Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Projects for a Snowy Month

Everyone in New England must be having the same problem right now, where to put all the snow. We had another blizzard-like storm a few weeks ago that dumped 10 more inches of snow; and since then it seems we've had a storm every four or five days with another 3-4 inches of snow. The snow in the yard is up to my waist now, with huge piles all around from snowblowing and plowing. Our trailer in the yard has disappeared from view, as has most of the woodpile. And we had another four inches this morning. Nothing in the forecast now until March 8, when we are supposed to get 12-15, according to the long range forecast. Not that I'm buying that. The weather people haven't had a good track record predicting weather accurately this winter.

It's been extremely cold here as well, as it has been elsewhere in the country. Yesterday morning when hubby went off to work, the temp was -27 degrees. Most days it might warm up to the teens during the day, if we're lucky. I hate the thought of going out in the cold, so I have been hunkered down in the basement, sewing like a  madwoman.

I currently have 6 or 7 projects actively in work. Some are ongoing and only get worked on a few days a month, like the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. A couple are projects I'm trying to finish up. Patrick's Plaids is one of two queen-sized quilts I'm trying to finish before mid-April, so these blocks are my main focus for the rest of the week.

One of my knitting pals lost her son nearly a decade ago, and she began making a quilt with his shirts. She got all the four-patch units made; and then I don't think she worked on it again, so I offered to finish it for her. The blocks are a bit challenging to make because they're actual shirtings, not the shirtings we find at the quilt shop; so a few of them fray a lot or are kind of squiggly to sew, but it's getting done. The blocks will eventually be sashed in white with navy cornerstones, then a navy border, then a piano key border. My friend had a very different border treatment in mind, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to implement it. We'll see.

As I've been working on the plaid blocks, I started putting together the top of a Carpenter's Star quilt as a leaders and enders project. One of the gals in our quilt chapter did this as a workshop for us at the beginning of February, sort of a "sew one and you're done" quilt. Each square in the quilt finishes to 6", so you can make a large quilt fairly quickly. I've seen some variations on this pattern on Pinterest and would definitely make this again if I needed a quilt in a hurry. Anyway, since the finished quilt was within the size guidelines for a Quilt of Valor, I decided to make mine in red, white and blue and donate it accordingly. I think both the national organization and also our state rep are conducting a block drive right now, so I'm just donating a whole quilt.

The top looked quite plain to me after I got it together, even with the different cream backgrounds, so I used a variegated red-white-blue thread for the quilting, and I like it better. I've cut red binding for the quilt which will add a little more interest, and hopefully someone will like it. The binding is made, but I must stitch out and attach a label before I can apply the binding; and I still have a pillowcase to make, a presentation case, if you will.

After the Carpenter's Star top was finished, I needed another leaders and enders project, so I started sewing the units for the triangle quilt together. I constructed the top in quarter sections, which is my new favorite way to assemble a top. The quilt looked too plain to me with the cream and dark borders, so I added triangle units to the corners. Better, but then it looked unfinished to me, so I'm adding a row of triangles all the way round. Then, I think, it will be finished.

Because these were waste triangles, the small triangles finish to 1-1/4"; so the whole quilt top will not be larger than about 40" square. A good size for a small wallhanging.

Back to the plaid blocks.


LynCC said...

Sue, I love all your snow projects! That Carpenter's Star is very nice, and the triangle quilt!! Wow - and it's from scraps. :) I *knew* I've been squirreling away my "bonus" HSTs from flip-and-cut units in storage shoeboxes for a good reason.

Judy S. said...

Wow, Sue, that is a very impressive amount of snow! Glad you are using it to your advantage though and it looks like you have some great projects in the works. I really like that Carpenter's Star. Stay warm!

Chantal said...

Stuck in snow here too, although, not as much as you. And it's bitter cold. But your quilts are a warming sight. ♥ the plaid quilt. Sorry to hear the reason it came about though. Congrats on finishing the Carpenter's Wheel quilt. My favorite is the triangle quilt! So simple yet so interesting. Stay warm. Enjoy the sewing.