Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wonderful Wednesday - A(nother) UFO Finish

Welcome to another edition of Wonderful Wednesday (on a Thursday)!!  This week I'm here to toot my horn about completing Bluff Quilt in Brown.  I finished it up on Eclipse Day:

It's been on my Project List for approximately 15 YEARS:

Here is a close-up of the quilting:

And the obligatory Eclipse Day "moon shadows" photo:

Here's the rest of the story...

Bluff Quilt in Brown began as The House Quilt Mystery.  Many, many moons ago!!  A friend presented the Mystery to our quilt bee, The Joyful Quilters.  I don't recall what I was working on at the time, but I didn't end up participating.  Unless you count purchasing ALL of the fabric for the project on my first trip to Foust - including a BOLT of fabric that I thought might be the backing (You see, I had to make sure that I had enough, in the event that I wanted to make the quilt bed sized.)

Several years later, I presented the Mystery to another bee.  As the members of Sew and Tell worked on their projects, I was busy with "administration" duties and didn't end out following along.  That had been the whole point of running the Mystery for the group. 

Ugh!!  I began to wonder if I would EVER make the quilt.  Fast forward 10 MORE years...

Yet another quilt group and a retreat came into play.  It was decided that some type of a group project should be on the schedule of events.  I offered the Mystery, yet again.  Would it pan out any better than before???  I had my doubts.

I did make a start at the CCLQ @ The Bluff Retreat (2015) and even managed to get my blocks done:

It never would have happened without a late-night sewing session and the help of my dear friend, Needleb.  (Thank you, again, Britt!!)  Another year passed before the stack of blocks became a quilt top, sans borders:

Nearly ANOTHER year passed and at a Sew Day in July (2017) at Diane's resulted in completed borders...

... But... it took NEUTRAL month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month (August 2017) to FINALLY complete the quilt top:

The longarm was empty, so what did I do?

I loaded (and quilted) the quilt right away...

However, a game of "Binding Chicken" (and another quilt)...

Prevented me from finishing it up right away.  That and the fact that I used the quilt as my "carry around" project for several weeks:

I'm happy to have FINALLY completed Bluff Quilt in Brown:

The quilt measures approximately 48" x 58" and may end up being a gift for an old friend.

Until next time...
Persistence pays off!!!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

ScrapHappy Saturday - RSC17 - Week 34

Welcome to Week 34 of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!!  Lots going on in Joyful Quilterland this week.

SUNDAY - Mt. Washmore awaits.  Although, I did find time to take a stroll through BlogLand to see what the other RSC Quilters were up to last week.

MONDAY - Happy Total Eclipse Day in USA!!  (We only got a partial where we live.)  I'm sure, by now you've seen any number of the following "moon shadow" photos, but here's mine to add to the mix:

DS2 and I visited with neighboring eclipse viewers, watched the eclipse thru their stylish specialty glasses, and opted for no photo evidence to commemorate the momentous occasion.  You'll just have to use your imagination.  :P

Also, happy finishing day:

Read more about it in next week's Wonderful Wednesday post.
Sorry!  Link currently unavailable.

It was also the monthly DOQ meeting.  I was too slow to get photos of my favorite quilts made by our speaker, Karen Comstock of Quiltricks, but I did get a shot of this handy little gizmo!

Thanks for sharing, Edna!! Functional recycling at its finest. These portable pressing stations/ acrylic ruler caddies are AWESOME!!

TUESDAY - It was a Sew Day at NeedleB's today.  Hooray! for time set aside specifically for working on quilting projects.

Here is the view from my spot at the sewing machine:

Progress on August's NEUTRAL Scrap Jar Stars.  Hooray!!!


"Dark" block mock-up:

"Light" block mock-up:

All that remains is the 16-Patch centers (and the assembly.)

WEDNESDAY - This morning, I took a trip into the local Amtrak station.  Here is a (blurry) shot of the inside of the station:

It may be the "old school" way of travelling, but it was HALF the
cost of a plane ticket!!

THURSDAY - Oh, happy day!!  I'm currently back on track with my regularly scheduled events.  Weekly quilt group was followed by a bit of grocery shopping.  That  was was followed by a much-needed manicure.  Since my crystal ball isn't working, I wasn't able to get September's Color of the Month (so I opted for a nice shade of "paper bag" for the interim.

While searching for a missing email, I found a comment from Kathy of Kathy's Quilting Blog.  She commented on my lack of neutral toes a couple of weeks ago... only days before I actually found time to fit that task into my schedule.

See, Kathy??  Neutral fingers AND toes:

FRIDAY -  Coffee, and... in the morning and spent the afternoon with a friend.  THEN... I drove to Raleigh to pick up DS1... for the LAST TIME!!!  (At least, for this school year, since he got a parking pass for the year.)

ETA... Kevin released Clue #3 of the Sapphire Stars Mystery.  Find the instructions HERE.  (Sorry for missing this yesterday, Kevin!)

SATURDAY - Guess what day it is???  It's LINK PARTY day!! Head over to Angela's So Scrappy blog for a look at what RSC Quilters around the globe were doing with their NEUTRAL scraps this week. I'll catch up with you after the Piedmont Quilter's Guild Show.  Now, I'm off to see some quilts...

Until next time...
Get Scrappy!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wonderful Wednesday - A6 Mystery Edition

Welcome to another edition of Wonderful Wednesday!!  This week, you will take a walk with me on a mysterious journey...

It stared a while back.  I first encountered Alycia from the Alycia Quilts blog over on Angela's Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2015.  She is a quilter, designer, and photographer.  Her photographs are spectacular and many BEG to be transformed into quilts!  That's why I've been following her blog ever since.  They tease and tempt the art quilter in me (and I don't let her out very often, let me tell you.)

While photography is one of Alycia's passions, another is quilting for the Quilts of Valor program.  She has been running block drives and designing QOV Mystery Quilts for the state of Colorado for a number of years.  I joined her Quilts for Military yahoo group a couple of years ago, but have yet to participate in one of her mysteries (aside from collecting the clues.)  I recently finished a LARGE commission quilt and decided that THIS TIME... I might actually be able to quilt along!

As I mentioned, I've been collecting clues, but haven't been in a position to quilt along... even though Alycia claims that each clue only takes about an hour to complete.  Maybe one day I'll even be able to catch up on the past 5 mysteries.  Until then, I'm REALLY, REALLY hoping to participate in sewing this one!!


The Announcement - Find the announcement HERE and quilt along, if you can.

Fabric Requirements:

Clue 1:

After realizing that I didn't have the appropriate yardage for the fabric that I wanted to use, I took a road trip to Find X Designs in Sanford, North Carolina.  Members of my Bee have visited and found it to be a delightful shop.  I quite agree.

Good news!!

They had the color that I was looking for.  Along with an unusual backing option, it's a knit fabric:

Oops!!  AND... A really good yellow that was too good to pass up.

Step 1:  Some cutting
Step 2:  Some HSTs
Step 3:  Some Flying Geese

Clue 2:

Rinse and repeat.  Thanks, Alycia, for making things easy on us!!

Step 1:  Some cutting
Step 2:  Some big HSTs
Step 3:  Some Flying Geese

I've got GOOD NEWS!!!  Needleb has agreed to let me use some of her large scale print to complete my quilt.  Thank you!!!!!!!!

Clue 3:

And again!!

Step 1:  Some cutting
Step 2:  Some big HSTs
Step 3:  Some Flying Geese

I kind of did all of these in an A6 Marathon...

Next, we had to determine which one of these fabrics read as a light?  I'm sure that you would agree, we decided on the floral:

As I finished cutting the peachy "Dark 1" for Alycia's A6 QOV Mystery, I realized that I had enough fabric to make it my "background."  Hooray!!  Now, the gray can move into the Dark #1 spot and allow the juicy peach to shine.  Back to the cutting board:

Next came the sewing...

Medium/Dark #1 HSTs:

Medium/Dark #2 HSTs:

Medium/Light HSTs:

A combined shot of the fruits of today's labor:

The day before Clue 4 was released!!!

Clue 4

Step 1:  Lay out the top half of the quilt.
Step 2:  Sew the rows.
Step 3:  Assemble the top half of the quilt.

Note:   I added the steps this time (just to keep the format the same.)  Alycia told us what to do in a few lines and gave us a picture to follow.

THIS is what mine looked like, sans corner stars:

Can you BELIEVE how fast this quilt went together?!?!

I'm SERIOUSLY shocked that I could make nearly HALF a quilt in ONE day, then turn around and finish the components the next, AND have that half of the quilt ASSEMBLED the same day!!!

Except that I chose NOT to do the assembly, as I wasn't sure about the color placement.  Things just seemed a bit OFF, so I waited for the next clue to determine how to proceed.

Clue 5

Step 1:  Lay out the bottom half of the quilt.
Step 2:  Sew the rows.
Step 3:  Assemble the top half of the quilt.

(You might notice) I made some adjustments...

... And then borrowed some fabric from Britt:

Only then, did I begin to assemble the rows:

I'm pleased with the changes that I made:

HERE is how my A6 Mystery Quilt top turned out:

Minus the joining seams.

Oops!!  I ran out of time before having to leave for my Weekly Quilt Group.  I've since pressed those seams and assembled the rows.  SEW... I'm pleased to present my version of Alycia's A6:

The photo was taken from atop a chair.  Don't worry!  I didn't fall off. Whew!!  That was challenging, but now comes the REALLY hard part.  Deciding on the quilting design...

Any recommendations???

Thanks again, Alycia, for a FAST and FUN mystery!

Until next time...
Quilt for GOOD!!!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

ScrapHappy Saturday - RSC17 - Week 33

Welcome to Week 33 of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!!  If you've been following along, you might find this week a bit different from what you've become accustomed to seeing here at The Joyful Quilter blog.

No worries!  Change can be GOOD.

SUNDAY - I decided to recount my Rail Fence blocks for my Sapphire Stars Mystery:

(Since I miscounted,) Here I am finishing up the last of them:

Afterwards, DS2 and I went for a walk at Blackwood Farm Park:

MONDAY - The Quarterly APQS Owner's Meeting is today.   Hooray!!  I get to drive to Raleigh... in the RAIN!!  :o((

We got a lesson on machine maintenence:

Discussed how to quilt THIS quilt made by Judy:

As well as, played a game of "draw the background fill" or a combination of two or three together.  Hearts and matchstick shown below, as drawn by our fearless leader:

Then I was off to dinner with DS1.  I know he just moved back to campus, but it was good to spend some time with him, anyway.

TUESDAY - It's Girl's Night Out.  Here's what I worked on:

But first... I went to Needleb's for a Sew Day.  Guess what I did??? I pressed the Clue #2 blocks for my Sapphire Stars Mystery quilt...

... And completed the top of my A6 Mystery from Alycia Quilts:

Check out Kevin's SCRAPPY A6 Mystery HERE!!  Scroll to find it just shy of halfway down the page.  I can't begin to tell you how much I love it.  It is AMAZING!!!

WEDNESDAY - I was hoping for quilting with Needleb, but I did that yesterday!  SEW... today I finished reading my current book.

Happy Birthday, Knittingsuek!!!

I also released a new Wonderful Wednesday post and went out for a late lunch with DS2.

The hours sped by while I was doing THIS...

Notice!  LIGHT NEUTRAL for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

... And suddenly it was time to cook dinner!  Why, oh why, do they think they need to eat EVERY day?!?!  Harrumph!!  Can you tell cooking isn't my thing?

THURSDAY - Guess where I went?  My weekly Quilt Group meeting.  Two times in two weeks!!  I've missed these wonderful quilting friends.

After lunch, I went blog hopping and found an interesting quilting design for my Rainbow Picnic Quilt over at Stray Threads:

FRIDAY - Today, I was able to attend TGIF Knitting for the first time in a VERY long time.  Color me HAPPY!

SATURDAY - It's LINK PARTY day!!  Join me as I visit Angela and the other RSC Quilters.  We may be stuck in NEUTRAL this month, but there is still plenty of creativity in the works.

I chose fabrics for August's Scrap Jar Stars:

They need to be cut, but I didn't get around to that, yet.

Until next time...
Get Scrappy!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wonderful Wednesday - Rainbow Picnic Edition

Welcome to another edition of Wonderful Wednesday!!  I'm here to tell you about one of the projects I've been working on (when I should have been working on something else.)  It's not done, but I wanted to share how far I've gotten.

Let me walk you through the process of a glorious diversion:

The Announcement - Rachel at Stitched in Color recently made a Picnic Blanket.  She took a survey and decided to offer a Sew-Along.  On June 28th, 2017, she offered it as a Sew-Along. Thanks, Rachel, I absolutely LOVE anything RAINBOW!! Better yet, it gave me a chance to dig into THIS basket of my large scraps. Totally a win-win situation!!

Supplies - As I mentioned, I was excited to tame my basket of large scraps.  Approximately 87% of the fabrics came from there.

Where did you get the rest of the squares, Joyful??

I raided Britt's stash for a number of them, with the final squares coming from J's stash.  (Thanks to each of you for your contributions to this project!!)

Cutting and Layout - I used two Sew Days for cutting.  Half one day and half the next.  The cutting was interspersed between a variety of other tasks.  That way I don't overtax my shoulder, which still gives me trouble from time to time.

Sewing - Rachel suggested that sewing the squares into BIG 9-Patch blocks makes the blanket easier to piece.  That's how I'm planning on putting this thing together, too.

I'm waiting for my Monthly NT Nights Quilt Bee to layout the squares on the floor of the large meeting room at the library.  That will only put me a week behind.  Not bad (considering all the projects I am currently juggling!!)  That will also give me time to scout around for backing fabric.  However, I'll check my stash before I go shopping.  NOTHING!!!


I took a trip to my Big Box fabric store to choose a backing fabric. First online, then in person.  Boy, am I glad I did!!  Some of the options did NOT feel good to the touch.  THIS is the lightweight denim print that I ultimately ended up choosing:

HERE is me, halfway through the process, wallowing on the floor of the local library to lay out my squares.  My monthly Quilt Bee meets there and I had some help in making sure my layout matched Rachel's instructions...

... As well as, with the photo.  Thanks, Carol!!

Finish - Let's get this thing DONE!!  To aid in that process:

I stacked up the rows so that the layout wouldn't get mixed up. That came in handy at the Mini Retreat that my friend Britt and I attended recently.

On Day 1 of the retreat, I sewed the blocks into rows:

On Day 2 of the retreat, I began assembling the top:

When the day was over, there were only 3 seams to be sewn in order to complete the top.  :o))

I finished the top of my Rainbow Picnic Sew Along Blanket after dinner that same evening:

Hooray!!  At this point, I'm only a week or so behind schedule.

Now, on to the (final) finishing...

I am now MORE than a week or two behind, but I have loaded the back onto the quilt frame...

... And I've been considering quilting designs.

Surely, I will finish it SOON...

Potential quilting patterns for within the "9-Patch" blocks:

Possible overall quilting plan:

ETA... Matchstick quilting along the seams that join the "giant 9-Patch" into a quilt top to form an over-sized tic-tac-toe board.  This would have some sort of backround fill in all of the squares.

I'm getting there!!  For now, though, I just can't decide.  I've even contemplated using one of my (as yet untried) TEMPLATE BOARDS or an Orange Peel design.  If you have an idea, by all means, PLEASE chime in.  I welcome any and all suggestions!!

Linking up with Oh Scrap!

Until next time...
USE those scraps!!!