Saturday doings

Woke up this  morning to it having rained, and snowed so it was an icy, slushy mess out there and a very gray day.  Headed out for breakfast with a friend and then our usual fun stopping spots, Barnes & Noble, and Stitchers Crossing, the local quilt shop, and Clausen’s a fantastic bakery.    Stopping at the bakery is always bad – cookies 2 for 1 (some huge lovely chocolate covered macaroons found their way home with me) and french baguettes 2 for 1 so a couple of those came home too. I just love their breads.

At the quilt shop – more stash enhancement 🙂

This little pile of browns came home with me for my 100 Blocks submission to Quiltmaker.

And I just happened to spy the Stonehenge collection which I had used to color in the borders for the March Year of Wallhangings design.   

So I found the same fabric numbers as these in EQ and recolored the design.  The multicolored one is actually the same one I used in the original coloring – it looks a bit different in real life since  you only see small pieces of the same part of the fabric repeated in the quilt layout and I replaced the other color with the blue above.  Here’s what it looks like.

The contrast will be a bit greater in the actual quilt since the multicolor has a lot more shades of fuchsia and green than shown up in the EQ swatch.  I think I’ll like it.

I also got the pieces cut out last night for the February Granny’s Hankie block and started stitching.  This is what I have done so far.  Just the four flowers to add in yet.

One helpful tip I happened to think of as I was stitching this one — if you have stems that are directly across from each other, like the skinny stems on the diagonal of this block, if I cut them just the length needed for each of the four corners, no matter how carefully I place them, in the end one of them looks like it’s off kilter – not exactly across the center from the other.  So the way I solve this is to lightly draw the center circle on my background fabric with a mechanical pencil.  I also draw the line along the side of the stem — just one side of it not both — to help with placement.  I make a bias strip and use one continuous piece, lining it up so it just barely covers the drawn line.  See the photo.

Then I applique it in place, starting at the corner and stitching the stem down to just about a quarter inch inside the circle marking – I don’t stitch down the rest of it inside the circle since I won’t need it. Once it’s all stitched in place, I cut snip off the extra stem that crisscrossed the middle of the center circle that wasn’t stitched down.  Your stems are then aligned straight across from each other.

And finally, I’ve gotten several emails asking about the Stepping Stones design I posted images of yesterday.  The block pattern for that will be made available on National Quilting Day – March 19.  So look for the link to the pdf to be posted on the page for that project in the right sidebar on NQD!