Monday, February 1, 2016

Projects New and Old

Today was a good day.  I set out to make blocks for a sampler quilt.  I had planned to make two and got four done!  The sampler is set on point and has 13 blocks... I didn't realize that and set my sights on two blocks - December and January (for a Saturday Sampler that started in February 2015).  I thought that would finish out the year, but when I got to the end of the book of patterns, there was one more waiting for me - February 2016!  I got that block done and then made the decision to make 5 more blocks so my quilt won't be square.  I got one of the five done, giving me a total of four for the day.  I've got four more to make now to finish off the blocks for the quilt, then I'll have to figure out how to set them all on point with sashing and such.  The pattern for the setting is a separate purchase from the shop, so I may just try to figure it out myself. 

I made the decision not to do any more Saturday Samplers this year.  The two local shops that are offering them are doing quilts I just don't like very much, using fabrics I don't like either.. (both are using florals, which are WAAAAY outside my comfort zone.  I know it's a good thing to stretch and actually do things outside that zone, but I just don't like florals.  I like flowers well enough, just not on my fabric.  Then again there's the quilts themselves - just didn't like the blocks that much either. 

So instead I'm doing a bunch of block of the months this year - three so far, but I've still got some to finish up from last year, so they are all overlapping.   The ones I am doing for 2016 are:

      Tuxedo Tales
      Susie's World
      Fancy Forest

I am still finishing up Purrfectly Pieced, Bertie's Autumn, the Animals quilt, Nifty Nine-Patch Saturday Sampler from last year.  Not to mention the other quilts I've made that need quilting - SO many of those piled up!  I counted them all and there are 31 (that I found!).  There might be a few more that got missed.  And I've got some I haven't started yet too - unopened kits and such.

I'm sure I'll add more projects as the year progresses, too!  I always find new things I simply 'must' do.  I really need to learn to edit my urges to start new things!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Focusing on Just One Thing

A group I belong to on Yahoo called Stashbusters has this 'JOT' or 'Just One Thing' motto.  It means try to focus on just one thing to get it done, instead of looking at the big picture and getting so intimidated by the totality of what needs to be done that you get nothing done.

My JOT for yesterday was to sew the appliques on the borders of my animals quilt.  I got some of it done, which is good.  I decided after getting about half the appliques done, that I would only concentrate on the colored pieces for now.  I got everything done except blue and green yesterday, plus a bunch of the trees. 

Today, my JOT is to do all the greens and blues... there aren't a lot of blues, but there ARE a lot of green leaves, so I've got a job in front of me.  Today is going to be a busy day, so I'm hoping I get them done.

When the colors are done, I will still have a lot of neutral appliques to sew down, but I can work on those on Weds at my weekly sew-in and not have to carry all my thread with me - just my box of neutrals. 

Here's the quilt on my design wall with the partially-done borders just pinned up on the sides to show what I'm working on. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Simply Woven Quilt-along

I worked very hard to keep up with the quiltalong, but I get ambitious in fits and starts, and like to finish things... so here is my Simply Woven top, all pieced:
I had to hang it sideways on my design wall because it wouldn't fit up and down... it's too big.  I haven't decided what to do with it yet... maybe I'll donate it to a local charity - they might cut it in half or even quarters and make baby quilts out of it - or keep it for when/if they need a twin quilt for something.  I think I will let them do the quilting though.  I don't want to pay a longarmer for something that I'm not going to use or gift myself.

Petty?  cheap?  maybe both, I don't know... but that's how I feel.  I know some child or children will love cuddling under it no matter who quilts it.

Anyway - I'm off to work on my animals quilt - first borders are cut and ready for sewing... the outer borders are all appliqued and will take a lot of work to finish, so I'm not rushing the process.  I've been working on the quilt for a year now, a few more weeks or months won't make a difference and I have no deadline for its completion.

I like quilts with no deadlines! 


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Setting Goals... and carrying through...

So, per previous posts, I set some goals, following the leader so to speak at both Red Letter Quilts' OMG and Prairie Moon Quilts' Studio Organizing Challenge.

Just a little reminder of what it all looked like before in my studio (books and patterns just piled up on any handy surface):

  Here is my nice neat bookshelves with all my books and patterns, much tidier than before, yes?

I suppose I could have organized them by title or author, but I didn't... I just put them all away nice and neatly... further organization may come in time... I'm just happy they are neat and clean.

Next week's challenge is to clean the files on my computer... that's gonna be a tougher one... but I will clean up my old mail files and do another backup of my files... that will have to do... perhaps I'll delete a few unneeded files, but most are ones I need to save for one reason or another (I'm usually pretty good about deleting them when I'm done with them, so the computer doesn't look as bad as my studio did).

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A first foray into modern quilting...

Well, I didn't finish putting books away, but I have a few more hours left in the day...

Instead I sat down at the machine and finished piecing a quilt I've been working on called 'The Color Palette quilt'  It is made from a panel printed by Hoffman fabrics and the pattern for it is available free on their website.

Here is the basic panel the quilt is made from:  (most of the panel is visible in this picture)
The basic idea is that you cut the panel into sections of 3 color swatches in a row... then piece them all together with grey or white strips in between them, then make blocks, sew them together into the quilt... it sounds confusing, but is very easy... Here is the finished quilt top:

I don't know when I'll get to quilting it, but I'm happy I made it. 

Later tonight, the books for sure!!! because the next studio organizing challenge begins tomorrow!...  And since my word for the year is FINISH, I don't want to start out by not finishing something I started so soon. 

Enough on the computer... back to work!

Friday, January 8, 2016

OMG - One Monthly Goal Challenge - January

I sometimes need a little push to get things done.  I admit it, I often feel no real initiative to get up and DO things.  It's so much easier to sit on my ass and watch tv and play on the computer.

I've joined in a challenge this year called OMG (or One Monthly Goal)...  Here is a link to the challenge if you want to read about it and maybe join yourself.  The deadline for joining in on any monthly challenge is the 7th of each month, but January has been extended to the 10th, so you have a couple of more days to hop in.

My goal for the first month (January) is to put away all my quilting books.  My husband had to move my bookshelves to put up my design wall last month and I STILL haven't put the books back away again.  So putting away (and arranging) my books and patterns is my goal for January.

Here is a picture of the 'mess' my husband left:
I will post a picture of the nice orderly shelves when they are finished.

As for other stuff going on... just busy busy with holiday stuff... and now, after promising myself to back off the bom's for 2016, I am signed up for like 5 of them... but I am going to stay away from the LQS Saturday Samplers... none of the shops are doing quilts I want to do, so I'm safe there.

I am still finishing up BOMs from last year, and I have no in-progress pics to share with you right now, but that will hopefully change soon.

Back to the grind for me... Happy Quilting to you!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Word for the Year 2016

In 2014, JOURNEY was my word for the year.  I wanted my life to be about the process rather than the end product... not just in quilting but in everything.  I did pretty well on that front, enjoying the journey along the way, rather than rushing through everything to get to the end. 

For 2015, I chose the word SIMPLIFY to guide my steps for the year.  I got rid of a lot of superfluous stuff... quilting and otherwise.  Moving helped a LOT with that - we got rid of SO many books and LOTS of trash - truckloads of stuff, literally, but lots of quilting things too - excess fabric, duplicate rulers, notions and the like.

My word for the year 2016 is going to be FINISH.  I've started so many things in 2015 and I really need to see an end to these projects so I can feel good about starting new ones.   I have made a promise not to start any new BOMs that I'm not already signed up for (only one new one of those, so I don't feel overwhelmed to start the year.  I'm afraid they will do a Bertie's Summer quilt and I will feel the need to sign up for that one... luckily the Bertie's seasonal quilts are all small, just 4-5 month projects, easy to make, easy to quilt. 

I am not forgetting my words from previous years... It's still all about the JOURNEY, and I'm still SIMPLIFYing - ridding myself of extraneous 'stuff' both quilty and otherwise (yes, there are things we moved with that we didn't really need, so still stuff to get rid of), but I want to finish UFO's this year - I have a lot of them...

I would love to choose a word like 'PLAY' or 'MESSIFY' (I know that's not a real word, but I don't know how else to say it), but I feel like that will have to wait a year.  (By messify, I mean giving myself permission to paint messily, color outside the lines and so forth - I need that encouragement sometimes to be 'me' when I am creating instead of just following patterns by rote). 

Anyway - I look forward to 2016 and all the finishes I will have for the year!

What is your word for 2016?

Saturday, November 21, 2015


So the new house needed some work... we knew that when we bought it... the pool had to be demo'd, we'd need some new furniture, some painting and lots of cabinets and drawers to line... But the house wasn't done with us yet... We did all that and then realized in the light rain of a few weeks ago that we needed a new roof.  With the prediction of an El Nino year, all the roofers in our area were booked til January or February, leaving us with a serious problem... FINALLY, after a zillion phone calls, we found one roofer who could do the work now.  He had a questionable review on Angie's List, but we needed him.  The work is now done, and we're waiting for the inspector to come and sign off on the work... Wish us luck!

As for quilting, I AM working hard at trying to finish projects, but not getting as much done as I'd like - I caught up on some projects and have fallen behind on others.  That's to be expected this time of year with all the social obligations and holidays.

I finished Which Witch... but not quite in time for Halloween - I'll have it for next year though! :

I did another block in the Arcadia Avenue BOM:

I finished Bertie's Spring, all ready to hang in March, when the season arrives:

And Bertie's Winter, all ready to hang in December!:

While it may seem like a lot of projects done... the two Bertie's projects were BOMs, so they took a long time, and Which Witch, in all honesty - took just a few hours to make, including the quilting - the binding was the longest part of the project. 

I'm not running out of projects to work on - lots of BOMs still to finish, and crazy person that I am, I just signed up for another one... sigh...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Where have I been ? ? ? ?

Moving!  I moved from one town in So. Calif. to another about 30 miles closer to the beach (for the cooler weather).  We officially moved on July 16th, and have been unpacking and settling in for the past couple of months.  We bought two new sofas for the den and living room and are now hanging art around the house... there is a LOT of art to hang (between quilts and prints and paintings.... sigh). 

I have a new studio... and while the fabric isn't ALL as readily accessible as it was in the old house, it is all shelved and ready to use (some piles of fabric are behind others, so a little hard to get to, but I'll manage - the Costco metal shelves are very deep, but they are what we had to work with).  I have access to all my books and patterns, fat quarters, tools and notions, it all works... just waiting on my design wall (not a high priority just yet in the whole scheme of 'to-do' lists).

I have been able to work on my BOM projects and other things (like making pillowcases... this is one of our new sofas with the pillowcases I made today:

 We don't exactly live AT the beach, but the pillows have a nice beachy vibe to them.

I have been sewing through all the chaos, albeit not as much as I'd like to have been.  I am working on 7 or 8 different bom projects, all in progress at present.  I've also been taking a Thursday night 'class' (class is a loose term as it's more like an open sew time).  I made this quilt as my first Thursday night project:

I love stars, and it's a pretty blue, teal, purple and green quilt.. my favorite colors together.  A Buggy Barn 'crazy' piecing project.

Then, not done with the whole Buggy Barn craziness, I made this on Thursday nights too, just finished this week (well, not exactly finished, as it's not quilted yet):

So as you can see, I've been busy with more than moving in...

We've been kind of overwhelmed too with the money pit of a house we bought... I know, everyone says their new house is a money pit, but we had to demolish a pool (more then just filling it with dirt, as the old pool has to be broken up, and THEN filled with dirt... took almost a week and a half.  Now we are in the middle of roof repairs, which with the predicted El Nino year, is getting difficult as most reputable roofers are overbooked already... and we just had a little LIGHT rain and had a leak.  sigh.  And these are just the big things... we've had lots of little things come up as well.  Hopefully all will be done before the rains hit in earnest.

In the meantime, I will just enjoy my new studio (which has no leaks), and keep a bucket in the master bathroom (where there is one). 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Moving along...

The mystery quilt I made, laid out on a bed, takes on an entirely different look!
It's still busy - but not unpleasantly so... I like it, and glad it has a great home where it will be appreciated.  Amazing how something so subtle like seeing the quilt on a bed as opposed to on a design wall makes it take on a whole new look.

On another subject entirely, our move went smoothly... We are in our new home now.  We moved closer to the beach for the cool weather, and moved right into a heat wave.  Sad, as our new house has no air conditioning, but we are handling it okay - opening the house up in the morning and early evening to take advantage of the cool breeze then, and closing things up during the warmest part of the day to keep things cool.   Just opening things up and shutting them down during the day seems like a big job - we're realizing just how big this house is during the progress... it just doesn't see so big until you have to traverse it multiple times a day... it seems to get bigger and bigger... lol.

We are getting very tired of opening boxes and putting things away... but it has to get done.  All the master bedroom boxes are done with, as are the kitchen and dining room boxes... and the boxes for the hallway closets.  We just have a few rooms left to do - the game room isn't finished, and the living room hasn't been tackled yet, neither has the sewing room.  That last is going to be a BIG job, since i have so much fabric.  Once the boxes are done in there, I still have to put up a new design wall and the inevitable television (can't survive without a tv in my studio... what can I say?  I'm an addict).  

It will be weeks before we are finished most likely, but we ARE working on it.  Any progress is good, that's how I'm looking at it, and we do something related to unpacking every day... some days more, some days less, but always progress.  We have made a promise to each other not to live with unopened boxes, like we had in our old house - we found things in boxes that we hadn't opened since we moved in to that house 20 years ago - SO not happening again... not here, not now, not this time.