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?