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.