Saturday, July 7, 2018

Chain-piecing with scraps to cope...


Those of you who think my quilt cave is never messy, here you go!  I have been doing some scrappy chain-piecing to distract me from the fact that Rome is burning.

There is just something so relaxing and mind numbing about running a constant stream of strips though the machine.  No measuring...just comforting, repetitive motion.

Since I save everything, the variety of bright fabrics has been entertaining and cheerful.

I started this little project of making 6-inch (finished) blocks a few years ago.  I decided it was one of those ongoing quilts that would develop over time, as the scraps (or the desire to cut strips from yardage) miraculously appeared.

I am using my tiniest pieces to make little strips of scraps to mix in with all the longer strips.  The chunky strips are all different widths.  

I just sorted by approximate sameness of size, sewed them in chunky strips, pressed, and rotary cut them as wide as I could, trimming to the narrowest piece.

I try to put thicker scraps on the ends so I don't end up with a seam train wreck when I sew the blocks and sashing together.

Ahhh...sweet escape.  I don't think there was a single thought in my head while the squirrels that live in my machine worked away for a few afternoons.

Sometimes a girl just needs to empty her head and chain-piece.

There will be sashing between the blocks, I think.  It is way too crazy and busy, to me, not to sash.  The eye needs to rest somewhere in all the madness.

I love the "Brooklyn Revolver" rotating cutting surface for trimming the blocks.  

I think I have about 200 blocks made.  I have not thought of how big a project it will be or anything about the setting.  "Just keep piecing, just keep piecing..."

I know I have not been around much since the first week of May.  It is mowing season.

And my friends, it is BLUEBERRY SEASON ON STEROIDS around here!

I wish you all lived close to me so you could come and pick yourself some blue Heaven.

One day they looked like this...

...then all of a sudden...

...the ripening berries are like blue popcorn; they just burst forth, seemingly overnight!  (That is not a child hand, but my big paw!)

It is so hot here recently that I have been getting up early to get outside by first light...that is about 5:15 CST.  Then I pick for 4-5 hours until the sun is dangerous.  I have quite a strange farmer's tan going, so I try to work on outside projects in the shade in the sunnier, hotter part of the day.  

Some days I pick 2-3 hours in the evening before dark as well...the fireflies are beautiful as I get my haul back to the house.  This is about what I get each time I pick...

It is completely crazy, huh?  Great time to listen to Podcasts or Morning Edition/BBC.  Lately I have just been listening to the birds wake up.

My three sisters came last weekend with their families and this is what we picked (the buckets and dumping containers barely fit on the pantry counter!)...

Here is one sister's haul...ready to put lids on for the 4.5 hour ride back home to Atlanta.

Sunny and hot...

(It is hard to get the longest row in one picture.)

Pre-dawn and cooler (from the other end)...

One of my sisters was picking with her son so they could fly some berries back to Pennsylvania.  My nephew ate just about everything he picked...

So did the other two.  They all had to show me the berries in their mouths in the first pic...

I thought one of my Atlanta sisters was going to have to leave a kid with me to be able to get all the berries in cars!

I have been picking since Memorial Day, and there are still berries.  Thank God they don't all get ripe at once or I'd be dead!

The freezer is full of flash-frozen berries, and now I am picking for jam.  The birds and wildlife will be gorging on the ones I don't get to (there are still some that aren't ripe yet...).

Seriously...come pick!

I have been working on some applique projects.  One project is a challenge that I can not reveal until after the guild meeting in a couple of weeks.  The challenge is called "Stitchin' the Blues" and we can only use fabrics that are blue and white.  I love blue!

I hope you are all having a great summer!

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)