Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dyslexic Paper Piecing, Poltergeists and Dust Bunnies

Once upon a time Queen Sophie of Block Lotto Land declared that the block for the month of September would be Sweet Dreams. 

Little did she know that for Old Gray Maiden construction of this this block would be a nightmare. 

First try was too 1/2  inch too big. Old Gray Maiden had a difficult time printing the template for paper piecing the correct size.   Queen Sophie accommodated Old Gray Maiden with a .pdf file that still would not print properly on two printers at home.   Then Old Gray Maiden tried a printer elsewhere and the template printed just right. 

Old Gray Maiden was not really a fan of paper piecing but that was because she had not really had much experience with it.   So Old Gray Maiden accepted the challenge and went off to her castle to sew. 

First, she cut the pieces for the paper piecing a tiny bit too small.   Then she started over and had the fabrics reversed (red was supposed to be in the corners) . Rip it.  Then she tried again and had the fabrics wrong side up. Rip it.  Then the poltergeists appeared and Old Gray Maiden's Janome DC2010 started sewing by itself  even when her foot was not on the foot pedal.   Old Gray Maiden knows that usually when the poltergeists appear the machine needs cleaning.  Yep, that was right.  Several Big Giant Dust Bunnies leaped out of Old Gray Maiden's machine even before she could get the screws from the needle plate loose. Several more Big Giant Dust Bunnies had made a nest inside her machine and she ran them off.  And all was well again.  

Old Gray Maiden then sewed and sewed until all the papers were covered.   Then when she ripped the papers off  and several of the fabric pieces fell into her lap.  Old Fair Maiden didn't notice her tension was not right when she sewed and sewed. So, she quickly sewed the pieces back together whilst they were not on the papers. 

And then Old Gray Maiden hand appliqued the circles before she noticed...

...that a corner on each block was bad.  And lots of cuss words could be heard throughout the castle and Old Gray Maiden's hair grew even grayer. 

So, Old Gray Maiden waited a week and tried again. 

And what do you know...Old Gray Maiden made a block that was just right. 

And then Old Gray Maiden made 6 more blocks for her Queen Sophie of Block Lotto Land designed Mod Mod Quilt. 

And the moral of the story is Old Gray Maiden  is very stubborn and loves a challenge and will not be defeated or maybe it's something like" if at first you don't succeed  try try again".  

If you like to learn something every once in a while, like a challenge every once in a while, like fun every once in a while, like to win blocks every once in a while, well, why not join the Block Lotto community. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lest You Think It's All Bright and Wild Around These Parts...

...I'm using up my dark 3 inch 9 patches in a Jack's Chain with neutral hexies and connecting triangles. 

The dark 9 patches didn't seem to play as well with the brighter ones in this Jack's Chain WIP.

I guess I'm a glutton for Y seams. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pickle Dish and Spinning Stars

I finally finished all 72 arches for my Pickle Dish quilt and now have started putting the blocks together. 

And before I forget what I was going to do with the leftover pink, orange, yellow and teal/navy fabrics I made an 18 inch Spinning Star block to see if I liked it.  I think I do.  For now, anyway. 

And, that's what's on my "Cutting Matt Propped Up Against Wall and Covered with Leftover Batting" (aka makeshift Design Wall) this fine Monday. 

To see what other folks have on their Design Walls visit Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Still Big Stitching

Well, you can't really see the big stitching going on in this photo but it's happening.  Right now I'm using navy perle #8 to big stitch around the basket parts. 

In crochet news...I usually make the grandkids a stocking cap and scarf each year for Christmas. I saw these balls of textured yarn with a pompom on top and thought they might be unusual and cute.  Package said it would make a small adult hat and instructions were included. I started crocheting the hat. Instructions said to keep on keeping on until yarn was almost gone.  Well, that's what I did. No way in H..E..Double Hockey Sticks is that a small adult hat.   And, now that I look at the price I paid for the darned yarn that should make a small adult hat I'm really mad.  I hope the stuff was on sale and I didn't pay full price. If I did I must be getting senile. 

At any rate I found some yarn left over from crocheting dishcloths and figured it might match enough so I can finish up the small adult sized hat I thought I was making.  Don't know what I'll do with that pink stuff.  If I was a "returner" I'd take it back from whence it came...pompom and all.  But I'm not a "returner" and besides, it would probably take the same amount in gas to get to the other side of town  from where I work to return it. 

Well, instead of slow burning I need to get back to some slow stitching. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I Think I Need a Bigger Box

I finished up two quilts for donation to Wrap-A-Smile, a partner of Rotaplast International, a non-profit organization that treats children with cleft lip and palate anomaly who otherwise would not receive surgical intervention.  Some of the hospitals where the missions take place have no linens so the quilts cover the operating table during surgery, keep the children warm after surgery and they then get to take their quilt home with them. Sometimes the quilt is the only item of value other than the family's cooking implements. 

See that box? Do you think they will fit? 

40 x 58
It consists of a couple of Lotto blocks I won last year from Sunshine Online Quilt Guild's monthly lotto, a few orphan Happy Blocks, some scraps left over from a Quilt of Valor and some 2.5 inch scraps and and some alien fabric from stash. 

40 x 58
It consists of a few scrappy heart blocks, another block lotto winning block and some 6 inch orphan blocks along with some 2.5 inch scraps for sashing. 

I had made both tops last year but had to finish some other UFOs in order to have enough left over batting to piece together for these.  I usually buy Queen-sized batting on sale and piece leftovers for these smaller quilts that I quilt on my plain Jane DSM.  I quilted Hearts with flowers and Aliens with stars. 

The last time I put the quilts in a box for mailing I decided it wasn't quite full enough and I could make a couple more quilts to fill it up.

And now I think I need a bigger box. 
I need to find it soon because these are sure taking up space in my sewing room and I now need space for Christmas gifts!


This week I made my usual combo of 12 inch Kaleidoscope blocks - RSC color of the month (orange), color of month plus its complement (orange, blue), color of month plus color of previous month (orange,green). 

I decided to add two more blocks because I want to have 42 blocks at year end.  So I added orange with analogous colors (yellow,red) and secondary colors (orange,green,purple). Unfortunately I think the secondary color block will go into the orphan block pile and then into a donation quilt. I sewed together my usual 6 strips and then found out I either didn't use a scant 1/4 seam or cut one strip too small so ended up with a 6 inch strip instead of 6.5 inch in width strip. I thought I'd fix that by adding a 7th strip and cutting off either side to even up strip set to 6.5.   Arghhhh...that was not a fix and block is wonky. 

Those blocks, believe it or not, are a real crumb buster. I use crumbs for the corner triangles on the blocks.  I didn't have enough orange crumbs so combined with a few red and yellow. 

From some 4.5 inch strips I first cut a few pieces off the end for a Dresden Block.  I'll continue these into next year. I haven't yet decided what color or colors to use for background or centers. 

From same 4 .5 inch strips I made lots of 4.5 inch HSTs. A few HSTs ended up in a 16 inch chevron block and 12 inch HST block. 

I usually don't post pics other than quilt related but...speaking of orange...
last weekend the grandkids came over and helped to pick pumpkins and other things. 

Jacob had ambitious thoughts that he could push the full wheelbarrow up to the house. 

This is the other orange stuff I worked on last weekend.  The kids helped make pumpkin pies (homemade pie crust too) for dessert and pumpkin muffins for breakfast.   . 

Got scraps? (Orange this month)
Join us each ScrapHappy Saturday and show us what you've done with them. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Big Stitching Baskets

I'm big stitching my basket quilt in navy perle #8 with a #4 (I think) embroidery needle. 

I finished the pillowcases I was working on to go with the Double Wedding Ring quilt for my granddaughter's hope chest. 

First of all, I didn't notice when I cut the band for embroidery that is was a lighter yellow Kona than what I had bought for the body of the pillowcase. Oh, well, I went ahead with my plan and finished assembly in two tones. 

Second of all, the transfers I used had a vine beneath HIS and nothing beneath HERS. HERS is in bigger lettering and vine didn't fit in same space.   I fixed that.  I added a crocheted edging to HERS.  I just happened to have some purple crochet thread on hand.  Might as well use it up. 

Slow Stitching?