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.

MY 100th POST! – Jaydee’s CWB Blocks

This is my 100th Post and today I am happy to bring you Jaydee’s  CWB (The Australian Pattern) blocks that she has completed.  Jaydee has added embroidery to the blocks and it really makes a difference.   She is following the pattern without any changes, except for adding the embroidery on the leaves, which really stands out.  The blocks really pop with all the different colors of leaves and flowers. Her blocks have a lot of movement and gives the effect that you could reach out and touch the birds.   I hope you enjoy looking at her work.  She is ONLY 7 blocks ahead of me (darn).  Have a great day!

Jaydee's CWB Block 2

Jaydee's CWB Block 1

Block 8

Block 7

Block 6

Block 5

Block 4

Block 3

 

Progress on the CWB QAL

Good morning to all.  Well, we can almost scratch April 2016 off the calendar.  Before we know it Christmas will be here, but before that I am sure that the 100 degree weather is just around the corner – YEA (not really).

We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen and bathrooms and are almost through (I say “we” but O’Krent and Clay have done all the work), but what a messy month with this project.   Nothing is in its’ place, and time to sit down and really finish something, or work on a quilt project is out the window.  In fact, again, I am in a holding pattern!  I am really looking forward to 1 May – my house cleaner will be here to take care of that and maybe the 2nd bath will be complete and we can start the month of May having fun – at least I hope it goes that way.  I could have skipped all the “fun” I had this past week, and Clay surly could have been having more fun working on his hobbies than doing what he did.  But I digress again…. This is time for CWB updates.

Today I am going to post Lynn’s Block 1 and 2 today and re-post Cathy’s, Jaydee’s and my Block 1 along with our completed Block 2.   Cathy and I are playing the “catchup” game with this project.  My hands (CTS) sometimes just do not want to applique anymore.  I am in the mood to just do some “easy” piecing and getting some quilt tops put together and of course, quilt the darn quilts that are screaming at me!  Oh well.

Lynn is doing machine applique (smart lady – saves the hands – but I do not do machine applique) and is using the Lost Boy quilt pattern.  She is miles ahead of Cathy and I but that is OK we have not clock to watch.  Our original goal was to post 2 blocks a month, but when it takes 30 hours plus to needle turn one block,and about 10 hours in fabric selection and preparation of the pieces,  this tends to take up a lot of time, so we will be posting our progress as we finish our blocks.  I am trying to post the same block for all of us at the same time so it will be easier to compare the differences in the blocks.

Lynn is also modifying the pattern as she goes.  She is using reproduction fabrics and machine applique.  Lynn also changed the birds from the original pattern.  The bunny rabbits in the vase are quite different and she added Lady Bugs on the leaves!  Good idea.

Lynn's Block 1
Lynn’s Block 1

Lynn changed the stems in the original pattern to a tree and re-drew the “buzzard birds” to Eagles.  Nice work.

Lynn's Block 2 Eagles
Lynn’s Block 2 Eagles

Cathy is using The Lost Boy quilt pattern and here is her Block 1.  She decided to put Butterflies rather than birds!  Cute

 Cathy's Completed Lost Boy Block 1 with Butterflies
Cathy’s  Lost Boy Block 1 with Butterflies

For Block 2 Cathy has used ultra suede for the bird’s feet and the eyes are part of the black paisley found on the brown.  Neat feet!  She is using reproduction fabrics.  Cathy also changed her “buzzard birds” and did some fussy cutting!  She also used a different fabric for each leaf for a very different look.

Cathy's Block 2
Cathy’s Lost Boy  Block 2

I am doing my quilt in Batiks, so mine definitely has a different look. I did not like the “original” birds, so I added Humming Birds.   I am following A Bountiful Life quilt pattern.

CWB Block 1
Nanette’s A Bountiful Life  Block 1

I totally wiped the buzzard’s and/or eagles off the block and chose to do Blue Birds.  I do not think they will have feet on the stems as I like to think of them just lighting on the branches.  I may get some suede from Cathy do redo the eyes as it is hard to see them with the embroidery thread and the dark fabric I used for the heads.  The background fabric did not come out the true color that is in Block 2.  I am using Michael Miller Krystal fabric and it is the accurate color in my Block one.  I guess the lighting makes all the difference in the world when taking the pictures!

Nanette's Block 2 CWB
Nanette’s A Bountiful Life   Block 2

Here is Jaydee’s Block 1.  She has been working on this project before we decided to start the QAL and she is using the Australian quilt pattern Civil War Bride.  She is also using Reproduction fabrics.  The blocks that she has already completed are set different in her pattern, so she is realigning her block numbers to coincide with ours and working on Block 2.  She calls that block the “pink” bird blocks.   No hurry as I am on my tricycle trying to just get to Block 3!

Jaydee's CWB Block 1
Jaydee’s Australian Civil War Block 1

I have decided that my nighttime fun will be A Bountiful Life of Applique.  Daytime is going to be Dear Jane and maybe Brinton Hall placement of hexagons.  Whichever, I had better hurry up if I am going to have anything finished by the end of the year – maybe my choice of doing different quilts at the same time was not to smart – time will tell!

Well, hope you have enjoyed revisiting our progress of CWB, Lost Boy Quilt, and A Bountiful Life, and from now on I will be posting each series of blocks as we have completed.

Have a wonderful Sunday and hopefully a safe and sound and happy sewing week!

Update to CWB, Lost Boy, and A Bountiful Life QAL and Life

This morning I received a picture of Cathy’s finished Block 1 with Butterflies.  I really like the Butterflies – especially better than the original “birds”.

 Cathy's Completed Lost Boy Block 1 with Butterflies
Cathy’s Completed Lost Boy Block 1 with Butterflies

Update on the RF treatment – things are looking like I am back to normal – YEA!  I just did not realize how bad I was hurting.  Let’s do more of this more often Dr Growney!

I usually do not blog personal feelings, experiences, etc, but  this morning I was looking back at the year 2014 before Clay’s son was diagnosed with terminal cancer and where I was in my quilting journey.  It was on 22 April 2014 on his 50th Birthday.  And here we are 2 years from that horrible day when we found out about Darryl, and I have been wondering – “why do I have this feeling that I have lost 2 years of my life”?  Why am I so behind on the projects that I wanted to do in 2014?  It was at a time when I had started my Blog, learned about Australian quilts (like Di Ford’s Mystery Quilt), and buying all those beautiful Reproduction fabrics and patterns, when our lives stopped in time.

Before this happened, Life was good, I was happy and excited about taking on highly technical and challenging quilts to enter into Quilt Shows.  It has been difficult for me to find that “spot” again, but I do believe it is coming back to me.   I realized it this morning when I scrolled back to my 2014 Blog Postings.  Ah, the memories of where I was then and where I am today.   It has inspired me to realize that I need to “get with the program” and go forward – as fast as I can.

I have learned that anytime one goes through this type of situation, life changes all around you, and when it is over with one has to deal with “getting over the horrible emotional time”.   For the first time in 2 years, I feel like I am coming back.  Energy level is going to be so much better, mood will be more like I was before that date in April 2014.   I had experienced something similar to this when I had to become Legal Guardian for my Mother from 1986 through 1996 when she had Alzheimer’s.  She was in a nursing home and I had a full-time position with the Government.  No one even knew how to spell the word, much less what it was and how devastating it can be on the person who has it and the family.  Of course I was still in my 40’s and maybe I was able to handle the stress of her illness, my position at work, raising two-step sons, finishing my college degree, and ending all with a divorce much better then.  When she passed the one thing I remember was that I wanted to retire and quit working.  I had a difficult time trying to figure that one out.  I think it was the grieving process that we all go through when we lose a loved one.

As we age, stress is more difficult to handle and especially if it is a family illness that takes a loved one away.  But we who are left to continue on with our lives must continue to work through the sadness and learn to appreciate and love life again.  I feel that I am on that positive road again, especially with the help of my dear Dr Growney  and Dr Neidre who have helped me through 4 back surgeries and now watching over me with post operative sciatica.  How Blessed I am to have wonderful Doctors to care for me!

Of course, none of my happiness would be possible without the love of my husband Clay who has never left my side in 20 years, and my dear friends, Jaydee, Cathy, and Wanda who always support me when I am need a friend!

Thank you for listening as it is rare for me to post anything but quilting on my Blog.

Have a blessed day and Live and Love your Life!  Always!!!

Civil War Bride, Lost Boy, and A Bountiful Life Quilt Along

Well, this year is going to just fly by!  We are almost half-way through the month of April!  We are having nice Spring weather and maybe it will be this way through May – would be nice.  Yesterday I had the Radio Frequency treatments in the back.  Technology has come a long way for those with post back surgeries, etc.  It will take a few more days, but I am motivating and the leg pain is gone – of course when you kill the nerves the brain just doesn’t feel a thing!  LOL.

Today I am going to post our progress so far with the CWB project.  Yes, we are a little behind schedule, but we will catch up by May (maybe).  So here we go – it is so interesting to see the differences in the quilt patterns.  There are five (5) different versions of the original quilt:

Bird of Paradise Quilt  Civil War Bride (Australian Version)  Lost Boy Quilt (Barbara Korengold) (Scroll down to Quilt Number 4) and A Bountiful Life  by Karen Mowery who passed away in 2013 from Breast Cancer and Folk Art in NYC Patricia Cox’s adaptation of the original quilt.

I am using the pattern A Bountiful Life along with changes by using bird patterns from Patricia Cox’s adaptation Folk Art NYC.  My blocks will be 14″ x 14″ finished and I am using all Batiks for my quilt.  I did not care for the “birds” in the original designs so I added Hummingbirds.  The beaks are embroidered.

CWB Block 1
Nanette’s A Bountiful Life Block 1

Cathy is using the pattern Lost Boy Quilt and decided to reduce the blocks to 10″ x 10″ finished.  (Brave Lady)!  You can see the difference it makes by reducing the pattern in her 2nd picture where she placed the original size apple next to her apple in her block for comparison.   She is using Reproduction Fabrics and has not decided on which birds she will add to on the top 2 corners.

Cathy's CWB Block 1
Cathy’s Lost Boy  Block 1
Cathy's CWB Block 1a Apple Comparison
Cathy’s Lost Boy  Block 1 –  Apple Comparison

Jaydee is using the Australian version of Civil War Bride and had already started making the quilt before Cathy and I even dreamed of making this quilt.  The Blocks are 11″ x 14″.  She is definitely ahead of the game, but as we progress we will showcase her blocks along with ours.   Heck – we may even catch up with her someday.  LOL.

Jaydee's CWB Block 1
Jaydee’s CWB Block 1

This is going to be a fun project, and very interesting as to how the different blocks turn out.  As we work on the preparation of each block, each of us are adding/changing the pattern to personal preferences.  This is what makes working on a quilt as detailed and technical so challenging and exciting.  After all, it will end up each Quilter’s own personal quilt!

PS.  I do not have Lynn’s full size pictures to post but as soon as I receive them I will update the post.

Happy Easter, Margaret Potts Quilt,Stonefields, and Civil War Bride QAL with Friends

I would like to wish all a Happy Easter.  I do not remember having such an early Easter.  Have a great day with family and friends.

I have been busy trying to play catch-up on Civil War Bride, Stonefields, and now I have added another project on my “to do” list.   – The Margaret Potts Quilt.  I am a member of the  Baltimore Applique Society BAS and they are doing a BOM each month.  BAS is a great organization for Appliquers’ to join even if we are miles away from the meetings.   The Margaret Potts quilt BOM is a great way for BAS to reach out to their members who are do not live in the area but want to participate in the group projects.  The quilt consists of 85 blocks.  Doing a block a month will take about 7 years – think I can do this one?  LOL.  Since I have decided to not make the Farmers Wife quilt, I will be doing this quilt in the 1930’s fabric that was purchased for that “ex-project”  (new terminology for not working on a pre-determined doomed project) LOL.

Of course I am 4 months behind the group because for some reason I had not read my BAS newsletters since November (hum wonder where my mind was)?  My friend Jaydee just assumed I knew about the project because we are both members, but when dealing with an empty head sometimes…..we are now both working on the project needless to say after I did read this month’s newsletter and realized what was going on.   We had a good laugh on that one.

My Civil War Bride (CWB) is coming along.  I have 6 blocks ready to applique and today should have Block 1 completed today (if I can get away from this computer).  I have made the changes I wanted to (so far and I am sure there will be many more) and ready to catch up with the group.  My friends Cathy and Lynn from the DC area and hopefully Jaydee from Washington will be working on the quilt each month.  Cathy has one more Lady who may be interested in driving herself nuts along with the 4 of us.  We had decided to do 2 blocks a month, but boy that Lynn is really going to town.  I will be posting our progress on the 1st of each month so stay tuned.   It is so interesting to see the different interpretations of this quilt – each of us have changed things on the pattern and using different fabrics with unique outcomes.  Hopefully I can finish Block 2 by Thursday and not start April behind the others.  It is so much fun to have others working on the same project – always provides me a challenge and a reason to “get with the program” to start on a quilt that has been in the “que” for a few years!

Jaydee and I are working on Stonefields – well, let’s put it this way.  I am in Segment 3 and Jaydee is in Segment 6 – She will have that puppy finished before I even get half way through.  We worked on an Edyta Sitar quilt – Sentimental Scraps – that we made almost 2 years ago (purchased all the fabrics for the middle border) but I have not finished putting all the blocks together (shame on me!)  Jaydee has her completed – in fact she completed it a long time ago!  Turned out beautiful.  The pattern was in a Quiltmania magazine I believe in 2014.

Sentimental Scraps by Jaydee 1

Here is a photograph of a quilt that my friend Jaydee Price made for President George W. Bush and it is now hanging in his Library – what an honor!   Jaydee is a wonderful friend, quilter, and such a giver.  One of these days she and I will tour the Library and just relish in the fact that her hard work has been honored.  (Even if it is in our dreams!)

GWBush Quilt by JayDee Price

 

I leave you with thoughts of my Poor Dear Jane!  I had illusions of grandeur the other day and set it all out on the cutting table to work on color placement…………Yup – still there but it is on hold for a few more days!  I looked back at the 8 blocks I had finished about 18 months ago, and put it on hold when I realized how difficult this project would be and I wanted to really do it justice with a different selection of fabrics.  Well, no excuse, just keep putting other things ahead of it.  It is next in line!  Although I think I am ready to do a “no-brainer” quilt – one that does not take a lot of thinking!  One the struggles I deal with when I make a quilt is that nagging little thought that “this one may be a Show quilt” and that is when the perfectionist idiot comes out slows me down.  Oh well what can I say!

Have a blessed day – Until next Blog!

Still Here – Playing and Preparing Civil War Bride

What a fast-moving 12 days (29 Feb – 11 March).   Just as I was going to start on Civil War Bride (CWB), on 29 February I tried to do the splits while getting out of the bathtub – Well, of course Mr Sciatica came to visit and stayed too long!  On the 3rd of March I received a “numbing” shot that kept me down on Thursday and Friday and finally on Saturday (March 5th) I was able to begin my journey with the CWB.  YEA!

My goal was to prepare 6 blocks at one time so that I would be able to work on the 2 blocks each month and not have to stop to prepare each month’s blocks. (At least for 3 months – LOL).  I finished 3 of the background blocks and realized that there are some blocks in this quilt that I would not enjoy working on and do not want the challenge.  I knew that Block 1 was fine except for the “birds?” that were flying in to the flowers were a little weird and I preferred hummingbirds – so off to finding a small bird outline to replace the “birds?” in the original quilt.   I found one so I moved on to Row 1, Block 2.  The “Eagles” were definitely not going to stay on that block.  I have replaced them with Red Birds.  OK – finished that change.  Then on to Row 1, Block 3.  I did not like the strawberries, so found a neat template from EQ7 to replace the strawberries.  My original backgrounds that I traced for Blocks 2 and 3 are now in the NEVER TO BE USED BIN – called trash can!  On to Row 1 Block 4.  The small peacock just did not give me a good feeling either – did not like the feet – so I revamped this one myself!  It is looking so much better.  On to Row 1, Block 5 and Block 6.    Those birds just had to go.  I have learned that I can needle turn applique almost anything, but it has to be a “pleasing” block, or I will just forget doing the quilt.

I am using “The Lost Boy Quilt” pattern for my basic pattern setting and “Bountiful Life” pattern for block preparation because it provides a more professionally drawn pattern, and Patricia Cox’s “Folk Art in New York City” for birds.  Pat draws the most beautiful birds in her rendition of the Civil War Bride quilt.   It really has made a difference in how my blocks will look.

It took me all day Sunday to do the changes, and I now have Block’s 1 and 2 are ready to applique.   Here is a picture of the layout of Block 1 with the new birds in the top right (have not selected fabric yet) and left corners.

Block 1
Block 1 Blue Bells and Apples

In late 2014, my friend Cathy and I decided that some day we were going to do CWB.  I decided I would start by making Block 1 from Bountiful Life pattern.  There are 2 things I do not like about the block – the swooping birds (?) and the vase.  The color is great (all done in batiks) BUT it fell flat.  I embroidered around the vase to help it stand out, but realized that I had selected the wrong batik for this piece!  So this block will probably turn into a wall hanging, or a medallion for another quilt.  This time I am desperately trying to blend all colors as I go along.  For me it is working, but I am not looking forward to putting the fabric in its original place when this project is complete!

Lost Boy Quilt Block 1
Block 1 – Made in 2014

Block 2 is mostly leaves. This block took a little more time in selecting the fabrics.  I could not decide whether to use the same fabric for all of the leaves or selecting 2 fabrics to provide a contrast.  I chose 2 different greens.   I changed the birds to birds in lieu of the Eagles.  I tried to find a different Eagle, but was unsuccessful and am pleased with the Blue Birds.  I am hoping the fabric I selected for the heads and tails will turn out as I hope.  My goal for this quilt is for the fabric to have some movement and contrasting colors.   (The picture is a little blurred but the colors are accurate)

 

Block 2
Block 2 Blue Birds

If I had not made a design change decision I would have probably thrown in the towel on making this quilt.   But, I have invested in 4 different patterns for this quilt – so that was not an option.   I am now a  happy camper and look forward to working on the project.

Well here it is FRIDAY – the weeks are flying by and it is already the 11th – hum… I had better hurry so I can have the blocks completed by the 31st.  Today I am finishing the preparation work of the other 4 blocks.  I have Blocks 3 and 4 ready to work with the fabric selection and 2 more to trace the backgrounds.  I use Jenkins freezer paper which saves me so much time in preparing the applique pieces.

My goal (what a laugh as I am just not working fast enough to meet them) is to have all six blocks ready to applique by Sunday evening – any bets on that one.  If I can only keep those unforeseen requirements out of my schedule I might just make this one.

Have a wonderful week-end.

Baskets of Scraps and Is it Summer or Spring here in South Texas!

The weather is lovely here in South Texas – we are now in Spring, birds singing, trees blooming, deer hiding out waiting for some February winter weather (none here) and no rain.  So I cannot imagine what summer will bring if I am already in shorts for the last 3 weeks!   Where is that crystal ball?  LOL

Here I am a week later thinking I would be caught up on all of my applique.   I have made some progress, but not as much as I wanted to.  I have completed 9 of the basket blocks (with appliqued handles) and 11 more to go.  As I placed the baskets on the design wall, I noticed that there is a space that really tends to stand out and I will have to figure out what to add that will make it look better.  It is almost a diamond, but then the top of the block below the first row stops that.   I am leaning toward adding stems and leaves in all of the baskets and especially something that will lap over into these spaces.   The baskets are not situation where they will end up in the quilt as they are randomly placed on the design wall as I finish each one.

9 Baskets
Baskets of Scraps

I have selected a beautiful dark purple batik that was originally purchased for another quilt, but it will add so much to this quilt.  When the blocks are complete they will be put away for a week and I will come back to the quilt to make a design decision on what to do with the basket background.

Monday and Tuesday are definitely off the calendar for quilting – we must make sure the doctors stay in business – so Wednesday is my drop dead day to start preparing my Civil War Blocks.  I will have about 6 days to prepare 5 blocks.  I am going to go with batiks!  As I look at my reproduction fabrics versus the batiks I will have so much more of a choice in vibrant colors for the leaves, flowers, birds and even the CWB Bride.  I will be changing some of the blocks as I prefer that the birds and animals are not as crudely drawn as the original.  So this will be a great learning experience.

I will be using The Lost Boy quilt pattern for the majority of the quilt, Bountiful Life, and Patricia Cox’s pattern for some of the animals or blocks. Patricia draws some wonderful birds and leaves.  This will be a fun project as 4 other ladies will be joining in with me.   We are planning to start on 1 March and will do 2 blocks per month so we will be through by March of 2017.  This will certainly take some dedication to the project.  We will start with Row A Blocks 1-5 (going down).  I am hoping to have all 5 blocks prepared and ready to go by the 1st.  BUT, you all know how life goes, I will be happy to have 2 block ready!

Have a great Sunday and keep on stitching!

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!

On the Road Again – Going Home to Texas – Merry Christmas

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.   My Christmas wish for everyone is to be healthy, happy, and enjoy your family!  Also pray for our Country as I believe 2016 will be a difficult year to get through.

After 3 months in the RV we have decided that 3 months is our limit.  We have had a great time in Whetstone, Arizona at Tombstone Territories RV Park.  We shopped a lot, visited Tombstone Arizona, and visited with our friends Doug and Jean.  Young couple – 84 and 93.

In the past 15 years of going to Arizona for the winter months to escape the horrible Cedar allergies, I always have high hopes of working on numerous quilting projects.  WHEN WILL I EVER LEARN THAT WON’T HAPPEN.  Although I did load about 1/2 of what I usually do I did not accomplish a 10th of what I wanted to do.  So I added to my stash – what else does a quilter do when on the road?

So now I have even more projects for 2016!

We were going to stay through the 26th of January BUT, it has been so very cold this year due to El Niño that we could not get out as much as we liked.  Cabin fever can also be felt in a 36 foot RV!

When the weather started looking like it was going to stay cold we decided to come home.  We were going to leave on the 28th BUT now the Arctic air is heading this way this week-end, so here we are close to our first nights stop in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  We will stay at Hacienda RV Park and head for Fort Stockton, TEXAS Christmas morning.  Driving through El Paso should be easy this year – most will be at home with family.

The cold weather will hit Las Cruces on Friday night, and Fort Stockton on Saturday night – when we will be at our home safe and sound!

I do have some pictures to show of my progress and my 2016 projects but that will have to wait until next week.  I have missed my Studio so much this winter and very anxious to get back to my little quilting world.   Clay is REALLY ready to be home – he did a lot of leather work on this trip, but is ready to get back to his projects and hobbies.  We had one of the most enjoyable trips to Arizona than we have had in 3 or 4 years.

My goal for 2016 is to work on making Dear Jane, Civil War Bride(doing that with 3 other ladies and will keep all posted on our progress on my Blog – let me know if you would like to join us), Stonefield’s, Sweet Surrender, Sitar’s Flower Garden and Basket quilt from her book, Di Ford’s Mountmellik, AND maybe Farmer’s Wife.  I am disappointed in the Farmer’s Wife 1930 book – a few too many errors for me to start that project – I will wait to get all the corrections to the book, then I may start it.  I also have 5 quilts that need to be completed.  And as Rosemary Youngs I have 5 king size quilts to bind!

I am not going to get involved with on-line BOMs this year.  It seems to take up so much of my time when I could be more productive.  So hopefully I will be blogging at least once a week on my progress.

Be safe, and thank you for taking the time to read/keep up with my Blog.  I hope to make it exciting and have more quilting and less travel the next 6 months!

Nanette

Lessons Learned – The Hard Way

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family this year.  We have a lot to be thankful for.  Darryl is stable and we are really enjoying our time with him.  He is such fun and uplifting to us.  This is a difficult time in our lives and horrible for Darryl.  I find that my concentration level is not very good when trying to start on some of my complex projects and it becomes frustrating.  So I am working on smaller projects that will not require the intense concentration needed in making heirloom quilt.

In my last post (17 Nov)  I indicated that I would start on my Bird of Paradise (original name) quilt – but still trying to decide on which pattern to use.  I started with the A Bountiful Life pattern.  A couple of my quilting buddies had told me about freezer paper (pre-cut to 8 1/2 x 11) that one could print applique pieces from the computer, or copies.  What an experience.  I jumped right in to my new “time saver” project.  I printed the out the 4 quadrants of each block from the book on regular paper and then again on the freezer paper.  I could see the ink cartridge emptying before my eyes (LOL).  But I justified the expense because of the time I would be saving!   I proceeded to tape the freezer quadrants together with some special scotch tape….I thought I was really going to breeze through this process and be on my way.  I was until I cut out all the pieces for Block 1 and skipped over to the iron and BAM!  Gee if you put a hot iron on the tape, it melts and melts on the iron (see what I mean about concentration, creativity and the ability to think when under stress – there isn’t any).  I figured out a way to remove the tape (I think I tried to place something over the tape but that did not work either – another DUH!).  But I did get Block 1 preparation completed and have been working on it.  I realized that this paper is only good for a one page pattern, OR make 2 copies of things and cut out areas and then reprint……EXPENSIVE AND TIME CONSUMING!  I have decided that I will  to go back to the old-fashioned way of TRACING each piece!   Lesson Learned $$$$$$.   Here is the applique process I use for my needle turn applique.   I will be using Batiks for my quilt.

Block Pattern
Freezer Paper block

Notice the doted lines – this is where I used the tape that quickly melts when a hot iron is placed on it….. LOL  Not sure if I will be able to top this stupid thought process, well maybe I can as time will tell.   Lesson Learned:  Do not start a complex quilting project when under stress!

 

Placement Block 1
Checking the colors and placement

 

ABL Block 1
Block 1 – A Bountiful Life Pattern

OK – Now to continue on with the “no brain” quilter.  After my disaster with the freezer paper, a friend of mine asked me if I had any patterns for the Antebellum Ladies.   She wanted a lap quilt made with the Ladies of that Era.  I found an old pattern titled, Belle of the Ball by Cindy Surina.   Wanda’s request provided me a challenge and inspired me to continue on quilting, but with a project that is not so complex and detailed.

Selecting the fabric took a day or so because I knew the colors she would like but could not decide on Reproductions or Batiks.  I settled for a fabric line called Charlottesville from Connecting Threads that I had purchased a couple of years ago.   Because I have an abundance of the lovely 8 1/2 x 11 freezer paper and the fact that the pattern would be much easier to print out, I decided to “save time” by using it rather than tracing the pieces.  One thing about being brain dead – you can keep repeating the same process thinking the result will be better, but one still achieves the same result – PROBLEMS.  The quilt will have 4 Ladies Blocks and I have absolutely no idea how I will do the setting, but it will come, I am sure.

So here we go with Lesson Number 2 for the month!  I started having some problems when I started appliqueing the blocks – the pieces were not fitting correctly on the back ground fabric and I had to re-cut some pieces a few times.   I never have problems with my applique pieces fitting  on the background fabric – UNTIL THIS PROJECT.   Last night I finished Block 3 when the light bulb came on!!!!!  My printer was printing the freezer paper pattern about 1/16th of an inch smaller than the original pieces!  Believe you me – 1/16th of an inch is enough to drive a quilter to give up quilting forever.  So now I am down to the last one and of course, the fabric pieces have already been cut – so I know I will have to be ever so careful so I do not become frustrated and throw it in the trash can!  I wonder if any other quilters out there in the Quilt world ever get this frustrated.   The Ladies look fine, but getting there has been an experience.    Lesson Learned:   HAND TRACE ALL APPLIQUE PATTERNS.  There are no short cuts in the process!

I will NOT be using this freezer paper for printing a pattern until I figure out how to get my printer to print a perfect and accurate size of a pattern template or applique pattern pieces.  I have already printed out a few blocks of Love Entwined pieces – but those will be going in the trash can.  For the time and money I have wasted this month on brainless decisions I could have purchased the Stonefields Quilt for $200.00!   But I guess this is just part of life’s little pleasures and lessons.  Here are the finished Ladies Blocks 1 through 3.

Red Lady
Lady in Red

 

Blue Lady
Lady in Blue

 

Green Lady
Lady in Green

Clay and I have decided that it is time for a trip to the Choctaw Casino in  Durant, Oklahoma for Christmas.  We will be there for the entire week of the Christmas!  I plan on taking absolutely NOTHING to work on – just enjoy the getaway!  Clay told me I need to be a BIG Winner at the Casino this trip to recoup my brainless decisions! I will try.   I am hoping for a snow storm so I can once again enjoy a White Christmas.  The last one was in 1996 when I lived in Sterling, Virginia.  Ah,  the 1996 Blizzard!  So much fun.  If I cannot have snow, cold weather will be so nice.  We had a nice spell of cold weather in November, but now we are back to the 50’s at night and 70’s during the day – UGH!    I know that we will come back refreshed and ready for the New Year.  We will spend New Year’s Day with Darryl.  Heck – I may even find my creativity again and finish Wand’s Antebellum Ladies quilt!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year!

 

Does Organization Count in Quilting?

Greetings again from La Vernia, Texas.  The weather is exactly what I have been waiting for – cold, damp, and Winter is definitely here. Now having said that, I hope that this is not a trick from Mother Nature and that we go back to summer hot and humid days before the end of the year.  I have so much more energy with the cooler weather. Although it  would have been nice to have a Fall Season, but here we are in the 40’s during the day and high 30’s at night, green grass and green leaves on the trees.  Well, as long as I wake up in the mornings, I am a happy camper.  Here is what I see when look at out my Bay Windows in my Studio while sewing.

 

Window View 1
View of our Back Porch of the House

 

 

Window View 2
View from the other Window – Notice the Deer Corn, Water, and Bird Feeder

OK – Now to what I have accomplished since I finished Darryl’s quilt.  Yesterday I washed all of the fat quarters that I had purchased last month….Over 150… So much fun. I was looking for that Recliner by 5PM.  Today I finished ironing them and putting them away.   Next I pulled all the fabric I had thrown in the drawers the last 2 months and  rearranged them in the 2 new Elfa drawers.  I bet I am the most 2014 Organized Quilter in Texas, have not met all of my 2015 goals, but hey does being organized count?  LOL.

New Elfa's
New Elfa Drawers – The first one is for my Long Arm supplies

On Tuesday I found out that the Dutch Chintz I had purchased (the border fabric) was for the Tree of Life Panel…..Oops…..So in order to use that expensive purchase, I ordered the Tree of Life panel along with 2 other pieces of Dutch Chintz to complete the Tree of Life and for the Mountmellick quilt (see how positive I am – I just know I can do this).

Tree of Life Panel
Tree of Life Panel

Here are the other pieces of fabric that I will use with both of the quilts.

Dutch Chintz for Mountmellick
Dutch Chintz for Tree of Life

I have not abandoned my Happy Scrappy quilt – Here is the 3rd border.  The circles are little flowers from the line of fabrics I will be using.  Not sure what is going to be next – a surprise to you and probably me too.

Happy Scrappy Border 3

Besides Happy Scrappy, Threads of Memory, Mountmellick projects,  I want to start on the Civil War Bride Quilt…….There are four (4) different versions of this pattern.  Each has a different name.  Quite interesting.  I purchased the first one in 2004 from Pat Cox at the Houston Show and had no idea what I was buying – just like the picture and dreamed of making the quilt.  Here they are – let me know your favorite.  I am thinking I will be mixing and matching.

Folk Art in New York for Jean
Folk Art in New York for Jean
Civil War Bride
Civil War Bride
The Lost Boy Quilt
The Lost Boy Quilt

 

A Bountiful Life
A Bountiful Life

And now to the kitchen to play Suzy Homemaker and make some 2 Alarm Chili and beans for Clay and Spaghetti Sauce for tomorrow for Dan and Clay…..Hopefully tomorrow I will make a decision and get with the quilting program and quit increasing my “Stash” and make some serious quilts.  Have a wonderful week-end – Cannot believe it is the 15th of November 2014!   Enjoy.