Sunday, November 27, 2011

Woohoo for Two

Step two of Orca Bay went about twice as quickly as step one.  I got help pulling paper from the back after dinner while the kids were watching Tangled on Netflix.  I like to pull the paper off first and then iron again to get them nice and flat for trimming.  I was wishing I had the 3.5 inch square for my Go Cutter, squaring up string and crumb blocks is so much faster that way.  Judy D. had the niftiest trick for starting the blocks with a little dab of glue to stick the first strip onto the paper. Glue sticks are almost as handy as freezer paper for quilting. Be sure to check out every bodies progress over at Quiltville
Speaking of glue sticks, I'm out of prepped blocks for the Cheddar Bow-ties inspired by Bonnie Hunter. I'll try to get some more cut out during the week if there is any down time.  Until then I'm working more of the brown borders through for the Four Squared quilt.  I'm not sure which of these will end up finished first, but they are both coming along slowly and surely.  After finishing the binding on three quilts during the Thanksgiving car trip I'm feeling better about the UFO/WIP list.  I have some Christmas ideas percolating though so it would be nice to cross a few more off the list before I succumb to temptation again. See what other people have on their design walls at Patchworktimes

Orca Bay Step One is Done

 I was determined not to start on step two until step one of Orca Bay was completely finished.  Otherwise it gets confusing to remember that you have half of step one done and all of step two but only three quarters of step three.... 
The kids settled in to watch Punkin Chunkin last night, giving me the perfect opportunity to sneak off and get a little power sewing in.  So here are 228 quarter square triangle units.  I made a couple of extras just because sometimes it makes it easier to avoid duplicates when the blocks come together. 
I just got back from a quick morning jog and as soon as I quit sweating, I'll head off to shower so I can start my day.  I think we have robotics practice this afternoon and may work on getting the Christmas tree set up.  Kurt is gone all week and I'm not sure if we want to wait that long to get started.  It is a big tree and takes a while to decorate.  Other than that I think I see string blocks in my future.  Lots of cute little string blocks:)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

ScrapHappy Saturday -- Wrapping up in Brown

We've just gotten back from vacation and after unloading the car and settling in the kids it suddenly occurred to me that it is Saturday!  Days of the week are something it shouldn't be so hard to figure out.  It is the last Saturday in November, and your last chance to post your brown projects for the month.

I pulled out some "brownish" fabric to border the alternate blocks for my latest "Four Square" quilt. I've made this pattern at least twice in the past and I just never get tired of it for leaders and enders. This is a blue one that I made for a friend who was sick. Then there is this one that was one of the first quilts I finished when I got my new HQ16.  I have plenty of 16 patches in my 2.5 inch LnE tub, but I think I'll dig through to find the ones that are more autumn hued to go with the darker alternate squares. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


This is what I should be taking to work on during the long car trip. Instead it will wait patiently for my return. My story is that I am too worried about losing the kids papers to take them out of the state.  Good story, right?  I'm sticking to it. 
Instead, I'll take this pile of quilts and sew maniacally on binding. I've started saving all my binding for long drives. It gives me a chance to catch up and stay warm and comfy at the same time and is more social than reading a book.  I hope everyone here in the US has a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend. We are traveling to the deep dark winter weather of Atlanta.  I hope I have a jacket somewhere, it might be chilly. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday November 22, 2011

There isn't much that is happier than the Monday that starts off a two day work week.  Most of my weekend was spent toiling away at the quarter square triangle units for the new quiltville mystery.  They are all cut out, half are completed and another quarter is sewn.  We'll be out of town for the holiday, but I should be able to finish those up as soon as we get home.  The next clue will be out by then, but I'm sure I can get caught up soon enough.  I did get a few blocks put together and pressed as I was working on the rest.  On the left are my cheddar bowties inspired by Bonnie Hunter and sewn into circles.  On the right are the 2.5 leader and ender blocks that have been collecting in the background.  There are more than enough for a quilt or two, I'll have to move those up on the priority list. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Table Cloth

Mom called yesterday and asked if I could make a couple of quick tablecloths for Thanksgiving.   Anna helped my draw two big circles using the good old string on a pencil method. 
I wasn't sure how to hem  round tapestry fabric so instead I made a bias fold binding. I practiced finishing the edges by machine. Though I missed in a couple of spots I can get those by hand and I think it looks pretty good.  I volunteered to bake a turkey for the teacher luncheon tomorrow so that is in the oven.  I also had to bring home the class hamster because they were smoke testing the plumbing this weekend.  I'll be quite a sight going in to work with my turkey and my hamster in the morning. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Step One Coming Along

100 2.5 inch quarter square triangles.  Almost half done.  How cute are they?  Now I need to vacuum, there are dog ears scattered over the house like confetti.  Happy fabric confetti.  Pop over to Bonnie's Blog to see the progress other people are making on Orca Bay. 

ScrapHappy Saturday -- Still Doing Brown?

I was working hard to finish Rainbow Squares before the new Orca Bay mystery quilt started yesterday.  Just made it!  Between this quilt (notice the brown in the lower left) and the Rainbow Crumbs, I'm just about cleared out of brown.  My jars are noticeably emptier than they were at the beginning of the year even though I continue to produce new scraps.  The challenge has done a nice job of making me play with all the leftovers, and I'm happy with the rainbow of projects that have come out during the year.  How about you, still feeling scrappy?  Post your progress using the link below so we can all enjoy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

3 Down, 221 to go

These are the first three quarter square triangle units for the brand new Orca Bay mystery.  Time for a dinner break before I get a few more put together.  Happy Friday everyone! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tiny Headstart

I had to input all of my grades into our online system and write two very short quizes (don't want to give tests during bring your parent to school day). That didn't take as long as I thought, so I finished it off and treated myself to a tiny bit of quilting time. Rainbow ScrapHappy Squares has been on the frame all week getting a little bit of love now and again when I could pop in for a few minutes. It only took an hour and a half to get it all finished off. I'll do trimming and binding tomorrow first thing.

The quilting is a square spiral in random sizes. Done freehand of course. I so enjoy just drawing on the quilt and seeing how it turns out. 

Waiting for the Weekend

It has been the longest work week EVER.   Each day this week I have woken up thinking I should just call in sick and catch up on sleep.  But something important has been going on every single day that has me headed out the door.  Fun labs, big meetings, feast days, bring your parent to school days... all good stuff.... just so much of it.  My students are all checked out for Thanksgiving already, either mentally or physically, but we are pushing on and learning for three more days before the holiday.
Handmade by Heidi

As soon as the last bell rings tomorrow though, I'm going to be out the door and headed straight for my sewing machine.  The first clue in Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay Mystery will be up in the morning and Heidi is hosting a Friday Night Sew In.  Sounds like the perfect opportunity to unwind after a busy week. I've got two tops ready to quilt, a set of blocks on the wall and a big list in my blog margin of projects to keep me busy for quite a while.  How about you?  Any big plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Maybe More Like This?

After looking at the photo of the Bonnie Hunter inspired bowtie blocks in diagonal rows on the design wall, I thought about trying out some different block arrangements.  I don't have quite enough blocks yet for a quilt top, so a little rearrangement isn't holding anything up at this point. I kind of like the circle effect, maybe tomorrow I'll try some zig zags just for fun? 
While I was in the sewing room, I went ahead and quilted just a few feet on the Scraphappy Squares. The nice thing about having a quilt on the frame is that you can do "drive by" quilting. A few minutes here and a few minutes there...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday November 14, 2011

I've been working on these cheddar bow-ties as leaders and enders for a while now.  The stack seemed to be getting pretty big so I thought I'd throw them up on the wall and see how far they would go.  Seems like there are enough so far for a lap sized quilt.  Maybe I'll keep going until I get enough for twin sized so that this one can go in the donation pile.  Mom called today and asked if I could get some more quilts ready for her Sunday school class to give away for Christmas.  I brought her 9 quilts last time we went up, but she says they are doing Christmas presents for 12 families this year.  They got hit by a bad tornado not long ago and there are a lot of families in need.  I'm sure there must be something else in the stack that will work. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rainbows Again

I was in a mood for piecing today, so even though the Rainbow ScrapHappy Squares are still sitting on the frame, I went ahead and finished off the flimsy for Rainbow Crumb Parade.  I sewed enough brown and black squares together last night to serve as the first and last row before deciding against making another row of white blocks.  The proportions seem better this way so I think I'll let it be.  It isn't a big quilt, I think it will be about 52 by 72 when it is done, but it should be a good snuggle up on the couch size.  I've spent plenty of time in the sewing room this weekend and need to get back to real life again.  The house is a mess, I've got papers to grade and lessons to plan, but it was nice to have an extra day this weekend to play. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Another Productive Day

After having school off yesterday and getting to spend quite a bit of time in the sewing room, I felt very spoiled to have everyone out of the house all day today.  First up was finishing off the flimsy for Scrapphappy Squares.  I'm so thankful for the design inspiration from Marlene that sent me down the Garden Rail path with the setting on this one. 
Then it needed a back of course. I had some nice black and rainbow fabric, but as I'll quilt it in white thread, I thought this soft yellow would work better.  I did add an extra rainbow stripe from fabric I had auditioned for the sashes.  Loading it on the frame seemed easier than putting it away and having to iron it all again later.   Though I started the first row of quilting, I was in more of a piecing mood and sewed up the extra half blocks that the Rainbow Crumbs have been waiting for.  I also put up the Cheddar bowties on the newly liberated wall space from the quilt on the frame.  Still having the house to myself, I started in on some more crumb blocks to finish off the rows.  I'm about done with the black and just started on the brown.  I'm still debating on the white, I guess it will depend on the final measurements. 
I was in the midst of my little crumb explosion when the gang came home with the EXCITING news that they qualified to go to the regional Lego Robotics competition during their tournament today. It was supposed to be just an early practice round but I guess it all went so well that they took second for the day. Most exciting of all, their robot got the top prize for design! Much happy dancing was done along with trophy posing and celebratory woohooing. 

Scraphappy Saturday in Wrap-up Mode

Yesterday was a day off school!!! The kids didn't need much in the way of looking after so I was able to spend a big part of the day in the sewing room. The scraphappy squares are almost done and I will put a photo up as soon as my computer comes home again. The whole gang is off at an all day Lego tournament, leaving me rattling around he house alone. I wonder what I will do? Use the linky below To share you scrappy accomplishments.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Road to Scraphappiness

I was sketching garden rail sashings during my planing period today.  I was testing all day and had plenty of grading to keep me occupied, but there were lattice strips running through my mind.   I decided against the offset inspiration setting because it would have ended too long and skinny with 12 blocks.  Because this quilt came from a 12 month rainbow quilt challenge, I am pretty determined to use 12 blocks.  Based on a couple of comments on yesterday's post I googled Garden Fence Quilts and came up with several quilts like this one.  I thought something similar might work, but with a narrower dividing strip. So after dinner I did a little cutting and sewing and came up a possible layout.  I still need two more blocks to finish off the top, but it is definitely starting to come together.  It is decidedly more modern than my usual taste, but it is good to break out and experiment from time to time. 

Thinking about 2012

As the year begins to think about drawing to an end, I am starting to think about what can get finished up this year and what should go on the list for next year.  The first step was to sit down and make a list of everything in progress, in a bag or a box or in some stage of planning. 

So, in no partricular order, here I go:
1. Smith Mountain Majesty is cut out and in a box ready to be sewn.
2. Goose in the Puddle is also cut out and ready to be sewn.
3. Orca Bay hasn't been started yet, but I have pulled the fabric.
4. Jamestown Landing has some piecing done and is mostly cut out.
5. Rainbow Crumbs has rows assembled
6. ScrapHappy Squares needs to be put together with sashing
7. Nine patches are extras from leaders and enders
8. Another Irish Chain is in progress as leaders and enders
9. Another Four Squares quilt is in progress as leaders and enders
10. Connecting Threads Sampler (Star Something?) is sitting in a shoebox. (can't find a photo -- how old must that be?)
11. Applique Baskets are handwork in progress
12. Cheddar Bowties are leaders and enders in progress.
13. Midget Blocks are coming along slowly and surely. 
14. Crumb Along blocks are in a stack, not sure if there are enough for a quilt
15. Cathedral Stars - need to find the ruler to make more blocks
16. Dear Jane is ready for handquilting
17. Shoot for the Moon - in chunks ready to be assembled. 

 I think that's it for now.  Here are my first thoughts:
  • There are too many leaders and enders to be going on at one time.  Maybe I should choose the one that is furthest along and see if it can be completed sooner rather than later.  
  • There are 4 Bonnie Hunter Patterns that are fairly intense, I think those will need to go one at a time, of those, the mystery wins out for pure fun of following along reasons. 
  • I'll need a handwork project for car trips over the holidays, either baskets for midgets could fill that role.  If I prep the backgrounds on the midgets I could start embroidering the names, that would be fun. 
  • First up are the crumb and scrap blocks, those can be finished up fairly quickly I think. 
  • The list got longer as I searched back looking for photos to link.  Maybe I should put these in reverse chronological order by start date?

Just went back to check my UFO list for this year, even though I didn't participate in the challenge, I did pretty well on the list.  Just Starlight remains, I'd better get that puppy done!  I think I will officially give up on Depression blocks or call it a table topper. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Have Inspiration!

Well, I wasn't feeling inspired by any of the choices so far on sashing the ScrapHappy blocks, but I was going to let it simmer.  When I got home from work today there was a nice e-mail from Marlene at Kissed Quilts who had seen a cute quilt at SewCraftyJess.  Go check it out, it is  absolutely perfect!  I'll see if it is an official pattern somewhere but if not I think I can figure something out that will be ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.  Maybe not today, I have school work to take care of, but very soon.  Did I mention yet that this is a four day school week and I am planning to sew away the day on Friday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

One Bite at a Time

There is never a big block of time to work on anything substantial during the week, but I'm trying to make time to whittle away at projects a bit at a time on school days. Since Lizzie was determined to "help" with the sewing of binding, I went ahead and made my way into the sewing room for a few minutes after dinner. 
I'm definitely leaning toward gray for the connecting strips on the ScrapHappy blocks, so I cut some out for an extended audition.   I still need half blocks and a row of brown for the rainbow crumbs, but I went ahead and joined the rows so that they will stop falling off the wall. Not a huge accomplishment, but it is one step closer to having something else done.

Next on the List?

I'm on a quest to finish things off.  The end of the year is nearing and there is a new mystery starting.  I'd like to get some loose ends tied up before jumping into that with both feet.
First up are the ScrapHappy Squares that I have been working on for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The orange and brown are in process from the last two months, but I need to decide what to do about sashing  strips.  White is obviously out.  I thought about a rainbow fabric, but maybe it is too busy?  That left black of course, but it seems too stark.  I've seen lots of pretty quilts with steel gray backgrounds, too modern? Any other suggestions?

Then there are the rainbow crumbs which have been up for a couple of weeks. I need some half blocks to fill in the ends and maybe a row of brown to finish it off. I think this one will be next on the list.
To see what everyone else has up on the wall this week head over to Patchworktimes

Sunday, November 6, 2011

DP9 for Sheila

Miss Sheila asked me to quilt another small throw for her. I am her "go to girl" for quilting projects these days. She made a disappearing nine patch top to go with a blue fleece blanket for the backing. She intends to turn the edges over for a self binding edge. It didn't take long at all to quilt up and now I can cross another project off the list. It is a good feeling to keep checking things off.
I was feeling so good about all the odds and ends I've managed to use up lately that I didn't feel a bit bad about going to Joann's today with my 25% off total purchase coupon to take advantage of their big Veteran's Day sale.  I was only going to stock up on batting (queen sized warm and natural for $14.99!),  but the red dot clearance fabrics were also half off, so I scouted out some excellent deals on backing fabrics.  Fat quarters were on sale as well so I picked out a few in the Orca Bay colors of hot pink, teal and dark purple.  It is a four day week and Wednesday is a testing day, so things should be pretty calm at work.  Day light savings will be sure to have everyone's biological clocks off kilter, but hopefully we will all adjust soon enough. 

Rolling Right Along

All that remains of RRCB is to hand sew the binding.  I tend to save that for long car trips or family movies, so I'm calling it done.  Not the easiest quilt I've ever made, but I do love how it turned out.  I'm excited to start Bonnie's next mystery in a couple of weeks and know that I will love it just as much.

Spinning Stars

All that remains of Spinning Stars is the binding.  I've got the fabric pulled already so I might get that ready to go this afternoon.  I fought with the quilting on this one from start to finish. Glad to have it done though and it will go straight on my bed as soon as it is ready.  Oops, first I need to do a couple of touch ups in the border, then it is going straight on the bed. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pieced Backing

So after finishing off the front of Spinning Stars, I threw all the leftover bits and bobs into a nice pile.  Then I went to the stash cupboard and pulled a few neutrals and such that looked like they were ready to move on.  Finally, I went to the orphan blocks stack and searched for green, yellow or brown.  After four hours of sewing and chopping and measuring, I have a back ready to go.  Now I just need to get it loaded onto the frame so that I can start reassembling the house again.  I've sort of taken over most of the main floor at the moment. 

ScrapHappy Saturday Now in Brown

Anyone feeling inspired by brown today?  Somewhere I have the pieces for a scraphappy brown square, right next to the orange one still missing from company cleaning last month.  Hopefully I'll unearth those today and start thinking about the finished scraphappy quilt.  How about you?  Feeling brown?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Finising on Friday

I don't think I was able to sew a stitch all week, but I had plans.  After the longest school week ever I was SO looking forward to the weekend. As soon as all the kids were gathered and dinner was cleared from the table I hopped up to get the binding on RRCB.  It was too dark to get a good snapshot though, so I'll have a celebratory photo shoot tomorrow.  Then I got the last border on Spinning Stars.  I don't think I'll start on the backing tonight, but I've got a stack of likely fabrics that I plan to piece together into something suitable.  I'd like to test the size out on my bed, but that will have to wait for morning as well.  I still have a couple of small bits that I promised to quilt for a neighbor, and after that I can get this ginormous fellow loaded up on the frame.  Sydney wants to see a movie and have breakfast out, but generally things look pretty calm for the weekend.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Mystery Quilt

Did everybody see the new mystery quilt over at  It looks like Bonnie has chosen red, blue and black along with a neutral background.  I am thinking of doing hot pink with teal and then using dark purple as the accent.  I have a lot of those colors in my scrap bin from a couple of baby quilts that evolved in different ways, so it would be nice to get them into something.  I took a few minutes when I got home from work today to pull some potential fabrics, and I think I like the combination.  The first clue comes out on Friday so now is the time to jump in with both feet!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


amber, auburn, bay, beige, bister, brick, bronze, buff, burnt sienna, chestnut, chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, coffee, copper, drab, dust, ecru, fawn, ginger, hazel, henna, khaki, mahogany, nut, ochre, puce, russet, rust, sepia, snuff-colored, sorrel, tan, tawny, terra-cotta, toast, umber