Saturday, May 28, 2016

Slim pickings for green

For as busy as I've been, I sure don't have a lot to show for it.

A couple of Chantal's Pinwheels

and a plain kaleidoscope block are the only things I have for my greens this week.

Oh, and those silly wee boats I posted the other day.  I had hoped to get to my Whatchacallit Stars this week, but it didn't happen.

Some of my time was spent fanning out these fabrics that I picked out as my prize for Scraptastic Tuesday's May drawing.  I picked out this collection of fat quarters from Mad About Patchwork.

I spy a fair bit of orange in there, so apparently I wasn't quite done with last month's color.  Though I freely admit that my younger daughter's admiration for orange has really rubbed off on me.

And I pulled some fabrics that I'm going to use for a Sew Together bag for me me me!

I'd made my oldest daughter one in Australian prints and it was really really hard to let it go when the time came.  So I've grabbed a few more fat quarters and will make it up to and for myself.

And I've also spent some time on a still-secret project which I'll soon be sharing pics of, so stay tuned!

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Well, *somebody* went to sea...

The cow and the pussycat went to sea...

Wait, that's not right.

The monkey and the pussycat...

 No, that's not it either.

 The pigeon and the...

Oh, that won't end well.

Here we go.
The OWL and the pussycat went to sea,

in a beautiful pea-green boat.

Phew!  Why was that so hard?

I'll be linking with Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Come join the fun!

Saturday, May 21, 2016


There I was, minding my own business, peacefully (and piecefully) sewing away, when suddenly something started poking me in the elbow.
"Psst!  Psst!" said a little voice behind me.

"Psst!  Go look in the mailbox!  The mailbox!"
There was a chorus of  "Mailbox!  Mailbox!" from several more little voices.

"Psst!  In the mailbox!"
"Mails!  Look in psstboxes!"

So fine.   I went out and checked the mailbox.
There was an envelope that was both squishy and noisy.  And jumpy.
I opened it gingerly, and look what popped out:

Apparently one of Sue's monkeys had stuffed himself into an envelope and mailed himself to my house.
Needless to say, my gang of hooligans was excited to meet the new cousin.

Why, this little guy started dancing around so hard that he threw out his back.

Or ruptured his collarbone, maybe.  I'm not as informed on monkey anatomy as I should be.
In any case, I rushed him into surgery and now he's as good as new.

There was quite a lot of loudness and hilarity, then they all ran outside.  Last I saw them, they were up in the apple tree, building a fort.

The neighborhood squirrels are starting to look a little nervous...

Linking with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.   Come see more scrappy fun!  (Though not necessarily with more monkeys)

Friday, May 20, 2016

There's always room for buckeyes

I've had a fairly productive couple of days, though I don't have as much to show for it as I thought I would.  Partly it's because a lot of time was spent thinking and planning, which is remarkably hard to photograph, and there was a lot of cutting as well, which is boring to photograph.  (Stacks of triangles?  Three and half inch strips?  Your eyes would be glazing.)

I did get a couple of Buckeye Beauties thrown together, as you may have guessed from the title of the post.

And a nice green Jacks to add to the stack.

And there was a kaleidoscope, of course.

As well as another kaleidoscope.

I think I have one more cut out and sitting next to the sewing machine, though I admit I may have lost track at this point.  I get on such a roll when I first start assembling strips for these that I never know how many I'm going to end up with.  It's a good thing Angela changes the color each month, or I'd never be able to stop.  At least picking strips of the new color slows me down for a bit...

And piglets continue to turn up.

(Still not hamburger buns, Cathy.  Sorry.)

It seems like there was something else, but I can't quite remember what it was.  It's right on the tip of my brain...

I almost had it, then I got distracted when I tripped over these logs that someone left on the floor.  

I'll be linking to Angela's So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Come see all the rainbows in action!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Button, button, who's got the button? Well, I do, for one.

I think I need a new category in my post labels list.  Something like "Projects I'm not really starting no seriously I mean it..."
Because you may have noticed a new button in my sidebar - for the Gwennie-Inspired Medallion Quilt Along.   Not that I'm joining that QAL, of course.  Nope.  Got too many other things going on.
But the starting point is a basket block.  Just a basket.  What harm could come from making just one basket block?  I even had a block pattern traced out for an applique flower basket that I'd found in my 101 Fabulous Small Quilts book.  Serendipity, I say.  Kismet, maybe.
I'd originally planned to make the block with Civil War reproductions, but upon further thought I said to myself, "Fork that, let's have some fun!" and went a bit brighter.

I gotta admit, I like it. 
But then I started second guessing myself.  I really like making pieced baskets, too.  I did a scrappy basket quilt years ago that was a ton of fun - maybe I should have pieced a basket instead of appliqueing it.
So, you guessed it.

And since I can't decide between them for my Gwennie Medallion, it looks like I'm making two...

And then there's a quilt that I SWEAR I'm only making a couple of test blocks for and I'm 100% NOT starting it and I promise to put away the templates I made for the weird shaped pieces and not even THINK about Jen Kingwell's Glitter quilt from her book Quilt Lovely which I've had for FIVE WHOLE MONTHS and bought solely because I wanted to make Glitter and have since found that I want to make every single quilt in the whole book but Glitter first.
//stops and gasps for breath//

See?  I only made two blocks.
I think I'm getting a real handle on this Self Control thing, don't you?

Since Glitter involves y-seams, I'm linking to Mary Huey's Y-Seam Warriors at Quilting through Rose-colored Trifocals!   Come see the pretty hexagons!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Going round in circles

Yesterday afternoon I pulled out some Icelandic roving and my Turkish spindle and started to play.  (And that sounds like a small world, right?  All I needed was a Belgian waffle and a Brazilian... um, nevermind)

Here's a video all about Turkish spindles, with Abby Franquemont, who is the Master of All Things Spindly.  I watched that one, as well as several others, as I got ready to give my new toy a whirl.

Assemble the parts.

I love how it sits at a jaunty angle when at rest, rather than rolling off into the next room when it hits the floor.  Or worse, rolling towards the nearest cat, who will be utterly convinced that you've brought it the Best New Cat Toy EVER.  (Woohoo!)
There was a learning curve, combined with a re-learning curve.  I haven't done any spindle spinning in at least 3 years, and I've only used a top-whorl spindle.  The weight distribution of the bottom-whorl was a little hard to get used to.  (I may try to assemble this one upside down and see it it's usable that way.  Experimenting is always fun.)  (Well, not always, but usually.)  (Well, sometimes.)

Once I got some singles built up, I pulled the pin,

yanked off its arms,

and was left with a little center-pull ball ready to be plied.
I tied the leader back to the spindle

and plied from both ends and ended up with a sweet little ball of yarn.

It's not my best spinning ever, but it's by far not my worst, either.  (Full disclosure - there was a lot of cussing involved in the plying process.  Those singles were really lively and prone to twist.  With each other, with themselves, with my hair, with the spindle itself.  It wasn't all "Tada!  Yarn!") 
And even though it's all neatly packaged in a nice center pull ball, I'm going to hunt up my kniddy knoddy and wind it off into a skein so I can soak it to distribute the twist a little better. 
I'm really pleased with this new spindle.  It's fun that it disassembles to pack flat, which makes it beautifully portable.
I'm already planning to make a bag for it, too.  Because obviously I don't have enough to do.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

'Playing Catch-up' should be my middle name

Since I'm running behind in the RSC (because apparently I mislaid the first two weeks of May) (they're probably on my cutting table somewhere, buried under some 2.5" strips) (though if you should happen to see them somewhere else, would you send them back to me, please?) (now where was I?  Oh, yeah), I continued to work with green today.
More kaleidoscopes, of course.  But you knew that.

And one Chantal's Pinwheel.

And I made a push on April's 365 Challenge blocks and managed to get caught up through the 15th.  Yay!  I'm only a month behind again!

One of the personal challenges I've found in this project is making use of what I've got.  I normally cut strips and squares in 1.5", 2", 2.5", and 3.5" sizes, and making these small blocks frequently calls for off-standard measurements.
I needed a 3.25" square, which I trimmed off the end of a 3.5" strip,

and four 1.75" squares, which I got by cutting a 3.5" square into quarters.

These went into making some quick-pieced flying geese, which is a technique that is the next best thing to magic.

Though I found that the measurements were off in the block patterns, and I would have been a lot better off starting with a 2.75" square rather than that 3.25" one.  Lesson learned.  (Math is our friend.  Seam allowances are not.)  Next time I make 3" Sawtooth star variations, I'll know exactly what I'm doing!

And for the record, I haven't started a new project.  It's purely a coincidence that I've been experimenting with applique for no particular reason. 

As one does.

Linking with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Come watch us all play with scraps!

Friday, May 13, 2016

April Showers Bring May... um... Piglets

Trying to get back in the groove, here.  I had a fabulous time at Maryland Sheep and Wool - saw lots of sheep and fiber and bunnies and fiber and more sheep and much much more fiber.

I had to keep reminding myself how much wool and alpaca fleece I have tucked away already in order to not be tempted by all the goodies on display. (And my oh my, were there ever goodies on display!)
I did buy a Turkish spindle, which is one of those things I've always wanted, and I'm going to play with it as soon as I go dig out some of that aforementioned wool.  (Expect a post sometime soon!)

Meanwhile, back at the farm, I've been learning to use the new sewing machine my kids gave me for Mother's Day.  It's down on the simple end of machines these days, meaning it does way more embroidery stitches than I'll ever use and the manual is the same thickness as the one that came with my car.  But OMG it threads its own needles and I've played with that feature more than is strictly necessary because look what it did! and I'm easily tickled.
So once I got comfortable enough with it that I no longer suspected it would sew my fingers to my leg, I put it to work.
First, of course, were a couple of piggies.
Angela has given us a foresty green for May, and I found a few suitable fabrics right off.

And then I had to make a couple of kaleidoscopes.  Purely in the interest of research, mind you.  Testing 1 2 3 and all that.

And there are a couple more strip sets already ready to go, so I suspect there will be more.

Can't wait to see what this sewing machine gets up to next!

Linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Come see big green fun!
And I almost missed the May linkup for Scraptastic Tuesday, so here ya go.  Even more scrappy fun!

Friday, May 6, 2016

On the road again!

Heading for Maryland for Maryland Sheep and Wool.  Woohoo!  My first time ever, so I'm excited!
And going with my kids?  Priceless...

Thursday, May 5, 2016

One medallion down, a couple hundred blocks to go!

I finished the corners and borders for the 365 Challenge central medallion and got them all sewn together.  Woohoo!

 Then it was back to making dark little 3" blocks to surround that medallion with.  There will be 96 of them all together, then we move on to the 6" blocks for a while.  Woohoo!

I finally found the ruler of my dreams, which is making the squaring of these little blocks a whooooole lot simpler!

I'm almost caught up with the first 2 weeks of April now.  Then there's the second two weeks of April.  And however much of May has gone by, by the time I finish April.
Yeah, this'll work.  I can totally do this.

And there's a new Quilt Along starting up that's very intriguing.  Not that I'm going to join it, of course.  Absolutely not.  Just because I already had a basket block traced out that I was planning to do eventually anyway is no excuse to start a new project.  No way am I going to tackle this.  Nope.  Totally not happening.  Nope.
Of course, there's no harm in pulling some fabric.

Purely as a hypothetical, of course.