One Monthly Goal – November

Greetings from summer again in South Texas!  Where is that Fall weather anyway we are now 59 days away from January 2018 – Time passes so quickly now.  DST is this Saturday so we do get an hour back – maybe I can do more with that hour each day!

I have a feeling that my productivity will not be as good as October, but that is OK.  A trip to Galveston for a week, and of course Thanksgiving means a few days that will not be sewing days.  Hopefully I can meet some of my goals for November.

  1.  Mountmellick – I am working on preparing the EPP flowers for the Medallion and will then sew them on in the corners of the Medallion.  Next will be the first border that is a mitred border from border fabric.  The next border consists of  the small circles  and hopefully those will be finished and the 2nd border completed.  I have already appliqued the circles and ready for the flowers.

The background is 12 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ and the circles will be small. Then each block will be cut and sewn together with HST’s to make a border!

  1. Continue on with Sweet Stitches.  Currently I am working on Block 5 and should be able to complete it and Block 6.  – Then I would be halfway through.
  2. Aunt Bea’s Parlor –  Start preparing the blocks for embroidery

3.  Stonefields – Start preparing Section 5 for applique.  I really need to do a push on this quilt as I would love to have it completed by early 2018! If I can finish Section 5 I will be half way through!  There are 121 blocks for this quilt!

4.  Stars and Churn Dashes – I want to continue making these nice little blocks – no set number – I am just making a lot!

There are other projects to work on, but if I can achieve the November Goals I will be happy!

Linking up with One Monthly Goal

 

 

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!!!!)

Success! 17 in 2017 Goal for February!

What a month!  I have met all my goals for the month and it is a good feeling, even with the reformatting and updating of 3 computers!  I am now proficient on the Macintosh and Microsoft Operating Systems.  I know more than a 72-year-old woman wanted to learn at this time in my life in maintaining computers, but look at all the money I can now spend on fabric at the Dallas Show next week-end!  Guess it was worth my time after all.  Now to show you my progress for the month!

Finished preparing 4 A Bountiful Life blocks to appliqué.  The blocks will be 14 1/2″ unfinished.  If I can get them completed by May, I will be half way through the 20 blocks.  FINAL GOAL:  Have this quilt ready to show in the 2018 Quilt Shows.

img_2033

img_2034

img_2036

img_2040

Completed Section 4 of Stonefields!!!!!!!  This pattern is not difficult other than the pieces are very small.  Mr Rabbit and I had a fun day yesterday.  I would love to have this one completed to show next year also, but time will tell!  Blocks are 6 1/2″ unfinished.

flower-4

flower-3

flower-2

flower-1

bunny-rabbit

This block was previously finished, but the flowers in the center were too light so I redid it with some of the same fabrics used for the blue leaves.

stonefields-seg-4c

Margaret Potts is now on schedule (except for the February’s block which was received last week).  I finished 5 blocks this month!  Blocks are 10 1/2″ unfinished.

potts-block-16

potts-block-14

potts-block-18

block

potts-block-19

AND Oh Glory is quilted!  I believe I made this while in Arizona in or around 2013.  It is a Lynette Jennings pattern!  Just need to add the binding.  Think this one will probably replace one of the wall hangings in my Studio now.

oh-glory-5

 

oh-glory-back

Can you believe are already starting March and daylight savings time?  I will be finishing the computer project up (hopefully today) and move on to a new project.  I really do want to work on an RSC 2017 project so maybe now I can take some time and look for a pattern that I really want to do in those colors.  I would like this one to be a “fun” quilt, something that will not be difficult but a little challenging.  Hopefully I can have my March goals selected soon.

Have a great day and enjoy stitching!

Linking to – Let’s Be Social  Esther’s WOW  17 UFOs in 2017

RSC 2017 – Beat the Clock!

Today I found a pattern that I really like and am going to use it for my RSC 2017 project!  YEA.  Happy To Be Scrappy  has the quilt on her Blog and I have been admiring it along with Gretchen.  So I did some research and Deb gave me some information on how she made the quilt and now I have finished 3 of the blocks this afternoon.  Now remember, I am not a scrappy person, so it will be interesting to see how this works out.

There is an off-setting block that will go with each block, but I am no longer “Wonder Woman” like I used to be and am calling it quits for today – the last day to post the Purple Blocks.  I am going to do something with my 4 patches, just not sure what!  Both Gretchen and I have added a quilt to RSC 2017 project.  It amazes me how we can start out on a project like this and then at the very end change directions.  But isn’t if fun to do!

purple-blocks

I am now pleased with this and enjoyed making the blocks.  It is really a very easy quilt to make so I will enjoy the process.  I am going to try to make the 3 off setting blocks for the blocks and hopefully can post them on Tuesday.  Wish me luck.

Starting another project tomorrow Robin’s Nest by Karen Styles and hopefully I will be in the Applique mood tonight!  The next bi-monthly quilt will be the Quiltmania Mystery Quilt.  It will be a nice slow project and the first 2 blocks are reverse applique.  I am trying to find the background fabric that they are using, but of course the 2 places you can order them from US are not selling any of the fabric because they are only going to use them for the Kits.  DARN!

IF and I say IF, I can get caught up on my Stonefields,  Margaret Potts Quilt, and A Bountiful Life then I will start Rowdy Flat Library Quilt.  It is a very intense appliqued quilt designed by Susan Smith.  I have my fabrics, just need to double up on my quilting time!  Hummmm  guess I need to clone myself!

Have a great week-end.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Try - Mistake in border

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

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

Circa 2016 Medallion

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

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

Block Group 1

Circa 2016 Blocks – Blocks are 3″ Finished

Block Group 2

Circa 2016 Blocks – Blocks are 3″ Finished

Block Group 3

Circa 2016 Block – Blocks are 3″ Finished

Block Group 4

Circa 2016 Blocks- Blocks are 3″ Finished

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

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

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

Enjoy quilting!