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! 


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