Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Day After the Day After Turkey Day

Not one to subject myself to the madness of Black Friday, I decided it might be safe to go out today, Saturday.

Kroger wasn't too bad.  I needed to spend at least a dollar to get my fuel points up to another hundred -- 'twould be a shame to waste 99 points!  Well the Conway Kroger Marketplace had a couple of items we can't get at our favorite store so I ended up spending $10.  So far, so good.

Then it was off to Table Play, a local shop that carries almost every table game known to man and child.  It is, after all, shop local day, right?  I just wanted to look but came away with several Christmas gifts and, when combined with Son-2's purchases warranted 25% off!  Can't beat deals like that!

After lunch back at the ranch, I ventured out to Hancock's and Hobby Lobby -- crazy, I know! -- to get some fabrics in the colors DIL selected just to make sure I knew what she wants.  What I didn't know was Hancock's had some specials that were only good till noon, so the cutting lines were never-ending.  But I was patient and had a pleasant conversation with the lady behind me.  Did more damage at Hobby Lobby; no one was shopping for fabric there.  I didn't do too bad picking a short checkout line, either.

Now back at the ranch, enjoying a libation while watching SIL, CG, and AA play a lively game of Catan, Cities & Knights, and catching the end -- or SO I THOUGHT -- of the GA/GaTech game.  I have a tough time since Son-1 graduated from Ga Tech and Son-2 from Georgia.  Nevertheless, I was rooting for Georgia -- when in Rome ..... and, as I was told, absent uncles don't count!  Son-2 has Tivo so we can catch 4 games at a time, which is a good thing since Louisville just went ahead of Kentucky (Main Man and his sister both graduated from UK) and we check on them while sweating over OT at GA/GT.

Regardless of the outcome I can look forward to turkey tetrazzini for supper.

Friday, November 28, 2014

OK, I Give!

I can't resist. 

The first clue of Bonnie Hunter's new mystery has been revealed.  I know I said I wasn't going to do it.  BUT I want to make a new quilt for Son-2 and DIL and I thought this would be a good one for them.

I don't want to use the same colors, and I probably won't be as scrappy as Bonnie.  So I asked DIL to pick some colors that would go with black, white, and yellow.  She chose slate gray, pale lavender, and spring green.  I am going to use lavender in place of aqua and the gray in place of pink.  She said they wanted to redecorate their bedroom and would go by whatever colors were in the quilt.

I'm hoping to take most from my stash, but I may have to fill in a few gaps.

We're having a great time -- good food, lots of games, football .....

More later.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Not much has been happening on the sewing front.  No acquisitions; no finishes.

The week has been and will be filled with travels.  This is what greeted us in East Tennessee on Monday morning.

East Tennessee Sunrise

We spent a day wandering the backroads around Knoxville looking for a retirement property.  This was our third trip and we may have found the perfect spot.  Ironically, we had seen it on our first visit, but didn't know the owner wanted to sell or if we could afford it.  And, to be honest, at that point we had not honed in on what we thought would really makes us happy.

We had gone in search of one lifestyle, but both of us felt stifled by it.  We thought about mountain life, but steep grades gave us heartburn.  We looked at acreage in the boonies and we felt lost and alone (and isolated from healthcare).  In the end I think we will settle on a relatively traditional development -- city water and fire protection are important to us -- with views OF the mountains, not FROM the mountains, and perhaps a little water visible, too.

Today we're heading off to Arkansas to spend Thanksgiving with Son-2, DIL, AA, and CG.  We leave the Queen Mother in the capable hands of her daughter and the constant caregivers.  I am thankful that we have such caring and dependable people to watch over and care for her.

I send Thanksgiving Blessings to all my readers.  

Keep Warm
Quilt On

Friday, November 21, 2014

Better than I thought!

Here I was on Monday, bemoaning the fact that I was going to fall well short of finishing my designated 12 UFOs in 2014.  (sigh)

Now I know why.

I was so down on myself that I was ready to write off 2014 and started thinking about my goals for 2015.  But first, I needed to bring my record up to date -- a project list I began in 2012.  Realizing that a number of unfinished projects on that list are now completed quilts or at least finished tops, I decided to review my older blog posts so that I could enter completion dates and details about where they are now.

Here's the GOOD NEWS!  (Trumpets, please ....)

Since I began my blog in October 2013, I have completed 24 tops.  Ten were started and finished in that time.  Eight have been quilted.  Four tops went to the guild's charity program.  I have plans to finish at least one more top before year's end.  Bear in mind that, to me, "finished" is when the top is completed and packaged with its back and binding, waiting for a reason to get quilted (or when the checkbook says it's OK to pay).

This just proves to me that a list is just that -- it's good to set goals, but they need to be flexible.  Quilting is supposed to be a pleasure for me and I get a lot more done when I'm working on what gives me pleasure at the moment.

I didn't finish all 12 because ... I made 24, instead.....

I think that's worthy of a whoop-whoop, so I'm sharing with readers of Confessions of a Fabric Addict. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jo's BH UFO Challenge

Jo Kramer at Jo's Country Junction issued a challenge to complete a Bonnie Hunter UFO before the first clue of Grand Illusion is released on Black Friday.

I'm happy to report that I finished Easy Street by adding two borders.  It was the one BH UFO nearest completion -- was that cheating??  Back is ready, too, for whatever situation arises.

Not-so-Easy Street
I don't plan to do the mystery this year.  Instead, I am going to use that time to finish another BH UFO -- either Celtic Solstice (needs borders) or Smith Mountain Morning (needs everything but is all cut or I would just ditch it).

I am looking forward to seeing the new mystery as it evolves.  I know it will be stunning.  Best wishes to all who will be participating.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Looking Ahead

UFOs going to
Smores Christmas Retreat
The end of 2014 is looming and 
I am far from reaching my goals. 

It's not been a complete bust.  I will have finished about 6 of my 12 listed UFOs (apparently I never made that list public) after the Smores Christmas retreat, but made absolutely NO headway on the dinosaurs.

Rather than dwell on failure, I am looking ahead to 2015.  Maybe if my goals are more in line with my abilities ......  How about this?

My goal for 2015 is to finish what I start.  

And my UFO list will be be only 6 -- not necessarily the same six I have leftover from this year.  I have a theory that one of the reasons a project remains a UFO is I simply don't like it.  Therefore,

I'm going to work on what I like -- and finish it!

The thing is, I will be starting three new projects at Mountain QuiltFest in March.  I have already started pulling fabrics.

Mountain QuiltFest Projects
Still not sure about how I want to approach Log Cabin/Patchwork with Flavin Glover (empty box).  I think I want to have a patchwork block in mind before I start pulling fabric from my stash.  Or I may just pick a colorway from something I already have on hand.

Split Geese with Donna Lynn Thomas involves using her On-Point Ruler.  I am really looking forward to giving that a try and the pattern is simple enough that I could finish it with a more traditional technique if I want.  But I WILL finish it!

 I am especially excited about Castle Wall with Mickey Depre.  I've been looking for a good handwork project.  BUT, I have also put Patchwork of the Crosses -- book and templates -- on my Amazon wish list and started thinking about fabrics that I already have on hand that will work.

POTC Potential

Initially I thought about combining the two hand-pieced blocks into one quilt.  Aside from having to work around the size difference (9" and 7-1/2"),  I have come up with two completely different color palettes so it looks like I'll be finishing two hand-pieced tops next year.  Oh, My!

I have a question (really, two) for any of you working on Patchwork of the Crosses.  What method are you using, and why?  I will not be using English paper piecing,that much I'm sure of.  Anybody using Cindy Blackberg's stamp?  How about printing with Inklingo?  Tracing a template?  I'm trying to decide which method would work best for fussy cutting.

Since it's Monday, though these projects are in boxes and piles, I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Stash Report

I've been a little haphazard in my record-keeping of late, but I'm confident there was nothing in, and pretty sure there was nothing out.

I did, however, put the last stitches in the binding of Spare Change, got it washed and ready to snuggle under.  I wrote about it here.

Spare Change
I also got the back made for Easy Street.

Not-so-Easy Street
Oh, and I put the final borders on two comfort quilts.

All of this had been counted earlier except for the wild stripe which came out of my stash.

Stash Report - Nov. 2

     In this Weeks:                 0.0 yards
     Out this Week:                1.0 yards
     In year to Date:            242.5 yards
     Out Year-to-Date:        195.75 yards
     Net Used 2014            -46.75 yards

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mine, Mine, MINE!

As quilters, we frequently give away our work -- to family, friends, and charity.  However, some we simply can't let go of.

Some quilts you want to keep because of their beauty. 

Some you want to keep because of the effort you put into them.

And there are those that are just so blasted comfortable!  Maybe it's the soft back fabric ....

Spare Change - Back

 or the Quilter's Dream Select batting ..... or the minimal quilting ....

Spare Change - Quilting - "Cool Beans"

All I know is,

This one is MINE!!

Mine, all mine!

The pattern is "Spare Change" from Kansas Troubles' Loose Change.  So easy, made from a charm pack and some 10-inch squares from my stash.  Quilted by Susan Shea with the Cool Beans panto.

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, November 3, 2014

Late or Early?

It's November 3 and my design wall holds two Halloween projects.  So, am I late for 2014?  Or early for 2015?

First up are the  blocks from Denise Russart's Spooktacular Block Swap.

Spooktacular Blocks
We could make up to five sets of 3 identical blocks.  I chose to make four sets so I got 12 blocks back.  This was my first on-line block swap -- you never know what you'll get when you don't know the quality of the swappers' work.  But I am thrilled with the workmanship as well as the variety of blocks and fabrics.

I'm thinking about using them to surround a panel I purchased a couple of years ago.

Halloween Panel
I made a set of my blocks for myself -- those on the left -- so I have a total of 16 different blocks.  The stripe fabric on the shelf unit below the panel will be spacers to make everything fit.

The second Halloween project I began at retreat last week.

Little Bits' Haunted House

You can tell the size by the lines on the mat.  Little bitty pieces!!  It finishes at 15-1/2" x 18-1/2".  I had hoped to use up most of my leftover Halloween fabrics, but at this scale I've hardly made a dent.

I need to use free time this week to finish up all my retreat projects.  However, I just got registered for Mountain QuiltFest at Pigeon Forge (March) and all I want to do now is pull fabrics for those classes......  And then there's Christmas gifts to make .....

Linking up with Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Retreat Report and Stash Update

Courthouse Quilters held their Fall retreat last week.  We are fortunate to have found a Nazarene church camp and conference center that is perfect for our needs.  We sew in one of the large meeting rooms on the ground floor, there's a kitchen attached with everything we need to prepare meals except a stove (crock pots and microwave instead), and we sleep in the motel-like rooms on the floor above.   

There is WiFi there so I had plans to post daily updates.  However, my tablet decided to forget how to find a network.  So this will be a long catch-up post.
Remember my ambitious list I posted here?  Well, I made quite a bit of headway on Monday. 

1.     Bind Fire and Ice (a/k/a French Braid) - DONE!
Before I even unloaded the car – with the exception of my comfortable chair – I attacked the binding on French Braid (which I am now calling Fire and Ice).  Having promised to enter it in an upcoming show I was hoping to finish the binding before the show rep stopped by retreat to pick it up.  She came early …. I did finally get it done and delivered Tuesday.  (Forgot to get a picture)  

2.     Easy Street - Borders and back. - DONE, almost!
Second on my list was applying the borders to Easy Street and making the back.  I got all but the last two outer border strips on before heading to bed Monday night.  While still in my jammies I finished it up early Tuesday morning.  Well, sort of …. I didn’t have enough fabric for the back so will have to add about a nine-inch strip of something across the width now that I'm home.  Border fabrics counted out last week except 1/2 yard for insert.
Easy Street
That aqua border definitely toned down the lime green!  I think this one will be going to flood relief in Alberta, Canada.  

This is the sunrise that greeted us on Tuesday morning, portending the storms to come that evening.

Sunrise at Garner Creek

3.    Elegant Garden - Fix mitered border corner and make binding - DONE!

I managed to repair a mitered corner on Elegant Garden’s border and made the binding on Tuesday morning.  Another half yard out.
Spaghetti Binding

Elegant Garden

4.     Churn Dash - Cut setting triangles, assemble, apply borders - ALMOST DONE

From there I moved on to Churn Dash (which I am now calling Dots and Dashes).  Silly Me thought it would be a quick project to rearrange a couple of blocks, cut the setting triangles and assemble the rows.  Between cutting the first set of triangles too small and dealing with a directional fabric, much reverse sewing ensued.  At 8 o’clock it went back into the box, lacking only borders.  Nothing to count.

Dots and Dashes

5.     Twisted Sister - Audition sashing and borders, assemble if able
- Oh, well
Next up – Twisted Sister!  This is a dinosaur from the days when I was teaching this pattern and needed samples for step-outs.  The blocks are mostly 30s and I just didn't bring the "right" fabrics for sashing and borders, though I did get some good suggestions from the Village, so it went back in the box.

6.      Kids' comfort quilts - Some progress

Most of Wednesday morning was spent throwing together a couple of comfort quilts for the guild out of fabrics from my stash (counted out last week).  Blocks cut from panels were sashed.

The blue border fabric was being uncooperative -- probably needs washing -- and I didn't bring anything appropriate to border the second quilt, so those went back in the box.
The rest of Wednesday was dedicated to paper piecing a Little Bits Halloween 15" x 18" wall hanging.

And all I accomplished was the star and flying geese.  Have I mentioned here how much I dislike paper piecing?  But I'm determined to finish.  I think I'll break out the BabyLock with thread cutter....
7.     Remembering Marie - Never left the box.
While I was at retreat a package of fabric I ordered arrived.  Final tally for the week:
Stash Report - Nov. 2

     In this Weeks:                 3.5 yards
     Out this Week:                1.0 yards
     In year to Date:            242.5 yards
     Out Year-to-Date:        194.75 yards
     Net Used 2014            -47.75 yards

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Hope y'all have a great week!