Monday, December 24, 2018

Another step closer

This week, our new mystery clue was to make quarter-square triangles.  I am so glad it wasn't more strings!  I had a lot of fun with this one, and though I didn't use Bonnie's preferred method, I came out with the same result, so I'm happy with it.  Bonnie's method including using narrower strips and her rulers, and since I am using yardage instead of scraps, it was just easier to cut and piece these in the traditional manner (making larger half-square triangles, then pairing each of those up with a square of the dark and repeating the half-square triangle process). Different process, same results.

And of course my layout (to put them in a square for the Monday Mystery Linkup page) isn't exactly symmetrical, but it IS 4am - had to get up to let the dogs out, so I finished trimming the blocks and took the pic in a hurry while they were outside.  Now they are in and I should get back to bed, but here I am at the computer instead.  I'm distractable like that.  I can be on a task (like heading to bed), and suddenly - SQUIRREL!!!  Anyway, fans of  UP will get that.

Here is the link to Bonnie's Monday Morning Linkup. I just love seeing the colors others are using... They are all so amazing!

Tomorrow I will be able, I hope, to get on to other projects... Still presents to wrap and Blocks of the Month to catch up on.  So much to do!  Christmas Day plans may have fallen through (we were going to spend the day with a friend whose wife just passed, but it turns out he may have other plans and we may be off to the movies instead.  It's fine, we just didn't want him to be alone on Christmas day, and we will be content as long as he is not alone for the day)  So tomorrow we might be buying tickets to see Mary Poppins Returns, wrapping presents and (for me, at least) sewing.  (My husband will be busy too, he's got his writing and his radios to keep him busy).

As for the mystery quilt, there has been much speculation on what the finished block(s) will look like.  So many quilters have proposed so many interesting and inventive layouts.  I played with the pieces a little and came up with a few myself, but Bonnie always manages to surprise and delight us with something unique, so I put all the pieces back in their respective baggies without taking pictures of what are sure to NOT be the final blocks... but I have to say I am very happy with my colors together.

As we get closer to the final clues, which Bonnie usually reveals around New Years, the antici...................................................................pation becomes intense.  Can't wait to see the final product!  I am a little leery of how I'm going to make the quilt not be square... Will I make more blocks?  Should I simply sew on some extra and uneven borders?  Oh, the quandary!  Only a couple more weeks to find out... oh my!

Well, now it's almost 5am and time to crawl back into bed...

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I do not like it, Sam I Am

Today I finished all the necessary blocks for clue 4 of Bonnie Hunter's 2018 Mystery Quilt, Good Fortune.  I re-discovered during this process that I do not like string piecing.  Now I consider this kind of odd, because I love paper piecing, and string piecing is really just kind of loose and easy paper piecing.  But what I love about paper piecing is that you are usually making some kind of picture, and the results, to me at least, are fun and revelatory.   And weird too because I love making things from selvages and that is kind of like string piecing too.   String piecing to me is sort of mindless and the results are just... well ... stringy. I know lots of quilters love string piecing, it's just not for me, I guess...    Anyway, I suppose I could have just cut some blocks in the finished size and called it a day, but I did it Bonnie's way.  Maybe I'll like them in the finished quilt.  We'll see.

If you want to see other folks' blocks, check out Bonnie's Mystery Monday Link-Up for week four here.

I certainly hope next week's clue is more fun for me because I'm loving most of the process and having fun with it.  Can't wait to see what comes next!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Holiday Fever and other maladies

This month has been pretty hectic, what with the holidays, DH gone for 5 days, and other complications.  This year, I actually lit no Chanukah candles until the last night - I was alone in the house and it seemed like such a lonely, sad thing to do by myself.  In retrospect, it was even sadder NOT doing it, but hindsight being 20/20, I was too overwhelmed and sad in the moment to realize I was simply adding to it by ignoring the tradition.  Sigh... Anyway, another holiday is approaching now and I've still got so much to do.  Our lights are up, and the tree is up for the Solstice, but undecorated, because we're still not sure it would survive the new puppy.  She seems unfazed by it sitting there in the living room, but she is totally 'Danger Dog', knocking over everything in her rambunctious play.  Our delicate electronic decorations might not survive her boisterous activities. 

Anyway, last week while waiting for clue 3 to drop for the Bonnie Hunter mystery, I cut for another quilt... and then the clue dropped Friday morning while the blocks for the other quilt were half-sewn.  I set those aside to work on the mystery, but the weekend was a total loss for sewing.  Went to see the LIttle Mermaid (the stage musical) on Friday night, played Pathfinder most of Saturday, and half of Sunday.  The week has been busy as well.  I sewed on Monday, leaving mostly cutting apart the HSTs and pressing left, then, I had to run a Pathfinder game on Monday night.  Tuesday, one of my quilt guilds had their Christmas party, and I had a doctor's appointment as well.  Today, I finally got to finish cutting and pressing my pieces for the mystery quilt.  Yay!!!  I am again caught up, with a day and a half to spare.

To see other folks' part 3 blocks, take a look at the Mystery Link Up #3!

Tonight, my other quilt guild has their annual holiday party, and I've got errands to run on the way... So I'm off to get a mani-pedi, fill my gas tank and do a little holiday shopping... Ah the joys of the season!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Contemplating the Infinite

Today, a sweet and dear friend lost their battle with cancer.  I am devastated, and at the same time, I am inspired to consider the options we have in life and in facing the beyond.  Those who know me know that I am not a religious person.  I do not find solace in arms of any kind of savior.  I believe that life is about what we do in it, not striving for some reward after it.  The more good we do, the better we make the world around us, and that is what life is about: performing mitzvahs. 

I really don't think I do enough, thinking about it objectively.  I maybe do little things... donate quilts sometimes, let my son and dau-in-law live with us rent-free while they are seeking employment, let people into my lane when driving, all little things in the scheme of the bigger picture.  I don't want acclaim for the things I do, they are indeed very small things.  I know I can do more.  I don't know really what I might want to be remembered for when I'm gone... I know I don't want people to shrug and say 'big deal' when I'm gone.  I need to strive for more.

I know me though, and I'm afraid I don't know where to start.  I'm not the kind of person who gives hugs to random strangers or hands out food in homeless camps... I sometimes do pay for the random car behind me at Starbucks, which is fine and anonymous, and that's how I frequently pay forward my gratitude for the abundance in my life - anonymously. 

Still, not sure how to proceed with making the world a better place.  I hope I can find a way, because we are all mortal and every one of us has an expiration date... I guess I just want to make a difference before mine comes due. 

Having contemplated this now, I'm not sure where it's leading me... I hope I find a path and follow it while I still can.  I know that for most of us, the love and acknowledgment of family and close friends is enough.  My family is very small, and my close friends are a very small group as well... I guess I just need to know there is still time to make a difference to all I know.. and maybe a broader circle as well.  When is it too late to remake ourselves?  Maybe never?

Time is fleeting...  Life is short...  Live like there's no tomorrow... get it done today!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Keeping Up!

So very much to keep up with this time of year... gifts, lights, decorations plus all the normal stuff of my life like errands, appointments, social stuff... sometimes it gets a little overwhelming.   With my son and daughter-in-law on a trip up north to visit her parents for 9 days (I drove them to the airport yesterday), and my husband leaving tomorrow for 4 days up north on business, I will have the whole house (and all the daily household stuff) to myself.  That means, of course, caring for 2 rambunctious young dogs, both of which need medications at least twice a day, and 3 cats.  I think I will be missing my quilting clubs for the week, and not much time for quilting at home this week either.

That said, I decided I would make a push to finish clue 2 of the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt before DH leaves for his business trip.  I did all the cutting on Friday, the sewing mostly yesterday and today I finished up the sewing and did all the trimming and pressing.  I'm done!!!  and with a few hours to spare before we take off for an evening with friends.

Bonnie doesn't want us mentioning how many we made or what size they are... suffice it to say, there are a LOT of them...Sew much fun... can't wait to see the next clue!!!

Here is your link to Bonnie's Monday Morning link-up page to see what everyone else has made!

A Mysterious start to the year

Well, I finished one of last year's mystery tops... The Meadow Mist Mosaic Mystery.  I have to say I really like how this one came out.....