Friday Fun

Last Saturday during the Saturday football marathon, I finished piecing the Block Three of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM (yes, I’m behind). I do like the look of this one.

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In case you don’t remember, my original plan (last fall, maybe) was to hand piece the 2011 and 2012 BOMs together while watching television, at least as far as the blocks go. Then I got distracted with this wedding quilt and all that fell by the wayside. I’ve gotten a little back to it, but it is slow going. I still have to cut Block Three for the 2012, but my husband did take one of the bar stools from the kitchen downstairs to my cutting table, so maybe that will work.

In the meantime, there is still the wedding quilt. And the church quilt. And the quilt on the design wall. And two Christmas tree skirts.

Quilt on!

Project Progress

Before I start this, let me remind you to go check out The Blogger’s Quilt Festival if you haven’t already. As I write this, there are 432 quilts submitted and it is not too late to enter yours! Go for it.

I made a little progress on a couple of projects over the weekend. First, I did some hand quilting in the border of my 2009 Designer Mystery BOM. I’m almost to one end. Crosshatching is nice, straight quilting, but when the lines are only 1/2″ apart and your quilt is 78″ wide, it takes a while.

During the Saturday night sports debacle I finished hand piecing block 2 of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM. I’m proud of how it turned out.

I also added two more rows to the Rail Fence Checkerboard, bringing the total so far to 6 rows. There will be a total of 13 rows when it is done. I’m really enjoying its looks.

I also cut some more of the strip sets into 6 1/2″ blocks. I hadn’t completed that originally because I was concerned I wouldn’t get enough sets if I changed my mind and wanted to make a nine patch. The next two rows are on the design wall. I’ll get the rest up by the end of tomorrow, I hope.
That’s it for today! Except to say Happy Birthday to my lovely eldest daughter! Happy birthday, Janni!
Quilt on!

A Little Progress on Something

I am such a slacker lately! Grr! I need to get back to some productivity here! And some blogging! So to start with here is a short post.
Remember back a ways when I changed my rules about completing the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM before even starting the 2012 because I was seduced by fabric? (That post is here if you are interested or have forgotten.) Well, I haven’t made much progress for more reasons than you can shake a stick at (what does that even mean?). Anyway, I got the first block of each cut and did assemble block one of the 2011. And I cut out the blocks number 2 before I went to the Grand Rapids show, thinking that I would feel inspired to piece in the evenings. (Didn’t happen. Too exhausted by evening!) 
But I have finally pieced block one of the 2012! Here it is!
And here it is on my new design wall. (Yeah, somehow I managed to put a couple of the hooks for the design wall too close together, but they are fairly easily movable once I have time. But for now:

A New Plan

A week or so ago, my first block of the Fat Quarter Shop’s 2012 Designer Mystery Block of the Month arrived. One look at it and I got so excited about putting it together that I began to resent my original plan to make myself finish all previous blocks of the month (American Beauty and the 2011 Designer Mystery Block of the Month) before starting the new one. Actually, it made me angry.

Then I remembered it was my plan and I could change it any time I wanted. Yay!

So, I did.

The new plan is to finish the American Beauty BOM as one of my goals in this quarter’s Finish-A-Long. That will keep me working on that. As far as the other two BOMs, I will assemble the 2011 and 2012 blocks as the 2012 blocks come in. So, currently the first of block of each of the Designer Mysteries are sitting on my cutting table waiting to be cut out and marked for hand piecing. (I decided to hand piece because with my other goals, I will be doing plenty of machine work!)

So keep your eyes open for updates on this new plan.

And Quilt on!

What I Learned on My Birthday Vacation

I’m baaaaaack! Yes, I did post a couple of times early in the vacation, but most of the time we were too busy or too exhausted for me to make a sensible post. So this post may be longish with a few pictures. But, before I get back to my regular flow of life, I thought I would post a few things I learned.

First, I am a two week vacation girl. The moment this became obvious was when I was at the Happiest Place on Earth with the people I love the most and I missed my home. Yup, almost three weeks was just about four days too long. Not that it wasn’t a wonderful vacation – because it was – but just longer than I apparently enjoy. I didn’t know this previously because this is the longest vacation we have ever taken.

Second, no matter how nice the place you are staying in Orlando is, if you are doing lots of days at the Disney parks, it is less stressful and ultimately less exhausting to stay on the Disney property – especially for park hopping. I wouldn’t have predicted it (and Disney is not paying me to say this), but it is true. We stayed in a lovely four bedroom condo (since there were eight of us) provided by my amazing sister. It was about 20 minutes from DisneyWorld so we needed to figure out how to get back and forth each day, and I have never been as exhausted on a Disney trip before. So I guess I blame the commute. Of course, maybe it is just because I am so old now!

Which leads us to

The Best Birthday Ever
My eldest daughter provided all the women with birthday crowns. (The men played with them a bit too, as you may see in future pictures here.) On the left is my napkin birthday card. The middle item is my Happy Birthday button from Disney which apparently requires all Disney cast members to tell you happy birthday! (This evoked pictures in my mind of the stealth fake birthday people who evaluate cast members on whether or not they wish people wearing the button a happy birthday.) And on the right is my glowing Tinkerbell from the pink lemonade I had for lunch at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios.
We started the day with breakfast at Denny’s, a breakfast which included a slice of chocolate birthday cake and singing! Here we are outside Denny’s, all eight of us:
Then the rest of the day was spent at Hollywood Studios, my favorite of the parks, including a birthday lunch at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe hosted by my sister. Here are a few shots from lunch:

 Birthday cupcake with Mickey sprinkles.

Yes, that is my glowing Tinkerbell!

We ended the day at JellyRolls at the Boardwalk listening to the dueling pianos. I was with the most fun group in the place! And, in spite of the ridiculously high number the age represents, it was the best birthday ever.

Now that I’m home, I can’t wait to get back to quilty fun! Here are my future plans:

  1. I will be finishing the family room into quilt studio conversion.
  2. I will be finishing the assembly of the blocks and borders for the church quilt, AKA Woven Links.
  3. I will be marking my next handquilting project and getting it on the frame.
  4. I will be finishing the American Beauty BOM top and getting it quilted and bound.
  5. I will be starting my Designer Mystery 2011 (yes, last year’s) BOM. I will not allow myself to start this year’s until 2011 is finished!
  6. I will be completing the second quilt for Janni’s room/the guest room, AKA Split Rail Lattice.

And now I will get caught up on three weeks of mail.

Yes, It Has Been Awhile

Yes, blogging was interrupted by the whole quilt sweatshop thing I had going on here for a while. Yep, 8-10 hours a day paper piecing, stopping only to eat. But I did finish the top, got it to the longarmer, and got it back in plenty of time to bind it and wrap it up for this coming Friday’s wedding. I’ll post a picture once the gift has been given. Later this week, I hope.

But I can do a little bit of ruminating on a few aspects of the experience. First, the paper piecing. I don’t ever plan to paper piece a quilt this big again. 256 sections to piece was a little bit of overkill for me. And I’m not sure what I am going to do with all the scraps from this quilt. Maybe more paper piecing.

Another problem was my math error. The original pattern was for a quilt measuring 40″ X 40″. I doubled that (and was going to add borders but it looked so perfect without!) and, instead of figuring on quadrupling the fabric amounts, I doubled them. Yep, forgot I was dealing with area. This meant several fabric store trips and building up my batik stash a bit. (Some of the fabrics I brought home didn’t really work so into the batik stash they went!) But I like the scrappiness of it for a wedding quilt.

My daughter asked me yesterday what is next since I finished my other daughter’s quilt and now my niece’s wedding quilt. I think she thought I didn’t have any plans. Ha! First there is the finishing organizing the former family room into a studio. Then there is the other quilt for the guest room to finish. Then there is the American Beauty BOM to finish. And the Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM 2011. And soon I will be getting blocks for the 2012 FQS Designer Mystery BOM. And I plan to hand quilt the 2009 FQS Designer Mystery BOM.

And let’s not forget assembling the top for the church quilt for this year.

I think I have plenty to do! I’ll bet you do too!

Quilt on!

BOM Block 12 Finish

Yes, I just finished the American Beauty BOM block 12! This is the last actual block, but there is much sashing and setting triangles stuff to still be completed before the top is completed. Which brings up some questions in my mind. Questions such as: Do I use this as my hand sewing at work project so I can get it done or do I go back to the 120 blocks project? Do I wait and finish it on the machine after I complete the piecing of my niece’s wedding quilt? (I do have until the end of the year to complete it after all.) If I go back to the 120 blocks project, do I alternate those blocks with the Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM 2011? Or do I force myself to wait until I have really finished the American Beauty BOM? Feel free to weigh in on these weighty questions! Meanwhile, here are the last couple of steps.

Here is the next step. I promise it is different from what follows it!

And here is the completed block – only hand pressed remember!

A Little Progress

Yes, today was a work day. Yes, I would have expected that I could finish up Block 12 of the American Beauty BOM, but that did not happen! I had a bit of work to do. (Fancy that! At work of all places!) The work day always goes faster when there is real work to do!

So here are the pictures of the progress.

First I finished these sections:

Then these:

Then these:

And that is as far as I got. Well, not exactly, but I’ll wait to take pictures of the next sections until both are completed tomorrow.
Also, the Fat Quarter Shop is starting to take orders for their Designer Mystery Block of the Month 2012. I keep telling myself that I really prefer to pick my own fabrics. I tell myself that I haven’t completed the American Beauty Block of the Month so I haven’t allowed myself to start the Fat Quarter Shop’s Designer Mystery Block of the Month 2011. Therefore, I have no business signing up for this one! But the fabrics are gorgeous and I’ll bet I do!
What I like about BOMs is that you only cut one block at a time. I hate long cutting sessions. They drive me nuts. Even with my new cutting table my back gets tired. Grrr!
What I especially like about the Fat Quarter Shop’s Designer Mystery BOMs is that the blocks are always gorgeous, the fabrics are gorgeous and you get plenty of fabric in case of mistakes (or hoarding desires).
And no one has paid me anything for this advertisement.