Monday, January 31, 2011

Brrrr! It's Cold Outside and I'm Feeling Hemmed In!

It's winter for sure!  The temperature has dropped and will drop even more.  We've got more winter, just when we had a breath of January thaw!  My sis left and went back home, and I'm a little in the dumps.  The quilting projects ahead of me FRANKLY look like work instead of fun.  I think this is called winter doldrums!

I did get my 4.5 inch blocks sewn into a Lasagna Quilt.   Although the strips are a bit wide, they are leftovers from two other quilts--one on my bed and one waiting for the quilter.

I had a strip of beautiful stars and I've pondered and wondered what to do with them without buying more fabric.  Finally, I decided to just offset that strip (I got it from Bev in Alaska's stash and they were already sewn into a strip).  I'll quilt it tomorrow and that will be the end of my marathon quilting that I signed up for on Stashbusters!  Well, it was a little marathon to welcome a prolific quilter, Gladys, back into quilting now that she has her new machine and some of us pledged to quilt alongside her in cyberspace!  I've also decided to box up the blocks that I really don't want to do and send of to her Iowa Pig Farm!  They'll be welcomed and made into quilts and they won't be sitting in my plastic tubs any more.  I need some fresh eyes, and new starts--got two projects from some neices over the weekend and I'll finish those and then take a rest.  I'm needing a change of pace!!!

The strippy quilt top.

Tomorrow--a new day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Quilting Marathon

First Quilt completed for my quilting marathon was a UFO--#5 to be exact. (whoops--just noticed in my notebook that it is REALLY #6, so much the better)!  It is an ABC quilt.  I found some pink ABC fabric on sale last week and bought it to go with the squares that I had planned to use another way.  Since the ABC squares were already cut, I just cut the pink to place between.  I backed it in pink flannel and bound it with pink from a recent Connecting Threads purchase.

I happened to win the December Lotto at Sunshine Quilting Group and put these blocks together.  I added some black with red flowers at the bottom, and now I can see that I should have carried it straight across.  But, I thought the blue border with correct it--and it didn't totally, but it is done and ready to take to Family Connections Center.

The main blocks for this quilt were hand pieced and donated to Sunshine Lotto.  I made up the balancing blocks of some pinwheels I had cut for another quilt and they just happened to fit quite nicely.  I had the green 3.5 inch squares cut and I added them to some cream colored squares and added length.  The backing is a dark green flannel and the binding is the same cream as in some of the other blocks.  It is going to Family Connections Center.

That is 3 of 5 quilts I challenged myself to make in the next two weeks.  Tomorrow I'll go pick up my sister, who has been staying with Mom, and then she'll be with me for a few days before she returns home.  Next week I'll start on another quilt for my marathon.   ...maybe a UFO???!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Digress!

Little Man Loves the camera.  We had a birthday dinner for son #2--his 39th birthday.  Where does the time go.  Little Man made a trip to the doctor with an ear infection, but was in great form last night.  While getting in his jammies he found the camera for me to take some shots of him. 

On to news of quilting!

Christmas Quiltalong  is in preparation for 2011.  On the second Saturday of each month starting in February, one can sew away in preparation for Christmas.  I don't do much Christmas giving--except to the Family Connections Center, but that doesn't stop me from joining in the fun.  Check out Sue's blog for the info and be sure to join us.   She has a quilt pattern to help with the undecided!

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's In the Mail!

This quilt is on its way to Peyton.

The quilting looks like waves.
  The previous post about the quilt is HERE
Sent also was this quilt for the family to use as a fund raiser for hospital bills.
I was going to put this quilt into the Delicate Stitchers Quilt Show in Moab, UT.  But, I felt it would be showy enough for a fund raiser.  So, it is in the box and on its way to Sunny California.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Progess Comes in Small Increments!

This morning, I've finished a quilt and got it bound, and have another ready, but I'm just not kicking into gear.  I went back at what I'd done through the week and a rest is okay.  Rest keeps one ready for more.  If I get to that other quilt, okay.  If not, okay.  The weather outside is yucky--just overcast and no sun.  The kind of day that gets to me emotionally.  January---yuck!!!

Got Dream Catcher top finished.  I'm toying with the idea of quilting it myself.  Would like to try some feathers down the paisly strips.  But the whole thing is 68.5 inches wide which is a lot of quilt for my DSM.

I had 4 yards of fabric and thought it would be enough for the back--it wasn't, so I still had to piece it and got it cut before I realized I wanted it off center.  But that center piece is very close to the other fabric, so it'll work.  Not quite what I wanted, but in time, it won't bother me a bit!

Making backs is my most unfavorite part of the quilting process!  I'm starting to buy up some wide backs so I don't have to figure and stitch to make them work. 
Found some squares of white and then I searched for some yellow/blue and wanted to make pinwheels.  I added the border to make them 12.5 inches.  2 fat quarters gone!  The other two are some pieces I'd cut for another block and since they have blue in them I'll send them off for January Lotto.
Binding is done, and UFO #2 is now complete.  I pieced this in December.  Was going for a larger quilt, but stopped and made this.  apprx 5.5 yrds stash used for this one--donation quilt.

Finished this one this morning.  Most of the batiks I'd been trying to use up is now gone!  GONE!

I cut into a bolt of fabric I'd had for quite awhile--maybe two years or more.  Anyhow the colors seemed to compliment the strings quite well.  It is another donation quilt.

One more strings quilt finished and ready to donate.  I tried  meandering ferns from

I need more practice on that, but it's coming.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What Makes a Stash?!!

Yesterday DH asked me if collecting fabric was addictive?  Let me explain.  He came in from excercising and saw my stack of fabrics I'd been cutting from this week.   ...okay, I'm lazy I hadn't put them away yet.  My cutting table is my kitchen counter and I'd just moved everything over to the table so I could sandwich a couple of quilts.
I assured him that yes, it is addictive to collect fabric, but although I'd been bitten I wasn't as addictive as many quilters.  I assured him that this year I was only purchasing what I needed to finish quilts I am working on.  I've only purchased 3 bolts in my career as a quilter.  One was muslin--it's now gone, one was plain white fabric--a super fine white muslin and another a find of 16 yards I bought on ebay about 2 years ago.  I finally cut into that yesterday.  It's the backing for a string quilt.  Now that it's cut into, I can probably find more uses for it.  I never did get around to the purpose I bought that for--maybe someday....

But, this morning I found this site of pictures of an estate sale of a lady who had lived alone and collected fabric.  She who dies with the most fabric wins???

I'll clearly never win that title.  My stash is probably medium sized, comparitvely,  It's mostly in 5 plastic bins--two large and three small.  I have some in a dresser and some scraps in various shoe box sized boxes and a small portable rolling type plastic thingee.

So, quilters--how much stash do you have?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

No Bonnie Hunter am I...

I've admired Bonnie Hunter's work immensely.  She has influenced the quilting world more than I even dare imagine.  But, I cannot store bits and pieces like she does long enough to make big quilts like hers. 

That is what is so fun about quilting.  We don't have to be "LIKE" someone else to be influenced by them.  When I get some strays, I put them in small sandwich bags and when too many start piling up I usually send them off somewhere.  This morning, I made some into blocks.  I had some Fairy Frost Red cut into HST's and I put them together into some blocks.  Didn't have too many and I don't really like Fairy Frost Red, so off to Sunshine Yahoo Group Lotto they go.  Also pictured are some red/white hearts I found in Bev's box.  Not enough to do much with, but enough to make some blocks and then send them off for the February Lotto (red).  I'm still looking for blue/yellow for this months.  Don't have much as I got rid of all that, but I've got some.  Who knows what I'll come up with for that.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Sewing Machine is Back!

I'm so excited to have my machine back that I quickly bound this UFO that was waiting for that.  DH got so tired of hearing me complain about the Featherweight and how slow it was that he told me to take it in for repair and put it on the "plastic."

This little quilt is made from 4 patches from the last of two pieces of fabrics in Memory of Helen of Wrap Them in Love. 

Quilted by Rebecca for Charitable giving.  This will go to Wrap Them in Love.

This picture shows the pastels a bit better than the posting of the previous day.  This is a simple quilt from scraps in Bev's fabrics.  It will be sent to Wrap Them in Love in her memory.  I simply did meadering quilting as quite honestly, I just didn't want to spend more time on it.  It isn't one of my favorite pieces.  I'm not all that fond of pastel colors, but DH likes it and it has a nice comfy flannel backing, so it should be welcomed by someone, at least that is the hope as we take scraps and turn them into something useful.  So, that is saying "project success at completetion."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Quick Quilt top from Bev's Stash

I was lying on the bed in the spare bedroom and looked up into the closet and some some yellow in Bev's box. I pulled it down and quickly made a top from the cute little pastel bears.  There wasn't enough of the bear fabric to make more than 5 squares, so I made them into a simple large 9 patch.  I had just enough yellow to make the sashing.  I've got some pastel blue flannel for the back so it will make a cute quilt for Wrap Them in Love.  If I don't get my machine pretty quick, I'll have more tops than I'll want. 

Top Ready for Quilter!

This top is now ready to send to the quilter.  It's for a young man who had some severe injuries in a car accident.  He is the friend of my grandson.  They both love surfing.  In the "flimsie" stage, it doesn't look all that great.  It is amazing what quilting will do.   ...I'm off to text Judy now!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Slow Start for 2011

With the "death" of my Bernina, I have been trying to piece with my Featherweight.  I found I needed a true quarter inch foot--received it in the mail yesterday, but I spent the afternoon playing with machines at the place I took my Bernie for appraisal of repair possibilites and costs.

I love the Janome 7700!!!  I played with it in spite of the lady at the store not knowing much about it, we figured lots out together and I played and played.  Had so much fun.  I really would like to own one, but I'll wait out the appraisal of my other machine before I make a final decision.  (Spent some hours combing over the budget too).  It's all good, I keep telling myself.    Anyhow, I tried some strings to play with the Featherweight machine.  I finished a top Sunday evening:
I used many strings from a shoe box full and it doesn't seem quite as full, but I swear strings multiply when you're not looking!  I had some odd 1/2 yard pices from a purchase a couple of years ago that I made into strings to add some variety and used one of those pieces for the border.  I still have enough I think for one more top using lavendar center strips.

I worked on a top, yesterday a.m. for Grandson's friend.  It's from pieces left from his "surfer" quilt.  It is nearly finished and soon I'll call the quilter and see if she can help me out on this one.

So far, this a.m. I've read, biked 1.6 miles and had a cup of coffee.  I'm ready now for more coffee and a trip to the sewing room.

Best wishes for my readers in their goals and acheivements for 2011.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

As the clock ticks off to another year--humans continue to amass progress through that counting of time and accumlation of either stuff, accomplishments or other means of giving oneself value.

I would like to think I am different!  I'm not--just me--trying to make it through the world and the STUFF that seems to cloud ones view of True Reality. 

I'm not one for much partying on New Year's Eve.  My own personal timeclock doesn't seem to allow me to stay up much past 10.  Last night was no different.  There was a party I would have liked to go to, but DH started into a progression of sore throat--then severe coughing.  So, we didn't go and were in bed by 10.  Dare I say in the winter some nights it's even before then--but I digress.

Found this blog clutter busting and I find I like the way Brooks thinks!  I don't like making endless lists of things to do and feeling like a failure if I don't.  Life is more "open" for me as I journey through and just allow things to unfold.  I do have the general things I'd like: to be thinner, to be healthier etc.  But isn't that just life?  I'm not trying to control how life treats me, just my reactions to it--trying to be less involved with outcome and feeling peace and happiness from loving the perfectness of life's imperfections!  We are getting what we signed up for and each person's problems are just what they need for the growth/learning/experience that we said/thought/or planned from this life.  In short, that's my philosophy of life.  Life is a trip into the unknown and through it whatever we do as humans, we are trying to connect to our value.  I'm no different!

I have however due to a UFO Challenge on Stashbusters kept track of my quilting for 2010 and I was really surprised when I added my totals from my list.
UFO's to completion: 36
New projects to completion: 27
Wrap Them In Love from Helen's stash added to mine: 13
In Memory of Bev 7
Total Quilts for 2010: 83    4 of which were queen sized quilts  59 were donated to various organizations

During last year, while waiting for knee replacement surgery, I quilted a LOT!  This year I've a list of 23 or so UFO's I'd like to finish.  Maybe I will and maybe I won't--we'll see.  I can be a little more active now.  Hoping to be more active outside when summer comes. It helped me to just gather up the strays and package them--that helps a lot with the ADD I sometimes experience.  With my Bernie sewing machine on the fritz, I probably won't be getting as much done, but maybe I will.  I've always got new projects in my head and life won't be long enough to get them all done, but that is what it's all about:  THE JOURNEY!

Hoping that my readers have a great journey and experiences for growth and love and happiness in 2011.