Friday, December 9, 2016

Blue Triangle Slabs

I made more of the blue slab triangles last night, and decided to throw them up on the design wall to see how they'd look. Then I threw up some of the white side triangles. I really do like this layout, but I will have purple and maybe dark green in the mix too.

Since I'm a big believer of having something unexpected in my quilts, I decided to try a few of the leftover reds from Fruit Loops.  These reds tend to be warm reds, and I would prefer they be cool reds, but you get the idea.

I called the sewing machine guy and we talked a bit. I told him the thread cutter wasn't working every single time. "What's really weird though, is that when it doesn't cut, it's the BOBBIN thread that doesn't cut. The top thread cuts consistently."

The guy said, "Now that's good information. I had a machine that did the same thing, and I had to call the manufacturer, and they said to replace the bobbin race**. When I replaced it, it worked fine. So I will order a couple more and call you when they come in. I'd like to work with your machine for a couple of days, so don't bring it in until I call you. That way you won't be without it for too long."

Now the needle threader won't work, and I think that's just an adjustment. I did some sewing on some heavy stuff last weekend and it may have knocked it out of alignment. I will replace the needle and recheck my settings before I bring the machine back.

I haven't finished sewing the binding on the pink quilt, and that has to get to California by Christmas. If I have to surrender my sewing machine for a few days, it will force me to finish that, so it's fine.

** (I think that's the name for the little thing the  bobbin sits in)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Blue Scrap Slabs

I finally got back into the studio to sew some dark blue scraps together into slabs.

I cut a few triangles, and had an epiphany. Can you see the middle triangle in the bottom row? See how the strips are not lined up at right angles? I was moving the template around and I saw that and thought -- HEY! Why not? I'm going to make more like that.

I already know I'm going to use this layout for these dark triangles. I'll also include some purple.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Backing for Fruit Loops, the Tent and a Funny.

I usually like big prints for the back of my quilts. I think small ones are kinda boring. I couldn't find any one big print that seemed to have the bright fruity colors of the Fruit Loops flimsy.

I found this print in different colorways, above. The print is large and it varies, like an organic shape. Well, if I can't have one print, I can have fun with different colorways of the same one, so I bought two yards of pink, gold and green. The white with black print at the bottom will be the binding.

I also bought a bunch of black and white prints for the side triangles of the next slab triangle quilt.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh yes, the tent...
Here's the pattern for the tent I made for Millie. I made it back in 2007. I don't know if the pattern is still available. I'm not willing to part with mine.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Funny story:

We had our annual open enrollment for health insurance today at work. Every year the admin of the health provider gives away five $50 Visa gift cards.

Five years ago I won one.

The next year I won again.

The next year everybody wanted to sit next to me, hoping my luck would rub off.

Last year, nope.

Today the CEO announces the raffle and says, "The winner can't be Angel or Lynne."

So who wins the first one?


Then they pick the next three names. One winner is in my row. And which number comes up fifth?


I threw my head back and laughed as I held my ticket up for "verification".

The CEO shook his head.

Monday, December 5, 2016

This and That

It's always nice to see a quilt outside, so you can get a sense of its true colors. Here is the Fruit Loops flimsy on my front steps. I ordered fabric for the backing of this quilt, and I am eager to see it finished.

About a year ago I made a quilt for my son and DIL to give to an internet friend of theirs who was fighting cancer.
Imagine their surprise when she showed up at their house for a visit yesterday.  My son texted me "It was like meeting a celebrity who loved me." My DIL wrote, "She made us feel really special and she made sure to tell us how much we mean to her."

It's just another reason why we make quilts - because they help form bonds with people and spread love. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you can't give a better gift than a quilt. Quilts are magical.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Pillow Fan

I confess I did not expect this.

A leftover scrap of Christmas fabric transformed the little pillow on the red chair. It is pretty plain, but I have an idea of how to spice it up.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Holiday Decorating

This is actually a music box, although I never listen to it. What attracted me to this Santa was the classic beauty, the austerity, and his innate charm. It looked handmade. I saw it in a store devoted to music boxes, and he was (at the time) way out of my budget. I went back to the store three times to look at him because I couldn't decide if he was really worth all that money. In the end I put him on lay-away because I had to have him. It's been over ten years, and I am so glad I bought him. He gets compliments every year. My son says it is the ONLY one of my Christmas decorations he wants. Well, he'll have it someday. But not yet.

I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday. I love the decorations, the music, the food, and the cookies. I've collected a trove of decorations I use every year, but I always like to make it new.

Yeah, this tent doesn't really "go" with the Holiday decor.

This year I'll be making a new tent for Millie out of Holiday themed fabric (so it will co-ordinate with everything else.) She already has a Christmas themed kitty quilt that I've already swapped out on the plum wing chair in the living room.

 but the pillows on the couch,
certainly don't add any Holiday pizzazz. So when I was at Home Goods recently, looking for a snow globe to replace that one that got damaged in storage, I took home two pillows that just could not stay out of my shopping cart.

 I love this one.

 And I adore this one.

Together with my Red Sticks quilt, these pillows really liven up the charcoal gray sofa.

 Next year I'll have to do something about this little pillow.

And I might need something sparkly for this chair. (That's one of the quilts Julie made for me, Obsolescence).

OK, now I have to get back to decorating. The tree is still -gasp- naked!!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Tongue Twister

The Fruit Loops flimsy is finished (you try saying that three times fast). Here it is draped over the wing chair in my sewing studio.

Here it is stuck up on the design wall. I'll bring it to work tomorrow so I can maybe get a picture of it outside. 

I am really happy with this and am very eager to get started on one that has light to medium blues and teals (blue greens). I have a vision of another one in dark blues and deep raspberry and purple. For some reason, the working title of that one is "Blueberry Buckle" even though I haven't cut into fabric yet. Too Funny.

In other news, my Chicken quilt, Too Much Chicken, has been accepted into the AQS show in Daytona Beach Florida early next year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Halfway There

I've got half the Fruit Loops flimsy sewn together. It's amazing to think the colored pieces of these blocks came from the little scrap bins.

I have twenty-one little bins, and I cleaned out five of them. Guess I have at least three more quilts in there!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fruit Loops Grows

I sewed more of Fruit Loops together last night. That big panel of 36 blocks on the upper left is all sewn together.  It's coming together quickly.

I changed the needle on my sewing machine and it no longer makes that banging sound. The thread cutter now almost never cuts, but that's what scissors are for. Thanks Mary, for suggesting I call the guy and ask when I can bring the machine in for a quick fix and if he can wait a bit longer after hours for me to pick it up. I'll do that.

I've also been sewing the binding on the pink Deco Rose quilt while "watching" TV. I want to get that to the prettiest granddaughter in the world by Christmas. 

Her mother is pretty too!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Busy Weekend

This is my pal Kathy French, one of the SSOBB members, who visited me on Saturday. She and her husband stopped by on their way home from Vermont. We had a nice visit. Isn't the color of her jacket terrific?

I sewed a few of my scrappy triangle blocks together. The bottom photo is back side of the block.  All the backs of my quilts look like this. Neat, with no straggly threads.

My sewing machine has to go back to the shop. It doesn't cut the threads consistently and it makes a noise when I sew like two pieces of metal are banging against each other. Bummer. The guy opens and closes within my normal work day and isn't open any evenings, so it means a Saturday visit and a week without my machine. Argh.

I spent a lot of the rest of the weekend organizing a calendar of my quilts for 2017, doing a bit of online shopping, paying bills and reconciling the checkbook. I've been neglecting the avalanche of paper on my desk, and at least now I've made a dent in it. The shredder will be getting a workout soon.

Oh, and whoever asked about making "slabs," here's a link to a blog post where I talk about how I do it.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Not Skittles

I spent Friday morning cutting the side triangles for the scrap slab blocks, and the afternoon and evening sewing the blocks together. There they are at the bottom of this photo.

I started arranging the blocks, and soon got to this. I had a lot of blocks left, so I made it bigger.

This is it, and finished it will be about 60" x 72". I'll sew the blocks together in the next few days. Looking at it, I also realized it has new name.

Fruit Loops.

Yes, I will continue making scrap slab triangle in other colors, cleaning out the little accessory bins. I really liked the red layout in yesterday's post. I'll definitely use that one for another version.

Friday, November 25, 2016

More Scrap Triangles

Thanksgiving Dinner was a success, and after my family left and the kitchen was clean, I went into the studio and sewed side pieces to my green slab triangles.  I have decided to continue with the "Skittles" idea and not add any more colors to this particular quilt. I'll keep making the slabs in other colors, but they'll go in other quilts.

Since I couldn't really add them to the layout, I just arranged them differently. These arrowheads could be a way to arrange a quilt with blue and purple, for example.

Or this.

After I made all the green ones, I started adding the side triangles to the red ones. This would make a terrific layout also.

These triangle in a square blocks are 6-1/2" per side.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Skittles, Maybe?

 After I got home from work last night, and after I made dinner and cleaned up the dishes and did a couple of other little things, I grabbed a few of each of the colored triangles and added the side triangles to them. Then I threw them up on the design wall with the others.  I also started to sort some blue scraps, but didn't get very far.

If I kept going with just these colors, I think I'd have to name this quilt "Skittles."

But I'm going to keep going.

I think.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Scrappy Slab Triangles

I sat down at the sewing machine to make a few of the scrappy slab triangles into blocks and threw them up on the design wall.  This is all I have, and it will surely change, but I think this is going to be cool. Speaking of which, I think the next color needs to be a cool one - either a teal or a medium blue.

Plans for Thanksgiving have been made, groceries have been purchased and recipes printed. I've made the cranberry sauce, cornbread for the stuffing, and some turkey stock. I've vacuumed the house and cleaned the bathrooms. I even washed the Fall House Top quilt that covers my dining room table.

That's all well and good, but I am really looking forward to making more of these blocks in the long weekend afterward!