Monday, April 20, 2020

hands 2 help - another quilt

It seems I have fallen off the wagon regarding finishing the Hands2Help quilts.  I have a bunch of tops.  And plan to donate all those made for Project Quilting.  So I'm doing okay with my goal of 12 quilts - I just need to get them quilted!

A few weeks ago, I quilted the top I put together at the retreat in January.  It sat here, half-bound, for quite a while.  And then I finished the binding, but it snowed and the wind blew and then it was 72 and then it snowed again.  And the wind kept blowing.

Anyways, in case you don't remember, here is the top:

This was done entirely from my stash and I only had to modify it a bit because I didn't have enough of the solid-ish blue - that's where you see the fireworks print in some of the blocks.  I think it looks just fine.  I planned it so they were spaced evenly, so it looks intentional.  It is, but the running out of fabric was NOT intentional!

I completed it as my first project at a quilt retreat in January.  It went together quickly and impressed everyone as it went up, block by block, onto the plentiful design walls.

Then, after a little rest on the Rack of Shame, I put it on the longarm...

...procrastinated a bit (talked to my brother on the phone for quite a while)...and then dug in!

Straight up to the sewing room to get the binding sewn on!

And then back downstairs to the comfy couch and Netflix and some binding.  But I didn't get far before I got sidetracked.  I can't even say what happened, just that it sat for about a week waiting for me.

(There is a peek of the backing in that photo too!)

But if these are going to be ready to go in May when they're due (not sure if the charity will be accepting them yet, but I'll sure give it a shot!), I'd better get going.  So I sat down one night and in a few hours had it finished.

Then we had snow.  And wind.  Lots of wind.  And a few warmer days.  Then more snow.  Last Friday it snowed for about 8 hours straight.  There was a covering on the ground, but it never piled up.  Once it quit, within about an hour, you wouldn't have known it snowed.  It was snowing through sunshine at some points.  Weather is weird.

Anyways, finally yesterday the weather and sunshine seemed to be cooperating, and the neighbor's flag told me it wasn't THAT windy out.  When I got out there, I decided it was a little too windy to get a clothesline shot, so I went for pinning it to the fencing on the cat run.  I had to add clothespins to the bottom edges because it was windy enough it wouldn't lay still for long.  But I finally had it secured enough for photos!

The sun was shining brightly, so it looks a little shiny-odd here, but you can kinda see the quilting, which isn't typical.  More importantly, you can see it finished!

And about 10 seconds after this photo, a gust of wind took the quilt, ripping it from all but one clothespin, breaking apart two of them!  (I put them back together, but still - glad I got my photos quickly!)

So this is the "December" quilt.  The "January" quilt is also finished and "November" was quilted last week...

Sneak peek of "November" quilting...

The binding is waiting for me on this one, I just have to convince myself to sit down and do it.  There are so many other things I want to be doing and I'm working more shifts - and longer shifts - at work, despite our ours of operation being shortened by 3 hours each day!  We are busier than ever and lucky enough that the latest rules for larger stores do not apply to us.  So we are able to sell garden seeds and mulch and paint.  But we are also selling lawn mowers and fence gates and plumbing supplies.  (And 99% of my customers are so nice.  I'm so thankful for that.  Even if I do come home mentally exhausted each day!)

The "January" quilt is awaiting its turn here on the blog.

But quilting!

Last post I shared that I was going to start the kit I purchased while on retreat in January.  I decided, after reviewing the size of the quilt the kit would make, I didn't need it to be larger.  Yay!  Cutting!

The instructions guided me to layer a number of fat quarters and cut multiples at once.  While I've done this before with single cuts of fabric, I have found my accuracy wasn't as good as it sometimes is due to the need to move cut strips before subcutting.  But I can make this work - I've been a quilter long enough!  (And it's not THAT bad.)

Next up was to pair fabrics.  Each block gets three different fabrics and I wanted to make sure I didn't end up with one that was all dark purples at the end or anything.

And they're pinned together.  I ran out of wonder clips, so I'm using binder clips.  They may not be as cute, but they're cheaper and I have them!

On to sewing!

Block one went well.  And I like the contrast here.  Even if my iron does not like those overly metallic-printed fabrics in there.  (Most of those in this kit have at least some.)

Finn wants you to know that he is keeping close watch on those block parts.  He is making sure nobody rematches themselves when I am not watching.

Today I completed the 10th block - I thought I only had eight done, but hey!

They go pretty quickly and the points to match are easier than many blocks.  Some have better contrast.  Some I like better.  But when working with a bundle of fat quarters and a kit, you get what you get.  The only thing I would recommend is not using directional fabrics for this one.  You can see in a few blocks how that goes haywire!

While contemplating things and I don't remember what, I turned up a baggie of bonus half square triangles from my Supernova quilt.  This blog post is dated 2014, so you know these are almost vintage!  I decided it was time to do something with them.

While perusing Pinterest, I came across this quilt and knew the direction I was headed.  (It's funny to me, seeing the date from this linked blog post, this quilt was also constructed in 2014 - just a few months before mine!)

I wasn't sure how many of each color I had, but figured I would just start trimming and sewing as leader-enders for my purple quilt and see what happens.

I pinned them up, tucking pins behind my hideous leopard print wallpaper border (that I will one day finish removing), behind my sewing machine.  Mostly to make sure they would all end up going the same way.  I'm not sure I can screw this one up, but you know how pinwheels can go random directions if you're not careful and I just don't want to sew these more than once if I can help it!

As it turns out, I will have 12 blocks (well, blocks parts, but what you see above as blocks) of each color - which will make up 2 full blocks.  How is that for luck?!

I had no plans for the background or centers for the coming blocks, but figured something would happen.  I opened my stash closet and this was staring me in the face.

(I knew I had no more of the black in the half square triangles.)  How is that for pretty much awesome?!  It's not a match, but I like it and I'm pretty sure it will look great.  (This photo was taken in sunshine filtering through trees, so it looks a bit different than in usual...)

I'm still not sure what will be the centers, but I'll tackle that another day.  Those are just 4" squares and I'll only need eight of them.  I can figure that out easily.

So I kept going and made it into the greens today!

Some of the fabrics in this quilt I absolutely adore.  I'm so excited to find a home for these leftovers.  I still have the Supernova quilt, too, but sometimes it just makes you happy to have a second quilt with much loved fabrics.

Today I also pieced a back for the princess castle quilt.  No photos.  I used up extra fabric from the front.  Because I chose to make it smaller, I had a few larger chunks and made it work!  I also had enough to make binding from one fabric from the kit.  I'm a lucky girl!

Freddie, stubborn little stinker, wants you to see his teefs...

The other day my hubby was having a rough day at work, so I went to snap a few kitty photos to send him.  They always make him feel better.  And Freddie let out a big yawn as I pointed the camera in his direction.  Every photo I take of black cats makes them look evil (no matter how hard I try or how many I take or how actually goofy they are being), so might as well just add in the teeth factor, right?

(Please also note he is sitting on my sewing chair.  I dragged my desk chair upstairs because he religiously steals my sewing chair for himself and gets mad when you try to share it.  And he does not want the desk chair, despite how they are almost identical.)

Finn was also being super cute.  As usual.

No photos of Gabby today, but last night, as I was stretched out on the couch reading, she came up and settled down on my chest.  This is a first and I was scared to breathe for fear she would run off.  She is getting a lot friendlier lately and I think Finn is helping her with that.  He is such a floppy, easygoing dork, and she sees him being loved and nothing scary happening, so I think she is catching on that the humans, scary and huge as we are, aren't going to harm her.  And if she comes around more, she will get more pets and scratches and loves.  (She is right.)

And with that, I'm off to decide what else to do with my afternoon.  Tomorrow I have planned to quilt the princess castle quilt, as my boss has not scheduled me for my usual Tuesday shift.  (It's truck day, so usually everyone is scheduled, but for whatever reason, I'm not this week.  That's okay.  Truck day is usually extra chaotic and I'm okay with less chaos!)

Happy quilting!
Wash your hands!


Lynette said...

Awwww. Super cute Finn, for sure. :) Nice finish on the H2H quilt! It will be loved, I'm sure, when they're able to go out.

---"Love" said...

That top quilt is really pretty. I would have never noticed the fabric shortage if you had not mentioned it. Looks great to me. Those other blocks are looking great too. Hope you stay safe, and keep showing us what you've been up to. ---"Love"

Preeti said...

Oh Gosh, Finn is adorable. He actually got inside the box!!!
Your blocks look lovely and the H2H finish is gorgeous. Stay safe and sane (hopefully). Sending big hugs from a safe distance away :-)

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Pretty much awesome! And lucky girl! Finn and Freddie are adorable - Finn always looks so comfy all twisted up - and Freddie has some very nice teef - ;))

a good yarn said...

Another super blog report Katie. I love your energy it shines through each post. The quilt is lovely. Blue and yellow work so well together. Your kit blocks look great but I’d be too nervous to try and gut multiple layers. I’m all for using up leftover cuttings if possible so delighted that your Supernova quilt has given you an offspring. Lucky find on the black and it plays nicely. That is really weird weather. Snow and sunshine at the same time. Stories and pictures of your gorgeous kitty-kats are always a treat.

Marsha B said...

The H2H quilt turned out great. Looks like it was designed to look that way and not a fabric shortage issue. Very pretty colors, too. The kit quilt looks like fun, I like the colors, fabrics and the block design is great. Another cute quilt in the making! The one from all the half square triangles looks great, too. Have fun playing with all the colors. Love the kittie pictures, they are so cute and entertaining. Enjoy those fur babies. Can't wait to see more of the princess castle, that is an adorable quilt! Have fun Katie and stay healthy!