Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Splendid Sampler Gallery - Short Version

This week there is only one Splendid Sampler block to show. Life gets busy, but I think that my friends will likely have blocks to share next week.

I pretty much knocked myself out with the last Kitty Craft applique block this week, so I didn't get around to Splendid Sampler until today. Block 17 was the scarier of the two blocks waiting to be sewn, so I tackled it first. It's a sweet block called "Family Ties", and the stars are meant to symbolize family members.

I really considered fabrics for a long time. We have a very tight little family, and I wanted to show that. The middle star represents my husband and me. I think of us as a unit bound by love and loyalty. The red center of that star represents love and the blue is for loyalty. The other four blocks are for our son, our daughter, my granddaughter, and our grandson. We are tied together by love, and that's why red diamonds connect us all.

Choosing fabrics is one thing, but sewing is another story altogether. Trouble is, those triangles are itty-bitty and downright intimidating for someone who can often struggle to sew a block with tiny squares. The half square triangles are only 3/4" square!

I know my weaknesses, so don't tell anyone, but I cheated. I paper pieced every single unit containing triangles. It took five hours to finish, but those triangles are downright perfect! 

Tomorrow a new block comes out and I'll be two blocks behind! How do people with small children and full time jobs ever manage to get any quilting done? I'm in awe.

Happy Weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Last Kitten and Struggling to the Finish Line

I made it! I wanted this last kitten block for "Kitty Craft" to be out by mid April, but, to be honest, I didn't think I'd even come close to my deadline. He's a cutie, but this little guy fought me every step along the way.

The journey with these kitties has been quite an adventure. Fitting a busy kitten or two into a specific space was much harder than I'd imagined it might be. I threw out tons of ideas for crafts the cats might play with simply because they wouldn't stay confined to the shape and size of my blocks.

This last kitten went through quite a metamorphosis this past several day. I was sure I had it all figured out on Monday. I whipped up the block and it looked just fine. My little kitty was so cute looking straight out at me with guilt written all over him. I put him in place on the design board, wrote on the pattern for awhile, and went to bed happy.

When I walked into the sewing room Tuesday morning, though, the kitten looked just plain wrong! As I was designing and stitching the block I'd visualized the little face, but a straight forward silhouette has no face. And his head was too big!

Back to the drawing board! I redesigned and stitched the entire block again in time for a late lunch. It was perfect! I put the kitty in place on the design board. Then I took the companion heart block upstairs to work on writing the pattern. The rest would be smooth sailing. There was only one little star block to whip up quickly and then I'd have most of Wednesday and all day Thursday to finish writing the pattern.

I took the heart block downstairs quite late in the evening, and looked at the design board. The kitten looked funny. It took a few minutes to figure out that to show him trying to get to the flower, he desperately needed a second front leg. Thank goodness he's black! I carefully removed the blanket stitching on the front of his chest, inserted a leg, and stitched the new leg in place. I went to bed very happy.

Metamorphosis of a Kitten

That was the night the gremlins chose to come visiting again. They hadn't played a trick on me in quite awhile, so I guess they thought they owed me a super big one. They stole the hearts!! Honestly, they did. I turned the entire house upside down, searched everywhere - including waste baskets! Now In addition to the star block I had to make the hearts all over again. Sigh. All the pieces were finished and on the design board Wednesday afternoon, but I had no time to write on the pattern in the evening. I did not go to bed happy.

Thursday morning I wrote like a mad woman. By noon my head was woozy, my knees were stiff from sitting, my back hurt, and I definitely needed to get away. I met a friend for lunch and did a bit of shopping. I even took a nap when I came home. The pattern would just be late. 

After dinner, though, I got a second wind, and by the time I went to bed the pattern was finished!

Tonight, I truly will go to bed happy!

Look at that! 
Only one very small block and the borders to go! I just might get the last of the pattern out in May - right on schedule. 
Happy Weekend!