Let’s close out 2020

We had a quiet Christmas, just the two of us. There weren’t many presents, at this age if we want something we just get – no waiting for the holidays 😉 We talked/Skyped with family and friends which was nice, otherwise we spent the day watching TV. It was pretty chilly here in Myrtle Beach, the high was only 32 with a ‘feels like’ in the 20’s…Brrrrr!

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I think I’ve found a quilt-a-long for 2021: Debby Brown’s Color Block QAL This is intended to use up scraps and each month she will release a new pattern. Fingers crossed I can keep up! LOL She has released some information early in case we want to get a head start on January and I’ve decided instead of using scraps, this time I’ll use one of the many FQ bundles that have been piling up from my FQS subscription.

As per the details, most of the patterns will use 2.5″ squares and the first one will use 16-patch blocks so I cut and pieced the FQ into strip sets, then subcut them into 2.5 strips ready to be pieced into blocks.

I pulled out four strips and made a block…but…I don’t like it. The color placement is off – too much dark blue and yellow check in this one block so I’ll be ripping it apart and starting over :-/ Plus I didn’t iron my seams open and it’s just too bulky at the intersections…must remember that when I get started again!!

I’ll be using up the last of my PTO this week and I plan to spend most of my time in the sewing room {fingers-crossed!}

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No big plans here for New Year’s Eve. I bought a bottle of Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante and some frozen appetizers that I’ll heat up for munching as we watch the ball drop in Times Square.

I want to take a moment to Thank You for sharing your kind words with me this year, it really has meant so much ❤

I wish you all a safe and very Happy New Year full of Health, Wealth and Happiness!!

Still Playing Around

I’m still playing around with the design idea I started over two weeks ago. I made almost zero progress last week so I didn’t even bother posting. I found some motivation this week and moved things along.

The inspiration for this came from seeing posts with Mountain blocks – I wondered what it would look like if I sewed the cut strips end to end instead of into the mountain blocks.

I started with 9″ blocks cut from 12 FQs, paired them with blocks cut from silver gray yardage and got two 8.5″ HSTs from each set. I then cut 2.5″ strips changing the angle for each HST – there is very little waste.

I arranged the strips in a pleasing color order then on the second stack I moved the top strip to the bottom, on the third stack I moved the top two strips to the bottom and so on. From there I pulled a strip from each set to make a stack of 8, this made 9 stacks.

And here’s what I have so far! I have one more set of 9 stacks to piece then I’ll play with layout. I have no idea what to call this, any ideas???

I pulled out my Fall decorations yesterday and put a few things out…not really in the mood :-/ The temps dipped into the 60’s-70’s last week but they rebounded to muggy 80’s this week.

The French Open started today – I’ll be watching as I piece the strips sets. With the time difference in Paris, most matches will be finished by early afternoon Eastern time and then there’s Football!

That’s about all for now, enjoy the rest of your weekend 🙂

Just playing around

After knocking out two UFOs last week I’ve just been playing around this week. I’ve seen a few Mountain block quilts online lately and had a thought, what would it look like to sew the cut HST strips end to end instead of in a block? So, I pulled one of the FQ bundles I’ve been getting from the Fat Quarter Shop and started playing.

The bundle I pulled is called “At Home” with some beautiful florals in blue, red and green.

I also pulled some silver gray fabric from my stash to use as background. I cut four 9″ squares from each FQ and cut some 9″ squares from the gray yardage to make HSTs. After I pieced and cut 4 HSTs I started having second thoughts about making a entire quilt of those strips – I’m worried it will be too busy, no where for the ‘eye to rest’.

Sooooo, that’s where I’m at! I’ve got strips cut from two HSTs of every print ready to be pieced, a stack of HSTs that haven’t been cut and a stack of 9″ squares…

I’ll get those strips pieced today and then start playing with ideas on my design wall – that’s what it’s for, right?!!

I’ve been watching US Open tennis, the Ladies final was yesterday…if you don’t want to know who won, look away now!

Victoria Azareka and Naomi Osaka battled it out but Naomi pulled it out in the 3rd set. I was pulling for Azarenka since it had been so long since she’d won a grand slam 😦 Oh well! The men’s final is today, Sasha Zverev vs. Dominic Thiem – I’m hoping Thiem wins – let’s hope I don’t jinx him 😉

Oh yeah, and FOOTBALL is back today!!! It’s gonna be really weird to see games with no one in the stands :-/ The games we’re going to watch today are Washington and Tampa Bay. Hubby is still a fan of the team formerly known as the Redskins however I think that team is a lost cause until Dan Snyder is forced out! I’m more interested to see how Tom Brady does with his new team in Tampa Bay.

That’s all for now…have a great rest of your weekend and…

A little bit of everything

I finished up my ‘Shattered Triangles’ quilt. I didn’t use any pattern for this I just cut a bunch of triangles from my overflowing pink scraps and used white to square them up, then I alternated the direction of the triangles in each row. I had some left over backing from other other quilts so I pieced them together for the back of this one.

I took the finished quilt out in our backyard (11th fairway on Parkland at Myrtle Beach) and captured a few shots in full sun.

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I spent the last few days sorting, folding and organizing my fat quarter stash. They were previously smushed (a technical term) in a few plastic bins and I had no idea what I had. This is an in-progress shot.

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After working through all the FQs, I pulled out some of my ‘less than yard’ cuts and wrapped them around comic book boards. I thought they looked good on the top shelf so I moved the FQ bins down.

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The brown tv cart in the foreground will be moving to another room soon but for now I get to work around it  :-/

And at last I started working on the commissioned memory quilt I’ve been ignoring for the last month. I hope to get this one done pretty quickly so I can just focus on some ‘fun’ sewing for a while…quite selfish of me!!

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That’s it for now…have a great rest of your weekend!

My first finished quilt

Over the last several weeks I’ve been working on my very first quilt – it’s one that I designed for my mother (the Crossword quilt) and, yeah, it’s still not finished.

I decided it would probably be better to ‘test’ quilting on something smaller before I put needle to that quilt. I recently signed up for a fat quarter fabric club that ships 12 fabrics each month along with coordinating thread. When the first shipment arrived it was clearly a sign to make a baby quilt – the fabrics were a mix of pink patterns with a juvenile theme – so that’s what I did. I cut 4 fat quarters as follows:

fatquartercuts

I laid out a design using the 5×5 squares to make the corner pieces (I actually cut them 5.5″ so when sewn together they would equal 10×10) and the 10×10 squares for the center. I had to add a few more strips of fabric to the 2.5 strips to get enough for the binding. After finishing the top, I made a trip to Walmart for some pink flannel to use as backing fabric; I also used a layer of thin batting to make it a little more cushy. I chose to machine sew the binding and wouldn’t you know I forgot I was supposed to sew it to the BACK of the quilt and then use a decorative stitch on the front – egads…I’m a little backwards :-s

Without further ado…here are pictures of the baby quilt; finished measurements 28×37.5

Baby quilt 2.15.15 Closeup corner 2.15.15

Back of quilt 2.15.15

Closeup back corner 2.15.15

I don’t know anyone with a baby/young girl so I think I may donate this to charity…even with it’s flaws it still a good cuddly blanket.

I’m SOOOO glad I chose to ‘learn’ by doing this baby quilt because I made quite a few mistakes that would’ve really ticked me off if I had done them on the Crossword quilt! I’m by no means an expert (ha, understatement!) but I feel like I’ve got enough courage now to tackle that big project. I still have plenty of time – we’re not visiting my mother until the end of the month.

New fabrics!

I just joined a fabric club to start building my stash and I received the first shipment today (squeee!). There are 12 fat quarters and one spool of coordinating thread; the January color scheme is Pinks. I’m so excited to make something but I’m just not sure what to make. I searched the web for some fat quarter baby blanket patterns and I think I found one that should be easy enough and would be fun for a little girl.

Now I just need to be sure so I can start cutting into the fabric…is it just me or does anyone else find it hard to start cutting into new fabric? Oh, the indecision!! Until I can muster up my determination here are some shots of the fabrics:

All piled up on each other:

All new fat qtrs

I was thinking of using the top row and the second row to make the baby blanket mentioned above – each group would make a front and back. Here are some close ups of those fabrics:

Close up top row
Top row

Close up 2nd row
2nd row

The last row of fabrics are a little more sophisticated and I have no idea what I might do with those yet:

Close up 3rd row
3rd row

If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them!

January sewing challenge?

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at sewing and when I read about a sewing challenge posted by one of the knitters I follow – Tinkerbellknits, well, I just had to jump in! You can read about the challenge here and here.

I went out earlier today and purchased a few ‘stacks’ of fabric – I wasn’t quite sure what that meant but I knew that I needed ‘fat quarters’ and these were, well just that – stacks of fat quarters. It’s a whole new language!! Out of convenience I went to my local Walmart and unfortunately there wasn’t a large selection of fabric so I just got 3 stacks of the most appealing colors. I of course needed a few new tools to assist with this challenge so I purchased a rotary cutter and a self healing cutting mat. Word of caution: that damn rotary cutter is sharp! I already got myself, thankfully not too bad and nothing got on the fabric – whew!

Here are the fat quarters I chose...they all have a slight shimmer on the flowers.
Here are the fat quarters I chose…they all have a slight shimmer on the flowers.

I diligently followed the instructions for cutting Color 1 in the size outlined however I realized after I cut the first sections that I wasn’t reading the cutting mat correctly – ha! I was an inch short on all the cuts – thank goodness I had plenty of fabric!! I finished re-cutting for Colors 1 & 2 and then made the prescribed cuts for Color 3. At first I was a little thrown off by the instructions for putting it all together but I soon figured it out…and a few hours later (I stopped for dinner)…Viola! I have a Dutchman’s Puzzle square. Yay!!

Finished Dutchman's Puzzle
Finished Dutchman’s Puzzle

Now that it’s all together I’m not sure I made the best fabric choices – I think all the patterns are fighting with each other. I’m going to sleep on it tonight and since I have more fabric from the other stacks I might just make another…we’ll see.

Remaining fabric from stacks...they may just turn into another Dutchman's Puzzle
Remaining fabric from stacks…they may just turn into another Dutchman’s Puzzle. The two flower prints on top came from the same stack I used to make the first square.