A Breath of Spring

The temperature finally got up to 60 degrees for the first time today! I was able to get outside and see the birds and really feel nice and warm. It’s about time.

When Angela announced the monthly color is aqua, that felt like spring to me also. Because of appointments I haven’t had much time to do any piecing, but I did piece a 10 inch strip set.

Isn’t that a lovely cool springtime color? Anything watery is always refreshing. I’ll work on some more blocks this week. Here’s all the ones I’ve done so far for the year.

Perhaps you noticed that the red block is not as large as the others, so I’m going to have to rework it or just make a new one and put this one in the parts department.

I really need to get some sleep now so I’ll cut this short. I look forward to seeing all your quilting projects. Cathy’s post will not count. It probably is already way more than my monthly total. Love ya, Cathy.

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

Fun with Fusing

Warmer weather seems to be arriving at last. The birds are finally coming back here and I hear the mourning dove at daybreak and the house finches, who seem to be busy building a nest nearby. I will be really happy when I see some daffodils, my favorite flower.

With five Saturdays this month I’ve already completed my usual collection of green blocks. So it’s time for some improv. I have a lot of fusible web, so I want to practice using it. I don’t do appliqué, so this gives me more choices for design.

Late last night I pulled together some assorted scraps to work with.

I laid the fusible web on parchment paper and set the pieces on it, then covered them with another piece of parchment. When I pressed this all down I found that it took a number of repeated pressings to completely fuse them. Waiting a couple of minutes to let it cool off allowed me to peel back the parchment. For spots that didn’t get attached very well I repeated the pressing.

Then I dug through my stash of black and gray fat quarters. With all these solid pieces I chose a swirl pattern from Connecting Threads to give some added movement. Fusing the scraps onto the black piece was easier because I was not as impatient with the cooling off process.

As an afterthought I just decided to add the little blue square and I think that gives it more of a feeling of depth.

This really has been a fun experience for me and I’m looking forward to doing a lot more fusing. You will be seeing more of this from me in future posts.

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

A Happy Green Finish

It’s a time to celebrate this week. Spring has arrived, although not very obviously here yet. However the birds are singing and I’m looking forward to the flowers soon.

I’m also celebrating the finish of my happy green quilt. It’s full of animals and color. I found a very good backing for it, some of the same animals. I got it finished just in the nick of time for this photo op.

It ended up at 36X 36 inches, because that was all that I had of the animal prints for the front. As you can see, the back goes with it very well. For the binding I found several jelly roll strips in my stash that have been sitting around for years. I think they go just fine with the colors of the quilt.

Our local quilt group is having a charity quilt collection day in May, so I’m going to be including this one to be donated to a local charity.

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

Working on the Jungle

As I mentioned last week, I’m working on making a quilt for Jack’s Basket, a fine charity providing Down syndrome babies with baskets of baby items. You can find out more about it from Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. She is running the Hands to Help 2019 Project.

I made good progress on the quilt this week, and with the help of a friend it is now layered and pinned. Today I was able to do vertical rows of quilting.

Isn’t it cute? I almost hate to part with it. Knowing that some young child will love the bright colors and learn about the animals in the jungle, is a sweet reward.

After it was pinned and ready to quilt I tried putting on the walking foot. What a disaster that was! After struggling with it repeatedly and not being able to get it on, I asked a friend to help and she was not successful either. So I just decided to try quilting it with my regular open foot. It went very smoothly with no puckers on the back.

I always use Connecting Threads Essential 50 weight on top and bobbin. With any mix of colors, like the yellow, green and white here, my color choice is taupe. In fact, that is the thread I use for most of my projects. Here is a comparison shot of taupe and white threads puddled on my quilt top.

Do you see how bright and shiny the white thread is compared to the taupe which blends into the background? The same is true when piecing many fabric colors, as well as for the quilting. That’s why I keep it threaded in my machine and load up a bunch of bobbins at the same time. That is my hint for the week.

As I look out my window I’m seeing green grass and rapidly melting piles of snow. At last spring is on the way here in Wisconsin! I’ve been able to open the windows during the day and hear the various bird calls so dear to me.

The first bird to return here was the mourning dove with its sad cooing at daybreak. Yesterday afternoon a wonderful little miracle happened out on my deck. I have two large flower pots there which I haven’t bothered to empty of dried leaves. I heard a flutter as a dove landed in one of my pots. It was probably looking for seeds, because the snow still covered everything. She nestled down in the pot and stayed there for a full five minutes, all the while saying coo coo. Then she began pecking around in the dirt looking for seeds. Apparently there weren’t any, so she flew away with another flutter. I finally was able to start breathing normally again.

I hope all of you are enjoying the coming of spring with lovely weather and a chance to be out enjoying it.

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

The Green Jungle

Just in time for this month of green, I found an unfinished top and pieces of it on a shelf. About a year ago I had started piecing some animal prints together along with some green fabric. These were all 10 inch squares which I had cut in half horizontally. For some reason they got put back out of sight and were forgotten.

I have been wanting to make a small quilt for Jack’s Basket, a charity which gives baskets to newborn babies with Down Syndrome. The required size is 30 x 36 inches. The strips I had already pieced were close to the correct width. Fortunately I had enough remaining strips to make the 36 inch length.

As you can see, this is just a rough piecing , but I have some good jungle fabric for the backing and hope to get it done soon.

Jack’s Basket is one of the charities selected by Sarah for Hands to Help 2019. Here’s the excerpt from her Confessions of a Fabric Addict blog post.

i’m excited about making a contribution to this fine charity, and I hope some of you will also be interested in taking part in Hands to Help.

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

Planning for Purple

This week has been a very busy one for me especially today, Friday. While I’m waiting for Angela to give us the next monthly color, I’m putting some of my solids to good use. One of my pieces is a beautiful rich purple. By combining it with its complementary color, yellow, there is a real explosion of brightness. The golden yellow piece I found is a batik with very rich tones.

I’ve also been trying to find a new block pattern to try out. The best place I have found for this is Patchwork Square, a website with free quilt block patterns. Each block is shown with a couple of layouts and comes in a variety of sizes. The blocks can be sorted in many different categories, including by size. This is one of the designs I’m thinking about.

Although this block is really beautiful, I feel that I don’t want to undertake anything as complex as this right now. I may decide to make one block in the 16-patch-inch size for a wallhanging.

To begin with I have chosen an easier block made up of 2.5-inch strips for the 14-inch size. I’m not sure how big I’m going to make the quilt, but it really lends itself to easy piecing.

Tonganoxie is the name of a city in Illinois, originally named after a tribal chieftan of that region. I plan to use as my four colors purple , yellow, lilac and white.

At this point I’m hoping that maybe Angela will have chosen purple for the March color. Saturday- Green is a lovely color also. I haven’t seen any green outdoors for ages, so it will be really nice to get out my green scraps.

Actually these colors remind me of Easter so it will be very appropriate, at least like spring crocuses and daffodils, my very favorite flowers. With below freezing temperatures forecast again for this week, this is really going to cheer me up.

By this time next week I should have made some good progress in piecing these blocks, plus my improv blocks and others for the month of March.

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

Scrappy Solution

There has been more good quilting weather here this week. Snow, snow and more snow. Today it’s been sunny and bright just like the past few days. My daughter and I went for a long drive the other day, seeing lots of plowed fields and trees covered with snow, like these.

Last week I showed you some pictures of my boxes filled with scraps. The box of muted colors was my choice to work on this week.

I continued piecing pairs, then making bigger squares and rectangles until I could set them together into what was a wall hanging size. I didn’t worry about color placement except in a few places where I wanted to balance out the reds or the blues.

it wasn’t until I saw this photo that I noticed the brighter blue flowered scrap which ended up exactly right in the center. Serendipity! The piece about 16 x 24 inches.

last week I received a batch of fabrics from Connecting Threads. For some reason I happened to include a fat quarter of a brown print. This turned out to be exactly the right choice for a border. Black, white or gray would not have blended well at all.

It didn’t take long to add the border. This is as far as I’m going to go for now. I will hang it up on my wall to enjoy it for a while before deciding whether to quilt it.

There is plenty of yellow here for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.