Friday, October 31, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes: October Results


I waited until the last day to list my results in hopes that I would get more accomplished, but that didn't work.  I didn't get much done, due to lots of reasons, most of which revolve around "life happens". I am happy to say I did get a few things done, and here is my list and what I did or did not do for each item.

1.  Memory quilts...I wanted at least one top pieced, but that didn't happen. I got the third top's four patches made and the fourth top's squares matched.  I am going to have to get busy on these, maybe this weekend will be better.

2. Two quilts quilted...Not a single thing got quilted this month.  I twisted my knee and haven't been up to standing for long periods of time.  But it is feeling better every day and I hope to get a quilt on the frame on Monday. I think it will be Sharla's Box Trot, but I also found a couple of quilts that were lost...aka packed away, so I have plenty of selection.

3. Cut a top out for Sharla...Sharla decided to work on a project that didn't require any cutting from me, because it used pre-cuts.  But in the same box that I found packed quilts I found fabrics for a Cowboy (as in the football team) quilt.  She said today that she wants to work on it this weekend, so I might get some cut tonight for her.

4. Bee Blocks done and in the mail...YEAH something I did get done.  My bee blocks went into the mail last week.  I am really having fun doing the different blocks.  I've been wanting to do some string blocks and these babies just made me want to do more of them.  These were great fun and I think I'm going to strip a bunch of my scraps and just have them at the sewing table so I can periodically sew one or two.

5.  Cut blocks for Simple Greek Cross quilt...I have cut lots of the backgrounds for my blocks and a few of the crosses.  I bought a bundle of low volume fat quarters, to beef of my stash and have cut some out of almost all of them.  The crosses will be mostly scraps left from other quilts.  I've pieced one block.  I've even started writing the tutorial...but the blocks are so simple it isn't much to write.

Over all I sucked this month, in fact I turned on my sewing machine for the first time in weeks on Tuesday.....and boy did it feel good.  I'm putting together blocks for a test quilt and did all that I could do before fabric I ordered arrived.  So hopefully I will have things to show ya'll soon.

I am happy to say I'm feeling better and so is my little fur baby.  He is eating and moving around much better with each passing day.  I'm realistic enough to know that he is old and his time will come, but thankful that it wasn't this month. He is sometimes a bit of trouble, but ohh so worth it. Since I'm working for home 85% of the time now, he is always close, like today he is under my desk.

Now I need to get my but in gear and cut some fabric so I can finish my test quilt.   I am linking up with Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of BitterSweet Designs.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Compass Quilter's Bee Blocks - October

Let me start by saying October has been a very rough month.  I did these block the first weekend of the month and they are the only thing I've accomplished so far...well sewing/quilting wise.  The second weekend we had a garage sale and I tweaked my knee. The next week we were combining offices at work, and I tweaked it more (not good).  Then last weekend when I had some major plans to get some sewing/quilting done, my poor fur baby Tucker got sick, really sick, vet/emergency vet sick.  At one point we even had to have the "is it time" discussion.  Luckily thanks to some wonderful doctors, he is home and feeling ok.  He is ten years old, blind, diabetic and has a heart murmur, so we realize that the time will come that we have to finish that discussion, but I'm just happy it wasn't last weekend.

Our queen this month is Diana from Red Delicious Life and she picked a string block for us to do. She asked that the center strip be white (or white on white).  I used Moda's Bella Solid white and I really love how these blocks look.  I've been wanting to do some with a black center, but after doing these I may have to change my mind and go with white centers.  She gave instructions on how to mark your own paper templates as well as providing a paper template.  As I said before I finished these several weeks ago, but I don't let myself post about them until they are in the mail.

I ended up making 3 blocks because my first one was a little off, but I sent it anyway, because she might still want to use it. Plus it was my block with a little Texas on it.  So far I've been able to work a little piece of Texas into each month.  I tried to use lots of blues, greens and pinks, but also throwing in other colors so she would get a nice scrappy effect.

My first block was very easy but it didn't line up as well as I would want, but I love some of the fabric in it.  I cut my fabrics, 1 inch, 1 1/2 inch and 2 inches I had a couple of 2 1/2 inch strips, but I think I cut all of them down after sewing because they looked huge.

Did you catch the Texas part of the is in the upper left corner...a little bit of bluebonnet fabric.  Here is a closer shot.

Block two went together better and I think it might be my favorite of the three. It has some of my all time favorite fabrics, PB&J, Salt Water and  High Street.

My last block also has some of my favorite fabrics in it.  I think I like these blocks because the sewing was simple and straight forward and yet, they look so cool.  I can't wait to see what Diana does with them all.

She told us we could go crazy on the label, so mine has a very small white section with my name on it, and then random string piecing around it.  I was very happy with it.

I am having lots of fun with this Bee, so much so that I signed up for the Stash Bee 2015.  There are still some spots open if you want to join.  You can check it out HERE.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Finish Along Quarter 4: Goals

It is hard to believe that it is already the last quarter of 2014, that means 2015 is just around the corner.  I have a very long list for this quarter, not that I expect to get anywhere near all of it done.  I just do better when I have a list, so why not make it a long list.  I'm thankful that Katy at The Littlest Thistle for hosting, it really helps keep me on track (well as much as I will ever be on track).

1.  My biggest goal for this quarter is to finish the four memory quilts.  I have the four patches made for 3 of them and the fourth is cut and I hope to get sewn this week.  Then it is just sashing, quilting, and binding....doesn't that sound so simple.

2. My Texas quilt.  I need to add the borders and piece the back.  Then all that is left if the quilting.

3. Sharla's Texas quilt.  The top is finished for it, I just need to piece the back and get the thread to quilt it.

4. Sharla's Bright Box Trot quilt.  I have to piece the backing and then quilt it.  It will be the next one I put on the frame, so hopefully it will done by the end of October.

5. My Trip Around The World quilt.  This one has been sitting for a long time, and I'm ready to start using it.  It is large and perfect for winter.  I need to piece the back for it before I can start quilting.

6. Sharla's Trip Around The World quilt. She and I did these for a class and they have been in the closet a long time.  Sharla has decided she doesn't like the fabric we have for the backing, so I've got to go find more and then piece it.

7.  My Double Slice Trails End quilt.  I first have to pick out the bad quilting on this one.  It was the one where the tension issue on my long arm really reared it's ugly head.  I set it aside because it was too hot this summer to have it laying on my lap for unpicking.

8. Mid Winter Red table runner.  Sharla is piecing this one right now, so hopefully it will be done in time for Christmas to use on our table.  It is made with mini charm packs of this line.

9. Log Cabin Brown/Teal.  This is Sharla's quilt that needs a couple of blocks to finish and then we should be good to go.  I also have my blue log cabin and her green log cabin, but we want to do the brown one first to make sure we like how the quilting looks on it. I don't have any photos of this one.

10.  Looking Glass test quilt.  I have to have it done by Nov. 21, or at least the top done.  I'm hoping to have it quilted by then as well.  I love the pattern and am thrilled to be testing it. These are the bundles I bought to use, I won't need all of these fabrics only about 1/2 of them.

Ok those 10 goals mean 13 finished quilts, and I'm pretty sure that isn't going to happen, but even if I just get 1/2 of those done I'll be happy.

I do have some none finished quilts goals.  I know they don't count for the prizes, but it holds me accountable when I write them down.

1.  Finish my tutorial for my month as Queen in the Compass Quilters Bee.  I'm doing a simplified Greek cross block and since I will need lots more blocks than I receive, I'm using some of those to create my tutorial.

2.  Clean the sewing room.  I know that was on the last list, but I want to do a deep clean at least once a quarter.  I try to clean after every project is completed, but that is more straightening than cleaning.

3. Cut out at least 3 new quilts for Sharla and 2 new quilts for me.  Now I know one of mine will be the Looking Glass quilt, but no idea on what the other will be.  We both have a list that of to-dos, so it will be whatever tickles our fancy at the time.

4. Get my finished quilts in some type of order.  Right now they are all over the place.  I want to get some on to my quilt ladders and others displayed around the house.

5. Get quilt hung behind my sewing machine.  I did a test quilt for Cora's Quilts and it is finished and I want to hang it in my sewing room behind my sewing machine.  I found some cute clips from 3M that I'm going to try.  I'll let you know how they work.

6.  Get my scraps organized better.  Right now everything is just tossed in a bin, not cut to any size, not even checked for usability.  I want to cut them into some standard sizes and sorted by color, or at least that is what I think I want to do.  I just need to work with them a little so they are more usable.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

9(9) Problems but a Stitch Ain't One!

Ok I had such fun with Amy's 10 Little Quilty Secrets, that I thought I would join her 9 (9) Problems but a {stitch} ain't one.  It is designed to talk about problems that quilters have that non-quilters just don't understand.  So here goes for me.

1.  Finding a pattern you love, but finding only 4 of the 5 fabrics you need, and nothing seems to work for that last fabric.

2.  Chain piecing, just grooving along and notice that your bobbin ran out, a long time ago.

3.  Threads everywhere, you stand up and have to do your own version of "Shake It Off".

4.  Seeing lots of beautiful fabric as you read through your favorite blogs, but go to your LQS and they have none of them.  Fabric envy just sucks. I can never find the cool low volume fabrics I see others using.

5.  Ouch, stuck by a pin again!!!  I use clover clips for binding, but I still get poked when I pin my piecing, all the time.

6.  Lost scissors, snips, rotary cutter...I had them just a couple of minutes ago, where are they now.  It is amazing how good those tools are at hide and seek.

7.  Beautiful new quilt and you want to take some outside shots and it is raining or 110 degrees in the shade, the grass is brown, the sun washes out the fabrics, or the wind keeps blowing up the corners. Why don't I have that wonderful tree with just the perfect branch for hanging a quilt, or that cool old barn, no I have a skinny tree that would snap if I tried to lay my quilt on it.

8.  Every time I say I'm not going to buy fabric for a while, they release some line that is just perfect for me.  I love the fabric I have, but there is always something new that I love too.  Can't they have just one season where they only release ugly fabric to make it easy on me.

9.  Scraps....ohhh my do I keep them or not.  What is too small to keep?  Could I use it for something else?  I love that fabric, I hat to see any of it go into the trash, but will I ever really use a 1 inch by 1 inch piece?  And if I keep them where do I store them.  For such tiny things they can cause such turmoil, but they are so cute

I am linking up with Amy at 13 Spools.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Finish Along Quarter 3: Finishes

Man when I look at the goals I set for the third quarter and then look at what I got done, I'm sorely sad (can you guess that I'm from the south).  But here goes, what I did get done and did not get done.

1. Texas Quilt.  I did finish the top, but I still have to get borders on it and quilt it, so it doesn't count as finished.  It will definitely be on my next quarter list.

2.  I decided against doing the wall hanging.  I may at some point in the future, but for now it is not what I want to do.  Another fail.

3.  Yeah something done.  I did get all the shirts taken apart and blocks cut.  I even have 2 of the four with the blocks pieced.  I still have to sew the other two block together, and then sash them all.  It doesn't count as a finish, but at least I accomplished something.

4.  I am on a roll now.  Something I can count as a full finish.  I got my Watkins Star quilted and bound.  YEAH!!  I am very pleased with how it looks finished.  I plan on donating sometime in the future, but for now it is folded and just waiting for the right cause to come along.

5. Ok I had some issues with my long arm this quarter, plus I think that the summer heat just got too me.  So I did get 6 quilts quilted, but one I've not been able to show because the pattern hasn't been release as of yet.  My favorite is my cupid shuffle, which I simply love.  I've had the pattern and fabric for about a year, and it is finally off of the to-do list.

6.  I got two more tops completed, Cupid Shuffle and Snow Lads (can't show yet), and Sharla got two more as well, Texas and Box Trot.  I'm hoping that I get some more quilting done as the weather cools off for Fall.

7. Organizing my fabric stash.  I'm so happy to say this is about 90% done.  I have it divided into two sections.  One holds JoAnns and Hobby Lobby fabrics, mostly bought on sale.  I used this to test blocks, as well as make some smaller quilts.  They are also good for dog bed covers. The second cabinet has doors on it and it houses all of my quilt shop fabrics.  If it was bought as kit or fat quarter bundle I kept it together, otherwise it is just wrapped on comic boards.  Now in both cases I need to do some re-arranging by color, but it is so much better than it was.

8. Organize my sewing area.  I have done this about three times over the last quarter.  I'm sure I will always be tweaking it.  But for the most part I'm pretty happy with what I have done.  I have my tools that I use all the time in a pencil cup beside my machine, my ironing/cutting table beside me. My biggest thing now is to figure out how contain scraps as I cut.  My cutting table is only a TVtray so not much space on it.  It ends up on my sewing table and that needs to stop.

9.  I have gotten some quilts onto my ladders.  They are still not displayed as I would want, but Hollywood is still in his chewing stage and I'm not about to let him get to those ladders.

10. Major clean done for this quarter.  I am happy to say I'm doing much better on cleaning up after each project, actually I've started trying to spend at least a couple of hours on my weekend days cleaning and it has really helped.

Ok that is pretty much it. I'm going to link up with The Littlest Thistle  and here is my original post with my list of goals (HERE).  I think I accomplished at least 1 goal fully and that makes me happy. And I just want to say thanks to Katy for doing the linky party.  It really helps me to write out my goals and I think I get more done because of it. The accountability really keeps me on track!!!!!  

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Finish: Sharla's Box Trot Flimsy

Ever just have one of those weeks, for me I got nothing worth mentioning done.  Yes I sewed some, but I spent more time doing non-sewing activities.  But Sharla was a worker bee last weekend.  I cut her Box Trot quilt last week and she whipped it up over the weekend.  Ok to be honest she had to put the last borders on on Monday night, but that was because once she got tired she was having too many issues (sewing with no bobbin thread).

I bought her this pattern for her birthday and we had planned totally different fabric for it.  But when we started pulling fabric she just wasn't feeling the other fabric.  So we had the strip fabrics but needed something to pull them all together.  Off to the fabric store we went and found the strip for the boxes and the border/backing fabric.

With bad weather yesterday I had to do an indoor shot, which really doesn't do justice to all the bright and cheerful colors of this quilt.  If all goes well, it will be the next flimsy I put onto the long arm. I'm just not sure if it will be this week or next week.

It became official yesterday that I am going to be working from home starting at the end of this month.  My reaction to that is both yeah and ohhh my.  I love the idea of working from home, but to do that we are going to have to rearrange furniture, buy new desks (Sharla wants a new one too), and get everything setup in a hurry.  Luckily Cole is going to Ikea for us today and getting the desk and drawer units.  And we have a garage sale planned on the 11th, so we are going to be in high gear this next week. My quilting/sewing time is going to take a hit, but hopefully when I get to work from home I can sneak some time in when things are slow.

Today I am linking up with  Let's Bee Social with Sew Fresh Quilts, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Link a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya Quilts, Finish It Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio and Weekend Link Party @ Patchouli Moon Studio.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Lovely Year Of Finishes: October Goal

This year is just passing way too fast, can you believe it is October already.  I will say I'm so looking forward to cooler weather.  I want soup, stew, chili, all the stuff that you eat when it is cold outside. Plus I'm looking forward to snuggling under some quilts.  But I do think that October is going to a slow month for me, well not really slow, just a month that I can't show you the things I'm doing.  But I do want to have some goals set, because they help keep me accountable.

My first goal is one of those things I can't really show you.  I'm making four memory quilts for a friend and her three children.  They are the hardest thing I've ever made for lots of reasons, and because of that I'm moving very slow with them.  My goal is to have at least one of the tops completely pieced.  I have blocks pieced for 2 and the third is being partially done.  After going around and around I finally decided to do simple four patches that are sashed with a solid color.  Everything I did with pretty quilting fabrics seemed to take away from the shirts themselves, which are really the point of the quilts.  I've got to get the solid fabrics ordered as well.  I don't want to show these on the blog until they are gifted, but here is what they looked liked when I received them.

My second goal is to get at least 2 tops quilted this month.  I have a stash of tops to complete, but I want to do Sharla's Box Trot (which you'll see the top on Friday) and one of our trip around the world quilts.  If I get time I would love to get both of your trip quilts done.

My third goal is to get another top cut out for Sharla.  I think she is going to do one using green, yellow, tan, and orange.  But she has a list of possibilities, so it will be up to her to choose. I would love to get another one cut out for me, but I don't want to start another one until I get the memory quilts done.

My fourth goal is get my bee blocks done and in the mail.  I just checked to see what the blocks were going to be and they are sting blocks.  I can't wait to get started on those, I have been saving my scraps to do a quilt like this for myself, so I know I have lots of choices.

My last goal somewhat contradicts the statement about cutting another quilt for myself. I want to get blocks cut out for my Greek Cross quilt.  Now I'm not doing a entire quilt, in fact what I'm working on is my tutorial for my turn as Queen of the Compass Quilters Bee.  My turn isn't until January, but I want to get photos of every step.  It is a super simply block but I will need a lot of them even with what I receive from my Bee mates.  So if I cut a bunch out, and do a couple a week between now and January, then I should be sitting in a good spot once I receive all of my blocks from my Bee mates. And it allows me time to get my photos done, and my tutorial done and not have to worry about it over the holiday season.

I have a ton more things on my list for this month, but most are not really quilt related...ok that is not even everything quilt related, but it is the most important things.   I am linking up with Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of BitterSweet Designs.