Monday, February 17, 2020

Color It Red Blog Hop



It's time for the Color It Red Blog Hop

I am looking forward to the next five days and seeing some wonderful red projects. I'm posting on Wednesday and my projects are ready to go. Woo Hoo!

I posted a sneak peek of my project back on January 29th.


I hit a wall and was not happy with how the quilt was coming together, so it's been folded up nicely and put away for a little while (or a long while, who knows?).


 This meme describes exactly how I feel about this project; only it wasn't a mistake that put it in time-out. It was it was a flaw in my designing.  lol


However, I am very happy with how my first quilt turned as well as the one that I made to "make up" for the trouble quilt. I am looking forward to sharing my creations on Wednesday, the 19th. 

In the meantime, here's the full Hop line up. Enjoy!

February 17th

February 18th

February 19th

February 20th

February 21st

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Making Progress

I know that it is common for people to come up with a Word of the Year. They do this as a way to stay motivated or on task throughout the year; and for many people, it works. You can even take a quiz to help you come up with the word that may be "your" word. I've never done that, but I had to pick a word for the day (yesterday, actually), I'd have to pick two - Attitude and Ambition

After posting yesterday about my stack of units to trim, I decided that I don't HAVE to trim all those flying geese and HST. Nope! Instead, I GET to trim them so I can make quilts for two very special people. 

Attitude! It's all about attitude.  

So I changed my rotary cutter blade and I got busy trimming. 


All 144 flying geese units are trimmed and put away. Yay! Now I get to work on other projects until the next clue is released. 

Yesterday, I said that I am not totally convinced that I chose the right fabrics for the blue/navy and red/dark red combinations, but after these flying geese were pressed and trimmed, I'm thinking that they aren't so bad. 


Yep! I do like how these flying geese units trim up so nicely. This no waste/four at a time method is easy, efficient and accurate. Here's a sampling of the two different sizes we've made for the mystery. 


I was feeling a bit AMBITIOUS, so after returning home from taking my husband to physical therapy, I decided to tackle trimming the HST I need to make for two other projects. Not only did they get trimmed, but the pinwheel blocks got sewn too. I need to press these, but I'm very happy!


If the picture above doesn't show that I was productive, maybe this one will. 


It was a good day and now I GET to work on other projects without guilt. :-)

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Quilt Reality Check Time

At the end of last year, I decided to join the Diary of a Patriot Mystery Quilt  


I also decided to make two quilts because one of the size options is perfect for a Quilt of Valor. So I'm not making two identical quilts, I am swapping out my reds and blues between the two quilts. Sounds all good, right?

I was sewing along, keeping up nicely with the first two clues. I was feeling pretty good about staying on top of both quilts, while also keeping up with the multitude of other projects on which I'm working. 

Clue 3 was released January 31st and I quickly pulled and cut the required fabrics and got sewing. As usual, I am working on more than one project at a time, and all was going well. I was productive, got all my units sewn and then reality sunk in. 

It was time for a reality check and face some cold, hard truths...

1) I am still very happy that I decided to make two QOVs during this mystery. 

2) I enjoy making flying geese using the method in the mystery - making 4 at a time is very easy, efficient, and accurate.


Here's where the truth part comes in... 

3) I will admit that I am NOT going to enjoy trimming all 144 flying geese units (72 for each quilt). 


4) I am not sure that I love my fabric choices for the navy/blue combinations (red/dark red in my second quilt), but I'm going to stick with it. (FYI - the colors in these photos are not true representations of the actual colors.)

5) I am happy that I realized early in the process that my navy fabric is directional and has subtle lines running through it. 


6) I am NOT embarrassed to admit that I had to redraw my diagonal guide line on more than one small square in order to keep those subtle lines running in the same direction.  :-) 


7) It probably wasn't a wise decision to sew half square triangles for two other projects at the same time that I was sewing these flying geese blocks. I've already trimmed 96 HST in order to make 24 pinwheel blocks; but now I have to trim these 144 flying geese units AND 112 HST for one of the other projects. At the time, I had a desire to sew, not press or cut. Now I better find the desire to trim - and put in a new rotary cutter blade. πŸ˜‚


My mantra for the next foreseeable future is, "Quit complaining and get trimming! These flying geese will NOTt trim themselves and they WILL make the quilts even more special for the recipients." lol

Everything is pressed and ready to be trimmed.


I have a couple of pinwheels already made, just to keep me motivated.  lol


If you don't hear from me by next week, call my husband and ask him to check on me, please. πŸ˜‰

Saturday, February 1, 2020

February Color Challenge

It's the second month of the color challenge and I'm blogging again. Yay!


Wasn't it fun to see all those blocks last month?

For this month's pattern and instructions,

This month's bird and color are the Indigo Bunting - Teal


This is a beautiful bird and color!

Like so many birds, it is the male that has such a bright and wonderful color. The Indigo Bunting male is a small, sparrow-sized stocky bird with a short tail and conical bill. The males are a bright blue overall with a slightly richer blue on the head. 

Click HERE to listen to it's beautiful song. 

These wonderful birds sing from treetops, shrubs, and telephone lines all summer long. They are commonly found in weedy and brushy areas; and they really like hedgerows, overgrown patches, and brushy roadsides. They eat insects and berries, and can be attracted to backyards with thistle or nyjer seeds. 

Teal is one of those colors that has different "interpretations" for different people. I generally think that teal has more green to it, but when I look at the pictures of the Indigo Bunting, I see more blue. I generally think as that as more turquoise than teal. Nevertheless, I really like this color! While checking out my quilt pictures, I realize that I haven't used it very much and I think I need to change that. Here are a couple of projects in which I have used teal.

I wanted to try a cathedral window, but knew that I did NOT want to make a full quilt. This pillow was perfect.  


This quilt was made for a black and white plus one challenge. The pattern is Madd Hatter by Elaine Wick Poplin


*****************************************

Let's take a look at this month's color challenge block. 
Go to Jen's blog for the instructions. 
Here are my fabrics. 
(Remember that I am making two blocks - 
one with a black background and one with a white background; and I am using batiks for my colored prints.)


I really like the texture on this fabric I bought at Once Upon a Quilt in Ft. Lauderdale.  

I love their logo; and check out the colors!


The pieces are ready to be sewn together!


Time to use the rotary cutter.


I have no idea why this picture is so bad.  :-(


Just like that, all the pieces are ready to be sewn to make the block!


I like these fabrics and I really like HST units, so I played around a bit before making the block. What do you think of these block layouts?


I like this rectangular block!


Enough playing around. Here are my February blocks...


I like the teal diamond that is formed when I put these two blocks next to each other.  Hmmmm, I may have to play around with a new quilt option. :-)

 As a word of warning, be careful when sewing the HST units together. Be sure to have them in the correct orientation or you'll have to rip some seams like I did.  Yikes!  Can see see how perfect my point would have been? 😊


Check out the other bloggers who are making this block. I just love how the change of fabric makes that blocks look totally different. 

****************************

Don't forget to join the link up party to be entered into 
First Quarter Prize Drawing
 Oh, how we all love prizes!

Thanks to our sponsors!










Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Seeing Red

I am participating in the Color It Red Blog Hop next month so I'm playing around with some red squares today. 

I've got a couple of UFOs that "fit the bill," but of course I decided that I also want to make something totally new too. 😏 

So....here's what's on my cutting table right now.


The funny thing about pulling all these red fabrics is that some don't look red once you put them next to another red square. I'm using them anyway, because I just really want to use up these pieces and it really won't matter in what I'm making. 

Do you see that little piece of grey dot fabric? That's the only other color/fabric that I'm using for the quilt top. 

I don't even have the top half together and Jack is already talking about the binding. He wants something other than red. We'll see....

I'm not quite sure when I'm scheduled to post yet, but I'll let you know as soon as I do. 

This is going to be fun! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

From Leader/Ender to Main Project

I love it when a leader/ender projects moves from that to the main project. It feels like progress to me.  :-)

On New Year's Eve, Pat Sloan started her Traffic Jam Quilt Along. I already had a bunch of correct-size pieces left from various projects, so I decided to jump in and sew along with the group - sort of...

I've got lots of projects on which I'm working, but I always need something simple to use as a leader/ender project; and making simple, scrappy, blue four patch units was perfect. 

 
I really didn't think about how I was placing the squares. The only "rules" were that they had to contrast at least a little and no two same fabric squares would be used in the four patch. I didn't care if there was only one "light" and the rest were dark or medium. I just want a bit of contrast between the value and or design. 

Here's a few of the 100 four patch units I needed to make. I've adjusted the pattern layout from Pat's version so that I can use the quilt as a Quilt of Valor.


I am working on a pattern test for Rachel Rossi and these four patch units were perfect as leader/enders. Yippee! 

All 100 four patch units are made and since I'm at a stand still for the pattern test (an adjustment is being made and I have to wait for more info), I've started to make the Traffic Jam blocks. (It's not like I have nothing else on which to work, but I decided using up these scraps were like finishing a UFO. That's logical, right?)


I already had most of the light corner pieces cut, but I needed a few more so I trimmed down some charm pack leftovers that had made their way to the scrap drawer.  

You can see that I printed Pat's Traffic Jam pattern and made my version change notes right on it. It looks like scribble, but I understand it.  :-)  


With this progress, it's time to start another leader/ender project so I'm adding triangles to charm squares. I'll be making 42 square in a square blocks that will have two alternating triangle fabrics. 


What I find quite exciting about this new leader/ender project is that these fabrics have been packed away for quite some time and I know exactly when and where I bought them. I am using the three fabrics on the right side of this very bad picture. The two on the left were used a long time ago.  :-)


I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that these were purchased during one of our annual sisters' weekend back in 2012. I had an idea for how I was going to use them when I bought them; but I decided against that plan and just set the fabrics aside - until now.

Just like the four patches, it's a simple sewing step, so this project will be ready to become the main feature pretty quickly too.  

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

January Monthly Color Challenge

Happy New Year!

It's the new year and the first month of the 
2020 Monthly Color Challenge!


For this month's pattern and instructions, 

*******************************

January - Finch (Yellow)


This is such a pretty bird! 

The Goldfinch is the state bird of New Jersey, Iowa, and Washington, and it is common at feeders that offer sunflower and nyjer seeds. It is the Spring male (the Breeding Male Goldfinch) that is such a brilliant yellow with shiny black and bits of white. The females are a bit more dull yellow and actually look olive in color. It too is a beautiful bird!


Goldfinches are usually easy to find around much of North America, and it's their "po-ta-to-chip" flight call draws attention to them in open areas. 

Click HERE to listen to the beautiful sounds of these birds.

If you want to attract Goldfinches, plant native thistles and milkweed, as well as other composite plants. These beautiful birds are attracted to almost any kind of feeders, including hoppers, platforms, and hangers. They are also happy to feed off of the ground, so sprinkling seeds is just as good for them.

There are many thoughts regarding the symbolism of Goldfinches. 
They are considered to be a sign of exuberance, liveliness, and enthusiasm; and their arrival is meant to remind us to enjoy life and savor every moment and not waste time or energy on negative thoughts. What a beautiful idea! 

Speaking of beautiful, yellow is a wonderful color to use in quilts. I used to be afraid to use yellow because I was afraid that too much of it would be distracting, and too little would look out of place. 
I don't feel that way any more and enjoy adding pops of yellow to a number of my projects. I think it works perfectly in these quilts.




***********************************
So let's take a look at this month's color challenge block. 
Here are my fabrics. 
(Remember that I am making two blocks - 
one with a black background and one with a white background; and I am using batiks for my colored prints.)


Isn't this yellow wonderful? I purchased it, along with all my batiks at Once Upon a Quilt Shop in Ft. Lauderdale when I was there back in December. 

FYI 
Once Upon A Quilt opened in 1998 and features the full line of Bernina machines, a 1500 square foot Event Center, a machine service center, longarm quilting services, and 2500+ bolts of the finest 100% cotton fabric - just like the batiks I bought for this project. :-)

The steps to making this block are very simple and straightforward. 
Go to Jen's Blog for cut sizes and the instructions.


Be sure to press well, so as to avoid any misshaped strips.


I chose to match up the strips before cutting them so they would be ready to sew in the next step.



And they are ready to sew!


Nice looking four patches!


I did the "twist and spin" thing for pressing to help my blocks lay nice and flat.


I love these blocks! The batik yellow looks like it is a solid, but it's really not.  


Check out the other bloggers who are making this block. I just love how the change of fabric makes that blocks look totally different. 


****************************

Don't forget to join the link up party to be entered into 
First Quarter Prize Drawing
 Oh, how we all love prizes!

Thanks to our sponsors!