Clue 2 finished

The Surrounded by Scraps mystery quilt-a-long came out yesterday, and today I finished up sewing the rectangular blocks.  A few 1 1/2″ squares sewn to 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles and a colorful pile is ready for clue 3 to come in March.

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Lots of chain piecing, which goes quickly, especially as I just finger pressed until the blocks were done.

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Now they join the 4 and 9 patch blocks and wait in the closet for their next addition.  I’ve a big pile of bigger squares that will be involved somehow.

This is all the sewing that I’ve gotten done since before the weekend, because we’ve been very occupied with this new little addition to the family:

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Meet Theo, our new five month old beagle/dachshund/mystery mix puppy.  Who maybe should have been named Puddles.

My youngest son has been asking for a dog for years, and we decided that he was old enough, and responsible enough.  Now we are all taking turns spending a lot of time outside, usually in the pouring rain, waiting for him to decide to pee.  It takes up a lot of sewing time!

But he’s sort of adorable, so it is hard to mind.  Actually, last night at nearly 10:00 as I stood in the cold, dark, dripping backyard, it wasn’t that hard.  I bought a huge golf umbrella on the way home today.

 

Stars and mittens

I’ve made a little more progress on the nine patch wonky stars, sewing more stars and cutting more squares.

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I really need to clean the threads off my design wall!

I also got up the first holiday decoration.  We celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas, and today I put up the mitten advent calendar (is it still a calendar if it doesn’t have numbers?). About three years ago, I knit 24 little mittens out of handspun and strung them on a braided cord.  Each year I fill them with little candies and my sons pick a different mitten each day to open until Christmas Eve.

Oh, and one other decoration today – we’ve started to put up icicles and snowflakes in the school library for the winter decorations, and included this book tree/mountain that my office mate created.  We’re going to cut out little skiers and snowboarders to put on it.

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Sorting scraps

Scrap cutting - squaresMy scrap bin was getting out of hand, and a sale yesterday at Scrap didn’t help, so I spent some TV time yesterday sorting through it, making piles based on sizes.  Then this morning I started cutting the smaller pieces into 5″, 4 1/2″, and 2 1/2″ squares for future projects.  I also pulled out the string suitable pieces, and the very smallest go into a box for the next time I feel like piecing every last bit into improv blocks.

It is a long term organization project, but someday I’m going to have some very scrappy quilts!

A bit of progress

My new job started this week, which dramatically cut back on the amount of sewing time.  But well worth it for the upcoming paycheck!  It has been almost two years since I had a full time job, other than a couple of months subbing last spring, so getting up in the morning is taking some real adjustment.

But there has been some progress on the Night Sky quilt background.

Night Sky Stars in progress

I put in a secret star to amuse myself, and also had a lot of fun with the wonky flying geese row.

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And I dug through my stash and made a trip to the fabric store and have collected a lot of greens for the upcoming hills and forest parts.

Night sky quilt - greens

Actually, I’ve added a lot to the stash in the last few days.  Yesterday my sister and I went to the bulk fabric sale at Scrap.  I ended up with several grab bags of fabric, plus a big bag of upholstery fabric samples that are going to get added on to a long-in-progress patchwork project I’ve been working on.

The upholstery scraps dredged from the store’s giant bins:

Upholstery scraps

Scrap fabric grab bags

Above are two of the three grab bags.  Not everything will be loved, but I got a lot of great pieces to add to my scrap bin, some larger yardage to work with, and a bunch of great black and whites to add to my mini projects for the bedroom wall collection.

Black and white scraps from grab bag

And now back to making a little more progress on getting that sky finished.

Scrappy coins

I got a commission through my Etsy store this week and have gotten started piecing the top.  It is a coin quilt, a great way to use a lot of colorful fabrics.  I pulled from my scrap bin as well as the more organized fat quarters and large scraps to make the stacks of strips.

My customer had seen this quilt in the shop and wants one like it but with black sashing.

Coin quilt - white sashing

So I have been cutting varying widths of strips and sewing them into stacks for the past couple days.  If I was using width of fabric strips, or even whole fat quarters I could do this more quickly because I could cut more than one stack from the sewn together strips.  But then I wouldn’t have either the variety of fabrics or the mix – the column stacks would all be in the same order.  So I went with the slower but more mixed multitude method.

Cutting strips

After sewing them together, I press and then trim them to the right width.  Long tails that get cut off are added back into the pile for the next column.Coin quilt - sewn stripsI have four of the columns done and will sew the fifth tonight and it will be ready for the sashing.  The back and the quilting will have to wait a couple weeks because we leave for our family vacation in Israel on Thursday!

Coin quilt - completed stacks