Monday, February 29, 2016

OMG - February Finishes

I can't believe I almost forgot this post. I've been busily sewing this month and although I got lots done, not too many things against my list.

My main goal was to finish my tic tac toe quilt top and I did finish it...yeah!!! I got it and the back ironed last night and I had hoped to get it on the long arm today, but alas life interrupted me. But I will work on it tomorrow. As I ironed it last night my nephew saw it and really liked the pattern, so I think I'm going to change the color scheme and use the same pattern for my bees this year and make him one. The X's on his will be purple, the O's black and the backgrounds like grey. He was pretty happy at the idea of getting a new quilt. And I promise this is the last time you'll see this one until it is quilted.

Now as always I can't just have one thing on my list. I did finish my bee blocks and I got my selfish sewing done. You can read all about my selfish sewing in the previous post. My bee blocks were lots of fun this month, the hearts were sure easy and the double star wasn't as hard as I had feared.

I did not make any progress on the memory quilts or piecing the backing. Over all I had a good month, I just didn't do a good job of sewing my list. Now I have to figure out my goal for next month, but for now I'm linking up with Heidi at Red Letter Quilts.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

4 X 7 Sewing Challenge - Final Week & Bee, Myself and I

Ok to be honest there is still one more day left in February, and I plan on sewing, but my goal is to start quilting my tic tac toe quilt and I'm pretty sure I won't finish it in one day. Now this week/month has been very successful for me. I felt several times that 30 minutes a day wouldn't add up to much, but let me tell you it does. I fought having a hurt knee, sickness in the house, lots of doctor appointments, work, exhaustion, and yet I finished lots and lots. I'm combining my 4 X 7 Challenge with Bee, Myself and I because they are both about sewing for yourself.

First let me recap this past week, in a quick manner and then we will go on to a recap of the whole month. This week has been all about the crosses. I did an inventory of what I had, and calculated what I needed. I spent time cutting the last few I needed, sewed, ironed and sewed some more. Most days I only put in 30 minutes, and that was enough for me to finish the all the crosses I needed.

So let's look at what I got done this month. I finished 9 tic tac toe blocks, which gave me enough to finish the top. It is a 5 x 6 layout and measures 60 x 72. I normally like larger quilts, but this one is going to be my chair quilt. I will keep it by my chair to throw over my legs when I get cold. So it doesn't need to be quite as long. I'm spending my 30 minutes tonight ironing the top and back so I can get them loaded onto the long-arm tomorrow.

Next I finished 19 geese blocks, which is what I needed to finish. I still have to get all the blocks up onto my design wall. The flying geese quilt will be a little larger, because it will be in a 6 x 7 layout, which means it will be 72 x 84. I want this one to be one of my "snuggle quilts". I am a little weird and don't like to sleep under lots of sheets/blankets, so I will often sleep on top of my bed with just a "snuggle" quilt. If it is really cold I will crawl under everything, but since I live in Texas, it doesn't get really cold too often. I did make quite a few purple geese, because purple is my favorite color. I love how they look.

And last but not least I finished 38 cross blocks. These have been so much fun to make, and I've made a lot of them. I need 289 because I want this to be a large queen size. The plan is for it to be 17 x 17 blocks or 102 x 102 inches. It is going to take me some time to assemble it, since the blocks are small. My plan is to work in groups of 5 x 5 blocks then make 1 x 5 sections to connect them.  This project has been several years in the making, so I'm not going to rush, but I'm so happy to be able to move to the next step.  Here are the last few blocks I make this month. A funny story about one of these crosses...the dark blue Cotton & Steel at the top, uses a background fabric that says "Texas". What is fun about that, besides that I'm from Texas, is that these crosses started as my turn as Queen in the Compass Bee group. I tried to put something that represented Texas in all the blocks I sent to my bee mates, so I thought it was important that something be in my blocks as well.

So that is my month of selfish sewing for the 4 X 7 Sewing Challenge and at the same time my Bee, Myself and I blocks. I just realized I'm going to have to figure out what I'm going to do next on Bee, Myself and I, because I've finished all of the blocks I needed.  I will have to think about that. I will be linking up with Sarah @ Berry Barns Designs. And if you want to follow Bee, Myself and I, check out Granny Maud's Girl blog.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

4 X 7 Sewing Challenge - Week 3

My progress was less than stellar last week. I sewed every day, but most days I only got in my 30 minutes. I am feeling better and so is Sharla, in fact she was feeling well enough to have her second cataracts surgery yesterday. I mainly sewed on my geese and crosses, and the good news is with what I got done, I'm pretty close on both of them to having enough to start putting together the tops.

I started the week with working on my flying geese, I worked both Monday and Tuesday sewing them together, but I didn't take photos both days, because it was boring piles of sewn geese. I did take a picture of the pile at one point on Tuesday.

On Wednesday I finished sewing the geese into actual geese. They still have to be sewn into groups of four, but I love once they are at this stage. I want to do more flying geese quilts in the future, there is just something about them that makes me happy.

On Thursday I sewed the geese into pairs. I had planned on getting them sewn into fours, but by the time the day was over I just didn't have it in me to do more. I try to sew at night before bed, but when I am really tired, sometimes it is a struggle.

Friday was very very very slow for work, and so I carried my phone into the sewing room and went to work on the geese. I got them sewn into fours and ironed.  Woohoo, got my 30 minutes in early and so that meant I could just veg after work.

With the batch of geese done, Saturday I moved on to crosses. I had cut a bunch earlier in the month but needed to cut some backgrounds. I randomly pulled some of my background fabrics and cut them and then started sewing. I love these blocks because there are lots of places to easily stop along the way.

On Sunday I started putting the rows together. I got the all of this batch done, and considered going on and finishing them, but I needed to do some mundane things like clean/laundry. If I were to win the lottery, I would hire someone to do the cleaning so I could sew, sew, sew.

So that wraps up my week last week. Although it wasn't lots and lots of progress, I feel good. I have to do an inventory on my geese and crosses to see how many I need to do to complete each of the quilts. I don't know that I can finish them this month, but I will say I've made some great progress this month.  Today I'm linking up with Sarah @ Berry Barns Designs.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Stash Report / Sunday Stash

I've not made any great strides in using up my stash or adding to it, so I guess you could say I'm pretty boring. I did get my bee blocks mailed this week along with some extras, so I did get a little used. I hope to get my tic tac toe quilt onto the long arm next week.  I'm not sure I will get it finished, but it would be nice. Here are my fabric numbers so far this year, and although not bad, I would like the usage number to be a little higher.

Now for Sunday Stash, I've not bought anything since the first of the year, so I don't have any new pretty fabrics to show you. But I thought I would pull out one of my older fabrics and showcase it. I love fabric and anything I can come up with a reason to just pet it and play with it, I'm happy. I bought this bundle on a clearance sale on Craftsy, with no real plan on how to use it. In fact I still don't know how I want to use it, but I love the color combo of pink/green/teal/brown. It is a 15 piece fat quarter bundle of Denyse Schmidt's Ansonia.

I think I will end up doing something pretty simple with these like a Yellow Brick Road or Turning 20 pattern. Or I may end up breaking up the set and putting it into my FQ bins. But either way for now I'm just petting them and waiting until the time is right to cut into them.

Today I'm linking up with Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash via Ms Midge and Patchwork Times Stash Report.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

4 X 7 Sewing Challenge - Week Two

Week two started off with a bang, but unfortunately it petered out pretty quickly. To start off my knee has been really bothering me, to the point I am going to see the doctor today. Then on Wednesday Sharla ended up in the doctor's office for bronchitis (which really causes problems for her since she has congested heart failure). Between the two of us feeling bad, it has meant that very little if anything around the house has been getting done.  But enough of my excuses, it is time to see what I got done.

On Monday I finished piecing the top of my tic tac toe quilt. I really love how it looks, and can see myself doing another one in the future. The blocks are easy to make and go together quickly. I did learn piecing bee blocks can be a bit of a challenge. Blocks were ironed in all different ways and they weren't all the same size, but luckily none were too far off and I was able to make them all work. I had planned on pressing it and taking it out and getting better photos, but that will have to wait until my knee is a little better. I also got some flying geese done on Monday (I think it was my best day).

On Tuesday I picked out a stack of fabrics to cut geese and crosses. It took some time because I'm trying not to cut any more duplicates, so I have to check what greens I've used, against what I have in my stash.  But I'm very happy to say that I think I've cut 99% of both the geese and crosses needed. I did cut some of these Tuesday night but forgot to take a picture of the cut pieces.

On Wednesday I finished cutting all the geese and crossed. The pile isn't large, but I have to cut one color at at time because I'm using lots of fat quarters that have had other things cut out of them and are odd shaped. I even matched the geese to the skies I cut earlier. And found I am going to have to cut some more cross backgrounds.

On Thursday I did not do much at all. Sharla coughed pretty much all night Tuesday and Wednesday and since her room is next to mine I was up most of those nights. I struggled all day to just stay awake and alert and I finally gave up about 8:30 and went to bed. I figured even if I didn't go to sleep right away, resting was the best thing for my knee and me. I did send out this photo to show I was being somewhat quilty...well I was snuggling under a quilt.

On Friday, Sharla had to go back to the doctors, and he upped her meds, to hopefully keep her out of the hospital and although my knee still hurt, I did get some rest, so I was feeling a little better. When I went into my sewing room I just felt I had to work on one of my bee blocks. It was really bugging me that I hadn't started it. I got it cut out and started piecing it. I called it selfish sewing because it was bothering me it wasn't done.

On Saturday I finished the bee block and then got to sewing on my geese. I am doing the four at a time method and got the first two seams sewn and then cut and ironed. I stopped here because it was a good stopping point and I was getting tired.

On Sunday I did a little more work on the geese, but totally forgot to take a picture of it. I was tired and thinking more about getting done than taking pictures. All in all it wasn't a horrible week, but I really had hoped to get much more done. I am really hoping the doctor can fix my knee quickly and I can get back to a normal schedule. I would love to get the tic tac toe quilt quilted this month.  Today I'm linking up with Sarah @ Berry Barns Designs.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Stash Report / Sunday Stash

Before we get to the nitty gritty, Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!! I hope each of you has a day filled with love and laughter and maybe even some chocolate!!!! Well the numbers for the last couple of weeks have been going in the wrong direction, but not because I purchased anything.  I have won two giveaways and I want to be honest in my reporting. I did add a column for gifts, so that I can track if I bought or not. I am really surprised that neither Sharla or I have fallen off of the wagon yet. And I still look at the 24 hour flash sale at Fat Quarter Shop and all the sale notices I get from different stores, but each time I ask myself do I love it more than what I already have and the answer is no. I did finish a quilt top last week, but I don't get to count it as gone until the quilt is finished, but I feel like progress is being made.

Since I've received fabric as a gift I have the opportunity to show you my new stash additions. The first came from PennyDog Patchwork where I won her Sew Mama Sew giveaway. It was 2 half yard cuts of Cotton + Steel Backgammon prints by Melody Miller, a copy of Popular Patchwork and then she made this awesome pouch for me as well.  The backgammon prints are too cool, I love them.

Then I was lucky again and won a bundle of fabric from UpStairsHobbyRoom and Fabric Please!. Sandy at UpStairsHobbyRoom is a series called One Block Wonders and she had a sneak peak for February's block and giveaway and I won. Now this fabric could not have been more perfect for me because it was by Basic Grey, and I love everything they do. The line is Mon Ami and I've been eyeing it but haven't wanted break my fabric fast. So I get some fabric and I love and didn't have to buy anything.  Yeah me!!!

I've always considered myself blessed, I live in a free country, I have family and friends who love me, I have a job, home and car and lastly I get to do something I love on a regular basis. But weeks like this where fabric appears for free, just makes me know that I am truly blessed.  I want to thank PennyDog Patchwork, UpStairsHobbyRoom and Fabric Please! for their wonderful gifts to me.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

4 X 7 Sewing Challenge - Week One

If you didn't read my early post, I'm participating in the 4 X 7 Sewing Challenge being lead by Sarah at Berry Barns Designs. Today I'm reporting on my progress for the first week. Week one started off with a bang, I was getting lots and lots done.  I think because my knee is hurting, and sitting is about the only thing that doesn't bother it, sitting and sewing just happened more. I am so happy with what I got completed.

On Monday (the first), I started by cutting the nine blocks I needed to finish by tic tac toe quilt. I went through and picked colors to give some balance to the quilt so there were not to many of any one color. And then I made one of the blocks.

On Tuesday I did 5 more of the blocks. These blocks really do go together fairly easily, I probably could have finished all of them, but I was trying not to push myself. I also cut some more blocks for my cross quilt, ok I cut some of the crosses, still have to cut the backgrounds for them.

Wednesday was a super busy day at work, and by the time everything was done I was very tired. I did go sew the corners on the last three blocks, to get my 30 minutes, but I wasn't up for much more.

I started sewing those last three blocks together on Thursday night, I had all the rows assembled when Sharla asked if I had used her credit card that day. By the time we figured out it was fraud, reported it to the credit card company, I never made it back to the sewing room and I never got a picture of the rows.

Friday was another busy day and Sharla's birthday. I knew I wouldn't get a lot done, but I did get some skies for my flying geese cut. I did it at my desk while I worked and totally forgot to post a picture of it until Saturday. It is funny in about 30 minutes I got about 15 sets of skies cut. It goes a little slower now, because I'm picking and choosing my fabrics more carefully to avoid duplicating what I already have.

Saturday I had to do some errands, which meant I would be walking on my bum knee. This also meant I wouldn't want to do much once I got home. But I did get into the sewing room and finish my last 3 tic tac toe blocks.  And I started putting them on my design wall to see how they looked.

Sunday was Super Bowl day, and I really wished I had thought ahead to have some fabric to cut, because I was pretty bored with it this year. But before it started I did begin to put the rows together. Since some of these blocks were bee blocks I had to deal with things not fitting exactly and some ironing issues, but I was able to get the top three rows sewn. I didn't take any pictures of the sewn rows, but here they are on the design wall from Saturday.

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I completed the top on Monday, but that is for next week's update. Overall I'm very happy with my progress for the week. Now I'm moving on to my cross blocks and my flying geese. I might even get another one done this month, of if not at least I will make lots of progress.  Today I'm linking up with Sarah at Berry Barns Designs.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

OMG (One Monthly Goal) - February Goal(s)

It is time for me to pick my one monthly goal, and yes I will have more than one, because I just can't help myself. I am thankful for Heidi at Red Letter Quilts for leading this process because setting goals really does help me make progress.

I am struggling on picking a goal for this month, not because I have nothing to choose, but because I have so much to do. I would love to pick something to be quilted, but I jacked up my knee and I'm not sure if I will be able to get anything quilted this month. So that leaves a piecing goal and I'm having a hard time choosing only one.  But here goes...

I've decided that my main goal for this month will be to piece my tic tac toe quilt. It was my bee quilt from the Bee Hive last year.  I've received all my blocks but wanted it larger so I've needed to make more blocks. If you read my 4x7 sewing challenge post you know I needed 9 blocks to finish it and I've already done 6 of those, so I just have three left. So I want to finish those and get the top pieced this month. I have cut all the blocks and yesterday I was able to finish 5 of them at one sitting. I'm really loving these blocks.

Today's selfish sewing included 5 tic tax toe blocks...with yesterday's block that is 6 out of the 9 I need.  Loving getting things done.  #4x7sewingchallenge

Now I can't just set one goal, that would be too easy, I have several more things I would like to get done this month. So I'm going to list them here. They don't count on the OMG scale, but they are still important to me.

1. Bee Blocks. I'm part of two different bees, so two blocks to make. I have already completed my Stash Bee blocks, and they were so much fun. They are very simple heart blocks and I made three without any effort at all.  I also have to do a double star block for the bee hive group and hope to get it done by this weekend.  But here is the blocks I finished (just because I love lots of pictures).

These heart blocks are like potato chips, you can't make just one. Day one of the month and I have finished one of Mt bee blocks.  #stashbee2016, #hive3

2. Finish piecing Ariella's memory quilt. All the rows are pieced I just need to iron it and get the side sashing on it. I almost finished it last month, but my bum knee kept me out of the sewing room the last few days of the month.

3. Selfish sewing. I'm going to focus at least 30 minutes a day sewing for myself as part of the 4x7 Sewing Challenge, so I want to get lots done. It will include my main goal listed above, but I also want to get as many cross blocks and flying geese blocks done as possible so I can get those tops pieced as well.

4. Start piecing Samuel's memory quilt. Since I should finish Ariella's top this weekend I want to move on to Samuel's. I need to finish these, so I'm trying to keep myself on track and work on the every week until they are done.

5. Piece the back for at least one quilt. I'm not sure if it will be Sharla's Norway or my purple quilt, but I want a backing ready so when my knee is better I can get something onto the long arm. The memory quilt all have backings ready, so they will most likely go first, but I still want more ready and waiting.

So that is my list for February, I'm hoping to make great progress on them.  I will be linking up with Heidi at Red Letter Quilts.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bee Myself and I - January

Besides the two bees I joined this year I decided to join Carla @ Granny Maud's Girl and do some sewing for myself. The plan isn't to go overboard sewing for myself, but to try and get some blocks for me, not just ones that I send to other people. If you read my post from yesterday you know that in February I plan on doing quite a bit of selfish sewing, but I had fairly simple goals for January.

First I wanted to complete 10 cross blocks and I got them done. I have to say I will be sorry when I finish this project because I love doing these little blocks. They are easy blocks. If I could get ahead in cutting they make great time fillers when I just want to sew for a little bit. I'm getting close to the end of this project and can't wait to have the quilt on my bed. But here are some of the blocks I did this month. I love the mouse riding the bicycle in the green blocks it just makes me smile

Next I wanted to do 2 tic tac toe blocks. I love how these look, but for some reason I don't like cutting them. So I've already started cutting the last nine blocks I need, so there is a chance I could finish this one in February. It is the smallest of the three and should end up about 60 x 72, so my plan is for it to be my chair quilt while I watch tv. This month I did a red and green block (I called it green because the background is a dark green).

And lastly I wanted to make 2 more flying geese blocks (well 4 half blocks). I picked red and black for this month, not sure why, but I love them.  Flying geese are slowly becoming another favorite block for me. I love how I can make 4 at a time with little or no waste and they look good. I will also say that I love having a bloc-loc ruler to trim them, it makes everything so much faster and neater.

All in all I ok for January on my selfish goals. I hope to have a lot more done in February, but I plan on doing 30 minutes every day, so I should make great progress.  And if you want to see what Carla is doing (and she is doing some great blocks), check out her Bee, myself and I section of her blog.