Thursday, January 12, 2017

Best Laid Plans

So, the PLAN was . . .

I was scheduled to do some quilting on the longarm (my LQS rents time on their longarm) and I was going to take some photos of the quilt loaded and in progress.  Even wanted to try posting from my smart phone. 

Technical difficulties turned all those plans upside down!  Tension was all over the place and we had to call in the big guns (ie, owner who had been to training on maintaining the beast).  By lunch time I decided I better pull out another project to work on.

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This one!  Another Stack ‘N Whack.  I got all the hexagons finished and started adding triangles to square them up.  As you can probably tell, the fabric is a Finding Nemo print.  It was something my mother bought (I don’t know why!) and I have puzzled over what to do with it.

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I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how pretty the blocks are turning out.  Everything from nice subtle patterns like the one above . . .

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. . . to wildly silly like these eyeballs! 

I’m working on how to put the blocks together.  There was a lot of this fabric – I have 42 hexagons measuring about 11” – so I will probably get two quilts out of this project!

And maybe – just maybe – I’ll be able to show you a loaded, quilted quilt next week!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Starting a New Year

In hopes for getting back into the blogging habit, I thought I would pop in this evening with a quick update.

Here are the first three blocks of Patchwork of the Cross (to be known as POTC hereafter).  I am making great progress as there are two more blocks almost ready for viewing.  I suspect things may slow down now that there are no holiday specials to watch.  Who knows?

I have a couple of completed quilt tops, but they will have to wait for another post when I have more time.  See you then!

P.S. Happy New Year!

P.P.S.  Suddenly my blogging app isn't connecting to Blogger so this has taken much longer than I planned.  Plus, I wanted to crop the photo so you don't have to look at my cabinet doors.  Not happening.  Sigh.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

There must be a name for my condition

So, in my last post I showed you several projects in various stages of completion.  Any sane person would be happy to keep working on that and maybe even – oh I don’t know – actually complete some of them!

But any sane person is not me!  While I have been working on the afore mentioned projects, I had to start two new ones.  Of course I had to!  They called to me and I could not resist!

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First up is an embroidery project I picked up on a Shop Hop awhile ago.  It’s by Barri Sue Gaudet of Bareroots.  When I took a class on “twilling” I knew exactly how I would do this piece.  I had the squares assembled and fabrics fused in a single afternoon.  The twilling is the heavier lines in the letters and a few of the details.  You will be seeing more about twilling in the near future.

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The second new project is Lucy Boston’s Patchwork of the Cross.  I’ve been seeing pictures of this pattern on various web sites for quite some time.  On the same Shop Hop trip I mentioned above, I finally found the book and some elongated hexies.  It took a little while to pick some fabrics and read up on the project.  But I’m ready – why not start now?  This one will be a long-term project, probably reserved for TV time.  I love how the stripe fabrics come out in these blocks.  I also am looking forward to some fussy cutting for other pattern matching.

Lest you think I have abandoned my other projects, here are some updates.

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Here is the first quadrant of Fancy Forest all assembled.  Just three more of these and I’ll have a finished top!  This piece is about 30x43, so the finished quilt will be pretty big!

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And here’s a finish!  Stars and Hourglass was all from my scraps and I’m pleased with the way it turned out – even if it did present some challenges.  For some reason I could not calculate how many red squares I needed.  At first I came up short by more than two rows.  After making some more hourglass blocks, I now have quite a few left over!!  But I lucked out on the borders – there was about 3” left of the blue when I finished.  Whew!  This will go to Quilts of Valor.  I can probably use those extra hourglasses on the pillowcase!

I have some more blocks done on Farmer’s Wife, but no photos yet.  I need to dig out my cutting table so I can get some more projects done.  Or maybe it’s the other way around!

I’m going to try to resist starting anything new for awhile.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

WIPs, PHDs, and some Finishes

Wow!  When I decided to let the blog go silent, I had NO intention of being gone for NINE MONTHS!!  As you can imagine, things just got in the way, and then something else, and pretty soon you are out of the habit.  Don’t think that means I haven’t been doing anything worth showing.  Not at all.  So let’s see what’s been happening.

Works in Progress (WIPs)

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This is a quilt I am working on right now.  Pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman and the “critters” are all standard piecing – rectangles, squares, and half-square triangles – so it is going pretty fast.  I loved the owl eyes laid out on my ironing board!

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Another quilt project (yes, I usually work on several projects at a time.  Can’t be getting bored, you know!) is this Stars & Hourglass.  I hope to get this one finished for Quilts of Valor next year.  The blocks are all done, just need to finish assembling rows.

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This is a (crooked) shot of the first three blocks from The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s style – a Block of the Month from my local quilt shop.  Actually, it’s eight blocks every month, but they are small!  They’re also foundation paper-pieced, so tiny pieces are not tooooo stressful.

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Annnnd. . . . here is the “test” block for a Stack ’n Whack project.  The fabric is something I inherited from my Mom.  I haven’t the least idea why she would have yards of Finding Nemo fabric, and I struggled to come up with a design to use it in.  Stay tuned to see how it works out.
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Since I have a lot of fabric that was acquired without a project in mind, I’ve been trying to pick some interesting patterns and match them up with fabric for future reference.   Anytime I have all the fabric for a quilt, I make up these “kits.”  When I finish a quilt I just grab the next kit and start cutting.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have made much of a dent in the stash!

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One thing that does help in reducing stash, however, is cutting all my leftovers into 5” squares.  There are tons of patterns out there that start with a 5” square (Stars & Hourglass above is one) and you can see how fast they stack up. 

Projects Half-Done (P.H.D.s)

I classify these as a project that came to a stop and shows little signs of getting started back up.  Most of these were class or club projects and they are stuck in the state from the end of the class.  There may be no hope for these projects, but I’ve gathered them together so I can see what is what.

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Here you can see two dolls and a row of doll heads.  Club projects waiting patiently for the grand finish.  Also some postcards – just need the backing or maybe a few more stitches – and a Stump work project that came to a halt when I realized I haven’t made enough flower petals!  The ribbon and lace to the side is actually a future project, but it’s also a club project so probably won’t make it to finished either!

Finished!

While it may appear that my working habits are in disarray, I have managed to finish a few things.  What else would I be doing instead of blogging?

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I went to Florida again this spring and took another class from Deb Wood.  This Dryad was our project and the other students were people I knew from previous classes.  It was a wonderful week and I am feeling so much more confident in my sculpting skills.

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This is Puck – that mischievous imp from A Midsummer’s Night Dream, among other stories.  I made his head a long time ago and you’ve probably seen it before,  I decided that it was time to test what I learned from all these classes.  I think he turned out pretty well!

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You might recall I was working on an Alice in Wonderland quilt when I last blogged (more on the quilt in a moment).  My doll club did several shows this year and picked Wonderland as our theme.  My character was the caterpillar.  Fortunately Suzette Rugolo has done several patterns from the story so I did not have to start from scratch.  This doll is BIG!

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This is the quilt made from patterns available on Fandominstitches.com.  I made it to hang behind our dolls displays at shows.  Yes, it was a lot of work, but since I was laid up with a broken foot there wasn’t much of anything else I could do!

There have been several quilt tops finished as well.  Some have even been quilted and bound – others still waiting to be quilted (I’ll have to photograph the pile of Waiting!)  Here are some of them, in no particular order.

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And last – but definitely not least! - - - -
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My contribution to our club charity project – One Million Pillowcases.  I made 28 and I think I can safely say I am a whizz at making pillowcases!

There you go – nine months neatly packaged in one post!  Now I am adding Blog to my ToDo list so maybe there will be more for you to see in shorter bursts.  At least I’ll try!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

By the Numbers

Working away on foundation paper pieced (FPP) blocks.  Here are some factoids for this block.

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10 inches finished size

250 individual pieces

59 “sections” (if you don’t do FPP, little pieces become larger pieces, etc.)

4 days to complete – about 16 hours

2 words:  Never Again!

Monday, February 29, 2016

What the Heck Happened to February?

It just got here and I turn my back for one minute . . . .  Good grief!  OK, so a little bit of flu caused some lost time.  And spraining my foot has limited some mobility.  But, really.  I mean I neither sew nor type with my foot!

At least there HAS been some sewing!

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You might remember that I did a series called Serendipity Sunday in 2013, working my way through several books on fabric manipulation.  These three panels have sat on my work pile (and been moved numerous times) and I finally decided what to do with them.  So they are finished!  Some close-ups:

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I’ve been working on a quilt using one of Jenny Doan’s tutorials.  These are 12” blocks so it went together really fast!  Waiting for it’s borders now.  Here are the first six blocks:

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And another quilt project I’m working on:

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The blocks are paper pieced – with a LOT of tiny pieces!  I don’t know why I get into these projects sometimes.  The patterns are from Fandom In Stitches, Alice in Wonderland collection.

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I took a Postcard class at the local quilt shop.  Teachers were from the quilt shop, the yarn/weaving shop, local art gallery, and the Janome dealer.  Our little town has some great resources!  As always, though, I need to finish these before they can be called postcards!

So, there’s a few of what’s going on behind the scenes.  A couple other items are still on the camera.  Here’s hoping I get them posted before the end of March!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Intention

noun in·ten·tion \in-ˈten(t)-shən\

Simple Definition of intention (from Merriam-Webster)

: the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose

Full Definition of intention

  1. a determination to act in a certain way : resolve

  2. import, significance

  3. what one intends to do or bring about

  4. a process or manner of healing of incised wounds

  5. concept; especially :  a concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge

That’s it – my Word of the Year.  I decided I need to focus on where I’m headed and what I want to achieve – as opposed to just letting each day take me where it will.

Our intention creates our reality.”  --Wayne Dyer

Last year, my Word sort of fizzled out some time in March.  I don’t want that to happen this year.  To help keep this year’s word in front of me, I created a planner.

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I searched for quotes about Intention and included one for each week.  Some are about what Intention can do for you, and some are reminders that it takes more than just intent to make progress.

Mindfulness has helped me succeed in almost every dimension of my life. By stopping regularly to look inward and become aware of my mental state, I stay connected to the source of my actions and thoughts and can guide them with considerably more intention.”  -- Dustin Moskovitz

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I printed out calendars for each month as well, and space for notes, plus a review at the end of each month.  I even made a separate section with specific goals and space for more notes.  Oh boy, am I ever organized!

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I had the most fun, though, binding it all together.  I saw a post  somewhere once where the binding had heart patterns in it.  So, I figured why not put the year on the spine?  It’s pretty rough (and it was really a hassle to do!), but I am amazed that you can actually read the year!  Wow!

So, now that January is almost over, how am I doing?  Well . . . . . my intention was to write this post at the beginning of the month .  . . . . and my intention was to actually write two posts – one for the Word and one for the planner.  But, hey!  At least it’s still January!!

Maybe February will be better.