Friday, October 17, 2014

getting excited for another mystery!

it's that time of year again- time to gear up, rummage around in our stash, and get excited for Bonnie Hunter's newest mystery quilt! personally, I L.O.V.E. mystery quilts- it's a chance (and a challenge) to make a quilt that is different than what I normally do, and use some fabrics from my stash. usually, when I hop on for another mystery quilt, I add the additional challenge to myself to use only (mostly) fabrics from my stash.
last year's BH mystery, Celtic Solstice, I pieced ENTIRELY from my stash. not sure if I should be proud, or cringing in embarrassed shame...
Judy's mystery last year was Mystery Medallion- again, pieced mostly from stash. that completed quilt was gifted to my son Nathaniel, and his wife Priscilla as a wedding gift in May.
and finally, this year it's Tell It To The Stars. just a couple more months and borders on that one, and we're done!
the yellow I chose for Grand Illusion is "tape measure yellow". I thought that would be fun. (I'll have to confess that I did buy that yellow this week- but it was 50% off... so that's ok, right?) I've decided to use Kona black for my black. I may change my mind and end up going scrappy, but for now Kona is the plan.

 when I first saw the colors for Grand Illusion, I thought I wouldn't have the colors I needed. silly me! I the pinks and aqua- it's such a happy little pile!

the greens are only so-so, but they're fine, really... my stash seems a bit light on the grass green, but I'll just go with what I've got. the little pile of whites are 2" strips- mis-cuts or leftovers from Celtic Solstice- so i'll want to use them up first if at all possible. the rest of the whites i'll pull and use from my stash as they're needed.
42 days and counting...

plodding right along....

I worked on my black, brown and grey S4P most of the week, and lo. it nigh unto killed me! normally I don't enjoy working on small and twiddly things, and these S4P were approaching either small, twiddly, or worse: both! I started with 3" blocks, which isn't terribly small, I guess, but after almost 30 blocks, it sure felt like it! after piecing the 4 patch together, I make a cut 1" on the center seams. that's a ¾" finished 4 patch in the middle- small for me!

 but, I will say, that having them done is a good feeling! I started on my crumb blocks last night, and found some a lot more pieces of brown in the scrap jar, so I guess there are a few more brown S4P in my future this week!

(take a minute to check out my other posts this morning: my fabric pull for Bonnie's new mystery, Grand Illusion, and my soduku baby quilts. )

linking up with Angela at soscrappy.

why re-invent the wheel?

after receiving an invitation to a baby shower for early November, I figured I better get busy on the baby quilt I was planning to gift.

my stash of 3" squares is pretty impressive, so I knew I wanted to use those. (even with these 3 quilts, and RSC14, the suitcase is still overflowing!) as far as I know, this particular quilt is an original that I've designed. I'm know I was inspired with other quilts that I've seen, but I don't' remember seeing this particular design before.

the pink/yellow/purple quilt is for our church's sewing group. we like to give a quilt to each new baby that is dedicated. now we'll have 4 quilts in reserve for the mamma's to choose from - 2 for a boy and 2 for a girl.
the second quilt is for a dear friend's daughter- M is expecting her first baby in early December. the nursery is teal/grey/white. I threw in some yellow just for fun. I love how it turned out- but wish I had remembered to put the side pieces on the center square before adding the top and bottom borders. oh well.

the last quilt is for a dear friends daughter (same dear friend, different daughter.) H had her second baby girl in july (?). I did ask for some input on the colors- H wanted purple/sage colors. the fabric that I used for this quilt is hand dyed fabric from Vicki - I won it last month (I think it was last month!) while participating in Judy's Tell It To The Stars  mystery quilt. the background is Kona thistle. (the light purple didn't show up too well in this picture)
the quilts finish about 40" X 50" (I think!). what made centers particularly easy, I think, was that I used the solution to a Sudoku puzzle to lay out the centers! I chose 9 fabrics, 9 of each, and just followed the answer key to lay out the center patchwork. easy-peasy!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

RSC: brown and black (and busy!)

borrowing the blog title from Angela- it's been busy here, too! i thought this week would be a bit slower- but HA!

my baby turned 7 this week. SEVEN! and with my oldest daughter being 25, that can sure make a mamma feel old in a hurry! this week was busy with a dentist appointment, piano lessons, birthday preparations and celebrations, 64 quarts of applesauce (done with lots of help, though!), harvesting 40+ bushels of potatoes and closing down the gardens and fields, so there was not a lot of time (and energy!) for sewing.
but I did get these 7 blocks done. I'm ready to move on to the brown and black split 4 patches, and then the crumb blocks for brown, black and grey.
totally loving the RSC! and: is anyone else squealing with excitement about Bonnie Hunters's 2014 mystery, Grand Illusion? or is it just me? I can't wait to do my fabric pull for that quilt- the colors look so exciting and happy.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

scrappy saturday: october is brown, grey and black!

I was excited to see what color Angela would pick for October... wanting to look in my little suitcase to see what colors I could play with this month... (also, in the background you can see one of those little sewing caddies just like the one that Jo received as a gift. mine is from a dear friend that passed away a few years ago.)

it's brown, grey and black. sorting through all the squares, I realized that I have ALOT of brown... less black, and less grey. (even after pulling the 3 colors for this month, and the orange from last month, there are still many, many blocks in here. I guess I'll be busy for quite awhile!) 

after a busy, busy week, I was able to spend a few hours in the sewing room last night, and pulled out all the squares from the little suitcase. (the suitcase was my mother's, and had lived in the attic for ages and ages-years, really! last spring I pulled it out and thought that it would work really well for some cute storage in the sewing room.)

last week sometime, I was also able to work through the pile of fabrics that were waiting to be cut into 3" squares... the pile was so big, it took 2 nights to do it! in looking at these fabrics, I see some that have been around for 20 years or so! in the above block, the geometric print second from the right on the bottom row was from a quilt that I made my boys when they were 5. last week they turned 24 ~ it's great that this fabric is finally finding a home! 

these "tiny" split 4 patches are not my favorite block to make, but they do look cute when they're done! I have about 4 more to make, then i'll start on the black and brown. thanks for looking ~ hope to see you again next week!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tell It To The Stars: Judy's mystery quilt

I fell behind with the mystery quilt in august (those edge setting triangles looked very daunting!) but after visiting all the other quilters that HAD completed theirs, I was encouraged that they were not quite as hard as they looked. (I'll agree- they weren't!)
so now I'm all caught up, and even a little bit ahead for now!
sorry for the odd lighting in the picture- it's the afternoon sun shining through the leaded window in the front door.
and I'm still just as please at how it's turning out- can't remember the final size off hand, but hoping that there are some more beautiful borders to go on...
ANDANDAND: I was the lucky winner of Vicki's stash pack last month! I chose Thrive, and I'm looking forward to making it into a baby quilt for a dear friend and her newest little daughter. many enthusiastic thanks to Vicki and Judy for doing this mystery! I can only hope that we'll do another one in 2015!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

it's a case of better late than never...

September was supposed to be a slower month for us, but it was just as busy... I did sneak away to the sewing room a few times, and made some more orange crumb blocks.

after looking around the scrap jars, scrap suitcase and scrap strips, I realized that I'm not making too much of a dent in those orange scraps. so, taking a clue from Julie, I decided to add a couple more blocks to my monthly piecing journey. split 4 patch was an obvious choice with my 3" squares. I have a whole (vintage) suitcase full of 3" squares- in many colors. orange was a good (not overwhelming) color to start with.

and STILL I had many, many squares! so I made a 9 patch with a Kona White center. and still the squares... so then a 16 patch of different oranges. I'm happy with my little pile of orange blocks- and I'll just continue to plug away at the colors for the next couple months.

click on over to soscrappy to see what other orangey-ness others have been doing all month. can't wait to see what October will be!
or the next couple years... RSC15? I'm in!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

keeping busy... lots of stuff going on!

here are my January through July blocks for Judy and Vicki's mystery- Tell It To The Stars. loving how it's going so far- and the august blocks are some of the setting and corner pieces-and they use more YELLOW! Judy did tell us way back when that color #2 would be the predominant color. I'm excited to see how it's going to start going together.

JUST TO BE CLEAR: I should mention that ALL my blocks are done- they're just pinned on the design wall in pairs... there are 2 each of all 6 star blocks, and 6 of the chain blocks.
I tried to figure out how this quilt would go together- I even went so far as messing around in EQ5, but couldn't get it. (didn't try TOO hard, though! I don't want to ruin the surprise.) although- having said that, there seems to be a spoiler in the linkups... oh, well.
this quilt top was one that I "just had" to do- found the tutorial on youtube here. after seeing it, I got the brilliant idea to make mine in low volume fabrics. (you know, what we quilters used to call neutrals, or background fabrics, before quilting got all popular and modern!) I had originally planned on doing the grey squares at all the intersections, but after doing a bit of math, realized that that would mean cutting, sewing, pressing and trimming 296 grey triangles! I quickly "scrapped" that idea and opted for the more modern version of the grey squares just fading away- and I really like it!
this is a huge hodge-podge of different fabrics- mostly all from my stash- and some quite new (purchased for this quilt) and some as old as 25+ years! it's a good feeling to use up so many different fabrics. and also surprising at how well they look together- no one fabric seems to jump out at me.
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