Food for thought.

Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

How lucky am I?

I just got this in the mail this afternoon.

I almost forgot about it, but when I opened the package which was like opening a Christmas package, I had all this Aurifil thread.

If that wasn't enough, there was a little charm pack of fabrics in there, too; and this great little pattern.
How did I come by this great little package?
I posted a comment on Bunny Hill blog and my name was one of seven that were drawn to win this.
I am so excited.  Like I commented on her blog....the thread colors are "yummy" and I do love Aurifil thread. 
If you would like to visit her blog, you can do it here
I am so excited and can't wait to get started on this adorable mini quilt.  It's in keeping with my Christmas UFOs that I am still working on.  Little did I know that I would still be working on Christmas projects well into March.  I will definitely be prepared for Christmas 2015 this year. 
Thank you, thank you!!!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Overachiever and/or Obsessive/Compulsive

Probably a little of both.
I started out this month trying to finish four projects at once. They were on the UFO list and so close to being finished.   They are now all ready for the long arm, but there they sit because I pulled out another UFO to have something to work on by "hand" while watching TV at night. 
Well, I got obsessed with this "hand project".
This is just the center of my hand-pieced, 1 inch thimbles. 
Thank goodness all the rows of this thimble quilt were completed back in 2006, but because I was so concerned about perfection when putting the rows together and that was just not happening at the time,  I just put it away for a later date.  Well, that later date was February 2, 2015.  I figured if it was going to get done, there was not going to be perfection, so I just DID it.  
Somehow, I got it in my head that charm quilts had to be 2000 pieces.  I now know that is not true, but what can I say. 
Back in 2006 I bought this rubber stamp....
along with these ink pads.
The darker ink for the lighter fabrics and the white ink for the darker fabrics.
I gleaned fabric from my stash and several friends' stashes and even picked garbage during a retreat just so that I would have 2000 different pieces of fabric. Not an easy feat. 
I have some left over thimbles and a bunch of little squares to cut out more if I so desired. 
I DO NOT so desire.
Next step for this quilt is to find a border fabric. The top and bottom will be straight stitched, but I am thinking I will be doing applique for the sides as they are kind of zig zaggy.  I did not want to trim them straight for fear I would cut off my knots and then have some unraveling happen. 
For now, this quilt is going to be set aside while I get back to some of my other UFOs.  When, I find my perfect border fabric and start applying  that to the thimbles, I will report back.  I AM on a mission to get this one done......THIS YEAR!!!  I think 9 years is long enough to be sitting in the cupboard waiting to be finished.
Happy Quilting. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Feeling energized.....

Things are moving along here. 
I am two rows away from being half way with the thimbles quilt. 
As a reminder, these are 1" thimbles and the rows have been together for some time.  In fact, on going through some old photos, I found that these rows have been done since 2006.  Egads!  If that doesn't make one want to get busy on some UFO's then I don't know what!
Also, I finished the jelly roll quilt. 

I feel like I have my own baby quilt with that minky on the back.   It was so warm and toasty working with this on my lap while applying the binding. 
I am going to have to keep a close eye on this one though.  Already my daughter saw it and kind of gave me the doe-eyed look and an "aaaaahhhhhh" sound coming from her telling  me that she  would like THAT and then my grandson who LOVES soft things said he wanted it.  Yup....going to have to keep a close eye on this one. 
One side note for  this weekend.  Kudos to my three grandsons for all winning ribbons and trophies for their Pinewood Derby in Boy Scouts.  They were all very excited.
Have a great week!

Monday, February 2, 2015

In overdrive......

Could I just work on one thing and get it done?  No!
Went over my UFO list and there were so many things that seemed so do-able because they were almost done, that I thought I would work on 4 or 5 things at once.  Of course when you do that....nothing gets done quickly. 
I have been working on so much, I don't even know if it is worth trying to post pictures of all the progress here in one post. 

My 9-patches.....
This was going to be a quick and easy project, but I ran into a snag. 
Sewn together.
then washed and sewn into next Christmas's stocking
Lining is made and all I needed to do was to crochet a cuff, but darn, I have ripped that cuff out numerous times.  Don't know if it is the pattern or if it is me.  So, it got set aside for another day.
One of the other projects was my jelly roll quilt. 
Actually, this was made with a "twice the charm" and I had to cut each fabric in half so that I could do the jelly roll race.  This has been in my stash for eons.
Purchased some fabrics at a 60% off holiday fabrics sale  and put these borders on the quilt.
As of last night, this one got quilted with a sand colored minky and now it is ready for its binding (which is made).

I'll save the three other quilts that are going on the long arm very soon for another post.  I spent time getting the scrappy pieced backings made and just need to get the batts cut to size. 
But since I chucked the crochet project for a little while, I needed something to do with my hands in the evening in front of the TV. 
Now...I hesitate to even bring this up for fear that I will stick it away again for years since I made the rows several years ago. 
I felt the need to say that I "hand pieced" a quilt.  What do I choose? ...a charm, thimble quilt.
Don't ask me where I got the idea that a charm quilt had to be 2000 pieces, but here is my progress.
These are 1" thimbles and I have had the rows sewn for a very long time.  I put it away when I felt that I couldn't meet up my seams perfectly  when it came to putting the rows together.  Well, if I am going to get this done, I have to set aside perfection. 
I am telling myself if I can do two rows a night, I could have this top done in less than a month. 
Ok....that's it for this post.  I have three more quilts that will be going on the long arm very soon and will share those with you as they come off the machine. 
Wish me luck on those thimbles.  After getting back to it, now I want to see it finished. 
Yup....definitely in overdrive.   

Friday, January 16, 2015

Post retreat progress......

Since I was so bummed about having to cut my mini retreat short last weekend because of the flu, I figured I would try and make up for it as soon as I started feeling better. 
One of my projects that I had taken was  this origami purse.  It was nearly finished ....for a very long time.  I just needed to add the handle.  Now it is done.
Not the best picture, but it has a pocket under each outside flap (front and back).
and a much larger pocket on the inside.
This was a pattern offered by a local quilt shop some time ago.  It would be great to just throw in a wallet and phone when you want to carry light.
At retreat, I started my alternating blocks for my Christmas Star lotto blocks.
If you don't know what a lotto block is....our retreat organizers suggested a particular pattern off of Quilter's Cache, they designated the colors (in this case, green, red with white background).  For as many blocks as you made, your name went into the pot that many times. I won the drawing of 17 blocks. 
Here is my alternating block.  I made 13 of these.
I just put this quilt top together this afternoon. (it's not pressed yet)
I only used 12 of the 17 blocks.  (Three were too small and two were made with a cream background.)
I have been auditioning some fabrics for borders. Not sure if I will do that or not yet. 
Then in my stash I had this bundle called "Twice the Charm".   Each fabric measured 5 1/2 x 22". I had been wanting to try a jelly roll quilt, so to do that with what I had, I had to cut each strip in half giving me two strips of each fabric (2 3/4 x 22).  I sewed those together with a straight seam.  Then I followed the directions given by the Missouri Star Quilt Co. and made my jelly roll quilt top joining  the "different" fabrics with a 45 degree angled seam. 
This was from Robyn Pandolph's line called Roses de Noel. it is the middle of January and I still have a Christmas theme going. 
Anyways, this isn't pressed either and it is not squared up yet.  I will do some measuring and see whether or not I feel that it needs borders or not, too.  Going to check my stash and see if I have an appropriate backing for this one.  If I don't .....minky might be in order. 
I did have another "Christmas" project packed for retreat, but I haven't had a chance to work on that one yet, so I will save that for my next post. 
For now...I am feeling pretty good about my progress.  Now I feel a little better about missing so much sewing time with my friends. 
Stay tuned.  I plan on there being more sometime this weekend. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Burst of Energy.....

Albeit for only a few moments.
I am in the throes of the flu.  I have bursts of energy and then downright in bed.
I just wanted to share the super gifts I received from my quilt-y pals at our annual January retreat (which was shortened for me when I came down with symptoms looking like the flu).
This was our Christmas exchange.
A great smelling Cranberry candle, an on-line organizer, some peach scented spray, a box of chocolates, a gift certificate to one of the new and local quilt shops, a lint roller for all those threads that are always hanging on us after we are done quilting,  a great panto,  the Steady Betty to keep control of my foot pedal on my sewing machine and a "top 15 UFO's for 2015 that we plan on getting done this year (and I say that one with tongue in cheek!).  All great things!
Here's a close up of the panto.
Love it.  Can't wait to have a quilt that I can use it on.  In fact, I am thinking of using up that jelly roll and using this to quilt that.  I think that would work out great. 
,....and now  there is this one which had us stumped for a few minutes.
Is it a thread catcher?
It's reversible!
No!!!  It's a microwave soup bowl holder.
.....and boy have I used it the last couple of days, too, since that is what I am living on.
You microwave your soup in its bowl in the bowl holder  and then you can get it out of the microwave without burning your fingers by holding on to the little corners.  I love it!  I think I need to make more or at least one for DH. What a great idea that Nancy says she got off of Pinterest.
So, I sit here in my pjs enjoying looking at my gifts.  I haven't even had the energy to unpack my sewing stuff yet.  For retreat I only made it through Friday afternoon and then Saturday morning when I started to not feel so well.  I got a text from my daughter who told me that the grandson whom I had babysat for on Thursday was just diagnosed with the flu and she was headed to the Clinic, too.  I have to say....the flu hits you like a truck.  I packed up quickly and headed to the Clinic and was put on Tamiflu within six hours of the onset of my symptoms.  Sure hope I haven't infected my friends.
I did manage to get my show-n-tell out for the gals just before packing them up again to leave.   I got the binding on my B/W/red Chinese Coins.
I had hoped to get them to hold it up  so that I could have a full quilt picture for you, but this will have to do for now.  I love my striped binding.
As for what I did get to work on Friday night and Saturday morning......well, I will have to wait until my next burst of energy to unpack things and then I will share the 13 alternating blocks that I was working on that are almost done. 
I had such high hopes for this weekend.  I planned on having three UFOs almost completed.
Oh well, that is life and that is what happens when you babysit a little one that goes to daycare.
Nap time.
Be back soon with more.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

So....what did you get accomplished on this first day of January?

I have heard it said that what you do today, you will do the rest of the year. 
So, I made sure I got into the sewing room today.
Made the binding for the last quilt that I took off the long arm.....Chinese Coins.
 I found this stripe fabric in my stash and decided to cut it on the bias for this quilt. 
My goal this year is to use up a lot of what I have, get a lot of my UFOs completed, and hopefully not buy any new fabric unless I need it to complete something  and I am going to try to avoid starting brand new projects unless they are meant for someone in particular say for a shower or something like that. 
Yesterday I was going through my stuff and pulled three different sets of blocks. 
Two sets I think I am going to incorporate into one project. (killing two birds with one stone)
The pieced stars were a birthday exchange with some friends from a message board that I am on.  The embroidered stars were given to me by my former long-armer. She was cleaning out her stuff as  she is no longer in business.  I have as yet to measure these blocks to make sure they are all the same size and I have been tossing ideas around as to how I want to put them together.  That is still up in the air at this point. 
The third set of blocks were some Christmas star "lotto" blocks.  If you made one, your name got put into the pot.  I won these.    
These were measured today and I found a couple that had some of their hst in the wrong direction, so I ripped out those and turned them and resewed them.  I am planning on an alternate block for this quilt.
On going through my stuff, I came across a project that I have been wanting to make for some time.  So, I started making the blocks today for that project.
So far I have 30 - 3 inch 9-patches.  The strips are cut out for the next 30 that are needed.  Once I get this one together, there is a little crocheting that needs to be done and then I will share the project. 
For now, I am happy that ....if it is true....what I did today, I will be doing all year long because is certainly puts me in a happy place. 
Happy New Year everyone!