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.

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