Tuesday, August 2, 2016

July Circles for Quilty 365

Where did the month of July go?  It seemed to fly by!  

I got a little behind on the Quilty 365 circles in July because I was working on a couple other things, namely, the Pulse quilt and the start of a new baby quilt.

I did get caught up on circles by the end of the month, though.  All's well that ends well!

The theme for July was black-with-bright fabrics.  Thanks to a scrap swap with fellow quilter friend Marei last year, as well as my own scraps and stash, I had it covered.  

I've always loved black fabrics with bright accents.  Way back in the day, when I was about 11 or 12 and shopping for an Easter dress, I saw the coolest matching skirt and blouse, black with little bright flowers on it and some kind of lace trim at the bodice.  I remember my dad didn't think wearing black on Easter was appropriate, but thankfully Mom sided with me and I got the outfit.  Unfortunately, I was growing so fast, I don't remember wearing it much after Easter, but it still remains one of my all-time favorites.

When I started sewing a lot of my own clothes in the 1970s, those wild, silky polyester prints were really in style.  I remember making a black with bright floral accents long-sleeved silky blouse.  It had a mandarin collar that tied together with a spaghetti string bow.  Hard to describe, but it was pretty cool.  While I didn't wear it for long myself—this time because my teenage sense of style changed on a whim—my mom borrowed it and wore it often to work, as a hostess and bartender at a supper club at the time.  I remember feeling pretty good about the fact that she liked something I made well enough to adopt it into her own wardrobe.  It wouldn't be the last time either.

Since I started the Quilty 365 project on January 1, I have 213 circles done.  August's color theme is yellow.  I'm pretty sure I don't have 31 different yellows in the stash, but we'll see how it goes. 

Linking to:  Quilty Folk

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Starts and Finishes

To begin with, the finish is my Quilt for Pulse.  It's done and ready to go to Orlando, as soon as I attach the label later today.
I really like how this quilt turned out with the made-fabric hearts, and hope it gives comfort to a family of the Pulse nightclub victims or a first responder, etc.  It was an honor to put my thoughts and energy into making it.
I used an almost pastel variegated quilting thread, which blended well.  Funny (and serendipitous) that I found it while rummaging through a different drawer than the thread drawers.  I was looking for a fresh rotary cutter blade, but found just the right thread instead.
 The back is pieced, and the binding is a diagonal stripe.
As far as the start, I am beginning a baby quilt that a friend commissioned for her new granddaughter born in May.  This is how the HST blocks look on the design wall at the moment.
I'm using the colors in the baby's room—lavender, navy, aqua, and gray—which I had a hard time imagining all together in a quilt, but it works! To get an idea before I started cutting fabric, I Googled "lavender navy aqua" and it seems like it's a thing.  As in there were a lot of images incorporating those colors for weddings, decor, etc.  So I was out of the loop, apparently—which shouldn't really be news, least of all to me!

Speaking of loops, we did a little bike loop this weekend which took us through some beautiful farmland.  Wisconsin has a lot of rolling hills, but this particular area where we biked is a pretty flat expanse. 
Along the way, we spotted a pair of sandhill cranes.  They blended in  with the landscape and we almost peddled right past, except that I noticed a little movement in my peripheral vision and turned to see what it was.  Can you find them?

Sandhill cranes have a unique rattling bugle call, but this pair was being "vewy, vewy quiet," as Elmer Fudd would say, and looked as though they were tiptoeing through the field. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Quilt for Pulse

It's a good thing I finished all last month's Quilty 365 circles by the middle of June (that post is HERE), because it was right about then that I read about the Quilts for Pulse drive headed up by the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild.

I decided to use the made-fabric I had been assembling from various monthly one-color scraps from the Quilty 365 circles, and use that in making rainbow heart blocks for a donation quilt for the victims' families and survivors of the Pulse nightclub tragedy.
The top is now done, and my trusty quilt holder-upper helped me get a few pictures of it today.  He has impressive technique and flair, no?  Just look at those fingers.
The light was shining through it in this spot on the deck, which made for a neat effect, but then we moved to the shade for a truer shot.
The backing is now sewn together as well, and I'm ready to baste and quilt it after the 4th of July.

* * * * *
In other news, we continue to enjoy the trails and this gorgeous summer weather.  
I have rediscovered a new "happy place," other than my sewing room:  On my bike.

Where's (one of) yours?

Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict-Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Solstice

Happy longest day of the year, Northern Hemisphere!  Also Happy June Full Strawberry Moon!  Which kind of sounds like a sketchy movie title, if you think about it: "Happy June's Full Strawberry Moon."  I think I'll pass on that film, thank you.

I have an unexpected free evening due to a glitch at work.  Of course, it's not really free because that means tomorrow I'll do double duty, but let's live in the moment.  In a little while, I'll take a nice walk as the sun goes down.  I feel like I should do something more than that, it being the solstice and all.  Like, oh, I don't know, twirl around in a stone circle with a couple of paper lanterns and a precious jewel tucked into my gauzy frock, all while singing the theme from Outlander

Sing me a song of a lass who is gone...say, could that lass be I?

Nope, still here.

It was Day 9 of the 21-Day Decluttering Challenge yesterday and the task was to "declutter your hobby."  And then I laughed and laughed!  But she added, "Or a hobby you no longer enjoy."  Okay, that's doable in a day.  I made a donation pile of vintage knitting, crochet, and cross stitch books because I no longer do those things, and drove said pile directly to Goodwill along with three other boxes of junk from Days 1-8 of the challenge. 

But before taking that drive, I happened to thumb through one of the books and saw this.  Moppets!

What in the ridiculous world?  

I think Moppets deserves a good caption.  "Moppets: For chills or spills!"

Eh, that's all I've got at the moment, but maybe you can think of one.  Leave it in the comments!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Summer Light

Even though I no longer have a school-age kid, I still think of June, July, and August as summer vacation.  Do you, too?  I love this time of year, right now, when the days are long and the possibilities seem to stretch as far as the sunset.  That sense of space and light and freedom.
It may or may not surprise you that I have no particular plans for the coming months, except to enjoy them day by day.  There are no big excursions in the works, though I'm sure a road trip will occur spontaneously now and then.
We have been doing some biking, exploring the trails by pedal power.  Also doing some recon on foot of other potential paths before we hitch up and haul the bikes.
We're out for the leisure of it, the warm breeze through our hair (or helmet), the sights and scents.  Not so much for the sweat and burn and saddle soreness.
After the first ride, my knees were griping, and we hadn't even done any real hills.  Since then, icing them down afterwards has become the thing to.  Not as much fun as tossing back a cold brew, but cold refreshment of another sort.  You do what you have to do.
In the sewing room, there's been some puttering.  I started this month's circles for the Quilty 365 project, and they started to come together as a beautiful garden of colors.  June's theme, as I imagined it back in January, was "Floral or Light Multi."  A change from the one color per month idea, and although I wasn't as confident as I may have been when the plan was hatched, I went with it anyway.  
Well, it turned out just fine.  I delved into the scrap bins in search of flowers and there they were, like seeds ready to bloom.
Although we're only halfway through June, I've got the whole 30 days together in a kind of neat bouquet.
My "scraps of scraps" sitting on the side of the cutting table are finding their way into made-fabric.  Not sure what may become of them, but have no doubt something will, eventually.
Other putzing has involved de-boning some thrifted men's shirts for future projects, and altering and hemming a few clothing items for summer.  Among them was a brand new pair of Cabela's women's capris with the tags still on them that I found at Goodwill.  They were unflattering on me as capris, so I shortened them into shorts.

I do have a project in mind for a quilt to donate to a local group that hosts a hunting event for veterans in October.  They have door prizes or gifts, and I'd like to provide something for that.  I'm thinking a Hunter's Star block quilt, but I'm just beginning to hunt for ideas, colors, etc.
We kicked off the summer by celebrating Dad's birthday on Memorial Day with 35 or so family and friends.  Here we are, the siblings and Dad.  Always a good time!
I am also doing the 21-Day Daily Decluttering Challenge hosted by Courtney Carver at Be More With Less.  It's Day 6 today, so if you're of a mind to jump in, feel free.  It's been very gradual steps these first few days, which is good, but already I've got a big box of miscellaneous things ready to donate, as well as a laundry basket full of sheets and towels from the linen closet.  I feel lighter already.

Hope your summer is off to a great start.  Do you have any special plans?

Monday, June 6, 2016

And the Winner Is...

It was so much fun to read your comments on the Crafted Applique blog hop and giveaway post!  The Crafted Applique method seems to have generated "New Possibilities" in the minds of many of you already!
Today is the day to pick the winner of the book so graciously provided by Lara Buccella for this giveaway.  I asked my husband, with his eyes closed, to draw one comment from the pile on the kitchen table (talk about low tech!).

And the winner is...BARBARA WOODS!
Congratulations, Barbara!  Your book will be sent to you directly by Lara, so look forward to that! 

Once again, thank you all so much for visiting and taking the time to comment.  There are a couple other giveaways still happening, including Lara's own for an adorably appliqued Zippy Seahorse Bag she created!  You can find all the details at BuzzinBumble.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

May Circles for Quilty 365

I got a little behind on my Quilty 365 circles during the month of May, but caught up at the tail end.  I had a couple other projects going on for the Crafted Applique blog hop (see yesterday's post—there's still time to enter the giveaway!).

The color theme I chose for the month was blue-green or green-blue, as in everything from aqua to turquoise to teal.  It's one of my favorite color ranges.  There's just something tranquil and restful but also light and joyful about it.  Gosh, it's more difficult to put into words than I thought!

Anyway, here is the group for the 31 days of May.  That brings my Quilty 365 circle total to 152.

I still don't really know how they're all going to go together in a quilt (or quilts), but that's all right for the time being.  Just going with the flow.

In my handwritten note, my idea for the color of the month in June says "Floral or Light Multi."  Well, that seems sort of wishy-washy now that I'm at this point.  But I'll try to navigate my way through the month of circles with that in mind.  Hopefully, once things get going, it will start to seem like the cohesive theme I must have envisioned when I scribbled it back in January.

Linking to: Quilty Folk