16-Patch 60% Done, and Sunburst Scrappy Planning

I took Rico for a very rainy and blustery sheep herding lesson this morning and then decided to take the boys for a nice walk around the campus of Washington State University since we were already all geared up, wet and muddy.

We did 5.25 miles because I knew it was unlikely we’d get a walk later in the evening. We got rained on but it wasn’t too bad.

There is a field that we found a couple of months ago that is isolated and out of the view of the campus buildings, so I let the dogs run loose there while I walk laps. I walked five laps while they ran today, which made up 1.25 miles of our walk.

When I got home I was ready to dig in and start assembling 16-patch blocks when a friend of mine called me. We got to talking about my scrappy KFC sunburst quilt and how I was going to finish it. So I put together a bunch of combos of fabric options for the setting triangles and finally decided that I will go with my original plan.

After I posted a photo of these blocks a month or so ago my brother went on and on about how much he loves this quilt. So I decided I was going to ask him if he and his wife wanted it for their bed. After convincing him that it wasn’t a problem, he finally said yes. So I need to make this for a queen size bed. I haven’t had a chance to calculate how many more blocks I need to make. But I will finish it with the same scrappy blocks and the border as shown.

Here are some of the failed combos:

Before I laid out all these options, I was pretty sure this next one with the sunburst fabric used for setting triangles was what I was going to do, but it doesn’t work for me — it just feels way too busy.

With this lengthy phone conversation and texts back and forth with photos, I didn’t get as much assembly on my 16-patch quilt completed as I had hoped. But I did finish six of the ten rows and that’s pretty good progress. So 3/5 of the quilt top is complete.

Tomorrow I’ll finish the last four rows and then combine the two large parts and call it done. And I can’t tell you how happy I am with how easy and nicely this is going together. All these seams are nesting so nicely and everything is consistent and square. I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying matching all those seams.

Here’s some eye candy…

Welcome 2021 — Some Small Productivity

I had a pretty low key New Years celebration last night. My boss delivered some amazing tamales from a famous local food cart and a six pack of some Modelo Negra beer. It was so amazingly good and it was so nice to have a warm meal that someone else prepared!

I had one of the left overs for dinner tonight. I have three in my freezer and one more in the fridge. I will enjoy every one of them.

I woke up this morning and got the dogs out for a nice 5.5 mile walk before the rain started in this afternoon. We lucked out and stayed dry and had a really nice walk.

There were a lot more people out walking today than we usually see. it’s been a pretty rainy week and we’ve got a forecast for rain as far out as the forecasts go, so people really like to take advantage of a few dry hours.

Once I got home I decided to dive into a little project that I’ve wanted to sew up for a few weeks. I’ve been needing a little basket to hang on the closet door next to my desk for used tissues and old Post It notes. So I dug into Pinterest to find a pattern or tutorial that I liked that wasn’t too complicated.

Here’s the tutorial I followed. I used some of the leftover indigo batik from the quilt top I just finished and a very small quantity of my KFC scraps. I had to improvise the loop that would hang this on the closet door, but that was easy enough to do. And I actually hand sewed the inside of the binding on the top of this little bucket.

After dinner we had another little break in the rain so I took the boys and myself out for a quick two-mile walk. It was really nice out… warm and moist but we didn’t get rained on.

When we got home I hunkered down in the sewing room and assembled the first three rows of my scrappy 16 patch.

We’re going to have a very rainy sheep herding lesson tomorrow morning and then I’ll probably spend a good part of the rest of the day on the assembly of this quilt top.

I think I’ve decided on the final set of fabrics I’m going to use for my KFC blue 16-patch. So I’ll probably start cutting and pairing up some of these fabrics this weekend.

Here’s a black and white version of that photo to show the values better.

And… knowing myself… I’ll probably make a few of the blue blocks this weekend too because I’m getting anxious to see how these fabrics will play together. I’m getting a little excited to see how those little bits of color in the blue fabrics will pop!

I’m hoping for a much better year in 2021 than we just had… for all of us!

Winding Down the Holiday Weekend

I had a good sleep in this morning, got up, showered and had a healthy breakfast with some really good coffee, then took the dogs for a 5.5 mile walk. It was a gorgeous day, sunny, and almost 50 degrees. With more rain coming later this week, I wanted to take advantage of the glorious sun!

When I got home I pulled the improv batik quilt off the design wall and folded it up with the backing I plan to use with it. Then I moved my KFC 16-patch blocks to the larger design wall.

I’ve tried fixing some spots that are bothering me and I can’t seem to fix them. I’m thinking it’s because I have a number of problematic blocks — blocks that are muddy because the two fabrics don’t have any contrast. It’s amazing how they stand out in the quilt. I’m probably going to pull them out and make some additional blocks. If I don’t, I won’t be able to stop thinking about them.

Here’s a black and white version of the photo above. Turning the photo to black and white helps me see the value and contrast in the blocks and not be distracted by the color.

I also pulled some blue fabrics for the 16-patch I’m probably going to make. I solicited some advice from Wanda at the Exuberant Color blog and she was nice enough to tell me how she selects fabrics for a 16-patch. So this is my initial pull based on the difference I’d like to have in values of the blue fabrics. It’s not quite right yet. There are a few pieces in there that aren’t quite right, and I haven’t decided yet how many fabrics I want to use. But this is a good start. I’m also waiting for one final delivery of a few lighter and medium pieces that may work as well.

Here’s a black and white version of the same fabrics. This really highlights a couple changes I’ll need to make.

I took the boys out for a short walk with a nice view of downtown Portland yesterday. They were only happy to pose because I had some tasty salmon cookies in my hand!

Back to work tomorrow for another short work week. I’m also hoping to take a couple days off the following week. This is a really busy time of year for a fundraiser!

Improv Batik Quit Top is Done

All I had to do tonight was to sew one final horizontal seam and then put on the borders to finish this quilt top.

It’s a little too big for my design wall, but this photo gives you an idea of how it looks with the border s, which I cut to 3.5 inches. I like the way it makes the blocks look like they’re floating.

I just can’t get over how pretty this indigo batik is.

I really don’t love the final stages of putting a quilt top together because I don’t like managing all that bulk of fabric. So I’ve some up with some tricks over time that make it a little easier for me.

First, when sewing the final two pieces of a quilt together or when putting borders on, I fold up the fabric so it’s a long narrow roll with the pinned edge at the top.

Then I accordion fold that roll up.

Then I put it on my lap at the sewing machine and feed it into the machine from there.

Another package of blue KFC fabrics was delivered this morning. This one was from Material Girl fabrics. I was really happy to find some older KFC blue fabrics there and love the older and lighter designs they had available. I had never even seen the pencils in the blue color way before.

I spent just a few minutes today playing with some of the blue fabrics I have now. I’m getting excited to firm up my first plan for these gorgeous fabrics.

My plan for tomorrow is to get my ninety 16-patch blocks up on my bigger design wall and see if I can get it ready to start sewing it all together.

I had a pretty quiet holiday. I made dinner for friends on Christmas Eve and delivered it to their house. I prepared everything but didn’t cook it. I delivered it ready to be put into the oven and on the stove top at different times, according to specific and simple instructions. I made poached salmon, a Waldorf coleslaw, oven roasted potatoes, and oven roasted asparagus with lemon and garlic. For dessert I made an apple cranberry crisp and vanilla ice cream. My friends loved it and said the prep was really easy and they loved that they could cook and eat it when it worked for them.

I had hoped to meet some friends for a nice hike with our dogs on Christmas morning, but it was pouring rain here all day. So I stayed at home and had some phone calls with family and friends. The rain did let off in the afternoon and we got our for a nice four-mile walk. My friends delivered a prime rib dinner for me on Christmas day‚Ķ complete with a wonderful glass of wine! I haven’t eaten beef since February, and it was really tasty. I had the left overs for dinner tonight.

These boys kept me good company over the holiday.

Bender, in the Santa hat, is a very good and cooperative poser. Rico, on the other hand, hates posing. Poor guy. Look how uncomfortable and unhappy he is. They both got lots of salmon treats for this.

Four of Seven Rows Done — And More KFC Blues

I’m off work for the remainder of the weekend. I’m really looking forward to some time off and hope to get a lot of sewing done, get some rest, and get outside.

I dug in after work this evening and got four of the seven rows of my batik improv quilt top assembled. I should be able to get the top finished tomorrow afternoon. Then I decide how big the outer borders will be and will get them on before I call this done.

I got another batch of blue KFC fabrics today. This package was from Island Quilter on Vashon Island, Washington. . . another one of my favorite online sources for KFC fabrics. They had some older designs that I hadn’t found anywhere else.

I realized that I already bought a piece of that Enchanted , second from the left on the top row. Oh well. I’ll use it some time.

Here’s all the blue fabrics I’ve ordered in the last couple of weeks. A quick count tells me there are 59 half yards. So a total of almost 30 yards.

One thing I love about KFC fabrics is that a big old stack of “blue” fabrics has all kinds of amazing color! I can’t wait to start putting combos together for a blue 16-patch!

I have one more order of 15 more half-yard pieces coming from Material Girl fabrics. They had some nice lighter blues and older prints as well. Once I get those, I’ll start thinking more seriously about fabric combos.

Indigo Sashing is Done — Thinking About What’s Next

I met a former neighbor at her new house tonight and we took our dogs for a three mile walk around her neighborhood. It was nice to have a different path and see some pretty holiday lights. And the dogs were really happy to have new things to sniff.

I dug in when I got home and finished putting all the sashing pieces on my improv batik blocks. I had made some mistakes on the top row that I did last night, so I rearranged the blocks that I could and removed sashing from the ones that couldn’t be moved.

The color in this photo is terrible! I need to remember to take a photo in daylight tomorrow. I’d like to get this all sewn together this weekend. It should go quickly as these blocks are big.

(Edited to add this daylight photo for more accurate color)

Then I can get this off my design wall and move onto the next new project.

I have a couple more orders of blue KFC fabrics coming. So I’m thinking I’ll make something blue, and I’m thinking I’ll do another 16 patch quilt. I have a friend who loves blue and this would make a great holiday gift next year. Nice to be prepared and have it done in advance.

I’ve also been wanting to make a red KFC quilt. I have built up my red KFC stash since the pandemic started. So I ordered the magazine that includes this pattern a couple of days ago. I’ve already pulled some fabrics for this from my stash, but nothing is final. It’s called Bold Proposition.

Here’s one that was posted recently on the KFC Facebook page by Amy Reynolds. It’s pretty striking!

Those colors are so incredible!

I also want to make one of these quilts that are a version of a Trip Around the World quilt. I found a tutorial by Bonnie Hunter that shows how to make these out of strip tubes and with my recent 16-patch project I think I would enjoy making this… and I would LOVE putting the fabrics together!

I found this photo on Pinterest and there was absolutely no indication of who made it. It’s a beautiful quilt. I love all the spots in there. I would also make this from KFC fabrics and would want it to have a color focus, but still be somewhat scrappy.

I also found this tutorial that shows how to place your fabrics for these blocks. This is good info to have before just striking out.

I kind of feel like I’m going to go the blue 16-patch route first. But I’ll have to see how I feel once it’s time to start cutting.

My Vision Was Right — Indigo Batik Sashing

There was a bit of a break in the rain this evening around 7:00 so I took the boys for a walk as I talked with a friend on the phone. Then I did my Christmas Eve dinner shopping. I typically go to the grocery store around 9 pm when there are few people in the store. There are usually only five or six cars in the parking lot that time of night.

When I got home I decided to cut some sashing pieces and start sewing them onto my improv batik blocks. And I have to say, I’m really liking how this looks!

I love the way the indigo makes the other colors make more sense. I also love how the piecing in each block stands out more when they’re separated by the indigo. I’m thinking this quilt will be finished with a wider indigo border… maybe 4 inches or so.

It’s so wonderful to see that my vision was right! This indigo sashing is making me very happy!

The indigo batik is really a soft and lovely fabric. Batiks can sometimes be coarse and stiff. This one is really lovely and the sashing is going on quickly and nicely.

This is going to come together quickly. All the hard work is done.

And look at how gorgeous this indigo is!! It’s pretty risky to purchase batiks online. I’m pretty happy with the way this purchase turned out.

I love the way the design of this batik gives the sashing movement with slight color variation. Gah! I just love batiks!

I ordered more blue KFC fabrics today from Island Quilter. They had some nice lighter tones. So I’m starting to think about a blue KFC quilt. I might go ahead and make another 16-patch while I’m in that groove. It would be fun to make one from all these new blue fabrics.

Ninety Sixteen-Patches Done!

I finished the last ten sixteen-patch blocks this evening. This is half of them. The duplicates of all these blocks are in a stack on my cutting table.

My plan now is to finish the sashing on my improv batik quilt top and get that assembled so I can free up that design wall for this sixteen patch quilt.

I just love some of these fabric combos. It’s giving me ideas for future quilts.

I ended up with a really sore and painful shoulder yesterday. A friend of mine who is a therapist told me that it sounded like I had some inflammation in there that was pressing on a nerve. She said I needed to keep ice on it and take Advil for the inflammation and Tylenol for the pain. So I had ice on it almost all day today. Since it was pouring rain all day it was a good day to cuddle up on the sofa.

So I took some time to plan my Christmas Eve dinner and make my shopping list while Bender snoozed next to me.

Christmas Eve dinner was always the big holiday event when I was a kid. Every year I have a group of people over for dinner and I usually cook traditional family food. My mother’s parents were immigrants from northern Italy, so that’s where the food I cook is from. It’s usually a pretty labor intensive meal and I really go all out.

This year, I’m going to make a more simple dinner for a couple of friends who always attend and deliver it to their house. But I’m going to get everything assembled complete with cooking instructions and they can pop it in the oven and eat it piping hot when they’re ready. So it’s taken some time to plan a menu that will work.

I’m going to make poached salmon with roasted potatoes, a Waldorf coleslaw (my friend LOVES my coleslaw) and roasted asparagus. For dessert I’m making an apple cranberry crisp with some vanilla ice cream.

Two packages of the blue KFC fabric I ordered arrived late last week. I’m going to have to rearrange my fabric drawers if I’m going to get this all put away.

This group came from Glorious Color.

This group came from Sew Colorful, one of my favorite places to buy KFC fabric online.

The group of fabrics from Glorious Color seem to have more vibrant spots of color, which I love!

I don’t have a specific plan for these fabrics, but I have a few ideas rattling around in my head.

I have a short work week coming up. I’ll take Christmas Eve off and, of course, Christmas Day. I’ll be cooking and prepping food on the 24th. Then on Christmas Day I’m planning on meeting a couple of friends for a nice long hike, and then my friends will deliver a prime rib dinner later in the afternoon.

Happy holidays to everyone! It’s a tough year for holidays. I hope you can find moments of joy.

Seventy Sixteen-Patch Blocks Done

I have a total of seventy blocks for this scrappy 16-patch quilt done. The blocks shown here are only half of my completed blocks.

There is a duplicate of each of these in a stack on my cutting table. My plan is to make this quilt 9 blocks by 10 blocks, which will be around 70 x 80 when it’s finished.

I’m really enjoying making this quilt. I’ve loved putting the sets of fabrics together for each block and I’ve found the assembly and sewing to be really satisfying and relaxing. I’m pretty surprised I’m feeling this about matching all those corners!

I’ve been getting a lot done, but I don’t feel like I’m really pushing myself. I’m trying to be really efficient in making these, so I’m doing them fives strip sets at a time.

I get the sections cut out of each strip set and then assemble all ten blocks before I move onto the next set of strips. Half of them go up on the design wall and half go into the stack.

I’m making sure I finish the duplicates of each block rather than putting them aside for later because I know this would be the path to another unfinished quilt. So rather than have to sit down at the end and assemble all the duplicate blocks, when I’m done with the last strip set, I’m done with the blocks.

I really like a lot of the blocks in this quilt, but I’m pretty sure this is my favorite.

I’ve always loved those two fabrics, but I’m not sure I would have ever thought of putting together. But they are pretty fantastic! And obvious. But the combo never crossed my mind.

And can I point out how good my corners look? I can’t believe how well these are going together!

My birthday flowers have been here for three weeks and they are now just barely starting to fade. I’ve never had cut flowers last this long.

I had to go into the office last night to drop of something for a co-worker to pick up so took the opportunity to snap a photo of my boys in front of the building. They were so excited until they realized it was just a photo op.

Sixteen Patch is Getting Better!

As I add more blocks to this design wall, I’m liking this quilt more and more. The image I shared in my last post had me thinking the blocks were all too similar. I’ve been adjusting pairings of fabrics as I go along, cutting a few lighter fabrics along the way, and I’m liking where this is going.

I’m thinking there are some blocks in here that will ultimately be removed. But I want to see all the blocks I have planned before making a final decision.

The blocks are more defined now. I think the addition of those lighter fabrics really made that happen. The previous set of blocks all just sort of blended into each other.

I’m really loving some of these fabric combos!

I have 34 blocks done, but only 25 are shown in the photo above. I have the duplicates of 15 of these that still need to be sewn.

Clearly, I spent some time on these blocks this weekend. I’ve been trying to be efficient in how I’m working, so I’m sewing multiple strip sets at a time, then cutting them all, then sewing the blocks.

This means that I didn’t finish the sashing on my batik improv quilt. But I did rearrange those blocks on the design wall so they were more random. The first layout had them all in a diagonal pattern by color. It was too structured. I like this more random arrangement better.

As I was looking through my Kaffe stash to find a few lighter fabrics to add to my sixteen patch quilt I realized that I have essentially NO blue fabrics. so I went online today and ordered a bunch of half yards of KFC blues. I’ve recently sold a few items and thought that was a good way to spend that money.

Tomorrow night I’m going to clean my living room so I can put up my little LED lighted birch tree and some lights on the mantle. I may put up a few holiday decorations, but I’m not going to go crazy. My lighted birch tree will stay up well into March. I just love having those lights in the room when it gets dark so early. Here’s a picture from last year.

I only need a little holiday cheer!