Friday, May 29, 2015

Hands2Help Quilt Finish

I finished the Hands2Help charity quilt this past week, and it is boxed and ready to ship off to Emily for Happy Chemo.

This was a really fun 16-patch quilt to make.  My stash seemed to be over-weighted in pink, so I started by pulling some of those, as well as some reds, teals and aquas, and started stitching.

This was started during Sarah's Sweet 16 Quilt Along a few months ago.  I used one of the tutorials she had featured for the Hands2Help Challenge a couple years previous, featuring guest blogger Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts.  You can find that tutorial HERE

I had an idea to use a different fabric in the center for the background fabric.  Both the center background fabric and the outer background fabrics are Denyse Schmidt/DS Quilts.  That's about as "coordinated" as it gets!  There's a little bit of everything else in the 16-patches, which is just how I like it.  

(That reminds me of a song by Dawes: A Little Bit of Everything.  Those guys can write a song that tells a story, folks.  Have a Kleenex ready.)

This quilt finished at 57 x 68.  I quilted it in an overall meander with Aurifil thread in a silvery gray, which blended in nicely.

It's a snuggly one, and packed along with it are wishes of comfort, hope, and love to the recipient.

Linking to:  Whoop-Whoop Friday

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Little Things

As it often happens when I sit down to do something I should do, like quilt the Hands2Help quilt that's been basted for a month or better, I find something else that seems infinitely more interesting.  Like a pile of scraps.

You know I love me some scraps.  These, in particular, were the corners cut off on the diagonal in making the X blocks for this quilt.  

Now, I didn't set out to be all waste-not-want-not with these trimmings.  I was being rather pragmatic about throwing them away.  In fact, they only came to be on my sewing table after doing time in the garbage can.  I don't know what came over me the day I went to empty the trash and saw them huddled together in a clump, but I took pity and rescued the lot of them in a couple fistfuls.  Thankfully, I hadn't dumped anything too nasty on top of them.

Still thinking I might just warm up for the big, hairy quilting project, I started chain piecing a few dozen half-square triangles through the machine.  And here is where I warn you that chain piecing is a slippery slope, y'all.  

Next thing you know you're finger pressing, then you're trimming dog ears, and then—oh no, she didn't!—you fire up the real iron like you mean some business, and pretty soon you're admiring all those cute widdle things!  And it all just follows like a train wreck from there.  You cannot look away.

Hence, what we have here are some itty-bitty broken dishes blocks, which will finish at five inches square.  Yes, I'm pretty sure I still have most of my marbles, thanks for asking.

The HSTs sew up at more or less 1-3/4 inches, and if you think I'm crazy enough to trim them all up square, well, you would be right.  I did make the first block without trimming and it was wonky.  Not good wonky, but I-don't-know-if-it's-useable wonky, and that just felt like wasted effort.  So a little work on the front end seemed the better plan.

Starting to think of ways these might go together.  Perhaps on point?  I'm digging that peacock feather fabric with them...

But I'm also kind of crushing on the coppery metallic feather print.

Maybe they could work together, as an inner and outer border?

Just exploring the possibilities.  We'll see where it goes.

How about you?  Do you like to work small?

Before I go, I wanted to give a shout-out to Elizabeth at Such a Sew and Sew, who did a FABULOUS job on her Thoroughly Modern Lily quilt from my pattern.  

She made it for her friend, Eloise, and it is really wonderful!  You can read all about it on her blog, HERE and HERE.

Way to go, Elizabeth!  You make beautiful quilts with so much love and attention to detail.  Thanks for sharing the journey with us!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Spring Things

I heard the doorbell ring before seven o'clock Saturday morning.  Twice.  Since I was still in bed and mostly asleep, I chalked the first ring up to an auditory hallucination.  It's called hypnagogia, and you've probably had it too.

One morning, clear as day, I heard my mother's voice.  This was a couple years after she had passed away.  You know what she said?  "Hey."  That's it.  I became instantly awake and my eyes flew open, expecting to see her standing there next to the bed.  That's how real it seemed.  But she wasn't there and I was sort of disappointed she didn't have more to say.  Not even "Hey, hand me my cigarettes," or "Hey, you're going to be late."  Just, "Hey."

Anyway, this isn't about that.  Back to reality, the doorbell had indeed rung, and it was my neighbor letting me know that the duck eggs had hatched!

I grabbed my camera and went to see for myself.  Sure enough, in front of the nest were 9 or 10 shells where Mama Mallard had apparently rolled the empty eggs out onto the grass after the ducklings hatched.

She was sitting on her nest, all fluffed up and hissing (sort of how I had felt a few minutes before).  I couldn't see any fuzzy babies or hear any peeps, but she was undoubtedly keeping her new brood warm and dry underneath her.

I went back in the house, figuring I'd check on her again in a little while.  I knew she wouldn't hang around long after the ducklings hatched.

One hour later, they were all gone!  They done r-u-n-n-o-f-t!

I had wanted to see them all waddling off with their mama, but it wasn't to be.  I even got in the car and drove around the neighborhood looking for them, but no luck.  Oh well, I'm glad they all seem to have made it out okay.

It's sure been a lovely spring so far.  This past week the lilacs and flowering trees bloomed, and the fragrance in the air is divine.

My daughter drove up for a visit on Mother's Day, which was so nice.  I always enjoy our time together.  She took me flower shopping to pick out whatever I liked.  We found a couple things to put into a pot for the deck.

Outside, the daffodils are looking good.  

Not to be outdone, the African violets are putting on a show inside as well.

I even enjoy seeing the 'shrooms after a rain.  So much beauty and fresh possibilities this time of year!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Marei's Scrappy Mountain Majesties

Friends, I have nothing much to show for myself this week, but a couple of backings pieced and a binding cut.  And the flower bed mulched. 

But fellow quilter Marei got her Scrappy Mountain Majesties quilt top done, and that deserves a whoop-whoop!

Marei (pronounced "Mary") doesn't have a blog, but you can check out some of her quilts on Flickr here.  I love what she does with scraps!

Check out the closeup of those black and bright prints.  We've got veggies, robots, flip-flops, florals, geometrics, red lips—how awesome is that!  And that text-y light background keeps the whole thing under graceful control and balanced feeling.

Her dog, Scooter, gives it his wag of approval!

Marei is on a mission to MAKE ALL THE QUILTS!  Well, no, that was me getting carried away.  She would like to make all the Bonnie Hunter quilts that strike her fancy, maybe pick her  top 12 favorites and shoot for one a month.

Did I mention she was delusional?  Just kidding, Marei!  Seriously, though, I think she is a very dedicated and goal-oriented person who loves to quilt and enjoys a challenge, and if she says it, I believe she can do it! 

Linking to the Friday linky party, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?