Friday, October 2, 2015

Things in Motion

I went a little crazy at this week.  I was thinking about making a quilt I'd bucket-listed a couple years ago.  There are only three colors in the quilt: green, red, and a neutral background.  So I went online fabric shopping, looking for something that grabbed my fancy, and came upon "Essentials Cosmos."  Hello, gorgeous.

Now, when you only need three fabrics in a quilt, you need quite a bit of each one, as you might imagine.  I've been sewing scrappy for so long, I'd almost forgotten how much yardage actually goes into a quilt.  But I went ahead and ordered what I needed, had a moment of excitement followed by what did I just do? but then recovered my equilibrium.  Until I got the emails.

Email #1:  "Your order has shipped!"  


Email #2 (90 minutes later):  " has issued you a refund of $8.42."  

Um, why?  No explanation.

Email #3 (three hours later):  " has issued you a refund of $16.84."  

Now I'm really confused.

So what, I wonder, will come in the box from  Will I get all of my order?  Sure hope so, but right now it's a mystery.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I made a sample of the block that will be in the new quilt, except the background I'd cut for the sample didn't seem quite right.  Enter Plan B:  I made a strata of neutral strips/strings and cut my template from that.  Much better! 
If this block looks a bit familiar, it may be because it's a variation of the Thoroughly Modern Lily block.  Sandi had drawn it up in EQ around the time we were finalizing the TML pattern, and it was love at first sight.  I'm excited to be able to start making this quilt soon—hopefully.

I decided my sample block needed to become a holiday wall hanging, so I made some corner triangles of "made fabric" to set it on point.  It was an afterthought to add the narrow stop border, but I really liked it with vs. without.  Of course, then I had to make all of my "made fabric" triangles a little bigger.  

It is now basted and ready to quilt, but I have things ahead of it in the quilting queue, so it'll have to wait a bit.

In other endeavors, I made a quilt backing for the 16-patch and X blocks (aka "Goodnight Irene") quilt from earlier this year.  Here is the back, draped over the ironing board (and other things).

I needed to make the backing it just a bit larger, so I inserted a strip using many of the remaining hand-dyed fabrics from Vicki at Field Trips in Fiber.  I'd used the brighter hand-dyed fabrics in the quilt top, but the fabric for the backing lent itself to the more muted tones.  Every bit as gorgeous, and very autumnal, too.

Now that top and backing can go on vacation to the long-arm quilter, along with the Scrappy Mountains Majesties quilt top.  Things are moving, and that feels good!

Thursday, September 24, 2015


My apologies for the paragraph of gobbledygook in yesterday's post, if you saw it in your feed reader or the post was emailed to you.  I know next to nil about HTML coding, but apparently my attempt to put an "arrow," in the form of typing a left-facing caret followed by a dash, totally screwed up the text that followed it. Who knew two little keystrokes could produce so much WTF?

I corrected it immediately on the blog, but that doesn't correct what went out in the feed.  And I don't know how to correct the feed.  I'm not even sure I know what a feed is.  Except this:

The horses say, "Hay!"
I am busy with work today, but hope to have a few minutes at some point to finish a backing for a flimsy from a few months ago.  Then I'll have two quilts ready to send off for long arm quilting.

After that, I need to "Feel the fear and quilt it anyway" (TM) for the two I have pin-basted.  Will start with the ditch quilting and hope that helps me over the hump.  Baby steps.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Final Countdown

That sounds ominous, doesn't it?  Well, let me put your fears to rest by telling you it's simply the title of the '80s song I'm hearing in my head right now.  You know, the one by the band Europe?  (Click the link to share the same ear worm.  It'll be fun!  And OMG, the big hair!  The makeup!  Tight leather pants!  And the pyrotechnics!  It's a wonder the stage didn't go up in flames from all that Aqua Net.)

Why The Final Countdown?  Because I'm about to show you the last two of the 17 kennel quilts I made with scrubs.  Seventeen!  Which is also the median age of female Europe fans circa 1986, and yes I just made that up. 

Small, medium, and larger kennel quilts.  Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear sizes.  But, you know,  for cats and dogs.

You know what else has a strong '80s vibe?  The colors in these quilts.  Think Miami Vice and My Little Pony.  Hot pink spandex pants.
So here are the final two quilts that I finished last week.  Working with what was left of the scrubs and pilfering from the scrap pile at the end of the cutting table.

These ended up about 28 inches square.  The backs:

And here is the final countdown, a quick review of all 17 kennel quilts made over the past year.  Cue the keyboards and pyrotechnics!  Feel free to head bang!



All I had left in the end was a plastic Walmart bag about one-third full of small scraps, and a few odd pieces of solid colored scrub pants legs. 

I tied up the bag of scraps and put it directly in the garbage (which went to the curb that very day, no possibility of retrieval).  The pants legs I cut down to workable size and put them under the kitchen sink to be used as rags for dusting, etc.

Rock on!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Two and a Half and Some Change

In the past couple weeks, I finished two more kennel quilts, Nos. 14 and 15, and have No. 16 in the flimsy stage.  
(Kennel Quilts No. 15 and 14)
(No. 14)
(Back of No. 14)
(No. 16 flimsy)
In between those things, I also managed to baste a UFO that has been sitting around for quite a while, the Tea Towel Challenge 2014 quilt.

I attended to this task mainly because I had to open a brand new, king-sized package of batting but only needed a smallish piece for No. 15 kennel quilt.  Figured I may as well cut the batting for two things at once for economy's sake, rather than just chop a chunk out.

I think the fall colors may have had something to do with wanting to work on it, too, though.  As I spread out the backing (above) on the floor and taped it down, I fell in love with it all over again.  It's been out of sight and mind for nine months.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as the saying goes.  Hopefully, it won't take me that long to quilt it, but you never know.

No. 16 kennel quilt has an interesting backing too (below).  I was using the scraps of a butterfly print scrubs fabric to make HSTs and then assembled those flying geese style.  I had an odd number, though and needed one more to make the last set.  That is where the pile of scraps/trimmings came in handy.  I poked around and found just enough to create some "made" fabric for the last triangle.

Can you tell which is the "made" piece?  It's the one on the lower right.

I've had some fun thrifting recently, too.  I had a 25% off deal at Goodwill to use during the month August.  It slipped my mind until the very last day of the month, when I ventured in to see what treasures may be waiting.

How 'bout some mid-century California pottery?  Why yes, that will do, thank you.

Call them wings, paisleys, or a yin-yang dish.  Or be functionally descriptive and call them chip-and-dip trays or a lazy susan.  It's all good. Really good!

I was captivated by the color of this creamer.  Another mid-century era piece in the Rhythm pattern by Homer Laughlin. 

The code stamped on the bottom indicates this creamer was made in 1956.

A couple sweet books came home with me that day as well.

Last week, a friend of mine called to say he had found me a "Rembrandt" at a yard sale.  

Of course, he and I know that means a vintage paint-by-number, and that's a-okay with me!

What's in those baskets, do you think?  Flowers?  Bunches of radishes?  Berries or beets?  Maybe some things are meant to be a mystery!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Baker's Dozen

I finished numbers 12 and 13 in the kennel quilt series this week, but before I get to that, you may be wondering when is it ever going to end? 

Rest assured the pile of scrubs is dwindling.  There are probably just a couple more that can be squeaked out of what's left, which isn't much, considering it started with all these one year ago. 

The little stack below is what remains.  Well, that and the pile of trimmings in the background at the far end of the cutting table. 

That's scrap purgatory back there, stuff a bit too substantial to put directly in the trash, and so it solemnly awaits judgment.  Will the bits and bobs end up in the bin, or might they find new life as crumb blocks?  It all depends how I'm feeling the day I decide to deal with them.  I'm fickle that way.

Kennel quilt number 12 got some loopy meander quilting, kind of like the flight pattern of the butterflies Bambi might be chasing right off the edge of the quilt.

Here's the back.

As for kennel quilt number 13, I'll start with the back first, because I love it so!

The black mod tree print was a fat quarter from a fellow quilt blogger's destashing a couple years ago.  

The teal above and below the black print was a Moda FQ that came to me via the thrift store.  There's a strip of hot pink scrub pants and then what was left of a vintage tropical print that I had used for the  backing on another kennel quilt.  The binding is pieced from binding scraps from the last few quilts.

The front started as 4-inch squares, then four-patches, then arranged once again in a streak of lightning kind of thing.  If it ain't broke...

I've been using no less than three machines on each of these quilts.  The Juki handles the quilting, the Brother (a/k/a Everett) is a stellar piecer with his 1/4-inch foot, and Ye Olde Golden Singer 603 does a good job with its walking foot in attaching bindings. 

Couldn't one machine just do it all?  Yeah, but where's the fun in that?  I kind of like having the right tool for the job all ready to go, although it makes for a bit of a crowd on the sewing table.

As the summer of making doggie quilts draws to a close, an infusion of new fabric brings with it fresh possibilities.  A birthday squishy from a friend included these beauties.  Ooh!  So sweet!

And Jo-Ann had a half-off sale on their Red Tag fabric recently, which seemed like a good opportunity to plump up the stash.

Linking to:  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.