Sunday, February 4, 2018

RSC18 Blocks 1 and 2

I love Angela's RSC18 plan, so I went ahead and started on it. Here are my January and February blocks. That bottom purple center is actually a luscious violet swirl fabric.  Join me on this fun sampler HERE.

After posting my UFO confession yesterday, I discovered another UFO hidden in my closet. It's my first scrappy quilt based on an old Dimensions/EZQuilting pattern from 1991. It required lots of green scraps sewn into pine trees. I can finish that one pretty quickly, too. Has anyone made this quilt? I'm using a white-on-white leaf print background.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

UFO Confession

How many UFOs do you have?  That's a question we quilters tend to ask each other.  Possibly helps us feel better about ourselves if the response is higher than our own list. LOL So what is a UFO?

A UFO is an unfinished quilting project.  In my mind, a few orphan blocks is not a UFO.  Setting aside fabric for a future quilt is not a UFO (because you can change your mind).  But actually cutting into the fabric with the intent of making blocks for a full quilt flips the switch to UFO until it is actually finished.  Finished means assembled, sandwiched, quilted, and bound.  Labeling is secondary, although some quilters believe until it is labeled, it is still unfinished.  Not me. I tend to label in a batch of several quilts at a time, so the quilt is done when binding is finished.

With that in mind, I decided to be honest with myself and compile a list. Whew, baby!  It was quite a list!  It got so long I had to put it in a spreadsheet. I'm an accountant, so I live and breathe in Excel. Then I figured out what stage each project was in (making blocks, ready for assembly, ready for quilting, ready to bind).  Deep breath. Okay, here goes:

I have TWENTY FIVE unfinished projects.

Not too bad, but not too good.  How many UFOs do you have?  'Cause I need to feel better.

Then, because my list was in a spreadsheet, I began to schedule which projects to work on. Those closest to being finished got to go first in line.

Top 10 quilts are:

1. Jamestown Landing, started in 2013. DONE in January. I have to take credit for my 2018 finishes, right?

2. Magnolia mystery from Meadow Mist designs, started in 2017. At the longarmer. I didn't get a pic of the final flimsy, but definitely will get a good picture when it comes back to me.

3. Big Star County mystery from Alycia Quilts, started in 2017. At the longarmer.

4. Grand Illusion, a Bonnie Hunter mystery from 2014. Blocks are done, need to assemble. Backing is on hand (it's that dark aqua I had found recently and forgotten it was for this quilt).

5.  In the 'Hood mystery from EvaPaige Quilt Designs, started in 2017. Backing is on hand. Need to sandwich & FMQ.  My plan is to quilt little scotties in the four blank square and do little swirls or tiny stipples around the block scotties. The big scotties need hair and sweater stiching. Not sure what to do with the border bones.

6. Floribunda, a Bonnie Hunter design started in 2012. Blocks are done, border is nearly complete. Need to assemble. Backing is on hand.

7. Sapphire Stars, a mystery from Kevin the Quilter, started in 2017.  Finished assembling the blocks in January, nearly done with the border. Backing has been ordered. I hope to drop off to longarmer in February.

8. Red Cross, started in 2013. Need to finish the FMQ. It's already bound.

9. Baby Fox, circa 2015. It is sandwiched and ready for FMQ.

10. En Provence, a Bonnie Hunter mystery from 2016. Six blocks done, need three more plus sashing and border. Will need to shop for backing.  Or maybe I should skip the sashing and do 12 blocks total. Looks pretty with the just the blocks, doesn't it.

As I said on January 1, my goal is to finish at least half of my UFOs. That means I need to finish THIRTEEN.  If I hold true to my Excel schedule, I could finish as many as 22. And my goal is to resist starting another project until three UFOs are done.

The remaining quilts are Garden Party, 1860's Revival, Red/White DSP4, 2015 Craftsy Sampler, RSC15 sampler, a t-shirt quilt, Lady of the Lake, a 199X baby blanket, fabric cut for a patriotic Tobacco Road, an assembled tree skirt, a Christmas table runner cut and ready to sew, a Crabapple Trees medallion, a batik Jewel Box, String X, and my first quilt which needs a border fix before it can be quilted.

Ummm, I must confess I have already kinda, sorta, started a new project already. Angela at SoScrappy announced her RSC18. Although my 2015 blocks are still languishing in the UFO bin, I just know I can keep up with RSC18. Yes, I know I can.  I pulled my light blue scraps and cut enough to make three 10" blocks. She announced the February purple block design today, so will need to cut some purple scraps and keep it going.

Just for fun, I also made a few Lady of the Lake blocks because I just cannot resist doing some piecing. This one is going to be so pretty!  After finishing my last blue & white quilt (Jamestown Landing), I had to push this blue/white one onto the active working list.

So it's your turn to confess. How many UFOs do you have?

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sapphire Stars Progress

Today was such a beautiful day in South Carolina!  Is it still winter? Well yeah, because there is supposed to be at least one more cold blast coming next week. But in the meantime I got to fly!  This afternoon I piloted my trusty taildragger in big circles over the airport doing some landing practice. It's amazing how flying always lifts my mood (literally I guess). I feel more balanced and ready to conquer the world.

At least I am conquering my UFO backlog. This past week I prepped the backing for Big Star County quilt. The Magnolia Mystery quilt is assembled, but there is not enough background fabric left to use as a backing. Oh wait, I just discovered SEVEN yards of turquoise fabric I had set aside after selecting an alternative backing on another quilt. Yes!  Two UFOs will soon go to the longarmer and will be quickly bound and finished.  One more UFO to go then I will let myself start another project. <squealing in delight>

And that one UFO will be Sapphire Stars. This week I cut the final neutral triangles and began assembling the blocks. Today I attached the sashing.  Check this out:
Kevin, you came up with a really fun pattern! The blocks are big which makes it a breeze to ease some of the triangle-angley-issues I tend to have. One of the ladies who made this quilt in time for Kevin's gallery had opted to group the reds and yellows which inspired me to do the same. Next step is to assemble the borders and I can check off a third UFO finish. Oops, gotta find a backing for this one, too.

Little Fox Patch Pal from Quiltmaker magazine of July/August 2014 also came out of the closet.
The borders were sewn on years ago, but I didn't get another picture. After assembling enough leftover batting to use for this little guy and a little touch-up with the iron, he is ready to be sandwiched for free motion quilting. And BAM! another UFO will be done.

Up next will likely be assembly of Grand Illusion and Colorado Sunshine (also known as Floribunda), both of which are Bonnie Hunter designs.  Or maybe 1860's Revival with its zig-zag sashing will come out of hiding.

Hopefully I can keep up the UFO-busting burst of energy. Then maybe I will be able to admit how many UFO projects I really have left.  It's kind of like not wanting to admit my age.  Do you find yourself hesitant to disclose your UFO count?

Also, at what point does a few orphan blocks become a UFO?  Do we count a pile of fabrics set aside for a project?  And is there a statute of limitations?  I have a UFO from 25 years ago that is still folded up waiting for a border fix and longarming; should it count?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy 2018

My word for this year is Appreciate. The word Appreciate can mean growth or it could mean being thankful for what you have. Sounds like a great idea!

Blueberry Hill / Jamestown Landing arrived back from my Pennsylvania longarmer right after Christmas. I'm so excited that this 2013 project will finally be done! Anyone who has made this Bonnie Hunter design knows the amount of effort that has gone into it.

So, what are your new year resolutions?  I've been able to accomplish most of my resolutions in years past, so I am continuing the practice.

My quilting goals for this year are to 

(1) cut my UFO list in half (pretty ambitious), 
(2) clean up my sewing room / office, 
(3) enter one quilt and one small project in a quilt show, 
(4) blog at least twice a month, and 
(5) continue building new friendships in my local quilt guilds.

I decided to break down the first resolution into quarterly plans.  Here is my UFO plan for 1Q 2018:

1. Blueberry Hill a/k/a Jamestown Landing - binding in January.
2. Big Star County - longarming in January, binding in February.
3. Meadow Mist Magnolia Mystery - longarming in January, binding in February.
4. In the 'Hood - design how to quilt in January, begin FMQ in February.
5. Grand Illusion - assemble flimsy by March.
6. Colorado Sunshine a/k/a Floribunda - assemble flimsy by April.
7. Red Cross - finish up the FMQ (finally!) in March.

Please encourage me to stick with this plan. I will not let myself begin a new project until at least three of these are completed. Do you know how hard it is to resist all those wonderful projects calling my name??!!

For the second, I've already begun working on my sewing room, but it is still too "ugh" to even show a picture.  

The third resolution will require me to finish binding Blueberry Hill and make a wall hanging to enter in the fall quilt show.

This post helps me achieve the fourth resolution.

Tonight is the weekly quilt guild "bee" and I'm bringing a few items found in my room cleanup to give to my friends.

My personal non-quilting goals for this year are to fly to local airports and explore more, focus on healthy exercise to lose weight and feel better, improve my vegetable garden results, and strengthen friendships within my church family.

Happy New Year!  

P.S. My daughter and her boyfriend were in New York City Times Square with millions of other people last night. Way Cool - literally!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Still Kicking

Hello everyone!  No, I am not retiring my blog. This blog cannot retire before I do (haha) so that means I have to keep it up for about ten more years.

My quilt projects have been progressing. And I was able to work in a few new projects that finished quickly.

---I am still working the clues for Meadow Mist Design's Magnolia mystery quilt.  We finally are assembling the flower blocks. Can't wait for the next clue in early December!

---I am still working on Kevin-the-Quilter's Sapphire Stars mystery quilt. I got stuck cutting the big neutral triangles. Just need four more neutrals to finish those.  I have purchased three different neutral fabrics in the past month, so all is good now. Soon the blocks will start coming together and I can finally catch up to all those fast sewers who have already completed their flimsies.

---I entered my first quilt show!  No ribbon, but I didn't expect to win anything. Several of my friends received awards, though. There are some mighty talented quilters in my guild! The quilt show this weekend was awesome, and I was happy most of the ladies I invited were able to come and check out the beautiful quilts (and mine).

---I have been making pot holders!  Check out these two books by Chris Malone. It has been so fun to sew her cute designs.  If you try some of these, I have a couple tips.  First, read the directions carefully. You may need to layer the pieces in a different order than you think. (My seam ripper has been busy.)  Second, for patterns that will be seamed instead of bound, do not cut the shape until you have stitched it. I trace the pattern on tissue paper, layer the fabrics and battings, then stitch directly on the paper before cutting. 

And.... I took my airplane up for a quick flight before its scheduled annual maintenance. It was nice to get up in the air. I can't wait until flying again!

What have you been working on?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I'm a FabShopHop Winner!

My day just got brighter!  Not only was it a gorgeous, sunny day here in South Carolina, but I also found out I am a FabShopHop winner.

All you have to do is visit a bunch of online quilt supply websites and find the FabShopHop bunny. Check out the program HERE.

Like that Luke Combs song "When It Rains It Pours", Lady Luck is shining on me. Although I didn't have to dump anyone. LOL

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Celebrating Life

Hello!  As we all begin the recovery from Hurricane Irma, I thought I would share some good news.

First, we had no damage from the winds and rain.  The winds blew my neighbor's doghouse roof over our fence but it was caught quickly and did not cause any problems other than a small cut on my thumb when I maneuvered the aluminum sheets to the ground.

Second, I finally received a job offer! I've enjoyed having leisure time to sew, swim, shop and sleep these past six months, but I am starting to go stir crazy. It's time to get back to work.

Third, I completed the flimsy for my Jamestown Landing quilt. I began sewing this quilt in 2013. Those string blocks were fun to play with, and I really enjoyed the little broken dishes blocks, too. The piano key border seemed daunting, but it really wasn't bad at all. Dare I say, it was actually fun to sew.  What took forever was assembling all those blocks into rows, then adding each completed row to the growing quilt.  I had to put the quilt away for months at a time as other projects caught my eye. This year I decided it was time to finish the thing.  I only had to sew 11 more little blocks, then put together the border. Yay!

Fourth, I finished the surprise clue for Sapphire Stars, the mystery quilt from Kevin the Quilter. By the way, I keep my quilting project pieces in these clear shoe boxes from Costco. Just tape a little label on the outside and you can figure out which UFO is residing inside.

Some of these are just fabric pieces waiting for cutting and sewing. So they don't count as UFOs in my mind. Okay, three of them are UFOs. I also have a couple more boxes containing En Provence and Grand Illusion which are awaiting assembly. <sigh> I will get working on them.... oooh, so I can clear out the boxes for NEW projects!

What are you working on?