Friday, July 31, 2020

Kansas Dugout.................

With this shape in a layout of 4 alike it is the Kansas Dugout traditional block.  The only difference is the traditional block has a square set in to the hole made by 4 of the diagonal shape instead of 4 triangles making the square.  I just put the blocks up randomly on the design wall and figured I will play with the layout today.  But, I'm pretty happy with it just the way it is.

I looked at it from a different angle.......not sure if I'll move the blocks around.  I could put them in top to bottom columns of similar colors but there are 5 columns and only 4 main colors.  It will get sewn together today.  There are 30 blocks and 28 different Marcia Derse prints used in the diagonal shape.  It should finish about 60" x 72".

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Final decision.............

I took the parts of 4 blocks to the design wall to decide how to place the corner triangles.  One fabric is white with black scribbles, the other black with white scribbles.  Because they look like hand printed fabric it really isn't consistent across the fabric.  There is almost an even amount of black and white in both of them so the value is pretty close in them.
In the first layout the 4 light corners are in the centers of the blocks and the 4 darks are where the blocks meet.  That is the layout I thought I would like best.
In the second layout 2 blocks have light centers, 2 blocks have dark centers and where blocks meet it is 2 and 2.
IN the third layout the centers of the blocks are dark and where 4 blocks meet it is light triangles.  Like I mentioned above the value of both prints is so close it is hardly noticeable when there are changes.
The fourth layout is the one I thought I would like the least and almost didn't try it.  In the end it is my favorite.  Centers of squares and where 4 blocks meet are all 2 dark and 2 light triangles.  In person the difference between the 2 fabrics shows more but from across the room it all looks the same.  Moral of the story, from a distance this quilt might not be very exciting but close up it is quite interesting.

Now I can sew the blocks together and then I'll go to the design wall and do a quick layout and get it all sewn together.  I also sewed the parts for 7 more Churn Dash blocks so that quilt top is getting closer to a finish.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Taking inventory..............

I cut all of the rest of the black and white triangles for my current quilt and then spent a couple hours putting away piles of fabric.  I cut pieces for a baby quilt too. I sewed a few triangles onto the Marcia Derse blocks.  Nothing that warranted getting out the camera.

Later in the day I took inventory on my progress this year.  I quilted 13 of the tops on these lists and sold 3.  I have added 14 new quilt tops this year with 2 more close to finishing.  The largest number of unquilted tops fall in the 'longer than 80" on the longest edge' category.  Without central A/C the basement this mid-summer just hasn't been cool enough for me to want to quilt a large quilt.  We need a week of temperatures around 70 for it to cool off sufficiently.  

At the beginning of 2015 I had about 50 tops waiting to be quilted.  Right now I have 27 tops so I have made progress.  It sounds like next week might be a cooler week, but they will probably change the forecast in the next few days.  I am so tired of hot days.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A little progress............

I didn't make a lot of progress but I now have 17 sets of 4 with the corners sewn on.  For questions about my pieces, I have GO dies for my die cutter for both the diagonal piece and the corner triangles so I can cut 6 layers at a time.
This is the last 9 that I have ready for corners.   I think I want 30 blocks so I need to find 4 more fabrics.  I actually cut one fabric twice so I may use that one and just look for 3 more.
The heat spell finally ended late yesterday afternoon.  It has been a drain on my energy for many days.  Now the windows are open and the humidity level is not so bad.  

As I sit and sew on triangle corners I'm looking at my churn dash quilt on the design wall.  I want to make the final decisions on it and get it sewn this month too.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Sunday sewing therapy.............

My main floor studio is the room the farthest away from my 2 window A/C units so I didn't spend as much time in there as I thought I would yesterday.  If you look closely the 2 corners are different fabrics.  They are part of the Opposites line of Marcia Derse fabric which came out last year.

This is the layout I'm going to use so there will be all white background triangles in the centers of matching pieces and all dark background triangles where 4 blocks come together.  There will only be a subtle difference but I think it will show up.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

A quilt top!..............

I have been calling this one Onion Rings Strippy but as I see it all sewn together I think I need to call it Basketweave.  The Onion Ring fabric by Brandon Mably gives a consistent weave pattern.  It is 60" x 75.5".  I briefly thought about putting on a 3" Onion Ring border but I think instead I'll use that fabric as the binding.

While I was in the basement doing the photography I decided to cut another quilt with Marcia Derse fabric.  I had so much fun making the Beachy quilt with this shape and I want to make a quilt with the other layout I consdered for that one.  I'll cut the triangle corners today and this will be a mindless sewing project for the next few nights.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

On to another project..............

I have to keep reminding myself when stuck on one project, get busy on another one.  I have had the rows of this one clipped together and laying on my sewing table for a couple weeks so I sewed it all together yesterday.  It was too late to take it down to the pressing table last night so I'll do that today.

I decided I should water my tomato plants yesterday since we aren't expecting any rain until Sunday night.  While I was out there I cut down a bunch of volunteer trees in the flower bed where these blue Balloon flowers are.  Today the heat and humidity are coming back so I probably won't do anything outside except filling the bird feeder.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Hunter star again........

Here are the two previous Hunter Star quilt tops that I have made, 2 traditional layouts.  I guess that is why I had the question yesterday, which layout with my new blocks.

I loved all of your opinions yesterday and I'm still undecided.  I could do the traditional layout on point too which would make a larger quilt than it would be in a straight layout with just the 91 blocks I have already made.  Meanwhile I will take the blocks off the design wall so I can vacuum the basement.

A friend surprised me with a dessert from a specialty shop.  Yum!!

It was a most glorious beautiful day yesterday, cooler and less humid, all of the windows open, no A/C running.  This was the view from my kitchen window as I ate lunch.  The orange Tiger Lilies in the shade are just starting to open.

I have 2 different kinds of Sedum in the front garden.  The purplish one is back to the color it was when I bought it.  I had it in a back garden and it turned all green and I was so disappointed.  It is about 5 or 6 years old now and it likes the east exposure.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Which layout is best?..............

Do you see dark fish swimming left and light fish swimming right?  I see some of them and in other places not so much.  I have 91 Hunter Star blocks sewn and had on my note I need 130 to make a quilt the size I wanted.  I decided to try them on point to see if I could finish a quilt with the number I have made.  Below is the previous layout from 2019 which needs the 39 more blocks.  As much as I liked it back then, I'm not as fond of it now.

I'm so excited to see a Monarch caterpillar munching away on the common Milkweed.

Here is a closeup of the pale pink Balloon Flowers with blue ones in the background.  There is a Red Penstemon stem of seed pods laying across the plant.

The Rose of Sharon have started to bloom and so far only a few Japanese Beetles around them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Different kind of sewing.............

It was baking day again for the Amish Friendship Bread.  I put the remaining starter in the freezer so a couple months from now I can pull out a bag of it and thaw it and then bake again.  Then I made some masks for my great-grandson who will be in first grade this fall.  These are just in case they do in person school and that he might need them.

Here is my wild front garden.  I didn't plant the milkweed there but it started coming up about 5 years ago and I don't want to pull it out.  I did plant the balloon flowers and Red Penstemon and Hostas in there.  The black eyed Susan just moved to a new spot.  The orange Tiger lilies didn't get as tall this year.  This is the garden with the 2 invasive ground covers that I started to dig out last year.  I lost the battle.

These are plants I dug out of that front garden last year and they all survived the winter in pots.  I really need to transplant the Sedum and Hosta in larger pots.

The Swamp Milkweed moved to a different spot too.  Usually I will have 2 or 3 plants each year and I never know exactly where they will come up.

I love the orange Tiger Lilies.  This one was a small plant the last 2 years and this year is one of the tallest.  We got a little more rain yesterday so the plants are all happy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Time for decisions...........

I stuck with it yesterday and finished 8 of the Kaffe churn dash blocks.
Now it is time for decisions, is this the finished size?  Am I going to leave the large block centered side to side?  Is the proportion good or do I need to add another row to the bottom?  I still need to rearrange the blocks for better balance but I need to decide on a finished size first.  The small blocks are 9" so right now it would finish at 54" x 63".

This is a plant in one of my pots.  I love the purple/green mix in them.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Planning and cutting.......

I laid out 2 more blocks to sew but then decide to cut more fabrics for future blocks instead of sewing them.

This is the new batch I cut.  I usually match up pairs before I cut but this time I just pulled fabrics and pressed and cut them.

I paired pieces for 6 blocks and the 2 yellows on the bottom are left over so I will look for 2 more to pair with them.  As I look at this photo I think I will exchange the lightest print on each in the second row with each other.  So now I have 8 blocks ready to sew.

We had several hours of light rain early yesterday and my rain gauge had 1/2" in it.  When the sun came out it was back to hot and steamy.  I went out to check on my gardens and the Annabelle Hydrangeas have all turned lime green now.  They have flopped over with the rain yesterday.

Some of the Hosta blooms are kind of wimpy but this one has larger groups of pale lavender flowers.  To the left of it is the Veronica (Speedwell).

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Working on two...........

I cut 5 blocks but only got three sewn and pressed.  I have used the yellow background dotted fabric as a center in another block so I'll need to watch that they don't end up near each other in the final layout.
There will be lots of rearranging when I get all of the blocks made.
I sewed some more batik strip pieced blocks with the crooked strips.
Two of these were made yesterday, the other 2 last week.  I think I must have about 70 blocks now.

This is one of the first years I haven't dug up and split some of my Hostas and they are getting big.  The one with white edge was a little $4 plant about 4 years ago and now it is huge.  I don't have any place left to plant more so unless someone needs some in the fall I probably won't do any splitting.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

6 blocks finally sewn............

I finally turned on the iron and pressed the pieces and parts and then the seams as I sewed the blocks together.

Then I moved the large Churn dash to the left one row and added the new blocks across the top.  I have 5 more pairs of fabrics chosen for more blocks so that will fill in the left side.  At that point I need to decide if I'm going to have an uneven number of rows across to put the large block off center (or leave it centered as it will be now) and how many rows I need to add across the bottom to make it long enough for a throw quilt.

The super sweet golden cherry tomatoes are doing pretty well.  I thought there would be more of them at one time though.  Maybe later in the summer the plant will get bushier.

My old faithful Rudbeckia is starting to bloom.  I believe this is the black eyed Susan variety.  The orange Tiger Lilies are about 2 feet behind them and since they are in the shade, they aren't blooming yet.  In another week this area should be really colorful.