Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Good morning, starshine!

One of the projects I've most enjoyed working on this year is the Gwennie Inspired Medallion Quilt Along.  Each month has been a riot of fun, working with a new theme.
For August, we were given the stars!
Now I love stars.  There are so many kinds of stars blocks to make, and they're all beautiful.
But this made it a little bit hard to narrow down what kind of stars to make for my medallion borders.  How to choose, when I love them all?
I started with the obvious - maverick stars.

This is a form I haven't played with much, and I've always thought they looked like fun.  But they're harder to make than they look, and there's a lot of waste involved.   Since my medallion has gotten quite large, it would have taken a lot of these stars to make a border.
So, I kept playing.
I made other stars.

And still other stars.

And some more.

And more.

And I even remembered that I had some 4" sawtooth stars tucked away for a rainy day, so I pulled them out to play, too.

And there I was again, surrounded by blocks of all different sizes, and unable to choose between them.
You know where this is headed, right?
Yep, just like the sunflowers in the second round.  I decided to use all the kinds.
I started laying them out, and quickly decided that combining the stars with random vaguely-checkerboardish squares would be the best approach.

And I hit a wall around that point, as I mentioned in my last post, so I moved on to my smaller medallion while I waited (in vain, as it turned out) for the fabric fairy to deliver my stop border fabric.

I wanted to show these stars again, because they came about starting with seeing a block that Julie was playing with on her blog, and following her lead to Lynn Harris's Wind Farm from Every Last Piece.  I made a much simpler version, using a long triangle sewn as a flippy corner on a 2.5" pieced square.

There were half a dozen of them in various colors by the time I was done.  I really like the small spiky-ness of them.
I used a variety of stars and 1.5" strips to frame my smaller medallion quilt, and I'm quite happy with it.

This top now measures 36"x44", which is still a manageable size.  We'll see how big it ends up after the next stage.

So, with the smaller medallion done, and the clock ticking down to the end of the month, I went ahead and finished the larger one with the second choice stop border fabric.

Et voila!

I'm happy with my stars, and happy with my quilt-in-progress.  And it's a good thing, too, because it now stands at 64"x70" with a round still to go.  I really hadn't planned on making another bed-sized quilt this summer, but here it is!

And look what arrived in the mail late this afternoon -

The stripe is the one on the left.  It's a lot darker and purpler in real life; as usual I'm not good at getting purples to photograph true to color.  The other stripe is just because I'm trying to collect more stripes, and the jelly roll was their super-duper-daily-special with lots of batiks in purples and blues.  Because I'm a total sucker for batiks.  And purple...

So now I'm done with Phase Four of the QAL, and I'm rarin' to go on the next theme.  I'll be linking with Lori at Humble Quilts when the linky party goes live.  And then I'm going to go enjoy seeing what all the folks have been up to with their own starshine!  You all should come see, too!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Last purple Saturday

It's a good thing that I already have some purple blocks from March, because I sure haven't got much to show for August.
One more piglet joins the party:

but that's the lot.

Most of my month was spent madly piecing stars for my Gwennie Medallions.  Between the fact that I'm making two different quilts for the QAL and that one of them has grown ridiculously large, I needed buckets of blocks to translate my mental pictures into reality.
I tackled the larger of the two quilts first.  As I happily pieced and lopped away, I hunted for a suitable fabric for a stop border between my courthouse steps and my new stars.  About mid-month, I finally found  The One - a purple stripe that was just what my heart wanted.  I ordered it from the online store that had it, got the order-acknowledgement email, and sat back to wait.
And I waited.
And waited.
After a week had passed with no word, I emailed to ask if there was a problem with my order.  I had hoped to have the fabric in hand by that time, but I hadn't even been notified that it had shipped.
And I waited.
The next day I finally got an email saying it had shipped.  The delivery date?  August 31st.
In other words, too late to do me any good for this quilt.
While I'd waited, I'd already finished the smaller Gwennie Medallion.  I'd been holding up on a final joining of the blocks for this larger one, since I didn't know how wide the stop border was going to be.  I didn't want to have to go through the kind of mental gymnastics that would be called for in trying to fill up that empty space between finished borders.
I already knew there was nothing locally that suited me, and it was too late to order from any other online source, so I went stash diving.
I came up with this stripe, which I had bought for a project that I'm sure to get to someday.  You know, someday.  It's an orange and blue stripe, it was on super-clearance, it was screaming my name, and I bought all they had.  I've been hugging it and patting it ever since.
Eventually I'll get to that other project (I think there's still enough of this stripe left), but in the meantime, I cut some strips and pieced them as unobtrusively as possible.

And then I thought "Wouldn't it be cool to miter the corners?" and then I thought "Wouldn't it be cool to just drop a bowling ball on my foot and butt the corners?" and I skipped the part with the bowling ball and just started sewing.

It's not the border of my dreams, but it'll do.

Yeah, it'll do nicely.
Maybe I can use that purple stripe for the next stop border.  If and when it finally arrives...

Linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday, and with Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh, Scrap!  Come see all the fun!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Almost no purple at all...

The end of the week just flat out snuck up on me, and I've got precious little purple to show for this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge linkup.  On the days I could whip up enough enthusiasm to go out in the heat and head down to the studio, I tended to focus on the projects I'm most trying to move forward.
There were log cabins for Log Cabin Lunacy at JulieK's.

There's a little purple here and there, but not much.

And I was playing with lots of color for another project -

(You can probably guess what project...)  Not much purple turning up there, either.

Even the monkeys weren't flashing much purple, and they're usually happy to oblige with any color I want.  Or don't want.  They're not picky.

My daughter sent me this the other day -

That explains a lot...

Linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday, Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, and Log Cabin Lunacy at JulieK Quilts.
Come share the fun!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

It's too hot to brain today...

When the temperature has already risen past 90F before 8:30am, as has too often been the case lately, I usually declare it a Happier Not Knowing day  and refuse to look at the thermometer again.
It's definitely another Happier Not Knowing day...
So here's what little output I've managed this week, in between bouts of sweating, staring off into space, and drinking prodigious amounts of iced tea -

One piglet in misty purple.  More or less.

One Jacks block in the same batik, with the same neutral.

And one Buckeye Beauty, once again in the same fabrics.

Because when it's too hot to think, finding that batik that was mostly gray and purple (and with a nice swathe of turquoise for fun) was enough of a win (and an effort) for me to quit while I was ahead.

I'm linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Let's go see what all the scrappy rainbow folk are up to this week!  (I'll be along as soon as I fix myself another bucket of iced tea...)

Sunday, August 7, 2016


It's no secret that I always have a lot of projects underway.  I'm just not a straight-line kind of person, who makes a clear goal and then diligently works to accomplish it.  It's a wonderful strategy for a lot of people, but I just can't do it.
So, here's a peek at my cutting table where I'm cutting 3.5" strips into useful bits.

The rectangles at upper left will be cut into background pieces for Glitter.  The large triangles are for Storm at Sea.  The squares at lower left are for Quilty 365 (which is currently bogged down and in hiatus, but that's no reason to stop cutting squares for it) and for my new Bonnie Hunter leader/ender hourglasses.  You can see where I've stacked and marked some squares at lower center and have some completed blocks at lower right.

I'd been wanting to make hourglass blocks since I saw them on a couple of other people's blogs, and then when Bonnie announced it as her yearly leader/ender challenge, I was sooooo in.
You can see I've already started to accumulate a few as I work on these whole other blocks.

These star blocks are made with scraps of 2.5" strips that were left over from a couple of other projects.  Because I'm all about the scrappy here.
Speaking of scrappy, a couple of these little guys turned up today.

Lately they've been hanging out down at the creek, trying to beat the heat.  If it doesn't cool off soon, I may join them...

Linking with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Come see all the fun we're having with scraps this week!
And also linking with Scraptastic Tuesday with Mrs Sew & Sow.  Even more scrappy fun!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Happy Pigday to me!

Both my daughters are up visiting this week, and they sprang a birthday surprise on me.  First of all, it isn't actually my birthday until Monday, so that helped with the surprise.  Then my youngest daughter lured me away to a fabric store for part of the afternoon.  (I admit it wasn't a hard sell...)  While we were gone, my oldest daughter did some piglet magic with a chocolate sheet cake and some fondant.

You can get instructions for making your own piggy here and here at Sally T's blog, though you'll have to settle for just a fabric one.  For a fondant pig, you're on your own...

Since this is based on my main block for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts, I'm linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Come see all the lower-calorie fun!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Butterflies of Kaleidoscopes

Or something like that.

Cathy at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting has been running a linky party featuring kaleidoscopes and butterflies for a good while, and I've been trying to keep up with posting my own efforts each month.

Since I got all my piglets out the other day, I was curious about how many kaleidoscopes I've made since RSC2016 started back in January.  I pulled out the bin and laid out the blocks.

The answer is a lot.  Once again, I'm having trouble fitting all my blocks into one shot.  And as expected, I have more orange ones than any other color, with purple ranking second.

How about an artsier look?

I had to fight hard to resist the urge to arrange them (and rearrange them and re-rearrange them) because I could have kept myself entertained for days...

Linking with Sane, Crazy, Crumby for Kaleidoscopes of Butterflies

Monday, August 1, 2016

Gwennie Medallions, stage 3

Woohoo!  It's time for the big reveal for July's play with the Gwennie Medallion QAL!  I've been looking forward to this!

Log Cabins was our theme for July - any version or even just the spirit of log cabins.   (This is the best part of the QAL for me - the wide-openness of the theme each month.  Pick up any part and run with it!  Have fun!  Gotta love it.)

I've made a bunch of log cabin quilts over the years - quilt-as-you-go log cabin quilts were my go-to wedding gift for a long time - but I'd only done the standard blocks, so this time I wanted to try something different.
Courthouse Steps was a block that had always appealed to me, but I'd never done anything with it before, so this was a perfect opportunity.  I ran up a bunch of blocks and started to play.

This was looking fairly good, but I kept thinking something is missing...
I know!  What this quilt needs is more orange!

Yeah... that's better...
I applied some border strips log-cabin-fashion, with darks on the right and bottom and lights on the top and left.
I like it!

A couple more strips to make things come out even - "this looks wide enough" - slice off the excess,

and tada!

That works for me!

On to my second medallion - the applique basket.
When I'd first laid out the courthouse blocks, I set the second medallion on it to see if I wanted courthouse blocks for it, too.

Nope.  The poor center was completely overwhelmed.  I needed something different.

Since I'd tried something new with the courthouse steps blocks, I decided to continue in that vein.  I'd never done quarter log cabins, either, so I made a bunch of small ones and resumed my play.

Not what I was looking for.
I tried again with a different setting.

That's better.  Still not quite it, but definitely onto something.
And I ended up with this, and thought I was done.
But then I started to dither.

Is it really done?  I'm happy with it, right?  No?
Turns out it needed one more thing.

More logs!
Now I'm happy with it.

And our next theme is STARS!!  I loooooove stars, so this will be fun.  And maybe hard to stop...

Though I'm starting to get a little worried about the sizes of these two quilts.  I went into this thinking I'd end up with a nice wallhanging or two.
Since I'd measured these centers when I finished them, but then lost the paper I'd written the figures on, this time I'm taking no chances.  Remeasured,  wrote it down, and PHOTOed it, just to make sure.

Getting bigger and bigger, with two themes to go.
Yep, this is going to be fun!

Come one, come all to the fabulous Gwennie Inspired Medallion QAL linky party!   Gorgeous stuff waiting!