Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Aunt Jo's Scrap Bag

Isn't that the title of a Louisa May Alcott anthology of short stories? 

 Image result for Aunt Jo's Scrap Bag

Seems like it might be a good name for this little bit of scrappiness that is taking shape as well.

I am going to replace the center block. After seeing the photo, I decided the big black and white floral print is sticking out like a sore thumb, as is the square at the bottom corner of the block. This one will have to go live in the orphan block box, from which great potholders are eventually born.

Sometimes it's best to wait til morning to fix mistakes like this one. I have no idea what my corner triangles will be made of, probably a single neutral fabric would be best. From there, who knows what kind of outer borders will take place......I love working this way, without a fixed idea of what will happen.

I will fix that center block and fiddle with the block layout before starting to assemble into rows.

Back from Easter Break

Did you miss me?

It's been an odd couple of weeks. First, we had flu in the house, although the son who brought it home from work got better in a day or so. I stayed close to home for a few days. Have you ever felt a little under the weather but not quite sick? That was me.

I have finished my little scrappy basket blocks and should have something to show you on that layout soon.  I have been feeding the scrap strip bins, which means a lot of pressing, cutting, stashing, and refolding. I had to cut more tumblers for my L&E project. I don't think I've been quilting enough, because I have only gotten this far:

I am trying not to get upset when what SHOULD be a totally random scrappy arrangement ends up plunking two of the same tumblers right next to each other. It's somewhat ok with the lights, but when the darks match up across the rows it's like a testament to my laziness and poor planning.

Will I make it to a quilt of meaningful size before this coming year's L&E challenge is posted? I'd better get cracking. 

Clyde says, "just chill, mom," it's not as bad as you think. Step away, take a nap, and it will all be ok. 

Clyde is wise, I should listen to him more often.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Cleaning Tools

I've been a bit scattered lately. I trimmed up bunches of HSTs today so I should be able to churn out the remaining scrappy basket blocks more quickly. My machines need to be taken apart and given a little cleaning and TLC.  I have two odd tools I use for this.
That spaceship looking thing is a camera duster I bought a few years back on Amazon. It's actually called a Rocket Duster. You just squeeze it to send a gentle puff of air out the red tip. If you don't like to use canned air, this is a tool worth investing in.

A soft blush brush, fresh out of the package, and never used for makeup purposes is also useful for cleaning the outside of your machine as well as getting partway into those nooks and crannies where lint seems to hide.

The exciting news of the day is that I finally found and joined a daytime quilting circle. It's about a half hour's drive in a recreation center a few townships over from where I live. Very nice ladies. It's just a place to go and do some handwork and chat for a few hours, and trade ideas.  Machines are allowed, but since I always have some handwork in progress, whether it's applique, English Paper Piecing, crochet or knitting, it's not worth dragging even a Featherweight out unless it's a good long day's worth of work.

Today I brought a basket of HST's and a small cutting mat, so that I could trim them for assembly into blocks. I tend to measure and trim at every stage of construction, because I am still not as accurate as I would like to be.

Monday, March 21, 2016


Got a lot done today. Decided how many scrappy basket blocks I wanted, then cut and pieced enough hsts to finish them. Will press and trim them tonight or tomorrow.  Fed the other scrap bins as I pawed through the stash for more scrappy variety.

Also pieced three more rows for my tumbler quilt. Need to cut more tumblers, almost out.

Basted some more hexies, so I have handiwork to take to a daytime quilting bee I finally found.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Who Knew?

I forgot to wish everyone happy St. Patrick's Day. With no Irish blood, I don't wear the green, but they're not sure that  St. Patrick did either, according to this trivia site.

It means a lot to celebrate our ancestral culture to be sure, and I wish you all a wonderful day, and one of the many great lyrical Irish blessing prayers.

May you always have
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire

To sash or not to sash, that is the question

I'm leaning towards a narrow scrappy sashing of light prints, no cornerstones for the inside joins of these blocks.And maybe some single colorway string pieced triangles for the large triangular spaces around the edge, following by a 2" border and maybe a pieced outer border of some sort.  I am just going to decide as I go along.

I don't think they can just be joined block to block, it's too confusingly scrappy that way--take a look at my earlier photo of the first few blocks

Let me know what you think? Leave a comment, but I reserve the right to forge ahead and decide something entirely different when all the blocks are done. I don't even have a thought in mind for how big this should be. I'm thinking good sized wallhanging.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016

Unearthed my first quiltville quilt

Got half the quiltorium decluttered. Took the dustcover sheet off of the bed, and got a shot of Starstruck, my very first Bonnie Hunter quilt.

I think it was the last big quilt that was lacking on the quilts page of this blog!  So cross that item off the to do list.

I am late for leap year.....

A while back (must have been the end of February, huh) I noticed Bonnie Hunter doing these cute scrappy basket blocks. I was in denial about having to clean the sewing room. It's scary in there folks.
I will post an after shot, I promise. I don't have a lot of room, and that darned queensize bed is hogging too much space. I have my star struck scrappy quilt on it, with a sheet over that to protect it from all the stuff that lands there. On the L shaped desk, I keep my ovation serger, one of my two bernina machines, and my singer 301. When I quilt something, I move my bernina aurora to a different table in our bedroom.

Anyway, back to the subject. To preward myself for even wanting to clean, I made one of the scrappy basket blocks so I can figure out the dimensions. I don't have the Quiltmaker issue from 2011 that published the pattern. I think I have it now, and can start kitting up the pieces after I clean. I also need to find my 6.5" ruler in all that mess.

Note to self: punch up the colors a bit, use some red and orange maybe?

I feel like I should tie a rope to my ankle so they can pull me out in case a pile topples on me while I struggle with things. So if you don't hear from me this weekend, I'm still stuck in that disaster of a room.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Afghan done

I finished it this morning. It drapes very well after a wash and tumble dry. Acrylic yarn gets a bad rap, but it is durable and washable. The blanket looked stiff and lumpy as I made it, but it relaxed and feels cuddly now. Hopefully it will help a dear old woman rest and heal from her fall.
 The pattern is from a Leisure Arts booklet I picked up second hand. It's no longer in print. The title was So Pretty Pineapples #3116 by Anne Halliday.

In other news, spring has sprung here. The other day I washed the floors and opened the windows and the house just felt so fresh. Birds are everywhere, crocuses blooming, and the briary undergrowth in our woods is turning green as the sap rises. We noticed the big ugly noses of the skunk cabbages poking up in the marshy areas of our woodland walk today. Tomorrow promises to be warm as well. I like early spring before it gets too hot and buggy.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

A rush Crochet Project

Went to a party....found out that a dear woman in her 90s had broken her shoulder. She has crocheted afghans for everyone for years. She kept NONE for herself. She will be getting an afghan. I couldn't turn away from that.

And yes, the break was on the side she crochets with.

So if blogging is light for a while, this is what I am spending my time on.