Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Quilt Exchange Block

This month's Quilt Exchange ...

 
Here are all the blocks before mine was added.
I like to put them up on the wall to see if any fabrics have been used a lot,
 or if there are fabrics that need to be better represented so the quilt will be balanced.

This is my block - Dancing Shoofly.


I have tried to fussy cut the center square for all of them. The center block finishes at 1 inch so sometimes the fabric provided does not lend itself well for that.
For this one, I cut a stripe fabric on the bias to hopefully add some interest.

Here are the blocks with mine added in.

 

 Some of the fabrics have metallic highlights. 
These lovely colors remind me of fall.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday...

Spring break has started so I am hoping to get some things done. I always have a list - clean out/declutter the upstairs room (dumping grounds), clean out the garage, yard work, garden - but I never get all the things done. Oh, well. Maybe I would feel better if I kept a list of all the things I do get done.

But, I have been busy.

Last month's block exchange...
We are nearing the end of this. May is the last exchange, I believe.

All blocks, except mine
My block - Dancing Shoofly

A co-worker has a daughter graduating from high school this May. Grandmother pieced the top with T-shirts and I have been asked to quilt it. That is on the frame.


This top is mostly together. The fabrics are from a recent flannel exchange. 
The pattern says it will finish at 65 inches square. I want it to be a little longer so I have pieced 2 rows of 4 patches to go at the top and bottom. I decided to add 2 inch strips of the grayish background print to the top and bottom then add the 4 patch strips to the top and bottom. Then border the whole piece with 2 inch strips of background, then 6 inch borders of a dark blue print. 
I measured what was left of the background and discovered I did not have enough. 
More is ordered and this is put away for now.


My husband had a birthday in February. My parents sent him this lovely card. We have donkeys.
I decided this card was too pretty not to be on display. We found this frame that we thought was perfect for it.


I used to do counted cross-stitch, but gave it up when I started having trouble seeing up close. I had worn contact lenses since high school and had begun to wear reading glasses to see things better. That worked well for a while, but my eyes were changing. I decided to go back to glasses, thinking I would need bi-focals. Wrong, it was tri-focals I needed. Anyway, with prescription needs still continuing to change and not having just the right prescription doing close work was too frustrating so I gave up counted cross-stitch. I could/can still see ok to quilt and knit.
I have finally gotten a good prescription (I think/hope) so I ordered a kit to see what happens. The thing that really spurred me on to do this is that I am involved with our local county fair. We had a meeting a month ago to discuss any changes, decorating ideas, etc. that we thought needed to happen. If a category has not had any entries in a certain number of years it is at risk of being discontinued. There are not many entries in the counted cross-stitch categories. I think this is sad and really don't want to see them discontinue this category. I am trying to do my part by having an entry this year.


On the yucky side of life, I live in the country, on a farm. We are surrounded by fields and have livestock. It is inevitable that we will have a mouse problem at some point in the winter. I had not seen any evidence of mice this year and was thinking how lucky we were. Ha! I opened a drawer in my bathroom to find this...


Those crazy mice pulled out dental floss and wound it around throughout the drawer, chewed through moisturizer tubes and other things and generally made a big mess. I now have lidded containers in my drawers to keep my things mice free - I hope.

Right outside my kitchen window is a small honeysuckle tree. I keep it pruned because I don't want it to block my view of the driveway. Anyway, there has been a nest left over from last year. I was wondering if birds reuse nests. The other day I saw a very busy robin adding to it. I am hoping for eggs and baby birds soon, although I haven't seen any action around the nest the last few days. 


Now I need to get busy quilting, cleaning, and relaxing!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday...

The weather was nice today. Cooler than last week, but warmer than Sunday. The sun was shining and there was not much wind. Great day for outside recess! And, we ALL needed it!

I got this quilted over the weekend. Now on to binding.



Since last Monday was a holiday, it was a no-school day for me. How to celebrate? Fabric shopping with quilt buddies, of course!




I got the green paisley and an 11 half-yard bundle a few weeks ago on another fabric shopping trip with the same quilt buddies. I have a pattern in mind (actually the same one I am using the flannels for, Breezy Batiks). Some of the pieces are too light or not a color I want to use with this pattern so I wanted to add some more colors.



The fabrics on the right will go with the green paisley bundle. I added some more Civil War fabrics in colors needed for the 365 Challenge which I still haven't decided if I will make all the blocks for. And a baseball print FQ for a quilt I have in mind for a young nephew. Last, but not least, the Vintage Rose papers by Quiltworx. I love the Quiltworx patterns. I don't know when I will have time to make the few I have, but at least I have them. Every time I think I know what colors I want to use I see one made up in different colors that I like even better than the last.


Here is my progress on the Breezy Batiks pattern in flannels. Six more stars to make and even more 25 patch blocks. I am liking it so far.


My latest block for the Quilter's Exchange. We met this past Saturday. We are all anxious to be finished with this. We will do our final exchange in May.
These fabrics are peachy/beigey/grayish and purple grayish. Very soft look. My block is on the left.


All the blocks so far. The pictures are not wonderful. I need to work on learning the camera.


I had started with Pat Sloan's Solstice challenge.
Blocks 1 through 4.


I like Block 1 and may make a quilt with that block using my Civil War stash. Block 2 was OK. I am not crazy about Block 3. I do not like Block 4. Rail Fence type blocks are really not my favorites.


So I have put the finished blocks and the patterns together with a note to myself so I remember what I had in mind when I decided to stop working on this challenge. I have seen pictures of other people's blocks and I think they look nice, but I still do not care for some of the blocks, although I do like some that have been posted since so I might make them up and see how I feel about continuing. Since I have enough other projects to keep me busy I give myself permission to stop working on this project for now.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday

Go see Judy's blog to what other quilters are up to.

Here is what I have been up to:

I made this at the last quilt retreat.


It is for a friend. Her birthday and wedding anniversary are on Valentine's day, she is patriotic, loves hearts and the color red.

I fully intended to give it to her tomorrow. I had time. I got fabric for the back that I thought would work. It didn't. It seems too orange.

I ordered something else thinking I would have it in time. Every day I checked for delivery information. Nothing. And, then on Thursday I received an email saying it had shipped. It arrived on Friday. Still time, I thought.

Then my neighbor called. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer's and they needed to be away from home for several hours on Saturday, could I stay with her? They rarely get to go anywhere so, of course, I said yes.

I knew then that I would really, really have to work hard to get this quilt finished by Tuesday. I decided not to stress about it. So, I washed the backing. I will load it to quilt this weekend.

I know some people do not wash before cutting. I almost always do. 
Here is why.



See those Color Catchers? The top one is the (new) red backing for the heart quilt. The bottom one is the blue backing for the T-shirt quilt I recently finished.

I keep reading articles and hearing from my quilt friends that fabric dyes are 
more stable these days, but I still think I will wash first.

My quilt group also exchanged flannel fat quarters at the retreat. Every one participating was to contribute 2 different FQs for each person. I chose a mottled cream and a green print.


Then I added a few more to my stash.


I chose this pattern - Breezy Batiks from Moda Cutting Table Free Patterns.


Strip sets for the scrappy chains.
Aren't those flannels lovely?


Some stars and a chain block. 


The following pictures are NOT my workplace, or even people that I know. 



I see this happening all the time. It happens frequently to me at my workplace.


It happens to me when shopping.

Why do people feel the need to block aisles, hallways and doorways while they talk?

At the store I often just turn around and go down another aisle and come up from the other way.
At work, often I have to excuse myself to get through the door to the office. 
Then, have to do again to get back out. 

Thankfully, our school office has a door into the break room that has a door into 
the library that has a door into the hallway around the corner from the office. 
Sometimes it is just easier to go around rather than excuse myself through the group again.
It seems to me that if someone can't get through that these people would get a clue and move over a little so people can access halls and doors. I know people need to have a discussion sometimes, but do they really need to block the way for others? Or am I just being cranky?

 On a positive note, it was a beautiful day here. Sunny, little wind, mid 40s. 
The kindergarteners were happy to get outside for recess, and so was I!