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.

Happy Valentines and Baskets of Scraps

Happy Valentines all!  Enjoy a day off of cooking and have a box of chocolates!

Well, Baskets of Scraps and I are almost through having so much fun together!  In the last 2 weeks since my last post I almost  gave this project away to anyone but me.  I decided to bite the bullet and really do a push and finish it because I already have so much invested and I am glad I did.

Yesterday I completed all baskets except for sewing the top and bottom together of each block (the top part is for the handle).  Then I will have to hand applique the handles.  So today is sewing the two pieces together (20 blocks) and cutting out the bias strips for handles.  Then this project will go into the “evening applique” stack.  I was going to do some flowers in the baskets because I am changing the patter a bit.  But now have decided to just use some of the vines and leaves in each basket – trying to cut down the work.  I would have enjoyed this project so much more if I had not had issues with the wrong cutting sizes but this happens.

I have 2 blocks completed.  When I put them on the design wall I realized that without flowers in the basket, or vines and leaves, or something to make it pop, that the quilt would be boring.  I like the deep purple batik that I have chosen for the border.  It should tone down the glaring background fabric.  This is the fun part in working with a quilt – adding design changes.  It means that creativity is working!  This quilt may have a new name when I am through with it.

2 Completed Baskets

Baskets of Scraps

 

Ready to Sew BoF

Ready to be sewn together and applique a handle!

 

Stack of BoF

The final 18 Baskets to sew together and add the handle and leaves and vines.

I was so happy when I finished the baskets yesterday afternoon.  But was so shocked and saddened by the death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia.  What a sad day for our Country and for his family.  We may never see one as brilliant as he.  He was loved by all – even those who did not agree with his decisions.

I have completed all the hexagons I needed to start working on Brinton Hall Medallion.  I will also start preparing my blocks for Civil War Bride which a few of us will work on 2 blocks each month (boy what a dreamer I am!)  I am thinking that it is time to get with the long arm program and quilt some of my quilt tops that have been ignored for the last 2 years.  It should give me a nice break from what I have been doing.  I must now decide on whether or not to start Dear Jane, or go forward with preparation work for Sweet Surrender.  If I am not careful I will be swimming in applique work and probably drown.  I told Clay yesterday that I am so happy that we left Arizona early – my 2016 has been very productive!

Have a wonderful day!

Projects Going Well – Blog is Late!

Good morning to all.  I hope that your New Year is going well and that projects are coming along as you have planned. I was going to try to Blog each Friday – but oops, missed that goal!  It is good ole’ Cedar Season here in South Texas and I wish they Cedar trees would just go away, but not that lucky!  I am scheduled to be checked for Asthma on the 25th as the inhaler really has made me feel a lot better and more energy.  If that is what has taken some of my stamina away the last 2 years it will be a blessing to find out and correct the problem!

I am happy with my progress on E. Sitar’s Basket of Flowers.  I have completed 350- 2″ four patches (think about 50 too many but gives me more selection when making the baskets)!   They are easy and fun to make.  Sometimes mindless sewing is good for the brain to relax and no pressure.  The pattern directions state to cut the strips at 1 1/4″  x 21″ but I always add 1/8″ or 1/16″ to the width when cutting in order to have some extra fabric to square my blocks and the shorter strips keep the strip sets even and less waste.   Each 21′ strip makes 8 Four Patches.

Strip Sets for Basket 4 Patch

Strip Sets 1 3/8″ x 21″

Next step is to cut the strip sets in the same width (1 3/8″ or add a 1/16″).   I am keeping the four patches in individual bags (plastic snack bags) for 2 reasons – control clutter on my cutting table and allow me to work on other projects.   Since I tend to work with  “controlled” scrappy projects it also makes it easier to work with the selection of colors for each basket.  I “accidentally” purchased the bags and thought I would take them back, but then realized I could use them for small projects like this one.

Lots of 4 Patches

Bags of Four Patches

Snack Bags for 4 Patches

Snack Bags for 4 Patches

I wanted to see how my colors would look for the baskets – not sure how the “scrappy” will take shape, but here is a sample.  (without the pedistal).

Sample Basket

Basket Setting Sample

I finished the 2nd Christmas place mat.  Hopefully I will be able to finish the preparation work for the Table Runner.  It is a quick needleturn applique project.  Heck – should be able to have this one completed by Thanksgiving if I work faster (LOL).

I have one diamond block completed for E. Sitar’s Flower Garden and the remaining 5 cut out and ready to sew to the hexagon paper pieces.   There are a total of 6  diamonds for the quilt center of the quilt.  I am using Betty Cutchian’s Eliza’s Indigo.   I ordered a few fat quarters and then ordered the “bundle”  This has worked out great because I can use the same fabric but different colors for the hexagon stars.

Flower Garden Medallion B1

Flower Garden Hexagon Diamond

A note on the Farmer’s Wife 1930 Sampler.  Laurie Hird contacted me this week and advised that there are 4 more corrections coming from her publisher.  They are for the diagrams only.  I am glad that I brought the issue to her attention because she was unaware that a problem existed.  She is working on her third book and is appreciative that I advised her about the problem and is instituting safeguards that this will not happen to her again.  It must be so frustrating to send one’s work to a publisher only to have them make mistakes when publishing the book.  I admire Laurie for checking into the issue for me – I am beginning to feel now that I may just work on this project later in the year.

Today will be trimming the remaining Four patches and hopefully cutting out the pedestals.  I would also like to finish up preparing the Xmas table runner and bring out Segment 3 of Stonefields.  Have a great sewing day.  Enjoy Life.

Happy New Year – Still Working on the Old and Bringing in the New for 2016

Happy New Year!  We arrived home in Texas on Christmas Day.  We made a mad dash for home with the El Paso Blizzard following us. We left Whetstone, Arizona on Christmas Eve and spent the night in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  It was cold!  We left at 8AM and we were scheduled to spend the night in Fort Stockton, Texas on Christmas night and head for home on Saturday.  But when we realized that we would arrive by noon and just sit there until Saturday morning, we kept on going and arrived at home at 7:20PM – a 651 mile trip pulling a 36 foot 5th Wheel that was probably overloaded.

We were very blessed on this trip home because when we went to unload some things out of the 5th wheel on Saturday morning we had a flat on the Dually!  No wonder the truck acted like it was dying on the last 50 miles!   Now a week later, we are now back to our normal routine.  The weather here in our area is dark and dreary and raining.  For me I love the weather like this – Cold, Wet, and 100% quilting weather!

I have made myself a promise now that we are settled back into our normal life that I will Blog each week with updates on my projects. Since my last post I have finished Segment 2 of Stonefields and started a Christmas Table Runner and Placements – YUP – bought that pattern and fabric 2 years ago so now it will be ready for Christmas 2016…. why be in a hurry?  If I finish this in the next 2 weeks it will be the first time I will have a nice table runner and place mats for Christmas!

We had a wonderful trip, but will not go back to Arizona for the winter again.  We have been doing this trip for 15 years and it is time for a change.  We have decided to do shorter trips during the year and stay put for winter time in Texas.  I can hardly wait to go to Durant, OK for a good gambling trip!

Here are the blocks for Stonefields, Segment 2:

Stonefields Segment 2

Segment 2 of Stonefields All in a Row!

The top two blocks were really difficult to achieve perfection – so I did them twice.  The second time I used my EQ7 software and redid the block pattern.  They came out perfect the second time.  The original pattern was not drawn to scale and it caused the stars to be off-center.  The lower left blocks with the little flowers were fun to make, although when I realized the hexies were 3/8″ I thought they would be the most difficult to do, but they turned out to be the most fun!  Here are the blocks close up.

Blue Hexie Flower Block

Blue Hexie 3/8″ Flower Block

Red Hexie Flower Block

Red Hexie Flower Block

Christmas Placemat

Christmas Place Mat

I purchased the pattern in Durant, OK in 2013 on the way to Arizona.  The Table Runner has 5 candles with the Christmas Balls and has a shadow fabric for the back of the candle which is really neat.  When I finish that I will provide the pattern information.  Fun and easy project for Christmas 2016!

I have an impossible list of projects for 2016 – none of which will be on-line BOMs.  They served their purpose for me last year, but that was then and this is now!  Here is my list (hum…..) wonder which one’s will be finished this year?

1. Civil War Bride (There are 3 (maybe 4) Ladies who will be doing 2 blocks a month starting in February or March and I will be posting the progress of all each month!  If you have the pattern and would like to join, let me know).  There are no set rules or time constraints with this project.

2.  Brinton Hall (Quiltmania Project)
3.  Flower Garden  (Edyta Sitar’s Handfuls of Scraps Book)
4.  Baskets of Scraps (Edyta Sitar’s Handfuls of Scraps Book)
5.  Dear Jane (Brenda’s)
6.  Stonefields
7.  Stars and Sprigs  (Kim McLean)
8.  Sweet Surrender – Australian pattern (waiting for the mail impatiently)

There is a “maybe” project – 9.  Farmers’ Wife 1930 (There is a BIG maybe on this one – there are issues with the .pdf files).  As I previously posted, I purchased the book and all the fabric, so I have already invested a lot of $ for this project.  My friend Cathy sent me 3 books on 1930’s fabrics for Christmas and they are great reads.  They will be a great help if I decide to use the fabric on another quilt.

I also would love to start on Di Ford’s 2013 Mystery Quilt  but of course who knows.  I realize that there is no way to complete all, but I am going to at least get started on all of them and do not think I will get bored.  This will be the first time I will run projects concurrently – should be fun or I will slide into oblivion world of “ex-quilters”.

My friend Jaydee, sent me a piece of fabric of Peacocks.  She was working on The Morrell Quilt and had a couple of the birds left over.  When I received them I immediately could see a Medallion coming down the road… The birds are so pretty.

Jaydee's Peacocks

Beautiful Peacocks

Have a wonderful 2016 and remember, Life is short, Friends are Few, and God loves us!