Saturday, September 1, 2012

Always Playing Catch-Up

That just seems to be my MO. I finally got the last six blocks of the Barrister's Sow-Along completed (new ones will be posted next week). Anything that could go wrong did. I cut wrong, unpicked, recut, sewed together wrong, unpicked, resewed, didn't like one of the fabrics, unpicked, cut something else, resewed. They eventually got finished, but it took so much longer than it should have.
I really like these blocks, but they were quite labor intensive (at least with my constant mistakes), so I may only make one or two of them for my Christmas quilt. I know I said early on that I wasn't going to fussy-cut these plaids and stripes, but I just couldn't do that lower right hand block without it.

Here is how all of the blocks look together so far.

I think I will be sashing these and putting them on point--at least that is my plan as of today. That could change. 

The other "catch-up" I always seem to be doing is the SewCalGal FMQ Challenge. The August Challenge was a fun looking design that the instructor, Wendy, called Jester Hats. I struggled to get the hang of where to go after each hat. I couldn't get the flow. My first practice piece ended in frustration. I printed Wendy's tutorial page and traced it repeatedly. I was finally ready to try again. I think it came a little easier this time, but I still had to think really hard. I don't know if this one will ever just flow naturally for me, but I do like the look of it.

So, Sarah was right when she told me that the Temecula Summer Stars SAL final week might just be the setting and not another star. I decided to set mine differently--well, really it is the same as the setting I used for the "Fall"-ing Stars I made and shared in my last post. I just have everything laid out on a design board. I played with different sashings, cornerstones and borders and couldn't seem to get a combination that clicked. This is the one I like the best so far, but the sashing sticks out. I tried a lighter color and didn't like it. Do you think if I bind it in the navy blue that it will tie it all together, or does there need to be a narrow navy border in there somewhere?
August has been crazy busy and September is looking to be the same. I was feeling the need for something fun and DH (who had the day off) offered to drive me to a quilt shop I've been hearing about. It is just under two hours away. I was pleased with what I found at Sages Creek in Pocatello, Idaho. I came away with this pile to add to my stash.
Yes, it was very fun. We had a good visit on the drive to and from--it is a pleasant drive through farmland and small towns--and we had a nice dinner in Pocatello before returning home.
Hope you are finding time to stitch.

Until next time,
Janet O.

My previous post has a link to donate to for research (my grandson has Dravet Syndrome) and a chance to win the "Fall"ing Stars mini quilt pictured there, for donating $10 by Sept. 15th.


  1. Those plaids are great. Sorry your latest blocks caused some headache. They look wonderful!
    I really like the jester hats pattern. I find changing direction more of a challenge than a flowing pattern.
    I think a navy binding would serve as a navy border. I probably bind in navy more than anything else.
    So nice you could get away for a little trip with your DH!

  2. Love those blocks... Things give us grief sometimes but really... the extra effort put into blocks and little touches like the fussy cutting in that last block makes the blocks spectacular!

    I vote for no inner navy border... the arrangement looks perfect as is to me!

    Good on you for persevering with the FMQ challenge...

    I'm glad you and your DH had such a nice road trip.... and you snagged some lovely fabrics!

  3. Your plaid blocks are so homey and friendly. Love them.
    I'd like to see what your quilt top would look like with a narrow navy border. It's fun to find new treasures. Glad you had fun.

  4. I must tell my DH that your DH OFFERED to drive you to a quilt shop! I'm so jealous, lol. Your pretty fabrics look so good together and I love the way that one cheddar "pops" against the others.

  5. At least you do get caught up somewhere along the way. Love those plaid blocks. Since I like prim so well, plaids are high on my list of likes.
    I was surprised when I saw the setting for the star blocks. I still have some to make and here you already have yours stitched together.

  6. I am utterly smitten with your plaids and stripes.

  7. I really like the way you've set your Temecula Stars ... and I particularly like the dark blue sashing. A matching binding would be perfect!! :)

  8. I can't imagine making those Barrister's blocks with plaids and homespuns. You certainly told those fabrics that you are the boss. They look great!

  9. I am loving your Barrister blocks!You are making me want to start collecting shirts (just what I need!). Funny about matching the I was looking at them, I noticed the stripes all going the same way - that would not have happened here!
    I like the Jester Hats design - and I'm sure you will get the hang of it. Your sample looks great to me.
    Love your Temecula Stars and the layout. I would probably just do the dark binding - I think that would pull it all together.
    What a nice hubby you have - you found some great fabrics to add to your stash!

  10. Your plaids are wonderful! I saw a sign the other day that said, "Take a deep breath and get the seam ripper." Your blocks are worth the labor! Your stippling is incredible! I love to try new things with mine.

  11. Wonderful, wonderful!! I'm behind - only have one of the last 3 pieced. Maybe this weekend, but maybe not! Kids are all here!! How fun to have hubby time!!! The best!! The fabrics are scrumptious!! The best kind of little trip! I love how you set the Temecula stars!! I have some stars that I won in a drawing that I'm going to set for a lap quilt for one of the girls - I think this setting is the ticket!! You always inspire me!!

    Blessings for a happy holiday time!

  12. I love the plaids in your blocks. Looks like you did some great stash building. It sounds like a fun trip!

  13. Oh MY Oh MY!!! LOVE those plaid blocks!!! Why does it seem some projects are just full of goofs and headaches while some others just go together effortless??? Maybe you won't have anymore goof ones for a while, I think you have obtained your quota on this one!!! But, oh what a wonderful quilt you will have!!!

  14. All of your blocks look awesome together!!! I am partial to an on-point setting.
    Sounds like a nice day out with your hubby:)

  15. I'm totally in love with your plaids and stripes, this is going to be an amazing quilt. Some blocks are worth the effort, and you did a great job!

  16. I am always so impressed with how gorgeous your sow--long blocks look. I love how they are turning out. I'm sorry you had problems: I'll be sure to do easier blocks next time!

  17. Your plaid blocks are so wonderful. I just don't have a feel for plaids and get them all messed up when I try to put something together. You, on the other hand, have a talent for putting them together. I wonder if the navy sashing would look good with a navy outside border. Just thinking outloud. . .

  18. Wow Janet - I used to use a lot of homespun plaids in my quilts, but I'm really liking your bigger plaids - the variety is great! And your machine quilting looks good to me - seems I always stipple quilt my projects cuz that's the easiest - I really should try to branch out a bit like you are! I never did get started on the Temecula Summer Stars but I sure do like the blcoks - I do think you need to use some more dark fabric somewhere if you keep the dark sashing. And finally - your quilt drive sounds lovely - my DH would never do that for me! Have you been to the Gathering Place in Rupert before? That's a nice store too! (you know Kim Diehl lives in Pocatello, right?) Thanks for all the eye candy!

  19. Your FMQ looks great to me. It must have been the Full Moon coming, I had a hard time with my Stitching Thursday night. Fussy cutting is worth the trouble.

  20. I just love how your plaids and stripes always looks so straight and perfect! They always intimidate me, so I don't work with them much. Love the new fabrics added to your stash. Your jester hats look great too!

    Have a wonderful and Blessed day.

  21. As usual, your plaid blocks just knock my socks off! They're so gorgeous!!! My favorite is the upper right one with the cheddar and blues - wow! They were definitely worth the effort girlfriend :*)
    And I think you did a wonderful job on your Jester's Hats. Very smooth and nice points. I want to try that pattern as an overall pattern on a small quilt sometime soon.
    I'm thinking a navy binding will work perfectly for your stars quilt, pulling the blue from the sashing out. Nice job!!!

  22. Hi Janet - I don't think that dark blue is the "wrong" color - I quite like it. If you wanted to bind it in the same blue or give it a blue flange, that might pull it together too. I've got more star blocks to catch up on but not certain I'll ge to work on it this weekend. Getting off the computer might be useful tho. LOL. Happy Labor Day!

  23. Your blocks are beautiful! Don't feel bad, I had a heck of a time with these!!! But I just said to heck with it, it is what it is!!!

    I was six behind, but 12 really as I am doing a Christmas one too!

    It feels good to be up to date if only for a couple of days!!

  24. Lovely blocks and the setting looks fabulous. You are also doing a great job go girl!!

  25. As I recall the Sow-Along blocks are only 6"...this is going to be an amazing quilt! I have to say I like your Summer Stars setting much more than the suggested setting. Don't change a thing, it's perfect! I'm glad you got to visit Sages Creek. Whenever I pass by their civil war collection I think of you! looks like you brought home some beauties!

  26. I wrestled with mine too! And I still have another colorway to do too.

    I'm just going to put my stars together like Temecula showed us.

    Happy Sewing

  27. Your plaid blocks are outstanding, which is pretty much the same thing I write every time you post them, which in turn makes me feel guilty that I've let mine slide. Lovely Barrister Sow-Along Blocks all over blogland, but your blocks are my favorites.

    Outstanding quilting. That design is one to remember.

    I like the stars layout as it is--with navy for the binding.

  28. I love how the plaids are coming together Mom :)
    Glad you and Dad had a good day out and about...looks like some fun new fabrics!

  29. Your plaid blocks are looking great!

    I think I'd like the little star quiltlet with a thin navy strip between the two outer borders for just a little definition.

  30. Love your beautiful projects. I made my donation last month online - thanks for the instructions. SO nice you had a road trip to a new quilt shop! Greta fun!!

  31. Love your Plaid blocks...plaid always looks so homely and comforting..
    Yummy fabrics, I did have a little play with the Jester's Hat quilting, but had trouble getting the shape to continue looking like the hat as I whent along... I need to practice more.
    Julia ♥


I love to have your comments and feedback.