Saturday, December 29, 2012

The holidays have been busy.

Christmas has come and gone so quickly.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday spent with family and friends. I know we had a wonderful Christmas here.
I had the week off before Christmas, so it was pretty stress free having all that extra time at home to get prepared, but for some reason I got into the gutting, purging, cleaning and organizing mode just before the holidays; and I am still in that mode.  Below is my emptying out of my hutch in the sewing room.
It consisted mostly of finished quilts, but I just couldn't find anything in there anymore, so the best thing was just to empty it, reorganize it and put it all back or maybe I should say "almost all" of it back.
I hung  holiday quilts in the closet....which by the way, I gutted, purged, cleaned and organized the week before Christmas (two double bi-fold doors wide--the width of the whole room!!!).  That was such a horrible job that I wouldn't/couldn't even take pictures of it.  I was almost in tears that I even "started" THAT project.  But it is all organized in containers with "like" things in their proper places.  I will post on that project another day.
I have decided to make a list of all my UFOs, .....oh lordy......I can't believe I put that in writing!  I said I would never do it because it would probably depress me, but after cleaning up and seeing just how many things there were, I need to do it so that I can "check" things off as I get them done and see that the list is getting smaller. 
Below are just a few of the ones that came out of the hutch today. 
First Saturday basket blocks (12 - 12 1/2")
Christmas Star blocks that I won in a drawing at a retreat (17 - 12 1/2")
Embroidered star blocks (12 - 12 1/2") These were given to me and if I can think of what to do with them I wouldn't be opposed to cutting them down. 
Birthday exchange Star blocks (19 - 12 1/2")
I think these are called Turning Twenty  blocks  (50 - 9 1/2")
There were a few more projects in there, but I will save that for another post, too.  I wouldn't want to overwhelm you!!!
I did come across my very first quilt though.
Oh my.....I just had no color sense at that time.  The green and red matched a chair I had in the living room and because I thought having "too light of a background was just not for me and stood out too much", I matched the carpet to the background.  Egads!!!  But it is hand quilted and I did do a pretty good job otherwise. 
I plan on organizing my lists under categories such as "blocks"; "quilt tops needing to be quilted"; "projects that I want to make and have the fabric for"; "blocks that are already in rows"; etc, etc. 
Eventually I will post my lists.  I was just happy to get to that hutch today and even did some drawers in the sewing room.  As soon as those lists are made, then I will feel free to get back to sewing in a clean and organized room that now welcomes me rather than distracts me. 
Hey!  I will start the New Year with a VERY clean sewing room so that means it should be neat and clean all year......right?  RIGHT!!!
If I don't get back here before.....have a Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

After the guild's Christmas party.....

I have been going through applique withdrawal, so when they asked for people to take blocks home and work on them for the guild's president's quilt and I saw that it was applique, I snatched them up. 
I am not sure of the layout of this quilt, but I love the colors. 
I, also, came away with a prize for our fabric bingo game (our fabric bingo "cards" were donated to the guild for charity quilts).
This is what I picked out from the pile of prizes.
The cover of this book sold it for me!  I think this quilt is on my bucket list....someday. 
Also, got the next two patterns for the seasonal calendar...Santa and a Snowman.  They BOTH have to be done by the next meeting.  Nothing like putting on the pressure what with the holidays. to do some applique

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Planning a scrappy quilt.....

Back in June of this year at my St. Louis retreat and during one of our show and tells, my friend,  Rita,  showed a scrappy black and white quilt that I just fell in love with.  She was on a year long mission to use up all  her stash and scraps without buying any new fabric.  I think she had her mom's stash to go through, too. I thought, well heck!, I have a lot of black and whites, so I think I will do this one, too.
hmmmm....I don't know where all my black and whites went, but this was all that I had.  I could have sworn I had a whole lot more.  I am not even sure what I made to have used it up.  There probably isn't even enough there to make a wall hanging let alone a queen sized quilt.
So anyways, my daughter had let me know that one of the quilt shops nearest me (Cristina's Quilt Shop in Rochester MI)  was going out of business . This was the shop I would have headed to for blacks and whites anyways because she always carried such a nice array of them; and it was such a surprise to find out that she will be done and gone by the end of this month as her lease is up December 31.  Even though her sale was only 15% off everything, I stocked up on a few black and whites.
Brought my husband with me and I think he was starting to sweat,  especially  when he saw the number of bolts I was pulling down and how many fats I had in my hands, but really...I only bought FQs or 1/4 yard pieces because once I am finished with this quilt, I really don't want to have a lot of left over  pieces.  So 34 FQs, one full yard of the upper left fabric (because I may use some of that for another project); and 13 - 1/4 yard cuts, I am hoping to get a queen sized quilt made that looks similar to Rita's.
Isn't it beautiful and I am thinking super easy to make, too. 
I have yardage of white, but may have to run to another shop to find a plain red to throw into the mix.  I am excited to start something new and something that I am hoping will be quick, too. 
Thanks to Rita for the inspiration!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Been a charity type week.....

Everything I have done this week is charity driven. 

At my guild's Christmas party next week we will be playing bingo, so we were to make bingo cards from scraps. 

After the party, these will be collected and put together for charity quilts.

Sandy over at put out a challenge to our retreat gals to make pillowcases to donate to a local hospital in St. Louis.  Her personal goal is to make one a week for one year.  

I pulled a bunch of fabric last weekend and cut out 11 pillowcases.  So, 11 yards of fabric later, I have my pillowcases.

I was  in between my own projects, so this seemed like a good time to do something quick, easy and gratifying.

Also, pulled a name from the "giving tree" this week at work and bought a gift for someone in need.  

It's been a good week.  

Now.....onto something new.

I said I wouldn't......

I meant it when I said it. But I failed and ended up doing it. I picked up the knitting needles instead of getting back to my pile o...