Friday, May 30, 2014


This is the last evening of my retreat in the mountains -- it's been a lot of fun, and insanely productive!  I think I've done about 2 months worth of sewing in a week...

Here's a new almost-done top -- most of the Rocky Mountain Puzzle blocks came from a birthday swap in
 2012; I found the layout in the "layout library" in Electric Quilt and then made 5 more blocks to make it all work.  It is eventually going to get a sawtooth border, but I want to sketch it out first to see how it will fit in.
 Do you remember what my box of 2 1/2" squares looked like before?  This it how it looks today; I've used up a ton of them, and plan to keep playing with them this evening to see how much more of a dent I can make in the yellow/blue/green/purple stacks.
 And what have I been doing with the squares? Making these 9-21-49 patch segments for what I think might become a new quilt for my bed. If you enlarge the photo, you'll see there's quite a variety of color within the blue and purple sections especially, but I love the way it all seems to come together.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

scrappy retreat

I took my box of 2 1/2" squares and a big bag stuffed full of 2 1/2" strips up to the foothills for a little quilt retreat with a couple of friends this week. (and a couple of other projects, too...)  We're staying in Arnold, which is a pretty sleepy town now that Memorial Day has passed.

My first order of business was the strips -- this is the "Crayon Box" pattern from Bonnie Hunter's wonderful site. It measures about 48" x 60" right now and will get a border or two once I'm home with my stash.  It used up almost all of my strips!

One of my "real" projects is the "Red Centre" pattern from Kathy Dougherty's book Making Quilts. I had cut the strips ahead of time, and it is going together really quickly -- the print fabrics are all Kaffe Fassett and friends.

 Somewhere around this point I used up the last of a big cone of Aurifil thread -- time for chocolate!

Today, in between sewing the other quilt together, I'm attacking the box of squares, which I've sorted by color now.  I'm going to do a version of "Growing Up Odd" which I found as a tutorial at Wedding Dress Blue.  I'm starting with larger squares, and each of the units will be monochromatic.

 My friend Catherine has been rotating between components of several projects, but this is the beginning of a Burgoyne Surrounded wallhanging that's on the design-batting this morning. I love red and white quilts...

And Kathleen was only able to stay for a couple of days, but look at what she accomplished!  (She did have almost all the pieces cut ahead of time)  This is a variation of "Soul Searching", also from Kathy Dougherty's book linked above.  She hung it from the balcony early this morning for photos.

Finally, lest you think we're all quilt and no play -- we did a hike in Calaveras Big Trees State Park yesterday and I had to do a selfie under one of the big trees! (Catherine, Kathleen, and me)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

scrap overflow

If you had a large shoebox crammed full of 2-1/2" square scraps (not to mention a rather large pile of 2-1/2" strips of various lengths up to about 18") -- what would you make from them?

(There's no way I want to sort through everything to see what multiples I might have of particular fabrics)

I have made a couple of postage-stamp style quilts in the past (small ones) and I've thought about just making random 36-patch units until I can't stand it anymore and there's enough for a quilt!  But I'm hoping my crafty readers might have some more creative ideas...