Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Men in Black

What to do when an UFO (unfinished object) menace strikes?
Summon the Men in Black :-D

Men in Black

It began in 2014.  The basic premise was layer fabrics, cut, shuffle, stitch and repeat.

Blocks from 2014

Once the blocks were made, I struggled with the layout.

I made a flimsy (no pictures of Flimsy #1) and then had second thoughts.
Some blocks were removed to arrive at a better layout. And then it was put away.

Thank you Sandra

On the banks of Lake Ontario

I took the flimsy with me on my trip to Niagara/Buffalo.
These pictures were taken by Sandra in July of 2018, on the banks of Lake Ontario in Canada.

Fast Forward to December 2019.  It was time to just finish it. I pulled it out and Paul saw it.

Paul: This looks interesting.
Me: It has been interesting since 2014.
Paul: Why not finish it?  
Me: I cannot decide on a quilting approach.
Paul: Wavy lines, I guess. You are such a one-trick pony!!!
Me: Ouch.

Paul is the only person who can say that and get away without a scratch.
But he was right. It was time to do something different.
I marked the quilt, painstakingly and quilted it with my walking foot using a variegated blue/turquoise thread.



My new reading glasses prevented blindness as I stitched the charcoal binding with a dark grey thread.

Thank you reading glasses!!!

Finishing at 45" by 53", it qualifies as a crib size quilt.

Finished at 45" by 53"
Pieced Backing

It is labelled and will go to one of the charity causes supported by my guild.



Finished Yay!!!

UFO Conquered

In essence, this was a UFO and had been bothering me.  So when I completed it, I chose the name - Men in Black.  Thanks to Paul's needling, I put more thought and effort into my quilting.

Quilting Detail

Thank you walking foot

Not a one-trick-pony!!!

What do you think? Too much? Not enough? Tell me already.


After I completed my big RSC block, I had some smaller green scraps left over.
When I saw Mell's design on Instagram I had a lightbulb moment.

January is Green

3.5" square color blocks framed with 2.5" strips (low volume fabrics) will result in 7" finished blocks. Yippee!!!

Blocks in the works

Here is the result of that.  Thank you, Mell!!!  I will be making these along with the big blocks :-)
Sharing at Angela's linky party.

RSC2020 - Project #2 Blocks

I think I need to increase the volume of my low-volume fabrics by about 17%.  What do you think?

If you are interested in Melanie's design, you are in luck.  Mell has a very detailed tutorial on her blog.

Angela has already announced Orange as the RSC2020 color for February and I can barely wait to finish this blogspot to dive into my orange scraps.

February is Orange!!!


Australia is burning and the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild is leading the effort of making quilts for those affected by these bushfires.

Four designers have provided tutorials for making 12.5" square (3 trees and 1 new shoots) blocks. The links are on the WMQG page, link above.

Although some trees are short and more rounded, when I think of a tree, I picture a rectangular block. But two trees next to each other, or better still overlapping may end up in a square block.

The idea crystallized while I doodled during a boring meeting at work.

Doodling or Designing

This is not the first brilliant idea resulting from a dull meeting. I am sure it isn't the last.  So here is the block I designed :-)

Twin Tree Quilt Block 

Designed by Me!!!

Yes, I am supremely happy with it.  I am making more of them.

My Twin Trees Workshop :-)

If you can and wish to contribute to this effort, please please read the FAQ document on the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild website.  They are rather particular about what they will accept.
Use #BushFireBlocks on Instagram.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.
As usual, I'd love to know your thoughts and deeds :-)


And one last thing - I am going to Quiltcon in Austin.  I will be there all day Sunday enjoying the quilt show and exchanging hugs :-D
Are you coming?

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Linoleum Plus

Here is my first finish of 2020.  I am calling it Linoleum.

First Finish!!!

Try saying "a roll of linoleum" fast if you can :-D
How did it go?

Once upon time, a long time ago I wrote this tutorial.  Some of the resulting blocks became a part of Have a Minty Day quilt.  And yet others waited patiently to become something.

When I saw the Cross Plus Block, I had an idea. What if the colors are reversed?
Then my leftover tutorial blocks can be made into this!!!

All I had to do was find coordinating print fabrics.  Mystic Dawn from Lily and Loom was just perfect.

Block 1

Block 2

Finished Flimsy
Seams Pressed Open

Quilting in Process
Once again I added a skinny white border to protect my points from being eaten up by the invading binding.  A bright orange flannel backing with little rockets makes the perfect contrasting backing.
A striped black and white binding looks sharp with both the front and the back.

Can you see the skinny border?

Cool and Warm

Linoleum finished at 41" square and I am very happy with it.  I hope it will make some baby squeal with joy.

Linoleum Front

Linoleum Back

I will squeal with joy when I read your sweet comments :-)

I was about seven or eight years old when mom took me to an eye-doctor.  I don't remember why we were there. My eyes were fine and she didn't seem to need glasses either.  May be because she wanted to consult with the doctor about her father's appointment or surgery.
As we waited patiently in the waiting room, I saw a person emerge from the doctor's office with a green colored eye-patch over one of his eyes.

Why is his patch green, I had asked.
Because green is the most soothing color, mom answered.
Why is that, the non-stop questioning machine rattled.
Mom replied, because earth is covered with green. It is the most prevalent color in nature and is therefore most soothing to the eyes.

Although I do not know why this seemingly insignificant memory has stayed with me, it is abundantly clear why this memory comes flooding back today when earth is on fire.
Whether the world burns figuratively with war and strife or literally with bushfires, we cannot have enough green to counter that.

It may be just a coincidence that Angela chose Bright Green as the color for January in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2020, but the universe works in miraculous ways.

I started with this block.
Initial Block

Me: What do you think?
Paul: That is a big block.
Me: Yes, it will finish at 17"
Paul (attempted singing): I like Big Blocks and I cannot lie.
Me: Really? Do you like it?
Paul: It looks like a blob.  So solid in the center!
Me: I had the same feeling. I could snowball the inside corners.
Paul: Huh???

I showed him with folded squares. He approved.

Me: Snowballing is a pain.
But wait. I have a special tape, which can make the whole thing a breeze.
(By now I am talking to myself and Paul is no loner part of the conversation)

Diagonal Seam Tape - Gift from Mari

Thank you Mari.
Because of you my RSC blocks will be light and airy as a souffle and not dense like a fruit cake :-)

Here is my Refined Block, with internal snowball corners.


I made two more.

RSC Green Block 2

RSC Green Block 3

Although I only need 12 blocks to make a lap size quilt, 30 will make it queen size. 
Where do you think I am headed?


I was engrossed in making and refining RSC blocks.  Meanwhile, my flannel scraps were up to a whole lot of mischief behind my back. 
I do not remember how many baby blankets I have made. You know the self-binding, flannel ones that Jenny (Missouri Star Quilt Company) taught.
Those blankets need two flannel squares - one 40" and one 30", resulting in some scrappy strips that are too small to use and too large to discard.

I had collected those flannel leftover strips in a fabric bag and while I was distracted they conspired to become a flimsy. It was a Christmas miracle.


Flannel Strips

Soft and Cute

I used the same backing as Linoleum (Blast Off from Connecting Threads) fabric, combined with leftover strips from Paulitiks' flannel backing (that were suffocating in another bag somewhere).
An orange binding made perfect sense.

Orange Binding




I am calling this one Meanwhile.  Meanwhile finished at 43" by 45" and it is so snuggly.
If you have been saving your flannel strips, take a look. They may have miraculously turned into a soft and soothing bundle of love.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties as well as with Angela's So Scrappy Linky Party.
As usual, I'd love to hear your thoughts.