and slashing, but I was having a hard time visualizing what I wanted until I saw this quilt at the Syracuse AQS show.

 I'm not planning to put this many segments in each arc (I don't want to lose the painting by cutting it too small) but this is close to what had been camping in my brain.

But then today I saw this quilt that Cathy posted.  And this quilt from QuiltDivaJulie.  And I'm wondering if I can find a way to incorporate that kind of movement and energy.

More thinking required.  Or dithering.  (Call it what you will.)  Until I reach the tipover point and just reach for my rotary cutter and start slashing.

Until then, I can also admire this other hydrangea - one that's currently blooming out by the garage.

That main flower cluster is about the size of my head.  It's easily the biggest one I've ever seen. 
Apparently it's an excellent year for hydrangeas!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Okay, I give up - I'm making a Monkey Quilt.

I counted the blocks today.
I have 43.

If you have 43 blocks, you have officially started a quilt.  Especially if there are parts already cut for more blocks.
Maybe I'll even make two monkey quilts.  That'll show 'em.

While I was at the AQS Show last weekend, I spied a little ruler that I couldn't resist.  It was 2.5"x6.5" - and seriously, when would a 2.5" wide ruler not be useful?

It's very clearly marked, and best of all, the 1" markings run along the edges of the ruler,  with the half inch down the center.  Which makes measuring 1.5" segments a piece of cake, whether cutting 1.5" squares

or 1.5" segments for Silly Monkeys.

Since I've many many times cut with one end of the fabric aligned with the 1.5" line and the other end aligned with the 1.25" line, any help I can get is gratefully welcomed!
(This ruler was a mere $5 at the Hummingbird Highway booth.  Later, I saw the same ruler imprinted with a different shop name in that shop's booth,  priced at $6.99.  I'm glad I bought the first one!)

And since I'm now officially making a Silly Monkey quilt, here's a couple of blocks from today's sewing:

I'll leave it to you to guess which one was Right Brain's favorite...

I'll be linking up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Come see the fun!
And also?  Linking to Mrs Sew and Sow's Scraptastic Tuesday.  Because you can never have too much fun.

Scrounging for Indigo

I'm still looking for something I could call indigo, which is August's color for RSC.  Striking out bigtime, but today's my birthday, so maybe I'll treat myself to a trip to the quilt store this week to celebrate.  Once I get fabric home and cut a piece off, it's a scrap, right?

In the meantime, I played with blocks.  A couple more Ohio stars got made, and I had a new idea on arranging them.
By putting the light-background blocks in the center, and the dark-background ones around the edges, it should look like the center is glowing...

And just now it occurred to me that putting the darks in the center with the lights at the edges might look interesting, too.  Hmm...
In any event, I still have lots of blocks to make, and time to play with them, so no decision is imminent or necessary.
Who knows how many ideas I'll come up with before all is said and done?
And now, back to scrounging for indigo.  There must be a scrap in one of these boxes...

Linking to So Scrappy and the RSC - come see all the colors!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Day After

Nothing like the day after a quilt festival to leave you all inspired, but pulled in too many directions at once.  I finally just cut fabric for a while to let myself think...
I've been watching the Stars in a Time Warp series since the beginning, but I don't have much in the way of Civil War reproductions, so was unable to play along.  But sawtooth stars are one of my favorite blocks (okay, okay, I admit I have a lot of favorite blocks...), so I decided to just make a few with fabrics I do have and like.

There, one itch scratched.

Another Sister's Choice block also got made, because someday I want to make a Sister's Choice quilt.  But every time I try making a block, I seem to say "Yeah, someday.  But not this day."  And the block gets added to the orphan pile.

 Pay no attention to the monkeys.  Apparently I left the window open again.

In my last post, I showed a picture of an applique quilt that got me all excited about applique, and gave a link to the pattern I bought.  Since I couldn't seem to light on anything, I started pulling some scraps to play with.
I didn't want to put a huge effort into this since it's basically just a test block.  If I hate it, I can drop the whole project with little investment.
This was the first thing I came up with.

Here, I'll make a mockup to show it better.

Pretty safe choices.  Not quite the bang I'm looking for.

I tried again.

That's a little more fun.  (That's that red that photographs as orange-red.  I've had trouble with it before.)

Maybe a different red?

Or maybe I'll just pull all batiks...
Which do you think is the most me?

Linking to Oh, Scrap, because it's Sunday and that's where the fun is!