Snowed In

When it looks like this outside, there’s no excuse for not getting some sewing done!  I’ve been chain piecing for hours and days working on my Postage Stamp Quilt.

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I’m not done piecing all those strips together yet, but I’ve already got enough squares to fill up my design wall.  When I slapped up the first 3 or 4 squares, I have to admit I was thinking “Eyesore!” but now that more of the squares are on the wall, it’s really grown on me.  Scrap quilts are greater than the sum of their parts.  I like all that color, but I think in future I’d also like to try a scrap quilt with a more limited color palette, too.  The only rule I had when cutting for this one was no black, brown, or gray (though there are little bits of it in some of the prints).

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Still haven’t figured out how big I want this one to be.  I’ll have to see how many squares I end up with when all the piecing is finished.  I have lots of ideas for any orphan blocks.  Table runners? Accent strips on bags?  The possibilities are many!

 

Linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday!

 

Scraptastic Tuesday

Postage Overdue

When I’m working on a project I throw all my useable scraps into one metal bin and tell myself that I’ll sort those into their scrap drawers as soon as I’m done.  It’s a lie.  The scraps actually pile up in the bin as one project turns into the next. From there they spill onto a chair, and then the floor, and then someone plans to visit, and only then do I start sorting frantically so the sewing room looks slightly organized and like less of a fire hazard.

On my latest dive into the scrap heap it became obvious that I could cram no more into those drawers (except yellow…must buy more yellow fabrics…) and something must be done.  Step #1 in Scrapdown 2016:  A postage stamp quilt.

I’m combining the postage stamp and checkerboard tutorials from one of my favorite blogs, Red Pepper Quilts, to make my postage stamp quilt.  Most of my scraps are shorter in length, so I’m using the 2″ x 7″ strip size and using white strips to break up all that color from my rainbow of scraps.

I spent the better part of Monday and half of Tuesday just cutting scraps:

 

And half of Tuesday and all of this morning chain piecing strips together:

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And I’m still not done. I keep having to go back and cut more white strips to pair up with all those scraps.  I think I had about 430 colored strips to start, so once these are all joined into blocks I may have enough for a HUGE quilt or a few small ones.  This project is all about using up the scraps, not the size of the end result.

I wish I could say that my scrap bins were empty now, but the best I can tell you is that most of the drawers now close without too much stuffing.   And I have a lovely pile of strip blocks waiting to be cut and pieced into postage stamp blocks.

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More updates on this project and more scrap projects soon!

 

 

When life gives you a month of lemons…

Remember March, when I cranked through THREE quilt finishes?  I was sure that was the start of something big.  I was becoming a finishing machine, right?  WRONG!

Apparently March needed to be epic because April was going to be a total fail!  What a rotten month.  It was full of stress and frustration and no time for sewing to make it bearable.  Let’s hope I don’t see another month like that for a long time!  I have a feeling with the move coming up and my sewing machines getting packed into a shipping crate to sail across the world, my whole summer might be craft-deprived.  I’d better sit down and plan some hand sewing and knitting to take with me.

I realized late last week that, not only was I missing out on the fun, but I was also letting down my Believe sewing circle from do. Good Stitches.  I’d completely forgotten to make my April blocks, so this weekend was time to catch up and get those in the mail, even if they are a little late.  Maybe the best way to get over an awful month is to try to do something that will brighten someone else’s life.

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Viola – the April blocks – Scottie dogs!  I have to admit that when I first saw the block that had been chosen for us to make I wasn’t all that excited.  “Picture” blocks aren’t really my thing.  They’re too primitive and traditional for my taste, but of course, this quilt isn’t for me.  That’s what I love about belonging to a charity quilt circle.  It forces me to stretch out of my comfort zone a bit, all while spreading some joy to someone else.  I might not make a scottie quilt for myself, but I can just imagine the joy it will give some little girl to snuggle up and name all the dogs or pick which bow she likes best.  I know I’m going to love seeing this finished quilt.

Since I had taken so long to make those April blocks, the May block assignment had also been posted, so I got to work on those, too.  These were more my thing: wonky improv-pieced fun.

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These are intended for a boy’s quilt, based on this design.  I just love this block.  I do think its a challenge to piece in the strips and then match up the background fabric.  I’m really not good at angled piecing.  There must be a trick, but I haven’t learned it yet.  I just started with a 15″ square so I had plenty of wiggle room to cut it down to the 12.5 finished block.  Looking at these pictures, my finished blocks look crazy and way out of square.  It kind of freaked me out and I just went back and checked.  Nope:  optical illusion, they’re really square.  Whew!

Well, these will go off in the mail tomorrow and I will feel a little less guilty!

One of our great quilters from the group, allisonsews,  just posted the finished pictures of our February quilt:
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Isn’t this gorgeous?  I love the way she laid it all out!  It’s such a thrill to see our little blocks come together into something amazing like this, and so much more interesting than what I could make on my own.  Normally, our Believe Circle quilts go to foster children, but this one is going to victims of the Oso, WA landslide disaster.  Maybe it will bring some beauty and comfort to someone who has lost nearly everything.

Camera Ready

Today was a Town Hall Meeting with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Dempsey and his wife.  Interesting, but it sounds more impressive than it was.  He was running late so we all sat in the auditorium for an hour + waiting.  They didn’t even let me bring in my purse so I couldn’t knit while waiting! 😦  I was getting a little twitchy from craft withdrawal.

I did manage to squeeze in one tiny sewing project this morning though:

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A prototype padded patchwork camera strap cover for the school bazaar.  I love the little pocket for the lens cap and they really do fix the way the regular camera strap digs into your neck.   Now that I’ve worked through how to make one, I think I’ll crank out a few more when I get the chance.