Friday, October 14, 2016

some of my own

As I worked on my last quilt, I took a few breaks. It took a while, especially as I veered off to work on other quilts. I also pulled fabrics for future projects. And since I have been participating in the 30 Days of Quilt Design challenge, I thought it was time to use those fabrics with my own designs. While working on the design challenge I learned that that little voice in my head is very negative. I would sit down, thinking that I had no ideas, yet ALWAYS within 20-30 minutes of looking around, doodling, and playing with patterns, I had a design. To use these designs, though, I've gotta use my math skills. Again not hard but I found myself wanting to take the easy way and just use some one else's patterns--except that I have had trouble lately finding any of those I want to make. So I started with an easy one.

As drawn, the blocks would be 5" squares. I decided to double those. I also decided to vary the size of the circles, with some about 3" diameter alternating with 4" ones. I finished the top this evening after the sun went down so a curtain pic it is!

I dug around on my backing shelf and found this flannel I will try. It is long enough but will need to be widened, maybe with that feather fabric. Not sure about pairing a flannel with quilting cotton though. Finishing this quilt will be my project 1 of Quarter 4 of the 2016 Finish-a-long.

What else is planned for Q4? I've made plans to use this stack of fabric with another of my designs, building them like log cabin blocks and then cutting them in fourths. I'll definitely do a test block for that!

One of my friends handed me one of her unfinished quilt projects, a t-shirt quilt for a relative of hers. She is over it but wants it done, and I took it on.

I'm not sure how much time I will really have for Q4, given that it is a busy time of year for my family and my job. But I always stack a few just in case, so quilt plan 4 is:
A quilt using another of my quilt designs, a wavy patchwork using leftovers from that quilt top, and this charm pack of Enchanted.

And planned quilt 5 is a quilt for a friend using this set of fabric and Allison Harris' Diagonal Strip quilt pattern.

Looking forward to seeing these quilt designs turned into reality, even if some don't end up finished until next year!

Monday, October 10, 2016

fall break

We always like to spend some time away as a family for fall break. Our fall break coincides with OU Texas weekend, unlike most other schools in our state, so it usually means smaller crowds. Because of a few schedule conflicts, we has a little less time to travel and stayed in-state, checking out some of our local scenery.

But first we had a race to watch:

Then we headed home, loaded the car, and raced a bit ourselves to make it to Roman Nose State Park and get camp set up before the approaching storm and cold front. I did have a back up plan if it was raining when we arrived since I have stayed in a hotel there in Watonga, but did not need it.
And my kids have now slept in a tent in a storm. Probably wasn't on their bucket list though. Both were a great help setting up the tent, and my son took some extra precautions with the rainfly that probably helped it stay in place.

We loaded up that morning and passed a bobcat on the road, my daughter's favorite wild animal. She didn't see it as well as the two in the front seats, but was still pretty pumped. We made an early morning trip to Walmart in another town to get a few warmer things (I forgot to bring any shoes besides my usual sandals, for one), we headed north to Great Salt Plains State Park. They were both giddy when they stepped out on that sand and started digging for crystals.

He even went for a run. So much free space!

We headed back toward Roman Nose but made a few planned stops, first at the Original Sod House museum:

and then at another small state park, Gloss Mountains:

My son was hoping for "real" mountains, so he was not so impressed.

We made it back to our campsite to rest a bit and wait for dad to get there from work. He made it, surprising us by driving right up to our campsite!

The next morning was cold but beautiful.

While the guys hung out at the camp site, my daughter and I went for a short hike.

She started making plans for a birthday party up there. I told her I would NOT carry a cake up!

It was a lovely, short, cold camping trip. Yes, I thought of tossing some quilts in the car as we were packing but then forgot them (and the pancake mix). Thankfully our sleeping bags kept out most of the cold and we got to see some interesting parts of our state, while enjoying the outdoors, sunshine, and family time.

Friday, September 30, 2016

for my husband - September quilt 2

I originally labeled my last quilt September quilt 2 but I took a look back and realized, no, Sherbet was the first quilt of that month. I also noticed that the quilt I was working on was one of the last quilts on my planned finishes for the 3Q Finish a long. So this week this stack (plus a whole bunch more):
turned into this:

This is  before washing so it will look a lot more crinkly and soft once I've finished that step. I'm super excited to be done with this quilt. It is based off of the Snapshots quilt in Elizabeth Hartman's A Practical Guide to Patchwork. I also referenced the checkerboard piecing tutorials from Red Pepper Quilt blog to get these blocks together a bit easier. It was a bit slow at the beginning but once I got a rhythm, it seemed a lot less tedious.

Now I'm off to hang out with some middle schoolers at their color dash. It will balance out all of that black and white I've been staring out this week!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Sherbet - September quilt 1

Once upon a time I went to Hobby Lobby to buy some fabric, probably Kona Snow since that is the only local place I can usually find it. As I wandered a bit (always a bad idea) waiting my turn and just to see what other fabric they have now, I ended up grabbing this fabric too, a pretty floral with a bit of gold metallic:

I brought it home and immediately found a whole bunch of other fabrics that were odd colors for what I usually make, but fit right in with this one. A Pink Castle fabrics mystery box added a few more, including that solid coral. And a well timed reminder of fun, easy quilt layout and the CluckCluckSew free tutorial helped me figure out what to do with this new stack I had created. So now I have this:

There is something about these colors and/or patterns that makes it photograph oddly. Hopefully it is not my camera. The picture above was taken early this morning to try to avoid fighting with the sun, like I did with the ones below from yesterday afternoon.

I backed it with a minty polka dot from JoAnn. I am liking using just one fabric for the back lately, especially with busy quilt tops. I also chose a scrappy binding to use up a bit more of the fabrics I had left. The pattern did not leave many scraps though (a plus!). I am thinking about who I made this for, and if I don't figure it out by the end of the month, I will add it to my shop. This is the last week of the 30% off sale!

While I was taking a few pictures, my daughter was working on our front door with some new chalk markers from grandma.
It will be fun seeing what new ideas she has for it, especially as she gets used to the markers!

Friday, September 9, 2016

and September is here

This month seems to have started off in fast forward, with sports and holidays and even a quick sewing project.

While I wait for gmail to receive the picture email I sent to myself of that sewing project, here are a few highlights from the weekend. We traveled out of town to visit my inlaws as well as watch my son play in a Labor Day soccer tournament.

buddies from elementary school

When we weren't sitting at the soccer field we tried out some new games, like badminton. We brought this one home with us and are looking forward to some cooler weather to play!

We also tried to check out downtown Broken Arrow, but it turns out Labor Day is not the best time to do that if you want to go into any of the stores or restaurants. But the parking was great!

When we got home I started cutting up a stack of fabric to make Allison Harris' Squares and Stripes quilt. Apparently this really is a quick pattern because I was able to finish up the quilt top today (and I worked at the office most of the week)!

It has a mix of fabrics, centered around that floral you can (maybe) see on the second row. Lots of sherbet colors that have accumulated on my shelf somehow. I will definitely need to chose a different time of day to photograph this outside. Dapply shade is lovely, but not for taking photos!

I used up the last of my roll of batting on my last quilt, so I'll need to make a store trip before I can finish. I do plan to list this one in my shop once it is completed, unless something goes horribly wrong with it before then. All other quilts in the store are currently 30% off this month, since I seem to keep making them and the shelves are full!

Linked to Crazy Mom quilts Finish it up Friday.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

August quilt 2- Grace's next quilt

Right on time to have a second finish this month AND before I get to leave for mega staff meeting, I finished up this quilt for my daughter.

The pattern is called Candy Pinwheels by Faith Jones. It was in the Winter 2012 issue of Quilty and it is one that I have wanted to make for awhile. When I saw it took a LOT of fabric and my shelves were overflowing, it was time. The original pattern uses 36 fat quarters but only 4 7/8" strip from each one. I wanted to use them up and don't like cutting that 7/8" so I cut 5" squares and quadrupled it all. It made it twin sized--well, except it is a bit long. I probably could have added more along the side instead of the end. Maybe someday she will have an extra long twin mattress.

The backing is a flannel from JoAnn that I bought about 6 months ago during one of their crazy flannel sales. We were hoping for a mermaid I had seen but ended up with the unicorns and just put it in a corner. Thankfully I remembered it since it was not on my backing shelf.

We are talking about painting her walls sometime, since the yellow as been there since she was born. She's looking at some pale aqua colors. I'm looking at it as a chance to clean out the room.

And just for authenticity, this is all the stuff I pulled off the bed to put the quilt on and take that picture:
You would think we live in a cold climate with all those blankets and quilts.

One more finish of my Q3 finish-along goals!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Books in August

I hadn't been reading tons this summer but it finally got so hot outside that it was time to stay inside and read. We've made a few library trips this summer and at the last one I finally loaded up--and then ordered a few more on Amazon. Now that it is cooler outside (and we sprayed for mosquitos), I am even finding my way out to my hammock again for some reading, although that it a bit less productive since I tend to fall asleep!

Reading in August:

Turning Japanese by Cathy Yardley -- wandered around in the fiction section of our library and found this one

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey. One to reread.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (this one is taking me awhile, mainly cause I need breaks from it)

Present over Perfect by Shana Niequest

 and still reading Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans.

Once I finish that one I plan to read The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty before I need to return it to the library, and Color your Cloth by Malka Dubrawsky. My daughter and I are making some fabric dying plans!