Monday, August 27, 2012

One Billion Squares

Honestly, that is a slight exaggeration, only half a billion.  At least a brazillion.
At least, that is what it feels like.  
When my son was married in May, I jumped at the chance to make them a signature quilt.  I made a mountain of squares in the wedding colors.  It was mostly fun and I felt like I had a great idea.

My Momma graciously helped.
At the reception they were all signed, and some were sent out to family that could not make it.  I'm still waiting for some to be returned, so there hasn't been a quilt made yet, but I so love this idea!

I love it so much, when my cousin asked if I would make one for them for their wedding in September, I said, well, of course!

Her colors were so scrumptious, I even love the scraps.

So many of these squares were made for her and some were sent off to our far flung family.  As my family is humongous, and I have yet another cousin who is getting married on the exact same day on the opposite side of the country (literally WA and RI), and I just felt, well if I am making one, I should make the other too.  I can't be cousin selective, except for the part where I can only attend one wedding.  I tried to clone myself like Fred Flintstone and the results were pretty much the same as his.

Through the summer, both weddings are on September 2, I am washing fabrics, cutting squares and sewing little squares onto the corners of big squares.
Now, here is the crap part.  I made the very first ones for my son and bride 5", a nice round number.  I made the pink wedding 5 1/2", why?  I have no idea.  I made the blue wedding 5", made more pink ones just so I could confuse myself, and then made some blue wedding 5 1/2".  And because I was so ahead of the game,  I sent off the 5 1/2" blue ones to family members to sign.  
Do you see what happened there?  Ahead, right?  I am never ahead.
I had to recall those, at that point I had many more 5" than 5 1/2".  And thinking I was so close to being done with squares, I had to pull an almost all nighter to get them done for the wedding in WA next weekend because I screwed up the measurement. 

 I so enjoy making more work for myself.  And wasting fabric.  And counting.  How many possible times can you count to 10, and then think, wait?  was that 10?  I tell you, a LOT, especially after 1 a.m.  I don't want to count squares for a very long time.

I have - mostly - enjoyed this project and I do enjoy reading what people write on their square.  Now, these squares are going with me to RI, and the other ones are in WA and I can drink much wine this weekend.  Much needed wine.

My friend pointed this out to me Pinterest, and coffee came out my nose.

Keep Calm and ummm, Sew On
Can't really look at the sewing table the same can you?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Minky Business

While my life has been super busy the last few months, I have tried to get to my sewing machine as much as possible.  Some nights, I admit, I'm just not feeling creative nor have the energy to move my butt off the sofa and behind my machine.  
When I do eventually get there, I am having a ball.  I am focusing on completing projects.  And some projects just jump in my lap.  
My daughter's friend had a baby the other day, and wanting to visit, but not wanting to be gift-less, I put together a quick minky receiving blanket.  It doesn't hurt that I purchase items and then they are sitting on the shelf waiting for a moment when I need a quick turn around.
Monkey Minky and a 1 yard piece of flannel.

And, whoa, look at that, the PERFECT thread.
Quick, I'll tell my husband that my purchasing powers have come in handy.  
Maybe not.

Minky blankets can be simple and quick, or as complex as you want.  
I go for simple and quick.  Lay the pieces wrong sides together and trim so they are even, pin a few spots.

For a finished look you can round the corners.  I stacked all the corners together, ran my rotary very LIGHTLY to get a line for cutting, then cut on the line.

You can zig zag or button hole stitch the edge, I used button hole stitch, and you're done.  
I think I will use my other machine next time that has a 9MM opening for a wider stitch.
Literally, I had this done in 30 minutes.  Including cleaning machine, threading, changing feet (walking foot), and clean up of minky lint (which is an unfortunate by product of this fabulous fabric).  A receiving blanket soft and comfy on both sides.

And now you have a present for a special little one.  He's not really ultra small, I just look ultra big holding him.  He was a normal just born baby weight.  Snug and cozy in his new minky blanket.

Obligatory Nelly photo.  She likes to swim.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Whewwww - Finally!

Yippeee!  Finally had a few hours for sewing today.  It was great, much needed mental therapy to hear the machine humming along.  
I had a number of Bee Blocks to finish up, some for July and a couple for August.  One I had completely forgotten about - which I feel bad about, but now it's done and will be on its way to Australia.  If my block was late to you, my apologies.  

Here we go!
Mod Mosaic blocks for Leanne in Design Camp 2, July.  
She sent out bright pink and greens, this will be one happy quilt.  I used up most of the fabrics she sent, and she said that she was low - so I sent back a few extra fabrics that are in the same color families she maybe can include in her quilt.

Improv House Block for Kelly in Gone Quilting Bee, July.  
Kelly wanter her houses pieced, which was a challenge for me, I usually make these house blocks with machine applique.  I think mine looks like an ice cream cone house.  The background is Muslin, and I had enough for 1 block, 14" X 10".

For Shanna - Sew Bee It, also July -  Hmmmm, three in a row for July, yikes.  I feel really really bad getting to these so late.
I have wanted to make this basket weave block for awhile, Shanna requested triangles, and I think these wedges are triangles, hopefully she thinks so too.  Not sure I will dive into making a whole quilt of these, but one was fun.  The second block is made of pinwheels.

Now, August!  Design Camp 2, for Linda, she sent a great assortment of greys, yellows, and neutrals to make a linear improv block.  I love this type of block.  She asked to leave the block untrimmed.  With a few of the left over fabrics I made a small log cabin block which she also requested.

From the Block Party Bee, Wonky 9 patch for Christine.  I actually had these finished last week but was not able to get the photos loaded until now.  These were simple to make, the pattern is the Block Party Bee book.

I'm so happy to get these done and off to their happy homes.  I love making Bee blocks and really don't intend to get so far behind.  Made a good dent in the pile, and hope to keep up the progress this week.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I feel real real real bad.  Personally and with my obligations to sewing.  Groups I have signed up for, blocks I need to make and send off, blocks I HAVE made and haven't been able to send off, family sewing, I haven't been able to look at let alone sew any seams.  
Also, if I don't get in to sew soon, I may gnaw off my fingers from the nail biting happening.  

One reason:

This pretty baby who came to us via the Humane Society.  Alas, I had to lay to rest another to be able to rescue sweet Nelly.  
And Nelly is a puppy, with all her puppy needs, food, attention, energy, lots and lots of energy.  Not like my old 15 year old girl who couldn't walk much.  Nelly is making me exercise.  

My Old Girl - she was a rescue and had a hard life before her resort living with us.  Now she runs free chasing whatever she wants as fast as she wants.  

And, I have spent the last 5, yes 5, days searching and searching for a cell phone for my dear dear husband.  He is old school and wants a phone that is a phone, not a computer.  So, after a desperate search, we ended where I told him we would at the start of day 1, and he bought a Droid something that is a total smart phone.  The Earth shook a little, I'm sure you felt it.  Life would just be so much smoother if he would listen at first, instead of exhausting all other options before almost admitting I was right.  

And Bandit says "WHAT? NOOOO, say it isn't sooooo!!! Not a smart phone"

Anyway, this has nothing to do with sewing or quilting or crafting, just a lot of time sucking that should be spent in my sewing room.  Tomorrow, I barricade the door to the sewing room and listen to my machine whirl.  Just a seam, I would like to finish the one block I started five days ago.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chutes and Ladders Block

This block is for Running With Scissors Bee, my month of August.
You will have enough for 1 block

  • 9 - 5" squares of Kona white
  • assorted 1" strips of Kona brights and a few prints

The white squares will be laid out like this:

This is an improv block so start adding strips of color as you are inspired.
The Konas are from the new colors; sprout, peapod, alegria, citrus, kumquat.

Slice, add a strip, sew together, slice again.

Add and add some more.  With 1" strips, your 5" square should always come back to 5" - measure occasionally, to stay in the guideline.  When I added this strip between the rows of white, I did have to take 1/2" off the bottom edge to bring me back to 5".  

Don't be afraid to slice, this is improv - go for it!

You should end up with a 14" square block.  I named it 'Chutes and Ladders'.  Reminds me of that game!

Thank you bee mates, I'm looking forward to a fun bright quilt!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Winner!

Mr. Random Number Generator has given us a winner for the Kona Color Chart

Congratulations Gill!  I sent you an email, so you can give me your full name and address to send off the color chart.

Thank you all for participating and following.  I am working on another prize for August, so stay tuned!

Keep Calm and Sew on!