Monday, June 4, 2018

It's Squirrel Time!

By squirrels I don't mean the four-legged ones, but I'm referring to the image many of us quilters envision when it's time to play in the sewing room.  I had to laugh at myself when I first saw Louise's latest post title: A Whole Family of Squirrels and really thought she was going to show some actual squirrel photos.  It started me wondering how they got on her boat but quickly realized after seeing the first quilt photo she meant quilt projects. I've been busy catching up on my QALs this past week and am now in pretty good shape so it's time for me to let the Squirrels in for some DrEAMi projects. But before you see my squirrels, I should show you my progress on the three QALs which I'm currently am participating in.  This is going to be somewhat of a long post for me but I figure since I'll be leaving for vacation later this week, I may not be posting again for awhile.

Classic Meet Modern QAL (hosted by Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation)

May Blocks:  Crossroads (right) and Double Arrow (left)

June Blocks:  X-Plus (left) and Ribbon Star (right)

The Classic Meets Modern Quilt so far:
I am now ahead of schedule and will link up my June Blocks later this month.  I am loving the way the quilt is looking and I am really tempted to sew the July Blocks now.

Plus Playtime Quilt Along (hosted by Sandra of MMM Quilts)
This QAL started on May 1st and as of June 1st all I had done was choosing the fabric. I was gifted with a shopping spree at The Red Hen Shop where I found the wonderful gold print (upper right corner), RJR's Confetti Basic which reminds me of the color of a Crayola Crayon box and was the perfect color for the main background color.  Once I had this fabric in place, the other fabrics came together quickly which are from several fabric lines:  Lily and Loom's Square One, several Indah and Mixology prints which were used in Sandra's Free Fall QAL from last year.  And like the Free Fall quilt, I didn't have enough of the other background fabric and so I made do with two different blue prints:  AGF Allover Bartack Printed Denim and Wilmington's Navy Essential Tossed Triangles (upper left corner).
With my color diagram which I sort of followed, Sandra's instructions carefully read and marked with notes, and the strips numbered, I first proceeded cautiously and made the first block.  I really had to pay attention to all of this because it was easy to be confused since the blue background in Sandra's instructions were going to be gold in my blocks and the yellow background in her's were going to be blue.  In addition, I alternated the blues and had to make sure I used the right blue for each strip.
OMG, was this a fun block even with all of the nuances I created.  

I was so hooked after I made the first row which is all I needed to do to be on schedule. This is such a fun pattern and sews together very quickly; once you get into a rhythm, you get into a zone.   I didn't want the fun to end but I had to go to bed since it was 1:00 a.m.  I decided I needed to finish the quilt the next day because I knew it would be hard to resume the rhythm process and get back into the zone.
I have a flimsy now which means I am ahead of schedule of this QAL.  I love the colors and believe me when I tell you the yellow pluses are not as fluorescent as they are in this photo.  I will say after I made the first row and did not like the last plus block I made with a blue and white print, I did not hesitate to rip it out and change it to another blue with less white because I knew it would bug me later.  There are a few other pluses I would have like to switch around but can live with the way my Plus Playtime quilt turned out. This pattern is so clever and while I was making the blocks I kept wondering how ever did Sandra came up with this idea.  The Shadow Quilter, so aptly named by Kathleen, deserves the Nobel Piece Prize for this pattern. It's really good for the brain cells and I really know my increments of threes now. It can be addicting--after I was done, I really wanted to make another one right away but sadly will have to wait another day. I am looking forward to hanging this quilt up once it's been machine quilted--I already know there will be straight and curvy lines involved.

Fireburst Mystery Quilt Along hosted by Tish's Adventure in Wonderland


I really did not think I would have time to start working on this QAL which started also on May 1st, with days left before we hit the road, but I surprised myself.  The fabrics were chosen last month which are from my Lonni Rossi and gray stash but sat on the shelf until Sunday.  This QAL really has an easy schedule since completion is until January 1st and I could have waited but cutting directions have been out since May 4th and piecing instructions just released last week.
I will say that I'm glad I was behind schedule and did not do the cutting until Sunday, because I realized when I was reading the piecing instructions that the above patches could be die-cut and that's what I did.  Thank you to my Sizzix HST and trapezoid dies.  Once again I learned my lesson when die-cutting non HST patches, like the trapezoid and HRT, you have to pay attention how the fabric lays on the die, it's all facing up or facing down depending on the direction.  You cannot fanfold the fabrics like you can with HST.

I'm now on schedule with the Fireburst Mystery QAL and there's no way that I can get ahead since after all it's a mystery quilt and the instructions are only released once a month.  I think I read somewhere that Tish could be bribed with chocolates.
During the midst of working on these QALS, I did find time, since it involved TV watching and upstairs sewing, I worked on these two DrEAMi projects which happened because I came across the fabrics while tidying up the studio:  Ernie strips made from Denyse Schmitz fabrics and lots of green HRTs inspired by a recent acquisition of some green batiks from Sandra of MMM Quilts. She has once again enabled me with another project by with some my collection of green fabrics given to me over the years from my dear Quilt Partner-in-Crime, Carol.  I'm thinking of creating another title for Sandra: Master MMM-nabler; really she has released some squirrels in my studio several times this year.
And finally, I have a new road project which involves appliquéing 2" feedsack circles made years ago onto 3-1/2" squares. Recognize them, Susan? I'll be carrying this project in my vintage Moda oversized, metal lunch box which makes a pretty good base when appliquéing in the car.  I couldn't decide on what I wanted to bring or to make while on the road this time and I thought I wanted to work with new fabrics but the feedsack circles spoke to me when I came across them, again, when I was putting something away. My plan is to make nine patch blocks with these circle blocks and hopefully I will be able to share a test block soon.
Now, it's time to say That's All Folks!  Sorry for writing such a long post but I am feeling a sense of freedom with the QALs done for now and I have time to work on other projects before any new squirrels find their way into my studio.  I'll be busy but am in a Happy Sewing frame of mind and hope this will last awhile. And now the mountains are calling me and I must sew, whoops, I mean go.

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20 comments :

  1. Wow! You have a lot of fun, colorful projects going on! Amazing piecing in your blocks! Thank you so much for such an inspirational post!

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  2. I love the fabrics you used in the plus quilt. Can't wait to see the quilting!

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  3. Love your squirrel intro photo, Rose!!! Nice Classic Meets Modern quilt chart!!! Nobel Piece Prize?!? Too funny! That looks like a great way to use yo-yos. Have a great trip!!!

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  4. Nice to be caught up! Have a great vacation!

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  5. Have fun in the mountains. I absolutely love the fabrics you are using in Tish's mystery quilt. They are subtle, well except for the yellow. The circles look like a good project to bring along on vacation as well.

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  6. Yay for being caught up!! All of your QAL's are coming along so nicely! Your Playtime Plus is gorgeous! I'm pretty sure I've heard that about Tish too :P Maybe Sandra is the Pied Piper of Quilt Blog Land? Although didn't he round up the squirrels not release them :)

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  7. I just knew you'd have a road trip project in hand (quite literally) once again! Lol on dubbing me yet another name! I serve the fabric goddesses very well, and I like company! Thank you also for such kind words (you're SO witty, Nobel Piece Prize) on my pattern. Just love the take you did on it! It's such a rush to see everyone's versions. Drink in those Rockies; next time I'm in Alberta I hope to visit them.

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  8. I'm giggling all the way through this post! Squirrels, chocolate bribes, MMM-enabler (perfect), Nobel Piece Prize (again, perfect). Hahaha! I love your Plus Playtime with that gold plus and the fun, bold plusettes. We need to make another one, don't we? All of your projects look great, and they are caught up! Enjoy your mountain time!

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  9. So many great projects! I think that Plus quilt it outstanding. I just love the background colors you used. Really nice. Also love all the funny puns. Your blog makes me smile. :-)

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  10. I adore your fabrics for the Plus quilt! So many yummy colors. And like Wendy, I've been giggling at all your new phrases. You're very organized to have all your circles ready to applique in the car. Love the lunchbox as sewing case :)

    Have a fantastic trip!

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  11. Love your plus quilt. I need to pick my background fabrics and get busy. Enjoy your trip.

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  12. Wow! You've been so productive, Rose! Enjoy your vacation. I can't wait to see all the finished projects.

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  13. I certainly do recognise those pretty circles! I think I still have one or two floating around that didn't make it into the project I made for my sister. Love those crosses! The colours are wonderful!

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  14. So much progress!! I love your CMM quilt so much ... probably because of the fabric collection ;) I now kind of wish I had joined along, but I do not have a knack for picking fabrics like you do. I can't wait to see the whole quilt!

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  15. Hi Rose,
    So much newsy news in this post! I love your Plus Playtime flimsy!! I have mine all together, too - now I have to figure out how to quilt it. Just wondering what you're doing? Your Fireburst colors and fabrics look so great. I still have to cut mine, but there certainly is plenty of time - thankfully. ~smile~ Roseanne

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  16. Sandra is getting more and more nicknames! You made nice progress on your QALs. I have not quite finished my plus quilt and need to cut out my fireworks, but I have plenty of time, so I will be right on schedule. Have a great time!

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  17. It is tough to keep up with all your projects. You amaze me! I must say my favorites are the Plus Playtime and your new hand project (feedsacks of course!) because of those fabulous colors! Have fun with all of them!

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  18. Boy you really got busy girl!! All things are looking awesome. But especially like your Plus quilt top.

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  19. WOW!! your projects all look amazing, and I love your CMM blocks! BTW- it's genius to design your quilt digitally with the photos "laid out" over the planning sheet! So neat!

    :) Kelly

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  20. I am overwhelmed at all this beautiful Quilty goodness!

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