Friday, March 20, 2015

Grand Illusion: not quite what i was hoping for...

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and be completely honest. hopefully I don't make any quilty enemies in bloggy land!


a few weeks ago I finally finished my Grand Illusion mystery quilt. (Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville does one every year.) this is my second year participating. I think she's done a mystery quilt every year for about 10 years now. don't even ask how I didn't find out about it until last year.

some of the quilts she's done have been AMAZING!!! I especially like Celtic Solstice, Easy Street and Orca Bay.


I choose to do Bonnie's mystery quilt for several reasons: it's a great stash buster. (hello! who wouldn't LOVE that?) I have a very large stash, so I am thrilled to make a quilt without having to go buy MORE fabric. I love mystery quilts, the bloggy camaraderie, and the pressure to get the piecing done and not fall behind in the weekly clues. but the biggest reason I love her quilts is: they are SO DIFFERENT than what I would normally do. I don't usually enjoy piecing quilts with many bajillions of fussy pieces. but I appreciate having a different style of quilt than I'd normally do.
 
 ok: here's the part where the total honesty comes in. *DEEP BREATH*
 

I'm really disappointed in this year's quilt. as you can see from the black and white picture above, the colors (with the exception of the black, obviously) are a big jumbled mess. it's nearly impossible, except for those familiar with what they're looking for, to pick out the pattern. the pink, greens and aquas just melt into one color. even the white is hard to pick out.
 
I followed the color suggestions exactly- hubby works at Lowe's and diligently brought me home the right color chips (and a few extra for some friends in my quilting group)
 
the border is also disappointing to me: if it was going to end up looking like rectangles and flying geese, I would much rather have just cut the rectangles and pieced the flying geese instead of the tedious (and many!) broken dishes blocks.
 
so: there you have it. I'm not whining, and I'm not criticizing Bonnie. Just saying that I'm a little disappointed, that's all. what do you think?
 
and for the record: yes, I will do the mystery quilt again next year.

Yellow? Because Spring: she's coming!


somehow March ended up being a busier month than I thought it would, so it took me awhile to get into the yellow swing of things. *most* of my (3") yellow squares are pictured above. believe it or not, I've been working very diligently at using all my scraps for my RSC15 projects. perhaps the yellow squares are having yellow babies while they're hidden away in my suitcase?


I made 14 yellow 9 patches with Kona white and a scrappy black center.

 
 
there were 16 4 patches lurking in that pile of squares. I'm thrilled at being able to use up so much of my (too longly hoarded) fabrics, and now that the busy farming season is almost here, I'm hoping that I can keep up!
 
visit angela's soscrappy blog on Saturday morning to see more yellow yumminess! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pretty and PINK


it's been another phenomenally cold week here (how could it possibly get any colder?!) and I've had a few evenings in the sewing room to make some progress on my pink scraps. shown above are the rectangle and squares that I'm making from my pinks. I have a general idea of the direction I'd like to go with this quilt, but I'm going to remain flexible.



even though these S4P are SO TEDIOUS, I love how they turn out. it makes it worth it when I see how cute they are. I've not been making as many of these- just picking out my favorite scraps in the color of the month.


here are the rest of the blue S4P from last month- never got them done... for the S4P I'm picking whites as the other color. I want this quilt to finish crisp and bright when it's done.


even though I feel as if I'm sewing like a crazy maniac, the 3" squares in the suitcase are not getting any fewer. (as a matter of fact, I think there might be slightly more in there then when I started all over in January!) so I decided to start making some 16 patch blocks. i'll use a tan/cream for the alternate block, instead of the white like in the S4P. above there are 2 pink 16 patches, and 2 slate blue 16 patches. (don't believe the camera when it wants to tell your eyes that you're seeing purple!)


these two quilts were made for our church sewing group, Scraps to Wraps (S2W). they'll be for a (yet to be born) baby. they were quick and fun to make- and personally, I'm rooting for a set of boy/girl twins... we'll see!

 
click on over to Angela's on Saturday morning to see what everybody else has been doing this week.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

slow and steady wins the race!

it's just as cold as ever here (-40 degrees wind child predicted for tonight and tomorrow!) and I've been able to sew away. not much pink this week. (ok, no pink sewing...) but I still have stuff to share.


this quilt was a pile of 100+ 2½" strips last week. now it's a GIGANTIC quilt- 75" X 100". (you can find the pattern here.) I did fudge a bit on the squares, though, making them a different size. and although the squares are all cut on the bias, the straight grain sashing strips made them behave just fine.
 
click on over to so scrappy to see what everyone else has been doing.

Friday, February 06, 2015

it's freezing cold here: LOTS of time in the sewing room!

i'll be the first to admit that I love the accountability, motivation and inspiration of RSC15. but I will say that I, for one, am glad that I don't have as much PINK scraps as I did BLUE scraps.
 
 sheesh!


I got more strip sets done for my zig zag quilt- hot pinks, and bubblegum pinks. with the pink, blue and aqua strip sets done (I pulled aqua when I did the blue) I'm starting to get a pretty impressive pile of 4½" squares for those quilts.


I did 12 more crumb blocks.


and 9 more 9 patches. this should be a  fun quilt when it's done!


I also finished my saw tooth stars. I used my crumb blocks for the centers, and I'm loving how crisp these turn out. I used different fabric for the points of each star. the upper right star points are some fabric that I had used to make my grandparents a Trip Around The World. (waaaaaaaaaaay back in the mid 90's!)


and lastly, the pink 4 patches.

I've been doing lots of other sewing in the sewing room this week- several charity quilts, a scrappy quilt using over 100 2½" different strips, and some other miscellaneous sewing projects. with my little heater and Netflix, I'm a happy quilter!

don't forget to click on over and see the rest of the pinky goodness!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

finally! on to a new color *she says with relief...*

I  know that blue is a popular color, but really- I  had no idea I had.so.much.blue! we just did blue in November for pete's sake! where did it all come from?

since my blues are all stored together, I did all the shades of blue, as you can see below. navy, slate, teal, and sky blue.

it literally took me all month to get "done" although I still have to do 2 sawtooth stars (with 2 navy blue crumb blocks) and the 2 (?) connecting blocks. I'll get them done soon.

one of the things that I'm doing to work through all (most) (a lot?) of my fabrics is to sort through each basket as Angela calls the color of the month. anything smaller than ½ yard goes to be cut up- into 3" blocks, or 2½" strips. smaller pieces go into the crumb jars. if I really don't like the fabric, I'm putting it in my donate pile.

I've also gone through all my leftover fabric and stashed pieces from previous quilts (some made as many as 20 years ago. yikes!) I've cycled all those leftover bits back into the "let's use it up, or get rid of it" pile.



I had planned on making an Xstrippy quilt, but after making a test block, I decided that I was not what I wanted after all. so I'm going for this look instead. the rectangles are 9½" X 4½", and the squares are 4½".




here are my strips for the Zig Zag Quilt I plan on making- both the horizontal AND vertical one. thankfully I printed out the pattern when it first caught my eye- seems it's no longer available for free! I'll piece 7 strip sets in each color, using scrappy whites. (these are 2½" strips.)




I have my pink squares all cut out- I got some from my suitcase, and went through my pink basket, and pulled leftover pinks from other projects. thankfully there was not too much! I like pink, but I guess I don't sew with too much of that particular color!


and lastly: here's a pile of 100 different 2½" strips that I pulled from my strip bins. ( I didn't count them yet, but I'll add to them until there are 100 different fabrics.) ages ago I printed out this pattern.  With scrappy tans as the sashing and inner border, I'm excited at how it will turn out!

SO: that's enough to keep me busy for a while- at least until it's time to start the tomatoes!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

the blue- it was so many!

another year of RSC has started, and I'm looking forward to using EVEN MORE of my scraps. I'm happy that January was blue- I have.so.much.blue!!!
 
I've been inspired by Julie over at Me and My Quilts. she's so organized, and has several projects going at one time. so this year I'm taking a page out of her book, and doing the same. hopefully I can use some more of my fabric- there is so much still to be used! and so many possibilities- how many quilts are in my fabric baskets, just waiting to be thought of and used?
 
I've made myself a check-off list for each month. one of the first things that I'll do is go through each color of fabric drawer that is that month's color. I'll sort the fabric to donate, keep (larger pieces) and cut into my scrap "system" (3" squares, 2½" strips and crumbs)
 
I'm glad that January is also a longer month (and slow for us, too, as it's still too early AND cold to start in the high tunnel, greenhouse or gardens!) seems like there was SO MUCH BLUE! in my drawer. it's taken me this long this month to even get a dent into those squares!


I'm continuing with the Split 4 patches. this year I'll only do 6-12 of each color. I picked out my most favorite blues, or the scraps with the most meaning. I still have the black, grey, brown and orange S4P from last year. I'll wait until inspiration hits me to decide on a final layout.

 
I'm also planning on making a Good Night Irene quilt this year. (or at least getting a good start on one!) I've seen them called by a different name. anybody know the other names for this quilt?
 
I think with some Kona white (again!) and laying out the quilt before sewing it together, I should be able to make all the colors travel and blend quite nicely.
 

these 9 patches are inspired by a quilt that I found here. last year when I made my 9 patch blocks, I sorted them fairly particularly according to color, and I was very happy how that turned out. this year I'll continue to do that. last year I made 16 patch blocks, and 9 patches with a Kona white center. I don't have that many of each color this year (see- I did make SOME progress!) so I've chosen to do these scrappy 9 patches. there are 5 of the COM, 3 Kona white squares, and a scrappy black square.
 
hopefully this week I can get to my crumbs and strips! I'll be making Angela's RSC Sampler, so I need to get "caught up" on that before I fall behind! I'm planning on making a scrappy zig zag quilt (or two) with my 2½" strips, (can't find the pattern right now...) And also an X/strippy quilt.  last year even though I made HUNDREDS of crumb blocks, I didn't use the smaller strips so much, so hopefully the X quilt can make use of all.those.strips!
 
holy smokes!!! 6 quilts in the making for RSC15! I better get off the computer and start sewing!

find all the rest of the blue inspiration here!
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