28 June 2021

2021 Tuesday To-Do #23

When we left our super-sewist last week, 
her last words were something along the
lines of, "Kill it." 

A bit dramatic?  I'm not sure I killed it but I think
I got a good amount done.  Hubs and the cadet
went up to Omaha to see the other son and
to take in some College World Series games so
for the better part of three days, I had my own
little sewing retreat.    

I pulled out my little tv and listen-watched John Adams
 while I got my entire Positivity Quilt #1 top put together
and cut out my second.  I admit to dreams of finishing
 the second top but sheesh, where did the time go?

The To-Do's that Got Done:

West Point Quilt(s):  Choose design and pull fabrics
A little done here.  I've found a few designs to consider
including a third plus quilt if it works with the fabrics.
That is kind of the rub with this one:  trying to work
in the West Point prints.  But not sure I'd want to do
three of the same right in a row.  

Positivity QAL
Start piecing; work on post for link-up
Maybe hit fabric store for Poz #2

On Poz #1:  Entire top completed!

Block link up post here.  I've also posted
a couple construction tips here and here.
I have my backing cut but not sewn together.
I keep saying these are prettier in real life but
it's cloudy and rainy so I can't get a good pic.

Poz #2:  All cut out and piecing started.
I'm making due with what I have (no shopping).

I want to get more blocks done before I reveal my
little "extra" on this quilt.  Nothing super-intriguing
but I am liking how pretty it's looking.  As with the
other,  I can't wait to get this into proper lighting!

Gardening:  Buy ladybugs.
Not done (maybe today?).
I've already lost one of my spaghetti squash
plants to vine borers; a zucchini is on its way out.
The irony here is that I think these dumb wasps
are actually eating the squash bug eggs & babies?
Just a thought--I haven't seen any since last week. 

Now for some Fabric Tracking:

To translate and summarize my blurry screen-shot:
Over the last few weeks, I've purchased 13.5 yds
but  I've used up 13.9 yds so I'm hanging in there,
still in the negative.  Killin' it?  Not exactly but,
hey--rock on.

Above, the latest purchases and yard amounts.
Already put the blacks to use in Poz quilt #2. 

Looking ahead:
I have a "July Goals" post coming but basically, it's
the usual Fourth of July celebrating but with an
extra guest--always a good excuse to do what needs
to be done anyway, and that is clean this house.
I've been avoiding it way too long.
I still hope to make a dent in all of these as well: 

West Point Quilt
Finalize & pick fabric

Positivity Quilt #1:
Choose panto, load up on frame; figure out a name.

Positivity Quilt #2
Finish blocks and begin piecing.

Lots of garden work on the to-do's this week.
Outside of weeding the pathways, it's mostly fun
but trying to get to it will be tricky since we've been
getting lots of rain.  (No complaints there!)

Happy Fourth of July and happy quilting!

27 June 2021

Positivity QAL Block Link-Up

Hello positively propitious quilters!
(I had to.) 
Today I'm linking up to Sew Preeti Quilts
share my block progress for the Positivity QAL.
If you are a visitor from the link, welcome!
Thanks for stopping by!

I'm just going to say up front that when the
"plus" quilt look first came out, I wasn't big on it.
I do enjoy watching the styles but I'm a traditional
kinda girl and I prefer to keep my home and other
surroundings in more of the classic-timeless decor.
Side note:  I don't really like like decorating.
 It takes up way too much time--for me, better
spent in the sewing room.  All that shopping,
trying things out, returning what doesn't work,
never mind that it always seems like pointless
clutter.   In my perfect world, my decor would be
only from gifts, travels or inherited things so that
it would all have stories and meaning behind it.

But anyhoo, even though I'm generally a Kim Diehl
fabric kind of quilter, I don't mind playing around
with various styles and fabrics because it's kind
of fun to expand my quilter's brain. 
There is something about the plus block that is
clean and crisp, and playing with the negative
space a little would bring some variation.  And
let's face it, there's always something about a QAL.

So, I jumped in on this one, but I wanted to see
what mix of modern and traditional I could get
away with.  I wasn't sure about my scrappy
background--and I'm still not but I don't seem
to care because I like it anyway.  Same goes
for the entire mix of fabrics.  I usually don't like to
mix them but I insisted on sticking to my stash.
This quilt, like my stash, has mostly traditional
fabrics with a few modern ones thrown in. 

Again, I'm not too sure about that mix but,
and again, I kind of don't care because I like it.
Even though it bends the rules.
I would love some very honest opinions here.
In your mind, does it work?  Just okay?
Great?  Nope, not at all?
Don't worry--you won't hurt my feelings!

To date, I actually have this entire quilt top finished
but I'm waiting to post a full pic till Tuesday when we
check in with our to-do's--unless you caught it on
my Instagram.  

This may come late to the table for you but if you
have not gotten those blocks together yet, I have
a couple tips that I found help the construction go
very smoothly--something I'm all about.

those blocks up together easily.  And, even better,
when you've go to put your rows together, they all
can line up (sandwich) 
perfectly without any pinning. 
I don't like to pin!

What always amuses me about quilting is that
--at least for me--
there is nothing like making a block to generate
some fondness for the thing, even though in
all your years of quilting and, even more so, in
the years before (if there were any), you might
have even despised that block. 

I have early memories of hideous Dresdens
out of the 60's and 70's so I never thought I'd
make one but a few years ago I did one up in
know it?  I now absolutely love the things!  Have
you seen how Me & My Sister Designs put their own
little twist on it?  I snatched up the little template
and pattern so I'll be making that soon.
(I don't get kick-backs--just sharing links!)

I can't say I love the plus look but I like it well
enough and I've certainly had a lot of fun
with it so I'm making another one!

These are much brighter & cheerier than this
picture shows.  Next time I show these, I'll make
 sure to get better lighting on them--sigh.
This one will be even more traditional but, that's
just me putting....uh....well, putting me into it.
And isn't that what we're all about here?

I'm off to go check out how everyone else
put their me into their blocks.

Happy positivity quilting!

26 June 2021

Another Quick Positivity Construction Tip

 Popping in on a gloriously green summer Saturday
(glorious = we got lots of rain!)
to share a quick tip that might help those
 positivity blocks go together.  Most of you have
likely done something along these lines already
but, as I always say, if I can help one quilter....

It's all in the pressing.  This is a little hard to
explain and I think you'll get it better by just
looking at my picture but it's something like this:

On every rectangle section of the block,
I pressed my seams in; on every "square"
part of the block I pressed out.

Then, when putting all blocks together,
I just alternated my blocks.  

Yes, it would look lovely to have them all going
the same direction, but I find that achieving
perfect points/intersections is more important
and, as long as you've created a pattern of
"every other one," I think the look is still great.
Getting my rows together was a breeze without
having to pin--I hate pinning my rows!

I'm super-caffeinated right now so
I hope this makes sense!

Happy Saturday sewing!

24 June 2021

June Goals Complete

I've been working on so many projects for
June that the month has just flown by!

Finishing up the last of these two placemat sets
and making a patriotic set were my official goals
so today I'm checking in with my completions.

I am NOT a panel person but this was one that I
could not pass up, especially just for placemats.  

I decided that with the blue and red in them, they
would easily fit the bill for all summer, including July!
No need for patriotic placemats at all!

So, I made a couple of patriotic runners instead.

And made a
tutorial here.

June's goal may have been simple but I'm upping
my game in July!  See ya back here in a few days
for those details!  

Happy quilting!

21 June 2021

2021 Tuesday To-Do #22

Our temps dropped way down and we received a
great rain--hallelujah!  It's already warming back
up but that reprieve felt great!  But, you know,
technically the days are getting shorter now and
that always makes me happy because it means
we're on the downward slope toward my favorite
times of the year, especially for quilting.

Tuesday has rolled around again so it's link-up
I've got my coffee so let's do this.

How things sit after last week:

West Point Quilt(s):  Choose design and pull fabrics
No time for this one yet.

Positivity QAL #1:   Finish blocks; arrange on wall

Success!  All blocks completed and this
should be my final layout.

Positivity QAL #2:  finalize fabrics, start cutting.

Need a few more black fabrics; just getting started
on cutting.  I have a twist that I want to try out on
this second quilt but I'm saving that for when (if?)
it works into the quilt well.

HST Runner:  Finish (bind)


As a reminder, the HSTs used were the scrap
trimmings from this quilt (currently on our bed).

We'll enjoy this topper for a few weeks yet
 before I switch everything out to "summer". 

Placemats:  Finish (bind)
Didn't get to them.

Patriotic runner:  
For entry table

Done.  And then another one!

posted a quick tutorial yesterday--mostly to get
my measurements down- if you are interested.
(Also under the new tab)  I hope to add in
another runner with a different theme very soon.

Gardening:   Prep for fall crops--yes, already!
DoneAs ready as I can be.

I'm dealing with asparagus beetles, squash bugs
and vine borer wasps.  (It's a glamourous life I lead!)
I've been gloved up and tapping beetles off into a
bucket of soapy water.  I've killed 12+ of the nasty
squash vine invading wasps and I've been playing
the squash bugs' game of egg-hide-and-seek--quite
well, I might add!  After last year's successful addition
of ladybugs, we had them everywhere this spring!
And then, sadly, we lost a ton of them when our lawn
guy did the yearly treatment of bagworms on the
cedars.  I could've cried, but what good would that do?
I just need to go buy more ladybugs asap.  There is
no way around the bagworm issue so I guess I'll
buy ladybugs every year.   Weeds are one thing but
nothing wears me down like the great
War of the Pests that occurs every summer.

On to the week ahead:
 It goes without saying that my fingers are twitching
at the thought of fall crops and colors on the way.
This motivates me even more to finish all of my current
projects (and maybe those few lingering UFO's?)
I want to be free to jump right into those next
month so they'll be done in a timely manner.

West Point Quilt(s):  Choose design and pull fabrics

Positivity QAL:   Start piecing; work on post for link-up
Maybe hit fabric store for options to add to Pos #2?

Gardening:  Buy ladybugs.

I've set up a bit of a "quilt retreat" for myself this
week and the theme is:  Kill it!
The projects and the bugs.
I'll spare you the bug part--maybe--but watch
for a post or two later this week on my progress!

Happy quilting!

Quick Patriotic Table Runner Tutorial

 If you are like me, summer rolls around and
red, white and blue starts calling your name.
So fun and cheery, so patriotic and so SUMMER!

If you are also like me in that you've waited till now
you weren't inspired till now to start making
some R,W&B decor,  I've got a quick project that
you likely can make from scraps or your stash. 
Even better, it's a batting-buster project!

(this slightly-longer runner was gifted)

I'm not a big tutorial writer so please be patient
with me.  I'm assuming you are familiar with the
quilt-as-you-go method so what I'm really providing
are some general measurements and directions.
If you are not familiar with this method please

I didn't feel the star block needed to be completely
quilted in so, I pieced the first sections traditionally,
then moved over to the quilt-as-you-go method.  

I don't have amounts for fabric requirements
 but you don't need much--you can eye it.
You could go real scrappy and use a different
fabric for each piece.  Whatever works.
For a longer (or shorter) runner, add (subtract)
strips as desired.  

~ a scrap piece of batting approx 12" x 30" ~
~ backing fabric approx 12" x 30 ~
~ fabric scraps: red, ivory (or white) and blue ~
~ 2 gold strips at least 11" or more long ~

From the blue(s) cut
(1) 5x5 square
(4) 3 3/8 x 3 3/8 squares*

*cut these 4 squares diagonally to make 8 triangles

From the red(s) cut
(8) 2 x 11 strips

From the ivory(ies) cut
(6) 2 x 11 strips
(4) 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 squares
(1) 5 3/4 x5 3/4 square**

 **Cut this square diagonally to make 4 triangles

From the gold cut
(2) 1 1/4 x 11 strips

Starting out with a little traditional piecing
for some of the star construction:

 Right sides together, stitch one ivory triangle and
one blue triangle together as shown.

Press seam to the dark side and repeat
with other side as shown.

Press open and trim.  Repeat to make (4)
flying geese sections.  Set (2) sections aside. 

Sew a 2 3/4" ivory square to each side of the
remaining (2) flying geese sections.  Press seams
outward (toward the ivory).

From here on, it's the "quilt-as-you-go" method.
Note:  I did not trim the edges of my scrap batting
to make them straight because I felt I had enough
space to allow for error
(or maybe I just like livin' on the edge?) 
but it would certainly be helpful to do so.

Place your backing on your table, wrong side up.
Find the exact center of your batting by folding both
vertically and horizontally and finger press in each
direction to mark the center. 
Repeat this with the 5" blue square.  
Center batting on top of backing.  With right side up,
line up the center of the blue square to the center
 of your batting, being careful to make sure it's 
straight horizontally and vertically.

Place one flying geese section as pictured,
right sides together, on top of your square.
Pin in place.

Stitch and press open.

Attach remaining flying geese section
to the bottom in same manner.  Press open.

Attach the longer geese sections to each side
in the same manner, pressing out as you go.

Place a gold strip, right sides together, on each
side of the star and pin; stitch & press out.
The gold strip is optional but I like the little
pop of color and definition it gives to the star.

Here's where I'm at so far with my two runners.

Continue to add strips in the same manner,
pressing out well as you go to ensure your
 strips stay straight.  I suggest even checking
the distance from points on your star.  

If you're not a pinner, (I'm usually not),
this is one of those times that you
should listen to that naggy voice that says,
 "Hey, Cheree, I bet it would be helpful to pin this,"
but I hope your voice calls you by your own name
and not mine because that would be really weird.

So anyhoo, keep on adding strips until
you've reached the length you want.

Lining your ruler up along the edge of
the star block, trim off all excess.  

I don't know about you, but I feel tidier already!
Bind.  And you're done!

I've been showing both runners so you could see
the slight difference in look.  Mine is a little shorter
and has the white (ivory) strips on the outside;
The red binding still gives it that dark edge.

This runner is yours to do with as you wish
personally (no selling) but please send some
love back by linking here for props.
Let's give credit where it's due, eh?

Now, go have an espresso martini with a friend...
which is exactly what I did after making mine!

Happy quilting and see you tomorrow
for the Tuesday To-Do link up!
I really enjoy comments and usually respond to all. Please follow away, visit often and let me know your thoughts. This blog is only to keep a personal record of my creative side. I may occasionally accept products to review but I do not collect anything else for this blog, especially not cookies or email addresses.

Total Pageviews