Frustrating Friday

Wow! What a day!
My seam ripper has become my most used sewing notion.
I’m glad I bought one that is more ergonomic than the small one I was using.
It’s a Dritz.

Before I begin to whine, I do want to say that working on these blocks from Block a Day has been a learning experience.
I am pleased to be learning new things with each block.
The accuracy of my cutting and piecing does seem to be improving.
But, it is challenging, and sometimes frustrating.

My sister reminded me that mom liked the bluebonnet season, and I remembered that I had a bluebonnet fat quarter in my stash. I thought that Block #256, Faceted Square, would best showcase the bluebonnet fabric.
It looked simple…Wrong.
I guess the word , faceted, should have been my first clue that this would not be easy.
I ripped this block at least three times.
I am happy with the results, but it was a doozy.
The next block I made was Block #252, Big Flower.
I had some very bright and playful fabric that I thought would look good, but when I finished, it looked too busy.
It did not look right, but since I had to rip and redo this block so many times, I just walked away from it.

When I went back to study it, I noticed that I have misplaced an orange triangle.
It should be part of the center.
Maybe, once I fix this, it will not look so busy.
Right now, I am going to give my seam ripper a rest.


Wonderful Wednesday

It is such a rewarding feeling to see children read a book they thought they couldn’t read.
Their sweet faces just light up!
It feels great to be working with children again, even if its just a couple of days a week.
Made my day!

Thanks to the Accuquilt Go!, I was able to cut all of the triangles and squares for block 183 just minutes before I walked out the door to go volunteer at the school.
20170111_220811692_ios 20170112_005514917_ios

I decided to make the block, Summer Tree, look more like a spring tree.
I used lighter greens and added a floral fabric.

Now, I am trying to decide if I should make this same block into a fall tree;
or if I should just make the fall leaf block.
I am thinking that one tree on each side of the house block would be more balanced.
Mom liked to decorate for fall and spring.
She was not a fan of Texas summers.
There are three other tree blocks in Block a Day, but two of them are at angles.
I do not think the angled trees would look good with the vertical tree.
The other tree block, Winter Tree, is a two triangle tree.
I made it into a three triangle tree  to represent mom’s love for all things Christmas.
The winter tree really isn’t native to our area.

It’s time to set the quilt layout aside and think about it for a while.
I will look it over with fresher eyes tomorrow.
I also asked my artistic sister for her input.

Those first graders wore me out!

Yesterday’s Blocks

It was so much fun being back in the classroom yesterday.
Being with first graders…always good for the soul!

These are the two blocks from Block a Day I made yesterday afternoon.
20170110_214617475_ios Block # 273 Block Cross
I had purchased the gray and white polka dot fat quarter from Hobby Lobby on one of my recent trips.
The purple floral fabric fat quarter was purchased at Mesquite Bean.
They looked good together before I pieced the block, but now that it is pieced I think it sort of washes out.
I will have to rethink this.

20170111_002303186_ios Block #294 Kew Garden
The floral print is from a quilt I made one of my daughter-in-laws.
I am also questioning my choice of colors on this block.

While I was at the Mesquite Bean, I consulted with Joy about how to best sash this quilt.
I found some fabrics that I might choose for the sashing.


New Layout

In my original layout for the Tribute to Tonie quilt, I selected certain blocks and repeated some of these blocks.
For example, I did 4 of the bird blocks, changing the type of bird by using different colors and adding pieces.
I made four corner hearts, one for each sibling and myself.

Last night, I was looking through Block a Day to see which blocks I would do today.
I found so many more blocks that could be used in the Tribute quilt.
I realized that I didn’t need to repeat some of the blocks I had already chosen.
I decided to revamp the layout for the quilt.

Today, I added the Sunrise Block, block #145.
Mom loved the song from Fiddler on the Roof, Sunrise, Sunset.
She also use to like to hear Cat Steven’s sing Morning Has Broken.
This is still one of my favorite songs.
I also made the third of four flowers.
It is Block #50, Star Flower.
It looks similar to the violet block,#355, but the center is different.
There are also some other differences.

Productive Day

Today, I managed to complete three more blocks from Block a Day.
These will be used in my Tribute quilt.
Using the Accuquilt improves the accuracy of the cut, and makes things move at a better pace.
Coffee Cup
Block #21
Every Sunday, I would pick up some pancakes from Jim’s or Bill Miller.
I would also get some coffee.
Mom would pour the coffee into pretty cups.
I had some bird fabric left from a quilt I had made for myself.
Mom had green in her kitchen, and I found some green fabric remnants from a quilt that I made for one of my sons.
The orange and pink are also remnants from quilts I previously made.
Block #355
Mom and I both like violets.
I am terrible with plants and flowers, and I would end up taking my violets to mom so she could nurse that back to looking healthy.
Block #201
Winter Tree
The small triangle die on my Accuquilt Go! is smaller than the one called for in the pattern.
I used the this die and added a third row for the tree to make it look more like a Christmas tree.
Christmas Eve was spent at mom’s house.
Mom had different sets of Christmas decorations which included Victorian, Blue and Silver, Red and Gold, and Tradtional.
I liked the traditional the best, so I tried to make this block reflect mom’s traditional tree.
I had to add two side strips and one top strip.

So far, my portable design wall is working very well.
It is just the quick reference I need when I am choosing colors and fabrics for the blocks.
I also have a template that I save on my computer.
This is part of the template. The screen shot didn’t capture the whole page.

I have one more day to get some blocks in before I go to volunteer at the school.
There are 17  more blocks for the Tribute quilt.

Note to Self

It was a cold day.
My son, who lives in Mckinney, had snow.
He said it went down to 19 degrees with a wind chill of 7.
It wasn’t that cold here, but it was cold enough.
It was perfect for a day of reading, drinking coffee, and quilting.

After already making two different types of basket quilt blocks for Block a Day,
I was ready to make today’s Block #7, Cherry Basket.
I thought it would be a breeze.

It took me most of the afternoon to get this block done correctly.
Part of the problem is that I tend to not read the directions thoroughly.
Note to self: READ the DIRECTIONS.
After ripping it up and starting over a few times, I finally got it.


Yesterday, we went out to eat fish for lunch.
There is a Hobby Lobby near the restaurant, so of course, I talked my husband into going with me for a quick fabric trip.
I saw this wild black and spiral fabric that just shouted out “rooster”;
so I purchased a fat quarter to make Block #88.
Mom had a rooster motif in her kitchen, and this block is perfect for the Tribute quilt.
I had so much fun piecing this rooster block.
I had plenty of remnants to coordinate with the fabric I purchased.
The rooster is a little knocked-kneed, but I think it gives the rooster more personality.
Now, I want to catch up with my reading.

Block a Day #6

This is all I managed to get done today from Block a Day.
Block #6, Poppy
I also reviewed the layout for the Tribute quilt.
Before I went any further, I contacted my friend Jeana .
I had so many questions about how to make this quilt more cohesive.
I wasn’t sure if I could combine abstract blocks with traditional blocks.
Each block is a symbol of something related to my mom, even the abstract blocks, such as Kitchen Work block.
I also had questions about sashing and borders.
Jeana , as usual, came to the rescue.
I am ready to continue.

Since I do not have room for a design wall, I decided to make a portable magnet design wall.
It gives me the quick visual I need without taking up space.

I purchased a magnetic white board and magnets from Wal Mart.
I used double-sided tape to place the block pictures on the magnet.
It is hanging on the door in my sewing room.
For now, it seems to be doing the trick.

Busy Friday…No, I mean Thursday

Last night I went to bed thinking it was Thursday night, and I woke up ready for Friday.
After a morning cup of coffee, I finally figured out that today was Thursday.
With a start like this, I decided to make it a Sweat Pants Day.
No walk.
Just reading and quilting.
The Block of the Day #4, July 4th, is described as a “playful block” because of the prints and solids.
July is a favorite and busy month for us.
My twin sons and my youngest son were born in July.
My granddaughter was born in July.
And my one and only niece has a July birthday.

I had some bright red prints and blue prints that were just perfect.
The block is just made of 8 tapered rectangles and 8 small triangles.
Fun to make!

For the Tribute quilt, I made two different blocks.
Block #178 is a Flower Basket block.
Mom made beautiful wreaths and basket floral arrangements.
Oops! I just noticed a mistake on the flower basket.
I need to turn that green and white square.

Block #178 is a Grape Basket.
Mom usually had some sort of arrangement on her table that included grapes.

All three of these blocks were made with remnants and fabric I already had on hand.

I started Block #6, Poppy.
There is plenty of red scraps and remnants in my bins, but I am having trouble finding a remnant for the border.
The teal remnant I like is not enough for the four borders.
I will have to think about this one.

Of this, I am sure.
It is Thursday night.