Very Brief Update

IMG_3910 IMG_3912I must confess that I had nothing to do with the creation of this little snail. Carolyn knitted crocheted him. Isn’t he adorable? She brought him to coffee one day and I took pictures so I could share him with you. The colors might not be quite what one wants sitting on an orange table though.

IMG_3927I finished Block 12 of the 2011 FQS Designer Mystery BOM. Once I assemble the 2012 FQS Designer Mystery BOM (seen below on the design wall), I will get busy assembling this one. There’s no hurry. I haven’t even decided yet whether I will quilt it myself or send it out. IMG_3836

We watched our granddog, Benson, who didn’t seem to trust that Mom and Dad were actually going to come back. He is part Basset Hound and part Beagle (which my daughter tells me they call a Bagel Hound) and the Basset Hound part makes his barking and howling sound particularly mournful, even when he’s barking with joy because Mom and Dad did come home!IMG_3916I spent some time reading in my favorite room, my sunroom. I’ve been reading more than usual because suddenly all the books that I reserved at the library seem to be coming in at once. So stressful!IMG_3917

I sewed the front of the binding onto the hearts quilt and got a pucker. I was using The Binding Tool. I’ve never yet managed to put one on without a pucker when using that tool. Sandy from Quilting for the Rest of Us recommended the Fons & Porter Binding Tool so I ordered it from Amazon. It will be ready for the next binding. Jackie from Sew Excited Quilts has a binding tutorial that she posted on Friday.  IMG_3918You may have also noticed that the hearts quilt got a light yellow flat folded piping. Once I finish hand sewing the binding to the back and wash the quilt, I’ll post pictures of the whole thing. I confess that there are a couple of problems with this quilt, but I made it for me and I’ll enjoy it!

This evening once we got home, I worked on cutting HSTs for the Twilter Birds in the Air Block exchange. I still have plenty of cutting to do before I can start sewing them.

What have you been up to?

Quilt on!

 

Happy Easter!

This is the strangest Easter in years since we are not home an are not going to church. We are dogsitting this gorgeous guy:

IMG_3866

Because he misses his mommy so much, our method of dogsitting includes never leaving him alone while we are here. So, no church for us.

Part of visiting his mommy includes visiting and sleeping under this quilt:

IMG_3865

I don’t usually sleep under a quilt that I’ve made because I haven’t yet made one for our bed. Maybe I should get on it!

I found my needlework bag a few weeks ago and took stock of what is in it. (This was part of the realization that I’m almost done hand piecing my BOMs – at least the ones that I was hand piecing.) Here’s some of what I found:

Jacobean Sampler – This one is unfinished mostly because I really don’t like embroidery. It came from a company called The Creative Circle that sold kits during home parties. I fell in love with the sampler, and I did start it. One of the reasons I quit was that I thought my satin stitch looked pretty bad. I was pleasantly surprised that I don’t still feel that way.

IMG_3870

Next up are a couple of counted cross stitch items. The first is a Christmas cross stitch which still needs lots of work:

IMG_3869Next up is an alphabet that I started with the idea that I’d give it to the baby my sister was expecting and no one would expect me to knit the official Christmas stocking. (When my sister was expecting her first, my mom was very ill and asked me pointedly who would knit the baby’s stocking. I actually had to take it over to her house and knit in front of her to prove I was doing it. There’s a family pattern that is involved. My nephew’s is the biggest of all the stockings. For second nephew and second daughter, I hired it done. Carolyn kindly knitted my son-in-law’s stocking and is lined up for any grandchildren who come along.)

Anyhow, said nephew turns 29 next month. When I realized that I wasn’t going to finish it in a very timely manner, I put it away. Then I found out I was expecting and did a little more on it, but that baby just turned 28 so…

I misremembered how much I had gotten done and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was this much:

IMG_3868

Sure, I have the rest of the alphabet to do, but this was about three letters more than I thought I had done! This may well become a quilt someday.

I’m hoping to complete block 12 of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM today, so this may well be relevant very soon.

Quilt on!

A Little Bit of Progress

I really have been working on some sewing related stuff. Honest.

During the Super Bowl, I did a little hand piecing on Block 12 of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM, a very little!

IMG_3727

I also did some more work on the hearts quilt and got four rows sewn together. I also assembled the fifth row, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

IMG_3734Then i interrupted work on that to make a few placemats for my sister for her birthday. These are not (as you may know if you read this with any regularity) normally my colors.

IMG_3737

In the midst of all this, I pulled out my bread machine and made (or attempted to make) chocolate walnut bread. I made a 2 pound loaf because I wanted lots of chocolate bread. I hadn’t made a 2 pound loaf in that machine in a long while and it did not go well. The ends cooked just fine, but the center did not look so done and was, in fact, quite doughy. The loaf sort of collapsed in the top once it cooled off, although it looks lovely here.

 

IMG_3729The dark places in this picture are the doughy spots.

IMG_3730

So I’m in the process of deciding whether or not I need a new bread machine. I will try to once again bake some 1 1/2 pound loaves to see if they are still baking thoroughly.

Quilt on!

Oops, I Did It Again!

Before I get to my oops, let me just mention that I did successfully complete Benson’s dog bed.

IMG_3715I was not terribly happy with the appliqué work I did, However, done is better than perfect so…

IMG_3714

Benson visited for the first time tonight right after his first obedience class. He’s adorable. He hasn’t really taken to the dog bed yet, but he was in a different house for the very first time. Hopefully, he will like it eventually. My son-in-law seemed to like it though!

My husband met Benson for the very first time tonight. They hit it off quite well.

IMG_3722

And Benson ruled the couch while his mom and dad went out to dinner and we dog sat.IMG_3723Now for the oops. Instead of working on something on my finish it list (although I did cut block 12 of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM), I started a new quilt. I have had a layer cake of Kaffe Fassett Romance fabrics which I’ve wanted to use since I first got it. I paired it with an ash Kona cotton layer cake, and started this:

IMG_3718The pattern is one which came in a Jolly Bar (the Fat Quarter Shop’s own 5″ x 10″ precut) of First Crush by Studio M, and, yes, I did buy the Jolly Bar (on sale) to get this pattern. Since I had layer cakes, I am making this larger than the pattern. I must admit that I’m loving this quilt so far. (The yellow is not quite this bright.) I think I will move some of the yellows around before I sew it together, but first I need to make some more half hearts.

Tomorrow most of my work will be hand work since I will watch that major sports event that is happening. Not that I really care about the game, but I sort of know one of the many analyst/reporters for the game. He attended our church (and met his wife, who sang on my husband’s worship team, there) while he played on the University of Michigan’s national championship team. This has been his first year as a commentator, so I’d like to see how he does. So hand piecing it will be!

Quilt on!

Yes, I Am Doing Something.

Okay, I confess that somehow not much is getting done right now. I think part of the problem is that my eyes are bigger than the time that I have. And there are too many mysteries I want to do right now. And I know I can’t do them all. I started cutting the fabric for the Gyleen Fitzgerald mystery from Facebook and just got bogged down in the 2 1/2″ square cutting. I just ordered the Accuquilt die for that so I’m guessing I may go back to that sometime in the future. I just don’t have it in me to do it right now. I am printing and saving the clues though just in case…

There are two more mysteries I really want to do are Charlotte’s Scrappy Stars Around the Corner and Pat Sloan’s and Jane Davidson’s The Splendid Sampler Quilt Along. I just don’t think I can do everything! Sigh.

As far as mysteries in progress, I finished Block 11 of the 2012 FQS Designer Mystery BOM .

IMG_3706I have already made pretty good progress on the twelfth block also. No pictures though.

Why did I start the twelfth block of this one instead of starting the twelfth block of the 2011 FQS Designer Mystery BOM? Well, that is a sad story. You may remember that in my quilty resolutions post I mentioned having misplaced one of the finished blocks for this quilt. The good news is that I have found it! Unfortunately, when I went to get the two block 12 kits (for the 2011 and 2012) to cut them out for piecing, I found that I did not have the 2011 block where I thought it was. Thankfully, the wonderful folks at the Fat Quarter Shop sent me a PDF of the pattern. I’m pretty sure that I will have plenty of fabric from the leftovers from all the other blocks to make the twelfth. I just haven’t dug it out to do that yet. And I do want to get the top of the 2012 finished and off to the quilter soon.

I also have another dog bed to make. Our youngest daughter and son-in-law have recently adopted Benson, a five-year-old part beagle, part basset hound. We haven’t really had a chance to get to know him yet, but he seems to be a sweetie. I’ll use the same pattern I used for Loki’s bed, and I even found the same fabric in purple for Benson. The gold for his name is still part of the fat quarter that my now son-in-law gave me for Christmas the Christmas he was just the fiance. I’ll post pictures when I finally get it finished.

I also have a quilt I really want to start, but I’m making myself wait until something is finished. This may be a bad idea on my part. I think one of the reasons I’m not sewing more is that what I really want to do is make a quilt out of my Kaffe Fassett layer cake. I may just whip up the dog bed and then start this new quilt. We’ll see.

I have completed the crazy quilt stitching on twelve of the 36 blocks so I am going to change threads. The other two colors I’m going to use are a variegated lavender and a dark purple. I need to get back to that too. Sigh.

Anyway, this was just a brief update.

Quilt on!

New Year’s Sew-In Results

I started the New Year’s Sew-In with some exciting mail. First, I won a prize from Sandy at Quilting for the Rest of Us.

IMG_3669And a couple of things I ordered came. Thread for the crazy quilt (the one on the right is variegated)

IMG_3671and some precuts.

IMG_3672Not a bad start to the sew-in.

I started on New Year’s Eve working on some hand piecing

IMG_3674which I finished on New Year’s Day.

IMG_3675On Saturday and Sunday, I also got in a bit of time with my machine doing some crazy quilting. Here are the fronts and backs of the blocks I did. (I forgot to photograph the back of the last one.)

IMG_3677 IMG_3678 IMG_3679 IMG_3680 IMG_3681 IMG_3682 IMG_3684 IMG_3686

IMG_3689And here is an interesting stitch I found.

IMG_3676I also tried the stitch editor to put a couple of stitches together.

IMG_3685I also did something that felt a bit scary. I updated the software on my machine for the first time. Luckily it went very smoothly, which I expected since the update has been available since September.

IMG_3683

2016 Quilty Resolutions

First let’s look at my responses to Sandy’s 2016 Quilty Resolutions Challenge and Giveaway. My answers are in blue.

The first thing I am going to do to “clean house,” mentally or physically, in my quilty life in 2016 is… Make a list! (I don’t do this often enough!)

The second thing I am going to do to “clean house,” mentally or physically, in my quilty life in 2016 is… Offload some fabric that I don’t picture myself using or don’t love.

The third thing I am going to do to “clean house,” mentally or physically, in my quilty life in 2016 is… Organize my sewing area (AKA the family room).
I choose the following word to guide my quilting/textile/fiber involvement in 2016:
(optional–explain your choice as well, if you would like to)
Diversify. I need to make some things other than big quilts.

That whole “diversify” thing looks more like a financial plan than a quilting idea, but I really need to start making a few things other than large quilts. Really. Things that are useful.

Now, onto the quilty resolutions in my sidebar. What will I do for this year? (If you haven’t seen how last year’s list went, click here.) Although I did not exactly burn through that list, I did make progress, so that’s a win. My favorite was getting the American Beauty BOM finished. I like it so much better now that it is done!

This year’s list:

  1. Complete at least 2 of the current BOMs:
    • 2009 FQS Designer Mystery BOM. (It’s on my frame for handquilting. I really need to get to it.)
    • 2011 FQS Designer Mystery BOM. (Eleven of the blocks are completed – although I have misplaced one.)
    • 2012 FQS Designer Mystery BOM. (Ten of the blocks are completed.)
    • 2014 FQS Designer Mystery BOM. (Nine blocks are completed. The finishing kit is already cut.)
    • Jinny Beyer Craftsy BOM. (This is the scariest one. I have to get brave enough to move on to the appliqué.)
  2. Finish Scrap in a Box. (This is the closest thing to a finish so far.)
  3. Make a Sew Together bag. (This is part of the whole diversifying thing.)

I’m going to cap this year’s list at three. I think I will help myself accomplish it when I sign up for my LQS’s Finishing Challenge. That is when I finished the American Beauty BOM last year. First I have to figure out which things to take over there. Sigh.

What are your quilty plans for the year?

Quilt on!

I’m Ready

Since there are so many football games on over the next few days, I spent some time last night cutting the fabric for hand piecing the next blocks for the two Designer Mystery BOMs I’m hand piecing.

IMG_3666

I also have completed the Scrap in a Box top. I opted not to use the batik I had bought for the borders and just used black Fairy Frost. (I had to get some Fairy Frost in there somewhere.) I haven’t decided yet whether I will quilt it myself or send it out. If I quilt it myself, I’m pretty sure it will be ditch quilted.

IMG_3667

Quilt on!

Quick – Last Saturday’s Update!

I just need to show you what I did last Saturday during the football game (which, admittedly is not much because the game was so exciting I forgot to sew some of the time).

I had made finishing this block take forever with the multiple piecing mistakes I had made. Here’s the one I found last week:

These geese and trapezoid units (all four of them)

IMG_3395

should look like thisIMG_3396

and now they do.

Here’s the finished block as it looked finger pressed on the floor.

IMG_3397

And here it is nicely pressed on the design wall. The colors are off a bit in this second picture. Maybe the difference between the Ott light upstairs and the flourescent tube lights in the basement.

IMG_3399

Today instead of starting the next block in the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM, I’ll be hand stitching the binding on my nephew’s wedding quilt. I got it back from the longarmer yesterday. Look how gorgeous the quilting looks on the back of it!

IMG_3398

And the backing is darkest blue, not the charcoaly color it looks like here!

Okay, I’m off to get back to binding!

Quilt on!

Update Before Football Sewing – and a Craftsy Sale

First, I’ll update you on my quilting progress. Then I’ll tell you about the Craftsy sale, which makes the last part of this post and advertisement. Now you’ve been warned.

I did get the wedding quilt top finished in time to get it to the quilt shop by Tuesday when the longarmers pick up the quilts for quilting. Of course, I had to stay up until about 2:00 AM to accomplish that. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture because I couldn’t find a spot to lay it out (all 90″ of it!) and get a picture. Imagine the image below with lots more white space.

IMG_3385

Needless to say, after that late night I was not good for much for the next couple of days. Well, I did finish the book that I needed to return to the library. Other than that, only the hand quilting on the church quilt as far as sewing and fabric. (Unless you count doing laundry as dealing with fabric, that is!)

Last night I made a secret project block. Today I made another. No pictures because….SECRET.

During football sewing today I plan to finish the block I’ve been working on for the last two weeks. Once that is done, I’ll start block 10 of the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM.

Future machine sewing plans include catching up with the Jinny Beyer BOM and finishing the 2014 Designer Mystery BOM. I only have three blocks of the 2014 to cut and sew. I already cut the finishing kit for that one. The Jinny Beyer, AKA 2015 Craftsy BOM, looks intimidating but only because of the appliqué. I’ll get over it.

I also need to finish Scrap in a Box. I think I’m two borders away from completing that top.

I also want to start working my way through the lessons in the Anita Goodesign book to learn more about machine embroidery. I am determined to learn to use my machine for that.

Okay, I do remember that I haven’t shown all the goodies that Katie sent me. I will, I promise. I just need to do some major cleaning in my sewing area. (AKA, the entire family room.) Especially since I have somehow misplaced one of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM. I haven’t actually figured out which one yet, but whenever I count, I’m one short. I assume it is somewhere in the family room so it’s not a crisis, but it does require family room cleaning and organization. Sigh.

facebook_general_1200x1200

Now a reminder (because I am assuming you may have heard about it elsewhere) that Craftsy is having a ‘Pre-Holiday Stock Up Sale‘ with up to 70% off all supplies! (If you use the link, my Craftsy Affiliate account will get the credit for the sale and you will be helping fund this blog. Now you’ve been warned.) This includes project kits, yarn, fabric, art supplies, cake decorating / baking supplies and paper craft supplies. The sale runs from now through 10/13 @11:59pm MT. I’m still fighting the urge. I have my eye on the Christmas Checkers quilt kit using the Winter’s Grandeur fabric line. I shouldn’t but I do.

As for you,

Quilt on!