Friday, July 28, 2017

Little Things

After working on bigger quilt projects the last few weeks, I decided I needed a week of little quilts. So, once again, I pulled from that large stack of unfinished projects and got started. First, I finished off a little Civil War reproduction quilt of tiny triangles.

This one gets to be a mug rug on the table by the cozy chair in my office. I wasn't really happy with how the quilting came out (I used paper that distorted the stitches), but decided I wasn't unhappy enough to redo it. Done is done!

The next one is a copy of a swap quilt from years ago. I had liked it enough at the time that I cut out a second set of patches and set them aside for myself. The border fabric makes me think of rainy fall days and wet leaves on a wet sidewalk. I found myself listening to the Carpenters's "Rainy Days and Mondays" as I sewed. So nostalgic!

The next one is another swap quilt copy. The theme for that swap was books and my partner was a big Wizard of Oz fan. After I printed off a sheet of the book covers for her mini, I printed off another one for myself. And speaking of nostalgia, this takes me back to childhood -- way back, just past the dark ages, when there was no cable tv, no streaming, no videos, just whatever played on ABC, CBS, or NBC. Every year it seemed, one of them broadcast the Wizard of Oz. I always loved it. And then there was the magical night when I was at a sleepover at my best friend's house and discovered that there were Oz books. In fact, there was a whole set of them! Once she fell asleep, I spent the rest of the night, enchanted, devouring one book after another. Here's to joyful wonder.

Ruby slippers and all. Because . . . of course.

Moving on, I finally finished the quilting and binding for the reproduction X-block quilt. I love the softness of this one.

And then, one last small project finally finished -- the tote bag using kaleidoscope blocks for pockets.

Because you can never have too many tote bags. At least not in my world. (A teacher's life means there is always plenty to tote about!)

And having had my fun playing with little things for a week, I'm ready now to get back to that larger medallion quilt. Onward, onward.

And hey, little things means I've moved five (count them . . .  five!) projects from undone to done.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bit by Bit, Putting It Together

I'm still working on projects that have been sitting around. This one goes back to 1998, I think. Whew.

I am really close on this. I have most of the piecing for the next borders done. First, the squares in a square you can see here, and then another border of triangles. I just need to figure out the spacer border strips.

I also finished up the round robin baby quilt I had got back to earlier in the spring.

That's headed towards a baby who just arrived a few weeks ago. Isn't that a better place for it than sitting half-done in my closet? (Why, yes, Terrie. Yes, it is. Who knew?)

And, let's hear it for eye surgery. I can once again see well enough to hand quilt! So I'm finishing up this little mini. All I have to do is a line of quilting along the outside edge of the painter's tape. Then, binding. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Next I'm pulling out an old hand quilting project that goes back even further than that 98 medallion!

I am ALL about finishing projects at the moment. I have to admit, I feel burdened by the (embarrassingly large) stack of finished but unquilted, nearly finished, half-finished, and the scattered, hopeful "we've only just begun(s)." Sometimes I see new projects that would be fun to start but then I think about all that's waiting and I flat out wilt.

So, now's the time. Progress may be slow but at least it is progress. I'll also say, though, that it's important to me that I enjoy doing this. I would hate it if working on these older projects just felt like a chore. Fortunately, I'm really enjoying working on them again. And it is a thrill to see them cross the finish line.

Well, some of them are just getting closer to the finish line. I'll take it.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Red, White, and Blue

To all those celebrating, happy 4th of July!  

What a good day for a flag project, right? I'm still pulling out old projects to work on. This morning I finally created a setting for a little needle-punch house and flag I had done up years ago.

That's supposed to be a star in the blue corner of the flag. Of course. My own true love asked why the flag has a fish on it. Okay, then. It's just part of that homemade charm we all love (and some of us achieve more naturally than others).

The binding is a half inch instead of a quarter because of a mistake I made, but sometimes mistakes are for the best. I think the wider binding is a better choice for this one. Let's hear it for the oops that make things better rather than worse!

This last week I finished the blocks for the star quilt and assembled the blocks into rows. I'm waiting to put the rows together though. I signed up for a Craftsy class on machine quilting in sections and I'm considering it for this project. (I've quilted in sections before but I definitely need to refine my technique). In any case, glad to be done with four-inch stars!

I really like the design on this quilt. Ultimately, I'll add a narrowish red border and a wider blue border. Decisions for another day. 

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to the rest of our Independence Day,  remembering the celebrations of my childhood. We'd go to my aunt's where we'd eat lots of good food, pick cherries right off the tree, play ping-pong, throw horse-shoes, and climb trees. Lovely memories.