Swamped with Swap blocks.

This evening I went digging through one of the storage tubs of swap blocks.  Yes, there is more than one storage container of swap blocks, and yes they are very large containers.  I can stand up and proudly say, my name is Denise and I am a swapaholic (though I do hold a friend responsible for getting me started – definitely an enabler). 🙂   I love participating in and  hosting them (most of the time – being a hostess can sometimes drive you nuts).  But picking out a pattern or theme and then seeing all those lovely blocks come in to swap out – such an easy way to get lots of variety for a quilt.
Here’s the swap blocks I pulled out to work on. Moon Over the Mountain — tho I think I’m going to call my quilt “Setting Sun/Rising Moon” since some look more like sunset and others more moon like.  All the fabrics in them are batiks. I’ve got them all on the design wall, arranging, rearranging, sitting back and staring, shifting blocks around some more.  So have now taken a photo since it’s easier to see from a photo if there’s too many blocks of same color in an area, etc.
There’s still some shuffling to be done and I think one row will come off the side and be added to the bottom since I don’t really like square quilts.  I’m going to be needed a couple graduation quilts next spring so this may be one of them.
I haven’t decided on how I’ll sash them so need to stare at them a while longer but have two ideas I’m contemplating.  Of course the puzzling thing is in looking at these blocks, I made the vast majority of them myself.  Not unusual since I normally make extra blocks for myself when swapping but I know I swapped a fairly good stack of blocks so either (1) I made a previously project with some of them and I just can’t remember it at the moment or (2) they were really not all together in the same baggie and somewhere in the swap boxes there are more of them.  So I may have to search the other boxes to see if there are any more.
In the meantime, I’ll just shift a block or two around and try to figure out what kind of fabric to use between the blocks.

Friday’s quilting

Back into the big hat box I went today in search of another project to finish.  I found 9 blocks from an apron block swap that are siggy blocks signed by the makers, along with some apron print fabrics and kitchen print pieces.  So sashed and bordered the blocks into a simple little quilt and pieced the leftover sashing and fabrics into the quilt backing so it’s all ready to go.
Here they are
I also pulled out of the seemingly bottomless hat box a group of wine glass blocks from a swap at a quilt retreat three years ago.  I’ve made at least one project with some of them in the past but have this group left over.  So have them up on the design wall contemplating what I want to do with them. I may need a trip to the quilt shop for some “wine cork” print fabric I know I saw there. 🙂  In the meantime, I think I’ll switch to digging in one of the swap block tubs to see what I can find in there to work on tonight.

Progress finally

I finally settled down to some sewing yesterday.  Inside the hatbox I found some blocks  that had been made by a group of us on vacation two years ago.  They were to be used for charity quilts. All the blocks have one common wild fabric in them – a zigzaggy/stripey geometric of bright colors – that one of the gals brought along and that’s the fabric everyone worked with to make their block adding other fabrics individually chosen.  So I made the last few blocks needed so that we coud have two nice size lap quilts to donate.
Here they are in all their bright, chaotic glory….
The flash is affecting some of the colors since it was rather dark in my sewing room when I was taking this photo last night but trust me – they are definitely eye poppers with the purples, lime green and yellows.  And one of the blocks is made up of 4 swap blocks I had also found in the hat box. 
I may have to delve back into the hat box again today and  – or maybe one of the swap block boxes – to find something else to work on today.

Busy week

It’s been a busy week – or first three days of the week – at the office and now I can relax since I’ve got a 4 day weekend.  Hopefully there will be much sewing involved but I’m having a hard time getting started on any project today and it’s mid afternoon now!
I did just load another EQ file to the pattern download page.  Here’s my actual wallhanging made from the pattern  – it hangs on my sewing room wall.
Since I can’t decide what to sew on today I’ve had to take drastic measures. I have this lovely hat box
1003220009  and in this lovely hat box are … well quilting stuff of course but I’m not sure specifically what got stored in it.   Hmmm , right on top I see swap blocks, leftover orphan blocks, oh yes a sunflower block I colored in using the Prang colors I bought at WI Quilt Expo last year…
So the plan is to find something in this hat box and FINISH it, or at least get it nearer to finished so time to delve in to the box after a bite of banana bread for a snack
Oh yes – made much banana “stuff” earlier this week to take for work for my birthday treats!  Contrary to the fact that my parents called me on the wrong day to wish me a happy birthday (it was actually my brother’s) 🙂 and contrary to the fact this is NOT the first time they have done it, Tuesday was a good birthday which started with one of the attorneys bring me a chocolate raspberry crepe for breakfast. YUMMMM!  I took this in to work to treat the others,
Large loaf of banana bread (well I kept that one at home).  Small loaves are banana/blueberry bread.  And Banana cocoa mini chocolate chip muffins.  Do no look at the far right corner of the muffin pans — someone stole some of them from the pan!  The big muffin looking things were just made in mini bundt pans and a mini angelfood cake pan since I ran out of muffin pans.  Okay – those bigger ones stayed at home too (and I forgot until now they are in the freezer!) hmmm…. They were all quite tasty and I finally depleted the banana supply that was in the freezer.

New EQ Project loaded

I loaded another free EQ6 project to the EQ page  – my Yellow Rose of Texas siggy quilt.   I have actually made this one.  I had a total of 10  siggy blocks from our quilt retreat, Romp in Texas Hill Country, and I turned those siggies into star blocks.  The original signature block was a “cracker” block which looks like this
We also swapped a fat quarter of the colored fabric we used in the siggy block along with the block so everyone had extra fabric to incorporate  into their project since there were so few blocks.
So here’s the stars I made out of them.  And of course the yellow rose blocks were the perfect block to commemorate our Texas trip.
My finished wallhanging – a reminder of a great week spent quiting with friends. (Photo is a bit washed out from the sun since the yellows are a bit more vivid in person)
Well I’ve been procrastinating making the HSTS  I need for the next round of this quilt. 
It does have the plain green border added around the outer edge which is not shown in this photo, but I’ve found stuff to do on  the computer, dinner to make, etc., and avoided the HSTs.  I think I may leave them for tomorrow morning.  I also discovered that I don’t have enough 6.5″ blocks for the last round of this quilt to have been going through EQ to find some more designs to add – the last round alone takes 60 6.5″ blocks!  Plus I stopped to do a little work on a project for a friend so I think tomorrow it is for those HSTS.
I ‘ve now watched the same movie at least two times, maybe three — or I shoud say it has played that many times.  I haven’t been paying much attention to it so I may go sit and knit on my socks for a while and see if I can figure out what this movie is all about if I start it over again. 🙂

More progress

It’s been a busy week so I haven’t been on the computer but tonight I finally had time to get a little sewing done and got another round of blocks added to the top I have been working on.  I had to turn it sideways on the design wall so I had room to work.  Here it is with it’s latest addition.
I’m hoping to get the whole top together this weekend but we’ll see.
In the meantime, I started another sock – no I didn’t stick to my resolve to make the mates to the other two single socks I’ve got.  I had a lovely new yarn I wanted to try.  But I’ll start on one of the mates this weekend on the extra set of needles so can leave one in my bag to work on while going to and from work, and the other I’ll work on at home.
Here’s the latest one I’m working on with ribbed top – I just love the colors in it- it’s Mini Mochi color 103  – and with the merino wool in it, is lovely and soft.
It’s been raining off and on for days – but my little garden pots are doing well.  There’s a least 15 little bell peppers now and I keep finding a few more baby tomatoes have sprouted every day. I’m anxiously awaiting the first ripe ones.

What’s on the Design wall?

Well I’ve fallen behind in posting this but here it is anyway.  Last time I had about 100 6″ blocks up on the wall.  Here’s  what it looked like last time I posted it.  There’s been a bit of work since then.


Here’s what it looks like today….1003150001

A few rounds have been added but I had to pull most of the other blocks off so I had room to work.  I may have to put it up sideways so I can arrange the next round of blocks around and it decide which ones go where.  I’ve got 2 more rounds of blocks to add with another HST border in between and the plain borders around them.  Course it took a while to get to this point since I got my section switched and sewed two side sections in their opposite location.  It wouldn’t have mattered but both sections had block with a one way design which of course ended up upside down.  So ripped them back off, switched one other block around, and still ended up with a heart block that is hanging upside down!  I’ll fix that later – it’s just applique so I can take it off and turn it around but I was not ripping one of those rows off again.  This also caused the corner blocks to now be positioned the way I planned but I can live with that.

Stashbusting week 29

Well I’m not very good at this “busting” of stash.  I’ve been using it but I clearly love buying fabric.   In looking at my totals, I’ve used a net amount so far of just over 27 yards – when compared to the purchases total so far, it doesn’t seem like much.  But then I got to thinking,  I’ve actually used 147.25 so far (and purchased 120 to date) , and if you consider that I work and am gone form home every week day from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. (using up much coveted quilting time) then using the amount of fabric I have so far is pretty dang good!  See you can justify anything if you  try hard enough. 🙂  Course there’s a couple big projects that are in the works that I’m not adding totals in until the end – yes more justification – so my numbers are actually a bit better but as I said, I love to buy fabric.
If I look at the number of projects I’ve finished (as in quilted, bound, totally finished) so far in the last six months, many of which were tops waiting to be quilted in the top stash, I’ve finished 20 projects ranging from crib size quilts  to queen size quilts and another dozen or so smaller ones – most of which went to charity causes.  Not too shabby.  (more justification?).  So heck I’m not feeling guilty about buying fabric especially since most of those projects I finished all went to charity causes so some of the fabric I bought is actually a project for me, mine all mine, which I seldom do.
 I see from the comments on the Judy’s site that I’m in good company with other fabric purchasers this week.  The real problem is I’m a good quilt fabric power shopper.  🙂  I know what I like and it takes me very little time to pull together fabrics. Give me 15 minutes in a quilt shop and I can do a lot of damage.
So here’s what I “had” to purchase yesterday.  1003110005The fabrics on the left are for a graduation quilt I need to make.  The center row is a line of Christmas fabric for me me me.  I just love it – the browns and sort of a light tealy blue.  It will be a lap quilt for me.  And the fabrics on the right are just cause I liked them and are actually part of the middle line of Christmas fabric, just a different colorway.  It’s Figgy Pudding by Moda and of course has that nice Moda feel – love their fabrics.



Now to get back to the quilt I’m working on.  After a little brunch – the Blueberry Buckle has just come out of the oven and the coffee is on…..
and the Pilgrim’s Bread I’m making should have risen enough to shape into loaves. It’s an intesting recipe with cornmeal, rye, wheat and white flour so I’m anxious to see how it turns out.


Saturday Shopping

Today as usual was breakfast out followed by the grocery store run. But in between there was a trip to the quilt shop and lo and behold….. there was a sale going on!  Talk about crowded.  Now this is a quilt shop that only has a sale once or twice a year and I just happened to stop in on the last day.  All fabric 15% off.  So a tidy little bag – or not so little – came home with me.  So much for stashbusting but I just couldn’t pass these up. I did actually buy fabric for a specific quilt – I needed 8 or so fabrics similar in shade for the design and there was nothing in the stash that would give me the look I wanted.   But then there was this new Christmas fabric line – not the usual reds and greens –it was based on a really pretty shade of blue – so yep several pieces of than came home too.

It’s a dreary cool day here for mid July so think I’ll head to the sewing room to work on all those blocks up on the design wall and see how far I can get on setting those together.

I did finish off two socks last night — one I just had to weave the toe so and the other finsihed off the last couple of inches of knitting.  How I have to make their mates.  The socks look funny shaped in the photo because they have ribbed tops so the cuffs look like they are people with sticks for legs. 🙂  However they are very stretch as you can see in the photos with them on.  Do you know it’s very difficult to be your own sock model?  To get your foot at a good angle and get the camera at a good angle and try to get the photo is no easy feat (or should I say “feet”?)   the reddish sock is true to color in the photo where there’s no foot in it.  I really like the way these socks fit.  The green striped is just a bit more snug than I would like for myself but since I made it for someone who’s foot is not quite as large as mine, it should be perfect. 

Each time I make one I learn something new.  This ribbed sock pattern had a different heel stitch than just the stockinette stitch the prior socks I made had and I like it much better – makes a thicker sort of heel area that I think should wear longer.  And these two were the first ones where I wove the toe together and although the instructions were confusing when reading them, actually doing it, it all makes sense.  It’s fun to see the difference just the little changes in pattern can make.  I’ve started yet another sock – with a slightly different rib pattern and it also has you knit your casting on tail into the first row of the sock – makes the top a bit sturdier looking so will have to see how I like that when the sock is done — they are a lovely soft merino wool blend in dark purples/greens.

Garden – near disaster!

The garden pots are looking great.  However I came home tonight and my giant tomato pot had tipped over!  It had been sitting on top of two big landscape square logs but it was really windy and the wind must have caught it.  Luckily when I tipped it back up (and set it on level ground instead of the logs) it appears it’s no worse for the tumble.  It’s got one lonely little tomatoe on it so fawr.  The yellow pear as several clusters of them now growing and  one pepper plant in particular is loaded with tiny little bell peppers.    Obviously they are not as protected from the wind as I thought they were down below the hill here and they’re a bit top heavy since the plants are so tall.  Oops  – actually there is one little broken branch on one of tomatoes that took the fall I notice now but not the main stalk so that’s a good thing.  I got a delivery today from a coworker of fresh raspberries and lettuce out of their garden which look really good so think there will be some berries for dinner tonight.
No sewing progress the past couple of nights since I’ve been busy with other things but the latest sock I’m knitting I’ve just rounded the heel  so have made it past the half way mark! LOL  It’s lime green, shades of blue and if I remember right a little gray mixed in.  Yes, everyone is going to have very bright socks!