Monday, May 30, 2016

Mini Round Robin

It's all Cindy's fault.  She writes at Stitchin' At Home; we met in last summer's New Quilt Bloggers Group.  Cindy asked Julie of Pink Doxies fame if she'd like to do a swap over the summer with a few friends.  Julie ran that thought by me, and I said cool, but how would we swap in a group...hmmm, we had a think...and then I asked, what about a round robin idea?  Make it small so it's quick.  Easy and fun.  Went back to Cindy.  Thumbs up.  So I asked Tish, of Tish's Adventures in Wonderland, if she wanted in, and she immediately said, "Cool!"  And thus we had our group of four, already good friends thanks to several hops and activities and emails and iMessages and FaceTime.  Oof-da!!  :-)

I don't believe anyone in QBL has done a Mini Round Robin!

So what are our guidelines?  We determined that in order for it to be a Mini, it should have a finished perimeter of approximately 24" a side.  With four of us in the group, that meant each round should total about 6" finished.
This 1/3 yard fabric was hanging on my sewing chair, not sure why or when I pulled it out, but last night it told me it wanted to be the centre; all I have on the selvage is (Ro) Gregg for Northcott
The centre block would be a maximum of 6" finished, but it could be less than that, and it didn't have to be square.  You could have a 5" finished block, or a rectangle, or a triangle, hexagon.... Each round would total 6" maximum finished, so 3" finished if doing a round on all four sides, or 6" if only adding to two sides, or 7" if the centre was only 5"...and the endless creative possibilities begin!

We have to have our first block in the mail on May 31, shuffle to be determined by good old MacGyver.  The first round has to be done and posted about at the end of June, in the mail June 30, Round 2 by July 31, Round 3 by August 31, and finished quilting and final post Show 'n Tell in early October.
Final decision:  Northcott quilt shops, Nana's Abstractions by ?, Julie's gorgeous hand-dyed batik, and Good Neighbors by Connecting Threads, a fitting background

How hard can it be to whip up a 6" block?  I had a couple of ideas, but let them percolate over this past rather eventful month on the quilting and on the personal fronts.  One of the events was my mum requesting a quilt to take to my aunt in England.  Another was Lara's blog hop, (that'll take you to the schedule) for her first book, Crafted Appliqué, (no affiliation) which resumes tomorrow and culminates in some AHH-mazing giveaway prizes June 4!!  And then I decided I couldn't send my Auntie Joyce a quilt without sending one for her husband, my Uncle Frank, who is my mum's brother.  The quilting is finished on it; I had a BLAST quilting...
Third pass of wavy line FMQ motifs along some of them.  My Muse and I, along with Avril, were in such sweet harmony (ha, pun not originally intended). I think I may have created an original FMQ motif with the music notes under Christina Cameli's 'Leafy' motif.  Eeep!

and might have not torn myself away from it until it was completely done last night, which is why I got a rather late start to actually making my 6" block.  I might have also changed my plan...
Pat Sloan's Row 1 block in American Patchwork & Quilting, appealed to me as a great way to showcase the quilt shop fabric. Also, traditional meets modern with both older and new fabrics, all in a 'new' block!
It was 12" finished, but how hard could it be to make it 6"?  Cut everything in half, right?
Block on the left is the correct size; block on the right will grow up into a ... 'nother mini?! That or a pincushion!
BZZZ!  Nope!  It was soon apparent that we had a problem, Houston.

You do cut the finished measurement of each section in half, and from there add back on the 1/2" for the seam allowances.  After 9 pm, my brain doesn't fire on all cylinders at the best of times, but add in the menopausal brain farts I am plagued with, and the plan goes awry.  I went to bed.  5:30 comes early...

I was stressing about going to yoga this morning when I should be re-doing my block and taking photos and writing the post, and then I thought, 'Sandra!  It's a blog!  You aren't going to be docked pay!' And so I did what yoga teaches: live in the moment.

It's a beautiful thing, doing yoga, making that 45-minute drive back home, which is when the lightbulb first went on, grabbing a coffee at home, and going straight to work... and it WORKED!!
1.25" squares on 1.5 X 3.5" rectangles; direction matters!

The trickiest part was those little squares.  MacGyver and I talked this morning (after all he is a math guy):
Me: So I think I need to do a ratio to figure out the size of the little squares.  2 is to 2.5 as what is to 1.5?
MacGyver: Well you're talking 80%.
Me: 80%...oh! 20 out of 25! (translate it to teaching...ergo test scores...and I am up to speed)
MacGyver: Yeah.  So the second number would be 1.2.
Me: Like 12 out of 15!  Hmmm...1.2 isn't going to happen...I'll have to do 1.25 and hope for the best.

I did a happy dance that it worked:
Woo hoo!'s not square, and I knew it wouldn't be, because Pat Sloan has you add a 2.5X12.5 strip to one side of her block.  Hers are symmetrical; mine is not.  Direction mattered in the placement of the squares with the green triangles, and in the subsequent placement of the rectangles with green triangles.  Drat.  Well, I could leave it as a rectangle; our guidelines had determined that.  Did I want to do that to the next person after the math crap I'd just gone through?  Uh, no.

It would not do to have the house off to one side by adding a strip as per Pat's plan.  Could I split the strip and sew half to each side?  We determined that using the 'X' background fabric would make it look like there was a mistake.  Tried the green (how I adore this hand-dyed by Julie fabric!!) hmmm, not quite right; what about trying the blue? Yep, we both liked the blue.  And so it is!  6.5" square, ready to be sent off.

MacGyver did his shuffle work this morning, so my block is now going to be mailed to Tish.  You can check out the other blocks here:

And! Tish made us a not only a button (see sidebar), but also a #miniroundrobin hashtag!  She's SO computer savvy, that girl.  You may recall she has made me some block and layout diagrams for my Blue Skies & Sunny Days pattern which David, her husband, should be finished testing this Memorial Day Monday!  If you're on Instagram, he's posted a few in-construction photos.  Might have a release of the pattern very shortly...

If you would like to join in on our Mini Round Robin, please do!  All you need to do is form your own group of four.  Follow our guidelines, or make up your own.  Post your progress at the end of each month.  I will set up a linky for us to share, and perhaps see about some prizes of some kind, depending on interest.  New groups of four will be one month behind us, but that is okay!

Linking up with Cooking Up Quilts!

And Free Motion By the River

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday Stretch for Sewists #9

Wow, it is already the end of May and time for another yoga pose to help those aching muscles.  Today I'll show you a pose that is not only good for your low back, but excellent for those of you who maybe have a herniated or slipped disc, as it gently helps realign the discs with the vertebrae.

As with any of these poses, listen to your body: if there is any pain, come out.  You want a steady tugging or tension feeling, the kind that makes you want to groan.  Also remember that this is a Yin style of doing this pose, so do not force or push; you want to relax into it.

Sphinx pose

This is an extension pose for your spine; in other words, a backbend.  Stage 1 is called Baby Cobra.
Tops of the feet are on your mat.
Arms bent, elbows tucked by your ribs, hands just in front of your shoulder heads.
Fingers are spread for good energy flow.
Head, shoulders, and collar bones lifted off the mat.
Relax your butt and leg muscles.

If that is quite easy and you'd like a deeper backbend, go to Stage 2, which is Sphinx.
Elbows are under your shoulders and you have a 90-degree angle at your elbow eyes.
Spread the fingers for good energy flow.
Tops of the feet are relaxed on the mat.
Relax your butt and leg muscles.  They will want to help hold you up, but you want the muscles and ligaments along your spine and in your low back to do the work.  You might have to remind yourself off and on throughout the hold to relax the larger muscles that keep wanting to take over.  In time, you will strengthen your low back.
Keep your head in line with your spine; imagine a triangle on the floor in front of you.  Your two hands are at opposite ends of the base.  Draw an imaginary line from each hand to the point of the triangle which is where your gaze falls, and then close your eyes and breathe.
Notice a delicious stretch or tugging along the abdominal tissues and in the front of the hips.

Remember Bernie Clark's mantra: If you're feeling it, you're doing it.  Breathe in and out slowly and steadily maybe to a count of 3 or 4 on each inhale and exhale, and hold here for 3 minutes if you can.  However, you can work up to 3 minutes; there is no need to start there, but you can also hold for 5 if you like.  Use your timer on your phone so you can close your eyes and go into your body, noticing the sensations.

There is a second arm position you might like, and one I've been preferring of late. This is the way Sarah Powers does Sphinx:
Grab opposite elbows.  Everything else is the same as I described above.
Here's what it looks like from the front:
To come out, first inhale.  On the exhale, slowly come down, turning your elbows out to the side, stacking one hand on top of the other making a pillow for your forehead, and relax completely.  Fill your low back with your breath, releasing.  Take a full minute to feel the pose leave your body.  You may further release if you like, by bending both legs at the knees and waving the feet gently back and forth like windshield wipers.

If you want to deepen this pose, simply spread your legs apart to the sides of your mat.
If you want to deepen the backbend even more, after resting a full minute from Sphinx, you may want to try...


Wing your hands out so the thumbs point to the top of your mat.  Push into your palms, straightening your arms as you do so, rising up even higher than in Sphinx.
MacGyver must've said something funny here or else poor gut-tormented-by Clindamycin Rocco might have farted...yeah that happens sometimes in yoga classes LOL
You will feel a much stronger stretch through the abdomen here, and in the front of the hip joints.  You will also feel a more intense bend in your low back.  Your butt and leg muscles are going to kick in, so keep reminding them, breathing, to relax.  You can rise up out of the shoulder girdle as in the above photo, or...

drape down into the shoulder girdle in a bit of a hunch.  Try both.  Then pick the one you feel you need.  Each one differs slightly in sensation, so get in tune with those sensations in your body.  Close your eyes.  Breathe.  You can even deepen this pose by spreading your legs apart as in Sphinx.  Those of you with super-flexible spines might like to bend your legs up touching your toes to the back of your head!  Hold this one for 3-5 minutes, or maybe less.  Come out as before, and be still as before.

Think of how often (or not) we do backbends as adults.  Uh huh....  Kind of like how often we sit on the floor cross-legged, right?  Are you remembering to spend 5 minutes a day while you watch the news, or while you do handwork in the evening sitting with your legs crossed?  Your hips will thank you!

I have the flimsy finished for my Uncle Frank!  Ha:  Frank's flaming orange finished flimsy!  Love figures of speech.  That one is alliteration.  ;-)
He's also partial to purple, his words, so of course I incorporated that.  Tish suggested maybe some white on white?  And before I even knew of his flaming orange favourite, I kept getting a feeling and a phrase (gosh the f-words, lol, just abound here!) "black tie affair" I knew I wanted there to be black and white in it as a nod to musicians and conductors, of which he is both.  So that is why you see a little black and white, and some music-themed fabric in there.  More details when I have a finish which should be by the end of Sunday!

There are scraps from a variety of projects, Aidan's "Radiance", my "Three-Quarter Patch Tote", Dayna's "Mariner's Compass", Callum's "Shift", a loose jumper-style dress I made in the early 2000s, in that wonderful rich eggplant, that I never wore because it made me look pregnant, along with various stash pieces.  Ah the joys of having an ample stash, and shopping within it!  Year of the stash, yeah baby!

I found this rather interesting:
Look at the centre fabrics of these two test blocks.  They are in Uncle Frank's quilt!!  Isn't that odd, but in a lovely way?!  I made these blocks last October when someone approached my friend Janette to ask if she would make her this quilt of Janette's:
Photo courtesy of Janette Kahil of Old Wooden Palette
Janette pointed that person to me, but sadly the commission didn't work out, even though, as you who read me know, my quote was more than reasonable for materials and time.  Janette's quilt was a kit, no longer available, made from a jelly roll.  I tried the first block (brown background above) as per Janette's memory and measurements, and then adapted the one section to save a seam and a little fabric, (green background fabric above).  I will write up a little tutorial for what I did, promise!

Remember my Benartex fat quarter bundles, sent to me for recommending friends to receive their e-magazine?  I used two of them in this quilt!
Wow, are they vibrant!  Can't wait to put a quilt together with the stack!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Binding Tip

As promised here is what I do to bind a quilt.  Assumption:  You know how to measure the perimeter of your quilt, figure out how many strips you need, join these strips with a mitred seam, trimming to 1/4" and pressing those seams open to reduce bulk.  First, it is important to leave a good 6-8" tail loose when you start to sew down your binding.  Another good idea (voice of experience) is to pin your proposed starting point. Then run your binding all around your quilt, just matching it with your fingers, checking that no joined strips of binding will land at the corners, which would create too much bulk.  If necessary, back up or move ahead your proposed starting point of stitching the binding down.

The first seemingly tricky part is turning the corner to get a nice mitre.  First stitch to within 1/4" from the next edge.  I have wonderful lines on my walking foot to help me stop at the correct spot.  I like to sew off the edge at a 45-degree angle. I don't backstitch or break threads; once you stitch down the next side you will cross over your stitching, so that effectively locks it.
I don't usually pull the threads out this far! It was just to get a good photo.
Next I fold the binding back on itself at a 45-degree angle.
Try to get it so the raw edges all run straight; ahem, mine are going off at a bit of a slant!
Next, fold the binding once more back on top of itself, hiding that 45 angle.
Align the fold with the top raw edges, and the raw edges of the binding with the other raw edges of the next side of the quilt down which you are about to sew.  I still haven't cut threads you can see.  In the photo below, you can see how these folds create a little 3D double triangle.

Here you can see what it looks like after you've sewed down that next side.

and flipping it to the back so you see how the rather odd-looking corner turns into this little beauty.

All this is well and good and I had it down easy on my first quilt.  Having the final ends finished nicely did not get done very well until several years later when I took a sewing machine cover class at my LQS.  That instructor taught us how to do the clean method I have used ever since.  You end up with a mitred end that looks exactly like all your joined and mitred binding strips.

Lay the just-finished sewing end of binding on top of the 6-8" tail you left when you first started sewing.  Overlap the ends by the same width as your binding.  In my case, it's 2 1/4".  Because it is hard to see in the photo, I dropped a pin to mark the original cut at 90-degree angle binding edge.

Draw a line with a chalk marker a hair's breadth less than 2 1/4"; this makes for a snug final fit.  I sometimes use scissors to cut that chalk-marked line, but I usually use a little 6X8 Olfa mat between the edge needing to be cut and the rest of the quilt and cut with a rotary cutter for a nice crisp edge.

I usually just align the two cut ends as I do for joining the binding strips, but for this little tutorial, I marked the 45-degree with a ruler and my trusty Pentel fabric gel pen.  Thus, you can see how you are going to align these two ends...

I tried to show here how the just-cut binding stays horizontal, and the beginning end of the binding lies on top of and perpendicular to it.
Sew along the 45 angle.... lay it down before trimming your seams to check that it will fit...

Presto!  Again, you cannot see the seam very well, which is a great thing in real life, but not for this tutorial purposes, so I drew an arrow on the photo to help you find that seam.  Isn't that slick?  I do have another full tutorial on this under the Tips and Tutorials tab as well.

From here you'd turn your binding to the back of the quilt and hand or machine-stitch it down.  I prefer to hand-stitch it down, but I'm loving the speed of machine-stitching a binding down, but I'm not exactly loving the look....still working on it.  About a year ago, Judy of Quilt Paradigm sent me to Sharon Schamber's terrific binding tutorial using GLUE!! Yes!!! Try it, and be a convert like I am!  There are a couple parts to it, all worth watching.

Also, Tish of Tish's Adventures in Wonderland showed me another fantastic binding method which I have used twice now (didn't even think to use it on this quilt, duh!).  It is by Aunt Marti, and called Susie's Magic Binding.  Here is the video.  I personally found the blog version better.  She and I are going to have a conversation about the final step of applying binding.  I'm hoping she can provide some insight into a better machine-stitched down version.

Speaking of Tish!  Her adorable husband, David, is busy building (a more manly verb for piecing) Blue Skies but in a rectangle like Sunny Days:
Photo courtesy of Tish; he's so intense!

I am pinching myself to think that someone is making a pattern I designed!  Hope to release it this weekend!  Wiggle wiggle happy dance fist punch the air, say, "Yeah, baby!"  And if Brady is around, he'll either laugh, or most likely, as he does when his mother dances, roll his eyes and go, "Oh MAN! Nanaaaa!  Stop!"

Speaking of original designs and independent designers, I still have another May is for Makers post in the works. Stay tuned all you wonderful wimmin' (my friend Linda's joyful turn of phrase) and men!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fairy Steps 3

I've made this pattern three times now, and I could start another one right after I write this post!  It's fast and easy and has such a pretty overall effect.  This is going to my Auntie Joyce in England.  My mum is heading over there this coming weekend and asked me to make a quilt for her like the wheelchair charity quilts I made, and inadvertently got our guild to make for our Christmas charity project, last year.
Taken in the shade; the sashing and borders are not quite this white
I haven't washed it yet; will do that when I finish the other one I've decided to make, and take photos of the two together.  This is from Pam and Nicky Lintott's book, Two From One Jelly Roll Quilts.

I planned to use Warm 'n Natural, but then perhaps when I was going through my stash to find a suitable backing, some leftover from Dayna's quilt slabs of Quilter's Dream wool reached out their wooly paws and tapped me on the arm, and I thought, hmmm, I wonder.  Well, read on and you will see how wonder-FULL it went!
The first slab nicely fit the top 3/4 of the quilt.  Then I laid a relatively wide long piece down to see if it would be wide enough, and it was plenty wide enough! Snuggled it up against the main slab when I got to quilting that point in the quilt, held it in place to the backing with a couple shots of Sullivan's Quilt Basting Spray, smoothed down the top, and finished quilting.
Because of the ditching down the sashings and inside seam of the border, and the allover flowers and leaves and loops meander, I knew that join would get criss-crossed plenty.  And it did.  You can't tell where it is at all.  May I say how much I am LOVING wool batting?  Quilts like butter! Nice definition! So light but gives a lovely warmth.  Makes me think of woolly sheep...and green hills of Scotland, and mists and Jamie, ahhh...wait, what? Where am I?  Ah Outlander, both the books (I'm re-reading Dragonfly in Amber), and the TV series, you have my heart and my imagination totally and completely yet again...

Where were we?  Ah yes, wool batting.

The backing:
I no longer have my piano, but is that not the "Simple Gifts" tune if my musical mind hasn't left me...

Perfect colours to go with the front.  But music? With a floral and garden-themed quilt?  Well Auntie Joyce's husband, my mum's brother, Uncle Frank, is a musician.  He conducted Besses o' the Barn band for several years, wrote or maybe still writes music, writes wonderful poetry (check out his blog, Poems for Proles), wrote a couple of episodes for "Coronation Street", paints, worked in textiles, in short, he is one über-talented man.  This is a piece left over from a cushion I made for my beloved 'second mum' and piano teacher many years ago.  It's the perfect backing, and there was JUST enough; yay that this is a small lap quilt.
Pocket on the back made from trimmings from the front for a 'hanky' and label from a chunk of labels fabric from another aunt!
I wasn't sure about using blue and pink floral for a binding, but I love it.  It represents the blue sky of a garden, right?  It also picks up the hit of blue in one of the fabrics.  Ha until I uploaded this photo, I hadn't noticed the triangle of cerulean in the top left!  Love that.
Some really lovely texture, and so soft a drape
Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  Fairy Steps by Pam & Nicky Lintott
Size: 31.5 X 37.5"; 30.5 X 36.5" after quilting
Fabric:  From stash and Clothworks "Provincial"
Batting: Quilter's Dream wool
Quilted: on my Avanté
Threads: pieced with Gütermann; quilted with Essential in pale pink.  May I just add how very much Avril and I LOVE this thread?  She was still threaded from Sunny Days, so I simply loaded this quilt, checked the tension as I ran my straight lines across first the batting and then the top to secure the top edge.  Perfect.  And then not one break in the entire little quilt.  It really blends in well on both the coloured fabrics as well as the ivory ones.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts, always love Lorna's linky.
And with My Quilt Infatuation, lots of eye candy there too with Kelly.

Note: Since I now have over 200 readers (egad, like how) I must live up to your devotion by giving some content, n'est-ce pas?  As in educational methinks.  I have several tutorials here but whilst (channeling my English roots here) applying the binding on Fairy Steps, I took several photos to show you lovely readers what I do to bind a quilt.  It's nothing revolutionary in the least, but always good to see techniques and hopefully take away tidbits that might help you.  I'll have that for you tomorrow.  I was going to add it to this post, but that would be much too lengthy even for me!  My next installment of May is for Makers is forthcoming toute de suite (Clearly I'm also channeling la France thanks to Outlander being set there in this second book/second season).  On that May is for Makers note, my own pattern for Blue Skies & Sunny Days is DONE!!  I am so very grateful to Tish for her wizardry in EQ7:  she made me some very professional-looking diagrams for the pattern.  It should be available (and on sale of course) within a few days, eep!

Please remember to visit those bloggers on the Crafted Appliqué blog hop at Buzzin' Bumble that is still running until June 4!  Here is the schedule.  Giveaways every day!  Open internationally.  I love that both my giveaways are going overseas, the book to Ireland and my dogs/cats pattern to The Netherlands! Small lovely world.
MacGyver's flipflop-encased toes (yeah they're that brown!) just visible, snort....

Still with me?  Rocco got most of his staples out yesterday, although there are still two spots, at the top and at the bottom of his incision, where they need to stay.  We go back next week to get these last ones out.  Poor poor darling; the vet tech had removed the ones at the top but didn't like the looks of the incision, so she called in the vet to check it out, and he agreed, and put in two new ones.  Rocco cried/whimpered just once, but my heart broke for him.  He was exhausted when we got home, more walking than he's done in a few weeks.  They all grinned to see his pibble yoga frog pose though!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Winners and a Flimsy

There were 133 comments, plus 2 personal emails from friends who don't feel comfortable writing a comment but do follow me.  I assigned numbers to those friends based on the time their emails came in.  One was #1; she immediately sent me a comment via email the night before the post went live when I told her to watch for the giveaway the next day.  So she was #1.  That meant everyone from comment #1 on was bumped ahead a number.  My other friend's email came in at 2:41 PM on May 17, so I assigned her #54.  Therefore everyone after #54 is bumped ahead by two numbers.  Follow?

The first winner of a signed copy of Lara's book was #77, which, because of the two emails meant I'd go to #79, which is Helen of Midget Gem Quilts! I had to draw a couple of times for this as the first draw was a no-reply blogger.  :-(

Helen wrote:
We'll let you, the reader, figure out who her sassy bloggy friend is...

The second winner of the pattern for the dogs/cats wallhanging or pillow if you do like I did, was #125, but I went to #127, again because of the two email entries.  Congrats Marly of Marly's Quilts! We've read each other's blogs many times and each thought we were following the other, but nope we weren't, but now we are, LOL.

Marly wrote:

I've emailed both Helen and Marly.  Thank you to all who entered, thank you to those of you who are now following me, and woot! woot!  early Sunday evening I got an email from bloglovin' (drum roll).... mmm! quilts now has just passed 200 followers!  Holy Dinah!  I feel another giveaway looming.  Stay tuned!

Speaking of gifts, I recently received two fat quarter bundles.  TWO!
This 'n That by Nancy Halvorsen and Fleurish by Maria Kalinowski, two designers whose previous fabrics (and  book of Nancy's) I already own!

I was blown away.  A couple of months ago I had downloaded and read the first edition of Benartex's new e-magazine, "Modern By the Yard".  Love it.  If you do not know about this GENIUS idea for a totally green magazine, go to their blog, which I love, Sew In Love With Fabric, (because I am, ha...aren't we all??!)  Click on the link on the sidebar.  Anyhow somewhere they asked if you would send them five friends' emails who you think would love the magazine, they'd send you a gift.  I sent them seven in the blink of an eye.  Totally forgot about it.  Then these arrived with a lovely note of thanks.  My mouth fell open in amazement.  I am so grateful that they would DO that!

Now to dream up a quilt or project with these beauties...  Thank you Benartex peeps!  (Sidenote: did you take part in their Find that Fabric contest this past weekend during Market? I did faithfully.  Found a ton of new fabrics I'm itching to get my hands on...but no, sniff, I didn't win, even though I correctly named each swatch.)

Speaking of Nancy Halvorsen, a piece of her early fabric, the pink berries on green leaves one, is in my aunt's quilt that my mum asked me to make for her to take with her to England.  Here is the flimsy, measuring 31.5X37.5".   The border fabric and the parchment-coloured triangles were bought at O' Susannah's Quilts and Gifts in Watkins Glen, when my good friend Janette and I were quilt shopping while our husbands, along with dear friend John, were at the racetrack.  See Janette?  I knew it would find a home somewhere down the road!  It's Provincial by Iron Orchid Designs for Clothworks, and I have enough left for another project. ;-)

Not sure I will mail this to my mum in Alberta (it has to get there by Friday) or to my mum care of my uncle in England.  The flimsy is done and I'll be quilting it up tonight on the longarm.  Bella will be ECSTATIC to have me back downstairs in our basement sewing/cat heaven.  I let her perch on the plywood that MacGyver clamped to the dining table for my OTT-lite today for a little bit, as she so loves to sit beside the machine.
She didn't stay there too long, but I think I'll move her cat pouffé there and she might change her mind.  She's not allowed on the table, so this might not be such a good idea...

Linking up with Cooking up Quilts.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Into The Green

The title for this post popped into my head early this morning when I was sitting on the floor, playing in the green bins of scraps/small stash. It's also the title of an excellent book, one of my favourites of his, Into the Green by Charles de Lint, an excellent Canadian fantasy author.
Bella loves it when I sit on the floor, and was especially ectstatic to help dig through, and get into, the green
With just over a week to go in May, it's high time I work on my two RSC 2016 scrap projects.  This is the first one, my Whirling Star block.  You can find the tutorial here or click the Tutorials tab up top, and it's on the list.  Angela said think of the greens in a forest, with a bit of brown.
That was my view first thing this am, rich green forest getting fuller each day
Started pulling.
One reason why I don't trim the selvages off when I buy fabric is that I like to know whose fabric it is. These two pieces are pretty old; I'd hazard a guess that that is the, or one of the first lines of Nancy Halvorsen's.
The Benartex fabric (goes back quite a few years) is such a rich, full of depth piece.  I have it in ivory as well, known today as low volume.  Anyhow, I knew that green would evoke thoughts of the forest.  There are also brown tones in it.  The Berry Patch is a scrap from a scrap, LOL.  My aunt's quilt has some scraps in it, and this was left over after cutting the pieces.

Back to the Whirling Star.  Can you spot the FQ bundle of Benartex fabric on the left? (These gifts--yup I got two, one is Nancy Halvorsen's newest! and no, I did not plan to link all this when I set out to write this post!--are not blogged about yet).
Three of the four whirling strips fabric have trees on them, the fourth has grass :-)
On some of the blocks, I had the strip-pieced units with the dark in the centre, radiating to light, on others the light has been in the centre.  Set them both up; got MacGyver's opinion after I knew which way I liked it best.  We agreed!

Confession:  the adorable line drawn cat faces is not scrap, just stash but it happened to be catch my eye.  The French text fabric is not exactly quilting fabric, being a slightly heavier weave.  It's what I recovered my hope chest with but I knew it would work with the cats!

Intriguing point to note: somehow, somewhere in the Internet vortex today, think it was while doing a little 'Pinterest-ing', I came across this post on the blog, Use the Loot, from 2011:
Scroll down to the fourth photo!!!  So okay, that block is my block's centre, not set inside the star as I have done.  I designed this block quite by accident (it's explained in the tutorial) and I certainly had never seen that post from Use the Loot until today.  The whirl even goes in the same direction, and there are 4 rails to the 'fence'!  (It is possible to have it whirl in the opposite direction.)  I recently heard on CBC Radio 2 a host's thoughts on original art. Basically it was that all art is inspired from something, whether a melody, or a painting, or a piece of writing, etc.  I was just so surprised to see 'my' block centre in a nearly 5-year-old post from a blog I've never heard of. 

Here are 5 months of colours (note, I have two of each block; they aren't shown here, and I hadn't finished constructing the second green block):

Yikes!  I somehow have my watermark twice, once sideways! LOL  Ah well, that photo will be worth a bunch of money some day, right?!  Anyhow, took this for one of the Missing Market posts on Instagram, showing your favourite thing to do with scraps, and this is my current favourite.  Do you see the small scrappy rectangle about mid-centre?!  That is scraps from the green Whirling Star and scraps from my aunt's quilt!  It grew...
I nearly trimmed off the Nancy Halvorsen on the selvage, and then had a, huh?!  All of these except for the scroll ivory fabric are scraps from the current two projects, the star blocks and my aunt's quilt!  This slab will go into my Scrap Vortex, which is a leader/ender project for the most part.

The third Benartex item in this post, and a note about Market in SLC, Utah, are you participating in any of the ongoings in Instagram or elsewhere?  If you follow Sew In Love With Fabric's blog, are you doing the Find that Fabric challenge?  I am!

Linking up with soscrappy.

Remember to check out my post for Lara's new book (see the sidebar) Crafted Appliqué.  There are two giveaway prizes on that post, a signed copy of her book, and the pattern for the project I made. You can get a peek of the pattern in that same photo with all the star blocks and Benartex FQ bundle.  I will be drawing two winners tomorrow night and announcing it on Monday.  And!  If you want a great deal on a Craftsy class, click that sidebar button or the link before midnight tonight when the sale ends.  I am an affiliate, so if you make a purchase I will get a commission on it.