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.

The Ladies Quilt is Completed!

Greetings from lovely Hotsville, Texas.  I am getting somewhat used to it as long as I do not have to go anywhere after 11 AM. (LOL).

I have finally finished Wanda’s Ladies quilt.  It is an older pattern but one that was fun to applique.  I used fabrics from the Connecting Threads Charleston collection about 2 years ago – maybe a little longer.  I am very pleased as to how it turned out.  I love the piano keys border.   The fabrics are coordinating and rather than just sewing the ladies together, I put a corresponding fabric around each block that matched the dresses and umbrellas.   Of course the piano keys are made from the same for coordinating fabrics.   The ribbons on the top of the umbrellas are embroidered.

Ladies Quilt for Wanda 1

 

Now on to putting the Threads of Memory (think that was a 2014 project by Barbara Brackman).  I have not had a “vision” of how to set the blocks, so it will take me a few days to think it over.  I really feels good to finally finish a project, albeit a small quilt.  Have a great evening and sewing day tomorrow.

Making Progress on Projects – S-L-O-W-L-Y

Greetings from a Sunny mild South Texas Day!  FINALLY!  What a winter we have had and those in the North East have really suffered.  Maybe  stable Spring weather will arrive by April and stay with us for awhile.  Of course Spring time brings out the “let’s get with the Spring Cleaning Program”…… OK – done enough of that!  Darryl is still with us and on Good Friday –  3 April – Hubby Clay will have surgery to fuse 2 herniated discs that are pressing on his spinal cord in his neck.  He will be fine.  ME?  I am back up and running at 100% (well maybe a little pain every now and then) but I am walking my 2 miles each day plus more and cleaning the house – so I consider my Radio Frequency treatments, new braces, and correcting the 1/2” difference between my right and left leg a resounding success!  Nurse Nanny will be up and running for the recovery time for Clay.

Then we have wonderful Daylight Savings Time (DST) – something that I have deep negative feelings for.  I am trying to adjust, but it still takes me about a week or so before I do.  I wish Texas would opt out of it.  I have a friend who loves it but then she still teaches so I do not blame her for not wanting to come home in the dark!  I just want to stay on Mother Nature’s time-table.  When we go to Sierra Vista AZ for the winter, we stay on Texas time so the body clock doesn’t become confused.  It is a hoot because we go by 2 clocks since Arizona does not do DST.  If we arrive in October – we go to bed at 8PM and get up at 4AM – according to our body clocks and Clay can talk to his Ham Radio guys – Texas Time!  Then in November we are only 1 hour ahead of Arizona and we get to go to bed at 9PM and get up at 5AM AZ time.  Funny Funny Funny – what nuts we are sometimes.

OK – here we go on quilting projects.  I have moved things around in the main room of my Studio to make room for a 1950’s Singer 401a sewing machine – yup – figured if Uncle Sam needs some money, I wanted to spend some.  I have been monitoring the Vintage machines for sale on Ebay, but yesterday I stumbled on to Etsy and found a great Pristine Singer 401a machine and after 6 hours of debating I bit the bullet and purchased it.  I blame this acquisition on Bonnie Hunter.  I began following her Blog for the last month and one day she showed an extension table for my Singer Featherweight.  That started me on this journey.  I purchased the Sew Steady Table from Furniss Sewing (www.sew4ever.com).  It is an 18″ x 18″ made to fit perfectly with the Featherweight 221.   I spoke with Mitch about the  Singer 301a and the 401a.  He told me that the 401a was a workhorse and one of the great Singers.  So based on this discussion and the information obtained from the Internet – I was sold!  Here is a picture of the machine – I am going to call her Bonnie Brown….

Bonnie Brown - 1950 Singer 401a

Bonnie Brown – Singer 1950’s 401a Slant Stitch with Decorative Stitches

I also have a 2003 Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 and have been using it for the last 2 years.  Today I decided that I had ignored my Husqvarna Sapphire long enough and give the Designer a rest.  Of the two, I really love my Designer 1.  The Sapphire is a little more noisy than the D1 but still a very good machine with built-in stitches.

HV Sapphire

Husqvarna Viking Sapphire

Of course, I cannot forget my 1952 221 Featherweight.  This one has been in the closet for 3 years and when I set it up this morning it is purring like a kitty cat (it will be the only purring around here since our ex-cat gave me cat scratch fever in 2013 and I almost died – on a pet diet – NONE)

1952 Singer Featherweight

My 221 Featherweight with the new 18 x 18 table extension

OK – enough of this.  I have been able to work on my projects since the last posting.  Here are some blocks that I have ready for my Happy Scrappy.  I made some 6 inch blocks and will put them together (maybe) and make 12″ blocks for the 12 x 56 inch side borders I need to have to finish the quilt (not going for a large one this time), or I may spread them out as 6 inch blocks.

Log Cabin for HS

Log Cabin Blocks

HS 12 inch Block 2

More of the Same for Happy Scrappy

 

Card Block for HS

My Favorite – Card Deck Blocks

HS 12 inch Block

More 6 inch Blocks for Happy Scrappy

Here is another block I am working on for my Happy Scrappy.  I started making 6 inch blocks from Jane Austin and ended up putting the block on point and I think that they will be the 12″ blocks in the outer block border.

6 Inch HS block

6 Inch Block for Happy Scrappy

12 Inch HS Block

12 Inch Block for Happy Scrappy

I finally have finished my last 2 blocks for Threads of Memory.  I am not sure that I like the green one – but if it looks good after I decide on my setting it may still be around – otherwise I will re-do it!

Threads of Memory Block 11

Block 11. St Charles Star for Louisa Alexander

Threads of Memory Block 12

Block 12 – Rochester Star for Amy Post and Harriet Jacobs

 

I have also started another project in the evenings and when I could not “motivate”.  The blocks are from a pattern called, “Stars over Texas”.  The Designer is Diana Pelton from Wisteria Quilting Designs 2005.  There are 12 Blocks all embroidery depicting landmarks in Texas.  After 3  years of  this project sitting and ready to be worked on,  I have finished 2 blocks.   The Texas Block needs the “X’s” to make it look like barbed wire!   This is an easy and fun project.   I used Moda Primitive background fabric and Presensia Embroidery Variegated Brown, Gold, Beige thread.  I really like how it is turning out.  I will design a different setting than the pattern.  But I still give the Designer all the credit for the pattern!

Stars Across Texas Block 1

Block 1 – Texas

 

Stars Across Texas Blk 2

The Alamo – San Antonio, Texas

Oh – you ask about my Dear Jane project?  I will be starting this month’s blocks this week-end.  Dear Jane is my challenge project and we know how challenges go… Have great week and enjoy quilting.

 

Happy Scrappy and 2014! On to 2015!

I hope all had a great New Year and that the year is starting off in a positive manner for everyone.  Mine still has a few hiccups but things have settled down for us a little bit.  I look back at the year and realize that I did not produce as much as I have in the past with my quilting.  I do not know if it is age, Darryl’s illness, the stress of losing him, the extreme dampness this winter, or if I have really done something to my back to cause me so many problems with my Fibromylagia and Sciatica – whichever it is – I am not a happy camper when it comes to physical slow downs.  I definitely am not going into my 70s gracefully!  My mind says I can but the body is balking!  We will see who wins!  LOL  But life does get in the way sometimes and we must remain as positive as we can and move forward.

–I was so ready to do all of the selected projects that I found on line – Barbara Brackman, Pat Sloan, Ester – Love Entwined, etc, when I started my Blog.  I love keeping up with all of my favorite Bloggers now.    Looking back over the year here is my progress (or no progress)

–I did make 2 quilt tops for the San Antonio Show this year and they are ready to be quilted.  One of the tops was from Pat Sloan’s Globetrotting.

–I started on the Austen Family quilt, but had issues with time and interruptions and problems with reducing the block size to 6 inch blocks.

–Threads of Memory is almost completed with only 2 blocks to finish and then I can decide on a setting for the quilt.

–I still have one more block to finish on Wanda’s Antebellum Ladies Quilt and only one (1) bird to finish on Block Number 1 of The Lost Boy Quilt!

–Rosemary Young’s Happy Scrappy BOM was to be a challenge quilt and for me to work on my desire to develop quilt designing skills.  This project has taken me longer than I thought it would.

–I finished one wall hanging for the Baltimore Applique Society On-Line Auction and that was very satisfying to be a part of the fund raiser for BAS.

–Darryl’s quilt – Sylvester’s Bean Pot

— Sentimental Scraps – that one needs to be finished – almost forgot about Edyta Sitar project.

++On the negative side of positive –  I did not get the bindings done from left over “ready to be finished” quilts from 2013.  Maybe I will get in the mood soon to get those done.

This year I made a decision that before I would start any major new project that I would try to finish the projects that are begging to be completed from 2014, BUT I now find out that decisions and plans sometimes need to be changed!  Here I am already changing that decision on not starting a new project!

The Austin, Texas Guild has a Dear Jane Bee and I joined it.  We do 4 blocks a month (hum… wonder if I will be able to maintain this challenge)  The Bee will meet in Austin quarterly on a Saturday for a sew in and I am so looking forward to this.  Today I downloaded the 4 blocks for the month (will see where I am in February – they are “due” to be completed (if possible) by the 19th of February – this will be interesting.  I have the book, rulers, and the EQ Dear Jane.  I am thinking that I am going to hand piece each block.  I printed out the templates on the 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of freezer paper and this will cut down some of the time in preparation work.  Next decision on this project will be the fabrics.  I miss working with my batiks, but think that might be a bit challenging for hand piecing and take away from the original time frame of the quilt.  I sincerely hope that I will be able to complete this project as I had purchased everything (less fabric) for a Dear Jane in 2009!!!!  Where has time gone?

The other project is Ester’s Oma’s Blue Quilt.  What a beautiful quilt in Blue.  I am thinking that this one would be beautiful in my Batiks and either in Blues, Reds, or Purples.  Decisions Decisions Decisions!  I will probably shoot for a March start date on this one if life permits.

— Oh yes – and then there is Di Ford’s 2014 Quiltmania Mystery Quilt………….yup still in the drawer along with a lot of my money that I spent on Dutch Chintz fabric.  WOW – where have I been?

So here we are and I am so happy because I have completed the top and bottom “block rows” of my Happy Scrappy quilt.  I am pleased with it so far.  Next I will begin to design the side panels from there – who knows.

Happy Scrappy Top and Bottom Block Borders

Here is a picture of my Lost Boy Quilt (also Civil War Bride) Block 1. – One little brown bird to finish!  I am using Batiks for this quilt.  I miss working with them, especially when I am working on an applique project!

Block 1 Lost Boy Quilt

I am grateful to have completed the projects that I did and the one’s that I am trying to finish.  Life is good to Clay and I even with the impending heartache that is coming sooner than later.  I just hope that we can make it through the rough times.  Quilting has really saved my sanity many times over.  I have missed working on special projects for my Show Quilts, but if God allows it, there is next year.

Have a blessed day and enjoy all that you can.   I am thinking that next winter Sierra Vista, AZ would be a good place to be.

Where Does the Time Go?

Anyone who is still in the active workforce knows that time passes so s-l-o-w… Well, let me tell you – Retirement times passes so FAST that even when one wakes up at 4:30 thinking that they will be in their Studio quilting by 9:30 AM has another thought coming!  How can a quick run to the store, bank, and pick up tacos at a drive in window take over an hour and a half?  Especially when one lives about 5 miles from a small town!   Well believe me it does and it threw my schedule off about 3 hours.  So my dream of being in the Studio cutting out a new quilt today has not really gone as planned.  I guess I knew that it was not a “good brain day” after I had pressed my block for Baltimore Applique Society (BAS) donation, cut the batting and backing, then realized – OH do I have to add a BORDER????   Well, needless to say, back to the cutting table….. At least I did not mess up the block!  Whew!

I did finish the border on my for the Baltimore Applique Society donation quilt without anymore stupid things happening and it is now ready for quilting.  This particular block is from the Elizabeth MacCullough Hervey Quilt Pattern, Block D3.  BAS is such a great group to be a part of.  They are located in an area where they go to the Museums and actually copy the Baltimore quilt pattern from the original quilt.  I really regret that when I lived in the Northern Virginia area that I was not a quilter.  I had always wanted to learn how to quilt since the 1970’s, but there was not time with a full-time career.  So I jumped into the quilting world two years after I retired.  The first technique I tried was needleturn applique and I feel in love with the it!  This was before glue! (I am a Traditional needle turn appliquer.)

BAS will be hosting a “Bits of Baltimore Online Auction” to be held October 1st through the 15th and October 20th – November 3rd.  I will post more information on the Auction in another post.  Now on to the hand quilting.   I am pleased with the outcome.  At first I had some issues with the fabric I had selected, but things began to take hold and now it is finished (oops except the quilting!)

BAS Hervey Block

 

I have decided that I will continue to save the Austen Family Quilt BOW, but will not be working on it this year.  I am going to complete the Globetrotting, Threads of Memory, and Happy Scrappy Quilt.  I have received my fabrics that I was lucky enough to find to add to my stash for Happy Scrappy.  The fabric line is Ruby’s Flower Garden and Summers Basket of Flowers!    So it is now time for me to get serious on getting things done.  I have also decided to do Sentimental Scraps by Edyta Sitar for Laundry Basket Quilts.  The pattern is in the Quiltmania magazine Number 99, page 81.   My friend Jaydee has already completed her quilt and she did a wonderful job.  I hope mine comes out as pretty.  I purchased the border fabric along with some other pieces from the Hope Chest Collection.  Here is a picture of Jaydee’s beautiful Sentimental Scraps quilt.

 

Jaydee Quilt Mania Scrappy Quilt

Jaydee’s Sentimental Scraps

I will be posting my progress as I go along with Happy Scrappy and Sentimental Scraps.  SS has 130 3″ nine patches and I will have to make more as this will go on a California King Bed…… Oh boy – more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

Have a blessed day – Enjoy!