Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I Just Had to Laugh

Some days you just have to shake your head.  It started out innocently enough with some really cute hourglass blocks which were required for a July Block of the Month block I was making.  OK, so far so good.  Really like these!

Next was to add units to either side.  So I did that, but whaaaat?  There goes a new addition to my set of "One of These Does Not Look Like the Rest" flash cards.

Small sigh . . . and out comes the seam ripper.  Thank you to the quilting angel that sent me a seam ripper recently, you know who you are.   It got a workout this week!

There we go!

These units are to go on the side of a block I had already made.
And another whaaaaat?  They are too big!

So I checked my directions and discovered that someone had hand changed the size of the white rectangles and the little green polka dot squares to be a 1/2 inch bigger, and unfortunately, the original instructions were correct!

So I guess, I can just trim off the extra and everything will be fine.  As I was doing this, I noticed that according to the instructions, I had sewn those white and green units on the wrong side of the hour glass squares anyway!  Remember the one up above that "does not look like the rest"?   Well, it was the only one that was right!

What is the matter with me?  I must have been too tired and should have not been sewing that night.   Anyway, needless to say I decided to stop and continue another day!  On days like this, I just have to laugh at myself and move on. 

 On the bright side, I got some VERY HAPPY MAIL!!   Myra Barnes, the queen of rainbow quilts, had a scrap giveaway.   She makes gorgeous quilts but she doesn't like dealing with the scraps so I entered that giveaway and won!  I got that package yesterday and had a good time sorting them by color.  I had fun teasing her a little bit and said either you don't like orange and purple very much, or you like them a LOT and used it all up.  Actually it's neither one.  She just likes to use what she already has and apparently her stash doesn't have a lot of purple and orange at the moment.  She effectively tripled the size of my self-imposed trailer-sized scrap stash.

I got a few more Stash Bee blocks completed this week but need to get them mailed off.  I don't think it counts for being on time unless you actually mail them.  This one is for Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter.  Jennifer, I hope this is the ombre effect you were going for.   I struggled in a few places getting the points to match right, but after several rippings and resewings, finally had to call it good. I hope it is sufficient.  I'm going to blame it on trailer light.  Yeah, that's it.

The second block is for Karen in Hive #6 of the Stash Bee who requested string blocks . . .

And last but not least, is my June block which Julie graciously gave me a few extra weeks since this kind of all happened about the time we had to move out of our house.  Packing and moving do not mesh with sewing very well.  She requested the Houndstooth pattern which can be found at Blossom Heart Quilts.  This will look really cool put together with all the other blocks she receives.  If you follow the link to the pattern, you can see how it looks with other blocks.

I actually do have one more block to make for July, but I'll share that another day.

I don't really have a house update to share today but I will next time!  They are adding on the outside stone work this week.   

I have decided to go with hardwood for the floor in the quilt room and to help with any long standing up projects will get a portable cushy rug (well padded) for my feet.  Here is a sample of what that wood will look like.  We can't afford to do tiger wood in the whole house so I went with rustic in my quilt room.  This isn't actually wood, but an engineered laminate made to look like distressed wood.  Almost as tough as wood and a fraction of the cost.  

So that's my sewing adventures for the moment.  My goal for this week is to finish that fourth block, and get all of them mailed.  MAYBE finish that ornery BOM that I kept goofing up on.  I have begun referring to myself as Miss One Block Wonder since that is all I have been finishing lately.  I am DYING to finish an actual quilt!  

Thanks for stopping by and hope you'll stop by again soon!  
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Monday, July 10, 2017

And the Winner is . . .

Orange swirl with calico and upon the suggestion of several of you I switched out the blue for the stripey fabric.  I LOVE collaborating.  So please keep participating when I ask for ideas.   I really  like it!!  This fabric combination left me with quite a bit left of both the swirl and the stripe so I have some more playing to do.

If you're just reading this post and wondering what is going on, you can read the last post to see what the voting was about.  I am trying to sew for this next month, until we get into our new home, using only one bag of scraps and not buying any fabric (except possibly for Stash Bee requests).

In addition to this result of scrap playing, I also had my June block of the month to do.  I actually had some free time today and got that put together as well.  Love this pattern!

 I tried to do a fancy shot with a blue tractor but I don't like how it looks on point and the wind kept trying to blow it away.  There is NOTHING else around here but dirt!  Can't wait to get some landscaping around this place!

House update!  The sheetrock is up and they are taping now.  It shouldn't be long before we start seeing some finishes going in.  I showed you the outside paint last time but we didn't know what stones we would be using.
Here is the stone.  I'm not sure if you can see it in the picture but it has shiny flecks in the rock.

Here is the granite that will go on the kitchen and bathroom countertops and it has some shiny flecks too only bigger flecks! It is a choice that can go with either gray or beige.
 I forgot to show the kind of kitchen cabinets we chose so that will be on the next update.  We haven't picked out light fixtures yet but are possibly going to have Brazilian Tigerwood hardwood floors!  Have you ever seen that stuff?  Take a peak here.  It is amazing!  It might be outside the budget so we'll see how all the costs are coming in closer to floor time.  I know, probably too busy for some of you but I just love all the different shades in this wood!

Speaking of floors, I would like to hear your opinion on the pros and cons of flooring in a sewing room.  Carpet or hardwood?  And why?  Thanks so much for all the opinions you share with me.  I love hearing from you! (Anja, you don't have to answer this one because you already told me!)  

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Next Improv Block and House Update

It was an adventure creating a new block improv style!

When I showed you my pile of scraps that I have limited myself to using while we are waiting for our house to be built, several of you mentioned the bright orange swirly looking piece and wanted me to use that for the next block.  So I dug through and found all of the pieces left of that one.  Here they are:

Next, I dove into the pile to find something to go with it.  I found these cute little miniature floral pieces:
   And laid out this:

I like this!  But I wanted to explore ALL of my options.  So I'm going to show you some other choices and let you help me decide which direction to go.  Please vote!  :)

There will be enough to put that bottom border on but I didn't want to cut it yet until I decide what I'm doing!

I think I would cut this up and do something more interesting than just a framed square.  If this is your favorite, what would you do with it?

OK, this next one is a little bit out there with traditional calico and this crazy swirl.  The nice thing about this one is I would still have quite a bit of swirl fabric left for another block.

And last but not least, the swirl fabric with some orange and red solid looking fabrics:

I am envisioning some kind of star block or something with flying geese.  I could actually sew some of the swirl strips together again to make a larger piece and you would hardly notice it.  Now please do leave your vote in the comments, won't you?  Which one (or two) choices do you like best?

I said I would have a house update but it's soooo hot out there!  It got up to over 100  degrees today!  It's almost 6 pm and still in the 90's.  Do I HAFTA get up and take pictures?  Oh, all right.  Ya talked me into it.  I'm heading out the door.  And please feel properly guilty for making me go out into this weather.  I'll be back in a sec.  OK, here ya go.

The red in this picture almost looks a little purplish, but it is a barn red.  The bottom of the posts will have horizontal strips of stone.  We haven't picked that out yet.  Today, we picked out the granite and carpet.  I'm not going to show anything inside yet because it's very boring.  Just bare sheetrock and every room looks the same right now.

The front looks very narrow, but it's pretty wide and goes back quite a ways.  Below is a view looking in the front window . . .  That first door you see on the right is the hallway to my quilt room! The 2nd door further back is the kitchen pantry.  This front room will be open to the large dining room (planning on putting a Walton Family size table in there) and then all the way to the end is the kitchen.   Ceiling height throughout the house is ten feet.

I'll share the progress as it happens!

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Scrap Busting Improv!

If you are a regular follower of mine then you know I am kind of displaced at the moment with no normal sewing space and no access to my stash!  In order to avoid having complete withdrawals, I did save out a sack of scraps to give me something to create with if the desire arose.  Here they are dumped on the table.
I shared in yesterday's post that one of my Stash Bee's asked for a string block and I was easily able to create that with my scraps.  You can see that creation here.  I was VERY surprised to see that making this block hardly made a dent in my sack full of scraps.  So I wonder how much I can make only using this sack of scraps?  We shall see!

Following is my very first attempt at improv block making.  I have no plan in my head, just working with the scraps that I have and see what comes out.  The first thing that caught my eye is this bright and colorful 7" x 7"scrap.  It came in a gift of scraps from a fellow stash bee participant and she gave me the most beautiful selection of Kaffe Fasset scraps!  I'm not sure if this is a KF scrap or not, I just know I love it.

The next thing I pulled out is this piece of fabric that was left over from a scrappy round the world that I started making a long time ago.  I never have found the blocks from that phase of my life and hopefully, they will turn up when I get moved in!
I thought this 2 1/2" orange and yellow scrap blended pretty good with my starter piece and wanted to make a border around the floral scrap but it wasn't long enough so I cut it in half lengthwise to make it long enough.  Now I have this!

I found a long skinny scrap of another bright and chaotic print that I thought was long enough to go around all four sides.  So I sewed on two of the sides but the piece remaining wasn't long enough for the other two sides.  Boo!  Time for plan B.

I guess that's why they call it improv.  I measured to see if I'd have enough of the border left if I put some other fabric in the corners.  I did!  So added on some cute polka dots to the strip making it the same width and just slightly longer than the strip so I could trim it off to be square after it was sewed on.  Don't look at those corners that don't match.  Do they hafta?

And now I have this!  I really, like it!  Yes, I know it's got a lot of chaotic color and that's not everybody's thing, but this is so me!

So that's as far as I got that evening.  Did you see anything in that pile of scraps up above that would be fun to try in the next round?   I'm thinking I need to get some new shapes in there somehow.  Or perhaps just start a whole new improv block and have a large variety of them and make some kind of sampler quilt.  What would you do next?

I almost forgot about some pictures I took until I read Barb of Mountain Quiltworks post showing some pictures she snapped in Italy and Greece of patterns that caught her eye.   I went to a conference in Washington DC last month and kept seeing interesting patterns everywhere.  Some of the most interesting patterns seem to be on chairs, carpets and tables!

Carpet #1
 Carpet #2

Back of a chair

Fancy tassels

Something found in the Air & Space Museum, an engine of some sort, I think?

A table seen in the White House!

So what new patterns have you seen today?  If I had a linky party, I would challenge you to post at least three new patterns you saw today and link up!  Maybe that is somewhere down the road one of these days.  :)

Linking up to:
WIP's Wednesday
Midweek Makers
WIP's with Friends
Needle & Thread Thursday
Jo's Country Junction UFO Progress

Monday, July 3, 2017


Wow!  It feels like forever since I've been able to do any sewing.  I FINALLY got to sew today.   Four 6 1/2" string blocks which will be sewn together to make a 12 1/2" block.

I was thrilled to find out that this is what one of my July stash bee requests was because the only fabric I have available to me right now is one grocery bag full of scraps.  Perfect!! This is probably the earliest I have ever finished a bee block!

If you don't want to read about our 5th wheel adventure, please read the last paragraph for a request for recommendations!

Since this is the first time I've ever sewn in a 5th wheel, it took me a while to get organized but I'll be better prepared for the next sewing session.  

Here is where I sew for the next six weeks . . . My mess in all its glory.  

And then all tidied up, sort of . . .
It is so hot today that we have all the windows covered up with reflective material to keep the heat out.  This is a very old 5th wheel and the cushions could definitely use new covers but I don't have a clue how to go about doing that!   

Way in the end, you can see just three pieces of our normal size sectional.  Two end pieces that recline and the middle corner piece.  They fit like a glove!  Of course, you can only recline one chair at a time or they run into each other.

I'm thinking about pinning up some batting on the back wall and just sticking blocks to it to brighten up the place.  I can see my daughter's laptop case has fallen off her bed and hanging back there.  Not the greatest decoration in the world.  Those string blocks were actually pretty fun to make and didn't make much of a dent in my sack of scraps!  

My husband is the best!  Instead of us having to pare down our wardrobes into what can fit into the 5th wheel . . . behold our new walk-in closet!  There is a door around to the right.

Here is the view from the inside.  We have this parked right across from the 5th wheel so its just a few short steps to pick something out for the day.  Two rods across the back and two long rows of rods along the left side.  We actually fit all three of our wardrobes in there!

It has also been suggested by several people that I get some kind of hand project going while living here.  I really like that idea!  I would like to do a small simple picture with an inspirational saying or quote that is cute and colorful (either embroidery or cross stitch).  Can you hand sewists out there direct me to a site or tell me about a designer I can search for?

Linking to:
Cooking Up Quilts
Em's Scrap Bag
Show and Tell Monday with Bambi

Saturday, July 1, 2017

New Quilt Room!

About every three or four years my inlaws have the dubious honor of being infested with these creatures in the canyon where they live.   They swarm every square inch of earth and eat everything that is green.   They are huge and one of them would pretty well cover the back of your hand.  Repulsive!  ICK!  Why would I tell you about these?  Read on!

Just a few years ago we were living with my inlaws while waiting for our remodel to be finished.  While there, one of the largest fires in decades swept through the the county burning well over 250,000 acres of land.  This is how close the fire came to where we were living.   It was a miracle (and a lot to do with a large group of church friends coming to fight the fire) that it didn't burn all the buildings, but not a single one was touched.

Later that year, when the rainy season came and there was no vegetation to hold the water, we experienced some flash flooding down the gullies that threatened to wash away a few of the outbuildings on the property.

I've been teased that we have been cursed with plagues!  Fire, flood and locusts!  On the bright side, we did survive!

Oh!  I almost forgot about the rock that came tumbling off the side of a cliff, smashed deep craters in the road leading to the house and also smashed the fence on the other side of the road.  We're talking a HUGE rock!   About the size of a pickup.  I have pictures somewhere but I can't find the memory card it's on.

I mention all these things just to say we have had quite an adventure while we've been waiting for our final home to be built.  And this will seem like a silly thing but I am thrilled about it!  A brand new pretty bronze mailbox with my very own permanent address on it!  This is finally happening!

I never really thought I'd think of a mailbox as beautiful, but THIS ONE IS!!  :)
These mailboxes kind of tell the story of our journey toward our final house.  5451 is the original farmhouse we remodeled, lived in for 8 months and just moved out of a few days ago.  5383 is the one we were going to move into if it didn't sell but it sold just a few weeks after we started building it.  And the sale of the first two is financing the building of our final and permanent home at 5371!  I'll show pictures of that another time.  There isn't much to show right now, it's just in the framing stage.

Here is where we will be living for the next 6 weeks or so . . .

Needless to say I haven't done any sewing for quite a while so I don't really have anything sewing related to talk about today other than to say, I finally bought an Accuquilt!  With no rent or mortgage payments due this month, I decided to splurge!  

And in spite of how long this has been going on there is the light at the end of the tunnel.  Here is proof!  This is my new quilt room!  Can you believe it?  I am going to love sewing in front of that huge window.

So my apologies for not having anything quilt related to show you today but I promise, there will be next time!

There have been so many beautiful quilt creations going on out there in blog land I can hardly stand it!    I guess if I can't sew, I can at least see lots of great eye candy so thanks for that!  Pretty soon, I'll be joining in again.  Yahoo!!

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