Doing the Happy Dance!!!

FINALLY!  We are back into a BORING routine of retirement life!  I am always ready to take a short “getaway” but not this month!  I am through with the hand surgeries and Clay and Melissa are healthy and Melissa started a great new job yesterday!  What else could we want?  Well, OK – only one more trip to the hand doctor tomorrow and a few errands in SA and hopefully that will be it for a while.  It was a long long LONG 5 months and without a few quilting buddies I think I would have really gone crazy.  Thanks to Jaydee and Gretchen!  Great friends and quilters!

So one might ask – what does a quilter do when back to back carpal tunnel surgeries and dealing with only one hand to use for a short period with all of those projects gathering dust!  PUNT!  I had time to work on my RSC 2017 project which was not difficult to do and it was something I could work on between surgeries and all the lovely trips to SA!  I worked daily on trying to get this quilt finished by Monday and I achieved that goal!  When I started making the 4 patch blocks, I had no idea where I was going with the quilt.  Originally I had intended to make 28 blocks of 5 colors, but ran out of patience to just sit and sew 4 patches all day long.   I only used 4 colors and could no longer bring myself to make anymore blocks in other colors.  Here is the final outcome!  Anything that reminded me of this quilt that was not used is in the permanent UFO file!

RSC 2017 Challenge Quilt – Completed but not perfect!

One would think that since each and every 4 patch and 2 1/2″ offsetting squares were squared and doubled checked during the process, that the quilt would come out perfect!  Did not happen here and that is a big frustration for me as a Type A personality!  The quilt is lucky to have survived the same demise as its leftovers!

Also during this time I have been able to finish preparing the last two blocks (Blocks 1 and 2 the ones with the wreaths) for the Nesting quilt and have started appliquéing on block 1.  I love the Red Birds in this quilt.   I have only one more block to go and then I will start on the appliqué border.  This is an old pattern of Darlene C. Christopherson’s and so pretty.  Each block is different.  Blocks 1 and 2 had wreaths for the birds to sit on, but the pattern was not accurate so I quickly decided to change that and leave them off.

Moving right along, I found out that I could embroidery as soon as the cast was removed, but took it slow and easy.  I have finished 2 more blocks for Sweet Stitches project.  Today I have prepared the April Easter Bunny Block.  This was a BOM that I purchased in either 2013 or 2014.  It is fun and really fast to complete.  Kathy provides embellishments for each month that are fusible and really add to the block!

 

January

February

March

I have 3 projects going concurrently for appliqué, Nesting, Stonefields, and A Bountiful Life.  I still have to  prepare Section 5 of Stonefields though.  I also have other projects that need attention, but am thinking that I am ready to start on a Di Ford quilt – something that will be more challenging than 4 patches.  (Hummm if I have the problem with 4 patches, maybe this will not be a good idea – LOL)  I am going to start on one of the quilts from her books Primarily Quilts and Primarily Quilts 2.

In 2014 I purchased some of the beautiful Dutch Chintz fabrics to use in her quilts and it is now the time to get back to that time when I first started with Reproduction Fabrics and the Australian reproduction quilt patterns.  I have fabric for 3 of her quilts in the books so it will be fun to work with them.

All in all, I am finally at a place in 2017 where things are peaceful and calm and uneventful.  It has been a long 9 months of a not so good year.  So this is the beginning of my 2017 and I only have 3 more months in this year to produce!  I have almost forgotten that I have that wonderful new Grace quilting frame waiting for a quilt, but think it will be December before I attempt any hand quilting.

Our trip for the year will be in November as we are going to go to Santa Fe and Gallup New Mexico and on to Winslow, Flagstaff, and Sierra Vista, Arizona.  We will enjoy the new scenery and visiting for a week with our friends Doug and Jean who have already arrived in the Sierra Vista area for the winter.  Then back home for the winter, or whatever we end up with for cold weather.  It will be fun and a great chance to visit with our friends.  I miss our RV travel, but not the work involved!

An update on my new toy the Cutter Pillar I purchased at the SA Quilt Show.  It is a great and must have tool for quilters.  Today I used it as a light box – unbelievable!  To be able to use it as a cutting mat and then for the light box for tracing patterns for appliqué and embroidery is great and a time and space saver to boot!  To see how it works go to Cutter Pillar! 

Have a great week and enjoy stitching!

 

Success! 17 in 2017 Goal for February!

What a month!  I have met all my goals for the month and it is a good feeling, even with the reformatting and updating of 3 computers!  I am now proficient on the Macintosh and Microsoft Operating Systems.  I know more than a 72-year-old woman wanted to learn at this time in my life in maintaining computers, but look at all the money I can now spend on fabric at the Dallas Show next week-end!  Guess it was worth my time after all.  Now to show you my progress for the month!

Finished preparing 4 A Bountiful Life blocks to appliqué.  The blocks will be 14 1/2″ unfinished.  If I can get them completed by May, I will be half way through the 20 blocks.  FINAL GOAL:  Have this quilt ready to show in the 2018 Quilt Shows.

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Completed Section 4 of Stonefields!!!!!!!  This pattern is not difficult other than the pieces are very small.  Mr Rabbit and I had a fun day yesterday.  I would love to have this one completed to show next year also, but time will tell!  Blocks are 6 1/2″ unfinished.

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This block was previously finished, but the flowers in the center were too light so I redid it with some of the same fabrics used for the blue leaves.

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Margaret Potts is now on schedule (except for the February’s block which was received last week).  I finished 5 blocks this month!  Blocks are 10 1/2″ unfinished.

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block

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AND Oh Glory is quilted!  I believe I made this while in Arizona in or around 2013.  It is a Lynette Jennings pattern!  Just need to add the binding.  Think this one will probably replace one of the wall hangings in my Studio now.

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Can you believe are already starting March and daylight savings time?  I will be finishing the computer project up (hopefully today) and move on to a new project.  I really do want to work on an RSC 2017 project so maybe now I can take some time and look for a pattern that I really want to do in those colors.  I would like this one to be a “fun” quilt, something that will not be difficult but a little challenging.  Hopefully I can have my March goals selected soon.

Have a great day and enjoy stitching!

Linking to – Let’s Be Social  Esther’s WOW  17 UFOs in 2017

Decisions, Decisions, and a Grace Quilting Frame

I started the year out with 17 UFOs that I wanted to finish. I met my January goals, and looks like I will meet my February goals. I have decided to not continue with RSC 2017 this year because there are 3 quilt shows that I want to enter in 2018. They are the Dallas, New Braunfels, and Austin Texas shows. It will be nice to visit the Dallas Show so I can get a feel for the Judges and the show set up. I have shown before in NB and Austin. In order to do this I must stay focused on 4 quilts that I want to show. Three would be appliqued and hand quilted and the 4th is going to be Robin’s Nest. I could show in the San Antonio Show this year, but would need to send 2 quilts to a professional. I will ponder on this one as I have plenty of time to decide and the quilt tops are already finished! In place of the RSC 2017 project, I am going to work on the Quiltmania 2017 Mystery Quilt.

I have been in an “Indecisive” mode for a while, but finally getting over that and am making progress – more than I had last year!  This last week I have caught up with Margaret Potts BAS BOM. (I am doing this post on my iPad so the pictures are not the best)

 

Block 19 Ms Potts

Ms Potts Block 15

Ms Potts Block 19

Ms Potts Block 19

Yesterday the BAS newsletter was posted and so now I have one more block to do soon in order to stay current!

Along with catching up on Ms Potts, I wanted to finish prepping the 4 Bountiful Life blocks for applique.  I have all four backgrounds traced, and two blocks ready to applique.  Tomorrow I will finish selecting a few fabrics for the flowers and they will be ready for applique.  When I first started appliquéing I used the “blue marker” but I had one issue and I only use a number 2 pencil to trace the pattern on the background fabric.  As you can see, I do not use glue or starch, I use freezer paper and needle turn the pieces.  I do not baste the pieces either.  I work with glass head applique pins to keep each piece in place.

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Ready to Applique

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Ready for Fabric Pieces

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Vase Fabric – Need to finish leaf fabric pieces

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Ready to Go

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A Bountiful Life Finished Blocks

One day last week I read Happy To Be Scrappy (Deb) where posted that she decided to purchase a Grace hand quilting frame.  She is such a bad influence on me as a lot of Blogger’s are!  LOL.  I had not hand quilted a quit since 2013 and every time I read a post from another blogger who had their quilts in a quilt frame I thought about my applique quilts.  I will not have them machine quilted every though there are any quilters who do.

So I went to the Grace website and fell in love with the Z44.  It would be great to have a frame like this where I can adjust it in 6 different positions which would make it easier for me with my Fibro and back issues.   They have a great video for the Z44 hand quilting frame.  Check it out.  I worked with Karla when I ordered the frame.

 

 

At first I thought I was nuts for doing this, but then realized that I wanted to enter Quilt Shows again after a 3 year hiatus and that I would need this frame for my applique quilts!

Well, this post is lengthier than I thought it would be, but I am very pleased that in the first 2 months of this year I am well on my way to catching up on projects and have a goal in mind for 2018!  Now let’s see if I am able to maintain this momentum.

Have a great week all!

 

17 in 2017 List and Completions

I decided to not go with One Monthly Goal (OMG) and instead I am switching to 17 in 2017 as this fits my projects and UFO’s better.  So here is my list.

Nanette’s 17 in 2017 Projects  (see my 9 January 2017 Post for additional information).

For January I have completed all my goals, well with one exception – quilting my Oh Glory quilt.  But it has now been moved over to February and hopefully finished soon.

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Oh Glory

Finished projects for January 2017.  Cross off quilting of Dear Jane Quilt; Circa 2016 – Modified; Sewing Machine Cover; and Xmas Place mats for Doug and Jean.

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Minature Dear Jane

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Miniature Circa 2016

 

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Pat Sloan’s Sewing Machine Cover

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Place Mats for Doug and Jean

I will now be working on catching up on A Bountiful Life – I have 4 blocks ready to prep for applique (selecting fabric) and have finished Block 6 in January – Yipee!   Upon finishing the next 4 blocks I will then be half-way through with this project.  There are a total of 20 blocks.  It is similar to the Australian Version of Civil War Bride.  I am saving the more difficult blocks for the end!

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Grapevine and Swooping “Yellow and Orange” Bird

I am currently working on Section 4 of Stonefields by Susan Smith;  Margaret Potts Quilt – a BOM with the Baltimore Applique Society, Brinton Hall (EPP project), and Handful of Scraps (EPP project).  All of my applique projects will be on going and hopefully will have Stonefield’s and Brinton Hall completed by the end of the year.  I am almost finished with Section 4 of Stonefield’s and have 6 more Sections – there are 121 blocks in the quilt.  This is my center medallion for Brinton Hall.  I am doing it in batik and need to sew all the hexagons around the 7 blocks.  I am used Asian prints for those blocks.  I am going to re-design the remainder of the quilt, just need a nudge to get going on completing the center!!!

Final Setting for the Medallion Center of Brinton Hall

Brinton Hall

For my new projects I am going to work from my list of 13 “Waiting in the Wings” Quilts See above list.  I am also adding the Quiltmania 2017 Mystery Quilt  2017. (I am not endorsing Homestead Hearth – they had the pictures of the first 2 blocks).   I have the first 2 blocks prepared and ready for reverse applique!  Think I will be seeing a lot of dots when I finish it because I could not purchase enough of the background fabric that the Designer used.  Quilt stores are holding it for kits.  Hope I did not select the wrong fabric for the background!  Time will tell.

When we are under stress in our lives – applique saves us because it is so calming.

Have a great Super Bowl week-end I would like to thank everyone for providing me comfort at this time in my life.

RSC 2017 – Beat the Clock!

Today I found a pattern that I really like and am going to use it for my RSC 2017 project!  YEA.  Happy To Be Scrappy  has the quilt on her Blog and I have been admiring it along with Gretchen.  So I did some research and Deb gave me some information on how she made the quilt and now I have finished 3 of the blocks this afternoon.  Now remember, I am not a scrappy person, so it will be interesting to see how this works out.

There is an off-setting block that will go with each block, but I am no longer “Wonder Woman” like I used to be and am calling it quits for today – the last day to post the Purple Blocks.  I am going to do something with my 4 patches, just not sure what!  Both Gretchen and I have added a quilt to RSC 2017 project.  It amazes me how we can start out on a project like this and then at the very end change directions.  But isn’t if fun to do!

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I am now pleased with this and enjoyed making the blocks.  It is really a very easy quilt to make so I will enjoy the process.  I am going to try to make the 3 off setting blocks for the blocks and hopefully can post them on Tuesday.  Wish me luck.

Starting another project tomorrow Robin’s Nest by Karen Styles and hopefully I will be in the Applique mood tonight!  The next bi-monthly quilt will be the Quiltmania Mystery Quilt.  It will be a nice slow project and the first 2 blocks are reverse applique.  I am trying to find the background fabric that they are using, but of course the 2 places you can order them from US are not selling any of the fabric because they are only going to use them for the Kits.  DARN!

IF and I say IF, I can get caught up on my Stonefields,  Margaret Potts Quilt, and A Bountiful Life then I will start Rowdy Flat Library Quilt.  It is a very intense appliqued quilt designed by Susan Smith.  I have my fabrics, just need to double up on my quilting time!  Hummmm  guess I need to clone myself!

Have a great week-end.

One Monthly Goal (OMG) January Goals Completed

I am so happy to have finished the following projects that I had schedule for January for OMG!

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Circa 2016  – Modified version of the quilt – quilted and binding completed.

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Miniature  Jane Quilt – quilted and binding completed

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Pat Sloan’s Sewing Machine Pattern  – quilted and binding completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas place mats for Doug and Jean – quilted, binding completed, and mailed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Block 6 of A Bountiful Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I joined the Ocean Waves Quilt A Long (QAL) only to decide that Ocean Waves is not a quilt that I want to continue with so I made a little quilt out of the one “practice” block I made.

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My Ocean Waves Quilt – Miniature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also wanted to participate in RSC 2017 this year.  I have started with purple 4 Patches.  I will continue with this project in February, and make a decision by March if I continue on.  I may find another pattern that  I really like and start over.  Time will tell.

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January Purple Blocks for RSC 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not least, Oh Glory quilt.  It now loaded on the long arm ready to be quilted!  My goal is to have it completed by Tuesday 31 Jan.

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Oh Glory Quilt – Embroidered Stars – Ready for Quilting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great day and enjoy quilting!

My “Your Fired” Experience, RSC 2016, and A Bountiful Life, and OMG

Well!  After retirement I began to have time to listen to my “gut” feelings about things.   I try to act on them and then sometimes I have to let them play out either all the way to see the issue to the end, OR I let the ‘issue’ play out for a bit – then I lower the boom!

Tuesday was a day that I had a gut feeling that my newly hired monthly housekeeper was not going to work out (she was due to clean on Tuesday).  She called 45 minutes before she was to arrive to tell me she had not put my address in her GPS (1st thing).  Then she showed up at 9:40 (not scheduled 9:00).  I began to have the feeling that this lady would not work out, but wanted to give her a chance.  It took her 1 hour to clean a room that should have taken 20 minutes or so (2nd thing).  Then she had to make a personal call (3rd thing).  Then her daughter called (4th thing).  Then she told me she had not eaten breakfast and her stomach was growling (5th thing).  Now while all this was going on I was cleaning 11 blinds in our den because I felt that something was not going to go right in this new hire!  Now I have never watched the Apprentice, but it did not take me more than 1 hour and 45 minutes to tell the Lady – Your are Fired!  I paid her for the time she was there and sent her on her way!  I was so “upset” (mild word) that I knew I would be cleaning my house that day and until I cannot get out bed!  I finished at 4:30!  Thank God for my new brace.  I will now continue on doing the house once a month myself and leave the house keepers to find another person to lie to!  I just had to get this off my chest.

OK – now on to my favorite thing – quilting!  I wanted to do Ocean Wave QAL and RSC 2016 this year just to have a couple of slow projects.  Well, I have finished Ocean Wave quilt!  I made one block and quickly decided – whoops – do not think I want to spend time doing all of these blocks – lots of work and detail to precision sewing is imperative to make this baby!  I can do it, but other projects would be more fun!  I followed the grid sheet and made a practice block to make sure that it would be accurate and if I really wanted to do this project.   Here is my finished Ocean Waves!

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My One and Only Ocean Wave Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finished Block 6 of A Bountiful Life – YEA – I will not say how long it took me to finish this block – I just had “applique block” problem!  Hopefully that is over with as I have a lot more applique waiting for me to get with the program.  I am not real pleased with the “looped vine” in the center – I may have to redo that.  It is embroidered.

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A Bountiful Life – Block 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made numerous 4 Patches (purple) for an RSC 2016 project, but have now decided that I am not going to participate in this project this year.  Maybe next year.

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A LOT of 4 Patches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for One Monthly Goal Update:  I have met all of my goals!

  1. Small Jane Quilted
  2. Circa 2016 Quilted
  3. Pat Sloan’s Sewing Machine   Quilted
  4. Christmas placements for Doug and Jean (2)   Quilted
  5. Started RSC 2016 – Started but decided not to participate
  6. Ocean Waves – Completed

If you would like to see pictures of my quilts, check out my earlier posts this month!  Tomorrow I will quilt Oh Glory and that is the last of the monthly projects I wanted to complete.  I am now at a point where I am going to review some Australian Designer quilts that I had wanted to start in 2014.  I will make a decision on which one I will start in a day or two.

I hope that everyone has a great day and enjoy sewing!  On to my February schedule – whatever that is!