Friday, December 30, 2011

Final Friday

Yep, it’s the last Friday of the year. And it’s a nice long weekend.


Jeanne’s Diamonds – I have finished all the pieces for this top, and was at the clue where you put the top together when I noted that I really wanted an alternate block in the place where all the negative space blocks were. So I made those last night. But somewhere I cut some fabric both the wrong width and length, so I just stopped sewing at all last night. It was a wise move. So for this weekend I want to have the top finished. I also want to make a mini of this one and finish it, so I can hang the mini on my cube wall under my name plate.

Orca Bay – I know that Step 7 came out today and Step 8 will come out Sunday, but right now my goal is to get caught up. For Step 2, I have 12 done. For Step 4, I have 6 done. For Step 5, I have 200 done (Step 3 included). For Step 6, I have 20 done (Step 1 included). So I’ve done as Bonnie requested and worked a bit on each step as it came out. However, this weekend my goals are to finish Steps 5 and 6, and also the 100 extra units in Step 7 that use leftover Step 5 parts. Any string blocks that I get done will be considered a bonus at this stage of the game!

NYE Mystery – I’ll download the clues and that’s about all right now. We shall see.

January UFO – I’m eager for Judy to pull the number so I know what choices I have! Since a roll of batting is out of the question until late March, I have reviewed each box and there’s enough in each box let me finish stuff without having to worry about my lack of batting. So that’s good. More machine quilting, which may be bad in the short run, but overall, it’s good. So back to the topic – when the number is pulled, I’ll get going this weekend.

IT feels so good to be back in a crafty mood. It had been gone way too long.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 UFOs - Read 'Em and Weep

My UFO list for 2012 seems confusing. I have decided to store 4 UFOs per box and I have 6 boxes. So if a month is between 7 and 12, I will just subtract 6 from the number chosen and work from that box. I would love nothing more than to finish a UFO every 2 weeks. That would clear out some backlog. I have more UFOs than fabric, so that’s really how the stashbusting needs to happen. And yes, while 4 * 6 = 24, it would make 26 UFOs to finish one every 2 weeks. So I’m carrying Bonnie Hunter’s Orca Bay and Dorothy Young’s Jeanne’s Diamonds forward as the other 2 UFOs.

So without further adieu, this is how I came up with my 26 UFOs that I claimed to Ellen…All are quilts unless noted. LCRR stands for Log Cabin Round Robin.

Box 1

1a Thimbles BOM – A BOM, with an extra block made so I can set on point. Civil War fabrics. Status: Blocks completed.

1b Christmas 2 BOM – I took the instructions for 2 different BOMs I was in and made another block in Christmas fabrics. I need to make the 25th block and set them on point. Status: Most blocks completed.

1c Seaside Rose Sweatshirt – A jacket covered in the Seaside Rose line, with the jacket coming from a sweatshirt. Status: In pieces.

1d Red Strings – Red string blocks and die-cut hearts come together for a cuddle quilt. Status: In pieces.

Box 2

2a Chiclets Table Runner – I made a 4 block rectangular runner that I want to hang on my cube wall. Status: Flimsy.

2b Huge Fence Rail – I made a bunch of these fence rail blocks which are only 3 rails each, but the rails are each 3.5 inches. I want to make this into a quilt and donate it onward. Status: Most blocks completed.

2c 16 String Blocks – Just like it sounds, I have 16 string blocks done. I want to make some more, make a quilt and donate it onward. Status: Most blocks completed.

2d Yellow LCRR – I made this for my DD. Status: Blocks completed.

Box 3

3a Carpenter’s Wheel – A Dorothy Young pattern. Status: Flimsy.

3b Dear Jane LCRR – Log cabin blocks done with a Dear Jane block in the middle. Status: Blocks completed.

3c Easter Carrie Nation – A Dorothy Young pattern. Status: Flimsy.

3d My Blue Heaven – A Bonnie Hunter pattern. I hate the quilting I’ve done on it. Status: Needs to have quilting frogged and redone.

Box 4

4a Diamond Shapes – Die-cut diamonds and no focus. Status: In pieces.

4b Valentines – Lots of nickel charm packs in this one. Status: Most blocks completed.

4c Purse Pack – A package of fun and different fabrics that I bought. Status: In pieces.

4d St. Pat’s LCRR – Making this one for the month of March of course. Status: Blocks completed.

Box 5

5a Snowmen – I swapped 12” snowmen blocks a while ago and also some snow FQs. Status: Flimsy.

5b Australia FQs – I received these in a secret santa type box and I need to finish this project and donate it. Status: In pieces.

5c Bricks & Stepping Stones – I started these blocks trying to make 10 per color of Judy Laquidara’s 2011 Monochromatic challenge. Status: Some blocks completed.

5d Watermelon – A Dorothy Young pattern. Status: Sandwiched.

Box 6

6a Bird Crewel – A piece of needlepoint needing some finishing. Status: In pieces.

6b Beau’s – I swapped with Nancy , Near Philadelphia for the Miss Mellie quilt and Ashley’s quilt. It only makes sense that I bring everything together for a huge quilt called Beau’s quilt. Status: Most blocks completed.

6c Dog Bandannas – I have many bandannas from my dog and a friend’s. Status: In pieces.

6d Black & White BOM – The BOM won’t finish until July, but when it’s done it will be finished in blue and hopefully go to DD. Status: Some blocks completed.

Bonus UFOs

25 Orca Bay – The Bonnie Hunter 2011 Christmas mystery. Status: In pieces.

26 Jeanne’s Diamonds – The Dorothy Young 2011 Christmas mystery. Status: In pieces.

Homework – Yes, I do also assign myself monthly homework. So for each month, I plan to make/do…

12 Chiclets blocks
4 Old Navy Flag shirts
8 String QAYG blocks

And that is more than enough to do for 2012. I desperately need to order a roll of batting! It feels good to be enthused about quilting again and to have some semblance of a plan.

Addendum: I'm going to track my additional costs of finishing these UFOs. I wonder what that will be this upcoming year....

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Update

Despite having a huge migraine for part of the weekend, I did spend some time sewing.

I did indeed go through my entire set of scraps from the yellow log cabin and pulled out all of the leftovers. I made 350+ inches of binding and sewed them all together on the bias, so all of those triangles are now in the scrap bucket. Any other 2.5 inch logs were cut up the middle and thrown in the yellow strings ice cream bucket. Well, by that point, I might as well just cut the foundation papers and go.

And I’m so glad I did; it was the mindless sewing in the near-dark I could do with a migraine. I got 6 of them done, 6 black ones and a whole bunch of HSTs that had been previously cut out. I’m now out of pre-cut units, but I got far despite the migraine, which is good. I still have 2.0 green strips cut, so more HSTs until those run out. Then I can cut more greens and keep working on QSTs.

One day I’ll be caught up. But for now, I’ve got every step underway.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Actual Sewing - Can You Believe It?

I sewed yesterday for a little bit. I actually cleaned up my cutting table for 15 minutes first. I was so excited, as I found a packet of 80 die-cut hearts that I have been looking for, plus I unearthed my quilter’s reference book. You know the one – it has how to set on point and how many triangles will you need and cut them this way, etc. I was quite glad to see that again.

We’re trying to move back our small family room sofa so that there is more floor space for the PS3 Move that we have. My cutting table butts up against the sofa, so the cutting table has to move so that we can move the sofa. So it will move to where the ironing board is. The ironing board will go away and so I need an ironing pad. A series of bookcases are also going to be moved in all of this, so it’s just a boatload of crazy. We want it done soon, so that we can enjoy the Move, but it is not a requirement for us to host Christmas.

We are hosting Ted’s mother’s side, who are all very forgiving people when it comes to housework. That is right up my alley.

In detailed Orca Bay news, I am using green where Bonnie is using black. So I am taking out 5 hunks of green fabric at a time and cutting 1.5 strips and 2.0 strips, and then of course the corresponding neutrals. Someone did point out that the HSTs for Old Tobacco Road (OTR) were the same size as these, so I’m cutting more 2.0 strips and just piecing those HSTs like crazy and dumping them in an ice cream bucket. Once I get all the QSTs made and counted, etc, I will go back and start pressing and counting all of the HSTs. I want to knock out the OTR ones at the same time and since I have a king sized bed, I want like double the amount of HSTs. So basically I just need to make 1200 HSTs and life will be good. See why I’m not even counting them at this point? I have 22 QSTs sewn and many halves sewn.

I am using black where Bonnie is using blue, so I did cut out 18 foundation papers and started sewing those as the leaders and enders for when I chain-piece all the cut green pieces. I just add a strip to every block I’ve started and make sure the last thing through the needle is a new string block. These are going very quickly. I have not been able to find any black strings so far in my scrap bags, so I am cutting strips from black hunks of fabric.

I am using yellow where Bonnie is using red, and of course since I work, I haven’t started those yet. I don’t think I can have 4 steps going at once. So these will just have to wait. I did just finish an all yellow log cabin, so I have tons and tons of leftover strips that I will use. I will sort through all of my bags and pull them all. The first goal will be to see if the strip is 2.5 inches. If so, and it’s long enough, it will go into the pieced binding. Once I have 350 inches of binding or if the strip doesn’t meet the binding qualifications, I’ll go ahead and use it as a string.

My weekend is already a bit crazy, but that’s OK. The goal right now is to finish the QSTs while sewing on steps 2 and 3.

As for Christmas, I have two small gifties to make for a pair of sisters that are the nieces of a friend of mine. That will be something fun to do next week.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Folding Optional

As we are now in what I am calling the 4 Long Weeks, this week and perhaps the rest have been dubbed Folding Optional. We are literally gone every weekend or we are hosting. One or the other. So since I don’t have the weekends to do laundry, I’m doing it during the week, thanks to the wonderful timer capability on my lovely LG washer. I set one load up to go off at like 4.30 in the morning. I throw it in the dryer as I get up in the morning (I get up about an hour before I actually start moving – it’s called coffee) (and Facebook, truth be told). Then I set up another load to go off at about 5pm and I can throw that one in the dyer when we get home at about 6pm. If I’m feeling super-industrious, I throw another load in that I switch out as I head out for bed.

Everything ends up in laundry baskets. Folding is truly optional right now. There’s nothing I can do about it and I could fold, but then I would be doing housework all the time and not resting, which is really not a very good thing. So, yeah, grab your stuff from the laundry basket.

Keeping this quilty: I am now up to 22 QSTs – 10%! And I sewed some HSTs and left them chained together and dumped them into an ice cream tub. No string blocks at all; I went through 2 bags of scraps yesterday and some of my cutting table and no black strings or scraps showed up.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Bear Down

Yesterday we went to the Bears game. While the game itself was atrocious, there are a few things that I try to notice each time we go.

The classiest piece of Bears-wear that I noticed belonged to a gentleman in the row in front of me. He was wearing a navy fedora with a discreet GSH on the brim. For those of you old enough to understand this, it was the same style hat Papa Bear Halas wore on the sidelines. It was impressive.

I also take note of jersey sightings. I myself wear 34 Walter Payton – can’t go wrong with Sweetness. I did spot the usual amount of 54 Brian Urlacher and 90 Julius Peppers and of course 23 Devin Hester. Some 1985 throwbacks included 45 Gary Fencik (2 of them!) and 72 William Perry. I also saw one that nearly broke my heart – 57 Olin Kreutz, sadly traded away before the season started. There were 51 Dick Butkus or course. But the best by far was 3 Bronko Nagurski. That is downright old school and as they say in The Incredibles, the old school is the best school.

Gary is a guy who sits in our section and for the second year in a row, he was absent. However, his daughter was there (they have the same smile), and I’m here to tell you that 6 beers by the end of the third quarter is not cute. You were spilling your beer and generally looking like a fool. Please, be classy.

And last, but not least, the guy behind me had a cowbell. He’s lucky to still be alive.

To keep this quilty, I have done one QST for Orca Bay . Count ‘em, one.