Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Finishes for December, Last Quarter And The Year

Overall I'm very happy with what I got accomplished in 2014.  The first half of the year I was on fire, but the second half not so much. I ended the year with 29 completed quilts/table runners, which I think it pretty darn good.  I know I could have done more, but such is life.

Before I review the year, lets see what I got accomplished on my December goals.  I did not get the memory quilts done.  I have one top complete and loaded on the long arm, but haven't felt well enough to quilt it.  The blocks are all pieced for the other three.  The test quilt is cut, and I've began working on the HST, and really hope to be over the flu and able to really put some time into this weekend.  My tutorial is written and pre-posted....woooohooooo!!!!  I didn't get any organizing done in the sewing area at all.  It is close to being where I have a breakdown and just stop everything to clean and organize.  And lastly test blocks for Callie.  I did two sizes with two different sized snowball corners for her to check out. She selected the 5 inch square with 3 inch snowball.  I decided to paper piece the blocks and leave the paper on to give some stability for the people signing the blocks.  Now we just have to get fabrics chosen and we'll be good to go.  I will be linking up with Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of BitterSweet Designs.  Boring picture, but the only one I have.

For the quarter I sucked big time.  I made a big list HERE, but I only finished one quilt on my list and that was my Looking Glass quilt.  Now it is one of my most favorites I've done this year, so that is good, but I need to get back onto quilting.  Here is my version of Looking Glass and I will be linking up with The Littlest Thistle for my quarter 4 finish.

Now let's talk about 2014 in general, 29 quilts ain't bad, and I'm very happy with that number, but other things happened as well.  I participated in lots of new things this year.  I joined some linky parties, set monthly and quarterly goals, did some challenges, donated my first quilt, did my first quilt along and joined my first quilting bee.  Yes it was a busy year packed with all kinds of great things.

I'm so sorry that my quilt from the Texas Road Trip QAL isn't done, but it is probably my favorite thing I created this year.  It was so much fun and I can see why people love doing QALs.

I also got to know some great people doing a new quilt blogger hop.  Got some great advice on my blog and even got to join a quilting bee through it.  It has been fun seeing what each person picked for there block each month and what the others created.  I have also had fun putting a little Texas into one of my blocks every month. I also joined Stash Bee for 2015 and can't wait to get started.

I have really really loved setting goals monthly and quarterly and I think they have helped me keep on track...well as much as anything can.  I'm a list maker by nature, and these have really helped me track what I want to do as well as what I finished.  I've also really loved joining linky parties of different kinds, but my favorites are ones that show what people have done for the week.  I love seeing what other people do, it gives me so many ideas.

I am also happy to say that I donated my first quilt as well as some blocks for quilts to be donated.  I hope to do even more this year.  It is good to help, and it helps whittle down my stash.  Ok I know that is never going to happen, but I can try.

I also gave away my first quilt this year.  Now technically the very first quilt I did I gave to my mom, but since I now have it back, that doesn't count. Sharla and I made a baby quilt for a friend. I know that she really loved it, but I'm not sure Samuel loves it...well maybe he didn't like the mini photo-shoot.

Now it is time to gear up for 2015, my current list shows 17 tops that are complete and need to be quilted, 27 projects for me where fabric has been purchased, 30 projects for Sharla.  So we have plenty to do!!!!  I hope each of you has a wonderful New Year....lets bring on 2015!!!!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Seven Little Blocks

This week started out like any other week, busy, holiday crunch has hit.  Then I saw a blog post on the Molli Sparkles blog that made me stop and think. He is in Sydney, and was at a loss over the devastation that happened there on Monday.  When he learned two two Heros were killed, he wanted to do something for the families of the victims.  So he decided to use the blocks he would be receiving from a bee he is a part of to make two quilts, but he needed a little help.  So he asked for volunteers to make some hashtag blocks. When I first read it, I will admit that my response was I don't have time for this, it is the week before Christmas.  Then my heart kicked in and I knew I had to do something, even if it wasn't a lot.

So I decided that I would go to my stash and pull the first couple of fabrics I found that met the criteria. I first grabbed my white for the background and then started digging for rainbow tone on tone fabric.  I found a red, purple, green, yellow, blue and that says rainbow to me.  I also pulled another yellow dot so I could do a test block.

I spent about 2 hours total, cutting and piecing the blocks.  Not really a lot, even during a busy week and this is what I made.


I decided to send the dottie block just in case he could use it.  Now seven little blocks on their own, don't really amount to much, but when added to the other blocks being done by quilters all around the world, they will create something wonderful.  I also sent some money via paypal to help cover costs of backing, binding and batting.  Again it wasn't much on it on, but with everything else, I hope it helps.

Now if you would like to see other blocks people are making, search instagram for #hashtagblock, #GlitteratiToTheRescue or #SewingForSydney.  I've seen some great ones already. Since the cost to ship to Australia can get costly, the wonderful people at The Intrepid Thread have offered to collect blocks from the US and ship them.  Can I just say that quilters as a whole are a pretty awesome group!!!

The original hope was to do two quilts, one for each family, but the response has been good, so he is hoping to do six, one for the three children, each family and the partner of one of the victims.  So that means total he needs 1080 blocks.  So if you're a quilter, think about whipping up a couple of blocks. You can find all the info on the Molli Sparkles blog.

Since these are my only finishes for this week I'm counting them as my Friday Finish and I will be 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 and Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Time To Pick A Winner

Good Monday Morning everyone, I hope everyone had fun visiting all the blogs for the giveaways. So far, no wins for me, but it was fun visiting some new blogs, I even found a few new ones to follow. But now for the important part of this post it is time to pick a winner.  I loved reading all of the things ya'll wanted for Christmas and several even made me laugh.  And lots of them could have easily been my wish list.  I used the Random Number generator and it selected lucky number

So I searched the comments and found that comment number 56 belonged to

I laughed at her comment, because I too would love a bottle of sanity.  Not for kids, just for life in general.  I will be emailing her today.

And if you were hoping to win, but didn't I really recommend Cheryl's patterns, they are written very well and are fast to make.  You can check out her blog at Meadow Mist Designs.  I want to make all three patterns that I gave away, I just need a little more time to do so...which was some several people wanted for Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2014

15 Quilty Resolutions for 2015

Hello everyone, I know you are thinking it is a little early for resolutions, but Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl posted a linky party for quilty resolutions and I thought why not.  I'm always up for quilt stuff and I think it is a good idea to have goals, even if you don't accomplish them all.  So here are my 15 (not really in any special order, just as I thought of them).  And so that I have a photo for the linky party here is one of my favorite quilts from this year.

1.  Gift more quilts.  I've been afraid to give away quilts because I worry they aren't good enough, but I think that is my own insecurities, not what others feel. So I'm going to push my fears away and give some quilts away.

2. Learn something new.  I don't want to always just do the same things.  In 2014 I learned how to paper piece, and in 2015 I want do learn curved piecing.  I have even purchased the quick curved ruler, but haven't taken it out of the package yet.

3. Organize my sewing room.  Yes I do this quite often, because it always seems that something else needs to be done.  But I really want to decide look at everything in the room and decide if I need to get rid of somethings.  I also want to tackle the closet and make sure that I'm using it to the best advantage.

4.  Find a balance.  I love quilting, but I love piecing too and somehow it seems that this year I was doing one or the other.  I want to work to get some of each into every week.  But I also don't want to wear myself out to the point I get nothing done.  I'm not sure what that means as far as time, but I'm hoping to figure it out in 2015.

5.  Try new things.  This year I joined my first bee, the Compass Quilters and it has been a lot of fun, so much that I signed up for the Stash Bee 2015 (and I'm in Hive 9).  I also did my first quilt along and tested quilts for designers for the first time.  I really loved doing each of these, so I want to leave myself open to do more new things.  What those will be I'm not sure, but I don't want to miss the chance because I'm afraid.

6.  Enjoy the small moments. I get so wrapped up in the day to day that sometimes I forget to stop and enjoy little things. I'm very blessed to have a family that loves me, a home, a job, and a hobby that brings me lots of pleasure, and I need to recognize that more often.

7.  Move more.  Quilting can be a sedentary hobby, and I know that I can be lazy at times, but 2015 is my year to move.  Quilting on a long arm can be tiring, so I need to be in better shape.  I need to turn up the music and move more often, not just when I'm quilting.

8.  Do more charity quilts.  This year I did one, next year I would like to do at least 2 or 3.  I have lots of fabric, and I think creating charity quilts would be a great way to use some of it.  I would love to do at least one per quarter, just to get into the habit of giving.

9.  Attend a local guild meeting. Now this is probably one of the hardest things for me to do.  I am quite happy living in my own world, and going out and meeting new people is hard for me.  But I think I can learn a lot and Denton has a guild, so I need to at least try.

10.  Quilt for the fun of it.  I always seem to have an end in mind when I quilt, so I don't branch out much past the simple meander because it gets the job done.  But I want to do more, add some fun new things to my quilting.  Will they be perfect, no, but I want to do them because they are fun.

11. Take more photos of the process.  I am pretty good about taking photos at the end when the quilt is all done, but not so good at taking them during the process. When I'm picking out colors, cutting, sewing, etc., but I want to change that in 2015.  Lots and lots of photos is my goal.

12. Reduce my backlog of projects.  I currently have a list of projects that consists of three different levels, fabric purchased, cut and working, and needs to be quilted. I won't tell you the number of items on that list, but I'm going to get it up to date before the end of 2014 and I would like the total number to be less at the end of 2015.  I'm not saying I won't buy new projects, because I'm a realist, but I want to complete more than I buy.

13. Make a bed sized quilt.  I have a couple of projects on my list that are queen sized and I want to do at least one of them for my bed. I currently have a quilt my grandmother made on my bed and I love it, but I want one I did there.  I've come close to a queen sized but never done one that big yet.

14. Purge, Purge, Purge. I am a pack rat, my sister and I tease each other about being hoarders.  We redid the floors in our house over a year ago and there are still boxes we've not unpacked.  My goal for 2015 is donate or sell as much as possible.  Now most of this isn't quilty stuff, but I don't want to skip that area.  If I don't need it or use it, I need to find a way to get rid of it.

15. Worry less and laugh more.  This is more a general life thing, but I over think everything, and I just want to relax and enjoy life.  Both in my quilty life and in just everyday life.  I need to stop pressuring myself, and just relax.  And I am a firm believer that laughter makes the day go better.

So those are my 15 Quilty Resolutions for 2015 and I am linking up with Quiling Jetgirl.  I would love to see your list.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

Today is the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day.  Are you excited, I know I am.  If you have never heard of this, the blog runs a link party for a whole bunch of giveaways (normally around 500). It is a great way to find new blogs and to possibly win some great prizes.

I had some luck last year and even won a couple of things, so this year I thought I would play along and have a giveaway. Luckily for me the wonderful Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs blog offered to sponsor my giveaway.  She let me pick 3 patterns from her designs to offer.  I was very excited, because I just finished testing a pattern for her and she writes great patterns.  So what did I choose, well, first up is Peanut Butter Pinwheels.  I will admit I probably picked this one because I love that line of fabric, but also I thought it looked like fun to make. I love that it is charm pack/layer cake based.

Next I selected The Quilt in the Hat pattern.  I love the fabric line she used on this one as well, but even more I love that the pattern includes four sizes, from baby to queen.  I personally like big quilts, so I'm really sad when a pattern only has one size.

The last pattern I picked is called Charming and it comes in sizes from baby to king.  I think I picked this one because of all of the white on it.  I love patterns with lots of white, even though I'm afraid to make them.  Well not afraid, just realistic, I have three dogs, so things don't stay white for long around my house. But I think I want to make this one using black instead of white, I think it will be very striking.

Now how to enter the giveaway!

1. Leave a blog comment, anything will do, but if you want a prompt tell me what are you asking Santa to bring you this year. Make sure I have a way to contact you if you are a no-reply blogger.

2. My followers, old or new, get an additional entry.  Please leave a second comment letting me know how you follow my blog.  I have buttons on the side bar to follow by Bloglovin, Feedly, email and Goggle+, so hopefully it is easy to follow me if you don't already.

I want to wish everyone Good Luck and I will keep the giveaway open for a week, so I will announce the winner next week.  And if you've not checked out Meadow Mist Designs you really should.  The patterns are very well written and easy to follow.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Finish: Bee Blocks

I'm not really sure what happened to November.  I cut my blocks out early in the month, but was still a couple of days late getting them in the mail.  I seemed to be behind the entire month.  Luckily there is no December blocks due, so I have some time to catch up on other things.

The November queen was Sharon (aka Sharona) of Motherdragon's Musings. Sharon was the only person in the bee whose name didn't end with the letter a.  So I said we should call her the song My Sharona.  She just laughed at me.  Sharon lives in Australia, and if I could have I would have sent myself in the package to her.  I've always wanted to visit there.

Sharon asked us to do bow tie blocks with a cream background.  She didn't care about what color the ties were as long as they weren't neon colors. I made three blocks using up scraps from different projects.  My first block I used fabrics from Sharla's first quilt and some from a scrap box I bought.

My second block is where I got my touch of Texas into the block.  I know I just can't help myself, and so far I've managed to get a little Texas into every month.  This month I used the red fabric with bluebonnets on it.  I paired it with a blue fabric that looks a little like tooled leather.

And my last block uses fabrics from two of my previous quilts and two fabrics that I just love.  I think it might be my favorite block, because I love the blue dot fabric.  I've had it for a long time, and I've just about used it all.

And last but not least is my label.  Somehow I just can't seem to do a plain white label.  I think it is that wild child inside of me.  Ok those that know me be quite, not everyone has to know I'm crazy.

Well that is it.  I have gotten a little further on the memory quilts, but not anything that I can show. But at this point I will take any progress I can get. 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 and Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes: December Goals

Ok I officially sucked for November.  I did get one goal done, but I didn't even get if posted for the finishes party.  I could give a big list of excuses, but it simply boils down to I didn't do what I needed to do.  But I never let failure keep me down.  So I'm going to set goals for December and hope that I get more done.

Goal 1 - I want to finish the memory quilts.  I hate them, love them, hate them, love them....etc.  But I just need to finish them.  The only progress I made last month was to get the backing and sashing fabric ordered. But I'm not letting myself start anything new until I have made progress.

Goal 2 - Test quilt for Quilting Jetgirl.  I've been given the opportunity to test her Tessellated Leaves pattern that is so cool.  I've found fabrics in my stash that I think will be perfect for it.  I have them set aside to get cut this month.  Here her photo of the two options (I'm doing the four color option).

Goal 3 - Finish my tutorial for my time as queen of the Compass Quilters Bee.  I've already been cutting, piece and even writing some of it, but I want it all done before the holidays so I don't have to worry about it.  Here is one of the sample blocks I have made.

Goal 4 - Organize my sewing room.  We've uncovered more fabric that we had purchased as well as taken advantage of some great sales so I need to get everything onto the shelves or into bins so that I have room to work.

Goal 5 - Get a couple of practice blocks done for Callie to look at over Christmas.  She has asked for a signature/autograph quilt for her wedding.  I want her to see some options, but I'm pretty sure she knows how she wants it done.

These goals are added to Christmas shopping, wrapping, baking and a million and one other things, so will I get them all done, probably not, but I'm going to give it the old college try!!!  Today I'm linking up with Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of BitterSweet Designs.

Winner Winner !!!

Ok I used the wonderful to select the winner of the awesome Looking Glass Pattern by Meadow Mist Designs. The first two numbers selected had to be tossed out because they were my fellow hop mates, who already had the pattern and said not to include them in the drawing.  Then it picked the lucky number...

Yes #5 is the lucky winner, so that means Sylvia Anderson will be receiving the Looking Glass Pattern.  I will be emailing it to her today!!!  I can't tell you how much I love this pattern, it was fun to do and I'm simply loving the finished quilt. Here is one more look at it!!

And you want to make sure you check back on December 8th, I'm going to participate in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day and the lovey Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is letting me giveaway three more of her patterns to one lucky person.  I got to pick out the patterns and they are very cool, so make sure you stop back to enter.