At Plum Loco Ranch, Door County, WI.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cool nights and perfect days! (stash report week 39)

What a great week!  The temps are below-normal-cool in the daytime and overnight.  The sun has been out most of the time - perfect weather for being out walking the dog and watching the little ones play soccer.  Which, by the way,is one of the most entertaining ways to spend an hour on a Saturday morning - I laugh so much!

All this wonderful weather means that it is very difficult to sit in the house and quilt those quilts that need to be quilted.  The hot, hot, hot weather kept me in the house for so long this summer that I cannot ignore mother nature trying to make amends!

That leads to feelings of frustration for not being more productive in finishing projects.  And that, to feeling overwhelmed with how much I have to do!  Arrgghh -- then, I remind myself that this a hobby.  I am allowed to have other interests.  I do not have to churn out quilts like a one woman assembly line.  After all, I'm not sewing for any reason other than my own enjoyment and it is supposed to be fun!  Whew!  That felt good!! (now, to remember it)

Sew, that is why I've not been doing too much handwork.  Daytimes outside enjoying the weather and evenings spent at the machine trying to finish up things.  However, I did get one lonely little hexie done this week.

Head over the Pigtales & Quilts for more Garden additions. There are some lovelies to check out.

It's not like I've not gotten anything done.  While watching, well listening actually, to a Rolling Stones documentary by Martin Scorcese called Shine the Light,  I cut 43 blocks for the guild's holiday block exchange.  There's still lots of fabric left on that bolt!

Then I thought, "Gee, what am I going to carry all this in?"  I have the baggies of squares and directions, a money pouch, a member list.  Hhmm, "oh yeah," DH had a Sam Adams 12 pack box with handles that was slated for the recycling bin.

So, a little Joann's fabric and some mod podge and here's my new box, with handles!  Thanks to Karen at Sew Many Ways for the intro to mod podge and it's versatility. Had to use black to cover the colors on the box.  The fabric is easier to work with than wrapping paper, less creasing and fewer air bubbles.  Check out all the pretty stuff at this week's Crafty Party.

This just might be handy when members turn in completed blocks next month.  A little muslin and we're good to go.

Off Topic Aside -- Speaking of versatile,  Stray Stitches and Hilachas passed along the Versatile Blogger Award to me this week.  If you want to learn 7 things about me, well, check out this post. Linda and Irene have fun blogs - click the links to check them out.

Then, I figured it might help to have some sample blocks to show members what we're doing.  Most of the members are old hats at this stuff by now, but we do have a few new members who have never done this before.

Here's a dark colorway, very traditional, not too Christmas-y.

oops - you get the idea
This one is a lesson on why we are told to read all directions before we begin.  See, I cut my two 7" squares for the center and looked at the picture and, after making the Ohio Star, thought, "oh, another quarter square triangle block." And proceeded on.

HA!!  WRONG! The center square, starting with 7" squares, isn't big enough, you see.  I was supposed to cut each square in half and then use the four pieces to create a 9" center.  Two orphan blocks.

Now, what I love about this exchange is the opportunity to use some scraps.  Our LQS that got us the bolt has coordinating fabric but I'm not going to buy more fabric to make one 12" block (note how much new fabric has come into the house so far this year)!

I have made three lap size Christmas quilts and have another to finish but somehow I have a bag full of Christmas fabric scraps from friends and scrap bag purchases.

However, when you mess up, there is not always enough scrap fabric for a do-over.  I do not have another 7" piece of light blue.  I used the darker blue and, of course, it doesn't offer enough contrast - another orphan block.

Sew, I got out my binder and found an Ohio Star variation pattern from the spring shop hop that will work with my smaller scraps of the light blue so that the other block will be brighter and have some blue in it.  A project for this afternoon.

A mini tutorial:

Here's mine!
Here's a little thing I made to try out the "no binding" method that Ricky Tims explained on The Quilt Show (this particular episode was free via Fairfield).  You do not have to pay to enjoy The Quilt Show, they have free episodes and a blog,  just sign up if you haven't already done so. This weekend there is a free episode of Why Quilts Matter - hurry, it ends tonight!

I've made a mug rug and hope to do more wall hangings and I do not like putting a bulky binding on things so small.  So, I made myself a mug rug using a 4.5" square and my scraps and selvedges.

Then, I grabbed a piece of flannel, also from a scrap bag purchase, and cut a rectangle for the back.  Then, cut about 3" off one end.  Here's the goofy part - sew the ends back together!  LOL!

However, it's also the ingenious part. This is where you leave a hole in the center for turning when sewing the ends back together.  Use a seam allowance slightly larger than 1/4".

Press the seam open.

With right sides together and using a 1/4" seam sew the back to the top,  after baste stitching the batting to the top piece or fusing/spraying it to the top.

Trim. Turn it, and then quilt.

As you can see, there's a teeny gap on mine - put some fabric glue on the batting to hold it together while quilting.

You can see where this would be great for wall hangings or for pieces that you might frame, as the back will never be seen.  Ricky also suggested putting a border around the edge that makes the lack of binding less obvious.  For my mug rug - i.e. a "glorified coaster"- this will do - I really like it, fast and simple!

If you would like to give this method a try - leave me a comment by Tuesday evening (9/27/11), 9PM CST, and Mr. Random Number Generator will choose one person to whom I will send a Lapel Stick and a scrappy mug rug (another project for this afternoon).

1. You must leave me way to contact you either in your comment or in your blogger profile.  No-reply bloggers will be disqualified.
2. You do not have to be a follower - my own blog list is way too long from this requirement.
3. One comment, one entry.  Multiple comments will not be considered.

The Stash Numbers:

Used this Week: 0.375
Used year to Date: 47.625
Added this Week: 0
Added Year to Date: 93.15
Net Used for 2011:   -45.525

Head over the Judy's at Patchwork Times for more stash numbers.
Have a great week!!!


  1. I think you have been busy! I'm with you, the weather is cooling and fall is my favorite time of year so I am outside more. Your little mug rug is so cute! I have used that method on placemats too. Thanks for the fun giveaway too!

  2. Look at all the cute things on your post. I love the hexie flower. I'm still hopping around to see everyone on Lind's award list from the Stray Stitches.

    I'm a new follower.

  3. :) I'd like to try Lapel Stick. Thanks for the giveaway. :)

  4. You have been one busy lady! These flowers are SO addicting!

  5. I agree....I don't like trying to put regular binding on small projects. R. Tims really had a good idea here.

    Yours is so very CUTE!

  6. I think your little mug rug turned out cute. Good idea with the turning it inside out, no binding too.

  7. Love the beer box! We have a few of those lying around, just begging to be used!

  8. I love the idea you gave about using the back to turn the mug rug, I'll be giving it a try. Binding can be a pain on small projects. Thanks for sharing. Followed the Flower garden hexie link, love you blog. Tons of great information. Debbie S.


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