Sunday, August 2, 2020

Doouble Diamond Quilt

I made another Half Square Triangle quilt in early July, in order to use up the leftover Mimosa fabric from A's quilt for her granny.  Lots and lots of HST trimming here.

The placement of the triangles is everything with this quilt.  I decided to go with a diamond design.  I love that the diamonds repeat in the negative space, so you get a secondary design that is just as prominent as the primary design.  Which do you see first?

But the quilt turned out OK and I think it is another cheerful quilt for a rainy, hot, messed up July.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Metamorphosis Quilt

Another quilt I made recently was this Metamorphosis quilt by Lo and Behold Stitchery.  When I first saw the quilt on Instagram (in April maybe?), I was so excited about it, I had to go buy it immediately.  Naturally, it took me awhile to get started.  But finally, in July, I found this fun bundle of fabric I bought from Westwood Acres a few years ago and decided it was perfect for this quilt.  I used Kona Iced Peach for the background.

And then I heard that this was a tricky block to make, so I made a test block, which I seldom do.  This will likely become a pillow cover someday.  Voila! A butterfly.  (My husband says he thinks it looks like an hourglass, but what does he know?)

The curves play together nicely - I pin just the corners and the middle, since this is such a long curve.  i like to use my 1/4" foot with the guide on curves - it helps me make sure my seam allowance is exactly 1/4", which is important when you're sewing circles.

 The secret to this block is trimming the block exactly before you put it together.  Otherwise, the pieces don't fit and the block is wonky - and not in a good way.  If you're one that doesn't read instructions before you sew (raising hand,) this is one time you probably should.

There's not much room right at the center of the circle, and part of what is there gets trimmed off, but it does help make the block go together much better to have this little bit of excess.

I played with the layout a bit, both to make the quilt a bit more relaxed and because i wanted a larger quilt without giant borders.  I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out.  Now, to finish my HP blocks so I can get this baby quilted.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Sunny Side Up Quilt

In the middle of this Covid mess, my daughter made this quilt - mostly to cheer herself up, I think.   The response on Instagram was so positive that she created a kit so others could make it too.  (BTW:  This is the Sunny Side Up quilt by A Crafty Fox for Westwood Acres Fabrics, and you can see her version on her blog.)

Thankfully, I was lucky enough to be able to get a kit.  This was the perfect quilt to make in an incredibly hot, rainy July with all that is going on in our world.

Amanda had a cute photo on her IG feed and I tried to imitate it, but wasn't terribly successful.  So this is my attempt to be artsy.  BTW, Amanda has some great cutting suggestions on the pattern that make cutting super easy, and soooo fast!

First, lots of sewing and trimming Half Square Triangles.  The task is kind of tedious, but tedium is not always a bad thing.  If your hands are busy, your mind can seldom focus for long on disagreeable things.

One of the things my girly does very well is choose low volume fabrics.  I would never have been bold enough to use all of these fabrics together without them being in the kit, but don't they play nice together in the finished product.  I will be more daring in my fabric choices the next time I make a quilt with LV background, for sure.

Also the way she puts her 9-patch blocks together is so easy.  She cuts her fabrics into strips, sews the strips together, and each strip becomes a row.  SO much easier (and faster!) than cutting bits of fabric and sewing them together individually.

I was really excited about my first Bear Paw block.  Too excited apparently, since I put it together wrong.  It wasn't until I posted it on Instagram and had several people tell me it wasn't right (thank you friends!) that I realized it. 

So a bit of ripping and resewing and I was on my way.  I was actually very glad I posted the picture - that way I didn't have to remake all the blocks!  You can bet I was extremely careful to check the fabric placement before I sewed the rest.

As you can see, I couldn't wait to get my first row finished.  I'm always kind of flabbergasted that quilts created "on point" go together so strangely.  Amanda has a clever method for making the trimming easy as you create the rows that is just fabulous.  see those bigger blocks hanging off the rows?  Those make trimming the quilt evenly a snap.

Progress being made.  Blocks going together.  Obviously my board isn't wide enough.

Getting there.  At this point, the quilt is half finished.

And now, all it needs is trimming, which I did just a few days ago.  If it ever stops raining, I'll get my "quilt husband" to venture outside with me to photograph some quilts.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Harry Potter Quilt

I love all things Harry Potter, and when I saw @onelaststitch creating these foundation paper pieced blocks on Instagram, I knew that a Harry Potter quilt was in my future.  I am so NOT a fan of paper piecing (it verges on torture to me,) but for once, the effort seemed like it would be worth it.  I purchased the pattern almost immediately when it was finished, but it took a sew-along for me to actually get started.

If the world hadn't seemed so messed up, I might not have even started this project at all, but the concentration required keeps my mind off things, and keeps my hands busy keeps me off social media and the news.  

I almost wish I hadn't started with Harry and Ron, because my paper piecing skills were rusty to say the least.  I may have to go back and fix Ron's neck.

And I might have been a bit more creative with fabrics if it hadn't been so early in the process.  But they turrned out OK, after all, and I will be happy to have them in my quilt.

By the time I got to Hermione, I was feeling a bit more confident.  I used a scrap I found in the scrap bin for her hair, and I love it.  I might have done more with the books, but all those little pieces intimidated me somewhat.

 Dobby and his sock were pretty easy.

 I really dug deep in the scrap basket for the sorting hat, and I'm not sure I made great choices, although some were fabulous, but you can't deny he has personality.

The Whomping Willow was an absolute beast, and I thought I would pull my hair out before it was done.
 Snape was kind of fun, although his potions were tricky.

 And I loved making the Fat Lady.  Her dress is Liberty lawn, which I totally copied from someone in the quilt along (of course I used a different fabric.). But I'm really happy with the fabric choices here. 
 Hedwig was fun, too, and I'm not sure I like the cream "feathers" but she has personality too, I think.

 Draco obviously.

I knew I had this piece of fairy frost in my stash somewhere, and it took a regular sleuthing session to find it.  Ironically, it turned out on a comic book card on the shelf, right where it was supposed to be.

The Merperson was fun, and again I used a piece of fairy frost.  (I knew right where it was this time. Haha!).  She's pretty similar to Dumbledore in fact, but I like her pretty well.). One thing is that I notice the mistakes in the photos more than I do IRL so once I noticed, I fixed her tail but haven't taken another photo of her.

The Whomping Willow was an absolute beast.  And I had made some fabric choices that just didn't work, so I had to take it apart a couple of times.  I also lost a piece on my sewing table and had the darnedest time figuring out why it didn't come out rectangular.  This piece is 10" x 24", so it is huge!!!  I'm glad this one is behind me.

 The Goblin.  This is another one where I didn't notice the mistake until I saw the photo.  I had put "hair" where there should have been background.  I have fixed it now, but it will be another blog post before I take new pictures.
I used a piece of variegated blue for the flames in the Goblet of Fire, and I do like it, although it might have been better if it had been a bolder color throughout.  Still, I think it works.

Moaning Myrtle was so fun to make, although I had a lot of difficulty finding the right. fabrics.  I didn't have any light blue in my supplies, but finally found a piece in the scrap basket.  The same was true for the magenta-ish background.  But her toilet makes me laugh.  It reminds me of her telling Harry, "Harry, if you die down there, you can share my toilet.

 Once again, I noticed that I had made a mistake with Sirius' facial hair, and had to go back and fix him once I took the picture.  These blocks are all scheduled for a new photo session when they are all done.  LOL
Hagrid is gigantic measures 16x16.  I didn't realize the photo was so wonky until I cropped it, but again, these blocks will all get a photo session when they are finished.  I really struggled with colors on this one, but I'm so glad this little piece of green was in my stash, as it was just perfect for Norbert (Norberta?) the dragon.  And one of the darker dots was perfectly placed to be an eye, I thought.

So that's it so far.  Seventeen of 25 blocks finished.  And maybe some extras.  Husband is demanding that I include a 9-3/4 block, which means I will need several to finish out a row.  We'll see if I can keep it up.

I'm glad the start of school is delayed so maybe I can finish this before I go back to work.  It has really served to keep my mind busy, although all the paper piecing is getting a bit tedious and its starting to be kind of a slog to get these blocks done.  I made 3 quilts in a week a couple of weeks ago, and I've been working on this one since July 16.  The best I can do is 3 blocks in a day, more often two.  And there are, of course, interruptions by chores and real life, but it has been a great diversion.

Here's to getting the next 8 (or 13) blocks finished soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

It's Great to Be Eight!

Photo credit:  Cherri Woodruff
For the last several years, husband and I have spent most of July traveling, but due to Covid, we aren't able to do that this year.  But one event I would not miss was B's baptism. We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and we baptize children at eight years old, once they're old enough to understand what they are doing.  B turned eight in April, but unfortunately, due to Covid he wasn't able to be baptised then.  Luckily, restrictions were lifted enough that he was able to be baptised on July 4th.

One of the other things that was delayed by the Covid quarantine/lockdown was a double birthday celebration for B and his grandad.  Their birthdays are just one day apart, and they had planned a picnic (mostly so that B could try out his Boy Scout cook kits that Grandad had given him.)  So while we were waiting for the other family members to arrive, we headed to the park to have our picnic.  B chose a menu of Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee spaghetti and hot dogs, 😂😂😂 (again so he could get maximum use of his cook kit.)  We all ate spaghetti and hot dogs from the cook kit "dishes" and cleaned up with the few paper towels we remembered to bring. 

And lest you think B was unsupervised, that is far from the truth.  His Uncle Sean (being an Eagle Scout himself) was Johnny-on-the-spot in the supervision department.  Naturally, Grandad supervised as well, so B was well looked after.

Photo credit:  Cherri Woodruff
Finally, the time arrived, we all got ready and headed to the church.  B was very excited.  Granny and Papa provided the lovely towel.  Grandad and I made sure he had a new shirt and tie for the event.

Photo credit:  Cherri Woodruff

Several family members were able to be present to share B's special day.  (Utah allows groups of up to 25).

Photo credit:  Cherri Woodruff

Afterwards, the kids played with their cousins for hours!  (They have a lot of cousins - this was only 3 of the 5 families on SIL's side.  Our only other grandchild and her parents live in Canada and the border is closed, so they could not come.)

Photo credit:  Cherri Woodruff

We had some quieter moments too.  (I love this sweet pic of E and her little cousin just chatting.)  We had a lovely dinner of beef brisket and pot luck sides.  (I made gluten free banana pudding, and it was a huge hit!  It was cool, creamy, and so delicious.  My SIL said he hadn't had banana pudding in years.  I am always thrilled when I can make a gluten free dish that everyone enjoys!  I'll share the recipe below in case anyone is interested.  Please note that this recipe is only gluten free - it is NOT fat-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, or flavor-free.)

And then...  Fireworks!

Congratulations, B!  Happy Birthday, America!  And happy belated birthday to B and Grandad!  Needless to say, the kids (and adults) were exhausted by the end of the day, but it was truly wonderful.

Gluten-Free Banana Pudding

1 box GF graham crackers
1 box Jello vanilla pudding (it's GF - good to know, right?)
1 quart heavy cream
1-1/3 c. milk
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 bananas

Place 3 graham crackers in a zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin.

Mix vanilla pudding with 1-1/3 c. milk, then add 2 c. heavy cream.  Set aside.

Whip 2 c. heavy cream until stiff.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Set aside.

Slice bananas. 

Line the bottom of 9 x 13 glass dish with the GF graham crackers.  Spoon half of the pudding in a layer on top of the graham crackers.  Place a layer of sliced bananas on the pudding to cover.  Repeat.  Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle crumbled graham crackers on top.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Making HTV Shirts with the Grands - Part II

Making HTV-vinyl shirts with the girls wasn't nearly as straightforward as it was with B.  Naturally, the girls wanted shirts, but they had chosen to make rompers instead of shorts, so they had nothing to pair it with.   

A and I spent quite a long time perusing the Silhouette Design Store before she decided she wanted a Disney-esque design (she is currently writing a book about Disney!). She chose this castle design.  We didn't have an appropriate-color shirt her size, so it involved a trip to Joann's.  I wish I had thought to buy glitter HTV, but I think I was a little afraid of it (and with good reason, it turns out - HINT:  Be sure to test cut first and change the settings as necessary.  The settings in the machine didn't adequately cut the vinyl, and I had to play with them some to get it to play nicely.)

When we got home, I worked to size it for a shirt her size - as you can see in the photo above it was sized for a full 12x12 cut - way too big for a shirt for a 10-year old.

I tested the design first on a scrap of vinyl, and E requested that I make it into a shirt for her Willa (Wellie Wishers American Girl) doll.  That actually made making E's shirt much easier later.

And naturally, I had to make Mary Ellen (A's American Girl Doll) a matching shirt as well.

Cutting the vinyl wasn't really a problem for the castle, but I forgot to reverse the image for the word MAGIC so naturally I had to do that twice.  Since I didn't have glitter vinyl, we used the same layering technique we used for B's paw prints for a more pronounced look.  As you can see, I'm no expert in sizing complex designs. 

Photo credit:  Cherri Woodruff

Luckily, A was happy with it just the way it was.

Going with the Disney theme, E had chosen Cinderella's Coach as her image.  This looks so cool, doesn't it?

But here's the image you see on the Silhouette.  Each of these is a different color vinyl, which is fine, but resizing all of these disparate parts and getting them to match up is beyond my skills.  I really need expert instruction if I'm ever going to manage this!  (I really wish I could get some in-person instruction on my Silhouette.  Melissa at Silhouette School provides great tutorials - I couldn't have gotten this far without her! -  but to do a project like this, I would need someone holding my hand in person.)  I tried it nevertheless and wasted almost a whole roll of vinyl in the process.

Since the design she chose was impossible (at least for me) I decided to make E's shirt match the doll's shirt.  And because the grands had to go home before I got E's shirt made, I had some time to get some glitter vinyl cut (which was amazingly hard to find due to the manufacturing/transportation issues because of Covid apparently).   

By the time I realized that the pumpkin coach was not going to happen, understood  that a test-cut was needed for glitter vinyl even though I used the suggested settings, and wasted almost a whole roll of glitter vinyl on a pumpkin coach that was too big anyway, I was so frazzled from all the failed attempts that again I forgot to reverse the word "magic" before I cut, so yet more glitter vinyl was wasted.  Hopefully this is a lesson I will remember next time.

In the end, the girls were thrilled with their shirts - and so were the dollies, I hope.