Friday, March 24, 2017

Lazy Week at the Beach & Getting Inspired Online

I'm had a GREAT TIME in Cancun with my husband!  We walked miles and miles every day.  We swam in the wonderfully warm and clear water.  We lounged - in hammocks, in beach chairs, on our balcony looking out over the water.  We read and read and read (I finished 4 books).  We ate delicious tacos at the 24 hour taco stand down the street.  We visited Chichen Itza, which, for me, an archaeological anthropology major with a concentration in Mesoamerica in college, was a dream come true.
We did a lot of beach sitting

We visited Chichen Itza on the Equinox - a big day for a culture that reveres the sun.

The view from our hotel room

We stopped to eat at a restaurant/artisan center/hotel on our way to Chichen Itza.  This is one of the hotel rooms - no beach, but I would LOVE to stay in something like this!

And I took the time to do something I don't do nearly as much of as I'd like to do - cruise quilt blogs!  It feels so good to not have something else I SHOULD be doing so I can enjoy doing what I WANT to do!  And look what I found!  A Scrap Quilt Challenge!  I love scrap quilts and I love challenges, so I'm IN!  Is anyone else doing this one?

One thing I looked for online was shadow quilts.  Remember that I made one but it just didn't excite me?
I just can't get excited about this quilt.
I want to make another, and these excite me much more:

Wouldn't this look cool with some orphan blocks? Photo credit 

Those double shadows and geese make it so much more interesting! Photo credit

Love that the shadow extends to the border and the diagonal edges on the shadows! Photo credit

Now that I am home, I just want to go down into my sewing room and SEW!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I thought I was done...

On Sunday, I finished reconciling my books for my business so I could turn everything over to the accountant.  What a weight off my shoulders but, UGH!  Hours of looking at numbers on a computer screen!  The perfect remedy for the malaise that brought on was, of course, quilting!  I finished piecing my Star Sampler top!

At least, I THOUGHT I was finished, but the darned thing is screaming for some kind of border to me.  I'm thinking continuing the Irish Chain out half a block more around the whole thing.  What do you think?

Then, despite the fact that I am a hand quilter, I am sending this out to a long armer.  There is NO WAY I'm going to try to hand quilt through all of those batiks!

This quilt makes me happy.  Know what else makes me happy?  This month, my husband and I finally paid off our student loans, 24 years after graduating from college!!!  We're headed to Cancun this weekend for a 5-day "Spring Break" to celebrate, just the two of us.  I'm dancing the happy dance!  I plan to eat, sleep, read, sit on the beach and knit and that's IT!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

One for the books

I get some unusual requests at my shop...but I think this one takes the cake.  I was asked to make a Virginia Military Institute scarf for Mr. Potato Head.  I like a challenge, so I gave it a go.
I thought she wanted a knit scarf since we're a yarn shop.
But then she mentioned wanting the VMI "spider" logo, so I tried again with knit fabric.

I hope one of these fits the bill.

In the meantime, I'm finishing up my Star Sampler quilt.  The fourth and final star we'll be making, Rising Star, is my favorite, I think.

I hope to finish piecing the top tomorrow.

I'm linking up with Oh, Scrap and Monday Making.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Orphan 9-patches

Well, basketball season is officially over for my family.
My youngest and me at the game, wearing our pom poms on our heads.
My husband's team lost in the semifinals yesterday (by TWO HEARTBREAKING POINTS!!!), so all of a sudden, I have a little more free time.   Time to visit my sewing room that I haven't set foot in for quite some time.  I did a little tidying up, and then unpacked a bag of scraps that someone had recently given me.

Lo and behold!  What's this?

There were nine 9-patch orphan blocks in the bag, too!  I could have thrown them into my orphan block drawer, but chose instead to throw them up on the design wall and play around with them a bit.  Add some snowball blocks and some setting triangles from other fabrics that I found in the bag, and I may have the beginnings of little quilt here.  It's busy, but it reminds me of the old-timey scrap quilts that I love.  Hopefully some big, dark borders will calm it down some.
It isn't sewn together yet.  Gotta let this marinate, not sure I'm committed to this.
As a leader and ender while making the snowball blocks, I sewed together a couple more Charming Plus Blocks.  Still not sure what I'm going to do with these, but I love seeing each one come together.

Play time is over, though.  Work calls; I have many college admissions files to read before March 1.  Meanwhile, I'm linking up with Oh, Scrap and Monday Making.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Start of my Star Sampler

A month since my last post!?!  How embarrassing!  Of course, I have been crazy busy...

And I have been creating.  Lately, it's been A LOT of knitting, but also working on a Star Sampler quilt for a class I'll be teaching.  I'm using a batik charm pack and a coordinating 2.5" strip roll and a gray Kona solid for the background, setting the four different star blocks that we are making with simple Irish Chain alternate blocks.  We are doing the ribbon star


the woven star

the simplified lemoyne star

and the rising star (which I haven't finished yet).
Is it possible I only have 8 blocks done so far??  I need to get cracking!
With three of each star block and 13 alternate blocks, they can make a nice 60" square quilt in no time.  I need to sit down and crank out the rest of these blocks this weekend so I can hang the top in the shop as advertisement for the class.

I've also been working on my row for the 2017 Row by Row Experience, but I can't show you that!

Here's hoping everyone out there is finding some "me" time in all the craziness of 21st century life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Patchwork, sewn and glued

My "to-do" list yesterday was longer than my arm!  Of course, rather than tackle it, I hid away in my sewing room and sewed together a pixelated heart quilt for my shop window.
made from 2" squares - I hope to get it quilted before February
Then, because I have so many precut squares and because I had a plywood leaf made for my secondhand (leaf-less) shop table, I spent a couple hours Mod Podge-ing squares onto the leaf to make it more appealing.
Before the plywood leaf - this is a typical Thursday night at my shop and it is WAY too crowded around the table!
The new plywood leaf added LOTS of room (36" on each side), but it's kinda blah.  And rough to the touch.

I much prefer the color that the fabric adds to the leaf!

Don't tell, but I stood on the table to get this shot.  TSP stands for The Stitchin' Post, which is the name of my shop.
Lots and lots of squares used, and I didn't have to cut anything!  THIS is why I cut my scraps into precut sizes - when I just want to sew, I can just sew!

I'm linking up with Oh, Scrap and Monday Making.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sunny Day Sewing

I love my sewing room, particularly when the sun is streaming in the windows, warming up the space and dancing with all the colors.  Monday was such a day, so I spent hour after hour down there, working on several different projects.  (As a shopkeeper, my "weekend" is Sunday and Monday.  Sunday is more of a family day, but Monday is all about ME since the kids are at school and I am off.)

First off, I pulled some neutral strips and starting sewing together some 4-patches.  I bet a good number of you can guess why.

Yep, I'm jumping on the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt bandwagon!  I've made several of her quilts and have all of her books, but I've never done a Bonnie Hunter mystery.  When describing En Provence, she mentions being inspired by lavender fields.  That was enough for me - lavender and lilac are my two favorite flowers and anything inspired by either appeals to me!  I'm a week behind, but I'm sure I'll catch up.

I made a couple more PLUS blocks.  These are fun to make as I work my way through my scrap bins.  The idea is that once I pull a fabric out of the scrap bin, I use it up completely, either by putting it into a quilt block or cutting it down to one of my precut scrap sizes or both.

And I thought I had made all of the strippy four-patches that I needed for this quilt, but it turns out I'm missing one.  Only one set of 10 blocks has been sewn together so far.  I'm hoping that making the strip sets to go in between the 4-patch strips will use LOTS of scrap strips!

When I wasn't sewing, I was knitting.  The color in this cowl makes me happy, the way it pops out against the black.  The yarn is Bamboo Bloom Handprints, and the pattern is Interrupted Cowl.

All in all, one of the most productive weekends I've had in quite some time.  It feels GOOD!  I'm linking up to Oh Scrap and Monday Making.