Taming My Scraps

I took a little diversion tonight and continued taming some of my KFC scraps. All these little pieces came together in crumb blocks.

I kept some scrap strips aside to complete the starburst blocks I’m making. But I actually used up almost all the other KFC small scraps that I’ve saved. This is all I have left:

I made a few nice size panels that will make a fun project. I’m thinking I’ll use the two larger panels on the right in this photo to make a medium size tote bag.

The one on the bottom right measures about 19 inches square.

I’ve been wanting to try some matchstick machine quilting and will probably do that on this bag. I’m thinking I’ll make a deep gusset on the bag as well, one single handle long enough to go over my shoulder and maybe a couple pockets on the inside. It’s all up in the air, but that’s what I’m thinking.

When I make these crumb blocks I chain piece them and it goes pretty fast. It’s amazing how quickly all those tiny pieces turn into larger panels.

I do enjoy making crumb blocks. Improv piecing like this truly is my happy place. It’s nice to just let each piece be what it wants to be.

Took a photo during our afternoon walk today. So many trees in my neighborhood are blooming and the aroma in the neighborhood is so lovely. I came across a winter Daphne today that smelled so incredible! And some apple trees were so lovely.

My forsythia is in such gorgeous bloom right now. It’s at it’s peak.

This is just it’s third bloom. It’s grown crazy fast. It was only about 18 inches tall when I planted it two years ago. It’s going to get a serious trim when its bloom is done. I like them to be all sprangly rather than shaped, but this is a little thin. I’m hoping trimming it back will encourage it to thicken up and fill in.

We have a couple more days of rain and then a stretch of really gorgeous weather coming up. This is usually a very rainy time of year here in Portland, so this will be a treat and everything will come to life and explode with blooms!

Where Did Sunday Go?

I have no idea what I did today that took up all those hours! I slept in a little. Got up and had a leisurely breakfast. Then I sewed a few blocks for my sunburst quarter log cabin blocks.

I need 17 more of these for the main body of this quilt top and got 15 of them made today. Then I’ll need to make a few more larger ones that will be cut in half for the setting triangles.

I did take just a few minutes this morning to replace the muslin on my ironing board. I’ve needed to do this for awhile now and it feels good to have it all clean and nice.

I used a double layer of muslin and attach it to the ironing board with elastic clips. It works really well.

It was supposed to be rainy today but we were able to get out and take a nice four mile walk in the early afternoon and we didn’t get any rain at all. We had the roads and trails pretty much to ourselves. I think everyone was thinking it was going to rain.

Then I lost a couple of hours. I honestly don’t know what I did with all the hours today. So after apparently daydreaming away a couple hours I had an early dinner.

Then I hit the sewing room and continued making sunburst blocks. I wrapped up my sewing by taking a pile of smaller KFC scraps that have been collecting as I sew the sunburst blocks… and sewing them into some crumb pieces. It felt good to get this pile cleaned up and a little more organized.

A friend of mine gave me some daffodils the other day and I tried something I’ve been wanting to try. I put red food coloring in the water. If you do this when the daffodils are just opening up, they will draw up the colored water and the color will appear on the petals.

You can just barely see the touches of red on the edges of the petals. This is after just one day. It will be interesting to see if more color appears over the next few days.

Holy cow… this weekend went by way too fast!

My Scrappy KFC Trip Quilt is Done!

I dug in this afternoon and pinned and sewed the final three horizontal seams for this bright quilt and can now count it among my finished quilt tops in the last year — number 16.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. And I can’t believe I waited so long to make one.

Because of the mistakes I made the last time I worked on this, the final assembly was a little harder… I had a harder time keeping track of how the rows should go together. I had to do a lot of checking and rechecking as I prepared to sew the final seams. But It’s all correct and my previous mistake didn’t cause any terrible issues with the design.

Here’s some eye candy…

And the obligatory close ups because these fabrics are so amazing!

When this was done I decided that I needed to get organized and ready to finish the scrappy KFC starburst half log cabin quilt that’s been on my design wall for months. I’ve decided to gift this quilt to my brother and his wife for their bed and needed to figure out how many more blocks I need to make.

They want the finished quilt to be 84 x 104. I have 88 blocks done and need to make 17 more full size blocks. I’ll also need to make around 15 additional blocks that are a little bigger for the setting triangles. See this blog post to see what I decided to do for setting triangles.

My design wall isn’t big enough to accommodate this entire quilt, so I’m using the Styrofoam extension that I made a few months ago and am laying the quilt out sideways. I plan on putting several borders on this to get it up to the size I need. Unbelievably… I’m almost out of my KFC scrap strips. I’m hoping I have enough to finish the blocks I need.

Once I made the notes I needed to wrap this up, I took all these blocks off the design wall and put them away.

Then, to wrap up my time in my sewing room I took all my Ice Storm blocks and put them up on the design wall.

I’ll look at this for a couple days before I start sewing it together. Tomorrow I plan to work on some of my new Ruffled Feathers blocks and will probably crank out some sunburst blocks.

I’m starting to think about the next quilt I’ll start. I pulled out all my Brandon Mably Jumble fabrics the other day and stacked them all up together. They are so pretty!

I’m thinking of combining these with a bunch of the more whimsical low volume fabrics I’ve purchased recently. Thinking it might be another fun trip quilt.

I did go online and order a few color ways of the jumble that I’m missing. I’ll wait to decide what to do with these until I get that order.

I took the boys for a nice long walk this morning before the rain started. We walked five miles and ventured into a neighborhood we don’t typically walk in. It was nice to have some new surroundings.

That was a busy day!

Almost Finished, but Messed Up Instead

I felt really confident that I would finish this Scrappy KFC trip quilt top this evening. I had a quilt guild Zoom meeting and pinned and sewed the final three rows of blocks while I listened.

I would have completed this tonight except that I sewed two of the rows together wrong, which meant that they wouldn’t work with the rows they were supposed to be next to. Rather than pick them apart I was just able to move the top row to the bottom of the incorrectly sewed two rows and it will all work.

See that single row across the middle? That was supposed to be the top row.

I think it will be fine to sew it together this way. But I will turn that top section of two around the other way to see how it looks before I sew it all together.

I walked into my sewing room at one point in the evening when part of this was sitting on my cutting table and it was just so pretty!

It’s definitely prettier close up when you can see the variation within each fabric.

I decided it was better to put this aside and wait to finish it, rather than plug on and make more mistakes. I should be able to finish this up tomorrow night and then put the Ice Storm blocks up on the design wall.

Here’s my boys from our afternoon walk today. They were very excellent posers… even Rico!

And such a beautiful sky tonight as the sun was going down.

Scrappy Batik 16-Patch is in the Done Pile!

It’s done! I sewed the final four horizontal seams after our walk this evening. This is my 15th finished quilt top since the pandemic started a year ago.

I had another webinar this morning and took the computer into my sewing room so I could get the ten rows for this quilt top pinned in pairs as I listened and watched. I actually got all ten rows pinned and the five pairs sewn during the webinar … and managed to join in the conversation online! It was a productive hour!

Here’s the five sets of two rows all sewn together and pressed.

It feels so good to have this done and it seems like it went together really quickly.

Here’s the two final sections all pinned and accordion folded… ready to sew the final seam.

As I was pressing the final seam I was admiring all the beautifully pressed seam allowances on the back. It’s really pretty when it comes together nicely!

These blocks are made from 2.5 inch strips. I followed the excellent tutorial for sixteen patch blocks on the Exuberant Color website. If you don’t follow the Exuberant Color blog, you should! Wanda’s tutorial makes these blocks so easy to make.

Here’s a close up of the quilt top. These blocks are so pretty when they’re all sewn together. I’m so glad I finally got brave enough to make a sixteen patch. And now I can’t force myself to make a quilt that isn’t made from 2.5 inch strips!

Our walk this evening was the first one we’ve had this year that took place in daylight… and it was wonderful!!!

This is our last nice day before the rain settles back in for the next ten days. It was wonderful while it lasted.

Chunking Away at UFOs

I had two long Zoom calls on the schedule today that involved a lot of listening and not much talking, so I planned ahead and made sure I had some sewing work ready to go to keep my hands busy while my brain was occupied.

So I pulled out my scrappy batik sixteen patch blocks and got all ten rows pinned together.

It’s funny to me, but I find pinning these blocks sort of meditative. And there’s something very satisfying about feeling those nested seams “click” together! I love it!

After our walk tonight I ran to the grocery store and did my month’s staple shopping. I like to go this time of night because there are so few people in the store. And now I’m set for a while.

When I got home I hit the sewing room and sewed together all those ten rows that I pinned earlier today.

They’re all numbered, stacked up and accordion folded. I’ll save pinning the rows together for my next long Zoom call. I have a few webinars coming up later this week.

Here’s all these batik blocks on the design wall back in January.

It was another nice day today but we didn’t have a ton of sun. “Fake Spring” is almost over. We have a couple more days of nice weather and then we’ll go back to rain for as far out as the forecast goes. The gorgeous weather we’ve had the last few days really has me hankering for real spring!

This time of year can be so beautiful in Portland. My flowering plum is blooming, as are my flowering pear trees. The bright yellow blooms on my forsythia are just opening and will be in their full glory in a few days. The first of my daffodils opened today.

Here’s my boys on our afternoon walk today… posing in front of someone else’s daffodils.

Here Comes the Sun!

My favorite day of the year is the day the time changes in the spring. I just love the long light in the evenings in the summer. This day tells me that time is coming and that winter is on the way out. Unfortunately, it was rainy all day here in Portland so I didn’t get the wonderful sensation of sun at 7 pm. I will get that tomorrow.

I didn’t have a terribly productive weekend as far as sewing goes. I did finish the final eight blocks for my ice storm quilt.

Now I need to finish sewing the scrappy KFC trip quilt blocks together so I can get that off the design wall and get this one up.

After I finished these blocks tonight I wanted some mindless sewing so I whipped up ten more sunburst quarter log cabin blocks.

I really need to measure what I already have done for this quilt and figure out how many more blocks I need before I make more. I should be close to having what I need for the main part of the quilt top. Plus, I’m actually seeing the end to my pile of KFC fabric strips! I thought that would never happen!

You can see more about this quilt here, here and here.

I really enjoy making these blocks. It’s all very free form, nothing is precise, and the way they go together means that no seams have to match. It’s the perfect sewing to do at night when you want to sew but don’t want something complicated and precise.

On Friday after work I sorted through all my KFC fabrics and got them all back in their drawers… including all the new fabric that his been stacked up on my sewing table for months.

A few months ago I had virtually NO blue KFC fabrics. I guess I took care of that problem!

Saturday I had my regular sheep herding lesson up in Battle Ground, Washington, and Rico did an amazing job, as he usually does! He’s so talented. Then we hightailed it down to Mollala, Oregon, for another lesson with a different trainer. And again, Rico was amazing.

While in Molalla we took the opportunity to have a nice run in a big field between our turns on the sheep. When we were all done we took a nice walk on BLM land before we headed home. The dogs had a blast running around and it’s really good for me to spend some time in the forest.

The sun coming through the trees was so beautiful.

Saturday was an absolutely amazing sunny and warm day. I’m so glad that I got to spend almost the entire day outdoors. It was just what I needed after another stressful work week.

Rico was so exhausted from all his activity during the day that he could hardly keep up during our after-dinner walk! He certainly slept well last night!

Cleaning Up This Mess

I haven’t felt great the last couple of days. I’m feeling the need for a vacation and I think I’m not drinking the water I need to be drinking. So I haven’t felt much like sewing .

I did get a little spurt of energy after our walk tonight and got into my sewing room and started cleaning up some of the mess that’s been driving me crazy.

I’ve needed to organize and put away fabric that I’ve purchased over the last few months. There was so much fabric stacked up on my sewing table that it was getting in the way of feeding fabric through my machine.

I also had stacks of the black and white fabrics I’ve purchased recently, as well as the new KFC fabrics that I’ve purchased in the last couple weeks that needed to be put away.

I started by cleaning out some drawers in the Ikea dresser that I use for fabric storage. I was able to free up the three smaller top drawers and got all of my black and white fabrics put away. This is all the new black and white fabrics I’ve bought recently, as well as the black and whites that I already had.

One of these drawers had a mess of batik scraps. One had Kaffe scraps. I can’t even remember what the third had in it. It feels so good to see all of this organized and put away!

I took all the new KFC fabrics and the stuff that was stacked on the sewing table and sorted it all out by color. This photo shows all that fabric plus the newest Kaffe fabrics that arrived today (my second order of the new stuff… because I just wanted more of it!).

I was able to clean out one large drawer in my dresser that will accommodate all these KFC fabrics. But in order to get all this organized and put away I need to combine it with the KFC fabric that’s already in the dresser.

So I’ll have to pull all of this out and then put all the fabric back in according to color, with a few exceptions. I keep all my spots and all my paperweight, Roman glass and millefiori in one place. I’m thinking I can get this done tomorrow night.

Maybe having this mess cleaned up a little will help motivate me to get back in there again!

We’ve had glorious weather the last few days. It definitely feels like spring here in Portland.

My yard guy has been here this week doing some serious pruning of my apple tree, which has gotten sort of out of hand. The yard feels so clean and neat with that tree trimmed up!

I also have him planting some new trees that will eventually provide some needed shade for my patio. Our previous attempt at using bamboo in galvanized steel tanks has not proven successful. The bamboo will come out and these tanks will be used as raised garden beds.

I’m hopeful and positive that these three new trees will provide some nice shade in a few years and make it so that I can use my patio on summer evenings.

And Just Like That, the Weekend is Over

It’s Sunday night at 10 o’clock and I’m wondering where the day went. Since I was up for herding lessons yesterday, I had a bit of a sleep in today. Then it rained for a good part of the day so I dug in and did some sewing.

I was itching to make two more Ruffled Feathers blocks because I wanted to see four of them together.

I’ve decided to call this my “Secret Purple” quilt. Before I started sewing these blocks I really thought that this would read as a green quilt. But to me, it’s purple! And I love it!

These blocks are really big. I think they finish at around 16 inches and I’ll need 20 blocks for this quilt. So I’m already 1/5 of the way done!

When I finished these blocks the rain had eased up a little so we headed out for a nice walk. I had planned to walk three miles, and then walk two more around 8 pm. It was really nice out so we kept on walking and ventured into a neighborhood where we don’t typically walk. It ended up being a five mile walk and we got pretty wet at one point.

Not really sure what this sign means. Apparently we weren’t welcome at this particular home.

After dinner I hit the sewing room again and sewed up the final four strip sets for my Ice Storm quilt and got the pieces cut for the final eight blocks.

I’ll try to get these final blocks sewn tomorrow night.

Not Very Exciting, But Very Productive

Spent some time in my sewing room this evening and really got a lot done.

I finished eight blocks for my Ice Storm quilt and started on the final four strip sets.

Then I sewed another row of the scrappy KFC trip quilt together and sewed the first two rows together.

Today I got one of the final two packages of black and white fabrics I purchased online. This was a big package of 20 pieces. The one I’m still waiting for has six pieces.

Here’s all the black and white fabrics I’ve purchased in the last few weeks.

There are some really fun fabrics in this stack. It will be fun to see how they work up in a quilt.

Amazingly, I’ve only duplicated one fabric in all the many pieces I’ve purchased recently. I think that’s pretty impressive!

We went for a sheep herding lesson this morning and we had a really productive hour on the sheep. It was such a gorgeous day and so fantastic to be outside after a rainy day yesterday.

After herding I took the boys for a five mile walk around Washington State University. There were a lot of people out walking on this beautiful day. Take a look at this sky!

They’re pretty worn out tonight. Bender is too pooped to play.