One Monthly Goal (OMG) – October

My goals for October were to get back to quilting after the hand surgeries.  My projects were Mountmellick, Sweet Stitches, Finish my RSC 2017 quilt top, and quilt my Hearts Quilt.

I have the center Medallion almost completed for Mountmellick.   Yesterday I prepared the 1/2″ hexagons for the hexagon flowers for each corner.  I had planned on making this quilt in 2014 – just a little delay here and there.

Sweet Stitches by Kathy Schmitz was a BOM that I believe I ordered in 2014 and now finishing Blocks 2, 3 and 4. I will be working on a few more blocks in November.

Mr Snowman – January

March Winds Blowing

Mr Easter Bunny – April Block

I made tons of 4 patches when I could during the summer months of recuperating and made a push this month to complete the quilt.  There are issues with the top, but it was a way for me to keep my sanity!  Hubby likes it so he will have another lap quilt (ok large lap quilt).  I am thinking that this top will be loaded and quilted in November.

Last Friday I did a marathon quilting day and finished my Heart Quilt which I had loaded in my long arm in May and could not finish it until now.  I started my quilting journey in early 2000 and in 2003 this was my first appliqué quilt.  I had to laugh at the stitches and I really thought I was doing so well.  It is good to always keep those beginning quilts to watch your progress in quilting.  I will bind the quilt in November.

Heart Quilt

It always feels good to set a goal and be able to complete them.  It has been a long 5 months but I am back to my passion of quilting.  Have a great day.

Progress is Here – Finally

Here I am on 19 October and life is really getting back to normal!  A daily routine that I love, coffee, walking, breakfast, and the rest of the day quilting!!! Pure Heaven!  We have AGAIN changed travel plans and will be going to Galveston Beach for a week in November!  YEA!  After 17 years of wintering in Arizona to me this is going to be so much fun!  Next year a trip to Michigan to visit with Doug and Jean!  In the meantime though, I am quilting and have made progress with my projects although I did lose 3 days last week when we upgraded our iPhones with Verizon.  Now that was not fun but we persevered and I got over it!

I have started working on Mountmellick, a Di Ford Mystery Quilt in Quiltmania magazine in 2014.  It took me 2 days to prepare the medallion for appliqué, but I now ready to start the appliqué work.

Mountmellick Medallion Pattern

The process involves Broderie Perse  a technique that I wanted to work with for a long while.  I purchased a lot of Dutch Chintz fabric for use in making the Australian reproduction quilts, but had to put this on hold for a few years. Now I am ready to embark on my goals of 2014 and beyond!

I first began by auditioning different fabrics to use in the Medallion and came up with this selection.

Auditioning of Fabrics – The light-colored fabric with small flowers did not make it in the final cut!

Next step was to prepare the back ground for placement.  Then preparing the separate appliqué pieces.  For the broderie press flowers I played “let’s play cut out flowers” and here is what happens to beautiful expensive fabrics to achieve the goal required in this quilt for the medallion.

Dutch Chintz Fabric Cut Up

Alas – the final result of 2 days of work.  The stems took longer to appliqué and one can barely see them but after needle turning the flowers I believe more of the stems will show.  The leaves in the upper right hand corner are possible “changes” to a couple of the leaves in the middle right side where the two leaves are the same.

Ready for Applique – Stems finished – Flowers Ready for Applique

I have made progress (faster than I thought) on Sweet Stitches. I have completed Block 4 and will prep Block 5 tomorrow.

Mr Easter Bunny – April Block

Sweet Stitches – January thru April Blocks

The embroidery goes faster than my needle turn appliqué. My hands are working but, but it does make them “act up” a bit when I overdo the hand work, so today I am going to go back to the month of May when I loaded a quilt in the longarm and try to get it finished in the next day or so.  This quilt was my first appliqué quilt called Hearts which was made in 2003.  Hum a lifetime ago!  Since I am not a real scrappy person, I was surprised at the outcome for my first try with colors.   I retired in 1999 and learned how to quilt by watching Alex Anderson on PBS – really miss her from those years.  Elly Sienkiewicz’s books and Anita Shackleford were my main teachers.

Hearts – First Applique Quilt from 2003

An update on my CutterPillar Glow.  This tool is so neat and so worth the $110.00.  It functions as a cutting mat (the grid just lies on the glow mat) AND is so great to trace patterns for appliqué or embroidery patterns!!! BUT BEWARE – The mat below is a regular cutting self-healing mat and works great.  They also sell a glass self-healing mat that I ordered and received last week, but decided to call Cutter Pillar and ask about using the glass mat with my rotary cutter.  They said it would, of course, dull the blade on the rotary cutter (obvious) BUT that to be careful because it could slippery to work with.  Well with the recent surgeries I did not want to have an accident.  I was going to send it back to the Quilt Store – but the mat cost $22.00 and I had already paid $9.00 for shipping to me and then it would cost $10.50 to mail it back, I quickly decided to keep it and purchased a book of stamps!  I will try it and then post my opinion as to whether or not it is smart to purchase the glass mat!  Hope this information is useful for all.  I still strongly recommend this cutting mat – especially if you only have a small space for cutting.  I have a full size cutting table so that is not an issue for me, but when cutting small pieces this is great to have the backlight!

CutterPillar Glow Mat

I DO NOT RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION FOR RECOMMENDING THE ABOVE PRODUCT. I am just sharing information about a tool that is great!

Well, that is what I have been up to and hoping to be even more productive as time progresses.  Hoping that you have a great week-end and enjoy sewing today!

Doing the Happy Dance!!!

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

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

RSC 2017 Challenge Quilt – Completed but not perfect!

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

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

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

 

January

February

March

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week and enjoy stitching!

 

Moving Right Along to Insanity and Back Again!

Greetings from lovely HOT HOT HOT South Texas, and I mean HOT!  Quilting here since May has been SLOW SLOW SLOW with not one quilt finished since May!  It has been like hanging from a tree waiting for the bear to quit biting at my feet so I can climb down and start my life again!  Enough of this!  I THINK that by the middle of September I may be able to get back to my quilting and OH am I ever wanting BOREDOM in my life again.  I am sure that Clay does too as we both just hate those UFR health issues that seem to come more and more as we get older!

Here is an update on what little quilting has been going on in my Studio in the last month!  I have been working on RSC 2017 Challenge – a 4 patch quilt.  I wanted some mindless sewing but yet work on a quilt project.  I have completed the following for my RSC 2017 project – 28 blocks of purple and white;  28 blocks of blue and white; and now working towards the teal and white blocks, but only 5 blocks finished.  I am not going to do black or neutrals.  So maybe I will have all completed by October (what a dreamer I am)! I am going to put this project away as I am tired of mindless work and want to do something different.  I have no idea how I am going to set all of the blocks – guess that will be done when I am completely finished driving myself nuts with mindless work!

Sample of Finished Blocks!

 

RSC 2017 Challenge  Only 61 Blocks – Seems like it should be 100

I love the Teal Blocks

I did complete one block for Ms Potts and have two ready to appliqué.  There are 2 other blocks that I have not worked on and will probably change the blocks as I do not like the pattern so those are definitely on the back burner, in fact they may just go into the fire!

Ms Potts Block – No I did not mess up the Vase – that is the way the pattern is!

Today I am going to start prepping some embroidery work (if I get off the computer).  I have a BOM that I purchased from Kathy Schmitz in 2013???  I completed the January Block and had started working on the February Block, but never finished it.  I am in the mood for embroidery so today I am going to prep another block just to have it ready to work on in the evenings and hopefully it would be nice to have both completed by next Wednesday before surgery.

January Block

February Snowman – Whoops – Needs his hand!

March Winds – Next Block to work on!

I want to prep Section 5 of Stonefields but that may take me a day or so to do that as it means selecting fabric and cutting out the freezer paper.  I also want to try Sashiko but of course I have been wanting to do that since 2014 so I am hoping that I will find the time to work on that technique before the end of 2017!  Where has the time gone? I have found out that being a one-handed quilter just doesn’t cut it!  LOL

As you can see I am like a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter time by preparing my projects to work on in the evening time during the winter evenings IF we have a winter (for South Texas that may be NEVER!).  We have had nothing but 100+ and high humidity along with horrible heat indexes.  I have had to give up my early morning walking and now I am doing a Stationary Bike inside – which is fine with me until we have “cooler” weather!

In 2018 there are two quilt shows that I hope to be ready to enter, New Braunfels and Austin Shows.  I was unable to enter the San Antonio Show this year due to those lovely UFRs, darn! At least I will be able to attend the show and see what South Texas quilters are working on.

My Carpel Tunnel Surgery on left hand has been delayed until 31 August, so now I have about 7 days to really relax and quilt, as long as no one finds out! Phones off the hook and the gate lock!!! LOL   We went through a tough month again but it turned out fine Clay missed the bullet.  I wish I had his immune system!  So healthy!

Were you aware that there are ONLY 132 days until we have an opportunity to start a new year –  1 January 2018!  I remember in 1992 how much I wanted that year to be over with and was so happy to bring in 1993 – it ended up being one of the best years of my life!

Vacations to the Gulf Coast are scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving and Christmas!  We have rented a Cottage with 2 bedrooms and a full kitchen and living room at Fulton Beach and are looking forward to the Holiday Getaways!  I am sure there will be a short get away in October  to ABH (anywhere but home) to celebrate being through with Doctors for 2017!

If I am lucky enough to complete some of my little short goals between now and 31 August, I will do one more update, if not, it will probably be in mid-September or a little later when I will do another post.  Until then, happy stitching, keep cool or warm (if you live in Iceland) and see you in September! (I think my Scorpio humor is showing today!!!!)