Last week, I left you with some fabric purchases...some had been turned into projects already (the pants), and others were waiting their turn...
First, I needed to get the masks made. My niece's birthday is today and I knew we'd be stopping by (an outside visit, thankyouverymuch) soon with her birthday gift and I wanted to add these in.
I chose a boring, coordinating, solid for the inside of her grandpa's mask, but for her? Fun stuff! And while I was on a roll, I made my Christmas mask, too. You may notice the pony beads there - I'm not sure if I actually saw someone use those, or just figured it out myself (it's been a long year...), but I added those onto the extra-long elastic to make it adjustable. I've seen far too many people with masks falling off their face because the elastic is way too long and for $2.99, I acquired a large bag of beads. I continue to put ties on mine because I like them better. (And we got new communicator devices at work that rest on your ear...pretty soon we're all gonna need extra ears...thank goodness I can wear contacts and save the glasses trouble!)
After that, I decided I would try to use up some of the scraps from the pants. I'm okay with putting some back in the stash, but it was staring at me and this idea seemed quick and easy.
Of course, Gabby can't miss a photo op, and this is before I sewed it all together, but I'm sure you can imagine it with seams. I had to piece one pink square, but otherwise, it was all good. (And now the offending pink that would not cooperate is gone.) I still have a little of the cat fabric, but that's okay.
Next up were pillowcases. These always sound like a great idea, but getting those French seams properly arranged leaves me with aching hands. I've learned to use a wooden seam roller instead of an iron to flatten them, so at least my hands are not also singed!
They don't look like much just sitting here, but in my previous post, I showed a better photo of the fabrics in case you're really curious. I may be getting faster, but these always take longer than I want them to.
Between projects, I continued with the churn dash blocks - as thread colors allowed (no way am I going to sew these with black!)...
I figured out I could cut a ninth block from the shorter leftovers, which not only speeds the process along in general, but makes for a nice square set in a photo. Not that you'd notice it with Miss Personality helping there.
These are more true to color. Apparently Gabby's beauty washed out the blocks in the previous photo.
I think there may be a set missing, but, well, you get the idea. Blue and off-white churn dash blocks in coordinating prints. Not terribly exciting, so it's good I have some new projects in more varied, brighter colors to share.
But first, Toby would like you to know that he is making progress in his journey as Quilting Cat.
Here he is calmly supervising me cutting churn dash pieces. Don't be fooled. 4 seconds before and after the photo, he was walking back and forth, tempting fate for a tail-shortening or worse. (Of course, I'm careful and put the cutter away and give him loves, but we're working on timing things better!)
On to my second shopping trip in a week!
My niece, the one who "ran away" last September, got married in December and pregnant in about August, finally found out she is having a boy! I knew I was going to make her a quilt, but was waiting to make color choices. I went through my Pinterest boards first. And found the Chic Country quilt pinned in a more random colorway than the pattern cover and I was done.
I've had the ruler for a while, but didn't have the pattern. No problem! And I've been feeling guilty at spending all the money on this ruler that I've not yet used. Perfect pairing!
But. Since this involves a lot of curves (which I'm pretty confident with, but I mean a LOT), I decided to make a test block. Make sure I could handle at least a small portion of the whole before I committed.
The corners were not where they should be (you make the block quarters oversize and trim them down) and I was a little worried. Which is why one corner is smaller. It is the correct size, but I left the others a bit large, not sure what to do. When in doubt, google! I found that the pattern designer, as well as many others, have said "it'll be fine". It is not perfect for anyone, and once I read that, I inspected their photos more closely and realized there are lost points in every one.
Okay. Let's make a second test block. Move the needle over just a teeny bit, maybe the slightly larger seam allowance will make a bit of difference. (But also, practice makes perfect!)
This one is a bit better, but still has its problems. I decided to make my peace with it and go buy the fabric. It's going to be a baby quilt, intended to be used, so perfection is not terribly important. And though Jade has done some quilting stuff with myself and both of her grandmas, I don't think she will be overly judgy. She will either know better than to criticize, or not know enough to see the problems.
So off I went to get fabric!
That blue on the bottom was a starting point. (It will also be the back.) I wasn't exactly sure what colors I would end up with, but when I saw that one, I was ready to roll. (It is hard to see, but some of the flowery-things have colored dots in them, which helped lead color selection.) Then I found the birds. Ooohhh! And it went from there. Greys that I liked were in short supply, so I planned to supplement with fabrics from home. I have, but no photo of that - oops!
I washed and pressed and folded these right away. When coupled with the second half of my purchase (I'll show that soon), it took eons. But with the weather having turned colder, the extra warmth was welcome. Even if I did have to shed a layer of sweatshirt midway through the task!
Yesterday I didn't have to be to work until noon, so I took advantage of my time and started cutting!
This is half of the pieces. I can say I do not enjoy using the curved ruler (and just now realized I have to modify the shield-like petal pieces - missed a cut!), but I'm getting better and faster and more confident. Today I will finish cutting and start sewing! Hopefully the blocks continue to get easier and faster as I move through this. Because I'm committed now! No turning back!
She is not due until May, but you know the lure of a new project! And I haven't bought fabric in how many months now? Probably March or maybe early April. I've been working happily with my stash and honestly considered trying to do this from my stash, but decided the sale that was happening was just too good.
But the sale was too good to not buy more fabric!
Way back in August (it seems like longer ago than just those few months!), I was supposed to go to Drummond Island with my hubby. And I had chosen this project to take along, but hadn't bought fabrics yet. I was on the fence about it, with templates and all, and then my dad fell off the ladder and broke his hip and my well-trained cat sitter fell through and it all happened so fast and close to our departure date, I opted to stay home. And this quilt never happened. Not even fabric purchasing.
The pattern has been hanging out, nagging me a bit. What is it? It is called Midsummer Solstice and was originally in a quilt magazine. The link here, I think, gives you just the pattern. (But I ended up purchasing the entire magazine for just a penny more - downloadable.)
I loved the bright, clash-y-ness of the overall look. Even though my brain kept telling me that was not a good choice and was crazy, I kept going back to it. So I took the pattern and bought all 17 yards of fabric that it calls for!
I switched up a few colors (grey instead of light green, most notably), but I had so much fun. Even if these never make it into that quilt, this combination and variety and brightness makes me so incredibly happy. But I do plan to make the quilt. After I finish the baby quilt.
The timing seems quite good, too, as last night our state governor made the announcement that at midnight Tuesday, she is shutting down a bunch of things again. Well, technically SHE is not making the call, as she was sued for misuse of power and lost for the last shutdown (funny, though, after that was taken away, none of the things she shut down opened immediately - hmmm...seems she knew what she was doing after all, just doing it months ahead of other states with fewer cases!), but the Department of Health and Human Services. She just made the announcement. She seemed better prepared for the announcement and questions, which I expect is in some part due to this being round two and we have a better understanding of what works and what does not, but perhaps also because the whole decision was not entirely on her shoulders.
Anyways, the places being shut down are not as extensive as the first round (scientific data is now available, so better decisions can be made about where you're more or less likely to get infected), but it is probably good I have a few projects and have scratched the fabric shopping itch for a while. (But, oh the pretties I left behind...I could have bought a yard of about half the calicos in the store for all the beauty!)
Since the announcement was made at 6pm last night and I got out of work at 7pm, I decided to up my plan for groceries this morning to groceries last night. While the closures are less, I expected there would still be panic buying and I was in need of regular supplies. So sooner is better! The store was well stocked with toilet paper still, but the bread aisle was quite vacant. Some other areas of the store have been randomly being depleted for a week or two and then restocked, but I'm sure that has to do with manufacturing and distribution troubles, so it was not entirely apparent what had been panic purchased or just simply weekend-depleted. But we managed to get what we actually needed and a few extras snuck into the cart that might not have been there otherwise (an extra pack of toilet paper, some laundry detergent and a few more cans of kidney beans that are needed to make a pot of chili, for example...not cartfuls, mind you, though we did see a few folks with 4 cases of water or 50 cans of beans - I have a faucet and prefer fresh produce, so I'm good there!). And really, it was nice to not have to get up early to go this morning (if I go early, the hubby is just getting home from work and I get help carrying it all in!). And now we're set for a week or so before things that spoil quickly (bread, produce) need to be replenished, and hopefully by then the second panic will be under control.
And with that rambling paragraph, I should get rolling. I'm waiting for a call from my eye doctor (snafu with new contacts is the short story) and need to get going on that cutting. Also, peanut butter cookie baking is in my afternoon plans. (I can taste them already!)
PS Here is an old picture of Freddie since he rarely appears here and you've made it through all that talking without any photos!
PPS I bought something like 30 yards of fabric in that one trip. I don't think I've ever bought that much at once before. It was fun. And at 50% off, I saved as much as I spent! (But I'm not going to make this a habit...gotta pay the mortgage, too!)