And the Winner is….

In my post last week I asked for input on a background color for my Chinese Coins strips. I had tried them on a gray background, but it just was not the right choice.

Several of you suggested trying brighter colors and that sounded like a good idea, especially because I love bright tones.

Here are two of my favorites.

As you can see, both of these choices were too dominant, overpowering the strips. Back to my stash I went, hunting for pieces that would be large enough for the length I needed.

I couldn’t find what I wanted in my fat quarters and yardage. So I decided to look in my box of backing fabrics, which had been gathering dust on a bottom shelf. Voila! The piece I found was 104 inches by about 60 inches wide, plenty for the front sashing strips and a back as well.

Yesterday my friend with the Go cutter provided me with eight 3-1/2 x 52 inch strips.

Today I was down to the wire and managed to get the front stitched together except for the top and bottom sashing.

This beautiful soft mottled green was the perfect choice! Thank you, dear friends, for your helpful suggestions. I am so happy I took your advice and did not settle for less than the best.

Another blessing has been a change in the weather to lovely cool dry days, so welcome after all the heat we have had this summer. I hope that those of you who are still suffering from heat will have the same cooling soon.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

Chinese Coins

What started out last week as an RSC project sort of morphed into a more interesting idea, which I’ve got all laid out on my design floor. Once I started using my big stash of charm squares, I couldn’t stop. It was lots of fun piecing pairs and then sets of four and finally sets of eight.

This was my final set of the light blue for this month. I really get carried away cutting my 5-inch florals in half and stitching away. I decided not to use the improvisational strips that I had started with, to keep the rows of strips uniform.

In order to mix and match the sets, I made them all in strips of eight. So far I have laid out long rows using three of these sets per row, if that makes sense. I probably will make them longer when I figure out the final size of the quilt.

My latest idea was to space them with 3- inch gray strips. In my stash I found two 1-yard gray pieces, one called “silver” and the other named “dove” (no, not gold). A friend of mine has a Go cutter and I asked her to cut me selvage-to-selvage strips of the silver.

Disaster! I had not opened the folded silver fabric. It turned out to be only a yard wide and I don’t know how it got into into my stash. So here at the moment on my floor are the results.

It is now midnight again and here I am writing this post to show you my Chinese coins in progress. I really do like the floral color scheme, but the grey is not working for me. So it is back to the drawing board to test out black or some other neutral tone.

My idea for the backing is to use florals of some kind. It will probably be a lap quilt. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s projects and I hope you will come back next week to see my finish.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

All Mixed Up

On July 20 I published a post about the scrappy pile that I tried to tame by piecing 2 1/2 x 5″ strips in sets of four. They were mostly warm tones, especially pinks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

I decided to continue with the strips by using the RSC colors. So last month I did some dark blue, which was easy to pair up because I have a couple of charm packs in that color.

I liked the elegant fabrics, very cool and summery. When I combined them with the warm tone strips it really was a nice colorful mix.

I have been enjoying this project and I’m going to continue with for the rest of the months through October. My latest addition is a couple of light blue strip sets and I still need to catch up by doing some green ones.

These strips sets were done today, so I haven’t had a chance to combine them with the others. I don’t have very many of these left. Some of them I have saved for fussy cutting.

I really haven’t given any thought to how these are going to be laid out. I’m probably going to use some kind of sashing. These sets are so quick and easy to make and a good way to use some of the stash of charm squares I’ve accumulated.

Our weather here has finally been cooling off into the high 70s and low 80s, such a relief. My granddaughter is already buying furnishings for her college dorm room. The highlight will be the Rainbow quilt I made for her several years ago.

I may have to make another one in red and white for the University of Wisconsin Madison Badgers colors.

I hope you all have been experiencing better weather and looking forward to cooler nights.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

A Shady Path

Endeavourers is a quarterly challenge to design and make a fabric wallhanging. The August 1 theme was A Walk in the Park.

As usual, I am down to the finish line with this challenge. I begin by collecting images on Pinterest of what I had in mind. I spent many years in the San Francisco area and loved nothing better than walking through the redwood forests. So after discarding the idea of a flower garden, I decided to try a walk through the redwoods. There were many excellent photographs and I loved the ones with the sunshine backlighting the trees. I narrowed known my choices to two or three and finally settled on just one picture. That was as far as I got a week or so ago. I gathered a lot of batiks and decided to work with them.

Three days ago I came upon a beautiful printed forest in my stash. It was not redwood trees, but was really alive with color. I don’t know where it came from, but I know it is a Northcott fabric.

For batting I found instead a double sided fusible foam stabilizer. It is In-R-Form Plus by Bosal. One quarter of it was 8-1/2 x 11 inches, so I was ready to go. This type of fusing was new to me so that was a challenge. I was able to fold over the front fabric to the back and fuse it therec as well, not needing any binding. For additional texture I used glue basting to attach the path and its borders.

About six weeks ago I bought a new Pfaff machine and am thrilled with it. However learning all the bells and whistles means I am constantly referring back to the manual. After an aborted attempt at trying some free motion quilting, I gave that up. I chose a varigated olive green thread which blends in very well.

On the backside I fused a piece of peach colored batik and my bobbin thread is my usual beige. The quilting shows up better there.

I managed to get to get my finished project photographed before sunset.

The other challenge I set for myself was to get good areas of contrast with these subdued prints. One was the addition of a scrap of batik with black branches. The other one is the light colored edging along the path and the bit of orange highlight on the path itself.

Once again this Endeavourers challenge has really broadened my quilting experience.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

A Scare and a Finish

We hear stories about being trapped in an elevator. That happened to me this week. I live on the second floor in a senior apartment complex. The other day about 6 o’clock I decided to go downstairs to get the mail. I was alone and I had my cell phone with me as usual. I got in the elevator and pressed the button for the first floor. Suddenly the buttons did not work. I tried pressing the buttons for everything but no luck. I tried my cell phone, but it was not working either. 🙀

I’m usually levelheaded during a crisis. The only choice I had was to press the emergency button in the elevator. An operator answered who had a foreign accent and was hard to understand. I explained that I was stuck. She said to try this button or that button, but none of them worked. She told me to call the manager. I told her there is none around our building at night. I hung up and tried again after a minute.

On my second try I spoke to a different operator, who understood my situation and said she would call 911 for me. Again I tried my cell phone and still no response. After a short wait the door opened of its own accord and I was on the first floor, not stuck between floors. When I got off the elevator the firemen were just coming into the building. I told them I was the person who had been stuck on it but now was so relieved to be out. 😹

I was afraid to try the elevator again to get back upstairs, so I asked one of the firemen to try it out first. He went up to the second floor and came down without incident. So I went up with him and he waited until I found a neighbor nearby who could phone my family for me, because my cell phone was still not working. My son-in-law came over soon after and when he tried my phone it worked. What had I been doing wrong? I had no idea.

The next day I was talking to some friends who told me that the entire cell phone circuit had been down during the time when I had been in the elevator. It just was an unfortunate coincidence. 😼

As for my quilting, I didn’t get much done because I had to wind some bobbins. Did I mention that my hands get shaky when I’m anxious and trying harder? I finally finished my last pink RSC19 project using batiks with black sashing.

When I laid out my monthly blocks so far, I really like the idea of mixing them up instead of keeping them in rainbow row order.

I’m going to continue with the remaining colors, but not brown. I want just a lively rainbow effect.

I’m very thankful that this week is over and also that the high heat we had is past and it is now in the low 80’s. I have a final challenge project which I will be working on this week for the Endeavourers, a walk in the park.

I will be looking forward to all of your stories this week.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

Scraps to Strips

Believe it or not, today was the first time I’ve tried to corral all of my scraps in one spot. I have been storing them in various small containers, supposedly sorted by color, size, pattern or whatever. Every time I need some I have to hunt for the ones I want, usually by color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. There had to be a better way.

So I dumped all of them into one large box.

By the time I took this photo I had already removed quite a few of the warm tone scraps to stitch together.

The majority of my scraps come from either 2 1/2 inch strips or charm squares. So the easiest thing to do was to stitch them in pairs. Many of them were roughly cut and sort of wonky.

Beginning with the warm tone pieces, I turned out quite a few 2 1/2 x 5″ pairs. What I had in mind was a stack of coins, but with no definite size in mind. Lastly I stitched two pairs together for stacks of four. It felt good to be putting these in some order after all this time.

looking at them now, it doesn’t look like I’ve accomplished very much, certainly not enough to make any kind of addition to a quilt. So I guess I’ll continue working on them.

We’ve had terribly hot weather lately, today being up to 98° and feeling more like 110°. Good time to stay indoors and work on my pink scraps some more. I hope the rest of you are doing well this week, keeping cool.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

Pink Isn’t Easy

Have you ever noticed that some colors are easier to work into quilt blocks than others? For instance, red is hard to work with because if you try to add lighter shades they end up being pink and, vice versa, as they get dark they become maroon or brownish red. No wonder red and white quilts have been so popular over the years.

I’ve always considered pink to be an easy color to work with. However, when sorting through my scraps I noticed that it’s hard to find enough prints that do not blend into each other.

With my first block, for a 10-inch finished strip set made only with my dwindling supply of 2-1/2-inch strips, I had to use a variety contrasting prints in order to get good separation of the strips.

For my scrappy improv block it was easier because I had more scraps to choose from. But once again I had to rely on a variety of prints rather than a color range.

Thanks to a few Kaffe Fassett scraps, which gave some size variation, I am happy with the way this turned out.

I am also able to check a gray scale view see the actual values of the blocks. If you are not sure about your choices, see if you can do the gray scale on your blocks.

So the lesson I learned with pink was that there are a number of types of contrast we can use to give life to our quilts. Do you recall the quilt fabrics we had back in the 1980s? Mine seem to have been mostly little floral prints. Today we are so fortunate to have such a vast variety of fabric choices.

The more I learn about color, the more I realize the importance of contrast. It really does make a difference in the success of my quilting work.

This is the last moderately cool day we are going to be having for at least a week, with temperatures predicted in the 90s. I hope I can make good use of my indoor time working on my quilting.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/