Tag Archives: rsc2021

Rainbow Scrap Updates and a Panel Challenge

It is the end of the month and I scrambled to get a few things done for April. Seems the April came to a close much sooner than it was supposed to as I wasn’t really ready.

Yesterday was a housecleaning day. The obscure chores just get pushed back until finally the oven stinks whenever it is heating up and there is no choice but to clean it. That was not a fun chore but it is done and the oven is all ready to go again! I also had to give some of my houseplants a bath. The larger ones get dusty and it is easiest to take them on the back deck and just hose them off, let them dry and bring them back in. Yikes they look so much better now.

After that nonsense, I managed to finish the RSC blocks for April. I used three very different shades of blue for these blocks. The diamond blocks are fun to make and not at all difficult. They finish at 6″ x 12″. I have been pre-cutting the neutral background triangles making it simple to put them together (making one wonder why I would wait until the end of each month??) Sigh.

Here are a few of the colors put together. I am sure I will need more than three of each color (which is what I am currently making). Seems best I make a few more pink, yellow and green blocks so I won’t have to do it all in the fall. But will I??? We all know the answer to that. Motivate me. Tell me how happy I will be come October, if I have the right number of blocks made. Tell me how it will make it so much easier to assemble the quilt and if I don’t have the right number of blocks made, I will likely put this in a project bag and let it languish. Tell me, ok???

In the meanwhile, I have also been working on a panel challenge hosted over at Prairie Moon Quilts. A while back, Shelly challenged quilters to use one of the panels in their stash and make something with it. Too many times, the panels in shops attract a quilter and are purchased without a real plan how it might be used. Panels are so fun and can be used in any number of ways. To see a few of my favorites, check my Pinterest board.

I chose to use this beautiful panel from Northcott’s Covent Garden Line. I do have it in the shop if you love it as much as I do! It measures 28″ x 42″. The colors are amazing. It was designed by Deborah Edwards.

When I first got this panel in the shop I wanted to just quilt it as a whole cloth and hang it somewhere. But as time went on, I was less convinced this was the right choice. When Shelly presented her challenge, I decided to cut it up and piece it.

Next decision was how much to cut?? Not much was the answer I came up with. So I sliced it into columns. The center measures 9″ wide and moving out from there the size decreases. The next strip was cut at four inches, followed by three inches and the narrow outside strip was 2 1/2 inches wide.

For the first border, I used a piece of fabric from PB Textiles. I liked the rusty tones with the flowers. It was just about square at this point and my brain felt like it should be a rectangle. Adding a four inch floral strip at top and bottom made this happen and my brain was much more content. Shelly will be showing all of the quilts made for this challenge and will have it open for viewers to vote. I hope you will hop over there on Monday to look at all the different projects everyone has made. I am looking forward to it!

What a huge difference this made – There are so many ways to use this columnar method with a panel. Some quilters will move the panel pieces up and down so the picture is not totally lined up. This looks great with panels showing pretty landscape scenes. I also love when a panel is cut and made with attic window blocks. One idea that attracted me was seeing a quilt where part of the panel was cut and appliquéd to the quilt. The design looked wonderful. To see the panels I have in the shop, click here.

Thanks to Shelly for motivating me to play with this panel. Now it is time to baste and quilt it. I have a few quilt tops lined up to be finished. I think I will baste one this weekend to begin that process. What are your plans for the weekend? It is going to be rather warm here and there is plenty to do out in the yard during the cool of the morning and then in the sewing room in the afternoon.

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While Julia Was Away, The Roosters Did Play

Remember the chicks Julia raised last fall in the laundry room? Well two of the four turned out to be roosters, Pete and Jack. This was somewhat disappointing as that obviously reduced the number of eggs we thought we would be getting. However they were very handsome birds and we got over our disappointment. Then we went up to Washington to celebrate the girl’s birthdays and those naughty roosters had a party of sorts.

When we left, the roosters were about five months old. We thought this was still young that they wouldn’t be fertilizing eggs yet. Oh what sneaky birds.

By the time we got home, Fauna was sitting on a clutch of thirteen eggs. Several days after that, this little one hatched. Since then, no more eggs have hatched. This is a lousy yield for sitting on thirteen eggs. We haven’t ever hatched eggs but our suspicion is that she added eggs, and allowed the other hen, Flora, to add eggs to the clutch for too long so the hatch dates are really strung out. Chicks take 21 days to hatch from the eggs. Poor Fauna has been sitting on these eggs for 28 days now.

Fauna and her wee one.

She has decided she is really over this whole broody, sit-on-the-eggs, thing and keeps kicking eggs out of the clutch (which means she doesn’t think they are viable so she pushes them out and lets them get cold). Julia tosses those eggs when she finds them. At this point, Julia doubts any of the other eggs will actually hatch. In order to prevent any more hanky panky, Julia put an ad up on Craigslist and quickly gave Pete and Jack to a good home in need of a couple of fine roosters.

Now that Pete and Jack are gone, Julia was really hoping for more eggs to hatch so we would have more than four laying hens. We don’t know what Fauna’s little one is, rooster or hen, so she decided to buy two more chicks. They are a week old. She placed one with Fauna and her baby but Fauna just gave her the side eye, “Just exactly what are you doing here? You are not my chick.” She wasn’t mean to her and let her scratch around and eat, but as a mama hen, she needs to take the babies and keep them warm by sitting over them along with the eggs until they mature. This is sooo cute – when we go out there, we can see the baby peeking out from under Fauna. It didn’t look like she was going to take the new chicks in with her own. Understandable as Fauna has had a lot going on lately and it was just too much to ask of this mama. So once again, we have chicks living in the laundry room.

Now that we have covered what is happening with the animals, lets check on the sewing projects!

RSC 2021 blocks

Crowded on my very tiny design wall are the completed blocks for my RSC 2021 project. I am really liking the blocks so far. I have played with the sized of the center diamond so they are not going to all be the same. The outer diamonds will be the same though. I have done three of each color but may need to add more. I don’t think 33 blocks (3 x 11 months) will be enough. Not sure yet though. I have plenty of time to figure that out.

Here is the stretch knit I put under the hole in the jeans.

The next project I want to share is my first attempt at visible mending. All the rage these days, sewists are hand stitching various mending projects so they are decorative. (As opposed to the idea of trying to carefully mend something so no one knows it was stitched back together.) Months ago, I bought a pair of jeans at Ross. They fit well and were a bargain but they have holes in them which is trendy these days. I tried to wear them with the holes but I didn’t like it. It always felt like there was a pudgy pop of flesh in that hole when I was sitting down. I am not a fan of that look. 😉

Don’t you love my Doll Like Me shirt???

I am much happier with the jeans now that I stitched the hole up. I know I will wear them a lot more now. If you love my shirt, you too can sport one! Click here to check them out. Portions of the proceeds go directly to A Doll Like Me to support Amy’s ever important doll-making process.

Cal Poly Alums and a new Cal Poly student!

In other news, as you likely know, Julia has been home since March, 2020 taking classes on-line. She withdrew from UC Davis because it didn’t seem appropriate to pay such expensive tuition while she was taking classes from home. When it came time to apply to go back to school (in fall of 2021) she decided she wanted to switch universities and go to Cal Poly. While visiting Andrew up in Washington, she found out she was accepted! We are all so excited. I graduated from Cal Poly in 1982. Andrew and Ian (two of my sons) also graduated from there. Julia will be joining the ranks soon!

Do you want the backstory on the matching t-shirts? I thought so!

Mark and I at our apartment in San Luis Obispo, circa 1982

Back when I was a newly married student at Cal Poly, had this t-shirt. I wore it all the time – until it was deemed unwearable. On the horns of the bull, it said “Cow Poly”. Cal Poly stands for California Polytechnic and it has a huge agriculture component in its academic offerings. Hence the “Cow Poly” joke.

Well a while back, I was scanning old photos and sending them to my kids; one of them was the picture above. I told the kids how much I loved this shirt. I have looked for it on vintage college t-shirt websites to no avail. Well, may I just say, I have some pretty amazing kids. My middle son, Kyle, decided to recreate it. He first called the Cal Poly Alumni Association to try and get design files or to see if the t-shirts were available in any fashion. He couldn’t find anything so he drew the design himself and had the shirt made. Since the siblings knew he was making them, the Cal Poly alumni ( current and future) decided they wanted the shirts too. (Julia was superstitious and decided not to wear hers until she was accepted.) The only difference between our shirts and the original is Kyle added ‘class of 1982′ to the bottom of the design, honoring my graduation date. The kids’ t-shirts also have that on the front which I think is kinda cute. Another example of an awesome handmade gift!

OK – this has gotten to be quite a long post. I will catch you up on other sewing projects soon. If you have read all the way to the end, thank you for hanging in there!!

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Finishing Up a Nice Week

Even though nothing extra special happened, this was a lovely week. I got to have a nice visit with my parents. We knew snow was coming so we got together before their driveway became difficult. (They live about fifteen miles from here but they are at a higher elevation. When they get some snow, it is usually a lot.)

My yard earlier this week.

We did get some snow but just a dusting and it only lasted a day. I do love when we get a little snow. When I woke up that morning and saw it was snowing, I woke Julia up so she could watch the snow. It is such a treat for us. Most winters we don’t see any snow. I remember when I first moved up here (back in 1994) we did get snow each winter and it was more substantial. Climates have changed and now we rarely get any.

The rest of the week was quite rainy. This is always well received. Each time we get a good rain, we hope it means the fire season in late summer will be a bit less dangerous. Due to the rain, I was able to spend quite a bit of time in the sewing room. Above is a stack of strips I cut for a coin quilt. I am focusing on blues, greens, pinks and yellows. I told myself I don’t get to start sewing these strips until I get somewhere with my Meadow quilt though. I just don’t want to have quite so many projects in process at the same time. This quilt was designed by Kirsty of BonJour Quilts. Click the link if you want to see her version.

This is the background for the Meadow quilt. It is a series of disappearing nine patch blocks in three sizes. The largest size has a greater proportion of the cream and white colors to the greens. Medium has about an equal portion and the smallest size has mostly greens. I like how this causes the colors the gently change as the eye moves up. I will be appliquéing a large swath of cut florals through the meadow as soon as I have the background completed. I am almost there and I am itching to get to those florals.

I also took an evening to make some pink diamond blocks. These blocks are made using half square rectangles. I am going to use them for my RSC2021 quilt. I really like the blocks and found them (once again!) on Kirsty’s site, Bonjour Quilts. I think the quilt will have a cool mid century modern vibe to it.

The blocks are finishing at 6″ x 12″. I will need quite a few for a nice sized lap quilt. If I put 12 across and 5 down, it would finish at approximately 60″ square. I think I will be interspersing some plain rectangles here and there to break up the pattern though. I have all year to figure this out though. For now, I am waiting to see what the color for February is.

In the evenings I have been working on the hand quilting for this project which I am calling Homespun. I love this quilt. It is so cozy. Once I finished stitching around each of the background squares, I decided I wanted to keep hand quilting it. This is the perfect time of year to snuggle under a quilt in the evenings and do some hand stitching. I have nearly finished going around the background border. Hard to tell from this photo, but the outer border is a dusty purple color. I think I will mark a pattern on it and hand stitch that as well. It will be a while until it is finished, but really – what is the hurry? While stitching, I have been going back and forth between watching Queen’s Gambit and The Last Tango in Halifax on Netflix. I like both of them, though they are quite different. Have you watched either of these? What do you think of them?

I have also worked on some projects for my shop. There are a number of new bundles available – each one contains three coordinated pieces of fabric, cut in one yard pieces. They are perfect for using with the Fabric Cafe, three yard patterns. These patterns are very simple and quick to piece, making them nice for baby quilts, a gift or donation quilt. These kits and patterns are also wonderful when teaching someone to quilt. They make a lap size quilt and there are a number of different patterns to choose from. I also have some fun kits for baby or toddler quilts. To take a look, click here.

That sums up my week. How was your week? Hoping you found some time to be creative. I would love to hear what you are working on. Enjoy the weekend all. 🙂

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Finished a Mini This Week

Like the really creative title says, I finished up the mini I shared with you earlier! It is so cute. When I was piecing the Mosaic Mystery Quilt (yet to be finished) I had loads of bonus HST’s – you know, the bits that are left over when you make a flying geese block? Luckily, I stitched them as I made the blocks so they were all ready for me to use.

Making this mini used only a small portion of the little 2 1/2″ HST’s. I saw the idea to incorporate a friendship star with the fussy cut center on a site and I cannot remember which it was. I think it was something like All People Quilt but I am not sure. If I figure it out, I will update the post accordingly.

At twelve inches square, it will be easy to find a little spot to hang this. I quilted all triangles except for the background (pale green) pieces. It looks cute and for the most part went well. There are a few wrinkles near the friendship star that could look a little better.

The fussy cut square in the center of the star is my favorite part. I have a stack of squares of this fabric depicting the very famous Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte painting by Georges Seurat. While on a trip to the Chicago, I saw this painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. It is so beautiful. When I saw a handmade shirt at a thrift store made with this fabric, I grabbed it, deconstructing it for the fabric.

There are only so many ways to take a photo of this little quilt. But here is a cute one. You probably noticed I decided to face the quilt, rather than bind it. I like the look of this but it caused me to lose some of the points on the top and right side of the mini. I didn’t lose them by stitching over them with the facing. Rather it was when I rolled the facing to the back, those points are rolled over just enough to make the points round off. Sigh. This was disappointing but I have managed to recover from the trauma. I didn’t have leftover strips of any of the fabrics used on the mini and when I looked at using other fabric for the binding, nothing appealed to me. I do like facing quilts; I just hadn’t considered the issue of those points.

In other projects, I decided what I would do for an RSC quilt this year. Since I skipped doing anything for Rainbow Scrap Challenge last year, the bins are loaded. I need to make some scrappy projects for sure. I saw these pretty diamond shaped blocks over at Bonjour Quilts and thought they would be fun to make each month. Not hard to piece and they will use up some fabric. The blocks will be 6″ x 12″. I suppose I should figure out how many I need to make but I have plenty of time for that. This month is pink and I have cut pieces to make three of them. Pink is probably the scrap bin with the least fabric in it so three will be plenty.

Not a whole lot more to report today! I have had an annoying cold this week. Where the heck I picked that up from, I have no idea. But it means I got no exercise this week and took lots of naps. Hoping to be a little more active this weekend! Hope all of you are well and staying healthy.

Post Update: Now that I am informed about the fussy cutting challenge for Project Quilting this week, this will be entered! Thanks to Wendy and Kathleen for commenting and letting me know. 🙂

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