Delilah Orbit Blocks

October 17, 2017

Nope, not finished with this month’s blocks yet, but thought I’d post a progress report.  Two out of four are completed:

Lots of points, lots of Y-seams and all totally done by sewing machine.  That means lots of stops and starts with short seams.

I am really pleased with how well the points match, but struggling with the color selection.  I love the first one, but the second one is “meh” to me.  I do love the little bunny in the center, and the rich orange and blue combo though.  And now that I’m dissecting the block, it’s not all that bad after all.  Guess I needed a little distance from it.  It isn’t one of my favorites, but it plays well with the rest of the blocks.

On a personal note, it’s the end of gardening season.  Yeah for that!!!  I love having fresh veggies, but I hate processing them for storage.  Some get frozen, some dehydrated, and anyway you look at it, it’s a lot of work.  I am so glad I’m done for the year, and now I can get out of the kitchen, although I have started baking fresh bread again.

I will totally enjoy using the garden veggies this winter though – which is why my dear husband puts in a garden.  They get served as side dishes, put in soups, and added to multiple recipes.  Just for the heck of it, I’m going to list everything I did.

Dehydrated zucchini and made plenty of meals with it.  That zucchini is one prolific veggie.

Dehydrated tomatoes and enjoyed lots of BLTs

Froze green beans, and made lots of green beans, potato and spaghetti suppers.

Froze corn and had not one, not two, not three, but 4 plantings of corn on the cob being harvested.

Froze sweet red peppers and stuffed enough of them for 22 main meals.  Also made lots of sweet red pepper sauce with them.

Froze onions – chopped them for easy use in Instant Pot meals this winter.

Used carrots, parsnips, onions, leeks and Brussel sprouts in meals

Lettuce for fresh salads

Made marinara from zucchini and cherry tomatoes

Roasted Chinese chestnuts

It’s a wonder I got any sewing done since the garden started doing it’s thing.  😉

Hugs…

 

 

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Delilah North Star Blocks

September 28, 2017

Ta-da, I finished up this month’s blocks, the day after I received next month’s blocks (Orbit).  No breather in between blocks this time, and it is all good, because everyone who has already done the Orbit blocks, says they are not easy – not one little bit.  It was great to get them a little early this time around.

You see, Orbit has the dreaded Y-seams in them.  Ah well, I’m not going to borrow trouble, but instead bask in the glory of completing the 5 North Star blocks:

These were a joy to sew, and I’m oh so pleased with how well the points match.  They finished to the correct size too.

These blocks are a mix of kit fabric, what I already owned, and what I purchased for this project.  The recently  purchased fabrics were primarily low volume fabrics.  I did not have a lot of them in my fabric collection, and one of my local fabric stores – Sew Creative – came to the rescue.

The oldest fabric used in a block was from the 1970’s.  Yes, the 1970’s.  There were only scraps left, but that’s why I have a scrap drawer, and to be honest, my scraps have way outgrown their “containment” area.  There will be a lot more projects featuring fabric scraps appearing here soon.  And then again, maybe not so soon.  😉  I’m not exactly a speedy maker, but I do so enjoy creating.

Hugs…

Delilah Fairhaven

September 15, 2017

I almost quit making this quilt over these blocks:

I love the design.  Did not like making them one little bit.  The centers are definitely wavy, and it was my fault.  I used a combination of regular weight quilting cotton, with some lightweight lawn.  The weight difference between the two fabrics caused the waviness.  As a result, I’ve collected all my lawn fabrics, and placed them aside so they can be used together in another project.

The first block I made was the one on the top.   The second block was the one on the bottom, and I like the rainbow star quite a bit.  The third block I made was the one in the middle and was the waviest.  I really thought I’d get better at making this design with practice, but alas I do believe this didn’t occur. It does appear to be the scrappiest, and that was the effect I wanted to create.   There are actually more different fabrics in the first block, but the border fabrics all kind of blend with each other – which was my intent – so I don’t think that block appears as particularly scrappy.

I don’t have a favorite block here, and all I can say is I’m really glad I’m done making them.  If I had to make more, I’d fuse those darn melon shapes in place.  They were a royal pain in the you know where to sew, and I’m hoping I can iron them flatter, or that the quilt batt will absorb some of the waviness.

The design is awfully pretty though, isn’t it?  And I did do a great job of matching points – even if I do say so myself.  😉

Hugs….

Comfort Quilt 15

September 8, 2017

I’m sure I’ve made more than 15 Comfort quilts, but this is number 15 since I’ve started taking pictures, posting them on my blog, and remembering where the photos have been kept.  There were 2 laptops, and 1 desk top involved with storing photos, so it’s no wonder I lost track of some of them.

Comfort Quilt 15 blog

The bottom half of this photo is an accurate color representation of the quilt, and I absolutely loved making this one.  The colors are so happy.  It was hard to give up, but I have a lot of quilts in my home, and I do so hope whoever receives it will love it as much as I do.

This has some batik fabric I purchased in Tucson, some Japanese themed fabric, some florals I received in a swap, some 4th of July fireworks printed fabric, and some Christmas fabric I purchased from JoAnns in it, and they all played very well with each other.

This is the last of the woven themed designs I’ll be making for now.  Creating Comfort quilts is an excellent way to explore variations, and I thoroughly enjoyed making the 5th in this series.

Log Cabins are calling my name, but I’m not 100% sure I’ll go that route for my next group of Comfort quilts.  I have a few books on my dresser than have intriguing designs in them, so a little research is in order.  Till then,

Hugs…

 

Prep for New Project

July 16, 2017

I recently purchased a few of Jen Kingwell’s patterns, and haven’t decided if I’ll start It’s a Small World or Queens Cross yet.  Both use circles, so I thought I’d look into making applique circles.

One of my friends – Sue – lent me her sets of  Perfect Circles.  These are made of some sort of plastic in different sized circular shapes, and designed by Karen Kay Buckley.

Okay, I watched Karen’s you tube video, plugged in my iron, turned it on, cut my fabric circle, stitched around the edge, pulled it tight with the circle shape inside, and painted the edges with sizing.  Plopped the iron on top, and walked away for a minute or so, came back, lifted the iron, and the fabric was still soaking wet.

Hmm, I looked at the iron, and saw it wasn’t actually turned on.  Turned it to cotton, put the iron on top, walked away for a minute or so, came back, and the fabric was still soaking wet.  What the heck? Is my iron broken?

Traced the cord to the electric outlet, and it wasn’t plugged into the electric strip.  Oh there was an iron plugged into the electric outlet, but it wasn’t the one I was using. LOL

You see, I keep two irons in my sewing room: one small travel iron, and my larger one for yardage.  Seems I had plugged in the little travel iron, turned it on, but picked up the other iron to use instead.  This was definitely a “duh” moment.

Laughing out loud, I picked up the little travel iron, plopped it on top of my little fabric circle, and waited the recommended 20 seconds.  Lifted the iron, and this time I was rewarded with a nicely dried circle.  YES!!! Success!!!

circle 1

Lesson learned, love the templates, will purchase a set for myself, and have only about a few hundred more to make in my future.

Hugs…

 

 

 

 

Delilah Shooting Stars

July 9, 2017

I’m all caught up with my Delilah TOM and had a great time sewing these 2 blocks:

Block 3 a mine

Block 3 b mine

I’m really trying to use the fabric from the fabric kit, but find myself using lots of fabric from my collection, and altering the fabric I do use.  12 fabrics from the kit, and 20 from my collection in the above two blocks.

I’m pretty sure this situation has developed because I am not going with the flow.  I am approaching each one of these blocks with an idea in mind – like changing values.  No way could a fabric kit meet specific goals like that, especially since I change my mind with each month’s blocks.

I’m loving the fabric I receive each month, and am using colors outside my comfort zone, so am very satisfied with the fabric kit, and this entire project.  I’m learning something new, and having fun interacting with the Facebook community.

Now back to the blocks.  The first one went together quickly.  The second block not so fast.  I was attempting to do a color value with the lightest in the center, and gradually going darker towards the edges.  I found out there are not a lot of light orange fabrics.  My solution?  Dye some.

That little piece of light orange fabric came from my friend Beth – thank-you Beth – and had a stark white background.  First I tried changing the white, so I vanilla dyed it.  I use vanilla instead of tea as tea is acidic, and I’d really like this quilt to last awhile.

The vanilla solution darkened the background, but it just looked sad.  Out came my textile inks and clear aloe vera gel.  This is my favorite medium to use to color fabric – quickly, easily, and it’s washable after being heat set.  Well, it took me a good long time to mix the correct orange from my blue and yellow inks, but I got it.

That second block also has a piece of fabric from my friend Sue – thank-you Sue – the green and yellow squiggly fabric on the upper left.  This block will hold lots of good thoughts as I will always think of these two friends when I look at it.

Then I did a bad thing.  I cut one of the corner pieces of fabric off grain – as I really wanted the words to go in one direction.  It’s on the right side of the block, and I’ll have to make sure the block that goes next to it, will be on the straight of grain, because that triangle walks to a different drummer – not a nice precise drummer in a drill band, but a drummer who has a mind of his/her own, and wants to go on a walk about after having too much to drink.  😉

Hugs…

 

 

Dyeing Again

June 22, 2017

It’s been 10 months since I’ve dyed anything, and it felt really good to get the MX Procion dyes back out again.  To be truthful, a bunch of them were on the top of my dryer from my last dye session of August 2016, but a broken wrist does impede one from cleaning up.  I’ll grasp at any excuse for being bad about cleaning up my laundry room/dye studio.

 

I’m part of the MXdyers Yahoo group and Barbara issued an Indigo Challenge.  She vat indigo dyed some fabric, didn’t like the grey she was getting, so offered fat quarters to members as long as we added at least 2 steps to the fabric, using only MX Procion dye.
First off,  I loved the fabric as I received it.  I so wanted to use it “as is” in a project, but refrained.  It is gorgeous, is it not?

Original

Sooooo, I started with masking the white pentagon lines with painters tape, and stenciled a design across the fabric using the formula for color #19 in Playful Fabric Printing.   I made a boo-boo at the bottom, and stenciled in the wrong area.  It happens, sad but true.

Unmasked

After removing the blue painters tape from the centers, I really, really wanted to stop here.  I know – from past experience – that I usually love what I do after one change, and hate what I do after the second change.  True to form, I hate the second step.

Sun Yellow

I used a 10% dye concentrate of Sun Yellow, adding soda ash to the container, and experimented with it.  The bottom half of the designs had 8 drops of uncolored soda ash water put on it, and then 8 drops of Sun Yellow dye concentrate.  The top half had 8 drops of Sun Yellow dye concentrate only put on it.  I wanted to see if there would be a difference between applying dye on dry vs wet for this project.

I honestly can’t see much difference between the two, and I really, really, really hate the sun yellow on this piece of fabric.  I was going to go with violet, and was afraid the color wouldn’t have shown up enough.  I should have gone with the violet.  And after I put the drops in the middle, I thought about putting the drops along lines so a star burst effect could be created.  Obviously, my  brain needs to work a little faster than my hand.

It did feel good to get a little dyeing done, and I threw in a couple of fat quarters to use up the black print paste I made, and the Sun Yellow dye concentrate I made.  Nothing goes to waste in my dye studio, and because I had added the soda ash to the containers, they had to be used up quickly.  No pictures of them, but the black print paste yielded a very dark shade of eggplant when I added water to cover the fat quarter in its container, and the Sun Yellow fat quarter is blindingly Sun Yellow.  Trust me, 10% dye concentration gives a very strong yellow.

It’s all good. I learned a lot, tried different ideas, and got my brain back in an MX Procion kind of mood.  😉

Hugs…

Delilah Beach Balls

June 10, 2017

I received my templates and fabric last Friday, and have been concentrating on getting my two blocks completed.  Only 8 days later, and success.

 

The first block uses 10 fabrics from my collection, and 6 from the kit, and I feel that is the scrappier of the two blocks.  The second block uses 1 fabric from my collection, and 5 from the kit.  It’s what I’d term organized scrappy.

I’m a Gemini, and can usually see two sides to every issue.  It’s no surprise I’m trying 2 approaches to this project – a scrappy version, and an organized scrappy version.  It should be interesting to see if all the blocks will play nicely with each other.

I have a master word document with a photo of Delilah in greyscale, and I insert the blocks in the same position made by the designer – Jen Kingwell.  So far, I think what I’ve made will happily co-exist.  What do you think?

Master quilt after 4 of my blocks have been inserted:

Master quilt block 1 n 2 for blog

Hugs…

 

 

Delilah TOM

May 6, 2017

I got very lucky recently, and was able to enroll for the Delilah TOM – Template of the Month.  This is a quilt that was designed by Jen Kingwell of Australia, and 30 some quilt stores were authorized to offer the program to their customers.     In Town Quilters  in Atlanta, GA is the store that fit me in, due to someone cancelling.

Block 1 – Rising Sun – was mailed to me last week.  It contained the instructions, plastic templates, and the light fabric kit.

We were instructed to make 2 of these blocks, and they were a dream to machine sew.

Block 1 mine first 1

 

It seems I’m incapable of working with a fabric kit though, without including additional fabric from my vast fabric collection.  The green, blue, purple polka dots, and black canvas looking fabric came from the kit – 4 colors.  All the others were mine, and the yellow was used on the wrong side.  Fabric has two sides, so why not use the side that looks  best for the project?

And how about the fussy cutting of that flower against the black background.  I’m thrilled with how well that turned out.

It’s not very scrappy looking though, and Jen’s achieves her great looking quilts by being a lot more free with her fabric choices than I am, so trying to go for it, I made the second block for the month:

Block 1 mineThis time I vowed to only use the fabrics from the kit.  Did I do so?  Noooooo!!! Is it scrappier looking than the first block?  I think so.  Textures abound – stripes, geometrics, florals and grids.  I really tried hard to not be Miss Matchy-Matchy for this block.

I only used 4 of my fabrics this time, and 2 of them were scraps I purchased from a quilt store.  Yes, I actually purchased a package of fabric scraps from a store last year.  I’m not even going to try and justify or defend that purchase.  I got some great scraps in that package – the black geometric, and the gridded fabric used in the large triangles were from that purchase.

The fussy cut tulips were a gift from a friend who passed away about 10 years ago, so a little bit of Faith – she was a dear friend with a kind and caring soul – is in this quilt.

And how about those fussy cut underwear fabric triangles?  I purchased that yardage while on vacation in Arizona.

This is why I love scrappy quilts.  They are repositories of memories.  A dear friend, a great vacation, a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.  This quilt will comfort me physically and spiritually.  It doesn’t get any better than this.

Hugs…

 

A Very Late 2016 Wrap-up

April 16, 2017

Insert for email

Long time no blog. What can I say? Lots of health issues in December – all  resolved with good results – and then 3 months on vacation with very unreliable internet. I had a lot of fun, ate lots of good food, did some sight-seeing, and sewed a bit.

Now for the 2016 wrap-up. Another 239 pounds out of the house for a total of 3,888 pounds out. Am I making progress or what? Sad to say, the answer is what. You see, I’m still purchasing fabrics, books, threads and incidentals.   It makes me happy, and while I have more fabric than I will ever use in my lifetime, I don’t care. I’m fueling the economy. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Currently I’m making a red work quilt. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m hand embroidering 12 Santa blocks and 20 corner stones, then making 60 four and one half inch blocks consisting of 12 different block designs. The embroidery is completed, and 45 of the small blocks are pieced. Some are paper pieced, some hand pieced, and some are made with freezer paper templates. Next will be the block borders, sashing, another border, and the whole shebang needs to be basted, quilted and bound before the end of May for my quilt guild’s quilt show. Wish me luck. I need it.

For my friends who celebrate Easter, I hope you are having a blessed, and happy day.

Hugs…