Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March RSC2020 Turquoise Blocks

Scraptastic Star

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color for March is turquoise (or aqua or teal). Back in the early 2000s I collected aquamarine depression glass and developed a deep love for teal, aqua, and turquoise. I've sold most of it since then, but I still love it! Our kitchen and family room are decorated with aqua with touches of red and gray, and fortunately my husband likes it too!

Geese Migration

Since I have a lot of turquoise in my stash, I assumed I would have plenty of scraps to work with this month. I was wrong! I have many blue scraps, but not so much of the colors I needed. I broke my rule of only using scraps and delved a little bit into my stash. Please don't tell the scrap police!

Cynthia's Irish Chain

My blocks are Scraptastic Star, Cynthia's Irish chain, and Geese Migration. I was not able to finish any strings this month, so I will squeeze those into one of my posts next month.

I'm adding my post to all the fun at Angela's Scrap Happy Saturday and Cynthia's Oh Scrap!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Stress-Free Quilt Along

Myra over at Busy Hands Quilts is hosting a Stress-Free Quilt Along! I have purchased several of Myra's beautiful patterns (see my Home Awaits flimsy right here), and she has the most thorough and well-written instructions of any patterns I've ever made. She is powerhouse of activity with amazing productivity and is encouraging all of us to "just BE" during these stressful times. You may read her post about it right here, join her linkup, and see what others are doing with fabric.

This quilt along comes at a good time for me, because I've found myself a little bit unmotivated in my sewing room lately. Last week we reorganized my sewing room, and I love the new arrangement and feel happy when I walk into the room. I have plenty of projects ready and nothing stopping me from sewing except the distraction of my mind. Myra's encouragement to "just BE" is appealing though, and I am just allowing myself to get a few things done with no pressure.

My main goal right now is to quilt the flimsy I have sandwiched and ready for quilting (you can read more about that here), and I am working on blocks for RSC2020 and Monthly Color Challenge. I will also participate in Creating a Quilted Legacy, an upcoming blog hop in memory of Paula Budinger. You may find information about all these projects by clicking on the appropriate button in my sidebar.

Although I haven't gotten much sewing done, the thing that IS getting done is gardening. We added a flower bed to the front of the house, did a lot of trimming and raking, and added mulch to the rest of our beds. We prepped a smaller area for the vegetable garden this year. It will be roughly half the size planted last year. I started tomato seeds in milk jugs in January, used a heat mat for seedlings under them, and this week planted 18 beautiful plants! For those of you that are interested in such things, they are Black Krim, Sungold, Climbing Triple Crop, and Indigo Pear Drops. Also in the ground are Romaine lettuce, Texas Sweet Onions, pimento and bell peppers, and I have peach trees and blueberry bushes blooming. Life in the garden flourishes during self-isolation and social distancing!

My hope is that you are all safe and healthy and coping well. Since we are retired and living on 5 acres on a dirt road, social distancing has not been a major adjustment for us. It is affecting our kids work-wise, but we are all still in good health, for which we are thankful. Whether you are making masks, making quilts, or dreaming about how to use your fabric, I encourage you to join and linkup to Myra's Stress-Free Quilt Along linkup!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

March Monthly Color Challenge

The representative bird for the Monthly Color Challenge for March is the Baltimore Cardinal. Since my orange scraps are depleted from last month's RSC, I decided to go with the female Oriole, who has more muted gold/orange/yellow feathers than the brightly colored male. You can click on the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge button in my sidebar for more info. It isn't too late to catch up!

This block is formed with HSTs and with flying geese using the no-waste method. Am I the only one who forgets to press the seams after the first cut? I always have to rip stitches! Also I have a little difficulty trimming the geese using a regular ruler. Some day I shall purchase a ruler made for trimming flying geese, and my life will be perfect.

February's Indigo Bunting block enlarged from 8-1/2 to 12-1/2 inches

The block patterns produce a 12-1/2 inch block, and I had forgotten that last month I reduced the block size to 8-1/2 inches in order to accommodate my scraps. Sooooo, although I really liked the 8-1/2 inch blocks, I went ahead and added fabric to the borders of the January and February blocks. It's just asking too much of myself to remember to make that adjustment each month!

To enlarge January's Goldfinch block to 12-1/2 inches, I cut into some long
hoarded Michael Miller fabric called Summer Soiree by Paula Prass.

This month's RSC color is teal, and my overflowing scrap bin is ready. I'll be making a Scraptastic Star, string blocks, a Geese Migration block, and an Irish chain block. Hopefully that will help reduce the overflow somewhat. Before I start, I plan to use Preeti's suggestion of separating my scraps into greenish blue and bluish green! We are good to go on groceries for a few days, and with no visitors or activities scheduled for awhile I should have plenty of time to get going on scraps.

I'll be linking this post at the end of the month with Jen's 2020 Monthly Color Challenge for March.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Beverly's Quilt Flimsy

I've had so many squirrels come my way in the past few months, you probably don't remember this squirrel that came to visit last year. You can read about it here and here, but long story short, I saw a vintage quilt on Instagram I wanted to recreate.

This is the vintage Instagram quilt

I spent some time carefully putting nine-patch squares together before I realized I wanted a more scrappy look. I ditched the "careful" in exchange for "fun" and away I went.

The nine-patch blocks are framed by strips and cornerstones. I'm happy to say that thanks to enthused encouragement from Diann and Janine, I decided on this yummy pink vintage-y looking fabric for the cornerstones. My husband suggested a dark red/burgundy for the binding and even offered to take me to buy what I needed, since I don't have the perfect color in my stash. Can't ask for a better offer than that!

I had intended to keep this quilt for myself, even sentimentally naming it Cottonwood after my favorite childhood tree. But after seeing this post by Louise at Quilt Odyssey, I decided to gift it to the older sister of my childhood best friend. Beverly is wheelchair bound but active in her assisted living apartment, and I think she might like a lap quilt. I'm reserving the name "Cottonwood" for a future quilt and renaming this one simply "Beverly's quilt". I hope to finish it this week!

I am sharing this post with Cynthia's Oh Scrap! Go and check out all the scrappy goodies!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Orange Zest Blocks

Having squeezed most of the "juice" from my orange scraps for this month's RSC2020, I'm starting to use the zest - lol! In fact I thought I was done making blocks but I spotted some neat blocks made by Cynthia Brunz at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework and decided to shamelessly copy them. I'm calling mine "Scrappy Irish Chain" blocks.

If you use this Irish chain tutorial by Amy Smart, sewing the chain pieced strip set units together forms a four-patch. If you are making a single block like the ones I made, the four-patch is pieced together to form the center of the block. I cut 2-1/2 inch squares for the solid pieces and made the HSTs with squares cut at 2-7/8 inches and trimmed to 2-1/2 inches. My block finished at 8-1/2 inches.

I also made them in green to join with the other green blocks for January. I think I am finally finished with green and orange!

This one is my favorite

I'm joining the fun at Cyndy's Oh Scrap! and to Angela's So Scrappy

Friday, February 21, 2020

Lost Stars Quilt Blocks

Last month I saw some unique blocks made by @pamalamajodesigns on Instagram and they immediately became a squirrel in my sewing room. That happens so easily and so often! These blocks are called "Friendship Stars". I've never given friendship stars a second glance until I saw a Pam's version, in which the darker star is paired with a slightly less dark fabric instead of a strong contrast - does that make sense?

These are the blocks made by @pamalamajodesigns

I wanted rich, lush looking fabrics with deep tones.

Since it will be for my husband, who claimed it after he saw the first six blocks, I've named it "Lost Stars" after one of his favorite Adam Levine songs.

I've been cutting 2-7/8 inch squares to make 2-1/2 half-square triangles, and the rest of the block is 2-1/2 inch squares. It will be lap-size for my tall man. The blocks finish at 6-1/2 inches, so I figure I will need about 120 blocks in a 10 by 12 block layout.

I have 26 blocks, so I have a few more to go!

I'm linking this post to all the scrappy goodness at Cynthia's Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Orange Geese Are Migrating

I had thought I was finished with orange scraps for this month's RSC2020, but after I saw Angela's display of orange goodness at So Scrappy, I decided to pull out the orange scrap bin for another go-round. This time I chose another pattern - Geese Migration by Cynthia Brunz of Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework.

This block consists of 15 2-1/2 inch squares and a panel of flying geese. It goes together quickly once the fabrics are chosen. I had forgotten how much I love making flying geese! I would love to have taken one of Cynthia's classes on choosing fabrics for this quilt, but I'm not sure if she is still teaching them. UPDATE: Cynthia says she is teaching an upcoming class at the Roseburg Oregon quilt show in April.

I love the way it looks on this piece of Maple Sugar Grunge by Basic Grey

You can see Cynthia's original Migrating Geese quilt as well as a newer version right here. Go look at her fabulous fabric choices!

Linking to Scrap Happy Saturday at So Scrappy and Cynthia's Oh Scrap!