Tuesday, January 31, 2006

wrap up for January goals

I noticed I had forgotten to do my summary for this month...and as it is not yet midnight-still time to do this on the last day of the month for January.

One of my goals was to use up the scraps in the large bin- so far I have one quilt finished and at least two more well started. What is left in the bin are larger pieces waiting to be cut down into usable scrap sizes ala Bonnies system. So, though it is not empty, I am pleased with the major reduction in it.

I did not buy any fabric...I don't think that was a formal goal- but, I am pleased that I continue to find more than enough within my stash to use up in quilts.

And, I did finish three ufos. I think January was a great kick off quilty wise for 2006.

sidetracked for a friend

Received a call from a very dear friend..looks like I am going to be devoting quite a bit of my spare time during the day to helping her out. So, there goes a lot of my quilty time for a while.

A few answers to comments: I wasn't quilting too long before realizing the huge value of a design wall. Lots of suggestions on what to use - but in the end I bought this from some shop-it's basically batting 72 1/2 by 74 inches...I thumbtacked it up and it's been a great tool for me.

A neighborly blogger is sending me a wonky house so I can kick off my village-in that spirit, let me know via email if I can send one along to you...I am not suggesting a swap or anything official...just having some fun here. And, no deadlines...as this is a no hurry have some fun when you feel inspired type quilt.

I felt my house could have been wonkier...and the roof was a bit too large for the house part..that is what I meant by room for improvement...but- wonky is good and who knows how the next one will look?

I have gotten sucked back into the scrappy stitching...so I am shooting for a finished quilt or two by Feb 13th. A friend is kindly sending the "right" thread for the Texas baby quilt-when that shows up...then I will get that quilted in no time...if I can finish three ufos in February that would make me very happy. It's a good roll to be on! However there are larger quilts ahead on the ufo list...with a whole lot less done on them too...so who knows? I do appreciate the wonderful encouragement from my blogger neighbors...many thanks!

scrappy sections starts

This style of quilt making is probably as old as quilting has been around I am sure-putting together bits and pieces, leftover blocks or trim offs or odd leftover scraps..Evelyn asked how they went together..so I thought I would put up a photo of my design wall with lots of them up-around the wonky house as I have not taken it down and replaced with the scrappy parts that were there...I make them up pretty large and then sort of match sizes. Last time I worked in three sections, although the final quilt doesn't show that approach as without sashings you are hard pressed to find a "block" so to speak. I don't do too much diagonal slicing-though it would add a lot of visual appeal - I find it wastes a lot of fabric- and as these are going away to charity-I want the most for my time on them. You can see more containers next to the bin stuffed with more scraps-those are just from my personal quilting of last year that did not get used up. The flannel scraps are in another bag elsewhere...and the Texas baby scraps are still on the ironing board. I am rapidly approaching the moment of stoppage and the great clean up in here begins.

Today? probably work on those sections and get to a top stage-I could do some quilting on the Texas baby ...need to pull threads out and find the one I think will work-otherwise it's off to buy thread I like for it. I know if this goes to my son and his wife-they will throw it into the washer/dryer and so machine quilting it would be sturdier than hand quilting. I expect my quilts to get hard use, so actually do not expect to do much handquilting on any large quilts I would make -but, I do want to make small ones and do hand quilting on those...

Monday, January 30, 2006

wonky house lesson #1 ala Tonya

A rotten rainy dreary day here...got such a kick out of Tonya's post today I was inspired and hey! presto! my first wonky house.

You can see there is plenty of room for improvement...but, not bad either, all things considered. Just pulled what was on top in the large scrap bin I am working out of right now.

I admit it, as I work with the next grouping of scrappy sections, I am finding myself quite liking them! The lack of rhyme or reason is just so appealing-with unexpected bits of color or part of a print popping up...really suits my mood today.
There are still plenty of various orphan blocks sprinkled in as well.
I am now considering putting together one as a keeper for myself...wall hanging size.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

promised photos plus!

I could not finish Texas baby last night-too tired and not in a quilty frame of mind. However, a new morning and I picked up where I left off thanks in part to some fellow quilt pals doing some online cheering. So-here is a photo of the Texas baby top as done as I am inclined-45 by 61 1/2 is big enough and beside it the backing for it. Have not quite made up my mind on the binding but leaning towards the square looking print fabric.
The other photo is the finished scrap block quilt-as promised a few days ago! It's a charity quilt for wraptheminlove, the foundation all my charity quilts go to. A few of this quilt's leftover blocks snuck into some of the scrappy quilt 1 and likely into scrappy quilt top 2 in progress (it being the leader/ender for Texas baby). As Finn noted, scrappy is pretty addicting when you are just playing with scrappy sections and there is no right or wrong way of putting them together.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

rant about a quilter's list I am a member on

*********** Warning: following is a long commentary on a quilt list I belong to issue*********

A few of us belong to a list that recently got so far off topic the listmom responded by kicking folks off, with the chance of asking to be allowed back on. I was posting a comment over on Bonnie's blog and decided it was getting too long. Here is my viewpoint: it is her list and she gets to set the rules and enforce them however she choses. I can point out other ways she could have handled it...but bottom line, she is the final voice. Now it is my choice how to respond to the whole matter. I chose to voice my opinion here. I prefer to read that list from the website-no filling my mailbox to overflowing and I can reply directly to anyone easily. I can zip over and look at photos easily-and I can post to the list without any problem. I don't understand why people are so attached to having emails come to their box..but, that is their choice and their right if that is what works for them. I skip over lots and lots of posts that ARE quilt related as they simply do not interest me. I wish people would use common sense or internet etiquette but many do not for whatever reason. I pretty much do not let any of it bother me-as really the majority of these people do not know me-so why take it personally? And, I like knowing just about every point of view is going to be presented-as I value diversity - even when I do not agree. So ends my "rant" on said subject...

Friday, January 27, 2006

3rd ufo bites the dust!

guess I am on a roll this month, as I put the last stitch in my third ufo a bit ago. Photo to be posted later- I have until five pm to work on the next ufo up on the design wall uninterrupted.
So, it's turn on the machine and focus time.

** Amy--posted those charms to you today-let's see how long the post office takes from the west coast to the east! Back later tonight with photos....

Thursday, January 26, 2006

previous post photo....

this photo goes with the previous post about the missing ufo found...for some unfathomable reason blogger would not let me upload that 2nd photo..so here it is. By the way, it is now up on the design wall and that means it doesn't come down until it is done. On to ufo #4 all in the month of January- a new record of dedication for me!
I will get back to the scrap piecing pile on the sewing table- they will be leaders/enders for this ufo project....and binding stitching tonight during tv bonding time with the honey.

butterfly photo and ufo photo

Laurie Ann- the only photo I have is about half of the top before I added the borders. The photo includes me holding it up on one side :-) This quilt was started in 1999 and finished in 2005-my oldest ufo. A lovely long story goes with this quilt, which I will post another time. If memory serves, there are 23 different butterfly fabrics in the blocks and 2 additional ones as part of the 3 borders, with another different one as part of the back. Yes, yes- I must take more photos...but, it's raining hard and taking photos of it on our bed never look all that great.
New photos will have to wait for sunny weather and helpers.
Here is the ufo I could not find this morning- it proved to be out in the garage in one of the many bins of stash that currently can not fit into the house proper.
I found the fabric on my personal shop hop of quilt shops between San Antonio and Austin Texas in 2002. I fell in love with the panel and bought go with fabrics all for a friend who used to live in Texas and was expecting a baby girl. I got it going and then found out she was not interested in having a quilt from me-and due to many other factors we drifted apart as friends. So this ufo was put away until almost a year ago when I decided to play with it again. My dil was admiring it and I said I would keep it in case she had a baby girl-and she was pretty happy about that comment. Of course life happened and it was put away again. Now with their baby due in June/July ish... I want to finish it and make another more boy oriented one too...then I have another quilt idea for the new baby too...after all a new grandchild simply can not have too many quilts!


I can some what accept misplacing a chunk of stash - and shrug and say, well, it's somewhere in a safe place..but to misplace a half pieced ufo? I can find the backing I prepared and the leftover panels-but the rest? I was inspired to get back to this ufo as I told my dil it would be a sweet girl baby girl quilt-and as she is expecting and has a 50-50 chance of having a girl and liked what she had seen of it..it made sense to pull it out and finish it up-right? I thought I had put all my ufos in one place...I know there is a lot of fabric with this ufo as I added the leftovers from my mom's pink quilt to this project. Guess this is the moment when I take a break and really do a serious search-I wanted to review my ufos anyway..call out the search party if I don't post after a few days!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

got this finish in under the wire

here it is, quilted, bound, and labeled. whew...and it's not midnight yet too. This makes my second ufo finish in ten days. I actually have the 3rd ufo done up to the hand stitching of the binding-label is already on. You may not be able to see this quirk..I pulled stash binding-it looked enough so on it went-halfway through (this was donated binding by the way) the size changed. hmmmm-I just made it work, but, that accounts for a more narrow section in parts of it.

This quilt as well as the next scrappy one go to the charity I support. I practice my free motion quilting (using my bernie) on them and it's been a long time since I have done any free motion...the stippling looks pretty wobbly and I can't blame not wearing my glasses either! I was able to stay with it today long enough to get through both quilts. I didn't take a photo of the blue hearts flannel backing-as it is all the same one piece of fabric...same applies to second scrappy quilt too-different flannel-all one large piece.

Nice to bust more stash and finish a ufo...back to piecing the remaining scraps stitched together into another top...it will be fun to see how many tops I end up with from using up all the scraps I started with from my large bin.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

and to wrap up the night

my goodness...that scrap quilt earned a lot of fun comments...yes- it was a kick to throw in various "orphan" blocks or pieces of blocks as the case may be...thanks for noticing everyone. Dee- I could quilt a kitchen sink in it, but, with all that action I don't think you would notice LOL. thanks everyone- guess the 2nd one will eventually show up too. Got in some quilting time today...though I had to stop and go off to my guild meeting. Took along the over the edge wall hanging for inspiration show and tell. Always fun to see what everyone brings along. Had a great speaker with tons of quilted/embellished wearable art - eye candy for sure. Of course I can not recall her name...But I brought home her website url. http://www.members.tripod.com/ofmyhands so you can check her out if you like. oh here it is: Kathleen Brown- very humorous and entertaining speaker. Well, tonight I have made sure to take something for the sneak attack cough and hope to get a good night's rest. lots of quilting tomorrow after doing some delayed errands.

2nd post of the day

ok...the soup is not quite done-I rummaged and came up with everything to make the soup (lentil curry) I had my taste buds set on...I do like cooking from scratch and making do with what I find in the pantry/fridge. So, I don't have to leave home to enjoy soup today. I had my hot tea while waiting on the soup to get this far. I put in 15 minutes free motion quilting before having to take a break. I can see this quilting with breaks is going to take a while...but, that's ok today. Music for the day: smooth jazz- fourplay and richard elliot some of my favorites being played recently- we have satellite tv so I can put on the music stations and enjoy commerical free (99%) music all day and all night. what a great feature and makes having a tv worth while in my opinion...Zoe simply can not understand why on this beautiful sunny day I am staying in my sewing chair so much?? poor baby. This is when I could use borrowing an active child/teen to entertain my dog lol. not much of a work out with me today. Back to lying at my feet napping until I move. ok- back to the quilting...until the soup is really ready for eating and not sampling.

Lucy asked for it...

Lucy asked for a photo of my hexagon hand piecing (EPP) project-so I dug it out and took a photo. I included the photo page from McCall's magazine where it could have been on the cover-back in June 2001-it will have over 900 half inch hexagons by the time I am done. And, I have earmarked it as a gift to my best Aussie friend-started on the plane trip to visit her back in 2003. I even stole some of her stash to include! and not having a deadline for this project means it has lanquished for far too long. I learned they do not have the packaged precut paper piecing shapes when I ran out of them and looked in all the nearby quilt shops in Perth . Shop owners said it would be too expensive to import and would not sell-sheesh. I think I got most of the basket part put together by stitching enough hexagons together to liberate enough to keep going. I would work on this in the evenings while visiting with my friend and her family after they came home from work/school-during the day I used her machine and did a lot of piecing and quilting while she was gone-every project I brought was finished except for one where I could not find the right shade of purple to add to what I had brought. What a great time I had raiding her stash and poking through her sewing room. She had maybe half a bin of brights..her color palatte being the much more subdued tones and 30's repros - most of which I leave to her to play with.
I had a disrupted night of sleeping by my low grade cough waking me up. I am finally ready to begin machine quilting-but the low energy is not making me happy. I accept it's just how it is..so I am not pushing too hard to get a lot done on this quilting ...I will be content to do "some". It's a soup day and hot tea later...maybe a nap even. I appreciate I can use my time in this way to take care of myself...too bad I have to venture out and get some ingredients for the soup I am longing to make :-)

Monday, January 23, 2006

1st scrap top finished

Here is the first total scrap top completed. It came out to be 63 inches by 39 inches-close to what I was aiming for. It took longer of course to get the last third done and on. Another bobbin of thread-I think I totaled about 5 bobbins of thread working on this plus the other parts that will go into the next top. I think next up will be some quilting time. The quilting plan for this top will be a lot of stippling in a neutral thread.Happy to have this one done!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Here is our 3 year old boxer doing her job-keeping me company while I am in my sewing space-she was lying down napping, but, of course as soon as I got the camera out she had to jump up. She is about 50 or so pounds but will still climb up and try and be a lap dog if you allow it. I am still chained to my machine working on these scraps...thanks for the encouragement everyone...

Friday, January 20, 2006

what else I stitched last night

I whipped up some gift bags ala Tonya last night for M-thought I would snap a photo before they went out the door-I was real lazy and just hemmed the top opening-gathered and used ribbon to tie them closed. More scraps gone! I know I promised a few quilty photos...will pull some older ones up later today...as I am not ready to show what I am working on at the moment...

what do you do when you can't sleep-quilt of course!

Another of those nights when I tried going to sleep at a reasonable hour..only to toss and turn. After forty five minutes I figured I may as well be stitching as tossing. I have now emptied the second bobbin-have an enormous stack of chained pieces to snip and press. I am calling this enough for tonight/morning. My eyes are tired and I am sure my brain will follow. I can think of only two errands tomorrow at the most..leftovers for dinner-so I should be able to get more done at the machine. I have to say, this scrap quilt has every possible type of quilty fabric...from civil war through batiks. Next post will include a photo of a quilt...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

over the edge wall hanging

I probably bought this kit in 2003 maybe 2002. The vendor had a wall hanging sample-I am pretty sure they sold out of these kits thanks to it. The kit included the panel over the edge and the oh my ! fabric which you can still purchase at this shop http://www.blockpartystudios.com you might be able to find it online at other places too-this was just the first shop I came across with it. The kit I bought included foundation piecing for all the other elements of the wall hanging-and the packet it came out of is probably buried somewhere in this room. We made it in November 2003 I know-major travel trips dates stay in my mind as I don't travel outside of the States all that often. It would not be hard to sit down and draft those border elements when I look at it now. I can still recall the great fun Tracy and I had that day making ours...running out of our favorite bits from her stash or the bits I had brought with me-and moaning over why I did not bring more of some of it, or why she didn't have more purple for example. She had half a bin of brights..and only because she had been making bright quilts and sending them to me. I hit it hard while I was there, making up a charity top to bring back home. Nothing beats visiting your best friend and sewing your brains out in their quilt studio!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

some progress

I hammered some more and made it to my second bobbin-still feels like too many piles and not enough progress made. I think this morning I only put in an hour. Cleared the space and hit paperwork needing my immediate attention. There went today...the good news is I can sit down and sew tomorrow after a morning appointment and before a late afternoon appointment. The most critical paperwork got done today. Boy, it's hard to put up quilty stuff for the boring life stuff sometimes...this would be one of those times. I surfed a bit taking a break and checked out a lot of the other blogs....some quilters are having too much fun with their quilting! I am in the chain piecing rut, and like Evelyn all of a sudden I will have all the blocks done at once.

Monday, January 16, 2006

last night blogger was down-no posting on quilting work...so, after spending most of the afternoon and a good chunk of the evening what did I accomplish yesterday? The bin to the right of the chair was overflowing with scraps...what is in that large bag is garbage-the remaining fabric are large chunks..needing cutting down to usable sizes. Behind the waste basket (the front brown basket) are a few more containers of scraps..pretty much larger pieces-and more recent fabric-again, to be cut down to the scrap usable sizes I want. The sewing table and the ironing board are the result of all that sorting/stitching/pressing/stitching/cutting. At the far left of the table is a clear shoe box filled with strips...and of course the block sections I did complete are up on the design board below and to the right of the wall hanging-left there until I go out to the garage and find a suitable dowel and move it to a better location. The monitor on the table is my new one-I have been too lazy to move it and hook it up. Mostly it is a pain in the butt to change things on my computer desk at the moment. There used to be a small wall hanging to the right of the watercolor by Diane Phalen, on the left of the blind-I gave it to my aunt last summer. I don't do many wall hangings...still have many large quilts on my want to do list...ufo list...so it's likely to stay blank for a while longer.
What you see is about a fourth of my quilting studio..it's an office space taken over by my passion-though I still have my office here too, the desk and a two drawer file cabinet..with another small three drawer unit on top of the file cabinet. I am still stitching on the first bobbin of my two bobbin commitment of time to spend on these scraps without working on anything else.
I am now unemployed by choice-and won't hit the job search until March first-so my quilting goals are:
1.to use these scraps up in as many charity quilts as possible- size 40 in by 60 in being the size we do.
2. quilt, bind, label the scrap block charity ufo
3. pull the stars and chains ufo to take to small quilt group for help
4. finish cleaning/clearing this mess out in here.

Deadline is Feb 13th. Of course this is around the other life commitments I also have to do during this time period. Guess it's hit the pressing to kick off the quilty part of today!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

finished wall hanging from 2003

ok, the top photo is obviously one of the label- the middle was an attempt of a close up to show my hand quilting..and the last, the bound finished look...it measures 30 1/4 by 23 inches...my door measures just under 30 inches...ok, if I leave the door open, but I close it whenever we leave the house - keeps our boxer, Zoe out of trouble in here. Anyway, it's the first ufo finish for me to kick off the year. I have been setting up to tackle my scrap bin next-wind bobbins etc all done. I grabbed some food to go at the grocery store as I finished shopping an hour ago-nice soup for M, veggie pasta for me. Now to sort out the bin down to the blocks in progress-and put the pedal to the metal. A little sunshine coming through the window-nice!

Friday, January 13, 2006

tagged by Judy

did I mention I usually do not do these?...but, here goes anyway-
4 jobs: counter girl at a donut shop,keypunch operator,airport security, accounting manager
4 movies...Lean on Me, Stand and Deliver,Groundhog Day,White Christmas
but really, I almost never watch a movie more than once as a rule
4 tv shows-*if I did not have a tv addict sweetie-none*...however: CSI, The Biggest Loser,Bones,Grey's Anatomy
4 places I have been on vacation: France,Canada, Mexico,Utah
4 websites I visit-yahoo group and various blogs
4 places I would rather be: on vacation with my sweetie, home in the quilting studio or garden in spring,with my sister,watching a sunset
4 of my favorite foods: chicken enchiladas, my lasagana, plank grilled salmon,coffee ice cream
4 albums I can't live without- I am a music junkie: with a wide range of taste-what I am listening to right now:
Cheryl Wheeler,Collective Soul, Erik Wollo,Michael Gulezian

anyone I would pass this along to has been named...
ok, back to machine quilting....

Thursday, January 12, 2006

sore fingers from hand quilting

I spent a lot of time hand quilting today/tonight and my poor fingers need a break! I have tried various thimbles/pads...have to say, I just prefer to actually feel the needle..sigh...so a short break. I am "this" close to being done with the center white part!
The blocks I finished last night were handed over tonight-much to my friends delight. Two of us have promised to bring our ufo need help projects in next month. Note to self: don't wait until the night before the meeting!

If postage was not such an expense I would suggest we "help" each other as part of the stash ring group; work on ufos or stash projects. The only other consideration is: how would the blocks fit done by different people on different machines etc?? I started thinking about that today.

I didn't get much sleep and tomorrow I was asked to start extra early- which means I get off extra early...a great trade off in my opinion! So, I noticed Mary tagged me- that needs to wait another post...I am too beat to do more than say-getting new ideas from fellow quilters really is a good thing! I know I draw inspiration from all the blogs and lists where I interact with fellow quilters.

what I am working on tonight

A month ago my small quilt group met and I took on 3 blocks to stitch together for one of our members. We have been taking turns bringing in a started project - and everyone in the group taking block pieces and working on them-sort of ufo help. I missed the applique gal's project-which was fine with her and me-it's not my favorite thing to do currently. Anyway-tomorrow night we meet and I finally sat down to stitch these blocks up. I had to do a refresher on curved piecing. Here is one block done and the next two I will do next. I stopped to take a photo-and have since done another step on them. I also took a photo of my current hand quilting of the wall hanging (2003 ufo) which I am doing each day and more in the evenings as my time allows. You can't see the quilting on the wall hanging-I need to change the lighting or something...but it's not done and there will be another photo once it is done. The wall hanging will then be a part of this room-or I may attach it to the door to this room-it's rather how this room currently looks!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

hand quilting

I took a class in hand quilting - what I learned I did not practice enough to benefit to the fullest from the class.
It went by the wayside in the interest of machine quilting and getting quilts done faster so I could use them or give them away. However, there are some quilts that do call for hand quilting. I hand quilted cat faces on one large quilt-as that was the only way I would have been happy with the design. I hand quilted a small wall hanging for a small quilt group member-it was a challenge and that was what it needed. I am currently doing another wall hanging for myself and hand quilting it. I may do machine quilting around the border edges- I haven't decided yet. I like this project- and I am doing some every day during my lunch break. So, each day there is something quilty happening. If it wasn't packed for the day I would take a photo- maybe tonight if I remember I will post it in progress. I know photos are worth more than many words most of the time when it comes to quilting!

I am considering hand piecing a project I started late 2003 as a challenge with my two Aussie friends when I was visiting-I took a class in it January 2004 but it was such a challenging pattern for me it made me cry. It's Jack's Chain-from Marti Mitchell's book, 101 Nine Patch Quilts. the last one. the hardest one. what were we thinking?? my two friends are much more adept than I when it comes to difficult patterns! However, the class I took had another approach. I have all the fabric etc in three huge ziplock bags-waiting. It's a hexagon surrounded by small (3 inch finished) nine patches and triangles. I am using my most favorite color and fabrics, I am doing a controlled scrappy color theme- purple and yellow. I have a bolt of the background/backing fabric .
So, I am not willing to totally give up on this idea/project. It is by far my most difficult ufo to tackle-so, I probably will continue to muse on it for quite a while. Did I mention I can be totally stubborn about some things?
If I tackle the other approach by machine method and it doesn't work...I may turn this into a hand piecing project with no deadline...but, I already have a great English paper piecing hand project- much further along to enjoy.
Well, it's been in the back of my mind for over a year...only recently have I given energy to the idea of hand piecing it...so it will continue to be mulled over...some projects just take the time they take.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

computer quilty

I may have finally read all the blogs in the stash ring...I know I finally read beyond the last time I gave it a go :-)
So many creative and talented quilters...thanks for blogging! the internet has been so great at bringing together like minded people from everywhere to share their passions with.
I did get all Christmas stuff packed away nicely. I even made a list of names from everyone who sent Christmas cards and I cleared some space in my quilting studio..by stacking a lot of it (way too much) on top of my sewing table....not so good. I did send off my nephew's quilt to him with a charming note to tell his mom how to care for it-and he can grow into it too! I mailed off quilty magazines to my best friend in Australia. But the evening was sucked up in shopping for baby stuff, wrapping it, and then vegging here at the computer. That would not be so terrible, except it's late-and I am elected to drive the three plus hours north to the baby shower I convinced M we HAD to go to. There goes my quilty day. Oh yes, I did spend a few hours going through new donated stash and being ruthless in bringing home only what I knew we could use. I had to bring it home as it is smellingly obvious the woman was a smoker. It is airing out in the garage until I find time to wash/dry it.

So the scrap bin didn't get touched and I only moved the mess around in my quilting studio-though I did take out a few things.. and the sandwiched quilt is calling to be free motioned quilted....I could dump all this stuff back on the floor and be quilting in ten minutes...but I think I will resist and get some sleep instead.

Friday, January 06, 2006

tomorrow is another chance

My thumb is healed enough to resume hand quilting-which is good news. I need to pack up all the Christmas stuff tomorrow, run some errands, and maybe work on the scrap bin . Sunday for sure I am going to put in some serious quilting time.

Next week is the last week of work. Then, I am taking some time off and will be able to really focus on organizing the quilting studio and take some new photos of it. In the past I have posted photos of the horrible mess it can become-however, this time around I want to take the after photos! I think it will help liberate my mind to be more creative if this space wasn't so overwhelming. When I consider working at the kitchen table, I know I have to stop and set my quilting space in order! Looking back, I think it's a typical January ritual I perform. I confess, it is often an April ritual and a September ritual too! This year at some point I will have to totally remove everything and paint. I also need to replace the carpet-I am still deciding with what. Of course I have put this off for years-who wants their quilting studio not available?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

thumb damage

I did something stupid at work and put a nick in the end of my right thumb today. ouch. I am going to have to skip any stitching tonight- besides the time has flown and it's been an extra hectic busy day. and so it goes.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I gave in to pinning

I was feeling sluggish- so I made myself go look for batting and within an hour the charity top was sandwiched.
Now when I feel like quilting-it's ready to go. I am pulling binding from the scrap binding box- all those tail ends of binding go in there for just such a quilt.

I was chatting online and cutting/sorting- decided to go keep my sweetie company and cut and watch football at the same time...well, my eyes will be on the rotary cutter-I assure you!

I apparently at some point did some scrap sorting-so I am taking a few large plastic bags and dealing with them- either labeling and putting together same size scraps or cutting them into the sizes I am collecting.

Much more time doing quilty stuff than 5 minutes today. Leftovers for dinner helped keep me out of the kitchen for the most part.
thanks for all the nice comments- it's good to be encouraged along this stash busting path.

January quilty plans

Judy asked and I have decided on the focus for January. Sew down the overflowing scrap bin in here. It is like the stuff I dumped in the corner of this room-blocking my stash closet-I am sick of looking at it. So, goal plan, put in my five minutes this am before work-come home and make a dent in the corner mess. I am going to probably pin the top on my sewing table as it is only a baby size top-then do boring paperwork that is nagging at me mentally to get started on. I will set up my Gem on the kitchen table in the evenings and work on the scrap heap. It has bits and pieces of mile a minute and crumb blocks in it-with lots of assorted scraps piled on top of those. Here is where the balance part comes in- set the timer and do some time on paperwork, then move on to some time stitching.
I don't want to feel I need a large amount of time to devote to tackling these goals. I want to take them in bite size steps. I want to be sure and enjoy the process :-)

It's been far too long since I did some deep cleaning in here- and I do enjoy doing that.

Monday, January 02, 2006

today's quilt photo

I not only put in five minutes- I put in a lot more time! I finished my charity top- and hope to do several more before the month ends. The block is the scrap block from http://www.sewquilty.com/History/0311.html
which someone linked to last July and I printed it off and put it in my to do for charity quilts folder/pile.
Absolutely pulled from the scrap heap- some from previous quilts and some from donated fabrics-all from "stash".

It is about 40 by 60 our target size for our group. Now, do I go ahead and sandwich it and quilt it...or do more piecing? For now, I am headed to the living room, will hand quilt and watch the end of the Georgia football game.

A good ending for the day, at a reasonable hour even.

short sewing

Still pondering goals for 2006
enjoying reading stash blogs...a wonderful inspiring variety of quilters- I celebrate you all !

yesterday had no power for several hours. focused on pinning and getting back to a charity project.
I make a point of working on charity quilting on the first of each year- it's my way of affirming my belief in giving.

I stitched when the power came back on - pressed what I did and then family took over the rest of my time.
Balance: it's what I try and bring to each day of my life- some days I do better than others. I accept that.

One goal- even if it's five minutes- quilt every day. Sure, I would love to spend a lot more of my time quilting-but why not enjoy what time I can put into quilting rather than lament I don't have more? For those that can devote the majority of their time to quilting-I am happy for them...and one day that may well be true for me.

Today, more block elements stitched and pressed. More than five minutes spent quilting-a good day so far.

Evelyn inspired me to share a photo of a knitted/felted bag given to me by my sil. I of course asked for a copy of the pattern as it was not available at any of the knit shops we visited-and after I finish my sweater, it will be my next knitting project. When it comes to knitting, I work on one project only at a time. I renewed my interest late last year-knitting a sweater for a one year old little girl - daughter of dear friends. It was a big hit. It's nice to come back to a craft after over twenty years and enjoy it. But, I am holding the line at doing knitting-it's too overwhelming to me to take on too many different crafts at one time.

Ok-back to the machine-the last four blocks await.