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Iceblossom 07-25-2021 07:07 AM

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I lucked into a local auction of a type of thread I particularly like using and got a huge drawer-full of cones of So-Fine in many colors.

For my piecing, I typically just use a beige/camel and a slate blue/gray threads, one each top and bottom. With my scrap quilts I can't match thread anyway, my stitches are small so you don't see the thread poking through the seam allowances, and I can mostly see the seam lines even if I can't see the stitches!

I have a number of different vision issues, one of the problems I have is I need contrast, and cutting this Olfa Green fabric is a challenge, as is just reading the rulers for me on that background. Is easily solved, however, with slipping a piece of paper (junk mail envelopes are great!) under the cutting line.

You'll see I'm using my other mat for this project... First we frame the focus fabric, we don't have to worry about those corners too much because we are going to slice it off into a snowball next.

While I like this project because it is "planned" I can see how it can work with scraps, or photos even. The 8" square is a nice size for that. Say you had a collection of fabrics (or layer cake) that didn't go together so well individually but framed and separated by the coordinating background fabric it would work. Or, the background stuff is mostly HST, a good leader/ender project maybe....

This project is from the July 2021 AQ magazine, if you search on "full bloom cathey laird" you should get a picture.

The frogs are the floral. The solid is the Purple, the pink is the Rose, and the lt grey is the beach! I have just a strip along the selvedge that will be sent off and a couple tiny bits left over.

Iceblossom 07-28-2021 04:33 AM

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Well it's been a good week for frugal/cheap/thrifty me! First off, I got a new pair of glasses that have made a big improvement in my ability to drive freeway speeds. Maybe not so important for quilting but helps quite a bit to get to thrift stores and such :p

The framed froggie blocks have been turned into snowballs. I finished up the alternating Square in a Square blocks. As usual, I cut the center square exactly and then the triangles a bit large and then trim down. Is only an extra 1/4" per row and gives me faster easier and more accurate results but I know the trimming isn't for everyone.

At Tuesday group yesterday it was so nice we met outside by choice. This pattern has you make the 8 at a time HST units, I cut those apart and now have a good (?? ironing is never good!) hour of ironing and loud music ahead of me to press them out.

The HST will be arranged around the center Square in sort of a flying square block that connects with the snowball corners of the frog block.

But in other stuff, I won an auction of general sewing stuff and a lovely little hand crank Singer. I'll be picking it up on Sunday. Currently I'm winning an auction for a sewing table, if I win it, pick up for that will be Saturday. With all these tops I have to quilt down, it will be a big improvement to be able to lower my machine for quilting. Bernie, btw, is being cranky again. Having a lot of stitch tension adjustments. And then, on my most desired list of objects, I got a free folding ping pong table!! Still no room to open it in the house but I will be layering my quilts on top of it out in the yard. Will have to get some clamps and options to hold the fabric down dealing with wind but still better than trying to do it on my bed.

Gemm 07-28-2021 06:31 AM

Congratulations on your recent scores, Iceblossom! This has definitely been a great week for you with all of the progress you've made as well. You made me think, though, with your comments on ironing... I agreed with you as soon as you said there is no good ironing, but I realized on my last project that ironing for quilting actually isn't all that bad, and can sometimes put me in a really happy zone when everything lines up so nicely afterwards. It certainly beats tricky shoulders and pleats and working around buttons (imho)!

Iceblossom 07-29-2021 05:13 AM

I kept track, it was actually more like 90 minutes of ironing but I got in a few good dance moves at the ironing board. Am now trimming the HST down, if I can slog through the stacks that will be plenty for today's sewing.

Yesterday I went to one of my Tuesday quilter's houses. I had asked her if I could make some blocks for some of her group project tops, but I wanted to know ahead of time how many she wanted -- like if I made 10 pumpkin blocks but she only wanted/needed 2, but if I only made 2 and she needed 10... She admitted that things were getting a bit out of control and she didn't know where they were right now. I said that mostly I just wanted to play with fabric and was going to run out of this project pretty fast, so maybe I could come over and we could play with her fabric until we found me a few projects to work on. Anyway, to show her what I had in mind I went through my house and grabbed all the "escaped" fabric in little piles and bundles and bags, shoved them together and we sorted through the huge pile in about an hour. We had a good time and she feels comfortable with us doing it again -- this time with her stuff. We'll start doing it weekly.

And then yesterday I won my auction for the sewing table! Hooray me :)

But be careful of what you wish for because this now means that every single thing in my sewing room now needs to come out. And when I say out, it means out and not coming back. My Bookcase needs to be gone. The little night stand I use next to my current sewing table, there will be no room. Everything that has been in long term storage in the closet has to go and the goal is that all my fabric has to fit inside the closet. I think I might even have room left over at this point! I have rolling storage carts in front of the closet for the fabric now and haven't even been in it for about 10 years. I know there is my cradle (no longer safe) and a Jenny Lind Spool bed frame in there, along with sleeping bags... maybe bags of stuffed animals? It will be an adventure to go inside.

petthefabric 07-29-2021 01:31 PM

it's like dominos. the chain reaction can be beautiful

Iceblossom 07-30-2021 02:42 AM

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In between moving things about the house, I did trim my HST yesterday. Whew! Put them safely in a box so I don't have to worry about them while I get into serious moving mode. You can get the idea of the alternate block now, but probably be close to a week before I get back to them.

I've gotten a significant amount out of the sewing room, one of the rolling racks of fabric is in the living room, the other is ready to go. I have to go through the bookcase today, I actually don't have that many quilt books I'm keeping and I have a place for them in the new layout. Only one shelf was quilt books anyway. Going through books is hard on me, I've kept these for so many years because they were important to me but with my vision issues, it's a loss thing. So while I'm glad that it's finally time to take the bookcase out of there, I'm sad that I have to take bookcases out of my life.

I am so thankful to have "a room of my own" for my quilting. Spent so many years setting up on the dining room table... it's not that I don't appreciate it, but it would be nice to have just a little more room! Of course, the other option is less stuff and I'm working on that, too :)

rryder 07-30-2021 03:43 AM

Wow- that’s a really nice, good sized sewing table, Iceblossom. Congratulations on all your recent scores!


ckcowl 07-30-2021 02:41 PM

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Well I royally screwed up last week-sorting stash, pulling all my red, white and blue fabrics for some special exchange blocks I need to make for a group I belong to, many log cabin blocks, a string block, a star and a snails trail. I was on a roll and excited to have cleaned/ organized the room. I set up the Accuquilt Go and grabbed a strip die- not really thinking about what size strips I would need to accomplish 12 1/2” blocks- and cut up a ton of strips all 1 1/4” wide. Ugh! I need 1 1/2” strips for all those log cabin blocks…so, guess I’m going to make my own scrappy string block quilt with all the extra strips. I know I have plenty of whites and blues yet to cut the correct size strips but I’m not too sure about the reds- sometimes I jump in without thinking things through.
I did try a couple different log cabin blocks- with different size centers- they just really don’t work because that final strip is too narrow for sewing into a quilt. I like the string blocks though.
live been wanting to use up more scraps- didn’t really plan to create more - oh well…

WMUTeach 07-30-2021 05:42 PM

I understand you pain. I cut up bricks from my scrap bin and they have been sitting on a shelf becuse most of them do not play well together. Oh, well, a truey ugly scrappy quilt is in my future. Chin up girl, you will use those little strips and make a beauty!.

Iceblossom 07-31-2021 06:39 AM

Poor Ckcowl! I do stuff like that too often. Sometimes vision related, just simply cut the wrong mark. Sometimes though, just gotta call it brain related.

What I'm wondering about is if you can vary the width of the rounds and use what you have already cut, at least/especially the reds. Whether that ends up with a offset block, or just every other round narrower or something, there has got to be a way to use those long skinny strips.

The other 'blossom solution would be to sew the red strips together, not worry about matching fabric, just color and cut them down from 2" to 1.5" strips or whatever size you were going for. If you kept your seams scant, you could sew 3 of the skinnies together and cut (2) correct size.

Here's a tutorial/cool project on the uneven widths.

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