Tuesday, March 20, 2018

I failed.

     So much for the 30 days of blogging challenge in December. Honestly, if I was boring myself to death, I can only imagine what I was doing to you, gentle readers.
Equinox quiltlet- Happy Spring!
It's the first day of spring, and another snowstorm will hit us tonight.

     Spring quilt show season is underway, and everything fell into place with only hours to spare.
I have three new patterns.

     This is "Taffy Twist with Gumdrop Border." It's fat-quarter friendly (although it works equally well from linear quarter-yard pieces) and fun! Don't let those tiny gumdrop triangles scare you; they're made from the bonus triangles you have left over from making the blocks. There's plenty of negative space for those of you who like to do lots of quilting. I've already taught this as a class.
    By the way, all the fabrics are "Lola" by QT (Quilting Treasures).

     The next one up is "Linky Dinky".  The quilt shown is a generous lap quilt (48" x 64"), but I also give directions for a full/queen bed size which would make a great modern wedding quilt.

Linky Dinky

     I used "Lola" again for the background; links are Ink & Arrow "Toucan Do It!".

     I don't design a lot of appliqué, but this was inspired by a truly hideous (and completely different) pieced quilt I saw in an old quilt book. The only thing I liked about the original was the use of red for the vases. Instead of lots of small pieced blocks, I adapted it to the mid-19th century appliquéd four block quilt. It has all the drama with none of the tedious hand work. I used a variety of QT tonals from various lines. The vases are QT's "Ombre Scroll", which I thought most gave the illusion of ruby glass.

     Never one to leave well-enough alone, I had been playing around with my Periwinkle Template Set. I asked myself a lot of "what if's", and when it was apparent I would need to re-order in the not-to-distant future, I got serious about what else I wanted to do with it. A minor tweaking would allow quilters to do so much more than just make periwinkle blocks.

Periwinkle Quilt

     Above is the (fussy cut) cover quilt I created from my original Periwinkle Template Set.
I then made one with scrappy bright periwinkles against a two-color pieced background. I love this one!

     At this point I realized a small change would give big results, and I developed "Periwinkle Plus™".  The following quilts are all made from this new set.
     Tumblers are perfect for scrap quilts. I used up lots of small pieces of country colors in this lap quilt.
Tumbler quilt

     This was a fun, easy project. I alternated medium and dark tumblers with lighter "neutrals".

     With the new templates, three periwinkle "points" could be appliquéd onto the corner of a block to make a fan. I had lots of small Oriental fabric scraps, which were perfect. And how about that awesome batik background with the soft green fans which just happened to live in my house?

Fan Quilt

     I quilted straight line fan-like "flowers" across this quilt. I like the effect a lot, and will probably use this again on other quilts.

    Smaller tumblers (short, fat and short, skinny) can be cut from 2 1/2" strips using my template set, and twelve periwinkle point can be sewn together into a Dresden plate. This little "Dresden Sampler" uses all three, and can be made from six leftover 10" squares and a fat quarter. Again, another great class project.
Dresden Sampler
     This past weekend I vended at the Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild show in Upton, MA. I also demo'ed the template set both days.

My booth

     Next up (April 14th and 15th) I'll be at the Pioneer Valley Quilt Guild show in Springfield, MA. This will be my third time there, and I will be demonstrating Periwinkle Plus™ Template Set on Saturday.
     The following weekend (April 21st and 22nd) I'll be back home in Rhode Island at the Narragansett Bay Quilters Association show in North Kingstown.

     It's been years since I participated in a blog swap, but this one from Barb at
 funwithbarbandmary.blogspot.com was calling my name. YIKES! Sixty-six 6-inch blocks. Yes, I had to make sixty-six blocks for the swap. I had the choice of modern or Civil War reproduction, and as I had quite a bit of retro prints in my stash, I opted to go that route. These are some of the sixty-six lovelies I got back, and I'm looking forward to playing around with them and seeing what I come up
with. I cut my pieces with my new-ish Accuquilt Go cutter. So nice to have all those dog ears trimmed off the HSTs; everything went together perfectly!

Swap blocks

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day # 12: Another day, another party...

  I test drove a new (and out of character for me) outfit- a red, purple and bronze silk Chico's tunic over a red turtleneck, black stirrup leggings, and bronze shoes. The leggings reminded me of the stretch pants I wore in second grade, ca. 1962, amazingly comfortable, as were the shoes I bought over a year ago, but never wore until tonight. I think I need to use that red/purple/bronze/black palette in a quilt.
   Tomorrow is back to work, then my open sew group at night. I have a neat little demo for my groupies- sssshhhhhhh!!!!; it's a surprise.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day #11- Just a brief post tonight

     Tonight was my quilt guild's holiday party. We have a potluck (apps and goodies) and a silent auction of member's handmade items. I bid on several things, won these two cute star ornaments.

I've never seen ones like these before, and can't quite figure out how they were made. I try to make or buy at least one handmade ornament every year.
     I finished piecing the quilt back. I cut the tan backing in half horizontally, then added rows of four different fabrics in varying widths that (sort of) coordinated with each other. I may not quilt it right now, but I bought a backing yesterday and have everything ready to go.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Day # 10- No pictures, but tomorrow is another day...

     Started the day with a simple errand (running out to get a $10 Walmart gift card for my husband to give at a holiday party Yankee Swap), and wound up two hours, three miles, and four stores later with nearly all my Christmas shopping done. Don't you love when that happens? I even bought the dog a new bed.
     Back home, I mixed up a big batch of fruitcake batter, and while those babies were in the oven I finished the beading, quilting, and binding on my wreath wall hanging. I wove in the ends on a crocheted cap. I addressed Christmas cards. I cooked a double batch of chicken and spaghetti squash. I updated the calendar on my web site. I dragged out a batch of half blocks that needed pressing before sewing the halves together. All in all, nothing terribly exciting, but a lot of nagging stuff finished.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Day #9 - Sorry, not THIS year!

     Gwen from Tillalili had the booth next to me, and I couldn't resist these fat quarters. The top two fabrics are "Jingle Birds" from Moda, the one at lower left is "Pixie Noel" from Riley Blake, and I don't know where the navy/white dot fabric is from. I'm itching to design a table runner, but I'm not feeling the love (understatement of the year) for any of the designs I've been doodling. I think I need to step away.

    The crocheted hat is coming along, but the directions have me wondering if anyone actually tested them on humans. Oh, it's easy enough to follow, but I've been crocheting for many years and never had a gauge issue before this. When the directions for "age 7 to 12", come out way too large for my medium to large adult head, something is amiss. So, I tore it out and started making the "age 2-5" version instead, which is likely to fit its 8 year-old recipient. On top of it all, I don't have much yarn left, and it only is supposed to take one ball for any size up to "adult small".  After supper I'm going to finish it- if I can. If I run out, I'll add some cotton yarn from my dish cloth yarn stash.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Day #8, Wrapping Things Up

     I finished the Boxy Stars quilt top this morning. I'm thinking of doing a pieced back. I have some leftover 108" wide  fabric in a subtle tan tonal floral and a long strip of a Moda Kansas Troubles print. If I make a few extra boxy star blocks I should be good to go.  Striped border look familiar? It was left over from my nephew's quilt back and borders, and I still have about a 6" strip left, so you just might see it AGAIN in another quilt or two.

     I also did some beading on my wreath. I'll post another picture when it's beaded and quilted, but here it is, sans beads.

    The adorable background fabric is from Ink & Arrow. This was made in a fun workshop with Judy Lancaster last month. I saved just enough of the darker green fabric ("Ombre Scroll" by Quilting Treasures) for binding, but all the rest of both greens was put to use in my poinsettia ornaments.

     Having vintage 3-armed pole lamps all over the house is perfect for hanging ornaments out of the way while the glue dries. I also loop my binding and border strips over them.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Day #7- According to AccuWeather...

...snow will be starting in 38 minutes. Hmmm....we shall see.
    I'm off tomorrow, so until I have to head outside and help with the shoveling, I'll probably be hunkered down with one of several choices:
    I can layer and baste the quilt and start quilting it.
    I can work on my knitting, which, as it's a sweater for me, probably will get pushed aside.
    I can immerse myself in the million-page, tiny-print book on my end table.
What I can't do is:
    Bake fruitcake (I don't have all the ingredients on hand). Yes, I bake fruitcake. Yes, I eat fruitcake. Yes, I like fruitcake. So does my entire family. People have strange responses when you tell them that. My favorite came years ago from a male co-worker, "Good God, woman!"

It's beginning to look a lot like...fruitcake!

     I had to make an unexpected trip to the vet; little Rosie was in a lot of pain. We couldn't pinpoint where she hurt. She'd move like she was hurting, then suddenly be wagging her tail like nothing happened. Every so often she'd shriek in pain. You can't imagine how loud a 4 1/2-pound dog can be. It turned out she somehow injured her neck.
     I cooked a tiny hamburger, smooshed it into a million pieces, and mixed in her pain meds. As much pain as she was in, she couldn't resist the beef. She's now curled up in her bed by the radiator being sad.

Rosie on a happier day

     Today I added the last blocks and sashing to the Boxy Stars quilt. I'd have had the border cut and sewn on by now, but I made this instead.

     It's a fun little tree farm quilt from Other People's Material. I made a much longer version for myself; this one will be donated to my guild's silent auction next week. 
     The cute tree print was from the scrap table at the guild's show. I found twelve rectangles of it. They were the inspiration for the quilts. See the garlands on the trees? I free-motion quilted the same design on my green triangles. And on the print pieces I quilted swirling snowflakes.
      After much procrastinating, I treated myself to an AccuQuilt Go cutter for my birthday. I cut "some" half-square triangles in shades of blue and green with the included die. I think I got a little carried away. I still have enough for at least two more quilts like this. I LOVE not having to trim all those dog ears!