One Monthly Goal (OMG) for February

There is one common thing that all quilters have.  When we hurt, tired, or want to relax, we quilt or do hand work!  I do not know what I would do without my love of quilting.  It is one of the most rewarding hobby to have and quilting has helped me get through some difficult times in the last 3 years.  I completed all of January’s goals with the exception of quilting Oh Glory!  But she is loaded and ready to go.  I plan on having the quilt finished in the next couple of days.

Quilts to be Quilted:

  1. Enduring Legacy
  2. Colonial Ladies (Wanda’s quilt)
  3. Threads of Memory
  4. Miscellaneous small wall hangings

Applique/Hand Work Projects:

  1.  A Bountiful Life (BOM)  Prep 4 blocks
  2. Margaret Potts (BAS BOM)  6 blocks
  3. Stonefields (On-Going)  Complete Section 4
  4. Brinton Hall (EPP project)  Sew Hexigons together for Medallion
  5. Quiltmania BOM Mystery quilt
  6. Snowman in Blue – Start Project (Embroidery)
  7. Kathy Smithz BOM Project – Prep and work on Block 2 (Embroidery)

Pieced Projects:

  1.  RSC 2017 Monthly Blocks
  2. Robin’s Nest
  3. Dresden Plates Project

OK – now let’s see how I do.  Applique projects are ongoing each month.  The embroidery projects have not been started yet.   My back brace has really helped me so I know if life settles down and I continue to feel better maybe I can catch up on my projects – that is my main goal.

Have a blessed day and it looks like 6 more weeks of winter!

A Tale of Two Sons – Darryl Scott Cook and Richard Lee Gill

I was notified Monday that my only son, Richard Lee Gill had passed away.  He was 53 years old.  He had heart problems and was a diabetic.  Richard was a 6’5″ giant of a man with not one mean bone in his body.  He had a heart of gold.  He never said bad things about anyone.  He was loved by many friends in the Corpus Christi, Texas area where he was raised by his Father and Grandmother.  He was known as “Tiny” by many of the beloved friends and I know that their hearts are now breaking.  He loved living by the water and his passion was fishing.  He loved to make fishing poles and had a talent for drawing when he was younger.  I have memories of the times I had been with my son.  He loved to make people laugh.  May he rest in peace.

In 2015 we lost Darryl Scott Cook, my husband’s first-born to lung cancer at the age of 51.  It is a difficult to lose your children while still alive, but it seems to be happening more and more these days to parents our age.  It has been a very difficult time losing Darryl because he was closer to us, but for Clay and I to have lost both of our first-born children within 15 months is difficult.  Darryl and Richard will be missed.

Time heals all wounds and we will survive this.  We will be bringing Richard home in the next few weeks and he will be placed next to Darryl’s Urn in our home.  It is comforting to know that I gave him life and now in death he will remain with me always.

 

Reaching Goals, Forgetting and Relearning

Shock and Awe!!!!!  I have finished my goal for the week, well OK, I am 24 hours late, but they are completed.

oh-glory-finished
Oh Glory – Ready to go to the Long Arm!
circa-2016-miniature-finished
Circa 2016 – Miniature Size

 

sewing-machine-finished
Pat Sloan’s Sewing Machine
miniature-dear-jane
Dear Jane – Miniature

Remember when we were in school and we had the summer months off to play and dump the memory bank??? Well, guess what happens when one does not quilt a quilt, much less put binding on……….A mess! Hubby told me that everything one needs to know is on You-Tube – so I found this video and found two small new techniques are on the video that I was not aware of – corners and endings (doing it a different way).  So now I have to remember this video as I will be quilting quite a few quilts in the next few months and they cannot be “messed up”.

Now I plan on getting Oh Glory pinned on the long arm and tomorrow I will quilt it!  In the meantime, I really need to finish sewing those 25 + grapes on Block 5 of A Bountiful Life – will try to hold my nose and complete it tonight!

Tomorrow is the first block for Two-Step Mystery Quilt  so I will be deciding on fabrics for that project.  I like it because it is one block every 3 weeks! Next I will have to decide on pattern (and get going on it) for RSC 2017.  I have a few patterns in mind, but just not sure yet!   I am also thinking THINKING about working on the Mystery Quilt in this months Quiltmania.  It is reverse applique and I think I would love to work on that one.  There are only 6 issues in a year so I can slip a little on the start time on this one.  It would be another “fabric” decision.  Darn – looking like I will be having to really put the ole’ brain in action for the next week.  Maybe I need to check my 2017 list – I am sure that I had selected others.  Oh for more hours in a day!

I feel great as I have now completed 5 quilting projects, and applique again at night!  YEA for me!  I thought many times over the last year to just give up on my passion and sit in a chair.  Boy am I ever-blessed to have pushed the Doctor limit for my back!  In the last week even without the brace I can stand up straight again but will continue to use the brace which evidently is helping me to tell my brain to get with the program!  TENS and Braces are my favorite thing to have.  In fact, because I am not sitting so much, I THINK I am beginning to lose a pound or two out of the 8 pounds I have gained in the last 6 months due to the back hurting!  Joy to me is being able to do my walking and quilting and put in a full 10 hour day of fun!

Tomorrow my guy is going to become the President of the United States.  I never thought that what is about to take place in this great Nation tomorrow with the transfer of power would have come while I was still alive!

May the Lord Bless President Trump and the First Lady (who is such a beautiful Lady) and his entire family!  And continue to bless this Nation.  Bless all of his nominated Cabinet Members and our Congress – even those  who are so nasty and hateful at this time and chose to not attend the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America.  We are all of God’s children!

Reaching My Goals for 2017

Greetings from South Texas where who knows what the weather will be – we are still in the warm Spring type weather!  Lovely high humidity and in the mid-70’s.  We are ‘expecting’ rain tonight, but then we have been expecting rain for 4 days!!!  So guess we will just continue looking out the window to see what happens!

I now have my great back brace, and I am really enjoying it.  It has made me realize that I have NOT been standing up straight as I have always done. I guess this comes with age and when we sit at the sewing machine, or standing at our cutting tables, we begin to slouch and ruin our posture.   Try to keep this in mind so that you do not end up as I have.

I have had the best 15 days of a New Year since 2014!!! Still trying to increase my walking and step goals to be over 6000 per day and I have kept up with the pace, although this morning I really did not think I would be able to do the 35 minutes, but I did and was looking for my chair when I finished.  But when you walk in 93% humidity sometimes it is just not fun!  Oh where is our winter for 2017!

Today I finished sewing the binding on the 5 projects that I quilted this week.  Somehow I did not get to work in my Studio on the binding the last 2 days – let’s say that it was “unforeseen” requirements that took over.  My goal is to have them all completed by Wednesday, if not before!

circa-dear-jane-and-sewing-machine-bindings-not-finished-but-ready
Ready for the binding to be hand stitched!
placemats
Ready for the binding to be hand stitched!

I am also determined to finish those lovely grapes and the bird’s beak on Block 5 of A Bountiful Life project!   There are a few areas where I am going embroidery a few short-short stems and one area where I am not interested in doing circles in bias twigs!  I will embroidery that area and just make it mine!  I wonder what I was thinking when I did the wings?  Probably pulled the yellow from the orange, but I like it!  My quilt will really be different from the others who have made this quilt in Reproduction fabrics.  I love my batiks.

bountiful-life-omg-jan-15-block-5
A Bountiful Life Block 5

I have a clothes rack where I hang quilts that need to be quilted.  Now some of them have been begging to be quilted for a while, so as you can see, I must prioritize this effort.  I was going to quilt Threads of Memory, but decided to do all the smaller projects and work up to the larger ones.  I will send 2 of the quilts out for a professional job to enter in the SA Show this year.  I know that the Judges would absolutely count me off if I do my free motion meandering and I do not want to take the time to spend to learn how to become more proficient.  I am just hoping I can find an excellent quilter to do the job! I do not want a 2014 repeat, thank you very much!!!  (OH there is that purple monstrosity that I started 2016 with and do not want to work on it at this time – I need to put something in the baskets.  If I did not have so much time and money invested it would go away to the “never see again” basket called Trash Can)

quilts-in-waiting
Quilts In Waiting

For my next quilting project, I have decided to quilt a wall hanging from Lynette Jensen that I made during one of our trips to Arizona – which year….maybe 2012?  I need to embroidery some stars on the blue part and then it will be loaded and quilted!  YEA.

flag-quilt
Oh Glory by Lynette Jensen

Now I must think of what I am going to do for RSC 2017.   How about Sue Garman’s OMIGOSH! – it is a highly technical and challenging project.  Do I want to make it a year-long project that will drive me nuts but would remind me of Sue who was such a wonderfully gifted Designer every step of the way?  She passed away in the last week or so and she will be missed by the quilting world!  I really am leaning toward this quilt as a project to work on during the day, but before I start I must study color placement and do a few test blocks to make sure that all will go well with the endeavor.  When looking for the Flag pattern I found an old Lynette Jensen Bow Tie pattern that might really be easier and more in tune to use the RSC 2017 project .  Of course I may also start Robin’s Nest for my piecing project.  Heck why not start all three?  I could really head for the nut house by May….

Well, have a great holiday if you are still working, if not, continue to enjoy retirement and quilting!  It has been so peaceful here today and I have accomplished so much this week!  I am hoping to sell my Husqvarna embroidery unit through one of my guilds this week.  Cross my fingers.  Someone out there might need it and I have only used it close to 40 hours since I purchased my Designer 1, only to find out I did not like it!

I am so excited about our 45th President and his Inauguration, I wish our country would come together and support him and his Amazing Cabinet selections.   He is going to be America’s President and support the great citizens of this Nation.

Productivity at Last!

Well, I do think my non-productive years are over!  This week I have finished 5 quilting projects – and yes they are small, but I have not touched the long arm for almost 2 years.  WOW!  My goal was to have the bindings on and ready for hand work, but alas, those unforeseen requirements and interruptions.

These are two placements that I appliqued for friends for Xmas (I am a little late).  The second photo is the backside of each placement.  I do not like how my photos  using my iPhone – I am going back to my good ole’ floppy disk camera – it takes better pictures!  The quilting does not show up well, I did a meandering pattern with circles.  My HQ is not computer type so all my quilting is free motion quilting.

placemats-for-doug-and-jean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a pattern from Pat Sloan – I made it in Batiks.  It is needle turn applique and this is the first time I have quilted one on the long arm.  I do a meandering pattern in different variations.

pat-sloans-sewing-machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, here is Circa 2016 – Modified.

modified-circa-2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This a mini-quilt that I made with my 9 Dear Jane Blocks.  YUP – no more photos from iPhone – this one really looks wonky!

completed-mini-dear-jane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are not large projects, but I am so happy to have finished them.

I did receive my Postural Extension Orthosis brace yesterday afternoon and what a difference.  It supports my upper torso and is going to really help me be able to do more and more!!!!  The two bulging discs are in such a bad spot – they are the ones that connect the rib cage and lumbar area of the back and fusions are iffy because of the critical location – connecting the upper and lower frame.  I finally have the answer on the differences in bulging, herniated, ruptured or crushed discs.  Bulging is where it is beginning to go, herniated is not fun, ruptured or crushed means that surgery is definitely required.  I am blessed because I did not wait any longer to get an updated MRI and now I can protect my back with my brace, TENS unit, and RF treatments.  Modern medicine has really come a long way.  I just hope that I can make it until the end of my life without having to go through the intense “fix” for a situation like mine.

OK enough of the spine lesson.  Today I am going to try to work on the bindings on my completed quilt projects – and that will really make me happy to get all the little projects completely finished!  I am going to load Threads of Memory quilt from a 2014 Barbara Brackman BOM and work on it in the next week.  It is a larger project and now that I have “practiced” and have the cobwebs off the HQ (not to mention the new back brace so I will not get so tired when I quilt) I want to take more time in quilting the larger quilts.

Next I will be working on preparing applique blocks and making a final decision on a pieced project.  There are so many projects that I would love to do this will be a difficult decision, but I will only do one at a time.  I am soooo far behind on my applique projects I feel I will never catch up.

Have a great Friday the 13th!  They have always been lucky for me – so much better than the black cat crossing my path.  Hubby always laughs at me, but the other day at the grocery store one of the Checkers told me that if she leaves the house and forgets something and returns back home, when she leaves again she takes another way out of her sub-division!!!!!  I told her I would need to add that to my list of “to do’s” when that happens.  Of course Hubby really said she was “nuttier” than I am about a poor pretty black cat!  Too funny!

Quilt Projects for 2017 and Beyond!

Goals are great to have as long as we can be realistic!  Easier said than done as we Quilters love to think that we can just jump right in and finish something within a week or so – heck – maybe with a few days!  I have begun to realize that I do not allow for my ‘black cat’ and ‘unforeseen’ requirements’ happenings.  I began more applique projects than pieced projects in 2016 and I really need to make a concerted effort to “get with the program” and become serious about finishing them within 2017.   I am also very behind on quilting my quilt tops and am going to push myself to catch up.

I started full speed ahead in 2014 by beginning my collection of Reproduction fabrics and switching to only Quiltmania and Australian quilt patterns, but life has a way of taking twists and turns that we never would expect.   My step-son Darryl was diagnosed with Cancer in April 2014 and passed in June 2015.  It takes time to recoup from an ordeal like this.  He is missed by me and especially his Father.  He had the quickest wit and would make us laugh when we spent time with him.  He touched many lives during his short lifetime.  In 2016 I tried to play my usual “Scarlett O’Hara” (as my Mother always called me) and jump right back into life and worry about the grieving tomorrow.  This is not how life works in the real world and for the first time it did not work for me.  It takes time to heal, just as it takes time to make an Heirloom quilt, or more advanced more technically challenging quilts.

Yesterday I tried to develop a post depicting each project that needed to be quilted, appliqued, embroidered, and those that were begging for my time. I read a Quilty Folk  post about Kyle and how she is handling her 2017 list.  I quickly realized that I did not need to re-post things from the past and developed my list for 2017.  This is a new year and I will do that as I complete or make progress with my projects.   So here we go:

Nanette’s 2017 Projects List

I will keep my list close at hand to become more focused and productive in 2017.  Clay and I have so much to be thankful for and this is a time of REAL hope for the USA, no matter what Meryl Streep says!  I have lost all respect for Entertainers.  They need to experience the real world like 99% of the people in this country do and realize that without our supporting their movies they would be dead broke!  (oops a little political statement – LOL)

Clay and I  will also take a few trips during the year to “get away from it all” staying in hotels rather than having to load and unload the 5th wheel.  The trips will be so much more enjoyable in our 2nd stage of retirement.  The 2nd stage is the time when one realizes that they no longer want to do all the hard work that we have done all their lives – it is time to enjoy the easy life before we leave this earth.

My One Monthly Goal (OMG) for January is to complete my quilting projects and work on my hand work in the evening.  Time will tell if the ‘black cat’ or ‘unforeseen requirements’ will get me again or if our year is quiet and boring in order for me to complete projects started the last 3 years.

What is tempting are all the quilt a longs and new patterns that others discuss on their Blog posts, or friends tell you about!  So wish me luck and I will try to continue posting my progress and doing some ‘link ups’ which always help us when we post our quilts in progress or completed.

Looks like we are going back to Spring the next 4 days – then back to some cold weather.  Talk about a roller coaster this winter.  As bad as I do not want to bring on the 100 degree weather, at least Spring and Summer are more consistant.  The changes tend to mess with our bones and bodies for those over 70!  DARN!

Have a wonderful week and hopefully ‘unforeseen requirements’ will not hinder your progress in quilting.

 

One Monthly Goal (OMG) and 2016 Projects

 

As I read my favorite Blogs this last week, it appear that a lot of quilters are dedicating themselves to a list of monthly goals that just might help all of us finish a lot of UFO’s.   Most of my projects are hand applique and tend to take longer, so I  measure them by the number of blocks I have completed.  As I sit here on the 7th day of January 2017 I wonder “actually what did you do this past year?”  I have felt the last two months that I have accomplished nothing, but then I started looking at my posts and realized that I had accomplished quite a lot.  Here is a recap.

I started the year making Baskets of Scraps only to have problems with the pattern – delay time.  The top is finished EXCEPT I need to applique something in the baskets – It is a purple quilt and needs something but I became so discouraged and not sure what it needs that it has been hanging on the “ready to quilt” rack  for a while.   Then I started Handfuls of Scraps and have one of the diamonds completed but all the hexies are ready to be sewn together…..sometime in 2017!  Moving right along, Brinton Hall was started and I finally finished laying out the outlining hexagons to be sewn together to make the medallion center complete so I could finish the other blocks – that was in late August and no progress on this project – in the wings waiting to go.  In March I started working on A Bountiful Life and have 4 blocks completed, 4 more in the “fabric selection” stage and then cutting freezer paper pieces and pressing onto the fabrics!   Then BAS came along in May and had a monthly block quilt along  for Ms Potts Baltimore Album quilt.  I have 9 blocks finished with 4 ready to applique!   I started Stonefields in late 2015 or early 2016 and am currently working on completing Section 4.  These projects are still ongoing and hopefully by the end of the year all completed!   I joined in on Circa 2016 in April and finished all the blocks in October!  I had decided that I would finish 2016 in 2016 – and I did!  The problem is that there were problems with the quilt – it was out of square and other issues, so the ripping began.  Eventually the entire quilt was ripped and all blocks put in a bag to be given away.  Then I decided that I could not let that little project get the best of me so I started it up again only to realize that the problem was with the center medallion – the only part of the quilt I had not ripped.   This last Tuesday I made the decision to start the project again.  Long Story short – I made a nice wall hanging from the center medallion and sent the rest of the blocks packing to a new friend, Carole, who is now the proud owner of the Circa 2016!  Can I say that is a finished project – you BET!  But I paid a price on that one, 2 major projects (piecing) completed in 2016 and both caused me to hit the wall with quilting for awhile.  I completed a Colonel Ladies quilt top for Wanda, Threads of Memory, and Enduring Legacy quilt tops – ready to be quilted!   Well maybe I did accomplish more than I thought in 2016.

So for 2017, I will continue on with my “applique” projects, and start a list of piecing projects.  I think I have found my passion for quilting again (especially after the massive week-long un-clutter project) and have now started up the long arm with a project loaded and already started, so getting some quilts quilted and binding completed on some other quilts will be included.  I hope to have this list posted in a few days with pictures of where I am in the projects now so I can see my progress each month.  I also plan on taking some “refresher” knitting classes and want to work on an embroidery quilt, so it will be a busy year, just need that added incentive to get with the program.

PS – forgot to mention that life got in the way this year too, maybe I can get rid of some unforeseen and seen requirements out of my life and get more accomplished in 2017. Oops – today no quilting just had 2 nice long unforeseen requirements come up.  I will post my 12  – 2017 Projects list tomorrow.

Have a great evening.

Circa 2016 in 2017 – Modified

I posted sometime in the past about my experience with Circa 2016 and how I had enough hair pulling with the quilt.  But, as a normal Type A, I just could not let it go….. So Tuesday I decided to try again to make the quilt.  Yesterday I finished the Medallion and thought that I would go forward, but this morning I sat in my chair drinking my morning cup of coffee and studied the finished Medallion and decided that the outside border was just too pale to continue on with the same fabric.  The longer I looked at it the more I remembered all the issues I had encountered and quickly decided I had worked on this puppy enough and I should be happy that the 3rd try yielded a perfect medallion!!!!  But, look closely at it because it now looks so drab with the same background fabric and it will soon disappear!

Perfect Medallion - Wrong color on the 2nd Border!
Perfect Medallion – Wrong color on the 2nd Border!

I made the decision to stop at this point and make a small quilt.  Then I immediately sent Carole S. an email advising her that she would be receiving a belated Christmas gift of the remaining blocks that I had made last year along with a few other goodies that she might or might not like!  Carole was the only one who wanted the blocks in case I decided to not finish the quilt.   In other words – Circa 2016 and I are F-I-N-I-S-H-E-D!   So below is a picture of a nice little quilt that will make a great sewing machine cover.  This quilt is perfectly squared!

I love the red/mauve and black with some red/mauve mixed in. Hubby takes better pictures.
I love the red/mauve and black with some red/mauve mixed in. Hubby takes better pictures.

In remaking the Medallion, here are some things that I did to make sure that it would turn out – they are little things, but I guess when I was not feeling good I might have become a little sloppy.  Goal for 2017 – NO MORE SLOPPY WORK!  It only frustrates me and bothers no one else!!!!

  1.  Chose a fabric that would not stretch as bad on the bias (the medallion is on the bias)
  2.  As I sewed each row, each section was checked for accuracy (finished 2 1/4″).  Used an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance and pressed all seams open.
  3.  The medallion before the first “small” border was to be 13″ – I made it 3 times and it always came out at 13 1/8″ and on corner was always off slightly!
  4. On the first border I cut a 2″ strip and then sewed 6 of the hour glass blocks to make sure they measured 14″.  They did, so I then started reducing the first border by 1/8″ all around the border until it measured at 14″.  This way the center was in the center and not off center!

At least I know that I can make the Medallion and it came out square to 21 1/2″ unfinished!  Another YEA!  Have a great day and I will now move on to my 2017 list.  So many of the Bloggers are listing their projects for the new year.  Some of mine are on-going and I am so behind, so maybe I will be more inspired to ‘get ‘um done’ soon!  I will make a list, check it twice, and post it next time.

Until then, have a wonderful sewing week!

Happiness is Quilting, Knitting, and No Back Surgeries! Hurry Up 2017!

I will be the happiest person to see 2017 arrive!!!  I remember in 1992 I felt the same way and 1993 and beyond has been great (OK, there have been some hiccups).  I love New Year’s Eve because I know the next day is will be the beginning of a new year with a clean slate and going forward!  I do pray that 2017 is going to be a banner year for traveling, quilting, and just having fun!

There are a lot of movies that start off with the ending and then fill you in on the story.  So without having to go into the wonderful details of where I have been since the 3rd and 20th of November – here is the story in a nutshell.  I had my RF treatment on my back (they cauterised the nerves from the waist down – easy procedure and this was my 3rd one) on 3 Nov.  After the procedure I began to experience problems with walking in the morning, more pain, and overall muscle weakness.  My walking finally ceased because I could not walk without pain. Because I have had 4 fusions in previous years, I figured I had some herniated discs and would be headed for surgery.  A new MRI which showed only 2 bulging discs and they are the ones that connect the Lumbar and the upper torso (not good).  I made an appointment with Clay’s  surgeon and he advised me about a surgery that would fuse my entire back by redoing some of the old surgery (ouch) fusing 6 discs, adding a rod to put a “curve” in my spine and those love screws (8 sets).  OH BOY – sign me up! He told me that he did not do that type of surgery and did not recommend it but referred me to the surgeon who would if I was interested!  Based on that information I contacted my original surgeon (retired now) scheduled a visit with him for guidance and he agreed that an intensive surgery like that would be the final choice and that my situation was not at a point where I needed that extensive surgery!  WHEW!

By the time I was able to see the doctors, I was beginning to function again except for the shooting pains at the base of my skull.  I made an appointment with my pain management doctor yesterday who did the RF treatment.  I told him what I had experienced, and he looked at me and said, “out of the 500 or so RF treatments I have done ONLY TWO PEOPLE have had this reaction!!!!!  Well, hello to lucky me – where is that darn Black Cat?   I was relieved because after a while I began to think I was nuts and all of the pain was in my head!  I am grateful to the 3 doctors because they are all conservative in treatment choices and told me only as a last resort.  I now have a plan of action to prevent things from getting worse.  I am now going to have a brace to wear when I do my morning walk which will help hold my back straight, and am going to use a TENS unit (already noticing some good from that), continue stretching each morning, and continue in 5 months with another RF treatment and of course more and more walking!  I am truly blessed!

So now you can understand why I am so ready for 2017.  I look forward to feeling better with my old energy level back and knowing that I will turn over the house cleaning to my new housekeeper.  Shucks!!!  I do hope I find my creative juices flowing again and begin to enjoy quilting again.  While I was “resting” I did finish knitting a scarf that I had started a few years back.  But after taking Circa 2016 apart I have not touched anything that had to do with the word Quilt!

Two weeks ago I listed our Rig (truck and trailer) for sale on Craigslist, and within 2 days we sold it!  Monday morning Clay and I decided to look for a new vehicle – just to LOOK! HA!  Choices were an SUV or Truck so we would have a vehicle large enough for our future trips (and staying in hotels).  We headed to the Lincoln dealership first and then to the Toyota dealership to look at trucks.  We never made it past the Lincoln dealership as we purchased a Lincoln Navigator!  It will be the perfect vehicle for us when we want to take a trip.  Now I just have to learn the Navigation System since we have not had a vehicle with that capability.  It has been a very busy two weeks and we are both glad that it is over.  Clay and I are so blessed that we made the decision to sell the rig because those trips did affect my back issues and it was getting more and more of a chore rather than enjoyment to go on a trip.  A new phase in our lives!

I want to wish each and every one who reads my Blog a Merry Christmas and a very Blessed New Year.  I plan on getting back to quilting in a few days and line up my projects for 2017, most of which will be to finish up 2016 projects and prepare a couple of quilts to enter in the San Antonio show.  I also have a lot of new fabrics that need washing, pressing, folding, and then I will have to re-arrange fabric drawers.  I feel that I have more control over things now and hopefully I will be able to finish the UFOs.

Until the next time, have a great week and week-end and enjoy Christmas shopping.  I am looking forward for more cold weather (at least Texas cold).

PS – I think I have learned something about WordPress, or maybe any blog.  If I delete media from my files affects previous posts – won’t do that anymore!  Live and Learn!

The Demise of Circa 2016 – WHAT?

Greetings to all.  Although I have not done a blog for a while I have been busy (I guess you could call it that).  First of all I am so very excited for our country with the election of Donald John Trump.  May God bless him and his family and keep them safe throughout his term.   God Bless America and all of the Deplorable individuals who were in the basket with me!

Now on to the important things in our lives – QUILTING!  The last thing I remember about blogging on my blog was to show off my birthday fabrics and beginning to assemble my Circa 2016.  I am beginning to think that 2016 was just not my year for my quilting!  It seemed to start in January with the mess with Sitar’s basket quilt – which is still hanging on the rack waiting for the trash can or stems/flowers to be put on the basket, or just quilt it!  Then there was the Legacy one!  What a nightmare.  Why not throw in Grammy Squares – wrong color used for the final round!  So needless to say when I started Circa 2016 I just knew this would be a winner and a great quilt to enter into the San Antonio show next year.  I have been trying to decide how to write a funny blog on the Circa 2016 Saga and so here goes – remembering a picture can say a thousand words!  LOL

I loved making the blocks for this quilt.  Here are a few pictures showing how I put it together. (Some of the pictures are not the best, but you will get the idea as you go forward).

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Top and Bottom Sections
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Top, Bottom, and Side Panels

But WAIT – After sending the pictures to my dear buddy Wanda (who also has an eagle eye) sent me a text and told me to really look at 2 of the blocks – Can you guess which ones? I knew that it had to be corrected because I had not paid attention to color placement!  Then I realized that on the bottom right there was a problem with puckering – made my day!!!

the-bad-blocks
The Oops Block (wrong color placement)

So back to the thing I love most – RIPPING.  Yes, I could not let the blocks stay in the quilt as it was a harmless error in color placement.  They looked great when they were not on point (at least I did not catch the problem then).  Then I realized that I had another problem – Fabric just does not “ease” in for me!!!!!  Now the quilt was beginning to take on a life of its own with nothing but problems for me (caused by me).

ah-the-mistakes
Big Big Mistake – Puckering of Seams

OK so now I have removed 2 blocks and tried to get the puckering out of the bottom left.  Then I began to realize that there was an issue with the very center medallion…..You had to be up close and personal to see it.

the-quilt-with-block-changes
OK – On the Road Again – Corrections Made!

Not so fast – the pattern called for 1 1/2″ HST border.  This is where I realized that my quilt was not SQUARE!  And it mattered – BIG LEAGUE (good saying).  Here is a picture of what happened next and yes – I ended up ripping the entire quilt apart knowing that this quilt was headed to the trash, or the “never-never-never” drawer.  I figured the problem existed in putting all the squares together on point – SOMEWHERE!

what-the-heck-happened
What the Heck Happened to My Quilt?
problem-fabric-again
The Joke – I thought the problem was the 2nd border fabric!

Being the Type A that I am I was not going to let this quilt beat me – although I had ripped out the entire quilt which took more time than I wanted to devote to the project and maybe some STRESS.  So I decided to make up my own pattern.  One thing was to put the 1 1/2″ HSTs as the border after the hourglass blocks and go from there.

the-new-circa-2016
Success!

I had even selected the block patterns that I liked from the Circa 2016 pattern to make a few more borders:

possible-block-patterns-for-the-new-2016
Candidates for the next few borders

BUT – if you will look closely at the top left of the remake of the Medallion – you will see there was another PROBLEM that would make me re-think everything about Circa 2016!  I studied it and tried to see what I had done wrong.  Bottom line?  The problem started when I put the Medallion together back in April or May.  The Antique Muslin (Moda) fabric for some reason (probably the black cat theory) was stretching and it caused me issues that are not correctable!

the-real-real-problem

See all the nice wrinkles?  Additionally, I went back to the pattern, called the quilt store that put the pattern out, and my final analysis is that I was doomed from the beginning.   My next action is to rip out the blocks and put them in the “never-never-never” drawer or the more I write about this mess I am sure that someone will receive the blocks or the trash can will be full this next Friday!  Either way, I have decided that I am done with Circa 2016 and as happy as I am with the election I am DEFINITELY not pleased with my quilting endeavors this year.  What a mess!

OK – you may ask – what lessons have I learned this year (again).  NO MORE ON LINE FREE PATTERNS!  I must not forget my own rules because as soon as I do I end up in a mess.  I really did like my quilt, but it would not be worth my time to remake it because when you rip out quilts with 1 1/2″, 2 1/4″ and 1 1/2″ blocks your fabric will not hold up and it is just insane to continue repeating something and ultimately end up with the same bad results – No MATTER WHAT.  I feel that there is an issue in the fact that the blocks finished at 2 1/4″ rather than 2″.  Most of problems I have experienced this year in my quilts are designer flaws, but then I must take the credit for NOT reading the patterns close enough or making a test block before starting.  I do believe that my mind was elsewhere!  So my 2017 Resolution is to never have a year like this one AGAIN!

Anyone interested in the blocks can send me an email and the first one I receive will get all the blocks – free shipping!

Well, there have been many times this year that I was ready to just sell all of my beautiful fabric, all of my lovely patterns, and books and get my knitting out and the rocking chair and become an old woman!  But alas, blogging makes the world go ’round and such a great way to make fun of one’s self in life’s little boo boo’s!  New and difficult quilting projects provides me the challenge I need to continue on with my passion.

I have now prepped the 3 blocks for Ms Potts (3 months behind on that project) and working on prepping the next 5 blocks for Bountiful Life.  I am almost finished with Block 6 and hopefully can be through with that one in a few days.  I am now thinking of 2017.  It has to be a better year for me because 2016 was the worst year in producing quilts than when I started quilting in early 2000.  It is time for me to start working on more complex quilts to enter into quilt shows.  I need that challenge of making a quilt for show that requires precision and 100% accuracy!

I have ordered some Kaffe Fasett fat quarter bundles for my Sweet Surrender.  I wonder if this was a mistake as I originally thought I would use my 1930’s fabric (remember the Farmer’s Wife pattern that never got off the ground?).  I am beginning to look ahead and thinking that I will delve into my Australian quilt patterns and work on them next year.  But I must finish up Stonefields and my Brinton Hall and continue on with Bountiful Life.

I pray that each and every one of you have a blessed Thanksgiving and enjoy your family – we have so much to be thankful for this year!

Long Time No Blog! Update on Life and Quilting

Update on Life:  The month of September and most of October has come and gone and to me it is still too hot.  During this time, Clay and I caught the upper respiratory bug in September, which slowed us down to a crawl.  We were originally scheduled to go to Durant for 2 weeks in August but rescheduled due to the hot weather for September and then the September trip was rescheduled for the month of October.  We were able to leave on the 2nd of October as scheduled and stayed at the Choctaw Casino KOA.  Plans were to stay the entire month, but about 14 days into the trip we decided to come home.  We had a great time going to the Casino (almost everyday) winning and some losing, but it was all fun and so relaxing.

For the past 17 years (since retirement) we have traveled in our “home away from home” travel trailers.  We started in 2000 with a 26′ pull trailer, migrated to a 30′ pull, and then in 2004 we purchased a great 36′ fifth wheel along with a great one ton truck to pull it with.  We have spent 3 to 4 months in Arizona during the winter each year, but the last year we realized that those trips were becoming more of a chore than fun.  So during this last excursion we made a decision to sell the rig and purchase a new truck or Navigator and just pack up whenever and travel with less work and more fun!  We had to laugh when we realized that in 3 or 4 years at the age of 75 or 76 we would be nuts to do what we have to do in order to just arrive at the point where we can drive out the gate!  Amazing how the mind thinks young, but the body says something else!  LOL

Fabric Shopping: When I planned this trip there were 2 quilt stores that I wanted to visit,  HNT Quilt Store in Durant and Happiness is Quilting in McKinney Texas.  Well, HNT has closed their doors and the trip to McKinny (about a 3 hour round trip drive from Durant) really turned into a bummer and wasted day.    I will not bore you with the fun details, but that trip ended up driving a total of 3 hours without even finding the store, or if I could have, it would have been impossible to find a place to park a one ton Dually truck in the old Historic District of McKinney where “somewhere” there is a quilt store called Happiness is Quilting. After that lovely mess, even Clay was ready to hit the Casino to try to forget the horrible experience.  Quilt stores really need to wake up and realize that some customers do not live in their town and need accurate directions.  So it was their loss and my frustration!

Quilting Burnout Resolved:  During the summer months, I was really experiencing some major quilting burnout and just not sure what I wanted to do with my hobby.  It is amazing what a change of scenery and time away from the “same ‘ole thing” day in and day out can do for a person.  Time to reflect and to think about the remaining years on this earth and how to spend them.  One of my answers came when my Kay (my cousin) called one afternoon while we were in Durant, trying to find one of our great Aunts on our Smith/Harrison side of the family.  This was all it took to kick-start me back to one of the things that I love dearly – researching.  Talk about clearing out the cobwebs in the brain – working on family history is so rewarding, inspiring, and for me RELAXING.  I will  set time aside to work on finishing the family genealogy and attempt to document all history for the Cook and Chopin line.

Speaking of Kay she is more of a sister to me than a cousin and will be going in for open heart surgery next Tuesday.  I am praying for her and just know that she will feel so much better when this ordeal is over.  She is such a sweet and caring person and has been special to me all of my life and always there for me, I love her dearly.  She and her husband have raised such a beautiful family and she is the love of their lives.  So Blessed.

Project Updates:  OK – now on to where I left off on my projects.  I believe my last post showed fabrics that I had purchased for Rowdy Flats Library quilt by Susan Smith.  I purchased some wonderful fabrics from B & B Quilt Store in Buda, Texas on the way home from the Austin Quilt Show in September.  My quilting buddy Jan and I left them with some $ and we came home with the perfect fabrics for our quilt projects.  They have a wonderful selection of Civil War prints that I have found in a while.  At the time I was trying to hold off and purchase from Happiness, but am so glad that I bought all those lovely fabrics when I did.

Grammy Squares have been placed in a permanent “never to be seen again” file called Trash Can.  I have never ditched my work in the trash, but I really made a mistake when I did not use a black background for the squares!  It was not going in a good direction and I knew I would never ever finish that project.  WHAT A RELIEF.  I will make the quilt, but will use different fabrics (probably batiks) and a black background to showcase the fabrics!  I have finished more of my mini Dresden Plates, but am now cutting out more and will showcase those at a later date.  I finally finished Block 5 of Bountiful Life in September and have kept up with Circa 2016 until the middle of September.  The final setting was provided on 7 October.  I believe I have 9 blocks to make along with 120 HSTs to make for the border.  I will post a picture of the quilt when I have finished it.  I have really enjoyed working this project and hope to have it finished in the next month!   Ms Potts summer blocks are completed but have not worked on the block for September or October.  I have completed the “replacement” for Block 20.

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Block 5, A Bountiful Life
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Block 20 – Ms Potts Quilt (BAS Project)

I thought it would be nice to put the finished blocks on the design wall to see how my colors were blending.  I am pleased.

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Ms Potts Quilt – 9 Blocks completed

Leaving on a Positive Note:  I have really missed blogging, but this break in my “routine rut” has really lifted my mood and spirits.  Thursday was a day that provided me with 4 positive changes in my life.  Positive Number 1 was the trip to the Dermatologist which confirmed that my stress level has been too high this summer – my Rosacea is off the charts.  (Amazing what stress does to a body).  This was good news for me better than a pre-cancerous issue.  Positive Number 2 was  the decision to devote time to Genealogy research for the Cook and Chopin families will provide me the mental challenge I have been looking for (better than getting a part-time job – LOL)  and will probably settle me down stress wise.  Positive Number 3 for Thursday was taking time to  check out a yarn store in San Antonio called Yarnivore.  What a wonderful yarn shop, with personality plus and teaching classes/lessons available that will fit my schedule.  Positive Number 4– I had placed an ad in the local paper looking for quilters in the area that would be interested in joining a Quilting Bee while in Durant.   When one lives in the country it can be exciting to find someone who shares your interest.  As we arrived home from San Antonio, I received a call from a lady (Dorothy) who was very excited and interested in a Quilting Bee.  We plan on getting together in November and hope to find a few other ladies that would like to join us.   Sometimes we just have to “getaway” from home to really clean out the clutter in the mind and develop a new perspective on life.   Maybe the last 2 years are finally behind me.

I think I have mentioned in a previous blog as to what I do if a Black Cat crosses my path – I turn around and go the other way – Thursday morning as Clay was locking the gate, my neighbor’s black cat did just that, and I did exactly what I usually do, I turned around and left our subdivision the opposite way – and look at the good luck I had all in one day – of course Clay thinks I am nuts and always has a good laugh on me, but that is fine.  I am convinced that turning around did it for me!  LOL

Have a blessed day and if you have not voted, please remember that it is an honor to be able to participate in the election process.  ME – I am in the Basket of Deplorables!!!!!!

 

Grammy Squares, Circa 2016, Ms Potts, and Dresden Heaven!!!! The fun things in life!

I cannot believe that it is the end of August and we are not in the 100’s anymore!  This summer we have had 20 inches of rain here on our quiet little hill.  The 100’s appear to be a thing of the past now and I can live with the 90’s and decent humidity!   I am so ready for Fall, end of Daylight Savings TIme and a cold winter that would bring us some snow.  It has been almost 30 years since we had 16 inches of snow in the San Antonio area!  Maybe this year we will have a “real” winter!

I have been working on my Grammy Squares.  They are fun to make and I have the process down pat now!  I have pre-cut some of my strips but not all.  I had so much fabric out on the cutting table and was going to cut the strips as I needed them, but I could not take the “mess” so I have about 12 blocks (strips) ready to sew and the fabric is back in the drawer until I need more strips.   I am trying to use up the Summer of Baskets fabric by Moda.  There are 2 or 3 of the squares that may not make it in the quilt as the contracts in color did not work as well as I would like.  But that decision will not have to be made for a while!

Grammy Squares - Aug
Grammy Squares

Here are a few of the blocks close up!  The first one may be a candidate for “not in this quilt”…. I think I messed up when I used the light green for the first round, and the last picture shows a very dark block.  Maybe I will make a pillow top with them!

Grammy 3Grammy 1

image

Grammy 4

I am caught up with Circa 2016 (well OK – I have not done the ones for the 26th of August).  I hated to waste the 2 extra blocks, so will see if I can use them in the quilt.
Circa 2016 Blocks2

 

Circa 2016 Blocks

I am caught up with Ms Potts blocks.  I love the way Blocks 17 and 13 turned out, but when it came to Block 20, I gave up!  I tried 3 times to do the stars, EPP, making a whole star (not piecing) with a red batik, and then back to EPP!  I gave up – and so I am going to make Block 20 with a bias circle and the 4 flowers on it!  May throw in a few leaves, but not the Stars!  When it takes me a month to finish a simple block that turns into a nightmare, I am out of there!

Ms Potts Block 17
Ms Potts Block 17
Ms Potts Block 13
Ms Potts Block 13
Ms Potts Block 20 (replacement)
Ms Potts Block 20 (replacement)

And now – Dresden Heaven.  I enjoy making these little Dresden plates – so much fun!  I have this one down pat also.  Today I had hoped to make another 20, but all I was able to achieve was to have them ready to put together!  Oh well, tomorrow is another sew day!

Tiny Dresden Plates

I have no idea where I am going on this one, other than to just make them.  I may just make the quilt with the small ones, then again if I end up with too many of the same color I can make 2 quilts!  I just am enjoying making them.

Have a great week – getaway is just around the corner for us so my machine stitching will probably come to an end for a while after Tuesday.