Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Finish

Had hoped to have Rock Island Campfires finished -- at least the block portion -- but life got in the way.

Specifically, life in the jury box.  I've known since December that I would be on call for jury duty this week and next; however, one always hopes to either get released altogether or get assigned to a quickie case.  Well, mine was the 9th name called!  It took half a day to seat the jury and the judge had high hopes we'd be finished by the end of the second day.

Nope!  Even though we stayed till 6 last night, we still have to go back today for summation, charge, and deliberation.  It's a really interesting case and I must admit I have whiplash from going back and forth between guilty and not guilty!  It's one of those cases where we are going to have to put sentiment aside and decide specifically on The Law as it is written.

So my Friday finish has nothing to do with quilting, but should be very satisfying, nonetheless.

As to RIC, I'll show my progress to date.
Rock Island Campfires - bottom half
The top two rows are together and off my small design wall.  Still have to remove the papers from row 6 and sash them together.  Then I can complete assembly.  You can see that I settled on hot pink for my cornerstones.  Red was too dull, lime was too close to the small yellow cornerstones, and scrappy looked messy to me.  Besides, I had a stack of 2.5" hot pink strips that "needed" to be used.  (It's kinda my signature color, too.)

I have eliminated two or three colorful borders and have narrowed it down to a selection of black and white options.  One has the hot pink in it and I'm hoping that will be the best choice.  I don't know about you, but my quilt centers have to "tell" me what they need.  I rarely have a border choice in the beginning, and if I do, I don't cut it because nine times out of ten I end up with something else!

And, finally, I have a Whoopy!  Happy to report I'm down 5 pounds from my highest weight around the holidays.  I'm making changes slowly, but it is significant (at least for me) that I am making conscious decisions about what I eat -- or, rather, what I DON'T eat.

I'm linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Go see what she and others are whooping about today.

Keep warm and quilt on.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Service with a Smile

Jury Duty -- love it or hate it.

At least I had the opportunity to choose which dates (a first for me) I wanted to be on call for jury duty.  I chose the last week of January-first week of February because 1) there was no conflict with quilty activities, 2) I'd get it over early, and 3) there'd be greater chance of being cancelled due to bad weather. LOL

Wouldn't you know, my name was the 9th one called!  After half a day of questions and weeding out, the jury was seated just before lunch.  Hoping tomorrow we'll be done.  It's an interesting circuit court criminal case that I can't tell you anything about at this point.  I almost fell asleep during the 1-hour of dash-cam video where only an occasional word was discernible. But I found my head snapping back and forth between guilty and not guilty all day.  

Such a great learning experience.  I'm happy to serve!

If only I could have taken handwork.  Tomorrow I'll probably take my last five blocks of Rock Island Campfires to tear the paper off at lunch time.

Wildlife Wednesday

My poor rhododendron is saying it's not fit for man nor bush today.

Cold Rhody

Look at those pathetically curled leaves.  

This is what she looks like in May.

In a couple of weeks the Lenton Roses will be in bloom and I will know that Spring is around the corner.  Till then, keep warm and quilt on!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tip for Tuesday - What I've Learned ....

... about piecing on paper while working on Rock Island Campfires.

I have not done much piecing on paper before this project.  This isn't the type of paper piecing where you stitch on the line on the backside of the block.  No, this is just using the paper as a base.

So I thought I'd share a few tips in case you've had difficulty in the past or are contemplating attempting this.

  1. Use newsprint which tears easily (Bonnie Hunter uses old phone books).  You can buy packs of sheets, but Nancy had found remnant rolls at a printing company in Alabama.  She fan-folded the paper and rotary cut at about 5".
  2. Start with a foundation slightly larger than the final size.  This allows for shrinkage with sewing and also gives some flexibility in trimming to avoid really tiny pieces in the corner.  (Truthfully, if I do something like this again I'll use even BIGGER foundation papers and larger strips to make the project go faster. <g>)
  3. Speaking of larger strips, in future I would presew 1-inch strips into sets because getting paper off a 1/2" finished strip is a beast.  I found some stripset remnants from my Spider quilt (still a UFO, sadly) to use in the smaller corner segments.
  4. Strips don't have to be straight, but having a clean straight edge as a seam guide insures you are stitching straight. (Don't ask me how I know.)
  5. I kept the paper on until I had sashed four units together.  I probably should have kept the paper on till the top was finished, but I thought it would be awkward removing the paper that way.
  6. Using a shorter stitch makes removing the paper much easier.  As it was I think my machine was set at 2.2.  2.0 or 1.8 might have been better.
  7. Now, as to removing the paper.  All the edges are bias so careful handling is critical.  I found that keeping the blocks face down on a solid surface was helpful.  I started by tearing off the paper outside the seam, then folded the paper back on an outside corner.  (The pink is a file card I laid there for the photo.)  The paper tore more easily after folding.
  8. Next I used a stick flattened on the end (similar to a cuticle pusher stick -- that's a technical term)
    to insert under the next piece of paper, and carefully ran it along the seam line. Then folded that piece back on the seam again before tearing.  And so on .....

In theory, I should not have needed to trim the larger blocks, but I had "fussy cut" my inner sashing in order to get the printed red rick-rack down the center which resulted in a really odd measurement so I trimmed down to 9-1/4" after removing the paper.

I hope you find this helpful.  

I got lucky, no jury duty today, so I'll try to get the center of the top finished.

Keep warm and quilt on!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Rock Island Rocks

Not much change in my design wall this week.

I finished all the string blocks for Rock Island Campfires and assembled them into 30 foursies with sashing.  After much fumbling with paper, I think I have worked out a reasonable routine for taking it off without totally destroying my blocks.  Yesterday afternoon I was able to tear paper off five blocks in one hour; it had taken me all morning to do the first five.

One row is together, another has the paper off and another is staged on the design wall while I audition cornerstone fabric.  I had planned to use a red, but it didn't sparkle enough. Thinking now about going with a lime green.  Also having second thoughts about my border (which was the inspiration for my blocks, BTW) so you may have to help me make a decision next week when the center portion is together.

Temps are frigid today and the wind is howling.  It's a good day to stay in and sew.  I want to get as much done today as possible since the remainder of this week and next I'm on call for jury duty.

That will be a new experience for me.  I have only served on one other jury and it was a complicated criminal case, but at least we weren't sequestered.  Every other time I've been called I have had a reasonable excuse -- sole provider for small children and moving out of the county.  This time I got to choose the weeks I wanted to serve so I chose early -- first, to get it over with and second, more chance of being cancelled due to bad weather. LOL

Gee, I wonder if the bailiff will let me tear off paper in the courtroom .....

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Keep warm and quilt on!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What's on the bed?

Jo K at Jo's Country Junction asked what's on my bed.  Truthfully, my bed's not made yet -- Sunday is sheet washing day -- so I'll show what's on the beds in the guest room.

The quilt on the right is "Labor Day Madness" from Nickel Quilts.  Because of the way the pinwheels are made, you end up with an equal number of identical pinwheels that spin in the opposite direction.  The book suggests you make the quilt on the left with the remainder.  My dilemma was that I needed to make 28 more pinwheels to have enough for an equal-size quilt.  Which left me with 28 more pinwheels spinning back in the original direction!

My Solution  (apologies for the terrible photo):

These are three of my favorite quilts.

Thank you, Jo, for asking.

Run Over by the Wagon

Last week I fell off the wagon.  This Friday the wagon just plain ran over me!!

Marcus Fabrics 108"
In this Week: 22.5 yds
In year to Date:  42.5 yds
Out this Week: 0 yards
Out Year to Date: 18.5 yards
Net Used for 2014: -24 yards

Up till now I have been deleting fabric shop emails without even reading them. That is, until I got a peek at Whittle's 108" back fabric for $10/yd.  Without a moment's hesitation I bought 9 yards BUT I have plans for it.  Cathedral Stars and Celtic Solstice, specifically.

The trouble is, if I'm honest, 1 yard at 108" is equivalent to 2.5 yds at 42".  Which makes my 9 yards equal to 22.5 yards.  Oh, well, I have eleven more months to even out.

RIC - Let the ripping begin!
Yesterday our guild had their monthly sit 'n' sew.  I used that opportunity to lay out my Rock Island Campfires blocks.  Now to tear off all that paper :-(.  My plan is to work a row at a time, give each block a good dose of Best Press, trim as necessary, and add sashing before the bias edges get too wonky.

Linking up with others reporting their stash status at Patchwork Times.

Keep warm and quilt on.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Taking Stock

That's a weird saying, "taking stock."  Ever wonder where the expressions we use come from?

Rather than wait till the end of the month to "take stock" of my new year's goals, I've been trying to keep them in mind every day.  I publicly stated my goals here.  So here's where I stand.


  • Upside - I discovered that blogging through Google Chrome gives better results than Windows IE11.  I was getting compatibility error messages in Windows and it finally reached the point that photos would not upload.  Now I can see some of the options others told me about that weren't showing up in Windows.  Life if good!
  • Downside - Still spending too much time, but have learned to set limits like looking at only 20 links in one sitting or stopping after 3 losses in Spider. <g>
  • Up - Using more unprocessed foods, more fresh vegetables.
  • Down - Let's just say I still can't eat off my kitchen floor.
Dining Room:
  • Up - Cleaned the table off completely at least twice.
  • Down - It's become the repository for my computer and bills and paperwork and notes and pencils .....  BUT the kitchen counter now stays clear and since we spend more time in the kitchen, this is essentially an up!
Rock Island Campfires
  • I have miles to go on this one.  No UFOs finished yet this month, no progress on dinosaurs, and I started a new project.  There's still a week left in the month, so I could meet this goal, but I'm on-call for jury duty the next two weeks.  If I could only take handwork into the courtroom ....
  • Up - Having success in replacing negative thoughts with joyful ones.  
  • UP - The best for last - By just eliminating most grains except rice (limit myself to a few crackers a day) and reducing the amount of refined sugar, I have lost 2 pounds and already feel better. 
Highlight of the week:  A red fox trotted up the drive this morning.  First sighting in five years here.

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

First Sighting!

Ooh, ooh, ooh!  A red fox just trotted up the driveway then disappeared into the neighbor's woods.  Too fast to get a picture.

That's a first on my hillside, first in five years.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It's Wednesday, and I'm Working On It

Working on my list, that is.  It's not exciting, no pictures to post.  Just getting the job(s) done.

On Monday, when the weather was spectacular, I caught up on my correspondence and took two checks and two contracts to the post office.  I stopped by Harris-Teeter to pick up a whole beef tenderloin (on sale for $8.99/lb), but they had been picked over and none looked up to my standards.  Yes, $8.99/lb is expensive, but when the going rate for good beef cut from the tenderloin is $15-20, I can't resist the sale price.  I get it cut into 6- to 8-ounce fillets and the trimmings ground for the best burgers ever. I use the Food Saver to package and freeze two to a bag -- enough for the three of us.  We eat them sparingly, of course, no more than twice a month (and for special occasions like birthdays).  The rest of the time we're eating $.99/lb chicken so I feel like it balances out.  I can get at least three meals out of a 5-pound roasting chicken, and if my family were soup eaters, it would be more.  Sometimes I make a stock and freeze it, but not always.

Cady Gray and her first quilt
Tuesday I had plans to make the rounds around the counties, but snow was predicted and, if you've been following my blog, you know the trip down and up our hill is treacherous in inclement weather.  (As it turned out it never really snowed in earnest, but it's best not to get caught at the bottom of the hill with bags of groceries.)  So I stuck around home and knocked #2 off my list -- binding for Cady Gray's quilt.  OK, in case you missed it I'll insert a picture of her with her quilt again 'cause every post looks better with a picture, right?  BTW, I flipped the top section so those two narrow "sashing" strips would not be repeated so close together.

Binding is stitched on and I'm more than half way around with the handwork.  I work on things like that in the kitchen in the late afternoons when I'm preparing dinner and need to keep an eye on things on the stove or in the oven.  I have found it a great time and place to trim units and blocks; the counter is just the right height.

Today I did the run around -- dropped a few things off at Goodwill, recycled the weekly assortment of newspapers, cardboard, tin, and glass, made deposits at the credit union, and stopped at Kroger for some essentials.  Next month Kroger is going from monthly to weekly senior discounts (though it will only be 5% rather than 10%).  I will have to revamp my approach to take advantage of the weekly discount, but I think in the long run we will come out about the same, if not better.  Plus, with a weekly plan I can get the same discount at Publix,  H-T, and Target, just without the fuel points.  And, in case you're wondering, I don't shop at the big-box stores; none are close, I don't have the room to store large quantities, and they just give me the heebie-jeebies.  'Nuff said.

So tomorrow will be devoted to updating my first pattern, Irish Grandmother.  I'm enlarging the blocks from 6 inches to 7.5 inches so that more can be accomplished in a class.  I have proposed to teach this at Peg Bingham's Quilt Camp in October 2014.  Keep your fingers crossed that it is accepted.  I'll post pictures when I have more of it done.

That's it for Hump Day.  Hope yours has been productive.

Keep calm, and quilt on!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday, Again

Three weeks into the year and not a whole lot to show for it.

Absolutely nothing accomplished on Nosegay (Dinosaur #2).  It never left the box at retreat.

Instead I spent four days working on a completely new project -- Rock Island Campfires.  So much for that resolution to finish two before starting one! Ha ha.

Anyway, as I described in Saturday's post, I was coerced into this by a good friend who suggested that all five of us make one of these quilts while we were retreating at Rock Island State Park.   She saw it in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting and thought we just HAD to do it because of the name.  In the end we'll each have a special quilt to memorialize our ten years (and more) at Rock Island.

40-Block Chain
I finished  about 80 of the 120 4-1/2" units and got about a dozen 9-1/2" blocks together.  Probably would have gotten further except I was running out of B&W strips.

I am excited about how it's coming together.

Rock Island Campfires

I have quite a few things to accomplish this week; RIC will just have to wait for the guild sit 'n' sew on Saturday.

Plans for the week:

  1. Catch up on correspondence.
  2. Bind Cady Gray's quilt and mail it back to her.
  3. Rewrite pattern for Irish Grandmother.
  4. Develop supply list for Irish Grandmother.
  5. Develop supply list for Wink & a Smile
Doesn't leave a whole lot of time for quilting, but I'll try to get some more done on Celtic Solstice.  Oh, yes, and backs for French Braid and at least one more WFQ (waiting for quilting) flimsy.  And, and, ....... getting tired just thinking about it!

Thanks for stopping by.  Hop on over to Judy's place at Patchwork Times to see what others are working on.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I fell off the wagon.  But who can resist a sale where all you can fit in a grocery sack is $10???  I actually had room for more, but didn't want to be greedy.  So this is what I came home with:


Three large pieces of floral which may be passed on to the guild for comfort quilts.  I say "may" because some of these almost-solids would be mighty nice with them:

Almost Solid TOTs
Bottom Line:

In this Week: 20 yds
In year to Date:  20 yds
Out this Week: 0 yards
Out Year to Date: 18.5 yards
Net Used for 2014: -1.5 yards

Not bad, really, in the grand scheme of things.  I'll take $.50/yard any day!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rock Island, Rock On!

If you are checking back here to see my progress on Dinosaur #2 - Nosegay, you will be disappointed.

It never left the box at our Rock Island retreat.  And here's why:

Diane B (a/k/a Charlie) came up with the great idea that each of us should make a quilt she saw in F&P mag this summer aptly named "Rock Island Campfires." The other four are doing totally scrappy versions, but I had to have some sense of order.  Plus I had a plethora of black and white strips left over from several other projects.

I thought I would invest a day, maybe two, in the project but, not to be outdone, I kept on working on it as long as everyone else was.  No one did anything else!  Four days devoted to RI Campfires and none of us done.  Oh, well, there's another retreat on the calendar next month and two guild meetings in between.  We had great fun working on them and in the end we will have a special quilt to use at our annual Rock Island retreat.

This was our tenth year at Rock Island State Park.  Great accommodations, lovely setting, and a very helpful staff.  We move all the furniture out of the living room, hang shop lights from the rafters, and set up our Sew-Ezi tables around the room.  (One station is to the right, out of the picture.)  We take turns preparing dinner and about the only time we leave the cabin is to walk up to the tennis courts to call home.

Rock Island 2010

If you are in (or near) Middle Tennessee, check out Rock Island.   Rock Island rocks because it's modern and clean.  Limited cell/wifi service, but cable TV with DVD player.  Five beds, two baths -- what's not to love?

Twin Falls
And the history and natural setting are the cherry on the top.

PS:  Almost all TN state park cabins are half price mid-week from mid-November to the end of February. Check them out!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dinosaur #2 - Nosegay

Continuing with my Dinosaur Saga -- gee, wonder if I could develop a game for my smart phone .... if I had a smart phone .... but I digress ...

The second oldest project in my UFO collection is Nosegay.

The back story:

When I first joined a guild back in 2001, a couple of ladies encouraged me to hand piece.  Since that's all my mother ever did, it seemed "natural."  I had hand-pieced some 4-patch squares -- not so successfully, I might add -- when recreating a 19th century farm wife persona.  Silly Me felt I was ready to attack something more advanced.  In my defense, I did resort to Ardco templates to cut and mark my pieces -- a modern convenience which greatly improved my 1/4" seam, but not enough to give me a set of perfect 12" blocks!

Ardco Nosegay Templates

I went with 30s fabrics, not my favorites to work with then, still not my favorites (could that have something to do with this?).  After finishing 30 blocks I had the inspiration to put plain setting squares between and I would have two twins spreads for the antique beds in the yellow guest room.  Of course that meant buying more of the pale yellow background which, being Kona, was not difficult to get.  I laid out the blocks (neither photographed nor marked) and began machine sewing the blocks to the setting squares.  I seem to remember realizing that I would be short one or two blocks with this plan and at that point it went back in the box.

Fast Forward to 2014

We no longer have the house with the yellow guest room and the antique beds are in storage because commercial mattresses are too big for them.  I have no record of what I had planned, have no idea if I even have enough fabric to continue.  And I find many of the blocks butt-ugly.

As I see it, my options are:
  1. Continue with the plan for a pair of twins.
  2. Combine the prettier blocks into one larger quilt, maybe even eliminating the plain setting squares.
  3. Make a couple of bed runners for gifts and pass the remaining blocks on to someone else.
Option 3 is sounding pretty good.  At least it would be manageable.  However, before I decide what to do I will take this project with me to retreat today and hope I can come home with a scheme of some sort.

Check back here next Saturday for a full retreat report.

To see what others are working on this week, hop on over to Judy's place at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Still Going in the Right Direction

This was a productive week!  I made backs and binding for three quilts I sent to Terry at Quilt Crazie for tornado relief.  And I finished this:

French Braid

(I apologize for the file cabinet in the corner of the picture.  It's a full quilt and I had to use a friend's design wall to get it all in the picture.)  Started in a class with Jane Hardy Miller in 2010.  Finally finished.  One UFO off my list -- whoo-hoo!

I'm hosting a small retreat at a state park next week.  We usually hit at least one shop coming or going.  BUT I am determined to keep my buying to only what is needed for a specific project this year.  (Remind me of that when I hit Eleanor Burns' tent at Paducah!!!)

In this Week: ZERO!
In year to Date:  ZERO!
Out this Week: 16 yards
Out Year to Date: 18.5 yards
Net Used for 2014: 18.5 yards

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Finally, a Friday Finish

Do you ever put off finishing a quilt?  I think it's kinda like sending your first child off to kindergarten.  If you hold on long enough, and tight enough, you won't give up the child. 

I began French Braid in a class with Jane Hardy Miller at Tennessee Quilt Fest in 2010.  I got the braids done in two days of class and an extra day of sewing.  Into the box it went.  I inserted the in-between strips at a couple of guild retreats.  Back into the box it went.  Early in 2013 I added the side borders at a guild meeting.  Back into the box.  Yesterday I finally put the top and bottom borders on.  If I didn't need it for a lecture on Monday, it would probably still be in the box!

French Braid

I'm linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Thunder Snow

I've said before, "If you don't like the weather, just wait a day."  Well, yesterday we only had to wait a little over an hour to go from near 60 to 30 when the snow began with a clap of thunder.  Weird.  This morning the temp is 10.  For all that, I feel for those in the upper plains where wind chills are deep in the negatives. 

Celtic Solstice 1-3-14

It's Monday and the final Celtic Solstice link up until February.  Unlike some who have actually finished their tops, I am working my way slowly to the finish.  My block construction began soon after the big reveal on New Year's Day, even though I am lacking a few pieces and parts.  All-in-all, I'm liking the result.  DH wanted to know how I got the circles! 

The one area that concerns me is my angles don't match up between the chevrons and the little HSTs in the Birthday Girl blocks.  Some are spot on, and some are waaay off.  I've analyzed my sewing and trimming (actually shaving) and can't see where I could have done anything differently, so maybe that's the way they're supposed to be.

Birthday Girl

Hoping to assemble a few blocks every day this week, but since my sewing room is in the basement where there is minimal heat, I'm not sure how much I can accomplish.  Plus I have a number of projects on the computer with a deadline that will keep me away from the sewing machine this week.

You can see what others have accomplished on Bonnie Hunter's blog at Quiltville.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stash Report - First for 2014

Happy to report I'm starting 2014 in the OUT column.  I used 2-1/2 yds to make the back for Cady Gray's quilt.  And even though I went to Jo-Ann on Friday, all I came home with was three quilt magazines and holiday sale items.

In this Week: 0 yards
In year to Date:  0 yards
Out this Week: 2.5 yards
Out Year to Date: 2.5 yards
Net Used for 2014: 2.5 yards

I spent much of the week working on Celtic Solstice.  It will be a joyous day when I can count that fabric out.  I can't think of a recent project where I've done so much reverse sewing. Yes, I've revised a couple of wonky seams, but I've also had to take out more misplaced parts than usual -- spikes pointing in and one just plain sideways!  When I make stupid mistakes like that I know it's time to STEP AWAY FROM THE MACHINE!

Nevertheless, I'm extremely happy with the progress.  DH took a look at my design wall and said, "How did you make those circles?"  I'll try to make a couple of blocks each day this week, but layout and assembly will have to wait till a little retreat next week.

(Yes, I know one of the 4-patches is going in the wrong direction.  Can you find it?  I may leave it that way ....)

I also spent some time thinking about the dinosaurs in my closet and drawers.  The oldest is over 12 years old, for Pete's sake!  So here's what made my Top Six Dinosaurs list:

1.  Irish Chain baby quilt - started for grandson who is now 12.  I wrote about it here.

Dinosaur 2 - Nosegay

2.  Nosegay - hand-pieced and homely.  My second major project 12 years ago.  Originally planned to be a pair of twins, it may end up one larger quilt. 

Dinosaur 3 - Sunflower Braid

3.  Sunflower braid - Original plan was to stencil a plain panel between the braid pairs.  I could omit the strippy panel or substitute a printed fabric.  I love strippy quilts!

4.  The Color Project - This was a guild challenge.  My assignment was 3 alternating colors with an accent.  I liked it so much I decided to make it into a quilt, but I was short of one fabric.  Plus I worked two machines and my blocks didn't come out the same size.  Time to get reacquainted. 

5.  Strips & Curves - Started 8 years ago, rolled up on a noodle for at least 4 years, it's time to finish this wall hanging.  The curves scare me, but I'll muddle through.

6.  Bloom Where Planted - another guild challenge, based on a Mary Englebreit favorite phrase.   All it needs is quilting.   This should be easy.

I am committed to eliminating these six in 2014.  Some may end up smaller than planned, or become pillows and bed runners, but they will be done.  Visit me often to check on my progress.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Speaking of Dinosaurs

Teresa in Music City (A Quilt and a Prayer) brought up the subject of dinosaurs -- UFOs that have mouldered in the dark so long they are ancient. 

Folks, do I have dinosaurs out the whazoo!  In a moment of weakness I set a goal to eliminate 6 dinosaurs in 2014.  In my mind that includes passing it on, or even trashing it if it's beyond hope.  But in the end that box or bag will be empty (and available for NewFOs!). 

My first task is to decide which 6 to attack; logically I started with the oldest -- a Triple Irish Chain.  First, a little background:  I had always planned to start quilting after I retired.  As that day approached I started going to Paducah, took a few classes, started a small stash.  Then I learned there would be another grandson arriving in August 2001.  I immediately set about starting a baby quilt for him.
Time for a Chain by Possibilities

Why did I think my first quilt should be a triple Irish Chain? 

Not to mention the fabrics I chose were not exactly suitable.

I added some fabrics, did a mock up -- awful.  At some point I even started cutting.

In the end I went with Double Pinwheel by Quilt in a Day.  Irish chain has been in the box for 12 years!  I thought I had at least started sewing, but NO.  As I see it, here are my options:

  1. I can make the triple Irish chain with the fabrics, such as they are, maybe something smaller than a twin.
  2. I can make a simpler double or single Irish chain with the fabrics on hand.
  3. I can use the fabrics for something entirely different, as long as the pattern calls for 2-inch strips LOL. 
  4. I could put the uncut fabric back on the shelf and the strips in my 2-inch drawer.  That seems like cheating.
I'm leaning toward #2.  Maybe use the vehicle print for the border, and the stripes, one or both, as inner border and binding.  What do you think?  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resolutions or Just Hopefuls?

I haven't bothered to make any formal resolutions in the last few years because it seems life (or is it laziness?) just gets in the way of progress.  However, since I've found that writing my stash report has influenced my buying habits, this year I've decided to set some modest goals.  Most are achievable so the only way I can fail is if I don't read the list!   Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has challenged us to share.  Like Sarah, I've broken them down by areas of my life.  So here goes.

  • Make my time online count.  Don't waste spend so much time browsing and playing games. 
  • Figure out how not to be a "No Reply" blogger.
  • Learn more about Blogger so I can get the most out of it.
  • Convert lectures and overheads to PowerPoint presentations.
The Mama 1908-1979
  • Sweep the floor more often.
  • Reduce waste.  I did much better in 2013 using Food Saver and marking/dating leftovers, but there is room for improvement.
  • Rely less on processed foods.
  • Work through the recipes in The Mama's box and record for my sons.
House in General
  • Rearrange dining room furniture.
  • Stop using the dining table as a "catch-all."
  • Clean out the garage.  Dispose of hazardous chemicals and paint.
  • Try to let teaching income support my "habit."
  • Eliminate six dinosaurs (credit to Teresa in Music City).  That can include not only finishing, but passing on, throwing out, or recycling pieces and parts.
  • Finish one UFO each month -- I'm so close on so many. 
  • Finish two before starting one new project.
  • Lose weight.  I have a plan for that ....
  • Eliminate negative thoughts.  Replace with joyful thoughts.
  • Keep in touch with family and friends.
  • Remember to say "please" and "thank you."
How about you? 

Head on over to Sarah's page to see what others are saying.