Saturday, May 27, 2017

Biddy, Bags, and Blocks

The Retreat Bag pattern that I showed off a couple of days ago actually comes in two sizes, so, flushed with success and with fabric left over, I made the smaller size bag, adding handles and an outside pocket.

I like this one, too.  The larger one has been pressed into service as an organizer for block pieces for quilts I'm not actually making, so it's a good thing it's got a lot of room...

And believe it or not, I actually got a block for the 365 Challenge done.  I dropped the ball on this quilt project last year around this time, so I'm trying to get it up and running again.

That's the block for May 23.  Now I just need to back up and sew the 18th-22nd, and then I'll be ready to roll.
Well, that's the plan, anyway.  Some of you are familiar with my plans...

About the only RSC sewing I got done this week was a spool, a couple of hourglasses, and a little red green hen.  She's going into the Clucker collection with the other biddies.

Oh, and another Glitter.   Had to make a little Glitter, ya see.

The pieces are cut for the next Burgoyne Surrounded block.  I think I've now got a pretty good handle on the best way (for me) to sew this block.

It involves laying out all the 1.5" x 6" pieces, so I don't get confused while making the four patches and nine patches.

Not that I would get confused, of course.
It's purely a coincidence that my seam ripper is showing signs of wear...

Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday's last week of scrappy green goodness, and with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh, Scrap!  Come see all the colorful fun!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Is it Burgoyne who's Surrounded, or is it me?

Can't stop Burgoyning, for some reason...

Number 5

was followed by Number 6,

which was followed even more quickly by Number 7,

 and Number 8 came bustling up to complete the new set.

(The photos are a bit wrinkly.  Well, actually the blocks are a bit wrinkly, but then again, so am I, so I guess that's all right.)

Since all these Burgoynes are starting to pile up, I just had to lay them out to get a good look.

At this juncture, I feel I should point out that I wasn't actually making a Burgoyne Surrounded quilt.  At no point did I say to myself, "Hey, self!  I think I'll start a Burgoyne Surrounded quilt today."  I'm not sure how all these blocks happened, except that I've been breathing the Super-Quilter fumes over at Cathy's blog and that might have gone to my head...
At fifteen inches square, these blocks cover a lot of ground, so the eight I've got here are well on their way to an actual top.  As a matter of fact, some pieces for block Number 9 are already appearing on the cutting table.  I guess I'm making a Burgoyne Surrounded.  Go figure.

And as long as I was in an auditioning kind of mood, I got out my Glitter bits box and laid out some blocks to have handy for leaders/enders.

You know, for that other quilt that I'm not actually making...

Linking with Linda at Kokaquilts for her Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE party.  Come see what everyone is up to!

Friday, May 19, 2017

So, do squirrels go 'baaaa'?

At least it's the right color for the RSC...

(It's all Sally's fault, of course.  Her and her fabulous tutorials and the fact that I found a perfect green at the fabric store, but mostly her.) 


Speaking of the RSC, I'll be linking with SoScrappy for that very event!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Another squirrel...

This time a squirrel with zippers!

No, not this kind -


Or even this kind -

This squirrel with zippers was a bag that my daughter and I saw in her local quilt store and fell madly in love with.
I tracked down the pattern and ordered the wire frames necessary to make this fabulous bag.  (And I know a good squirrel when I see one, so I ordered several sets of the frames...)  (Go HERE to do the same thing yourself.  Trust me, you're going to want to!)

Here's my (first, but certainly not last) Retreat Bag

and my daughter's (first, but certainly not last) bag.

(Note:  she folded the ends of her bag correctly - mine is incorrect, but I'm leaning toward just leaving it that way because I like this shape, too.)  (Note 2:  yes, hers is made from an exploding Tardis print. )   (Note 3:  yes, I'm jealous.)

Here they are open so you can see how nicely they stand up, due to that wire frame at the mouth.

Love love love this bag! 
And now I'll be off to have a good long dither about what to put in it. 
Oh, and to plan what fabrics to make the next one with.  And straps...  I think I want straps on the next one...

I may have to put in another frame order in the near future.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

It's still squirrely around here...

Because one good thing leads to another.

And another.

Anyone see any green?   It's pretty clear than I'm not even trying anymore to convince myself that this is for the RSC.

Yep, full-tilt squirrel.

So I'm up to four blocks (and at 15", these blocks are huge to me) and naturally had to gather them together to see how they play with each other.

Hmm...  Straight set?

Maybe a narrow sashing?  Cobblestones?

Well, that's a decision that can be put off for a while.   (And I have no idea how to get rid of that bunch of red 'text's in the middle of that last photo.  If there's an undo button, I sure haven't found it...)

I did manage to rein myself in long enough to do a couple of blocks that really are for RSC.  One Chantal's pinwheel block

and a green crazy chicken.   Or a crazy green chicken.  Tough call.

I'm continuing to work on my foundation piecing skills, though it really reminds me of what they say about Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire - "Sure he was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, ...backwards and in high heels."
I feel like this kind of paper-piecing is also backwards and in high heels...

Linking up with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Quilting is more fun than Housework on Sunday for Oh, Scrap!  Come see lots of pretty scrappy goodness on display!
Oh!  And I almost forgot Scraptastic Tuesday!  Even more scrappiness!

Thursday, May 11, 2017


So this happened.

And then it happened again.

I've been watching Cathy make her Burgoyne Surrounded blocks for months now, and I resisted and I resisted and I resisted some more.

But it was just more than a sensible sensitive woman could stand.

(There's a mistake in the first block I made - two of the little squares in each of the nine-patches should be the inner background instead of the outer background.  I'm trying to ignore it.  I might have to hide the seam ripper, though.)

It's taking me a while to make each block, since I'm trying to find the most efficient way to cut and sew, and efficiency has a price.
At least I cagily used some green in each of the blocks so I could convince myself that they're part of my RSC blocks.

Oh, and speaking of sensitive, while I was working on those blocks, I kept having the feeling I was being watched.  Finally I looked over at the patio door.

Note:  Not our cat.

This pretty siamese visits the yard on a really regular basis, and keeps a close eye on all of us, including the two resident cats.

We suspect she/he/it is taunting our cats with 'Look at me!  I can go here!  I can go there!  I can go anywhere!  You're stuck inside!  Haha!'
Lily and Sam are not amused.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sheepy Sunday

My daughters and I had a terrific time at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  Knitters all, we fondled a lot of yarn, and even made a purchase or two.  Or three.  And there was the spinning fiber...

And I got my yearly dose of sheep petting.  (I miss my little wooly beasts.  Piglets are cute, but they're just not as soft and snuggly...)

This contented lady was peacefully chewing her cud, and I caught her in mid-chew so she didn't look all whopper-jawed.

This sweet little gal had apparently been waiting for us all her life, and wanted to be scritched and petted and cooed over forever.

And I got several shots of sheep being way too curious about a camera.

Just like old times.

My one regret of the day was that I didn't get a picture of the three of us together in our matching hats.  (Oldest daughter had knitted them as a surprise, just for the occasion.)  Though we chuckled all through the day as total strangers came up to us and asked permission to take our picture.  It was almost like being a celebrity!

The closest thing I have is this pic I took of the two girls while they were in line for something to drink.

So, anyone out there who was at Maryland Sheep and Wool on Sunday, and who took a picture of three women in sheep hats, one of whom looked like this (only possibly less goofy) (or possibly more goofy) -

could you send me a copy?  I'd appreciate it!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Glitter is the best reward

Now that Twinkle Twinkle is truly finished, I can proceed with all my other projects with a clear conscience.  (Well, some of my other projects.   Given how many projects I've currently got underway, it really wouldn't be possible to work on all of them on one day...)

First up, a bit of Glitter, because that's the best reward for a job well done.

I've cut out lots of pieces for Glitter, while cutting for other projects, then stashed them in a bin.  A quick rummage through the stacks gave me the bits for these little funsies.  And three out of four of them even feature green for May's RSC color.  (May is going to be great - I have lots of green!)

Of course, I had a lot of leftover stuff from last month's RSC 'multicolor'.  I had cut out some blocks, but they got set aside when Twinkle Fever hit.  Now was their moment.

Four new Centennial Stars appeared.

This one is my favorite - nothing says 'multicolor' like a good Kaffe print.

And I got a Jacks block done, using an old print from my stash matched up with a very new print.

And one little Buckeye Beauty, who wanted to be photographed with the pink leader/ender spool block.

Aren't they sweet little friends?  Though it looks like they both need a haircut...

I'll be linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday, and with Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come see all the fun!
(Though it may take me a bit to get the links up - I'm currently at my oldest daughter's house, and my youngest daughter arrives tonight.  We've got a fun-packed weekend lined up, including going to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival on Sunday.  I'm so excited that I'm already jumping up and down!)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Done and Dusted - (my new favorite phrase!)

Twinkle Twinkle is done done done!  Woohoo!

Just a few quick photos of it in its new natural habitat -

The last binding stitch was stitched last night, and the quilt was tried on for size.

I'm a bit pleased with it.  😀

I've been working on this quilt for so long, that I couldn't remember when I started it and had to look it up.  My here-we-go-with-a-new-start post was back in October of 2015, so it's been a rather lengthy labor of love.  (Click on the 'Twinkly' tag over there in the sidebar to follow the whole story!)  The original plan was to finish it last year in time for my daughter and son-in-law's 20th anniversary, but I missed by a year.  This was partly due to procrastination (one of my other hobbies!) and a fear of messing up the quilting (and therefore the quilt...)

Ah, well.  Better late than never.  (That would be my motto, if I had a motto.)

The whole time I was handstitching the binding, I kept thinking "I love this quilt so much!"

There's a very grave danger that I might start another one.

Twinkle Twinkle II, coming soon to a quilt blog near you...

Monday, May 1, 2017

And miles to bind before I sleep

The quilting is finished!  The quilting is finished!

Straight lines for the win!

With some moderate changes of direction in the cornerstones.

And just plain lines for the borders, spaced 1" apart.  (I marked one with chalk pencil.  Then I got smarter and got some painter's tape.  Much easier, faster, and straighter!)

Round and round I went.

I found the most glorious perfect print possible to use for the binding.

It echoes the blues in the body of the quilt and the cornerstones, and pulls blue out to the edge.  I love it!

Now I'm trudging along with the hand stitching part of the festivities, which I always enjoy.  Binding is peaceful work!

Next photo will be the finished quilt.

Back to my stitching!