Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Churn Dash Block Swap

Sorry I disappeared for a bit. I went to bed with a splitting headache on Saturday, February 3rd, and have been sick ever since. This is an odd cold of some kind. After the headache came several days of sore throat and hoarseness, then crazy congestion and coughing. I spent at least a week dozing in my recliner. Laying flat was not an option if I wanted to breath. Oh well, I'm better, not completely over it yet, but better.

I signed up for a block swap with a new friend I met at the American Quilt Study Guild annual Seminar in Manchester, NH, last October. Some of you may know Barb Vedder and her blog, Fun With Barb. In January she announced a Churn Dash block swap. You were to choose reproduction or modern as a theme for your blocks. By the time I emailed the only opening was for modern. I signed on, and meant to have the blocks done right away. But as always, time flies by and I'm working on them now. The guidelines for the modern swap was to use jewel tone solids with low volume background prints. Weeks go by in my recliner, and I finally pull fabric. Unfortunately, I remembered modern, but not necessarily jewel tones. I used my new Accuquilt Go Big electric cutter to cut squares, half squares and strips (I'm so in love with this machine!). I then sewed a set of blocks that I shared to Facebook. Not jewel tone! While this brown is a nice fit in a "modern" quilt, it doesn't meet the guidelines for the swap. It's ok, I'll save these 9 blocks and perhaps use them in the top I end up making.

Continuing on, I checked my other color choices with Barb, and have now made 36 blocks, and have 18 to go. I'll get to cutting more this afternoon, and have these done and in the mail in time for the March 1st deadline.

As a side issue, the cutting of blocks with the Accuquilt dies requires some calculations. I need 54 blocks total and need to make at minimum two color combinations. So, with the four colors I'm using that means 13 or 14 blocks of each color. The dies include squares (middle block) and half squares (corner blocks) so that was ok. The half square die cuts two with one pass, and up to six layers with one pass, so I had them cut in no time. The middle side piece, with a background and a colored rectangle, wasn't quite as straight forward. I used a 1-1/2" strip die to make strips of the fabric, then sewed pairs and cross cut with my rotary cutter. I could have sewn the strips and tried doing the crosscut with the 2-1/2" strip but didn't want crooked cuts.

I've got my next little project lined up already. It came in the February Quilty Box I received recently. The box always includes fabric, a pattern, usually a spool of Aurifil thread, and another item or two. This month features Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts. I love the geometric designs she makes with her Sidekick and Hex'nMore Rulers. I've made her Gravity quilt and it is out to be quilted. I didn't discover Julie's patterns till 2016, but back in 2014 she asked for people to make blocks for her wedding quilt. You can read about the final quilt - I just love it!

Anyway, included in this Quilty Box is a package of fabric, a Sidekick Ruler, the Rock Candy pattern, Aurifil thread, and the Quilty booklet that has another table topper pattern. The fabric is enough to make one of each topper, or two of either. I will be making one of each as soon as I finish my churn dash blocks.

One final item for this post is I've joined the Quilt Qwazy Queens Blog Hop that will take place March 15 - 21. We will be sharing our UFOs (unfinished quilty objects) on this hop. And a few are going to swap UFOs with someone else! My trouble will be deciding which UFOs to share. I have the individual units made for the Quiltville Mystery that started at Thanksgiving. They just need to be assembled into blocks. Maybe a deadline to show it would motivate me to get it assembled! My day on the hop is Wednesday, March 21st.

Thanks for visiting,

Friday, February 2, 2018

Back from Retreat... to a couple problems

I had a very nice time in Plymouth, Mass last weekend at the Red Barn Sewing and Yarn Center retreat. They have been in business 40 years this year, and this is the 20th year they've run this retreat, to this same hotel. I think it's changed ownership several times, but it is now the 1620 Hotel. We had a nice large room with 3 or 4 people at a grouping of 4 tables each. We each had a 6 foot table to ourselves, so there was plenty of room to spread out your projects. I spent several days prior to the retreat cutting fabric with my new Accuquilt Go Big cutter. I was all ready to sew!

I have had subscriptions to Quilty Box and the Fat Quarter Shop's Sew Sampler since last spring. I've been making the projects, with a couple exceptions, as I receive them. I just happened to get a Quilty Box last week with a nice line of winter themed batiks by Kathy Engle for Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quiltworks. I cut everything and brought it along. And I completed the top while in Plymouth. The fabric is called Blue Moon and the pattern is by Jackie Kunkel. The fabrics are snowflakes, tree branches and pine branches. Very pretty colors, too!

The only Quilty Box I haven't finished recently was the October box with 2, 1 yard cuts of a panel from Leah Day. They are meant for you to practice free motion quilting with Leah's lessons. I guess now I should get them out and give it a try. The Blue Moon quilt is about 40" square so I out to be able to quilt it myself. There is a nice example of what you can do with these panels on Leah's website. Here is a photo of the blue:

I found it very tiring spending all day sewing for 3 days. I took a couple days to rest and read. Then on Wednesday I lost the hot water. I've had plumbers in and out of the house for a couple days. One did something on Wednesday that seemed to work for a while. Then Thursday 2 guys came in the morning, and another 1 late in the day. The last was after the serial number for a warranted repair. Now, I should mention that my old house has a dirt cellar with stone walls, so it's not very nice down there. I haven't gone down in years. The last guy came back up and wanted to know why I set the water heater to vacation mode. Well, I didn't. I can't explain it. Gremlins? Oh well. I don't know when it will be fixed because they had to order a part. But I have half hot water. I showered with the knob all the way to hot. But at least I could shower.

I also managed to crack a filling in the last few days. It started to hurt on Wednesday and I saw my dentist today. I hope that's then end of trouble for a while. Now if the computer support scammer will just stop calling, things will be good!

I found, although probably saw it before but didn't remember, Finished or Not Friday on the Busy Hands Quilts blog. She does a linkup on Fridays for anyone to share an unfinished quilt project, so I've linked my unfinished Blue Moon project. It's fun looking at what others are working on. Have a visit when you can take a few minutes to read about other's projects.

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Hope you find time to work on one of your unfinished projects!