Sunday, September 25, 2016

Problem with Blogger?

Is anyone else having trouble with Blogger these days? I accidentally discovered that Blogger is not forwarding comments to my email address. I've checked my settings and think everything is set correctly. My apologies to anyone to whom I have not responded! Maybe it's time to switch to Wordpress or something.

Dakota Farmer

Bonnie Hunter's latest book was released a few weeks ago, and I already have a copy in my hot little hands. It is based on the column that she writes for Quiltmaker magazine, "Addicted to Scraps".

Dakota Farmer was one of the blocks I found in her column. At the time, I was just getting onboard with soscrappy's Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so I started making these blocks. I did change the outer border to suit myself.  I think Bonnie usually puts up on her blog a mockup of what a quilt using that month's block might look like, and that's where this layout came from. Finished it in August.

These cute little 3" flying geese blocks were another block featured in her column. I started making light and dark versions and have in mind a particular setting. Heaven knows how long it will take me to get enough done to make a quilt because I am paper piecing mine. One nice thing about these little blocks is that they use up a lot of small scraps.

We had a very long, hot, dry summer, and I'm glad we're finally down to the 60s. 38 degrees here last night. Fabulous! Despite the dry weather, my sedums still look beautiful. They'll deepen in color to a burgundy by the time fall is over.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A New Obsession

I'm on the last quarter of the Stars Over America quilt. Still have four more red star halves to sew for the corner border blocks; but since there's only one border, I anticipate having this top finished by bedtime tonight.

Paper piecing 88 star halves got tedious at times, so occasionally I switched out the project with another from a class I bought on Craftsy. I discovered Craftsy sometime late last year and have come to love it. It started with knitting, then expanded to quilting, a few cooking classes, and a few gardening classes. They have some other kinds of classes too, and I wish they'd have one on refinishing furniture.

A few weeks ago while I was surfing the internet, I came across Joan Hawley's blog--she owns Lazy Girl Designs. She wrote about a new technique she developed using half of a zipper, with a different colored pull, to sew into a bag. My interest was piqued, so I bought her three patterns that feature the technique. Before I could get started, she started offering a class on Craftsy, so I signed up. A worthwhile investment, because she offers some tips that are not in the printed patterns, and the videos make it a whole lot easier to understand what to do. Too bad I had already bought the patterns because all three are included in the class materials, which makes it a great value.

Using only half of a zipper makes it easy to install, then you can use the other half for another project. You can also see I've added different colored pulls to each of the three pieces I made. In fact, the key fob actually has two different pulls on it. I could have added three or even six. How fun is that?

The other thing I really like about this technique is that using one half of a zipper allows the bag to sit wide open when it's unzipped, which makes it easier to see and reach into the bag. This is Joan's Sweetpea Pod pattern. I've been keeping one of my charger cords in it, but a friend made one from vinyl mesh (which I thought was brilliant) and keeps her little red binding clips inside. The larger bag is Becca, and the key fob is Fobio. The split ring on the Fobio is small enough to put through a zipper pull, so you can put one on the Sweetpea too.

You can also purchase a bag of extra zipper pulls so you have colors to choose from. I have always detested putting in a zipper, but Joan made a believer out of me. I had so much fun in this class, and now it's spawned a new obsession--stashing zippers and zipper pulls.