Friday, January 27, 2017

The Last Saturday of January Purple!

Joining the Rainbow Scrap Challenge hosted by is the best thing I have done since moving to Washington! I am having such a fun time, and I am getting so much sewing done...AND...I have also conjured up enough energy to start really going at my reorganization of my sewing room. As I have been sewing, I have formulated in my mind what would work more efficiently for me. Friday I worked on it and got some furniture moved around so my room mate could fix my old (really) shabby chic cabinet to the wall so it's good and sturdy. Then I will have lots more space to stash my goodies.

This month flew by in one way and in another it didn't. I love purple, love it so much everything I buy for the critters outside (buckets, pooper scoopers, lead ropes, etc.) are purple. Always have loved it and always will. BUT...I think I have had my fill of purple for now!

I can't wait to see what our next color will be in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!

I have to say again how much I am enjoying this process. I am learning a lot of stuff! About me, about my machine and about new ways to do things. Can I say thank you big enough to Angela for facilitating this challenge? It has gotten me in touch with my machine and my fabrics, and I needed this gentle shove in the right direction.

What have I learned? Well, I believe the most important lesson is to take a deep breath and think about what it is I am about to do. I broke a needle and bent one and thought I had broken my machine, because I was just in too much of a hurry.

I went through my machine feet to see if I could find the right 1/4" foot. Yep, I did say the right one. I thought I had it, but my blocks were not very accurate at all. The foot I ended up with was indeed the actual 1/4" foot I should have had to begin with. That one came with the "no time to be in a hurry" lesson. I have to make sure that my needle is in the center position in order to save my needles. Twice...twice I forget to put the needle in the proper position when I turned on my machine. I now have a note as big as life under the presser foot to remind me that I need to change the settings.

Another lesson was the "shrug my shoulders and say oh well" a lot, or get out the seam ripper and think about what I am doing, while I'm ripping out the same seam over and over. GAH!!! Oh yeah, and have fun!!!

The magazine where I found the boot quilt came in handy. I did start on the boot blocks in purple. I was saying eek a lot when I was making this. I loved how they turned out, they are so dang cute! There is some foundation piecing that goes along with this block and that is something I have never done before. In fact, I never knew what foundation piecing was going in. So another lesson learned and another technique learned. I have a lot of practicing to do with that to be honest. I've done okay with it, but boy does my brain get turned around a lot in the process! Egads! I'm sure after watching a few more videos and some snipping and ripping I will get it down. This is where Smitty over at CatPatch is a good teacher...Smitty says, "Furrst, you should read over all of the instructions before beginning."  I made a few tries before I actually found the instructions I thought were missing. Can you say Frustration?

So, I have gone on long are the blocks I made this week:

These are the rest of the purple blocks I did from Tula Pink's book. Lots and lots of the same fabrics, but those were the scraps I had. I used half a shoe box sized tote full of scraps. I'm really pleased with how they turned out for the most part, but like I said earlier, the blocks are definitely not accurately sewn, I will have to do some finagling to get them sewn together with future blocks. Oh well, I am looking at this as a learning thing.

These are my first blocks from the boot pattern in the magazine I am so smitten with. I just love how these turned out. I can't wait to get all the blocks done and set together and into a quilt sammich! I may gift this to my horsey daughter...or I may keep it myself, we'll see at the end of this journey.

Thanks for reading this far. I know I can go on and on sometimes, but it's generally when I am super excited about something.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

RSC - January, 2017

I'm really getting into this!
I decided that since I already have Tula Pink's book "100 Modern Quilt Blocks" I would put it and my scraps to good use, and what fun I have been having! I am struggling with my accurate seams though, so the blocks are going to have to be "fixed" to fit into a quilt gracefully. It's all on my learning curve. (Wouldn't you think that I should be able to do an accurate seam after years of doing this???) Even with glasses my sight is not great. It's time to get back to the optometrist and get these things checked again I think!

So far I have ten blocks done and four more to go. I should be able to handle that. What I did, was pick out the blocks in the book that looked "purple-ish" to me and listed the pages. I labeled the blocks so I could put them together in order, somehow. I haven't looked to see how Tula explained the setting of the blocks in depth yet. I figure I have plenty of time to look into that. I have been wanting to put this book to good use since I bought it three/four years ago, and this is really fun to do it this way. Gave me a purpose!!!

I went to pick up a prescription yesterday and there was some glitch in my insurance coverage, so I had to wait a bit. Luckily, it was one of the less expensive meds that I take so I just paid cash for it, instead of waiting for the insurance cards to come in the mail. I had to wait for a half an hour for them to fill the prescription, so I shopped while waiting. Danger Zone!!! I found two quilt magazines I hadn't seen before and since they are one of my addictions, I bought them. One had this adorable quilt top in it and it gave me more ideas for blocks to make with my scraps for RSC.

Aren't these boots just the cutest?!? I squealed when I saw this. I can't wait to get started on this now.

I spent a good part of the day out Thursday. I went to my WeightWatchers meeting in the morning and had a list of stuff to do when I got into town. Post Office, prescription, windshield wiper blades, groceries, whatever came to mind. My driveway and parking lot is six inches deep in mud, so I have to park at the top of my property to be able to get the trucks in and out. Which means a hike both ways from the house. (good exercise, by the way!) It's a pain in the neck, because I can't just walk the short distance from my house out to my truck and back again. Oh well, I don't usually leave the property that often anyway. I ventured out again Friday, because I found an Ulmer Quilting frame for sale on Craigslist. That will be a good one because it folds up to a fairly small piece and I can do my quilting by hand...on some stuff, not all. Anyway, this is a practically new frame for a good price. Then I stopped at JoAnns Fabrics, because I am getting low on fabrics. Yeah, right! I'm stopped at JoAnns, because I can't pass by it, I had to stop, it calls my name...and I have a coupon, so I saved money! Right??? I ended up only spending $40, which for me in JoAnns isn't bad at all!

Today I woke up early, 6:30! Dang, that's early!!! I got up, went on the computer for a while, got dressed and went out to feed my horses and goats, geese, chickens and rabbits. The mud has dried out enough for me to use my riding lawn mower to haul the trailer with the hay to the other side of the property. Hauling that in the wheel barrow is hard! After making sure they were all fed and watered I went in and got my breakfast together. I started organizing my sewing room again. I sorted out some scraps that were hanging around after my Christmas stocking sewing frenzy. Then put a few other things away. I got to thinking about how my seams are not working right for me, so I started going through the feet for my machine to see if I could find one where I can more accurately measure the seams. I find one and tried it out and since I wasn't working with a full deck, (remember what time I woke up?) broke a needle, then dropped it into the bobbin encasement. AAARRRGGGHHH!. I took the plate off and took the race apart and started searching for it. I found it, pulled it out and then decided it was a good time to clean out that area. After I put it back together, I got out my book and read how to not break my needle again. I did a test swatch and finally got a 1/4" seam!

Okay, that's enough out of me. Thanks for reading this far! I'm off to post this and read/see what you are all up to.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

More Scrappy Purples

I did finish my second Wonky Log Cabin block, but I failed to get a picture of it. Perhaps next week I will remember to snap a photo of it. I did some "almost" 10" square quilt as you go strip blocks. I got three done. I'm pleased with that. Here are those:

I think these will be great to set with other rainbow scrappy blocks done this way and make a nice quilt...especially one that is dang near done when RSC2017 comes close to it's end! I'm excited about it!

I have been working on a flannel rag quilt for my daughter's friend. Baby girl is due in February, so  I decided to concentrate on it until it's finished. I will share a picture when I get it done. It's basic. Soft pink dots, green dots, lavender checks, and yellow checks,  9-1/2" squares, that will be all "ragged" out in the end. I'm excited about this one too. I want to wrap that little girl up in it all cozy, safe and warm.

I finally figured out how I am going to finish my last quilt top I made. I have some plain black 2-1/2"
strips. I thought I would use that for a border, then if there's enough left over, I will sew all the little odds and ends of leftovers from the charm packs and use all that for the binding. We shall see. I think this is one quilt I won't have much for scraps left from it.

That's it for this second scrappy week. All fun, and no calories!

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2017

I decided that I needed a good reason to work on my quilt blocks as daily as possible. What better way than to join a fun group of people doing the same thing as me? So I joined RSC 2017. I think I got a pretty good start on it, well, a few days after everyone else started I am sure! I do have scraps, but I also have fat quarters languishing in the same bins as the scraps so I am using those as well. Otherwise, I wouldn't have much to show for myself.
I haven't quilted nearly as much as I thought I would be after moving two years ago. Dang! Two years already??? I moved into this house on the 26th of January 2015. That flew by!
So the daily sewing happened for two days in a row. (ahem, hey! I'm not perfect!) There are other things to be done and yesterday was a busy one. I did sew yesterday, but I also, replenished the chickens' food supply, (four 40 pound bags worth) and since it's been literally freezing here lately, I am having to haul water to my goats and chickens by the bucket full. I moved the horses' buckets closer to the house to make it a little more convenient for me, their buckets are twenty gallons each, times two. Nope, not hauling individual buckets eight times to fill those buggers! I love that the ground is frozen, it makes it safer and easier to get around the ranch, but the hoses don't run water. When it thaws out next week, I will be able to run the hoses, but will be slipping and sliding in the mud! I guess I can't have it all!
Today, sewing didn't happen because I spent yesterday hauling heavy things around and my elbow and hands hurt too much to hold onto fabric.
This is what I did get done:

My first Wonky Log Cabin.
I think I will make two of each in the colors of the month. They are 12-1/2" right now, so will finish out at 12". I think I will have a good amount to make a decent quilt with.

My second Wonky Log Cabin, only half done. Distractions happened in the way of a baby goat needing to fed every other hour, so he was a tad more important than my blocks!

I found the pieces for this in the bottom of my scrap tub. They started out as just the strip of stars sewn to the lighter fabric. They were 3-1/2" strips to start with, I added the third fabric and then sewed them together kind of willy nilly, just because they were there and yeah, RSC! I can't for the life of me remember what they started out life as. I still have four more. Maybe an idea will come to me for using those by next year's RSC!

So! For the very first time in my life with a blog, I am linking up with Angela and taking this journey! It's going to be fun! Now I am off to link and then finish looking at the other 59 blog links...there's some awesome stuff going on over there!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The Learning Quilt

Oh my goodness. I am so in love with the colors of this quilt. It is what I had envisioned when I put my three charm packs of jewel toned batiks together. I ordered the black 2-1/2" strips to go with the batiks. I love surrounding rich colors with black, they just stand out so much better.
The process seemed straight forward enough. I saw this quilt in a video done by Jen at Missouri Star Quilts YouTube videos. (Those videos are a gold mine if you have never seen them before...check it out!)
Yes, that is left over snow on the ground.

At my age you would think I would know by now that nothing with me is ever straight forward. Nothing! I cut the pieces like Jen said, I sewed them together, the book. Well, after getting the chain piecing done, I started in putting the different pieces together and no...they weren't fitting properly. I was having to pull and push and pull again. Then I looked closer at what I had in my hands. Every single chained pieced section was sewn at an angle and I had 1/4" seams at one end, 3/16" at the other end.

I started looking at what could be the problem. (you know, beside myself because I am not the problem here...ever) What I found was that somehow, the little sticker thingy that I have as a guide for my 1/4" seams is off a bit. Could it have moved? I don't know the answer to that. I haven't even removed it yet. Please don't ask me why. But if you just did, I think it's because I don't want to mess with the sticky residue just yet. Go figure.

I messed around with other ways to get an accurate 1/2" seam. I found a foot I have in my stash that I never paid much attention to. I got it out, looked it up in my machine's owner's manual and lo and behold, this foot is so a person can sew and accurate seam in a measurement of his/her choosing. Okay wait, what? I've had this machine since 2013. Can you say, "Slow to learn?"

Okay. We got it going now! YAY! I started back in sewing pieces into blocks and then blocks into rows. I sewed the first two rows together and checked out my handy work...I sewed the top row to the bottom of the next row! Rip, rip, rip.
Re-sewed. Got it right, sewed the next being very careful to place the rows in the right positions. Got the second one! Onto the third...upside down. Rip, rip, rip.
And on it went.

One morning, everything I touched on that quilt top was wrong, so I set it aside until the afternoon.
I finally did get the whole thing put together. (big sigh) and I am in love with it.
There are puckers where I didn't resew a seam or sixteen that had the wrong seam allowance. This is going to be a couch cuddler, it's not going to any shows, so I figured I would save some time and a few bucks worth of thread.

So, the reason I call it the learning quilt is because I learned a few things about me, my cutting techniques, my machine parts, and my patience levels. (Those are actually not too bad. I don't think I swore all that much!)

I  am planning on putting a solid black border around the whole quilt, just to finish it off, plus I have some of the strips left over. Or maybe those could be the biding...hmmm...I don't know. Right now I am just happy to have gotten this far!

At some point this year, I will be quilting all the tops I have to quilt, because I KNOW that I will get me sewing to the place where I get to pull out both cutting tables, put them together and baste my layers together.