Friday, September 30, 2016

Wrapping up Red!

As September really is gasping its last, I managed to get a few more red blocks done for RSC.

A Jacks and Sixes (or Hovering Hawk) (or Anvil) (or whatever.  I think of them as 'Charlie', myself)

And a few Buckeye Beauties,

with some blue ones thrown in using some of the Gwennie medallion leftovers.

Pay no attention to that photo-bombing monkey.

 You know what camera hogs they can be.

And obviously I had to do a few more piggies -

though let's take a closer look at that little guy on the right, shall we?

Yep, he seems to be farting 'meows'...

Linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  Can't wait to see what October's color is!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September has a couple of gasps left in it

Now that I've finished (finally!) both my Gwennie medallions, I can spare a moment for other things.  Like, you know, things I can actually post about while I'm waiting for the last Big Gwennie Reveal.  (Can't wait!)

I pulled out some reds and yellows and tried to get a bit more than the occasional piglet done.  Since Gwennie came into my life, I've sadly neglected the RSC.
Kaleidoscopes were clearly called for, and luckily I'd packed my trusty kaleidoscope ruler.  (Don't leave home without it!)

And a slightly artsier shot -

Yep, there are pigeons in the kaleidoscopes, too...

A few of Chantal's Pinwheels also perked things up. 

Since I'm making these as 6" blocks, I'm going to need a bunch to make a quilt, so I think this block will continue into next year's RSC as well.  Not exactly a hardship, since I love making them.  And the block Chantal is making this year for RSC - Peace and Plenty - is also pulling me in.  I think I'll end up copying her again next year. 
And if you add in all the blocks Cathy has been making that are also drool-worthy, that I also want to make, it's starting to look like I'll be taking on even more blocks than I've got piling up this year.  Especially when you consider how many of this year's blocks are going to roll over to 2017...
Oh, well.  I just won't think about it until I have to.  Or until I run out of fabric.  (Ahahahahahahaha!)

And just as I was putting away the camera, I heard a familiar sounding giggle coming from under a stack of fat quarters...

Apparently there are monkeys in Maryland, too.

Looks like she's got a flower tucked behind her ear, doesn't it?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I can't hear you - I have pigeons in my ears...

And up my nose, too...

And I don't even want to think about what my tail is going through...


 Why can't I be normal like that starry fellow over there?

Eh.  Who wants to be normal anyway?

Linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday - come see the last of the reds!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Didn't mean to be gone this long...

September has been a busy month!  My dad's birthday is in September, and for the last 30 or so years, he and my stepmom have thrown a Pig Roast for friends and family to celebrate.  Since attendance often runs well into three digits, it takes a lot of prep to pull it off.  And of course, there was the time to be spent with visiting relatives gathering for the big day - my brother and SIL from the Midwest, whom I hadn't seen in years, came up north with a passel of their grandchildren for a too-short vacation.
Added to that, I was trying to move along my Gwennie medallions while simultaneously packing up projects to take along for an extended visit with my daughter and family.  (Oh, and clothes, too.  I did finally remember to pack some clothes.)
So here I am, now, in the quiet of Maryland, finally taking a few deep breaths.
And still moving along my Gwennies.
I even did this -

without having to go lie down afterwards...

Friday, September 9, 2016

Glitter, glitter, everywhere...

I'm feeling quite pleased with myself this week.  I made a thing.
Actually, I made two things.
When I started Jen Kingwell's Glitter, I traced out the template shapes in the book (Quilt Lovely.  Terrific book!), added seam allowances, and cut templates from gridded quilter's template plastic.

They're useful, but flimsy.  I can't use them directly for rotary cutting - I have to either trace around them, then cut using a ruler, or line up the ruler on top of them and try to cut without anything slithering around.
I had wished many times for cutting templates, but thought I'd have to either do without or pay through the nose for someone to custom make me some.
After all, those templates are all laser-cut, right?  And I don't have a laser.
But then.
I was reading a blog post somewhere (and I foolishly didn't bookmark it and now can't remember where) where the quilter referred to cutting her own templates out of a clear plastic sheet using a utility knife.
Lightbulbs went on in my head.  There were trumpets and bells and the smell of fresh-baked cookies.
Cut my own templates???  Seriously???
I started shopping around for plastic, but could only find large sheets - much larger than I could ever use, whether or not this even worked.
Then a smaller lightbulb went on.  "Picture frames," I muttered to myself.  "Cheap picture frames."
And I found this one

for a grand total of about a buck and a half.
I cut off a hunk with my handy utility knife, traced around my flimsy templates, and used my quilting ruler to cut straight lines.
Score, snap, and woohoo!  I made templates!  My very own custom templates!

I drilled holes with the point of the knife blade so I can mark the seam allowance intersections.

Then I labelled them, and colored along the edges of each template, so they wouldn't become invisible when I set them down on my cutting table.  (Ask me how I know that's a good idea...)

You probably guessed that I had to test them right out.
I've discovered that the background pieces of the block can be cut almost perfectly out of rectangles measuring 3.5"x4.25".  By cutting those rectangles in pairs, either wrong sides facing or right sides facing, I can cut the reversed pieces at the same time as the regular ones.
The easiest way I've found is to first place the template in the corner, matching those right angles, then line up a ruler along this edge:

Cut along the line

and then stack the pieces, matching that angled edge.  There's a tiny bit of extra along the bottom, because the 3.5" measurement is just a wee bit more than necessary.

Drop the template on top of the stack, and slice away all the extra bits.

 And you get this!

And since those pieces were so nicely laid out, I had to  do this.

And before I knew it, I had this.

I've found that all the pieces for these blocks can be cut from 3.5" strips and charm squares.  The background corners I just showed are 3.5x4.25 rectangles, and the four squares are just a 3.5" square cut in quarters.
The main fabric in each block fits beautifully into a charm square. 

And now I've got a perfect use for those charm squares I end up with.  (I don't know how it happens.  Stacks of them just turn up out of nowhere.  I'm starting to suspect the monkeys...)

Since my Glitter is a scrappy quilt, I'm linking to Scraptastic Tuesday.  Come see all the scrappy fun!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Stormy seas

On the non-rainbow front, I've been busily piecing bits for my Storm at Sea.  Working with this extremely limited color palette is a weird experience - you know me and my usual riot of color.  Blue/green/teal is a whole different game, whether I set it straight

or on point.

I'm still deciding about that, though usually I'm really leaning to that on point set.
But sooner or later, as I'm chugging out blocks that are remarkably similar, my brain will step out of the room and I end up with something like this.

After a quick waltz with my buddy Jack (the Ripper), and a restitch, I figure it might be a good idea to reach for something completely different.
Luckily I've got a lot of pieces cut for this:

Glitter is a good antidote to blue/green/teal.

And I'm still making piles of hourglasses as my leader/enders.  Keeping a stack of 3.5" squares next to the sewing machine really pays off.

Though given the fact that I'm using 3.5" strips and squares for hourglasses, Glitter, and Storm at Sea, my 3.5" bin is emptying out fast.  I may have to go on a cutting rampage one of these days.  Hopefully my brain will stay in the room while that rotary cutter is flashing...

So with all these scrappy projects going on, I'm linking to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Come see what everyone is up to this week!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Rosy red rainbows!

Though I'm not sad to leave all that hot weather behind, I can't believe it's September already!  Seems like summer came up a few days short, doesn't it?
On the plus side, there's a new color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge - rosy reds with gold for accent.
I had a fabric that practically jumped out of my stash at me.  Seriously, I'm lucky I won't have a scar.

Those little beaks are pretty sharp...

Linking with So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday!  Come see all the roses!