In between temperature fluctuations - thank you for the sympathy, empathy and suggestions - I actually have been getting some sewing done.
I've been working on a few different things this past month but with a monthly club at The Olde World Quilt Shoppe starting this past Saturday, I had to focus and get a couple of things ready for that.
Tidbit - one of the Little Bites - was the first month's project. It was supposed to be Month 2 because I wanted the November/December project to be something small... something that wouldn't take months to complete. I could make this in a day, right?
I did. Except that I couldn't make just one quilt.
This was the just-like-the-pattern-version of the quilt made using the kit we cut for the club. Just for something different - for me and for the club - I decided to frame this version. The original version of the quilt finishes at 16 1/2" x 19 1/2" - not exactly right for a 16" x 20" frame so a tiny tweak to the top and bottom borders was required. It would make a nice gift, don't you think? And Christmas is coming...
The funny part of it all is that while this is the "first" quilt for class, it was the last one I made. I'm a backwards, go-my-own-way sort of girl.
It's like this - when I thought about what to make for the club, I had an idea or two for a variation but I wasn't sure where I was going. Not exactly. So while I was at the shop, I selected the fabrics for the basic kit - a border fabric, 20 different light prints and about 42 different medium and dark prints. By the time I got home, I had an idea for the first quilt - this one - and started adding to it from my stash "historical collection". If I didn't have enough of it to add to the 50 kits waiting back at the shop, I couldn't use it. That was easier than it sounds as it was a fat quarter for the prints and a half-yard for the backgrounds. By the time I was finished with my quilts, I had added about a dozen mediums and darks and five backgrounds. Some "vintage" Jo Morton and Moda made the kits a bit unique and more importantly, it allowed me to make more blocks.
If you have the Tidbit pattern and you want to make this quilt - Tidbit No. 805 1/2.
Three is a good number. It's an odd number - and most design/decorator types will tell you that any assortment of whatevers should have an odd number of whatevers. It was my excuse to make another variation - not that I really needed one.
While there was enough of the red Jo Morton print in the kit for the sashings and borders, I opted to use something different. I love this cross-weave by Diamond Textiles. The lengthwise threads are a peachy-beige color and the crosswise threads are a green-ish brown, and the end result is a golden-tan texture that works beautifully with Reproduction fabrics. At least I think so.
This quilt has sixteen blocks and 40 half-triangle squares for the border, and it finishes at 22" x 22".
If you're interested - Tidbit No. 803 3/4.
Both Tidbit variations were quilted and bound for class - thank you, Judy - but I forgot to take new pictures of them and they're still up at the shop.
With all these different quilts and extra pieces, it isn't surprising that I wound up with a few leftover blocks. I can always do something with those...
Did I mention that Christmas is coming? Okay, it isn't like I need that excuse as they also look really nice in a bowl in my sewing room. And just like we might occasionally add something we've already done to our "to do" list just to be able to cross it off, a tiny finish still counts as a finish. And some days, that's the best I'm going to do.
And then there are days when a small finish gives me an idea for something else...
It's just four little blocks with a simple border. This took less than an hour.
It took me longer to drive to Aaron Bros. for the 8" x 8" frame. There was a sale on frames... I'm not sure if that was a good thing.
Anyway... I decided to do something different with this block. I left off the border and I covered the cardboard in the back of the frame with a trimmed-to-size piece of brown Snovita wrapping paper from Ikea. I love this paper - it's a narrow tone-on-tone stripe and it has a shiny side and a matte side. I washed the block in the sink using warm water and a little bit of soap, and after wringing it out gently, I used the scrunch and press thing to dry it. It has a nice crinkle and the edges have a little fray to them. If I had the heart to sand it in a few spots and use some Instant Antique on it, it would probably look "vintage". But I don't so I won't so it doesn't.
Okay. I confess. It probably wasn't a good thing that there was a sale on frames.
On the cover of the September 2012 issue of Quilts Japan magazine, there is a beautiful pieced block with an initial monogram in a frame. It was love at first sight - obsessed at first sight. I wish I could tell you who made the block on the cover but I don't know who it is as I don't read Japanese. What I do know is this - it's a pieced block, I have a 12" x 12" frame, the rest is just a math problem. And I have lots of scraps.
I literally dumped out the scrap jars on my cutting table to make this - I wasn't expecting to find a 3" x 42" strip of red fabric in there, that was pure luck.
I still haven't decided if I am going to quilt this, I might wait until I make another one. Yes, I am going to make another one with my initial on it. I also think I'll make the next one a little brighter - fewer Reproductions.
This one includes one of my favorite quotations - "Take your needle, my child..." from Oliver Wendell Holmes - printed onto the background fabric. I did the usual - I ironed a piece of the background fabric onto a piece of freezer paper so I could run it through the printer. The biggest challenge there was sizing the text to fit within the rectangle - it had to be readable, suitably pretty, not look too squished and seam allowance!
Just so you know, there are 124 little print squares in this block, not including the red squares. I decided that I wanted each square to be different but instead of cutting and assembling all those little squares, I cut small strips from my scraps. I made little strip sets and cut pieced segments from those. Even though some of the strip sets were long enough to cut more segments, I only used one segment from the strip set and I saved the leftovers.
Now I just have to figure out what I'm doing next month.
Thank you again for all the suggestions and commiserations. I've been lucky, it really hasn't been that bad - just an adjustment.