Thursday, January 12, 2017

Really Random Thursday 1.12.17

Quick!  A blog post, while I have a few minutes.  Crazy that I can blog 6 times last week and barely get to it this week.  Part of it is that I don't have a lot of sewing that I can share right now.

I spent all day sewing Saturday at studio sewing time with other quilters.  9:30-8:30, stopping a bit for eating.  But I can't really show you any of it.  SECRET SEWING (not the kind that gets published, the kind that gets gifted) The above picture is the best I can share.  Overall there will be 30 blocks - all fusible applique - stitched down.  It takes a while!
In other sewing news, I did make my first ever New York Beauty block.  Practice for our new Gridster Bee (I may have shared this already)  I also made the bee blocks.  I'll share them soon.

And also for sewing, I made my first week of the Temperature Quilt 2017.  We had temps ranging from 43 to -2 Fahrenheit.  I think this week will be just as diverse.
 On the kitten front, they are more adorable everyday.  They are starting to explore outside of their "nest", but are still confined to the bathroom for safety.
 They are also rather camera shy, and I don't want to blind them with the flash, so somewhat hard to photograph.  The above is two shots each of two of the kittens.  One wouldn't look at me. They are already developing personalities, which is interesting to see.

 I shared my new plan for meals on IG.  The kids drive me crazy asking (5 times) everyday.  It is also good because it helps me plan my weekly meals - no last minute "What am I going to make today?"  Someone suggested a kid might take over and write in McDonald's (Culvers in our case)  but instead, this happened:

Burritos is definitely a favorite around here.

 At work Mr. Riley always has flavored water in the cafeteria - and the kids always want to know the weird combinations of the day.  I opened this at Christmas and initially thought I wouldn't do anything with it.  But it is rather fun to try out different infusions.  So far my favorite is strawberry.  I suppose it gets me drinking more water, too.

One last sewing thing.  I'm trying to do something with these extra lighthouse pieces.  They are all set to be quilted into minis.  Perhaps I'll push on tonight.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Temperaure Quilt 2017 Quilt Along

I mentioned a couple of posts ago I was debating about doing a Temperature Quilt this year.  I mentioned it on Instagram, too, and between the two, at least three people expressed that they wanted to do it too!  So I guess I'm making it official.
So lets talk about a couple things if you want to play along.

1. Fabrics.  You will need a range of fabrics representing the range of temperatures for where you live.  You can usually find your extremes by a web search.  Here in WI I'm ready for a range of:
-20 through 109 degrees Farenheit.  I've assigned them every 5 degrees for more interest.  You could do every 10 degrees and use less fabric.  Maybe if you live in a place that doesn't change much you could do every 1 or 2 degrees.

2. Timing.  I found it worked best to do blocks for a week at a time.  Usually on Sunday afternoons I would pull out the fabrics, write down the numbers for the week and then make the blocks. Two weeks is doable, but more than that takes a while. 

3. Getting your information.  I would recommend getting your temperature from a consistent source.  Where I live it matters quite a bit, because Lake Michigan causes something called "Lake Effect" which means the closer you are to the lake, the more the weather and temperatures can change.  Generally cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  I really like Weather Underground because they keep a historical calendar, so you can look up all the past information you need.

4. Rules.  Well, there aren't really any. At least not yet.  If I get enough interest I'll see what I can do about prizes and motivation and such.  I will for sure write a post once a month for progress and encouragement.

This was my original mock-up from 2014.  My quilt turned out pretty close.  I only did each day's high.

The following is loosely what I'm planning.  I will for sure do half square triangles for highs and lows.  I will not do so much sashing (the grey) if any at all.  I consider this an evolving project.
 Here are some other ideas for you to check out.
The half square triangles are for highs and lows.  Each vertical row is a month.
 Vertical rows, no sashing.
 Vertical rows, sashing, highs only.

This quilt along is really quite free form - the few people I've talked to have different ideas they are trying out.  Hexies and diamonds have both been brought up.

So, if you are interested - go ahead and leave a comment on this blog post - or on Instagram.  We'll use the hashtag #tempquilt17.  Tell all your friends.  If it gets bigger than a few comments - I'll look into an official sign up sheet.

If you comment below, make sure you are NOT a no-reply blogger.  If you are, I cannot reply back to you.

Lady of the Lake Lighthouse Quilt

 My first quilt finish of 2017! 

 A Lady of the Lake Lighthouse Quilt.  Why this image, you ask? 
Because it's my local quilt guild's logo.  Cool, huh?  We are right on Lake Michigan, with Wind Point Lighthouse being a bit of a destination.  
This is very much a just for me quilt.  The quilting isn't perfect, neither are my points.  I just really wanted to try making it.  I used my Silhouette to cut out the lighthouse, which was nice, but tracing would have worked, too.
 A quilting close up. I really wish I had done the center stipple denser (more dense?)  The fabrics are Kona White and the blue is from IKEA - almost a canvas weight, but not quite.  It doesn't have the give that regular quilting cottons have.  I actually would have preferred a darker blue - but I as I'm trying not to buy more fabric, I used what I had enough  of.
 Obviously a pieced back - happy to be sewing for fun and using stuff up.  As you can see - I hung it up right away.  Finished size is about 29" square.  Batting was some left over 80/20 franken-stitched and Aurifil thread for quilting.

In other news - I'm working on a little quilt along for a 2017 Temperature Quilt.  I have at least three others making one along with me, so I though I'd do something official!  Check back Monday for details.

 Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday Woot!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

WIP Thursday 1.5.17

I hardly did any sewing over the holidays.  A bit of hand work, but that was about it. I'm finally getting back into some projects.
 This one above should be a finish to share with you tomorrow, that's why I'm showing the back.  I've had the idea for a little while.  Just needs trimming, binding and sleeves.  I'll be machine binding, so should be an easy afternoon nap finish today.

 I am all done with last year's Spelling Bee - just waiting for a couple more words.  This year I'm in a new one.  The Gridster Bee.  We are supposed to try out new things in our blocks.  The first month the Queen has requested a New York Beauty block.

  I have never made one.  Ever. So I was thinking about the fact I would need to do a practice block first. (that tricky paper piecing thing)  In fact, the directions are in German, and the word "damit" is on there a lot.  I don't know what it means.  I hope its not a sign.

 Then I thought I might need to do practice blocks every month.  So then I thought I would pull a fabric stack, and do a block for my self each month - the practice block and at the end, I'd have a little sampler quilt, too.  Super smart, I know!  I had this little stack of Gudrun Erla fabrics in my pre-cuts pile and decided it would be perfect.

 The Queen has asked for royal blue, red, pink, and a bit of black and yellow.  Bright with white backgrounds.  This is my (huge) pull.  I'll narrow it down for the actual block(s).

AND, I'm thinking of doing another Temperature Quilt.  I thought about it last year, too.  In fact the fabrics are pulled and labeled, already.  I'm thinking half square triangles to show the high and the low each day.  (you'll remember Cindy of Live a Colorful Life did highs and lows - of Two cities)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Secretary Make Overs

I wasn't really sure what to title this post, so you'll just have to read on to understand what I'm talking about.

I have two different secretaries in my dining room - each is used differently.  I use one as my china cabinet, and one as a sewing and office supplies cabinet.
 Secretary number 1.  I used to have the glass door covered with silver wrapping paper - from the inside. 
And I would tape ideas and such on the inside of it.  The paper was getting ripped up and there were a couple other things I wanted to do in the room - so it was time to make some changes.

I replaced the wrapping paper with this bee and crown fabric - and then decided I also wanted to cover up my pre-cuts mess.
Helper cat.

The door fabric is unhemmed - just cut to measure and taped on with masking tape.  The curtain is hemmed and attached using sticky back Velcro. 
This is secretary number two  It is a little hard to tell, but the door on this one is curved glass.  I use this one to show off my mother's china.  And yes, I do use it occasionally.  The downside to this piece of furniture is that two of the drawers are missing.
 This is what it has looked like all the years we've used it.  I have been meaning to make a curtain for it forever, and actually it was the fabric that finally pushed me to do all these little projects.
 And so a curtain for the secretary.  Again, just a hemmed square with sticky back Velcro.
 Finally, we also have built in cabinets between the dining room and kitchen.  Very nice and handy, but no one wants to see the mess.  I also had the wrapping paper up here, but as you can see, it was coming off.
 This is where I keep my cookbooks - so not terribly tidy, and not really something I want everyone to see.  Although you're seeing it now.  But you know what I mean.

 I taped up unhemmed pieces of fabric on these doors, too.  In hindsight, you can't really see the print, so a plain fabric probably would have been a better choice, but hey, its done and I even did them all before Christmas Dinner.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Catching Up - Happy New Year! 2017

Whew.  Happy New Year!
This post is a summary of the last two and a half weeks, or so.  My kids were off for two weeks, plus weekends - a total of 17 days.  They went back to school this morning.  Even the three year old clearly needed a break from a full house. 

The last couple weeks of the year were filled with:
 Music! (three of those kids are mine)
 Fun, new presents! (A Singer Featherweight for me)
 Music! (Rock band)
 A trip to the zoo in the snow.  I love how zebras have a seam down the middle of their back.  Also, these two were much more tan/brown/pink than white.

 Lions in the snow!
 Music! (cello recital)

 And apparently I will manifest creativity in 2017!  Let's hope so!