Saturday, December 26, 2015

Last ScrapHappy Saturday of 2015!

 Where has the time gone?  Next Saturday will be a new year, and so today is the final chance to celebrate the Rainbow Scrap Challenge of 2015.  Not that you can't just keep rolling right along into the Rainbow Scrap Challenge of 2016 of course.  I was super excited this week to finish up the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sawtooth Sampler from this year.......
and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge ScrapHappy Sampler from last year.  Tutorials for both are still available, just check for the tabs at the top of the page.  I'm still working on converting everything into printable PDFs, so stay tuned.
The reason for all the frantic finishing?  It was to start new quilts of course.  The first tutorial for the new Rainbow Scrap Challenge Column Along Sampler will be making an appearance soon.  Until then, please share your own finishes, starts, or general scrap using plans.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day Finish

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler Quilt of 2015 is officially done!  Just in time too, 'cause I started the 2016 sampler yesterday.  
The back is a speckled batik along with a stripe of grey to make it wide enough.  
It was quilted with an edge to edge pantograph, and bound with a light green leaf print batik.  The fabrics were hand dyed especially for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge by Vicki Welsh.  

Thursday, December 24, 2015

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas to all!  We have just finished a rousing game of Apples to Apples and are settled in with freshly tie-dyed PJs and a Christmas movie.  We are all trying to ignore the 85 degree weather and enjoy the holiday spirit.  
 I am doing a bit of binding stitching during the movie of course.  Just two more in the hand sewing pile.
Christmas Eve trivia: did you know that the kid from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is also the same actor who plays Leonard on Big Band Theory?  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Still Organizing

I've made some room for sewing things by moving out some of my old scrapbooking supplies.  It's been so very long since I did any scrapbooking at all.  I haven't gotten rid of it all yet, but at least it all together and can be sorted through in time.  So in one side of the craft desk I put 2.5 inch squares.  that seems to be the size I use most, and having them handy might work?  There is a little set of drawers that goes along with the desk and I put the WIP/UFOs that did not have a home.  The top drawer is Farmer's Wife.  The middle holds the parts for the Dear Jane border (center blocks are all finished).  The bottom has OMG/Churn dash blocks.  I did a count on those while I was tidying, and I am pretty darn close to having enough blocks.  
The middle drawer has small cutting mats and miscellaneous supplies, while the cubbies on the left side hold all my notions.  Maybe if they have a handy home they won't always be on the desk top?  Time will tell on that one.
For now, I think I've had enough organization.  I haven't sewn a stitch in days.  The inverted stars are all pinned and ready to sew.  Maybe I can get another top ready to go?  

ScrapHappy Sampler is Done!

 I just took the last stitch in the binding for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler of 2014!  It was finished nearly a year ago, but I saved up all the big quilts to work on in mass.  During the sewing, I have started calling it the ScrapHappy Sampler.
 These are the random solid squares that got used for the back.
 I found a light grey print for the binding.  Lots and lots of binding.
Sydney and Kurt came outside to help hold it up for a final photo shoot.  There are 100 6 inch sampler blocks in this quilt.  Tutorials for each are available on the RSC14 Sampler tab at the top of the page.  I've been working slowly on getting everything converted to printable PDF files, but I started first on the RSC15 Sampler page, so this quilt is next on the list.  Sewing comes first though, doesn't it always?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

And Sew Ends the Charade

We've been in this house for 11 years now, all of that time pretending that the sewing studio was really a guest bedroom.  Madly picking everything up when guests arrived, and then returning it to its studio state as soon as the door shut behind them.  I was pretty sure that the quilting machine would fit in its extended state if we just moved the bed.
Then the table would go where the Handi-Quilter used to live.  Looks like there is room next to the sewing machine table for a cutting/ironing station.  So now I just have to put everything back.  Maybe a little bit of cleaning and organization at the same time?  Or maybe a bit of binding stitching instead.  I am all tired out!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Three Down.....

Just pulled the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sawtooth Sampler of 2015 off of the quilting frame!  I'm going to sit and admire it for a few minutes, but maybe after that I'll trim the edges and make up some binding?  Or maybe tomorrow?  The main project for tomorrow will be to start the reorganization of the sewing room.  With Kurt home, he can offer lifting and carrying help.  
Anna sent this photo of her using the scanning electron microscope at FIT today.  Doesn't she look all official?  I hope her data turns out.  She sure is learning a lot during the process.  


 I can't really remember the last time that I used a pantograph on a quilt.  Maybe twice or thrice, ever?  The design I really wanted to do on this quilt would not work at all on my machine.  Not enough sewing space.  I though I should surround each of the stars and extend into the alternate blocks with big diamonds of some sort.  Sew not possible.  Knowing that I want to get this quilt done soon so that I can get the machine out of the formal living room, I thought I'd go with an edge to edge pattern.  
So I pulled out this little swirly arc type pattern and tried to remember just what to do.  I think its coming back to me.  The funniest part is, that each member of my family has wandered by at some point during the process and asked why I was quilting from the wrong side.  I guess they do notice things.
We all went as a family this morning to watch Star Wars.  Everyone except Anna who went to FIT to work on her science fair project.  I really enjoyed it. Everyone did except Kurt, he thought it depended too much on the greater story arc and didn't stand alone enough.  Today is his first official day of being unemployed.  His new job won't start until January and so he is hoping to enjoy a little quiet time around the house.  We'll see how that goes.  He usually gets stir crazy after just a few days.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Slow Sunday Tidying Up

A couple of weeks ago, I read a review for a book that sounded interesting.  I'd been planning to spend some time over Christmas break doing some organization and cleaning, so I popped it into my Amazon cart and got started reading right away.  The idea was really simple.  Just take everything you own, throw it in a big pile, and pick out only the things your really love to put back.  The author  suggests doing it one category at a time.  So I pulled out all of my tops that evening and only picked out the ones that I like and wear.  The rest went in a basket to give away.  Magic!  Today I dumped out a cupboard and drawer where the kids keep school supplies.
I threw everything in a couple of laundry baskets and told them to pick out anything the wanted to keep.  Anna got two notebooks and a binder, Sydney picked a bag of seeds.  Ryan didn't want anything.  So I tidied up what was left and put back what I thought we actually needed.  Look at that!  Nothing will be falling out next time we open the cabinet door.  Hard to imagine.  Kurt wants me to do the Tupperware next.  I need to do books because they don't fit on the shelves anymore.  One at a time.  One at a time.  
 After all of that hard work, I am more than ready to settle in for some slow and steady binding stitching.  The 6 inch sampler from 2014 was on the top of the pile, so I started it last night while watching some TV with the kids.  Two sides done and two more to do.
 I think, after I have rested a bit, that I will load up the 2015 sampler quilt.  I still have no idea how I want to quilt it.  Maybe something will come to me as I do the prep work?  First though, I am headed over the Kathy's Quilts to see what other slow stitching is going on.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What I Did Today

Sydney and her friend Sarah made cookies today.  I hope I can also convince them to clean up a little bit?
I was in the formal living room quilting madly.  SEW many straight lines.  They all started to blur after a while.  Each block got a little quilt scribble.  Lots of teardrops and swirly stars, a few wobbly lines.  Just enough to hold everything in place and even out the puffiness of the batting.  
 When I got tired of standing, I made up some binding for Hawaii Sunset.  Hand stitching it will make a nice relaxing evening plan.
 Eventually though, I got to the final row of the 6 inch sampler quilt.  TaDa!  Now I guess it is back to binding again.  Yeah!  A reason to sit some more.  While I was quilting, and quilting, and quilting, I had a brilliant idea as to how to rearrange the sewing room to keep the frame set up to full length all the time.  I will let you know if it works.  It sure would be easier than taking over most of the house.

ScrapHappy Saturday - Sew Begins Break

 Today is the first official day of winter break!  I'm going to keep quilting some more on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler from 2014.
Then, if I feel like sitting for a bit, I've got three quilt tops pinned or bagged and ready to sew. End of the year organizing of fabric will round out the list for a full day of quality quilting time.  
I hope you are finding a little time among all the holiday festivities to think about ending and begining anew.  The linky is available below for all who wish to join and share news of their rainbow scrappiness.  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Printable Patterns

I didn't have a morning exam today and didn't want to start something new.  So I've been working hard on getting printable PDF files made up for the RSC Sampler of 2015.  Check out the tab and let me know if there are problems.  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Quilting Again

 Hawaii Sunset was done, leaving the frame open and ready.  It didn't take too long to load the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler of 2014 onto the frame.  The grey stripes are going to have horizontal quilting lines and the white stripes will have vertical.  Then each of the block will get some little bit of individual attention.
Once it was loaded, I had to quilt a few lines, just to make sure that everything was working as it should.  There was a work social after school today or I would have gotten further, but tomorrow is the last day of exams, so finishing this one up shouldn't take too long once the working thing isn't taking up most of my days.  I actually abandoned my AP class today to go to the dentist before our insurance ends tomorrow.  The new coverage won't start until February which would have totally messed up my winter and summer rotation.  The kids weren't due until January, so I pushed them off to the other end, the orthodontist says we will just redo all the math once the new policy is in place.  So many funny things you never think about when planning a job change.  

Background Fabric?

I think this solid parchment colored fabric from Connecting Threads will serve as the background for my column along quilt.  I got the sampler fabrics in the mail yesterday from Vicki and can't wait to start sewing.  Isn't that a happy collection of fabrics?
I did the math this afternoon and 3 yards should be plenty for the background fabric of your choice.  Unless of course you want to be scrappy, then no math is needed.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Next Up?

So Hawaii Sunset has just come off of the frame! It needs a bright green binding, but I'm  not sure if I have just the right fabric.  I probably used it all up on the top.  I might just trim it out and wait until the next time I am in a binding mood.  Sorry for the dreary picture.  Even in Florida with a high today of 85, the days are still pretty short right now.
The Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler from 2014 is next on the frame.  I know just how I want to quilt it, so it gets to go before the quilt from this year.  I have officially taken over almost every room in the house.  The quilting frame is taking up the formal living room.  Three quilts are still draped over the dining room table.  I have Hawaii Sunset on the Family Room floor next to the Dear Jane that I have been finishing up near the coffee table where I spread out the new Rainbow Scrap Challenge fabrics for 2016.  The study and laundry room have been mine for years.  My husband is such a patient man.  Honestly, he is out having a beer with a friend from work in preparation for his last day of work.  Did I mention that he got a new job?  Friday will be his last day at the old job, but he won't start the new one until after the holidays.  It will be nice for him to have some time to putter around the house.  Maybe I should pick up some of these quilts so that he doesn't trip over them?
Just two more days of exams left.  I was working on finalizing the designs for the column along quilt while my kids were finishing their test today.  I just need to decide on a background fabric and I will be all set to start sewing.  My knee jerk reaction is always to go with a white or cream, but it would be so much fun to branch out this year. I am trying to minimize the background fabric as much as possible, but I am sure there will need to be some other fabrics mixed in now and again.  Contrast is a necessary part of block design after all.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sewing on a School Night

I hardly ever sew on a school night.  I was so happy though, to see a box of my replacement Handi Quilter rails waiting by the front door.  One whole day early!  I guess it should have occurred to me though, that a replacement rail isn't the same as a pair of rails.
Alas, I am making it work.  I am so happy to be working on down my list of tops to quilt that I just don't want to stop!  Hawaii Sunset was already on the frame.  It is getting Baptist Fans in Carolina blue thread.
Today was a full length school day, but with shorter classes to allow for the first exam.  We will do two exams on each of the next three days, but with early dismissal to give the kids more time to study in between.  Though it is pretty stressful for them, I can see the end in sight.  Just three more short days till winter break!  Can you tell that I am a little bit excited?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

World's Slowest Hand Quilter

I might just be the slowest hand quilter ever.  This small Dear Jane Quilt has been in the works for years and years.  The last quilt that I hand quilted was an Elm Creek Sampler, done in 2011.  It took 4 years to get it quilted.  So I guess that makes this one about due as well.  Everything is done except the last half of the border.  That shouldn't take too long, right?
Usually I use a plastic quilting hoop  I switched after breaking of couple of wooden hoops in quick succession.  For the border though, I pulled out a rectangular PVC frame, I think it will make it easier to work on the feathers near the edge of the quilt without having to reposition the hoop so often.  An added bonus is that I can break it down for compact storage during travel.  
This little broken dishes star quilt got layered up yesterday to be next on the list.  It is made from bonus HST units that got squared up to 1.75 inches.  They weren't quite big enough for 2 inches, but 1.5 seemed too tiny.  I even cut the inner border to 1.75 inches, just to remain consistent.  I'm thinking about doing two lines in the sashing strips, a quarter inch in from each side, them maybe some diagonal lines through the blocks and cornerstones with something fancy in the border.  I'll link up with Kathy for Slow Stitching Sunday, but also with Cindy at Oh Scrap.  Nothing is scrappier than bonus HST units after all.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Frantic Finishing

 So I was having trouble with the quilt frame.  I had split the rails in order to set it up to a smaller size which would fit in the sewing studio/guest bedroom.  Splicing them back together to get the frame back to full width was a bit of a problem, so I ordered a set of replacement rails.  I thought that they would be here last week, but they won't arrive until Wednesday.  So instead, I went back to the list and worked again on getting some more flimsies ready to finish.
Broken Dishes Stars was first up this morning.  These were bonus HST triangles that got put together a while ago.  I never had just the right border fabric, so instead I pulled out two random greens and got it finished up.  This is a small quilt, meaning the backing fabric came from a single width of fabric -- no piecing involved!  It is layered and pin pasted.  I think this will be my next hand quilting project.
Next up were the Chevron Postage Stamps.  The blocks have been sewn together for a while now.  There was some hot pink flannel yardage on the hanger with the quilt, so I stretched that out with some extra green plaid flannel and it is ready to go.  Lizzie is my always patient helper in trying out anything on the floor.  
 Here is the finished flimsy with a small grey border, ready to go on to the frame whenever it is free again.

So obviously I wasn't the one who ended up taking Sydney down to West Palm for lacrosse today.  Kurt volunteered to drive her down.  They have more games tomorrow, so they are in a hotel overnight.  That means more sewing time for me!  Can't wait.  

ScrapHappy Saturday - Ending Again

The end continues.  I hope you are finding the time to finish up some of your Rainbow Scrap Projects from this year.  I know that I am working hard to get the last few WIPs worked through the system.  I will feel so much better about starting new projects if I can shorten the list a bit first.  Cherry Blossom and Bulk Mail are my two most recent finishes.
The house has been fully invaded by my quilting supplies, but it will all return to normal as soon as I have gotten a bit more accomplished.  Crossing each new quilt off the list is actually pretty satisfying.  Misterlinky is below for anyone who would like to share their progress.  Add a link to your blog post and then take a few minutes to visit everyone else.  Who knows, you might just find the right inspiration for next year's project, which might be just the motivation you need to take those last few stitches on this year's project.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Moving on Down the List

 After two evenings of binding stitching while hanging out with the kids, Cherry Blossom is officially done.  I used a happy green polka dot on the back and a repeat of the inner border purple for the binding.  It even has a hanging sleeve because Anna thought we should hang it in the study.
 Ryan was kind enough to hold it up outside for a quick photo.  Not that I gave him much of a choice.
 I've had a stack of solid squares ready for the back of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler quilt for quite a while.  Sewing them together randomly took just a couple of evenings this week.  Now that the quilting frame is fully extended, it is the perfect time to quilt up the last three big quilts on my list.
Hawaii Sunset is loaded now.  I think this sampler might be next, just because I think I know how to quilt it.  Still pondering how to quilt this year's sampler.  Hopefully inspiration will strike.
Not now though, Kurt and I have a Christmas party tonight.  Sydney has a two day out of town LAX tournament starting tomorrow, and the Anna and Ryan are at a powerlifting match on Sunday.  Soon though, the semester will end and quilting will take priority.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Slow Down On Sunday

I have plenty of batting.  Still, I can't resist the urge to use up the bits and pieces.  So yesterday started with piecing leftover batting together for the Cherry Blossom Quilt.  
 I used a freehand Baptist Fan pattern in gold thread.  That went pretty quickly, especially compared to the pebbles of Bulk mail.
Purple Binding finished it off and Cherry Blossoms is ready for a little bit of slow stitching on Sunday.  
 I have just a few more orange peel blocks to finish off as well.  I'd like to have all the blocks done for this by the end of the year.  Those basket blocks are ready to put together as well.
 The next two quilts on my list are giant.  It gets pretty cramped in my sewing room when the quilting table is extended all the way out, so I decided to pull it out into the formal living room on a temporary basis.  Kurt is mocking me for taking over the entire house.  What good is having a house is you don't use all of it though?  It doesn't have to stay here forever, just until those next few big quilts get done.
First though, I worked hard yesterday, I think I might settle down to do a little slow stitching.  Head over to Kathy's Quilts to see the other handwork people are enjoying on this day of rest.