Saturday, January 22, 2022

Clearing out RSC 2021 and Embarking on RSC 2022

With the big winter storm that was forecast for last Sunday, I never got around to getting back to work on setting up my RSC projects for this year.  We decided to get our warehouse club shopping out of the way on Saturday in the event we would be snowed in on the days that followed.  I did get to do some work on them this week so here's what's been happening:
I pulled out the bag I store my RSC projects in to review my 2021 projects and see where I left off and figure out what I want to do for this year.  

My RSC project storage bag!

I've already taken two from 2021 off the list for this year.  I decided to add all the remaining fabric colors from last year to my "(Rainbow) Log Cabin Star" and "Technicolor Rainbow Runner" projects.   In that process, I actually wound up replacing the green fabric I had die cut last year for the Log Cabin project in favor of another one that better contrasted with the Lime color chosen for October (the last color selected for the year).    

This plan now is to start sewing these two up and complete them.

In the storage bag, I also had bags of red and purple scraps from last year already collected but had never got around to sewing with them.

Since Red is the color for January for this year's challenge, I started with those for any old or new projects I wanted to sew up for this year!

The next two projects I'm debating about whether to just finish up or continue to carry on as part of this year's RSC:  my "Twisted Ribbons" and "Log Cabin Hearts" projects.

For the "Twisted Ribbons" project on the left, I see I had sat what remained of the scraps I had pulled for last year's April color of Bright or Light Blue with the project but never got to use them with that project.  So I've done that and pulled and cut from the red and purple scrap bags and kitted them all up.  While I was at it, I also cut more neutrals too.  

For the "Log Cabin Hearts", I see that I had done the April Blue block last year and pulled a few but not all the purple scraps for it for June and had no reds for May bundled with that project.  So for that too, I've worked on "catching up" from the scrap bags from last year!


The "Twisted Ribbons" project wasn't going to get sewn up until I had collected all the colors for it.  My debate now is whether to continue pulling and sewing the parts using the colors from last year or just add the 2022 color picks to what I already have and move this along as part of this year's challenge.  I could also do the same for the "Log Cabin Hearts" although I admit, I like the colors already called for last year so might want to stick with those.  For now, I'll let both of these "simmer" at least until next month and see how I feel when the next color is called.

The last two projects from last year are the "Quilt In a Day Milky Way (Friendship Stars)" and Bea Lee's "Scrappy Hexies".  These two need lots of blocks so I'll just go with the 2022 flow and whatever colors are called, try to make multiple blocks for them until I have enough.

Just like the "Twisted Ribbons" project, I need to make up enough block sets for "Milky Way" before I can start putting it together.  I already had put aside fabric sets for last year's April, May and June colors but needed to cut more neutrals and so hadn't pieced the HSTs for the blocks.

Everything is done now so we'll see what colors are called in the upcoming months.  I can't put the Friendship Star blocks together because I still need to decide on the grey four patch corners for the blocks (light? dark? scrappy?).  When I can lay everything out, I'll make that decision.  

For the hexies, I pulled from the baggie of red scraps to make these....

....and then die cut them down with Accuquilt's  4-1/4" finished hexagon die.


I didn't get to the purple scrap bags this week for this project so still have those to dig into.  Now I'm wondering if one or both of these two projects may wind up going into 2023 before they are finished!  

The other question is whether I want to add any new projects for this year.  Last year, I had found a bunch more potential projects that I put aside to consider making for this year's challenge. 

I've already seen that someone else is doing "Razzle Dazzle" this year!  As of today, I think I will wait and see how I feel as the months progress.  

Linking up today with every one for RSC Saturday over at Angela's So Scrappy blog.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Make A List and Design Wall Monday

Not quite as short a project list as last week:

1.  Finishing Up the Hexie Snowflake blocks

After the big finishes last week, I didn't do any quilting this weekend as we prepared for the "Big Storm That Wasn't".  We decided to get our warehouse club shopping done on Saturday in the event we had to hunker down after the storm.  Sunday was a lazy day of clearing out the DVR while waiting for the predicted snow to come.  

My watch party friend had recommended the Yellowstone prequel "1883" and I recorded the first two episodes when CMT ran them last week.  It didn't disappoint and now DH is also hooked!  We tried watching the third episode on the Paramount streaming service but when we stopped to rewind to pick up something we missed (or I missed --- DH saw some quilts in a background shot) for some reason the service would only restart the episode not resume it.  It was late by then so we switched to watching some of our regularly scheduled live shows.

Sorry, I digressed...all that to say that I did some stitching on the last hexie block during last week but I should have been stitching on it and finishing it up during all of the TV watching.  Since I didn't, I really want to finish the last block up and start working on the layout for all the blocks this week.

2.  Rainbow Scrap Challenge

As per last week's MALM,   during the week I did pick the fabrics for the two projects from last year that I want to sew up now (pictured above) and did finish the cutting and piecing for another two that may or may not continue on for 2022.  However, I also have two more projects that will definitely transition to being projects for this year's RSC and I had expected to work on those this past Saturday but the shopping got in the way of that.  

I also still want to see if there are any new ones I want to add to the RSC queue.  So we'll see what gets done on those either during this week or if I can carve out time Saturday to get back to them.

3.  APQ UFO on the Design Wall

As I said last week, this is the week I want to resume work on the "Box Trot" project which is #12 on the list of UFOs I made for this year's American Patchwork and Quilting UFO Challenge.  I had made up the top when we last visited my MIL in October.  I had slightly changed the positioning of the fussy cut rectangles and now am not sure I like the extra sashed strips to the right of the  bottom rectangle.  During the holidays, I was able to get more of the fabrics from that old line and have some ideas for taking that piece off and adding borders to fil out the top.  So that's a big thing I want to try and work on this week.

4.  Techno Quilters Training Catch-up

Last summer, I signed up with Kari Shell for her Techno Quilters training to really learn how to use Electric Quilt 8 software.  I had tried out her free "Summer Games" series that honored last year's Olympics and that really gave me a good taste of what EQ8 could do.  The next six month series is set to renew and I have only done one module of the first one!  I now have two projects I want to try my hand at designing in EQ8 so along with catching up on the lessons, I want to work on those as part of my "training".

5.  More Work with the Planner

Well, I did crack open the planner this week and made a few notes in it, but still need to add more stuff.  Also I had a printout stuffed in the planner about a "By Annie" cover I could make for it!  I'm torn:  I picked the cover because I want to see it but admit a quilted cover will protect the book over all and I do like that it provides a zipper pocket for pens and such.  Plus, I'd love to try my hand at making another "By Annie" project.  Well, we'll see what happens on that front! 

So much to do, so little time!  What's on your "To Do" list this week?

Friday, January 14, 2022

FONF and the First Two Finishes for 2022!

Once again, I am joining in with everyone visiting Alycia Quilts today for Finished Or Not Friday!

Today I bring my first two finishes of the year!  The first one is now called "Serendipity Feather Sampler"........

I tried to get a picture this morning that would show the stitch patterns.

...and it was the quilting practice for the second one, "Hometown USA", a Country Threads design.

I had embarked on "Serendipity"  to help use up some of the leftover stash I had collected to make my "Modern Bohemia" project.   This very simple pattern is in Fons and Porter's Easy Quilts magazine, Fall 2009 issue and is a great showcase if you have some "I can't cut them up" fabrics.   I made the top back in December 2020 during a visit to see my MIL in North Carolina.  

I started on "Hometown" back in the summer of 2021 (it already feels like so long ago!).  I love Red, White and Blue quilts, love Country Threads designs, really want to make more Log Cabin quilts because I have the Accuquilt die that makes the block parts easy to cut (particularly if you are working scrappy) and I want to do a series of quilts with the theme of "home or houses".  As such, this was one I couldn't resist doing!  

These finishes represent my completion of Angela Walter's latest free-motion quilting challenge called "Fabulous Feathers".  

Angela did a series of weekly videos demonstrating seven different feather motifs as well as how to place feathers in various places on your quilt (within a block, as an edge-to-edge filler stitch pattern, within irregular shaped areasaround borders and border corners).  

I had always envisioned quilting feathers in the diagonal dark and light sections in "Hometown USA" but when I tried it initially, I wasn't getting the look I wanted.  Early on, I did try Angela's "Paisley Feather" from her "Flora and Foliage" challenge but it was a little too stitch intensive to do for the whole quilt (and I didn't pick it out so you can still see it in two of the smaller blue areas).  Fortunately, all of the large open rectangles of the "Serendipity" top gave me places to try out each of the feather motifs Angela demoed.  

Ultimately it was her "Wonky Feather" that was just the thing I was looking for to finish "Hometown".  While doing the challenge, I also took the opportunity to review two books on Feathers that I had in my library and also try motifs from them.  Patsy Thompson's "Feather Adventures" and Sue Nickels "Fabulous Feathers and Fillers" provided additional motifs that I used and provided more inspiration for using Feathers in future quilt stitch schemes.

I wanted to bind these quilts quick and for me that is best done by machine with a zigzag and monofilament thread.  So Nova the straight stitch mid-arm came out of the sewing table in favor of my vintage Singer 401.  

The good news there is that I plan on continuing the FMQ practice and review by doing the "28 Days to Better FMQ" class on Craftsy.  It is also hosted by Angela and features demonstrations by eleven other instructors including Patsy as well as Leah Day, Lori Kennedy, Christina Cameli, Christa Watson and others.  Now that I've gained some confidence in stitching on the mid-arm, I'm hoping to do the same on the 401 and learn how it works when doing FMQ on it.  The Craftsy class starts off with basic stitch patterns like Scribbles, Loops and Pebbles and progresses all the way up to Feathers and realistic images (like quilting a Butterfly) so it will give me a good chance to once again, try it all.

Hoping these finishes are another good omen for the start of this year and I can keep this up!

Linking up with:

Alycia at Alycia Quilts for "Finished Or Not Friday"

Monday, January 10, 2022

Getting 2022 Underway with Make A List Monday

Whew!  New Year's Day didn't go quite as expected.  We spent way more time cooking and talking than planned so I did much less quilting than planned.  The day after was a lazy but fun day spent watching movies and clearing out the DVR of shows we had recorded but hadn't watched yet.  So last week was all about continuing the quilt stitching I had started.  By mid-week I had finished one quilt and immediately started in on another and completed the quilting on it on Friday.  Which effectively starts off today's list:

1.  Cut the binding for "Serendipity" (aka "The Feather Sampler"), choose and cut the binding for "Hometown USA" and bind both.

2.  Saturday I was ready for a change of pace after free-motion quilting all week.  The good news was that in the morning I saw a post by one of my favorite quilty influencers, Cathy over at Sane, Crazy and Crumby Quilting.  She has started in on doing the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2022 and has already made a bunch of different blocks with this month's color which is "Red".  It didn't take much to convince me to pull out my RSC project bag and see where I left off with the 2021 projects I had started last year!

According to my tracking sheet for last year, as far as cutting and piecing for RSC projects, it looks like I stopped at April.  However, I found baggies in the project bag where I did start compiling the Red scraps for May and Purple scraps for June but just never got around to cutting or sewing them.  

Well that's good news since if I have projects I plan to continue this year or want to start some new ones, that puts me ahead for this month since I need Red anyway!  On Saturday, I started cutting and piecing for two of the 2021 projects but still have more to do.  I'll wait for Saturday to work on those again.

However, I also have have two projects that don't call for much.  In this case, it looks like I had already added the Purple for June last year but not the Red for May.  With these two, I'd just as soon pull the additional five months of color for them that needed to be pulled last year and just finish those up. 

So this week, I'll work on pulling the colors needed for my GO! Scrappy Log Cabin and the Technicolor Rainbow runner from the Modern By the Yard free-zine.  In each case, these only need one piece of fabric for each month's color although to make the die cuts for the Log Cabin, I need a large piece of one fabric not scraps.  I'll work on adding the fabrics to these over the next few days and then start piecing them together.   

3.  With all the quilt stitching last week, work on the  "Hexie Snowflakes" project was interrupted.  I did prep a few hexies for the last block early last week, then the focus on the quilting pushed that aside.  I did a little more yesterday and today and now I have all the pieces for the block prepped and ready for sewing the hexies together.

This is good for working on while watching the evening news shows and watching TV with DH when when he comes in from work in the mornings.

4.  Lastly I really want to take some time to crack open my new planner and start formally planning for the year!  

I already have  few lists complied including a list for participating in American Patchwork and Quilting's UFO Challenge this year.  I've never had much luck staying with these in the past but I feel good about getting to the things on my list one by one this year.  Even better, they pulled #12 for this month and that just happened to be the quilt top I want to add to and that's been sitting on my design wall for the last two months!  It will be good to take it down and start working on it  --- that is, next week!  

However, I hope that this being the first UFO called up is a good omen!  So I have more than enough to keep me busy this week.  What's on your "To Do" list for this week?

Saturday, January 1, 2022

The Seven Days of New Years 2021 - Day 7: Happy New Year and Welcome to 2022!

I'm hopping in early on this one!  DH and I rang in the New Year and right after, started watching "Another Thin Man"  playing on Turner Classic Movies at that moment.  TCM ran the whole "Thin Man" series yesterday and this is one we hadn't seen before.

It's a good thing we also set it to record because not too long after it started, I fell asleep!  When I woke up again,  DH was now also asleep and the TV was watching both of us, LOL!  Of course, now that I was up, I couldn't go back to sleep so here I am!

So what's on the quilting agenda for today?  Just more of the same from the past six days of quilting.  First off was to pick the fabrics for the next and (for me) last "Snowflake" block.

The mottled print in the center is another fabric from the NC Shop Hop in October.

I'll die cut the pieces today and can work on prepping them for a Slow Stitching Sunday session tomorrow.  

On the quilting front, I have twelve more panels in my "Serendipity" project to quilt.  I estimate it takes about an hour for each so maybe in the course of today I can get half of them done? 

Plus one more not seen here.

I doubt I'll get to more than that because the real priority today will be New Year's Day cooking.

There's cola-basted ham, cranberry sauce and Hoppin' John with Kale on the menu and a new to me Ginger cookie recipe to try out.  DH is a pretty good cook so we'll both be in the kitchen today which should help free me to quilt from time to time.

I hope your year has already gotten off to a good start!  Let's hope 2022 passes by a lot slower and grows brighter in the days ahead!!