Saturday, October 30, 2021

Scraps, Sale, Squirrel, Scenery

 Another month, another post about small steps. My progress has been slow. But that's okay. September and October are our favorite months for sightseeing, so there has been a lot of time on our bicycles and on foot enjoying nature. Here are the bits I got done this month. First up: my Rainbow Scrap Challenge/52 Weeks of Scrappy Triangles. The RSC color was lime. I think I used some limes in my last go at green scraps, but that's okay. I have a lot of  limes. Surprisingly, there are not a lot of multicolored scraps with lime in them, so I didn't deplete that multicolored bin by much, but even using up some mostly-lime scraps is okay.

This month's blocks have a lot of tiny bits in them, so it's probably best that my fabrics were more green than other colors. I'm not real pleased with the top left block. There's not a lot of contrast in those sawtooth parts. But I'm not bothered enough to redo it. It will be fine with all the other blocks in the end. Last month I mentioned that I wasn't sure if I'd do one more orange block or a green one for the last week of September which was also the beginning of October. I did make one more orange block. 

Yeah, it doesn't look like an orange block, but if you look closely, you'll see there is at least a tiny bit of orange in each fabric.

I think this ends the colors for RSC this year, but there are still 9 weeks left in the 52 Weeks of ScrappyTriangles. I might just mix up the colors for the rest of the year--or I could repeat the colors for each month. Then I still have to decide if this project goes into next year for more blocks or if I will just finish it up. I do need more blocks to make a decent sized quilt. 

I didn't buy fabrics to go with RSC for the last several months, but made up for that a bit last week. My daughter had given me a gift card for a local store that has a small quilting area. I almost bought a new shirt, but the quilting fabric was too much of a pull. and it was all on sale! So I selected some turquoise and orange bits. I could have bought some limes, but I bought those back when green was the RSC color.

Hey, these would make a great quilt by themselves!

Oh, wait, I did buy lime--in the little embroidery scissors. How about that?!

My other project was the Confetti quilt, of course. But first---there was a Squirrel. 

A little blurry, but I wanted to zoom in so you could see the peanut.

And, hey, it was lime!!

Our temperatures took a nose dive this past week, and so I went searching for the slippers I knitted last year. Uh, oh. Not good. I had worn major holes in them. So I found some leftover yarn from an afghan I made years ago, and quickly knitted up some new ones. I used two strands of two shades of lime, hoping they'll last a little longer than one season. The pattern is similar to one my mom used to make that she called CuddleMocs. There are lots of versions of this online. I just winged it making the rectangle a little shorter than my foot so they'd fit nice and tight. I really do like knitting, but I hate sewing knitted things together almost as much as sewing a hem on a dress. So please pardon the wonky seams. I sewed on the little buttons from the old slippers to kind of disguise them. My mom used to put big fuzzy pom-poms on hers. Anyway, my feet are toasty now. This squirrel was so distracting, I made Sandra's awesome links in the post about her latest amazing quilt finish wait until I got these done. They didn't take long to make. I did them at the same time on the same needle. 

Then it was back to the Confetti quilt. Here are this month's blocks. 

You can see that each row is a different block, but they still look all random. It's not the way I'll arrange them, but fun to see them together like that. I now have 36 blocks. I'll make at least another set and then see where to go from there.

I'm still working on the hand pieced four-patches. I think there are about 100 now. I need to cut more squares.

So that's my makings for the month. Here's what else we were up to. I was going to post more vacation photos, but I'm past that now that we've roamed closer to home. 

We took a bike ride on the Falling Waters Trail, which I love. 

And Wednesday, we celebrated the 44th anniversary of our first date by hiking along the ledges in a nearby town. A unique geological formation right through town that gives it its name of Grand Ledge. The trail winds along the river at the base of the rocks, sometimes a bit precariously. It was a little chilly and foggy-ish, but perfect for hiking. 

The color is finally starting to come--the latest I've ever seen it. And look at those flowers still blooming like crazy in the park. 

Soon it will be too cold for these little excursions. And then I think a lot more sewing will happen. I'm beginning to plan a quilt that probably won't be made in bitsy monthly steps. I can't wait. 

I'm linking up this weekend with Angela at So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap. And with Sandra at mmm quilts! for DrEAMi (Drop Everything And Make it) because yes, those slippers aren't quilted, but they did take me away from her blog post!! (Go check out her quilt, though! And her links to the process.)

I hope you are having fun quilting--but take time, too, to chase squirrels and enjoy nature.

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Orange, Confetti, Etc.

Well, this is getting predictable. But that's the way it goes when working on several projects a little at a time. I have four orange blocks for Rainbow Scrap Challenge/52 weeks of Scrappy Triangles this month, but I have fabric picked out for one more orange block if I decide to make it since there are a few more days left this month. It depends on how much I like the color for October. I do like the brightness that the orange blocks bring to my scrappy bunch. 

 I have a lot of oranges in my scraps and drawers. Many of them are more rusty, but I left them out because I wanted the blocks to be vibrant. Here they are mixed in with the rest of the year's blocks.

Oh, wow! I did it again. Flipped a block around, and didn't see it until just now. Can you find it? When it comes time to sew this baby together, I'm going to have to be really careful. That's the second time I've goofed up laying out blocks. Oh, and I had a bit of a glitch linking up my turquoise blocks to last month's RSC party, so if you didn't see them and want to, you can click here.

My Confetti quilt (Rachel Hauser's pattern) is going well. I've completed two sets of blocks now for a total of 24 blocks. This layout is more organized than the final will be. I just laid out what I've made so far pretty much in order. But even that way, it does look quite random. I'm so pleased. I expect that I'll make at least two more sets and then see how much background fabric I have left to decide how many more blocks to make. Such fun!

 Here's a close-up of this month's batch:

I jammed all this sewing into a few days earlier this month. Usually I stick to a weekly block with the triangles. But we had a vacation planned. The first in about 2 years!! I took a whole bunch of square scraps along for a little more hand sewing on what will likely be a car quilt some day. I didn't think I'd get much done, but these go so fast. 37 blocks!
I made some on the deck of our vacation apartment overlooking the pretty little lake and others in the evening while relaxing after a day of hiking or bike riding. 

It turns out I've been channeling Rose from Something Rose Made in my plan for this quilt. She sent me a photo of a quilt she hand sewed on trips a few years ago. Pretty much the same thing!! She also gave me some tips on how she made hers. Isn't the quilting community fabulous?!

I now have 58 four-patch blocks altogether. The interesting thing is that I have discovered that my scrap situation is not as bountiful as it seems if I want to cut pieces of a certain size. I have pretty much exhausted the number of 2-1/2 inch squares I can cut, so I started cutting squares from other bigger chunks of old fabric in my drawers. I think for most people, they would still be considered scraps--mostly pieces 1/8 yard or less. I'm okay with this because these are still pieces I'm trying to pare down so I can build a newer stash of fabric.

One more quilty-related photo from our vacation. This is a barn quilt, except that it's not on a barn. It's in the parking lot of the historical museum of Arcadia, Michigan, the tiny town we stayed in during our vacation. I really like how it combines more than one design.

Most of our time on vacation was spent outside hiking, biking and sunset watching at the beach. So for the first time in a long time, I have some non-quilty photos to share. I might not know where to stop. So if you just came for the quilt photos, you may stop here. Otherwise, enjoy! We sure did. And now I have a whole lot of color and design inspiration for future quilts.

We took a hike on a 3/4-mile-long boardwalk across a marsh preserve.

 I have a zillion photos of this driftwood in every kind of light. 

Our heron friend. Not shown: our deer and fox friends.
The garden by our apartment

There were some beginning touches of color.

Why did the chicken cross the trail?
And where did she come from in the middle of nowhere?

Perfect timing on our walk home after sunset. See the deer?
There were five of them.

Sunsets were spectacular this week.
Last days of summer and first days of autumn

Results of a little weather the night before
on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.
We had to go around or over three of these. 

This part of the trail was devastated by a huge storm six years ago.
It used to be a forest. It's good to see trees springing up again
and covering all the downed trunks.

Can't take a trip to Glen Haven in Sleeping Bear
without a photo of the
the old canning company building.

Tried to find a new angle this year.

Empire Bluff hike

Goodbye summer; hello autumn
I have a feeling more photos will find their way into the blog over time. Such a lovely week, and I know I'll want to revisit it to remember. I hope you are enjoying the beginning of autumn or spring wherever you are.

I'm linking up with Angela at So Scrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday (yeah, I know I'm late) and with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap.

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Aqua, Confetti and more

Aah, aqua! This was fun. I have a surprising amount of scraps with this color, so the Rainbow Scrap Challenge/52 Weeks of ScrappyTriangles blocks were a cinch to sew up this month. In fact, I had more different fabrics than I needed. Not a problem, as I'm sure I'll need to add more blocks later. So many memories in these scraps.

Another view of the whole bunch:

This seems a bit dark. That background is navy, not black.

It needs some orange, no? Pretty sure this will be a longer term project than 52 weeks, unless I decide I'm done with the slow pace and make a whole bunch.

Meanwhile, I've got a good start on Rachel Hauser's Confetti Quilt. 12 blocks done.

And the next twelve are ready to sew. These are the chain piecing parts.

I'm making this quilt by prepping 12 blocks at a time. It keeps it from taking over the whole house. Not sure yet how many blocks I'll make. It might depend on how long the background fabric lasts.

We spent several days with a couple of our grands this month between their day camp and the start of school while their parents were at their offices. One of our little treats is to shop the used book store near their house. They each found books in their interests: baseball for him and clay bead making/rock painting for her. But I couldn't resist a small purchase, too.

I didn't need this book for the lessons, but it has lots of small (4-inch) block patterns that use the smallest scraps. I won't have to draft the patterns myself, and I'll have more ideas to keep winnowing those bins full of scraps. Win-win.

There was some sewing. I didn't take my machine along, but I did bring scraps for hand piecing. My granddaughter sewed up a little tissue holder to match her new purse, and my grandson asked me to make a quilt for his tiniest Beanie Baby. I happened to have 2-1/2-inch squares with me, so I made a 6 by 6 inch 9-patch quilt (no batting) that was just the right size. No photos. Sorry. We were too busy making to stop for photos, but believe me, they were cute!! 

Before our little trip, I finally settled on a hand sewing project. I've been without one for some time. I was considering hexies, and had a good idea for a project, but I didn't look forward to the more finicky prep work. I found some squares I had cut a long time ago when I was thinking about trying a scrap system, so I added to them for a quick four-patch take-along project. I'm really enjoying them. Those scraps came in handy for my grandson's project, and now that I'm home, they are next to my chair for sewing while watching TV. I don't have a plan beyond the four-patches right now, but I'm thinking they might eventually become a car quilt. Here's what I have so far. I love how the seams spin in that little patch in the bottom right corner. 

So that's it for the scraps this week. There is something missing from this post. Where is my monthly acquisition of new fabric in the color of the month?? I didn't have time for it, so I'm hoping to combine it with the next color. (Orange, please?) 

I'll leave you with a little summer pleasure. It might look cool in the forest preserve, but in fact, we felt like we were walking in the tropics. So much hot, humid weather this month. 

All of our grands are starting school this week: pre-school, K, 1st and 4th grades. I must admit, I'm more than a bit anxious but am thankful that there are at least some protections in place for them thanks to the governor's mandate in Illinois and a county mandate in Michigan.

I'm linking up this weekend with Angela at So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Cynthia at Quilting is more Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap. (Keep Angela, her family, her school district, her state and the whole world in mind. I just read her post. It doesn't seem quite right to post about happy quilty things when there is so much trouble in the world. Hopefully, it will raise our spirits a bit?)

Now back to the confetti quilt...I have a mile of chain piecing and lots of foundation piecing to keep me occupied. The heat index is supposed to be over 100 today, so it's a perfect day for sewing. (Oh, by the way, I have two posts up this weekend. Yes, two! If you want to read about my squirrel project this month, check it out here or at the DrEAMi linky party at mmmquilts.)

Please take care of yourself, others and the environment in whatever way you can. Our lives depend on it.

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.)