Sunday, May 14, 2023

Back to the Stars

     Back to the Scrap Jar Stars, I mean. This has been a leader ender for a long time. I finished 22 blocks, needed 20, to make a quilt. When I looked back at the pattern, I realized if I made 8 more blocks, I could have a bigger quilt. So, I girded up and sewed more components. I have the last 6 blocks layed out on sheets of cardboard stacked at one of the machines to work in between other things. Then I will have 30 blocks to layout 5 x 6. The blocks will finish at 12". However, they still need sashing and cornerstones, which I will have to cut, and use a leader enders to put it together. I am trying to push this along, as it has been around too long (April 22) in pieces.

Single block

This pile of blocks was too hard to iron on freezer paper, so I put each block on a cardboard.
     I also tried out a quilt pattern I found on Pinterest, Illusion Rings, to see if I like it before committing to it. I came up with the sizes to use standard cuts and I am not sure if it is too large scale. The centers, HSTs are 4 1/2" squares, 12" Finished. Used the Tri-Recs ruler for the star legs.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Octagon OBW

      I have made at least 5 One Block Wonder (OBW) quilts and love them. I have the book and noticed that there is one using octagons instead of hexagons. Wow, you can piece them together as whole blocks instead of half rows, love it. Of course, you need 8 repeats instead of 6. I did make one octagon one a while back, but just quilted it before eye surgery and bound it yesterday (black thread on black binding- needed perfect sight). I want to make a big one! Finding the right fabric is a huge hunt- I need a 24" repeat and eight of them. The background to foreground ratio has to be just right.
    Here is the finished octagon OBW. It is 41 x 53. Quilted with Glide Cleopatra (where do they get these names?). Now to find a wall space for it.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Hands to Help Quilts

      Every year I try and complete some quilts for Sarah Craig's Hands to Help Challenge. This year, as last, I will send these 3 baby quilts to Little Lambs when completed. The great thing about them is they participate in a shipping service that lets me ship all them for one low price.
    This year, I made one baby girl and two baby boys. I used the same design to make things quicker and easier. For a while, I have been making a scrap quilt called Scrap Jar Stars as a leader ender. When I started it, I made sample blocks for the star. I loved the little one (uses 1 1/2" squares), but the amount of blocks needed to make a quilt was daunting. I used 2" squares for the center, 3 1/2" for the HSTs. As I looked at the blocks, I thought, why not supersize? I graph papered it out and used stash fabrics. Later, I found that she has a baby quilt pattern available for this star. Well, my brain got a workout, always good.
    Because of the eye surgery, I have not been able to quilt them yet. I may miss the June deadline to ship them, but I will complete them and send them. I am making the backings now. They are about 49 x 49.

Big and little stars

Girl quilt

The Starry Night fabric for the border is special because it is from my friend, Terri, was passed away in December, and I used it in her grandkids quilts. I know she would have loved to see this.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Cool spring

      It has been a rainy, cold spring here. Lots of dark clouds. One thing that has resulted is that the tulips and spring flowers last a lot longer. There are still good looking daffodils among the tulips. In December, we had to take down an oversized oak tree and we were able to plant two columnar trees- a sweetgum and a Pacific Fire maple (great looking color branches). Still, the garden is behind in cleanup and planting due to the weather. Today, the sun came out and it is actually getting close to 60 degrees!

Yellow hellebore

Bleeding Hearts

Dirt area where oak was. Far right, the sweetgum, middle, the Pacific Fire.

Pacific Fire Maple

Friday, May 5, 2023

Much clearer

      This past week, my right eye cleared a lot, so I decided to go ahead with the surgery (cataract and glaucoma) on the left. This time, there were no cloudy, foggy obstructions. Just clean colors and sharper vision. The right eye still has a bit of cloudiness at times, but is improving. Still doing all those burning eyedrops, but I started to drive today. I have to hold off bending over and doing anything strenous until next week. I was able to sew and sew.
     I was able to web the Pixel Chain and put it up on the wall. At first, it didn't grab me, but as it has been up and it got sunny outside, I really like it. I think I may put a white strip border on it to hold all the seams instead of just binding it. I would need bigger backing though. It is about 69" x 63" now.

     Another thing I have been doing is using a small graph paper notebook to draw ideas, projects, things I see so I can refer back to them and not lose all those small pieces of paper I jot notes down (sizes, websites, construction). Color pencils and glueing in printouts so I can find and use the information is a real treat. I hope I can keep it going. I have used artist sketchbooks for my paintings for years, I don't know why I did not think of this earlier instead of random scraps of paper.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

New Leader Enders

     Since the nine patch stripe quilt is sewn, I need to supply some leader enders at the machines to keep going.  Besides the red crumb center blocks, I decided on two. Both are Bonnie Hunter patterns because they use size of scraps I save and can accumulate until there are enough blocks.
     The first one is Triple Treat as I have lots of pieces of 2 1/2" strips and 1 1/2" squares. This one is a free pattern on her site.

     The other one is Sugar Grove which is a new pattern ($) from Bonnie . It uses 2 1/2" strips that I use the Easy Angle Ruler for. This uses light and dark strips. By layering the light and dark together and cutting them, I put them in a basket by one machine to use this as my leader ender.

     These are 4 full blocks here. I webbed the blocks by column and ironed the layout on freezer paper to keep them in place. Got to go and cut some more.      
     I am not smart enough to figure out why the comments on the blog are not coming to me, if you know, pass the info on.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The Stripes have it

     A couple of years ago (grimace), a woman at my quilt guild gave me a plastic shoe box filled with 2" scrap stripe squares. She knew I loved stripes (for bindings) and knew I loved scraps. The box was pretty full. I started to sew 9 patch blocks as leader enders. I tried a dark stripe center and then a light stripe center. I oriented all the light blocks in one direction and the dark in another. I chose the light centers. I made a lot of blocks, but had no idea what to do with them. I asked quilters experienced in scraps, but no one had an idea. I tried square in a square blocks with black and white triangles, but it was yucky.
     Then I pulled out my off-white scraps and fooled around with the stripes. I decided to put one square in the middle and frame it. Liked it. Then I combined the 9 patch blocks and the framed blocks, but it was boring on the wall. Then some fell off and tilted to suggest an on point layout. Hmm, sort of liked it.
     When I had eye surgery and could not see well, I started to put blocks on the wall and sew more blocks. I drew a sketch on graph paper and decided to make it 10 nine patches by 11 nine patches alternating rows with the framed blocks. I was obsessed with making them all. Then I was obsessed sewing them together which is a time consuming boring task. I used a stripe fabric for a thinner border and then pieced the outer border using off white with white fabric using square in a square corners.
     I can't believe I finished it all. However, my eyesight has not returned to normal. It is better than it was, but it is still like looking through a sheer curtain that moves. I put off the other eye surgery until this one clears.


All sewn

A stripe border and off-white border