Saturday, December 17, 2011

Let There Be Tree...

And lo, the wife said 'Let there be tree' and there was tree.  Courtesy of DH, who set it up day before yesterday.  We decorated it today.  This year's theme is Star Wars, so all our Star Wars ornaments are on the tree, plus lights and some garland...

Of course if you look very carefully, the tree is not alone... Here's another view showing my fabric approval department encamped under the tree:
This is Pan (short for Pandora)... she has always loved fabric and has to approve all fabrics brought into the house.  She adopted our purple velvet tree skirt the very first year we got it - about 1995 or so... and still loves it to this day.  She obviously approves of the fact that we set up the tree this year.

Thank you to all who encouraged me to do this... it is so nice to see it twinkling over by the stairs while we sit here and sip tea and watch 'Philadelphia Story' tonight.  Gotta love these old movies on TCM.

Only thing missing is some hand sewing to make it complete... I think I'll get off the computer now and work on some more hexies while I watch!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hexagon Quilt Tutorial

First of all, I'd like to say that I didn't invent this technique - I was taught it by a friend in a group I belong to.  It is by no means original to me, and I'm sure there are other tutorials out there that describe this technique.  I have not read, nor in any way copied from anyone else's work in the following tutorial.  That said, here we go...

First you need templates.  Mine are 5 1/8" for the large hexagon and 3 1/2" for the smaller one.  You can draft these yourself if you want, but I can send you a .pdf file with the exact size templates.  Just email me at jafoquilt@gmail.com.  The templates will look like this
Paper templates

My husband was kind enough to cut me some templates from thick plastic, but even thin plastic templates or just the paper templates would work
My templates
Use the large template (5 1/8") to cut your backing fabric (remember, this will also be your binding fabric so it will show on the top as well). 
Use the small template to cut your focus fabric.  This can be anything.  I'm doing mine with fussy cut cats, but I've seen this done with Christmas fabrics (how timely), fall fabrics, florals and it is simply elegant done in Asian prints - pick your favorite or just whatever you have scraps of lying around - Scrappy works too!
You will also need to use the small template to cut a hexagon of batting.
Components of one hexagon block

Next you need to layer your components.  Start with the 5 1/8" hexagon, laying it right-side down.  Center the 3 1/2" hexagon of batting on the wrong side of the large backing hexagon.
Large hex and batting hex layered

Next, layer the 3 1/2" focus fabric on top of the batting.

At this point, I like to pin the three layers together by using a single pin in the center of the hexagons.  This keeps the small hexagons centered on the large one while you fold the binding edges over.  I start with a single fold bringing the edge of the large hexagon just to the edge of the small hexagon...
first fold
... followed by a second fold that comes up and over the small hexagon, overlapping it by about 3/8 of an inch or so - and a pin to secure the fold.
second fold
Then I just go around the hexagon in a circle, pinning each side.
three sides pinned
Eventually, all six sides will be pinned. 
All sides pinned, ready for hand stitching.
Once all six sides are pinned, I sew the binding with a blind stitch, just like I'd stitch any other binding.

Once the binding is sewn down all the way around, you can quilt as desired.  I know since it is, until now, all hand sewn, maybe it should be hand-quilted too.  But I'm a machine quilter.  I've tried hand-quilting and it's just not for me.  I have seen them done both ways and they look great no matter how you do them.  Whether by hand or machine, I would quilt about 1/4" inside the binding edge as show below:

Once they are quilted, you can whipstitch them together to make anything you'd like - They make great placemats, tablerunners, tabletoppers, lap quilts.  I'm working my way up to a king sized bed quilt.  Not sure if I'll ever get there... I may end up with a lapquilt myself.

30 hexes put together


What I really love about these is that they make a great take-along project - you can work on them anywhere.  They are small, easy to transport, and all you need to bring along is needle and thread, especially if you pin some in advance to bring along on a trip or anywhere you'd have to wait like the doctor's office.  Once they are done... they are quilted and bound!  When you have connected them, the quilt is done!  No sending out to a longarmer... no binding to do... it's DONE!  And they are fun to make!

Please don't hesitate to email me for the .pdf of the templates - jafoquilt@gmail.com  (I would just put a link here to download the .pdf, but I can't figure out how to do that).

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  If there are any mistakes, please let me know so I can fix it asap.  Thanks, and thanks for dropping by.

Merry merry holiday season to you all.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

To Tree or Not to Tree...

That is the question... I can't decide whether or not to put up our holiday tree this year.  My son moved out of the house... It's just me and Joe now... He put up the outside lights, but I just can't make up my mind if it's worth all the effort for just the two of us...

We bought this year's Star Trek and Star Wars ornaments from Hallmark - we have every year's ornaments except to the very first Star Trek one.  We have so many of them now that we alternate years between the franchises.  One year we do Star Wars, the next year we do Star Trek and then back again.

But this year it just seems so pointless to put up all the decorations without family to share them with.  The two of us can just put the presents on the top of the piano without a tree.  Somehow that seems kind of dull, but where to get the energy to set up the tree?

I think I need to consider this further.

On the quilting front, I made a bunch of new fabric postcards and mailed them out last week before the holidays.  And I have gotten back to work on my hexagon quilt.  

I make two hexagons of fabric - one 5" across, one 3.5" across, and a 3.5" hexagon cut from batting... layer them large hexagon wrong side up, center the batting on top of that, and then put the 3.5" piece of fabric on top of the batting right side up.  Then I double fold the large hexagon over the small one and hand sew the edge like binding.  This makes a small hexagon shaped layered quilt block.  (Want to see pictures of this process?  please drop me a comment if you'd like me to make a tutorial with pictures showing how to make these)

When I have enough of them, I will slip stitch them all together to make a quilt - so far I have about 300 of them.... haven't decided how many I want to do to make a finished quilt.

I figure it will take about 1225 of them to make a king sized quilt that will fit my bed... Do I actually want to make that many of these little gems?  I'm not sure... I am fussy cutting them all out of cat fabrics and I was hoping to make each one unique.  I AM sure I don't have 1225 different cat fabrics in my stash.  Now my stash of cat fabrics that I collect is pretty vast, but it's not that big.  I may have to reconsider my methodology or numbers.  Maybe a lap quilt would be better, LOL.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

WAYWO Sunday

It's been a while since I posted here... a little depression mostly has kept me away from doing much work.  I did take some pictures this week of quilts I have worked on recently.  I started this bento box quilt about 3 years ago, and finished sewing the interior of the quilt at the last retreat I went on.  It still needs borders... I think...

I also finished up the sashing on my horse quilt.  It is a Buggy Barn design, and the horses need buttons for eyes yet, but I have to finish up the border on this one too - but I ran out of grass fabric, I'll have to find something else for the border...

I also finished up Paris Cats - The applique is on, and the quilt is ready for quilting... I even made a back for it - just have to get in there and quilt it!

And another Buggy Barn design... this one based on their 'Crazy Rays' but done in RW&B.  I was hoping to donate it to quilts of valor, but I need to find someone who will quilt it for them, as I've kinda lost interest in finishing it.  We'll see... If I can't find someone, maybe I'll find the enthusiasm to do it myself sometime in the future.

And lastly, this weekend, I made 8 fabric postcards.  I made my first postcard snowglobes this weekend - It took a little work to make the snowglobe part - some vinyl, careful stitching and some seed beads for the 'snow'.  They actually came out kinda cute.  And I got so excited over the success with the snowglobes that I forgot to put fabric on the backs of 5 of the postcards before I did the edge-stitching on them.  Whoops!  So I added backs and just did a straight stitch about 1/8" in from the edge to hold the backs in place... Hope they hold up. 

At least I did something creative this weekend... otherwise it would have been a total waste - I spent most of the weekend watching movies on TCM and AMC... They were showing old westerns, romantic comedies and musicals... I couldn't resist.  I really need to turn off the TV and do more creative things with fiber... Maybe I have too many passions... sigh

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What to do with all those flying geese?

Having given a tutorial for how to make no-waste flying geese, I've been asked what I do with all the geese I make this way. 

Well, lately I've been making geese for quilt me and some friends are making as a block exchange project.  My two blocks in the exchange are both comprised of flying geese.  The first one is just rows of little 1x2 inch geese.  I had to make 6 of the blocks, with 18 geese in each block, that means I had to make 108 geese to make this one block six times:

The second set of geese were a little larger to make a flying dutchman block, one of my favorite blocks of all time:

I think maybe I should have had the green and purple be a little further apart in value, because they both look almost black in the photo, but really, the purple geese form a pinwheel int he center and the other geese are dark green.  As with the other one, I had to make 6 blocks, so a lot of geese between the two.

Anyway - that's what I've done with the most recent sets of geese that I've made, all using the no-waste method I wrote a tutorial for in my last post.

You can see the whole quilt 'Ryokan' at  http://thimblecreek.com/details.php?prodId=2000&category=240&secondary=114&keywords= - it is a charming quilt.  It's also in issues 85 and 86 of Quiltmania Magazine, which is where I first found it. 

I do want to clarify something - I want to make it clear that I didn't invent that method, I was merely passing it along to anyone who hadn't seen it before, or trying to make it easy to do for someone who might have been confused by a previous tutorial.  I'm not sure any one person can claim the method as their own invention.  It is simply 'out there' in the world of quilting and I am just one more person making sure the word gets spread.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Perfect Flying Geese - A Tutorial

I had to make a bunch of flying geese for a new quilt project, so I thought I would share with you my method for making perfect flying geese with no waste.  It's very easy and only requires a little bit of math.  Since we're all quilters, we're all math literate, right?  Well, I barely am, and I can still do these, so it's pretty easy.

First, you need to determine the finished size of your geese.  Flying geese always finish at width = height x 2.  So if your geese finish up at 2" high, they will be 4" wide.  That part is pretty simple.  To make perfect flying geese, here's where the math comes in. 

Step one:  Cutting your fabric.

You need one square of your geese fabric that is Width +1 1/4".  So keeping with our example above of 2x4" geese, you will need one square of 4 + 1 1/4" = 5 1/4" square.

You need four squares of your sky fabric that are Height + 7/8".  Again keeping with our example of 2x4" geese, you will need four squares of 2 + 7/8" = 2 7/8" square.

Your components will look like this.  (By the way, that's the hardest part, the math, and it's all done...)


Step two: Draw a single diagonal line on the back of each of the small 'sky' squares:

Step three: Position two of the smaller squares on opposite corners of the large square.  You can pin these to make them more secure before stitching.

Step four: Stitch a scant 1/4" seam on either side of the lines you drew on the small squares:

Step five: Cut on the drawn diagonal line (between the two lines of stitching, then press out:




This will result in two units that should look like this:


Step six:  Position another small 'sky' square on each of these units as shown below:

Step seven: Stitch a scant 1/4" seam on each side of the drawn lines on the small squares on each unit.

Step eight: Cut these units apart on the drawn lines.

Press out and trim off the 'dog ears'.  This will result in four perfect flying geese units with no waste!

I've tried to make this tutorial as clear and concise as I can.  Please let me know if there's anything you don't understand so I can try to make it more clear.  Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed this.

Block 2 of There and Back Again

Block two of There and Back Again, The Hobbit-based BOM at Fandom in Stitches is out, and I made mine - mostly at the retreat - but I put the sections together at home. 


The sections aren't lined up exactly straight, but I didn't feel like unstitching them, so they will have to be a bit wonky.

I think it's really neat that they lined up the colors in the order of the dwarves' arrival at Bilbo's house - that's such a nice touch of detail from the book.  Of course I don't recall which dwarves are which, and I'm not gonna dig out my copy to label them or anything, but it's still cool. 

It's a very fun BOM, and I love paper-piecing.  Usually I'm more precise about it, but i just don't have the energy to rip right now.

Done is better than perfect. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Retreat at the beach

Went to Saylor's Sandcastle this weekend for a retreat.  The Sandcastle is actually a huge beachhouse between Ventura and Santa Barbara in Southern California.  The house is right on the seawall just above the ocean.  Sometimes at low tide there is a narrow beach below the house, but most of the time, the ocean comes right up to the sea wall.  It's a wonderful place to come and sew for four days.  The sea air and the sound of the surf are all conducive to a lovely relaxing time.

 I took several UFOs and one new project to work on at the retreat.  I completed 9 things while I was there.  I worked like a machine, I must say, but I enjoyed every moment of it.  Here are a few pictures of the retreat and the locale.  This is the back of the house... or the front - depending on how you look at it.  This is the side that faces the sea... All those wonderful windows, the better to watch the ocean and islands (more of the same on the top floor too):


Here is the view looking up the beach from the seawall:

Our workroom... there were two main sewing rooms, one upstairs and one downstairs... This is the downstairs room where I was sewing.  There were 24 of us total, sewing in 2 main rooms plus a couple of side rooms as well.  It was a quilting madhouse... but in a fun way:

Here are a couple of visitors who came to watch what we were doing,  We had several of their kin who stopped by on the seawall from time to time.  Really, I think they were just looking for handouts:

And one of our lovely sunsets on the beach:

It was a wonderful weekend, but despite the fact I could live in that house quite happily (couldn't afford it probably, but if I could, I'd love it)... I AM happy to be home, with husband, cats and dog.  They are apparently all glad to see me too.

Pics of retreat finishes forthcoming as soon as I take some... right now, all my newly finished things are still packed away.  I am quick to pack up to leave... unpacking takes me some time... No pressure to finish anytime soon... just whenever I get tired of the chaos of bags and boxes underfoot.  I'm so glad my husband is easygoing about such things.... bless him and his tolerant nature.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Going on retreat

I'm leaving for a 4 day quilting retreat tomorrow morning.  Me and friend Marlyn are driving up together to Carpinteria where we will visit a new-old quilt shop (new shop replacing old shop in same location).  Then we will meet friends for lunch before coming back down south to a lovely beach house right on the sea wall between Carpinteria and Ventura.

When we arrive, we will set up our machines and put the pedal to the metal and sew sew sew.  I can't wait!  24 of us are going to be there, all sewing (and eating and drinking... there's a little bit of everything going on at our retreats). 

I would say I'm going to miss my husband, kitties and dog, but I know I will be too busy to miss them terribly.  I have a feeling they will miss me more than I will miss them.  As always though, however much fun I have at retreat, going home is always a delight too. 

If the internet isn't working there, I'll be offline for 4 days - see you when I get home!  Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 4, 2011

UFO Update

I have to thank each and every one of you who posted here, on Stashbusters, or by email in response to my request for advice.  I have considered every possibility that was suggested and made a decision.

I am going to finish the quilt as is - octagonal in shape, without adding additional borders.  I did add a little applique in the setting triangles though because I thought they needed something.  So, here it is in its final form:
I think it needed those corner appliques especially if it will get used as a table topper of some kind.  Here is a closeup of the applique motif:

It may look a little odd but the colors match perfectly and the motif made me think of Paris, and the quilt is called 'Paris Cats'.  (There are cats in the blocks, just hard to see in the small photos).  Someday I will probably give this away as a wedding or housewarming gift.  I hope someone likes it.

To change the subject completely, the power supply on my computer died and I'm waiting for a new one in the mail (should be here Monday).  So I'm typing all this on a little netbook that I use normally just for travel.  If there are any typos it's because the keyboard on the netbook is really hard to use, so please excuse any errors.

Thanks for stopping by... Comments are always welcome...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

UFO quandary

One of my recently found UFOs is this mystery quilt I made a few years ago.  I'm not sure why I stalled out on completion, but now I have no idea how I want to finish it. 

I strayed 'off-pattern' originally  by choosing to put the blocks on point and now I just don't know how to finish it... as is to be used as a table topper?  Makes little sense to me - I don't have a round table, and it's a bit big for a card table.  Not to mention, I'm not thrilled with the setting triangles I made to begin with.  I could add big triangles to the corners and make it square, but tbh, i'm not thrilled with the idea of making another square quilt.  They just aren't very useful - even as a lap quilt.  I'll never hang it in my house... I'm not a big fan of pink.  I have lots of fabrics that match the interior of the quilt, but all of them seem like they would be too much of one thing if I just added huge triangles of them onto the corners... I'm at a loss...


I think I will take the quilt and all the fabrics I have left to my quilt class tomorrow and ask there for ideas... but any ideas here would be welcome too...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lost and Found

I thought I'd lost a bunch of UFOs... not too many - just a few missing here and there... my blue raspberry parfait quilt, my french kitties quilt, my animal skin bento box, a few more.  So, my husband and I went through parts of the garage.  We found a lot of stuff we didn't need in the process... recycled some old boxes, took a truckload of stuff to Goodwill, AND found two bins of 'projects' - my UFOs!!!

So I started going through them today.  I opened and emptied one bin.  Most of what I found are projects I inherited from other quilters... projects I have no interest in completing!   Luckily, there is this wonderful woman named Gladys in Iowa who takes these PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks) and turns them into finished quilts for charity.  Here is one of two piles of these unwanted projects:

I will send these to Gladys tomorrow - they are all boxed up and addressed, ready to ship!  Yay... what a relief!

That leaves the stuff that I might someday want to finish... still far too many projects to contemplate... but I have to add them to my UFO list.  This bin has been sorted and it's all 'keepers':

 
This is the bin I haven't started on yet, but looks like (from the surface), mostly 'keepers':


What WAS I thinking starting new projects with all these old ones left to complete?  GAH!!!! 

But at least I found them... I will have things to take on retreat with me on Nov 10th-13th.  I will have to pick and choose from among these projects for things to work on at the retreat.  I have gone from 'OMG, I will have to fill four days with sewing projects and I have nothing to work on'  to 'OMG, I have all these projects to work on... what WILL I actually take with me???'  ... From famine to feast!

It feels so good to actually find what I was looking for though... there was a time before we organized things that I would never have found them, and they would have never been all together... Bless 'OrganizeThis' and all professional organizers... you are all amazing people and make miracles for the chronically disorganized - like me!

Monday, October 24, 2011

What haven't I done...

Everything!  Anything!  I've been so lazy this last week, I've done almost no sewing (I did make and send 2 fabric postcards), and little else besides.  I straightened up my studio a little, and cleaned my dining room, but haven't tackled any of the big projects yet.

I have been lazy lazy lazy...


Darnit, it's fall, I should be energized and ready to DO something.  And I do feel that way - I love the cooler weather and the overcast skies (which should be gone in 2 days since we are expecting santa ana winds on Weds).  Tomorrow, I have breakfast out with the girls, and I'm getting a pedicure (my first!)...  Hopefully after that I will feel like doing something...

For now, it's almost 5pm and I'm still in my jammies... tomorrow is another day!

On a side note: I took second place in The Quilting Gallery's weekly contest.  This one was for paper pieced quilts.  I will post what I won here when I find out what it is.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Homeliest Fabric...

I was watching Project Runway last night.  I couldn't help burst out laughing when Tim Gunn told Joshua "I think it's one of the homeliest fabrics I've ever seen.  It makes me want to weep."  First of all, I'm not a big fan of Joshua - he's my least favorite of the four who are left - as a person... as a designer, well, we'll see at the final runway show.  He has produced a lot of stuff I've liked, but none of it overshadows in any way what a jerk he is as a human being.

And as we quilters know, if the fabric is still ugly, you haven't cut it up into small enough pieces yet!  Any fabric works if you cut it up small enough.  I guess that doesn't hold true in couture like it does in quilting, but oh well.

Anyway, just wanted to vent a little bit and have another laugh at Joshua's expense...

Have a great weekend!  I'm off to sew a little, clean a little, and then go play D&D the rest of the weekend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Zipper Border

So, I got a picture of my friend Mary's border for the quilt I designed. It reminds me of a zipper, and there are no seams to match up which makes it really easy peasy to piece.


Her quilt is done all in xmas fabrics so it's very different from my floral quilt I posted yesterday... but I love her border, and this is the one we will use when we publish the pattern, though we will probably offer the 6" unpieced border as an option.  Not everyone likes to piece borders - some folks want somewhere where they can really let quilting, like feathers or cables, shine. 

I think the quilt looks good both ways, but I especially love Mary's 'zipper' border.  Hope we can get it published.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Went to breakfast with girlfriends... got my nails done today... worked on fabric postcards for an exchange on the yahoo group postcardpizzazz... prepped for class tomorrow - mostly gathering things I need to take with me... changed ink cartridges in my printer (they seem to run out so fast - maybe I make too many color copies?)... generally had a quiet day, with a little productivity.  At least I feel like the day wasn't wasted. 

Tomorrow I have class.  Maybe I will get the binding on my Jellicle Moon quilt done - we'll see, I still have 2 sides to go.  I wish I could work on it at home, but there's just too much cat hair around here.  I love going to class, everyone is so talented and productive and our show and tell is always a lot of fun to watch. 

The teacher of the class and I have collaborated on a wonderful quilt pattern (I designed the center, she designed the border).  We are planning to submit it to a magazine in the hopes it will be accepted for publication.  That would be so awesome.  If not a magazine, maybe we can self-publish it as a pattern for sale.  Who knows?  This is the quilt with my boring border on it - Mary designed a wonderful pieced border that perfectly complements the quilt.  Together I think they are a wonderful marketable design.  I will try to get a picture of her quilt with the pieced border tomorrow.


I wish the colors on this were closer to the original, but the idea is there, the 'black' inner border is actually a beautiful rich green.

More to share tomorrow I hope. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

I did it!

I woke up this morning with the same resolve as last night - not to waste my days away and be left with nothing but regret.  I had breakfast and started sewing.  I made this block from Fandom in Stitches' new BOM, There and Back Again:


It is of course Gandalf the Grey.. can't wait to see what the next block is going to be. 

Mostly, I'm just happy I saw through with my resolve to work today.  Lately it's been hard for me to do that.  Now, I think I'll go take a shower and have my nails done.

Tonight I have to run a D&D game so no more sewing for me today I think...  Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fantasy Freaks

OK, I admit it, I make no excuses for my passions.  In addition to quilting, I just love fantasy and science fiction.  I have been a Tolkien fanatic since 1964 when I started the first of many read-throughs of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I just found a new Block of the Month based on the Hobbit at a wonderful blog called Fandom in Stitches.  It is paper-pieced, and I love paper piecing.  I think I will actually do this one - it looks relatively simple, at least so far.  I intend to start tomorrow - we'll see how the day goes.

On a sad note, my aunt-in-law passed away this last weekend of cancer, and my dear friend's sister died of cancer this morning.  This has had me kind of down in the dumps all day as I contemplate how short life really is.  All the time I've wasted in my life seems so lost now and I regret so many hours spent watching mindless tv, or just not being productive.  These useless days and hours seem so trivial now and I look back with joy only on the hours I've spent doing something of more import.  Time to get off the couch and LIVE!

I guess that's part of why I'm so determined to work on that block tomorrow - so I don't waste my day away. 

May your days be joyful, whatever it is that makes them so for you.  I'm off to DO something now...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The naming of blogs...

The naming of blogs is a serious matter... it isn't just one of your everyday games.... OK, sorry for stealing from T. S. Elliot.  Dawn over at her blog asked why/how people named their blogs.  So here's my answer:  I love puns.  It's that simple... I loved the play on words.   No big deep secret here. 

But if you're here, feel free to look around.  Here's a little eye candy for you to enjoy while you're here:

I call this one 'All Colours are of God'.  It is based on Jacqueline de Jongg's 'Circle of Life' quilt, except mine has been miniaturized to 18.5x18.5 inches and I replaced the central lonestar with a spiral lonestar.  This quilt has won several awards, and has been displayed at Road to California and Houston, among other places:


This quilt was released this year at Bunny Hill Designs as a free block of the month.  It might still be available free, but not for long.  It is called 'Henrietta Whiskers'.  I just love squirrels, so I HAD to make this quilt.


My mini-group, The Stitchin' Sisters, are making seasonal quilts this year.  We have already made summer and fall.  This is my latest one, Winter Wonderland.  I am actually still quilting it, just the borders left to go.  


Thanks for stopping by!  Comments are welcome! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Enthusiasm again...

I have been enthused to work again.  I started quilting my winter wall hanging on Monday, finishing all the ditch quilting early in the day.  Today, Tuesday, I freemotion stitched around all the applique motifs.  Now I just need to quilt the borders.  I think I will use some swirls and stars for the borders... I don't have any matching thread, so I ordered some more aurifil online, including a light blue I can use for the border quilting.  Now, just have to wait for the package to arrive. 

Having done that, I've run out of projects I want to work on... I have lots of UFOs I COULD be working on, but my enthusiasm is for something new.  There is a new project on the cover of the current issue of Quiltmania magazine.  I am doing this project with 5 friends - we are makiing exchange blocks to make this very pretty quilt called Ryokan:
Each of us is doing two blocks, making 6 copies of each of them.  I'd like to start on this project, but my blocks are #9 and 12 - which won't be out in the magazine until probably February or March (it is being printed in segments spanning three issues).  So I'm kinda stuck in waiting mode. 

Still, I have all this pent-up enthusiasm for working now, so tomorrow after class, I will make SOMEthing... anything... just to work.  Hopefully that will spur me to work on some of my UFOs as well. 

It is supposed to get into the 90s for the next two days - definitely days to stay indoors as much as possible to enjoy the AC.  Maybe I can use this enforced 'inside time' to at least pick my fabrics for my Ryokan blocks.  Or maybe I will work on picking some projects to work on at my guild's quilting retreat in November.  I am trying to find as many hand projects as I can, so I can go to the retreat without my sewing machine.  I hope to have two quilts to bind to bring along - but maybe I should prepare some other hand projects as well... That will give me something to do for the next two days!  I have a plan!

I have also started to make to do lists.  For the past two days, I have taken care of a lot of little projects, errands and such that I have been putting off for a long time - I wrote to my sister, renewed my prescriptions, did some promised computer work.  It feels good to cross things off a list... a sense of accomplishment; endorphins released.  I need to keep these lists going on a daily basis... oh wait, I might actually have to clean the house if I start keeping up on projects lol.  Well, it's still a good idea.