Monday, October 31, 2016

Quilty 365 Progress

This month's Quilty 365 circles are brought to you by the color orange, or what may pass for orange, anyway.  I had to stretch the boundaries a bit to align with the stash, so we have everything from rusty brown to peach, with a twist of gold to boot.
What makes me smile in particular today is the one below, made with one skinny string's worth of skeletons on orange background fabric, plus a stripey narrow string of something else between.  Happy Halloween!
Here is the whole month's worth of orange October blocks.
I missed last month's link up because we were on vacation, but here, too, is the August/September lot of yellow and tan circles.  I made 33 blocks for those two months combined, plus 31 in October, making the total for this project 277 so far.
Now, I'm kind of stumped on November.  In the beginning of the year, I scribbled down color themes for each month, but November was "vintage fabrics?" and December was "holiday fabrics?".  Note the question marks.  I was moving away from the color theme of the month and into the realm of other possibilities when I jotted down those ideas.  

Right now, I'm thinking November may be a free-for-all.  I don't have 30 different vintage fabrics, I know that for sure (and besides, I've used a few vintage fabrics in blocks already; see the orange/teal/black scribble block in the October group above, for example).  So we'll see what happens.

I also finished the quilt top from the Aspen Frost layer cake. It's ready for pin basting and quilting one of these fine days when I feel like moving the kitchen furniture out of the way and mopping the floor.
And I don't think I've mentioned yet the Friendship Circle I had put together before we left on vacation a month ago.  I used the half-square triangles of made-fabric trimmed from the Quilt for Pulse.  When this is finished, it'll be wall hanging size(Also, you won't see the gingham check showing through.  That's my design wall covering, the fuzzy back side of a gingham check vinyl tablecloth fabric.)

Did you have many trick-or-treaters at your house?  We only had a handful this year.  Maybe the fact that trick-or-treat hours yesterday were during the Packer game had something to do with it.

Linking to:  Quilty Folk

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Two for the Road...and a Bump

I took two small sewing projects with me on vacation, along with Everett, otherwise known as the "O' Brother" machine.
Didn't actually sew as much as I'd imagined.  Some hotel rooms were better laid out for that kind of thing, logistically, and some evenings I simply opted to use the hotel treadmill or pool or watch a movie instead.
Nevertheless, I did get a few Quilty 365 circles done.  My orange stash is pretty much exhausted, as far as variety, so I'm going to have to repeat some fabrics or...something/insert creative idea finish out the month of October.

I also started piecing a quilt using an Aspen Frost layer cake won in the Hands2Help charity quilt project giveaway a few months back.
I finished up the piecing this week.  It was simple and straightforward, a free quilt pattern called Precious Gem, found HERE.  
Got it laid out on the design wall, things looked good, and started to sew the first rectangular pieces together yesterday.

One seam in, I noticed something was not right.
What in the world?  Why was there a good half-inch gap between my corner triangles?  Had I cut my corner pieces too small?  Was I supposed to trim the rectangles from the layer cake to a different size first?

I went back and reread the instructions.  Nope, I had followed them exactly.

*...mumbling and grumbling...will it matter?...maybe not...maybe so...ugh...*
Well, the only way to fix the gap and make the points match was to trim a half inch from the length of each rectangle.  I didn't like the idea of losing several inches in the overall size of the quilt by having to do that, but there didn't seem to be another option.  Other than live with the gap, I suppose, but the way I'd planned the piecing, using two different gray fabrics in the corners, was done to play up the diagonal part of the design.  If there's a gap, then is there a continuous diagonal at all?
So I'm resolved now to giving each piece a haircut before I sew them together.  I'm thankful I didn't sew half the quilt together before I noticed anything amiss.  And I'm still wondering how did  I miss something so seemingly (or seamingly) obvious—if it looks easy, why is it not?

Image source and free printable
Anyway, questions aside, time to grab the seam ripper (or rotary cutter) and carry on.  

How about you?  Hit any bumps in the road this week? 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Sundry 10-16-16

We took a road trip the first week of October, which came about in part due to a shift in employment for me.  One of my part-time jobs was ending because the doctor was retiring, but before I ramped up my hours on my other job, Norm and I decided to hit the road.  
I'd never been out in the direction of Mount Rushmore, something I've always wanted to see, and it seemed a driveable distance, given our timeline, and a decent time of year to go.  So we headed west!

Some of the highlights were:   Badlands National Park...
Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial...
Devil's Tower, Wyoming...
The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs...
There were so many other interesting things to see.  I wanted to learn more about Native American culture, so we stopped at the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center  on the grounds of the St. Joseph Indian school at Chamberlain, South Dakota.  Fascinating history in the exhibits and information as we toured the museum.  
I found particularly interesting to read about the history of quilting among the Sioux culture.
After we left the museum, we paused to see the new 50-foot sculpture installed along I-90 near Chamberlain.  It's called "Dignity" and depicts a Native young woman receiving a star quilt.  According to sculptor Dale Lamphere, “Dignity represents the courage, perseverance and wisdom of the Lakota and Dakota culture in South Dakota. My hope is that the sculpture might serve as a symbol of respect and promise for the future."
It was 37 degrees and raining steadily when I hopped out and took this photo.  But it's a beautiful and inspiring piece, rain or shine.   

There were a couple stops at quilt shops along the way, notably Calico Hutch in Hayward, MN and Heartsong Quilts in Hot Springs, SD.  I could have spent hours (and more money) at both stores, they were fantastic!  As time was limited and we had to be moving on, I was happy to find out I could visit them anytime online.  
I did some stash replenishing between those two, as well as shopping the 50% off clearance fabric sale at Jo-Ann on Columbus Day when I got home.
I addressed my deficit of low volume fabrics in the stash, and I think I did okay.

The last hotel we stayed at on the way back, Microtel in Rochester, MN, had some interesting carpeting in the hallway.  
Quilt inspiration is everywhere!