Friday, December 17, 2021

just plugging along quietly in the background...

i'm thrilled to have a flimsy finish to share today! I've been working on these wonky star blocks in the COM all RSC21, and finally finished the blocks last month. (was it really that long ago?!) 


Daisy {the miniature donkey} is *always glad* to see me head out to the pasture with a quilt. she knows that for just a little co-operation, and minimal lip quivering, she'll be rewarded with some special treats! 

we also have our big, galloping, goofy and friendly steer, Wellington Xaviar Basset. (Welly for short) but he's not nearly as cute and he's much more muddy (and other brown stuff, too...) so, he dones't usually get to be in on the photo shoots and treats.

it was quite the puzzle to get the blocks together and blending (colorwise) on the design wall. (some sneak peeks of that over on Instagram) the quilt (unfinished) is 68" X 87", and it took 3 evenings to carefully take it off the design wall and bring it to the sewing machine and sew it together, with lots of partial seams. thankfully, i got it right the first time, and no major seam ripping was involved. phew!

it took several iterations of block and color arranging to get the color flow to go the way i wanted... then, there was more digging in my 3" square stash, and finding other bigger pieces and colors in my stash to get enough blocks in the right colors to fill in the blanks. 

here is a "detail" shot of the 4 corners of the quilt- the pics should supersize if you click on them...

just in case you're interested in seeing some of the different fabrics!

i will admit, there are just a few duplicates in this quilt (not counting the wonky stars, of course) least 2 that i know of... 

 but other than that, i'd say it's a safe estimate to say that there are over 700 different, unique fabrics in this Rainbow wonky stars quilt. 

i plan on quilting this one myself (soon?) and entering it in our local County Fair in July. then, i have a special recipient in mind, so I'll keep that a secret for now. make sure to go see all the other colorful, rainbow finishes this week- it's a colorful time of year!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

it's not ALL Rainbows and Unicorn Poop...

it's the end of the year, and lots of RSC tops are getting sewn up into flimsies... but not everything i sew is a rainbow!

these tree blocks were given to me 5 years ago. when i began working with them, i realized why the original piecer set them aside. (in frustration!) they were all different sizes, varying by as much as ½". i closed my eyes, and trimmed them all to 7". after that, it was relatively painless (and quick!) to piece them into this donation top. {this quilt is about 72" X 86"}

when i purchased my Studio2 Accuquilt cutter, i also chose the churn dash die. (one of my favorite blocks!) i found these coordinating fabrics in the church sewing closet, and immediately this quilt jumped into my head. 

obviously, it's inspired by Alecia... she loves churn dashes, too, and does lots of QOV quilts. 

{as i'm doing these posts and pictures, i'm realizing that i really need to do better at closeups! the fabrics in my quilts are varied and many. it would be nice to see them...) 

anywho... 2 more quilts (above) to share. they're the Mod Sampler quilt, made from a long hoarded FQ set of Cotton & Steel. the pattern was free; i printed it out in 2010 or so, but it's no longer available. these 2 quilts went to a MCC sale a couple weeks ago. (Kansas or Washington, i think?) 

i LOVE the design and plan to maybe make another one (or two!) my family really liked them. HOWEVER: i will warn you- it's a PAIN IN THE BUTT to cut out! talk about twiddly and fiddly...

 and lastly: the beginnings of the Pear Placemats that i mentioned in my last post. (pattern from Farm Girl Vintage) granddaughter E will be 5 very soon, and she requested some pear placemats for her birthday. how is a Grammy to say no to that? 

so, in conclusion: that's what's been going on in my sewing room. thanks for stopping by! 

Rainbows, Everywhere!

it's October (almost November) in RSC Land: and what does that mean? time to get all those monthly RSC blocks into tops! all year i've enjoyed playing with my scraps and squares, and i've been making waffle blocks, (2 different versions) and also the shoo fly and donut blocks. 

last week inspiration and motivation hit like a ton of bricks, and all in a rush, i pieced 4 different RSC tops, using up nearly all of the blocks i pieced this year. (go, me!) 

This waffle block quilt is about 62" X 75". i used my stash of 3" squares in the COM, making about 2 blocks each month. the brown waffle stripe (strip) is the same in each block. i only had to make 2 more blocks to complete this layout. 

i'm definitely working through my pile of 3" squares. i'm even considering taking a break from piecing RSC blocks with the 3" squares next year (!!!) and focusing on crumbs and strings instead for RSC22...

(as i'm writing this post, i realize i should take a better picture of this quilt, so the details of the fabrics can be seen better... this quilt is at church now, but i'll try to post a closeup soon...) 

since i can never leave well enough alone, (and tend to be that annoying firstborn overachiever) i did TWO waffle block quilts. For the second one i used the COM as the waffle strips, and 25 LV (low volume) squares, again making 2 blocks per month/color. this quilt i also pieced an additional 2 blocks to complete the "rainbow" layout. 

AND: after the 10+ months of piecing, i had 188 of the donut and shoo-fly blocks. (Kona lighthouse is the grey i used, in case you were wondering...) i was a bit stumped on how to put the blocks together, undecided as to whether i wanted to do a GIANT quilt, or what my other options might be...

then: A FLASH OF LIGHTNING, and a CLAP OF INSPIRATION! i was working from my Farm Girl Vintage book, making pear placemats for my 5yo granddaughter Es birthday (more on that later) and i saw this sawtooth star quilt layout in the back of the book. i realized that if i "pretended" my donut blocks were the big stars (by combining 4 donuts) and treated my shoo-fly blocks as the smaller sawtooth stars, i could use this design as my layout! 

i quickly got a "volunteer" to help me lay out the blocks on the design wall, and i was (am!) thrilled with how it turned out! after the year of piecing these blocks, we had lots to choose from, and combined the like (monochromatic) colors to make the layout here. 

after sewing that top together, i realized that there were (of course) many blocks still left over. so we just reversed the design, so to speak, and substituted the shoo-fly blocks for the large star, and the donuts for the smaller star. ( i'll say, though, that i like the first layout better... the donuts combine better than the shoo-flys) 

so, the end of this RSC21 story is that we have 2 waffle quilt tops for local donation through our church sewing group, S2W. and my long arm friend, Karen, adopted the 2 donut and shoo-fly quilt tops for an upcoming MCC auction. 

 i'm looking forward to RSC22, and starting some new projects (!!!). (i'll confess, tho, i still have a few RSC 19 block piles to get into tops, and a growing stack of leftovers and RSC orphans that need a purpose...) 

it's fun to visit the  RSC Saturday link-ups every week and see what everyone else is working on- you just never know when a great idea might explode! 

Monday, October 11, 2021

quilty friends and cheerful company!

recently Katy and Deanna announced a QAL- and the timing, sizes of the components and the quilt itself just seemed to perfectly fit my schedule, stash and need! (i'm always enthusiastic about QALs; it's just been a while since I've actually participated in one... i always have high hopes... ) 

a couple years ago, i purchased an AccuQuilt Studio 2 cutter. pricey? you betcha! BUT: worth every penny. i've since added more dies to my repertoire- but my favorites are the squares (i have the 3" & 2½" sizes), the churn dash (12"), tumblers (6"), rectangles (3" X 6") and a few other random dies. 

i use the different dies alot- for {some} personal quilts, for MCC donation quilts (fundraising auctions), and for quilts and quilt kits to be sewn & tied into comforters for local donation and world wide through MCC. 

anyway! katy and deanna are 2 of my favorite bloggers. (really!) so i was happy to see that their QAL would work well for my schedule, my fabric and my dies! i decided to go with scrappy browns and reds, with a consistent neutral to keep things a bit calm for the eyes... 

i picked the backing and binding, too, and was all ready to go. 

one good thing about participating in the QAL, was that katy gave specific directions on how to sew the 4 patches together. i'm certain i would have sewn at least 2 of the columns the wrong way, and need to rip out A.L.O.T. 

 a couple beauty shots later, and my (60" X 80") top is ready to go to S2W (Scraps to Wraps) with me on Wednesday. we'll all work together to get it tied, and sent off somewhere in the world where it will be used and appreciated! 

so, in conclusion: make sure to click back on over to katy and deanna's blogs, and see all the other #twobyfourQAL quilts that have linked up. 

and remember when i said that i really enjoy QALs? well, here are some previous quilts (either a *free* pattern or a QAL) that i did with Deanna over the years...

Growing Up Odd (i'm just now realizing that i never got a good picture of this completed top...) 

thanks for stopping by! i'm glad you took the time out of your day to see this little quilty corner of my world. come back soon! 

Saturday, October 02, 2021

CATching up- with a bit of help from my friend...

CATching up: get it? (our) CAT: Millie? haha! one Saturday morning she seemed especially helpful needy in the sewing room. I enjoy my quiet mornings upstairs when I can sneak away... does anybody else listen to Ranger Bill? that's been a Saturday morning staple in our family for over 30 years. 

i have a few more waffle blocks that have joined the pile. i know October is light green, but I already did all my greens way back in March. (my brain just can't handle sorting out the colors by genre.) 

I guess that means that I'm technically done with my RSC piecing for the year? i can start getting some of these blocks into tops. 

we're starting to see LOTS of finishes at this time of year with our RSC friends, and it's exciting! and inspiring! 

i am especially enthused about my wonky star blocks! i have a recipient in mind already...

after piecing a few of these wonky stars, I decided to just make them whatever size worked best for the squares I had, so there are some rectangles in the bunch. 

i think it will help make the quilt more interesting to have the blocks nested together, rather than soldiers lined up in a row...

we just got back last night from our family vacation in West Virginia and Virginia. a fun time was had by all: 

we visited some cemeteries to see Dave's relatives, rode the Cass Scenic Railroad in W VA, toured the Green Bank Observatory, visited Luray Caverns and had some interesting times in the local garage getting our brakes and wheel bearing replaces. (those West Virginia hills? yikes!) 

and one last aqua wonky star block. I've been working on lots of stuff- some quilts for our church sewing group, Scraps to Wraps. (S2W for short...) we donate some quilts locally for fire victims, or as the needs arise. most of our S2W quilts go to MCC for donation around the world. (I've written about this before) 

we've been sending quilts to the MCC Relief Sales, too. it's always fun to see how much the quilts bring at auction. here's one that was a UFO from 2011, apparently. it was recently sold at the Kansas auction, and brought $900! not too bad for some leftover homespun squares! 

anyway- I plan on coming back soon! i do have some donut and shoo fly blocks to share, and I'll get some of my recent "finishes" posted too! meanwhile, go see what everyone else is working on- I'm sure we can all be inspired! 

Friday, August 13, 2021

August = Aqua

the people at my house keep asking (or thinking) if things will slow down after next week? i'll join them in thinking that i only can hope so!

a few random evenings, or treasured afternoon moments have produced a good start on my aqua blocks for August. (after i received my snail mail package of Kona lighthouse. emphasis on snail mail.) 

my shoofly and donut blocks were at a standstill until i had a fresh infusion of the grey background fabric. 

i'm sure i say this for every color, but i had WAY more aqua in my stash {of 3" squares} than i would have guessed... 

a few waffle blocks were constructed, too, and just have some more waffle blocks (with aqua yardage), the Full Stop question marks and the twinkle stars to go. 

our summer has been busy, that's accurate. but i can't really help but wonder why- we're not doing a CSA this year, and our garden is quite small. (by normal people standards). i have been making lots of pickles, that's true (70+ quarts and counting) 

and watching the 3 grandchildren several times a week is part of our normal routine. we're raising meat birds for our freezer this winter, and hubby got a steer, too. (Beef) Wellington is 6 weeks old; he's still fed milk replacer twice a day. Welly will be ready to butcher for steaks and burger in the winter of 2023. 

so, we just keep plugging away with All. The. Things. and life is good here on the little farm.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Repeating Rainbows!

sporadic, but colorful sewing happening in the sewing room these days! youngest daughter, BJ (13) wanted to make a Rainbow Quilt for her bed. how's a mother to say no? (purely a rhetorical question, of course! she doesn't...) 

using my AccuQuilt Studio2 cutter, we sorted through my stash of {white based} LV fabrics, and a nice gradation of rainbow colors, and cut out enough rectangles to make her a quilt about 80" X 90". 

BJ wants all the colors to be visible across the bed, so she designed/sewed it with the red rectangles at the top (pillow) end of the bed, going down through to the purples at the bottom. as you can see, the quilt is not all sewn together; it's still on my design wall. i'm loving this quilt, too. it's one of the best rainbow quilts i've seen... 

AND: i even have a finish to show! RSC19 was the year of the 9 patches for me: L/D centers, as well as eclectic AND bohemian color combos. i was hoping to mimic the soft and muted look of Jolene's quilt from Blue Elephant Stitches .

obviously, i didn't quite achieve that, but it's ok! this quilt was completed in time for our *big 4th of July bash*, and it's not really a quilt, per se, it's a tablecloth.  it's shown here on our schoolroom table, which is also the Big Crowds and Family Is Here So We Need More Places To Sit table. 

do you recognize the jelly cupboard in the corner? it's from our New Albany rental house. after a bit of scrubbing and wiping, i decided to bring it to our home and use it for extra schoolroom storage. although, i will say, after bringing it into a *relatively finished and clean* house, i can more clearly understand why it was relegated to the cellar in the first place. it's easy to see more potential in a cellar environment than may actually exist... 

there is no batting in this quilt- it's just the top and a backing. (just like our summer bed quilt.) i love how it turned out- i set the blocks on point, used a brown for the side setting triangles and the binding. ( i read somewhere that brown has all the colors in it; it's great to use it for binding a multi-colored quilt. i follow that advice often.) 

 there was a method to my madness in the laying out and design of this quilt, although it's hard to see in the quilt itself. the colored drawing above makes it much more obvious. i was going for the cascading, converging and melding of the lights/darks/rainbow colors. if you squint hard and run by quickly (or fill the table with lots of food) i guess you can see it?

anyway, if anyone asks, or wants to know, the name of this Family Tablecloth quilt is Converging Memories. there are fabrics from a lot of the sewing that I've done for the last 30+ years. as i was photographing the quilt this afternoon, i spotted a yellow calico from 1988 that was the kitchen curtains in our first home!

also: i should have refreshed my memory by reading my posts from when i first started these 9 patch blocks for RSC19. that was the year that i made the L/D 9 patches, as well as the eclectic AND bohemian 9  patches. i had blogged that i intended to make 2 tablecloth quilts: one for WITH the leaves and one for WITHOUT


well, this one will fit really well with just 1 leaf. (it fits fine with 2 and no leaves as well, but i wish i had remembered that... ) 

be sure to go see what everyone else is working on- there are lots of creative quilters to meet, and colorful quilts to see every Saturday morning over at Angela's blog


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