Sunday, December 16, 2012

'Tis the Season...

To take long breaks from blogging apparently! Honestly, I've been having a particularly difficult time this winter. It's very frustrating. But on a happier note, I have been working inbetween bouts of incapacitation. I made more six inch Bow Tie blocks for the newest quilt project. Wasn't thrilled with what they were doing by themselves so I played around with other arrangements:

You may remember I am planning a horizontal row quilt. Originally I figured I would use the bow ties as two smaller rows but I quite like them as alternating 12" blocks of X's and O's!

I have also made up some new nine inch blocks. There are a few simple Shoo Fly blocks, but I also made up these two liberated stars:

I just have to be careful to keep this from becoming a full-on dog quilt!

Meanwhile, I have also sewn the binding onto Sunshine & Blue Skies and run the quilt through the washer and dryer.

I could not be happier with the way it fluffed and wrinkled up! It's a wonderfully cozy, happy quilt now.

Just what stressed out folks left homeless by Hurricane Sandy can use at the moment. I only wish I could work faster to get it to them.

I have taken to using Fast Finish Triangles for labelling my quilts. I sew them in place before stitching the binding down and then just have to secure that long loose edge. I used two on this quilt, on opposite corners. One will have the facts about the quilt (maker's name, date, etc.) and on the other I will write a message of hope and encouragement. Coming up with those words has been the hard part.

I had hoped to get this shipped so that it would arrive in time for Christmas. I'm not so sure that's going to happen now but I'm going to do the best I can. I do need to send it on its way and move on to the Christmas gifts I promised to make for family members. Time is runnning short!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Out of the Drawer

Hello Friends. I'm fighting a big headache today but I know it's been a while since my last post. And I have been sewing... ;- )

Sunshine & Blue Skies is already back from being quilted (by my son!). I have the binding ready to put on but just can't face that task yet. You may remember that I threatened to begin another quilt right away. That's because my Parts Drawer looked like this:

Full to overflowing. So I sorted through the various baggies to see what theme would rise to the surface. Turned out to be blocks with ecru and ivory backgrounds or elements. Those that I put on the wall first also put me in mind of a masculine quilt.

I was thinking of another attempt at a medallion format. The arrangement above didn't really thrill me so I replaced the smaller blocks with different small blocks.

That looked better but I would have had to make many more five inch Churn Dash blocks. I wanted something less labor intensive. I slept on the problem for a night or two and then it dawned on me to try a horizontal strip format. That allows shorter rows of many different block patterns. Yippee!

The first thing I did was to turn the rest of the 5" Churn Dash blocks I had on hand into ten inch stars.

After that I was on my way. I've been making a variety of blocks out of blues and browns and deep reds, all with the beige-y backgrounds.

The last couple of days I've been making the 10" blocks you see at the very bottom of my design wall in the photo above. Maggie Malone's book 1001 Patchwork Designs calls that block Butterfly at the Crossroads. Living in tulip country as I do, they look more like a bunch of tulips to me!

I don't have any idea what I will do between the rows of blocks yet. For that matter, I still have to figure out what to use to sash the blocks together in each row. Right now I'm just enjoying the process of making blocks. Piecing really is my most favorite part of the quilt making process. The irony is that my Parts Drawer is nearly as full as it was when I began this project! I didn't really have all that many beige-based blocks as I prefer bright saturated hues and crazy prints. These more subdued colors suit my circumstances at the moment though. I'm seriously hoping I feel better by this weekend so I can fully enjoy putting up and decorating our Christmas tree...