Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

Just popping in for a quick new year's wish.  I promise I'll do a post just as soon as I do something interesting...

Happy New Year! 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas sewing is done done done

I finished the last of the Christmas sewing yesterday, using the latest clue for On Ringo Lake as leader/enders.  (Yes, you can use leader/enders when making bags, etc, too.)  (And I do.)  I'll be joining the post-Christmas linky party at Bonnie's place when it goes live.

My foundation  paper-piecing went well.  Well, better than usual.  Well, marginally better than usual.  There was less swearing, but not no swearing, if you catch my drift.

I've already sewn this into the gift for my grandson (the new Star Trek fan), which I'm not showing until after the holidays.  I'm reasonably sure he doesn't read my blog, but why tempt fate?

So, flocks of flying geese gathered,

and joined stacks of gonnabe triangles.

After careful counting and recounting, they'll be added to this bin which is holding my progress so far.

And check out that picture.  At the top you can see the neighboring bin which holds the finished blocks for my checkerboard rails leader/ender project;  at the bottom, you can see a printout of a Blockheads block that I'm thinking might make a good RSC block for 2018.

Looks like the new year will be just as busy as the old...

And to all my readers - whatever holiday you hold in your heart, may it be the best it can possibly be.  May joy and goodness surround you!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Clue 4 - I get by with a little help from my friends

One of the first emails I read Monday morning was from my friend Chantal, letting me know about a nifty way to make the On Ringo Lake Clue 4 units.  And then later that day, Libby posted about using the same technique.
When great minds are inviting me to come play, how could I refuse?
I gave it a try and admit I'm totally smitten.  Not having to cut out a bazillion triangles?  Seriously? 

On the left is one of the units that get cut up into triangle blocks.  On the right are three triangles made this way, plus one made using triangles cut with the easy angle ruler and sewed to a square.  Results are identical.
Another plus to this sew squares and rectangles together?  I don't end up with stuff that look like this:


Speaking of oops, I'm playing with foundation paper piecing again.

Three seams forward, two seams back...

Linking with the other Ringoites.  Come see the fun!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Still pecking away at those geese...

 Continuing my adventures On Ringo Lake...

And now I've got diamonds to make.

Luckily for me, I still had all the neutrals and corals piled up on my cutting table, since I'd been cutting more strips to make geese with anyway.   (I still have a small pile of the little flappers to sew, but the end is in sight!)
Of course, this doesn't bode well for me wanting to turn over a new leaf and put things away the second I'm done with them.  Nothing like being rewarded for bad behavior!

It took a bit of juggling and experimenting, but I worked out how to cut my diamonds as diamonds for no waste, instead of cutting rectangles and doing flippy corners.  This pleases my mingy heart no end.
And now, back to that cutting table - I need a metric butt-ton of neutral triangles, between the diamonds and the remaining geese, but hey, who's counting?

Linking with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework.  Come see what all the scrappers are up to!
Also linking up at Quiltville for the Clue 3 linky party.  Come see that one, too!

(I've got other projects going on, but can't share yet.  Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures before I get all gifty.  Not that I've ever remembered before, but it could happen this time...)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Goose, goose, goose

I've been stitching away at flying geese blocks for this year's Bonnie Hunter mystery -

Since that picture was taken, I've buzzed past the halfway point for how many I need.   So, I'm at a quarter-zillion out of the half-zillion, and am only moderately hopeful that I'll have them done  by Friday when the next clue is released.  (Can't wait to see what's next, ready or not!)

And since I can't live by flying geese alone, this also happened.

And I liked it enough to make an other one.

No idea what I'll do with them, yet, but I suspect there will be others.

So many four-patches, so many possibilities...

Linking with the other Ringo Lakers at Bonnie's house.  Such fun to see all the variations!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Knit faster - that'll work

I've been happily knitting away at a lacy shawl/scarf in the evenings, using a beautiful gradient teal yarn.  (I'd show a better picture, but it's for a gift and I don't want to spill all the beans...)

When I hit the part where I was to start the last chart, for the lacy edging, I stopped for a bit of a think.  It looked to me like I was going to finish that last chart with a lot of yarn left over, which meant a good bit of that gradient was going to go to waste.  A bit of geometry was applied and I figured that I was at the halfway point knitting wise, but I had lots more than half the yarn left.  Hurray!  I could do one more repeat of the lace pattern used for the body of the shawl!

Famous last words, right?
As I inched up that last chart, row by row, I watched my rapidly-diminishing ball of yarn with increasing alarm.
There's a time-honored technique deployed by knitters everywhere when they find themselves in this situation - I knit faster and faster, hoping I'd finish before I ran out of yarn.
(Note to non-knitters:  No, this doesn't work.  It has never worked, but we keep doing it anyway.)
One moment I was lying to reassuring myself that it was going to be fine, just fine, don't worry, fine, and the next moment I'd start to get a little panicky again.
I had a row and a half of chart left -

but only this much yarn.

I needed to work one wrong side row, then the last row of the chart, and then I figured I could cheat and skip the last wrong side row and just head right for the bind off instead.
So, over, back, and over once more.
Yeah, yeah, this'll work.  Yeah...
I marked the halfway point of that little ball of yarn and set off knitting.  I barely made it over once, before hitting that mark.  Even cheating, I was still going to end up a full row short.

Rip...  Rewind.  I went back to before the last chart started, then took out two extra rows from the body of the shawl (never miss them, right?), and started that last chart again.
I'm only a couple of rows from where I was last time, but I've got way more yarn left.

I'm sure it's going to work this time.  Absolutely.  Yep.
It's going to be fine.
Though I might start knitting a little faster...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A bucketful of nine-patches

The best thing about the Friday after Thanksgiving is that I don't have to work another Black Friday ever.  Ever ever ever.  Being retired from retail is glorious.

The second best thing about the Friday after Thanksgiving is that Bonnie Hunter releases the first clue of her new Mystery Quilt!

Before I knew what hit me, I had a small mountain of nine-patches done.

After stacking them in piles of ten, I found that I had 35 done, with lots more in progress next to my sewing machine.  My original plan was to just make half as many components as Bonnie calls for, so I'd not end up with yet another full-sized bed quilt, but I shot right by that number.  She's taking it easy on us this year - we only need to make 50 of these nine-patches.  Way easier than previous mysteries where we made hundreds and hundreds of four patches or HSTs right out of the gate.

One of the tips she gave this year is the one where you stack your strip sets, nesting the seams, and cut into sub-units - the pieces are lined up and ready to stitch, thus saving lots of time and cutting.

It also works for the other section of the nine-patches - I'd stack the strip sets staggered, nesting seams, then cut.

Two sets for the slice of one!
As long as I was making nine-patches, I made a few more for my Burgoyne Surrounded sashing.  

I also cut a bunch of 3.5"x15.5" strips for the sashing from neutrals, since I had them all out to cut 1.5" strips for the nine-patches anyway.   (I'd been using them without cutting any replacements for a loooooong time.  The cupboard was getting pretty bare!)

Also, my leader/ender project is progressing nicely.

These rails are easy and fun, and having enough to lay out and get a good look is a real stimulus.  I've decided my strategy will be to make and sew the blocks together in pairs.  That way I'll end up with the correct number of each block, and it'll be easier to count the pairs than the individual blocks.  Above I've got six pairs and three singles laid out next to each other, and I'm really liking what I see.

Linking with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh, Scrap!, and with Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Monday Linky Party.  Come enjoy all the scrappy goodness!


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Jacks and Nines and Split Rail Fences

Despite my plans to get some more RSC sewing done this week, I got precious little accomplished.

This Jacks and Sixes block is all I have to show for this month's dark neutrals.  At least it's a friendly block - check out that cheery 'hi' in the center.

I did get a few more nine patches assembled for the cornerstones of my Burgoyne Surrounded quilt.   At some point I need to figure out how many I need, but since there's no such thing as too many nine patches, I'm not too worried about it.

And in the general category of projects I'm not starting, these split rail fence blocks appeared.  This is Bonnie Hunter's newest leader/ender SAL, and I've been intrigued by the blocks since she first suggested them.

I had tried to stay focused on sewing the checkerboards together in the same way, but look at the one on the left.  I was kicking myself and looking ahead to a session with the seam ripper.
But wait...

When I set the blocks next to each other to see how they'd look, this is how they'd look:


So, I grabbed that 'wrong' block and tried it instead.

That's better.  And good to know this early in the game.  Imagine if I was months down the road with a couple hundred identical blocks.
You would have been able to hear the swearing from orbit, I'll bet.

Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday (late again!), and with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come see what everyone is up to!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

It's been quite a week. Or two.

Time has a way of getting away from me, it seems.  I just realized I haven't posted in almost forever...
Not much happened in the RSC realm.  I was much busier doing some costume sewing than I was piecing quilt blocks.
Like this:

(I had to chop off my son-in-law's head to show you that picture...)  (It'll grow back, I'm sure)

That project all started when I said, a couple of months ago, "I've always wanted to make a pirate coat, but didn't have anyone to make it for."  At which point my daughter pointed at her husband as he raised his hand.
But the pirate coat morphed into a colonial coat, as we all fell in love with Hamilton.  We found a pattern for a pirate coat, which I modified the dickens out of in order to make this green linen coat.  The pattern had decorative pocket flaps, but no actual pockets (that HAD to be fixed!), and was unlined.  I added the pockets and a full lining, learning how to do a bagged lining in the process.  (Note- if you do it wrong, you end up with a klein bottle instead of a coat.  That'll teach me to think I remembered the video instructions a couple of months after viewing it...)  I also added the collar and front trim, and modified the cuffs to something less pirate-y.  I finished sewing on the twenty-eight (28!!!) buttons the day before the costume party it was crying to be worn to.  And hey, look!  I actually finished something!

Then I headed for home, and it rained for a week.  Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but my car, which had been parked in the dooryard at home for the 6+ weeks I'd been gone, apparently decided I was never coming back.  It threw such a snit-fit that both the battery and one of the tires were flat.  Since I didn't really want to deal with either of those issues in the rain/drizzle/rain, I had to wait it out.
Finally.   Battery charged, tire pumped back up, all my sewing luggage packed up to head down to the studio.  Yay!

So, now my machine is set back up, I've spent some time organizing and getting ready for serious sewing again.  Four patch blocks, nine patches for Burgoyne cornerstones, and RSC blocks, here I come!  (Oh, and it occurs to me that there's a major gift-giving holiday coming up that I might want to do something about.) 

I even got fabric pulled for Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt "On Ringo Lake," which will be starting later this month.

I had plenty of aquas on hand, since it's in the range I'm using for my Storm-at-Sea/Sea-of-Tranquility quilt.

I had more coral/melon than I thought I did, since it falls in that pinkish-orange/orangish-pink valley.  More than once, I've bought something that I thought was orange or pink, but turned out to be neither.

And browns aren't a problem at all.  I'd been collecting them for my 365 Challenge quilt (blue/red/brown color scheme) (which I'm still months (and now years!) behind on), so I've got lots.  (I may or may not keep that bacon fabric in with my browns.  For now, it amuses me to see it in the stack.) 

I had intended to change colors this year if I did the mystery again, but since this is a grouping that I normally wouldn't work with, I'm going to go ahead and roll with her colors.

Life is all about the challenges, right?

Since it's all about the scrappy quilts, I'm linking with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come join the fun!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Goldilocks and the Three Pickles

Poor Goldilocks.  What a time she's had with these pickles!

The first pickle was too small...

and the second pickle was too big...

But she kept trying and trying, and at last she found a pickle that was just right...

Here's the whole gang of pickle dishes -

(that's going to make for a lop-sided quilt...)

And here's what it would look like if I really were crazy enough to make a pickle-in-a-pickle-in-a-pickle...

That's pretty silly, even for me...

Linking with Linda at kokaquilts for Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE.  Come on along!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Big pickle, small pickle, pickle, pickle, pick!

I'm still pickled.  Or pickling.  Whichever.

Since my tiny pickle from yesterday was extremely tiny, (3"x7" unfinished, which would have ended up about 2.5" by 6" finished), I went looking for a bigger pickle, and found a likely contender at All People Quilt. 
But, I seldom seem to be able to do things the easy way, and so I decided that I wanted this big pickle to have 10 points instead of only six.  I redrafted the pattern and gave it a whirl.

There were a few problems.  I didn't think to get a picture of the vaguely cup-shaped object that I ended up with.  A few alterations were needed before it would lie flat.

I had to add a bit more width to the end triangles -

and my football shape in the center was fine for length, but a bit too chubby in the midsection.

Here are my first two pickles, side by side.

The big pickle is 8.5"x18" unfinished, so it towers over the little one.

As a matter of fact, it looks like that little pickle would fit inside the center of the big pickle...

Naw.  That's too crazy, even for me.

Linking with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come see what everyone's up to this week!