Thursday, May 22, 2008

Scrappy String Stars

(Stars on my carpet)

You all know, I love scrappy! This winter I pretty much emptied my blue/pink/purple selection of scraps making my Purple Strings quilt.

I was left with reds, oranges, yellows, greens, browns... hmmmm, what to do?

After playing around with a few different options, my favorite is Scrappy String Autumn Stars, not to be confused with another on-going project HST Autumn Stars! I will be working on these here and there. Yes - there is a slight off-set seam, but it is very easy to manage. I made a sample non-scrappy block just to test out my skills and make sure I could do it. Yes indeedy, I can. Might not be perfect, perfect, but it is perfect enough for MY standards! And I can only hope that I will get better at that seam as I go along, right?

I like to make a test block before cutting an entire quilt because sometimes - well... things don't always work out the way I expect them too, as this should-be 8 pointed star photo shows!

The foundations are cut of newspaper and I sew my scraps over them and then trim. The Easy Six ruler makes cutting a snap!
And behind the scenes - I am plugging away on my String Tulips. And working, working, working - 15 and 12 hour days all week, but tomorrow is my day off and Little Boy and I might just head out to a public garden! We went last summer and it was beautiful and we had a great time. It would be fun to see the Spring flowers! Fingers crossed that it works out that we can go because I could really use a nice, relaxing break! And he could use some extra special fun Momma time!
P.S. - Elaine asked what happened to that star - well, I read the directions incorrectly and cut the initial strips the wrong width. Thankfully it was only 1 sample star and not an entire quilt that I had cut out, then sewn together - because 1 star is a fair amount of sewing!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mother's Day Bouquet(s)

These are 2 of my many, Many, MANY Mother's Day bouquets. Almost all of them are tulips and dandelions. I worked ALOT on Mother's Day and Little Boy had a new babysitter for the day... Now, I will be the first to say - she did a very good job making sure he played outdoors. This is what they did... they got the wheelbarrow out of the shed and Little Boy proceeded to FILL the entire wheelbarrow up with tulips, daffadils and dandelions! Took him a couple of hours - I could see them outside, I just had no idea what they were up to! And then he seperated them all out into containers for display (don't you love the bullrushes in the dandelions?). He was so very proud of himself when he showed me his gigantic Mother's Day surprise, smiling from ear to ear and full of kisses and hugs for Momma. Yup - got to order lots and lots of bulbs for the fall! Not every Momma is lucky enough to get an entire wheelbarrow full of flowers for Mother's Day! LOL.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Matching sets

When the weather is such that we have to play inside, this Thomas train track can provide hours of entertainment. Not so much the running of the trains and cars, but the designing of the layout. Can you see? He has an airport in the top left, top right - car dealership. Bottom left - construction zone. I think the other area is a traffic jam? I can't remember what he said. There is even a little forest over on the left near the red bridge - complete with wooden jungle animals. And what I love the best - in the middle is a beach - my son put a bunch of seaglass and little shells around the station. My son doesn't have a TON of Thomas trains, but enough to do something with, especially combined with other toys. This layout stayed set-up for a few days and we did go through a battery or two running everything around and around. Everything is all picked up again for now. The track all goes into a tote (with the track layout directions!) and next time it comes out it will seem like a new toy, all over again. Now that we've found the farm animals - I bet the next layout will include a farm! All the little toys go in the toy area and he plays with them all the time without the track.
Do you think it is like making a quilt? As an adult, I just took out the track, set it up and rounded up the "correct" trains and cars... But my son, he took the core ingredients and added and added to make something all his own and unique. And he had fun doing it.
With all the "matchy-matchy" lines of fabric out there... why not start with a collection and then add fabrics from your scrap bin to see what you come up with. You will see that my son sort-ov stuck with a "theme" and the components are all about the same size. Something to keep in mind when making a quilt - you might not want to add you entire stuffed animal collection or beach toys to this particular layout! But look at all the things that DO work. Who knows, you might end up with something as beautiful as a seaglass beach!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Scrappy patches

Here is an old project from the bottom of my pile. OK, actually 2 old projects! First up are the 16 patches... I made a quilt in 1991 and these were some of the left-over pieces. And every once in a great while I would sew a few squares together, adding new fabrics - a real scrap bag wonder! Then the sawtooth stars (they are 6" without those borders). I really enjoy making sawtooth stars and made up this bunch about 11 years ago. Maybe longer.

So, here I've had these 2 collection of blocks for some time, languishing away in a little box of odds and ends.
On a cold day this past winter I decided to do something about them and added the white sashings to the stars, played around with the setting, snapped a photo and put it all back away. I wasn't loving it. But today I came up with a new idea so the box is back out and I have seam ripped those 16 patch squares in 2. I have a plan. Hopefully it won't be long before I have a top. Sometimes you just need some years to think things over, you know?
But one thing I have learned - it takes a lot less time to finish something you already have started than to start something from scratch. And I feel like getting something finished. So, I think I will start with these blocks.

Oh - and in case any of you are wondering - that is a paper mitten with stickers in one of the spaces - my son put it there!