Thursday, February 16, 2012

Another Surprise, More Options

While working at the house computer last night, I noticed a bit of red fabric peeking out of the pile of junk mail that no one wants to deal with.  Of course, I ignored the junk mail and tugged on that piece of red fabric.  Much to my surprise, another heart block materialized!
Wow!  I now have 9 blocks to work with instead of 8!  This opens up a whole lot of options that couldn't be considered before.  I mean, what can you do with just 8 blocks?  A linear wall hanging or valance?  A table runner?  A tote bag?  Two chair covers?  Eight mug rugs or coasters?  Four placemats?  A border on a girl's skirt or jumper?  A sewing machine cover?  Two armchair caddies?  Eight eyeglass cases?  Four tiny tote bags?  Eight apron pockets?  Four doll-size jumpers?  Eight pin cushions or needle keepers?  A dog jacket or four (depending on whether you're dealing with a German Shepherd or a chihuahua)?  A teddy bear or two?  Four Christmas stockings?  Two valentine keepers or notebook covers?

What can I now do with 9 blocks?  Now I can make a lap quilt or a baby quilt or a square wall quilt or a uh, uh, .... 

Lol!  I guess the options didn't increase all that much in reality.  Nine just seems so much easier to work with than eight.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spring Cleaning Surprises

During the cold months, I spend just as much time in my shed as needed to cut, sew and press a project.  Everything taken off shelves or out of drawers or boxes simply gets tossed on a table or the back of a chair or any other surface that isn't walked on.  So when we had a bit of warmer weather last week, I began spring cleaning in my sewing shed and I found a few surprises!

Surprise #1: My First Ever Foundation Paper Piecing Project!
I have no idea how this got buried on my sewing table.  Nor do I know why I never sandwiched it.  Perhaps because it's a bit wonky?  The hearts are 1" blocks, so the entire top is rather small.  I made it about 15 years ago.  Maybe it's been waiting around all this time so it could become a Kindle cover!

Surprise #2: Funky 4" Heart Blocks
I made these heart blocks about 4 years ago when I was experimenting with glue, various machine stitches, and cutting out applique shapes using paper-folding techniques.  Along with 7 square blocks, I found a rectangular block and some 2.5" strips of heart fabric.  No time like the present, right?  I sat and sewed the strips to the blocks on two sides, log-cabin style.  (I needed a break from cleaning, anyway.)  For the other two sides, I tried some scraps from a current project I'm working on.

Right color, sort of.  Wrong scale, definitely.  The funky flowers compete with the appliqued heart.  So I rumaged through my nearby box of test fabrics (fabrics I use to test blocks, techniques, etc.) and came up with this:
Better scale, lighter value.  From a distance, it looks pretty good.  I think I'll stick with this one.  What I'll do with the finished 8 blocks I haven't a clue!

Surprise #3: The Aqua Project
I also found a stack of 9-Patch blocks made of a variety of coordinated aqua fabrics:

Along with these, I found a stack of plain aqua blocks, some 2.5" strips of aqua fabrics and a half-yard cut of white-on-white.
I remember working on this last summer before my mom's emergency hernia surgery.  What was my plan for using these blocks?  I haven't the foggiest idea!  Any ideas?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Watch Those HSTs - They Can Be Tricky!

I was hurrying a bit while sewing this month's block for the Home on the Range BOM.  It was cold in the shed and I wanted to return to a warm fire soon as possible!  Anyway, I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention to my sewing and I ended up with a block unit that looked like this:
instead of like this:

Needless to say, I spent more time than usual last month frog-stitching (rip-it, rip-it)!  When all was finished correctly, like this:

I decided to play with my accidental design in Electric Quilt to see what it would look like.

Hmm.  Interesting light and shadow effect.  Not my usual everything-perfectly-symmetrical block, but it's still a pleasing design.  Does it deserve a name of its own?  I don't know.  For now, it's just Bucking Bronco Variation.