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!

 

Robin’s Nest is Resting and some May 2017 Goals!

Today is day 5 of May 2017!!!  Can you believe it?  It seems like the months fly by after May and June and before we know it – it’s Christmas!  I hope this month goes by slower.  Today is a great day – feeling like my old self!  Did my stretches, walked, vacuumed the house, and made it out to the Studio by 10:45 to work on 2 post that were not finished Monday.

I have left Robin’s Nest for a few days (how about 5 days) to work on some applique and Brinton Hall.  I am still wanting to work on some embroidery and knitting (someday).  Now that I have RN started and know there may be pitfalls, I have had a nice break from it and will start sewing the 2nd ring tomorrow for sure.

I am working on a quilt called  Nesting for the SA Show in September – BUT if I cannot get it completed it will be next year’s quilt to show.  I have completed Block 1 and started on Block 2 – there are only 4 large blocks and a beautiful border.

Here is Block 1.  It is an easy quilt to applique so I should be able to finish this by July.

When I appliqué, embroidery or sew my bindings and sleeves, I take small stitches – like 1/8″.  Here is a picture of the back of this block.  And of course I am a traditional needle-turn appliquér – no glue or starch.  I cut about a 5/8″ of bias strips for the vines and sew one side down, trim and sew the other side – these are less than 1/4″ stems.  I always trace the pattern on my background fabric with a pencil (lightly) so it makes it easy to follow a line when doing stems.

I  finished the top and bottom hexagons on Briton Hall this afternoon (finally!).  Next week  I want to start working on the 4 left and right hexagon sections (probably more slowly).  This hand work is definitely hard on the ole’ hands so I will take a day when I want to just sit and sew a section at a time.  Maybe by the end of May I will be ready to start making the rest of the quilt – which MIGHT be easier!  I love Batiks the colors really pop don’t they?

Each section will have to be laid out very carefully and sewn together even more carefully.  I made a few mistakes and had to rip a couple of times and I do not like that because of the small stitches that I do.

I am going to load a quilt that I made in the 2003-2004 timeframe first thing in the morning!  It was one of the first appliqué quilts I made.  I used all different Christmas fabrics in it and thought it looked horrible.  I was looking at some of the hearts and I had fussy cut some Santa’s for the hearts!  Heck I did a scrappy quilt without even knowing what I was doing!  Too funny.

Christmas Quilt – 2003-2004

 

Christmas Quilt – Ready to Load! It is 60″ x 76″

Goals for May are to get the Christmas quilt finished, work on Nesting, Robin’s Nest and Brinton Hall.  Only 26 days left!  Have a great week-end!