Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The happiest of happy to everyone!

The last stitch is stitched, the last knit is blocking, and the last cookie recipe is ignored, so I guess I'm ready for this thing.

To everyone -
no matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope it's the Best Ever for you!

Friday, December 13, 2019

What do you mean, December is almost half over???

Somehow writing posts in my head doesn't exactly equate to posts being posted on the actual blog.  Argh.  Though I guess it's just as well that my computer isn't reading my mind, come to think of it...

When last I typed at ya, my design wall looked like this -

Well, that was just a bit too chaotic, even for me, so when I finished piecing November's Goosey Temps column, I pulled the summer's columns and moved October and November to the left as I started December.  This gave me more room for the last Sand Castles as I build them.

And here's a good thing that I've been doing right along -

I write the month in the seam allowance of the top goose, so I don't get the months confused when I assemble the quilt.  THAT's a boo-boo I saw coming from a mile away.

And since it's Bonnie Hunter Mystery Time, I've been squeezing in a little bit of Frolic here and there.
Here's the start of Clues 1 and 2,

which left my cutting table looking like this -

and here's the first HST stacks for Clue 3 which just dropped this morning.

I'm basically just getting a few of each clue done, just to keep my hand in, as I pursue other sewing projects.  (Mostly of the gifty variety, since I hear there's a major holiday coming up soon.)  (Don't tell me how many days I have left la la la I can't hear you...)  When priorities allow, I'll catch up with the frolicking.

In the meantime, I'm linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday (because I'm bound to finish those Sand Castles soon, no really)  and with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  I'm even going to post a photo or two to Instagram for the Bonnie Mystery, though I'm not a fan of Instagram at all at all at all.  (I'm mangofeet_on_ig if you're looking for me.  I've got one photo so far.  sigh)

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Geese in the Sand Castles, possibly Frolicking

Or possibly dueling.  Tough call.  The design wall is definitely filling up.

Though I seem to have warped the space/time continuum as far as my Sand Castle blocks are concerned.  I counted them and found I needed four more.  So I made a whole bunch of blocks and counted them all up again, and I still need four more.
I'm starting to suspect the Sand Castle bin has a black hole in the bottom...

Eventually I'll have enough blocks.  Really.  I'm sure of it.

There hasn't been as much time to sew lately, what with Thanksgiving and other holidays crowding the calendar.  I've got a lot of gifty projects going on behind the scenes, but I can't show them off yet.  (If I remember to take pictures, I'll share them after the holidays.)

I did get some fabrics pulled and cut for Frolic.  I've been digging through my scrap bins and gathering strips and generally getting ready for the clues to start dropping.

Clue one appeared yesterday, and though I didn't get any time to sew, I did get some strips ready for assembly.

Tomorrow the stitching will commence!  Four-patches are always full of fun!

Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap.  I'm even going to try this new-fangled Instagram thing and post a pic or two.  Modern times, eh?

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Well now, here's a surprise

That chunk of darker red solid finally turned up and I hung it up on the bottom half of the design wall to see which red I liked better.

I had really thought that I was going to like the dark better, but now I'm not so sure.

Here's a closer look at the dividing line:

and here's the light red:

and here's the dark:

Contrary to what I expected, I think the lighter brighter red is the one I'll go with.  It really lights up the colors of all those highs and lows, while the darker red seems to dull them down.

Here's one more look at the contrast, along with three more Sand Castle blocks I got done yesterday.

So if red is the new neutral, then bright red is the neutralest neutral?  Whichever, I'm going with the bright one.

There.  That dither is over.  Next!

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

Sunday, November 3, 2019

September now hath 30 days

Well, a quick check of the Weather Underground site (which is my source for my area's daily high and low temperatures) gave me the data for my missing September 30th flying goose.


And after endless auditions of fabrics for sashing for these columns, I finally found a solution.  (I even dug out my January column and stuck it up on the right to make sure the winter months would look good, too)

I'd really painted myself into a corner with my color selections for this quilt.  Everything was in use:  gray, white, purple, blue, turquoise, green, yellow, orange, and red.  That left brown or hot pink, both of which looked awful. (trust me...)
I tried black, but the darker blues disappeared into it.
Dots, spots, and jots didn't work.
Stripes looked weird, whether I ran them horizontally or vertically.
And seriously, with all that color chaos, the sashing needed to be a solid of some sort just to calm things down.

I was really starting to despair when I had a sudden thought.  The only colors that I had to worry about were the ones representing the low temperatures because the 'geese' triangles stood for the highs and never touched the edges.  And since red represents temperatures about 90F, and because the nights (the lows) were never in the 90's (because seriously?  If the nights were in the 90's, I would have already moved to the north pole and I'd have had to start a whole other quilt anyway), that meant red was in play for a sashing possibility.

So, I gave it a try and it works!  And since the world is basically on fire nowadays, it seems like an appropriate choice.

I've got a darker shade of red somewhere in my stash which I'm going to dig out and audition before I start cutting.  But whew!  That's a load off my mind!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Goosey goosies and a pile of sandcastles

Here's a look at my design wall as of the first of November.  I've been plugging away at my Sand Castle blocks for the RSC, catching up with the colors that I got behind on over the summer.

And now that we've started November, I can complete the October column of flying geese for my Goosey Temps quilt.  Though when I hung it up next to September, I noticed a slight problem.  The September column seemed a bit short.  (It's the one next to last on right)

So, I counted up the blocks and came up with only 29.  Not right.  I even ran the old rhyme through my head to double check.  (Thirty days hath September...  yep.  Not right.)

Determined to fix that oversight, I grabbed the pocket calendar that I use to record the temperatures and checked September.

I think I've found the problem.

Did I sleep through September 30th?  It did seem like September was awfully short...

Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday, and with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come check out all the scrappy goodness!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Beginning to Frolic

Bonnie Hunter announced her Mystery Quilt for 2019 yesterday and I'm already pulling fabrics.  Preparing to Frolic!

When I first saw her colors, my mind insisted on seeing purple in place of her blues.  I kept scanning down through her list and going 'hmm.'  Blues - check; fuchsia - always a good choice; aqua - eh I guess; limey green?  Starting to pause here.

But I gave it the benefit of the doubt and started rooting around in my stash.

And, well, okay.  It looks a little better in this photo than it did on the cutting table, but...

I realized that my heart was still yearning for those purples I'd first imagined.  Back to the stash I went and grabbed the nearest purples.  And then I decided a bricky red/orange would look good with them, so I grabbed those too.  Then a couple of blues took the place of the aqua, and a golden yellow jumped in to sub for the lime-ass green.

Oh, yeah.  That's floating my boat a whole lot better.

And then I found a 2-yard piece of a nice butter yellow which would look good and be a great plenty for that yard and a half of constant.

I think I'm ready!

Though I had a funny deja vu feeling the whole time I was pulling these fabrics.  Then I had to laugh when I realized that I'd done this pull before when I was planning a(n as yet unstarted) bag.

I may be frolicking down a yellow brick road!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Wooly Weekend

Just got back from here -

the NY State Sheep and Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck), where I had a fabulous time with my daughters.  Wonderful woolinesses!

And apologies for that terrible picture - though the next one is even worse:

RIP my poor old camera.  It had been stuttering along for a while and it looks like it's finally called it quits.
Argh.  Now searching for a replacement...

Sunday, October 13, 2019

October is for Catchups

(Ketchups?  Naw.)

My Goosey Temps quilt is now caught up through the end of September and I've started laying out triangles to get October rolling.  (That's June, July, and August on the right.)

And I've been puttering away with my Sand Castles - trying to get caught up with the pinks and blues that I got behind on.

 A lovely interruption to all this diligence was the Quilter's Guild show that took place last weekend.  My sister-in-law called to see if I'd even heard it was happening (I hadn't) and if I had any plans to go see it (I didn't), so we met up an hour later and headed on up.  (Life is short.  Get in the car and go look at quilts whenever the opportunity is offered.)

I dutifully brought my camera, then dutifully neglected to take many pictures, despite the fact that the show was loaded with gorgeous work.  Here's one of my very favorites, which was one of the first ones I saw going in, before camnesia set in.

Now you may be thinking, "yeah yeah, applique, how nice", but here's another picture that will give you an idea of the scale of this quilt.

The camera is about 6" from the quilt, and my fingers are hovering about 2" above the surface.  Those little grapey dots?  They're about 1/8" in diameter.  And needle-turned.  One at a time by the hundreds.  I wouldn't have even thought it possible.  I still don't even think it's possible and I saw it with my own eyes.

Another quilt I loved was this framed four-patch made with aboriginal fabrics.  The picture doesn't do justice to all the bright happy colors.

And this one caught my eye, with even more four-patches.  (I admit I'm a total sucker for anything four-patchy!)

I almost didn't get that picture, though.  As I was backing up to get more of it into the shot, I kept  watch in my peripheral vision for the quilts behind me, but wasn't thinking about the wooden bases that stuck out near the floor.

Ooops!  As I floundered for balance, I had a sudden vision of causing a domino-style disaster of all those quilt racks...

Luckily, I'm not actually THAT clumsy...

Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday (even though it's Sunday - oops again!) and with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come see all the colorful fun!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Seriously, I should know myself better than that...

When I pulled out the Sand Castle bin to put away the purple blocks I made over the weekend, guess what I found?

Yep, right on top.  Why on earth would I have thought orange had slipped past me?

So I made three more purples to finish off the month of September,

and while I was at it, I made another orange one just for luck.

Now to catch up with the blues and pink, and decide what I'm going to be doing for October. (Yikes!  It starts tomorrow!)  I've heard rumors of using dark neutrals, etc, but I'm thinking it might be a good time to throw in some multicolor blocks.  I have a stack of Kaffe fat quarters that are starting to whisper my name...

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Purple Sand Castles finally make a showing

At last, some purple Sand Castles!

(I wish purple was easier to photograph.  Sigh...)

I'd been trying to make a big stack of blocks in colors that I'd fallen behind with over the summer, then realized that September is almost over and I'd better get with the purple.  There are three more purple blocks cut out and waiting in the bullpen, along with a bunch of blues.  (I managed to skip over both the light and the dark shades of blue)  I still need to dig out my oranges and cut some bits for blocks - how could I have let orange slide by?

Earlier this year I'd kitted up a bunch of blocks for Glitter, so I pulled out some of them just to break up the Sand Castles a bit.

They're a bit too fiddly for leaders/enders, but it's amazing what you can accumulate when the pieces are just lying there next to the machine.

They'll go into their bin with the rest of their Glittery siblings.  Good thing I'm not in a hurry for this quilt - it's more of a marathon project than a sprint.  Those y-seams really slow a person down somehow...

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

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A summer's worth of geese all aflutter

Here's my design wall, after a concerted effort to do some catching up.

That's a whole summer of geese - May through August - for my temperature quilt, all done up and sassy.  There are even three geese for the first three days of September at upper right.

I've got a tray full of pieces cut out for the missing RSC summer colors,

and I managed to get a few blocks sewn up as far as the lozenge section.  They'll just need their scrappy triangles sewn onto the corners to be ready to join the other blocks in their plastic tub.

But wait - what happens if I pull back a little on that last photo?

What are all those black on white prints doing on my cutting table?

Shhhh...  Don't tell anyone...  I've started another project.

Meet Sand Castles II - in black, white, gray, and red - for my grandson.  (His favorite color scheme)

Because of course I want to make TWO Sand Castle quilts...

Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  I've been missing those linkups!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Dusting off the blog

That was an unplanned hiatus.  I spent the summer lost in a combination of grief and inertia.
I lost my dad in early June.  May had been a nightmare month as his health plummeted, with trips to the ER and tests and more tests.   He'd been fighting a long battle against a degenerative muscle disease and it finally won. 
I can't say enough good things about hospice - I literally don't know how we could have gotten through it without them.  So much help and comfort at a time when we really needed it.  Letting go was so hard, and they held our hands through it all.
Getting back into any kind of creative groove took a long time, and it's taken even longer to get to the point where I feel like talking again.
So, here I am, talking again.  Hello.

One thing I did do is get the quilting done on my granddaughter's Storm at Sea quilt, which I've been calling Sea of Tranquility.

(She's holding the other end of the quilt, but I cropped her out of the picture since I didn't ask her for permission to show her face.)
As you can see, I went ahead with my crazy plan to quilt it in a big spiral.  The beginning was a certified pain in the butt, but it was just the kind of simple mindless process that my frazzled self needed.  And I love the effect it gives of ripples moving out from the center, echoing the light to dark transition that I'd worked in the values of the blues and greens.

Big project, big quilt, done.  One positive to put up against the negative.
We just keep going.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Aqua's last hurrah

I only got to spend a couple of hours at the sewing machine this week, what with one thing and another.  Luckily I'd already cut out the pieces I needed for the last aqua Sand Castle for April.

I'm ready for a new color!  Hopefully I'll get a little bit more sewing time soon.

In temperature quilt news, I'm caught up with my April goosies.  Here's a week's worth of flying geese waiting to be joined to the April column at left.

Happily, we had two more days in the seventies so I got to add some more yellow to the turquoises and greens.  Of course, today we hovered in the 30's and 40's, so I'll have to use more blues again.  Oh well.  The tide is turning!

And for those of you who might have been concerned about me, I'm truly not starting a Jack's Chain quilt.

It's a mere coincidence that some nine patches attached themselves to that big hexagon while other nine patches started milling around shouting "Me!  Me next!"
So, not a Jack's Chain at all.  Simply some very confused nine patches.

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