Insane Little Blocks

Days 26, 27 and 28 of Kathryn Kerr’s 365 Challenge:  A block a day for every day in 2018.  For all of January, so far, the blocks will finish at 3 inches square – that is tiny. See the nickel in the center square in the picture as a frame of reference.  IMG_4839The blocks are fun to make; it would be tedious to make lots of these blocks, but just making one a day is an interesting challenge that can be accomplished is no time at all.  Participating in this challenge is an excellent example of what can be accomplished one small bite at a time.

So far the blocks are all to read “dark.”  The dark blocks will be separated from the eventual “light” blocks to form separate sections of the ultimate quilt – secondary patterns.  Since I could not tolerate the idea of this intricate piecing getting lost in fabrics that are too near each other in value, I’m using complimentary colors and moving around the color wheel to an adjacent color family (24 total color families in my system) every 6 or 7 blocks.  I hope the end result will be scrappy and yet hold together.  It is a bit hard to imagine with a quilt made of of 365 little blocks.  I am loving the way my little blocks play together so far.  Perhaps I’ll post a picture of all of them at the end of the month.

A Block-a-Day, Days 18 to 24

Days 18 to 24 of Kathryn Kerr’s 365 Block Challenge:IMG_4835Day 18 (upper left in the picture) is the last block in this group made out of rectangles/squares and it took 24 pieces of 3 different fabrics to make this little block that will finish at 3 inches square.  Day 19 we began playing with triangles, starting with a simple half square triangle block and getting more complicated as the days moved along.  Days 21, 22, and 23 are all made with 4 little half square triangles, arranged in different ways.  Then day 24 we started playing with even smaller triangles.  All the blocks are still to read “dark.”

Block 17 of 365 – 21 pieces in a little 3 inch block

This little baby will finish at 3 inches square and it is comprised of 4 different fabrics and 21 individual pieces!  This should certainly qualify as a miniature!

IMG_4824

The block for January 17 has a lot more pieces than the first 16 blocks of Kathryn Kerr’s 365 Blocks in a Year Challenge.  I’m grateful that I got caught up a couple of days ago.  Yesterday and today I did the current block right after my yoga practice.  Though all of these blocks are to read “dark,” I really want the piecing to show.  I’m pleased with this little guy.

I noticed when I compared my completed block to Kathryn’s block picture, that I reversed the orientation of the lower left and upper right blocks, exactly as was shown in step 3 of her instructions.  I thought, as I was meticulously laid out the pieces according to her step 3 instructions, that it was not how I would have done it.  I should have listened to my intuition.  However, I am not redoing it!

I am Sewing – a Block a Day for 365 Days!

My long-arm quilting machine is still in pieces. We have decided on a location – the end of our master bedroom, which is way bigger than we need to sleep in. That has freed me up to use the 3rd floor in our new Memphis home as a sewing studio (without the long-arm). This level of our home is height challenged – it wouldn’t accommodate the long-arm without reconfiguring the light bar, a prospect that filled me with dread. Without the long-arm in this room, I could set up my 4 x 8 foot table, which is 100 percent cutting surface. Bliss.

It makes me sweetly happy to go to this floor to do yoga (no one, whether Hubby or AirBnB guests, can surprise me) and leave my yoga mat in the middle of the floor when I finish, or to sew. Yes, I am sewing!

For a few years I have enjoyed several “crochet-along” projects. I’ve completed several crocheted blankets in this fashion. Feeling a hankering to sew, but not motivated to go searching among my still packed away unfinished projects, I started searching to see if I could find any “quilt-along” projects. I found one that piqued my interest and it is daunting: one quilt block a day for 365 days. The blocks are small; they finish at 3 inches square. That appeals to me, too.  I’ve wanted to tackle a miniature quilt; I’m not sure whether 3-inch blocks qualify as miniature, but they satisfy me right now.  Kathryn Kerr created this project, and it is available here.

My first 15 blocks look like this.

First 15

These blocks are all supposed to read “dark.” I decided to use some complimentary color, while trying to keep the value dark, so that the intricate piecing would not be lost. I’ve actually only sewn twice so far. The blocks are pretty tiny and each one completes quickly, so it works fine to do several in one sitting. I am again thankful for my 3rd floor sewing studio, where I can leave the project on the table and quickly pick up where I left off the last time.

I’m using my stash for this project. Yes, that is the stash that I seriously considered leaving in Oregon as we struggled to fit all our belongings into the moving truck. Years ago I organized my fabric into 24 color families; it will be easy to pull from my fabric bins to create this scrappy quilt (I hope).

Will my long-arm ever see the light of day?  Yes, for sure.  But it will wait until someone other than me can help Hubby carry the heavy pieces from the 3rd floor to the 2nd floor where it will live.  I look forward to quilting on that long-arm for myself, rather than for customers, for now.  Although, as 2017 proved, you never really know.

Wonky Logs Quilted with “Modern Curves”

Miriam's Wonky Log Cabin

Sometimes the perfect quilting design and a beautiful quilt top come together in a magical way – bliss to a Longarmer’s heart.

You can see this quilt highlighted on The Pine Needle’s Facebook page (March 20, 2014) at https://www.facebook.com/ThePineNeedleQuiltShop

While this quilt hung on the wall at The Pine Needle, when I presented it to Miriam, everyone in the shop came to admire it. It occurred to me that I was probably the only person in the group drooling over the quilt design – everyone else was drooling over the lovely fabrics and the great piecing that Miriam had accomplished!

It was my joy to quilt this top for Miriam.

I always love adding quilting to a quilt top – always. Sometimes, though, it is especially satisfying when the quilt design and the quilt top complement each other perfectly. “Zen Umbrellas” and the quilting design “rain drops” from Intelligentquilting.com is one such pairing that I am just loving! I hope my customer, Tam, loves it as much as I do! See Tam’s blog at http://quiltcharette.wordpress.com/

Banana Split – Custom Quilted

Dawn's Banana Split

I love the effect of overall quilting, but sometimes a quilt calls for custom work. The solid borders and the black frame in “Banana Split” yell custom! I love simple repeated lines like the ones in this border. Happily, Dawn likes it too! See her blog at
http://www.firstlightdesigns.com

I also quilted Dawn’s “Honeymoon in Paris” – so delicious… See pics of it on her blog at
http://www.firstlightdesigns.com/?p=4738