Friday, April 20, 2018

Following the Yellow Block Road

It’s been another busy week here. Our weather has varied from snow one day to rain to high sixties (F) all in the same week. We’re supposed to get into the mid-seventies for a couple days next week. I can’t wait! Bruce has the garden beds all tilled, mulched and the drip irrigation about ready to go. We will likely plant at least the early stuff in the coming few days. The more tender things will have to wait 2-3 more weeks.

This week I finished up my yellow blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (visit our link-up at Angela’s blog, HERE) by stitching 12 - 6.5” (unfinished) quarter log cabins:


Six 6.5” crumb blocks:


And four blocks (also 6.5” unfinished) that will go into the All You Need is Love quilt:


And I finished quilting Geese Migration!! This pattern is by Cynthia Brunz, and it is so much fun! Geese Migration finished at 52x64”. I quilted it with loops, and when it was washed, the texture was just amazing!  I think the gray sets the colors off really well. This quilt is #3 on my Finish-Along goals for the 2018 Quarter Two, which you can read about HERE.  By the way, those columns really are vertical - that bump near the top left area is the quilt holder’s head or some other body part. Sheesh, it’s hard to get good help these days, hahaha.


Geese Migration is my final quilt finish for Hands2Help. All my quilts will be going to Emily at Happy Chemo up in Centerville. We weren’t able to meet up last week because she was traveling to teach, but I’m hoping we can get together this coming week. I really don’t want to have to mail 5 quilts. Anyway here is the back. It’s a combination of a spring green batik that I bought last year (but not enough, obviously), along with a Tula Pink remnant for the sides.


Cousin Kim was over last week to sew, as usual. The week before I had quilted her latest quilt for her and then she sewed on the binding. This fabric was a layer cake of something that we both bought from Missouri Star Quilt Company about a year ago unbeknownst to the other. I have a different pattern planned for mine, but I love how her pattern shows off the lovely prints and colors.

We auditioned several backs, but we both agreed that this old vintage sheet was the cutest, softest and overall best.  Kim is keeping this quilt for herself. Congrats on a great finish!


And I have been working on my April OMG project. The goal is to get the top of Bruce’s guitar quilt all cut out, placed and fused. This is where I am after a couple short work sessions on it:


There are more parts to add to what is here so far, as well as two more guitars that will expand the quilt out to the left of the green guitar. But it's progress! And other than struggling just a bit to get pieces to fit where they’re supposed to fit, I haven’t had any issues (so far, knock on wood) with reversing things. My brain is humming along in “drive" instead of neutral or reverse. One everything is in place, things will be tweaked and trimmed to make lines more flowing, etc. Then it will be properly fused and I’ll begin the buttonhole stitching around each piece. That ought to be a barrel of fun (do you hear the dripping sarcasm?)  But first things first. Since this piece, “Groovy Guitars” hasn’t earned my wrath this week, it is saved from Time Out. It's still on my design wall and will be getting more attention this week.

This week I also cut out most of what I need for the granddaughter-to-be’s new baby quilt. Bruce’s daughter Stacy, who is still due in early July, and her hubby have decided the new little girl will be named Evie. I love it! And Evie’s ABC quilt is started. I’ve trimmed up all the letters and other blocks (there will be 30 total). I pull out a block/letter randomly and sew the strips around them. These are the first two:


I’ll talk more about this project as it progresses over the next couple months..... if I can wait that long. If I had my way, I’d just sit down and do it all NOW, but I have the guitar quilt and the Love is All You Need quilt going on, too.

In personal news, my brother Steve is getting ready to move out next weekend. It’s been nine months (a couple more than I had planned), and hard at times, but we are all ready. His health (and health insurance) is under control, he sold his old truck and motorcycle and has a new(er) truck - reliable transportation. He’s got his social security and retirement benefits all settled and coming in, and he’s has been able to save a good chunk of money. So, he will be heading back to Arizona temporarily to seek out new digs and visit friends. When he’s got that finalized, he will be back to pack up his stuff (stored in one of our bedrooms and an outdoor shed) and his hotrod and make the official move. Bruce and I wish him well, but are looking forward to having our privacy back.

And that’s about it for now.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On Copyrights

As regular readers know, I am in the process of making a quilt whose working title is “Lattice Birds”. It’s a bird block that will alternate with a single Irish Chain to eventually become a queen-sized comforter. With my heightened interest in pieced birds, it’s no surprise that both my Pinterest and Instagram feeds are filled with bird quilt images. And I discovered an interesting controversy last week on Instagram regarding bird patterns.

Way back in January when I introduced my bird quilt project to my readers, primarily the ladies of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge group – our January monthly color was blue, the main color in my quilt – I cited the sources (with links) of my design. Here is a link to my post so I don’t have to repeat it all here.  But I will recap. I needed a 10” bird pattern to dovetail (pun intended because I love them so) with the Irish Chain blocks. I bought Margot Langedouc’s Feathers pattern (8” finished bird) AND found a source online for a 12” bird (I call it the blockhead bird, HERE). The diagram is free, although they charge for the pattern. The reason I’m bringing this all up again is that I do want to clarify:

1.    The bird quilt I’m making is for my own personal use. So whether I use someone’s pattern verbatim or merely as a jumping off point (called “derivative art”), it doesn’t matter.

 2. I recognize that the design elements I changed do not constitute a “new” pattern that I have any rights to. Again, the changes are derivative – based on the original birds. Yes, my birds have shorter tails, the wings are rounded (thanks for that great tip, Sally), the beaks are prairie points set into the seam rather than pieced in. And I like those changes more than either of the above patterns. But they are cosmetic, not substantive.

The fact that Margot was the first to publish a quilt pattern with directions featuring this bird gives her copyright protection. And that is why it was hard to believe that Linzee Kull McCray (@seamswrite on IG) published an identical bird pattern with the addition of piecing that formed small medallions between the birds. She claimed it as her own, and Moda was set to begin distribution. Linzee even acknowledged that her pattern came out months after Margot’s. But to most of us, it was obviously derivative (like mine), not a unique pattern. Well, IG’ers came to Margot’s defense and put pressure on Linzee. To Linzee’s credit, she did the right thing and pulled the pattern. Crisis averted this time.

Anyway, all of this is to say that if you have asked for pattern information on these birds (and several of you have),  I have referred you to the links in my second paragraph above. I don’t own the pattern and have never claimed to.

And while we are on the subject, and in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve also been doing a block I call “Linked Squares” that I found on Pinterest last fall. The link to the original picture source (a community board on the Missouri Star Quilting Company website) was broken. I tried for weeks, even months, to find a source for this pattern. In the meantime, I figured out the block for myself, in measurements I wanted, and have been making a few each month.

Late in March I was searching for something with the word “Celtic” in it and DID find the pattern, so I want to refer you to it. The pattern is called Celtic Family Ties, and can be found on the Quilting Company website here.  You’re welcome.


Most of us, at least most of my online quilting friends, don’t quilt or make patterns in order to formally publish and make a profit. Yet, when their patterns are shared, it’s usually with the understanding that they will be for personal use. We should all be respectful (and I am speaking as much to myself here as anyone else) to give attribution where we can. If we're creating for our own personal use, we avoid a lot of messy situations. 

Have a great week, and I’ll see you back here on Saturday.
Friday, April 13, 2018

Sewing Yellow Sunshine

I’m sewing yellow fabric sunshine because not only is it our Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for April, but it’s about the only sunshine around here these days. I keep repeating the old saying “April Showers bring May Flowers”. I just hope that the snowy portion of those showers don’t freeze our apricot tree buds. But short of going out there and climbing the tree, draping quilts all over it (and believe me, the thought has crossed my mind more than once), there’s not much I can do about it.

Let’s see what’s emerged from under my sewing machine needle this week.....

First, I finished six Noon and Light blocks for the Block Lotto. The hostess asked for these to have a yellow background and be otherwise scrappy. The pattern made two blocks at a time, so I made a total of six, and they were fun but fiddly.


So, my name will go into the month-end drawing six times. The winner takes all. Fingers crossed.

Next I sewed up three blocks for this month’s Squared Away Sampler at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. This is another fun block, courtesy of Mari at Academic Quilter. As she explained, this is an old block with several names over the years. 


I’m really enjoying these, and have decided to make enough blocks each month to do a lap sized quilt instead of just a baby quilt. So, I’ll be making at least 3 blocks per month.  And speaking of these blocks, it reminds me that you can see others’ blocks and all sorts of yellow quilty goodness at our weekly Rainbow Scrap linkup at Angela’s So Scrappy blog.

And then my main focus turned to making more birds for my Lattice Birds Quilt.  Several of you have asked me questions about this quilt, but if you haven’t heard back from me it’s because you’re a No Reply blogger.  If you’d like to read my original post and plans for this quilt, HERE is a link. 


These are the four birds I made this month. I decided that while I wanted to keep each bird in a main color, that did not mean I couldn’t add accents of the other colors that will be in the quilt. One of my green birds from last month didn’t have enough contrast for me, so it may be reworked or used on the back. 

And here are the individual pictures. I see that I forgot to add the corner to the top of the wing on this one, to round it out, so a little wing surgery will be required on her before she goes into the finished pile.


I’ve had fun cutting out bird parts and auditioning them, mixing and matching. Wanting more contrast led me to the decision to broaden the fabrics and colors in each bird.


You may also notice that a lot of the prints I’ve used in the birds are actually bird prints. That is intentional!


And I have dramatically increased the size of the quilt from the original 50x70 plus borders to a queen sized quilt. So, instead of me making 17 birds, I’ll be making 31. And the number of lattice blocks, which I’ll sew during our next RSC Blue month, increased too.


Now here’s a picture of the whole flock (minus one) together:




Can I tell you again how much I am loving these birdies?!!  And there are plenty more to come - lots more blue and green, some in light and dark pinks, some orange, and of course some in mixed colors. A few of these need minor surgeries to become more uniform as I’ve tweaked the pattern here and there. But there is no law (not even the Law of Nature!) that says they all have to be identical!  :-)  That’s always my excuse for being an oddball sewist!

And finally, it’s probably time to introduce this project, although it’s been planned for my daughter Megan since last year. It’s called All You Need is Love. Or Love is All You Need, whatever. It was a small pod-like collection (they had some name for it) by Art Gallery Fabrics (Mr. Domestic). Megan is a Beatle fan - came by it naturally from her dad and me, LOL. Anyway, we decided on a medallion quilt with this as the center panel. But she wanted a rectangular quilt, not a square one. So, the navy blue border around the center is 1” on the sides and 2” on the top and bottom.  The yellow flying geese (which look more gold in this picture but are really yellow) are all positioned to add more length than width. The next round is a simple border again, in pink. It will be done in varying widths, like the blue.

The next rounds are split between various colored blocks, a black and white checkerboard, and other ideas. But what I’ll be doing is sewing up the pre-planned blocks whenever we get to a new color. So, for this month’s yellow assignment, I have 8 various blocks to sew. I’m going to try to have those done for next week.  There are no green or purple blocks in this quilt, so the only color I’m missing is the blue - and I can do those when we come around to blue again later in the RSC year.  :-)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
So, the trip I’ve been planning to Kenya was off, and is now on again. That is supposed to be in July, if all goes as planned. I’m trying to get my deposit in, but the flakes dear souls who run it have yet to send me the link. My daughter-in-law Kim and granddaughter Lauren are going too. If I don’t hear something definitive by next week, I may just bag it and go with Bruce instead to a local Jackson Browne concert here in Salt Lake in July. Decisions, decisions. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Goal Setting for the Second Quarter

It’s time for me to set my quarterly goals for finishing up quilting-related projects. I’m going to pretend that Spring will really arrive one day and that the cold, rainy weather and blustery days will give ‘way to warmth, sunshine and flowers. But I’d be an ingrate if I did not acknowledge that Mother Nature has already blessed us with three - yes, only 3 - daffodils. Wha????? I planted at least 30 last fall..... Well, the tulips are poised to open any day now....

My list for the second quarter proposed finishes is relatively short. But even so, I know that with everything else going on in spring, I will be fortunate to finish just half of them. Anyway, I’m linking up to the 2nd Quarter 2018 Finish-Along Goal Setting linky

1.  Bruce’s Guitar Quilt

This quilt is also my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for April. But I’m advising everyone, Bruce included, not to hold their breath. I don’t even want to pull it out until I finish my yellow Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks, probably next week. And that’s already half way through the month.


2. Baby Quilt for Stacy

Our daughter Stacy is expecting a baby girl at the beginning of July. Yay! I was hoping it was a girl, because I’ve had this ABC panel (Tamara Kate) for over a year, just waiting.


3.  Geese Migration
FINISHED AND BLOGGED ABOUT HERE

This is a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project. The pattern is by Cynthia Brunz. It’s a flimsy currently, but will be basted and quilted soon. Probably it’ll be my first finish of the quarter.



4.  All You Need is Love

I’ve used this picture before, but actually the quilt is well under way. It’s for my Beatle-loving daughter, who needs another quilt. Well, she has a Minky-backed winter quilt I made her about 3 years ago, so this will be an all-cotton alternate quilt. So “need” is appropriate, right?



5.   Lozenge Quilt in Orange

I’ve been working on this off and on for a couple years. Mostly I’ve just worked on it when the orange month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge rolls around. But I’ve got all the orange rectangles (all 475 or so) cut out, as well as a majority of the white corner squares. Now I need to cut out the black corner squares and do some heavy chain piecing. But the priority is after the four above-listed quilts.



6-7.   Charity Quilts

I’ve been trying to add charity sewing to my quarterly output (whether listed as a goal or not) this year. I may as well list a couple of them here. The two I’ve selected are basically whole-cloth quilts that were selected by virtue of being on the top of the 12-quilt pile! LOL


Sorry for the lousy picture; the purple fabric is even shown wrong side up. I just match pieces of fabric, flannel, batting and keep a baby quilt-to-be pile going. These are all meant to be baby sized, from 36” square up to about 48x54”. They either go to a local church group, online charity drives, or the local Primary Children’s Hospital. 

And that’s it for me for the second quarter. Now, must get sewing......  Thanks for stoping by!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Fun Week

Wow, this week just sped by! It was full of family and fun, exercise, sewing, yard work and so much more.

London and her mom, Heather
On Saturday I went with my DGD London (my DS Shane’s daughter) and her mom Heather to Wheeler Farm for an Easter Egg Hunt. I have experienced my share of Egg Hunts in the past, both as a mom of three kids and as a mall marketing director for 9 years. Plus, I worked at Wheeler Farm for 4 years, and we had Hunts then too. But I’ve never been to one that was so well organized as this year’s hunt!

The kids were separated at pre-registration by age and parental preference of Hunt in the Woods or Hunt on the Grass (for the younger ages). The different groups staged in different areas and were then further split up and led into different sections of the woods (the farm is about 75 acres) by guides.

Everyone got the “Let’s be kind and share” lecture so that no child would go without. The kids were just great about this! The eggs were empty, and once the kids got their allotment, they helped other kids. When it was all done, they turned in their eggs back at the barn and got a full Easter basket of prizes, candy, a stuffed bunny and other toys and coupons. What a deal!

London was in the last group of the day and they didn't have any egg limits. In fact, they were asked to help out the Easter Bunny by finding all the eggs they could (and to share, of course) so that he wouldn’t have as much work later. We parents and grandparents further helped out by gathering and bringing out any plastic eggs that had been smashed by over-anxious kids!  Anyway, it was really fun to walk all over and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. In fact, Bruce and I went back on Monday and walked the entire farm again by ourselves. We also visited all the new baby lambs and goats.

On Tuesday I hemmed up some flannel receiving blankets for one of my neighbors who will be going to Uganda with a local radio station. They go twice yearly and bring these blankets to the villages so the babies don’t have to be taken home swaddled in newspapers. The Riley Blake company, which is local, donates quite a bit of flannel, and I hemmed up a bolt of the blue chevrons and then added some of my own. This pictures shows some of them.



I got some more sewing time on Wednesday and worked on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks. This month is yellow.  First I did three Linked Squares blocks, which will finish at 16” each. I need a total of 20 and now have 11 finished.


Next were six 4” (finished) bowties.  I only need 32 more - a few of each of the remaining RSC colors. This project will continue on...


And finally I finished up 10  selvage blocks in yellow. They will be 6” finished. No plans yet other than to clean out my selvages!!  :-)


I still have lots more yellow blocks for the next few weeks: birds, Squared Away sampler blocks, quarter log cabins, and crumb blocks. Plus, I’ve started my daughter’s “Love is All You Need” medallion quilt. The tough part was all the quilty math to figure out the various rounds - no small task because she wants a rectangular rather than a square quilt. So, I worked out the numbers and designs on paper, pulled the fabrics and have gotten started. I’ll share more about this in a week or two. But I will be making certain blocks as the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month coincides with one of the colors in the quilt (mostly yellow, pink, turquoise, blue, black and white and some orange).

My final sewing goal for this week was to get my Geese Migration blocks sewn into a flimsy. That happened yesterday. Excuse the wonky picture. As usual, I pin the top on the design board and let the rest fall freely, so the bottom part is not taut. But it is even, I promise!



I am so tickled at how this is turning out! I still have to whip up a backing from some of fabrics. I’m going with green because I found a 3-yard piece and another 1+ yard piece in those colors that will work. The binding will be the same gray fabric.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We finally got our new car this week. We’ve been waiting for two weeks, and our new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid finally came in and got its windows tinted. It was ready for us on Thursday. I borrowed this picture from the Toyota website (I hope they don’t mind), as our new baby is exactly this color - Electric Storm Blue.

We love our Toyotas! We sold Bruce’s Tundra and traded in my Prius and are now just a one-car family. This car’s controls are very similar to my Prius, but the visibility and some of the newer features (back-up camera) are superior. My favorite thing is how well it fits me. It’s so solid and tight and ..... geez, I sound like a commercial. Sorry, but I just love it. We always give our cars names (please tell me we are not the only ones who do this! Bruce’s Tundra was Elwood and my Prius was Penelope), but we haven’t named this one yet....

And now I’ll switch gears (pun intended) for the final time. This week Darla learned how to wind a bobbin. And she is definitely a southpaw!

Hey, I’m the Supervisor, not the Bobbin-Winder!

If she thinks I’m going to sew those batting scraps together when the bobbins are done, she’s got another thing coming....




Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April Goal for OMG

Once again I’m linking up to Patty at Elm Street Quilts for the monthly OMG - One Monthly Goal - challenge. I’m three for three with my finishes so far this year. But April’s goal is going to prove to be a bit tougher given my history with this project

Anyway, my goal for April is to finish THE TOP (minus any border I may decide to add) of Bruce’s Guitar Quilt. To refresh your memory, this project is a fused appliqué project designed by Robbie Joy Ecklow that I started for my DH last year.


My plan has added a bit to the dimensions to make the quilt bigger. For example, that orange guitar is only a half-guitar in the pattern, but I rounded it out to complete it and add a few inches on that side. The same will happen at the other side. And I am not planning to cut off the bottoms of instruments or the tops of their headstocks. That will add a few inches all around. And then I’ll finish up with some sort of bright border (maybe piano key piecing or just a plain bright-colored border) to bring it up to lap quilt size.

It’s a complicated process with these odd pieces, and my brain struggles (no comments from the peanut gallery please, LOL) to work in reverse with the tracing, fusing, etc. This project has been in Time Out more than not. But I really want to make progress on it, even though I’d rather be sewing something else. Anything else, actually.

If I can get all the piecing traced, fused, placed and assembled by the end of the month, this girl will be a happy camper. Ecstatic. The border can come later, because I will probably have to purchase appropriate fabric for it.

So, to sum it up, my goal is to finish fusing and assembling all the instruments and their parts for the main part of the quilt top.


I’m linking up to Patty’s goal-setting linky party. My fingers are crossed. If I can finish this quilt top by month end (with my hair still intact), it will be a double win!  Why not visit us over at Elm Street Quilts to see what others are up to?!

Friday, March 30, 2018

End of the Green

This is the last week for our green scraps at Rainbow Scrap Challenge. We will revisit green again later in the year - only then it will be the darker half of the green spectrum. For now, however, this is a recap of what I completed for March:


4 green Bird blocks (10.5”)
11 Quarter Log Cabin blocks (6.5”)
1 Geese Migration block (10.5”)
11 Selvage squares (6.5”)
2 Squared Away Sampler blocks (10.5”)
10 Crumb blocks (6.5”)
3 Linked Squares blocks (16.5”)

That’s a total of 42 blocks.

Additionally, I made and delivered 11 small kennel quilts to Best Friends Animal Society in Salt Lake City. They were my OMG (One Monthly Goal) for Patty at Elm Street Quilts’ program.


But let me show you what’s NEW this week in the finish department, OK?  Originally I planned to finish up my Plus blocks (a 2017 Rainbow Scrap Challenge project) into one large quilt. However, Alfalfa (Alfie) and Darla had other ideas.

Here is PAWSitivity I :



Pawsitivity One measures 48x63”. It’s quilted with vertical wavy lines. The backing is just some baby blue flannel. And it will be donated to a Hands2Help charity through Sarah’s blog  Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Next up is Pawsitivity II :


Pawsitivity Two measures 58x64” and is quilted with basic stippling. This is such a happy quilt that I can’t bear to part with it! The backing is mostly a cute red floral, except where I had to fill in with the cute yellow floral border fabric. 



But remember that last week I had two other charity quilt finishes, plus a pink charity baby quilt I finished last October HERE, so I have 4 charity quilts to donate to Hands2Help so far. There may be more - I’m planning on it - as I am going to focus some of my time in April to finishing up a couple more. 

At the end of last month, I never gave a recap of my weight-loss efforts for February. And now that March is over, I’ll just combine it all as one. Basically, I’m right where I was at the beginning of February - literally, to the ounce. Down 35 pounds even. I’ve sort of been treading water. Hit a plateau, if you will. 

We went on vacation in February (too many margaritas) and I gained five pounds, but lost it within 10 days of being home. I’ve been walking several miles 3 times per week and biking the same 1-3 times per week as weather permits. I’ve lost inches and my clothes are looser.  Almost ready to go down another size. That’s a win in my book. And now with the weather warming up and great new spring produce appearing in the supermarket, I feel as though I’m ready for Round Two of this health regimen!