Outdoor Sewing and Some Serious Progress

After breakfast this morning we hustled my boys into the car for a trip to the vet for their leptospirosis vaccines. I’m happy to report that Rico has lost three pounds since his annual check up two weeks ago. This is good news because he was five pounds heavier than he should be.

After the vet we ran to Costco to pick up some things we needed, especially some salmon for our dinner. It was crazy there! Is there ever a time when Costco isn’t a madhouse?

When we got home we put everything away and grabbed some lunch. Then we hightailed it off to a local quilt shop to see if we could find a good option for purple fabric for the red KFC Fractured quilt I was itching to get started on. And we found a great alternative! Almost exactly the same color and a little softer fabric! The new fabric is on the right.

When we got home we pulled the ironing board, cutting mat and all the other bits and bobs we needed out onto the patio. I also set up a table and brought out my sewing machine. And away we went.

The first thing we did was press the purple fabric and cut the strips we needed for my blocks. Then I chose four different fabrics to make the first four blocks, stacked them up and started making my cuts.

I was a little worried that my red fabrics are all so similar that they would all look the same. But I was wrong. I just love the way they all look together. And they are different enough that they aren’t muddy or boring.

I started sewing strips onto pieces…

… then my friend would press, then I’d sew those two pieces together.

The first four blocks took some time to figure out. The pattern is a little vague and since this is a little free form in how and where you cut your big blocks, each block is a little different. But by the time we had finished the first four blocks, I felt like I had it all pretty well figured out.

It was pretty windy today and it was hard to keep all the cut pieces of fabric in place on the cutting table. I had to keep it all weighted down with rulers, pin cushions, and anything that was nearby.

It was so much help to have my friend pressing for me. We really figured out a system and I quickly learned what I could be doing next while my friend was pressing to keep things moving along.

We stopped for dinner after the first four blocks and I put a big piece of salmon on my BBQ grill. We bought a big piece so we can eat on it for several meals. We had it with a nice cabbage and kale salad. It was a simple and easy dinner, but it was really tasty.

I prepare my salmon filet on a sheet of foil, skin side down, and season it with salt and pepper, Penzey’s Northwoods Spice, and some lemon juice. Then pop it on the BBQ grill for about 20 minutes with the lid closed and it’s perfect every time.

After dinner we started on the next set of four blocks. I had really figured out a system and these blocks went really fast. And the great thing is that when you’re done, you have HUGE blocks. This quilt should go really fast with my friend here to do all the pressing!

Here’s the first 8 blocks. It will be fun to get these on the design wall and move things around.

The pattern calls for a strip of horizontal sashing between the rows. But there’s no sashing between the blocks in each row.

Here’s another lay out.

This will get more interesting as more different angles, shapes and fabrics appear as I make more blocks.

And I’m thinking this quilt will end up bigger than I thought. The pattern maker must have done some aggressive squaring up on her blocks.

We were really pushing at the end to get the final blocks done before it got dark. Good thing my sewing machine has a light on it!

My dogs are exhausted again tonight. It’s amazing how hard it is on them when they don’t get any napping done all day! Someone is snoring as I type!

Tomorrow we have Rico’s weekly sheep herding lesson, then we’ll head home and start sewing.

32 Replies to “Outdoor Sewing and Some Serious Progress”

  1. It sounds like you and your friend are having a great time. It would be great to sew with a friend like that out in the fresh air. I love the red quilt and I like the layout that forms the diamonds.

    I love seeing your dogs and all the quirky photos of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My these blocks are turning out really nice. Great colors, vibrant, jumping out at me.. I especially like that purple border and the second arrangement and seeing that Diamond jump out at me.. this is going to be nice when finished.. ‼️Sounds like a good day and that sewing outside, what an idea..
    Salmon is a great meal. Nice you shared how and what you do to prepare.. always nice to know different techniques in cooking.. and seasoning.. 🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the random feel of these blocks and how the pattern feels organized and then disappears. It’s interesting and unexpected. Will be interesting to see it all come together.



  3. Super cute. So helpful to sew with a friend. You’ve got a fabric in there I don’t recognize. In the very first photo, the fabric on the bottom. What is the name please. And it’s Saturday now. Is your friend all clear for COVID? Oh I just found out my town put in 1 pickle ball court.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. that fabric is Uzbekistan and it’s really gorgeous. Out of print for some time and difficult to find. I have a couple yards of it and am very stingy with it! I also have about a yard of it in yellow and a piece in green that I’ll use for the backing of my Jewel frames quilt (eventually).

      My friend moved out of the hotel and into my guest room! yay!



    1. I’m really enjoying it, but then I have someone doing all the pressing for me! I might make another one but then I’ll be a lot slower!

      Can’t wait to see what you come up with!



  4. Please tell us the pattern information again that you are working on with your friend while you are on vacation. Somehow I can’t find it any more. THANK YOU !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love everything about your fractured quilt. Amazing choice of colors. Where can I find this pattern. Will your friend be willing to come to NY to help me also Great job ladies Keep posting

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, Ann! Those fabrics are amazing. Well, of course they are. Great choice of the purple for the “sashing”. Love the way they are looking. I like them butted together without any sashing in between them. I like the zigs and zags! Love the salmon for dinner idea. We eat lots of it, grilled, smoked, candied, you name it! And it’s good for you too.
    Keep your friend busy. Gotta take advantage of that free labor while you can. Have a great herding session with Rico. I’m busy making jam and pickles of all sorts. Sewing is on hold for a bit. Oh, we had those puppy cones for Nessa’s 15th birthday last Thursday. Gotta love those too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! it’s a lot of red, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s turning out.

      it’s been great to have my friend here. She’s really boosting the productivity around here!



    1. It’s a totally different effect with the saturated red fabrics I chose. It would be fun to make it with more differences in color and value. It’s been fun to make, but then I have a friend doing all the pressing!



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