Design Wall Monday and En Provence

Monday, December 26, 2016
This pattern is free currently on Connecting Threads and I really like it--
Its Wooden Spools by Mari Martin.  (Thank you Connecting Threads)   I've always wanted a Spool quilt so I made a few blocks--

These finish to 6" so its a good size.  You need 16.5" of a 2.5" strip for the focus fabric.  I'm adding these blocks to my Rainbow Scrappy Challenge blocks for 2017.  The pattern has a black background, but a dark background is hard for me to sew AND since my stash and scraps are mostly mediums and darks I opted to use a light background.  This is an apricot peach solid I had in my stash.  How did I choose my focus fabrics--they were on top the box of chunks I found recently.  Yup, pulled out the first 4 fabrics that I found.  I wondered if I could use lighter fabrics for the focus print--and I think the light pink I used will be OK.  

Next I finished trimming my En Provence Clue 5 units--

I made mine using squares and drawing a line diagonally.  Old school.  You can see I had very little to trim off.  I'm linking to Patchwork Times and Quiltville.  

Weekly Goals--

No weekly goals.   There are 2017 Guidelines to think of.  The next En Provence Clue is Friday.  A few New Starts to work on.  The Double Square Star blocks are now sewn into 9 bigger sections--I work on them each night before I'm done for the day.  A few seams each day moves them along.  And I have a few more tops to prep for quilting.  Next is getting backings made/dyed/planned for the tops backlogged.

One more Christmas celebration and then its on to the New Year.  Its cold and windy and we've had an inch of rain!  Rain is usually not a Christmas occurrence!  


Design Wall Monday and En Provence

Monday, December 19, 2016
Sunday was "fun" sewing so I made these blocks--

 Ritzy Cracker blocks from Moda Bake Shop.  These blocks were made using "chunks" on the cutting table.  This is the top of my cutting table--

Its nine foot long, see the cleared cutting area on the right??  There is a pile of chunks on left side, they're smaller than FQ but not a scrap.  I AM NOT putting them back.  I will continue to sew them up in different projects.   

En Provence Clue 4 was pretty easy.  80 train wreck units.

All done with only a few rejects.  I can relax until the next clue.

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times and Quiltville.  

The tree is up and most the decorations are out.  No goals this week, its for wrapping presents, baking cookies, and whatever else that comes along.  


Rainbow Scrappy Saturday

Saturday, December 17, 2016
This week borders were found for a top made with album blocks from 2014 & 2015 RSC--

Not the best picture but its crowded in the sewing studio! (The quilt is hung sideways).   Remember when I bought a "brown" box and a "green" box last winter?  The perfect brown border fabric was in it--

A simple border treatment but I think it really goes with the deep teal background.  The R/W/B Album blocks top had been waiting for borders since last April.  Lots of fabric was auditioned. 

First a light blue border made from leftover dyed backing.  The red TOT fabric is directional--so it was used as side borders (the quilt is sideways in the picture).  The striped fabric has writing on it and needed to be a horizontal border.  I had to piece it and think I did a pretty good job--

My thumb marks the seams.  Both these quilts are ready to be quilted.  Please see what everyone is doing at SoScrappy.

Its going to be bitter cold, snowing, and windy.  I made a batch of Cheddar Chowder soup and a fresh loaf of sourdough bread--

This was made in the Oster bread machine--for some reason it doesn't brown as much on top as the Toastermaster machine, but the bread is almost perfect.  Someone asked for the recipe, and I don't have one.  The starter was made using instant potato flakes, water, sugar, and a dusting of yeast.  I take out a cup of starter (no, I didn't measure) and feed it a little potato flakes, bread flour, honey, and warm water and left it grow for about 8-12 hours.  Then I add a little sugar, bread flour, a scant tsp of yeast, a T. of butter, salt and warm water.  I usually reset the bread machine so it kneads an extra time.  The starter is also fed again and it goes back in the fridge.  This loaf is slightly tangy and makes the most wonderful toast.  

Christmas shopping is pretty much done.  We need to buy wrapping paper so that part can be finished.  I haven't done any baking yet, Ken and I don't NEED to be eating all that--so will do it right before Christmas to share.  

No travel is advised here due to blowing snow and bitter low temperatures.  I'm going to do lots of sewing!  

Are you done with your shopping?  Did you make Christmas goodies?  If you are where its nice and warm--PLEASE SEND ME PICTURES!!  Better yet--send me an airline ticket!


Design Wall Monday and Weekly Goals

Monday, December 12, 2016
Last week I threw these blocks on the wall--

Double Square Star by Missouri Star.  Now that they are on the wall I can play with placement of the units.  Please see everyone's design wall posts at Patchwork Times.

Grandchild #2 turned five last week.  Grandpa and Grandma bought him Ninja Pajamas--

They were a hit!

I wonder if his parents will get them off to be washed in a week or so??

Weekly Goals--

Rearrange the Double Square Star blocks
Prep a top for quilting
Make a binding
Start a new project or two

This week was the 3rd Clue for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery, an easy one--more 4 patches--

168 4 patches using light and dark purples.  En Provence Part 3.   I'm so glad this was an easy clue!  I keep all my bits in a basket--

The neutral 4 patches are on the bottom.  Bonnie said there would be no more 4 patches in this quilt!  

Its turned winter here, we have been below zero.  Brrrr!  


En Provence Mystery

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
En Provence is the Bonnie Hunter Mystery I've been fretting over for the last few weeks.  Different color choices were debated.  There was a totally different color palette selected.  And I wasn't sure I liked it.  So I trekked off to the local fabric shop and went with Bonnie's original colors.  I didn't have a magenta, or much for purples.  Here is what I bought--

The magenta, five purples, and three neutrals. Okay, there are enough fabrics now.  Step One was pretty easy--neutral 4 patches.  I made a gadzillion of REALLY NEUTRAL 4 patches.  I could have cut squares and saved myself the trouble, but I want to play nicely!

Step Two is published.  RATS!  I didn't read the directions ahead of time--I need Tri Recs rulers.  Nope, I don't have a set.  Amazon Prime to the rescue!

WOW--they arrived on Tuesday!  Yippee.  And it was downhill from there.  I carefully watched Bonnie's video on how to use them.  Then I cut and made two.  Easy Peasy!  So then I made 17 more.  Yup--easy.  I stopped to eat supper and watch the news.  Went back to sew more.  Hmmm---they LOOK like the others.  Why is the other side not right? ARRRGGHHH!  And being the patient person I am I did this--

I chucked them in the garbage!   I hate diagonal seams.  I hate paper piecing.  This is like wonky diagonal seams that you paper piece!  And you have to be exact!  After a break (that involved chocolate) I watched the video AGAIN.  I laid out a sample.  And made 30 units.  Whew!  So I pulled the ones out of the trash to see what I could salvage.  Most of them.  So now I have this--

All of Step Two is done!  And I only had a little of this--

Leftovers!  My brain hurts.  Which side do you use to think about this?  Right?  Left?  I must be lacking whatever side it is!   All though this I reminded myself how much I loved last year's Alletaire mystery.  Remembered I need to challenge myself to try new things.  Honestly--this was torture.  Why--I'm not sure.  But I have all of Step Two made!!  WOOHOO!!

Are you making this mystery?  



Design Wall Monday and Weekly Goals

Monday, December 5, 2016
These blocks are on the wall--

Jacob's Ladder Blocks
Jacob's Ladder blocks made for Rainbow Scrappy Challenge 2016.  I had to lay them out because I found mistakes in 12 blocks.  Last night I frogged them and have been sewing them back together.  No plans for them yet, just checking to see how they looked.  Please see everyone's design wall posts at Patchwork Times.

Before the Jacob's Ladder blocks could go on the wall I had to finish sewing the Billie Lauder Faux Log Cabin blocks together--

Billie Lauder Faux Log Cabin
There is a large stack of ironed chunks on one end of the cutting table, and I swore I would not refold them.  Some of them went into the Faux Log Cabin.  Its an easy and free pattern.  The blocks finish to 10", so it was simple to make a boy quilt 75x90".  I cut a small dark green border for it.  

This week I've been putting borders on tops. This top was a bit too narrow, so I had to figure a way to make it a little wider.  There was a narrow border of my favorite google eyed chickens, so I checked my chicken fabric stash.  (Thank you Teresa for adding to it!)  I found a small piece of fabric that had chickens all in row in good colors, so I cut a strip for each side, and finished the strip with a tan fossil fern--

Pieces of Eight by Vickie Eapen

Chicken Strip fabric
The blocks are "Pieces of Eight" by Vickie Eapen.  I've been busy in the sewing studio--the long arm table is mostly cleared off, and I've been prepping tops to quilt. Borders, pressed, measured.  They get hung on hangers covered with pool noodles to prevent big creases and notes about size, binding, etc pinned to them.  Once I have them all prepped I will start dyeing backings.  Or piecing backings.  Whatever works!  Even the bindings will be done ahead of time if I have the fabric picked. 

Weekly Goals--

Work on Bonnie Hunter mystery
Prep another top 
Borders on another top

This week will not have much sewing.  If weather permits I will go to guild Christmas party and then stay and visit the grands.  And Christmas shopping!  We don't buy a lot of presents, but the grandsons are young and fun to buy for.  Unfortunately its supposed to get COLD this week, so plans may fall by the wayside.  

We've had "the crud" and been coughing, sneezing, and blowing our noses.  Antibiotics, cough medicine, inhalers, and nasal spray.  Besides sharing food on Thanksgiving we must have shared some germs!   Laura Beth was deemed "safe" by Maddie and climbed up with Maxwell to have a story read.  

Maddie, Laura Beth, and Maxwell
Maddie and Maxwell are a few months apart in age.  

No Christmas decorations up at our house yet.   Soon I hope.  I love Christmas decorations.  My favorite decoration is our tree--its has long fiber optic needles--no other lights.  The tree glows in waves of colors.  What is your favorite decoration?  


Design Wall Monday and Weekly Goals

Monday, November 28, 2016
These strips are sewn together and on the design wall--

Based on "Meet in the Middle" at Jo's Country Junction.  Instead of light neutrals I used a dark blue.  The strips are blues, greens, and purples.  Another boy quilt-it will finish about 75x90".  Please see everyone's design wall posts at Patchwork Times.

Weekly Goals--

Bonnie Hunter Mystery 4 patches
Billie Lauder Faux Log Cabin
Borders on some flimsies
Clean the Long Arm table

Its time to put up the Christmas tree and ready some tops for quilting.  A list of quilt sizes needs to be done.  Christmas lists, shopping lists, and quilt lists are all being made!  

I use an App called "Notebooks Pro" for my lists.  Do you make lists?  Do you use an App?  


Design Wall Monday and Weekly Goals

Monday, November 21, 2016
The last of the album blocks are on the wall--

Seventeen blocks are left.  This will be top #7. Not sure how I'll make them play nicely.  How many album blocks did I originally make?  133!!  Please see everyone's design wall posts at Patchwork Times.

Weekly Goals--

No Goals this week--its Thanksgiving and there won't be any time for sewing.  Maybe some mindless piecing but that's it.  

Do you misplace your phone while sewing?  I do!  I needed a special place to put it and my tablet--not where I would cover it up with fabric or laundry or books--

Its a plastic basket from the Dollar Store.  Three baskets for $1.  I attached it to the closet door with Command hooks.  The charger cord reaches and its not where I will bump it.  

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!  


Rainbow Scrappy Saturday and Week in Review

Saturday, November 19, 2016
Remember when I made Album blocks in 2014 & 2015?  This is top #6 I've put together using them--

Roughly 75X90--still a few wrinkles to be pressed out.  I didn't have enough of one fabric to do both setting squares and triangles--the outside triangles are a TOT just a bit darker than the plain periwinkle blue in the middle squares.  I still have enough album blocks to make ONE MORE TOP.   I'm a bit math challenged and work best with a pattern or diagram.  Sometimes I have to draw my own--

I can't "see" it in my head, I need a picture to look at. Please see what everyone's doing with their RSC projects at SoScrappy. Some people learn by hearing, some by reading, some by watching.  Hearing is the hardest for me, I only retain what I hear if I take notes.  Laura Beth learns best by reading (me too)--I wonder if these traits are inherited or learned?  

On Tuesday we finished combining, then we moved all the equipment to where we store it--

Beautiful blue skies and warm--I was following Ken down the road.  See the wide open flatlands where we live?  Glad we got done, because on Thursday night this arrived--

First rain then snow and high winds.  The snow was wet enough it didn't blow around.  On Wednesday we cleared off flowerbeds, took down my "viney crap" as Ken calls all my Morning Glories and Sweet Peas.  Rolled it all up like a big round hay bale, Ken hauled it out to the farm.  Those vines filled the back of the pickup.  But I couldn't leave the pots of Hen'n'Chicks outside--

I'm going to try starting more "chicks" over the winter in other pots.  Thank you Karla for giving them to me!  These succulents are supposed to reproduce as fast as scraps of fabric. 

Remember Barn Dance?  I hadn't forgotten about it.  That stack of blocks has been moved a million times but I got it together--

Not a great picture, but I was in a hurry to use the design wall.  Where do I store the completed tops?  In the CABANA CLOSET--

Its getting crowded in there, some have overflowed onto wherever they could find a spot.  

Right now I'm working on turning blocks into tops.  Several need borders but I'll have a border making marathon one of these days.  I'm planning a quilting marathon after the holidays.  


Design Wall Monday and Weekly Goals

Monday, November 14, 2016
The 4 Patches & Squares are sewn in vertical rows.

4 Patch & Squares
Noticed an error (the light blue 4 patch) but if you see any others please tell me!  I've been sewing the rows together--nine long seams left.  Please see everyone's design wall posts at Patchwork Times.

I also made blocks for my guild's outgoing presidents.  My guild has six presidents, that seems to work quite well.  One requested a batik block, one a gray/yellow block, and another a red/white block.  No pattern requested on these--just a certain size (8" & 10" finished).

Cracker Blocks
The gray in the one block appears blue--but its definitely gray!  A 4th lady requested a 9 patch block but somehow I forgot to take a picture of it.  Kat resized these blocks so that they were the right size.  Thank you Kat.   I'm practicing "cracker" blocks--I think they will become a RSC block.  I found a pattern/tutorial at Moda Bake Shop--Ritzy Crackers

I need to catch up my stash report--
Stash in 45.50 yards
Stash in YTD 390.50 yards
Stash out--0
Stash out YTD--95 yds
Stash is ahead 295.5 yds! 
The numbers look huge, but I LOVE my stash and I've added lots of backgrounds, borders, and backing.  My "working stash" has decreased.  The shelves are not packed tightly anymore.   
Weekly Goals--
Sew the 4 Patches & Squares together
Put another set of blocks on the design wall
Billie Lauder Faux Log Cabin 
Borders  Binding?

We're still harvesting.  Just a little corn left.  We're in the LAST field!  Pray that worn belt on the beater holds together until we are done.  


Design Wall Monday and Weekly Goals

Monday, November 7, 2016
Yesterday I sewed the last two seams of the Scrappy Trips quilt--

Scrappy Trips
 I used a dark blue on all the blocks diagonally--its hard to see but I think it helps the diagonal movement of the blocks.  I love this pattern and plan to make it again.  For now its on the "needs borders" pile.  Thank you Bonnie Hunter for this free pattern.

Last week the Pieces of Eight blocks were sewn together and added to the "needs borders" pile--

Pieces of Eight
 The wall was empty so I pulled out another project box and threw the 4 Patch & Squares on the wall--

4 Patches & Squares
Needs a few more blocks made so I pieced more 4 patches.  I worked on this project in the camper over the summer.  When a project gets to the "needs the design wall" point I set it aside.  Much easier to work on them when I get home.  I see a couple zinger blocks but I think I'll leave them.  Do you see a really obvious one?  (Yes, its the diagonal striped one).  Please see everyone's design wall posts at Patchwork Times.

Saturday I stash enhanced.  I bought 34.5 yds.  31 yds from the sale table--all 50% off.  Prices ranged from $6 to 5.50 down to 2.00 a yd.  One 10 yard piece was $2.50@yd.  These fabrics either coordinate with each other or with my stash.  Remember that "needs borders" pile?  My stash is low on anything for big enough for borders.  I could piece more blocks and make quilts without borders, and I do--but these I felt needed borders.  Never say never!  

Weekly Goals--

Finish making blocks for 4 Patches & Squares
Pick borders for a quilt and sew them on
Make the binding at the same time
Play making more Rainbow Scrappy Challenge blocks
Count current Rainbow Scrappy Challenge blocks

Do you participate in the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge?  Already I am planning next year's blocks.  RSC is all about fun--digging through the scrap boxes looking for possible fabrics--who doesn't love to dig through their stash and scraps?  

Each month I try to refold/reorganize a color or theme in my stash.  The last few weeks I've pulled it out as fast as I've put it away!  Even if your stash is neatly folded and organized--pull it out and LOOK at it.  You've probably forgotten how nice some of it was.  I found a few pieces I'd forgotten about.  

There is also the "already ironed" pile of FQs and chunks.  Nope, not folding it again!.  I've started Billie Lauder's Faux Log Cabin.   And there is another project that's been "on the list" for a while--those pieces will be used in that too.  Those fabrics are going to be chopped!  

Harvest is on hold for repairs.  We're almost done and the weather forecast is great weather for at least another week or 10 days.  I stress out over it so have been organizing and flinging from cupboards and closets.  Today I moved all my spices and measuring cups.  Flung some old glass glasses--I drop them so often we've switched to plastic. Bought long plastic baskets from the Dollar Store and hung them on hooks on the side walls of my pantry.  Ken insisted I store them in alphabetical order.  ROFL!!!  Okay--my most used ones are not alphabetical--but the rest of them are.  The cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves are all together.  Several had duplicates and I pulled the extras for a "spice shoe box" to go on the shelves downstairs. These are just the small containers--ones like vanilla, baking powder, etc--that are not small and light are still in the cupboard in a see through plastic container.    

Not sure what I'll be doing this week.  I'm getting tired of cleaning out cupboards.  Haven't sewed with 2Rs in FOREVER!  


Design Wall Monday and Weekly Goals

Monday, October 31, 2016
There are 12 Pieces of Eight blocks on the wall--

Next is playing with their arrangement, then I can sew them together.  The Scrappy Trips are still on the wall underneath them.  Once they are a flimsy they can wait on the borders pile.  Please see everyone's design wall posts at Patchwork Times.

Weekly Goals--

Sew Pieces of Eight together
Sew Scrappy Trips together
Work on another project

Soybeans are harvested, today we start corn.  Not sure how much sewing time I'll have.  Nothing that requires deep thinking.

Happy Halloween!  I have candy bars ready but we haven't had a trick or treater in two years.  Ken made sure to pick ones he liked. 


Design Wall Monday and Weekly Goals

Monday, October 24, 2016
Last week I finished making Barn Dance blocks and took them off the design wall.  The wall was naked so I put the Scrappy Trips blocks up--

 A furrows setting, I think I like it better than the original way shown next--

The chains of dark blue just wandered off the edges of the quilt and looked like the planning had been interrupted.  (Sorry about the quality of the pictures, night shots always look dingy and dreary!)  There weren't enough blocks and there was no more of that particular dark blue.  Ripped the first 20 blocks apart and then made more blocks using assorted dark blue chains to set them 6x7 (42).  Boy sized!!  I started these blocks prior to 2010 for sure.  Wildly scrappy and I love it!  It will be hard to part with it but I can make another.  Recently the discussion on Stashbusters was if we ever repeated a pattern?  Most definitely, I've made at least five of these.  Each one looks different.  Please see everyone's design wall post at Patchwork Times.

Weekly Goals--

Arrange Scrappy Trips blocks 
Plan some borders
Start a New Project

Ah--a new project!  Its been simmering on the back burner for a while.  I need to do a bit more math and planning.  

Harvest is going to keep us busy.  Not sure where I'll fit in any sewing.  But I'll try!!


Rainbow Scrappy Saturday--Orange & Yellow

Saturday, October 22, 2016
This week I worked on Barn Dance blocks--

This one has orange and yellow in it.  A few mistakes along the way--

But I fixed it--

I love those google eyed chickens!  All the Barn Dance blocks are completed.  Plus a few extras.  I found a stack of churn dashes I knew I'd made for Barn Dance.  Thought I had misplaced one step of the directions.  Went to the website.  The last blocks have 8" finished churn dashes in them.   I had already made them.  Now I have extras.   Please see everyone's posts at SoScrappy.

Its been a tough week.  On Wednesday I fell.  I didn't trip over anything, my feet got tangled up and I went down like tree.  WHACK!!!  Luckily I didn't fall on anything.  Landed on my knees and my right forearm.  Rug burns but nothing else.  I landed with my forearm parallel to the floor, otherwise I think I would have broke it.  But no black eyes, my teeth are all fine, but my body is SORE.  So not much sewing or anything else.  Time for more Tylenol!


Design Wall Monday and Weekly Goals

Monday, October 17, 2016
This project was on my design wall over the weekend--

Album blocks I made in 2014 & 2015.  The vertical rows are sewn together and I added a bit more of the brown all the way around.  It needs borders picked next.  There are 3 other tops waiting for borders, I tend to do them all at once.  Kat helped me with the math--she can figure how much fabric I need in a snap!  Thank you Kat!   Blocks set with a darker color it will be a better choice for a "boy" quilt than oceans of neutrals.  This top went together so easily I plan to make a couple more.  It will end up close to my target size of 75x90".  There are 48 album blocks left, if I set two more like this (using different colors) that will leave 26 blocks.  Recently on Stashbusters the question was asked if we ever make a pattern twice?  There will be seven quilts made with album blocks--so the answer is YES!  And I could very happily continue making album blocks--I love the pattern.  Please see everyone's design wall at Patchwork Times blog.

Have I told you I love to iron scraps?  My iron works hard!  I only buy a cheap non stick iron, never using the steam option.  Instead I buy a spray bottle at the Dollar store.  I've been using this one for quite a while--

Look how beat up the bottle portion is!  But the spray part works perfectly.  The water is cloudy because I add liquid StaFlo starch to the water.  If I bought an expensive iron it would be waste of money.  A cheap iron usually lasts a couple of years.  They have to be lightweight too, my shoulders/arms complain if they are too heavy.  

Weekly Goals--

Piece another album block top
Borders on one top
Finish last 3 blocks of Barn Dance
Pieces of Eight
Three Steps Forward

Not sure how much sewing I will get done.  Its too damp today to harvest but we're ready to roll.  Last week we packed up the camper, we've been slowly unpacking.  

My lonely campsite
When I left in May my sewing room was a disaster and I've been sorting piles of fabric, boxes and totes. Most the yardage has been folded and put back on shelves.  A new start this winter will be a brown quilt--there is enough brown fabric pulled for five quilts.  I love brown!