Monday, February 25, 2019

Two for one

A while back, I purchased a bunch of fat quarters in a clearance sale.  I had no plan in mind, but the price of about $0.80 each was too hard to pass up, so I just picked up some coordinating colors.

They sat on my shelf (for close to a year, I think)  while I waited for inspiration to strike.  Inspiration came when I found the perfect coordinating fabric that combined all the colors:

The plan was to make a strippy quilt using the floral fabric to tie it all together.

I cut strips from each of the fat quarters, but I also needed strips of white fabric to sew in between them.  This was another time when my Stripology ruler was the perfect tool for the job:

You lay the slotted ruler down one time, make several cuts at once, and when you remover the ruler, you have all your strips cut:

Next step was to sew a white strip to each of the colored strips.
Strip noodles anyone?

I lined up the white/fabric strips on my design board until I got an arrangement I liked:

This was looking nice, but would not be wide enough for a kid's quilt, so I went back to the beginning and created a second set of strips:

Now the resulting quilt would be too big.  Just like Goldilocks, I needed to find the combination that was just right.  I cut one set of strips in half,  and then  I liked the proportions.

I sewed it all together, and added more floral fabric to make a border:

But...what to do with the leftovers from the strips I cut in half? That was easy, make a second quilt! I cut a 3rd set of strips from my original fat quarter bundle, added the white strips and created a second quilt.

I did not have enough of the  floral fabric left for a border on this one so I just made the outer white borders a little wider.

When all was said and done, I had two quilt tops to donate to Quilts for Kids. 😄

With the leftover bits, I cut out some squares for the upcoming months of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Being only 2 months into the challenge, we have not done aqua, green or blue.  I've got a head start!

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Friday, February 22, 2019

Mellow Yellow

This month's color for the Rainbow Scrap challenge is YELLOWI had my doubts as to whether yellow and white would have enough contrast for the Birds In The Air blocks that I am making for the challenge. So, first order of business was to separate the lights from the not-so-lights:

Still doubtful, I sewed up the units that make up the "birds":

When I got them all put together, I was satisfied that the pattern would stand out and so I continued by adding the larger triangle parts, (the "nests" 😉)

Of course, even cutting into the scraps creates scraps:

So another crumb block was created:

To be honest, I don't know which is more fun, creating the Birds in the Air blocks or the crumb blocks.  I expect I know what the Bird blocks will look like, but the crumb blocks are always a surprise.

It feels good to be creating 2 quilts for the price of one, but that's nothing compared to some of the other quilters who make blocks for multiple quilts each month based the chosen color.

Head on over to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge linky party to see a burst of sunny yellow projects that are being worked on.

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Monday, February 18, 2019

A puzzle of epic proportions

2019 has become the year of the puzzle in this household.  For Christmas, my husband received a Star Trek puzzle with a whopping 3000 pieces:

It was made in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Original Series and contains elements and characters from all 79 episodes.

I never knew they even made puzzles with that many pieces, and even though we are Star Trek fans, this puzzle seemed way out of our league.  However, in a moment of insanity weakness, we decided to give it a try.  First thing we had to do was to put the second leaf into the dining room table so that we would have room for 3000 pieces.  This puzzle measures almost 3 feet by 4 feet!  Here is what 3000 puzzle pieces looks like:

Remember, that's a dining room table with two extension leaves in it.  Here's another perspective:

So, where to start?  The biggest elements in the puzzle were the space crafts in the top portion so we started there.  It took maybe 10 days to get this far:

Then it was time to get cracking on all the characters at the bottom.  I started sorting out any pieces that looked like part of a face:
My puzzle version of "facial recognition".

If you're a fan of the original Star Trek series, you can probably pick out Sulu, McCoy and Khan among others in the photo above.  It took probably another 10 days to get the bottom half of the puzzle complete.  Here is a detail shot:

One might think we were all finished at this point, but one would be wrong.  We still had all these pieces left:
The outermost edges of the puzzle on all four sides were SOLID BLACK!

It was at this point that I pretty much threw up my hands and said "forget it".  I mean, really, what evil puzzle maker creates two rows of solid black pieces?

My husband was stalwart and persisted.  He worked on it little by little over the course of about a week until he finally finished the whole darn thing.  Here it is, or most of what would fit into one photo:
You can only get so far above a dining room table with your camera to get it all in one photo.

The only sad part is that there were 2 puzzle pieces missing! Wonder how much time we lost looking for those?!

In all, it took close to a month of work to get to the finish line. But that was okay, we were not in any hurry.  During it's construction we had a lot of fun remembering the various characters and episodes.  Sometimes we'd pick out a certain episode on Amazon Prime and re-watch it just for fun.

We lived with the finished puzzle on the dining room table for a while, and was time to pack it up.  (There was no question of preserving it with 2 puzzle pieces missing anyway.)

So we ceremoniously broke it up and put it back in the box until, well, until I don't know when.  I took photos of the two areas where the pieces were missing and stuck them in the box so that if there is a next time, we will be prepared.

Good bye for now, Star Trek puzzle!  Beam us out!

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

A dozen different HST's

Here are the last 3 blocks in my quilt guild's Block of the Month.

These blocks make up the bottom row of the pattern, Jeni Baker's Half Square Triangle Sampler:

Now I need to choose a background.  I wanted to go with a colored fabric, rather than the white as shown in the pattern, and I thought I had found  the perfect green:

I put the first 9 blocks against the green background and lived with it for a while as I made the last 3 blocks.  I began to think that although the green was a perfect match, it was overpowering the blocks. These blocks are only 6 inches, so the background has a bigger impact.  I went back to the drawing board and found a lighter, less saturated green and tried again:

It's a subtle difference, but I think the second choice helps the blocks stand out a little more.   Here are the two fabrics side by side:

And here are the 12 finished blocks, with the darker green background under the top 6 and the lighter green background under the bottom 6:

This has been a lot of fun seeing how much variety can be achieved with just 16 Half Square Triangle blocks.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Going rogue (again!)

Back in December, I began a mystery quilt along  and ended up with these blue "Plus" blocks:

I was hoping to pair them with the blue/tan stripe fabric in the photo above, but when the mystery was revealed, there was no place to use the stripes.  Rather than abandon those cute little blocks, I decided to go in another direction, so, I made more blocks and decided to set them on point:

Now my "Plus" blocks were turned into "X" blocks.  My plan was to use the striped fabric as a sashing in between the rows:

But,  then I realized that the stripes on my fabric did not run selvage to selvage.  The stripes were too short to extend from top to bottom.   I had to piece the sashing and match the stripes:

And then I had to do it again!
That striped fabric was really making me work!  😳

At last I had the blocks and sashing ready to sew together:

Inspired by the cover quilt on Kathleen Tracy's book, Small and Scrappy, shown below,

 I added a chunky border of two different blues and a tan calico for the corners:

A solid navy binding will contain it all together:

But first, it must be quilted of course!  It's amazing to me  how an  "out of the blue"  quilt project comes along and I have to just go along for the ride.  This wasn't even a quilt on my to-do list, but somehow it just had to be made.

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