Monday, February 29, 2016

Finishing some things...

I'm writing about finishing or rather trying to finish some of my UFOs that are laying around.  Really, I'm trying to organize but I keep on cutting out something new.  So, that's it!!!  I'm getting stubborn.  I've joined something else (yeah, I know, you're into everything Nicole), but it's something that I've meant to do to organize things (my New Years Resolutions) and this will help.

The premise is the following:  with the help of All People Quilts, I am challenging myself to finish some of my UFOs (unfinished projects.).  I need to fill out a  UFO Challenge chart here that is basically a chart to fill out 12 projects that I want to complete.  They could be kits that I have, or quilts 1/2 done, anything.  On the first of each month they draw a number from 1 - 12 and i have to see what that quilt is and complete it.  Then I post a photo of my finished projects and my process on Facebook or Twitter using the hastag #APQResolution.  I call talk about my progress, post pictures for people to see and basically share.

The idea is that by the end of the year I'll have 12 finished projects.  But its the form that I really like.  Here it is but remember I'm two behind so I need to catch up in March. with #2 and #5 which is doable.  But what's the number for March?  Thank goodness I have spring break coming up to catch up  ;)

Status Before
Status Afterward
1)  Pixilated Sunflower I created
All cut out and sewn, needs to be quilted.

2)  Birds on a wire from Quilt Mania
Have a birds cut out, and some of the small quilts.  Need to continue to put them on and quilt entire thing.

3)  Midnight Garden
All material there but haven’t cut anything

4)  Garden that’s applique and wool – block of the month
All material is there but nothings been quilted.

5)  Blue stars
Two stars made, need to come up with idea to bind

6)  Houses – block of the month
All material is there,

7)  Block Lotto quilt - scraps
Missing 10 blocks – last two months, needs to be put together and quilted

8)  Green strip quilt
Quilts entirely made except for a side edge to make it a queen size quilt.  Need to put on sashing then quilt it all

9)  Lily quilt
All completed.  Even sold.  Need to quilt it.

10)  two more quilts from the book PreCut Primers – authors Me and My Sister Designs.
These use 2 ½ strips to create.  Have material but not much more.  Need to cut.

I'm disorganized, with too many quilts started, or buying the fabrics for the next one and then it just stays that way.

Here is my other goal - to make at least 10 blocks a month for the 365 blocks - a block a day, and with the Splendid Block from Pat Sloan which has two blocks a week, I plan on doing at least one a week for that one.

As stated before, I can't buy any more material until I make two quilts (I have another friend who is like me except her's is knitting, joining me in this.  We enable each other to buy so that's stopping!!).

Wish me luck

Sunday, February 28, 2016

February's OMG - One Monthly Goal was two.

It's been a trying February, with work and coming home exhausted.  But out of the 4 weekends I have spent two of them sewing, and I have had some progress on my OMG goals and the New Year's resolution to get my stash down.  Here was my goal:  complete two baby quilts.

This is what I started with


And this is what it finished with two of these

This one gets a book.

And I got a few extras done as well.  Not the panel from my Mother.  That's still waiting but it's all cut up and ready to sew.  No, a few others....

Goal completed!!!  Hooking up to the Red Letter Quilts OMG linking page for you to see some of the others.  Some great work there.

2016 Calendar:

I did it now!!!

I went to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo at the Puyallup Fair Grounds, and that was a good thing and a bad thing.....

Good thing - it was a road trip with my best friend and we may have gotten lost a couple of times (I was navigating while tired!!!  I also lost my map I had so I was going by memory - bad thing), we did enjoy ourself.  Look for yourselves where it was in Washington state.  Go over the map and take a look.  We're from Canada but we dropped my husband off at Bellevue and my friend and I continued on.

There was quite a lot to see and we went to all three areas to look.  There were tons of vendors and tons of lessons you could take.  Some free and some you pay.  We didn't go to the lessons, although we went to the vendors and got lessons from them.  

We got there at 11:00 and left at 5:00 with a 1/2 hour break for a great meal at the Expo in the main building.  There were row upon row of things to see, sewing machines, rulers, fabric (boy was there fabric), how to stick fabric to other fabric, beads, buttons, etc.  So much to see, many of it new.
I had to buy some material (just fat quarters) to build up my stash for a coming landscape quilt which will be quite big.  So I bought materials for rocks, trees, grass, and more.  Take a look.  Unlucky 13 fat quarters, but a lot of wood looking material.  Can you guess why?  :)

Then this is the good and bad part.  I also bought a professional iron.  I needed one and this one so fits the bill to perfection.It's the Oliso Smart Iron.  Take a look at this perfect iron.  So excited!  Trying it today.

The good is the iron is fantastic (if it does everything it says - but I tried it there and it was great).  The bad part was it cost $140 but it's normally over $200 and you can't get the professional version which is what I got.  I got the discount for buying there and one woman, while I was looking at it told me she has two and is considering a third...  So it's great but that was a lot of money.

Here's the 2nd good or bad and I blame my friend Dee for this!!!  Darn you Dee for putting this in my head!!  I bought the Westalee Sewing Rulers (a new foot and rulers to quilt).  It's hard to explain so look here:

I tried it, it's fantastic, and easy to use.  Met the woman in the video above.  Extremely helpful.  I could not remember what type of shank I had, high or low.  But using her Iphone we saw my machine (high shank) so Got the starter set.  Will take a bit of practise but the one that is so great is the paisley ruler and the clams, this has expanded my quilting right up there.  Can't wait to try it today.  Will show pictures.  There is a Craftsy program on it but I want to try the videos on YouTube first.  See below for lessons on it.  Unfortunately, the volume is not that great, but the visual is good.

This cost $150 american and this was a sale from the Expo.  It could of cost me more and they threw in the the paisley ruler which was the one I wanted.  So happy, but it was an expensive trip.  So we'll see how I quilt it.  I am making a new tag called "Westalee Ruler" so both myself and my readers can follow and see any quilt that I use the rules to quilt.

That's it.  It was a busy day of spending, but a happy day, and now I'm off to try some of my things.  Take care.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Busy Weekend...

It's been a busy weekend, but I was able to get some sewing in.  I started to sew around 6:00 and things were going so well, I didn't stop until 2:00 am in the morning.  I'm tired today but I feel so good because I got so much done.  Wait and see the list:

  1. I finally mailed out my blocks to the Block Lotto winners (lucky devils!!!)  Had some trouble with one of the envelopes but I was able to finally mail both out to Indiana and New Mexico.  Need to make the next block. 
  2. I finished one of the mini quilts from Cluck Cluck Sew patterns.  Check out this link to see the patterns of these minis.  The great thing is that there is more than one mini quilt.  The goal is do seven out of the eight minis.  Most are 12 - 17 inches.  Here is the one that I completed.
Arrows pointing the way

about 15 inches - look at the heart quilting

looks great.
4.  I also completed another baby quilt.  Similar to the last one but the quilting is completely different in this one.  Take a look for yourself.

Look at the quilting.

Look at the quilting 

I even like the back.

I even got a book to go with it.  This is a great book.
5.   I've been working on the art quilt of the tree by the water.  I've made a small spirit hawk to fly over the water.

Once I'm done I'll show the completion.  But I need to add more wild grass to the base of the tree, to blend it in more.  But another time.

5.  Finally, I have been working on one of the rows of the quilt for my best friend.  Tea cups.  Will complete those by the end of the week, and start to cut the flowers.

It's been very productive.
So according to my resolution, I've completed two quilts, so I can buy more material.  Instead, I've bought a pattern on sale from Cluck Cluck Sew for $5.00 - a weave that uses jelly rolls.  Here's a picture below.  Can't wait to start it.

That's it.  Not bad for a couple of hours right?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Update on New Year's Resolution

It's been a month and a half now and I thought it would be a good time to review my resolutions to help me keep on track or get back on track.  Part of looking at your resolutions is to be honest, to not get down on yourself if you've gotten off track, but to rethink what you've said you would do, and to reset the goals. 

So here goes:


Do not buy quilt pattern and material unless I sew two quilts

Kept it for about a month, did three quilts in January and thought, OK, now I can buy.  But I bought more than I needed because the owners of Wineberry, a quilting store, retired and much of their stock went to 50 - 60% off, so I went crazy.  Mental note, no doing that agin!!!  Like an addiction, can't be near great prices otherwise I spend!

Only buy a new ruler every 3 months.

Came close to it twice but resisted the temptation.  Thought I better use the ones I have already, and behave!  And I did.

No more books unless I sew two quilts from the same book and do TWO books.  That's 4 quilts.

OK, this one didn't work out.  I've purchased two new books, but I have cut out two quilts from one book and one pattern from another.  So I came close.  I KNOW I need to stop buying books until I have some done.  But my mom and my friends are saying it's OK, you enjoy it.  And they're right.  I do enjoy the book, with all their lovely pattern.  In the end you want to make at least two or three, thus...  

Here are the two that broke my rule - from Some Kind of Wonderful - quilts to make with the QCR ruler (Quick curve ruler):  Contemporary Curved Quilts and one Wonderful Curve.  Check out the website to see some of the patterns - absolutely fantastic.  I'll be doing these soon.  I have a table topper to do for a couple that just got into a new home, and the husband promised them a quilt  :)

The latest book that I did do a quilt top from is PreCut Primer by Me and My Sister Designs.  There are 12 quilts in it, one per grade, and I've started with charm blocks, and I have made one!! Will post a blog about it later.  So I am doing it.  But will I make two?  Yes, I have the material but I did buy another book before finishing the 2nd one.  So I need to smarten up.  Is it only me or are others out there that see a quilt book and want to make AT LEAST two or three quilts in it?  In the Book Precut Primer I want to make all the quilts!!  My new goal, but I don't have time. They did have a blog hop on the book at Fat Quarter, and it's there that I purchased the book.  That's the quilt I made, it was the quilting that made the quilt look like that after I tea dyed it and washed it.  Was going to iron it, but I really like this look.

So this resolution is changing.  Make two quilts from the same book and I can buy a new one.  I am allowed to buy quilting magazines.

Make time to quilt - it relaxes me.  Be happy!

This last month has been crazy.  First exams, then marking exams, then starting up new courses.  And this term I'm teaching 5 different subjects in a class (in two of my blocks - that's 10 courses).  Then I have a minion (a student I am training) to learn how to repair computers, and parts of a computer.  So that's very busy.  Luckily I have cleaned up my quilting room.  I just got to get the pile of fabric down.  

But isn't it funny that when we run out of time, we always give up the things we love the most?  Keep on reading (I know it's boring  but I'm almost done).

Now we're at the goals...  I'm proud of this...  I did not do #1  (swimming) but I did do #2.  I'm walking up to 3 miles a day now.  So I'm getting there.  It's been raining so much I should have time to do some of these things but I'm so tired!!!

Goal #3 was to lose weight and I have, up to 4 pounds last month.  So I'm happy.  I was marking my food in but last week I didn't.  Need to start typing it in.  I have a bet goiong on with another woman and it's to see who loses 20 pounds first.  I'm so competitive this will give me the drive.  But then again, so is she.  :)

So all together three out of four is not bad.  I'll start again this week.

The final goal that I did do well on is to redo my sewing room so I can impulsively sew and not have to set it up (or move things). I bought a bench with a drawer and replaced the basket in my bedroom with the bench.  My cat sleeps on the bench, and I have a place to put my quilts.

The picture to the right is a picture of my sewing room.  I put my sewing machine on the desk instead of under the desk because I was able to clean the desk a little, and I did do enough quilts that this helped me clean the area.  (You can see it in the back by the window - still in progress).  I still need a cover for my machine but I did buy a new transportation bag for it.  I'm pleased with that.  Was only $35 for a very large one with tons of compartments.  Boy, was that a steal!!!

I have added another shelf unit by the bed (tucked in) to hold some of my Precuts that I am working on.  That's cleaned up some area.  But once more, when I get my UFO's cut down then it won't look so busy.  Those boxes are projects not completed on my desk.  and then there are the two (they're yellow) quilts that need to be finished quilting (they're taking so long with the free style!!!)  And the quilt (with backing) that is sitting on that bed.  A friend gave it to me.  GOOD friend!!!

I have finished two of my big UFOs so I can see light at the end of the tunnel.  Look at the list of quilts to complete to see which ones are done.  It's on the tab on top saying 2016 quilts.  But there is also a list on top saying "Quilts to Complete" that show all 50 some quilts that I need to get going on.  The ones that are done are crossed off so that motivates me to continue on.

And crazy me, I'm in the 356 blocks that everyone is talking about.  You make 3 - 6" blocks to make a full quilt in the end.  You'll learn a lot if you start that one.  Its from an Australian group and on facebook.  You sign up here.  Just look at the design!!!  CRAZY but sooooo wonderful.  I can't believe all those beautiful squares.  I'm looking at doing it in red and brown instead of the blue and brown.  If you sign up by mail, they'll do reminders and a link to each and every block.  

I also signed up for the new BOM by Cindy at Quilt Doodle Designs.  As you can probably see from my blog, I've done all her BOMs and I love them.  So this one is no exception, a Christmas quilt that will really shine.  Take a look  at the side bar, for a peak of the latest quilt.  Only two more...  silly me.

Some one said that if you have too much not done you will be unmotivated.  They're right.  But getting 1 - 2 done a week, even when it's small, helps

So some of the resolutions are helping and are getting done.  Baby steps remember? !!!  Oh why did I say baby steps, I have three baby quilts that I need to get done!!

PS> Never showed you this corner picture where the mess really is.  I'm working on it!!!  Remember, baby steps!!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Wait is over - Quilt Doodle Designs Blog Hop is here!

I am so pleased to be chosen to be part of Cindy (Quilt Doodle Designs) Blog Hop!!

Every month you wait for Cindy to put up her next block for her block of the month.  Every month it's different, with surprises that brings a smile to your face.  Then it's all done, but not the smiling.  My husband looks at what I've done following Cindy's pattern and he can't believe it, calling me talented.  But you're only as talented as the designer.  And Cindy Staub from Quilt Doodle Designs is certainly that.  You can see her designs on her web site at Quilt Doodle Doodles or you can go to her Craftsy site (this is where I see all her work and pick a few out for myself!!!)  For those of you that have missed her last BOM - My Favorite Things, you can purchase her pattern for only $14, so worth it.

Every month the pattern for the block would come out and I would race to download it.  Within two weeks my pattern is up and out on Flickr to share with new friends.  The sharing is as fun as making the blocks.  The encouragement so welcome, and seeing others to look at other view points.  Makes me smile again!  These are the originals, going block by block.

Many together

The borders starting to come together
Getting all the borders on took time!  But I love the colors.

Here's the finish!!

I added beads, ribbon, embroidery, buttons, and so much more.  I also added another border (blue) at the end to have an overhang for a twin size quilt.  That's the great thing about the design Cindy makes, you can make it your own.  In this quilt Cindy let you do what every you wanted for December's block.  I embroidered something.  Take a look...

And in the end in all it's glory, the quilt is bright, and sharp, and really worth all the effort.  Once more my husband is floored at the final results, but more than that, the entire process makes it so special to spend time with others working on the same pattern.

Some of the embroidery and buttons....
Added felt.

Beads for snow.

Buttons and embroidery - movement

All the right buttons.

Ribbon too.

Check out other's impressions and completions...  See some on Cindy's web site....

Here's the schedule.
February 12th
Quilt Doodle Designs - Kathy's quilt is on it too as well as Sherry's.  All so different but all so lovely.  See Sherry's process on her web site at the Lazy quilters.  Beautiful Sherry.

Thanks Cindy for all of this pleasure.

If you're interested, Cindy is doing another block of the month, with a Christmas theme.  Join now and the quilt will be ready in time for Christmas.