Monday, July 26, 2021

New Quilt in Progress!

 I didn't need another project to work on but I just can't help myself.  The ideas keep flowing in and I must make at least one of them.  I designed a quilt block a few years ago and made it into a wall hanging.  It's time to do what I wanted to do with it years ago...a larger quilt.  The plan is to use up some scraps from my favorites scrap bin to make the quilt.  Somehow it never seems to get any smaller even though I work from it often.

A three color quilt with a white background.  Red, Green and Yellow is a very traditional color pallet but this quilt will not be so traditional.  I put a little Podunk spin on things.  That means cute, cute, cute!

Everything is cut and ready for a full day of stitching.  I'm hoping to get all the blocks made today.  Yes I'm a woman on a mission.  I can do this.  Nothing can stop me but me....well the dog can.  She's very demanding sometimes.  And lets not forget the trip to the post office to ship a huge box of homeschool material to my daughter.   I'll make it a duel purpose trip.  I can fix my lunch and take it with me.  Eating and driving isn't the best idea but it's not the worst either.  Don't worry, I live in the middle of nowhere so traffic is practically none.  Most of the time I never see another car until I get into town.  And then the town is so small the only cars I see are the ones parked at the side of the road in front of houses.  No traffic even in town.  So eating and driving is the plan.  I'm super excited about this cutie and can't wait to see her come to life.

More sneak peeks throughout the week!  See you soon!

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Monday, July 19, 2021

Fabric Haul and No Time to Sew

Sometimes things are just meant to be.  I had no intentions of purchasing fabric over the weekend.  I was a woman on a mission for office supplies.  Just a normal quick trip to Wal-Mart.  Seriously, who wants to spend more time in there than needed?  Not me.  It's the only place around here that carries jam free printer paper at a decent price.   So as I made my way down the main isle, heading straight for the office supplies when all of the sudden....BAM! endcap of clearance fabric screams.

How could I not look when it was screaming at me in bright happy fabric?  Yes, my friends I bought it all.  Two full bolts and two 3 yd. cuts.  The two bolts were $1.51 a yd.  At that price you would think I could cut the cutting gal a little slack and not make her measure the entire bolt...nope.  I kindly asked her if she would measure it to make sure the full 8 yds. was on the bolt.  It was not and I wasn't surprised, neither was she.  She admitted she had never seen a full bolt.  But she was willing to make her job easier by not measuring?  Not today little girl.  I'm not going to pay that extra 75 cents for what is not on the bolt.   In my defense it could have been more.  What if it had been a whole yard or more?  Okay, it still would have been a good deal.  Old habits are hard to break.  As quilters measurements are everything.  Would you have asked her to measure?  

My trip through Wal-Mart didn't seem so bad now that I have my cute fabric right up front in the child safety seat.  
Next was a stop at the Dollar General for a bag of chips I forgot to get at Wal-Mart.  And look what I found hiding behind a bunch of oddly placed towels.  I'm thinking someone was hiding it to buy later.  They didn't expect a crazy lady like me to come along and feel the need to fix the towels.  I left the store wondering if I should go buy a lottery ticket.  I did not.  Why push my luck.  Stop while your ahead is what they say.  I'm happy with my cheap fabric and Sweets tin.  Time to get back home and get some work done. 

The work to be done was printing out a homeschool worksheets for my daughter.  An entire years worth of Language and Math for 2nd grade.  This is the reason for being at Wal-Mart... printer paper.  All was going well until I ran out of toner/ink at about 50 more pages to print of the 457 pgs.  So it was time for a little online Amazon shopping for laser printer toner cartridges.  They should arrive today.  I'll finish the print job this evening and ship them to my daughter in Kentucky by tomorrow.  This is only about half of what I need to print and ship.  I still need to find a good online printable 2nd grade curriculum for Science and History.   I've printed out about 3,000 pages of homeschool material in the last year.  From books to worksheets, games and flash cards.

I've even designed and printed my own learning games for the kids.  Splatter is one I saw online and recreated it in my graphic program I use to draw quilt patterns.  Everything is laminated so they will hold up for years of use.  My daughter has 3 children being homeschooled. One in preschool, one in kindergarten and one in second grade.  Her oldest son is in 6 grade and will be in public school this fall.  Well that's the plan as of now.  She's not been very happy with the school system so things are always subject to change.   We do what we can to help.  When I say we I mean the entire family pitches in to help with the costs of buying supplies and curriculums.  The most recent (above) was paid for by my oldest son.  He doesn't have any children and likes that his sister is working hard to educate the kids at home plus hold down a part time job outside the home, has a garden and preserves food.  She's one of those super moms.  And yes it gets to her sometimes and she needs a break.  So we bring the girls up for a week or two stay at granny's whenever possible. And the boys go to stay with other family members.  I can't handle all 4 at once for 2 weeks!  

Today's plan is to finally get in some quilting time on my Blue and Yellow leaders and enders quilt.  I'd like to get it off the frame and bound ASAP.  It's been on there for far too long.  Wish me luck because there's so much more that needs to be done around here that isn't quilting related.

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

Oops! Let's Fix The Mistake Quilt Block

Yesterday evening I was contacted by my best quilting buddy, Bev.  She had made a cutting error on a applique background fabric, but didn't realize it until after the applique was already fused in place.  She came up with an idea to "fix" the issue by turning the too small block into a wall hanging.  What a great idea! 

Take a negative and turn it into a positive. I heard it said many years ago...

"The true measure of a quilter is not how perfect her quilt but how well she hides her mistakes."

So true.  I've never seen a perfect quilt but over the years I have seen many clever ideas for salvaging or fixing quilting mistakes.  

Well as you can see from the picture above she started by adding a small blue/teal border and then flying geese.  At this point she became stuck as to what to do next.  After playing around with several ideas she sent me a picture and asked for my advice.  I'm no expert and I'm always giving advice...even when I'm not asked...HAHA!  So finally someone REALLY wants my opinion.  I would like to take all the credit for my quilting abilities but I couldn't do it without the help of technology and the many programs on my computer.  One of my most used to design quilts is EQ8.  It allows me to make mistakes without cutting my precious fabrics.  It only took a few clicks to crop her block and import it into the program.  I suggested the two solid borders to help slow down the quilt, give the eye and the crow a place to land.

Now that we stopped the movement of the center of the small quilt we could add more movement without feeling dizzy or disoriented.  She decided to pull an idea from the original quilt pattern called Autumn Love by Lori Holt. We'll talk more about that later in this blog post.  I added the stars she suggested and a binding to the EQ quilt drawing.  It looks pretty good but doesn't quite seem "finished".

The stars added more movement and seemed to twirl out of control.  Another solid border should slow down this crows flight into the stars.  

Just for fun and this blog post I've added a striped binding.  This should point the crow in the right direction instead of flying all willy-nilly around the quilt.  Bev thanked me for my creation but really I was just taking cues from her, making the changes and then giving her a visual.  Well done Bev!  You created a super cute fall quilt that I'm sure others would love to make too.

So if your interested in making Bev's "Something to Crow About" quilt here's what you need to know.

 The original quilt block can be found at the Bee In My Bonnet Blog.  Click the image below to go to the Bee in My Bonnet blog post about this block and to see the entire quilt with those tiny stars. 

Oh let's not forget to credit Bev for today's post.  Below is just a small sample of her amazing quilting inspiration.  Click on the image below to see more of her adorable quilting creations.  She's my kind of quilter.  And by that I mean we play in the same color pallete.

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Monday, July 5, 2021

More Half Square Triangles

After yesterday's Fourth of July family time I found a little energy left in me to square up a few half square triangles.  These HST's are my newest leaders and enders challenge I started back a few weeks ago.  You can read about it here. 

What is a leader and ender?  Well I could tell you but it's not my invention.  I heard about it years ago from Bonnie Hunter.    You can read her explanation of the process here.    You can see some of her yearly FREE leaders and enders projects below.

Leaders and Enders by Bonnie Hunter
They go WAY back.  If you would like to see more you can Google
Bonnie Hunter Leaders and Enders 20?? <--- then add the year to the end.

She's the master of scrappy quilting, in my humble opinion.  I've followed her since the very beginning of her quilting journey.  Long before she wrote her first book.  But I didn't jump in the fun of making a leaders and enders quilt until this year.  Oh I've tried and I would start one and get so frustrated with the process and then just finish the quilt.  This year I have finally made 20 leaders and enders blocks but once again I could not stick to the leaders and enders way of doing things for the sashing. It's a new to me way of doing things and I'm willing to keep working at perfecting it. 

My current leaders and enders is HST's and could take awhile.  You see I have thousands of triangles and making more with almost every new quilt.  My current stack needing to be trimmed is fairly small.

As you can see they don't even need to be triangle scraps for me to use them.  And they don't need to match in size.

Every little bit of scrap fabric is used.

Then squared up to the largest size possible.

The box to the left is full of HST's needing to be trimmed.  But at the bottom of this box is a bag full of triangles, hundreds of them needing to be sewn into HST's.  The box on the right is baggies of trimmed HST's.  Each baggie holds a different size of HST's.  So far the largest HST is 3.5", the smallest I will go is 1".    Trimming all of these may take months or years.  Slow and steady wins the race.  I'm in no hurry but would like to use them all in a quilt/quilts before I die. 

And then I have a stack of "needing to be sewn" beside the sewing machine. I keep adding to the jar and tin box.   I've made a pretty good dent in these even though I add to them with every new quilt.  I could kick myself in the rear for letting them get so out of hand.  Occasionally I'll do a little marathon sewing of HST's.  Marathon sewing them is the easy part.  Marathon trimming them is foolish.  Talk about a literal pain in the neck!  UGG!  I think the most I've finished in one setting is 150.  That won't happen again.  How many HST's have you trimmed in one setting?  No breaks, just trimming without stopping.
I think this afternoon I'll sew a few together just for fun.  I need some sewing time before quilting on the frame later.  Juggling more than one project gives my body a break. I'm sure most of you understand the achy body parts.   Don't sit too long and don't stand for too long or those parts will remind you of your age.  Like a need a reminder!  HA!  

My word of the year.  I'm MOO-ving along these HST's.

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Sunday, July 4, 2021

Happy 4th of July

 My day is in full swing and it's going to be a busy one.  I'm headed out to spend time with the family.  I hope whatever you do today that is happy and safe.  

Happy Fourth of July!

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Saturday, July 3, 2021

This week in Podunk

 Wow, this week has flown by! Busy, busy , busy all week long and didn't accomplish everything on my to-do list.  Doesn't look like I'll be catching up over the weekend due to the holiday.  We'll have our annual summer family get together on Sunday.  It's been a year since I've seen one of my sons and my niece and nephew.  One part of me is looking forward to the gathering but the quilter in me isn't as excited.  I told her to hush up and be nice but she's still nagging me about the cooking that will need to be done this afternoon.  Back in the day I would have muzzled her with a few sips of happy juice.  These days I just let her ramble on and do my best to ignore the constant whining.  She's very ungrateful for the wonderful week we've had playing with pretty fabrics.  I should have been quilting the quilt on the frame this week instead of starting a new project.  How could I not play with patriotic fabric this week?   

Another big thing that happened this week was walking, lots of walking.  I stepped up my walking game without Miss Khaleesi.  She can't handle the heat so I was on my own.  Your never really on your own out here in Podunk.  There's always tons of critters.  I saw this one in the cornfield and knew she would hop out so I had my camera ready.

Deer are worse than squirrels about running right out in front of you.  You'll think they are gone and then BAM, they are on the hood of your car.  Or in my case in face.  Thankfully she decided to run and hide.

Yesterday was my weekly trip into town for groceries.   While out and about I decided to go by Joann's.  It's been months since my last visit.  If I had to guess I'd say February because Valentines day means red fabric is going on sale.  Yes it's all about the RED.  

This wall of red looks impressive from afar but really there isn't much in here I don't already have in my stash.

But they were having a good sale, 50% off patriotic fabric and 20% off anything that wasn't on sale.  I saved $9 with my coupon, not to bad.  

Since the price was right I purchased a half yard of each.  I'm thinking about using these for Bonnie Hunters Mystery quilt this fall.  By the way she's coming out with her yearly free leaders and enders quilt in the next few days.  She didn't give a definite day, she just said soon.  You can find her blog here.

I also picked up a package of RED buttons that I may or may not use for my current project shown at the beginning of this post.

I rarely come to this city.  The traffic is horrible.  It's basically one strip mall after another with every restaurant you can think of and a lot of people in a hurry to go shopping.  So while I'm here I might as well make the best of it and go the quilt shop.

Back Door Quilts never lets me down.  Oh if I were a rich much I want.  I want to make all three of these.  Those little chicks are just too darn cute!  You know I've been making half square triangles like a mad woman. It's my current leaders and enders with no plan to use them.  I've already made over 300 of various sizes and colors.  The quilt with the green arrow would only use a handful but what if I made 4 and put them into one big quilt.  Oh yah!  And the flag quilt looks like it could be made from HST's also....and the pinwheels in the chick quilt.  See it only makes since that I buy all the patterns, right?  I resisted.  I'm not ready for another project.

This quilt looks familiar.   I couldn't find a pattern for it, which is unusual for this shop.  Someone must have moved it.  Well I posted these pictures on Instagram yesterday and the designer is one of my followers.  Luann from Luann's Loose Threads!  Some of you probably read her blog.  She too is from right here in central Indiana.  Such a sweet lady.  I met her a couple of years ago when I was doing a trunk show for a local guild.  Anyway, she reminded me that this was her quilt pattern.  I knew I had seen it before!  The little flowers  are so clever and cute.   The pattern (Four O'clock Fancy) is available online in her shop.  Click here for to go to her pattern shop. 

While this is an amazing shop there's not too much red fabric in here that I don't already have.  That could be a sign that I have enough way, that's not possible.  So I ended up purchasing a Lori Holt red that I already have but love it so I bought another.  I also bought the very last Lori Holt panel they had in stock.  SCORE!  I've been eyeballing this online since it came out.  Fabric is easier to resist online but when your face to face with it that's another story.  It's even prettier in person.    

Y'all, I left this store feeling like a million bucks.  The world seemed like a better place.  The horrid traffic didn't seems so bad as I made my way to the grocery store.  At the grocery store the crabby and rude people made me laugh.  Oh what a glorious day it is in Podunk.  I'm in love, I'm in love with fabric and I don't care who knows it!  (Elf movie reference)  How many of you feel the same after visiting a quilt shop?  Joann's didn't give me this feeling, neither did the Walmart fabric I bought last week.  There's just something about a quilt shop.

I was ready to quilt like a wild woman after returning home.  In my mind I was the stitching queen but in reality I didn't get anymore done than I normally would, I just felt better doing it.

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