Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Scrappy! and Stash Box

My latest Work in Progress started out as a block exchange for a retreat. That didn't work out because I missed going because I was sick with the flu. I decided to go ahead since I'd already done all the cutting and now I'll have another lap robe. I will group the blocks in fours and sash them. I'm not sure about borders yet. I'll decide when I have the top together.

The Traveling Stash Box is still looking for an owner. Are you game?

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesdays. Check out the eye candy!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Design Board and Traveling Stash

It's been a while since I've posted because I haven't been sewing much lately. I've been working on organizing scraps while considering the Traveling Stash Box which I got a few weeks ago.

It came packed with fabrics, patterns, a couple books, and some miscellany. I snagged a cool book, some pre-cut 2 1/2-inch squares, a couple fat quarters, and some other scraps. I've added in some more patterns and some fabric. Now I'm looking to pass this treasure along to another lucky blogger.

If you're interested, leave a comment and I'll draw the lucky number and send it along. It's a fun project. All you have to do is agree to pass along the Stash Box and blog about it. Easy peasy, right?


Now about the Design Board, I've just about finished my latest Week-ender Bag. I've made 4 others using pre-quilted fabrics. They make wonderful gifts. This one is different in that I used leftover fabrics from other projects and faced and re-quilted it. This one is slightly more stable than the others, but it also was much more difficult to assemble. My shoulders were aching when I was done! I still need to add the bottom stabilizer and cover it and it will be good to go. It's a cool project and I'll probably do more in the future, although the "Franken-bag,"  won't be done again soon.



This sock is my first-ever color work. I started using Patons Kroy (one of my favorite sock yarns) but I knew I  didn't have enough to finish, so I decided to make-do and learn colorwork at the same time. I wasn't concerned about coordinating colors; I just wanted the leg to be tall enough.  I accomplished that, and now feel I can tackle another color work pattern. Yay me!
 
I'm linking this to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. Check it out and be impressed with all the creativity!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wonky Design Wall

My design mojo has been missing in action since I finished my Celtic Solstice, so I’m really pleased that I finally have something in the works.

My guild, the Mansfield Millennium Quilters, issues a challenge each year and I usually participate. This year we had to select a stick of paint chips and make a quilt with something "wonky" in it.

My colors are teal, and I've chosen a Wonky Log Cabin, using a ruler by Eleanor Burns. It came together really easily and I enjoyed it a lot! I haven't used an EB pattern for quite a while and I forgot how well written her instructions are. It was a pleasure to do this project and I'm already thinking about doing another one, maybe scrappy.

I'm linking up to Design Wall Monday, where I'm always inspired. Check it out!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Two rescues


Both of my cats are rescues. It's really hard for me to understand how anyone could dump a kitten, but that's how I've gotten two wonderful pets.

Cato, my ginger kitty, came to us about six years ago. It was an autumn evening and we were watching the Cleveland Indians. We heard an awful sound outside the screen door to the deck. Guess who showed up? He was hungry and thirsty and not at all shy about expressing his displeasure!

We were going to call him Ginger because we thought he was female (what did I know?). He became Cato because he's an attack cat at times. Now, he's my lap kitty and he was an only fur-child until last summer, when another person decided to dump another kitten. That's when Frankie joined our household. She showed up on the porch at my husband's office.

They're all animal lovers there, so it was a toss-up as to who would keep her, but DH really wanted her. He thought she'd be a good companion for Cato. That has certainly proven to be true! Frankie is at least part Siamese and she has the bluest eyes! She's an active, goofy teen-ager and has really enlivened Cato's middle aged days. They chase and play several times a day and then sleep the rest.

Cato loves to sleep in my sewing room while I'm working. Frankie tends to sleep on her favorite chair in the dining room.

I cannot imagine life without them.

I saw this Linky on Colorpoint Quilter and wanted to join in. Click here to see more stories!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Book Review: Things We Set on Fire


   I haven’t done a book review for a while, but this is one that I really want to share. I caught it as a free book for Kindle, and I’m really glad I did. I’d recommend it to anyone:
 Things We Set on Fire By Deborah Reed
   This is a deceptively simple story of a dysfunctional family, still reeling after many years from the loss of their beloved husband and father. In the intervening years, the Vivvie Fenton has grieved and been unable to move on because she lives with a heavy load of guilt, knowing that she’s the one who killed Jackson Fenton.
     The daughters, Kate and Elin, are equally damaged, because they also lost their mother when she became disengaged from life; and their sibling rivalry became so toxic they separated for many years. Unbeknownst to her mother, Kate lived across town in Florida. Elin made a life in Oregon.
    Everything changes when Vivvie is notified by the police that Kate has attempted suicide and the children, Averlee and Quincy, need their family to step in and take care of them. Since Vivvie and Elin didn’t know about the girls, they’re shocked, not to mention nervous about parenting two children they knew nothing about. They assume that Kate overdosed on drugs. Then the secrets begin to come out.
   I checked out reviews on both Amazon and Library Thing and I’m surprised at the wide range of opinion. The Amazon readers liked it; not so much with the Library Thing. I loved it and I would highly recommend it. 

Edited to add back the paragraphing that Blogger somehow deleted. Jeanne







Sunday, February 2, 2014

What I’ve learned from Celtic Solstice


Celtic Solstice top2
This is my Celtic Solstice before I took it to Michele
Thanks, Bonnie, for this wonderful design! I have seen countless gorgeous quilts and I’m sure I’ll see many more. It’s awesome.

That said, I learned a LOT while doing this mystery and I thought I’d share it here.

1. Bonnie’s idea about using the Command strips as a seam guide is fabulous! I have a Janome Horizon 7700 and its 1/4-inch seam foot – both regular and Acufeed -- has those flanges (or guides) on the edge. Hate it!

I’ve never liked them and usually use the Little Foot. However, I wanted to use my dual feed foot because of the small pieces, and the Command strips made it so easy! I was a little concerned that it would be tricky to set them up. Not so.

I simply used her seam guide and marked the bottom of the bobbin cover with a Sharpie. I can see the mark and place the Command strips accordingly. It was easier to keep my seam allowance accurate and faster, to boot. I’ll be using these from now on.

2. Someone on either the Quiltville Yahoo group or the Facebook page mentioned that she tries to keep usage of a single fabric to 10% of the total to keep the look really scrappy. I tried that and I am very happy with that formula. Bonnie had suggested that we make half the units if we weren’t sure about either of the provided sizes.

I thought half the smaller one was too small, so I made half the larger size. I ended up with a full-sized quilt and I’m delighted.

I have a lot of units leftover and I’ll need to do something with them, but I have other items on my list to do first. For the record, I have 63 triangle in a square units of both colorations, 41 shaded 4-patch units, 83 four-patches, 43 chevrons, 20 pinwheels and 38 half-square triangles. I think I may be well on the way to another quilt!

3. I used a Frixion pen to mark my sewing lines on both the chevrons and the half-square triangles. It worked perfectly. I’m aware that many people do not trust the chemicals over the long haul. I guess we’ll have to see, but it was a good solution for me.

4. I was hesitant about starting a new quilt around the holidays. It wasn’t as tough as I was afraid it would be to keep up, once I caught up, that is. I started late and only caught up around mid-December. I never doubted that the design would make me happy, because all Bonnie's quilts are so terrific. I seem to be one of those who love working with little pieces so her patterns are right up  my alley.

I’d like to note that the colors are “off” in the picture above. What appears to be blue is really teal. I cannot take outside pictures because I’m in Ohio and we have about a foot of snow in our yard, so I have to settle for indoor shots. I’m sorry, because the actual colors are really vibrant.

Now I’m going through Bonnie’s previous four books to see if I can use these units in another of her designs. I’m thinking about Bargain basement from her first, Scraps & Shirttails. It uses 3 1/2-inch strips and units. It could be a perfect fit! Later.

This is the first mystery quilt I’ve made that I liked. I always was disappointed when my color choices fizzled. Not this time. I’m now officially a Bonnie mystery stalker.

 I'm linking this to Bonnie CS finale and will also link to Design Wall Monday.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Flimsy is done!

 
 
My Celtic Solstice flimsy is done! I'm mostly done with the backing, so I hope to get it to my favorite long-armer, Michele Mayton, sometime this week to get it quilted. It will be a pieced back using some fabric I had in my stash and some leftovers from the top.
 
I've said before I used only stash for this quilt, but I did have to get something for the outer teal border. Nothing I had was just "right."
 
I really love this quilt and the design. Thanks, Bonnie Hunter, for all you do for your fans!
 
I'm linking to Design Wall Monday. Check out the quilty inspiration!