Happy birthday to me--a mini-quilt-retreat

I took this afternoon as a half day vacation for my birthday, and am celebrating in my sewing room. My first task of the afternoon: Finish getting the Jelly Roll Sampler strips sorted for blocks.

If you buy this book, do pay attention when the authors say to sort all your strips first, before you start cutting the strips for blocks. I did fine for the first 6 or 7 blocks; the last 5 got a little trickier and I had to start doing some swapping off with earlier blocks to get better contrast. Although my jelly roll had the same number of overall strips as the one in the pattern I'm using, it has a different proportion of darks, mediums, and lights. And although I was quite freely recategorizing strips based on how they related to other strips in the set, there are some combos that just don't work as well. So by the time I got down to the last two blocks, I was digging into my 2 1/2" strip stash to find some alternatives.

Let me just say--if you're a jelly roll fan, be sure you buy the Moda Marbles jelly rolls. The link happens to go to the one I used today; but there are a couple other colorways available. I also own the Brights roll. These help support your other jelly rolls by providing a wide selection of solids or marbles to fill in gaps of whatever jelly roll you're using. At a quilt show recently, I also picked up a couple of rolls of 20 strips each of lights (made up by the quilt shop); I've found that often jelly rolls don't have enough lights or darks--they're heavy on the mediums. Makes sense, since they're strips from a collection of fabric and most collections produce mostly mediums with just a few darks and lights tossed in. Anyway, in today's case, I could've used a few more darks but was able to fill in with one strip from my Moda Marbles roll, plus a strip from my stash, and then just went with a more muted look on the final block than I would've normally. I think it could actually be kind of pretty. It'll be interesting to see how it all turns out.

Enjoying my quiet afternoon catching up on some other quilty podcasts, finishing up cataloguing my quilt books on GoodReads, and moving forward on another quilt project. My son, nephew, niece, and nephew-in-law (said niece's husband), are taking me out for a birthday dinner tonight as my husband's out of town today--that'll be fun, but I've got about 3 hours left of mini-quilt-retreat before that happens!