Friday Finish

I got the borders attached Friday morning, the Reflected Harmony BOM/kit is a top. There were a lot of pieces in this quilt, I think it adds to the subtle contrasts in the pink and white fabrics. Some of the blocks have 49 pieces, some 23, it was sure nice to make the 3×6 flying geese for the outer borders though.

Finishing a top means I get to start a new one. I bought a few coordinating solids to go with the Chickadee fabric panel and borders I had in my stash. I wanted to do something similar to this quilt on the left, I saw on Pinterest. The Chickadee panel is an awkward size, 23 x 42, and what I ended up planning to do is centering it in 9 inch blocks and surrounding it with the border print.

It is a more common size that way, and it only took me about an hour (insert eye-roll) on EQ8 to figure out the measurements for an inner border to make the 9 inch blocks fit evenly around it. Last night I cut most of the pieces for the blocks. This is the same block I used for the two other Julie Paschkis designed fabric tops. Those tops used the Catkin line and the Folkloria line, I still have a few yards of other JP lines, but I think will set them free in the regular stash.

Also on Friday, I finished the appliqué on the Halloween figs block. Now I only have 6 more pumpkin seed blocks to do and I can get this top finished and in the TBQ pile.

My Curling Mist shawl is growing too, I am nearing the 80% point now. These rows go a bit more slowly, as they are over 200 stitches long. I really want to finish it this week, as I have to get it in the mail for delivery on or before the recipients birthday in 10 days. I think I need to do about ten rows a day, if I want to be really productive, I’ll knit and quilt at the same time. That way I’ll finally get the Hampton Square quilt done too.

Be Kind.

Finished Size

I have been a quilt piecer for a longish time, but those two words, finished size, still trip me up. I have been working on the Reflected Harmony quilt top this week. All of the block instructions give sizes in unfinished size, simple and consistent. I started to cut out the pieces for the 5th installment and noticed that it was a cats cradle block. I thought “I have a (Creative Grids) ruler for those!” I dug it out and the smallest size on it was 4 ½ inches. I really like this ruler/template because the blocks come out perfectly, and all the measurements for the pieces are on the ruler. I needed 64 CC blocks of one color way and 8 each of two other color ways. I spent a few hours making them and when it came time to combine them into the larger blocks, I saw I had a problem, the Cats Cradle blocks were too large by an inch, they were all 5 ½ inches square. Thankfully, I had had enough fabric to make them too large, but it took me a minute or two to figure out why. Ugh, right there on the ruler were the words ‘finished size’. In this case the finished size was 5 inches, which was my needed unfinished size. I calmly turned off the machine and left the room to work on a different project. The next morning I set to work cutting the blocks down to the right size. The CC blocks made with this CG ruler are quite forgiving, no points were lost and they are all very square and the correct size now. The next installment is Square in a Square blocks and flying geese for one of the borders. I have a CG ruler for the SinS too, and I have triple checked that it is the finished size I need. I even made one before cutting all the pieces, its all good.

I worked a bit on the Newcastle cross stitch last night, I challenged myself to finish the basket. I did, and it looks pretty good. Now to branch out and start another flower, there is one needed to the left of the basket.

Yesterday I got two more rows quilted on the Hampton quilt. I knitted on the Curling mist shawl while the stitch out was churning along. Each row of the quilting takes about 30 minutes, even though it is a relatively simple design. I am not very pleased with it, as there is a bit of drift, and the rows don’t exactly line up sometimes, mostly on the ends. It is not that noticeable, because of the busy-ness of the fabrics and design, certainly won’t win any awards for LA quilting. Speaking of, a friend was asking me about PIQF, and wanted to know if I was entering a quilt. I hadn’t really thought about it. Usually the entrees are due at the end of August, I went to the web site and saw this:

We will be Celebrating Thirty Years at the Pinnacle of the Art of Quilting at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in 2021!

IMPORTANT NOTE: At this time, the 2021 Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF)will be held October 14-17. Under the proposed future restrictions in the state of California, this show should be green-lighted to take place onsite at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

Recognized as official Quilt Week in the city of Santa Clara, PIQF is proud to announce its thirtieth year! Join us as we celebrate the art of quilting. Whether you shop the aisles of the Merchants Mall for the best fabric, learn a new technique in *workshops taught by an outstanding faculty or admire the beauty of the artwork hanging in the quilt competitions and special exhibits, take part in the excitement that is the Pacific International Quilt Festival.

*Some workshops will be held virtually online.

So that’s promising. Further searching on the site didn’t yield any info on the competition though. There was an entry form button, but it wasn’t active. Mr Google gave no help, and the Mancuso site was super slow loading. I gave up for today.

Be Kind.

New BOM

Its not really a new BOM, but a new start. I bought this BOM “Reflected Harmony” as kit, all at once, a few months ago, or maybe last year, it’s a bit of a blur. The fabrics a very pretty, a line from Kaye England called Rhapsody in Red. I initially thought I could do one part a day, until I started the third one. Lots of little pieces (49) in these blocks, flying geese that finish at 2 x 1 inch, and making twelve of them slowed me down a bit. Thankfully the fabric provided is plentiful, I am pretty sure its discontinued and unavailable. Still I check and recheck my measurements and cutting, just to be on the safe side.

I made more progress on the Curling mist shawl, I am at 50 percent done. I decided to gift this to someone whose birthday is coming up. Which means I need to get it done in the next two weeks. The final stitches per row will be 270, and I have about 120 more rows. There are sections of garter stitch in-between the cabled sections, they go pretty fast. I have learned how to do the cable on the working needles, which is a game changer. Not having to use a separate cable needle to hold the stitches while making the cables is easier than I thought. Although these are simple single cross one cables, I don’t think I am ready to try a larger, say an 8 stitch cable. There is a point in working it that you have live stitches off the needle, very easy to drop and loose.

My stitching on the Newcastle bouquet is continuing, I am making progress on the basket and I got a few more leaves started. I would like to start on the lower border, but I think I need to do it in the morning when I am a bit more focused. My before bed stitching time is more for mindless filling in and not serious counting to make it fit.

Be Kind.

Time was on my side

Yesterday I worked on all four of my current projects, Hampton Square quilting, Halloween Figs, Curling Mists Shawl and Newcastle cross stitch. I also did four loads of laundry, not as fun, but productive. I felt like I had a lot of time yesterday, it was like one of those never-ending days, except that I did things I wanted to. I am at a point where I don’t have any deadlines, challenges, or commitments hanging around. It’s a nice way to start the month of June.

Today I want to wash the windows on my house, maybe just the outsides. It’s about time too, our rainy season is over, well it won’t rain until September anyway. The windows are mostly dusty from the smoke of last years fires, oak tree pollen, and the general dusty-ness of this climate. What I really want to do is start a new project ;). I have a bunch of quilt kits that I bought from various people on ‘Sew Its For Sale’ the old Craftsy site, and other sale places. I feel the need for some mindless chain piecing. I did a bit of it this past weekend, I made 64 “scallop” blocks for the Halloween Figs quilt border. They were stitch and flip style, two different color combos and two sizes. The interesting part is that half were 4 3/8s inches and half were 4 ½ inches, this is so the border will fit better. Supposedly no stretching or smooching needed. We shall see. I have been working diligently on finishing the appliqué blocks for this top too, so its a “sort of goal” to have it done for this October.

Be Kind.

More Cats

In an effort to use up more of my Julie Paschkis fabric collection, I have been working on this. It started with a panel of the animal prints. They were not a regular size, I ended up settling on 10 1/4 inch square. That made the alternating blocks a bit difficult. I made them 10 ½ square and cut slivers of the edges to make them fit. A few points were lost, but not too noticeably. I want to get the outer border on later today. It will be the white and red floral, 5 inch wide, I struggled with the two inner borders, but chose the black because it needed to be held together a bit. The orange was put in because I still have a lot of it and it brought out the colors from the inner top.

I still have quite a bit more of Catkin and Folkloria left and a panel and borders of Chickadee. I might just squeeze out one more and let it rest a bit. I have a few other quilts I want to make in the queue.

I worked on the Halloween Fig appliqué last night. I received month 12 in the mail on Monday, the final fabric pack of the BOM. Sort of a kick or impetus to get me going on finishing this project.

I made a little more progress on the Curling Mist shawl, I’m about 120 rows in. The rows at this point go fairly quickly as they are only about a hundred stitches long.

I would like to get to quilting the Hampton Square quilt. I have it all set to go on the frame, but I can’t seem to choose a quilting design. I don’t want to do feathers, I thought maybe some kind of vine or leaves, or geometric. The geo design is problematic as the quilt it already linear, I’m feeling it may conflict or not add anything to it. Part of the problem is that I have hundreds of digital files and they aren’t really organized. There are 6 years worth, most are on the Dell computer that runs the robotics, some are on USB sticks and some are on my MacBook. Just getting to see them is a pain, I dislike Windows explorer to begin with, but getting to see what each design looks like requires at least three clicks. Maybe I could pay some one to do it LOL. This reminds me of when my DH decided to put all his CDs on a server. He had to do them one at a time, he has a lot of music, more than a thousand CDs, back then. He came up with an idea to pay my son to do it. Even with payment, he wouldn’t do it, too boring. The CDs did get transferred eventually, DH would do them a little at a time. Now most of the music is directly downloaded to the server via internet. I should just suck it up and start, my wrist is starting to ache just thinking about it.

Linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese today, It is the 100th posting for the Put your Foot Down Thursday Link up.

2 of 10 & 1 of 6

I had the best intentions of completing the ten pumpkin seed blocks for the Halloween figs quilt. I got two done on the plane ride, one half way done on the way there and one fully done on the way back. A whole lot of reunion-ing and fun happened in between, so its okay. My eldest son got married this past weekend in Plymouth MA. It was wonderful and so GOOD to see and be with my tribe.

I feel like I accomplished something. All the build up to the event, planning and doing, now I am feeling like a new start is going to happen. I had been putting off starting anything large, or multi-parted for about a month. Now I feel free to do/start new things. It may be a subconscious thing with me, but I end up doing this kind of “limiting” behavior before major events, like holidays and vacations. It’s a good thing I don’t hibernate, as I would never get anything done. I now feel like I have a huge chunk of time to do things.

One of those things is the Curious Handmade Shawl Society Knit Along 5. I have not picked up knitting needles in months. Cross stitching has taken over that time, and I sort of lost interest in the white shawl I started. I may even frog it, as I think I have a major error in it. Anyway, the first (of 6) patterns is called Curling mist Shawl, and I needed just over 900 yards of yarn. Last night I was shuffling through the yarn bags and baskets and found a package of Madeleine Tosh yarns. Remember a few years ago when they had an inventory reduction sale? I bought a bunch, and this one, called Patagonia, will work well for this shawl. I am thinking that I will have to use two skeins at a time, since the MT colors/shading can differ slightly from skein to skein. I should add a project to my neglected Ravelry page, but that can wait.

I finished the Happy Cat quilt top, by adding borders. I had enough yardage to use this cat print border, its from the Folkloria line, not the Catkin line, but it’s not that noticeably different. The pieced center of the quilt was about 60 inches square, I needed to add corner blocks. I had one extra star block from it too, three more made it work. That was my goal for today, to finish this project. Maybe I’ll make it over to start the Hampton Square quilting too, it is all set up on the frame. I need to decide on an appropriate quilting motif though, too many options. I want to do something that will add texture, maybe an ivy or leafy panto. Although a geometric could work too, due to the top’s brick like pattern.

Be Kind.

Monday happenings

Last week I made some progress on my Cats in the Stars quilt. Yep, I named it too, my DH commented that the cats all look happy, and thought Happy Cats was a good name, but then said “When have you ever seen a happy cat?” true. I have 7 more green chain blocks to make to get this in the to-be-quilted pile as a top. The chain blocks take a bit longer to make than the star ones, but I am developing a chain piecing rhythm. I am hopeful that I have enough black yardage to finish them. I have about an half yard left, with all the triangles and long rectangles cut for the remaining blocks.

This weekend was exciting around here too. Exciting in that it became quiet. For the past two weeks I had been watching my friends dog, Layla (she’s a Havanese). Along with my two dogs and my DD’s dog, we’ve been out numbered by dogs. My DD and her dog moved out on Saturday, and Layla went home on Sunday. It is a very peaceful Monday morning here, Ahhhh.

With the new vacancy in my home, a new possibility opens for sewing studio expansion. I am thinking of moving my Longarm to the room (den TV room) adjacent to DD’s former bedroom and making the bedroom my new sewing studio. I keep thinking how great it would be to have the Longarm in the same area as my sewing room/stash/stuff. I could sew and quilt at the same time, productivity would increase! Currently my Longarm is in a different area of my house, far from the sewing room. The only thing that is stopping me is the daunting task of disassembling the frame and computer system. When I bought my set up, the dealer sent his technician to deliver and set it all up. When I got the robotics, I did the switchover myself. It took me two days, as there was a modification that had to be made to the frame to hold the machine that drives the belts and machine head. I think the hardest part was getting the tension on the belts correct, and mounting the computer screen (insert expletive). My DS and his wife are coming to visit later this summer, they would be the perfect helpers too. The wheels are turning…

I have been dedicating hours to the Newcastle Bouquet cross stitch project. I have had to use the magnifier for all the stitching on this as it is forty count linen. I can honestly say that in the future, I will not attempt anything this small. While I stitch, I feel like I’m accomplishing so much, the stitches look like they are 1/4 inch in size, then I move the magnifier and they are so tiny, 1/32″. It looks so pretty though, the shading of the over-dyed thread really gives the design depth.

I have made a bit of progress on the Tulip block for the Halloween Figs BOM too. I need to get the pumpkin seed blocks prepped for an upcoming trip. They will be busy work on the plane ride east.

Off to piece in the ☮️ today.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.

Be Kind.

Hands to Help

The Hands 2 Help challenge is wrapping up soon. I made four quilts this year, and used stash fabrics to make them. They are packed up and ready to ship to Little Lambs, a foundation that provides comfort kits to foster children in transition.

I concentrated on using stash up and succeeded in using up all of the pink (the name escapes me) Boundless line. I had enough to bind it too. There is a random pattern of squares and four patches, I probably should have auditioned it on the design wall, but it turned out okay. The panto is a larger spaced leaf and vine, done with a ‘new to me’ thread called Finesse.

The blue and yellow quilt is made with the Dutch Garden line, also a Boundless fabric line, but I still have some left over. This is a simple patten of 6 inch squares and four patches. The panto is hydrangea flowers and leaves, I used a blue and yellow variegated King Tut Thread.

The “Animals on Earth” feature fabric in this quilt was in impulse purchase at PIQF 2019. The coordinating solids were from stash though. The panto is swirls and bubbles, using a variegated Fantastico thread.

This flannel quilt was made from some of my oldest stash. I found a pile of squares and rectangles at the bottom of a scrap bin. They were left overs from a baby quilt I made for a friend, the baby is 18 now, so these scraps were definitely mature. I had enough for a flannel backing and binding, this quilt is so soft and cozy. I quilted it with a heart and bubble panto, using a variegated pastel Fantastico thread.

I’m happy to be sending these out today, I feel like I accomplished a few things, getting some stashed used up, and creating a few simple designs, but mostly contributing to a charity that helps make a difference in the lives of foster children.

I’m linking this post to Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict today, 05-30-21, as it will be included in the wrap up of this years Hands 2 Help quilt drive.

Be Kind.

A Hem

A Hem or two or sixteen. Monday was hemming day, I hemmed five pairs of sweat pants, two scrubs, and one pajama pair. I did most of them on the serger, and the others on the regular machine. Just in time for the weather to warm up enough to wear shorts.

I framed up my Pet All the Dogs sampler. I still need to work a bit on getting the lines to look straight, I am close though, the lacing on the back needs a bit of pulling and loosening in the lower left corner. I also finished the Strawberry fields sampler last night. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. On the original pattern the maker had the year 1992, it was the year that she had visited the strawberry fields house that the song is named after. I thought I would update it with this year. I was happily stitching it when I got to the 1, then I noticed that I had mistakenly stitched 2221. There was a bit of unstitching, and the two became a zero. My other changes are my initial in the upper right. I made a few counting errors, and the pattern isn’t exact, but all in all, if I don’t point them out, no one will know. I’m going to put glass on this one, I think, as I may put it in my kitchen.

I managed to get the panel blocks cut for the Catkin quilt project, and a sample block of one of the two blocks. I think it may look a little better with some solids in the mix of prints. I got an box from the Fat Quarter shop yesterday, I had ordered some more 30’s fabrics (sale) and a ½ yard pack of Laundry Basket solids. I unpacked the box and placed the pack next to the pile of Catkin fabrics on my table. Wow, it matches, the colors look so nice together. I think I bought them to go with the rest of the Sequoia fabrics, but they go better with these.

I am itching to start a new cross stitch project, but I really need to do the appliqué blocks for the Halloween figs BOM. I have to fly to Boston later this month, so I think if I get them basted before then, I can stitch them on the plane. It will be easier than bringing all the cross stitch supplies and such. three spools of thread, a couple of needles, scissors, and a thimble. Maybe I’ll do nail clippers, I’m not sure if I want to give up my little embroidery scissors. I have four kitted up and ready to stitch projects to choose from, Heaven and Nature Sing, Newcastle Bouquet, Pilgrims Progress, or Blessings be More.

Today I want to get the three quilts for H2H bound and finished. I put the last one on the frame for quilting, hope to get it done by Saturday, it is small.

Be Kind.

Grasshopper

One dyers Grasshopper is another’s Emerald. The flosses called for in the Strawberry fields sampler are from Weeks Dye Works, DMC and Gentle Arts. When I ordered them, I think I got mixed up and ordered a Classic Colorworks Grasshopper, in place of a GA Grasshopper. Same names, but vastly different colors. I stitched the leaf over the roof with the CC and it looked out of place, then I looked at the picture on the pattern, yeah – wrong color. I had to order a new one, and of course, I had to add more cross stitch supplies to get free shipping. Two more charts, linen and other flosses were delivered yesterday. I got to stitching with the correct color last night, looks much better.

I did get most of the Halloween Figs blocks together. However, I have to make the ten pumpkin seed blocks and one large tulip block in order to get the sections finished. That is my goal for the month of May. The last BOM (shipping in a few weeks) pack has the outer borders blocks and strips. I think the blocks are folded corners on rectangles, I going to wait and see.

I am starting to put a quilt together using some of my Julie Paschkis Catkin collection of fabric. I have two large panels and four smaller ones, plus a lot of yardage. I want to do something similar to this quilt:

The picture is from an up coming class by Charlotte Angotti at Road to California, although this quilt was from a past class. I guess it’s an on going offering from her, these surprise quilt kits. You buy the laser cut kit and (start) make it in class, as a mystery. I have my fabrics, wish they were laser cut. I worked out the blocks in EQ8, so they would match the panel sizes I have. I may tweak them a bit, as I don’t like making the “house” shaped segments in the chain block. I also need to check if I have the ‘right’ black fabric.

Be Kind.