Monday, June 15, 2020

hands 2 help - february bonus quilt

This is it, folks.  The last Hands 2 Help quilt for 2020.

That's not to say I won't be making more for 2021, but here's to hoping if I take on such a large number, I can actually keep up on them and not have 34000 to blog about at the end.  (Okay, I might be exaggerating some.)

This quilt was a second project in February.  The first one, the one that used 600 squares of fabric I had foolishly cut up for no good reason believing others that having my scraps precut was a good idea.

It was not.

(Sidenote: if you wanna cross out words in the new blogger format, click on the little "<>" symbol up there by the floppy disk/save button.  It will take you to HTML mode and you can get your code monkey on.  Before the text you want crossed out, type "<del>" (no quotes) and after the words use "</del>" and then click the little "<>" symbol again and you will have beautifully crossed out words.  You're welcome that now you do not have to google that.)

(Oh.  Apparently, you can also click on the vertical elipses at the end of the row of options to do stuff to your post and it is in there to cross out words.  Sheesh.  I mean, who the heck cares about the color of your font?  I need to cross out words!  Make that a more important option please!)

Moving on.  Because I have been cranky for like 6 days, I am going to move on and leave this be.

Anyways, I had this small bundle of fat quarters.  It may predate my marriage.  It has been here a while and I was like "what should I do with THAT?" for a long time.

Oh, the fabric.

Looks pretty right?  But the grey and that pukey yellow in the middle were really throwing me off.  And it wasn't enough to do whatever with.  So I just ignored it and let my excuses be enough.

But then one day I saw a pattern for a giant star quilt and thought it would be a great plan.  And I had JUST the right amount of fabric!

Or so I thought...some of these were a little skimpy on the 18" a fat quarter is supposed to be.  The other dimension could have been off as well, but since I needed an 18" square,  I didn't bother with that.

Also, fun markings were found on some pieces!

They are not as obvious in the photos as in real life, but believe me, they were there and they were NOT coming out.  The pink I could cut around.  The orange/yellow required some creative piecing.

Anyways, I ended up sewing and trimming the half square triangles to a uniform size.  No easy feat when your squares are about 17.5" and your cutting mat is only 18" wide.  But I got it done.  And with pieces this large, wiggle room is abundant.

A layout was eventually determined...

...and a top was constructed.

It went quite quickly.

Oh look, snow.  Man, we would have taken a bit of that last week.  Also power.  (We had 90+ degree days and then a crazy storm that ran through here in about two minutes bringing sideways rain at hurricane speeds (we are NOWHERE near a coast that could bring us a hurricane), followed by hail and then gentle rain followed by sunshine and cool breezes and 60-ish highs for a few days.  In the first seconds of the storm, our power went out.  And the wind was so fierce and the rain so pounding, I did not even hear the generator, right below the bedroom window where I was when it all hit, kick on.  Imagine standing 10 feet from a lawnmower and NOT HEARING it start up.  Yeah.  Nuts.)

Anyways, this went to the Rack of Shame for a bit.  I made the binding from remaining black, but at the time it hit the rack, nothing was getting quilted.  I was saving them all for a mad dash, obviously.

And then it got passed over a few times because I just couldn't figure out how to quilt it.  I would have liked to do some straight lines echoing the star points in the black, but it was a touch too wide for the longarm to do successfully with the ruler base on (that shortens my opening a few inches on either side) and I was just stumped.  But finally, I just put it on there and quilted it with swirl hooks.

At least I think that is what I did.

Let's see the finished photo - that will show more detail.

Yeah, I think that's it.

This was the last quilt to be done for Hands 2 Help 2020.  I hand-sewed down the binding while sitting on the porch a few weekends ago, during my front porch quilt show.  The black on black wasn't super easy to see, but I figure that means neither are my stitches!

The back?

This fun bubble print I found in the sale room at my local quilt shop.  Perfect to hide all my oopsies and whatnot.

And Friday, I packed up all 17 quilts, after each got a short stint in the dryer to remove cat hair and creases, and dropped them off to the Suitcase Angels group that will have them for foster kids.  Their grand re-opening (they were donated a building for forever recently and just finished all the repairs and renovations on it a few weeks ago) is tomorrow and I'm excited these will be there to help kick things off.

I can't believe they all fit in just those two boxes!  They're not exactly small boxes, but wow!

And I had plenty of help with that task.  Finn thinks the dryer is an alien spaceship of warmth and wants to get in it every time it is open.  And he goes boneless when you try to get him out.  So extra fun.  Also, he and Freddie inspected the boxes periodically to make sure the quilts were smooshed in properly.  I kept pulling them back out, but dang!  Silly beasties.

So I mentioned my power went out.  This will make you all giggle, I'm sure.  Here is the outage map for where I live.

That purple diamond represents a power outage.  Mine.  It's about a mile or so across.  That blue dot?  My house.  Smack dab in the middle.


Though the "legend" on the map did not indicate it, that yellow area was also out of power.  I thought maybe they were just outlining areas for s***s and giggles, but a coworker who lives about where that "+/-" box is assured me he also had no power.  For like days.  Ours was out about 18 hours, but with the generator running the pump, fridge and a couple of outlets (sadly not the air conditioner, but since it dropped literally 20 degrees in 15 minutes before and during the storm, it was comfortable and then there were the cool, non-humid breezes following), I only had to complain about the generator noise.  Which, in the grand scheme of things, is not really worth complaint.

The funniest part?  I had JUST gotten home from dropping off baked goodies to a friend (she needed them), made it upstairs to change into sweatpants - literally straight from the car to the bedroom - and the storm hit.  Which explains why I was in the bedroom, but also shows how lucky I was to not only have finished the baking, but to have missed being out in the storm.  My barn cats came up with cobwebs on their whiskers at dinnertime.  They must have been hiding somewhere they hadn't been in a long time, but they are just fine.  Hungry as always.

And one more fun story.  And a few cat photos!

Every year, we have a cookout at my in-laws for Father's Day.  The kids all come and it is hot, so we bring squirt guns.  A few years ago, there was a kiddie pool also.  That worked VERY well to allow the kids to refill their own squirt guns so the adults the shade.  These pools are often abused the remainder of the year and a new one needs to be purchased.  This year, we had some at work, so I figured I would pick one up - my turn, I guess.

And a coworker teased me about it being a "kitty" pool (since the words sound very much alike) and informed me that cats do not like baths or swimming.  (How does he know?  He doesn't even like cats, vile creature that he is.)

But I put the pool down when I got inside the house and Finn flopped in it.  In fact, I picked it up from the entry and carried it *with Finn inside* into the living room.

You may notice he has a toy.  That was added 10 minutes later, once I had put away all the other things I dragged home that day.  He was still in there.

Then Freddie got curious.

He wasn't so sure about having his photo taken, so he tried to evade me.  Also, the photo is grainy because it was getting dark.

And then, a short while later, as I was sitting across the room reading, Gabby hopped in.

My first attempt to get closer and get a photo resulted in her running away.  So this one is SUPER grainy because I zoomed way in to keep her from detecting my trickery.  (And, as I stated in my last post, she will photo bomb anything, but does not want it to be MY choice that she is in a photo.)

My coworker got a good laugh out of this.  Maybe I am starting to convince him cats are not as awful as he thought?  (He also chuckled pretty good about a video I took of the Christmas tree being used as a cat pounce blind - after they had knocked it over and dragged into the middle of the room, of course - it is a small tree and we don't plug it in or decorate it for just this reason, so all is well.  But my mom can no longer complain that we "don't put up a tree"...)

Oh, one last thing.  I made some green things today:

I have a lot of colors of green, so these are quite varied.  But that's okay.  It's a scrap quilt.

Oh.  One more last thing.

I've heard a few folks make snide remarks about fabrics that are not from quilt shops being of inferior quality and how they shrink wonky when you wash them.


This came from a quilt shop.  It is "quilt shop quality" brand name fabric.

I washed it, pressed it and refolded it.

See how uneven that edge is?  (The white.)  I lost about an inch.  The other side is also wonky.  And this was cut straight - using a rotary cutter, straight off the bolt.

Now I'm not saying some stuff from non-quilt shops can't be bad.  But I'm asking that the shaming for purchasing elsewhere based on how it shrinks stop.  (Actually, I'd like us all to live in fabric harmony and not worry about where someone else buys their fabric.  I've seen some pretty flimsy stuff at actual quilt shops and some very nice stuff at Wal-Mart.)

And with that, I'm off to find something to eat for dinner and work up a good excuse for the hubby about why I did not clean the house today while he went fishing.

Happy quilting!


A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Nice quilt! Smack dab in the middle - where else would you be when "it" hits the fan? - LOL. Silly kitty cats - have to prove your coworker wrong about them not liking the pool - too funny! And why is it that hubby can go fishing and you're expected to clean the house when he's gone? Does he clean it when you go shopping? - NO? - b>BOB/b> didn't think so - LOL - ;))

---"Love" said...

Those fabrics turned out to be a beautiful big star that someone will love for sure. Did you notice how the leaves on your tree sort of make a green border around it? (:)) No doubt all 17 donated quilts will be appreciated. You and your cats are something else! ---"Love"

agoodyarn said...

You've had some wild weather there to be sure and nice work on the power outage placement. Bulls eye! The Giant Star quilt looks great and 17 quilts for the charity. I'm not a fan of pukey yellow either. The antics of your cats are hilarious and their inclusion in your posts is always entertaining. Your green - I think they look a bit tulips - blocks are bright and lively. Your observations and remarks about quilt fabrics and shrinkage are spot on and certainly echo my experience.

canuckquilter said...

Can I just say "ditto" to everything A Good Yarn wrote? Also, thanks for the tip (and folloow up) about how to cross out words in a post!