Rainy Sunday of Sixteen-Patches

It rained all day today. A constant soaking rain. So I was in the house all day.

I didn’t feel well last night and decided I needed some extra hours of sleep. I’ve developed some really bad habits during the pandemic and working from home. I’ve always been a night owl, but it’s gotten worse over the last few months. I’ve been staying up until 2:00 am every night. My body said “enough!” last night. So I took some Advil PM at around 8:00, fell asleep on the couch before 10 pm, and woke up around 1:00. I put myself to bed and set my alarm for 8 am. I didn’t hear the alarm at all and woke up at 10 am.

And I feel much better today. I needed those extra hours of sleep.

After breakfast I put on a big pot of chili. I’ve only got one container of chili left in my freezer and have been wanting to make a big batch.

It was wonderful to smell it simmering away on the stove for a few hours.

Knowing it was going to be rainy I planned to get a lot of sewing done today. I finished the remaining 34 scrappy batik 16-patch blocks. This photo shows half of the 72 blocks for this top. The duplicates of these are sitting on my cutting table.

Then I finished a small project I’ve been intending to do for a few weeks. A couple of years ago I made a bunch of “corn bags” for holiday gifts. These are flannel bags filled with feed corn that you heat in the microwave and use as a heating pad. The one that I use the most got a small tear in it a few weeks ago and has been leaking corn. So I have been wanting to make a new bag and reuse the corn from the torn one.

This is basically the width of a piece of flannel and is about 7.5 inches wide. I’ve sewn five sections and each is filled with corn. This is great to heat and drape over a shoulder or around an ankle. They’re also really nice to warm your hands or feet when you’re cold.

I filled each of the five sections with corn and then put in pins to hold the corn away from the top opening. Then I stitched the opening closed.

A lot of these bags are made with rice, but I prefer whole feed corn. It holds the heat longer than rice does. I buy 50 lb bags of it at the farm store.

After dinner the rain finally let up so I took the boys out for a three mile walk. The first two miles were really nice, but we got a little wet on the last mile. It was really nice to get out and move around a little after being house bound all day.

When we got back I dug in and sewed three rows of blocks on the KFC blue 16-patch quilt together, and sewed them into a section. So I have two sections complete — one with four rows and one with three rows. I have two more rows of blocks to sew together and then will have three horizontal seams to sew and this top will be done.

I got a lot done today!

Getting it Done on a Saturday

I had a very productive sewing session this evening!

I sewed two more rows of blocks on my KFC blue 16-patch quilt and sewed together the bottom four rows. So this quilt is 40% done. I should be able to get this completely assembled tomorrow.

Gah! I can’t get enough of these blue fabrics!

Here’s one full row on the ironing board.

I also finished up 38 of the scrappy batik 16-patch blocks and put them up on the design wall. I just wanted to see how they look together. This needs more blocks and some thought to how it’s laid out.

The duplicate of all these blocks are also sewn and ready to go up on the design wall once the rest of the 34 remaining blocks have been sewn.

This is going to be a fun quilt!

My sewing room has been overtaken by 16-patch quilts!

Friday Night Batik Patchwork

I got a lot done on this scrappy batik 16-patch tonight. I worked until almost 6:30 tonight, which is odd for a Friday night. It’s a pretty busy time. So I didn’t have a lot of time.

But I did get 38 of these blocks half way completed. This is the first 19 blocks and their duplicates. I will pin the center seam on the two block halves tomorrow and get them sewn together.

I had a two hour video call first thing this morning so I grabbed the block strips that I had cut last night and grabbed my pins and got these all pinned as I sat in that meeting.

Tonight I sat down at my Bernina with these stacks and sewed them all with chain piecing. Then I finger pressed each block half open. I’m a big fan of finger pressing these days! It went really fast.

Then I cut the remaining 17 strip sets into pieces. I got really brave and stacked up five sets and cut them all at once. This saves so much time!!! I had to take a picture of this because it was so pretty! This is the set of five strips that I cut at one time.

I think four strips is a good number for me though. At least for now. But I’ll keep pushing to improve.

Here’s the cut up strips. The piles contain duplicate blocks.

Then… I decided to sew the little left over scrap strips together into panels that I can sew into a pouch. I alternated the seams because I just didn’t want to match all those corners, and I wanted these to look casual and easy.

Here’s what one of these panels looks like before trimming it up.

I might combine these in a pouch or bucket with some indigo batik I have on hand.

This weekend I hope to make some good progress on sewing my blue 16 patch quilt top together. It looks like we may actually get some snow on Sunday. Even just an inch of snow can shut Portland down for days. I don’t think this will be one of those storms.

A Little of This… A Little of That

I recently joined a local modern quilt guild and my first meeting was tonight. Of course it was a Zoom meeting. I find it quite difficult to do these meetings on my personal time since I spend so much time on Zoom for work. This meeting was almost 2.5 hours long! There was a presentation by an art quilter and lots and lots of guild business.

I hurried and got a three mile walk in with the dogs after dinner and before the meeting. I didn’t have time to get much sewing done, but I did get some done.

During the meeting I pinned two rows of my blue 16-patch quilt together. I would have done more but I ran out of pins and didn’t want to get up to grab more. I got these two rows sewn together after the meeting.

Then I grabbed my stack of batik strip sets for a new 16-patch and started cutting the slices for the blocks. I was anxious to see these fabrics up on the design wall.

These blocks aren’t sewn together yet. Here’s all the pieces for the duplicate blocks.

I got really brave and tried cutting three sets at a time and it seems to have worked pretty well.

I won’t know for sure until I start sewing them together. It really saves a lot of time to do it this way. I have 15 more strip sets to cut and will get through those pretty quickly tomorrow nigfht.

Since the batiks are typically a little wider than other fabrics, I had a little more left over on the end of each strip set. I trimmed these all so they’re square but in varying widths. I laid them out on my ironing board to see how they looked. I’ll probably sew these together and put them into a zipper pouch.

And this photo reminds me that I recently purchased some muslin so I can get this stained mess off of my ironing board. Look how awful that looks! I have a padded ironing board cover under the muslin. I use elastic clips to hold the muslin on an change it when it gets bad. The muslin is pretty inexpensive and is a good way to preserve the life of the ironing board cover. This will be a project for this weekend.

Had a little bit of fun with Bender yesterday. He’s such a good sport!

A Very Responsible Evening of Sewing

I was going to start working on my sea glass wall hanging tonight, but I decided I wasn’t feeling very confident about the size I had written down that would make this the right size to cover my friend’s electrical panel. I messaged her to see if she would measure it and she said she would measure it tomorrow. So I needed something to work on.

I sat down and plowed through the remaining 21 blue 16-patch blocks and got them all up on the design wall.

I haven’t looked at it very closely yet and I’m sure there are a few blocks I’ll want to move around. But overall, it’s not bad for the first attempt.

Here’s a little eye candy…

I had a four hour video call for work today so I had some handwork ready to keep my hands busy while my mind was occupied. I got all these blocks pinned and ready to sew and that made the final assembly go really fast tonight.

I also cut out all the remaining shapes for the sea glass quilt I’m going to make and sorted each color by value. I couldn’t resist putting some of these pieces out on the cutting table tonight to see how they look. I’m going to like this!

I’m noticing that we have more light in the evenings. It’s still dark early, but I took this photo tonight at about 5:15. It was just a few weeks ago when it was dark at 4:30 in the afternoon.

I got up early this morning and made some chicken tortilla soup in my crock pot. It was really easy and smelled so good all day. Now I have lunches and dinners for a few days. Here’s the recipe I used. I made a few tweaks to the recipe, but nothing major.

Distracted Again… Another Impulse.

I dug into my smaller batik scraps this afternoon to start a project I’ve been thinking about.

I saw this project on Instagram a couple of months ago and have been fascinated by it. An old friend of mine from Salt Lake had seen it too and signed up for the class that teaches you how to make it. And she finished her project this weekend. Here is Eliza Claire’s sea glass wall hanging. It has quite a few KFC fabrics in it, which I love!

She followed an online class made by Exhausted Octopus on Instagram. If you scroll through Exhausted Octopus’ Instagram posts you’ll see pictures of her own sea glass pieces as well as the pieces by people who have taken her class.

I’m going to give a try to figuring this out on my own. It’s all done with raw edge applique and free motion quilting. So I ordered some Heat and Bond ( double sided fusible adhesive) and some charm squares of lighter batiks. I was pretty sure I’d find the scraps I needed among all my batik scraps, but I was surprised at the large selection of the colors I want.

Here’s all my batik scraps bonded to the Heat and Bond.

And the lighter neutrals…

Then I cut all these small pieces apart using my rotary cutter. Then I drew shapes on the paper backing and started cutting.

So much cutting!

I still have to cut the pile of aqua pieces. Then I can start selecting pieces and arranging them on the background.

Here’s a view of how I’ll arrange the pieces on the background.

I bought a whole bunch of white on white fabric last summer and I’ll use a piece of that for the background and binding.

I’ve been wanting to make a wall hanging for a friend for a couple of years and have never been able to decide on a pattern. I think this will be perfect for her. I’m going to finish it at 20×36 inches. It needs to be big enough to cover an electrical panel.

I had the day off work today for the Martin Luther King holiday and I got up this morning and had a good breakfast and then loaded the dogs in the car and drove out to the Banks Vernonia Trail for a fantastic eight mile walk. The weather was so amazing! I walked in just a light fleece… no other jacket. We got some wonderful sun along the way.

There were more people on the trail that usual, but not bad considering today was a holiday.

36 Batik Strip Sets

I took Rico for his sheep herding lesson this morning and then took the boys for a nice four mile walk and field run before we headed home. After an early dinner I sat down and started chunking away at the scrappy batik 16 patch strip sets. And I got all 36 sets sewn and pressed.

I really like some of the fabric combos in these blocks. This is going to be a fun quilt.

There are a few combos in there that I’m a little iffy about, but I’m not going to toss them out until I see them with the rest of the blocks.

Here’s one of my favorite combos. I can remember when I bought that spotted fabric. I still just love it!

Tomorrow I plan to sew all green batik blocks together. It should go fast because the blocks are big and there are only five rows. But there are a lot of seams to match. Then I plan to work on finishing up the blue 16 patch blocks.

I’m going to force myself to wait on these batik blocks until those two projects are checked off.

On a New Impulsive Jag

When I looked through my batik scraps the other night for strips to add to my green impulse quilt I realized I had almost enough strips to make another sixteen patch quilt.

So tonight, although I promised myself I’d finish up my blue KFC 16 patch blocks first, I paired up a bunch of batik strips and started sewing the strips together. Another impulse… but that’s where the fun is!

This will be another bright quilt. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by that. There are some really cool combos of fabrics. It will be fun to see it once some of the blocks start coming together.

I sewed sixteen strip sets together tonight. I haven’t pressed them yet. I’ll probably get a lot done on these strip sets tomorrow afternoon. And Monday is a holiday so I’ll have more time this weekend to be productive.

These poor dogs seemed to know today was Friday.

They were done with me working at around 3:00 and were letting me know they thought it was time to call it a day.

Green Impulse Blocks are Done

I didn’t have much to do tonight to finish up the 12 remaining green batik blocks. So I sat down after dinner and sewed some, then took the boys for a three mile walk. When we got home I sat down and sewed the final seams on my blocks, pressed them, and then got them all on the design wall.

I did a few tweaks to this and I think it’s close to being done. I’ll leave it up on the design wall for a few days before I start sewing it together.

I’m pretty okay with how this looks now, but I’ll finalize it later.

There is a little more color in there than what shows above.

I’ve been thinking again about what quilt I’ll make next. Well, first I want to finish up the remaining blue 16-patch blocks, but after that I think I’m going to make another 16 patch. I’ve been thinking of something in reds, but I saw one today that may have changed my mind.

The one I saw is from Kaffe’s Quilts en Provence. I don’t have the book, so I ordered one today and I’ll have it this weekend. There are two versions in the book, but I think I’m going to go for the feeling of this one called Snips and Snails.

There are a ton of fabrics called for in the book and a lot of them are out of print. I’m not going to try to replicate this exactly. It’s more the feel I will try to go for. I should be able to do this from my stash.

I like these colors because they are bright yet earthy… and sort of spicy.

It’s so interesting to me that the Kaffe book calls for you to assemble these blocks square by square, rather than by making strip sets. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t make one of these if I couldn’t do it with strip sets. If you look at the striped fabrics in the photo above you can see that the striped fabrics are going every which way. It’s a cool effect but not cool enough for me to assemble these square by square.

the weather has been fantastic the last two days. I noticed the stars as i was walking with the boys tonight.

Today was Dress Up Your Dog Day so Bender got a little adventure.

He’s such a good sport. Poor Rico would have taken it very badly if I had dressed him up.

Adding Some Pops of Color

It’s been pouring here for days and I’m getting a little tired of it. I didn’t get a walk yesterday afternoon so took a long walk last night, which meant there was no sewing. There was a bit of a break in the rain this afternoon so I took the boys out for a three mile walk, knowing that we would most likely not get a walk tonight. So I had more time this evening to spend on my green batik impulse quilt.

This was feeling a little flat to me and I decided it needed some pops of color. So I dug into my batik 2.5 inch strips and pulled a few to add. Then I pulled a few pieces of fabric from my stash to liven this up.

That’s some of the more colorful strips added to what I had already cut for this quilt. THIS makes me much happier! So I sat down and sewed these six strip sets into blocks tonight and tossed them up on the wall with the existing blocks and it is making me feel better.

It’s not a ton of color, but it’s enough to give this more dimension and make it feel less flat.

I decided to get a good start on the remaining 13 strip sets. So I sewed them all together, pressed and cut them in half, and then sewed them into 4 strips in each set. That’s the most time consuming part of making these.

That photo is a much better representation of the color that I’m adding.

One exciting thing about digging into my batik scraps is that I discovered I have a fun array of fabrics and enough of them to make a scrappy batik 16 patch. I have some ideas for mixing that design up and some batik scraps are a great way to test my idea.

I sold a completed quilt to a friend today. She just got a new border collie puppy with the help of a friend and wanted to thank her. What a great way to let someone know you appreciate what they did for you.

I finished this quilt a little over a year ago. I’m happy to have sold it even though I sort of let it go for a song. I did make a little bit of money on it but I’d hate to have to make a living this way. It’s been sitting in a closet since I got it back from my long arm quilter and I’d rather have someone enjoying it.

You can see a couple of posts on this quilt here and here.

I’m looking forward to ten days of weather coming up that looks like a nice break from all the rain we’ve been having. Plus, Monday is Martin Luther King day so I have another long weekend.