Monday, February 28, 2011

The rest of the red scrap projects

Sophie D4P #13Put a short February and the Flu together and ... well, I feel like I didn't accomplish much with my red scraps for the rainbow scraps challenge.  But now that March is here, I can share my scrappy red and white lotto blocks.

I almost thought these disappearing 4-patch blocks were a too easy choice for the lotto ... but I decided that anyone who hasn't tried the "disappearing" technique, really ought to be exposed to it, if only so that if they ever need to make a quilt quilt, they'll have this as an option.

Can't wait to see what color March brings ...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

15 Minute Challenge

The challenge was to make a 15 minutes of play-style block using stripes, plaids and polka-dots.  Since a few red scraps were left, guess where I started?

Challenge blocks 

. . . and guess what I discovered is lacking in my stash?  I think when I go to the Dallas show next month, I'll be looking to add some STRIPES to my stash ;-) 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Seeing RED on my design wall

Friday night's FNSI was a Friday night SICK-IN for me--I was down for the count with the flu all of Friday and most of Saturday. Yesterday, I was upright, but not up for leaving the apartment, so I cut more red triangles from the scraps I found in the bottom of the project box and made 8 more scrappy hearts, for a total of 13. I added some black squares to the red squares and made six 16-patch blocks and . . . from the bits and pieces left over, I pieced a dozen red crumb blocks.

Red Scrap Progress

At this point, my red scrap bin contains more pinks than anything else.  I'm counting that as a victory.

The 16-patch blocks will probably become a tote like this one; not sure yet how the crumb blocks will be used.

The Last 12 Feed sack Blocks Saturday night--when I started to feel human again--I sewed together the last of the road trip blocks I need from the feed sacks.

Next up, getting started on the applique on the setting triangles for all those feed sack blocks. I haven't made such a traditional quilt in ... maybe forever. It doesn't feel like me, but it's interesting and fun to think about making a quilt like one that might have been made by a quilter in the 30's or 40's from her collected feed sacks.

See more design walls by following the links at the bottom of Judy's Design Wall Monday post.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's out of the project box

. . . and finally back on the design wall.  Appropriate project to spend Valentine's day with, don't you think?

The idea

Friends from the block lotto community have been sending me rose blocks to help and I think I have enough to get serious about finishing this one. This isn't all the words, but I wanted to put as much as I could on my temporary design wall to see if I still like the idea of words and roses.

When I pulled out the project box and unpacked the blocks made ... look what I found in the bottom–more red (and pink) scraps!

More Red ScrapsI think I will need to make a few more words or phrases, enough roses to fill in-between and to form the border, but ... I see a lot of these found scraps becoming triangles for more scrappy stars.

Follow the links at the bottom of Judy's Design Wall Monday post to see more quilter's design wall.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's a Start

Tonight I made the first five red scrappy stars . ..  I couldn't resist pulling out a few of the blue ones to see how they will look together.

It's going to be fun to add new colors into the mix as the year goes on.

Scrap Challenge Saturday

A heart you can hold in your hand. This little stuffed heart is one of the things I made from my red strings. It will become a pin, I think, but could also hand on a bag or be used as a pin cushion.

You can find step-by-step photos and directions on flickers here: Heart Pin Step-by-Step. I plan to put together more thorough (and printable) directions . . .  someday.

Three Fiber ValentinesThe rest of my red strings from last week were made into fiber postcard valentines. I still enjoy a bit of child-like awe over how you can stick a stamp on a fiber postcard and it almost always arrives at its destination unscathed.

I used a lot of red scraps in a bunch of sample lotto blocks for March--since I've already given everyone a heads up that we'll be using red fabrics, I can share the corners of the blocks I've made . . .

Sneak peek of lotto blocks for March

. . . come back on March 1 to see how great the blocks turned out ;-)

I wanted to do red and white blocks in March in a nod toward the Folk Art Museum's exhibition of red and white quilts that will be taking place in New York, Infinitie Variety: 3 Centures of red and White Quilts.  (If you're going, I'll be the one wearing the little stuffed heart pin ;-)

Although the next project didn't begin as a red scraps project (the cover heart is one of the bonus blocks from the string hearts), I used 2 red fabrics from my red scraps bin for the inside and pockets and some red wool felt scraps for the felt leaves.  I have published directions for making the small hand-sewing kit here: My Portable Hand-sewing Kit.

Sewing Kit Inside

Red scraps cut into trianglesI haven't yet pulled the red and white project from my packed away UFOs–I still hope to quilt and bind it this month–but I have started cutting triangles to make more scrappy stars.  I'll be taking them with me to UFO night at the Honey Bee tonight.

Value is very important when putting the stars together and I had a hard time finding enough "lights" for these blocks.  I broke the Rainbow Scrap Challenge rules this month and used a few pinks and creams to make it work.

While I was cutting triangles, I also cut a stack of some small squares.  I have an idea for one more red scraps project this month.  They'll probably come along tonight and be sewn into 16-patch blocks.

You can check out what everyone else is making from their red scraps by following the links at the bottom of the So scrappy Scrap Happy Saturday blog post.

For the Birds

Walking into the Grocery Store ...On way the way home from work yesterday, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things.

As I was walking across the parking lot and into the building, I felt a little like an extra in the a certain Hitchcock classic.

Many of the birds flew away before I snapped this (bad) photo on my phone . . . none came swooping in my direction.  The rest waited for their opportunity.

... reminded me of a Hitchcock movie

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Friday Night Sew In - February 18

For the past few months, the Friday Night Sew In (FNSI) has coincided with another quilting activity–a workshop or UFO night at the Honey Bee Quilt Store.  But, this month's FNSI–next week on February 19–I have no commitments or other plans and will be spending some ALONE time with a quilting project–probably the Road Trip to the 1930's feed sack quilt.  I'm already looking forward to racing home Friday after work and spending a creative night at home.

Want to join me in this virtual Sew-in?  You can sign up here.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Progress Report

I made another dozen blocks from the feed sacks during the super bowl ... and made a few more in the evenings. I have less than a dozen to go.  It was time to get them on the (temporary) design wall so I could really see them together.

More feedsack blocks

I didn't spend any time arranging the blocks, but I know I will torment myself with it when it comes time to put the blocks together because of the blend-y nature of most of them--I can tell already I will either have to embrace that characteristic or work really hard to avoid the effect.

New fabrics for an old quiltI have also been doing some research into typical 30's applique (of the more simplistic variety) and found a simple flower that I'll applique on the setting triangles.  I made a quick trip during my lunch hour yesterday to buy some solids in 30's reproduction colors. It was kind of amazing to put the modern solids next to the vintage feedsack fabrics and see how they were an exact color match.

Nancie V named her quilt design "Road Trip." I've come to think of my quilt as a Road Trip to the 1930's. I find myself imagining a 1930's woman (in my head, she's a farmer's wife) and the design decisions she might have made while making a similar quilt.

I didn't get the temporary wall up in time for Judy's Design Wall Monday ... and so I decided WIP Wednesday was the next best thing. 

Sunday, February 06, 2011

What will you do during the Super Bowl?

How are you spending Super Bowl Sunday?

Will you watch?  Will you host a party or go to one?  Will you join one of the many Super Bowl mystery quilts or quilt-a-longs? Have you challenged yourself to make serious progress on a knitting project or a quilt during the course of the game?

I've decided to spend the game focusing on my feed sack blocks and challenging myself to see how many I can make over the course of the game.   I received some extra-special motivation this week from Terri, who shared some of her feed sack fabrics with me.

Feedsack Fabrics 

When the BYOS (bring your own stash) group meets this month, I really want to have all my blocks made, so I can spend the time deciding on setting and start working on the piano key borders that I almost certainly will want.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Shifting from Blue to Red

As temperatures climb from the teens to the 50's today, it seems natural to shift from cool blue to red hot scraps, as part of the Rainbow Scraps Challenge.

Grace LOVES this quiltIt seemed like a natural fit to pull a blue UFO out of the trunk and finish it in January and I am ALMOST finished.  I don't know what it is about this quilt, but Grace Hopper (one of my cats) LOVED it and whenever I pulled it out to work on it, she would fly across the room, jump up on my work table, spread out and claim it as her own.  Here, she is helping me mark the plume quilting design on the borders . . . and loudly protesting because I kept rotating it to mark the borders with her on the quilt.

You can see the whole quilt in my Flickr photostream here.  FYI, the quilting is now complete and I plan to bind it this weekend. It's not clear if it will hang on a wall or become Grace's personal kitty quilt.

Mug Rug at workMy blue scraps mug rug is being put to good use in my boring beige office.  It fits perfectly next to my keyboard.

Yes, that is a very oversized cup and saucer--I found it in a thrift show and thought it would be great for soup . . . or a big cup of coffee with a girl scout cookie.

Red strings I liked the idea of working on color-coordinated UFOs and after I bind the blue quilt, I will choose a red one to work on this month.

In the meantime, I was excited to start work on some red projects . . . probably because I've been having so much fun with strings that I decided to start there.  I dipped into my big ziplock bag-o-strings and pulled out anything red.

trimmed red string blocksIt  doesn't look like many strings, does it?  But it was enough to make two pairs of string blocks, large and small.

I have a couple project design ideas in mind for these (more later). It feels good to have made a start on the red challenge and I haven't even yet used any fabric from my red scrap bin.

Red Scrap bign 

You can see what others are doing with their red scraps by following the links on today's Scrap Happy Saturday blog post.

String Hearts and more Strings

Sophie's Heart #7This month's lotto block is this string heart.

My directions for making this block are here.

I pieced the string "fabric" for 10 blocks at last month's UFO night from a bunch of "strings" I've been tossing into a large zip lock for the past couple years ... and when I was finished, the bag looked exactly the same size.  Scraps and strings really do seem to reproduce on their own.

Here are the rest of my hearts.

Sophie's Heart #10 Sophie's Heart #9 Sophie's Heart #8
Sophie's Heart #6 Sophie's Heart #5 Sophie's Heart #4
Sophie's Heart #3 Sophie's Heart #2 Sophie's Heart #1

(You can see the virtual quilt made from 60 blocks from Block Lotto sneak peekers at the bottom of this post: String Hearts for February.)

Working on these string blocks, along with the interesting block (and technique) used in my feedsack quilt clicked and a new string quilt project was born.  For my Friday Night Snow In last night, I dipped into those strings, pulled out the lighter ones and pieced some more "fabric."

Before After 

If you look carefully, you can see that 16 string squares later, it DOES look like I made a dent in those strings . . .  though there are plenty left.
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