Wednesday, September 1, 2021

September morn

 The month made me think of Neil Diamond's song  as I write this contemplating my title.

The first of September and the first day of schools in Wisconsin...It is the second year not to be  teaching. I have mixed feelings still. So much of who I am is about working with kids. And I made many connections to many many students over the years.  I still worry about a few of mine as they are finishing up their high school years. I am even in connection with some graduates and celebrate their recent acceptances to grad school or house purchases, etc. 

I always wanted to be a teacher and I cared so much for the students to be the best they could be.  Not everyone is cut out for college or even needs it to be successful. And some students really struggle in finding themselves amid family issues and mental health issues and trying to fit in. But I wanted them to learn about deadlines and accomplishments and following directions.  I don't think education is all about content so much. I mean who really uses algebra 2 in life!  I think it is more about skills applicable to life: working with all kinds of people whether peers or teachers/bosses, acquiescing to environments for the benefit of all, and so much more. And it is learning to use resources: books, online and PEOPLE!

I will tutor this year.  But I am not at all ready to enter schools amid Covid. I would love to assist classrooms or substitute, but I worry so about the spread of the virus. It is a hot bed of frustration for oh, so many. 

Here's to a good year for all!  

On a quilting note, I have made a second color combination of the Lucy pattern by GE designs. The pattern is striking in its design and has so many potential layouts and colorways to make. I made this for our committee to make the raffle quilt for the quilt show as a sample. The members are truly inspiring quilters to me. 

The colors are teal/aqua and a gray swirl which looks more tan in the picture next to my carpet. 


Although I am no professional quilter or prize winner, I consider myself to be a good quilter with over 35 years of experience.  This pattern tripped my switches.  The bias edges did not seem a problem when sewing them, but were a problem when trimming them. 
These are the cut offs and some of those strips are indeed a half inch. 


Here are a couple blocks before trimming.  Love the effect of the cut and recut blocks. Concept awesome. Bias edges lots of long ones. 
 But even with trimming  and pressing I did not like the final product


It looks so pretty when laid out. 



It looks better on camera.  I just don't like how the corners and lines did not match. 


Oh, well.   It is done.  I think I will finish it into a baby quilt.  ( My original intention anyway. )



Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Stitchery

 

The Stitchery is a quilt store in Wisconsin.   It is about an hour away from my home. 
And I have always enjoyed their kits which I have purchased at many quilt shows over the years. 
I recently became reacquainted with it through facebook:   the link if you want to see it: The Stitchery
You can see a tour of the shop.  

It is one of the featured quilts in my favorite quilt magazine, Quilt Sampler which comes out twice a year in spring about May and in fall and just came out this weekend. 
I have at least 18 years of issues.   I just love them and get so much inspiration from the displays, the colors, patterns shown, and displays. This is the new issue. 




The point of this is that I attended their celebration on Friday morning where they had cupcakes and cookies and so many wonderful things set up.  They were so excited to be featured and selected for the magazine. And I took a friend with me and made a rather large purchase. I even got the signature of her dad ( 90 years old) who makes many of the rag quilts and bulls eye quilts for the store. It was a great excursion.  Here is the page in the magazine with the "esteemed" signature. 

On to my latest sewing escapades. 
I am making sample blocks of a pattern by GE Designs for my quilt show committee. The pattern is Lucy.

It is made from 10 inch blocks, although you can do yardage. 
The pattern is 2 squares, cut and sewn and sliced again and then resewn.
I even purchased her Stipology Squared ruler, but mostly to use for cutting lots of strip piecing.



Here are 2 slightly different layouts of the 8 blocks I have. 

      

I am also attempting another color variation and I have changed the measurements to make smaller blocks.   It is mid process at the moment. 

The last thing I have to show is some counted cross. I have wanted to do the pattern all summer and am finally getting to it.   It is a sunflower that will have small branches curling around it with a border. 


I am thinking of my son and his family in Louisiana.   Hurricane Ida is not directly in his path, but it will be another struggle for the state after last year's Hurricane which put them out of power and work and school for a week. 

Positive thoughts for all those effected by the storm.
 











Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Springbrook!

 I thought I would do a post on my twin quilt finish.  This is Springbrook named after the fabric line. 

I love how the name reflects the water and spring flowers and the freshness of the colors. 


A show of the back with the front.  It is actually a white on white backing fabric. 


The quilt design is a daisy flowery swirl done on a longarmer. 


I just love how it turned out.


A photo done in the backyard, held by my fabulous husband.


I did  make a label for the graduate whom I know so well. 
You can even see the striped  lines of the fabric in the binding. 
Sorry, it is turned wrong. 


And for those who asked this is what my finger looks like two weeks after the rotary cutting accident. 
So much better and full usage!


Monday, August 23, 2021

Something new!

 No, not a new purchase.   ( I have visited a few quilt shops this summer though.)  I have the beginning of a new project to show. 

I have been sewing away at it for a couple of weeks.  ( This was the project that I was cutting/trimming on when I sliced my fingernail. No fabrics were injured or dripped with blood while the injury happened.)

The pattern is called Bitcoin by Bonnie Hunter.  Bitcoin pattern



 Kathy of Kathy's quilts in Canada who showed the  beginnings of her RSC project where she was using the July color of purple for a few rows.  I checked it out and fell in love with it for all my scrappiness accumulating.  Kathy has also added more for August and I think it will be a very colorful quilt. 

These are the start of my new addiction using strips I had hanging around.  I am not much of an organized scrap girl.  I feel I don't ever really know pattern or size I am looking for.  So I save my pieces in whatever size they are. 



After I got into a system of sewing groups together and going to the ironing and cutting board in stages, I produced quite a few. I enjoyed the randomness and would go scout out more colors to add. Of course, I needed to cut the strips and the fabric piles grew. 

But I pulled out a plastic shoebox and started stacking them as I kept going.  

Here are what they look like on end. 



This is how my arrangement looks at the present time to give you an idea of how the pattern goes.
Mind you, I am not a brights girl. These are more of my country pallet of colors.  I have thrown in some pinks and purples to add pizzazz and made sure to vary with lighter colors and darker ones.  I try to assemble strips for the contrast, not the color combinations. 


I have not decided how big to make it. The box above are more than what is laid out, so I have quite a few done. 


I did also finish up another set of my curved log cabins for RSC for August. 


The rest are some inspiration from our quilts at the Wisconsin State Fair. They hang all the large ones from the ceiling. Two of these are from my guild in a nice air conditioned building with the flowers are bakery are other needlework treasures and photos. 











Saturday, August 21, 2021

August

 Where has the time gone?      I started this post 2 weeks ago, but am only now finishing it. UGH!

Good news:  I got back two of my finished tops from my longarmers. So I have been working to add the binding.  Lots of steps and looooooonng sides as one is 90 inches square and the 2nd is a twin 90 inches long.  This is TIC TAC Go!  I love a wool batting and to have the pattern spread out so that it is puffy. 




The 2nd is my Springbrook twin quilt.  It is a Quilters Select batting, so much flatter. 



Bad news!  A  rotary cutting accident.   Seriously after 35 years of quilting!  

I immediately called for my husband and off we went to the doctor's office. 

Bleeding like a sun of a gun, I just wanted pain killers and someone to take care of it. 

No stitches, I just needed to stop the bleeding as I slit a good chunk of my finger nail and it  ripped off the top side of  my finger.   Several injections of pain killer worked. 



That was over a week ago.  Now I am delicately back to using it, including typing. 

Here are my aqua blocks for RSQ blocks.  Again, these are 5 1/4 inches squared. I have 4 more cut out to make the circle. 


Here are more pictures showing the quilting and attaching the striped binding to the twin quilt. The fabric already has the pattern on diagonal.  


A very pretty flowery design on the quilting. 



Sunday, August 1, 2021

Two finished tops

 I feel like I have accomplished a lot over the weekend.

I totally finished the graduation quilt top.  This photo does not show the beautiful borders on the sides.  

Totally brings all the colors together.  It feels so good to get this top DONE!  I will have to try outdoors for photos tomorrow. Not enough light.   This is hanging from our upstairs. 


And secondly, I was able to put the borders on this quilt. This has been sitting since May waiting for the additional borders. My original plan for to make it for my mother who was born in 1931. She is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's. I don't know if giving her a new quilt will confuse her.  At the time I made it, the local quilt show was celebrating 30 years with these fabrics for the theme. 


The 30s fabrics are so pretty. I used all kinds of colors not just the soft pastels but also included some bright orange, reds, and even a few browns. Each 6 inch block has 21 pieces and there are 50 of them.
Here is the post where I showed my graph paper layout: Original post: hearts abound 
I started this quilt in July of 2017.  I designed the block from a picture to the size I wanted. 
Then I played around with the setting. 
Yeah!  a UFO top completed!
The vertical borders are also very scrappy with varying widths of fabrics. I couldn't tell you how many pieces total.  But it is also DONE and ready to go to the long arm quilter as well.


Of all the parts of making a quilt, adding the borders is one I really, really dislike.  ( The other being piecing backs.) But with my new enlarged surface on my ironing board, it makes it so much easier. 
It also really helped to get larger areas pressed well.  What a treat to have something to improve my quilting and the tasks I really hate. 



Friday, July 30, 2021

July is passing us by

I have been a little remiss in blogging and for a while not quilting much. Little projects here and there and nothing to really show for it. 


I finished all the outline and basics of these small wool appliques for bowl filler pillows. Then I checked the pattern and I have some "fireworks" to finish the 2 bottom ones.  I think I will put them aside for next year. 


I made another "curved" log cabin out of dark blue scraps for Rainbow Scrap Quilts July color. 
These are out of 1and 1/2 inch strips of the color and 1 inch strips of the white. This block comprised of 4 smaller blocks is only 11ish inches. 



We had our first guild meeting back in our high school. But not many members showing up yet. And then last week we had a Quilter's rummage sale and boutique to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the canceled quilt shows for the past two years. Tables of books and magazines and fabric, oh my! Some came home to my house 😍! Funny how other people's fabric looks so much better than yours. Fortunately, my donations outweighed my additions. We made a few thousand dollars. Not bad for a couple of days work for some fabulous friends. 


Sewing like crazy this week. 

I have been working many hours on a lovely quilt for a graduate.  I love, love, love the fabric line of Springbrook by Corey Yoder. So soft and fresh.  These are the individual blocks of which there are 20, each in a different fabric in the line.



These are 16 put together. Last night after midnight I was putting on the last sashing strip and realized it was on the wrong side.  I took it out and went to bed.  Now to finish it up today before sending it out to the quilter.  I am so tired of fold over triangles in corners in the center of each block and the lattice corners and even the leaves: hundreds of them!   

But I love how it is turning out and am so happy to get it to this stage. It needs a good pressing, too. 


Enjoy the summer weather!  We are!