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!

circa-2016-miniature-finished

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

miniature-dear-jane

Miniature  Jane Quilt – quilted and binding completed

sewing-machine-finished

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

placemats

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bountiful-life-omg-jan-15-block-5

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.

nanettes-ocean-wave-quilt

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.

rsc-purple-january-2017

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.

oh-glory-finished

Oh Glory Quilt – Embroidered Stars – Ready for Quilting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great day and enjoy quilting!

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!

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!

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!

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).

medallion-and-top-and-bottom

Top and Bottom Sections

ah-the-quilt

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!

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.

Ms Potts, Circa 2016, Goodbye Dear Jane, and Hello Dresden Heaven

OK – one sentence on the weather – The weather has not changed for the good it is now 100 degrees and heat index running from 105 to 109 and this ole’ lady has finally thrown in the towel as far as walking goes for this week.  Now on to quilting!

I have (again) caught up with Circa 2016 blocks from the 29 July and 5 August!  YEA.

Blocks from 29 July and 5 August 2016

Circa 2016 Blocks from 29 July and 5 August 2016

I really do enjoy making the 3 1/2″ blocks.  They go fast and are always a challenge because of the size.  To me this is a “practice” session preparing me for some of the quilts that are waiting in line for me to make.

This summer the Margaret Potts group from BAS have 3 blocks to work on.  I have finished 2 Blocks and working on the 3rd.  The last block has 4 stars and I am using the EPP method to make them so they will be “perfect” (Ha Ha).  The pieces are so small so I had to set it aside and complete the other blocks.  I took one look at the circles and thought – OH NO!  So tiny – no bigger than a dime!!!  But I started on the block and begin to enjoy the process.  The stems are embroidered with 2 strains of variegated thread.

Blocks 13 and 17

Margaret Potts BAS Project – Blocks 13 and 17

I thought I would share with all on how I do my circles.  I have 2 sets of Karen Kay Buckley mylar circles, but the time it takes to cut the fabric, baste around the circle, and then spray with sizing and iron, that I decided to take a  different approach when making circles for my applique projects.  I use C. Jenkins Freezer Paper Sheets Here  from Amazon.  The paper is 8 1/2 x 11 and the pattern prints out great onto the freezer paper.  It is a little expensive, but the time saved is worth it.  I copy the pattern onto the paper and then cut out the pieces.  On larger patterns I have to be a little more creative, but for this project it is great as the blocks fit on the paper size just fine.  I am sure one could cut regular freezer paper and feed it through the printer, but then that takes time to do that.  (Maybe I am spoiled or getting lazy in my old age! LOL).   I still use Karen Kay Buckley circles, but only to trace around the template like I do with the freezer paper.   Here is how I prepared the small circles for the circle block above.

My technique for circles

As always, the pattern is traced on the background fabric for placement purposes using a light box and number 2 pencil.  I really thought I would have issues with the small (dime size) circles, but after working on two or three, it became easier, and besides, that is what ripping is all about when doing hand work.  It is not permanent and corrections can easily be made.

I have given up on Dear Jane.  I studied it, thought about the paper piecing, and decided that I have other things I want to work on the remainder of the year and making a quilt using paper piecing technique is not for me at this time!  I have a lot of hand work waiting in the wings to be appliqued and those should go fairly quickly (maybe by September).  I have Blocks 5 and 6 prepped for Bountiful Life, 7 more blocks for Segment 4 of Stonefields, and lots of lovely hexagons to sew together for Brinton Hall quilt.

For piecing projects I went through 5 different patterns and finally chose to make Dresden Heaven by Susan Marth.   It has mini and tiny dresden plates and such a fun project.  I finally found a pattern that I can use my 1930’s fabrics that were originally intended for the Farmers Wife… so I am happy about that, but it will take a few other projects to use all the fat quarters I purchased.

Dresden Heaven by Susan Marth at Suzn Quilts

The 1930 fabrics are not my favorite colors, but I thought that they would look good using this pattern.  This will be a fun project and one that I can cut out the plates and sew at my leisure,  remember I am supposed to be quilting on the long arm… if only I would stay away from chicken noodle soup from the can that has MSG!  I have so many notes on the refrigerator now that say “do not eat” and if only I would remember to read them!!!!!

Oh well.  I hope that everyone has had a great day and continue to enjoy your stitching.   Fall is just around the corner – 30 to 60 days!  Sometime within the next 30 days or so I will be relaxing in the RV,  visiting the Choctaw Casino, and 2 wonderful fabric stores.   I need to complete some projects to justify the fabric expenditures!

Dear Jane (Mini) is Here along with Ms Potts

Happy Fourth of July week-end!  It will be a hot hot hot one this year.   Walking early in the morning at 7:30 AM or so is no better than walking at 10 AM!  It is called Sweatsville in Hotsville, Texas.

I have a now finished my list of my UFO’s, with the exception of the Texas quilt blocks that are completed but the setting has yet to be designed!   I am hoping that it will be completed in the next 6 months!  Of course I did cheat on the house UFO because I sent a nice care package to Jaydee full of 16 each 16″ house blocks along with a few other goodies!  Now she has another UFO to work on – LOL.

In late 2014 I joined the Dear Jane Bee with the Austin Quilt Guild.  I had made 8 blocks of Dear Jane when I realized that I needed to select a specific color and fabrics if I were going to show it at a judged quilt show.  I was not going to do anything special with those 8 blocks, but yesterday I determined that it would make a nice “mini-Jane” wall hanging. I made all of the blocks with machine piecing since I do not like paper piecing (sorry).  This morning I looked for one more block to make it a 9 block wall hanging and put the blocks on point.  The blocks are 5″ unfinished – 4 1/2″ finished.  This is the block that I chose to finish the 9th block.  The 9 patches are 2″ unfinished – 1 1/2″ finished!

I cut 1″ strips and made 2 strip sets to make the 9 patches.  It is much easier than cutting 1″ squares and sew them together.  The Circa 2016 has really helped me in making these small blocks.   This block is 5″ unfinished.

5" Block for Dear Jane Mini Wallhanging

Here is the layout of the 9 blocks for the Dear Jane Mini Wallhaging.

Dear Jane Mini Wallhanging

Next I will select fabric to fill in the blanks and figure out the cutting for the setting triangles.  I will use my “Patchwork Math Using Quilting Design Components” by Lynn Wilder for Sew’n Wild Oaks.  She has a great Blog and I would have set up a link but it is not working on this iPad!  This is a great little book with all the quilting calculations that are needed at times like this!

I hope that everyone has a great 4th and remember how great our United States of America is now and how stronger it will be in the future!  Happy Birthday America and may we always have our Independence from oppressive and over reaching government!

Circa 2016 and Down Computer Memory Lane

Computer technology has advanced to the point to where I can take a picture on my iPhone, pick up my iPad and here I am doing a quick post!  I can remember when we had absolutely no instant gratification for anything especially computers!  Remember when we had to fire up the Computer Processing Unit (CPU) and it would take forever for the software to load and then we definitely did not go to “email” or the “Internet” because that had not been developed.  In addition before the 1990’s I had to learn Disk Operating System (DOS) commands in order to access my files.  This was 1980 technology.  Again, technology is absolutely wonderful and I am so blessed to have grown up with the computer and having this ability has been a wonderful blessing throughout my working career and now in my Quilting.  I remember when the “server” required an entire building as large as a warehouse! Now this was 1960-1970 technology!

OK, enough of that and on to my short post of progress!    I have completed the last 2 segments of Circa 2016 one week late for 2 of the blocks, but on target for the 24th!

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I am really enjoying this project mostly because it is so easy to keep up with the weekly blocks.  I can still remember when I first started quilting and I would have probably pulled my hair out trying to figure out how to make 3″ blocks.  Most of the blocks are made with Half Square Triangles (HSTs) VERY SMALL, but such an excellent way to become a perfectionist in precision.

We received some wonderful rain yesterday – almost an inch!  This morning the humidity is 97% and in the high 70’s – I must think just how badly I want to do my 30 minute walk this morning.   Since the end of April I have walked 507,275 steps, which is 229 miles, and enough for 8 marathons.  My goal is 6,000 steps each day, but am averaging 7,000.   This has been my best month because I have only missed 2 days.  Walking has always been important to me since 1986 and my first back surgery.  If I had not been true to this program for all these years I would not be as active as I am for my age which is now 71!

This morning as I am working on my post, I happened to look out the window of my Studio and there was mama deer with her 2 new twins!  We have been waiting for them to come out and play and eat with their mama.  Hopefully I will be able to snap a picture of the babies and post it.  We look forward to June each year when new babies are born.

Have a wonderful Sunday and enjoy the day, whatever you do.

Circa 2016 – 2nd Time Around and Summer Is Here in South Texas

No longer will I have to wonder how the summer will be here in Hotsville,Texas.  Yesterday it reached a 100 with some high humidity to go along with it, and this is just mid-June!  Oh, for some more rain and less humidity.   Walking is early in the AM and in the air conditioning for the remainder of the day!

I am excited because I am completely caught up with Circa 2016!  I started around the end of May but when I finished making the Medallion there were issues with fabric and color that I had to deal with.   I learned a great deal about making small blocks and small quilts while working on this quilt.  For some reason, I tend to learn by doing and then re-doing!  I have learned some important lessons when making small quilts, such as,  pressing all seams open, precision in sewing, and of course being provided the perfect cutting instructions really helps.   Did I press all seams open and watch my sewing and not “trail off” when making each block on the first Medallion?  NO! Based on that the first medallion part of Circa 2016 has been retired to the “bottomless” drawer that holds those REAL UFO’s.  The ones that never will ever get finished!

(Note:  “trailing off” means that when sewing two pieces of fabric together one starts off great with 1/4″ seam allowance and by the time they get to the end of the block, or square, the seam allowance is down to maybe 3/8″.  I learned that I have a problem with this when I first started quilting, so when a block does not turn our correct I immediately look for that issue.  To aid me in not having the problem, I set my Husqvarna to the slowest speed and it helps.  Of course I probably would be through quicker if I sew at a higher setting, but I do get tired of correcting my “trailing off” problem!)

I started on the 2nd version of the quilt on the 4th of June and finished the new Medallion and all of the blocks (34) on the 12th of June.  I really do like the change in fabrics (that was one of the problems in the first medallion) because I was not happy with the 2000 reproduction fabrics!   So here we go with the “new” Circa 2016.  It makes me feel good to start the project and be current with the group.

Cudo’s to Temecula Quilt Company who has  provided great cutting requirements!  I never had to worry about that, as my blocks always came out perfect at 2 3/4″ or 3″ as stated in the instructions.  This project is a “mystery quilt” so all of the remaining blocks that I have made will be used in the quilt.  Temecula has a picture of a portion of the finished quilt on their Blog header.

For the 2nd time around, I chose to use an Moda Antique Muslin fabric that seemed to really add to the quilt.  I had used Michael Miller Krystals in the first one and the fabric was stretching and giving me issues, and you know how I love “issues” with quilts!  The Krystals fabric is great for applique background but not for piecing (another lesson learned).

Here is a picture of the first Medallion that is now in the UFO drawer.  After I took the picture I immediately realized that I had not paid close attention to the placement of the light and dark quarter square border blocks, so I knew that I had 2 choices – rip and repair, or redo.  Since I did not like the Michael Miller setting fabrics in the center nor the 2000 reproduction fabrics, the decision to just start over was the best for me.

First Try - Mistake in border

First Cut of Circa 2016 – Mistake in Border. Finished Size 18 1/2″ x 18 1/2″

Here is the 2nd Version.  I think the cheddar fabric really makes it pop!  Also I love the cheddar squares in the middle of the 9 patches.  This gives the eye something to follow and really showcases the pinwheels.

Circa 2016 Medallion

2nd Circa 2016 Medallion with Borders – Finished Size 18 1/2″ x 18 1/2″

Here are the remaining 34 blocks that I made in order to be ready for tomorrow’s 2 new blocks!

Block Group 1

Circa 2016 Blocks – Blocks are 3″ Finished

Block Group 2

Circa 2016 Blocks – Blocks are 3″ Finished

Block Group 3

Circa 2016 Block – Blocks are 3″ Finished

Block Group 4

Circa 2016 Blocks- Blocks are 3″ Finished

It is amazing how blocks look great on the design wall until I take a picture of them, and then all the flaws show.  The rail fence blocks look like they might have to be re-done, but I will do that later.  The bottom blocks in the picture above were something else to make to me they were the most difficult.  I think they finish out at 1/2″ HSTs.  Selection of fabric when making something this small is important.  The first one I made is in the trash can!   Again, precision is so important in working with the small blocks, but now I am becoming addicted to them!

Next thing for me to do is to finish the 4 quilts that will need settings designed and then sew the blocks together.  I am hoping that within the next 2 weeks I will have them completed and can start again on Stonefields.  My CWB is coming along – almost finished with block 3 and will post it when I finish it.  I still have 3 other blocks prepared and ready to go.  I finally feel like I am accomplishing something in my quilting world!  I am back to my little corner of the world with minimum interruptions and my little routine!

Have a wonderful week-end and stay cool!  My favorite day in the year is 21 June because it is Summer Solstice and the days will begin to shorten and to me it means that Fall and Winter are not too far away!  YEA!  I am hoping for snow this year in Hotsville, Texas!

Enjoy quilting!

Circa 2016 and the Beginning of Summer at the Choctaw Casino

Happy Memorial Day – I love holidays in our retirement years – the phone does not bring me problems to solve because all the “problem makers” are not working!!!!  Yea!!!!   This is why I crave breaks even from the retirement life which can become boring to a Type A like myself!  I like variety and changes!  Additionally, when things do not go right, it is so good for the soul to take a short break from whatever “unforeseen requirements” are driving one nuts and change the scenery.  Clay and I had a great change of pace last week and went to the Choctaw Casino for  4 days and 3 nights at the Choctaw Lodge, a place where we have always stayed when visiting the Casino.  We both prefer to take the RV and stay at the KOA on the Casino grounds, but we did not want to do that much work after the lovely remodeling job fiascal.

Here are some pictures that show how relaxing a trip can be just sitting and people watching by the Oasis Pool.   The Choctaw Inn is in the background!

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The Choctaw Lodge is on Choctaw land, but not connected to the Casion.  I guess those of us who are blessed enough to live on 5 acres and definitely not used to crowds prefer a more secluded hotel.  For a change in pace, for our 20th wedding anniversary in August, we have made reservations to stay in the Grand Hotel.  There are 3 hotels connected to the Choctaw Casino.  The Grand, The Choctaw Inn (the original Inn that Clay and I used to stay in early 2000’s before this enterprise grew) and the  brand new hotel now – called The Spa.  There is a wonderful new concert hall, convention center, meeting rooms, and of course more hotel rooms.  On the other side of the Choctaw Inn, they have added a movie complex, game area for kids, and a bowling alley.   The Durant, Oklahome and Dallas, Texas area now have a great entertainment complex for adults and children to enjoy thanks to the Choctaws.

Here are some pictures of the Grand Hotel and the new Spa facility.

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The Grand Hotel – This is where we will stay in August!

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View of the Grand and The Spa hotel

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Love the swimming pools at the Oasis and the hotel views.

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Ah – relaxation!

We were planning on staying a week, but by Monday evening we were ready to pack up and come home.  It is amazing what a short trip away from home daily routines can do for a person! I enjoy day trips too for a break in the daily routine of life.

Now on to quilting.  I finally did get to work on Circa 2016 after 2 days of washing new fat quarters and fabric purchased in Arizona this last winter – WINTER OF 2015!  Have you realized yet that 6 months from tomorrow will be New Year’s Eve?  Summer Stolstice will arrive in 23 days (21 June) and then the days will begin to be shorter – something I love to see coming – only about 4 more months of hot humid Texas weather and maybe a nice cool Fall will be here!

Now on to Circa 2016 BOW.  Here are pictures of  the blocks I have completed.  I am using reproduction fabrics that I purchased from a 2002 trip to Branson Missouri.  I have already made a quilt from this fabric and I love it.  I have a shoe box size container that has 4″ squares and some 6 1/2″ squares of the remaining fabric and decided that there would be adequate stash for this quilt.   I chose a light tone on tone for the 9 patches, but will only use it for the 9 patches.  It looks OK, but wish I would have auditioned more background fabrics.   The little setting blocks will be another fabric – probably a lighter tan.  I thought about redoing the 5 blocks I had completed yesterday but will continue on with 7 more 9 patches and put that fabric back in the stash draw for another day!  I laid the blocks (2 3/4″ square) on the background fabric that I do not like – any comments/suggestions?  Redo – change?  (I am leaning toward changing them before I get too far into this project and definitely realize I made a boo boo!)

Pinwheels

I love this pattern – everything comes out perfect!

9 Patches

I am leaning toward changing the lights in the 9 Patches

Pinwheels and 9 Patches

Setting the Center Medallion of Pinwheels and 9 Patches!

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your stitching!