Wednesday, January 30, 2019

An oldie, but goodie!

I'm on a mission to get another UFO to the top stage.  Seven UFO's have been chosen to tackle this year and one of them is already done.  This was on the list and I might as well get it done.  I'm on a five-year plan to tackle my 35 UFO's.  Seven a year will do it.  There will definitely be new starts but ones that can quickly become finished tops.

Pressed Flowers.  This UFO has been hanging around for a long time.  Back in May 2011 and November 2011, I posted about getting borders on.  That didn't happen.

Then finally in January 2013, outer borders finally got added.  Then it got shelved again.

How do I know about all these dates?  My blog posts keeps me informed.   Which is embarrassing, also.  Sheeesh .... I'm such a procrastinator!

Now it is back out again and applique is finally getting added.  My garage friends are helping lots in keeping me on schedule and they are so happy whenever an UFO comes with me to the garage to work on. 
The top left section is done!  The right hand section is being sewn.  Finally, progress is happening!
So, why was I hesitant to do the applique on the borders when that is one of my favourite things to do?  It was the fabric that was the problem.  Too dark for me to use either a light box or a window to trace the applique design onto the fabric. 

There has to be a solution to this problem.  I'll show that in my next post because soon I will be ready to prep another border, but not today.

Winter, winter go away!  This is the winter of cold and snow.  Really, really cold weather.  Lots of snow!  My husband had to remove snow from the shed roof.   Next is our house roof, but we will hire someone to do that for us.
Have a great day!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

All churned up

Well, have I been busy or what!  It took me just nine days to make a brand new top.  Here is how it got started.

Browsing Pinterest is always interesting.  I have seen churn dash blocks done scrappy and since I'm drowning in scraps, what better way to get started and tackle some of them.  Notice I said 'some' because I'm still drowning in those scraps.  LOL

Anyway, here are a few of those churn dash blocks.  Then, I decided why not do some crazy blocks to be used as an alternative block?  They would use up even more scraps.  Now we're talking!  No sashing here.  Just by adding tan fabric strips around the crazy blocks makes it look like there is sashing.
Making progress.  Then the light bulb came on.  Why not make a border of scrappy strips?
Oh yes, that will use up even more scraps.  Out came my 1-1/2" and 2-1/2" strips.
Getting there.  Only one more border to assemble.
Now, working the scraps is a very messy job.  I'm not kidding when I say 'messy'.  But is it worth it?
Oh yes!  Here is my top .... all done.  Only took nine days.  Whew, I think that is a record for me.  The top size is 58-1/4" x 82-1/2".  I'll be working those scraps again on another new top.  No pattern yet, but something will come to me.
A closer look at some of the blocks.  For the crazy patch blocks, I used my EQ7 program and printed out some paper piecing blocks.  This did take extra work to make them, but the look is very satisfying.  The crazy block size is 8-1/2" x 8-1/2" and a 2-1/2" border was added on all sides to bring the size to 12" finished.  That is the same size as the churn dash blocks.

This is the backing fabric that will be used.  Nice and colourful to go with the top.
I can't leave today without talking about our snow and our weather.  It has been brutally cold.  One night it got down to -33C (-27.4F) and with the wind chill it was -48C (-54.4F).  Extra blankets were pulled out that night.  What about the snow?  This ruler shows 14" of snow and that is the third time that my husband has snow blowed our back patio.
So much snow.  The snow banks along the city streets are high and it is difficult to see oncoming traffic when turning left or right to get onto another street.
The weather is going to warm up a bit and another snow storm is expected.  Oh my word ... where are we going to put the snow?  We may have to seriously think about taking some of the snow from our roof.

Have a great day.

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Stitching slow today

It has been a few months since this project was last worked on.  Simple embroidery stitches.  I'm on a mission to try to work on this at the beginning and ending of each day in my studio.  Just a few minutes, just a few stitches will make all the difference in getting this wall hanging done.
You are probably wondering why are there safety pins here and there on my top?  There is batting behind.  No backing yet, just batting.  I prefer to do my embroidery with batting.  Call me silly, but that is what I prefer.

Isn't it bulky?  Well, yes it is.  How do I embroider with all that bulk?  I don't put my hand behind the hoop.  I just let the hoop sit on a pillow and embroider away.  The needle won't go all the way through the layers and catch the pillow fabric and I find that I'm not constantly moving my hoop.  It works for me.

Right now, I'm working on the center and the right at the same time.  That way, when I get to the bottom, both those sections will be done!
 This wall hanging will be hand quilted and already, I'm thinking of ideas on what my design will be.
It has been awfully cold here the last few days and having this on my lap is keeping me warm.  This morning, it was -28C (-18.4F) and much colder with the wind chill.

Have a great day!
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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Humble Christmas

One UFO is now a top!   Now that is good progress to start the year off.

Started way back in 2015 from a scrap box that I bought from a guild lady that was moving to Barrie.  Wendy, I know you read my blog.  This is what your scraps made and there are still more in the box!

I got stalled on the side borders.  Since it was my decision to add trees to the borders, I got a bit frustrated that my trees would just not add up to something decent looking .... so this project got binned .... for, oh four years.  Oh well, who's counting!  LOL
Since taking it out at the beginning of this year and putting it up on my design wall, I was determined to make it work somehow.  There was a bit of fudging to do with those two skinny trees that are side-by-side on the right side border, but finally that side border got done and now I can proceed with the other two borders.  If you look closely, you can see my paper tree foundations hanging on the two remaining borders.  That is where that tree had to go when completed.
Finally, this is now a top and I'm very pleased with the look!   It was gloomy outside when I took this photo and even with the lights on, my photo is still dark.  It truly is nice and bright and cheery.  Right now, my design wall on something on it, so I will have to go with this photo for now.  Oh well ....
You are probably wondering why this top is called Humble Christmas?  Take a close look at this photo below and see all the arrows pointing to block sections that were pieced to make the correct size needed.  Waste not, want not.  I was determined to use only scraps from Wendy's scrap box and I succeeded.   I'm wondering what in the world will people down the years think when they see this quilt?  Was she a lady that didn't have much money to spend on more fabric or did she really make errors on cutting her fabric and didn't want to spend any more on this project?  It will give someone pause to think about this, for sure!  It is giving me quite the chuckle when I look as I had forgotten how many pieces had to be sewn together.  When I took this photo, it reminded me that .... well, there are a lot!  LOL
Cross off one UFO from my list.  Only 34 more to go.
Have a great day!

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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Chevron Log Cabin

Here is another ufo that got finished before 2018 ended.  How glorious is that!

So .... how did I do for 2018?  How many quilts got finished.  How many ufo's got moved to the tops ready for quilting stage?

I did a print screen of all my finished tops and my ufos at the beginning of 2018.   This is how I keep track of my tops and ufos and new projects.  A file was created for each topic and as a item gets finished, the photo gets moved around until it gets a big X.  As each one got done on either the ufo file or top file, a big X crosses that photo off the list. 

The photo below were my tops ready for quilting.  There are 23 tops shown below.  Eight got crossed off  that list during 2018.  That is GOOD in my books.  Thanks to my LAer, Tella, she helped me achieve this goal and my husband and friends are breathing a bit easier.  Everyone is happy to see me sewing binding on a quilt.  Heck, I'm happy to do that too.
This one below were my ufos and there were 40 here.   Seven photos got crossed off during 2018.  Really, that is not bad.  Seven is better than nothing.
Does doing this work for me?  Seeing the results, I think it sure does.  You have no idea how good it feels to me to make a big X on a photo.  Before doing this, a list was made each year, but I'm a visual type of person and seeing a photo helps me more than first realised.

What actually is happening is downsizing.  I'm starting to see more room on the shelves in my studio.   Stuff is not crammed on them like before.   Fabric is still being purchased but not in any great quantities anymore.  Bins are starting to get emptied.  I can't believe I actually wrote that.  But, yes, that is happening.

What exactly got done for 2018.  Here are a few group photos to remind me.

First up, 5 baby blankets for the NICU at our local hospital:

It was definitely a good year!

So, for 2019, this is what I have.  New print screens have been done and I'm ready to do my bit to start crossing off a few tops, ufos and new projects.  Yep, bring it on!

My tops (ready for quilting) has 22 items.  Some will be sent out and some will be done by me.  I would like to get a few tops hand quilted.   Big stitch hand quilting is calling to me.
My ufos (or works in progress) have shrunk nicely but a few new projects have been added to the list.  My ufos can include any old project but also new projects too.  Only 35 now.  
To sum things up, I'm far happier now than I was a year ago.  There are a number of quilts that I can pull out at any time for hanging up with the change of each season.  Yes, very happy.

So, which top will I work on next?

The one at the top of this post.  Hand quilting.  I want to get it done.  What else?

This quilt.  The binding is on and even the label, but I had asked LAer Tella not to do any custom quilting on the leaves and circles in the borders.  These are being hand quilted.  There are a lot of flowers and each is taking time, but they will be worked on now and then and by spring I can show you this quilt as finished.  That is my goal.
I'm hand quilting around each leaf and circle and then putting an X right through each circle and a single line on each leaf.  Love the look and so love this quilt.  Gotta get it finished!
Which ufo?  This one from 2015.  It is time.
Have a great stitching day!

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A runner took off

2019.  Good Lord .... where did 2018 go?  It went by ever so quickly.  The year started off at a fast pace and just kept on speeding along.  Like a runner.

Well, my niece that received this table runner is a runner and has a couple marathons under her belt.  So, what better person to receive this?  It was gifted to her for Xmas 2018.

Batiks.  It is not often that I work with batik fabrics and I actually went out shopping for this runner.  Now, there are batiks in my stash .... but not many.  I'm not really a fan of batiks but it is good to have some to add into my scrap quilts.
The fabric colours were chosen based on this painting in their dining room.
Close ups of the machine quilting and for the first time ever for me .... machine applique.  Yes, by machine!  Will wonders never cease?

Now, this table runner didn't go quite so smoothly.  This photo looks like two blocks on top of each other.  Well, yes that is correct .... but they are sewn together.  What the heck did I do?  I don't know, but somehow when I did the machine applique, two blocks were picked up at the same time towards the end when I finished sewing the last edge of the leaf.  The block felt thick when it was removed from under the needle and lo and behold .... sewn together.
I tell you .... there were some blue words that came out of my mouth at that point.  Out came the seam ripper and very carefully, the errant stitches were removed and then it was carefully re-positioned and sewn again.
I'm very pleased with the look of this runner.  All by machine.  Well, I never expected that would ever happen!  By completing this runner, another ufo is crossed off my list.  Singing .... amen, amen, amen ......

Pattern Name:  Leaves (pattern name:  Autumn Leaves)
Pattern Source:  Workshop by Ruth Kennedy of Dancing Threads from Fergus, Ontario.
Pattern Started:  April 2017
Runner finished:  December 2018
Runner size:  16-1/4" x 45-1/4" (after washing and drying)
Block Size: 8-1/2" square
Machine applique and machine quilting
Batting:  poly/cotton

Could I see myself doing this leaf block again?  Absolutely.  In a bigger quilt for autumn.

My niece sent me photos of how this runner looks on their dining room table.  Lovely.

She also sent me a photo of their Xmas stockings that I made for them over the past twelve years (first ones made in 2006, then 2012 and 2015).  The smaller stockings were made for them after they first married (on the left and right).  Then as they had children, they requested they be made bigger and that is why the ones in between are bigger.  They all match in colours because fabric was stored away in a bin so that as each child came along, the bin was pulled out and the pattern and fabrics to match were all there.  I had my thinking cap on way back then.  Smart, eh! 
What else did I do for Xmas?  A bathroom storage shelf for another niece.  My niece had been pinning shelves on Pinterest and because I follow her, an idea was born for a Xmas gift.  Hubby and I made the shelf and the final coat of sealer was applied just a few days ago and she was able to take it home with her in her car.
It had to be custom made because she has an electrical outlet that is high up on the wall and she needed to be able to put her hand behind the slant of the shelf to plug in whatever she was using.  So, with instructions to her for what kind of measurements to take and photos, we got there in the end.   This is the first time my husband and I made anything like this and we surprised ourselves at how well the shelf turned out.  There is not much storage in my niece's apartment and this shelf will help her in many ways.  She is happy.  We are happy too.
So what did these two nieces and their families get for me?  This.  Boy, was I ever surprised when I opened my gift on Xmas morning to tell me that two months of this quilty box was coming.  I knew that something was coming beforehand and it was being delivered by UPS and to accept the parcel.  But not exactly what was coming.  The box arrived on Dec. 31 from Fat Quarter Shop and I can use everything.  What will January's box contain?  I tell you, this was exciting to open.  How did they think of this?  One niece said that she was doing some surfing on the net and noticed quilters showing photos of different quilting boxes and bingo, she knew this would be perfect for me.  Yep, she got that right!
So 2019 .... bring it on!  Let's see what can be done this year.  New and old projects.

Have a great stitching day!

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