Saturday, October 31, 2015

Back to the Rainbow

With my Main Event

well under way, I laid out my RSC Ohio stars to see where I stand with that project.

I fit in the brown stars for October, then made a couple more orange ones, just because. (Not that I have an orange problem.  I can stop using orange anytime I want to.  Right after another orange project I'm plotting with an orange-appreciating friend.)

Somehow I had it in my head that I needed more blocks on the warm side of the quilt.
Then I realized that I'd laid the blocks out in a square, and the plan was to make a rectangular quilt.  (Sizewise, a rectangle was going to be more useful and pleasing to me, so rectangle it will be.)
So I rearranged.

I didn't need more warm blocks at all.  The deficit is on the cool side, so I'm going to have to make more greens, blues, and purples.
Gee, how sad, eh?
Angela just announced that November's color is lime green - how fortuitous is that?!?  I've got more blues than I know what to do with, so that's an easy one.  I may have to scrounge for some more purples, but that's hardly a tragedy.
This one is in the home stretch.  Now I can go back to dithering choosing between the 37 possible projects I'm considering for next year's RSC...

Linking to ScrapHappy Saturday and Oh Scrap!  Weekends are just the best!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

In case there was a pool...

The time I officially succumbed to the lure of the kaleidoscope ruler was:

Friday, October 23rd, at 1:45pm

You all knew it was coming, right?

I resisted through the process of making brown Ohio stars for RSC.

I resisted through kitting out another monkey.

But then.

But then.

That 'psst' from the ruler got really really loud and it stuck in my brain and before I knew what was happening, I had this:

I made the two brown ones first, because RSC, right?  Since I'm auditioning the block for next year and I absolutely had to test out the ruler, right?  You're all nodding, right?
Then an orange one, since I have orange scraps all over my table anyway.  And I really needed to make sure that the test was thorough and rigorous.
And then, because I enjoy working small, and because I had suggested to Cathy the other day that itty bitty kaleidoscopes would be fun, and the idea came back and bit me in the ass -

I ended up making this one.

 Just to see how small I could go.  And I had a crazy thought - 'Wouldn't it be fun to make a whole quilt with this tiny little block?'
And then I came to my senses and corrected that to - 'Wouldn't it be fun to make a whole quilt pincushion with this tiny little block?'

Because I needed a pincushion more than I need another quilt-in-progress.  I'm doing a little handquilting each sewing day, trying to build up the callouses on my under-the-quilt fingers.

And, yes, I have owned that packet of quilting needles for a long time...

Linking to SoScrappy for Scraphappy Saturday  and OhScrap!, too!  Come see all the fun!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Twinkly Tale

One of the very good reasons I don't want to go haring off making a kaleidoscope quilt is because I have a mission.  When my daughter and family were in the Netherlands, she bought some beautiful fabric with an eye toward making a quilt.  While I was visiting, we got to talking quilts, and I showed her a couple of pictures of quilts that I was dithering about considering making for her daughter.  The upshot was that I decided which quilt to make for my granddaughter (her brother is getting the monkey quilt, in case y'all haven't guessed by now), and I'll also be making one for my daughter and son-in-law for their significant anniversary coming up.  AND I get to use the Netherlands fabric for both.
Since the anniversary quilt is the only one with a deadline, I'm starting with that one. 
Here are some of the lovely fabrics:

 and with some from my stash added in:

 Then I started testing backgrounds.




I realized that all the above were too cold.  Definitely something warmer was called for.

Well, that's more like it.   Unfortunately, there's only a fat quarter of that, but clearly I was on a better track.

So I went fabric shopping and found this, which is creamier looking in person, but still subtle.

A test block was called for, so I pulled a couple of fabrics and opened them up. 
Imagine my surprise when I found that they only looked like fat quarters - they were really something else entirely.
Here's one with a fat quarter next to it for comparison:

They're about 10" (so probably a quarter meter) by the full width of fabric - which is way more than our usual 42-44".  I laughed when I realized I'd made a completely unwarranted assumption.  Just because it looks like a fat quarter...

And here's the part that's helping me resist the Call of the Kaleidoscope:

I've been drooling over these twinkle star blocks over at Life in Pieces for months.  And months.  For bonus points, they call for using my tri-recs rulers, which are technically new since I haven't actually played with them much since I got them
So I made a sample block, and then cobbled together a mockup of the setting.

The sashing in the picture is just a couple of 2.5" strips I pulled out of stash, but now that I look at it, that fabric would work.  Unfortunately, I only have a tiny bit of it, and I suspect that it's decades old, so totally unattainable.  But it does give me a few ideas on what to look for.

But that blue square I'd chosen for the center of the block started to irk me.  Not right.  Not right at all.
So I dug some more, cut a square, and tried it:

Much better.

And, since I'll be generating a lot of bonus triangles with this quilt, I decided to get right on top of them from the beginning.  Each block will generate four of the big HSTs and eight of the small ones.  Notice that the small ones are actually mirror images of each other, four and four.  I don't know what I'll do with them yet, but I have a feeling they'll be fun to play with.

And there were monkeys.

 Because of course there were monkeys.  At some point I need to count and see how many I have.  I'm starting to wonder if I'll be able to stop, even when I have hit 'sufficient monkeys'...

Linking with Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Come join the fun!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I made it through another day without starting a Kaleidoscope!

Though I know it's just a matter of time.  That new ruler's 'pssts' are getting louder and louder.  We're now up to 'PSSSSST!', with 'PSSSSSST!!!' soon to come. 
In the meantime, I got a nice little fabric bump in the mail this morning:

I was a September winner in the Scraptastic Tuesday linky party.  There were a couple of glitches along the way (email is a lovely thing when it's working correctly...), but I'm now the happy owner of a stack of Tim Holtz fat quarters.  (One of my very favorite designers, and I was woefully lacking in that department.)
And I spy some browns in there, for this month's RSC blocks.  Win win win!  (I thought I had a lot of browns in my stash, until I went looking.  That's been happening to me a lot this year.  Apparently I have delusions where certain colors are concerned.)

Sharp-eyed readers might have spotted the pattern in last post's photo of my loot from Capital Quilts - the Sew Together bag is now figuring heavily in my plans for fall sewing. 
After all, everybody needs about ten of them, right?  (Note to self:  buy a lot of zippers)

Remember way back when, when I tossed out some hints on projects I was working on?  Gifts have been gifted, so I'll do a quick reveal.  (Yeah, I know you were all just dying of curiosity...)

Here's what I was chain quilting:

Improv birdie coasters.  These were a lot of fun, though a real challenge because I found it hard to let go of rulers and precision and matchy-matchy.  (I really admire wonky and carefree piecing - I just don't feel like I'm very good at it...)

The other teaser was for this project:

 Beer bucket! 
It's heavily padded, and there's a removable insert, so it can be used for growlers or for individual bottles.

This was a gift for my oldest daughter and her husband (the ones I just visited), who are beer aficionados and will put it to good use.
Though I wish I had taken notes while I was building it, since younger daughter expressed interest in having one, too.
I'm sure I can remember exactly what I did, right?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

How Now, Brown... er... Star

Brown is the color for October, and since I'm finally home with my stash, I can make a brown Ohio star or two.

The smaller one is for my rainbow Ohio quilt, and the larger one is an experiment that got away from me (geometry is usually my friend, but will sometimes betray me...), so I went with it and ended up with a larger star.  It will end up in my growing pile of orphan/digression blocks.  (There'll be a quilt in there eventually.)

And as a Public Service Announcement -

When Lee Anna recommends a quilt shop, run, do not walk.  While I was on vacation, she told me not to miss a visit to Capital Quilts.
I'm ever so glad I listened to her.  I found a couple of things.  8)

My daughter and I spent a happy chunk of the afternoon looking at everything (and I do mean everything), gathering treasures, and enjoying all the pretties.  And, oh my, were there a lot of pretties!

You might notice a kaleidoscope ruler in that pile.  I wasn't going to buy that.  But I'd been drooling over some kaleidoscope blocks (I'm looking at you, Cathy), so when I saw it, I picked it up.
Then I thought about how many quilts I have already in progress, plus the ones in queue, and I put the ruler back.
My path through the store took me past the ruler section again.   I thought that by the time I was ready for that ruler, I might not be able to find one.  So I picked it up again.
Then I thought about how I'd want to play with it as soon as I got it home, and I'd end up even deeper in diversions than I already am.  So I put it back and wandered off to look at other things.
Then I found myself back at the ruler section again. I thought about the fact that it will be more expensive in the future.  So I picked it up again, because clearly that's the sensible path.
Then I thought about the fact that I would have to hide it from myself in order to stay on task, and then I'd forget where I put it and it would be gone forever, so there was no sense in getting it at all.  So I put it back.
And then somehow I found it back in my hand as I was headed for the checkout line. 

I know when I'm licked.