Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow Days (Yes! in Florida!)

We've had some weird weather here in Northwest Florida the past few days...  the kind that drives you into the house and you don't leave.  Living in this house for almost 25 years, I can't remember ever seeing icicles on the roof before.

Or seeing a forecast like this very often.  (Notice how it will be back to normal by the weekend!  Sheesh, if we don't all have pneumonia, it will be a miracle!)

And while we've had snow before, I don't recall ever seeing snow on top of a layer of ice like this.  Or having it stick around for more than a few hours.

It was kind of pretty, though.

And since my husband was stuck in all the madness that was snow in Atlanta over the last several days, I had the house all to myself.  (Thankfully, he was warm and dry and out of this mess!  But certainly not trying to head home - especially with both airports closed.)

It was the perfect opportunity to stay indoors and sew, and I'm happy to say that I've made some progress.

Hoping for two 14 in 2014 finishes in January, I worked on the circles quilt.  Officially called Spot On, the pattern is from Camille Roskelly's Simplify book, and is part of my goal to make every quilt in the book.  I think I only have a couple more to go.

As you can see, I quilted a large spiral in the center to outline the circle, then swirls in the borders.  I used the Bernina 4 stitch for the sashing.

I wanted something with rounded edges in the borders, and I thought I would try something new, so I quilted hearts in the inner border.  Or at least an approximation of hearts.  I never did get them down perfectly, but I am satisfied with them as a first try.

I decided I wanted to try feathers in the outer border, but I didn't want to just go for it.  I had this quilt (which was one of the first ones I made when I got back into quilting after my long working-mommy-hiatus) which had no quilting in the borders, and was just screaming for something - anything.  So I practiced my feathering skills around the borders of this disappearing 9-patch quilt.

After some helpful critiquing via text message from my friend Krista, I revised my technique a bit, and while not perfect, they are much better.  I'm not displeased with them for a first try.  (It seems like every quilt I make is a practice quilt.)

And so this one is finished and bound, thanks to mother nature, and since the sun is {finally} out today, maybe I'll get a chance to take some real pictures.

Photo courtesy of Riley Blake

Because I was stuck indoors, I finally started work on my project for the Riley Blake MQG challenge. I've been staring at these 6 fabrics on my design wall for months (literally!) without a clue what I was going to do.  But the deadline for our guild is a week from Saturday, so it was time to dive in.  I honestly had no idea what I was going to do until I did it.  This is certainly a great example of being led along, one step at a time.  Or as my mother would have said, I work better out of desperation than inspiration.

I decided I wanted to do something Dresden-style, so I started with that.  I cut the wedges (some of which I had to piece because of the way I wanted the design to go).  Then I decided that narrow black strips between would unify these disparate pieces.  The rules said you could use any solids with these Riley Blake prints, and since I was stuck inside, what I had on hand was Kona black.  I used the gray/brown (I never could decide which it was, but the gray thread looked best) as the quarter circles in the corners.

I had only two bolts of fabric on hand for the background - yellow and white.  I decided I liked these wedges better on the yellow.

I appliqued the circles into blocks, then spent about an hour on Pinterest searching Dresden blocks.  Finally, I decided on this block arrangement.  (I apologize for the clutter in the photo, but my sewing room is small, but it was the warmest room in the house during this crazy weather.)

I found a white sheet in the stash that I bought on sale at Target several (maybe 4) years ago to use as the backing, and I just bought a 25-yard bolt of batting on sale at Joann's which was delivered last week, so I had batting on hand also, which was a good thing, because all the stores were closed for two days.  I might have made a trek to the fabric store to find backing if I hadn't been trapped in the house, so this is a case where having things in your stash was a big plus!

I tried my new spray basting skills, and had a bit of a disaster.   Notice how alike these two cans are?  Yup, yours truly picked up a can without looking and sprayed blue stencil marking spray all over her quilt batting.  Omgh!  But, I figured that since it was meant to wash out, maybe it would wash out of the batting, so before I sandwiched the quilt, I took my batting-and-backing sandwich, which had already been bonded with adhesive, to the kitchen sink and scrubbed.  I'm glad to say the stencil marking spray washed right out.  (Yup, the painters tape on the bottom of the stencil spray is so I don't make that mistake again!)

Note to self:  put on your glasses and pay attention.

I sewed, and I quilted and just had a great time in my nice warm room...

And I ended up with this.  I'm in the process of binding, and it should be finished in time.  Whew!

And while I was in my toasty sewing room, I decided to finish the pillows that I started months ago and never finished for my daughter to go with her Wallflowers quilt.  I made the blocks a long time ago, and they have just been sitting there neglected on my design wall.

So I bordered and quilted and zippered and backed and am now in the binding phase with these too.  

All in all, it was a pretty productive couple of days.  And today the sun is out and the ice is melting and the husband is coming home, so it will be back to normal very soon.

1 comment:

  1. wow! very productive! & I love your challenge quilt!


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