End of 2011 and Random Thoughts

Since this is the end of 2011, it is time to evaluate my 2011 Quilty Resolutions.  So, here goes!

  1. Finish the Big UFO in my basement. Good news: There has been significant progress made. Bad news: It is not done yet and becomes 2012 Quilty Resolutions #1.
  2. Finish the photo quilt – Completed last February!
  3. Finish the American Beauty BOM – Well, I am almost done with block 12, the last block – but there is still much to do before it is a completed quilt. This becomes 2012 Quilty Resolutions #2.
  4. Go to the Paducah AQS show – Completed and enjoyed! Due to my work schedule it may be a while before I go to Paducah again, but in 2012 there is a show in Grand Rapids, MI which is not too far away.
  5. Finish the quilt for my husband – didn’t even touch it. I have decided that that one needs to wait until I learn something about Free Motion Quilting before I attempt it. I probably won’t even move this to the 2012 list. He doesn’t really know it exists anyway.
  6. Things I did that were not on the Quilty Resolutions List – started two quilts to go on the twin beds in the guest room and completed one. Organized the two quilts for the church auction. Bought a new sewing machine. Began studio reorganization. 

I guess this brings us to 2012’s resolutions.

  1. Finish the big UFO in my basement.
  2. Complete the quilt for my niece’s May wedding.
  3. Finish the American Beauty BOM.
  4. Complete the studio organization.
  5. Learn something about FMQ and quilt at least one small project.
  6. Complete the second twin quilt for the guest room.

Numbers 2, 3, and 6 will be quilted by a longarmer unless a miracle happens and I really take to FMQ. Just saying. I enjoy quilting by hand too much.

On the bright side (maybe) – I only have 6 UFOs! I think that is pretty cool. Unless the Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM (which I haven’t even started) counts, in which case I have 7. And one of those is a table runner which I am planning to use to fulfill #5. So….

Paper Piecing Tutorials

Because I must learn to paper piece, I have recently been checking out online tutorial videos. Below is a list of some of the videos I have watched in my quest to learn paper piecing. Please note this is not an exhaustive list, nor is it a list of all the videos I actually watched – just some of the most useful. You can find many more on YouTube. If you find some excellent ones, please let me know!

Crafty Gemini  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uaW26igygE      The instructions and video are very clear – but this method would maybe waste lots of fabric (or make lots of tiny scraps if you like to look at it that way).

Jen Ofenstein of sewhooked.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgr5JMxNfow     The instructions are clear but this is not a live action video. This appears to be a movie made with something like PowerPoint (TM), but it is still helpful.
  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sBBNqaK340  Marci Baker gives instruction in this teaser video. She doesn’t actually give complete instruction on paper piecing (you have to purchase the full video at http://www.online-quilting.com/landing-pages/foundation-piecing-basics-yt.html), but she does show how to measure the pieces to cut strips for foundation piecing.

YouCanMakeThis.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGNYoDRuD8A  This is a live action tutorial and is easy to understand, but it ends abruptly at 10 minutes. Maybe there is a part two that I haven’t yet found. The demonstrator actually puts the fabric on the printed side of the foundation paper after having drawn sewing lines on the other side. I found that different from the other tutorials I had seen.

Leah Day also has a very good paper piecing tutorial at www.daystyledesigns.com/paperpiecing.htm 

Artisiana has a set of video tutorials here. She breaks her tutorial into several different steps. I’m not sure I want to spend as much time as she does cutting out each piece. I like the sounds of cutting strips and using them for piecing. We’ll see once I really get started.

Fons & Porter: Sew Easy, Paper Foundation Piecing   This one is a pretty basic tutorial that illustrates sewing together two pieces of fabric on a foundation. The instructions are pretty clear and she encourages fabric wasting, at least in the beginning. 

My favorite is the video by overallquilter.com. These were available in the fall of 2010 on iTunes for free (and 7 of them still are as of today), but now this one is only available if you are a member of overallquilter.com. The membership costs $9.95 a month and you can find out more about it at http://www.overallquilter.com/membership/.  In this video, the hint that I really liked was to fold your foundation paper along the sewing lines before you do anything else.(Yes, I know the several of the other videos show that also, but I saw it here first.) As far as I can tell, this does two things for you. First, you can see when you are putting your fabric scraps on the back of the paper whether or not they will really fit the space needed. Second, it weakens the paper so that when you go to tear it off, it tears a little more easily. I also felt that the rest of this video was well planned and stated.

Today’s Progress

Monday night I cut out the 53 pieces for Block 12 of the American Beauty BOM. Yesterday at work (between helping students, of course), I was able to mark the pieces (and that was it). Today, I started to sew.

It was a little daunting to look at the instructions and see that the very first step for this block was to assemble the Drunkard’s Path sections. I have never done curved piecing, but I have set in sleeves. And I am hand piecing so I can take all the time in the world to get things arranged before each stitch. Here was my first one:

I was quite happy with how it came out and went quickly on to sew the other three together.

The other step I got to was the 16 HSTs. This step would have been less boring if I had been chain piecing on the machine!

And that is all I got done today between students!
Quilt on!

I Take It All Back

Well, I don’t exactly take it all back, but allow me to update you on my FabShop Hop prize. Tonight I got the following email:

Gretchen,

First of all, I am sorry that your experience has not been what we would want it to be.  For some reason I was under the impression that the shop hop through FabShopNet only did $10 gift certificates.  But in 4 shop hops in 2011 they did the $100 gift certificate or kit.  I was not aware of this change.  I have been very ill and recovering from recent surgery.  I had tried to contact FabShopNet to verify, but along with my delay, I had a hard time connecting to them with my schedule.  We are not a full-time store.  We are online only and it is our second/third job.  This made it difficult for me to make connections.  Again, I am very sorry. 

Please use the “***” code at checkout for the $100 coupon.  If you complete your order by Monday morning, we will expedite the shipping, so that you receive your package before Christmas.

Again,  I apologize for the problem with the coupon.  We sincerely hope that you will give us the opportunity to fulfill our obligation.

Thank you,
Amy
heirloompatch.com

(Yes, I blanked out the code for this purpose.) Needless to say, my feelings about this online shop are no longer totally negative. Actually, having forced myself (dripping sarcasm) to spend that $100, I am feeling quite positive toward the shop.

And guess how long it took me to shop after I read this. Right, not very! At all!!!!

7 Charm Packs!
2 Yards of solids!
12 Batik Fat Quarters!
And no real plans for what I will do with any of them.
But when did that ever stop a quilter from buying fabric with a gift certificate?

Quilt on!

Miscellaneousness

I would like to thank everyone who sympathizes with my disappointment with the whole FabShop Hop thing. Even if you didn’t leave a comment, I appreciate your sympathy or empathy or something.

So here I am at work (actually having a busy day, comparatively speaking) without anything to sew. I think the next block I cut (hopefully tonight) will be the last block of the American Beauty BOM. That way at least I will have all the blocks pieced even if I don’t have the sashing done or the whole top assembled by the end of the year. That will at least keep me from feeling like a total failure in meeting that particular goal this year.

If I have some extra time today, I will be checking out videos on paper piecing so that I can get to work on my niece’s wedding quilt. I need to get it finished in time to have it longarmed by mid-May, so…..  I have never paper pieced before so I am a bit nervous. Add to the fact that the pattern is originally for only a 40″ x 40″ quilt, and I have been doing some major math since I didn’t want to just double the size of the blocks. The pattern is Woven Double Wedding Ring by Linda from Paper Panache. Linda very generously gave me permission to make as many copies of the foundations as I need to complete the quilt in the size I need. You can be sure that if I find I like paper piecing, there are more of Linda’s lovely patterns that I may try out! Not only is she generous, but there are several of her patterns that I find very enticing. (Can patterns entice? I know fabric does!)

Quilt on!

Life’s Disappointments (Sorry, long post.)

Here is a tale I didn’t want to tell, but I will. I guess I didn’t pay anything so I didn’t really lose money, but I am still very disappointed.

Back in October I got the following email from the FabShop Hop. (You may remember that I have previously won $10 gift certificates and found some interesting shops along the way.)

 
Congratulations!  You are the prize winner from the August FabShop Hop.

We are proud to announce that you are a $100 Bonus Prize winner from the August FabShop Hop.  Nothing makes us feel better than knowing a loyal Hopper such as you was selected as one of our winners.

We have notified heirloompatch.com at http://www.heirloompatch.com that you are the winner of thier $100 Bonus Prize.
They will contact you with instructions on how you can redeem your promotional prize!

Regular shipping charges and any applicable sales taxes apply to your prize redemption and are not covered by the shop.
The $100 bonus prize is non-transferable and has no cash value.

Your bonus prize expires on Friday, Novermber 4, 2011.

You may contact heirloompatch.com with any questions you may have at:

tamipvernon44@gmail.com
http://www.heirloompatch.com

555 Eastwood Circle
Providence, UT  84332

Phone: (435) 881-4198
Fax: Unknown

You will find your name on the list of prize winners at
http://www.fabshophop.com/prizewinners_chop4.asp

Be sure to tell your friends so they can go and see that you are famous!  And remind them to participate in the October FabShop Hop,
and of course, we want you to come back and hop again.  Our prize drawings are random from all the qualifying entries, so
you have just as good a chance to win again next time.

Please join us for the October Hop taking place right now!

Congratulations!

Laurie Harsh
The Fabric Shop Network Inc.
…the trade organization for independent quilt and fabric retailers!

As you may imagine, I waited anxiously for my email to arrive, but it never came. I went to the store’s website and filled out the contact form. Still nothing. I called the store’s phone number and spoke to the nicest person – I think it was Tami herself. She said she must have missed the email from FabShop Hop, took my phone number and said she would text me instructions on how to redeem my gift certificate once she had spoken to her tech person.

And that was the last I heard. And, of course, now it is way past the redemption date.  I tried phoning again and went straight to voicemail. I left a message. Nothing. I emailed the shop again. Nothing. I emailed FabShop Hop, but have had not heard from them again yet. Sigh.

I am very disappointed!

If Only I’d Posted the Previous Post Yesterday!

Maybe you already read yesterday’s post and saw the glaring error in the block. Or maybe you were like me and didn’t see it. Anyway, thanks to Pat, I see it now. Unfortunately… Well, see for yourself!

Seriously, how did I not see that?!!!!!!!  Anyway, the good news is that I got to do this:

And now I have a little bit of sewing to do at work tomorrow since I didn’t get a chance to cut fabric tonight. I may unsew a little more too, in order to really do it right. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow! And yes, I’ll do the post of shame and show you what all I did.
Of course, maybe this is the post of shame. Or the previous one is!

More Progress

Well, work yesterday was busier than usual, but I was still able to get some piecing done. First, I turned the chisels into triangles. (Remember, these are only finger pressed.)

Next, I joined the two sets of triangles:

Then I joined the squares with pink strips:

The remaining two strips were joined with a dark green square:

Then the three rows were joined like this:

I know this looks like a finished block, but it isn’t one! Trust me!
I hope to finish it today.

Last Week

I knew this was coming, because this is the busy season for me at work. What does this mean to you? Well, here is all the piecing I got done at work last week:

Yep, that is it! I guess that means, if time permits and I’m lucky, I will finish Block 11 of the American Beauty BOM this week. Then, will I have the discipline to do one of my 120 Blocks project or will I do Block 12 and get it over with?
I guess we will find out!