20 March 2018

Modern Card Trick Quilt Top

My modern-fabric card trick quilt top is just waiting on its border.
I'm thinking a dark charcoal but I'll have to play around with
it along side various fabrics at the quilt shop to see what I prefer.

I don't use modern fabrics much but I really liked
this collection when I won it from the Fat Quarter Shop.

It proved a little more difficult for me to mix and match than I expected
but how do you think it turned out?  
I think it's refreshingly different from my other quilts and it's still
growing on me.   Unfortunately, it won't match any of my decor
so it's homeless for now.
But quilts have a way of finding their homes so no worries there.

The directions for this quilt can be found here.
However!  There seems to be an error in the cutting directions.
I do have a real knack for picking incorrect directions lately! 
Please check my comment that includes my math and reasoning before
cutting to see if you agree or you'll likely end up having to buy more fabric
like this girl.  I checked, double-checked and triple-checked my math.
I might even bet my stash on it.
The good news is, I have tons of strips left to make a multi-fabric binding.
(How's that for positive thinking?)

If I were to make this again, I think I would try using less
fabrics/colors--more like Jenny's version--or at least make
sure that every individual fabric coordinates with every other one
in your collection.

And so, as I've just finished this top and pulled two more quilts
off of the frame, that means I get to begin a new one.
I'll share that decision and have pics of the two
I just finished quilting in my next post.
The garden is greening up and there have been hot,
yummy things coming out of the oven.
(Yes, my sourdough is still alive!)
Spring is always so busy!

Happy spring, and happy quilting.

07 March 2018

A Royal Finish and the March Cozy Christmas Block

It is finished--my biggest quilt yet!
(Aaaand I just noticed I don't have it centered on the bed in the picture!)
I avoided sewing on the binding on for a couple weeks.
I just knew it was likely to put knots in my shoulders.
But leave it to me to make a mountain out of a mole hill!
It was not that rough--I'm only a little knotted up and now it's done!
(In quilt-language that means I can start another one!)
I put it on our bed for taking pictures because the lighting
is so much better than the guest room in the basement but...

now I don't really want to take it off.  Seeing how much color it adds
to our room and how well it goes with the dark wood of our furniture
is telling me that the fabrics I have picked out for my Farmer's Wife
quilt will go well--good to know!  Ah, the joy of a generously-sized
quilt that actually covers a bed well--even folded over the pillows.
I think I'll just enjoy it in our room for a few days before
I move it over to the guest bed. :o)

My second finish is much smaller.
Sherri at A Quilting Life has the March Block of the Month
posted so I jumped right in on that today, too.

I altered this a little from her block so I could put a cozy house
in the center.  Not happy with the first square I cut out, I adjusted
where I set the ruler and cut another.  WHY did I not toss the first
in the scrap bin?   When I held up my finished block to admire,
(Yes, I am ready for spring but this just gets me excited over a snowy, cozy Christmas!)
I found that I had I accidentally used the first, less-centered square.
Well, I'm not ripping that one out.
Maybe I should've had a second coffee today?

Jan, Feb & March Blocks of Cozy Christmas

These days I'm sewing like mad whenever I can fit it in.
Warm days are just right around the corner.  With the spring comes
gardening, track meets and a high school graduation and party
And in just weeks our daughter, her hubby and 4 mo-old son
will be moving back here from KC and into their first home.
Instead of being 3+ hours away, they'll now be about 15 minutes!

Hoping for one more big sewing day in tomorrow!

06 March 2018

March Blows In

Happy Lent!

And happy March.
Last week was beautiful.
Had I taken the time earlier in that week to put my plastic
over the garden I'd intended for early crops, I could've easily
warmed the soil up enough to set seeds in action....but I didn't.
Still, this past weekend I did get 300 onions and all the salad crops
(lettuces, radishes, green onions, carrots, etc) planted.  The plastic is now
holding in what heat there is but I think it'll be a while before the soil
is warm enough to do it's magic. 
It has turned fairly cold and the 40+ mph winds are starting to wear on us.
The windows creak and even our very solid, brick house trembles.
If you have allergies you probably should just stay inside.
These are the days I'm glad my hair is still long enough for a pony tail.

I began a new quilt with these Indah Batik Pops that I won about a year
ago from the Fat Quarter Shop.  As a collection they're beautiful.
Taken apart, they presented some challenges for me.  Firstly,
there are lots of solids, and I'm not solid girl.  At least I wasn't.
We'll get back to that in a minute.
Also, they're pretty contemporary--another thing this girl is not,
but I can appreciate the style on occasion, especially in fabrics.
And lastly, being limited to just these 42 strips, I was going to
have to stretch the boundaries a little in my color combinations.

It wasn't long before I was admitting that playing around with the different
shades of solids was actually kind of fun.  I decided to let go of my
personal tastes and just starting making sets of 4 with no repeats.
It's amazing how, by switching out one fabric for another that's just
a single shade lighter or darker can change an entire look of a
combination.  Of course, with my limited strips, not all combinations
would be the greatest.   I had 42 different blocks to make.
(In retrospect, I'm not sure why I was hung up on not repeating.  Multiples could've
saved the day, so to speak.  Of course, we're not sure the day needs saving just yet.)

Missouri Star Card Trick Quilt

So, while my eyes are finally being opened to the fun and
simplicity of solids (gasp--yes, it has happened!),
I'm holding my breath.

I just have no idea how the quilt is going to look
but experience is telling me that they often work out just fine.
I have over half of my blocks made and I'm crossing my fingers.
Nervously looking forward to this finish!
(I'm also cold and jittery with all this blasted wind.)

I do have a small finish--four finishes actually.

I created these Lenten table centerpieces--candle mats--
for my three sisters (spoiler alert to them) and one for me.
The yellows are much softer and cheerier
than they look in the pictures, especially the one below.

I love how the cross looks like it's glowing.
I think that it'll work for Easter as well.

Each mat is 4 log-cabin blocks made from 1.5" strips.
They make great scrap busters--for fabric and batting.

I also successfully created my own sour dough starter.
This began with fermenting raisins and sugar in water.

After a week or so, this water is used to make the actual starter.
I figured a step like this was just the extra help I've been looking
for to ensure successful results down the road.

Sure enough, my starter was born and I named him Vesuvius...
because naming your starter is apparently a thing.
(I don't ask.  I just follow directions!)
He bubbles and he floats in water just as a successful starter should.
I spent an entire day working on my first sour dough bread
(I chose a tricky recipe I might add) and by midnight,
things were looking good--it was raising between foldings.
But after the prescribed overnight hours in the fridge,
I came up with two blobs of flat dough.
So I brought them to room temp.  I put them in a slightly warm oven.
Nothing.  Yet.  They're still in there.
And I'm not holding my breath on this one.  I'm convinced that,
though he was blamed for that whole Pompeii disaster,
I don't think Vesuvius is at fault for this one. 
I'm not sure what else to do but to try another recipe.
Maybe on a warmer day--admittedly, I keep a cold house.

Happy quilting.
And if you live in Kansas, tie your quilts down.
With chains.
And duct tape.

21 February 2018

Winter Weather Means Quilting Day

My thoughts were just starting to move on to flowers,
sunshine and gardening.  I even bought my onion sets.
(But I avoided looking at seeds!)
Great Scott, I was actually going to cry "uncle" but quickly
came to my snow-loving senses this week. 
We had just enough ice here to call a snow day on Tuesday and
tonight's forecast is calling for more winter weather. 
I spent today catching up on household chores and making
12 mini-French bread loaves and about a billion or so meatballs--
some for meatball subs and the rest for the freezer.
(Some will come right back out this weekend to be served up with homemade pasta.)

I also finally finished quilting the last few rows on The Crown Jewels.
It's amazing (and yet not!) how many things got in the way of me finishing
this quilt--I kind of expected angelic singing as I pulled it off of the frame.

I know I should sew the binding on this first tomorrow but I know that
the winter weather and an open day are going to be too tempting.
(I probably just jinxed myself by writing "open day"!)
It might just be the last of it till late next fall and so
shouldn't one take full advantage of it?
What a great day for starting a new quilt!
The sleet has already started and the streets are getting icy.

Happy quilting!

And by the way, a couple posts back I forgot to include the
actual finished Thankful Quilt (quilting and binding complete).
I've since updated it but here it is.

18 February 2018

First BOM Started

I finally started on my first BOM of the year.
last year. Mostly, I loved the leisurely pace of a side-project
that was making a noticeable dent in my stash.
And then by Christmas?  A completed quilt all ready for gifting.
Why it took me so long to decide on fabrics for this year's BOM
I have no idea but I mulled over themes and colors for 2 months and
still nothing spoke to me.  I finally went to my stash a few days ago and
somehow immediately picked the exact fabrics I wanted to work with.
Sometimes your inspired...and sometimes your just not!

A "Cozy Christmas" it is!
Hopefully, with some fussy-cutting, I will be able to fit
a hot chocolate mug or a Christmas house into the
center, or main focus at least, of each block.
I'm also crossing my fingers I have enough of the
snowflake background fabric for all 12 blocks.
But, if not, I will just stop at 9.

It may have taken me forever to decide on fabric
but in no time at all I had the first two blocks completed.
I just love the warm colors!

So far, I've not a clue whose name this quilt will have on it
as it sits under the tree come December but, as always,
these things have a way of working themselves out.

Over In the Kitchen
The girls are still contributing nicely.  Every bit of these
beautiful eggs will go into the breakfast casseroles I'm
baking up tomorrow for a local shelter.  I've had chickens
for many years now and I just never tire of these colors.
It is still fun to collect eggs!

I'm also working on some interesting sour dough starter
that will hopefully generate some yummy breads but
I'm saving that for another post.
(Translation: waiting till it's proven successful!)

For now, it's back to the long-arm to finish up the last
few rows of my big queen-size quilt.
Unless I get distracted by another BOM.

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