Monday, July 26, 2021

The End of July - Already??

This month has gone by in a blur, and August will no doubt be the same, with a hopeful harvest of tomatoes, garlic and at least some squash, and more blueberries.  This has been a tough summer for gardeners in these parts with incessant rain for much of the month, flooding, hail damage, etc.

My quilting mojo has been at a low ebb of late, but I did manage one small finish and two more baby/young child quilt tops pieced.  

In the finished department, a baby boy quilt for our quilt ministry, already on its way to its destination, a newborn who is battling several physical issues in the NICU of a nearby city hospital.

Backed with a Peter Rabbit print.

Quick and simple ditch and serpentine machine quilting.
This baby quilt is my 'mini' quilt for the month, since there hasn't been time to create a true mini.

The second project is a baby quilt for our neighbor who is expecting a baby girl sometime in September.  I neglected to take photos when it was in the planning/piecing stage, here it is layered and pin basted, the ditch quilting was started this afternoon.

The soft pinks were difficult for me to photograph accurately especially with the light from the windows.  I had 8 or 9 pinks in my stash, mostly some old-fashioned prints, that I'd thought would work for this one, though they seem to wash out more than I'd like compared with the brights in the panels.  I'm planning on using more of the purple/pink shot cotton for the binding to I hope contain the paleness and keep the whole from fading into nothingness.  Hopefully the dimension added by the quilting will also help.

At the other end of the color spectrum, I was roped into asked if I could make a quick child's quilt last week.  A search of the stash revealed an older circus themed panel  that just begged for some colorful action!  Starting the design process:

And three days later, voila - finished top!  So glad I spent a couple mornings at quilt ministry last spring sewing together all those little leftover HST's from a camp donation quilt of around three years ago.  Perfect for this project!  And there are still more in their swiffer box in the parts department awaiting another project.  The completed top:

Better yet, turns out the quilt is not needed at the moment, so I can enjoy it for awhile until its turn for quilting comes along.  I will say that I am well and truly pleased with this one, it's even better in person than the photos.  And since it's no longer a rush job, hopefully I'll find a great backing fabric for it too.  Though the one from the stash would work just fine, it's just not what I'd like to find for this joyful quilt top.  And apparently it really wants to go to a mystery someone in the future.  It had best make up its mind soon, I think this one will be a difficult one to let go.

And on a closing note, guess who stole the first zucchini squash from the garden?

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

When You Think the Top is Finished ... But It Isn't

 Over the past couple year I've rummaged the stash and scrap bins, hunted down, scrounged, and was gifted some  fabric scraps of black on white, white on black, and as it turns out more than a few with added colors.  All to make a long envisioned black and white triangle quilt using my 60 degree triangle ruler.  

I started cutting the 8" triangles as a reward for working on the quilting of Ruby each afternoon, and by the time she was completed there were enough triangles cut to begin laying them out on the design wall.  My envisioned quilt was to be around 72 inches square, requiring 16 triangles for each horizontal row, and 10 vertical rows.  The design wall is 48 inches wide by about 80 inches high.  Which of course required designing and piecing in three long diagonal sections.   After I had everything stitched together I laid it out on the guest bed.

Oops. You can probably already see the problem, the quilt is wider than it is long.  Apparently in creating the sections I ended up making it 18 triangles wide.   In the scheme of things it ended up to be a fortunate mistake as there were plenty of extra triangles left and it was easy enough to add an extra row to the bottom of the quilt and call it good.  It now measures somewhere around 83x83 inches.  Still deciding whether I'll add a narrow border before machine quilting later this year. At this point the outer edges are stabilized by stitching 1/8 inch from the edges, many of which are on bias.  

I really enjoy working with these large triangles, easy piecing and a fun way to use scraps of  large scale focal, "whatever can I do with this" fabrics. 

 Matching the seams is easy if the seams are pressed open and the little triangle dog ears are left in place to match up. 

I think this quilt will go to one of the grandkids eventually, and there are enough leftover pieces to cut more triangles for a throw size donation quilt or two.

In the garden, the near constant rain over the past two weeks has ruined some of the crops, too late for replanting some of them, the ground is saturated, and the weeds are flourishing.  The blueberries are just beginning to ripen and we're hoping for a couple sunny weeks with much lower humidity so they don't mildew before they ripen completely.  Not too many flowers blooming right now but there are a few lilies

and a little purple poppy - thanks Barbara!

Til next time, happy stitching.