Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Coming up with a plan

Everybody's doin' it

OK, I give!  I see these plans to bust scraps and wrap up UFOs all over the blogosphere and I feel a twinge of guilt.  Not because I don't have any of these issues, but because I tend to turn a blind eye to the obvious.

Knowing (or at least hoping) that I will need to pack up my sewing room in the very near future, I'm doing my best to do some cleaning. sorting, and organizing while the snow keeps me captive on this hill.  It's time to make a plan for 2018.

  1. Sunrise on Radnor Lake (a/k/a On Ringo Lake) - Piece 6 blocks, sash, and border
  2. Long Time Gone - Finish blocks, assemble
  3. Gypsy Wife - Finish blocks, assemble
  4. Celtic Solstice - Trim inner border, add pieced border, maybe final border
  5. En Provence - Add corners, maybe final border
  6. Grand Illusion - Sash blocks, border
  7. Eventide - Make more small stars, assemble
  8. Star Fall - Assemble, add bright filler strips
  9. Sunflower Braid - Assemble
  10. Tropicana - Assemble leftover blocks
  11. Top Notch Diamonds - Finish blocks, assemble
  12. Christmas Runners - Hmm ...
You can see that most of these projects are at, or close to, the final stage of construction so this list should be manageable.  Of all these projects, Sunflower Braid is by far the oldest; it dates back to my "Yellow Phase."

Every quilter has to have a few new things to look forward to, don't you think?  So this is what I am anticipating:

New Projects
  1. Goose is Loose - Rainbow Scrap Challenge strippy quilt
  2. Zig-Zag CCDs - Another RSC project using my chunky churn dash blocks
  3. Sage Project - Intrigued by this color on the RSC list, I pulled a collection of fabrics 
  4. Mystery Quilt - A quickie mystery I'm planning for March if I can learn to set up a linky
  5. Wedding quilt - GS-2 is getting married in August! I'm hoping they will chose an existing quilt but I want it to be something they will use so I may have to start something new.

So that's it - my public declaration.  I'm counting on youall to hold me accountable.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Scrappy Saturday #2

Great day to stay in

Garden Angel - my weather prognosticator
We actually have it a lot better than other areas in the mid-state.  It started raining early Friday morning and by 9 it was turning to ice.  There was a hole in the cloud cover, the rain stopped.  In the afternoon I looked out the window and a very fine snow was falling.  So fine that we only got a dusting; 40 miles to the north and west got 4-5 inches.  A few more flakes fell this morning and now the sun is trying to come out, but the temp will not be above freezing today so my Weather Angel told me to stay in and work on my blue scraps.

At my Rock Island Retreat this week I started my first column of Goose is Loose in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color of the month - light to medium blue.  Learn more about RSC here.

Blue Goose is Loose
The strip finishes 6" wide and each goose 2" high. There are 28 geese in this strip; my goal is to have 36 so that each strip is 72" long.  With all 10 monthly colors, I will have a nice 60 x 72 quilt top.  This project was inspired by Sandra (Musings of a Menopausal Melon) who did it for the 2016 RSC.  You can see her flimsy here.

Thanks for all the positive comments I've received so far!  Several have asked for more information on the pattern so here is my source:

This is a self-published manual so not available on Amazon.  Cindy Williams (not the actress) vends at several shows in the Southeast; I picked mine up at the Mountain QuiltFest in Pigeon Forge in 2017.  You can find more about Cindy on Facebook here.  What I love about this manual is Cindy has lots of quick piecing tips and has taken the math mystery out of several frequently-used shapes, including the kite on the cover.  She really is The Math Whisperer!

Linking up with RSC Week #2 at soscrappy

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Retreat Day Four

Over too soon

On Sunday afternoon it seems like we have forever in front of us then, suddenly, it's Thursday afternoon.

This morning I sorted through all my Gypsy Wife detritus, pulling out large scraps and sorta big scraps.  Everything else was piled into my neutral bin and into the car it went.  It was time to start on the Goose is Loose for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.   Here it is with 28 geese ... and an oar.

I will probably add a few more geese cut from yardage when I get home.  I managed to screw up the cutting, much as I've done everything else on this outing, but was able to salvage the geese thanks to my father insisting I take geometry in high school!

Bad weather is moving into middle TN overnight and my DH is anxious for me to get home so I will be leaving right after dinner ... and after we put all the furniture back in position.  Time to get packin'.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Retreat Day Three

A Little Headway

While I am still struggling -- mainly trying to settle on a process -- with "Gypsy Wife," I did make a little progress today.

GW Section 1
Section 1 was completed this morning.  And a bit of progress was made on Section 2 this afternoon.

GW Section 2 partial
Sorry about the crappy lighting in my photos; the options are limited, to say the least. 

By late in the afternoon I came to the conclusion that I really need to work on this where I can spread out (and not have to clear the kitchen counter every time there is a meal).  Also, a design wall would be very helpful in keeping track of the placement of the vertical strips and since the park has "thoughtfully screwed" photos and objects to the walls, that limits design wall locations.

My biggest frustration has nothing to do with the pattern.   Many of the blocks I made several months ago won't fit into the  template of the pattern so I am having to enlarge or "ensmall" them.  Anyway, enough excuses!  I will finish this when I get home.  I am not going to let it languish.

The one thing, the one significant thing I can say about working with Jen Kingwell's patterns is that they have opened my eyes to the ways disparate blocks can be put together into a unified whole.  I am not sorry I started on this journey.

However, tomorrow I will be working on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for January.  After dinner tonight I cut squares to make a Goose is Loose strip in BLUE.

Some Chunky Churn Dashes could make an appearance, too!  Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Retreat Day Two

Not much to show

One of the kids gave me Jen Kingwell's "Gypsy Wife" for Christmas and I decided this retreat was the perfect opportunity to get down and dirty with it.  This is the sum total of my progress:

Gypsy Wife Blocks
And to be honest, at least half of those blocks were made a couple of months ago when I spent a week in Savannah with my SIL (and when I thought I could make it without a pattern -- ha!).

I had started "Long Time Gone" back in the summer and had no problems with that Kingwell pattern.  But GW is giving me fits!  I know a lot of it is my eyesight, not being able to distinguish some of the numbers in the tiny gray print. (Forget that I misread the corned beef recipe yesterday and left out the vegetables.)  And I'm sure the distractions of the retreat aren't helping, either!  But add in the fact that almost every block in GW is different, and the instructions are mostly written (rather than graphic), and some blocks build on previous blocks (but with different dimensions) ...

Just know I'm frustrated, but determined to forge on.  Well, I really don't have much choice since this is the only other project I brought with me!  I'm going to put up a design wall tomorrow and get serious about Gypsy Wife.  You'll have to check back to see how I hold up.  My blue scrap bin may make an appearance.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Retreat Day One

Mission Accomplished

The good news -- since we were here last year the park has installed WiFi for the cabins!  (Still no cell service in the holler, though.)  Sew I am able to provide daily reports. 

After getting settled in Sunday evening, I got one border on Scrap Jar Stars before I crashed into bed.  Finishing it up was my first order of business this morning and it didn't take long before I was done.

I'm not sure I'm 100% pleased with my border choice, but at least the edges are stabililzed.

Next on the agenda -- assembling the second picnic quilt for the grandsons.

Picnic Quilt #2
OK, on to the Big One:  Gypsy Wife.  The rest of Monday was spent cutting 1-1/2" strips from some of  the larger chunks of fabric in my collection before I start cutting them up for the blocks.

Settling in now to watch the college championship -- Go DAWGS!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Rock Island

Rock On

It's time for my annual retreat at Rock Island State Park in McMinnville, TN.  If my memory hasn't failed me (yet), this will be our 15th year.  Only two of us have attended all 15 years.

Rock Island 2010
I started this retreat the first year our state park system offered a BOGO on cabins during the winter season.  I looked for the least expensive which thankfully was in a reasonable driving distance.  Turns out they were also the most modern cabins (at that time) in the whole park system.  We are able to sleep 5, each in her own bed.  We move all the furniture out of the great room and set up our Sew-Ezi tables.  We each take turns with a main meal or lunches; we don't go hungry!

Sew, what do I plan to work on?  First up will be putting the borders on last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge finish, Scrap Jar Stars.

Scrap Jar Stars
Next I want to assemble the second picnic quilt made from my grandsons' plaid and striped shirts.

Picnic Quilt
The rest of my time will be devoted to Gypsy Wife.

Gypsy Wife blocks
 I started making my own neutral version in August based on photos I'd seen on-line but I started to feel overwhelmed with how to put it together.  Now that I am blessed with an actual pattern as a Christmas Present, I'm going to use it as my starting point.  I have already made a variety of blocks in various sizes.

And if I get tired of that or hit a snag, I will take along my blue scrap bin to start working on my RSC18 blocks for January.

All of this to say I will be out of touch with the world for most of the week.  I'll do my best to catch up reading blogs and responding to comments as soon as I get home.