Thursday, January 31, 2008

donated fabric top completed

This fabric was donated months ago and no one seemed too inspired by it. I bundled the fabrics together and said, oh, I will do something with this fabric. Here is my something- another disappearing 9 patch top. This is the third one I have done and they go together fast. I had just enough of the border fabric to do this top-and there is enough of the yellow/orange for a back. Black binding is never a problem to come up with and there you go, a charity quilt from stash/donation fabric ready to be quilted. 41.5 by 58.5- close enough to the 40 by 60 target size.
I believe I left a cryptic comment that the fabric would hold the quilting inspiration- yes, flames...I think an all over flame quilting pattern will be just the ticket.(click to enlarge and see the flames better) This top used up the left over bobbin thread from the Christmas quilt and I had to switch to black half way through adding the borders.
I cut this fabric Tuesday night when I started feeling a bit better and with some time in the mornings and a few evening spurts...this top is now done-and it's only Thursday. I am ready to do this pattern totally scrappy the next time around-with lights/darks being the guide. Off to cut batting and press that back-I just may get it pinned tonight.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

weekend results (#3 off the list!)

Sunday I put the binding and label on my first ufo finish for 2008. I continue to play with my free motion quilting- some of it looks pretty good, some of it not so much! I came across a free motion pre-flight check list here and appreciated the reminders on it. I also printed off some free motion design ideas-the inspiration from looking at them works for me-I prefer to not mark and try and follow any pattern-rather I go with the flow, so to speak. When you are quilting on a regular sewing machine (DSM) you can't see a huge amount of your quilting area so trying to follow any pattern can be challenging. Sunday afternoon I worked on bringing some order to the chaos in the messy corner in here. I made some visible progress and came across 3 fabrics that worked together I had culled from the donation bags we get for our charity group. Time to do something with them. See? I am sewing some of this mess up! I was able to cut strips and do some sewing -I am making another disappearing nine patch top. Once the top is together (last night I got it to the nine patch block stage) I will put up a photo. I can tell you right now the fabric is going to be the quilting inspiration-when you see it, you will know right away what I mean. We are meeting this Sunday and I put aside a few donated tops that need more added to them to be large enough for the size we aim for. One is fabric I absolutely do not have any of in my house-30's reproduction. Someone else may and they can have the fun of playing with it. If not, Linda, expect it to come your way! Another top was all applique- I am sending that to another quilter that does charity work-this just won't work for the children we stitch for. I think there is one more top in there that also can be handed off to someone else. Really, I don't need to hog all the fun of playing with these donated tops!
I have many containers of strips and scraps in here. I also unearthed a stack of foundation squares I cut for a fall retreat and managed to sew one strip on each square before it was buried back in a basket. It's hard to say what I will tackle next, but, I sure have plenty right here to chose from! And, I have Alice's Valentine quilt waiting to be quilted too. February is right around the fact Friday it will be here. Oh my. My cold has been annoying but I am not allowing it to slow me down too much. I hear those nine patch blocks calling to be cut up-off I go-there is time before going to work this morning to get that part done. You all have a great day and thanks for stopping on by.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cross it off the list number 2

Last night I stayed off the computer and stitched instead. I came within inches of being done and this morning I finished my Winter wall hanging for the 4 seasons swap. It's in the mail and I am thrilled to finish ahead of the 30th deadline. I am sharing only the front - though I took photos of the back and a close up of the "label". It is nice to be done with this deadline project. I learned a few new things and really enjoyed both the doing and the finished result. I see more small size wall hangings in my immediate future too. It is really nice to work on a small project and have a finish in short order. I have a few large size projects on my list of plans for this year. Overall however, I expect to be doing much smaller size quilts as a rule. Next Saturday I take my longarm lesson-I am truly looking forward to that-and happy it is a week away. I woke up with a head cold and though I am feeling pretty ok now, it's a low energy day. A phone call has changed plans with Alice-no babysitting required, though I will drive over and get in a visit anyway.
I hope to focus a lot tomorrow on doing quilty things.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

reward for going to the gym?

Well, the result of going to the gym yesterday morning was coming down with a sore throat last night. This may or may not actually be related but it sure feels like a non-reward for working out!

I decided with the baby coming this weekend-to take today off and give myself a chance to get rid of this sore throat thing. I hate feeling sick. While I was trying to sleep through M showering and getting off to work, I started thinking about the quilting on the Winter swap wall hanging.
I took it to guild meeting last night and finished the embroidering part and started hand quilting fans. I shared it when it came to inspiration time as it fit the monthly theme of flannel or winter quilts-and by next meeting it will be long gone. I was telling a friend it dawned on me later that I am the only one that shows liberated quilts in this guild. I am sure there must be other guild members that are fans of Gwen Marston- I can not believe I am the only quilter there who has been inspired by her work and come up with quilts showing that influence! I am happy to be that rebel quilter role model in this guild, if it could possibly be true none have come across Gwen. I just have serious doubts that could be the case.

So, I decided to take out those quilted fans-and have been happily working on this project ever since.
I am drinking a lot of water hoping to flush away the sick bug and taking it easy of course.

The sun is out and the wind is blowing hard and it's a lovely 35 degrees F. I am glad to be inside warm and playing in the sewing room. I hope whatever you are doing, you also are having fun and staying warm.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's Tuesday, guild meeting day

Tonight is MPS guild night-we have a "quarterly winnings" block - I showed a few months ago the blue and white block for that, this time you can see the heart block chosen. I took my hand work to the office and worked on it during my lunch break. I whipped up this block and then did more hand work on the Winter wall hanging. I am close to finishing the more time consuming aspect and then it will be just regular quilting left and of course binding and labeling. If we are allowed to turn in more blocks next month-I will make more of these heart blocks-if not, well, one block is better than none. Last year the gal chose applique blocks and I didn't play at all-tells you what I think of that. This year I have really liked the blocks chosen so far, so it is fun to play along even if I wait until the last minute to work on them. I am popping around blogland and enjoying catching up with all sorts of folks-many it has been months since I last checked in. That is how it often is with friends and life. Amazing how much time can go by and we run into someone and it's just like seeing them yesterday. Alice is coming for an over night this weekend-that means making room in the fabric room for her travel crib...that means a few hours of shifting stuff around to create that space-our home is a great example of any open space attracting "something" being put there! My sweetie cooked dinner last night-nice break for me!
Now there are leftovers for yummy lunches which is good. I have a new soup recipe I am going to be making later in the week. It's from a book I bought that sounded promising, but, I never have really made anything from it. This recipe sounded good-so I am giving it a try. I do think this book is ready to be passed along, as are many of my cookbooks...I love reading them, however, if I do not use them during the year-then it's time for them to live some where else.
Buying books is a great weakness for both of us-similar to having a stash, to pull from and enjoy.
Ok, it's off to the gym as it was closed yesterday-and I think I have lingered long enough at the computer already this morning! Make it your best day!


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday check in

The Winter Season Swap wall hanging is in the hand work phase now so I am not going to post photos until after they receive it in early February. I do want to thank all those who left comments on my question of which color to use. I really appreciated hearing from you!
I have been really busy with running the 2008 UFO challenge over at the yahoo stashbuster list-at the moment we have about 80 some players and once I put up the Queens List..boy howdy was there a lot of finishes being reported! We are now on our third Queen since the 15th! The idea is to finish a ufo before your name reaches the top of the list-or to finish one if you were unlucky enough to start out being either the Queen or the Lady in Waiting. My sweetie drew the names (printed on slips of paper and thrown into a bowl) to come up with the first order of names for the Queens List. There were 40 reported finishes within 3 days of that post.
You can see why I have not had time to sew and have something new to talk about. That, and I am working on the wall hanging. It is the top priority right now. However, I managed to fit time in today to run over and play a bit with Alice - so I do have a new photo to post! Isn't she too cute-she wanted off her riding truck so she could come over and see her photo on my camera. She knows it is all about her! I cannot convince her to smile before I snap the photo- she always smiles and laughs will just have to take my word for it, that she has a mouth full of teeth now and a gorgeous smile. Yesterday I went to a quilt show for two of the most talented quilters in the Vancouver guild-and forgot my camera! Their quilts were fantastic. If I can figure out how to get photos off my phone, I may yet be able to post a few. I don't have that feature of email or a cord to plug my phone to my computer-but, I am going to try and figure out if there is a way. I also want to find time to get quilting on my own current top ufo waiting. And, I found a new quilting design that I traced thanks to Patti to try on Alice's Valentine quilt.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

input asked ?

I finished the guild blocks last night and this morning started on the winter swap design. Here are two blocks- I would love input on which star point colors you think look best? Remember the idea is keeping that theme in mind....leave a comment please.

thanks for helping me out- by the way I took my 30% coupon and bought another quarter foot for my Bernina-now the lost one will surely turn up!


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Jammie Day !!

in the interest of not allowing the bug to get me, I figured a stay at home in your jammies day was a good idea for today. I slept in a bit, and it's been great to read and stitch the day away. I decided to get these guild raffle blocks done first today. This was the first block-and it took hours! lots of parts and so on. I want to hand these over Thursday night, so I am continuing on make slow but steady progress. I have 5 more to do, just like these. I have no idea what part these blocks will play in the quilt as a whole- the designer has not revealed the quilt to us. This quilt will go on raffle sale in 2009. I think...maybe it will be later this year...guess you will know when I do. I am sure I slept through that bit of information- meaning I was not paying attention or I did not retain it. I have been chatting online with a few friends for company too. It helps keep us all motivated/inspired. The rain cleared up this afternoon and we actually saw some sunshine for a while-nice! More rain is expected however. I have not trimmed this block to it's 6.5 size nor removed the paper as I was not told to do this or not-I made a call asking and have not heard back yet so, excuse the rough edges. I am not sure what I will feel like working on next-probably another January deadline project. I will decide once I arrive at that point. I do know I won't be staying up late. Lots of rest and sleep this weekend if I am not to fall into the clutches of this bug is my thought.
I hope you are having a relaxing and enjoyable weekend too...thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

word for the year link

Often when I post I am extremely lazy about doing links. I will do my best to stop that habit by sharing where I found the inspiration for word for the year idea-check this out.
Now that I have given credit, where credit is due-let me tell you I really enjoy discovering new blogs like Christine's and blog hopping really can lead you to some fun places!

Any minute my son will be here to take care of a small computer glitch which is beyond my skill to deal with...and then my plan if I am still awake...really, I think I am fighting something off to feel this tired from a normal day of office work-is to turn on the sewing machine and have some fun.
here he is...time to sign off!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

2008 projects and thoughts

been reading around blogs and various lists I am active on and boy oh boy lots of resolutions and goal setting going on!

I did my 2007 wrap up and not setting goals-listing accomplishments seemed to work out ok.
I came up with almost 10 projects for this year- my top ten idea. I have decided I am not posting them on my blog- I have them right here on my computer spreadsheet and that works for me. They do include some ufos, some new personal projects, and a few more quilts for others. And, my charity quilts are always ongoing....just not a stack of them right now.

Doing my NewYorkBeauty tutorial fizzled out here...and it's not looking like making a come back any time soon some point this year it will.

January does have some must finish projects to work on-the winter swap, some guild blocks, and finishing that top I shared.
I spent last Sunday cutting, I started the night before actually-but the major focus was on Sunday with my charity group cutting six inch squares for Wraptheminlove's program with a women's prison project that is going on. We cut over a foot tall of squares and busted a lot of donated fabric. However, even with some fabric taken home by others, we were given a lot of very nice fabric from quilters doing that purge thing-and so-I came home with much more than I brought. I am determined to pare this fabric down - some of it has been sitting around now for over 4 will find a new home with other charity groups and the rest? A whole lot of sewing on it this year. I think more will get sewn as I plan to do kit cutting every month. It is just easier to grab and sew for a lot of us than looking at a pile of fabric and coming up with a plan.

I promised M I would carry on from 2007 year of getting stuff decluttered and cleaned out. Lots of folks have been jumping in doing the purging and tossing and embracing the Less is More mindset- I have done a lot of that over the years, starting when I left my husband and through the deaths of my parents and family members. Nothing is more sobering than clearing out two large storage units of what ends up being a small box of stuff "worth" keeping. A good friend says he is not going to bother with clearing out anything-when he passes, it is someone else's problem. That attitude doesn't quite work for me. However, even with that clear stuff out approach- I still have managed to "over" stuff this room and the fabric room has gained quite a few "extra" items. Now granted, we live in quite a small home so it is much harder to keep it tidy looking-things just seem to pile up here and there on a regular basis. If I had the room to have a place for everything- then I could keep everything in it's place. Obviously, it's time for less, much less everything. So, that's my major vision for 2008.

Which includes my quilting and related stuff. I still have the idea of sewing my way out of a lot of these "piles of fabric and projects" . I just have to take them more seriously perhaps. Have I mentioned my missing quarter foot is still missing? I checked the garbage basket...nope...not there. I am not in dire need of it so no search mission needs launching just yet. It just serves to remind me...I really need to consider taking more stuff out of here...and of course, putting things back where they belong would also be helpful. I broke my own rule there-as I am pretty much in the habit of tossing feet in the drawer where they live. Oh well...we all have been there, done that when in a hurry to work on something.

And, on a final note...ok...maybe not THE final note...I am enjoying an occasional day of doing a little of this, a little of that...sort of puttering along day. I think 2008 will see more of those too!
The word for my 2008 year is Kindness...and being kind to yourself first is the place to begin.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

quilting in the new year 2008

Here is the finished top started on January first. The blocks below the top are other Christmas swap blocks which I am going to use up in the back for this top. A ufo will get done and off it will go to charity-a win-win. Later tonight I am putting together the breakfast crockpot meal I posted earlier. It was a hit, and requested again. I brought in two large sacks of donated fabric I want to go through for tomorrow's meeting as well-we are going to cut up as many six inch squares as we can to send in to headquarters for a special project. I sure hope we get a lot done so I can have more space in my garage! The drawback to donated fabric is storing it. The lqs where we meet has very little room to spare and the shelves in my garage are stuffed. I am in a stay up late mood so ought to get quite a bit done before calling it quits.


2007 wrap up

I finally spent time reviewing my blog entries for 2007 and want to do a summary of the year.

4 ufos completed
8 donated tops for wraptheminlove quilts were quilted and finished by me
3 quilts for wraptheminlove
4 classes were taken
6 small bags made
1 wedding wall hanging
1 guild challenge wall hanging
1 queen size quilt for my sister
1 queen size top for us (still at longarm quilter)
1 king size wedding quilt for my second son
3 retreats attended
Easter quilt for Alice
baby quilt for co-workers granddaughter
quilted and bound/labeled a top made by my boss -gave to her.
later, repaired quilt when dog owned by boss chewed a hole in it
comfort string quilt for friend including photo labels
2 swaddling blankets
flannel quilt for dil
pink quilt for 2nd dil
Valentine top made and sandwiched for Alice
lots of scraps cut up using Bonnie's scrap saver system
and plenty of time spent on moving projects along for 2008 completion

There you have it in a short and concise list. It seemed like I did more, however, not everything made it to my blog so I am going to change my tracking for 2008 and see how that goes.
On the other hand, I had forgotten a few of the items made on the above list- so I guess my memory is not so reliable after all. I know some quilters track a lot of other aspects of their quilting passion, hours spent, money spent, etc. For 2008 I am going to enjoy doing my own quilt journal - being flexible about what I put in it and when-my quilting gives a lot to me on many levels and I want it to not feel too bogged down by keeping track of too many details...
next up: some top ten quilt projects.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

happy new year-progress thus far

Well, last night after a lot of moving stuff around here I was through being in the sewing/cutting mood and spent the rest of the night watching season one of The Closer on dvd and making sure breakfast was in the crock pot for the morning. We cheered at midnight and then called it a night.
Slept in this morning-nice. Breakfast ready when we were hungry. I decided to work on swap blocks from 2000 and put them together for a charity quilt. A win-win- as I always dedicate most of today to sewing for charity. However, I changed my approach this year to do a bit of this and a bit of that. I had the blocks up from last night on the design wall- naturally they are not uniform in size. I pulled sashing and as you can see, one side is done on all blocks. Actually these were blocks I won at my local guild -we all submitted blocks, names were drawn, and I was a lucky winner of these blocks. Sort of Christmas-y but not enough so they can't be put together into a quilt for some child somewhere to enjoy. Before I sat down and got this far-I wound bobbins and went to change machine feet. Hmmmmm......the quarter foot seems to have vanished. Well, it is not where it belongs...I failed in my usual habit of putting it in the foot tray in the drawer-oh no! All that moving stuff around last night and shifting things...after searching everything I had moved around and looking behind/under stuff-I gave up. I am using my walking foot until the quarter foot shows up...or until I give up and buy another one. It reinforces my opinion it is past time to clean and organize in here. I spent some time doing that, I have done a few household chores, and I have arranged to go visit the kids and have some family time. I am taking some of the excess lentil/barley soup I made last night with me-as the baby was up late into the night or during the night-at any rate her daddy was still sleeping when I called a short time ago. He was going to make soup later today and now he doesn't have to, as I am taking enough for them. I am enjoying my day so far and have a few more bits and pieces to do as the day goes on. The stack of fabric to the right of those blocks? The new quilt I will cut and start today-a version of sudoku that was promoted over at the stashbusters group on Yahoo by Stephanie of Australia...sorry, no link to share-I am just too lazy to do that. In due time you will see a photo here I promise. I have been tossing give aways into a large bag today for donation-M filled a gi-nor-mous bag with extra clothes etc and will be taking them across town to a local church. I always purge twice a year when I change clothing gears for the seasons here-however I can not resist adding more today knowing she will be taking hers over.
I have some paperwork on the little of this, little of that list as well. I so enjoy days like today when I can move from various tasks and feel so relaxed.
I still need to put up my top ten lists here- probably later tonight, they will be on the side bar, so don't worry about missing them in a post. Plus my year end summary will show up....soon.