Monday, April 30, 2012

April month end

April has come to a close and no, I did not finish a UFO.  Boo.  

Judy has pulled the UFO number for May and it is #2.   I have 3 things left in that box and by rights, I should do all 3.  Yep, that's not going to happen, but one of those 3 is underway.  So there is hope.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

In Which Life Interferes....

My life, namely my work life for which I get paid, is now rearing its ugly head.  That's fine; I've had stretches in my life like this before.  However, this time work will not get the better of me.  

I'm now planning in 2 to 3 week stretches.  I wrote the list below at the beginning of last week and I'm still working off of it:

So by May 13th….

Australia quilt done done
24 Chiclets blocks done done
1 column of old Navy shirts done
St. Pat’s quilt done done
Mini St. Pat’s done done
BOMs up to date
Months 1-4 of B&W BOM – blocks sashed
BRB – progress
Xmas BOM – top done without borders

So yeah, it's steps and pieces.  I will not have an April finish in April, but I will persevere.  In prior times like this, I gave everything to work at the great expense of many things, including my hobbies.  Not this time.  I will work and do what they ask, but I will make sure the hobbies get some time too.

So the goal for this weekend, besides finishing many steps for things for work, are:

Australia quilt - trim and attach binding
St. Pat's backing done
BOMs up to date
Months 1-4 of BOM sashed
2 dozen BRB blocks

So off I go.  I'm going to work on the BOM sashing project and then one half-hour of BRB work.  Then I will come back upstairs and work on regular work.  I shall alternate in this fashion for both today and tomorrow.  I fought having work access at home, but since I succumbed, I might as well do the best I can with it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


OMG, I have just had a huge burst of inspiration! I have as part of my monthly homework the idea of cutting out and ironing interfacing on the backs of a decade's worth of $5 flag shirts from Old Navy. I buy a couple of shirts each year at Memorial Day and wear them through Patriot Day. Face it, the red, white and blue never got out of style or season.

Anyway, I have 22 shirts. I have been trying to cut and prep them but it's dull and my cutting mat is all but dead. I did buy a new mat yesterday, as they were on sale. So there's one problem solved. I also bought 3 yards of a navy print with stars on it. I like stars for this quilt; I don't know why. 

Anyway, as I was showering this morning, it came to me. I will make 5 columns. Each one will be 12 inches wide and 75 inches long. They will be QAYG. The odd columns will contain 4 shirts each and the even columns will have 5 shirts each. To achieve the length, star blocks will by used. The joining strips will be red. Once the center is done, then the 4 borders will be added as QAYG in a log cabin attachment fashion.

So now I will start to do one column per month. I must have 2 of each color short to audition for each column, which means I pretty much have to keep up on the shirts. As to the fabric I just bought, I will use it as the backing of the column and the framing fabric for each t-shirt. I do not know if I will have enough to make it a border as well. I should, now that I think about it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tax Day!

Although I am an accountant by education, today is not a big day for me. Years ago, one of our governors (who of course is in prison, because I live in IL) took away my ability to do taxes for others and I could not have been happier.

So instead of filing extensions and seeing clients all day, I had a Girl Scout meeting. In case you didn't know, I am a troop leader for a bunch of 5th grade girls who are frankly just wonderful. It was a great use of a Sunday.

Last night, I sewed up a storm. I got 2 dozen BRB blocks done, bringing my total to 4 dozen. I need 12 dozen. I also quilted on the Huge Fence Rail and got really far.

Tonight I am going to quilt. I hope to finish the quilting on the Huge Fence Rail and then to layout and maybe assemble either the top or the bottom of the St. Pat's LCRR. I'm going with a zig zag / streak of lightning setting.

This next week does not look promising for quilting. Each night is packed, whether I like it or not. Monday is Girl Scouts, Tuesday is overtime, Wednesday is a dinner, Thursday is a dinner, Friday is the local circus (ISU has the nation's oldest collegiate circus). So Saturday and Sunday are prime quilting days. I hope by the end of next weekend, I have the St. Pat's quilt all quilted.

Then it would be make and attach bindings to everything.

It's great to get some quilting done. This is where so many projects stall out.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Lack of Productivity

It was, overall, not a very productive weekend. Some weekends are like this.

My original goal was not to leave home until Monday morning. Then I had to do the BOM thing. Then the child needed shoes for picture day this week. And then we were invited over for Easter. And thus my plan to not leave home for 3 glorious days was shot.

While that was annoying, the migraine was the worst. On Friday, it had me in bed at 5.30. On Saturday, I made it as far as about 9.00. On Sunday, it flirted with me, but never stayed. The barometer went nuts, going from 80 degrees to a hard freeze one night. That much fluctuation does some serious damage. I just cannot keep up.

I tried to quilt. I did finish the quilting on the Australia quilt. This week, the goal is to bind the thing. I did more quilting on the Huge Fence Rail. I made progress on BRB blocks and Chiclets blocks. I tried. I really did.

I am now entering a phase of mandatory overtime, coupled with an extremely busy life outside of work. I have no idea how I am going to fit quilting in, but I will because I must. So the goal for the month has changed to try to move each quilt one step farther each week.

1. Australia quilt – bound and done.
2. Huge Fence Rail – quilted.
3. St. Pat’s – sandwiched.
4. BRB – continue on blocks.
5. Chiclets – finish 12.
6. Shirts – cut 4.

That’s as much as I can focus on between now and next Monday.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

The most important of these is LOVE

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself...

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.

The above piece I got off the internet. Here are my thoughts added:

It has been 2000 years since Jesus walked this earth. His actions, words, parables and lessons are as valued as ever. Regardless of your personal faith or creed, you cannot deny that this man spoke great, profound things. If we believe in the words and teachings of more modern-day leaders, such as Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King or Gandhi, we should remember to take stock in Jesus' words and teachings as well. The most important of all of these is LOVE.

Saturday, April 07, 2012


Traditions. Every family has them. For us, it's watching The 10 Commandments. And tonight is the night. My 11 year old, who actually started this tradition, is threatening to boycott, but I'm not sure if I will let her.

Anyway, the point is, traditions are good and don't need to be formal.

On to quilty content. Yesterday, I took the day off and I was moving along just fine until the migraine hit with a vengeance at 5.30. I did finish quilting the Australia quilt. I made some more BRB blocks, but not enough. I finished prepping some QAYG foundations. I finished the last of the required Chiclets centers.

And I filed my taxes online. So glamorous I know.

So today I will be making easy fun food to watch during the movie, maybe doing a bit in our mini garden, making a FART to the quilt shop and of course more quilting. I do want to quilt on the Huge Fence Rail today. I also will make more BRB blocks. I think during the movie itself I will take the ST. Pat's blocks out, make the top, make the back and sandwich the whole thing. That's a lot of work, but the movie is 5 hours long.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

April is #10

3 posts in one day - yes, I know!

Well, April is #10 according to Judy, so into the #4 box we go. And what do we have?

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.

What delicious fun!

My April goals are as follows. I have 2 days off this month, and I have stuff going on for each of those days, but I should be able to get some sewing time in as well.

4d St. Pat’s. Goal for this week would be to get the top done and get the thing sandwiched for quilting
4c Purse Pack. Just fun. I’ll see what I need to achieve the mission.
2b Huge Fence Rail. Quilting in progress.
5b Australia quilt. Quilting in progress.

This would give me 4 finishes and that would be huge.

Other items:

1b Xmas BOM. Into a flimsy.
4b Valentines. Into a flimsy.
Mary’s BRB. Done.
All t-shirts done.
32 QAYG blocks done (have more than 24 I believe).
All caught up on Chiclets.
26 Jeanne’s Diamonds. Into a flimsy.

This is a crazy amount of things, but I am already progressing down the path. I’m off on Friday, so the goal by the end of Easter weekend is to have the BRB and the St. Pat’s quilt both sandwiched. Then it’s a month of quilting.

Q1 in Review

It’s the end of the first quarter of the year and I’ve taken some time to look over what I’ve done and what I hope to get done for the year. I’ve made some modifications.

1. I wanted to make 8 QAYG blocks for all 12 months and make 2 donation string quilts from them. I will actually stop after 48 blocks are made and make only 1 strings quilt. This is in part because I’ve reached my string tolerance for the year, in part because I want to be successful and in part because I need to make string blocks for other things. I will set the goal of June to finish the blocks and then July to complete the quilt.

2. I have not stayed current with t-shirts, but that’s OK. I have 22 shirts total and 6 are done. I will set the goal of June to finish the shirts, which involves cutting out the flag part of the shirt, ironing it to interfacing and then cutting the remainder of the shirt into 1 inch strips. For the back half of the year I hope to finish the shirts into blocks and have a top done.

3. Sadly, I cannot cut myself any slack on the Chiclets blocks. I need to make 12 per month because I really need 144 blocks. 108 for bed quilt and 36 for a shower curtain. My window already has Chiclet curtains on it and frankly I love them. I wasn’t so sure and necessity was the mother of invention in that case, but I’ve decided to go for it.

4. I have added the 6 pay it forward quilts to my list and I will aim to get one done each even numbered month. I am behind already, having missed February, but I will catch up. It is nice to work on new things while finishing stuff up.

5. As of the end of Q1, I should have had 7 UFOs done and I have 3. By the end of Q2, I should have 13 done and I hope to be at that point by then. I use the number of paychecks I have received as my counter.

I am very encouraged about my progress. Things are getting done and that is amazing. Right now I have 2 quilts sandwiched and being quilted a little bit every few days. I have 2 items in my sights to be completed from the April challenge box. I hope to also finish one of the pay it forward quilts in April. I feel like there is some true momentum going on.

Most importantly, I’ve learned to say no. I have an occasion coming up where a quilt would be a lovely gift. But I have other gifting options and to drop my current plan and work on that quilt, which would require me purchasing everything, would frankly ruin my momentum. I don’t mind deadlines; that’s why I do the UFO challenges that I do, but this one would not be beneficial. So I am buying a gift instead.

March Report

I completed 3 items in March. 1 was the UFO for the month, and that’s the Chiclets table runner. It will hang on my cube wall, after I’m done hanging up the red table runner also pictured below. The red mat stays home.

The red stuff was started and completed in March. I’ve decided I can start new stuff but I must finish timely. So far so good.

I used 1.69 yards in March. 0.90 on the UFO and 0.79 on the red items.